Afterward, be sure to look at the chart showing the percentages of right and wrong answers. Believe it or not, elected officials scored worse than the general public.
Obama and his ilk just can’t help themselves.
…The fact that liberals are so terrified of science that they chronically wet themselves wouldn’t be half as annoying if they didn’t go around boasting about their deep respect for science, especially compared to conservatives.
Apparently this criticism is based on conservatives’ skepticism about global warming — despite the studies of distinguished research scientists Dr. Alicia Silverstone and Dr. Woody Harrelson. (In my case, it’s only because I’m still waiting for liberals’ global cooling theory from the ’70s to come true.)
The left’s idea of “science” is that we should all be riding bicycles and using the Clivus Multrum composting latrines instead of flush toilets. Anyone who dissents, they say — while adjusting their healing crystals for emphasis — is “afraid of science.”
A review of the record, however, shows that time and again liberals have been willing to corrupt public policy and allow people to die in order to enforce the Luddite views of groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists (original name, “Union of Concerned Activist Lawyers Who Took a Science Course in High School”).
As I described in my book “Godless,” both the government and the entire mainstream media lied about AIDS in the ’80s by scaring Americans into believing that heterosexuals were as much at risk for acquiring AIDS as gays and intravenous drug users. The science had to be lied about so no one’s feelings got hurt.
In 1985, Life magazine’s cover proclaimed: “NOW, NO ONE IS SAFE FROM AIDS.” In 1987, U.S. News & World Report reported that AIDS was “finding fertile growth among heterosexuals.” Also in 1987, Dr. Oprah Winfrey said that “research studies” predicted that “one in five heterosexuals could be dead from AIDS at the end of the next three years.”
In 1988, ABC’s “20/20″ claimed the CDC had discovered a shocking upsurge of heterosexual infections on college campuses. It struck no one as odd that 28 of the 30 infections had occurred in men (with alphabetized spice racks and at least three cats, one named Blanche).
Two years later, CNN broadcast that same 1988 study, proclaiming: “A new report from CDC indicates that AIDS is on the rise on college campuses.”
A quarter-century later, and we’re still waiting for the big heterosexual AIDS outbreak.
But at least science achieved its primary purpose: AIDS was not stigmatized as a “gay disease.” Scientific facts were ignored so that science would be nonjudgmental. That was more important than the truth.
Liberal activists also gave us the alar scare in the late ’80s based on the studies of world renowned chemist and national treasure Meryl Streep.
Alar is a perfectly safe substance that had been used on apples since 1968 both to ripen and preserve the fruit. It made fresh fruit more accessible by allowing fruit pickers to make one sweep through the apple grove, producing ripe, fresh fruit to be distributed widely and cheaply.
But after hearing the blood-chilling testimony of Streep, hysterical soccer moms across America hopped in their Volvos, dashed to their children’s schools and ripped the apples from the little ones’ lunch boxes. “Delicious, McIntosh and Granny Smith” were added to “Hitler, Stalin and Mao” as names that will live in infamy.
The EPA proposed banning alar based on a study that involved pumping tens of thousands times more alar into rats than any human could possibly consume, and observing the results. The rats died — of poisoning, not tumors – but the EPA banned it anyway. Poor people went back to eating Twinkies instead of healthy fresh fruit.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization advised against an alar ban and Europeans continued to eat fruit with alar in their nice warm houses powered by nuclear energy (halted in the U.S. thanks to the important work of Dr. Jackson Browne and Dr. Bonnie Raitt).
Other scientific theories developed in the laboratories of personal injury lawyers and TV networks included the left’s “cancer cluster” claim in the ’80s. The Centers for Disease Control investigated 108 alleged “cancer clusters” that had occurred between 1961 to 1983 and found no explanation for them other than coincidence — and a demonstrable proximity to someone with deep pockets.
As Yale epidemiologist Michael Bracken explained: “Diseases don’t fall evenly on every town like snow.” Random chance will lead some areas to have higher, sometimes oddly higher, numbers of cancer.
