Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FBI investigates possible campaign finance law violations

The AP reports that the Feds have opened an investigation into the campaign finances of 3-time Republican Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell:
Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell to determine if the former Senate candidate broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to protect the identity of a client who has been questioned as part of the probe. The case, which has been assigned to two federal prosecutors and two FBI agents in Delaware, has not been brought before a grand jury.

It is quite possible that her finances should be investigated. On the other hand, will the Feds ever investigate Obama's well-documented acceptance of foreign and undocumented money for his 2008 presidential campaign?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An awakening among social conservatives?

At RedState, runner12 says that (hat tip: Instapundit) social conservatives may join the Tea Party in recognizing the importance of limited government and fiscal responsibility:
We as social conservatives must be honest with ourselves and admit where we have lost our way. In the past, many of us supported candidates who met our criteria on social issues, but who massively grew government and spent money like drunken sailors. There were groups within the social conservative circle who tried to warn us, but unfortunately they were in the minority and we did not listen.

Sadly, I used to be in the former category rather than the latter until the Tea Party came along. They opened my eyes to the truth that fiscal conservatism and limited government are every bit as important as the social issues. I am confident that I am not the only social conservative who has awakened to these truths.

Interesting, if true.

The coming fiscal disaster

Source: The Heritage Foundation's Top Ten Charts of 2010 (hat tip: The Corner).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Musical Interlude: Grateful Christmas

Here is a playful version of Jingle Bells from the Jerry Garcia Band (12/20/75, Winterland):

Below is Run Rudolph Run as performed live by the Grateful Dead, with Pigpen singing, at Madison Square Garden (12/7/71). As usual with the Grateful Dead, the part to appreciate is the amazing creative interaction among three masters of the guitar: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Phil Lesh:

Friday, December 24, 2010

The socialist war on Christmas, circa 1941

The UK Daily Mail reports on recently released documents showing a holiday celebration from December 18, 1941 as hosted by a German socialist:
Hitler believed religion had no place in his 1,000-year Reich, so he replaced the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas with the Norse god Odin and urged Germans to celebrate the season as a holiday of the ‘winter solstice’, rather than Christmas./blockquote>

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Should you trust a Republican politician?

No, of course not.

Republicans do, however, seem to re-discover their conservative/libertarian principles if they fear a primary challenge. According to Stephen Moore at the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) is a recent example of this. Last year, Sens. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (I-Alaska), along with other establishment-backed candidates, lost in Republican primaries. That seems to have created a new level of respect for the-will-of-the-people among Washington Republicans. Without that respect, the Omnibus pork bill and the DREAM amnesty acts would likely have passed in the Senate.

RELATED: JPattitude has a round-up of RINO activity in recent years here (PDF).

Our dysfunctional FDA

You know things are bad with the Food and Drug Administration when even Europe is better at approving new life-saving drugs than the US FDA. In today's Wall Street Journal, former FDA commisioner Scott Gottlieb provides some details:
Europeans are now approving novel drugs an average of three months more rapidly than we do. Of 82 novel drugs that were submitted for approval in both the U.S. and Europe between 2006 to 2009, 11 were approved only in Europe. One is for relapsed ovarian cancer, another for bone cancer.
The FDA Modernization Act of 1997 gave the FDA discretion to speed up the approval process but the FDA rarely uses that authority, as Mr. Gottlieb reports:
Of 76 cancer drugs approved since 2005, the FDA gave only 13 "accelerated approval"—another process created under the Modernization Act to expedite drug development. From 2001 to 2003, 78% of the novel cancer drugs approved were granted accelerated approval. Since then only 32% got the designation.
Whether you regard that information as just statistics or as a tragedy depends on whether you have a loved one currently dying of cancer.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of government regulation:
I'm from the government and I am here to help you (video)
Regulators use false science
Regulators with the best of intentions
Businessmen report government regulations and red tape slowing the economy
Federal regulations responsible for raising health insurance premiums
Obama Administration appears to want to use campaign finance regulations to silence opposition
Regulators pressed banks to issue more and riskier loans
FTC wants to regulate blogs
Regulators and the mortgage loan crisis
Obama Administration proposes politicizing financial regulations
Democrats blocked financial regulation reform
Who wants to be the last to die for a regulation
Obamacare regulations may raise insurance costs by 54%

