Thursday, April 30, 2009

Out: Waterboarding.... In: Outing

ABC News has outed the identities of two men it claims were the architects of the CIA's interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. We hesitated even posting this since ABC News has seen fit to sign the potential death sentence for these two men at the hands of Islamic extremists and we did not want to even acknowlege this cravenly disgusting act of "journalism".

So as some sort of feeble compromise, we're not going to link to the piece. You can find it yourself if you're so inclined.

The ultimate demise of main stream media cannot come soon enough.

Picture(s) of the Day

The site of our employment, not to be confused with our actual employer, is sponsoring an Earth Day art contest for the children of it's employees. The theme of the contest is "What does Earth Day mean to me?".

Well, since we are neither employees ourselves nor children of employees (but, perhaps possessing the same maturity and intellect) we could not officially make an entry but as we were caught up in the whole spirit of Mother Gaia, we couldn't resist making a contribution to this enlightening exercise.

So, what does "Earth Day" mean to us?

Photo-Ops, of course!

The (truly) sadly obligatory universal health care update

(This post appeared originally back on Monday but was inadvertantly taken down while doing some editing, the omission of which was discovered only now. We have re-posted this charming example of the compassion and effectiveness of socialized medicine for your reading enjoyment)

A three-year-old girl waiting for vital heart surgery has had her operation cancelled three times in as many weeks because of a shortage of hospital beds.

Ella Cotterell was due to have an operation to widen her aorta artery in her heart on Monday at Bristol Children's Hospital, but her surgery was cancelled 48 hours before because all 15 beds in the intensive care unit were full.

Michele Narey, manager of the Women's and Children's division at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'The decision to cancel any patient for any procedure is taken extremely seriously but is sometimes unavoidable because of the need to effectively manage emergency patients requiring beds on a day-to-day basis.

And here’s Ella’s Mom, Rachel Davis who has worked in the NHS for 22 years:
'This is a national problem, there are not enough resources in the NHS and it is about prioritising.
'Children who need routine grommet operations are seen quickly yet the children who need life-saving surgery are waiting because there are not enough intensive care beds and staff.
'It is a matter of time before a child dies on the waiting list and I don't want it to be Ella.
'If that does happen the Government will have blood on their hands.'

(italics ours)

Were Ella a loved one of ours we’d put even money there’d be some blood on our hands, as well.

But you know all this already because you all know that when you make something “free” there will be less of it. And when there is less of something you want or need, those needs will have to be prioritized. Prioritization that has been promised by the very people pimping universal health care.

In light of the overwhelming evidence of just what a disaster socialized medicine is we are developing an intense and deep-seated dislike towards those who know it sorely lacks but want to force this down our throat anyway.

Markets in everything

… with apologies to Mark Perry

From the people who brought you the Iowa Electronics Markets, comes the swine-flu prediction market, that was started up just this week by the Iowa Electronic Health Markets.

Here's how the system works: Health-care experts are given 100 "swine dollars" to invest on a series of propositions. If they correctly predict the outcome, they win $1 per share. If they're wrong, they lose their investment. Shares can be traded at different prices as the market rolls along, until the trading deadline comes due and the accounts are settled. The price of the day should reflect the perceived probability for the investment outcome.

Unlike the political markets they operate, however, real money will not be used on predicting the possible outcomes of this potential pandemic. Do you think this might effect the trading? As we all know, people behave differently when spending money that isn't truly theirs.

Check it out, here.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And not even a lousy magazine cover to show for it.

"Security Breaches: Scooter Libby went to prison for the "outing" of a desk-jockey CIA agent. He forgot conversations. Pelosi forgets briefings. And the outing of our entire intelligence apparatus by Democrats is OK."

... but not nearly as glamorous, unfortunately.

Rest of article, here.

Like some bad dreams, this thing never fails to deliver

We’re not quite at the level of bureaucratization and nationalization that Europe and Canada are with respect to health care but we are already experiencing the same phenomena: a shortage of primary care physicians.

Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.

The officials said they were particularly concerned about shortages of primary care providers who are the main source of health care for most Americans.

(Quick aside: That last paragraph is symptomatic of the pratfall of nationalized health care… the belief that once everyone is insured, everything will be just peachy, health-wise, for everybody. Primary care providers are not the main source of health care for Americans… Americans are the main source of health care for Americans. If you are counting on your GP to keep you healthy then you are probably not leading a healthy life-style).

One proposal being discussed is to increase Medicare payments to GPs at the expense of high-paid specialists, which of course, does not please the specialists and has touched off a lobbying fracas.

Another is to simply increase the number of GPs – no small feat considering the cost of medical school. And still another is to vet greater participation of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It’d be like going to see the doctor, except you wouldn’t see an actual doctor. That’s comforting.

So any way you shake it, increasing the number of GPs will cost more money. Now, that sounds entirely reasonable except that…. it’s all supposed to be free!

And dig this for a microcosm of socialized medicine:
The experience of Massachusetts is instructive. Under a far-reaching 2006 law, the state succeeded in reducing the number of uninsured. But many who gained coverage have been struggling to find primary care doctors, and the average waiting time for routine office visits has increased.

The ratio of primary care doctors to population is higher in Massachusetts than in other states.

That is not a misprint. Only in the Bizarro World that is socialized medicine can one have more doctors with less service.

Unfortunately, the linked article from the NYT never gets around to discussing the root cause of this phenomena which is the disconnect between price and cost.

The price of health care which is pre-negotiated by (non-vested) third parties in a socialized system will not reflect the cost of that health care that is provided. That is why you have the illusory effect of seemingly more doctors but crappier service. The doctors simply will not offer specific services if those services aren’t being properly compensated.

Time after time after time… it’s an ironclad stone-cold lock: the corresponding degrees by which you nationalize health care will result in actual higher costs and poorer service by the same corresponding degrees.

Like the dude pictured above, the disastrous consequences of socialized medicine are inescapable.

Letter to the Editor of the Day

From yesterday's San Diego U-T:

It’s OK to blow off the heads of 3 pirates to save one life, yet it’s not OK to waterboard someone to perhaps save thousands. The country has not lost its moral compass. The country has lost its common sense.

- Julianna Faulkner
Mission Beach

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome to your post-post-9-11 world

The panic you see here in this video is a direct result of the constant fear-inducing paranoia fed to the public for years by the Bush administration.

Seriously, how else would one explain such irrational behavior displayed by these people… it’s almost as if they had experienced a catastrophic event that cost thousands of lives in a similar fashion in the not-too-distant past. But of course, we know nothing like that ever happened.

Yep, we're in good hands.

Porkulus for Porkulus' sake

For those of you out there wondering why there are not any sundown provisions in the porkulus package (i.e. porkulus or portions of porkulus would be put to pasture after say, two straight quarters of positive GDP growth), we will let the Brits help explain why in a video we shamelessly swiped from KT.

