Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Religion of peace update

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports:
In video footage posted December 15, 2011 on the Internet, Sheikh Nader Tamimi, mufti of the Jordan-based Palestine Liberation Army, stated "The Americans and Zionists will end up in the garbage bin of history" and added, addressing the West: "Either you pay the jizya poll tax, or else we will bring the sword to your necks"
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here.

Via GatewayPundit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Universities are still racist

Asians reportedly are hiding their ethnicity when applying to colleges and universities. The discrimination that they face is documented, as Rich Lowry writes at National Review:
In 2005 the Center for Equal Opportunity, a think tank opposed to racial preferences, looked at males applying to the University of Michigan from within the state who had no parental connection to the school. If the applicant had a 1240 SAT score and a 3.2 GPA, he had a 92 percent chance of admission if black and 88 percent if Latino. If white, he had only a 14 percent chance, and if Asian, a 10 percent chance.
Forty years ago, When a liberal talked about "affirmative action," what he meant was "keep the Jews out." Now, when a liberals says "affirmative action," he means "keep the Asians out."

RELATED: A Democrat official attacks New Mexico's Hispanic Republican Governor Susana Martinez with racist remark.

PREVIOUSLY on racism:
Occupy Portland protesters hurl racist taunts an African American
Democrat: "Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men"
The subtleties of White Privilege
Racist cupcakes
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."

AP: Obamacare increasingly unpopular

The AP reports on an AP-GfK poll:
The poll found unpopularity for last year's health care reform bill, one of Obama's major accomplishments. About half of the respondents oppose the health care law and support for it dipped to 29 percent from 36 percent in June. Just 15 percent said the federal government should have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance.

Even among Democrats, the health care law has tepid support. Fifty percent of Democrats supported the health care law, compared with 59 percent of Democrats last June. Only about a quarter of independents back the law.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lies, Damned Lies, and Graphs used by Liberals

The left is currently excited about income inequality. To support their outrage, they show graphs such as this one which comes from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. It shows the share of wages received by the top 1% of earners:
After you recover from from shock at the unfair growth in income by the top 1%, notice that the above graph, as is typical of other examples, such as this, this, and this, begins at the year 1979. Why is that? If you guessed that the left chooses it because the 1970s was the historical low point for income reported by the rich, you would be right. Below is a plot, from Inequality.org, of the top-1%'s total pre-tax income, a more inclusive measure than the wage income plotted above. It covers the years 1913, when the income tax was introduced, through 2008:

Unlike the truncated graphs typically preferred by liberals, this one shows the income of top-1% has its ups and downs. Furthermore, the most recent data, for the year 2009, as reported by the NY Times (not included above), shows that the top-1%'s share of total income has dropped back to 17%. Contrary to the Occupy narrative, that number is certainly not high by historical standards.

Why is it that the income of the top-1% fluctuates so widely? One reason is that much of that income is related to stock markets and capital gains. That would be why there was a peak in the late 1990's (the dot-com boom) and in the late 1920's. Another factor is the income tax code. When marginal tax rates are high, tax shelters are popular and it is likely that much income is hidden. This would explain, for example, the long-term dip in income in the 1970s.

Whenever you see a graph purporting to show some trend, check whether it shows all the data available or just some period selected for its propaganda value.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Intellectuals and dumb ideas

Intellectuals are often associated with great ideas and also with some truly awful ideas. This has led to the observation, often attributed to George Orwell, that "some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual can believe them." The question, of course, is why is so. I think that Frank Fleming explains it well:

The main problem may be confusing “simple” with “dumb.”

If something is simple, then dumb people will believe it. And if dumb people believe something, then soon some conclude that smart people should believe something else. There’s a flaw in that philosophy.

Why shouldn’t you touch a hot stove? There’s no complex, smart answer to that. You’ll get roughly the same answer from Stephen Hawking you’d get from Forrest Gump: It’s hot, and it will hurt.

But say you were going to argue that you should touch a hot stove. That would have to be a very complex answer, since it defies basic logic. And some people could run with that, talking in detail about pain receptors and the brain’s reaction to stimulus, and come up with a very smart-sounding argument on why touching a hot stove is a great idea.

Others will go further and mock all those ignorant people in the flyover states for their irrational fear of hot stoves and announce, “The most enlightened thing to do is to press one’s face against a hot stove.” Those people are what we call intellectuals.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to use environmental regulations to stifle competition

A real estate developer shows how the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) can be used against competitors, as the LA Times reports:
To halt a competing project near USC, Conquest Student Housing turned to a legal weapon that one of its co-owners allegedly compared to a crude bomb: cheap and destructive.

Conquest owned 17 buildings that rented to USC students. When the developer Urban Partners proposed erecting a new complex to house 1,600 students, Conquest sued under California's landmark environmental law.

It then filed similar challenges to unrelated Urban Partners projects elsewhere in the state.

