Interestingly enough in the last several years there have been four big SCOTUS cases which IMHO, really define our freedoms and personal liberty Kelo property rights; Citizens United free speech; Heller 2nd amendment and now McDonald.
I hear a lot from liberals about how the right wants to curtail freedoms, we’re fascists yet when I look at where the liberal Justices ruled or dissented in those aforementioned cases I think it’s pretty clear who are the real curtailers of freedom and liberty.
After all when the State can take your property, restrict your political speech and disarm the populace, you really don’t have much left in the way of freedom.
I'd like to know what Kagan's opinions are on those cases.
29 June 2010
10 June 2010
His compulsive, reflexive finger-pointing at Republicans, George W. Bush and vague villains on the right is not only unbecoming, it also reinforces the gathering public verdict that Obama is a weakling.
Victims do not make good leaders.
Even if Republicans were responsible for every evil attributed to them by Democrats, why bang on about it after 17 months in office? The only answer is self-preservation, which is an unattractive trait in someone who's supposed to be leader.
03 June 2010
Turkey’s Islamist government, not known for its compassion to, say, Kurds in Turkey, has been shedding crocodile tears over Gaza for several years now, and helped instigate the flotilla fiasco. So I have a modest proposal: if Turkey is so concerned with the welfare of Gazans, why not let Turkey run the place. Israel doesn’t want it, and never has; it tried to give it back to Egypt several times, but Egypt doesn’t want it, either. Meanwhile, Gaza is controlled by a terrorist government that is both cruel and incompetent; and Israel is not going to lift its siege to long as Hamas is in charge.
25 May 2010
24 May 2010
A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There’s this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them.Creepy-but-true part 2:
Every murderous totalitarian government of the 20th century began with some insulated group of faux-intellectuals congratulating each other on how smart they are, and fantasizing about how, if they could just install a dictatorship-for-a-day, they could right all the wrongs in the world.
It is the ultimate fantasy of the narcissist. And we’ve got whole generations of them, in control of our media and our government, all intent on “remaking America.”
21 May 2010
Just weeks after taking office, President Obama signed an executive order encouraging use of project labor agreements (PLAs), which require contractors to agree to union representation and work rules. A federal rule implementing that order took effect May 12, benefiting the 15 percent of construction workers who are unionized -- and hurting the 85 percent who aren't.
This, in an industry with 27 percent unemployment. And with study after study showing PLAs hike costs 10 percent to 20 percent -- and the rule essentially ending open, competitive bidding for federal construction contracts -- taxpayers will feel plenty of pain, too.
From the story's comment section:
Islam is nothing more than fear. Fear generated by unseen devout Muslim believers willing to commit violence in the name of Islam. A larger Muslim population equals more fear. Look at it here, in little old Seattle. Molly Norris has now been silenced, by fear generated by unseen religious thugs. In NYC South Park has now been silenced by unseen Muslim religious thugs. In Western Europe the newspapers, museums, artists, Theo Van Gogh and more have all been silenced by a growing number of unseen Muslim religious thugs. The greater the Muslim population, the greater the number of potential Muslim religious thugs - the greater the fear. And here it is - right here in Seattle. Isn’t multiculturalism a great thing?
19 May 2010
Who is this freak? Meet Cass Sunstein. He's the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration.
But wait; there's more! There's always more, unfortunately.
18 May 2010
The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott the state of Arizona over its new immigration-enforcement law, and now the Arizona Corporation Commission has responded. Gary Pierce, one of the commissioners chosen in state-wide elections to the utility regulation panel, notes that Los Angeles gets about 25% of its power from Arizona producers. If the City of Angels really wants a boycott, Pierce offers his services to help, as he explains in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.Read it all, it's quite a call-out.
Under any system of mandatory insurance, the government must necessarily determine what constitutes an "acceptable" policy. This creates a giant magnet for special interest groups seeking to include their favorite benefit in the mandatory package. Under the similar Massachusetts system of mandatory insurance, insurers must offer (and residents must purchase) numerous benefits that consumers may neither need nor want, such as in vitro fertilization, autism therapy, and chiropractor services. This raises costs for everyone to benefit the politically favored few with lobbying clout.When insurers recently pointed out that ObamaCare did not actually require them to immediately offer coverage for certain children with preexisting conditions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius immediately threatened to issue regulations forcing them to do so -- regardless of the actual letter of the law.Although it is tempting to take delight at the insurance industry's self-caused plight, the inevitable collapse of the private insurance market would also leave millions of Americans without coverage. Even though this crisis would be caused by government policies, liberals would gleefully portray it as a "failure of the free market" and demand that the government "rescue" health care. The end result would be a "single payer" socialized medical system like Canada's or Great Britain's, with rationing and long waits for medical care.
