Sunday, April 11, 2010

Political Digest April 11, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

No postings
We are called out of town due to a death in the family. I will likely not have access to e-mail and will probably not be posting. This may mean I can’t make the LA Radio call in Wednesday night, either. We shall see.

Is the American Press Corrupt?
Excerpt: While many Americans believe the national press is biased toward the left, a more damning charge is now being debated: Are U.S. media outlets actually corrupt? Those who believe they are point to the cheerleading of Barack Obama's presidential campaign and to the recent reportage on the Tea Party movement. As you may know, the Tea Party people have been branded in some media quarters as a bunch of racist, far-right loons. TV commentators on MSNBC and CNN have actually called the Tea Party folks dirty names on the air -- all in an attempt to diminish the growing influence of the movement. But a funny thing happened on the way to the gutter. Regular Americans have apparently opted to decide for themselves about the Tea Party, and the polling is interesting. Despite all the rhetorical madness on TV, a new Gallup poll says 28 percent of Americans support the movement, 26 percent oppose it and 38 percent have not yet formed an opinion about support or opposition. Thus, there is a persuadable factor in play, and that is what the liberal media fear the most.

Lindzen: “Earth is never in equilibrium”
Excerpt: To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen. In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption. In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster. Earth has had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a 100,000-year cycle for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th century, these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat, and, indeed, some alpine glaciers are advancing again.

An iPhone to spy on teacher: Pupils told to email secret verdicts on staff DURING lessons
Big Brother’s little helpers! Excerpt: Children as young as 11 have been issued with iPhones to give instant ratings on their teachers. They are encouraged to email 'spy' messages to senior staff during lessons. The move is part of a Government 'pupil power' drive which is being blamed for fuelling a 'crisis of adult authority'. It is just one in a disturbing catalogue of examples produced at the weekend of teachers' authority being undermined.

Mass. medical mess
Excerpt: President Obama has an unsettling defense of his health-care reform -- it's merely a version of the plan implemented by Massachusetts. Obama wants to associate his reform with the one championed by Mitt Romney in 2006 when he was governor of the Bay State. If the liberal Democrat Obama and the conservative Republican Romney passed similar plans, what can be so radical about Obama's reform? This is superficially clever. It not only gives Obama's plan a centrist patina, it shines a light on a significant obstacle to Romney's likely repeat bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Except for the fact that the Massachusetts reform is spiraling out of control. If the states are the laboratories of democracy, ObamaCare's Menlo Park is about to blow up. Unsustainably high costs and high insurance premiums are leading inexorably toward price controls and rationing. Obama might as well boast that he's adopted a version of the California fiscal plan, or the Michigan economic-recovery plan.

Our Lawless Mexican Border
Excerpt: A great sadness will descend over this border town today as mourners fill the local high school gym to pay their respects to Rob Krentz. Two weeks ago, the 58-year-old rancher was shot and killed by what appears to be a drug smuggler. His death has created a tidal wave of emotion—Krentz was a pillar of this community where his family has ranched land here for a century. "The sobbing and crying from people I never thought I'd see cry, it's unbelievable," local veterinarian Gary Thrasher told me. Americans who do not live along the Mexican border often assume the antipathy to illegal immigration arises from racial or cultural concerns. But talk to people on the ground, and what they fear most is the loss of personal security. They are angry that the federal government is unable to provide them with this most basic of human rights.
Last year the Border Patrol made an astonishing 241,673 arrests in the Tucson Sector, which covers 262 miles. Arrests in Douglas are up 25% this year—in part because tighter security elsewhere has funneled traffic through this remote region. Border agents say that 17% of the people they arrest in the sector have U.S. criminal records.

Polish President, Others Killed in Plane Crash
Excerpt: Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of others in a high-level delegation were killed Saturday when their plane crashed on landing outside the western Russian city of Smolensk, officials said. Russian state television reported that the Tu-154 jet crashed about a kilometer short of the runway on its second attempt to land in heavy fog at the Smolensk-Severnyi military airport, shortly before 11 a.m. Moscow time. Reports of the number killed in the crash varied. Polish officials put the figure at 88, while Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations said 97 had died and Russia's Investigative Committee said the total was 132….. Mr. Kaczynski, 60 years old, was leading a delegation of top Polish officials to memorial ceremonies at Katyn, the site of a massacre of 22,000 Poles by Soviet agents 70 years ago. "The soul trembles to think that Katyn has taken new victims," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the International. (There was a Chicago man on the plane, son of one of the officers murdered at Katyn by the Communists when they and the Nazi’s divided Poland to start WWII in Europe.