As two of those hacks came out and said, government intervention is needed even when the economy turns up again in order to take advantage of all the new opportunities because, god knows, in a growing economy you might just get left behind.

You see, it’s not enough for government intervention to stall or delay any inevitable recovery from recession, it's needed much further beyond that to hasten the next economic downturn.

We’re trying to figure out just how many years in re-education camp those two hacks had to spend in order to say such ridiculous things.

...then again your definition may vary


“We’re bringing transparency and accountability to all areas of government”

From BailoutSleuth:
Earlier this month, the Treasury Department quietly hired three law firms and a consulting firm for advice on restructurings and potential bankruptcies in the auto industry.

Treasury did not issue a press release announcing the hirings, even through the contracts with the law firms were among the biggest yet for work on the government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The deals drew scant coverage beyond trade publications.

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Haynes and Boone LLP got six-month contracts worth as much as $8.59 million each, or $25.8 million total.

Reports that the Treasury Department has directed Chrysler LLC to prepare a bankruptcy filing might explain what those firms have been doing for the past few weeks. But the lack of full disclosure about the contracts raises additional questions regarding the openness and transparency of the TARP initiative.

And employee pay and compensation would appear to be a one-way street as well…
In addition to keeping the awards out of the spotlight, Treasury deleted the hourly rates it is paying the firms from copies of the contracts that it posted on its web site. In at least one instance, it also blacked out the names of key personnel on the assignments.

Treasury has routinely redacted that information from the public copies of its agreements with outside contractors on TARP. Without those details, it is impossible for the taxpayers who are paying for the TARP efforts to know whether they are getting a good deal.

Whether its CIA interrogation memos or TARP documents this Administration is proving itself to be redaction-mad - a once time-honored tradition for 2nd term Presidents has been warp-drived back to the future for this 3 month-in Administration.

Transparency, indeed!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Video Clip of the Day


Thanks to Bevvie for passing this along.

But it wasn't supposed to be this way...

Poland's Krystian Zimerman, widely regarded as one of the finest pianists in the world, created a furor Sunday night in his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall when he announced this would be his last performance in America because of the nation's military policies overseas.

Before playing the final work on his recital, Karol Szymanowski’s "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme," Zimerman sat silently at the piano for a moment, almost began to play, but then turned to the audience. In a quiet but angry voice that did not project well, he indicated that he could no longer play in a country whose military wants to control the whole world.

Zimerman apparently did not get the memo that anti-Americanism isn’t cool anymore.


Quote of the Day

“'You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith. This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand,' ”

- Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean at The Rock Church in Point Loma yesterday recounting what was told to her by Miss USA officials after her unfortunate little verbal slip-up.

Hey, its Donald Trump’s gig but if we may be so bold as to chime in: in order to avoid any more of these embarrassing moments for the pageant by having contestants express inconvenient opinions (that happen to mirror those of the President, by the way), we suggest an extensive pre-screening process at the state pageant level to weed out any of those nettlesome social conservative types.

Starting to see a pattern develop

Just getting caught up on some semi-old news.

Our comment from our post as to why the President would feel compelled to release the CIA interrogation memos:

Because of the timing of the announcement, I can't help but think that this is somewhat of a response to Dick Cheney's challenge to release the rest of the memo. As in, "I'll show you, you dirty rat".

Presenting that logic was kept from the main body of the post because we wanted to believe that the President would keep politics separate from national security. It looks as though we have again mis-underestimated this Administration’s motivations towards those ends.

This from WaPo and the “intense” debate as to whether or not to release the memos:

A source familiar with White House views said Obama's advisers are further convinced that letting the public know exactly what the past administration sanctioned will undermine what they see as former vice president Richard B. Cheney's effort to "box Obama in" by claiming that the executive order heightened the risk of a terrorist attack.

From an unlicensed plumber to a talk-radio host to a legislatively insignificant former Veep, this Administration’s penchant for expending energy... and items critical to national security... on peripheral political “foes” is curious as well as troubling.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dubious Counsel

Conventional wisdom has it that getting away from work for a few days to take some time off to relax, recreate and “sharpen the saw”, allows the mind, body and spirit to rejuvenate so that one comes back to work fresh, with a renewed sense of purpose and ready to tackle new challenges….and....and...

….. whatever.

We’re back and we can’t say we’re exactly thrilled about it. Outside of an overcast and blustery day on Friday, we experienced excellent weather, great company and good times out at Joshua Tree. Live blogging will re-commence shortly.

Oh, and Jenga takes on some entirely different proportions out at the 'Tree.

And now for something a little different...

In celebration of... Earth weekend? Iowahawk has his readers’ collection of four-wheel, two wheel and no-wheel carbon contributors, here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tolerance for thee but not for ye

Do you remember how we were told that if we voted for McCain it would only result in the continuation of a culture of intolerance and belief-zealotry that was allowed to flourish during the Bush years? Well, they were right.

The Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom says student Julea Ward was dismissed from her graduate program in March after refusing to affirm a client's homosexual behavior prior to a counseling session, according to a press release from the group.
David French, ADF senior counsel, said the school initiated a disciplinary process against Ward despite the fact that she followed her supervising professor's advice and referred the client to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with homosexuality.

Ward then allegedly was informed that the only way to stay in her program would be to undergo a remediation process to change her beliefs as they relate to counseling about homosexual relationships, the Defense Fund Center said. When she refused, she was given a formal review hearing, after which she was dismissed from the program. The dismissal was upheld March 26 by the dean of EMU's College of Education, the press release said.

Almost makes us wish we went to a normal college. Read more here.

P.S. Commenter notes that it is illegal to be discriminated against based upon your sexual orientation but not so much with respect to your opinion of one's sexual orientation.

Video clip of the day

RedState hi-jacked a commercial originally made by MoveOn a few years back slamming Bush for massive debt. Enjoy.

H/T: Instapundit

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jack Bauer and “24” now, officially, fantasy.

R.I.P., Jack.

Some are just (chosen) to fail

Hey, do you know who is against California’s push for alternative/green energy? Alternative/green energy is, that’s who. Well, Big Ethanol is, to be precise.

The California Air Resources Board under the Mao-like vision of AB 32 is attempting sweeping changes to reduce carbon emissions in fuels and this includes a cradle-to-grave effort in energy development and production.

CARB regulators would establish standards which would grade how fuels are developed. For instance, if bringing a fuel to market requires a large carbon foot print because of the production of fertilizer or transportation costs or the development of said fuel requires clearing CO2-absorbing rain forests or the taking of what would otherwise be arable land for food production then that fuel will be down-graded. You can see how ethanol/bio-fuels would not fair well in this type of classroom.