15 May 2010
With a twist of Green:
Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed $12.4 billon in cuts to California’s budget would reduce state spending to levels unseen since… 2008!
Surely, Californians were suffering a from a dearth of government all those years ago.
those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ~ C.S. Lewis
11 May 2010
You really should read all of this:
Last week, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post identified several members of Congress and the Senate who, during the financial crisis, took short positions in the market, betting against the U.S. economy. This behavior is not just hypocritical. It marks yet another breach of the public trust.
In the course of their workday, (elected officials) meet with government officials, captains of industry, and foreign leaders. When these same elected officials phone their Wall Street brokers and take a financial position against the very entity which they are charged with preserving and protecting — the United States — how could it be anything other than a breach of the public trust?
Now why was Sen. Carl Levin so eager to paint Goldman Sachs as a bunch of crooks? To advance the Democrats’ embarrassingly weak and misguided financial reform agenda, naturally.
“The fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decisions disappears.”More here.
— Pope John Paul II
That line about not being able to "know how to work" an iPad or Xbox succeeded in drawing some laughs. But it worked against Obama when the reactions from technology enthusiasts online began pouring in.
Obama "drinks from the 'information overload' Kool-Aid," claimed one blog headline. Having not actually spent time trying to optimize his workflow with a device like the iPad, the president appears to have little basis from which to make such a contentious claim.
So if Obama doesn't know how to use Apple's portable music player -- a product hailed for its ease-of-use, even for a Harvard Law graduate -- was the preelection Rolling Stone magazine article about what's on his iPod a farce?
It reminds me of the heady days when Hilary Clinton was trying to decide who she was, you know, depending on where she was dining.
10 May 2010
If only a few countries faced these problems, the solution would be easy. Unlucky countries would trim budgets and resume growth by exporting to healthier nations. But developed countries represent about half the world economy; most have overcommitted welfare states. They might defuse the dangers by gradually trimming future benefits in a way that reassured financial markets. In practice, they haven't done that; indeed, President Obama's health program expands benefits. What happens if all these countries are thrust into Greece's situation? One answer -- another worldwide economic collapse -- explains why dawdling is so risky.
07 May 2010
04 May 2010
So a deal was set up. The Dodgers sent a catcher, Clint Dapper, to Atlanta. And the Atlanta club sent Ernie Harwell to the Brooklyn Dodgers. So Ernie was the first and only baseball broadcaster to be involved in a trade.
03 May 2010
Collate the anti-capital rants of a zillionaire currency speculator George Soros, the green sermons from a late Ted Kennedy who stopped a wind farm from marring his vacation home’s views, a John Edwards of “two nations” fame constructing a Neronian Golden House, a Tom Friedman warning of the consumer habits that lead to a hot, flat earth from a 10,000 square foot English-style estate of the sort that 18th-century English barons built after successful careers in the Raj, the comic case of Jeremiah Wright moving to a mostly white golf course to dream up more sermons about “white folks’ greed runs a world in need,” or a $5 million a year earning Obama — with all his expenses picked up by the government — lamenting out loud why rich people seem to want ever more money they don’t need. Some spread the wealth around.
We can call this malady Gorism — living not merely at odds with your zealotry, but living entirely against your zealotry.
25 April 2010
Biofuels such as biodiesel from soy beans can create up to four times more climate-warming emissions than standard diesel or petrol, according to an EU document released under freedom of information laws. The European Union has set itself a goal of obtaining 10 percent of its road fuels from renewable sources, mostly biofuels, by the end of this decade, but it is now worrying about the unintended environmental impacts.Unintended impacts - gee politician have never railroaded the citizenry into that before, right?
(B)iofuel production soaks up grain from global commodity markets, forcing up food prices and encouraging farmers to clear tropical forests in the quest for new land. Burning forests releases vast quantities of carbon dioxide and often cancels out many of the climate benefits sought from biofuels. Biodiesel from North American soybeans has an indirect carbon footprint of 339.9 kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule -- four times higher than standard diesel -- said the EU document, an annex that was controversially stripped from a report published in December.This story not playing anytime soon on American Tee Vee Newz.
24 April 2010
10 April 2010
Now children, I know you've all got spring fever and are already thinking about summer vacation and cannot wait to ride your bicycles all over the paths and hop on the light rail to go to a puppet show and hop off the light rail to get an ice cream cone before Sponge Bob comes on your school-provided laptop via the city-provided wifi system, but if you could just hold your tongues for a minute or two, a grown up is going to explain a problem with the Barista Utopia you've been building:
A new study comparing corporate headquarters costs ranks Minneapolis as the 15th most expensive of 50 U.S. cities, and second only to Chicago among 12 cities in the Midwest. Minneapolis' property taxes were the main reason for its relatively high ranking in the study by the Boyd Co. Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based corporate relocation consultant.
