Monday, April 30, 2012

A California high speed choo-choo flashback


We are in process of re-reading the late Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert, which is a recounting of land and water development of the western United States. It is about as informative and entertaining a book we have ever read.

Please take a moment and read these two paragraphs we have excerpted from the book and you will soon realize why it took us a minute or so to pick ourselves off the floor after we read it ourselves. What is at issue here is the California State Water Project that was an ambitious plan to provide water to San Joaquin Valley irrigation farmers as well as to the households and businesses of Southern California from Northern California sources. Some of the more outlandish portions of the plan entailed damming rivers in the Coastal Range of Northern California and re-routing that water southward.

By the time Reagan left in Sacramento in 1974, the Department of Water Resources was predicting that the dreaded shortfall - demand for water greater than supply of water - might be as little as fifteen years away. To plan the final phase of the State Water Project, get it approved and funded, and build it would easily require fifteen years. Through an irony some found delicious, then, the person who took it upon himself to complete the project that Pat Brown (Reagan's predeccessor as California's governor) had left unfinished was none other than the apostle of the "era of limits", the first politician to proclaim that "small is beautiful" and "less is more": Jerry Brown - Pat Brown's son.

"He did it for the old man" was how Jerry Brown's last loyalist explained the spectacle of the younger Brown promoting what seemed certain to become the most expensive water project in the history of the world. Depending on which of the Brown administration's estimates one believed - and a new one seemed to appear every six months or so - the cost of completing the project was either astonishing or flabbergasting. What Pat Brown hadn't foreseen, when he underfunded the bond issue to ensure that the voters would pass it, was inflation. Because of inflation, it would cost two to five times more to deliver the project's last 1.73 million acre-feet than it had cost to deliver the first 2.5 million. The most detailed estimate, released by the DWR in 1980, pegged the cost at $11.6 billion. Interest on the bonds - based on a rate of 9 percent, which was then 3 points too low - would add another $12 billion. It was unheard-of. The only comparable schemes anywhere in the world were Canada's James Bay Project and Itaipu Dam, which would end up costing $19 billion and help Brazil dig itself a bottomless financial hole. But Itaipu would at least generate 12,500 megawatts of electricity to help pay for itself. Brown's Phase Two water plan would consume an awesome amount of power, because the water, cubic miles of it, would be pumped not just uphill but over a mountain range.

Good god. The man is absolutely addicted to astronomically massive public works projects of dubious environmental benefit and highly questionable need. And let's throw in constantly shifting cost estimates, usually upward, though California's Legislative Budget Office has managed to get the cost of California's high-speed choo-choos down to $68 billion (original estimate when the bond measure was voted on in 2008: $30 bil) after employing possibly illegal provisions to the project and some business-as-usual in California budget gimmickry.

Some 30-35 years ago, the governor of California was held hostage in a sense by the legacy of his father. Now, same governor, held hostage by a coalition of Big Labor, Big Green and a Presidential administration dangling billions with strings attached. Like rust, statism never sleeps.

Sunday, April 29, 2012



A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.


Here's some more of that new civility we've been hearing so much about:

So, Team O wants someone to be the front person and spokesperson for thier anti-bullying campaign. So, of course, they tab sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, who pens "Savage Love", to be that person. If you are wondering just what the hell the administration would want to have anything to do with someone who writes this sort of stuff (extreme language warning), join the crowd. Here's Savage speaking at a national journalism conference and getting his 2 minute hate on.

As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.”

The speaker was Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project, an anti-bullying campaign that has reached more than 40 million viewers with contributors ranging from President Obama to Hollywood stars. Savage also writes a sex advice column called “Savage Love.”

Savage, and his husband, were also guests at the White House for President Obama’s 2011 LGBT Pride Month reception. He was also invited to a White House anti-bullying conference.

Savage was supposed to be delivering a speech about anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. But it turned into an episode of Christian-bashing.

Rick Tuttle, the journalism advisor for Sutter Union High School in California, was among several thousand people in the audience. He said they thought the speech was one thing – but it turned into something else.

“I thought this would be about anti-bullying,” Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”

Tuttle said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo.

The conservative website CitizenLink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium.

“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.”

As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed.

“You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible,” Savage said as other students hollered and cheered. “It’s funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.”

(italics, ours)

We remain unaware of what Savage was pushing back against with specific respect to those in the audience who simply no longer wanted to hear his hate-fueled rant.

It gets better, though:

The executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association provided Fox News with joint statement from the Journalism Education Association that was sent to members – after a number of people complained about Savage’s remarks.

“We appreciate the level of thoughtfulness and deliberation regarding Dan Savage’s keynote address,” the NSPA wrote. “some audience members who felt hurt by his words and tone decided to leave in the middle of his speech, and to this, we want to make our point very clear: While as a journalist it’s important to be able to listen to speech that offends you, these students and advisers had simply reached their tolerance level for what they were willing to hear.”

The NSPA said they did not have a prior transcript of Savage’s speech and that wish “he had stayed more on target for the audience of teen journalists.” They also said it provided a “teachable moment” for students.

(ed. note: True. What was taught was that Dan Savage is a unapolgetic asshole.)

As for Savage’s attack on people of faith?

“While some of his earlier comments were so strongly worded that they shook some of our audience members, it is never the intent of JEA or NSPA to let students get hurt during their time at our conventions,” they wrote.

However, not once did the NSPA or the JEA offer any apologies to the students or faculty advisors or anyone else in attendance.

Savage did offer a sarcastic apology “if I hurt anyone’s feelings.”

“But I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.”

Tuttle said that he “felt duped” by the event. “There were Christian schools who went to the conference. To have this happen was disappointing and shocking.”

The NSPA said they should have done a better job preparing schools for what to expect.

(italics, ours)

Preparing the schools? How about the NSPA do the minimal amount of preparation of their own in vetting their speakers?

We are curious just how it is that you prepare high schoolers for a very bitter man who writes vulgar columns regarding advice on sex that are way out of the mainstream of the American public?

Nice work, Team O.

Shane Atwell had a nice catch with respect to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act apparently just cleared the house. Despite Speaker Boehner's (R) promise that he's "from the government and here to help", it has at least one horrible provision. From Ron Paul's site:

CISPA represents an alarming form of corporatism, as it further intertwines government with companies like Google and Facebook. It permits them to hand over your private communications to government officials without a warrant, circumventing well-established federal laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. It also grants them broad immunity from lawsuits for doing so, leaving you without recourse for invasions of privacy. Simply put, CISPA encourages some of our most successful internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communication in one segment of the world economy where America still leads.