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

World-class micromanagers

Yesterday the US Senate passed H.R. 5470 ("To exclude an external power supply for certain security or life safety alarms and surveillance..."). The summary for this bill reads:
Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to exempt from the applicability of No-Load Mode energy efficiency standards an external power supply manufactured before July 1, 2017, that: (1) is an AC-to-AC external power supply; (2) has a nameplate output of 20 watts or more; (3) is certified by the Secretary of Energy (DOE) as being designed to be connected to a security or life safety alarm or surveillance system component; and (4) is permanently marked with a distinguishing mark established within the External Power Supply International Efficiency Marking Protocol for Single Voltage External AC-DC and AC-AC Power Supplies. Defines a "security or life safety alarm or surveillance system" as equipment designed and marketed to, on a continuous basis: (1) monitor, detect, record, or provide notification of intrusion or access to real property or physical assets or notification of threats to life safety; (2) deter or control access to real property or physical assets or to prevent the unauthorized removal of physical assets; or (3) monitor, detect, record, or provide notification of fire, gas, smoke, flooding, or other physical threats to real property, physical assets, or life safety. Directs the Secretary to: (1) require, with appropriate safeguard for the protection of confidential business information, the submission of unit shipment data on an annual basis; and (2) restrict the eligibility of external power supplies for the exemption provided on a finding that a substantial number of external power supplies are being marketed to or installed in applications other than security or life safety alarm or surveillance systems.
Our Congress was not able to find time to pass a budget for the fiscal year we are now in. It has no idea how to fix the government's trillion dollar plus deficit, how to deal with a nuclear Iran or a nuclear N. Korea. Yet, it does find plenty of time for micromanaging the efficiency of wall-wart power supplies for security cameras (as in the above H.R. 5470).

Is democracy doomed?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NBC's Brian Williams wins an award

It the time of year again for the Media Research Center to issue its "best of" awards for news coverage.  In the category of "The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble," this clip of NBC anchor Brian Williams earned runner-up status:
“It makes people feel better to say ‘Take our country back.’ If you ask them, they would say from, ‘from the Trilateral Commission, from the big bankers, from the Council on Foreign Relations.’...You see a lot of signs, ‘Federal Government Out of My Social Security,’ ‘Federal Government Out of My Medicare and Medicaid,’ but for the federal government, of course, those programs would not exist.”
— NBC’s Brian Williams talking about the Tea Party on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, August 23.
What struck me about this particular quote is the contrast between (a) Williams' position as Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, a position which should give him some familiarity with current events, and (b) the not merely uninformed but also downright delusional nature of his claims about Tea Party issues.

NBC = Never Been Correct ?

PREVIOUSLY on delusional Democrats:
A delusional reporter questions an incoherent President
Obama: "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
Paul Krugman and imaginary crises
Obama: offshore drilling "absolutely safe"
Liberals longing for "imaginary golden age"
Bollinger's delusion and the madness of liberals
Seeing imaginary crises
When practiced by Democrats, professor says partisanship is good
Obama campaign or religious revival
Democrat believes Bush intended for Katrina to devastate New Orleans
Liberal imagines that her enemies are pro eating disorders

Friday, December 17, 2010

Anti-satellite weaponry is now widespread

People worldwide depend on satellites for comminications. The military depends on them also as eyes in the sky to monitor troop movements and missile launches. Satellites, however, are quite fragile and the Economist reports (hat tip: Instapundit) that nine (9) countries have lasers believed to be capable of blinding or damaging satellites:
Satellites can be temporarily blinded with lasers fired from earth. Several countries, including America, Britain, China, France, Israel, Japan and Russia, are thought to possess the necessary technology. (A US Air Force official would “neither confirm nor deny” America’s development of anti-satellite lasers.) In the past few years French satellites have been hit several times with “dazzle” strikes from lasers in China, says Erwin Duhamel, head of security at the European Space Agency (ESA). An American general has complained of similar dazzle harassment from China’s military. None of the satellites appeared to be permanently damaged, says Mr Duhamel. But a powerful laser could probably burn sensitive optical sensors on a satellite, doing permanent damage. [Emph. added]
PREVIOUSLY on high-tech weaponry:
Missile defense: does it work?
Video: Satellite hit claimed a success
Japan and Israel make progress on missile defense
ICBM intercepted by a Jet-launched missile
Missile Defense and Israel
Lasers, popular myths, and Reuters

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can the government snoop on your e-mail?

Most people think that their e-mail should be treated as private but that has not been the legal reality.  The legal issue has been controversial for some time now but a current appeals court decision says that your e-mail is private and protected by the fourth amendment.  At the Volockh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr explains:
In the last three years, three federal circuits have published opinions on whether the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail (dividing 2–1).  In all three cases, the initial panel opinions were withdrawn or overturned on other grounds, leaving the issue surprisingly unsettled. This morning, the Sixth Circuit handed down an opinion by Judge Boggs that addresses the question directly and concludes that the Fourth Amendment protects e-mail held by an ISP with a full warrant requirement.
That opinion seems to apply to snooping by the government.  In practice, computer techs at your internet service provider [ISP] can and, according to discussions on SlashDot, do, when they are bored, read your e-mail.  (Something similar happens when you give your PC to a repair shop: see below.)  Your e-mail won't be private until this behavior is illegal and prosecutable.