Q How can Minneapolis become more competitive?
A Hold the line on taxes, especially property taxes. You need to understand that the impact of Minneapolis' high property taxes is compounded by the fact that land and construction costs are also high. The effective property tax rate in Minneapolis is about twice as high as the study's low-cost option, Sioux Falls.
Q Does the trend toward smaller, less expensive cities apply to any type of corporate facility? We're used to seeing companies move manufacturing operations but keep corporate offices here.
A It can be a national, regional or division headquarters. This is the next frontier of corporate cost-cutting. It's now in style for companies to associate themselves with markets that are less expensive. It makes them seem more fiscally responsible to their shareholders.
Perish the thought! Progressives forever tell us that it's the irresistible lure of liberal arts colleges and subsidised art cabals that make Fortune 500 employers beat a path to our frozen wasteland over a climate that's more affordable and usable more than 8 months each year.
Q Aside from costs, what role do amenities play in a company's decision about where to locate? How important are things like proximity to colleges and universities, a highly educated local workforce, cultural attractions, major-league sports teams?
A Historically, those have been very important drivers. Now it's becoming less about those qualitative issues and more about quantitative issues, like the state's business climate and taxes.
Now while the mayor gets his nostrils all flared out about the idea of Bicycle Mecca, he may want to consider, for 5 minutes, who is going to be riding those bicycles around the diseased core of Minneapolis in 5, 10 or 20 years from now.
08 April 2010
The federal government wants to impose an unprecedented one-size-fits-all approach onto every citizen and force them to buy insurance many of them don’t need. Minnesota’s insurance premiums will definitely rise, as we have seen when the same approach was taken in Maine and Massachusetts. As Swanson wrote less than two years ago, state government is more responsive to the citizenry, and in this case the citizenry can decide for themselves, too.Someone remind me of the benefits from having the Minnesota Attorney General be a partisan, elected position.
The only changes between August 2008 and now is that ObamaCare is a much bigger arrogation of power by the federal government than the program Swanson publicly challenged at that time … and a Democrat is in the White House now.
07 April 2010
05 April 2010
This became apparent when various large businesses responded to the enactment of Obamacare by taking accounting steps to reflect tax changes brought about by the new health care legislation. The additional costs created by Obamacare, conveniently enough, weren't going to strike until later, after the November elections.
But both Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations require companies to account for these changes as soon as they learn about them. As the Atlantic's Megan McArdle wrote:
"What AT&T, Caterpillar, et al did was appropriate. It's earnings season, and they offered guidance about , um, their earnings."So once Obamacare passed, massive corporate write-downs were inevitable.
They were also bad publicity for Obamacare, and they seem to have come as an unpleasant shock to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who immediately scheduled congressional hearings for April 21, demanding that the chief executive officers of AT&T, John Deere, and Caterpillar, among others, come and explain themselves.
Obamacare was supposed to provide unicorns and rainbows: How can it possibly be hurting companies and killing jobs? Surely there's some sort of Republican conspiracy.
01 April 2010
Cherry-picking solitary slogans he finds offensive out of thousands of posters and blindly accepting charges of racism without a shred of evidence, King indulges in his own bigotry and basks in the hatred of a caricature he has created about an Other he refuses to know.
For not sharing his desire to spend someone else’s money, King libels your friends and neighbors as heirs to a craven ideology.
King’s cowardly refusal to engage anything more substantial than a strawman is a common shortcoming among the would-be intelligentsia. A day earlier in the New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman labeled the majority of Americans opposed to ObamaCare as “right-wingers” and “extremists” dedicated to “eliminationist” rhetoric, obliquely asserting that the controversial legislation was only opposed by would-be terrorists.
Quite purposefully and without shame, he turns a deaf ear to the cacophony of assassination fantasies his compatriots fetishized during the previous eight years.
A friend of mine has taken to mocking the occasionally poor grammar found in some of the signs carried at Tea Party events. I wonder if he'd propose some use-of-language litmus test to precede the granting of First Amendment rights (that was tried about 70 years ago in Germany). God know the SEIU would never stand for use of English as a precursor for individual rights, even for the non-citizens it purports to represent.
Some more from my hero VDH:
For the once-giddy Left, which misinterpreted the causes of the Obama landmark victory, the current pushback is seen as somehow terribly unfair, and thus arise both their own furor and their amnesia about their own past attitudes during the Bush years. I think ultimately many "progressives," adherents to relativism, feel that the past furor over Bush in all its creepy manifestations was justified because of who Bush was; but that a similar methodology (or, in fact, far softer manifestations) of dissent toward Obama is unacceptable because of who Obama is (i.e. one can act rudely toward clearly bad people, but not rudely toward unquestionably "good" people). It is that simple.