I'm guessing this also means the companies will also be granted immunity from lawsuits based on the privacy provisions of the contracts they sign with their customers. In other words, CISPA is a backdoor out of provisions in all their contracts with users. This is how our corrupt politicians grow the state, by pitting pressure groups against each other. Got too much opposition from Facebook and Google? Throw them a bone and sacrifice the users and the sanctity of contracts.

The other disturbing aspect of the bill is that it promises "voluntary" cooperation between the government and internet companies. In what sense can such data sharing be considered voluntary when the same companies are regulated by dozens of government agencies ready to crucify them if they get uppity?

Private enterprises in bed with the government always leads to conflicts of interest and the outcomes are usually rather unsavory. We have seen the same sort of politics played already with ObamaCare that is not yet fully on the books as the health insurance companies have become effectively wards of the state and will do whatever the Secretary of Health and Human Services "shall determine."

So, what's trying to cover up with respect to SCYTL? Sir Charles of Doo Doo economics has the goods, here.

And via Dueling Barstools:

You know, maybe if somebody got laid as a result of Fast and Furious, more people would actually pay attention to a scandal that, unlike the GSA and Secret Service/prostitution scandals, has actually resulted in the loss of life...

President Barack Obama used his White House Correspondents’ Association dinner speech on Saturday evening to take jabs at several dustups plaguing his own administration, but left one scandal — Operation Fast and Furious — out of his bag of jokes.

Obama poked fun at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the General Services Administration all in one swipe. “Anyway, it’s great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom — or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper,” he said to laughter and applause. “I mean, look at this party. We’ve got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine, first-class entertainment. I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference.”

The agency’s much-discussed lavish conference in Las Vegas, he said, was “unbelievable. Not even the mind reader knew what they were thinking.”

Obama launched barbs, too, at the Secret Service prostitution scandal.

“I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew,” he joked.

But although he made room in his set for more than one joke about reports, which first surfaced April 17 at The Daily Caller, that he ate dog meat while growing up in Indonesia, the president made no attempt to get the Washington, D.C. media elites to laugh at Fast and Furious.

That didn’t stop the event’s emcee Jimmy Kimmel from slipping a single joke about the gun-walking scandal into the mix.

“Even some of your fellow Democrats think you’re a pushover Mr. President,” Kimmel said during his stand-up routine, which followed Obama’s. “They would like to see you stick to your guns — and if you don’t have any guns, they would like to see you ask Eric Holder to get some for you.”

Obama forced a smile but didn’t audibly laugh at that joke.

Nothing at all to laugh about.

With respect to government-operated public pension plans, Glenn Reynolds asks this:

See, the thing is, some people say that people aren’t clever enough to plan for their own retirement. But what makes anyone believe that people can then be clever enough to plan for other people’s retirements?

Again, statism is sexy because statism is easy. Why demonstrate any personal initiative and take any risks when you can simply take other people's money?

Secular Apostate has some bad news for a recently-celebrated set of people who get degrees from college that won't pay off their student loans:

I was reading a Reuters article about the paltry crowds that turned out last Wednesday to whine and beg protest student loan policy. Naturally, being a reporter, the Reuters newshound Edith Honan actually interviewed some of these overindulged idiots. And she got some gems. Gems that I will share with you, dear readers.

But first, to “protest” the unfair demand that loan recipients pay the loan back, the young debtors set fire to their debt documents. Children, I have an unpleasant surprise for you. The bank has a copy of those documents, with your Social Security number and signature, on file. You will never be eligible for bankruptcy. Unless you take a government job spraying herbicide or sorting documents, you will be hounded until the day you die or you pay back every last cent, whichever comes first. Burning the pink copy is a sure sign of slackerhood compounded by profound moronicity. In the Museum of Empty Gestures, yours will be placed in the Most Pathetic collection. If you want a place of pride under the rotunda, set yourself on fire.

Read the hilarious interviews at the link.

OK, gang. That's it for today. Will see you all tomorrow.


Video clip of the day

. A couple of entrance observations/questions:

1) Wasn't this the sort of "spiking the ball" they said they were going to avoid when bin Laden was killed? 2) Isn't a guy who lobbed missiles somewhere in bin Laden's general direction merely to serve as a distraction from him receiving oral sex from chubby white interns the last guy you want fronting your anti-terrorism chops?
. Here's the new Obama campaign ad which is pretty much, four years on, the equivalent of Hilary Clinton's "3 A.M." ad for which Team O took such umbrage. Frankly, can you blame Team O for doing this? They certainly don't have a record of accomplishment on which to run. You think he's going to campaign on the economy, jobs or doing something about our unsustainable entitlements to which he added yet another in ObamaCare? What Obama has been most effective at is wacking people be they terrorists, foreign strongmen (Gaddafi) or U.S. citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki). Barack Hussein Obama 2012: stone-cold killa. .

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Link of the week


A repeal of the death penalty here in California is a ballot initiative come November. Since death penalties are so rarely carried out to their ultimate conclusion, we have scarcely given it any thought for quite some time.

Time to get thinking...

From a tea party/freedom coalition perspective, B-Daddy over at The Liberator Today, takes a skeptical look at the current nature of the state's granted power to take the life of another man. A taste:

The tea party is nothing if not skeptical of government. Yet through the death penalty, we entrust to government the ultimate power of deciding the life or death of American citizens. I do not trust that our institutions of justice can apply the penalty fairly or without error. The thought of a man (and it is usually men) who would be wrongfully put to death is too horrible to contemplate. Yet, we have any number of cases where those on death row have been exonerated. My skepticism of government leads me to conclude that it cannot be trusted with a task such as deciding life and death, even of criminals.

If you do no other surfing around this weekend, please do yourself a favor and check out B-Daddy's thought-provoking piece at the link above.


Friday, April 27, 2012

45 years later, global alarmist still alarming


If you've been following this blog for a while, you know there is a special place in our heart for one Paul Ehrlich (pictured). Ehrlich has been making fantastically wrong predictions regarding what will befall the human race since his book The Population Bomb arrived on the scene back in the late 60s.

Seriously, what other emotions but warmth and affection can you have towards someone who was freaking you out as a 2nd-grader reading his predictions of Book of Revelations-sized calamities in our Weekly Reader.

