I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.
For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.
Libyan Destruction—who pays?
You may be looking at all the destruction in
from the bombing, and wondering who is going to pay to rebuild the country. Go look in the mirror. On the plus side, the new Islamist government probably won’t begin terror operations against us until they’ve extracted all possible humanitarian and rebuilding dollars from American taxpayers. Libya
Beware the Libyan Flying Tanks.
Obama said it’s a no-fly zone, right? Obama tells us the truth, right? We are bombing Libyan tanks, right? Conclusion:
has tanks that can fly. Libya
Our gallant al Qaeda “freedom fighter” allies and war planes will show them no mercy! Oh, wait, sorry, that was the line that got Gaddafi in trouble. My bad. ~Bob. Excerpt: The
military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces over the weekend, launching its first missions with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys. The use of the aircraft, during days of heavy fighting in which the momentum seemed to swing in favor of the rebels, demonstrated how allied military forces have been drawn deeper into the chaotic fight in U.S. . A mission that initially seemed to revolve around establishing a no-fly zone has become focused on halting advances by government ground forces in and around key coastal cities. The AC-130s, which fly low and slow over the battlefield and are typically more vulnerable to enemy fire than fast-moving fighter jets, were deployed only after a week of sustained coalition attacks on Libyan government air defenses and radar sites. These aircraft, armed with heavy machine guns and cannons that rake the ground, allow strikes on dug-in Libyan ground forces and convoys in closer proximity to civilians. Libya
Protecting Libyan citizens or aiding the rebels? Role of US, NATO partners under scrutiny
Excerpt: The U.S. and its NATO-led partners insist their mission in Libya goes no further than protecting civilians threatened by their own government’s guns, but as rebels regain the initiative and push to the doorstep of Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, the protectors in effect have become an aerial arm of the rebels. The role of the international coalition is coming under greater scrutiny following weeklong airstrikes led by the
U.S., France and Britain that helped the rebels take a critical step in their advance toward , the capital. Tripoli
: AP's ‘Fact Check‘ Hammers Obama’s Speech Reading
Excerpt: In transferring command and control to NATO, the
U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the , both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show. And the rapid advance of rebels in recent days strongly suggests they are not merely benefiting from military aid in a defensive crouch, but rather using the multinational force in some fashion — coordinated or not — to advance an offensive. Here is a look at some of Obama’s assertions in his address to the nation Monday, and how they compare with the facts: U.S.
Obama Still Murky on
Excerpt: President Obama just gave a weird speech. Part George W. Bush, part trademark Obama — filled with his characteristic split-the-difference, straw-man (“some say, others say”), false-choice tropes. His support for those “yearning for freedom all around the world” was the sort of interventionist foreign policy that a Senator Obama — if his past reaction to the removal of Saddam Hussein is any indication — would have objected to, especially in the case of sending bombers over an Arab Muslim oil-exporting country. Since Saddam was a far greater monster (gassing thousands is far worse than turning off the water to neighborhoods) than the monsters that Obama now wishes to slay, I think he has confused rather than enlightened his audience. There was no mention of the Congress. Is he going to ever ask its approval? And if not, why the repeated emphasis on asking others such as the Arab League or the UN for their approval — given that their representatives, unlike ours, are largely not elected?
Thrilled by the ‘Arab Spring’? You’re Delusional
Excerpt: Whether Gaddafi flees to
Venezuela, barricades himself in his fortress for a prolonged siege, or finishes toes up in a ditch, the vacuum he leaves behind in a country he has dominated for 40 years is what should concern policymakers. And the question they should be asking is this: If freedom and democracy are waiting to sprout from Tripoli Tunis to , where are the seeds? Who exactly is doing the sowing? Unlike that other fertile era when democracy flowered across central Manama Europe before the Berlin Wall finally collapsed twenty years ago, there are no Lech Walesas or Vaclev Havels to lead the way to a totally new and unfamiliar system of self-governance. Instead, in — the country for which most analysts have the highest hopes — we are witnessing the triumphal return of Yusuf Qaradawi, probably the preeminent Islamic scholar in the world and the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. While he was living in exile in Egypt Oman, Qaradawi preached jihad regularly on Al Jazeera and encouraged the murder of civilians in . Now, when he prays in Iraq
, he can draw a million people. The protesters who toppled Mubarak never exceeded a hundred thousand. (Be careful what you wish for; if you get it, it seldom looks the way you pictured it. Ron P.)