26 March 2010
Perhaps I’m exposing myself as a starry-eyed idealist, but is not incumbent upon university officials like Houle to encourage a free and open exchange of ideas, no matter how loathsome some thin-skinned students might find them? And if the poor dears of the University of Ottawa suspect that they might be “offended” by Coulter, might I recommend that they retire to their dorm with an Antonio Gramsci book?
Sameena Topan, a conflict studies and human rights major who spoke to the Ottawa Citizen “on behalf of a group of protesters,” gloated that “we accomplished what we were here to do, to ensure that we don’t have her discriminatory rhetoric on our campus.” It is good to see that the University of Ottawa, which provides a salary to mad 9/11 truthers like Michel Chossudovsky, is teaching its students that to resolve conflicts and agitate for human rights, one only needs to prevent speech they deem “discriminatory.”
"We stand on guard for thee" has never rung less true.
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.
"An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying."
"That level of debt is extremely problematic, particularly given the upward debt path beyond the 10-year budget window," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
22 March 2010
- The “reconciliation bill” is not a “health bill” but an anti-health bill. It relies heavily on price controls, taxes and fines to punish doctors, hospitals and formerly innovative companies the produce prescription drugs and medical devices. If we treated farmers, food companies and grocery stores the way Congress threatens to treat the health industries would anybody expect food to become better or cheaper?
- The 3.8% tax on both labor and investment income is not a “Medicare tax.” It’s surtax on income that goes into the slush fund, not the Medicare trust.
- The bill could not possibly cost “only” $940 billion unless it contained a sunset provision — repealing the law after 2019.
Fortunately, the welfare state that we have inherited is visibly bankrupt in more than one way. Medicare in its current form is unsustainable; Social Security is no longer viable. The cohort of retirees is growing ever larger, and they live on and on. The cohort of those within the work force is not growing at a faster rate. Taxes can perhaps be raised but if they are raised too much they will choke off investment, get in the way of economic growth, cease to bring in the revenue requisite for supporting our entitlement programs.
21 March 2010
- There is dancing and rejoicing, which is stupid, because no one knows what's going to be voted on. No one knows what's in it because the president never put the proceedings on C-SPAN or put the bill on the internet like he said over and over and over.
- It's sickening to me that those who are cheering this have no sense of shame or embarrassment over how this all went down.
- What will run out first; the money to pay for such folly, or the ink it will require to document the bribes, pay-offs and kick-backs.
- Bart Stupak got OWNED by Obama's executive order bullshit; pro-life . . . what a fool.
- From this point forward, the political left NEVER gets to complain about how the opposition may ram through future legislation.
- I never want to see or hear legacy media ever waste my time with any more weepy stories about how ANYONE isn't fit and healthy, can't get health care or that the whole shebang is out of money.
20 March 2010
On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced it was increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations for local agriculture and jobs. The timing adds to our suspicions.
According to the Interior announcement, "Typically (the Bureau of) Reclamation would release the March allocation update around March 22nd, but moved up the announcement at the urging of Senators (Diane) Feinstein and (Barbara) Boxer, and Congressmen (Jim) Costa and (Dennis) Cardoza."
Blue Dog Democrats Costa, who represents California's 20th Congressional District (Fresno), and Cardoza, who represents the 18th (Stockton to Modesto), are both listed as "undecided" in the upcoming vote on health care reform, whether it be on the Senate bill itself or the "deem and pass" resolution known as the Slaughter rule, after Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter.
The rule subverts the Constitution by allowing the bill to pass without members actually having to vote on it. Interior's announcement gives Costa and Cardoza something to assuage the wrath of angry constituents just in time for any vote. They chose what was behind door number one.
The 2-inch-long delta smelt, a fish destined for the Endangered Species list, plugs the drains releasing water to the farmlands. So to protect it, environmentalists filed lawsuits and the decision was made to restrict the water flow and safeguard the smelt, even if that meant turning some of America's best farmland into the functional equivalent of Death Valley.
More on the bribed Democrats in Nebraska and Louisiana filth here.
And since were talking about breaking every rule in order to get His Majesty's legacy made, there's this:
The White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle has been feverishly sending out unsolicited email messages to federal employees in an effort to build support for President Barack Obama’s health reform package over the last several weeks.
DeParle’s unsolicited emails have been regularly coming to some federal employees’ official government email inboxes for weeks without permission or request, causing some federal employees to feel threatened by the overt political language.
The Department of State employees, who receive hundreds of official government emails every day, have complained about the annoying and partisan emails but are nervous to go public for fear of retribution. The emails are addressed to the federal employees by name and use the official .gov address.