That last step was apparently one too many:
Conquest withdrew its challenges only after Urban Partners filed a federal racketeering lawsuit.
For a developer, the ultimate solution to environmental regulations, of course, is to have supported the right politicians. Politicians, no matter how liberal, are happy to give you a free pass:
In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law to allow a football stadium proposed for downtown Los Angeles to avoid drawn-out CEQA litigation. He signed a second bill that would allow an unspecified number of other major projects to gain the same treatment.
If environmental regulations are good, shouldn't they apply even to politically-favored projects? Apparently not. That seems to support Urban Partners contention that environmental lawsuits really are just racketeering.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Obamanomics: its intellectual foundations explained

Then: Joe Biden explains (via Instapundit) how he and Barack Obama developed the economic plan for their administration:
I literally picked up the phone and called Jon Corzine and said 'Jon, what do you think we should do?' The reason why we called Jon is because we knew he knew about world markets, about how to respond. . . . We trusted his judgment.

Now: Politico reports on the bankruptcy of Jon Corzine's firm, MF Global:

The brokerage firm run by former New Jersey governor and senator Jon S. Corzine is being investigated by federal regulators after the discovery that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing, according to reports.

A federal official said on Tuesday that an MF Global executive had admitted that the firm used clients’ money as troubles mounted over bad bets on European sovereign debt, according to the AP.

Taken all together, it is not surprising that America's finances resemble MF Global's.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Obamanomics: maximize the uncertainty

On October 25, 2011, Pres. Obama spoke at a fundraiser (video):
"We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge..."
As if to confirm Obama's lack of ambition and imagination, his adminstration today announced that it will yet again punt on the decision to build the Keystone pipeline.  Reuters reports:
The Obama administration plans to announce on Thursday it will explore a new route for a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, delaying a final approval beyond the 2012 U.S. election, sources briefed on the matter said.
This leaves investors and workers still guessing. Should investors continue tie up time, effort, and capital in this project or should they move on to something else?  Should workers leave the pipeline area to move to places with better job prospects?  If Obama has an economic strategy seems to be to maximize uncertainty and confusion.  He wouldn't do that if he cared about jobs.  He would make a decision, one way or the other.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Media Matters caught again

Regarding James Taranto's column yesterday at the Wall Street Journal, MediaMatters writes:
Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto joined the onslaught of conservative media figures downplaying or dismissing sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain as "meaningless" or not "a real thing." Fox News has repeatedly hosted guests to talk down the allegations and push the claim that "so many" sexual harassment cases may be "frivolous."
The quotes above are fabricated: "meaningless", "[not] a real thing", and  "frivolous" did not appear in Taranto's column.

The underlying claim of the MadHatters MediaMatters piece is also wrong.  Taranto did not claim that the allegations against Cain were any of those things.  He merely stated, correctly, that, so far, there is not enough information released to go beyond a "maybe".

PREVIOUSLY on the issues of facts and MediaMatters:
MediaMatters' war against balanced news coverage: opposes liberals appearing on FoxNews
Obama vs. Fox; Also MediaMatters caught again
Mediamatters: disagreement is racist!
MediaMatters caught dishonestly editing Glenn Beck
Unbiased MSM gets its "truth" from Media Matters for America

Madeline Albright accuses Herman Cain of sexism

The Washington Examiner reports:
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who served under President Clinton, attacked the embattled Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for sexism during her appearance on Morning Joe this morning.

Noting that Cain had met with Cold Warrior and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to discuss foreign policy, host Joe Scarborough asked Albright if she had met with Cain and how that meeting unfolded. It turns out, they haven't met.

"Well, he didn't call me," Albright said, "I'm the wrong gender."[Emph. added]

I didn't know that left-wing-loon was a "gender."

More seriously, isn't just like a modern Democrat to think everything is sexism or racism?  Ms. Albright has never expressed an intelligent thought on foreign policy.  Her gender is not relevant.  It is her blind-liberalism which is relevant.

PREVIOUSLY on Madeline Albright:
Albright on alleged genocide: a half-million deaths were "worth it"
Albright's spin on letting bin Laden get away: an underling did it
The consequences of Carter-Clinton-Albright policy of appeasement of N. Korea
David Zucker's funny video on the Albright-Clinton foreign policy

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Work for the government, get rich

The Washington Examiner reports:
As of July 2011, 12,199 retired California employees draw six-figure pensions, according to the watchdog group, California Foundation for Fiscal Reform (CFFR), up from 9,111 in March of last year. Three of the new six-figure pensions provide the retired recipients with more than $260,000 annually, with the most generous of the three worth $271,157 per year, according to CFFR.
Hat tip: Instapundit

Massive fraud found in Social Psychologists' research

You may have thought that fraud in science was limited to global warming studies.  Ewen Callaway of Nature magazine reports otherwise:
When colleagues called the work of Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel too good to be true, they meant it as a compliment. But a preliminary investigative report (go.nature.com/tqmp5c) released on October 31 gives literal meaning to the phrase, detailing years of data manipulation and blatant fabrication by the prominent Tilburg University researcher.