But just to be safe, we all better stop driving cars, eating off of clean dishes and using aerosol sprays.
Some of the other scientific studies and innovations that make liberals cry are: vaccines, IQ studies, breast implants and DDT.
After decades of this nonsense, The New York Times’ Paul Krugman has the audacity to brag that liberals believe the “truth should be determined by research, not revelation.” Yes — provided the “research” is conducted by trial lawyers and Hollywood actresses rather than actual scientists.
Via Vanderleun, one of the most telling videos of the tsunami.
We’ve all known kids who only try to straighten out their behavior when they begin to sense that Christmas is right around the corner. It often strikes me that politicians are the same way, only in their case it’s elections that start them thinking in terms of being naughty or nice. But some of us, like Santa’s little helpers, are always keeping a list and checking it twice.
For instance, when Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and 18 out of 19 Republicans finally did the right thing, in spite of the presence of thousands of union goons and the absence of 14 Democrats, most sane Americans celebrated the occasion. But for Democrats such as Hawaii’s Senator Inouye, it was a cause for concern. He actually complained that Republicans were basing their demands for budgetary cuts on their campaign promises. What’s more, Rep. Pelosi said that it was immoral to cut spending. And I’m sure they weren’t the only politicians who were shocked and genuinely upset that Republicans such as Walker and the Tea Partiers in the House, who had run and won elections by vowing to stand up to the public sector unions and restore fiscal responsibility to America, meant to keep their word.
One can easily understand liberals’ outrage. After all, our president, theoretically, at least, the symbolic head of our nation, has kept precious few of his campaign promises. So where do all these right-wing governors and congressmen get off trying to make him look like a run-of-the-mill political hack?
But lest anyone get the idea that I disapprove of everything Barack Obama says and does, it only took about 27 months, but he and I finally saw eye to eye on an issue. But, then, predictably, he double-crossed me. Just as I was prepared to agree with one of his decisions — namely, to keep our nose out of Libya — he decided to go macho on me.
In spite of all the talking heads on TV urging U.S. intervention, I would not have involved our military in Libya. For one thing, I see no reason why the Arab League, which gave the no-fly zone notion a big thumbs-up, doesn’t take on that job. They have pilots and jets. Why is it that America and the European nations always have to do their dirty work?
I, for one, am sick and tired of America rushing off to spill our blood and waste China’s money in order to protect Muslims from other Muslims. Over the past two decades, our military has been involved in Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and now Libya. Enough is enough. The truth is, all it ever gets us is the ongoing hatred and resentment of Arabs and Muslims.
Unlike most people, I have not been sitting on the sidelines rooting for the rebellion forces in the Middle East. I do not confuse enemies of my enemies with friends. I have no reason to think that when the smoke clears, we are going to see a lot of George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons running any of those moral swamplands. It is far likelier that Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah, will fill any and all power vacuums in that part of the world, with the mullahs in Tehran pulling their collective strings.
I thought the most-telling event during the recent uprisings took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, when the mob sexually assaulted CBS news reporter Lara Logan, having decided, incorrectly as it happens, that she was Jewish. Predictably, hundreds of Egypt’s peaceful demonstrators cheered them on. That told me all I really needed to know about the “freedom fighters” who were revolting against Hosni Mubarak. “Revolting” was certainly the operative word.
Keep in mind it was because of TV coverage that George H.W. Bush decided it was our duty to invade Somalia. But it took only a couple of weeks before the newly-elected Bill Clinton understood the political ramifications of having TV showing American soldiers killing black men, even if the miserable thugs were the African version of the Crips and Bloods. And, so, the greatest military power on earth retreated in the face of a bunch of punks and gangsters.
I am not suggesting that the U.S. military should never venture out beyond our borders, but we should have a better reason for doing so than because CNN is showing us one bunch of anti-American creeps killing another bunch of anti-American creeps.
In short, we should not be letting the 6 o’clock news determine our foreign policy. For those not old enough to remember, we already let Walter Cronkite do it once, and it not only cost us a victory in Vietnam, it cost millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians their lives.