Excerpt: As his speech tonight confirms, President Obama intervened in
Libya to prevent a massacre in . That is the long and short of it. Yes, he also hoped that his action would blunt Qaddafi’s counter-revolutionary stroke, thereby putting us “on the right side” of the emerging revolt in the Benghazi Middle East (Hillary’s chief concern). Yet that was a secondary motive. Fundamentally, Obama was unwilling to go down in history as the man who allowed a massacre in . He also wanted to set a precedent for future multilateral humanitarian interventions under United Nations auspices. Everything else follows from this core motive, which is represented within his administration by Samantha Power and Susan Rice, above all. Obama is not a neoconservative democratizer. When he talks about our values of human rights and democracy, he has in mind the progressive vision of a UN-dictated rights regime that constrains and encroaches upon national sovereignty, including our own. This is the portion of his policy goals in Benghazi (drawn from advisors like Power) that he does not explicitly spell out…. In a tribal civil war, those we have saved are as likely to massacre Qaddafi’s supporters, should they take power with our help, as Qaddafi was to kill them. Getting out from our moral and military responsibility for that will be a neat trick. Libya
Syrian Cabinet Resigns Amid Unrest
Syria's Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago, threatening President Bashar Assad's 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian nations in the Middle East. Assad, whose family has controlled for four decades, is trying to calm the growing dissent with a string of overtures. He is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to lift emergency laws in place since 1963 and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms. (Assad can just kill the rebels. Obama won’t bomb without the UN’s approval—it’s in his version of the Constitution—and Syria Russia would surely veto bombing . ~Bob.). Syria
Syria and ? Hell, Why Not Iran ? North Korea
Excerpt: The problem with Obama’s Libyan thing is twofold: First, if it’s right to intervene to save Libyan lives, then why isn’t it right to save Iranian, Syrian, Congolese, Sudanese, North Korean and Chinese lives, as well as millions of others? Remember, I was the first kid on the block to call for bombing the Libyan air force, several weeks before the Valkyries decided that it was urgent to do something, and convinced a clearly reluctant president to do the Libyan thing. And I have said that getting rid of Qadaffi is a worthy mission, but not a crucial one. Which brings us to the second part of the problem. Second — and here we get to the crux of the matter — why is it so important to save Libyans when this president won’t act against tyrants who kill Americans? (The difference is painfully obvious: the Libyan’s don’t appear able to fight back the same way the Syrians, Iranians, and North Koreans can. It looks like a cheap opportunity to beat up a regional bully. Let’s hope the appearance is what we get. Ron P)
: Voting With Their Feet Thomas Sowell Reading
Excerpt: The latest published data from the 2010 census show how people are moving from place to place within the
. In general, people are voting with their feet against places where the liberal, welfare-state policies favored by the intelligentsia are most deeply entrenched. When you break it down by race and ethnicity, it is all too painfully clear what is happening. Both whites and blacks are leaving United States , the poster state for the liberal, welfare-state and nanny-state philosophy…. California is perhaps the most striking example of a once thriving city ruined by years of liberal social policies. Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit 's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. (My job is in Detroit , but unless I die at my desk, my retirement is elsewhere than Blagobamaville. ~Bob.) Illinois
Black And Blue 2: Blacks Flee Blue States in Droves
Excerpt: It gets worse. One would think that the Blacks who choose to stay in the cold, unwelcoming North would cluster in the cities where more liberal and humane governance models mandate such generous policies as “living wage” laws and where all the beautiful features of the blue social model can be experienced at full strength. But one would be wrong. Blacks across the North are fleeing the urban paradises of liberal legislation and high public union membership for the benighted suburbs. The Times interviewed a professor to get the straight scoop: “The notion of the North and its cities as the promised land has been a powerful part of African-American life, culture and history, and now it all seems to be passing by,” said Clement Price, a professor of history at Rutgers-Newark. “The black urban experience has essentially lost its appeal with blacks in America.” [bold italics added]
Durbin's Flawed Hearing
Excerpt: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in an attempt to address what he claims is an increase in anti-Muslim bigotry, is relying on questionable statistics and a witness with a record of opposing virtually all law enforcement attempts to deal with Islamist-inspired terrorism. In a statement, Durbin said his hearing Tuesday on the state of Muslim civil rights in