"We have some 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals where we are actually sure that they are fake, and there are more to come," says Pim Levelt, chair of the committee that investigated Stapel's work at the university.

The fraud apparently took the form of phony data. Stapel's coauthors used the data but reportedly were unaware of its fraudulent nature.

Stapel's research included work on stereotyping and discrimination.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

The spin team

Have you ever wondered how, on some given story, reporters so often gravitate to the same unlikely spin?  A partial answer was given when the Journolist internet mailing list was uncovered.   Emails from that list exposed how journalists hashed out coordinated responses on issues such as how to attack a popular Alaska Governor. 

The Vail Spot has published a very interesting list of confirmed participants in the Journolist.  Included are journalists from Newsweek, Time, Politico, The Atlantic, Economist, The New Republic, Washington Post, New York Observer, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Human Rights Watch, and Media Matters, among many others.

Hat tip: Instapundit and Althouse.

2009 Stimulus bill: the prosecutions begin

Politico reports that law enforcement is now catching up with Obama's 2009 Stimulus/Porkulus bill:
In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved "various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds."

So far, the investigations have led to five criminal prosecutions and brought in "over $2.3 million in monetary recoveries," Friedman said.

Why wasn't the stimulus money well-spent?  In the case of the Dept. of Energy, here is one clue:

The stimulus funding DOE received — more than $35 billion — was greater than previous annual budgets for the entire agency, most notably its $27 billion in funding for fiscal 2011.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Obama's feckless leadership

In foreign policy, as in domestic, a president can do damage that lasts for decades. While it is easy to imagine Pres. Obama's support of Islamist rebels in Libya and Egypt having disastrous consequences for years to come, there are other problems. In an interview with the Washington Post, Jordan's King Abdullah explains another more subtle lesson associated with Obama's leadership:
Washington Post: Do you and other leaders in this area believe you cannot rely on the U.S.?

Jordan’s King Abdullah II: I think everybody is wary of dealing with the West. . . . Looking at how quickly people turned their backs on Mubarak, I would say that most people are going to try and go their own way. I think there is going to be less coordination with the West and therefore a chance of more misunderstandings.

By turning so quickly on Mubarak, a long-time US ally, President Obama demonstrated that the US cannot be trusted. As future US presidents come and go, a lesson like that is one middle-east leaders will likely remember.

Hat tip: YidWithLid and Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY, on the general subject of Obama's foreign policy:
2009: Obama foreign policy in review
Iranians chant "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them,"
Obama disses Norway
Iran accepts Obama's surrender
Obama angers Iran
Obama gets an education
Krauthammer on a roll
Obama's go-it-alone foreign policy: Russian edition
Obama alienates Germany
Obama's charm offensive not working
Obama snubs Brazil
Obama insults Britain
On Iran's nuclear program, Obama abandons cooperation with Europe
Obama antagonizes India

Strangling business is no way to create jobs

How important is regulatory overreach to the current recession? Democrats say not much. Businessmen say otherwise. In Forbes, Wayne Crews provides an excellent and concise summary of the magnitude of the problem as viewed as business sees it:
The roots of today’s economic troubles are hinted at in a new Gallup Poll of small business owners, which finds compliance with government regulations tops their “problem list.”

Bigger businesses say the same. No one’s forgotten that Vegas resorts mogul Steve Wynn called Washington “the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime”; or that Bernie Marcus claims he could not have built Home Depot in the regulatory environment of today.

Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro this month called today’s White House the “most anti-business administration in my lifetime.” Even Apple’s Steve Jobs reportedly gave President Obama an earful on regulation, invoking impediments to manufacturing in the U.S and more.

Continental Energy CEO Harold Hamm, rebuffed by the president when describing the sheer torrent of domestic energy available and accessible, told the Wall Street Journal that Washington keeps “a regulatory boot at our necks and then turns around and asks: ‘Why aren’t you creating more jobs.’”

Everyone’s talking about spending and flat taxes; but for healthy recovery, the hidden tax of regulation needs flattening too.

But the sky is a different color above Pennsylvania Avenue, and this week’s southern auroras can’t explain it. While Obama seeks more money, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Dr. Jan Eberly officially blogged that no evidence supports the idea that uncertainty over regulation hinders job growth. Business leaders like the above don’t count as evidence, you see.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on Obamanomics:
CEOs to Obama: Get out of the way!
Survey of CEOs: Obamanomics is still the problem

Occupy Portland and Michael Moore's hypocrisy

Michael Moore calls on the rich to give back a million dollars each. Strangely, Michael Moore (net worth: $50 million) does not offer to give back any of his own fortune:

To respond to the questioner, as shown at the end of the video, the Occupy crowd is reduced to ad hominem attacks: they shout "instigator" and chant "Who's paying you?"