Big Ethanol, as you can imagine is not pleased by these developments and feels they are being unfairly singled-out and that they “offer a bridge to the newer generation of biofuels that show promise but are not ready to fill gaps in the market.”

Jeesh. We’ve been building this damn bridge for 30-40 years and we really aren’t getting any closer.

And, of course, the irony of the situation where the governmental apparatus that has propped up the ethanol industry for years has now trained its sights on that very same industry and may prove to oversee its demise is not lost on us. Pickin’ the winners and losers, baby!

Full schadenfreude-inducing article, here.

Austin city unparalleled

msnbc article here on the best and worst cities for jobs in ’09. A nearly un-mistakable trend emerges that should surprise no one: Cities in states that have their fiscal house in order are disproportionately represented on the positive side of the ledger. Howdy, Texas. And cities from states that are fiscal basket cases are likewise over-represented. Hola, California and Florida.

Also, well-represented for the good were cities that demonstrated a solid mid-western sensibility towards the housing market and which demonstrated that a healthy dose of prudiciousness towards the same would’ve gone a long, long way towards keeping your city and geographic region, at least, somewhat recession-proof.

Check out all the links from the article. Good read.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like a breath of fresh air

This is what we’ve been waiting for. Unlike others, we resisted taking shots at the President for grinning it up with Hugo Chavez, graciously sitting through the rants of Daniel Ortega and the one-way book swap with Raul Castro at the Conference of Americas, last weekend because in that crowd, who was he supposed to be hanging with? Oh yeah, this guy….

Having listened to Uribe, (and that must have been a nice dose of sanity after enduring 50 minutes of ravings from Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, or weird conspiracy theories by Bolivia's Evo Morales), Obama then seemed to realize that the long-stalled Colombia free trade agreement should have been passed yesterday.

The president announced that his team must find a way to pass the agreement. With world trade down 80%, the pact opens new markets to the U.S. He demanded immediate action, asking Colombia's trade minister to fly to Washington this week.

Then it got even better: Obama invited Uribe to the White House and promised to visit Colombia himself, allowing the Colombians to lay out for him their vast economic and social progress, and their desire to integrate into global trade.

Good on the President. This is an outstanding first step and we sincerely hope he follows through on this. Let’s see, however, how he fares with a Congress that opposed free trade with Columbia on no other discernable grounds than it was pushed by President Bush. And let’s see what how he responds to any initial pushback from his own party in Congress.

Quote and quiz of the day

Back in 2007 the President, then-candidate and still-Constitutional scholar, laid down the following position description:

"the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my [ ]": "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled or old."

To what job was he referring?

- Scout troop den mother
- Health and Human Services Director
- Federal judge
- FEMA grief counselor

If you answered "Federal judge", you'd be correct.

Hey, it wasn't like it was going to be:

"An unswerving commitment to the rule of law, a belief that the Constitution is a sacred contract between the government and the U.S. citizens and a firm grasp of the limits of the court’s own jurisdiction."

... or anything silly like that.

Video clip of the day

"Shut up!"

Programming Alert

Blogging will be light and/or definetely pre-packaged for the next few days as we will be out at Joshua Tree where hopefully it won't be too hot. We tried to get out there a little earlier in the season but circumstances dictated otherwise.

We'll catch up with you all again, real time, Sunday evening or Monday morning. Ciao!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Janet Napolitano would appear to view Vets and illegals in somewhat different lights

Here’s Janet Napolitano on State of the Union this past Sunday commenting on her Department's insipid assessment memo with respect to "extremist" groups targeting returning vets.

KING: But when you say will attempt, who are these groups? What do they want to do?

NAPOLITANO: Well, it's a number of groups, almost far too numerous to mention, regrettably so. But some of them, indeed, want to do what happened in Oklahoma City. That is, commit violent acts within the homeland. And again, Department of Homeland Security, we were stood up because of a terrorist act, 9/11. But that came on the heels of Oklahoma City, which was a domestically caused terrorist act. So one of our missions that Congress has given us and that we do is try to keep everybody informed what are the kinds of things that can lead to an act of violence, but, in this case, where are groups recruiting.

(italics, ours)

Far too numerous to mention?

How 'bout giving us just one? Guarantee ya, she can't.

And 9/11 came on the heels of Oklahoma City? There was a full six year gap between the two.

And it's official: Timothy McVeigh has become the Willie Horton of "right-wing extremists". No amount of time can pass nor frequency restrict going right back to that well when all else fails.

And here she is with respect to illegal aliens:

NAPOLITANO: Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren't enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.

What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.

And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.

(italics, ours)

Entering the U.S. is not a criminal act? 8 USC Sec. 1325 would beg to differ.

This is just outstanding. Here's the woman charged with ensuring domestic tranquility, fear-mongering returning veterans without a single shred of solid evidence yet poo-poohing illegal immigration as solely a civil matter.

Yep, we’re in good hands.

"Not with our money, you don't"

More unintended yet totally anticipated consequences of porkulus:

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. venture capital investments sank 61 percent in the first quarter, dropping to the lowest level in 12 years as financiers became even warier about sinking funds into startups during a deepening recession.

In yet-another indicator that a pullback that began last summer is not abating, venture capital investments totaled $3 billion during the first three months of 2009, according to a report released Saturday by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters. In the year-ago quarter, investments totaled $7.74 billion.

This is the lowest quarterly level of venture investments since the first quarter of 1997, when they totaled $2.96 billion.
The report said 549 companies received investments in the first quarter, down from 997 in the same period last year. This is the smallest number of companies to receive investments since the first quarter of 1995.

Here’s the paragraph we zeroed in on.

Alternative energy, pollution and recycling, power supplies and conservation — or "clean technology" — had been among the only bright spots during the last three months of 2008, when $971 million was invested in 67 companies. But in the first quarter, $154 million was invested in 33 companies in this sector. Compared with the year-ago quarter, the drop was almost 87 percent in investments and 50 percent in the number of companies that received funds.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Why is this happening? Why isn’t private money flowing after the public money into “green” technology?

One could make the argument that public investment is simply displacing private investment – the technologies, thanks to porkulus are fully-funded.

We see something else altogether, though and which gets to the heart of our opposition to porkulus and Bailout Nation in general: misallocation of resources.

The principle of John Locke’s invisible hand of economics is that resources - human, capital and technological - would flow, naturally, to those areas of the market that demonstrated the most promise and which would yield the best return on investment.

When the state starts picking winners and losers by directing its funding to areas of the economy or technologies it deems worthy, this natural process is radically altered. The private money has anticipated that the government has already made up its mind with respect to these “winners and losers” regardless of its particular long-term viability in an open market. There are less available resources to be devoted to the real potential winners and therefore, less of a chance for those more viable technologies to be brought to market.