And if that’s not bad enough, it also propelled John Kerry into the U.S. Senate and helped convince Hollywood pinheads that Jane Fonda deserved to win a couple of Oscars.
After weeks of mostly rainy, gray or chilly days (in SoCal that means 50 degrees in February), we’ve been shut off from the natural world around us. Today we had the doors and windows open letting in the sounds of bird activity.
The mockingbirds are the most amusing. I’ve often wondered why this species mimics others. So I asked Dr. Google and found this to be the most convincing:
Song mimicry has always posed a bit of a puzzle to ornithologists. Almost all male birds use songs to attract females, but these musical suitors cannot succeed unless potential mates recognize their species-specific melodies. By appropriating the songs of dozens of other birds, a habitual mimic like the northern mockingbird would seem to defeat its own efforts.
As authentic as these avian impersonations may sound to human ears, however, female mockingbirds are not so easily fooled. The pitch and tempo often differ from those of the original, but even more telling is the seeming gusto with which a male mockingbird goes about his singing. Rapidly cycling through a succession of 30 or more songs, he makes it simple for a female to tell the difference.
In fact, as a male mockingbird develops a wide repertoire, he actually enhances his ability to woo a mate. Research has shown that female mockingbirds are more attracted to males with a wide selection of songs. Since it takes time for a male mockingbird to learn an array of calls, the females may simply be using their ears to find a more mature and experienced mate.
The vocal ability of mockingbirds is remarkable; one mocker whistled through the songs of 55 species in just one hour, and individual repertoires of more than 150 songs have been documented. Mockingbirds also borrow freely from the nonavian world including barking dogs, gray treefrogs, or even a sqeaky wheelbarrow.
US pilots surprise Japanese in Sendai with supplies.
The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.
The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.
Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.
Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto “alternative” means of transport.
“That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres,” he said. “Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”
Whether citizens like it or not.
And regardless if the threat of man made global warming is even real.
The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a “crazy” restriction on mobility.
“I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.
“If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”
Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe’s economic competitiveness.
“Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win,” he claimed.
* Green on the outside, red on the inside.
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?
Things got violent in jolly ole England over the weekend. The crowd gathered to bitch about spending cuts. Everybody sing!
Britain is broke but I don’t care.
Britain is broke but I don’t care.
Jes keep the cash coming my way.
All the live-long day.
The photo below is one from a story in the Daily Mail.
I chance to be passing through London today. Picked the wrong afternoon for it. Every sleepy side-street in this normally agreeable corner of Mayfair is awash with union heavies and other unlovely types who’ve wandered loose from the supposedly half-million-strong protest march against alleged government “spending cuts” – of which, in fact, there are distressingly few.
As I write, I am approximately fifty feet from the scene of this balaclava-ed anarchist’s heroic stand. Looks rather less exciting in close-up, I have to report. The livelier lads have already rampaged through Fortnum & Mason, the upscale Piccadilly emporium, and attacked the Ritz. Obvious targets, you might say. But I found it more poignant earlier in the day when I went to a favorite coffee place hoping to enjoy a beverage outside on a pleasant spring day as the massed ranks of British layabouts marched by. Instead, the Polish and Balkan baristas were hurriedly dragging in all the sidewalk tables and chairs before the Socialist Workers’ Party chaps showed up in search of projectiles. Nobody in the Socialist Workers’ Party actually works, which is one reason why it’s Mitteleuropeans frothing your coffee rather than any of the natives.
Still, on balance I prefer the class-war thugs trashing the joint, who at least have the courage of their convictions. The “nice” people bussed in from the shires struck me as some of the most stupid people I’ve ever met anywhere on the planet. One elderly lady from Yorkshire told me she was there because her grandson’s university fees were likely to go up. I was in a cranky mood because I hadn’t had my coffee. “You can protest all you like,” I said. “But this country’s broke, so all you’re doing is postponing its reacquaintanceship with reality, and ensuring that your grandson and his contemporaries are going to be stuck with the tab because you guys spent their future.” I pointed out that in her part of the world – northern England – as in Wales and Northern Ireland, the state accounts for three-quarters of the economy. And it’s still not enough for the likes of her and her pals.