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of liberal hypocrisy:
President Obama preaches Tolerance
Dem attack against lobbyists is led by a Dem lobbyist
Minimum wage and hypocrisy
UN humanitarian hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy at the UN Climate Change conference
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrite of the day: movie director James Cameron
Liberal gay bashing
Poster child hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy: Supermodel Gisele and Prince Charles
Eco-hypocrisy: Barack Obama
Eco-hypocrisy: Nancy Pelosi
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming
Edwards' hypocrisy on the poor
HuffPost blogger projects enviro-hypocrisy

Friday, October 28, 2011


The front label on the magnifying glass that I just purchased from Amazon says "important warning label on back." Here is the back label:
Who do you blame for the proliferation of stupid product warnings? Many blame lawyers but don't juries also share the blame?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Government health care is something to die for

In a peer-reviewed study(abstract here and full text (PDF) here), two researchers from the University of Pennsylvania compared US health statistics with those from Europe. Here are their results for 5-year cancer survival rates:

The US does better in all categories and often dramatically better. If you get prostate cancer in the US, you have a mere 0.7% (5-year) chance of dying from it. In Europe, it is thirty times worse: 22.5%.

Numbers such as these are always questionable because different countries gather statistics differently. Since Obamacare has forced the issue, however, we need to compare with the best numbers we can find. In this case, that appears to be this U. Penn. study.

Hat tip: Prof. M. J. Perry.

Small businesses' No. 1 problem: government regulations

In a survey released this week, Gallup found that small business owners say their number 1 problem is government regulations:

The Obama 2012 campaign sent out an email today saying
"[C]laims about 'job-crushing government regulations' seem like what they are: political talking points with no basis in the truth."
Apparently, business owners see it very differently.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Civilization suicide watch: Greece

The socialists running Greece have run out of money.  Rather than cut their budget as necessary, they are begging for bailouts from Europe's more fiscally-responsible nations.   Rather than appreciating the offer of bailouts, they are comparing their benefactors to Nazis.  Reuters reports:

Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, has been playing a key role in trying to prevent Europe's Greece-spurred debt crisis from spiraling.  The "troika" unites the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank, which is headquartered in Frankfurt.

[A] cartoon from last month shows a soldier atop Venizelos asking why lists of names for the "Labour Reserve" remain empty, nodding at Greece's new austerity law which wants 30,000 state workers put aside. They will be laid off permanently if no other public sector job is found for them within a year.

In the cartoon, a young Greek answers the soldier: "They are empty as you exterminated the Communists, the Jews, the homosexuals, the gypsies and the crazies last time," in an obvious swipe comparing the "troika" to Nazis.

It seems obvious, to adults anyway, that, when you've run out of money, it is time to stop spending.  Neither Greeks nor Democrats seem to understand that.

After all the challenges that mankind has overcome, will civilization be brought down by liberals' innumeracy?

The battle for Oakland

Police battled the Occupy (OWS) protesters at Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. ABC 7 News reporter Amy Hollyfield reports that Oakland is still unsafe:
Because of all of this police activity, they have shut down a lot of the streets here in downtown Oakland, and they have advised people that work here to delay the start of their day. Don't come down here immediately, maybe stay home until further notice.
Oakland's Police Chief Jordan explains why they had to shut down the Occupy Oakland protest
The decision to move was based on public health and safety due to defecation, fire hazards, sexual assault incidents, violent behavior, and the denial of access of medical aid. . . . Several officers had been assaulted, doused with hazardous materials, paint and bottles.
Videos collected by Ed Driscoll show the tear gas flying during the battle.

Other than that, of course, it was just like a typical tea party.

PREVIOUSLY on the Occupy Wall Street movement:
A Visit to Occupy San Francisco: photo essay
Occupy Oakland and Marxism: a video

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy Congress!

Maybe the rich really are the problem:
(Graphic found on facebook.)

PREVIOUSLY on the Occupy Wall Street movement:
A Visit to Occupy San Francisco: photo essay
Occupy Oakland and Marxism: a video

Monday, October 24, 2011

In NYC, the socialists make a discovery

In the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto writes:
[A]ccording to the Daily News, "Zuccotti Park has become a haven for the homeless," who are abandoning shelters and camping out at the park, "enticed by the allure of free food and a community of open-minded people." But as in Boston, open-mindedness goes only so far. "We have compassion toward everyone. However, we have certain rules and guidelines," says Lauren Digioia, 26, who belongs to the "sanitation committee":

"If you're going to come here and get our food, bedding and clothing, have books and medical supplies for no charge, they need to give back," Digioia said. "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."  [Emph. added]
Pot, meet kettle.

Occupy San Francisco!