Also, private money may be anticipating the easing of regulatory burdens on the government designated “winner” at the expense of a more market-viable “loser” which which will further disincentivize private investments in any of the “losers”.

All in all, for predictable reasons, it looks like private money is sitting out the green revolution, for now.

Numbers and concepts even this guy would have difficulty grasping

On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.

Mrs. Feinstein's intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn't a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments - not direct federal dollars.

Hand in hand with the frustration expressed by the tea partiers over a lack of fiscal responsibility is a frustration over a complete lack of ethical responsibility.

One of the things that strikes us about modern-day statism/liberalism is that it is bound by a notion that posits that…. since you are not smart or moral enough to handle your own affairs because you are susceptible to the sins of greed, dishonesty and avarice, we or people we designate who are afflicted by the very same human failings will handle your affairs for you.

Since this makes no sense whatsoever, the only thing that squares this circle…the only thing that prevents this from spiraling down a logic wormhole is: Power.

They got it – you don’t – game over.

After taking stock of what has been happening over the last several months with respect to Bailout Nation, the corruption that has been part and parcel to the same and, of course, the most ethical Congress in history, please explain how our contention regarding statism is off-base.

And when one of the political elite suggests that the tea party protests are perhaps, “unhealthy’ ask yourself: why would he say that?

Exit question: Remember the good ol’ days when political scandals involved creepy text messages and “signing” in airport men’s rooms instead of billions and billons of your tax dollars?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And this is a good idea, because...?

The random-ideas-that-stink generator was up and running again at the White House.

A day after telling CIA employees at their headquarters in Langley, Va. that he won’t prosecute CIA operatives for employing certain interrogation techniques, the President says that perhaps he’ll go after the Justice Department lawyers instead who devised the legal authority for the interrogations… except that he won’t, he’ll leave that decision up to the Attorney General, Eric Holder.

The question of whether to bring charges against those who devised justification for the methods "is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws and I don't want to prejudge that," Obama said

Translation: Obama has floated the idea and is now seeing which way the winds blow before telling Holder to unleash the hounds on Bush administration officials. Want proof?

Obama also said he could support a congressional investigation into the Bush-era terrorist detainee program, but only under certain conditions, such as if it were done on a bipartisan basis. He said he worries about the impact that high-intensity, politicized hearings in Congress could have on the government's efforts to cope with terrorism.

If that isn’t trial balloon-floating, then we don’t know what is.

We can’t begin to describe what a bad idea this is. We’ve already given up quite a bit of the playbook with the highly-selective release of the CIA interrogation memos and with a trial even more classified and secret information will be required to be made public. How does this benefit our safety?

Some people will argue that the claim that the interrogations did indeed prevent future attacks as Dick Cheney has argued is akin to proving a negative. And they would be correct unless those memos are released for examination. Again, more playbook revealed and again, how does any of this actually benefit our safety?

And, despite assurances that CIA operatives will not be prosecuted themselves, how comfortable do you think these people will be taking the stand against people they believed to be in good legal standing and for which they were being advised in good faith on the war on terror? And how does this effect morale with respect to the CIA’s efficacy in continuing to round up the bad guys, foil plots and continue this fight? How is any of this of actual benefit to our safety?

As the President even intimated above, how is the time and energy that will be spent on this whole affair by our intelligence community of any benefit to our safety? Instead of doing their job of protecting this country, they will be preparing for trial. Awesome.

And you wanna bet some Democratic law makers who had full knowledge of these techniques yet did nothing to stop it aren’t squirming in their seat right now? We’re looking at you, Nancy.

Unfortunately, it’s this last reason that will be why we most likely won’t see any real action instead any of the aforementioned ones. No matter – results are all we care about around here.

Anyone up for a fat tax?

THE rising number of fat people was yesterday blamed for global warming.
Scientists warned that the increase in big-eaters means more food production — a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet.

Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage.

Dr Phil Edwards, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Moving about in a heavy body is like driving in a gas guzzler.”

Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming carbon dioxide per year than a thin one.

It means an extra BILLION TONNES of CO2 a year is created, according to World Health Organisation estimates of overweight people.

You scoff at the notion, eh? Well, when things are increasingly not governed by reason and prudence but rather... what's cuter - this?

Or, this?

We know which way we will be hedging.

Tales from Bailout Nation Pt. IX

Strong banks will be allowed to repay bail-out funds they received from the US government but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, a senior administration official has told the Financial Times.

(italics, ours)

“S”-word, “F”-word, “C”-word…. whatever – we said we weren’t going there but, man, its tough.

But the judgment would be made in the context of the wider economic interest. He said the government had three basic tests. It needed first to “make sure the system is stable”. Second, to not create “incentives for more deleveraging which would deepen the recession”. Third, to make sure the system had enough capital to “provide credit to support the recovery”.

Again, we don’t recall any 3-step plan included in the TARP program - our bad. We thought it was originally to buy up the toxic assets the banks were holding and then, well…. then it became an effort to recapitalize the banks because they weren’t lending to one another. And now the two-time tax cheat gets to decide who can and cannot give their money back and, in effect, pick the winners and losers in this great big financial wheel of fortune.

We don’t want to go conspiracy theory on anybody here, but even supposing Geithner and his gang were the absolutely most honorable and smartest people on the planet owning unparalelled foresight and even the ability to see around corners, we’d still be highly skeptical of this whole plan. But they’re not. They’re human - susceptible to mistakes and shortcomings…. and worse, susceptible to influence, graft and corruption – a road we’e already travelled down with Congress and which was largely responsible for getting us into the very mess we’re in right now.

Then again, maybe we’re just over-thinking this and it’s all really as simple as this.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What ever happened to the those questions that could be answered with "world peace?"

The commenters have been clamoring for a little skin from the Miss USA pageant held last night. Since this is a family-oriented site, we'll strike a compromise by showing one of the lovelies getting entangled in a little socio-cultural hot-button issue.

Here's Miss California, Carrie Prejean, of our humble little burg in the extreme southwest corner of the nation, San Diego, answering a question about.... gay marriage?

Enjoy that 2nd place finish, sweetheart and remember to stay on point, next time.

H/T: Deadspin

Commenter X-tacle contributed: The answer sparked a shouting match in the lobby after the show.

This was immediately followed by an evangelical and a gay man having a windmill fight.

More splashy multi-colored graphics

For our friends on the other side of the aisle who have been quick to criticize conservatives for not being critical (enough) of the Bush deficits (completely untrue, by the way), perhaps the graph below would explain something about inertia, momentum and tipping points. red ink?

Two trains heading in opposite directions

From the Treasury Department: Here is how the first six month's of the federal government's current balance sheet stacks up against last year's.

