January 31, 2012

Just don't criticize or you're RACIST!

First Lady spends $50,000 in Madison Ave. shopping spree.


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Global warming K-O's Europe

Sub-zero temps slam Europe, more than 50 dead.


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Mutants ruled "not human"

In a decade-long court battle, mutants were ruled "not human" ... or more precisely, they’re not dolls:

Saving the world is ordinary fare for superheroes, especially teams like the Avengers and the X-Men. But one of the biggest battles ever fought in the Marvel universe took place in the real world, a historic fight that lasted 10 years and crossed America.

The clash ended quietly in 2003, with a monumental, six-figure legal ruling by the U.S. government: The X-Men and many other superheroes simply aren’t human.

Or more precisely, they’re not dolls, which, according to the U.S. Customs Bureau, represent “only human beings.” They’re toys, which represent “animals or non-human creatures.”

What’s the difference? Gazillions of dollars.

The U.S. government waded into the “mutant or mortal” battle 19 years ago at ports in Los Angeles and Seattle after Customs officials there classified several large shipments of action figures, including the X-Men, as “dolls” instead of “toys.”

But labeling the figures as “dolls” made importing the X-Men nearly twice as expensive as they would have been as “toys,” facing a 12 percent tax rather than a 6.8 percent tax.

It wasn't that easy, though. "'Humans have eyes, and ears, and mouths, and noses, and legs, and arms,' [lawyer Sherry] Singer explained to FoxNews.com. 'It was other features these figures had that, we believe, made them non-human.'" So, while many superheroes, including mutants, look human enough, characters like the Beast (blue fur), Wolverine (claws) and Hulk (huge, green skin) are, well, "non-human."

Interestingly, in the comics themselves, mutants are human -- they're the next step in human evolution, dubbed "homo sapiens superior." And why did the article use a picture of the Avengers at the top of the article? There's only one character in the pic that could be considered a "non-human creature": The Hulk. From left to right, the Black Widow is "merely" a highly trained super-spy; Thor is a very human-looking alien "god;" Captain America is a medically enhanced regular joe; Iron Man and War Machine (is he even in "The Avengers" movie?) are regular guys in powered suits of armor; and, lastly, Nick Fury is just a regular dude.


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Well, waddya know?

Even though our current Justice Dept. is fighting against state measures that require showing a photo ID when voting (because, you know, such measures "discriminate" against the poor, minorities, and the elderly), back in 2005 a commission led by one Jimmy Carter -- that's right, the former president -- advocated voter ID laws.

The commission, also co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker, called voter identification one of “five pillars” that would “build confidence” in the integrity of federal elections. Only three of the 21 commission members voted against requiring photo identification of voters.

Far from seeing a photo ID requirement as a negative, the commission said it could become a path to even greater access to the ballot.

“To prevent the ID from being a barrier to voting, we recommend that states use the registration and ID process to enfranchise more voters than ever,” the executive summary of the commission’s report states. “States should play an affirmative role in reaching out to non-drivers by providing more offices, including mobile ones, to register voters and provide photo IDs free of charge. There is likely to be less discrimination against minorities if there is a single, uniform ID, than if poll workers can apply multiple standards.”

Of course, even this won't stop the usual "progressive" groups from blasting such laws. In an age when virtually anything is dubbed "racist," something that even remotely impacts minorities (seemingly negatively) will also be so dubbed.

(h/t to Insty.)


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Those quickest to invoke "racism" ...

... seem to be the quickest to actually engage in it. Case in point: Politico's Jonathan Martin on M-BS-NBC refers to the Florida panhandle as "Cracker Counties."

This is M-BS-NBC, folks. Where tax policy = racism.
Where saying someone's name the "wrong way" = racism.
Where pointing at the president = segregated schools.
Where having a presidential debate on Martin Luther King Day = racism.

But calling certain counties an epithet for white people? "Journalism."


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Income inequality is all good now.

One of the frequent cries of anguish from everyone to the left of well, me is that income inequality is a Very Bad Thing and needs to be stopped.  In fact, I would argue the the animating force behind leftist politics today is addressing this by force of law.  In Bizaaro Lefty Econ world economics is zero sum.  If you have more, you must have taken it from someone who now has less.  Also it is inevitable that this money was taken from lower income people and given to/stolen by upper income people.  KAVIP's constant refrain is that if we could only go back to the Clinton era all would be well.  Odd that the liberals are now the ones who want to stand athwart history yelling "stop!" Well the good news is that the income inequality gap is now back to Clinton era levels. I expect this matter to be closed and hear no more whining about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor.


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Too long for a comment so let's have an old fashioned Fisking

Our favorite DE Leftist is KAVIPS (Pipe down Don Viti, you're a populist above all else).   I like him because I know there's a reasonable guy in there somewhere he just loses the script more often than he should.  Here's on recent post that exemplifies his ramblings:

The Way Out! A Tale Of Two Chinas And Two Americas « kavips

Here is the rough outline. A) We elect no Republicans in 2012.

No.  Even you don't want that because any party that runs all three branches gets lazy, sloppy and even more corrupt than usual.

B) They pass labor laws determining a true-value wage. Two thirds of that person’s annual wage needs to be able to provide for living quarters, food, utilities, and medical insurance. After all required expenses have been met, 1/3 of each employees income should be left as discretionary income… This is pretty much what most US families had during the nineties. It is affordable because businesses prospered then too.

So no taxes for anyone then?  How exactly are these "necessities" calculated?  What is the proper amount for a mortgage?  How much food am I allowed to buy?  Is internet access a necessity or discretionary?  Where are the charts, graphs or facts that support your claim that this was the norm in the 90's?

C) Ugh. The math… (Skip this if math bores you) .. Which means that if a single person can barely make ends meet on $20,000, the standard should be $30,000 here in the US.. Likewise for families, if $40,000 is required, then $60,000 should be the average.. Of course New York and California would be higher paid than say North Dakota or Alaska.. That is the basic gist of it… This cost then becomes a cost of the manufactured product….

So you're in favor of wage controls.  Great.  Please explain how you prevent the cost of goods from changing in value along with the pay adjustments.  Are wage controls for all business or just manufacturing?  How do you delineate between one area and another?  Where does the NY salary wage area end?  White Plains or does it go all the way to Buffalo and beyond?  Someone in Oneonta would be quite a bit better off than somone in Manhattan.  Is it your plan to drive manufacturing out of NY and California or is that just a lucky benefit?

D) We hold all businesses doing business in the United States to this principal, no matter where their products get made… Of course we don’t use the same monetary figures, just the same principal… If in Egypt, one can live on $7,000, it is fair to pay them $10,000. Quite possibly, in parts of Africa, one could pay someone $5,000 a year and keep within the same principals. For companies who try to import products made by desperate people in desperate situations, we impose the old custom’s duty, to make them equally as expensive as those made elsewhere, thereby negating any economic advantage to undercut the system.

So you want a trade war?  Import duties are usually met with in kind reprisals making US goods much more expensive.  Oh, and the cost of everything you buy just doubled.  That $500 iPad is not $1000.  And your wage earning making $40,000 has just had his purchasing power cut in half.  So now we have to double his wages to keep pace with the cost of living.  Which then means more import duty which raises the cost of goods which means we have to raise his wages again.  I'm sensing a pattern here.

E) I know the word tariff sends up a red flag to Free Trade-ists. It means that we no longer worrying ourselves about how much a company can maximize its profit; that concern has become secondary. instead, we are concerned about the welfare of those human beings actually working in that country’s manufacturing industry.

You are free to start your own company to do that.  Otherwise you have to fundamentally change the charter of every business you're talking about.  There are entities that are focused on the people and not the corporation.  They're called unions.  When they're in charge you get what we had in the 1970's.  Bloated lazy luddite workforce churning out crappy and expensive products that nobody wants.

F) And for the Free Trade-ists, we are invoking the Free Trade Principals in just a different way. As always, we have said a corporation should have the right to sell and cross borders to trade at a spot that gives them a lower cost… That is what free trade is. We are now, invoking the same rational, but instead of using “cost” as our measuring stick we are attempting to do that with something called the “quality of life”… We are stating: for free trade to occur, “quality of life” must be equal or monetary penalties will be placed raising the cost of that product so they will be…

So now you're an isolationist.  One might go so far as to say racist.  After all very very few people in Africa or South Asia have the quality of life you do.  There's a reason workers are lining up to work at Foxconn.  The alternative is worse.  Your policies would ensure they never had a chance to join the industrialization revolution.

G) This will be good for China. China needs to raise their cost on which they compete or they will implode. Historically that always happens; the peasants revolt. The best prevention is to fix the problem beforehand. Reading the article above, the one about Foxcomm, one can see that without changes, probably within ten years, China will go down in a massive internal turmoil, UNLESS those in its manufacturing sector are given better working conditions. They need a union movement of their own. Ha, ha: they could look to their own founding Communist philosophy on this one…. if they wanted to see what the future will bring if you run government at the whims of large corporations…

Now you're deciding what's best for China.  Wow.  Is this part of that "smart diplomacy" your team was talking about?  China has a great many problems and workers wages is but a small one.

H) Obviously, things will not be as cheap from China, if this goes through. The increased cost of labor to the manufacturer, will be shared in half by a price increase to the final consumer, and the other half by a loss in corporate profit.

So you've analyzed the balance sheets of all these companies and have determined they have the ability to absorb a 50% loss in revenue?  What's to prevent these businesses from simply deciding it's not worth it and quitting.  Or just leaving to produce their product overseas where they aren't bound by our regulations.  You could argue they'd lose the US market but that still leaves the whole rest of the world.  Then you'd see the voters turn on you and you're out of office and now it's too late to bring them back.  See also; textiles industry, American.

But the balance of that cost to our economy is: more people will be working in this country. The loss of corporate profits to the labor movement did not create the Depression! It worked us out of it!… The higher the wages, the more money spent. The more money spent, the more things manufactured. The more things manufactured the more people employed. The more people employed the higher the wages. The higher the wages…. the more money spent…

Actually no. Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years. "Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies." In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

We begin the cycle pulling us out …. So through the juxtapositioning of these two articles, the light has been shown from the end of the tunnel… The way back to prosperity is to pay American workers more. The way to do that is to negate the advantage of paying the Chinese less. The way to do that, is to pass an import tax that raises foreign manufactured items to a rate that allows foreign workers to live with the same amount of discretionary income left over after their necessary expenses, as we would wish upon ourselves. That is the silver bullet, and it surely won’t happen as long as Republicans can block it. Which is why, we need to remove enough corporate sponsored politicians from office, both Democratic and Republican, so We, The People once again, can have a free hand.