Well, neither time nor a crappy track record has dissuaded Ehrlich from his thinly-disguised call for population reduction and wealth redistribution. Wait, what? Did we say thinly-veiled? There's nothing veiled about his calls for population reduction and wealth distribution.

From The Guardian:

Cut world population and redistribute resources, expert urges

Nuclear disaster or plague likely unless population shrinks and natural resources are reassigned to poor, says Prof Paul Ehrlich .

The world's most renowned population analyst has called for a massive reduction in the number of humans and for natural resources to be redistributed from the rich to the poor.

Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, goes much further than the Royal Society in London which this morning said that physical numbers were as important as the amount of natural resources consumed.

"The question is: can you go over the top without a disaster, like a worldwide plague or a nuclear war between India and Pakistan? If we go on at the pace we are there's going to be various forms of disaster. Some maybe slow motion disasters like people getting more and more hungry, or catastrophic disasters because the more people you have the greater the chance of some weird virus transferring from animal to human populations, there could be a vast die-off."

"Most of the predictions [in Population Bomb] have proved correct. At that time I wrote about climate change. We did not know then if it was warming or cooling. We thought it was going to be a problem for the end of this century. Now we know it's warming and a problem for the beginning of the century; we didn't know about the loss of biodiversity. Things have been coming up worse than was predicted. We have the threats now of vast epidemics".
(italics, ours)

What Ehrlich predicted is that we would all pretty much be dead by now.

The warmists' world is in shambles. In the midst of discredting themselves through burying data and outright misleading the public on the issue, the climate change conference at Copenhagen back in 2010 was an epic failure to where now no one pays any effective attention to these global climate conferences.

What this has resulted in, fortunately, is for the warmists to speak freely and admit that needed change for the planet's citizens really isn't about global climate change but power... power over the productive societies of this planet.

Rather than wealth redistribution or population reduction (the actual mechanics of which, Ehrlich never gets into), the planet and specifically the "huddled masses" of this planet would be better served were they not enslaved by the various forms of corrupt and amoral governance be they autocracies, warlord-ships, dictatorships or kleptocracies.

Wealth redistribution will merely consolidate more power into the hands of those already in power in the aforementioned governing styles and unless pro-free market, constitutional forms of government are embraced where the rule of law rather than the rule of power is embraced, Ehrlich's predictions may very well be self-fulfilling prophecies.

Sustainability is not about wealth redistribution rather rule of law, freedom of speech and property rights. Any other approach is doomed to failure.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Children under 18 need not apply


Just chalk up the following to a solution in search of a problem.

From the Daily Caller:

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

And the busy-bodying doesn't stop there.

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.

“The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.

“I started showing sheep when I was four years old. I started with cattle around 8. It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid.”

You would not be mistaken if you thought these new regs were put forth by a set of people who have not done an honest day's work, let alone, any strenuous physical labor in their lives.

More from linked article:

In Kansas, Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark was out in the field — literally on a tractor — when TheDC reached him. He said if Solis’s regulations are implemented, farming families’ labor losses from their children will only be part of the problem.

“What would be more of a blow,” he said, “is not teaching our kids the values of working on a farm.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average age of the American farmer is now over 50.

“Losing that work-ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” Clark said. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

John Weber, 19, understands this. The Minneapolis native grew up in suburbia and learned the livestock business working summers on his relatives’ farm.

He’s now a college Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

From a psychological standpoint, allow us to take a somewhat converse tack: through junior high, high school and one year out of high school before going off to Seminary, we held all manner of manual labor jobs in the janitorial, painting and construction fields. And if there was one thing that experience taught us it is that is not what we wanted to do for a living.

We're glad we had those jobs growing up. It was a valuable life experience in that we got a taste of precisely what we did not want to do with our life and career. We didn't shy away from contact but we also resolved that "mixing mud", building scaffolding, and hauling around bricks in 98 degree heat in the San Gabriel Valley was not a desireable career option.

As for these Department of Labor proposals, we have not a clue as to what the motivation is. One can only wonder if this is not an extension of the statist utopian dream of eliminating all hardship, struggle and physical pain from the human experience.

This nation is experiencing persistent record unemployment yet these people are hacking away at career opportunities in the field of basic human sustenance.

Honest to god, just what is it that these people are thinking?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Constitutional republics are, like, hard


Out: Amassing of executive power is bad.

In: Amassing of executive power... not a problem.

After about two years of wondering how it was that the liberal-left of this country was going to justify what they allegedly hated Bush for now that the current President has taken executive orders and signing statements to a competitive sporting level, we now have our answer: America's dead tree outlet of record, the New York Times chimes in with this OpEd feature:

President George W. Bush used his executive power to bypass Congress, almost as a matter of routine. Now President Barack Obama is pulling a similar stunt.

I was appalled, and so was the Times editorial board (and so, in fact was Senator Barack Obama) when a Boston Globe reporter, Charlie Savage, documented Mr. Bush’s use of presidential signing statements and executive orders. But I am not appalled by the way Mr. Obama is relying on those instruments – as detailed in today’s Times by that same enterprising reporter, who now works for us. Context and intent make all the difference.

The author Andrew Rosenthal attempts to bolster his argument later in the article but right out of the gate, his rationale is summed up as: it's OK, because he's our guy.

Rosenthal then starts up the waaaahmbulance and complains that Obama was forced into this position because of an uncooperative Congress.

For nearly three years, President Obama devoted a great deal of effort to finding compromises with Congressional Republicans. That was futile, in my view, since those Republicans had made it clear from the day he was inaugurated in 2009 that their plan was to oppose everything he wanted, and then paint him as a failed president. (Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, said his party’s “number one goal” was to keep the president from winning a second term.)

Mr. Obama got fed up, finally, last fall, according to Mr. Savage’s article, and the result was the “We Can’t Wait” project, which has led to dozens of executive actions on a range of issues, including jobs for veterans and fuel economy standards.

Unlike the Bush/Cheney team, Mr. Obama did not take office with the explicit goal of creating new powers for the presidency. That was not part of his agenda. Moreover, his executive actions often are more modest in their effect than the White House’s public relations team might admit.

Government by executive order is not sustainable in the long-term. Nor is it desirable, whether you agree or disagree with those orders. But in this particular case, there may be no alternative.

Rosenthal is either ignorant of the constitutional concepts of separation of power and checks and balances or he is so desperately grasping at straws, he's forced to produce drivel such as this. Being a water-carrying hack is one thing but to pen this column is embarrassing.