When they aren't getting arrested blockading Wells Fargo's headquarters, the Occupy San Francisco protesters live in this camp near the San Francisco Ferry Building:
The red flag in the center shows Che Guevara, the left's favorite mass murderer. When asked what he felt about living under a flag honoring a murderer, a kind resident explained that he didn't know who Che was. However, he enjoyed the free food.

In the above photo is a sphere with sign taped on it which further clarifies the political philosophy of these protesters. A close up of this sign is below:

The sign reads "we need affordable housing, rent stabilization, no more slum lords, livable wages, [and] 30 hours a week." That makes sense: if you are going to get all that free stuff, why work 40 hours a week?

San Francisco already has rent stabilization (see the SF Rent Board) with anti-landlord policies and the highest minimum wage in the nation. So, shouldn't the protesters celebrate living in this worker's paradise? Must not have worked out like they would have hoped.

Here are two more signs. I'll leave it to you to work out what their policy implications are:
Below is the encampment's kitchen, which appeared well stocked with boxes of apples and bread:
Left-wing protesting seems to generate an extraordinary amount of trash that overflows all the provided trash containers. This view is from just off the kitchen and you can see the Che flag in the background:
Living in a park for months at a time with trash always overflowing is not always popular. The protesters blame the police:
Managing these protests is a lot of work. Below is the org-chart for the Occupy-SF protest:
Note that they have volunteers in charge of "gender issues" and "arts + culture" but, unsurprisingly, no one has volunteered for "sanitation."

Also note that no one has volunteered for the "finance" post. Would you volunteer for that post if you lived in a camp that demonized bankers?

Many ask: are corporations people? The sign below on the left tries to answer that:
It reads:
"I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one! -- I am the 99%"
Of course, corporations are executed, mercilessly, all the time: it is called Chapter 7 (liquidation).

Note the green sign in the center above. It was left by a Republican who brought it for today's anti-UN protest (see the post below). Is it out of place here? Will they notice?

PREVIOUSLY, you have seen this same park on this blog as the site of a Tea Party protest:
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)

PREVIOUSLY on Occupy Oakland:
Occupy Oakland protesters are committed Marxists

RELATED: In Atlanta, the Democratic Mayor wants to clear the park of Occupy protesters. OWS protesters "don't want to restrict anyone's behavior" unless the anyone is driving to work in which case they are happy shut down the road. Zombie has an excellent photo essay on Occupy Oakland.

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)

San Franciscans protest against the United Nations

There are those who idolize the United Nations as mankind's last best hope. Among other things, they see the United Nations as working to protect the world's environment. The affects of this work are starting to appear locally in the form of "green power" (i.e. expensive and unreliable power), and UN-advocated (via ICLEI) zoning regulations that strip home owners of rights to their private property. Today, a crowd, concerned largely with the "green" agenda, gathered in UN plaza in San Francisco, where the UN charter was signed in 1945, to protest against the UN:
It was a bi-partisan crowd: this is one of those rare issue cuts across party lines.

If you want to read more about this, see:



and, for the other side:


Why today? The UN declared that today is United Nations Day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Democrat's view of the world

Journalist Nicholas D. Kristof is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and currently writes for the New York Times. A few days ago, after some zoo animals escaped, Kristof tweeted:
To which, the inimitable Glenn Reynolds replied:

MESSAGE TO NICK KRISTOF: Boehner would pull out a gun and make a rug. As would many millions of other Americans.

Liberals live in an imagined state of helplessness. No wonder they are so angry.

Democrats gone wild, 24 years later

While Democrats complain about partisan bickering and try to blame it on Republicans, today marks the 24th anniversary of the Democrats' war against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.  If Democrats had any sense of decency or shame prior to this war, they abandoned them.  Take, for example, Sen Kennedy's (D-MA) who declared:
Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy… President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.
None of that vitriol bears any resemblance to reality but that mattered not to Democrats.  Democrats have been in a state of unbridled anger unbound by any morality or ethics ever since.

For more on this anniversary, see LegalInsurrection.

Mission Accomplished!

Is it really "mission accomplished"? That would depend on what Pres. Obama's mission was. Also, did he think the mission through from beginning to end? I see no evidence that he had a mission or that he thought through the consequences.

Related: Libyan rebels have Al Qaeda links.

UPDATE: Al Qaeda flag flies above Libyan courthouse.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's a paradox, guns-sales edition

The Daily Caller is shocked: "Gun crime continues to decrease, despite increase in gun sales." Any NRA member could have told the reporter that it is not "despite" but "because." But, that is not a concept that a liberal can easily wrap his mind around.

PREVIOUSLY on the paradoxes that vex liberal minds:
Paradox: student test scores improve despite school funding decrease
It's a paradox: Congress unpopular "despite record"
"Ironically," conservatives and their children are happier
It's a paradox!: Crime down when criminals are in jail.
Paradox: crime is down (again)
Paradox: few fraudulent voters if voters are required to have IDs

Occupy Oakland

Steve Kemp and friends visited Oakland on Monday and came back with some interesting video of what the Occupy Wall Street (Oakland) movement believe:

At one point the interviewer asks whether capitalism is effective. From among the protesters responses:
"I don't think capitalism is effective at all."