You also fail to understand that protectionism leads not only to tarrif wars but to a decline in product quality.  The protected industries just cut their cost of production to increase the gap between cost and tarrif.  That cost reduction comes in the form of either fewer jobs or cheaper products.  Cars in the 70's sucked.  They got better in the 80's and now they're amazing.  Why?  American cars now have to compete with the rest of the world.  


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January 30, 2012

The issue is hereby solved

Obama IS the "food stamp" president. His very own Secretary of Agriculture SAYS so. Right here:

Did you hear that? Not only are food stamps an "economic stimulus(!!)," the administration has been pushing the program to the states. And all this time Obama (and his willing accomplices in the media) have been either chastising the GOP presidential candidates for their "racial code words" when they invoke the food stamp expansion, or for "distorting history" because, of course, George W. Bush supposedly really began the expansion of food stamps.


Posted by Hube at 05:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Just don't call it a hate crime!!

Tale of a brutal assault on a cabbie and passenger in Philly:

In a horrific assault in Center City Saturday night, three teenagers who were spouting off racial slurs pulled a man out of a cab to beat him and when the cab driver intervened to stop the assault, the teens turned their rage on him, according to police.

Around 8:23 p.m., a Liberty Taxi cab was stopped at a red light at 15th and Chestnut streets when two 17-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy approached the cab and started calling the male passenger in the back seat racially derogatory names, police said.

The boys then threw an unknown liquid at the cab before they opened the door and pulled the passenger out and started pummeling him, according to police.

Police said the three teens were black and the cabbie and passenger were white. Police did not immediately know if the teens would or could face hate crime charges.

Of course, the logical question is "why?" There's nothing to indicate an "economic" motive -- ie, robbery -- in the crime; it seems to be a straight up racially motivated attack. I seriously doubt the police wouldn't "immediately know if the teens would or could face hate crime charges" if the colors of attackers and victims were reversed.


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Petard. Hoisted.

NBC's main anchor dude, Brian Williams, asked his "Nightly News" audience Thursday night about Arizona Gov. Brewer pointing her finger at President Obama: "Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this?"

Answer -- Brian Williams:

7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Also, finger pointing. That photo everybody was talking about today. Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this and what was this all about?

7:06PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: All of this takes us to the photo everybody's been talking about today. The governor of Arizona with her finger in the face of the President of the United States. You don't see that often or maybe ever.

Unless you're a Republican president being grilled by a self-righteous member of the mainstream media, that is.


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Tom Friedman ...

... probably scored under 10 on this quiz. And here's why: Back on the 26th we noted how the longest-serving Communist dictator in the world called the GOP candidates running for president a bunch of idiots; now, the NY Times' Friedman opines that this is actually a big deal:

THE Associated Press reported last week that Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba, wrote an opinion piece on a Cuban Web site, following a Republican Party presidential candidates’ debate in Florida, in which he argued that the “selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is — and I mean this seriously — the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been.”

When Marxists are complaining that your party’s candidates are disconnected from today’s global realities, it’s generally not a good sign. But they’re not alone.

And he's serious. And who better than Mark Steyn to set this insanity straight:

Aside from the minor detail that Marxists have been complaining about the disconnect between pro-market political parties and “global reality” since the original Marxist sat in the Reading Room of the British Library riffing on the internal contradictions of capitalism, I was struck by Mr Friedman’s sparkling way with words. I’m not a credentialed Professor of Prose Style at Columbia School of Journalism or anything, but, for the “it’s generally not a good sign”/”you know you’ve got a problem” cliche to work, doesn’t the bit before it have to be something unexpected or unwanted? “When Fidel Castro’s hailing the GOP platform as just the ticket, it’s generally not a good sign.” That sort of thing.

Instead, Friedman goes on to peddle his usual globalist soft-core erotica, none of which Castro would support and none of which his enslaved people have any access to.

Ye gad. The last thing I expected -- even from the NY Times -- was giving Marxists credit for their complaints about presidential candidates.


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January 29, 2012

What Media Bias?

This is a Breaking News email from CNN:

A jury in Kingston, Ontario, on Sunday convicted three members of a Montreal family in "honor" murders of four relatives, according to CNN Canada affiliate CTV.

Mohammed Shafia, 58; his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 42; and their son, Hamed, 21, were convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of Shafia's three teenage daughters and his first wife in his polygamous marriage.

The family members were all recent immigrants to Canada from Afghanistan.

The three Shafia sisters -- Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 -- were found dead inside a car that plunged into the Rideau Canal in Kingston on June 30, 2009. Shafia's first wife, 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad, also died.

Investigators said that hours of wiretapped conversations revealed a premeditated plan to punish rebellious, Westernized daughters and their permissive advocate, Rona Amir Mohammad.

Is there any other information that might provide insight on this horrible crime? Like, maybe the guilty were motivated by their Islamic faith. If they had been motivated by Christianty, does anyone doubt that would have been front and center of the story?


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Idiots deluxe

M-BS-NBC idiot Chris Matthews asks "Is Mitt Romney just too damn rich?"

I wonder: did Matthews wonder the same thing about his hero -- John F. Kennedy -- in his adulating book? Not to mention Matthews himself -- his salary is $5 million per year!


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Take this test now

I had seen this at Volokh earlier this week, but didn't have time to blog about it. Then Joanne Jacobs posted about it yesterday. It's a little quiz conjured up by Charles Murray to determine how "in touch" you are with working and middle class values. Murray "argues that a new elite class has emerged that is much more ignorant about the lives of ordinary Americans than were the elites of earlier generations." This fits in with precisely what Bernie Goldberg frequently argues regarding the mainstream media's inherent liberal tilt -- they just cannot relate to what is important to blue collar America. (And this, in my opinion, accounts largely for the meteoric rise in the popularity of Fox News.)

I scored a 53 on the quiz. I basically fall into this category: "A first- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and moviegoing habits. Range: 42–100. Typical: 66."


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Tax policy now = racism and sexism

Remember, this is the network that ditched Pat Buchanan because of his extremism, but gave this clown his own show:


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Four months away

Via Screen Rant:


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January 28, 2012

Our budget woes explained in one simple graphic

(h/t: Doug Ross.)


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Chuckle-Inducers of the Day

Elizabeth Warren, US Senate candidate from Massachusetts and so-called "founder" of the Occupy movement, laughingly claims that she's not one of the wealthy. Even though, y'know, she lives in a $5 million house, made "$429,000 from Harvard last year alone for a total of about $700,000." She also has stocks and bonds worth about $8 million. Check the vid:

Like how she stuck in there quickly that "I'm not one of them?" Cheeyeah, right. Just another limousine lib who doesn't practice what they preach. *YAWN*

Then there's M-BS-NBC's Dylan Ratigan who hosts a so-called “30 Million Jobs Tour” at, of all places, a five-star resort. As James Crugnale reports,

He opened his program saying: “You see poverty, despair, service jobs or no jobs, you come here, and it’s the globalization of Miami Beach,” Huh? All I saw was Ratigan, sprawled out with guests Krystal Ball, Ari Melber and Touré clad in shades from Persol.

Just last October, Ratigan cast himself as an everyman when he visited the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park.

“We are at a moment where it is just ‘us.’ We are just one enormous group of people, not in this square, but in this planet and in this country!” Ratigan exclaimed. “All of us are Tea Partiers on some level, all of us are occupiers, all of us are that intention which is the frustration with the world that lacks fairness.”

I am sure those people were welcome to join in to sit poolside, sipping a mixture of light rum, creme de almond and triple sec from a krazystraw.

Check out all the "caring" progressives opining from the lap of luxury:


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January 27, 2012

Delaware's own Joe Biden

You know how it goes by now: If 'ol Joe was a Republican, the mainstream media would be on this story for at least a week. But, that same MSM has been busy anyway, y'know, ferreting out "racism" that's "within" practically anything someone in the GOP says (especially the presidential candidates). Nah, this isn't offensive is it?

Hat tip to American Glob, who also reminds us what Biden said before about Indian Americans in his home state (unfortunately, it's my state, too).


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Thanks for the black eye

Photo of sleeping Mustang substitute teacher investigated is a headline today at The Oklahoman. Yep -- a 9th grade student snapped a pic of a sleeping substitute teacher with a cell phone camera ... and was then suspended. Why? Cell phones, while permitted on campus, aren't allowed to be taken in class. Not to mention that the kid promptly posted the pic on a social media site.

What do 'ya think about this? My first principal (whom I worked for) had a saying -- "Rules with a human face." The result of this student's actions was a positive: He showed that the school had hired a lemon substitute teacher whose actions endangered a whole class of kids. The kid's principal has, according to the article, discretion on what disciplinary action to take against the photographer. Is suspension a little too harsh? If this kid's past discipline record is unblemished, I believe it is. If it's not, it's probably justified. What I would have done was go to the administration with the pic, and said, "Hey -- look at what we had to deal with in class today. I know I'm not supposed to take out my cell phone in class, but these were unusual circumstances." I doubt there would have been any consequences in doing that.


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Further proof no one watches MSNBC

Hilarious -- watch as none of the three contestants on "Jeopardy" last night recognizes Rachel Maddow in the category "A Real Rhodes Scholars":

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters wonders if Maddow's MSNBC show has made her less recognizable; in 2009, Maddow was the answer to another "Jeopardy" question, and that time it was answered -- and correctly.


Posted by Hube at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If you didn't know this was coming by now, you're living in a cave

M-BS-NBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's photographed "confrontation" with President Obama on the tarmac:

The fact is, when I see that still, I cannot help but to be reminded of the still photograph that was captured in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, of the young woman Hazel screaming at a young Elizabeth Eckford on her way trying to get into Little Rock High School, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. And the reason I bring up that image is because what we’ve come to know about Hazel in the years later is that as a young woman, Hazel, the young woman who was screaming at Elizabeth Eckford, was not herself sort of particularly, you know, full of racial animus or anything like that. But she was, she was caught up in this moment of racial anxiety, of making this point against these people who were coming in and trying to force their way into the school, and she sort of enjoyed the show or being able to yell at Elizabeth Eckford in this moment. But that image captured all of the ugliness, all of the nastiness of the larger political milieu, and I feel that this picture does as well.