Memo to Mr. Rosenthal: quit whining and quit defending the indefensible. Constitutional republics aren't supposed to be easy. Dictatorships are easy. Passing legislation should be a painful affair and when that piece of legislation doesn't get past the, uh, legislative bodies, it should be considered dead.

That's the way things work in constitutional republics of which we are apparently in the "post-" phase as the sitting President is impatient with things and Rosenthal automatically assumes that all the President's executive orders are inherently productive and benign and therefore acceptable regardless of their mighty constitutional dubiousness. (We would love to hear Rosenthal's justifications for our unauthorized kineticism in Libya as goal-unspecific as it was and especially that for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without cause and wacking U.S. citizens overseas without traditionally-recognized due process) .

It doesn't matter if this consolidation of executive power would cure cancer or, you know, stop the rising of the seas. That's not the point. When the President starts issuing executive orders with the alacrity that Obama has, it's a sign that things are too hard and that "easy" is the preferred governing M.O. and as we inferred two paragraphs ago "easy" is no good... "easy" sucks and "easy" leads to very bad outcomes.

As incredibly lame as it was, at least, now we have our answer.


Ahead of the curve..?


Back during the first couple of years of this blog, we were conferring upon members of the 4th estate of this country something we called Beers with Demo's Walter Duranty Putridity in Journalism award (Duranty pictured on right).

Examples of such horrid journalism can be found, here.

It appears that PJ Media is taking up where we left off with their own version of the prize named the Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. Ah, "putridity"... "mendacity"... we love both words.

From PJ Media:

Starting this year, PJ Media, in conjunction with our good friends at The New Criterion, will be awarding the first annual Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity.

Walter Duranty – it will be recalled — was the New York Times’ Moscow correspondent in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced mass starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression.

Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts.

Despite numerous attempts by Ukrainian organizations and others, the prize has never been revoked. Duranty’s photograph remains in its honored place on the New York Times’ wall along with the newspaper’s other Pulitzer winners.

The first annual Duranty Prize will be given for what our readers consider the most egregious example of dishonest reporting for the fiscal year 2011-2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012).

We will be officially accepting nominations from PJM and TNC readers starting May 1, 2012, at (but if you want to go ahead now, no one’s going to stop you – the email address is functioning).

We've got some articles laying around somewhere that we will submit but off the cuff, we gotta think that NBC's edited tape of George Zimmerman's 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case is the leader in the clubhouse.

Willfully editing a tape to make Zimmerman sound as if he was racially profiling and thus further enflaming a situation where the defendant has had bounties put out on his life? Mendacious and putrid, both.

If you do wind up submitting any pieces, throw us a bone with a link back. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slouching towards a 4th term (cont.)*


Deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Bush administration, John Yoo, talks about civil liberties during the Obama administration.

From the Daily Caller:

The Obama administration’s use of executive power has gone further than the Bush administration’s toward diminishing Americans’ civil liberties, author John Yoo told The Daily Caller.

“Somehow the Obama administration has increased the protections for terrorists, while at the same time reducing them for the rest of us law-abiding citizens in the United States,”

Yoo said after a panel discussion on his new book “Taming Globalization” at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Yoo was deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Bush administration. During his tenure, he authored what came to be derided as the “torture memos,” which defined what techniques were acceptable to use during interrogations of terrorist suspects.

Anti-war organizations branded him and many others in the Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush himself, as “war criminals.”

Yoo said the anti-war movement has not criticized President Barack Obama, despite his administration’s formalization of a process for “targeted killing[s]” of American citizens without trial.

“You don’t see the same critics who so thrashed President Bush, for allegedly thinking he was a king, making the same arguments and engaging in the same criticism of President Obama,” Yoo told TheDC.

“I think a reasonable person can only conclude that is because President Obama happens to be a Democrat, where as President Bush was a Republican.”

(italics, ours)

Think about this for a moment: the current administration still desires to see alleged terrorists we have penned-up down in Gitmo tried in U.S. civilian courts yet the President signed into law just this past year granting the federal government the power to indefinetely detain U.S. citizens here on American soil without cause and kill U.S. citizens overseas without traditionally recognized due process.

The hypocritical left in this country obviously does not see a problem with that. So much for the righteous wailing and gnashing of teeth we saw from 2003 right up until January 2011.

In other totally related news:

Actress and left-wing activist Susan Sarandon has claimed she was recently denied security clearance for a visit to the White House - and that the government has been tapping her phone.

The Oscar winner, who has vehemently condemned the war in Iraq, made the claims on Sunday during a Q&A session at the Tribeca Film Festival - an 11-day event in New York's Lower Manhattan.

One audience member asked whether Sarandon, who was answering questions alongside documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, believed she was under surveillance by the government.

'We know we're under surveillance,' Sarandon said: 'I’ve had my phone tapped.'
She added: 'I was denied a security clearance to go to the White House and I don’t know why.' She asked the audience member jokingly: 'Do you know why?'

Frankly, we care not a wit that this loopy broad was denied access to the White House and we're curious as to why this should matter to her. What we are curious about and what we would love to ask this person who marched in anti-war protests during the Bush administration: where's the outrage, now, sweetheart?

One year ago, we were just over a month into our overseas kinetic military adventure in Libya to prevent wartime atrocities protect civilians take out military targets assassinate a foreign leader without Congressional authorization and where were you? Where were you?

Ah, to have the moral pliability of an early 21st century American liberal.


* We feel we are doing a terrible disservice to the first two terms but the title of this series illustrates a convenient and truthful trend line.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Video clip of the day



If I wanted America to fail I would never tell them that...


...the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity.

... I would empower unaccountable bureaucrats in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights.

... for every concern, I'd invent a crisis and for every crisis, I'd invent the cause.

And a nice little populist shout-out to us little folk out here in the hustings:

...and I would praise those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private.

... I would convince them that all of this is for the "greater good".

If I wanted America to fail... I suppose I wouldn't change a thing.


This message of "shared sacrifice" we keep hearing from our minders is never accompanied by a message of "shared prosperity" whereby there is an actual pro-growth economic strategy for all Americans. Small wonder then, when it is the jerk of statist redistributionism in which you have been marinating your entire adult life, that concept is an entirely foreign one.

The career political class in D.C. has no interest in any of this other than accruing more power in which to sap the American public. Let's remember that in November and act accordingly.

