Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Taranto Gem....

Life Imitates 'The Simpsons'

  • Smithers: "Well, sir, you've certainly vanquished all your enemies: the elementary school, the local tavern, the old age home. You must be very proud." Burns: "No, not while my greatest nemesis still provides our customers with free light, heat and energy. I call this enemy the sun. Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing--block it out!"--dialogue from "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part One," aired May 21, 1995
  • "Obama May Block Sun's Rays to End Global Warming"--headline,, April 8, 2009

Via Taranto:

World's Laziest Protesters
"Brown University is taking the 'Columbus Day' out of Columbus Day weekend," the Associated Press reports:

The Ivy League school's faculty voted Tuesday to establish a new academic holiday in October called "Fall Weekend." The long weekend coincides with Columbus Day.
Hundreds of Brown students had asked the Providence school to stop observing Columbus Day, citing the explorer's violent treatment of Native Americans. Reiko Koyama, a sophomore, says celebrating Columbus Day seemed inconsistent with Brown's values.
Some people are unhappy about this; blogger Roger Kimball, for example, calls it "a tale from the annals of academic fatuousness, division of moronic anti-Americanism."

Our take is a bit different. Brown is still observing Columbus Day; it has merely decided to call it something else. Reiko Koyama and her comrades may say they loathe the man who discovered America, but apparently they don't feel strongly enough about it even to get off their duffs and go to class.


The Humbling of a Superpower:
"This was a humiliating spectacle to behold as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth prostrated his country before a European audience that lapped up his message as though it was manna from heaven. Obama’s actions represented the humbling of a superpower on the world stage, a defining moment for a new administration that is weakening American global leadership and taking every opportunity to engage with its enemies, such as Iran, or its strategic competitors, including Russia and China."

It's OK, as long as the intention is to keep someone from voting for the wrong candidate....
"Civilian libertarians were apoplectic over former President George W. Bush’s “warrantless wiretap” program, which sought to monitor communications from terrorist networks overseas. So why are they not screaming bloody murder now that President Barack Obama appears slated to receive unprecedented power to monitor all Internet traffic without a warrant and to even shut the system down completely on the pretext of national security? The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 - introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and cosponsor Olympia Snowe, R-ME - bypasses all existing privacy laws and allows White House political operatives to tap into any online communication without a warrant, including banking, medical, and business records and personal e-mail conversations. This amounts to warrantless wiretaps on steroids, directed at U.S. citizens instead of foreign terrorists."

Gee, that's not what I read in the NYT....

President Pantywaist - new surrender monkey on the block:
President Barack Obama has recently completed the most successful foreign policy tour since Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. You name it, he blew it. What was his big deal economic programme that he was determined to drive through the G20 summit? Another massive stimulus package, globally funded and co-ordinated. Did he achieve it? Not so as you'd notice.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is It 1979 All Over Again?

"Someone please help me answer this: If Obama cannot stand up to Somali pirates who capture a US vessel and kidnap its captain… how confident am I that he will protect the USA from much more serious enemies who have already declared war on America and Western values and who want to murder Americans by the thousands?"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can't move fast enough on this...

Tiny Flower Turns Pig Poop into Fuel

Duckweed, they discovered, has an appetite for animal waste, quickly converting it to leafy starch that can then be converted into ethanol. The current source for most U.S. ethanol is industrial-scale corn farming, which requires large amounts of toxic pesticides and dead zone-feeding, fuel-intensive fertilizers. When the costs are added up, corn-based ethanol may prove little cleaner than gasoline.

Duckweed could help solve both problems at once.

What do you mean "complicity"?

The curious case of 200 nearly identical MSM headlines:
"All of the stories were marketed by a liberal 'advocacy group' called Families USA .

According to Discover the Networks, Families USA is a member of the 'Progressive States Network', which works closely with (you guessed it) ACORN and the SEIU. These ultra-partisan groups have truly one agenda: big government."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Useful Idiots

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have returned from a five-day visit to Cuba, conducted with the aim of improving relations between the island nation and the United States. They were thrilled at the opportunity to meet Fidel Castro himself, whom they described as “very fit” and “very energetic.” Rep. Laura Richardson (D, Calif.) described the meeting thus: Castro “looked directly into our eyes” and asked how Cuba could help President Obama in his efforts to change the course of U.S. foreign policy.

How grand.

Fellow traveler Rep. Barbara Lee (D, Calif.) has advocated for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, a position presumably shared among the entire entourage. So, while they find it objectionable that the United States occupies a sliver of the island for the purpose of housing enemy combatants, they are apparently untroubled that the remainder of the island is itself little more than a prison, one maintained for half a century by their fit and energetic host but now under the stewardship of his even more fit and energetic younger brother Raul.

I hope they had a nice time.

What threat?