Via Feedom-to-tinker and Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on e-mail and hackers:
How important is your e-mail password?
Trial starts of Obama supporter who allegedly hacked Palin e-mail

PREVIOUSLY on privacy and modern electronics:
Internet privacy law update
Privacy and your electronic medical and financial records
Expect no privacy during hard disk repairs
e-mail is not private

Federal Judge rejects Federal enviromental "science" as "arbitrary and capricious"

The New York Times reports on an important partial victory for California farmers who have been suffering under an artificial government-caused drought for years: The full text of the judge Wanger's decision is here (PDF). In it, he writes:
It cannot be disputed that the law entitles the delta smelt to ESA protection. It is significant that the co-operator of the Projects, DWR [California's Dept. of Water Resources], in its endeavors to protect a substantial part of the State's water supply, opposes as unjustified and based on bad science some of the RPA [Reasonable & Prudent Alternative] Actions. It is equally significant that despite the harm visited on California water users, FWS [Fish & Wildlife Service] has failed to provide lawful explanations for the apparent over- appropriation of project water supplies for species protection. In view of the legislative failure to provide the means to assure an adequate water supply for both the humans and the species dependent on the Delta, the public cannot afford sloppy science and uni-directional prescriptions that ignore California's water needs. [Emph. added]
He continues slicing up various aspects of the environmental regulations. For example, he writes:
Because critical habitat conclusion 3(c) [see p.169 of opinion] explicitly relies upon the flawed analysis regarding the movement of X2 [the mixing point of delta outflow and eastuarine inflow], this conclusion is without support in the record and is arbitrary and capricious. Remand is required.
The environmentalists did win a few rounds. For example, Judge Wanger concluded:
FWS's use of a linear stock-recruit model, although scientifically criticized, was not arbitrary, capricious, or clear error.
Yes, you read that right. The Fish and Wildlife Service is not required to use the best science or even fairly good science. The legal standard is merely that it use "science" which is not "arbitrary and capricious" or a "clear error."

More at Gateway Pundit.

PREVIOUSLY on farmers protesting the government-caused drought:
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21, 2009).

PREVIOUSLY on politicized science:
The politicization of medical research funding
2 more examples of politicized science: Gulf oiil spill and California's air regulations
AIDS advocates distorted science
Politicized science of crime statistics
Politicization of medical science
Bee colony collapse disorder: the cause is whatever your politics say it is
Ozone hole and politics

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Liberals predict the future

As newspapers fill with stories about bailouts of one European country after another while their streets fill with violent protests, Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal reviews the predications about Europe that liberals were making just five years ago:

In 2005, American trendspotter Jeremy Rifkin published "The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream." The same year, Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid came out with "The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy." A year later we got "Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century" by British think-tanker Mark Leonard.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

In the future, everyone will be a racist

Duncan Hines is under fire for an ad promoting chocolate frosting. The NY Daily News reports:
Cupcakes aren't tasting so sweet for some Duncan Hines marketing execs who were forced to pull a video for their "Amazing Glazes" frosting line after viewers and bloggers complained the dancing cupcakes were racist.
Here is the commercial itself:
What makes the commercial racist? The Vancouver Sun cites, for example, the accusation that the chocolate-faced cupcakes "aren't even rapping." In fact, the music in the commercial is "instrumental electronic and beatbox" not genuine hip-hop. I was not aware that chocolate frosting had to be so limited in its musical preferences in order to qualify as non-racist.

Duncan Hines obviously intended for the commercial to sell its chocolate. One can criticize their musical choices but it is clear that they wanted to make the chocolate look good, not bad. The racism exists only in the minds of the commercial's critics.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.

PREVIOUSLY on racism:
Is witch doctor image racist?
Obama ally: "I hate white people...."
“You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
"The city wasn't ready to hire a white police chief."
A prominent black politician says the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.
San Franciscans discriminate against blacks.
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Public not buying UN IPCC propaganda

Despite decades of propaganda to the contrary, the US public still more likely to believe that the weather is governed by "planetary trends" than by "human activity." Rasmusson reports:
Most U.S. voters continue to be concerned about global warming but still are more inclined to think it's caused by planetary trends rather than human activity.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters finds that 41% think global warming is caused primarily by human activity, while 47% say long-term planetary trends are to blame. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

REMINDER: Over 30,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 Ph.D.s, have publicly signed this petition skeptical of global warming alarmism.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of environmentalism:
A look at the "scientists" at the UN climate conference in Cancun
The Ignorance of the UN IPCC
Global warming and the religious left
Environmentalists more likely to cheat: being a liberal means not having to follow the rules
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
Ethanol subsidies in perspective
Global warming whitewash: Penn State and the Michael Mann
Global warming's profiteers
Penn State to investigate its global warmist Mann, or not
Climategate: laws were broken
The collapse of the UN IPCC's credibility
Yet another UN IPCC Glacier-gate scandal
UN IPCC claims of melting Himalayan glaciers exposed as fraud

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Politics of Right Now

Even though, till the end of the month, the Democrats still have huge majorities in both houses of Congress, enough Democrats have heard the will of the people, first expressed in tea parties and then in election results, that Pres. Obama is unable to get his tax-increasing agenda passed. This has left Obama bitter and angry, as he complains about "hostage takers," for example. Obama, however temporarily, has faced facts and decided to compromise with the moderate Democrats in Congress. Amazingly, the "unbiased" news media still doesn't get that the Democrats have splintered and the game has changed. Here is AP reporter Ben Feller questioning the President at Tuesday's press conference after Obama defended his tax compromise:
Ben Feller: Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve been telling the American people all along that you oppose extending the tax cuts for the wealthier Americans. You said that again today. But what you never said was that you oppose the tax cuts, but you’d be willing to go ahead and extend them for a couple years if the politics of the moment demand it.