"I think [capitalism] is a total bogus system. It is based on slavery and genocide"

"I think capitalism is inherently bad because it feeds on resources... it needs to keep feeding on resources. So, capitalism is not sustainable." [But don't try to take her iPhone away from her.]
In the 20th century, the human race experimented with national socialism and international socialism. The results were disastrous but, apparently, that doesn't bother the OWS/Occupy-Oakland protesters.

Separately, an e-mail dump obtained by Big Journalism reveals that MSM journalists have been helping craft the OWS message at the same time that they file "unbiased" reports on the movement.

President Obama preaches Tolerance

The White House has released a new Presidential proclamation, as FoxNews reports:
President Obama demanded that Americans “preach tolerance” in a proclamation he issued announcing “National Character Counts Week.”

“Together, all Americans must cultivate moral fortitude, preach tolerance, and demonstrate the value of respect for those different from ourselves,” he stated in a press release issued by the White House. [Emph. added]

The official proclamation is here. According to Dictionary.com, tolerance means "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own." USA Today reports on a speech given by the President. Judge for yourselves whether the President is "fair" and "objective" toward those with differing "opinions":
President Obama used some of the harshest rhetoric of his term today in denouncing the Republican jobs plan, saying the GOP's emphasis on less regulations would harm the environment, undercut health care and fail to produce necessary jobs in the short term.

"You got their plan, which is let's have dirtier air, dirtier water, (and) less people with health insurance," Obama said in kicking off a three-day bus tour at the airport in Asheville, N.C. [Emph. added]

Video is available here. Read ThinkProgress' approval of Obama's intolerant rhetoric here.

Just to be clear, it is not the President's intolerant (and childish) rhetoric that I disapprove of here. It is his hypocrisy of trying to have it both ways.

Friday, October 14, 2011

When three wars are not enough

Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, move over. ABC's Jake Tapper reports:
Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” – meaning capture or kill – Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA.
The left says that "war is not the answer" except, apparently, when the left is in power.

The distinction between advocate and activist

Former Enron-adviser and current New York Times columnist Paul Krugman explains why he is not in the park with the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters:
Some readers have been asking me to go make a speech at one of the OWS demonstrations. If you think about it, however, you’ll see why I can’t.

I’ve been granted the enormous privilege of expounding my own views twice a week in the world’s greatest newspaper. I try to make the best use of that privilege, doing all I can to get the truth across and also advocating for what I believe to be the right policies. There are, however, some restrictions that come with the privilege; one of them is not crossing the line between advocate and activist. And there are good reasons for drawing that line. [Emph. added]

I suppose that one of those "good reasons" is that, if he was in the park chanting slogans, we would see him for who he really is rather than who he and the NY Times would like to pretend that he is.

I would find the mainstream media more credible if they were, at the minimum, honest about who they were instead of hiding behind meaningless distinctions and false pretenses. One of the better features of new-media reporting is the honesty. When, for example, Prof. Althouse reported on the Wisconsin protests, blog readers already knew who she was and what here biases were. That makes it easy to interpret, evaluate, and appreciate her reports. Mainstream media reporters also have opinions and biases but, by hiding them under the pretense of "objectivity," readers are left to guess where the reporters blindspots are.

In other news, the New York Times is again cutting newsroom staff under pressure from weakening revenue.

Hat tip: Newsbusters.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do lobbyists oppose lobbying?

At the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney reports:

The campaign of Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, just sent out a fundraising email with her typical scourge-of-the-special-interest stuff:

As one of Elizabeth Warren's earliest supporters, you know she's a tireless fighter for working families. She's gone toe-to-toe with the big banks and armies of corporate lobbyists -- and won -- and she'll do it again as Massachusetts' next United States Senator.

The sender? Corporate lobbyist Doug Rubin, who's also a senior advisor to Warren's campaign. Rubin founded the Beacon Hill lobbying firm Northwind Strategies, which represents Deepwater Wind, GTECH Corporation, Equity Office Properties, and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans.