Author of article here makes the claim that the falling tax revenues are evidence of industrious people "going Galt". We're not so sure of that as "going Galt" was a voluntary reaction to goverment overreach and not one of involuntarily losing your job or your business.

Sobering numbers nevertheless.

Hi-jacked Education

Hey, do you remember when we were told that if we voted for John McCain it would just bring 4 more years of intolerance and divisiveness? Well, they were right.

When Ms. Cloud finished, I pointed out that organizing mobs to scream epithets at invited speakers fit the category of "McCarthyite" a lot more snugly than my support for a pluralism of views in university classrooms. I gestured toward the armed officers in the room -- the university had assigned six or seven to keep the peace -- and introduced my own bodyguard, who regularly accompanies other conservative speakers when they visit universities. In the past, I felt uncomfortable about taking protection to a college campus until a series of physical attacks at universities persuaded me that such precautions were necessary. (When I spoke at the University of Texas two years ago, Ms. Cloud and her disciples had to be removed by the police in order for the talk to proceed.)

“The entire evening in Texas reminded me of the late Orianna Fallaci's observation that what we are facing in the post-9/11 world is not a "clash of civilizations," but a clash of civilization versus barbarism.”

That from David Horowitz, author and lecturer, on the current state of holding and expressing an alternate opinion in the “market place of ideas” on our college campuses.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

But it wasn't supposed to be this way...

Greetings, fellow racists. More video evidence of how the tea party movement is being fueled and funded by the GOP establishment. Note how warmly South Carolina Republican congressman J. Gresham Barrett, who voted in favor of TARP funding, was greeted by the tea partiers at their rally this past week.

We’re not sure whether this guy has stones the size of grapefruits to be able to make it through his 5-minute speech or whether he’s just to thick to realize when he’s not welcome. Hilarious.

As AP notes, usually a Republican getting booed off the stage would be subject to much hyper-ventilated press coverage but that doesn't fit the narrative that is being pushed by Big Media with respect to the tea parties

Just wait 'til it's free!

Hey, do you know what we need? A patient’s bill of rights, that’s what?

KT has more on the oh-so predictable consequences of free health care, here. Hey, it’s not like you’ve not been warned before.

"Hey, neighbor"

Lost in a lot of the hub-bub of this tea party non-sense this week was some more good news regarding freedom and liberty.

President Obama is lifting some restrictions on Cuban Americans' contact with Cuba and allowing U.S. telecom companies to operate there, opening up the communist island nation to more cellular and satellite service, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced at his regular news briefing today.

The decision does not lift the trade embargo on Cuba but eases the prohibitions that have restricted Cuban Americans from visiting their relatives and has limited what they can send back home.

It also allows companies to establish fiber-optic and satellite links between the United States and Cuba and will permit U.S. companies to be licensed for roaming agreements in Cuba.

We want to commend the President on this decision. We have posted previously on the dubious nature and effectiveness of trade embargos on countries as punishment for their collectivist economics and/or deplorable human rights conditions (it seems those two are always canoodling in the corner, doesn’t it?).

It never made any sense that we would be carrying the banner of freedom while denying many of the tools of democratization to people we were claiming to help.

Again, good on President Obama for beginning to tear down some of these antiquated Cold War policies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Image of the Day

Nutroot heartache

Seeking to move beyond what he calls a "a dark and painful chapter in our history," President Barack Obama said Thursday that CIA officials who used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration will not be prosecuted.

...dark and painful chapter in our history? 9/11 - we would consider that "a dark and painful chapter in our history". Then again, he could've been speaking on behalf of the bad guys for whom many, no doubt, experienced some pain in the dark.

The President, though, made it up to the nutroots somewhat by giving up the interrogation playbook.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod says President Barack Obama spent about a month pondering whether to release Bush-era memos about CIA interrogation techniques, and considered it “a weighty decision.”

Links to pdfs of the CIA memos can be linked through Politico link above. You can learn all about the torture techniques we used and some we never did like the infamously brutal "caterpillar torture":

Justice Department lawyers said in a "top secret" memo to the CIA that they could place Abu Zubaydah, one of the highest-ranking members of Al Qaeda, in a cramped confinement box, and introduce insects into the box under the following conditions. An excerpt of the memo, dated Aug. 1, 2002, reads:

"As we understand it, you plan to inform Zubaydah that you are going to place a stinging insect into the box, but you will actually place a harmless insect in the box, such as a caterpillar.

If you do so, to ensure that you are outside the predicate act requirement, you must inform him that the insects will not have a sting that would produce death or severe pain.

If, however, you were to place the insect in the box without informing him that you are doing so, then, in order to not commit a predicate act, you should not affirmatively lead him to believe that any insect is present which has a sting that could produce severe pain or suffering or even cause death. (material redacted with black lines here) so long as you take either of the approaches we have described, the insect’s placement in the box would not constitute a threat of severe physical pain or suffering to a reasonable person in his position."

The tactic ultimately was not used.

You know what's really torture? Reading the legalese that ensures the civil liberties of these bums.

H/T: Sweetness and Light and Instapundit

We think you’re going to like 24 Hr. Fitness’s new look

In the United States, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cleared the way for legislation that would make it possible to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The EPA has formally acknowledged, for the first time, that 'greenhouse gases' such as CO2 can constitute a danger to public health.

We’re getting our marker in early: scrubber stacks atop all fitness and workout facilities.

P.S. We're out the door shortly for a vigorous hike in Mission Trails Park. We apologize ahead of time for your endangerment.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Radio KBwD is on the air

You know the band but you may not know the song. The poster of this video claims this performance was from the last two or three days of December ’71 which would ostensibly make this clip coincidental with this band’s epic performance at the Academy of Music in New York City which was captured on the double live album “Rock of Ages”. We have our doubts – if the version on that album is a 9.5 this is merely a 9.1. Obviously, we’re splitting some hairs but such is our love for this song and this band’s take on it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Arkansas and the Great White North, it’s The Band performing Marvin Gaye’s “Don’t Do It (Dontcha Break my Heart)”

Janet Napolitano is one wacky dame (UPDATED)

(UPDATE #1:)With respect to our original Homeland Security’s Right-wing extremist report post below, anon commented:

Dean, your the man, but ya gotta take stuff like this seriously. Its more than justs words, its a trend
We stand by our incredulous by a half sarcastic pitch because we still don’t know what to make of that report… and that’s what bothers us.

The right-wing blogosphere got itself worked into a righteous lather over the report claiming that the government was, once again, targeting those who dared dissent with the policies being generated from the puzzle palace in D.C. Holy smokes….it was 1995 and black helicopters, Ruby Ridge and Waco all over again. And it did smack of “when our guy is in power it’s all good, but when the others’ guy is in power then, watch out!”. But our right-wing homies would be perfectly correct in their assessment…. if that document were to be taken seriously.