So what I’m wondering is when you take a stand like you had, why should the American people believe that you’re going to stick with it? Why should the American people believe that you’re not going to flip flop?

Pres. Obama: Hold on a second, Ben. This isn’t the politics of the moment. This has to do with what can we get done right now. So the issue -- here’s the choice. It’s very stark. We can’t get my preferred option through the Senate right now. As a consequence, if we don’t get my option through the Senate right now, and we do nothing, then on January 1st of this -- of 2011, the average family is going to see their taxes go up about $3,000. Number two: At the end of this month, 2 million people will lose their unemployment insurance. [Emph. added]
So, what is the difference between the "politics of the moment" and the politics of "right now"? Ed Morrissey explains:

Maybe it’s the politics of the next moment, or something.

Or something.

So this is what our democracy has been reduced to: a delusional reporter questioning an incoherent President? We live, unfortunately, in interesting times.

BigJournalism has more on AP reporter Fuller's delusional thoughts.

PREVIOUSLY on related subjects:
Obama's rhetoric sinks still lower
Obama's violent rhetoric
Obama and the coarsening of American culture
Creeping fascism
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A liberal professes belief in God!

"It is not disloyalty to the Democratic party to tell a Democratic President he is wrong, it is not disloyalty to tell him he is God-dammed wrong." —Keith Olberman, MSNBC, December 8, 2010, Emph. added.

Hat tip: P/Oed Patriot.

UPDATE (10-Dec-2010): Yet another religious conversion! On MSNBC, Chris Matthews mentions Bill Clinton filling in for Pres. Obama at a press conference an declares:
This is the alliance made by God and the Democratic Party.
Watch the video here.

This was the press conference on the tax compromise. Pres. Obama left Clinton in charge because Michelle was waiting and he had to go to a party.

RELATED: From Jim Treacher, via Instapundit: “Say what you want about Sarah Palin quitting her job, but at least she finished her own press conference.”

PREVIOUSLY on liberals getting religion:
Pew study: Democrats believe in ghosts
Obama declares he is on a mission from God
Democrats declare that God directs the weather
Obama campaign becomes a "transcendent" "religious" movement
Atheism is a belief shared by Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, and Democrats
Obama supporters tell of spiritual conversion

A look at the "scientists" at the UN climate conference in Cancun

At the UN's Cancun conference, the good people at CFACT circulated a petition to "destabilize the US economy."  The climate extremists at the UN had no problem with that goal.  Watch as the conference participants to sign it:

At 1:03 in the video, they switch to a petition to ban DiHydrogen MonOxide, DHMO.  (DHMO is, of course, H2O which is natural water). They explain, quite truthfully, that "DHMO contributes to the greenhouse effect, it is a major substance in acid rain, fatal if inhaled, contributes to the erosion of natural landscapes.... Basically, it is used in nuclear power plants, production of styrofoam, fire retardant, pesticides, and cruel animal research."

Note CFACT's impressive attention to detail: one of their people was drinking a from a cup of water (DHMO) while the delegates were signing the petition to ban DHMO.

For the left facts seem irrelevant.  What counts is the sound of words.  "DHMO" sounds frightening.  That DHMO is used in cooling systems in nuclear power plants makes it sound even more frightening.  The fact that DHMO is water and we would die of thirst without it is not relevant.

WattsUpWithThat shows the Penn and Teller spoof on DiHydrogen Monoxide for comparison.  (Hat tip: CoyoteBlog.)

RELATED:  You have likely read by now about the UN delegates calling for rationing as the solution to global warming.  Here is a video of the UN Cancun conference opening night party.  Note the lack of rationing:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Ignorance of the UN IPCC

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri has been the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002. If you thought that that would mean that he was familiar with climate trends, you would be wrong, as this CFACT video shows:

The interviewers are referring to statements (details here) by Dr. Phil Jones who is the source of much of IPCC temperature data.  Pachauri, although he holds a doctorate in industrial engineering and economics, responds to the questions not as a scientist, but as a bureaucrat: he seems unfamiliar with temperature trends and cannot offer any insight on them other than to refer to UN documents.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of environmentalism:
Environmentalists more likely to cheat: being a liberal means not having to follow the rules
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
Ethanol subsidies in perspective
Global warming whitewash: Penn State and the Michael Mann
Global warming's profiteers
Penn State to investigate its global warmist Mann, or not
Climategate: laws were broken
The collapse of the UN IPCC's credibility
Yet another UN IPCC Glacier-gate scandal
UN IPCC claims of melting Himalayan glaciers exposed as fraud

Friday, December 03, 2010

Obamanomics: a report card

What affect have all the bail-outs, government takeovers, and the Porkulus bill had on the economy? Here is how the number of long-term unemployed (over 26 weeks) has varied over the past four decades:

Here is another look at changes in unemployment rates during the current recession (red curve) compared with the ten other post-war recessions:
Is there a point at which Obama-Reid-Pelosi would accept the failure of their policies and change course?