She stared at me blankly. “Well, I don’t want to argue,” she said politely. “I just think it’s a disgrace.” In a democracy, there are not many easy ways back from insane levels of “social” spending, and certainly not when the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition panders to the mob by comparing them to anti-apartheid activists. Judging from the many marchers partial to robotic, pseudo-ethnic West African drumming, the British left’s plan is presumably for the entire country to relaunch itself as the world’s least rhythmic percussion ensemble.
Finally, there were the radical Islamists making their pitch.
Charles Martin at Pajamas Media has a clear, simple tutorial.
President Hugo Chavez urged Venezuelans on Sunday to cut their calories to avoid obesity – the latest lifestyle recommendation by the self-proclaimed socialist crusader.
Chavez has lobbied in recent weeks against what he calls the evils of capitalism, including alcoholism, breast implants and violent television programs.
“Be careful with weight gain!” warned Chavez on Sunday, speaking during his weekly television and radio program. “We are eating better, that’s been proven. We’re leaving malnutrition behind. It no longer exists in the country, but be careful with obesity.”
Chavez – who often dispenses advice to supporters during his marathon speeches – said he’d start a campaign to urge Venezuelans to consume less fatty foods and eat in a healthier fashion.
The former paratroop commander has taken issue with doctors who “convince women, many women – not all of them – that if they don’t have big bosoms, they should feel bad.”
Hugo should reconsider, lest it become obvious he’s the biggest boob in Venezuela.
Last night on “60 Minutes” Leslie Stahl anchored a segment on how the US corporate tax rate of 35% — the highest in the developed world — has American companies moving operations offshore, sometimes in name only, to remain competitive.
The CEO of Cisco Systems said the problem could be solved if Congress simply reduced the corporate tax rate. Stahl immediately shot back that the treasury would lose trillions in revenue.
Zero thinkers always argue this way. But right now the treasury is getting 35% of nothing from thousands of companies. Wouldn’t say, 19% of something, potentially bring in more?
This brought to mind candidate Obama’s ignorance of the effect of capital gains tax rates on tax revenues, as exposed by Charles Gibson during a Democrat debate in 2008.
GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,” which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.
But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.
GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.
GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.
So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
The “science” behind the Green Scare is growing less settled by the day.
New data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and studies appearing in two respected scientific journals raise serious questions about the science underlying alarmist predictions of global warming.
NASA: Predictions “Exaggerated”
In the March 13 Journal of Climate, Ken Minschwaner of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Andrew Dessler of the University of Maryland reported on atmospheric research they conducted for NASA. Discussing the importance of water vapor assumptions in climate models, they noted, “In most global climate models, an initial warming caused by additional CO2 and other greenhouse gases leads to enhanced evaporation at the surface and a general moistening of the atmosphere. Since water vapor is a strong infrared absorber, the added moisture causes further warming. The amplifying effect can be quite large, increasing the global average warming by 70%-90% compared to calculations that maintain a fixed water vapor.”
According to the new NASA data, water evaporation has not increased nearly as much as alarmists have predicted and have factored into their computer models.
As a result, according to the March 18 New York Times, “Dr. Minschwaner said the new research raised questions about the high end” of temperature predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which estimates the Earth’s climate could warm 2.5 to 10º Fahrenheit in the next century.
According to Environment & Energy Daily, the new data show “predictions about global warming have exaggerated its potential effects.” (more…)
“Our courts have become crazy,” complained Christie. “This is like banging your head on the wall.”
That’s putting it mildly.
Unfortunately, it may well be the state’s taxpayers who end up feeling the real pain — if the state Supreme Court goes along with the finding.
The high court appointed Bergen County Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne as a special master to report on a lawsuit charging that $1 billion in budget cuts last year violated a constitutional mandate that New Jersey provide its students with a “thorough and efficient” education.
Sure enough, said Judge Doyne, it did.
But he acknowledged in his 96-page ruling that despite “spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008” — before Christie’s cuts — New Jersey’s “ ‘at-risk’ children are now moving further from proficiency.”