The Scientific Socialism of Today
Excerpt: A certain kind of mind believes that human beings exist as objects to be experimented upon as society is perfected by the privileged class -- a utopia engineered by elites. There's a reason why Engels called it Scientific Socialism. Thomas Sowell alluded to it when he wrote: “The grand delusion of contemporary liberals is that they have both the right and the ability to move their fellow creatures around like blocks of wood -- and that the end results will be no different than if people had voluntarily chosen the same action.” Now imagine a different scenario. Imagine that 21st-century liberals had governed 19th-century America. Would anything have been different? In the words of a certain hot biker chick, "You betcha!" For one thing, candles and kerosene lamps cause pollution (soot), and to liberals, even the most miniscule amount of pollution is intolerable. So it's a safe bet that a liberal in 1878, as today, would already have been on the lookout for an alternate, less polluting source of illumination -- a "green" light, as it were. But then, as now, that would be just step one. Step two would be to force people to use the new stuff by banning the old stuff. This, in fact, is precisely what a Democratic Congress did in 2008, when it banned the incandescent light bulb in favor of the "CFL" (compact fluorescent light bulb). To be fair, Congress didn't actually ban incandescent light bulbs; they merely set new, higher, and more energy-efficiency standards -- standards so high that no incandescent bulb could possibly meet them. Perhaps a liberal Congress circa 1878 would have decreed that all candles and kerosene lamps produced after 1891 would be required to emit a flameless light. A bolder Congress might ban candles and kerosene lamps outright. But one way or another, candles and kerosene lamps would be banned.

Why Fannie Mae Failed: Ex-CEO Blames Conflicting Mandates

Crash the Tea Party
This must be the “civil” discourse the President called for more of.

Government Ethics and Corruption Edges Economy as Most Important Issue
Excerpt: Voters now rate government ethics and corruption as the most important issue regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. This is the second time in two years this issue has edged the economy and also marks the highest percentage of voters who have ever rated it most important. The latest national telephone survey finds that 84% of U.S. voters now see government ethics and corruption as a very important issue. The only other time this issue was rated number one was in September 2009 when 83% felt that way. When it comes to which party voters trust more on the issue, 35% trust Democrats, 33% trust Republicans, and 33% are not sure. Most unaffiliated voters don’t trust either of the major parties on this issue. However, this is the only issue on which voters trust Democrats. Republicans are trusted more on nine out of 10 key issues. Republican candidates now hold a nine-point lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Excerpt: In the matter of Iranian nuclearization, U.S. President Barack Obama still doesn’t get it. Economic sanctions will never work. In Tehran’s national decision-making circles, absolutely nothing can compare to the immense power and status that would presumably come with membership in the Nuclear Club. Indeed, if President Ahmadinejad and his clerical masters truly believe in the Shiite apocalypse, an inevitable final battle against “unbelievers,” they would likely be willing to accept even corollary military sanctions.

Refugee jailed for strangling 'too Australian' wife
Excerpt: A man who killed his wife by using her veil to strangle her in their Melbourne home did so in the belief he was entitled to dominate her, a Supreme Court judge has found.
Soltan Azizi was today sentenced to 22 years' jail by Justice Betty King, who said the Afghani refugee had been physically abusive towards Marzieh Rahimi throughout their 14-year marriage.

Live shell removed from soldier

America's surrender of space
Excerpt: The symbolism is breathtaking. From now on, whenever we remember with pride the courage and sacrifice of the Mercury astronauts, or Neil Armstrong taking "One small step for a man, one giant step for mankind," or Jim Lovell and the crew of Apollo 13 calmly tinkering with duct tape to repair their capsule, we'll quickly deflate with the afterthought: "Oh yeah. Now the Russians do that. We don't."