Sunday, April 22, 2012



A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week:


Here's some of that new civility we've been hearing so much about:

Calypso Louie Farrakhan brining it earlier this week at LeMoyne-Owens College in Memphis, TN.

Wonder to whom Louie was referring in that "started off good but got corrupted..." clause at the end of the clip.


How do you know when a scandal is potentially hugely damaging to a sitting (Democrat) President? The legacy media virtually ignores it. While everyone is rightly up in arms over the shameless wastefulness of the GSA/Las Vegas dust-up and the sleazy unprofessionalism of the Secret Service hooker-gate down in Columbia, we don't recall anyone dying in those scandals in which there were no direct ties to the administration. We were not aware that lavish conferences in Vegas nor hiring prostitutes in Columbia were official administration policies as was the case in Fast and Furious, the widely successful gun-running scheme that put arms into the hands of drug cartels and which cost the lives of 2 U.S. officials as well as hundreds if not thousands of Mexicans.

One must imagine, then, the administration is actually breathing a sigh of relief seeing GSA and hooker-gate splashed across the front pages of the dead tree media. As if you haven't figured it out by now, this administration has been reduced to governing by distraction. The President admits that the Buffett Rule (which wouldn't even apply to Warren Buffet) to which he is hitching his campaign wagon, won't do a damn thing to lower the debt or deficit (distraction).
He admits his $52 million scheme to crack down on oil speculators won't actually lower the price of gas at the pump and in fact may actually backfire and raise the price of gas as this plan may serve to drive down the number of speculators in the market causing a monopoly effect (counter-effective distraction). And now these two latest non-administration-related distractions. Keep 'em coming says the administration and its water carriers.

And while governance by distraction is the current M.O., B-Daddy reminds us that it is merely a result of a mindset of resentment in the DNA of the Obama administration:

Scratch the surface of leftist complaint and you always seem to find resentment, whether about the general unfairness of society or the indifference to the harm done to the powerless. While unfairness and harm exist, the almost exclusive focus by the left on these perspectives stems from a psychology of resentment and learned powerlessness. Because most Americans are self-reliant and optimistic, the left does not usually win elections. 2008 was an anomaly, because the blatant unfairness of the bailouts and Republican duplicity made it logical for Americans to turn to the Democrats.

Ultimately, I think that Obama has chosen the politics of resentment as the key to electoral success. I may be wrong, but since he has launched attacks on Pau l Ryan and on the rich with the Buffett rule, his poll numbers already seem to be slipping. I believe that it is important to defeat him, but more important to educate Americans on the virtues of our positions.

Please do get to the link as B-Daddy does an excellent job on bridging the gap between the tea party/freedom coalition and liberals on several key policy issues


So, what has Shane Atwell been up to? Reading. Reading and sharing:

I read Oleg Atbashian's Shakedown Socialism almost two years ago now. I remember it being an enjoyable short read on the evils of communism. I don't remember many details. But one quotation comes back to mind over and over, everytime I hear about the Left's supposed support for due process, or freedom of the press, or closing Guantanimo, or transparency in government (from the bottom of page 8):

In the words of prominent Party theoretician Nikolai Bukharin, "We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties."

Shane's right, of course. There does indeed seem to be a certain convenience if not outright hypocrisy when it comes to liberalism circa 2010-2012 vs. liberalism circa 2005 with respect to trashing the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution Act when it came to our involvement in Libya and the indefinite detainment and wacking of U.S. citizens both here and abroad without traditionally recognized due process. Far less egregious transgressions had the left in full-blown garment-rending mode back when dissent was patriotic and it wasn't their guy calling the shots.

As seen on Facebook:

Fifteen years on and dude scores another internet/urban myth meme. Not too shabby.

drozz is naming names and compiling lists. Drop by and leave suggestions on how best to chronicle those who voted for ObamaCare as we ramp up to the elections in November. It's not just the Oval Office that needs turnover.


Quick... before the news cycle expires on this: Sir Charles has a round-up of all media/blogosphere-related Obama ate dog goodies.


Charles Krauthammer on the fall of NASA:

Is there a better symbol of willed American decline? The pity is not Discovery's retirement — beautiful as it was, the shuttle proved too expensive and risky to operate — but that it died without a successor. The planned follow-on — the Constellation rocket-capsule program to take humans back into orbit and from there to the moon — was suddenly canceled in 2010. And with that, control of manned spaceflight was gratuitously ceded to Russia and China.

We're torn on this one. Litterally running a shuttle service is pretty mundane stuff, but space exploration is inherently cool and was, at one time, the exclusive domain of this country, exemplifying our nation's exceptionalism. If there was one thing that could bring this country together, it was NASA and it's manned space flights. Now, we're broke... beyond broke and sadder perhaps than even that is the fact that effectively shutting down NASA is a result of the deficits in resolve, imagination and leadership of our political class.

So does this mean we are finally going to get to see Zeppelin live?

Dead for 16 years, Tupac... or rather a hologram of Tupac makes an appearance with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre last weekend at the Coachella Music Festival (extreme language warning):

Chapman University demographer, Joel Kotkin on the California exodus:

California used to be more like Texas—a jobs magnet. What happened? For one, says the demographer, Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago. Environmentalists are also more powerful than they used to be. And Mr. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."

There is an old, ribald saying regarding messing up a really, really good dream that would certainly apply here. Seriously, it would appear to take incompetence and not only incompetence but the Herculean effort of, day after day and year after year of actively applying that incompetence in order to screw up such a good thing as California. By damn, it looks like 35-40 years after it started, the job is nearly complete.

OK, gang. That's it for today. We will see you all tomorrow.

Earth Day 2012


Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Smith Magazine is teaming up with the EPA and is sponsoring a six word essay contest in commemoration of Earth Day (via The Liberator Today). Sound like fun, right? They let the wrong people know. Our submissions thus far:


Gaia has gas: let's burp her.

Plants (heart) CO2: why not EPA?

Red and orange? Hippies on fire.

It's Earth Day: let's go driving.

Faith-based warmers: slaves to lies.

That's good for now.

We may be back later with a Quickies post.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Radio KBWD is on the air


Back in 1986, we had a day job on a construction site during the summer before going off to Seminary and after coming home one evening and plopping ourself on the couch next to Pops who was evidently watching a PBS pledge drive on our clunky 27" RCA cathode ray tube symbol of subarban middle-class status, we heard emanating from said symbol a sound both familiar yet unique... Ahh... so this is what rock and roll is supposed to sound like.

