October 23, 2011
DENVER: Zombies outnumber #Occupy protesters 12:1. You could tell the difference because the zombies had better hygiene.
DENVER: Zombies outnumber #Occupy protesters 12:1. You could tell the difference because the zombies had better hygiene.
WELL, BUT IT IS PUBLIC SCHOOLS DOING IT, so it must be okay.
THOUGHTS ON Bobby Jindal’s Crushing Re-Election Victory.
THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” STUFF WE WERE PROMISED: NYT: Iraq withdrawal outcome of Obama negotiating failure.
NEW YORK TIMES CORRECTS AN EDITORIAL, but Benjamin Wittes points out many more errors. With a Schoolhouse Rock video to help the NYT editors grasp his point.
HARD TIMES FOR MIDDLEMEN in the publishing industry. And I note this bit in particular:
But more telling is that these same publishers are crying because Amazon is “gnawing away at the services that publishers, critics and agents used to provide.” Used to provide is the key phrase here. Past tense. As in, these are services that were once provided by publishers, critics and agents and are no longer. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And, frankly, can you blame an author for signing with Amazon if it does offer the editing, copy editing and proofreading, promotion and placement legacy publishers used to and no longer do? I can’t.
Kind of like the news media, publishers hollowed out their value-added segments when their positions seemed unassailable, because doing so saved money and increased profits. But without the value added, there’s not much reason to keep them in the loop once new alternatives appear.
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Survival Skills.
THIS MUST BE THE RESULT OF SOME OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: New Libyan Leader To Introduce “Radical” Islamic Law. “Mr Abdul-Jalil’s decision – made in advance of the introduction of any democratic process – will please the Islamists who have played a strong role in opposition to Col Gaddafi’s rule and in the uprising but worry the many young liberal Libyans who, while usually observant Muslims, take their political cues from the West.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Mark Shelden emails: “Hey, did you catch the ‘more radical than expected’ from the headline?” Another case of bad things happening unexpectedly!
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: $1 trillion in student loan debt sparks furor. Note that as far as I can tell, none of the folks complaining about heavy debt and no jobs went to for-profit schools — they seem to have attended traditional universities. Plus this: “For every student who defaults on a loan, at least two more are behind on their payments. Only 37 percent of borrowers who started repaying their loans in 2005 are able to pay them back fully on time, a recent report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy shows.”
NO, NO, YOU’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BRING THE PITCHFORKS TO OPPONENTS OF THE REGIME! Protesters Occupy GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s Connecticut Front Lawn. “Occupy Wall Street protesters took a field trip from Zuccotti Park on Saturday morning, all the way to the wealthy suburban enclave of New Canaan, Conn., where they took their anger at income and tax disparity to GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s front lawn.”
I have to admit that In the land of the free, they tax me but not G.E.! is sorta catchy. No word on what President Goldman Sachs thought about this, but I note that the group involved, Working Families, is an offshoot of the ACORN group that was disbanded after a teen-prostitute scandal.
Plus, this pic from reader Steve Judkins shows the wave of anger that’s spreading across America.
UPDATE: “Glenn Beck Gets Results.” Heh.
UPDATE: Reader Roger von Oechs writes:
In producing my popular creativity toy the “Ball of Whacks,” I have first-hand experience with the escalating price of “rare-earth” Neodymium magnets. The price of neodymium jumped SIXFOLD from June-2010 to June-2011 (though it’s come down a bit lately). The Chinese have shut down mines, curtailed foundry production, and limited export. Market manipulation at its best!
Since the “Ball of Whacks” has 180 rare earth magnets in it, the price to manufacture it has more than DOUBLED. Fortunately, I had the foresight to buy 18 million magnets last December, and have been able to keep prices somewhat in check for the remainder of this year. But as far as 2012 goes, I’ll have to pass the higher costs, along to the customer, and this will have a big impact on demand. I’m sure this is true for many other companies that use Neodymium magnets as well.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on new laptop releases.
A LOOK AT the racial consequences of gun control.
MORE ON THOSE UNDERFUNDED / OVERGENEROUS PUBLIC PENSIONS: Rhode Island Is Broke. “In Rhode Island, the citizenry is being asked to spend increasing percentages of its income and assets not for the general welfare, but for the welfare of a relatively small percentage of the population who have state and municipal pensions. It’s often joked that General Motors is a pension plan which makes automobiles. Rhode Island is in worse shape. Rhode Island is becoming a public sector pension plan which doesn’t make anything.”
Related: Chicago: 2 teachers union lobbyists teach for a day to qualify for hefty pensions. “Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found. . . . Over the course of their lifetimes, both men stand to receive more than a million dollars each from a state pension fund that has less than half of the assets it needs to cover promises made to tens of thousands of public school teachers. With billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, which serves public school teachers outside of Chicago, is one of several pension plans that are in debt as state government reels in a fiscal crisis.”