Here's the pic Harris-Perry is talking about:

And here's the "infamous" pic of Gov. Brewer and Obama:

Now, if Harris-Perry feels that "... image captured all of the ugliness, all of the nastiness of the larger political milieu," how does she reconcile

  • that it was Obama who reportedly "started" things by chastising Brewer for how she portrayed him in her book Scorpions for Breakfast.
  • that it was Obama's Justice Dept. that sued her state for its supposedly "tough" immigration law -- a law which, arguably, will be upheld by the US Supreme Court because it really doesn't do anything beyond what it's supposed to do.
  • that it's Obama who has the "power" if you're looking at this from a "racist" angle. Liberal "racers" like Harris-Perry like to point this out all the time -- that racism also has a "power structure." So, who has more power than the president of the United States?? Answer: No one on the planet.

At any rate, that picture is but a snap instant in time, whereas the actual raw video shows that the governor and president greeted each other warmly and cordially. And Obama himself says there has been much ado about nothing:

“I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me,” Obama said of their most recent meeting. “But this was really not a big deal. She wanted to give me a letter, asking for a meeting. And I said, ‘We’d be happy to meet.’

Oh my God, and then there's this -- it begins again: The Moron Left and the A-hole Elite Media are harping on the "civility" issue thanks to the Brewer-Obama flap. Here's CBS's Bob Schieffer lecturing us peons on how it's [always] the Right's fault when it comes to political rudeness:

“This is just another sign of the growing incivility and really vulgarity of our modern American politics,” Schieffer declared, fretting “these campaigns have gotten so ugly and so nasty, that they’re now tarnishing the whole system.” He despaired it demonstrates “the coarseness of our culture in this age of social media.”

I can never recall a President stepping off Air Force One, which is itself a symbol of the presidency in American democracy, and being subjected to such public rudeness. I think really we’re a better people than this little incident illustrates.

Uh huh. To quote National Review's Jonah Goldberg, "To hell with you people."


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Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Family Security Matters with Muslim Children in America are Being Taught to Hate.

Full results are here.


Posted by Hube at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Journalism is hard

Read this story and notice the whole thrust of the article is about the impenetrable mystery of the shooter's motive.

Whatever could it be? Surely the shouts of "Allahu Ackbar" couldn't be a clue, could it? Nah.

Posted by Duffy at 02:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2012

And he's taken it upon himself to deem virtually everything "racist"

M-BS-NBC's Chris Matthews, who's dubbed just about ANY utterance contrary to the beliefs of President Obama as "racist," had this to say about religious Americans today: "What is with the troglodytes? The Luddites? What is the party that used to believe in things?"

Video at the link, too.


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And the ridiculously biased headline says. It. All.

Yahoo.com's grabbing headline highlights idiot Stephanie Pappas' supposedly liberal elite "we knew all the time" story: Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice. After paragraph after paragraph of reading how conservative opinions = being stupid, there is this towards the bottom (imagine that):

The researchers controlled for factors such as education and socioeconomic status, making their case stronger, Nosek said. But there are other possible explanations that fit the data. For example, Nosek said, a study of left-wing liberals with stereotypically naïve views like "every kid is a genius in his or her own way," might find that people who hold these attitudes are also less bright. In other words, it might not be a particular ideology that is linked to stupidity, but extremist views in general.

Is that so. So ... what explains the headline again?

We know. We always have.

UPDATE: James Taranto has an interesting take on this, especially regarding how employers administering IQ tests became illegal after a SCOTUS decision in 1971 because of racial "disparate impact":

Higher-ed institutions also pump out an enormous quantity of dubious scholarship that purportedly proves the ideological presupposition behind this business model--namely, that white racism is the proximate cause of all racial disparity. Here's a funny example, reported by LiveScience.com (the study noted above by Yahoo -- Hube).

So IQ tests are racist, except when they're used to "prove" that people with "socially conservative ideologies" are racist and intellectually inferior.


Posted by Hube at 04:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And we care why ...?

Numerous major media outlets picked up on the highly sought-after opinion of none other than Fidel Castro on the GOP primary battle. He called the Republican race the “greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance” ever seen.

Well, he'd certainly know!


Posted by Hube at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2012

Um, whaaa ...?

The Messiah last night in his State of the Union Address:

I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. That’s why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and states. That’s why we’re getting rid of regulations that don’t work.

While it is accurate to say that Obama has been friendly to school choice and charter schools, how can he with a straight face say that he's offering "more control for schools and states?" Here in the First State, his Race to the Top monies have come with innumerable strings attached, from the same mandated tests statewide, to the same teacher evaluation system ... again, statewide. There's very little, if any, school (local) control anymore. The state DOE, if anything, is running things more and more rather than the individual districts. Which, unfortunately, means the vast majority of Race to the Top funds have done nothing but expand another bureauacracy.


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Earth to Romney

The GOP despises the mainstream media. Using this line of attack against Newt Gingrich ain't gonna get'cha anywhere:

"It’s very easy to talk down a moderator,” Romney said told Fox News, per The Hill. “The moderator asks a question and then has to sit by and take whatever you send to them. And Speaker Gingrich has been wonderful at attacking the moderators and attacking the media.”

As Charlotte Hays writes, "Siding with a group that epitomizes the values of the Democratic party and is justly loathed by conservatives just isn’t going to do Mitt any good in the primaries ..."

Yep.


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News roundup

First up: Ann Althouse had an item the other day about why Apple took its jobs overseas and why they are not coming back:

One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight. A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. Essentially China is one huge factory town.   We did away with those a long time ago but those conditions still exist so we can have our iPhones. Where is the OWS crowd?  Remember the ones "standing up for the 99%"?  Where are the marches and rallies and calls for boycotting Apple?

Goldman-Sachs is pilloried but nary a word for Apple. How bad are things for the workers making Apple products?

The 13-year old said Foxconn doesn't really check ages. There are on-site inspections, from time to time, but Foxconn always knows when they're happening. And before the inspectors arrive, Foxconn just replaces the young-looking workers with older ones. In the first two hours outside the factory gates, Daisey meets workers who say they are 14, 13, and 12 years old (along with plenty of older ones). Daisey estimates that about 5% of the workers he talked to were underage. Some workers can no longer work because their hands have been destroyed by doing the same thing hundreds of thousands of times over many years (mega-carpal-tunnel). This could have been avoided if the workers had merely shifted jobs. Once the workers' hands no longer work, obviously, they're canned. One former worker had asked her company to pay her overtime, and when her company refused, she went to the labor board. The labor board put her on a black list that was circulated to every company in the area. The workers on the black list are branded "troublemakers" and companies won't hire them. One man got his hand crushed in a metal press at Foxconn. Foxconn did not give him medical attention. When the man's hand healed, it no longer worked. So they fired him. (Fortunately, the man was able to get a new job, at a wood-working plant. The hours are much better there, he says — only 70 hours a week).

Any company in the US would be a paraiah for conditions like this.  There would be public trials, Congressional hearings and endless hours of talking heads blaming everyone to the left of Lenin for such a horrid state of affairs.  Mr. Blodget (author of the second piece) sums it up nicely:

Apple's profit margins are so high that they could go down a lot and still be high. And some Americans would presumably feel better about loving their iPhones and iPads if they knew that the products had been built using American labor rules. In other words, Apple could probably afford to use American labor rules when building iPhones and iPads without destroying its business. So it seems reasonable to ask why Apple is choosing NOT to do that. (Not that Apple is the only company choosing to avoid American labor rules and costs, of course — almost all manufacturing companies that want to survive, let alone thrive, have to reduce production costs and standards by making their products elsewhere.) The bottom line is that iPhones and iPads cost what they do because they are built using labor practices that would be illegal in this country — because people in this country consider those practices grossly unfair.

Next time some lefty gives you hell about the horrors of capitalism ask them if they have any Apple products and when they say yes, show them this article.   I'd love to hear the rationalizations they come up with.

Next, here are two good roundups on last night's State of the Union address.  A short one from Neal Boortz and a longer one from  Conor Friedersdorf. Read them both.

What did the Obama Administration really know about the stimulus?  Pretty much what we've all been saying.  They knew the economy was worse than they were reporting.  They knew that there weren't any "shovel ready" jobs and that the proposed regulations would likely hurt the economy further.   None of that really mattered.  Obama was sinking and needed to take some sort of action to look like a leader.  This is the same thing he did with the healthcare mandate.  Do something to avoid doing nothing even if that something is horrible.

Occupy Wall Street crowd are worse than crackheads.

At West Park, Rev. Brashear walked into the church for a morning service to find the 18-inch-diameter bronze basin and lid missing from the baptismal font’s 800-pound base. Holy water — straight from the River Jordan — had been poured from the missing basin insert into the base’s bowl. About 60 occupiers had rolled out their sleeping bags between the pews the night before as part of their evening ritual, Rev. Brashear recalled. When they returned to the church later, following the pastor’s discovery, he issued a stern warning: “You have 24 hours to find it and to come up with an amends and to come up with a plan. ‘I’m sorry and it won’t happen again’ won’t work,” he scolded. The artifact vanished just three weeks after a $2,400 Apple MacBook vanished from Brashear’s office. He told the occupiers that even when the 100-year-old Upper West Side church extended help to addicts during the 1980s drug scourge, no visitors touched its $12,500 sacramental instrument. Not even crackheads messed with that,” he said.

Nice people.

Jerry Brown gives California the continued screwing it asked for.  His plan is (what else?) to tax the rich more to fund bread and circuses.  His own government is warning him that this isn't going to work.  I'm sure he'll continue full speed ahead as usual.  Jerry Brown;  Seldom right and never in doubt.  

In world new,  North Korea seems to have rebellion boiling ever closer to the surface.  Granted that reports from North Korea are always predicting collapse as Real Soon NowTM.  However the latest reports of secret police being killed in broad daylight on a city street during a heightened security posture is unheard of.   I've also read other reports of miners striking and crackdowns that ended with hundreds and perhaps thousands dead.   Given that the leadership is in flux and things have been getting steadily worse year by year it's hard to see how much longer they can hang on.   To me this looks like it's going to end one of a few ways.  The Chinese are going to prop them up with food aid and they continue limping along.  They may even insist on some reforms to get them onto a "one country, two systems" footing that China has.   Complete collapse would likely end with the state security apparatus fighting with the Army for control.   This would be a bloodbath and would likely lead to the collapse of the state into something that has factional control over the country not unlike Iraq before it was stabilized.   The last would be if Kim Jong Un becomes a reformer (puppet or otherwise) and starts to slowly loosen control over markets in the hopes of drawing foreign (read: Chinese and South Korean) investment.   I don't know which way this is going to go but if things are as dire as they seem the collapse would be a very quick one.  It will be interesting to see if South Korea and China rush in to fill the vacuum.