Coin flips in the context of climate modeling
Excerpt: In his recent article, NSIDC’s Dr. Meier answered Question #9 “Are the models capable of projecting climate changes for 100 years?” with a coin flipping example....The chances of getting less than 4,000 or greater than 6,000 heads are essentially zero. However, this is not an appropriate analogy for GCMs. The coin flip analogy assumes that each iteration is independent of all others, which is not the case with climate.

Amid cuts, Ohio judge tells citizens to carry guns
Excerpt: One judge's solution for citizens feeling less secure because of budget cuts in an Ohio county: Carry a gun. Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents Friday to be vigilant and arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half because of a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups. "They have to be law-abiding, and if they are not familiar with firearms they need to take a safety course so they are not a threat to their family and friends and themselves," Mackey said Friday.

U.S. military goes hungry in Afghanistan
Excerpt: The United States Military is in the midst of a troop surge in Afghanistan, but the surge has caused the ratio of resources to troops to widen. Many American Forward Operating Bases are experiencing food and water shortages.

Blind Marine re-enlists
Excerpt: After all he's been through, the only real regret Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford says he has now is not being able to return to combat duty in Iraq. But Wednesday, Bradford, 23, made Marine Corps history, becoming the first blind double amputee to re-enlist. In keeping with service tradition, Bradford was honorably discharged and allowed to say a few words as a civilian before re-enlisting. “Sign me up, sir!” he told Lt. Col. David Barnes, who administered the oath of enlistment, extending Bradford's military career by another four years. The outdoor re-enlistment ceremony was held a few hundred feet from the Center for the Intrepid, dedicated just 11 days after Bradford was seriously wounded in Iraq.

NHS relax superbug safeguards for Muslim staff... just days after Christian nurse is banned from wearing crucifix for health and safety reasons
Muslim doctors and nurses are to be allowed for religious reasons to opt out of strict NHS dress codes introduced to prevent the spread of deadly hospital superbugs. The Department of Health has announced that female Muslim staff will be permitted to cover their arms on hospital wards to preserve their modesty. This is despite earlier guidance that all staff should be ‘bare below the elbow’ after long sleeves were blamed for spreading bacteria, leading to superbug deaths.

Child marriage story in Yemen finds a way to get even more disturbing
Excerpt: Apologists will be quick to say the aspects of the story that are coming out now are "un-Islamic." But Islamic law, along with its many inherent defects, creates broader conditions for exploitation and abuse. Thus, playing the "un-Islamic" card in this case would amount to an attempt to duck responsibility for the consequences of Islamic law, which, after all, provides for child marriage after the example of Muhammad himself. "Dead Yemeni Child Bride Tied Up, Raped, Says Mom," from the Associated Press, April 10.

Indonesia: Islamist mob beats couple for having sex
One of my critics posting on “I’m Tired” recently used Indonesia as an example to refute my concerns about Islam (naturally claiming I said things I didn’t about all or most Muslims). Excerpt: Two Indonesians were paraded nude through their village in a province dominated by Islam, following a beating by mob angered when it was alleged that the pair had been caught having extramarital sex. Bus is a 36 year-old man who is an official with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs in the province of Aceh Barat. He and Yus, a 28 year-old woman, were caught on April 7 in the woman’s home by a mob.

Mideast. Teen feared dead returns home
Unfortunately, most of the “moderate” Muslims believe the lies from the terror groups like Hamas. Excerpt: A Palestinian teenager who went missing near the Gaza border last week and was believed to have been killed by Israeli troops has returned home safe after being detained in Egypt, he said on Sunday. Mohammed al-Faramawi, 15, said he had gone with some friends to Gaza's defunct airport near the borders with Israel and Egypt last Monday "for fun" when they found a smuggling tunnel to Egypt and crawled through it. They were promptly arrested by Egyptian security forces on the other side and held for several days. On Tuesday, the day after he disappeared, Palestinian medics and media reported he had been shot dead by Israeli forces near the border.


The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor. - Hubert H. Humphrey (Would today’s liberals agree with this old liberal war horse? I met HHH once at a function when I was in the state senate. His liberalism was not communism, supported LBJ fighting it, however ineptly.)

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