Oh, and since we're still here:
If we pass this thing, no American politician, left or right, is going to cut any of these programs, or raise the broad-based taxes necessary to pay for them, without any compensating goodies to offer the public . . . until the crisis is almost upon us. I can think of no situation, other than impending crisis, in which such a thing has been done--and usually, as with Social Security, they have done just little enough to kick the problem down the road. The idea that you pass a program of dubious sustainability because you can always make it sustainable later, seems borderline insane. I can't think of a single major entitlement that has become more sustainable over time. Why is this one supposed to be different?
18 March 2010
(Obama's) telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to know. Whatever their sins, insurers are mainly intermediaries; they pass along the costs of the delivery system. In 2009, the largest 14 insurers had profits of roughly $9 billion; that approached 0.4 percent of total health spending of $2.472 trillion. This hardly explains high health costs. What people need to know is that Obama's plan evades health care's major problems and would worsen the budget outlook. It's a big new spending program when government hasn't paid for the spending programs it already has.
On the eve of the House of Representatives push to jam through the misguided and highly unpopular Senate health care bill, , the President continues to try and convince the American people that the health care bill would reduce cost while showing his commitment to creating jobs and improving the economy. The raw facts make it clear that he cannot keep either of these promises.
14 March 2010
Remember what the Enlightenment Gang says; "she's not a woman, she's a Republican!"
I used to dismiss these contradictions as simply hypocrisy, but perhaps these people are angry at Palin because of her perceived similarities to Barack Obama, not in spite of them. They need someplace to ground the lightning of their frustration and disappointment, and they’re not allowed to be angry at Obama. They wear a set of rusty intellectual chains that require them to believe all criticism of Obama is racist, or paid for by his fat-cat arch-enemies. Accepting the notion that government power is morally superior to free enterprise, and a virtuous nation therefore has a very large government, requires belief in the masters of the State as titans of mind and spirit. How could a gigantic State be morally defensible, if its leaders aren’t supermen? If you find yourself suspecting the architect of the largest, most expensive government America has ever known might not be as smart or wise as you were led to believe last November, your entire world-view is threatened.
It’s very important for liberals to deflect those suspicions onto a designated, culturally approved target. Sarah Palin is a convenient hate fetish for increasingly nervous and confused Left, because she embodies the qualities of the red-state America they loathe… and serves as a voodoo doll for uncomfortable criticisms of Obama, which they project onto her. As events continue to demonstrate those criticisms were far more important than any of the superficial or imaginary reasons they voted for him, they’ll jab pins into that voodoo doll with increasing fury, even though the object of their anger now spends her days working for a news network none of them would be caught dead watching.
Read it all. It reveals quite a lot about those who, when talking about Sarah Palin, wind up with a bit of spittle on the corner of their mouths.
13 March 2010
There will be transformative applications that need all the bandwidth they can get. Medical, Transportation, Defense, Gaming, Simulations and who knows what. As computers become more powerful, we need to be able to send more data to the cloud where they can crunch data and return it to us.
That is the value of an open internet. The things we cant imagine today. The applications that are just dreams because they dont have enough horsepower and bandwidth to work today. I want the internet to be a platform for amazing. Not Gilligan’s Island reruns.
In the event some form of ubiquitous entertainment comes first , takes over the net and saturates it, how is the FCC going to solve the bandwidth traffic jam ? They wont ever be able to put the bandwidth genie back in the bottle. Screaming at broadband providers to spend the money wont work any better than screaming to expand highways helps to alleviate rush hour traffic.
10 March 2010
These supposedly smart college students aren't smart enough to connect the dots; perhaps they're so desperate to be provided an education:
Hundreds of University of California students rallied against a 32% tuition hike last week. Let's hope their future employers get a better work product. With just a little research, the students could have discovered that compensation packages won from the state by unions were a big reason for the hike.In 1999, the Democratic legislature ran a reckless gamble that makes Wall Street's bankers look cautious. At the top of a bull market, they assumed their investment returns would grow at a 8.25% rate in perpetuity—equivalent to assuming that the Dow would reach 25,000 by 2009—and enacted a huge pension boon for public-safety and industrial unions.
The bill refigured the compensation formula for pension benefits of all public-safety employees who retired on or after January 1, 2000. It let firefighters retire at age 50 and receive 3% of their final year's compensation times the number of years they worked.
In 2002, the state legislature further extended benefits to many nonsafety classifications, such as milk and billboard inspectors. More than 15,000 public employees have retired with annual pensions greater than $100,000.
In the last decade, government worker pension costs (not including health care) have risen to $3 billion from $150 million, a 2,000% jump, while state revenues have increased by 24%. Because the stock market didn't grow the way the legislature predicted in 1999, the only way to cover the skyrocketing costs of these defined-benefit pension plans has been to cut other programs (and increase taxes).Memo to marching students: The governor can't save you. You guys need a new legislature. This one is selling you out. Organize an opposition and vote them out in November. Plan B is quit school and become a state billboard inspector.