That is because beyond who is or isn’t being watched or targeted, what is troubling is that this “assessment” fully appears to be the product of a prank contest at Homeland on who can come up with the most blatantly over-the-top spoof of what to watch for in right-wing extremists.

It is a contradictory and haphazardly thrown together document which despite its title lacks cites of actual threats and yet is so repetitive in nature and which still managed to single out people who are opposed to abortion or are in favor of states rights as potential “right-wing extremists”.

That someone charged with our security sat down and put pen to paper and same paper was set upon what we no doubt assume was an exhaustive chop cycle and which was finally signed off for release…. that not one single person in that entire chain had the awareness and common sense to say “What in god’s name is this is this piece of crap I am reading?” - that’s what bothers us.

Hillary Clinton’s botched red button gag with the Russians is the perfect illustration of this mindset and standard operating procedure.

Its not the dark night of fascism descending over America, it’s an un-seriousness, buffoonery and general incompetence.

And people wonder why guns and ammo are flying off the shelf.

P.S. Do you know who is taking this "threat" very seriously? (the "right-wing extremist" threat, not the Hillary Clinton threat) MSNBC is, that's who.
(here endeth the update)

We’ve thought long and hard about this Homeland Security assessment that has gone out to law enforcement agencies around the country warning of the possible rise of (cue scary voice) “right-wing extremist” groups because of a combination of a bad economy and, you know, that black feller living in the Oval Office.

Actually, we haven’t. One read through it and after counting in this 10 page memo the term, (cue scary voice) “right-wing extremist” 36 times, we found it to be one of the most amateurish things we have ever read replete with the most tired “right-wing” stereotypes that exist and the de rigeur “watch out for those rage-filled vets returning from war” meme.

It’s obviously a joke that went a little too far and accidentally slipped out or a clumsily orchestrated plan circa mid-90s to smoke-out the kooks.

Honestly, what serious-minded government agency charged with protecting its citizens would title a report as a statement: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment…. and then in the 2nd paragraph under Key Findings, completely back off that statement: "The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence…”

(italics, ours)

See? There just testing you. And that J-No... what a card?

The way this thing is written is just begging for a reaction. Don’t fall for it, homies. It’s a setup – a trap.

Forget Reefer Madness its….. Right-wing Madness!!!

Pirate stuff

A couple of must-read posts from Information Dissemination.

First, CBS News reports on a Somali pirates/Al Queda link. ID gives evidence of the spike in piracy activity from the time that CBS is reporting the two groups as having initiated formal contact with one another.

Also, an email from one of the crew members of the MAERSK ALABAMA giving an account of what went down the day the ship was attacked. The email ends with some things ships/ship carriers can do to combat the piracy threat that does not entail arming the crew.

Please note we are not inherently opposed to arming the crews. Arming the crew costs money - a lot of money in training and outfitting and current international regulations make any actions one would take even with arming, extremely prohibitive.

Picture of the Day (UPDATED)

(UPDATE #1): The local mullet wrap reported there were 3,000 protestors at locations across San Diego……………………

There were at least that many at the Midway post office alone, and thousands more at the Oceanside and Escondido rallies, cities which, last we checked, were in San Diego county.

When the print media finally shutters its doors and goes the way of the dodo, we have a suggestion for its headstone: Newsies: too lazy to give a damn.

And more evidence how this isn't a G.O.P. thing:

Something hugely significant just happened here at the Sacramento Tea Party. Organizer Mark Meckler singled out GOP opportunists who wouldn’t give him the time of day weeks ago — and then wanted to hitch their wagons to the Tea Party bandwagon at the last minute.

Meckler said he heard that California GOP chair Ron Nehring was in the audience. Meckler invited him to say hi to the crowd — and then ripped him for waffling on the massive tax hike ballot measures (particularly Prop1A - $16 billion tax hikes).

Massive boos from the crowd of thousands here against the Calif. GOP establishment.

Something else we noticed at the protest - much more... a lot more young people at the event yesterday than on Saturday.

And yes, there were trolls. You could spot them a mile away.

This particular critter was asking intentionally misleading questions in an attempt to get stumbling and fumbling responses. To a large extent, he was succeeding. We tried to get a word with him but he did not take the bait.

(here endeth the update)
Thought it was very cool of the Postal Service to help out with some signage at the San Diego Tea Party event held at the main post office branch yesterday.

We may or may not have some words and pictures from this event later on because, frankly, we're exhausted and we've got some scheduled posts in the can directly or indirectly related to this whole thing.

Bumper sticker: A lot of fun. Between 4-5,000 people lined both sides of Midway Blvd. Big tent. There were the Truthers, Libertarians, Minutemen, Anarcho-capitalists (at least, that's what they were calling themselves), standard run-of-the-mill stay-at-work Republicans, Mods, Rockers, bullhorn guy and even about 10 or 12 young gay rights kids.

And it was great being able to hang out with 'Dawg and one of his pups to take in this whole scene.

But the best part? No speeches. We kid, sort of.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Checking in on that other-other grassroots movement

Its apparent by now that the Left is kinda freaked-out by the tea party movement so the talking points have gone out and criticisms to discredit the movement is a two-pronged assault.

First, its being portrayed as an exclusively anti-Obama movement, as if being opposed to the person or presidency of Barack Obama was the primary motive of the movement. This was predictable as well as off-base. Yes, the President will receive some direct fire but the overarching theme of this movement is incredulity over a culture of borrowing and spending beyond our means to extract ourselves from a mess caused by… borrowing and spending beyond our means. (There were Arnie and Barney Frank piñatas but no Obama piñatas at the protest on Saturday. This was the savvy, prudent and honorable thing to do. As angered as we are by the President’s policies, the office of the President affords him a level of respect not fetched by a state governor or certainly a congressman). A culture that is realized and exercised through the massive overreach of the government…. a government minded by a corrupt lot on Capitol Hill to a degree we have not seen in ages.

You are asking us for more of our money to keep people that have no business owning a home in that home at more favorable rates than what we have now. Please feel free to perform anatomically impossible reproductive acts upon yourself at any time. That is what is driving this movement.

The second theme of dismissal is that because Fox News is actually reporting on this movement and/or this movement is being funded by conservative groups, it somehow de-legitimizes the movement. Imagine that – a news organization actually reporting on the news. As far as funding and coverage goes, no one has offered us any money to attend these events. No one offered us a free bus ride to “visit” the homes of our well-heeled politicians. The tea party we went to on Saturday as well as the one yesterday looked to be a pretty threadbare event to us… we did not see the trappings of any well-oiled political connections. The vast majority of the signs were all home-made and the speakers were all ordinary Joes and Joannes – students, small business owners and soccer moms and this is how it should remain. Conservative groups could spend millions and millions of dollars and never dream of generating the turnouts we've seen the past few weeks.