comes "in response to a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry in the last year including Quran burnings, restrictions on mosque construction, hate crimes, hate speech, and other forms of discrimination." While hate crime data for 2010 has not yet been released, FBI reports in recent years show no spike in anti-Muslim attacks. Those statistics show 107 anti-Islamic incidents reported in 2009, compared to 156 anti-Muslim crimes in 2006. In both reports, race related crimes dominated, and religiously-targeted attacks involved Jews as victims about nine times more often than Muslims in 2009 and more than five times more in 2006. America
Durbin Hearing to Fuel the Muslim Victimhood Myth
Excerpt: The FBI reports that anti-Jewish hate crimes are nearly eight times more common than anti-Muslim attacks—yet Sen. Richard Durbin (D.-Ill.) announced last week that he was going to hold a Senate hearing not on the resurgence of anti-Semitism, but on “anti-Muslim bigotry.” For the truth-adverse Left, it was just another day at the office. Compounding the irony was the fact that as Durbin announced his plans for this orgy of Muslim victimhood posturing, Islamic jihadists set off a bomb at a bus stop in Jerusalem, murdering at least one woman and wounding 30, while other Islamic jihadists opened fire on and killed two Christians who had committed the crime of attending a church in Pakistan. And don’t ask Egyptian Christian Ayman Anwar Mitri what he heard about this: Muslims in
cut off his ear last week for the crime of having an affair with a Muslim woman (which he denies). Egypt
The ‘anti-Pete King’ hearing
Excerpt: How curious. At the very moment the threat posed to
interests by the toxic Islamist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood is becoming ever more palpable, a top Senate Democrat seems determined to suppress Americans' understanding of that menace. Even the New York Times is now acknowledging the obvious: The principal beneficiary of the forced departure of an Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak - a double-dealing leader who nonetheless passed for a reliable U.S. U.S. ally in the hall of mirrors that is Mideast politics - will likely be the Muslim Brotherhood. That means an organization explicitly committed to waging jihad to achieve the worldwide imposition of the Islamic politico-military-legal program its adherents call Shariah will soon run the most populous Arab Muslim nation; control the strategic Suez Canal, through which 5 percent of the world's oil passes every day; and be armed with a vast, American-supplied arsenal of sophisticated and modern weapons.
Interesting: "The Perfect Day" and Our Terrorist Opponent's Possible Plans For Future Attacks
Excerpt: I have been told (by those conducting interviews with captured enemy combatants) that when we ask them "What is coming next?" they sometimes refer to the "Perfect Day." You cannot understand what they are talking about if you do not understand the historical reference. The Sepoy Mutiny in
, in 1857, is an example of a "Perfect Day." This was a spontaneous uprising by Muslims (and Hindus), with everyone giving the British their "best shot." Nannies killed the kids, cooks poisoned the food, and shop owners murdered the British ladies as they came into the shop. And soldiers (sometimes complete units) killed their British officers and then used their weapons to attack the British. The current politically correct term for the Sepoy Mutiny is "The First Indian rebellion." (You can look it up on Wikipedia, where the event has been completely PC filtered and revised.) (The analogy the author attempts to draw is somewhat simplistic and historically it is rather one sided, but there is an interesting and thought provoking concept. Like any successful mutiny in history, the mutineers must act at the same moment, with surprise and violently (Blitzkrieg) . At this present moment there are insufficient number of Muslims in 95% of India USA to accomplish a successful insurrection, however countries like are particularly vulnerable. On a “Perfect Day” France would be lost in mere hours. 9/11 is a classic example of a “Perfect Day”. Time is on the side of Islamists and lack of vigilance, political correctness, and ignorance is our enemy. Muslims like many Asian cultures are not concerned about tomorrow, they are concerned with ten, twenty years and generations from now. The question du jour is when is our next Perfect Day? --S/F --TC) France
A Gift for the Obvious
Excerpt: If there were an award for stating the obvious when it comes to the
Middle East it would go to The New York Times. On its front page last Friday, the newspaper ran a story headlined, "Muslim Group is Rising Force in New Egypt." What group would that be? Why, the Muslim Brotherhood, of course. We have been repeatedly assured by certain pundits and members of the Obama administration that the Brotherhood are a small minority with no major influence in Egypt and that those Cairo protesters clamoring for "democracy" that led to the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak would be the ones to chart the country's future. Each time another myth is busted, the deniers of what is happening throughout the region simply create a new myth, one they desperately cling to against all evidence to the contrary. It would be well for the willfully blind to memorize the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood: "Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Got that?