In other words, the judge agreed that money doesn’t automaticaly provide a “thorough and efficient” education.
So what did he do? That’s right — he demanded more spending.
And where will that money come from?
Judge Doyne doesn’t particularly care. “The difficulty in addressing New Jersey’s fiscal crisis and its constitutionally mandated obligation . . . requires an exquisite balance not easily attained,” he wrote.
Let someone else figure it out, in other words.
Which is what the Supreme Court will have to do.
…just seeing this clown’s smug face makes me want to clobber him with a 2×4.
Warning: foul language and rampant stupidity.
Ferraro, a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, was back in the news in March 2008 when she stirred up a controversy by appearing to suggest that Sen. Barack Obama achieved his status in the presidential race only because he’s black.
A case of something being so obvious, the aghast reaction said much more about those who feigned indignation.
…The document which Dr. Medoff sent me last week, concerning FDR and the Holocaust, was frankly shocking. It had to do with the Allies’ occupation of North Africa, which they liberated from the Nazis in November 1942. At the time, President Roosevelt publicly pledged the Allies would do away with the anti-Jewish laws that had been in force in the region. But when FDR met in Casablanca with local government leaders in January 1943, he took a very different line.
The transcript of those discussions, which Dr. Medoff cites, reveals what FDR said about the status of the 330,000 Jews living in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia: “The number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population…The President stated that his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore toward the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc., in Germany, were Jews.”
Hard to believe a president would say such a thing? Maybe, but the source is unimpeachable: the transcript appears in Foreign Relations of the United States, a multivolume series of historical documents published by the U.S. government itself. The Casablanca volume was published in 1968, but did not attract much notice at the time. Dr. Medoff has done a public service by bringing it to our attention again.
Fortunately, U.S. policy in occupied North Africa in the end did not follow FDR’s line. When it became clear that the administration was stalling on getting rid of the old anti-Jewish laws, American Jewish leaders loudly protested. (If only they had been so vocal throughout the Holocaust years!) One of the most memorable critiques came from Benzion Netanyahu — father of Israel’s current prime minister — who in those days headed up the American wing of the Revisionist Zionist movement: “The spirit of the Swastika hovers over the Stars and Stripes,” he wrote. The protests eventually forced the White House to back down. North African Jews were gradually released from forced-labor camps and the anti-Jewish quotas and other laws were rescinded.
The American Jewish community reveres the memory of FDR. He will always be remembered and rightly so for leading us through the Great Depression and is responsible for this country not ending up in the column of fascist nations, as did Germany and Italy.
Why do we spend so much money on education? I think a lot of people would answer, “Because educating our kids is important.” Really? Why?
There are a lot of problems with teachers’ unions, whose goals are to make sure we get the least amount of education for the most amount of money, but the problems don’t start with them. Just look at the whole system we set up. We have 7.2 million teachers in this country and about 76 million students. Children are taught for 13 years in grade school, and many people want everyone to get at least 4 years of college on top of that. And what exactly do we get out of all this? If someone told me I was going to spend the next 17 years just studying, I’d expect at the end of it all to be Batman — a master of all sciences, languages, and martial arts. We’re lucky if our kids come out of this able to read and with at least one marketable skill.
So what is our goal with all this? It’s like we envision a future where we all just sit around and be all educated and smart while robots or illegal Mexicans do all the real work. But do we really want all of us to be a bunch of educated people who never do anything useful — like the Obama administration but for the whole country? Anyway, it’s not going to happen. The future still needs people to cook, clean, and manufacture goods — and it doesn’t take a decade of education in math and science to be able to do those things. So why are we spending hundreds of billions of dollars to make sure every fry cook at one point in his life knew what a gerund is?