06 March 2010
In the 5 minutes it took to de-ice us this morning, they used 42 gallons (158L) of heated Type I Oh, did I mention it's $16.95/gallon ($4.49/L)? That adds up when they fire the stuff out of a cannon, in this case to the tune of $712. That's about $20 for every second they sprayed us.
I know that sounds outrageous, but it was actually a lot cheaper to deice in Omaha than in our home base of Toronto Pearson, where the airport association has a monopoly on de-icing facilities and they jack the price outrageously because they can. Last time we got de-iced in Toronto, the bill was $2,500.00. Still, it's better than trying to fly an iced-up plane and littering the countryside with aircraft parts, so that's what we'll continue to do.
04 March 2010
A shot of Victor for your thoughts:
To drive through downtown Santa Barbara is to count the amazing variety of Volvo, Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW SUVs — and wonder where the gasoline comes from, as off-shore drilling declines. You get the picture — our top echelons have become quite prissy. The redwood deck is beloved, not the falling coast redwood tree; kitchen granite counters are de rigueur, not the blasting at the top of the granite mountain; the Prius is a badge of honor, not the chemical plant that makes its batteries; we now like stainless steel frigs, but hate steel’s coke, and iron ore, and electricity lines; arugula is tasty, not the canal that brings water 400 miles to irrigate it; I support teacher unions and -studies courses in the public schools, but not with my Ivy-League bound children.
At the other end of the social spectrum, the underclass seems to be growing. I don’t expect to see much cash at mega-supermarkets in my area. Food stamps — and yet expensive food — are the norm. The school systems of California’s major cities are broken; the wealthy praise them and flee, and the poor complain about their inadequacy, but insist on the sort of identity “pride” politics curriculum and staffing that ensure the inadequacy.
It is taboo to ask our failing youth a simple question, “What exactly have you done the last month to ensure your birthright to the world’s most sophisticated lifestyle propped up by advanced math, science, social stability, and political tranquility?”
02 March 2010
Stop voting for people who treat me as such:
I doubt very many liberals see themselves as children in need of the government’s guidance. Instead they see themselves as the parents who know how to properly guide everyone else. People don’t pass laws against trans fats because they’re afraid they themselves will eat unhealthily otherwise; those types of laws are for everyone else the liberals feel they need to forcefully parent for their own good. While the adult freedoms are freedoms we want for ourselves, the child freedoms are mainly inflicted on others we imagine need our control for their own betterment.
This is where the progressive European governments and the backwards Islamic governments share a similarity: they are both concerned with what their citizens may do without the government’s interference — the Europeans are worried about non-PC behavior, and the Islamic governments are worried about influences from the West and other religions. The end result is both types of government feel they have the right to treat their citizens like children in need of direction.
The United States of America was supposed to be different.
94 percent of the state's SWAT deployments were used to serve search or arrest warrants, leaving just 6 percent in response to the kinds of barricades, bank robberies, hostage takings, and emergency situations for which SWAT teams were originally intended.Oversight - THAT is why you vote, folks.
Worse even than those dreary numbers is the fact that more than half of the county’s SWAT deployments were for misdemeanors and nonserious felonies. That means more than 100 times last year Prince George’s County brought state-sanctioned violence to confront people suspected of nonviolent crimes. And that's just one county in Maryland.The use of these paramilitary police units has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, by 1,000 percent or more, resulting in the drastic militarization of police. It's a trend that seems to have escaped much media and public notice, let alone informed debate about policies and oversight procedures.
27 February 2010
The heroic nine-year-old black labrador twice averted catastrophe by seeking out rigged devices with his handler Sergeant Dave Heyhoe.
And today loyal Treo — who is now retired — was handed the highest honour for a military dog, the Dickin Medal, by animal charity PDSA.
Devoted Treo saw frontline action patrolling with soldiers in Sangin, Afghanistan, in 2008 — dashing into danger with his super-sensitive nose to sniff out deadly devices."They give a unique contribution to the troops on the ground searching for these devices on a daily basis.
"This medal is a unique honour for all of our dog handlers, particularly all the military working dogs and their handlers that are serving in Afghanistan."
Islamist militants have attacked a village in the southern Philippines, killing at least 11 people, military officials have said. About 70 members of Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda, raided Tubigan village on the southern island of Basilan, an army spokeswoman said.
Lt Steffani Cacho said homes had been raked with gunfire and set ablaze in a pre-dawn attack.
Most of the victims were still asleep when they were strafed and then their houses were torched," he said.
I guess the Filipino people there just aren't Muslim ENOUGH for these animals.