Besides, regardless of who is funding and how much they are funding it by does not account for our passion with respect to this matter – passion that has been on display on these very pages with respect to Bailout Nation since this past fall. Passion to get people off their asses to attend protests for the first time in their lives simply cannot be manufactured or funded.

And now a few words on semantics. The tea parties are being dismissed because the original colonial tea partiers were protesting taxation without representation. Libs and other Obama-philes argue that this is not the case today – we do have elected representation thus the affiliation with the original partiers is null and void. If by “representation” one means being elected into an almost immediately tenured program via districting and campaign finance laws to accept money from lobbyists and write laws that favor the highest bidder and to generally serve in one's own political and financial interest then, yes, we do indeed have “representation”.

And what about the representation of future generations? What about those who are not even born yet that will live with the consequences of the decisions made today. True, the moment the Republic was born, decisions were made by elected officials that would have ramifications for years to come? However, never have we paid it forward so much debt and irresponsibility in the form of current and future proposed spending and looming legacy burdens in Social Security and Medicare than we are at this very moment. Who is representing them? Who is representing their best interests by a sober assessment of the situation and prudent action rather than throwing (their) money at the problem?

Can we get in one more..? Conservatives are being branded as hypocritical for not being this forcefully against Bailout Nation when Bush was in office. We’re not even sure how to respond to this. It’s, simply put: willful ignorance. Outside a few people at the Wall St. Journal or the Weekly Standard, we cannot come up with even a handful of likeminded folk whom we communicate with or read from who have been fans of Bush’s Compassionate Conservatism, which is merely statism by degrees, let alone his gratuitous 2nd term spending and his John-the-Baptist heralding of Bailout Nation. To contend differently is inviting intellectual dishonesty.

Any manner of “taking to the streets” was a matter of momentum and tipping points and not a function of who is/isn’t in office.

Exit question: The coordinated nature, speed and ferocity of these dubious attacks to discredit the tea party movement begs the question: What are they afraid of?

Words have meaning... until they don't.

Mongo turned us on to an article that opined on a recent poll that revealed that “only” 53% of Americans favored capitalism over socialism. Actually, the article itself didn’t opine much but provided a clearinghouse for reasoning from both the left and right, why it is that the free market held such narrow sway over a variant under the big tent of collectivism which has proven itself to be the greatest man-made disaster in modern history.
(italicized inference, ours)

Please do read the article. There is an element of truth in nearly all the opinions.

In the same article, Mark Thompson reasoned that because right-wing conservatives have a knee-jerk reaction to almost everything the Democrats/the Left does by labeling it as “socialism”, the word has simply lost its meaning, dulled through repetitive use. Spot on. Not that right-wing critics are necessarily wrong to label as such, it’s just that you can only go to the well so many times and expect to illicit a positive response.

When we started this blog, we vowed to do our darndest to stay away from the standard orthodoxy, verbage and lingo of socio-politically themed blogs. To the extent that we have succeeded is, we suppose, subject to opinion – but we continue to persevere. When Bailout Nation first started cranking up last year, this is what we had to say regarding selection of words:

Finally, a few words regarding terminology. We’ve seen the term “socialism” thrown around quite a bit with respect to this bailout, particularly by those opposed to the bailout. We’ve steered clear of the term, not because we do or don’t believe this bailout will put us on the “slippery slope” to the same, its because its irrelevant as far as we’re concerned. If an idea sucks, then the idea sucks. One does not have to dress-up this bailout in any finery and throw it out there as red meat to us ravenous capitalist pigs for us to hate the idea. We understand the horribleness of the bailout - don't waste any ammo. Like “family values” which we’re all for and “socialism” which we’re all against, we still cringe whenever we here pols use these terms. They’ve lost their meaning and have become hackneyed and tired words for people who can’t articulate their positions.

And speaking of the nuances of what is or isn’t socialism, we liked this explanation the best:

To socialize the American economy, it is not necessary to nationalize every business in the United States. All it requires is to put the corporations that control the finances of all of the companies in the economy under government control. And that is what is happening now.

Yep. Just follow the money. Oh, and the whole idea still sucks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

“Breaking out the windows of people you don’t like – does that sound familiar in history to any of you?”

For all you paranoid right-wingers, anti-government and tea-baggy types with a martyr complex who fell for that Right-wing extemist assessment gag and are curious as to when the DHS memo from that wacky broad, Janet Napolitano will be issued warning of the rise of “left-wing extremists”, don’t hold your breath. Why? Because it’s un-needed as the “rise” has arrived – in fact it’s been around for years.

CHAPEL HILL -- UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.
Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

And as Legal Insurrection notes:

When fascism comes to America, it will not be wrapped in the flag or carrying a cross. It will look like it always has looked: Ugly and intolerant.

Video of the whole sad affair can be found at L.I. link above.

We’ll try not to engage in any excessive schadenfreude but in light of the release of that “assessment” and the coinciding tea parties, this could not have happened at a more appropriate time.

Checkin' in with that other grass-roots movement

However, Jane Hamsher let slip who is really behind Common Purpose, calling it “one of the many groups Rahm Emanuel has set up to coordinate messaging among liberal interest groups”:

There are a variety of vehicles through which this is done — the 8:45 am call, Unity 09, Campaign to Rebuild and Renew America — and they’ve been extremely successful. When the banks told the White House they wouldn’t cooperate with the PPIP plan unless they got their bonuses, and the administration made the decision to “ratchet down their rhetoric,” the call went out to the liberal interest groups to stay silent too…and silent they remain.
There’s a big problem right now with the traditional liberal interest groups sitting on the sidelines around major issues because they don’t want to buck the White House for fear of getting cut out of the dialogue, or having their funding slashed. Someone picks up a phone, calls a big donor, and the next thing you know…the money is gone. It’s already happened. Because that’s the way Rahm plays.

Link here to Accuracy in Media which provides several other links that details the cozy little network of journalists, bloggers, liberal advocacy groups and the White House.

Hey - and here’s the same Jane Hamsher of the liberal blog Firedoglake at one of the anti-anti-tea party protests in D.C. over the weekend that we commented on.

Do children dragged their by their parents qualify for the crowd count?

Something’s not printing out – either this network ain’t what it’s cracked up to be or they're just really bad at organizing things. Or maybe it’s just the onset of ideas-that-stink fatigue? After pouring your heart and soul into getting your guy elected, it may be tough for even the most deluded to get up any fight for supporting crushing debt and skyrocketing inflation for years to come. Yaay, generational theft!

Yep, we’re going with door #3.

Anyway, go here for brilliance from the ‘Hawk starring our girl Jane.