Is there a benefit to educating everybody regardless of actual need? We keep hearing that we’re falling behind the rest of the world in our average math and science scores, but let’s look at some of the countries ahead of us: Finland, Lichtenstein, the Czech Republic. I’m sorry, but did I miss all the huge technological innovations that came out of these countries? China is also ahead of us in test scores, but they haven’t even figured out how not to put lead paint on children’s toys. What exactly are high average test scores worth? If a bank teller can properly identify the parts of a cell, this helps society how? Or do we just think that kids sitting in classrooms throughout childhood makes them better people? Well, Jesus didn’t spend his childhood in a school, but know who did? Hitler…
Sometimes I feel like I’m a research scientist. But instead of pursuing a cure for a dread disease, I keep trying to figure out liberalism. On second thought, it is something of a dread disease. What makes it unique is that it’s only those suffering from it who are unaware that they have it.
But, say we have two brothers raised in the same household. What I want to know is why it is that one will grow up to be honest, decent and intelligent, while the other sibling, who has shared all the same advantages, will turn out to be a Democrat.
That got me to thinking that perhaps we’re all subjects in a great cosmic experiment, and while those of us in Group A were given placebos, those in Group B were given the revolutionary new drugs, which not only caused the usual side effects, such as nausea, impotence and diarrhea, they also deprived the human guinea pigs of their ability to process information, distinguish between good and evil or to ever allow logic to trump their emotions.
As a result, liberals love not wisely, but too well. Like female adolescents, they fixate on the object of their infatuation, and are incapable of recognizing a single flaw in the one they idolize. But instead of the Jonas Brothers or Justin Bieber, liberals go all dreamy when they gaze on Barack Obama.
When George Bush didn’t shut down Gitmo, they called him a fascist. When Obama, after vowing countless times to close it, leaves it open, liberals think it’s cute.
The same folks who were certain that the Patriot Act was treasonous under Bush see how essential it is under Obama.
When Bush mispronounced “nuclear” or Palin claimed that Alaska’s proximity to Russia provided her with some credibility when it came to foreign affairs, liberals carried on as if he had nuked London and she had broken wind on “The View,” but when Obama refers to 57 states, trashes America’s history and kowtows to Muslims, the Left could just eat him up with a spoon.
When Bush suggested that it might be a good idea if people chose to take control of their own Social Security investments, liberals accused him of trying to destroy America’s senior citizens. However, when the President got Reid and Pelosi to use bribery and intimidation to coerce their colleagues into passing ObamaCare, which would leave the health care of seniors up to bureaucrats, the liberals broke out the balloons and party hats.
When Bush waged war in Iraq, the Left compared him to Hitler. However, when Obama wages war in Afghanistan, the Left gives him a pass, the L.A. Times doesn’t keep a running count of how many American soldiers die fighting Obama’s war and Gerry Trudeau doesn’t devote “Doonesbury,” allegedly a comic strip, to listing the names of the dead.
Now, I acknowledge that this is all supposition on my part. I have no actual proof that liberals are the end result of a laboratory experiment that’s gone terribly wrong.
But on the chance I’m right, I pray that someone somewhere is working day and night to come up with the antidote.
What’s the News: The reproductive life of a cuckoo is both easy—it lays its eggs in others birds’ nests, and lets them feed the young—and difficult: cuckoos are involved in an “evolutionary arms race” with other birds, finds a new study. Even as cuckoos improve their counterfeiting skills—producing eggs that look more like others birds’—the host birds get better and better at identifying the forged eggs.
How the Heck:
- Knowing that birds have four types of color-sensitive cone cells in their eyes, allowing them to see ultraviolet wavelengths, researchers used a spectroscope to measure the amount of light reflected from hundreds of cuckoo and host-bird eggs. They then fed this data into models to produce images showing how birds see the different types of eggs.
- They discovered that while cuckoo and redstart eggs have a high degree of color overlap, cuckoo eggs targeted for dunnock nests did not.
- Here’s the kicker: Redstarts and dunnocks don’t spot forgeries equally. Redstarts are more discerning of foreign eggs and readily kick out cuckoo forgeries, while the dumb dunnocks accept even the most mismatched eggs. So these findings suggest that cuckoos targeting redstarts evolved the ability to create better forgeries because the redstart has such a good eye. With dunnocks, that evolutionary force wasn’t at play because the birds are so accepting of forgeries; why bother?