Fortnum & Mason -- just the most stupid target for those student rioters to pick
Excerpt: Fortnums is owned by the Weston family, which probably ranks third behind the Wellcome Foundation and all the Sainsbury trusts added together in the amount of money it gives away – yes, gives away in addition to the tax it pays – to exactly the causes that are close to the heart of UKUncut and the services that it was supposedly marching to maintain. Now, pay attention at the back, especially the youth that I spotted in the Fortnums atrium holding a sign saying “Share the Wealth” without any apparent sense of irony.
Durbin: Social Security reform a deal-killer for budget
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Trail Lawyers) is one of the many reasons the country is collapsing. ~Bob. Excerpt: In order to solve the budget impasse, Dick Durbin says that everything has to be on the table. In almost literally the next breath, Durbin then says Social Security reform will kill any budget deal, because even though budget talks can’t be serious without entitlement reform, Congress will refuse to address one of the Big Three entitlement programs. If you think that’s incoherent, wait until you find out why:
Excerpt: Fourth, and perhaps most significant, is the reason why war with
is dubious: We understand neither whom we are fighting for nor the consequences of invading a Muslim country. To apprehend these things requires a rudimentary grasp of sharia. You don’t need a doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence. As I contend in The Grand Jihad, the basics will more than suffice. The problem is that, since the World Trade Center was first bombed in 1993, the government has been telling us that Islam has nothing to do with the jihadist campaign against us, so we have studiously avoided informing ourselves about Islam and its law. It has come to light in just the last few days that commanders of the “rebels” (you know, those secular freedom fighters who are supposedly better for us than Qaddafi) include one Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi. And, I’ll be darned, it turns out that Hasadi is a jihadist who fought the United States in Afghanistan, and was detained for years until our forces turned him over to Libya. That was during the Bush years, when, through democracy-project alchemy, Qaddafi was transformed into a valuable U.S. ally against terrorism. Our new friend Qaddafi promptly . . . released him in 2008, in a deal designed to appease his Islamist opposition — a common practice in the Middle East, where, because Islam dominates life, even dictators must alternately court and repress jihadists in order to hang on. Libya
Critics slam cost of FDA-approved drug to prevent preterm births
Big Pharma supported Obamacare with millions in TV ads.. They deserve some ROI on that. ~Bob. Excerpt: When a drug to prevent babies from being born too early won federal approval in February, many doctors, pregnant women and others cheered the step as a major advance against a heartbreaking tragedy. Then they saw the price tag. The list price for the drug, Makena, turned out to be a stunning $1,500 per dose. That’s for a drug that must be injected every week for about 20 weeks, meaning it will cost about $30,000 per at-risk pregnancy. If every eligible American woman were to get Makena, the nation’s bloated annual health-care tab would swell by more than $4 billion. What really infuriates patients and doctors is that the same compound has been available for years at a fraction of the cost — about $10 or $20 a shot.
Claims for Social Security benefits on the rise
The Democrats controlled the White House and both branches on Congress last year, and couldn’t pass a budget? ~Bob. Excerpt: Claims for Social Security and disability benefits have grown in recent years, the result of baby boomer retirements and high unemployment. The Social Security Administration received 10 million new claims in 2009, up from about 8.2 million in 2004. With 65 percent of new disability claims initially denied, appeals began piling up, and administrative law judges who hear these cases were overwhelmed. By August 2008, an appeal took an average of 532 days to resolve. The agency hired judges and support staff to speed up the process, and by last year the average appeal took 390 days. There was still a backlog of 705,370 pending hearings. But progress has been undermined by the budget impasse affecting most federal agencies, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. Without a budget for the current fiscal year, the Social Security staff has had to cut short its efforts to improve efficiency.