Separately, Elizabeth Warren is famous for her "nobody in this country ... got rich on his own" rant.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of liberal hypocrisy:
Minimum wage and hypocrisy
UN humanitarian hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy at the UN Climate Change conference
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrite of the day: movie director James Cameron
Liberal gay bashing
Poster child hypocrisy
Eco-hypocrisy: Supermodel Gisele and Prince Charles
Eco-hypocrisy: Barack Obama
Eco-hypocrisy: Nancy Pelosi
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming
Edwards' hypocrisy on the poor
HuffPost blogger projects enviro-hypocrisy

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Obama Admin defunds a piece of Obamacare

The Obama administration has killed the CLASS program, one of the many financially-unsustainable pieces of Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal writes:
The Health and Human Services Department recently shut down a government insurance program for long-term care, known by the acronym Class. HHS also released a statement claiming that reports that HHS is shutting down Class are "not accurate." All HHS did was suspend Class policy planning, told Senate Democrats to zero out Class funding for 2012, reassigned Class's career staffers to other projects and pink-slipped the program's chief actuary.
With a bipartisan-consensus that Class is a fiscal disaster, will Congress repeal Class? The Wall Street Journal says probably not:
All of this would seem to make repealing Class an easy vote for Congress, but, this being Washington, it isn't. Since the CBO says Class's front-loaded collections cut the deficit to the tune of that $86 billion, HHS has to pretend that the program is still alive to preserve these phantom savings.

Some Republicans are also nervous about repealing Class because, under CBO's perverse scoring, they'll be adding $86 billion to the deficit.

Read the whole thing.

Crony capitalism: Obama ignored warnings

The Obama administration ignored multiple warnings in the days preceding Pres. Obama's trip to tout Solyndra, as today's Wall Street Journal reports:
Just days ahead of the president's 2010 visit, an email from one OMB staffer to another indicated growing worry about the political risks. "I am increasingly worried that this visit could prove embarrassing to the Administration in the not too distant future, given 1) what we just heard today from DOE that Solyndra is delaying their IPO at least until the end of the year, and 2) what the auditors said about Solyndra making it through the year absent new financing," the email said.

Another OMB staffer wrote, "Hope doesn't default before" Mr. Obama's May 26 visit.

Two days before the visit, Steve Westly, a California venture capitalist who raised funds for Mr. Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, emailed Ms. Jarrett to express concern about the visit, saying it could "haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc."

Separately, another Obama-backed "green" energy company is in trouble, as the New York Times reports (hat tip: GatewayPundit):
In a remote desert spot in northern Nevada, there is a geothermal plant run by a politically connected clean energy start-up that has relied heavily on an Obama administration loan guarantee and is now facing financial turmoil.

The company is Nevada Geothermal Power, which like Solyndra, the now-famous California solar company, is struggling with debt after encountering problems at its only operating plant.

The amount of money the federal government has at stake with Nevada Geothermal — a loan guarantee of $79 million plus at least $66 million in grants. . . . [Emph. added]

Governments should not be venture capitalists.  They are just not good at it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sen. Durbin admits: Obama "Jobs" bill unpopular even with Democrats

During his speech earlier this month, Pres. Obama commanded Congress to "pass this bill" some 17 times. Apparently, he hadn't checked to see even whether the Democrats would support the bill. The Hill reports:
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, at the moment, Democrats in Congress dont have the votes to pass President Obamas jobs bill, but Durbin added that that situation would change. 
If any more proof was needed that Obama was never serious about the Jobs bill, this is it.

Politicized Science, the delta smelt, and California farmers

U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger declared that testimony from two Interior Dept. scientists, Frederick V. Feyrer and Jennifer M. Norris, was “false,” “contradictory” and “misleading”  and that the Interior Department acted in “bad faith”  in regards to the use of the delta smelt fish and the endangered species act to stop water flow to California farmers.  More at Instapundit, the New York Times, and the San Francisco Examiner.

PREVIOUSLY on California farmers protesting against the water cutoff:
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
PREVIOUSLY on politicized science:
EPA uses phony peer review
National Academy of Sciences warns EPA on junk science
The failed science of environmentalism
Federal Judge rejects Federal enviromental "science" as "arbititrary and capricious"
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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Colorado cantaloupes have killed more people this year than US commercial nuclear power in its entire history

The UK Guardian reports:
A listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado has killed 13 people and infected 59 others, US health officials have said. [Emph. added]
The FDA associates the outbreak with Jensen Farms’ Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes.

How many people have been killed by commercial nuclear power plants in the US? None, as best I can tell. This Wikipedia article lists deaths from nuclear and radiation accidents and none are attributed to US commercial nuclear power in its entire history. (The Wikipedia article does not list Three Mile Island because no one died at Three Mile Island. For more details, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's summary of the health effects of Three Mile Island is here.)

Hat tip: Instapundit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Obama's rich fantasy life

In Commentary, Peter Wehner writes:
I have written before about Obama’s deep, almost desperate, need to portray himself as the opposite of what he is, to conceive of himself in a way that is at odds with reality. We have seen it in all sorts of areas, including claiming himself to be a voice of civility, portraying himself as a champion of bi-partisanship, lecturing others about profligate spending, and saying he is the only responsible “adult” in Washington. Now we see this habit in a new arena – this time, the president as Obama the Stoic, a man so committed to “pressing on” for the cause of social justice he just doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself. Indeed, he has now decided to sermonize to others not to complain, not to grumble, and to “stop crying.”