Levon Helm, drummer for The Band, the lone American amongst 4 other Canadians yet which formed a veritable Smithsonian of popular American music styles (rock, blues, R&B, country, folk, Dixieland jazz) died of cancer this past Thursday.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Elaine, Arkansas via Turkey Scratch, Arkansas and to every dive, strip club, honky-tonk and concert venue imaginable, it's Levon Helm and The Band playing that song we heard that evening from The Last Waltz, "Up on Cripple Creek".


Levon, God bless ya, man, you are an American original.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some folks still having real difficulties with that "freedom of speech" thing in the Constitution

(ed. note: Blogger has introduced some new formatting that we are not fans of so we apologize in advance for the "look" of our posts. We hope to figure it all out and conquer this learning curve as quickly as possible)
Forever, seemingly, butt-hurt over the Citizens United decision, Democrats have taken a new tack in combatting all that evil corporate money that has invaded politics: Amending the 1st amendment. Of course, for a challenge this daunting as well as hopelessly insipid, they have chosen as their point person none other than that glittering jewel of colossal ignorance, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed a movement announced by other congressional Democrats on Wednesday to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to individuals.
Pelosi said the Democrats' effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and “reducing the roll of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).
The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.
Sorry. The founders got it right. Better to make freedom of speech as universal as possible and cast as wide a net as possible than to open it up to too much interpretation whereby exceptions are made based solely upon political whim. That's extremely dangerous territory upon which you are treading when you start inserting clauses like "... except for corporations or entities as deemed such by Congress." Think we are being a little too paranoid, here?
“In Citizens United, what the court said is that Congress has no authority to regulate this kind of political speech,” said Edwards. “And so all of these constitutional amendments go to this question of giving Congress the authority that the Supreme Court, I think wrongly, decided isn't within Congress's constitutional--our constitutional purview.
“And so, you know, the traditional rights of free speech that we have known as citizens would not be disturbed by any of these constitutional amendments,” said Edwards. “But what it would do is it would say, all of the speech in which, whether it's corporations or campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress and--and under our Constitution.”
(italics, totally ours) Eh, what could possibly go wrong? What could go wrong was laid out in the Citizens United case:
In 2009, when the Supreme Court first heard oral arguments in the Citizens United case, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart told the court that the administration believed the Constitution allowed the government to ban a corporation from using its general treasury funds to publish a book if the book advocated voting for something.
"Take my hypothetical," Chief Justice John Roberts said to Stewart as he asked him about what kind of books the Obama administration believed it could constitutionally ban, "... This [book] is a discussion of the American political system, and at the end it says: Vote for X."
"Yes," said Deputy Solicitor General Stewart, "our position would be that the corporation would be required to use PAC funds rather than general treasury funds."
Roberts followed up: "And if they didn't, you could ban it?"
"If they didn't, we could prohibit the publication of the book using corporate treasury funds," Stewart answered.
(again, italics ours) A legislative body that has been part and parcel to this country facing a $16 trillion dollar debt and which has succeeded in making hash of our health care system and which half of said body has not bothered to pass a budget in over three years is now going to get into the business of what we can and cannot say?
Free speech as defined by election cycles is not free speech by any rational standard.
It's not just a presidential election coming up here in November. Fortunately, in this post-constitutional republic of ours we still have the means to put an electoral cap in the asses of these anti-democratic enemies of free speech and elect in defenders of the very first things our founding fathers saw fit to put into writing as the most sacred of all our rights. Can we please make this happen?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quote of the campaign season

. Back in February, Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner was responding to questions raised by House Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, and specifically what the broadly outlined Obama budget made public via an Obama speech was going to do with respect to our long-term debt problem. Geithner's response:
“We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours (Ryan's budget proposal.)”
Everything you need to know about the shameless cynicism, small-mindedness and lack of seriousness possessed by this administration is summed up in that quote. But you better get used to it because that quote will represent the emotional and intellectual rigor behind everything else you will hear from now until November.
High unemployment? We're going to tax the rich through the Buffet Rule. High gas prices? We're going to investigate oil market speculators or something. Unsustainable long-term debt? You suck.
If you haven't got the idea, you'll get it soon enough. James Pethokoukis, writing for the Enterprise Blog summarizes government by gimmick: Obama's 7 most meaningless policy gestures, here. Bonus quote: A couple of months after the aforementioned speech that unveiled the Obama budget, at a House Budget Committee hearing, Chairman Paul Ryan and Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf had this exchange:
Ryan: “We got your re-analysis of the President’s budget. I won’t go back into that. But the President gave a speech on April 13th where he outlined a new budget framework that claims $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years. Have you estimated the budget impact of this framework?”
Elmendorf: “No, Mr. Chairman. We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Video clip of the day

.'s Tim Cavanaugh sits down with one of our heroes, economist Art Laffer (he should be one of your heroes too... just sayin') to discuss what can be done about California.

"It's not Republican, it's not Democrat. Honestly, it's not liberal, it's not conservative ... It's economics," says Economist Art Laffer. "If you tax people who work and you pay people who don't work, don't be surprised when you get a lot of people not working."

Laffer's exactly right because when it comes to looking at the numbers regardless of any sort of pre-existing ideological bias, math wins... math always wins.

Laffer seems like a really nice guy as he is far more charitable to Governor Brown than we would've been.

Here is what we said about the state of the state a little over a year ago and which can be found at the link above:

Unfortunately, both California and the nation have chief executives who don't do math or refuse to acknowledge math.

Back in November, California desired a state government dominated by Democrats. Fair enough. A Democrat (Jerry Brown) as governor and the assembly and state senate firmly in control of the Democrats. Too bad they seem completely unwilling to do some pretty basic math and thus lack the testicular fortitude to confront their cash cows in the public employee unions

One year on and not one thing has changed.

Some not so random thoughts


The GSA/Las Vegas scandal and now the Secret Service/Columbian hooker scandal... they really can't come soon and large enough as welcome relief to the administration in keeping Fast and Furious off the front page... if the legacy media ever bothered putting on the front page this wildly successful government-operated gun running scheme which has claimed the lives of two U.S. agents and hundreds if not thousands of Mexican agents and civilians all for the shamelessly self-serving and cynical purpose of promoting a narrative of an unchecked flow of guns southward across the border and into the hands of ruthless drug cartels.