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January 24, 2012

Tweet of the Day

No matter where you stand, watching Ann Coulter call Newt too much of a bomb-throwing populist is just hilarious. - @baseballcrank

Source


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Kill-mington

Police ID 17-year-old homicide victim:

A 17-year-old Bear teen, described by his high school leader as “a really nice kid,” was identified as the victim in Saturday’s slaying in Wilmington.

Larry J. A. Parks III was fatally shot in the chest shortly before 4 p.m. in the 300 block of New Castle Ave. where Wilmington officers found him lying in the street.

Detectives investigating the homicide have no suspects or witnesses in Parks’ slaying, said Master Sgt. Barry Mullins.

Parks was a 10th grade student at Pencader Charter High School of Business and Finance in Collins Park.

Just another day in Kill-mington.


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Right or wrong?

Numerous writers, mostly of the sports variety, are up in arms about Boston Bruins star goalie Tim Thomas snubbing the White House by not attending Barack Obama's hosting of the NHL champs:

Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league. Need I go on? All that and more applies to what Thomas did, on a day when Cup teammates Mark Recchi (now retired), Shane Hnidy (a radio guy these days in Winnipeg), and Tomas Kaberle (a member of some Original Six team in Canada), all gladly joined the red-white-blue-black-and-gold hugfest at the White House.

I'm of the mind that Thomas should have attended. Regardless of who holds the presidency, it's about honor, respect, and team. However, again, the issue becomes about the media. What if George W. Bush was still in the WH and a player refused to attend such an event because of his personal stance against the Iraq War? As Shannen Coffin notes,

Notably, no one at the Boston Globe complained when Red Sox owner John Henry and general manager Theo Epstein, both dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, opted out of the invites to the Bush White House after the 2007 World Series.

Exactly. It's exactly like how the media portrayed the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement -- the former is inherently "bad," while the latter has a "legitimate" gripe. Henry and Epstein's snubs were, to the media I'm sure, "principled dissents" to Bush's policies. But Thomas's? "Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered." Coffin also notes how Globe writer Kevin DuPont is way off base in accusing Thomas of being un-American:

Mr. Dupont’s most woeful error, however, was in suggesting that Thomas’s disagreement with the current government equals a lack of love of country. “It was the same government yesterday, and will be today, that protected his country, his security, his family, and his right to make $5 million a year, all last season.” Tim Thomas was a U.S. Olympian and won a silver medal for his country. Mr. Dupont contends that someone “so disgusted with our government ought to turn in the sweater and the medal. It must be a horrible burden, if not a pox, to have them in his house.”

Tim Thomas’s objections to the excesses of government are entirely American, born of his love of country, not harbored in spite of it.

Right. And how many media types would have made that exact same argument regarding George W. Bush's presidency? It's always that way with the Left: when they're in power, dissent is "un-American." Where they're out of power, dissent is the "greatest form of patriotism."

UPDATE: Hockey News writer Ken Campbell nails it:

... that if a few years ago some stars “had snubbed the White House in 2004 to protest the Bush-led U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, my guess is they ... would have had all kinds of unwavering support in the media for taking such a courageous stance.” (h/t: Newsbusters.)


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January 23, 2012

Driving in DC

Things on the Beltway have been getting worse lately. I've attached a clip I shot on my way into work this morning.


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January 22, 2012

What the Gingrich South Carolina victory could mean

If Newt wins the GOP presidential nomination:

I'm worried that it could mean the entire country will become a macrocosm of Delaware's last US Senate race -- where upstart Christine O'Donnell defeated long-time public service stalwart Mike Castle in the GOP primary ... thus effectively giving the Democrats (in the person of Chris Coons) the win in the general election.

Castle consistently out-polled Coons head-to-head, usually by double digits. On the other hand, Coons consistently out-polled O'Donnell -- also usually by double digits.

Now, what do we see in this year's presidential election? At this moment, it looks almost exactly what we saw in the aforementioned First State US Senate race: Obama beats Gingrich 50.6% to 39.6%. However, if the GOP nominee is Mitt Romney, the race (currently) is within the margin of error -- Obama's 46.9% to Romney's 45%.

Delaware's issue is that it is a blue state -- a very blue state. Hence, Mike Castle was a moderate Republican. Republicans from blue states tend to be, y'know, moderate -- mostly out of necessity. Every poll in the DE US Senate race said that Christine O'Donnell would essentially get crushed by Chris Coons, but the state's GOP electorate didn't care. They were going to "send a message." Did South Carolina Republicans just do the same thing? Newt's favorable to unfavorable ratings are pretty damn bad.

These two examples differ in one main respect: Gingrich is quite intelligent, whereas Christine O'Donnell could only spout off generalized talking points. But would this be enough for Newt if he's the GOP nominee? I do not know. Certainly, Newt would mop the floor with Obama in any debate; however, Newt's got a ton of baggage, and we know what the mainstream media will do about that.

It's only January. And by no means has Gingrich cemented the nomination. But I am worried after last night's primary results.

UPDATE: Veteran political reporter Jeff Greenfield thinks otherwise: "Not just SC: Didn't GOPers nationwide love seeing Newt sticking it to the 'bad guys'? I'm betting on a BIG, quick shift in national polls."


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January 21, 2012

Thanks, but I'll pass

That is, until you provide a balanced lesson plan. Check out this lesson ... "plan" via the NY Times' "The Learning Notebook":

Overview | What does income inequality say about contemporary American society? What should be done to address income inequality? In this lesson, students examine Times infographics about income and wealth distribution in the United States and discuss what this information says about society.

Related | Paul Krugman’s column “How Fares the Dream?” examines income inequality in the United States:

If King could see America now, I believe that he would be disappointed, and feel that his work was nowhere near done. He dreamed of a nation in which his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But what we actually became is a nation that judges people not by the color of their skin — or at least not as much as in the past — but by the size of their paychecks. And in America, more than in most other wealthy nations, the size of your paycheck is strongly correlated with the size of your father’s paycheck.

Read the entire article with your class, using the questions below.

Questions | For discussion and reading comprehension:

  • In what ways does Mr. Krugman believe that America has made progress since Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech?

  • Why does Mr. Krugman believe that Dr. King would be disappointed in America today? Do you agree or disagree?

  • What does Mr. Krugman mean when he says that “there are racial implications to the ways that our incomes have been pulling apart”?

  • What phenomenon happened around 1980 that Mr. Krugman describes using the metaphor of a ladder?

  • Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Krugman that income inequality should be discussed loudly and openly in American society?

I particularly like how Krugman claims Dr. King would be "disappointed," even though King actually addressed race and racism in his quote, and not income differences. Nice bait and switch there. Nevertheless, this goes to the very core of what ails American [humanities] education today: that progressives see absolutely nothing wrong with presenting a blatantly one-sided lesson like this in a civics class. I can think of several "counter" questions to use as discussion follow-ups; for example,

  • Mr. Krugman writes that today "the size of your paycheck is strongly correlated with the size of your father’s paycheck." What does he mean by this? Is there something wrong with a father giving his wealth to his children? Is it acceptable for someone (or the government) to take away someone's money and give it to someone else?

Thankfully, it appears many agree with me. Just scan through the comments at the end of the lesson "plan."


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January 20, 2012

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Allen West with Mr. President, please don’t play the race card in 2012… Complete results are here.


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Just for the sheer awesomeness of the moment

... here's Newt Gingrich's response to CNN's John King's first debate question last night:

Say what you will about Newt, the guy doesn't take any sh**. And on this, he's spot-on. The days of the dinosaur leftist mainstream media are dwindling. The standing O Newt got isn't because they believe him over his ex-wife; it's because people are fed up with a one-sided media -- period. And if you think ABC wasn't biased in doing the Newt ex interview, then read this. Also read this about their report on Mitt Romney's finances.


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Remind me to stay dressed while in Egypt

What is happening in this video?

It looks to my untrained eye that the woman is being beaten, punched, kicked and abused. Silly me. Let's ask Jimmy Carter what I'm actually seeing:

He stated that the widely promulgated videos showing military attacks on demonstrators and a woman "with the blue brassiere" were all falsified. He said the soldiers were actually helping the woman re-clothe herself with what was provocative attire.

Well, that's a relief. For a minute there I was worried. This will, of course, go unnoticed by anyone. I can't decide if that's a good thing or not. On one hand, it's good because it means that nobody is paying attention to him. On the other hand, he's a former US President and his words carry weight (unfortunately) and undoubtedly his words will be used by the Egyptian thugs to whitewash their behavior.

I shudder to think what kind of ex President Obama is going to be. As awful as it sounds it can't happen soon enough.


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January 19, 2012

Draft time again

OK. Here we go again. If you were magically granted the ability to draft anyone into being a candidate for the general election who would it be?

Rules:

Person must be legally eligible (i.e. age appropriate and US citizen)
Person must be living (i.e. no reviving Reagan or whatever)
Feel free to pick VP candidate and any cabinet level positions

Bonus question: what three things would want to see this President accomplish in the first 100 days (assuming fiat power)


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January 18, 2012

Still more absurd of the absurd

Folks, this is what we have to vote out of office this November:

As Obama called for passage of those bills, he also responded to a recent Republican push to require him to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. "However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline," he said, "they're going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance."

You follow that? Actual jobs that are, in The Messiah's parlance, "shovel ready," don't compare to the "jobs" "created" by the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance.

Meanwhile, The Messiah's own jobs council says "YES" to projects like Keystone.

Unreal.

UPDATE: ABC News: In Wake of Keystone Decision, Prime Minister Harper Tells President Obama that Canada Will Work on Sending Oil to Asia.


Posted by Hube at 06:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More absurd of the absurd

The thing is, there's a thing called the Constitution that contains a thing called the 13th Amendment in it. Then again, the way this administration has been pissing all over the document ...

The founder and owner of one of the first and largest abortion clinics in the United States, Merle Hoffman, held a press conference Tuesday to discuss her study that found abortions in the United States are on the rise.

According to Hoffman, as the economy continues to decline, abortions continue to rise. Her study found that 73 percent of women who had an abortion reported that the reason was due to their economic situation.