This is akin to John Edwards hosting a weekend seminar on the importance of marital fidelity.
At times, I think that the main purpose of liberalism is the avoidance of unpleasant realities.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on liberals and their fantasy worlds:
Liberal talk show hosts and their paranoid fantasies
Rep. Pete Stark fantasizes about Pres. Bush's motives
Hate crime fantasies
Real or fantasy: Obama's core value is "unity"?
Salon Magazine and its sexual fantasies involving Sarah Palin
Michelle Obama fantasizes that she is the first White House resident to care about military families
Feminist imagines that all men are pro-rape and pro-domestic violence
Rep. Barney Frank's fantasies: the mortgage crisis was caused by "conservatives"
How reporters avoid addressing reality
If only hate could change false to true

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's a paradox, education edition

The Sacramento Bee reports on a "paradox": student test scores have increased after several years of public school budget cuts:

They write:

It's a trend that would seem to defy conventional wisdom: As public school spending has declined in California in recent years, student achievement test scores have gone up.

Statewide, school districts spent 6 percent less from 2008 to 2010, but the percentage of second- to seventh-grade students scoring proficient on the state's standardized English test rose from 48 percent to 55 percent.

In the Sacramento region, the same held true. School districts in the four-county region cut annual spending by about $120 million, or 4.4 percent, from 2008 to 2010, hampered by the lousy economy and state funding cuts. That translates to a 1 percent cut per student. But during that same period, their state achievement test scores improved – a lot.

It is a "paradox" only if you think that government schools spend their money wisely on things that actually affect student learning.

PREVIOUSLY on the paradoxes that vex liberal minds:
It's a paradox: Congress unpopular "despite record"
"Ironically," conservatives and their children are happier
It's a paradox!: Crime down when criminals are in jail.
Paradox: crime is down (again)
Paradox: few fraudulent voters if voters are required to have IDs

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of education:
Study: teacher's unions are bad for education
Study: sexist women teachers stunt learning of girl students
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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sophisticated thinking at the New York Times

James Taranto spots the New York Times having difficulty with math:
The New York Times reports from Frankfurt that "foreign leaders" are pressuring the Greek government to institute "a range of draconian layoffs and pay reductions among public sector workers" in order to avert default. Check out this bit of analysis in the course of the story:

The original aid package requires Greece to reduce its deficit to 7.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, and below 3 percent by 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The reduced number of workers employed in the public sector would only add to the difficulty of meeting these targets as payroll tax collections shrink.

Unless employees of the Greek government pay more than 100% of their wages in taxes, this cannot possibly add up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NPR: Obama is still like Jesus

Not all liberals have soured on Pres. Obama.  Frank James, writing at NPR.org, stills sees Obama as a biblical figure:
The realities of governing as opposed to the unrealities of presidential campaigns may have made President Obama a much more human figure compared with the almost messiah-like status he had in the eyes of many supporters in 2008.

But that doesn't mean there still isn't the occasional moment reminiscent of a Bible story.

At a rally on the campus of North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. Wednesday where President Obama went to drum up support for his jobs bill, this happened.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Barack!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) But first — but if you love me — if you love me, you got to help me pass this bill. (Applause.) If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill.

 Here's John 21:15, the New International Version, describing a scene between Jesus and his disciples:
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,"Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?"

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Hat tip: The Corner and Hot Air.

NPR's Frank James says minorities support child prostitution?
NPR: If criminals make you uncomfortable, you are a "hardened racist"
NPR allies itself with George Soros
NPR declares Sonia Sotomayor to be "moderate" or even "conservative"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

RomneyCare, fail

In a preview of what ObamaCare will do for the US, a study by Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute found that RomneyCare has been a disaster for Massachusetts, costing over 18,000 jobs.  The Boston Herald reports (hat tip: GatewayPundit):

The Bay State’s controversial 2006 universal health-care plan — also known as “Romneycare” — has cost Massachusetts more than 18,000 jobs, according to an exclusive blockbuster study that could provide ammo to GOP rivals of former Gov. Mitt Romney as he touts his job-creating chops on the campaign trail.

“Mandating health insurance coverage and expanding the demand for health services without increasing supply drove up costs. Economics 101 tells us that,” said Paul Bachman, research director at Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, the conservative think tank that conducted the study. The Herald obtained an exclusive copy of the findings. . . .

Despite Romney’s vaunted business acumen as a successful venture capitalist, Bachman said the former governor “was a little naive about what would become of the law.”

The Beacon Hill Institute study found that, on average, Romneycare:

•    cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;

•    drove up total health insurance costs in Massachusetts by $4.311 billion;

•    slowed the growth of disposable income per person by $376; and

•    reduced investment in Massachusetts by $25.06 million.

Class warfare

Steve Kemp captures another yet another fascinating video of Democrats in action. This is from Rep. Barbara Lee's Town Hall meeting in Oakland California, August 16, 2011 and features rhetoric from Representives Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva and Mike Honda. Their agenda is class war:
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