Iranian Video Says Mahdi is 'Near'
Iranians/Imams really think the 12th Mahdi is returning, which will result in the end of time. Got to take this seriously as this may be the motivation for Iranians to employ extreme terrorist acts against the free world. If the end of time is apparent, then they may try to kill all infidels with the help of the Mahdi. At least that is their way of thinking. Click on the link for the video.
Excerpt: New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear.
CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place -- and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times. (Anyone have any extra claymore mines? --GH)
A Solution to the GOP’s Defunding Problem
Excerpt: Significant disagreement lingers among House Republicans on whether fully defunding ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood, non-starters in the Democratic Senate, are worth the political risks associated with a potential government-wide shutdown. The GOP leadership is working to avoid such a shutdown at all costs, confirmed by their most recent continuing resolution that lacked defunding language, while the 54 conservative Members who voted against it believe now is the time to pick a fight with unserious Democrats. Fortunately for House Speaker John Boehner, a unifying solution might be one that he himself proposed last fall. At a September speech before the American Enterprise Institute, the Speaker called for doing “away with the concept of comprehensive spending bills…Rather than pairing agencies and departments together, let them come to the House floor individually.”
'Project Gunwalker' now definitively traced to near top of Justice Department
Excerpt: "Is the director aware of this," Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it... Department of Justice was aware of it." Gil goes on to say senior Justice official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer, and spoke to ATF staff generally about a big trafficking case that they claimed was "getting good results."
Is the Mattress or the Stock Market a Better Place for Your Money?
Excerpt: Would an investor have been better off if he had steadily contributed to an equity fund from December 2008 through December 2010, despite the ups and downs of the stock market? Comparing returns from some of the alternatives that were available indicates he would have been better off staying in the market, says Pamela Villarreal, a senior policy analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Suppose that an individual had transferred her accumulated contributions from December 2008 to November 2010 from a bond index fund to a stock index fund, then made an additional $100 contribution in December 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the total $2,400 principal contribution would be valued at about $2,588. The effective annual rate of return would be 7.14 percent. Suppose that a saver who had moved money into a bond index fund in December 2008 shifted her accumulated bond fund money into a stock index fund in March 2009 and made regular contributions to the fund starting in April 2009. As of December 31, 2010, the total $2,400 principal contribution would be valued at about $3,157, for a rate of return of 25.3 percent. Thus, those who contributed sooner during the market upswing experienced greater percentage gains than those who remained in money markets or bond funds. Everybody has their own comfort level when it comes to investment risk. But selling and shifting money out of an asset when it is priced low is a sure way to lock in a loss. It is a normal reaction to a sometimes jittery market, but it can cost a saver thousands, says Villarreal.
U.S. Property Rights Protections Continue to Decline
Without property rights, there are no political rights. ~Bob. Excerpt: This morning, I attended the Property Rights Alliance’s launch presentation of the 2011 International Property Rights Index. Overall, the United States declined to 18th place in the world (from 16th in 2010 and 14th in 2007, when the Index was originally created), losing out to top-ranked Finland. The biggest contributor to the U.S.’s reduced standing was in the Physical Property Rights category (real property), which accounted for nearly half of the year-over-year decline in points. The variables for this category are protection of physical property rights, property registration, and access to loans. It is here where one might be surprised by some of the countries who rank ahead of the U.S. (ranked 25th) in terms of real property rights: Bahrain (5th), Saudi Arabia (8th), Oman (9th-tie), Botswana (21st-tie), and Tunisia (21st-tie).
The Politics of Executive Pay: Ideology, not “social justice,” fuels calls for restraints
on executive compensation.