H/T: Hot Air

The NFL doesn't think you get enough of them.

The 365 day-long season of the NFL rolls on. And we mean that in the most complimentary manner. The NFL released its schedule yesterday which resulted in “unveiling” shows on both ESPN and the NFL Network.

The unveiling is kind of ironic because you know you are going to play 2 games against your in-division foes, you are going to play 4 games against the teams from another division in your conference which operates on a rotating basis, and you are going to play 4 games against teams from a division from outside your conference which is also handled on a rotating basis. That only leaves 2 games on the schedule to where there is any degree of unknown. But hey, its football and you don’t here us complaining.

Click here for a snazzy little interactive schedule from

Radio KBwD is on the air

Like we weren’t going to be rolling with this today. Ladies and gentleman, from Tokyo, Japan sometime in the early 90s – a couple of the original tax exiles that the G-20 has been trying to rein-in… it’s the late great George Harrison and Eric Clapton performing “Tax Man”.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An idea just too awesome to not pass along.

It looks like the pirates are making good on their promise to exact revenge for the killing of their 3 compadres on Sunday as a U.S.-flagged cargo ship was attacked on Tuesday but the pirates were denied boarding. The ship was enroute to Mombasa, Kenya.

As was discussed in the comment thread in our post on the same subject yesterday, why aren’t we doing more to defend our cargo ships? Why not arm the crew members or stage a detachment of Marines on our cargo ships? Without getting into exhaustive detail, basically, there are 3 reasons why: the cost of training and arming your crew is quite high, international maritime law is very restrictive in its rules of engagement and we are stretched thin as it is with our uniformed combat personnel to essentially open up a 3rd front in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan.

However.... these guys may be looking for some work.

They are the very same people who are training, right here in San Diego, our sailors in force protection/physical security for our combatants at sea.

Trust us - crossing that Rubicon will have to be considered if things continue in their current trajectory.

Got Map?

In light of SUU (Southern Utah University) officials plan to designate "Free Speech Zones" on campus, I thought I'd offer my assistance. Grab a map. OK, ready?

All right, you see that big area between Canada and Mexico, surrounded by lots of blue ink on the East and West? You see it?

There's your bloody Free Speech Zone.

Jeffrey Wilbur

Senior communication major from Bountiful

That an institution of higher learning feels the need to quarantine free speech or, alternately, provide a safe haven for free speech speaks volumes about the state of the same in our supposed market places of ideas on college campuses.

More European than Europe?

“(Obama) and Brown stand together, supposedly the representatives of Anglo-American turbocapitalism, struggling to push the statist French and Germans - and this is the bit that was in nobody's script - leftward.”

Times have indeed changed. The stimulus package voted into law here towers over anything enacted by our European counterparts in terms of percentage of GDP. In fact, it is 7-8 times larger than that country we love to give grief as the model of Euro-socialism, France. Could it be that the Europeans have dropped the very model that the American Left has been pushing us towards for years?

H/T: National Review

Monday, April 13, 2009

Losing a voice

Harry Kalas, the voice of the Phillies passed away today at the age of 73. Kalas also worked as the voice-over for NFL Films and called NFL games on the radio for Westwood One which were carried here locally in San Diego.

Kalas’s distinctive leathery rasp cut through the air the moment you turned on the radio. There was absolutely no confusing it with anybody else.

For Gen-Xers that grew up listening to the radio, we’ve lost another one of the old guard – those friendly voices that provided the soundtrack to summer evenings or made those drives in the car in the fall and winter just a little bit shorter.

And speaking of the old guard, below is a transcript of Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, working in a few words last Thursday about young Angel pitcher Nick Adenhart who was killed in a hit and run traffic accident last week, hours after completing his first major league start.

If I may speak for every member of the Dodger organization, our heartfelt and deepest sympathies to the mother and family of Nick Adenhart, and to every member in the Angels organization, for the untimely accident and death of young Nick last night at the tender age of twenty-two. Nick, from Maryland, had pitched six scoreless innings and was in a car with three friends, and a driver apparently went through a red light and T-boned the car, killing three of the four, including Nick, and one other member is in critical condition. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in all my years — and I haven’t learned much — but the one thing I’ve learned: Don’t even waste your time trying to figure out life.

Ground ball through for Andre Ethier, and life continues for those who still have it. And with a leadoff single, Russell Martin will be coming up.

But I would say, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a moment and say a prayer in memory for Nick, especially for his parents. What a shock to lose a twenty-two-year-old.

Andre Ethier at first base, Russell Martin the batter, James Loney on deck, and the Dodgers try to strike in the second inning against Kevin Correia.

Pure Vinny. The game, the narrative, the sentiment all wove together in a seamless fashion.

One of these days we’re going to wake up and wonder what happened to all our old friends.

H/T: Deadspin

Anyone else wanna take a crack at it?

"You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way!"

Maybe some of that Windy City rough and tumble will pay off for us, afterall.

President Barack Obama issued a standing order to use force against pirates holding an American captain hostage — including giving a Navy commander the authority to act if he believed the captain’s life was in danger, two senior defense officials said Sunday night.

Navy snipers aboard the USS Bainbridge on Sunday shot and killed three of the pirates after the Bainbridge’s commander gave the order, when a pirate was spotted aboard the lifeboat pointing an AK-47 rifle at Capt. Richard Phillips, one defense official said.

“The clear belief by the captain of the ship was that he was in imminent danger,” this official said.

Three shots, three bullets, three dead pirates.

Good on the CinC, the Navy, the SEALS and especially Capt. Richard Phillips and the crew of the MAERSK ALABAMA.

As far as a positive outcome and sending a message, we don’t see how this could have turned out any better.

Too bad to fail

An idea as stunningly awful as ethanol could not survive without the full force and weight of the federal government behind it… fueled, without logic, of course, but by your tax dollars.

Federal ethanol-fuel policies forced consumers to pay an extra 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent in increased food prices in 2008, and the government itself could end up paying nearly $1 billion more this year for food stamps because of ethanol use, according to a new government report.

The report by the Congressional Budget Office helps answer questions raised by Congress last year as food prices shot up, and some lawmakers questioned the effects of government policies, such as the ethanol mandate.

“Producing ethanol for use in motor fuels increases the demand for corn, which ultimately raises the prices that consumers pay for a wide variety of foods at the grocery store, ranging from corn-syrup sweeteners found in soft drinks to meat, dairy and poultry products,” the CBO said.

Also, government-sponsored subsidies and mandates for ethanol to be mixed with gasoline are supposed to help foster U.S. energy independence and to cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions, but only have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by less than one-third of 1 percent.

All of which means, we haven't been pursuing ethanol as vigorously as we should be. Damn the toropedos, Full speed ahead!