But how does the former Governor feel?
Eh, she does not seem to be offended.
“I need NOW’s defense like a fish needs a bicycle,” she told Greta van Susteren. “I don’t want them to defend me.”
She feels that there might be a double standard — or maybe not — but the important thing is to keep focused on her goals.
“So what? Let’s just work harder, produce more, produce better, and get over it,” she said. “I’m through whining about a liberal press that holds especially conservative women to a different standard.”
“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”~Irina Dunn, 1970, commonly misattributed to Gloria Steinem who had quoted Dunn
President Obama is proud of how he put together the Libyan operation. A model of international cooperation. All the necessary paperwork. Arab League backing. A Security Council resolution. (Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States, a minor inconvenience for a citizen of the world.) It’s war as designed by an Ivy League professor.
True, it took three weeks to put this together, during which time Moammar Gaddafi went from besieged, delusional (remember those youthful protesters on “hallucinogenic pills”) thug losing support by the hour — to resurgent tyrant who marshaled his forces, marched them to the gates of Benghazi and had the U.S. director of national intelligence predicting that “the regime will prevail.”
But what is military initiative and opportunity compared with paper? Well, let’s see how that paper multilateralism is doing. The Arab League is already reversing itself, criticizing the use of force it had just authorized. Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, is shocked — shocked! — to find that people are being killed by allied airstrikes. This reaction was dubbed mystifying by one commentator, apparently born yesterday and thus unaware that the Arab League has forever been a collection of cynical, warring, unreliable dictatorships of ever-shifting loyalties. A British soccer mob has more unity and moral purpose. Yet Obama deemed it a great diplomatic success that the League deigned to permit others to fight and die to save fellow Arabs for whom 19 of 21 Arab states have yet to lift a finger. And what about that brilliant U.N. resolution?
- Russia’s Vladimir Putin is already calling the Libya operation a medieval crusade.
- China is calling for a cease-fire in place — which would completely undermine the allied effort by leaving Gaddafi in power, his people at his mercy and the country partitioned and condemned to ongoing civil war.
- Brazil joined China in that call for a cease-fire. This just hours after Obama ended his fawning two-day Brazil visit. Another triumph of presidential personal diplomacy.
And how about NATO? Let’s see. As of this writing, Britain wanted the operation to be led by NATO. France adamantly disagreed, citing Arab sensibilities. Germany wanted no part of anything, going so far as to pull four of its ships from NATO command in the Mediterranean. France and Germany walked out of a NATO meeting on Monday, while Norway had planes in Crete ready to go but refused to let them fly until it had some idea who the hell is running the operation. And Turkey, whose prime minister four months ago proudly accepted the Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, has been particularly resistant to the Libya operation from the beginning.
And as for the United States, who knows what American policy is. Administration officials insist we are not trying to bring down Gaddafi, even as the president insists that he must go. Although on Tuesday Obama did add “unless he changes his approach.” Approach, mind you.
In any case, for Obama, military objectives take a back seat to diplomatic appearances. The president is obsessed with pretending that we are not running the operation — a dismaying expression of Obama’s view that his country is so tainted by its various sins that it lacks the moral legitimacy to … what? Save Third World people from massacre?
That said, corporate profits are double-taxed under our system — by the company and then by the shareholders.
General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.
Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.
While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.
In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.
Southern California has become a hub of so-called birthing tourism. Operators of such centers tend to try to blend in, attracting as little attention as possible.
But on quiet, residential Palm Avenue, neighbors had noticed an unusual number of pregnant women going in and out, and some complained about noise.
On March 8, code enforcement officials shut down three identical four-bedroom townhouses functioning as an unlicensed birthing center.
The homes, officials said, had been converted into maternity centers. Inside, they found about 10 mothers and seven newborns.
“The people were sitting and eating at a table. All the babies were in bassinets with a nurse attending to them,” said Jennifer Davis, San Gabriel’s director of community development.