Both plots are from always interesting Calculated Risk Blog.

PREVIOUSLY on Obamanomics:
How to lie with statistics
Obamacare: Corporatism in action
Obama 0, Germany 1:
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring
Dodd-Frank finance "reform" bill stops bond market cold
Why unemployment insurance must be extended (illustrated)
Obamanomics still failing, Washington Post discovers
Russia goes supply-side
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Global warming and the religious left

The global warming summit in Cancun this week opened with a prayer to a pagan goddess [image at right]. As the Washington Post reports, with emphasis provided by NewsBusters:

With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it's no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."

She called for "a balanced outcome" which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with "the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts."

"Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads," said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. "I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel."

Who ever said the environmental left wasn't religious?

REMINDER: Over 30,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 Ph.D.s, have publicly signed this petition skeptical of global warming alarmism.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of liberals replacing irrational old religions with just as irrational religions or spiritualities:
Orthodox environmentalism
Democrats twice as likely to think they have seen a ghost
Obama campaign is a "transcendent" "religious" movement
Atheism is a belief shared by Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, and Democrats
Obama supporters tell of spiritual conversion
Obama's church and its Black Liberation Theology
Toy guns at Yale: Political correctness as a primitive religion

The politicization of medical research funding

We keep hearing about how AIDS research has been neglected and underfunded, a problem that is often blamed on "homophobia." Michael Fumento reviews the numbers (hat tip: PowerLine):
HIV/AIDS will receive over $3 billion in the 2011 federal research budget. That doesn’t include an entirely separately funded “infectious disease” category.  Granted, it’s shy of the 100 billion gagillion that Dr. Evil wanted in order to ransom the earth, but:
  • HIV/AIDS gets about $200,000 per patient death in the NIH research budget, according to calculations from the FAIR Foundation (Fair Allocations in Research). We spend 21 times more per AIDS death than cancer death. Pancreatic cancer will strike about 43,000 Americans this year and is essentially a quick death sentence. It gets 1% of the funding per death as AIDS.
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the nation’s sixth and 14th-leading causes of death of death respectively, yet HIV/AIDS gets 34 times and 25 times more per fatality respectively.
  • The disparity is all the worse when trends are considered. While AIDS cases and deaths remain level, those of Parkinson’s inexorably climb while Alzheimer’s fly off the chart.
PREVIOUSLY on politicized science:
2 more examples of politicized science: Gulf oiil spill and California's air regulations
AIDS advocates distorted science
Politicized science of crime statistics
Politicization of medical science
Bee colony collapse disorder: the cause is whatever your politics say it is
Ozone hole and politics

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

TSA's new slogan

But, Gloria Allred liked it.

PREVIOUSLY on the terrorism:
Napolitano and the Christmas bomber
Arab Technology meets German Engineering (humor)
Saddam provided terrorists with money, training camps, and weapons says ex-Minister Aziz

ThinkProgress, or not

While Bush was President, the news media spin was that Iran's nuke program was not a threat and the only true threat was Bush's war mongering. The wikeleaks document dump this week made clear that Arab governments recognized the threat, were not convinced by the spin that Iran had stopped nuclear development, and were even stronger supporters of military action to stop Iran that Bush was. Naturally, the left has to push back and here is ThinkProgress' spin:

So, how much substance is there to ThinkProgress' claim that Arabs urged restraint? Their first example is Syrian President Bashar Asad. ThinkProgress neglects to mention that Syria is a client state of Iran and Assad could not afford to say anything other the Iranian line. Their next example is Oman. I looked up Oman in Wikipedia and the that the government there is the government there because of "the intervention of Iranian Imperial ground forces." In other words, it is not really an independent state either.

ThinkProgress has an impact that is not limited by the weakness of its arguments. VerumSerum has shown how MSNBC can use it as a "credible source" and, thus, report ThinkProgress' articles as objective "news" instead of just left/liberal talking points.

Obama and the Iranian freedom protests
Obama angers Iran
Web censorship debate in Iran
Al Qaeda breaks with Iran
Iran, Venezuela, and international crime
Bollinger's delusion and the madness of liberals
Iran holds hostage 15 British sailors
Liberals, denial, and Iranian nuclear ambitions
Jimmy Carter's legacy: a radical Iran

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are full body scanners really the best technology available?