Excerpt: Current liberal ideology seeks “social justice” through the appropriation and redistribution of wealth — usually from members of the business class. Though we associate such redistribution schemes with places like the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Zimbabwe, it has a lengthy history in the United States. For example, in 1777, a Pennsylvania constitutional convention considered, but rejected, a provision that stated: “That, an enormous Proportion of Property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the Rights, and destructive of the Common Happiness, of mankind; and therefore every free State hath a Right by its Laws to discourage the possession of such Property.” Today, the demand for wealth redistribution comes clothed in populist appeals to the unfairness of the gross disparity between executive pay and that of the average worker. This claim resonates well in the press, but efforts to redistribute wealth through taxes, mandatory public disclosure, and corporate governance “reforms” have all failed. Nevertheless, compensation politics continues unabated, as demonstrated by the latest fight over the Bush tax cuts.
How Taxpayers Subsidize March Madness
Excerpt: As the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament kicked off last week, U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan penned an op-ed in the Washington Post noting that graduation rates among the major college hoops powers are notoriously low. Even as Duncan's boss, President Obama, was revealing his own March Madness bracket predictions to ESPN, Duncan suggested that the NCAA adjust its distribution of television money from the tournament to reward schools that graduate more players. Duncan might have gone one step further, however, and noted that the schools participating in the tournament, both private and public universities and colleges, enjoy non-profit status ostensibly designed to support their educational purpose. But the major sports programs of Division 1 schools make liberal use of that nonprofit status to burnish their bottom lines at the expense of the taxpayer, a 2009 Congressional Budget Office report noted. Increasingly, these major sports programs look like for-profit commercial enterprises that have little to do with an educational mission that might justify their hefty and multiple tax exemptions, the CBO said.
Pig Flying Moment: Bull O'Reilly Has Wafa Sultan On
Excerpt: I had to rub my eyes. Bill O'Reilly, patron of Muslim Brotherhood-tied CAIR, was covering a story of rape and brutality against a Muslim woman in Libya. Typical treatment of Muslim women living under Islamic law. What was shocking was that O'Reilly had Wafa Sultan on to explain. I hardly watch O'Reilly, and I fell off my chair. I don't think he had a clue who she was. And did she school him. His responses were completely uninformed, but no matter, Wafa speaketh. Wafa Sultan was born and raised in Syria. She is a medical doctor who trained as a psychiatrist in Syria, and is an American author and critic of Muslim society and Islam, having self-identified as a Muslim, but not religious. Her must-read book is A God Who Hates.
Disturbing video about Narco-violence in Mexico—coming here
Trench water under investigation
Excerpt: In recent days it has been announced that pools of water in the basements of the turbine buildings of units 1, 2 and 3 contain significantly elevated radioactivity. Three workers were taken to hospital after exposure to the water, but have now been discharged with no ill effects. Judging by the composition of the radionuclides, officials think the water was probably in contact with the damaged reactor cores in each unit. Its presence indicates a leak from the primary circuit. This water is being pumped out of unit 1 so that cabling can take place in support of the restoration of power from diesel generators. Preparations for this are taking place at units 2 and 3. (…) The overall amount of radioactivity in seawater, as well as the amounts of radionuclides, near Fukushima Daiichi has been trending down in the last two days, although some remain far beyond normal regulatory limits. (Though the rollercoaster just keeps rolling, we still haven’t reached the Godzilla stage, nearly three weeks on. After failing to get enough of a response to announcing the finding of minute amounts of plutonium in the soil, the MSM seems to have moved on to the next big thing, at least for the moment. Ron P.)
Dilbert on Green Technology
Too funny, but too true.
Very funny: From The Comedy Store
Excerpt: Japan's nuclear plant disaster shut down Toyota of Japan's Prius factory. The plant halted production which halted exports which eventually will halt Prius sales in the U.S. It should be safe to walk across the street again by mid-May…..Sarah Palin learned she's polling behind Charlie Sheen for president among independent voters in the Reuters poll. Hey, they could both win. The next election will mark the twentieth year that Baby Boomers took over this country and started electing presidents for their entertainment value.
How Hot Is the Core of the Earth?
Great moments in Goreism. ~Bob.