15 February 2010
For they speak the truth:
In good times and bad, in economic sickness or economic health, government keeps spending more of your money. In recent years, policymakers, legislative commissions and state economists found a further troubling trend: long-term demographic changes threaten the state's fiscal well-being, especially public health spending expectations for the needs of retiring and disabled individuals.
If you make $40,000 this year, you don't set a larger budget for next year based on the possibility that you will make more money. You certainly can't storm into your boss's office during a recession and demand a 20 percent raise to meet your lofty spending visions. But that is exactly what government does. It sets a budget based on what it hopes to have, and comes calling for more of your money if that hope turns out to be wrong.
We expect vociferous opposition from our colleagues who benefit by promising out pieces of the government's ever-expanding checkbook. They will warn of doom and disaster if our amendment passes, but they fail to recognize the peril of continuing our broken system.
We are simply asking voters to set the maximum amount for government to spend. The Legislature will still retain the flexibility to debate how much under that limit would be spent for education, public safety and other priorities. We will also ensure the proposal allows us to meet our needs during times of extraordinary crisis or emergencies.
Honestly - try arguing against this outlook.
Honestly - try arguing against this outlook.
03 February 2010
According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. The following are highlights from the recent release of about 2,000 documents:
- Speaker Pelosi used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. The average cost of an international CODEL is $228,563.33. Of the 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations (CODEL), 31 trips included members of the House Speaker’s family.
- One CODEL traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, “to discuss matters of mutual concern with government leaders” included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. Purchases for the CODEL included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
- According to a “Memo for Record” from a March 29—April 7, 2007, CODEL that involved a stop in Israel, “CODEL could only bring Kosher items into the Hotel. Kosher alcohol for mixing beverages in the Delegation room was purchased on the local economy i.e. Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, Gin, Triple Sec, Tequila, etc.”
- The Department of Defense advanced a CODEL of 56 members of Congress and staff $60,000 to travel to Louisiana and Mississippi July 19-22, 2008, to “view flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina.” The three-day trip cost the U.S. Air Force $65,505.46, exceeding authorized funding by $5,505.46.
(A)s union membership has grown in government, so has union clout in pushing politicians (especially but not solely Democrats) for higher wages and benefits. This is why labor chiefs Andy Stern (SEIU) and Rich Trumka (AFL-CIO) could order Democrats to exempt unions from ObamaCare's tax increase on high-cost health insurance plans. To the extent Democrats have become the party of government, they have become ever more beholden to public unions.
The problem for democracy is that this creates a self-reinforcing cycle of higher spending and taxes. The unions help elect politicians, who repay the unions with more pay and benefits and dues-paying members, who in turn help to re-elect those politicians.
20 January 2010
I wish I could have written so succinctly about how I felt about W back in 2006:
In the campaign, (Obama) said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.
Five states got deals on health care—one of them was Harry Reid’s. It is disgusting, just disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. It’s a bizarre form of political corruption. It’s bribery. I suppose they could say, that’s the system. He was supposed to change it or try to change it.
I’m very disappointed. We endorsed him. I voted for him. I supported him publicly and privately.The political leadership of the world is very, very dismayed. He better turn it around. The Democrats are going to get killed in this election. Jesus, looks what’s happening in Massachusetts.
14 January 2010
President Obama has not held a full news conference at the White House since July 22, the night he said that the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.
Since then, the president has delivered dozens of speeches and taken a few questions from reporters while with world leaders on foreign trips. But, lately, it is rare for him to take questions from the media at events or meetings at the White House.
In fact, today's Biden schedule highlight is a meeting with the chief of transparency for economic recovery. But, unfortunately, the transparency meeting is non-transparent, closed to the press. (See his full schedule below.) Which makes it -- what? -- secret openness? Open secrecy?
DAILY GUIDANCE FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT, Thursday, January 14, 2010:In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. These briefings are closed press.
At 11:30 AM, the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This meeting is closed press.
Afterwards, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.
At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will meet with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting; gather time is 1:45 PM in the Brady Briefing Room.
Then, at 2:15 PM, the Vice President will meet with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. This meeting is closed press.
09 January 2010
|What. A. Game.|
Mikko Koivu shootout goal
|Chicago||Jonathan Toews shootout saved|
|Minnesota||Guillaume Latendresse shootout miss|
|Chicago||Patrick Kane shootout goal|
|Minnesota||Marek Zidlicky shootout miss|
|Chicago||Marian Hossa shootout miss|
|Minnesota||Antti Miettinen shootout saved|
|Chicago||Patrick Sharp shootout saved|
|Minnesota||Eric Belanger shootout saved|
|Chicago||Kris Versteeg shootout miss|
|Minnesota||Kyle Brodziak shootout miss|
|Chicago||Andrew Ladd shootout miss|
|Minnesota||Cal Clutterbuck shootout saved|
|Chicago||Troy Brouwer shootout saved|
|Minnesota||Owen Nolan shootout goal|
|Chicago||John Madden shootout saved|
06 January 2010
05 January 2010
A slow but methodical march toward the end of society:
(A) civilization becomes incompetent not only when it fails to learn the lessons of its past, but also when it becomes crippled by them. Modern Germany, to pick an example, has learned from its Nazi past to eschew chauvinism and militarism. So far, so good. But today's Multikulti Germany, with its negative birth rate, bloated welfare state and pacifist and ecological obsessions is a dismal rejoinder to its own history. It is conceivable that within a century Germans may actually loathe themselves out of existence.