Watch for GSA and Secret Service to continue trending over Fast and Furious.

More election year gimmickry, to be sure:

President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to help strengthen federal supervision of international oil markets, amid pressure from U.S. voters to take action on rising gasoline prices.

The president wants Congress to increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions.

"Congress should do all of this right away," the president said Tuesday during a White House speech in the Rose Garden.

Obama said the plan would put "more cops on the street" to catch speculators who attempt to manipulate markets for their own profit. He also chastised Congress for recently voting against ending tax breaks to U.S. oil companies and said passing his proposal would help members redeem themselves.

Still, the president acknowledged such efforts "will not bring down gas prices overnight."

The plan is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on prices at the pump. The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans are seeking to limit the reach of federal financial regulations.

Obama was joined Tuesday by Attorney General Eric Holder in spelling out his $52 million proposal.

Good lord... it's the Buffett Rule all over again. The administration has finally admitted that higher taxes on the rich won't actually reduce the deficit or the debt but that it's all about fairness or something. And now, he and the miserable stonewalling (see: Fast and Furious link above) hack that runs the Justice Department all but admit their $52 million scheme to not really bring down the price of gasoline is just about drawing distinctions between themselves and the Republicans. A $52 million campaign ad, in effect.

It's a comfort to know, at least, this guy has no intention of letting the country's business interfere with his own relection business.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what federal intervention into the oil market might look and sound like... folks, we present you Maxine Waters (via Gateway Pundit):

Yep... Barry's big idea is to have the likes of that senile old broad running oil companies. Of course he was wise to admit his $52 million campaign spot wasn't really about lowering the price of oil.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taxed no more


We have long-held that people will act upon their own rational self-interest to shield their income from not only taxes but burdensome and un-specific tax regulations and policies. This is being borne-out as a record number of U.S. citizens have renounced their U.S. citizenship rather than have to deal with this country's byzantine tax regime.

Last year, almost 1,800 people followed Superman's lead, renouncing their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That's a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It's also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.

But not everyone's motivations are as lofty as Superman's. Many say they parted ways with America for tax reasons.

The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they're living abroad. And just as Americans stateside must file tax returns each April - this year, the deadline is Tuesday - an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June.

The National Taxpayer Advocate's Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.

For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that's likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven't seen their name on the list yet.

Of course, in response to this, the IRS childishly publishes a list of names of people who have renounced their citizenship and which is known as "name and shame". Have you ever looked at this list to see if perhaps you may know some of these supposed "un-patriotic millionaires"? Yeah, neither have we.

And the ever-changing complexity of the tax code and not knowing what regulations apply to them make it a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation with respect to declaring one's assets.

Marylouise Serrato, head of American Citizens Abroad, a nonprofit organization based in Geneva, says that many members feel scared about reporting requirements they did not know existed. Their disenchantment, she says, is pushing some to renounce.

"Americans abroad are terrified. We've had people pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We've had people … pay huge amounts of back taxes," she says. "Up to this point, we never heard of anyone renouncing, or if they did, they didn't talk about it," says Serrato, who says her group does not advocate renunciation.

"Now," she says, "we're seeing a lot of people speak openly about it and come to us for information."

And if all that weren't enough, foreign banks, fed up with the American tax code will close American customer accounts or simply, up front, refuse their business.

Francisca N. Mordi, vice president and senior tax counsel at the American Bankers Association, says she has received a number of calls from Americans in Europe complaining about banks closing their accounts. "They're going to drop Americans like hot potatoes," Mordi says. "The foreign banks are upset enough about the regulations that they're saying they just won't keep American customers, and it's giving (Americans living abroad) a lot of sleepless nights."

Again, Americans renouncing their citizenship, are merely acting in their best interests and not wanting the headaches and frazzled nerves of dealing with an effectively harrassing tax code proves it's not merely financial interests that are being looked after here.

Maybe if the administration ever got serious about tax code reform instead of pursuing election year gimmicks like the Buffett Rule, they might otherwise capture some of that revenue, the holders of which are high-tailing it away from this great country of ours.


Video clip of the day


AlfonZo Rachel of ZONATION brings some much needed perspective to the whole Trayvon Martin travesty unfolding down in Arizona.



3:15 : According to street law... according to God's law...

Eh, so which is it, pal? Never mind that neither of them are applicable to Florida's penal code. This chump is just trying to justify a, yes, lynch mob mentality.

3:48 : Zo makes an outstanding point regarding Afro-centrism (black separatism) and the Constitution. Wasn't the whole idea of the civil rights movement for blacks to gain equality in the eyes of the law? Wasn't the whole idea of the civil rights movement to be for constitutional equality for blacks and other minoritiess?

Yet, aforementioned chump is making the case for slavery by saying the (white mans') law doesn't apply to him (unless he is) thus invoking the "street law" or whatever which is just an invitation for lawlessness and rule of force vice rule of law, under which slavery would certainly be justifiable.

Yep, just another example of that new civility we've been hearing so much about.


Monday, April 16, 2012



A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

B-Daddy admits to being wrong about drilling for oil and natural gas:

I still believe that our own drilling won't have much effect on prices, but it has become clear that I was missing something more important. Jobs. Drilling in North Dakota and the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline, if it were built, means jobs for Americans. It was a mistake on my part not to acknowledge that part of the equation, especially when unemployment really took off in 2009. Further, I might even be wrong about the economic impact. It seems that all of the natural gas we are bringing up out of the ground is having a huge impact on its price.

So I have to give props to Mr. 'Dawg on this, and thank him for pushing me on the issue. Now let's drill baby.

Got diversity?

100% and Vitamin D at Obama campaign headquarters.

Here's Obama's top advisor, David Axelrod on Fox News on Sunday getting Freudian?

Or is the truth of the matter just too difficult to suppress?

Second thoughts on drill, baby, drill?

Qatar, the richest nation on earth, is also the fattest with half of all adults obese and 17 per cent of the population suffering from diabetes.
By comparison America, which is often assumed to be the fattest, looks positively slim with a third of adults obese and eight per cent diabetic.

Out of a population of 1.7million, just 250,000 are native Qataris, who, in the space of just two generations have switched from a tribal existence to living in air conditioned villas being waited on by armies of servants.

More Freude on the Sunday talkies? Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, on what the President had to do to the economy.

0:15 : "...deeply damaging..."