Vietnam outsources deforestation to neighboring countries
Taking a cue from its much larger neighbor to the north, Vietnam has outsourced deforestation to neighboring countries, according to a new study that quantified the amount of displacement resulting from restrictions on domestic logging. Like China, Vietnam has experienced a resurgence in forest cover over the past twenty years, largely as a result a forestry policies that restricted timber harvesting and encouraged the development of processing industries that turned raw log imports into finished products for export. These measures contributed to a 55 percent of Vietnam's forests between 1992 and 2005, while bolstering the country's stunning economic growth. But the environmental benefit of the increase in Vietnam's forest cover is deceptive: it came at the expense of forests in Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Authors Patrick Meyfroidt and Eric F. Lambin of the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium calculate that 39 percent of Vietnam's forest regrowth between 1987 and 2006 was effectively logged in other countries. Half of the wood imports into Vietnam were illegal. (What is really neat about this is that Hanoi and the idiot Western supporters keep claiming that large areas of deforestation are due to the use of herbicides (Orange!!!) 40+ years ago. Total nonsense, and the photos of cleared forest make it obvious. But that beat just goes on and on. --Del)
Excerpt: By the way, what’s the difference between Pinocchio and Obama? Pinocchio had no strings attached….”Now let me be clear?—?I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States.” --Barack Obama in 2002.
Rule the waves: One used aircraft carrier for sale
China might be interested. ~Bob. Excerpt: Britain's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has put an aircraft carrier up for sale on an official used equipment website. The Royal Navy aircraft carrier Ark Royal was taken out of service earlier this year as part of government budget cuts. It was decommissioned in Portsmouth earlier this month, and is up for sale on www.edisposals.com, a website run by the MoD's Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) arm.
Mark Steyn: Pushing Deviancy Up
Excerpt: On WGN the other night, Milt Rosenberg and I were talking about popular music and the University of Chicago's approval of "hook-up" culture, and I made the not terribly original observation that a song such as "It Had To Be You" or "The Very Thought Of You" pre-supposes certain courtship rituals. If you no longer have those, it's not surprising that you no longer have songs to embody them: A love ballad, after all, is a kind of aspiration. So, if the fundamental things no longer apply as time goes by, who needs a song about them? I was aware, as I was talking to Milt, that I sounded like Mister Squaresville, and so be it. Because, getting on for half-a-century in, there's not a lot of cool left in the Sexual Revolution. In fact, there's not a lot of anything left other than wreckage. Utopianism, writes Roger Scruton in his book on The Uses Of Pessimism, is “not in the business of perfecting the world” but only of demolishing it: “The ideal is constructed in order to destroy the actual.” And so we take a jackhammer to the foundations of functioning society, and proclaim paradise in the ruins.
Danger In Lies!
Excerpt: I recall my dad asking me a question when I was a young boy of about 7 or 8 years of age. I have lived my life of 70+ years and keep this question foremost in my mind when listening to another person. "Who is the most dangerous type of person? A murderer, a thief or a liar?" Dad asked. I thought about it for a while but before I could give my answer Dad spoke. "You know that a person that is a murderer must be watched like a hawk. You know to be on guard anytime you are near that person as you known to murder." "You know that if a person is a thief you must keep an eye on both that person as well as your belongings." "You do not know if a person is lying to you until you learn that something that person said was said to deceive you. The time it takes to learn that you have been lied to is crucial as many other lies may have been told that will have a profound on your life as well as the lives of others!"
Excerpt: At the time this bill passed, The Washington Examiner warned that such loosening of legal standards would create a lucrative new frontier for trial lawyers to fish for decades-old complaints among disgruntled employees. The imagination of the plaintiffs' bar, as we see in the case being heard in the Supreme Court today, is far more robust than ours. Instead of fishing for individual grievances, trial lawyers have attempted to create a multibillion-dollar class-action case on behalf of 1.5 million female Walmart employees, past and present, who worked for the company anytime after 1998. People who suffer discrimination on the job are entitled to a claim under our laws, whoever their employer is. But this lawsuit, Dukes v. Wal-Mart, has nothing to do with individuals suffering discrimination. Rather, it is an act of legal extortion by a large mob led by pin-striped advocates. By amassing hundreds of thousands of claims -- some of which might even be legitimate -- the trial lawyers can force Walmart either to settle for billions or else risk being held liable for hundreds of billions. Either way, the lawyers will make a mint -- which is the entire point.