CHANGE: Mall Vacancies Hit All-Time Record. Blame the Internet if you want, but don’t blame Canada: “The malls that appear to be performing the best are those along the Canadian-U.S. border. A stronger Canadian dollar has made U.S. purchases more attractive. This phenomenon was seen during the back-to-school period, and will likely be strong during the upcoming holiday season.”
This iconic photo from the early days of hope-and-change now seems prophetic.
ARE ARCHITECTS MENTALLY DIFFERENT?
Have you ever looked at a bizarre building design and wondered, “What were the architects thinking?” Have you looked at a supposedly “ecological” industrial-looking building, and questioned how it could be truly ecological? Or have you simply felt frustrated by a building that made you uncomfortable, or felt anger when a beautiful old building was razed and replaced with a contemporary eyesore? You might be forgiven for thinking “these architects must be blind!” New research shows that in a real sense, you might actually be right.
Environmental psychologists have long known about this widespread and puzzling phenomenon. Laboratory results show conclusively that architects literally see the world differently from non-architects.
I wonder if this connects to the newly discovered insulin / Alzheimer’s connection?
WHEN YOU GET RID OF THE PRETENSION BEHIND THE LOCAVORE MOVEMENT, THERE’S STILL SOMETHING: It can save you money.
Here’s what the Raeses have grown this spring, summer, and fall: turnips, black beans, purple hull peas, cranberry beans, Flossy Powell beans, Delicata squash, zucchini, horseradish, onions, potatoes, kale, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, blueberries, umpteen kinds of tomatoes, and almost every herb you can name. (Note: This is an incomplete list.)
The Raeses also belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from a local farm. What they can’t eat fresh, they freeze or can—Kat has an entire pantry filled with brightly colored mason jars. She pickles turnips and cans lentil soup and makes jam and even her own ketchup.
Raese said she got into canning because she couldn’t land a full-time job after finishing her Master’s in English at UT. Matt was (and is) still working on his Ph.D. in English, which meant their income was next to nothing—and Kat had nothing to do with her time. Once she discovered canning and then gardening, she says she found a way to channel her frustration at being underemployed into something productive.
Maybe someone should drop by the #Occupy protests and pass out copies of Square Foot Gardening.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Heading Into The Holiday Season, The US Consumer Is Worse Off Than Last Year.
SENATORS FOR McMansion Subsidies. “Should taxpayers continue to guarantee personal McMansions, even as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have lost $142 billion, and counting? Homeowners who lived through the recent government-backed housing boom and bust would say no, but for Senate Democrats and a clutch of Republicans in hock to the housing lobby, the answer is a resounding yes.”
CAN HYPERINFLATION happen in the United States? “Hyperinflation requires a central bank to willingly commit economic suicide. Typically, that happens at the behest of an authoritarian government. Under our current system, I can’t see that happening.” I would have said no, but with this gang in charge, who knows?
Or you can just stock up on these!
They’re also fun at parties.
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION vs. the gun bloggers?
THE PROBLEM WITH THE #OCCUPY MOVEMENT — NO EXIT STRATEGY: “You come, you conquer, and then time passes, protesters get dirty and ugly, internal divisions crack them up, the nearby residents get disgusted, the local businesses get mad, and then what? There’s isn’t going to be a revolution. It’s not Egypt. In the end, they’ll have to break up and go home. Or hope the cops come in and bust them up so they can end with a bang.”
Well, that’s one problem. The other is that the value of the sword of Damocles is that it hangs, not that it falls. Obama told Wall Street that he was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks. That scared them into line for a while. But now Wall Street’s sick of him, and doesn’t care. They’re not playing ball like they used to.
So he unleashed the pitchforks and what we got was the #occupy movement, a pathetic, and totally non-scary, embarrassment for the Democrats. Republicans are now hoping they’ll stay in place until November of 2012.
You just can’t get good goons these days.
Meanwhile, Andy Kessler reports from San Francisco.
Maybe this is all really about disappointment. I spoke to a young woman who had clearly bathed more recently than most. I asked her why she was at OccupySF. She told me she’d done all the right things. Studied hard. Graduated college. (She was an art major.) And now she can’t get a job. It didn’t matter. It’s all messed up. She was lied to.
Of course she was. She’s a member of the Trophy Generation. Win or lose, you get a trophy. We embraced mediocrity to an entire generation of kids during good times who are now finding themselves mediocre in bad times. There still is that American dream: Go to college, get a job, buy a Prius. But like it or not, studying art or humanities or gender studies won’t get you there. Marissa Mayer at Google complains she can’t find enough computer-science majors. Civil engineers are getting hired sight unseen.
Educating the whole child was bad advice. So was follow your passion. California spends months teaching ninth-graders how to build a waste-treatment plant with only a day or two on natural selection. I think Occupy Wall Streeters are as much disappointed with the route they all took as they are with “fat cat” bankers.