Cyberspies Penetrate Electrical Grid:
"Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls, the newspaper said, citing current and former U.S. national security officials."

The only thing that is important here is whether or not we have done the same to them.

Be careful what you wish for...

Thought experiment:
"The story is told, perhaps apocryphally, of Lenin scolding his sister for giving soup to the poor on the grounds that it would delay the revolution. So, if carbon emissions are bad — then doesn’t it make sense to prevent any more fossil fuel sources from being developed? If you suddenly discovered a process that would make gasoline from seawater, wouldn’t that put you in the same league as a person who managed to transmute rocks into crack cocaine? You shouldn’t receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. You should be put up against the wall and shot. Without the traditional last cigarette of course, because it’s bad for your health. And if you object, then why? Where’s the logical flaw."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Going John Galt....

"Well, I read this article in the Washington Post, and I thought: there you have it. The top ten percent, that pays sixty percent of the total income tax and which allows the bottom half – HALF! – to pay nothing… Those horrible, greedy bastards are not using their free-will generosity as “efficiently” as the government can, so let’s just take more of their money and call it square.

So let me now send a personal message to The Rich in America…

As an American and a patriot, I implore you – I go to my knees and beg you – LEAVE NOW."

Because NOBODY wants you to know all the facts.....

Concurring Opinions:
"Repression in economic matters may not always lead to doom. But the scale of unconscious denial of the past five years amounts to a Great Repression. That is the widespread and sustained, if unconscious, denial of economic reality on a scale sufficient so that eventual reckoning spells equally widespread and sustained financial devastation—of which we should now be collectively acutely conscious.

Trouble is, the temptation appears strong to continue to repress rather than to confront. After all, while people seem eager to reduce debt and spending and reset the economy, government’s plan, under the prior and current President, is to respond to the excesses with more excesses, especially massive borrowing and spending."

Dear Nanny: Get off my back!

Public Policy That Makes Test Subjects of Us All

But if you are the mayor of New York, no such constraints apply. You can simply announce, as Michael Bloomberg did, that the city is starting a “nationwide initiative” to pressure the food industry and restaurant chains to cut salt intake by half over the next decade. Why bother with consent forms when you can automatically enroll everyone in the experiment?

And why bother with a control group when you already know the experiment’s outcome? The city’s health commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, has enumerated the results. If the food industry follows the city’s wishes, the health department’s Web site announces, “that action will lower health care costs and prevent 150,000 premature deaths every year.”

Read it all...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Two Papers in One!

• "The argument against unions--that they unduly burden employers with unreasonable demands--is one that corporate America makes in good times and bad. . . . There is a strong argument that the slack labor market of a recession actually makes unions all the more important. Without a united front, workers will have even less bargaining power in the recession than they had during the growth years of this decade, when they largely failed to get raises even as productivity and profits soared. If pay continues to lag, it will only prolong the downturn by inhibiting spending."--editorial, New York Times, Dec. 28, 2008

• "In a striking example of corporate hardball, the New York Times Co. has threatened to shut down one of its journalistic jewels, the Boston Globe, unless the New England paper's unions agree to sweeping concessions."--Washington Post, April 4, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Here, here...!

Shifting the foundations:
"It’s an interesting hypothesis, though it remains just that. But if true, it would explain much about the way social mores have changed in the West, including why we are now exhorted not to rescue our neighbors from a fire for “safety reasons”; or why it is acceptable to simply call the authorities if we see a woman being raped right in front of us. It would explain why we need guarantees for everything; require assurances that we will never have to oppose an international aggressor and are irked — feel cheated almost — when we are compelled to defend ourselves; why we ought never be subjected to a climate change the way it has been changing for all of geological history. It would explain why everything has to be “just so”. Why our BMWs and vacation homes in Majorca are now our birthright, which a stimulus must guarantee. For my money, such a world would be a sterile one, and perhaps more importantly a doomed one. But if Murray is right, then I hope the trend is only temporary. Maybe it’s natural for families, communities and individuals to feel adrift at this moment as they pass through. Not every feeling of alienation is wrong; in ancient times it was sometimes the darkness that pushed you into the light."

Another Cheney moment...

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion:
Remember all the fury from the Left over the Patriot Act and other attempts to give the government the ability to intercept communications believed to be between terrorists? Or to provide immunity to telecommunications companies which cooperate with the government? Why the silence here from the always-critical-of-anything-which-makes-us-safer blogs and public interest groups?

ACLU, HuffPo, Talking Points Memo, Glenn Greenwald, FireDogLake, Ezra Klein, etc. - Where are you?

The proof is in the pudding....

Barack Obama Maintains Control Over Banks By Refusing to Accept Repayment of TARP Money:
"Think about it: If Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can't a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can't special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit -- until now."