Which way the wind blows

The AP reports:
At least 13 state lawmakers in five states have defected to Republican ranks since the Nov. 2 election, adding to already huge GOP gains in state legislatures. And that number could grow as next year’s legislative sessions draw near.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dems fear bi-partisianship

House Democrats fear that Pres. Obama may try to work with the Republicans. They want incoming Minority Leader Pelosi to stop that. The AP reports:
Behind Democrats' decision to keep Pelosi as their leader after historic losses lies intense concern among liberals who dominate the party's ranks on Capitol Hill: They fear Obama will go too far in accommodating the GOP in the new era of divided government, and they see Pelosi as a counterweight.
House Dems give Pelosi credit for the Obamacare disaster:
When Democrats panicked after losing their Senate supermajority last winter, Pelosi rebuffed feelers by then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and others to settle for a smaller health care bill. She derided the approach as "kiddie care" and pushed forward with the sweeping overhaul she painstakingly steered through the House by a razor-thin margin.
Maybe it should have been called PelosiCare.

PREVIOUSLY on Speaker Pelosi:
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs!
Pelosi: let them eat cake!
Eco-hypocrite of the day

Monday, November 22, 2010

What do liberals really mean by "tolerance"

As seen at a store in Greenville, NC (via the always excellent Legal Insurrection):

Conclusion: tolerance = mocking people who go to church.

PREVIOUSLY on liberals and their peculiar concept of "tolerance":
Tammy Bruce exposes the myth of liberal "tolerance"
"Tolerance" means ending free speech
NY Times discovers the intolerant left
Obama sees Republicans as "intolerant."
Liberal tolerance and diversity
Tolerance means "do nothing which I might find offensive."
Does "tolerance" mean "agree with us or we'll kill you"?

Liberals and their sexual fetishes II

Sean Hannity interviewed (video) well known liberal attorney Gloria Allred:
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: "Did they touch your body parts?"

GLORIA ALLRED: "Yeah, they did and it was a first time anybody touched them in a long time and frankly, I liked it."
That does lead to an interesting question. Does sexual frustration lead to liberal political views? Loneliness and sexual frustration do seem to be a factor in terrorism.

RELATED: How much of a thrill did the TSA give Gloria? ABC News reports that the TSA will put their hands inside your underwear:

An ABC News employee said she was subject to a "demeaning" search at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning.

"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," she said. "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."

PREVIOUSLY on media liberals and their sexual imagination:
Mother Jones' sexual fantasy of Sarah Palin
Wash. Post: Obama and his "chiseled pectorals"
SF Chronicle: Obama's "handsomeness"
Salon imagines Sarah Palin as a dominatrix
Obama is one of "25 fittest"
ABC News: Obama's "white dress-shirt clinging to his body"

Despite MSM, Tea Party support grows

In a story headlined "Tea Party support grows", USA Today reports that
Just about as many Americans want Tea Party-backed members of Congress to take the lead in setting policy during the next year as choose President Obama, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

In a survey taken Friday through Sunday, 28% say Obama should have the most influence on government policy next year while 27% say the Tea Party standard-bearers should. GOP congressional leaders are chosen by 23%, Democratic congressional leaders by 16%.
What amazes me is that Tea Party support has grown despite a year-long campaign of hate by the Democrats/MSM, including USA Today, to brand the Tea Party as racist or worse.  Maybe some day, they will look for the real racists and bigots.

PREVIOUSLY on Tea Parties in the San Francisco area:
Long Strange Trip: Hippies defend establishment; Tea Party protests (Jul 18)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco and the left is not happy about it
Collected photos of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)

Does Hulu Plus hate its customers?

After spending an evening trying out their service, it sure seems that way. Hulu's competitor, Netflix, offers a wide variety of programming for instant download and it is, by contrast, commercial-free. One of the pleasant discoveries one makes after using Netflix instant for a while is how much better TV shows are when they are not interrupted by commercials, not even a break to fast-forward past commercials. Without commercial breaks, characters are more interesting and plots more compelling.

Like Netflix instant, Hulu Plus charges a monthly fee. Unlike Netflix, Hulu Plus has commercials. The commercials are frequent and un-skippable. There are commercial breaks of 30 second to a 1 minute or more duration at the beginning of each program, followed by commercial interruptions every 5 to 10 minutes, and a commercial at the end. That makes the interruptions on Hulu Plus more frequent than even broadcast TV.

Hulu Plus has more current TV programs than Netflix and some might argue that the commercials are necessary to pay for that content. In a pig's eye. Let's look at the numbers. According to this site, a 30-second commercial in a "medium-sized market" can be purchased for $0.005 per viewer. The Superbowl is famous for its expensive commercials. It is reported that "the average cost of a single 30-second TV spot during this game (seen by 90 million viewers) has reached US$2.7 million." That is $0.03 per viewer. In other words, Hulu Plus is ruining the value of their content with commercials and all they get for it is pennies per viewer. I'd be happy to have them raise the monthly fee by some pennies on the condition that I never have to endure another commercial break.