The city fined the manager of the property, Dwight Chang of Arcadia, $800. He was cited for illegal construction and ordered to acquire permits and return the buildings to their original condition.
“They had moved walls around without proper permits. They did interior work that can sometimes create unsafe environments afterwards,” Davis said. “And it’s a business in a residential neighborhood. They are not permitted to operate there.”
The Chinese mothers have since left the U.S. or moved into hotels, officials said. On Wednesday, construction work in the houses was underway. The doors were open, and visible inside was the detritus of a hasty departure — boxes of diapers, a baby-bottle sterilizer, a rice cooker, an electric kettle, bags of chopsticks and piles of Chinese-language magazines.
The garage of one of the buildings appeared to have been converted into an extra bedroom.
“It felt like something wasn’t right in there,” said Taylor Alderson, who was shocked to hear what had been going on next door. “There was a constant barrage of pregnant women going in and out of the house.”
From a fundraising letter to Democrat donors from Harry Reid:
We should be trying to put Americans back to work, not trying to put public radio out of business.
Attacking labor unions…waging war on women’s rights…defunding NPR…repealing health care reform. The anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-Obama Republican agenda just proves that their priorities are seriously out of whack. How is any of this supposed to create jobs?
Allow me, Harry.
Public- sector* labor unions have pushed the cost of government to absurd and unsustainable levels, as well as thwarting reforms. This costs the private economy jobs.
Defunding NPR — sure, it’s chicken feed in dollar terms, but it’s time to start cutting out all wasteful spending. Yes, that includes your dear Cowboy poets. Public radio only gets 10% of its budget from the feds, so it won’t go out of business. And you know better, you hack.
ObamaCare is a sloppy, potentially ruinous law that grows the size of government, doesn’t reduce medical costs and injects vast uncertainty into the economy. This kills jobs.
The best economic stimulus would be to wrest control of the government from you and your gang of nanny-state, big-spending clowns. Every dollar you spend is a dollar taken from the private economy. And the private economy is where wealth is created.
* No one has a beef with private sector unions. Your slippery language tries to obscure that, just as you do by equating being against illegal immigration as being anti-immigrant.
Must have been a slow day at the precinct.
Westport resident Timothy Luciano of 21 Vani Court was arrested March 16 for allegedly hitting his wife in the back with a snowball after an argument the two had in February.
Police say Luciano’s wife filed a report Feb. 25 saying the two were in a heated argument about paperwork Feb. 2. When she went to leave his house, Luciano, 53, reportedly began throwing snowballs at her and hit her in the back with one.
After the incident, police say his wife had a neighbor take a picture of where a snowball had hit her as proof.
Luciano was picked up on an arrest warrant and was charged with disorderly conduct. He was scheduled to appear in court March 18.
Computers and timers now control the lights at most intersections, but at one time little buttons at crosswalks allowed people to trigger the signal change. Those buttons are mostly all disabled now, but the task of replacing or removing all of them was so great most cities just left them up. You still press them though, because the light eventually changes.
In many offices and cubicle farms, the thermostat on the wall isn’t connected to anything. Landlords, engineers and HVAC specialists have installed dummy thermostats for decades to keep people from costing companies money by constantly adjusting the temperature. According to a 2003 article in the Wall Street Journal, one HVAC specialist surmises 90 percent of all office thermostats are fake (others say it’s more like 2 percent). Some companies even install noise generators to complete the illusion after you turn the knob.
In a survey conducted in 2003 by the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News, 72 percent of respondents admitted to installing dummy thermostats.
“We had an employee that always complained of being hot,” recalls Greg Perakes, an HVACR instructor in Tennessee. “Our solution was to install a pneumatic thermostat. We ran the main air line to it inside of an enclosed I-beam. Then we just attached a short piece of tubing to the branch outlet (terminating inside the I-beam without being attached to any valves, etc.).”
The worker “could adjust her own temperature whenever she felt the need,” Perakes says, “thus enabling her to work more and complain less. When she heard the hissing air coming from inside the I-beam, she felt in control. We never heard another word about the situation from her again. Case solved.”
- The Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Mar. 27, 2003