Hoffman told TheDC that there will be “free states” and “slave states” if President Obama loses the 2012 election to any of the current Republican presidential candidates. (Link.)

Can supposedly intelligent people really be this dumb? Really? Hoffman is speaking about abortion here, keep in mind -- that women would be "slaves" to their unborn child (or something) if the GOP candidate wins the election. Now, let's see ... Hoffman says,

“Each and every [GOP] candidate has specified unequivocally that they would overturn Roe v. Wade. And if in fact they were in the power of the presidency and had the ability to do that … we can see a pre-Roe reality … where you’d have a country where there, in my mind, are free states and slave states.”

Did Hoffman fail Civics 101? No chief executive can "overturn" a Supreme Court decision. There would have to be either a SCOTUS re-examination of Roe, or a constitutional amendment "overturning" Roe. But the latter wouldn't revert abortion laws to the states as Hoffman says -- only the former would. But, again, none of the GOP candidates for prez could sign an executive order saying "Roe is hereby overturned."

Then again, if you look at Hoffman's words carefully, she does say "And if in fact they were in the power of the presidency and had the ability to do that ..." Ah, the power of a conditional clause. Is this some sort of ridiculously way-out there hypothetical? "... and had the ability ...?" But that's just it -- they don't have the ability! No president does. If he did, then why didn't previous pro-life GOP presidents "overturn" Roe (like Reagan)?

Then again, the way things have been going lately in this country, perhaps the Justice Dept. can create a novel legal theory that gives the president such power ...

But let's give credit where credit is due: Most people think that overturning Roe would ban abortion everywhere. False. As Hoffman correctly notes, it would leave it up to the states, which is as it was pre-Roe.


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Food stamps = G.O.P.'s fault

We should all know by now that nothing is The Messiah's fault. Nothing. Ever.

During Monday night’s GOP debate, Newt Gingrich observed that more Americans have been placed on the food stamps program under President Obama than any other president in the country’s history. Although Gingrich’s assertion was based on the current number of people on food stamps, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attempted to spin the narrative 180 degrees by saying that it was in fact Republican policies that created the demand for food stamps. He cited a lack of Wall Street regulation as the catalyst.

“The economic policies that contributed to the great recession were supported by and are being proposed by I believe all the [Republican candidates],” Carney said during the press briefing Tuesday. Criticizing Republicans for opposing Dodd-Frank regulations, Carney added, “We look forward to the debate with whomever emerges from the primary process.” (Link.)


GEORGE W. BUSH:
There's NOTHING for which
he can't be blamed!


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Civilization continues to crumble

Check out (if you can stomach it) this video of a kid getting beaten by his fellow teen peers in Chicago:

And why are "hate crime" laws a joke? This is why:

The video shows five males striking the victim with kicks and punches as they swarm around him, yelling racial slurs. Police, however, claim that the incident “did not appear racially motivated.”


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Watcher's Council nominations

Honorable Mentions

And the non-Council nominations are here!


Posted by Hube at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Good news Hube!

You're OVERPAID.

Please return the overage to Delaware's Treasury.

Thanks,

Concerned Taxpayer.


Posted by Duffy at 02:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blackout pages

For those of you trying to reach pages that have been blacked out today. Just press "esc" before the page finishes loading.

You're welcome. Now go to wikipedia and finish your homework.


Posted by Duffy at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just a reminder

Raising the debt limit is unpatriotic.

Remember this when the next request comes in.


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January 17, 2012

The absurd of the absurd

It just never ends. And it just gets nuttier and nuttier. Now, it's "racist" the way someone perceives you saying a name:

Chris Matthews says the way Newt Gingrich pronounced moderator Juan Williams' name at last night's debate was a racially charged moment. Matthews, who would later sum this up as a "dog whistle," made his case that this is racist because some people will "clearly hear" it while others "don't want to hear it."

Video at the link above. Un-freakin'-real, man. Election 2012 is gonna be a doozy.

SEMI-RELATED: Matthews lies about how well his book on JFK is selling.


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If you say stupid things ...

... it's probably not a good idea to go on Bill O'Reilly's show soon thereafter. Case in point: South Carolina Democrat Party Chief Dick Harpootlian the other day made a big deal ("It's RACIST!") out of the GOP prez candidates debating on Martin Luther King Jr.'s holiday. When O'Reilly had him on to debate the matter, well, see for yourself:

Nice use of the sound "uhhhhh" there, Dick. But yep, that's right: During the Democrat primary in 2008, the candidates debated in South Carolina on ... Martin Luther King Day. And who sponsored the debate? Yep -- the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ouch.


Posted by Hube at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

About those Marines

who were seen pissing on dead terrorists...

The bookend to that argument is here:

In Federal Court in New Bern, NC today, three would-be Islamist terrorists were found guilty of a slew of terrorism-related charges in a planned attack on unsuspecting wives and children of Marine Corps personnel

Remember that when those Marines you saw in the video are thrown under the bus and given the Big Chicken Dinner.


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January 16, 2012


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What a surprise

Back on the 3rd we wondered if third graders really wrote such lyrics. It seemed pretty incredible. Well, it turns out it wasn't so incredible:

The director of a children’s music program has admitted to steering a third grade class toward singing Occupy Wall Street-themed lyrics during a songwriting session at a Virginia elementary school.

According to its website, Kid Pan Alley “uses the group songwriting process to inspire and empower children to become creators of their own music.”

That changed this week, when the founder and director of Kid Pan Alley, Paul Reisler, took responsibility for the lyrics and said he should have avoided certain phrases to keep the song neutral.

Who'da figured, eh?


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Oh, pardon us, we forgot the distinction

... between "immigrant" and "illegal immigrant." Yahoo News headline: Anti-immigration tone alienating Hispanics.


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January 15, 2012

Potty training

(h/t to FSJ.)


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Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was The City Journal with The New Authoritarianism. Full results are here.


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January 14, 2012

NFL Divisional Weekend picks

Went 2-4 last weekend -- Saturday picks were pretty good, while Sunday's were dismal. Let's see if we can do better this weekend:

SATURDAY:
4:30: Saints 30, 49ers 17.
8:00: Patriots 34, Broncos 20.

SUNDAY:
1:00: Ravens 16, Texans 13.
4:00: Packers 36, Giants 17.

Meanwhile, in related NFL news, my team -- the St. Louis Rams -- acquired Jeff Fisher as their new head coach. The Rams beat Fisher (who then coached the Tennessee Titans) for their only Super Bowl victory back in SB 34 (2000).


Posted by Hube at 09:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Perspective

The NY Post takes the right approach to the Marines accused of pissing on dead Taliban (that's "Tah-lee-bahn" according to The Messiah) fighters:

For our part, we’re withholding judgment. There have been too many such seemingly shocking episodes that, upon investigation, turn out to be less than that.

The high-profile case of Marine Lt. Ilario Pantano — accused of murdering Iraqis, but exonerated late last year — certainly illustrates the point. But maybe they did do it. Marine Corps Commandant James Amos says he’ll get to the bottom of it all.

Still, as wartime atrocities go, this is pretty mild stuff. My Lai, for sure, it ain’t.

And, again, the Taliban sure ain’t — excuse the metaphor — choirboys.

Maybe somebody should ask Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl about it.

Oh, wait: The Islamists beheaded him — on videotape.

Perspective, folks. Perspective.

Indeed.


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January 13, 2012

Daily Show strikes again

This is made of awesome. It should be enshrined in the Television Hall of Fame.

Behold the very definition of irony


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Book Review

So I recently finished The Hunger Games trilogy. It will be coming to the big screen shortly so if you're not familiar with it you'll have plenty of opportunity.

The books are about a girl named Katniss who lives in a dystopian future which is totalitarian and rather bleak. I'll not go too into the plot so as to avoid spoilers. The first book, The Hunger Games, I rather enjoyed. It was well paced and fairly well written. The characters seemed plausible and the dialog was good. I do blame the editor for not knowing that arrows are carried in a quiver and not a sheath. Or that missiles are not "ground to ground" or "ground to air" but rather "surface to surface" and "surface to air". Other than that, a good book and suitable for younger readers

Next up was Catching Fire which furthers the plot from the first book with Katniss taking a pivotal role in the upheaval facing the Hunger Games universe. Like the first one, this book is quite good and exciting for young readers. It gets a bit graphic in terms of violence but nothing horrible. Katniss also starts to show some romantic interest in not one but two characters.

Lastly was Mockingjay. Ugh. You know how movies go wrong in the third act and ruin the whole thing? That's what we have here. There are characters acting in bewildering fashion, pacing problems (from too fast to too slow) and the book fails for me is the endless, torturous whining about her inability to choose between to boys. The boys, of course, remain friends despite their rivalry for her affections. I cannot tell you how aggravating this is. It is a trope that is the staple of every Lifetime movie or damn Romantic Comedy. Its unoriginal and unrealistic. I can make leaps of faith about evil governments and technology and so on but for me to believe that two teenage/twentysomething guys are going to remain friends when they're both after the same girl is beyond believable.

If re-edited to sanity the third book would be a good way to complete the story but as it stands you may want to read the first two and then go to Wikipedia to see how it plays out.


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January 12, 2012

Tweet of the Day

Via PolarCoug: "We will Barry you." - Nikita Khrushchev

Posted by Hube at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pic 'o the Day

Courtesy The Political Commentator:


Posted by Hube at 04:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Debbie Wasserman-Idiot just doesn't get it

... and continues the outright lies:

“We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords, who is doing really well by the way, and I know everybody is so thrilled, as I am, to hear that, making tremendous progress,” said Wasserman Schultz, according to C-SPAN.

“But the discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular, to answer your question, very specifically, has really changed. And I’ll tell you, I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it takes a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the tea party movement,” she immediately added.

Oh, right -- "hesitate to place blame." Does this absolute cretin exist in this reality? Did she just happen to miss the vitriol endured by George W. Bush the decade prior? Did she just happen to miss all the invective spewed by her ideological brethren in the media -- and the Occupy [Bowel] Movement?

I tell 'ya, if I was Mitt Romney (the likely GOP nominee), I wouldn't spare the rhetorical rod for anything this campaign. Wasserman-Idiot's ridiculous comments are just the beginning of the faux progressive push. In commercials I'd feature Obama alongside the Occupiers every chance I'd get, alongside Reverend Jeremiah Wright, alongside his moron attorney general, Eric Holder, showing our own guns cutting down innocents, alongside the New Black Panthers who're intimidating voters at a polling place, and alongside corpses and illegal aliens who're attempting to vote.