In addition to full episodes of current TV, Hulu Plus offers "clips." Many of the clips are brief cast interviews or other thinly disguised advertising for their TV shows. Try to play one and you will have to wait through some un-skippable commercial. In other words, Hulu Plus even interrupts its own ads with more ads.

For all the inconvenience of Hulu Plus, it charges more per month than Netflix. The advantage is the wider choice of current TV shows. However, Netflix has a wide variety of movies that Hulu lacks and they are available on demand, at no extra cost, and commercial-free.

Technology is making many industries obsolete. These include dead-tree newspapers, over-the-air radio, and the 30-minute network evening newscasts. Commercial television belongs in the same category. No one wants to watch commercials. With advances such as DVR and Netflix, no one has to. Hulu Plus is offering a state-of-the-art internet-based product but it is wedded to a 1950s era business model. Hulu Plus can try as hard as it wants to cling to the past but it can't stop the future.

RELATED: Praise for Roku player, which supports both Netflix and Hulu Plus, is here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gov. Christie vs. greedy Superintendents

New Jersey Gov. Christie has capped school Superintendent pay to $175,000 per year plus up to 20% bonus and benefits on new contracts.  The school boards fight back, as Gov. Christie explains:

PREVIOUSLY on Gov. Christie:
Gov. Christie's greatest hits
Gov. Christie on New Jersey and the astounding greed of its teacher's unions
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie prosecutes terrorists

Wind turbines pose threat to songbirds

In a looming enviro-catastrophe, Ohio's Oregon City Schools want to install wind turbines. As the Toledo Blade reports, environmentalists are horrified:
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory [BSBO] near Oak Harbor has voiced concerns about the district's proposed project and the lack of regulation on noncommercial midsize turbines.

Kim Kaufman, the observatory's executive director, said the Clay and Eisenhower turbines would be on the western flank of the Lake Erie marsh region and would pose risks for birds landing to rest before completing their annual flight north.

"We're talking about birds that are mostly migrating at night, and that includes songbirds," Ms. Kaufman said. [Emph. added]

The Obama administration, having no concern for songbirds, may subsidize this disaster with, as the Blade reports, "federal stimulus money, tax incentives, state grants, and other government programs." The BSBO has issued a press release calling for a moratorium:
With full support of the BSBO Board of Directors and the support of many other organizations, agencies, and private citizens, BSBO is seeking to introduce a three-year moratorium on any additional wind turbines along the Lake Erie Coast in Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Erie Counties until further research can be conducted on the potential impacts on birds and bats.
The BSBO is urging all good environmentalists to sign their petition.

Airports have long struggled with the problem of birds. As a consequence of the way their brains evolved, birds are not capable of reacting to an approaching object until the impact is less than 5 seconds away. That may work well if the approaching object is an average predator. If it is an airplane, it is too late.

PREVIOUSLY on wind turbines:
Victims say clean energy is making life "unbearable" and destroying their property values
Alternative energy meets reality in NYC
Environmentalists and corporate welfare

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Democrats think

From IOwnTheWorld:
PREVIOUSLY on Rep. Rangel:
Rangel: "Quite frankly I don't give a damn"
How to buy a congressman
Rep. Charlie Rangel and unpaid taxes
Are House Democrats racist?

Hybrid car bursts into flames, causes $1.1 million in damage

The San Jose Mercury News reports:
The three-alarm blaze that caused $1.1 million in damage to a warehouse filled with rock legend Neil Young's music equipment and memorabilia appears to have started in a one-of-a-kind hybrid car stored at the site, a fire official said Monday.

Flames began in a 1959 Lincoln Continental dubbed LincVolt, which runs on electric batteries and a biodiesel-powered generator, and then spread to the warehouse at 593 Quarry Road in the early morning of Nov. 9, according to Belmont-San Carlos Fire Marshal Jim Palisi and a website devoted to the car.

Environmentalists have yet to come to terms with the fact the batteries in their beloved hybrid and electric cars are filled with flammable and extremely toxic chemicals.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of environmentalism:
Victims say clean energy is making life "unbearable" and destroying their property values
Environmentalists more likely to cheat: being a liberal means not having to follow the rules
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
Ethanol subsidies in perspective
Global warming whitewash: Penn State and the Michael Mann
Global warming's profiteers
Penn State to investigate its global warmist Mann, or not
Climategate: laws were broken
The collapse of the UN IPCC's credibility
Yet another UN IPCC Glacier-gate scandal
UN IPCC claims of melting Himalayan glaciers exposed as fraud

Monday, November 15, 2010

California Supreme Court rules: Illegals get in-state tuition

The LA Times reports that California taxpayers will be required to fund higher education for illegals:
The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that illegal immigrants may continue to be eligible for in-state tuition rates at the state's colleges and universities rather than pay the higher rates charged to those who live out of state. . . .