In the U.S., our civilizational incompetence takes various forms. For instance: No country in the world collects more extensive statistical data about its own population than the U.S. And no country is as conflicted about the uses to which that data may or may not be put than the U.S. So what exactly is the point of all this measuring, collating and parsing?
Our deeper incompetence stems from an inability to recognize the proper limits to our own virtues; to forget, as Aristotle cautioned, that even good things "bring harm to many people; for before now men have been undone by reason of their wealth, and others by reason of their courage."
"Watch the Nice Hand; don't worry about what the Naughty Hand is doing:
Under the "Cornhusker Kickback," the federal government will pay all of Nebraska's new Medicaid costs forever, while taxpayers in the other 49 states will see their budgets explode as this safety-net program for the poor is expanded to one out of every five Americans.
Obviously Congress treats different states differently all the time, via earmarks and the like, but in this case there is simply no plausible argument for some kind of "general" benefit. The only state that gains from special treatment for Nebraska is Nebraska—and this actively harms all other states, which will have fewer tax dollars for their own priorities while effectively subsidizing the Cornhusker state.
The reality is that national taxpayers have subsidized New York and California's social services for years because Medicaid's funding formula rewards higher state spending. That spending helps explain why these two states, plus New Jersey, are in such budget fixes today. But we welcome Mr. Paterson's discovery that redistributing income via progressive taxation is harmful.
04 January 2010
First, they concur with the believers that the Earth has been warming since the end of a Little Ice Age around 1850. The cause of this warming is the question. Believers think the warming is man-made, while the skeptics believe the warming is natural and contributions from man are minimal and certainly not potentially catastrophic a la Al Gore.
Second, skeptics argue that CO2 is not a pollutant but vital for plant life. Numerous field experiments have confirmed that higher levels of CO2 are positive for agricultural productivity. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas. More than 90 percent of the warming from greenhouse gases is caused by water vapor. If you are going to change the temperature of the globe, it must involve water vapor.
Third, and most important, skeptics believe that climate models are grossly overpredicting future warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide. We are being told that numerical models that cannot make accurate 5- to 10-day forecasts can be simplified and run forward for 100 years with results so reliable you can impose an economic disaster on the U.S. and the world.
Life or death matter in Cliff Claven's hands:
If we suffer an anthrax attack, everyone who's been exposed will need antibiotics within three days of the attack. That's within two days of our discovery of the attack, if we're lucky. Every day of delay after that is a death sentence for roughly five or ten percent of those exposed.
How will we get antibiotics in the hands of what could be hundreds of thousands of really worried people? The Administration's answer is contained in an executive order released quietly last week: We'' get the Postal Service to do it.
Whether in Washington, Chicago or Kailua - The situation is being monitored.
It speaks eloquently to the Obama administration's priorities that it took the White House four days to acknowledge the "catastrophic breach of security" that led to the failed bombing of a US-bound jet on Christmas Day - but a scant four hours to accuse Dick Cheney of coddling terrorists.
02 January 2010
Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row.
Mr Westergaard scrambled into a panic room at his home in Aarhus after a man wielding an axe and a knife broke in.
Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali, who they did not name, but said was linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.
There's really no act more selfish than trying to kill another person because they are not devout enough in your eyes.
His house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection. Police said the man had entered Mr Westergaard's house armed with a knife and axe and had shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him. Mr Westergaard ran to a specially designed panic room where he raised the alarm.
Police awareness and passive fortification didn't seem to suffice in this instance.
Fritz Keldsen, deputy chief superintendent of Aarhus city police, told the BBC: "We got the alarm message from this address, yesterday evening. And we came in strong numbers. "When we saw the suspect, he was moving away from the scene. Then he attacked the police patrol. He did that with such skill, that they had to shoot him. "The suspect was armed with an axe and a knife, which he used against the police. The police patrol managed to subdue him, with the use of firearms."
Going after the cops with the axe - somewhere along the line the "religion of peace" somehow got lost on this caveman.
Mr Westergaard told Jyllands Posten he was shocked that his five-year-old granddaughter, who was in the house at the time, had witnessed the attack.
Oh now that's a nice touch; just the memory making that makes time with ones' grandchild very special.