And every time the MSM complained about it (to me), I'd tell 'em "Too harsh and insensitive? Really? Have you complained to the other side about their rhetoric? Of course you haven't. So, next question."


Posted by Hube at 04:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, no!

I caught a bit of this story on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning -- several US Marines were videotaped urinating on dead Taliban fighters. Now, while this is obviously inappropriate behavior, the national MSM is all over this story like flies on feces. I think Jonah Goldberg sums it up nicely in a Tweet this morning: "I think we'll be waiting a long time for the national outrage the media wants over the Marine peeing on Taliban story."

And he's right. Why should I or any American get worked up about a bunch of murderous barbarians being treated pretty much as they rightly deserve? But, you just gotta love the self-righteous hilarity:

  • The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a D.C.-based human rights group, condemned what it called "the apparent desecration of the dead."

  • "This is not the first time we see such brutality," Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said.

  • President Hamid Karzai's government "strongly condemned" the video and called the actions by American soldiers "insulting" and "insane."

  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned the Marines' actions as "utterly deplorable."

Meanwhile, Panetta and his boss Barack Obama continue to order unmanned drone attacks to kill suspected terrorists. And who the f*** cares what the Taliban and Hamid Karzai think?? Until they can reconcile their barbarian existence with the 21st century, they should keep their radical Islamist mouths closed. If they'd just be content to keep their ultra-radical religious nonsense within their own borders, fine. But the reason our Marines are even there in the first place is precisely because they couldn't.


Posted by Hube at 04:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Our MSM at "work"

I'm usually not a fan of Jon Stewart, but he nails CNN hard, here:

Three letters: W, T, and F?


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January 11, 2012

Fed intervention in education proving fruitless

Soccer Dad sends word of a Weekly Standard article which notes that President Obama's pet education project, Race to the Top, has been a dismal failure:

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education issued first-year progress reports for 12 states that received $4 billion in federal funds through an Obama administration pet project, Race to the Top. Not one had followed through on the promises they’d made to secure these grants. For three states — New York, Hawaii, and Florida — their progress was so lax Education Secretary Arne Duncan threatened yesterday to pull their grant money if not accelerated soon.

Our own First State, Delaware, gets a needed mentioned too (being that we were one of the first recipients of the RTTT monies). It notes that state teachers "complained federal mandates created a third of their paperwork" ... while RTTT was "contributing a tenth of their funding." And this ratio is actually better than the national average!

Ugh. C'mon, people -- education has historically been a state and local function. The sooner it reverts to this idea, the better.

For great local education reporting laced with snarky commentary (including a ton about the silly Race to the Top), be sure to pop over to Kilroy's place.


Posted by Hube at 05:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 10, 2012

Is liberalism killing comics?

Via Insty comes word of the site Bleeding Cool whose Darin Wagner asks this -- in my opinion -- ridiculously obvious question (no offense to Darin). The intro:

You pick up a superhero comic book featuring a childhood favorite of yours, hoping to reignite some of that magic you felt way back when and you see that the opening sequence in the comic deals with an oil rig disaster. You immediately and disappointingly know what’s going to be said, either by your childhood favorite or by some other character given credibility within the story. You turn the page, and sure enough, your childhood favorite grumbles about his/her country’s dependency on oil or how inherently dangerous oil drilling is to the environment and how it’s not worth it or simply mutters to him-or-herself briefly about the evils of corporate America. That’s when you put the comic back on the shelf and your local retailer loses a sale. (Sound familiar? Brightest Day #5 contained a similar scenario featuring Aquaman.)

Alas, I know this all too well. As a big comicbook geek from waaaaay back (I obviously have a section of Colossus dedicated to comics), and as one who continued to purchase comics up until the mid-2000s, I find this modern "progressive" trend not only disburbing, but disgusting. It's what led me to stop purchasing contemporary comics outright, and lose some, if not friendships, associations, as a result.

Much of Colossus' comics section deals with the ridiculous liberalism that has crept into comics over the last decade or so. The very first post in this category dealt mainly with a group called The Authority, whose members' actions supposedly on behalf of the "greater good" were a progressives wet dream come true. They at one point took over the United States government and proceeded to make demands that your typical environmentalist, climate Chicken Little, and socialist would begin crying in delight over. Modern hot shot writer Mark Millar (ever see the movie Kick Ass? That's his) is an avowed leftist from way back. Many of his works are imbued with progressive drivel throughout, such as in his Superman: Red Son (which reimagines the Man of Steel as a Soviet superhero), in Marvel's The Ultimates and the cross-over event "Civil War." In the former, Millar had Londonders cheering on the Soviet Superman as he battled his American counterpart as sort of an analogy to American "interference" in European affairs during the Cold War. In The Ultimates (which, by the way, the upcoming The Avengers movie is mostly based on), Millar had a superhero team composed of characters from countries like North Korea and the Muslim Middle East invade the United States so as to "restrain the Roman Empire" because they "feared what America might do next." Another rationale was because America was "interfering with cultures they could never understand." Lastly, in "Civil War," Marvel's superheroes split along ideological lines: One side favored registering superhuman powers with the government; the other side fought against such. The former was led by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, and the latter by Captain America. Millar's scripts were heavily tilted in favor of Captain America's team; he ridiculously had Iron Man's team utilizing some of the worst Marvel villains in its history working on its behalf, and even made use of an other-dimensional prison where dissenters were locked up without trial.

Darin mentions the recent choice by Superman to renounce his American citizenship, and how [supposedly] conservative-leaning heroes are either borderline psychos or outright mental defectives as more up-to-date examples. He also brings up a good point that many individual instances of lefty "jabs" in comics aren't all that big a deal; however, the cumulative effect begins to piss people off if they do not share the politics of the writers. Like Captain America of the future informing his counterpart of the past how awful his country has become since WW II. Like Captain America infiltrating the Tea Party. Like writer/artist Erik Larsen stating outright that George W. Bush was "worse than Nixon," and stole not one, but two elections. Like Larsen having his most popular creation, the Savage Dragon, punching G.W. Bush in the face. Like popular writer Warren Ellis creating a superhero who takes it upon himself to kill the president (Bush, of course) for, among other things, his "illegal" war in Iraq. Where popular X-Men writer Chris Claremont laments the Reagan era in his story "God Loves, Man Kills" wherein religious fundamentalists go around murdering mutants.

Are you getting that cumulative effect yet? Because this is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends. And what's more, all the above and more are widely accepted without so much as a peep (the only exception being conservative blogs), whereas when the few instances of right-of-center stories are in development, they're "controversial" and contain all the progressive "-isms." The writer of the novel First Blood (think: Rambo) writing Captain America? Oh, NO!! Frank Miller planning a Batman story where he battles al Qaeda? We're squeamish.

This cumulative effect eventually took its toll on me. I kept purchasing comics probably longer than I should have. Many of the stories were top notch despite my knowing the politics of the creators -- the aforementioned Superman: Red Son, The Ultimates, and original The Authority series are examples -- but at a certain point, I had had enough. (I think it may have been after collecting a few issues of the series Supreme Power, which I wrote about at the Four Color Media Monitor here.) I just asked myself "Why do I continue to support these guys? I give them my money -- and they continually spit in my face."

Some otherwise reasonable creators don't seem to get this concept. Last year I "unfriended" popular comics writer Kurt Busiek on Facebook shortly after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Kurt's best known for his Astro City original series, as well as his memorable run on The Avengers. But Kurt is pretty outspoken on his Facebook page -- which is certainly OK, but when you're in the field he is, it just might not be a very good idea. As I wrote in the comments at Four Color Media Monitor,

I've absolutely NO hassle with anyone pontificating on matters political, whatever your field of endeavor. However, if you're in Kurt's field, it is ridiculous to expect NO criticism in response to your outspokenness. In regards to the Giffords shooting, Kurt immediately took the Reflexive Left's penchant for invoking conservative "hate" rhetoric as a "cause" for a killer's/terrorist's actions. Yes, he did say "we need to wait and see," but then again, Kurt did not exactly wait, did he? Moreover, by exclusively focusing on Palin, the Right, and moronic a-holes like that hateful comics vendor, Busiek effectively alienates approximately half of his fan base. And then people complain when those alienated point to his comments?

Busiek apparently didn't like that I made screen caps (see at above) of some of his comments and sent them to FCMM's Avi Green, who then wrote about it. (He Tweeted about it and his minions rushed over to FCMM in his defense.) That's too bad. Years before this little incident, I had had an e-mail exchange with Kurt (I was writing and editing an Iron Man fanzine at the time) where we discussed (mainly) economic boycotts when entertainers (or writers/artists like Kurt) make controversial statements or do something controversial. Kurt was dead-set against such boycotts, stating that he felt it best to "discuss" the issue in various forums. Of course, with that, the power resides with the entertainer since they have much more access (based on their popularity) to social media and such. The only real thing that the average joe can do to "inform" entertainers that they're dissatisfied is to utilize their pocketbook -- or, more accurately, not utilize it.

It's the 'ol "Shut up and sing!" mantra. If you're in the entertainment business, you run the risk of alienating a certain portion of your fanbase if you insist upon making controversial statements or taking up controversial positions on issues. This is no way means you have to shut up; however, you need to be aware that freedom of speech does NOT mean there's freedom from criticism -- or freedom from consequences.

And, thus, all this is [partly] why I blog. I why I'll continue to not shell out $3-4 for a comicbook any time soon.


Posted by Hube at 06:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

When boring radio gets interesting

So I was listening to the radio the other day and the local host had the Insurance commissioner on for an interview. It was about as compelling as you can imagine an insurance commissioner interview can be. That is, until the final caller. He asked about the Obamacare mandate that requires people to buy insurance. He said something on the order of "If health insurance is a contract, what right does the government have to force me to enter into a contract?" The host said, "Well that's what the Supreme court is going to decide." Undeterred he said, "OK, but can I get an opinion from the Commissioner?" Silence. About five long seconds of silence. Finally she starts saying "Well you do have to buy auto insurance..." and the caller said "Only if I choose to drive a car. This would be required with no exceptions" Again, silence. Finally the host said, "Well, that's all the time we have, thanks for calling." Radio gold. Even Democrat insurance commissioners when pushed cannot come up with a legal basis for the state compelling me to purchase something or enter into a contract.