The truth of all manner of Keynesian gimmickry wrapped up in Porkulus, Cash for Clunkers, home-owners assistance mortgage programs which has resulted in 38 straight months of unemployment being over 8%, proves to be an irresistable force for Geithner.

Shoot... the truth doesn't even hurt as Geithner, when he's done, will just rotate back to Citi, Goldman Sachs or a tenured position at Harvard. That's what passes for elite meritocracy in this country, anymore.

Leslie at Temple of Mut on the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney dust-up:

The set-up: A snarky liberal gadfly Hilary Rosen tweeted that Mitt Romney’s wife Ann had no place commenting on economics because she had never worked (and sounding remarkably like a male chauvanist pig of former decades while doing so — a most remarkable achievement). America’s stay-at-home mom’s everywhere were shocked to discover that their thoughts on gas prices, food costs, consumer inflation, and other economic concerns are not germane to the discussion of any form of domestic economic policy formulation. Interesting, because most of the mom’s I know have a fairly significant role in budget planning. However, given Team Obama’s handling of budget matters, this type of inanity should be unsurprising coming from a 35-time White House cult-woshipper guest.

Good to know that modern feminism has progressed to sounding like Archie Bunker.

And forget about any of this sisterhood nonsense while they are card-checking your political leanings at the clubhouse door.

OK, gang. Gotta get to work. We're out.

Next post: some fun with charts/graphs


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video clip of the day


Nice and quick little 5 minute interview with John Stossel, now of Fox News, who spent 28 years at ABC and left because, in his words, it "sucked".

Stossel sits down with the Heritage Foundation's Rob Bluey and discusses his time there at ABC, the Buffet Rule and why statist policies make better copy and have such broader public appeal than conservative/libertarian ones.



Our take: Statism is sexy because statism is easy. Caring for the sick, feeding the poor, educating our children, generating new technology, spurring job growth and fostering a robust economy is easy if it's someone else (i.e., the government) doing it. By contrast individual (i.e., your) initiative, effort and risk-taking is hard.

Besides, the government is, in itself, acting in it's own rational self-interest. Just like any other private enterprise, they are in the growth business but unfortunately, unlike a private enterprise, they are in the unique position whereby they will not be punished by the market for making promises they cannot keep with respect to say, eliminating poverty or stimulating the economy.

If Ford makes an Edsel, they are punished by poor sales and the ignomy of perhaps the worst American automobile of all-time. However, a politician enacting economic policies that have stalled prospects of a recession recovery and who has exhibited zero individual initiative in reforming a broken tax code and zero willingness to do anything about reigning in our national debt may very well get elected four more years to do god knows what.

The deck is very much stacked against the individual.

Next post: Quickies... tomorrow.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Forget about "the war on women"....


... who's paying any attention to the war on the poor?

Alternate headline: Doubling down on stupid

We have previously made note of what a disaster the administration's Cash for Clunkers was as $3 billion dollars to goose demand for new cars took perfectly fine-operating used cars off the market which had the obviously predictable results of raising the price of existing used cars which made them less accessible to lower income folks and charities who would be in the market for the same.

In case anyone wondered, cars are important:

For more than a century, efforts to help the disadvantaged have focused on education, healthcare, nutrition and housing. Almost nothing has been done to help the working poor afford cars, despite research that indicates it would help alleviate poverty.

About 1 in 4 needy U.S. families do not have a car, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That's a serious handicap for the millions of Americans who don't have access to robust mass transit.

A nationwide survey of 353 people who bought cars with help from a nonprofit group called Ways to Work found that 72% reported an increase in income. Of those who were on public assistance when they acquired a car, 87% were no longer receiving it a few years later.

Other studies have found that low-income people were more involved in community activities and had better access to healthcare after getting cars, while their children participated more frequently in after-school programs.

"You're more likely to have a job and less likely to be fired," said Evelyn Blumenberg, a professor of urban planning at UCLA who studies transportation and poverty. "It's just a no-brainer that low-income families need cars."

Yet there are almost no state or federal programs to meet the need.
(italics, ours)

Let that sink in for a moment. It's not necessarily that there is no federal program in place to meet the car needs of the poor, there was certainly a program that resulted in worsening this scenario in Cash for Clunkers.

And the situation is not going to be getting any better.

he Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations that President Obama announced last summer will make it impossible for 7 million lower income consumers to buy a new car according to a National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) study released today.

“While you can mandate what automakers must build, (ed. note: a dubious assumption, at best) you can’t dictate what customers will buy, nor can you dictate if a bank will make a loan,” New Mexico Ford dealer Don Chalmers said today.

Obama's proposed CAFE standards, which will begin taking effect in 2017, raise minimum average vehicle fleet fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that this regulation will raise the average price of passenger cars and light trucks by $3,000.

“The unintended consequences of the proposed fuel economy increases are clear,” NADA Used Car Guide analyst David Wagner said. “If the price of a vehicle goes up by the government estimate of almost $3,000, millions of people will no longer be able to finance a new vehicle.”

This isn't rocket science, gang. If you are going to start mandating increases in technology outside of market demand, that is necessarily going to have an effect on the price of that technology.

The very class of people statist claim to champion are getting screwed by statist policies. Again, even that, as we have seen over the years isn't rocket science.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Quote of the day


Via Dueling Bar Stools:

“Call it what you want—capitalism, free enterprise, laissez faire or whatever—but a system that upholds property rights and otherwise allows free people to be themselves is remarkable precisely because it’s NOT a “system” per se. No deluded, pretentious planners devise or direct it. It’s no Rube Goldberg contraption of mandates and decrees. It’s simply what happens when you leave peaceful people alone. They produce more and satisfy human wants to a far greater extent than empty nanny-state promises could ever hope to deliver."

Remember this: no one has granted you the right to enterprise, commerce, the pursuit of happiness, or freedom of speech and religion. You are granted these merely because you are currently upright, breathing and reading this. The Constitution is merely a guarantor against the government or any other entity denying you the same.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Programming alert




Back at sea today on the USNS MEDGAR EVERS, so we will be taking a short blog-break. Hope to see you all again tomorrow.




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Video clip of the day


Famed Sci-Fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke, back in 1974, calling it for the internet circa 2001.


0:24 : bonus round: correctly predicting the approximate size of a laptop in that woefully inadequate iPad-less era earlier this century.


(ed. note: We read Clarke's Sands of Mars as freshmen back in high school and thoroughly enjoyed it which begs the question why we never really picked up another sci-fi book again. hmmmm.... )