[T]he state high court said a California law that guarantees the lower tuition for students who attend California high schools for at least three years and graduate does not conflict with a federal prohibition on giving illegal immigrants educational benefits based on residency.
In other words, if California gives you 3 years of taxpayer-paid high school education even though you are illegal, then the taxpayers must also subsidize, via reduced tuition, your higher education. There is a significant catch: California ranks 49th out of the 50 states for high school education. Self-respecting illegals may want to get their high school education elsewhere, possibly in a state that is not currently headed toward bankruptcy.

RELATED: California Budget Deficit 25 Percent Worse Than a Month Ago. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of education:
Establishing a cult of personality: public school students pledge to become "Obama scholars"
School failure: Liberals are economically illiterate regardless of their level of education
Public school caught spying on kids at home
Study: sexist women teachers stunt learning of girl students
Berkeley High to eliminate "white" science labs
Black students, harassed for "acting white," get $150,000
Teaching self-esteem backfires
Education in Korea vs. the US: does "self-esteem" backfire?
LA pays teachers not to teach
What teachers learn in teacher's ed.
Obama promises to throw money at schools
How to get a job teaching in California even if you are illiterate

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Who counts the ballots?

Tea party patriots from around the San Francisco Bay area have been observing the ballot counting in the hotly contested US House race between David Harmer (R) and incumbent Jerry McNerney (D). How trustworthy is the process? A photo taken by the Tri-Valley Patriots shows the ballot counting process in action at the Santa Clara County Registrars office:

Yes, all ballots in Santa Clara County will be counted by members of the left-wing SEIU union. It is their job.

WELCOME to GatewayPundit and Uncoverage readers.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of vote fraud:
How vote fraud is done in New Jersey
Obama DoJ: vote fraud helps "increase turnout"
More vote fraud: New York State
How to buy a vote
NJ Dems demand equal rights for fraudulent voters
Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies
Three Obama supporters plead guilty
Another ex-ACORN worker pleads guilty
An insider's guide to vote fraud
Vote fraud update
Absentee ballot and dishonest elections
Fraud and Deceit in 2004

FOR MORE on issues of vote fraud in the California election, see also these stories at Uncoverage:
Voting “Irregularities” Investigated in Two California Congressional Races
Has California’s Election Been Affected by Poll Theft in SF?
Will Someone Review California’s Election?
Harmer Campaign in Court Today on Ballot Count
Has California’s Election Been Stolen?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bush saved London

From the (London) Times:
George W. Bush has claimed that information extracted from terrorist suspects by “waterboarding” saved British lives by preventing attacks on Heathrow and Canary Wharf.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, the former US President offered a vigorous defence of the coercive interrogation technique: “Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.”

Hat tip: Don Surber.

Liberals and their sexual fetishes

The latest cover for Mother Jones magazine shows how liberals in the media see Sarah Palin:
Below are links to more examples of liberals imagining politicians as sexual objects. Why do they do this? Does it indicate relationship issues? Support for that idea comes from a McDaniel College study which found that children of liberal parents were less able to form close positive relationships

WELCOME to Texas4Palin readers.

PREVIOUSLY on how media/liberals sexualize both their heroes and their enemies:
Wash. Post: Obama and his "chiseled pectorals"
SF Chronicle: Obama's "handsomeness"
Salon imagines Sarah Palin as a dominatrix
Obama is one of "25 fittest"
ABC News: Obama's "his white dress-shirt clinging to his body"

Experience does matter

Before the 2008 election, we were told that Obama was so brilliant that his lack of qualification and experience were irrelevant.  The left-wing Politico newspaper now reports that Democrats are having second thoughts:
Congressional Democrats consider him distant and blame him for their historic defeat on Tuesday. Democratic state party leaders scoff at what they see as an inattentive and hapless political operation. Democratic lobbyists feel maligned by his holier-than-thou take on their profession. His own Cabinet — with only a few exceptions — has been marginalized. . . . .

[M]any Democrats privately say they are skeptical that Obama is self-aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed — in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job.
His party "scoffs" at him and doubt that he is "self-aware enough" to do his job? That is pretty harsh on a man who was once promoted as the Messiah.

I'm from the government and I am here to help you

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Einstein explains California

Counter to the national trend, the state of California, a failed state after 30 years of liberal rule, moved further left on Tuesday: the Governorship and both houses of the legislature will be controlled by Democrats. Expanding the Democrats power, the legislature no longer needs a 2/3rds vote to pass new spending: Proposition 25 reduced the requirement to a simple majority so minority Republicans will no longer be able to put any brake on spending. Michael Ramirez channels Albert Einstein to explain the situation:Investor's Daily has more on California as a failed state.

PREVIOUSLY on California politics:
California 2nd worst state for business climate
Your CA tax dollars at work — at strip clubs
California pension funds face huge losses, money spent on luxury trips and gifts
San Francisco rally for Nancy Pelosi's opponent John Dennis
CA Pot growers oppose pot legalization in CA
California's upcoming ballot propositions: a quick look
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco (photos)
In Oakland, CA, civilization is collapsing
Ma'am Sen. Boxer for and against climate whistleblowers.
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