Posted by Duffy at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2012

Quote of the day

“There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money — if a gun is held to his head.”

- P.J. O’Rourke


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January 08, 2012

Yawner news of the day

Evan Queitsch announces plans to run for Senate seat. He's a Christine O'Donnell hack. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Hube at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Civilization continues to crumble

Via Right on the Left Coast: Colorado Student Banned from Yearbook Over Racy Photo.

A Colorado teenager whose yearbook picture was rejected for being too revealing is vowing to fight the ban with her high school’s administration, but the editors of the yearbook insist it was their decision alone on the photo.

The five student editors of the Durango High School yearbook in Durango, Col., told the Durango Herald they were the ones who made the call not to publish a picture of senior Sydney Spies posing in a short yellow skirt midriff and shoulder-exposing black shawl as her senior portrait.

“We are an award-winning yearbook. We don’t want to diminish the quality with something that can be seen as unprofessional,” student Brian Jaramillo told the paper on Thursday.

The girl's provocative attire violates the school's dress code, too, which, if the school wants to maintain any credibility along those lines, it's proper to disallow the photo. But here's the part that really gets me:

Spies was joined by her mother, Miki Spies, and a handful of fellow Durango High students and alumni in a protest outside the school Wednesday after, she said, administrators informed her the photo would not be permitted because it violated dress code.

Look at the photo. And the mom is out protesting that it should be allowed? Call me ridiculously old fashioned but if I saw that pic and was informed that it was the one my daughter wanted in the yearbook, I'd be protesting too -- to my daughter ... telling her "What the HELL were you thinking???"

Nice job, "mom." Cripes.


Posted by Hube at 09:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What Guys Should Not Know How to Do

Sterling Terrell has a cool article up at American Thinker so titled. I gathered all twenty-five and added my own thoughts to 'em:

1. Plan a wedding. Terrell says "If you're in it, your only job is to show up on time." Agreed. That's pretty much all I did for my first one over 20 years ago; if it happens again to me, that's all I plan to do again!

2. Arrange flowers. I frequently buy flowers for my girlfriend, but arrange? That's a big "negatory."

3. Identify the brand name of a purse you see from over fifty feet away. I can ID a Vera Bradley purse (or any other such item) fairly routinely now, only because of the distinct pattern and because my GF is crazy about the products ...

4. Distinguish between magenta and purple.

5. Shop for hours without buying anything. I hate shopping. Period. Totally. Completely. When I have to do it, I do it online.

6. Identify what your wife just served you for dinner. This is a pretty lame one. C'mon, you mean a guy can't ID chicken? Spaghetti? Steak?

7. Identify more than a handful of birds. What's a "handful?" I love animals so I can probably ID a bit more than a handful. But not much more than that.

8. Change a diaper. Terrell says "Come on. That's her job ... most of the time." And so it was when my daughter was born. Most of the time.

9. Identify the best cleaner for a particular task. I just buy something that says "All-Purpose Cleaner" on the bottle and I'm good to go.

10. Know the proper culinary uses for basil, oregano, rosemary, and cumin. There's "proper uses" for these?

11. Talk without saying anything. Amen. It's like when Steve Martin tells John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles "... and here's an idea when you're spouting off one of those 'interesting' anecdotes: have a point."

12. Go grocery shopping in a competent way. I've learned to do this over the last two-plus years of living solo. The key is "get in and get out -- fast."

13. Mix an appletini. Or a friggin' Cosmo. Only beer for me. Or maybe a gin Gimlet on the rocks if I'm feeling a bit daring.

14. Spend all day playing videogames. I played out my videogame nut when I was in my late teens. Now I can't stand 'em.

15. Know how to French-braid a girl's hair.

16. Pack for your wife. I can't even pack for myself appropriately.

17. Arrange more than two pillows on a bed. Pillows should only be on beds if you use them to put your head on. Period.

18. Communicate predominantly by text. "Predominately?" No. Frequently? In this day and age that's completely reasonable.

19. Set a formal dinner table. Being that I worked as a waiter during college at a private country club, I, ahem, get a pass on this one ...

20. Decorate using Feng Shui. Whaaaa ...??

21. Throw a baby shower. Hell no.

22. Watch only one channel. Panic ensues when the remote cannot be found in less than one minute.

23. Browse a candle store.

24. Lie. Only when absolutely necessary.

25. Completely understand a woman. Will forever remain the unresolved question.


Posted by Hube at 08:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 07, 2012

Now you need ID ...

... to buy drain cleaner. But ridiculously idiotic "progressives" like one Geezer and our old pal Perry (aka Wagonwheel) are still screaming about how such a requirement to vote "suppresses" votes, is "discriminatory," and addresses a problem "that doesn't exist."

Does requiring photo ID to buy drain cleaner "supress" minorities and the elderly from purchasing the product? Don't these groups have the same right to buy drain cleaner that other groups do -- groups that are statistically more likely to possess photo IDs? And does the drain cleaner requirement address a problem that "doesn't exist?" After all, only a few (two, to be precise) mentally imbalanced people have used drain cleaner to harm others in the Chicago area.

Idiot "progressives" like Geezer and Perry believe that voter ID laws are a GOP plot to negate traditional Democratic voters. Republicans maintain such a requirement is to preserve the integrity of the voting process. Is the Democratic state rep who sponsored the drain cleaner law attempting to clog the plumbing of historically oppressed groups? Or is he attempting to maintain a degree a public safety with a hazardous product?


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The perfect sentence

"The Left’s much-vaunted powers of empathy routinely fail when confronted by those who do not agree with them politically." -- Mark Steyn


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N.F.L. Wild Card weekend picks

My favorite [sports] time of the year is upon us! It's the first weekend of the NFL playoffs (playoffs? PLAYOFFS??) and arguably the easiest to predict, so here goes -- scores included:

SATURDAY 4:30: Texans 30, Bengals 20.
SATURDAY 8:00: Saints 35, Lions 30.

SUNDAY 1:00: Falcons 24, Giants 13.
SUNDAY 4:30: Steelers 28, Broncos 7.

Take 'em for what their worth.


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Tweet of the Day

Jonah Goldberg:

How big a poll bump would Romney get if he beat an Occupy Protester senseless?
Posted by Hube at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oops

As the Huff Post says, "irony":

(h/t: Joanne Jacobs.)


Posted by Hube at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2012

It's election season, so that means ...

... it's time for our mainstream media to depict virtually ANY criticism of Obama -- Barack and Michelle -- as, well, you know by now: RACIST.

The caricature of Obama as a profligate queen relies on the racist stereotype of an "uppity Negro," which emerged among slave masters in an earlier American era. Obama, born into a working-class Chicago family whose roots are traced to the pre-Civil War South, graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, prior to holding several high-level positions in the academic and private sectors.

The racist image appeared Tuesday on the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit; the slur was later called out by Media Matters for America. A post by Gateway blogger Jim Hoft paired the picture with a clip of the first lady's guest appearance on a forthcoming episode of "iCarly," a Nickelodeon sit-com. In the script, Obama commends the cast for their support of military families. Responding to a cast member who mistakenly addresses her as "your excellency," the script has Obama jokingly reply, "I kinda like it."

Nah, it couldn't be just a satirical caricature based on the above, could it? Of course not. Racism.

Remember when I made several posts tongue-in-cheekly ribbing the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers for their "racism" due to their criticism of Herman Cain? One of them commented to me "Are you really this much of an idiot or did you just sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night?"

Precisely. Now you know how conservatives feel when supposedly "professional" and "respected" media outlets do. Exactly. The. Same. Thing. The difference being ... they're actually serious.


Posted by Hube at 07:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

News Journal vs. Alternate News Journal

Let's take this News Journal editorial from today (titled "President right to defy GOP obstructionists") -- and switch around a few words and phrases:

NEWS JOURNAL: Mr. Cordray wasn't the president's first choice. But the relentless opposition of Senate Republicans to any Obama appointment has gone so far as to see them refuse to officially adjourn for the year to keep the president from filling position while Congress is on vacation.

The umbrage of Republican leaders, who now suggest a lawsuit is in order to overturn what they call an illegal appointment, is galling.

ALTERNATE NEWS JOURNAL: Using enhanced interrogation and getting the Patriot Act passed wasn't the president's first choice. But the relentless opposition of House and Senate Democrats to any measure used by the Bush administration has gone so far as to see them refuse to end an old-style filibuster for as long as they have to.

The umbrage of Democrat leaders, who now suggest the president is a war criminal in order to score political points in what they dub unconstitutional actions, is galling.

NEWS JOURNAL: Worse, it is yet another stalling tactic to prevent creation of the consumer agency, which Republicans insist is an unnecessary expansion of the federal government's role.

Tell that to the millions of Americans who have been financially undermined by the illegal practices of big banks and rogue mortgage servicers, which have led to record home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies.

ALTERNATE NEWS JOURNAL: Worse, it is yet another stalling tactic to prevent creation of terror-fighting measures, which Democrats insist are unnecessary because we have civilian courts available in which to try suspected terrorists.

Tell that to the millions of Americans whose lives have been shattered by terrorism, and who live in fear of continued terrorism, thanks to the worldwide rise of radical Islam which has resulted in a record quantity of terror attacks and planned attacks.

NEWS JOURNAL: "With a director finally in place there should be no question about its powers, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start the needed process of scrutinizing unfair practices by debt collectors, predatory payday lenders and others on the fringes," said Rashmi Rangan, executive director of The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council.

ALTERNATE NEWS JOURNAL: "With enhanced interrogation and the Patriot Act protections in place, our military and Dept. of Homeland Security can start the needed process of investigating terrorist activities and networks," said Mike Castle, Delaware's US Representative.

NEWS JOURNAL: Seldom is there a reason to encourage a president to defy Congress and make "recess appointments" in its absence. But the Senate GOP's obstructionist policy is hindering the executive branch for obviously political reasons.

ALTERNATE NEWS JOURNAL: Seldom is there a reason to encourage a president to defy Congress and possibly several treaties and utilize "enhanced techniques" to gather intelligence on terror networks and activities. But the Democrats in Congress' obstructionist policy is hindering the executive branch -- and Americans' safety -- for obviously political reasons.


Posted by Hube at 06:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thanks for the black eye

Two disturbing incidents to bring forth today in the realm of education. First, a six year-old with a broken leg who tripped and fell on a playground at a school in Skokie, IL was told to "crawl back to the school":

“His teacher told him, ‘You’re a big boy — I can’t carry you,’” the boy’s mother, Priya Chandani, said Wednesday, “She told him to walk back, but his leg was broken so he fell again and then had to crawl at least 200-300 feet back to the school building.

As a teacher I presume there's another side of the story; nevertheless, it's almost incomprehensible that this poor kid didn't get any sort of assistance.

Closer to home, the New Media Technology Charter School in Philly is dealing with a situation of a teacher who clearly took his position of authority way too far:

School District Asks About Teacher Rant Tape: MyFoxPHILLY.com

The school is supposed to "offer a culturally affirming education to its 481 students." Based on this, some multiculti types would probably argue that this teacher actually did nothing inappropriate. At any rate, there's no definitive word on the current status of this teacher.


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Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Sultan Knish with The Year We Lost Afghanistan, Etc.

Full results are here.


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January 04, 2012

Racial double standards

What?? Really?? In the media??

We live in a world where only certain racial epithets are punished (which is a big reason to oppose "hate crimes" laws and legislation, by the way). Example #1: In the NHL, the Florida Panthers' Krys Barch was ejected from a game against the Montreal Canadiens when the latter's Darren Gibbs reported to officials that he overheard Barch use a racial slur against black teammate P.K. Subban:

According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Barch was ejected after linesman Darren Gibbs overheard him using a racial slur towards Subban. The report was supported by the Sun-Sentinel, which reported that "a linesman overheard Barch uttering a teasing-type slur toward Montreal's P.K. Subban, a native black Canadian."

Subban told the Montreal media that he didn't hear a slur and that no one else on his team did either. Erik Cole added that he heard something but wasn't sure what. To paraphrase, he said it could have been something related to Subban's parents.

So, Barch was given a game misconduct for something that ... he might have said? Based on the word of an opposing team member?

In Example #2 at the Gator Bowl between Florida and Ohio State, it seems some white players were the subject of racial taunts:

... it was no surprise that Monday's Gator Bowl between Florida and Ohio State — two teams that have loved Urban Meyer — had a little more vitriol than usual. What was surprising was the type of caustic comments being said.

Ohio State linebacker Tyler Moeller said Florida players hurled racial slurs at him throughout the game and that that sparked some of the chippiness during the 24-17 Florida win.

"They're classless. That's the way I'd put it," Moeller said, according to Marcus Hartman from Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "I've never seen more people swing at our players and call us racial slurs. I've never been called a 'cracker' more in my life than I have today. So I don't really have much respect for them in terms of that but they're a good team. They came out and outplayed us today."

No ejections were made in that game; there's no word on any investigation, either.

(h/t to Tongue Tied.)


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The Economics of Science

This article is well worth your time.  (Read the whole thing as they say) It had a few points which I find myself often trying to make about drug companies, economics and such. 

On November 30, 2006, executives at Pfizer—the largest pharmaceutical company in the world—held a meeting with investors at the firm’s research center in Groton, Connecticut. Jeff Kindler, then CEO of Pfizer, began the presentation with an upbeat assessment of the company’s efforts to bring new drugs to market. He cited “exciting approaches” to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. But that news was just a warm-up. Kindler was most excited about a new drug called torcetrapib, which had recently entered Phase III clinical trials, the last step before filing for FDA approval. He confidently declared that torcetrapib would be “one of the most important compounds of our generation.”

So far, so good.  CEOs are supposed to be cheerleaders but we all know that.  The drug is headed into the final stages before approval.  All that R&D expense is going to be covered and then some.  Right?

Kindler’s enthusiasm was understandable: The potential market for the drug was enormous. Like Pfizer’s blockbuster medication, Lipitor—the most widely prescribed branded pharmaceutical in America—torcetrapib was designed to tweak the cholesterol pathway. Although cholesterol is an essential component of cellular membranes, high levels of the compound have been consistently associated with heart disease. The accumulation of the pale yellow substance in arterial walls leads to inflammation. Clusters of white blood cells then gather around these “plaques,” which leads to even more inflammation. The end result is a blood vessel clogged with clumps of fat.

That's the brief version.  The article has more detail but you get the point.  Helping to prevent heart disease.  

Kindler told his investors that, by the second half of 2007, Pfizer would begin applying for approval from the FDA. The success of the drug seemed like a sure thing. And then, just two days later, on December 2, 2006, Pfizer issued a stunning announcement: The torcetrapib Phase III clinical trial was being terminated. Although the compound was supposed to prevent heart disease, it was actually triggering higher rates of chest pain and heart failure and a 60 percent increase in overall mortality. The drug appeared to be killing people. That week, Pfizer’s value plummeted by $21 billion.

So that's billions lost in R&D money and the market drop of $21 billion.   That money needs to be recovered.  Where is it going to come from?   From other drugs that are successful.  They have to use the one in a thousand that make it to market to pay for the research for all the others.  

For Pfizer, torcetrapib was the payoff for <b>decades of research</b>. Little wonder that the company was so confident about its clinical trials, which involved a total of 25,000 volunteers. Pfizer <b>invested more than $1 billion in the development of the drug and $90 million to expand the factory</b> that would manufacture the drug.

These troubling trends play out most vividly in the drug industry. Although modern pharmaceuticals are supposed to represent the practical payoff of basic research, <b>the R&D to discover a promising new compound now costs about 100 times more (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than it did in 1950</b>. (It also takes nearly three times as long.) This trend shows no sign of letting up: Industry forecasts suggest that once failures are taken into account, the average cost per approved molecule will top $3.8 billion by 2015. What’s worse, even these “successful” compounds don’t seem to be worth the investment. According to one internal estimate, approximately 85 percent of new prescription drugs approved by European regulators provide little to no new benefit. We are witnessing Moore’s law in reverse.

The article itself is not about the drug industry per se but rather about causation and how it leads us astray.  Read the whole thing as it is fascinating (IMNHO) and functions well as a cautionary tale.   Remember the bolded numbers above next time someone complains about the evil drug companies overcharging for their drugs.  


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January 03, 2012

A couple education must-reads

Hans Bader details the politically correct ugliness at Widener University after a law prof used a ... "bad" example in class.

Elsewhere, Greg at Rhymes With Right ponders whether should schools be promoting -- and teachers be providing recommendations for -- scholarships that exclude students based on race.


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You be the judge

Did eight-year olds write the following lyrics?

Some people have it all
But they still don’t think they have enough
They want more money
A faster ride
They’re not content
Never satisfied Yes — they’re the 1 percent

I used to be one of the 1 percent
I worked all the time
Never saw my family
Couldn’t make life rhyme
Then the bubble burst
It really, really hurt
I lost my money
Lost my pride
Lost my home
Now I’m part of the 99

Some people have it all
But they still don’t think they have enough
They want more money
A faster ride
They’re not content
Never satisfied
Yes — they’re the 1 percent

I used to be sad, now I’m satisfied
’Cause I really have enough
Though I lost my yacht and plane
Didn’t need that extra stuff
Could have been much worse
You don’t need to be first
’Cause I’ve got my friends
Here by my side
Don’t need it all
I’m so happy to be part of the 99

A Virginia elementary school is claiming they did -- and then was performed by them. Kid Pan Alley, which sponsored the program, expressed some concern over the content -- which is supposed to be free of any political or personal agendas:

“Last November, when the Kid Pan Alley Board of Directors was made aware of the song in question, we took swift action to clarify our guidelines for lyrical content,” the statement read.

School spokesman Phil Giaramita said, “We really don’t censor the topics that students come up with." To which (correctly) a commenter on the article replied, "Oh really? Let's just put 'Jesus' and 'God' in there and see what happens!"


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Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Newark's Richard Bernardo invokes the specter of the Communist boogeyman:

I'm fed up with those who say "separation of church and state."

It does not appear in the Constitution of the United States of America. Most Americans think it does, but they have never bothered to read our Constitution.

The phrase comes from article 124 of the Constitution Of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, issued in 1918.

It reads as an "Order to ensure to citizen's freedom of conscience, the church in the USSR is separated from the State, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens."

As you may know, the phrase "separation of Church and State" actually is derived from Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists (of Connecticut). It is indeed true that this phrase does not appear in the US Constitution; however, Jefferson is merely reiterating (in his view) the concept behind the First Amendment. You can debate whether Jefferson's words have been "over-interpreted" by the courts over the decades, of course.

And Richard? Do you really think the old USSR "recognized freedom of religious worship?" Right.


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January 02, 2012

Top 10 Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of 2011

Courtesy of The College Fix. My personal fave:

10). UC Berkeley chancellor blames Tucson shooting on those who oppose the Dream Act. Even as liberal pundits were drawing imaginary arrows between Sarah Palin-supporting Tea Partiers and apolitical killer Jared Lee Loughner, Berkeley’s chancellor found an even more absurd group to blame for the Tucson shooting: anyone who didn’t support tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.


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Reality suffers another setback

MSNBC talking head (and hero to our non-thinking nemesis, southern Delaware idiot Perry) Rachel Maddow demonstrates (again) she operates in a reality other than the one most others inhabit:

Yeah. That’s exactly right. We are not, we, there may be liberals on TV at MSNBC, but the network is not operating with a political objective. Whereas Fox is operating with a political objective to elect Republican candidates, and particularly, to elect Republican candidates Roger Ailes likes. I think Roger Ailes is a really good TV executive, but their operation is essentially a political operation to elect Republicans.

The sadly hilarious aspect of this utter nonsense is that way too many "progressives" really believe what Maddow says. Our idiot nemesis Perry does, as do the microcephalic dolts over at Delaware Liberal. Yet, I've rarely met a conservative who doesn't readily admit that Fox News has a conservative bias. So, tell me -- who's operating with facts? Who's existing in reality? Liberals or conservatives?

We are truly living in an age when people blatantly outright deny what their own eyes tell them.

UPDATE: As if perfectly on cue, David Limbaugh has up a perfect essay on this ... phenomenon.


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January 01, 2012

The Arab Winter

Muslim Brotherhood vows not to recognize Israel. Gee, who'da guessed? Certainly not our "genius" president.


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Happy New Year and congratulations ...

... to all the members of the Watcher's Council for winning -- again, two years in a row -- the "Best Blog Ring" award in the Fabulous 50 Blog Awards via Doug Ross @ Journal.

In addition, Watcher's Council member Trevor Loudon individually won the award for "The Ronald Reagan Award for Best Anti-Communist Blogger."


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