Plus, how to really occupy Wall Street — with, you know, actual skills and value added and stuff:
I must have rolled my eyes because Aaron introduced me to the guy. He had long hair, a scruffy beard and was holding an iPhone in one hand and a 5-hour ENERGY drink in the other. All entrepreneurs are trained for the elevator pitch, the 30-second description of what they do in case they are ever on a short elevator ride with a venture capitalist.
“I’ve taken the best of social networking and high-frequency trading and built a system that beats those Wall Street thieves at their own game. Users input their portfolio, it could be stocks or bonds or even derivatives and then we log each trade and anonymously share the spreads so everyone is on an even keel. First it’s just about information, but then we can start matching trades away from Wall Street. Its over for those guys, the status quo is toast.”
Apparently there’s more than one way to Occupy Wall Street.
THE HILL: Sen. Reid spends heavily in political capital in effort to help Obama. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has expended a heavy dose of political capital in recent weeks to help President Obama, despite grumbling within his caucus about the administration.”
TODAY ONLY SALE: “Alfred Hitchcock – The Masterpiece Collection” on DVD.
IN OTHER WORDS, BUSINESS AS USUAL, I GUESS: Strauss-Kahn ‘sex soirees paid for by businessmen.’ “A police probe into pimping at a French luxury hotel has uncovered evidence that Dominique Strauss-Kahn attended sex soirees with prostitutes paid for by businessmen, newspapers reported on Friday. Police investigating the case are also looking into trips made by the businessmen and a city police chief to Washington when Strauss-Kahn was head of the International Monetary Fund there, the Liberation and Le Figaro dailies said. The last such trip ended on May 13 this year, the day before New York police arrested Strauss-Kahn for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel chambermaid.”
ANGLETON AND THE CIA, revisited.
FORMER REP. ARTUR DAVIS: I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office. “When I was a congressman, I took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician. Without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists who contend that requiring photo identification to vote is a suppression tactic aimed at thwarting black voter participation. The truth is that the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.”
MAYBE HE SHOULD QUIT DRIVING IT INTO THE DITCH: Obama calls for Congress to ‘get our economy moving again.’
MATT YGLESIAS’ “DECEPTIVE” NUMBERS? “Peter Schaeffer shows why Yglesias’ graphs are pretty much completely deceptive. It turns out we’ve lost more private jobs than public jobs, even as a percentage, and even after ‘public sector jobs grew much faster in the run up to the crash.’”
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: “Herman Cain is bringing out the worst venom from the liberal media and entertainment complex, and the left-wing blogosphere.”
CANADA: CBC running scared: State broadcaster’s false attack ads demonstrate how financial probe is desperately needed. “The non-partisan information commissioner has given the CBC a grade of “F” for its secrecy — but it still violates her order for it to disclose the truth. It’s spending millions in legal expenses to hide how it’s spending billions in other expenses. This bad behaviour was coming to a head last week when Parliament was going to turn over some rocks and see what was going to go scurrying. And so it panicked. . . . If any other government department had done something like this, whoever responsible would be fired immediately. It wasn’t just unprofessional. It wasn’t just outside of its mandate of what it is given its government money for. It was an attempt to destroy a private-sector competitor.”
Turn on the lights, and the cockroaches scurry.
DON’T WANT YOUR CREDIT DOWNGRADED? Make downgrading your credit a crime! “This week alone has seen a ratings downgrade for Spain as well as a threat by agencies to review France’s AAA status — and the markets have taken notice. Once again, it would seem, ratings agencies are making things difficult for European countries. Now, the European Union is considering doing something about it.” Yeah, that’ll solve the problem.
SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “The social contract exists so that everyone doesn’t have to squat in the dust holding a spear to protect his woman and his meat all day every day. It does not exist so that the government can take your spear, your meat, and your woman because it knows better what to do with them.”
UPDATE: Ah, it’s from commenter Dagny at Ace’s place.
DON SURBER does the Washington Post’s homework for it. You know, the sort of thing that real newspapermen do . . . .
EUROPE FAIL: Eurozone summit – despair and backbiting in the corridors of power. “Just when the eurozone governments thought it could not get worse for Europe’s single currency, it did. Shell-shocked EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Saturday were already reeling from the worst Franco-German rift for over 20 years and a fractious failure to resolve the problems that have brought Greece, and the euro, close to the brink. But then a new bombshell hit as a joint report by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that, without a default, the Greek debt crisis alone could swallow the eurozone’s entire €440 billion bailout fund – leaving nothing to spare to help the affected banks of Italy, Spain or France.”
(Bumped, because I think my readers should look nice. And for cheap.)
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Flashback: Obama’s Failed Stimulus Cost More than 9 Year Iraq War.
ATF GUNRUNNING UPDATE: Slain ICE agent’s family still searching for answers.
In the eight months since Jaime Zapata was killed in an ambush in Mexico that also wounded another ICE agent, his parents say they have been proud to see his life eulogized by top U.S. government officials and to see a highway, a road and even a boat ramp named after their son.
But they also have grown increasingly frustrated in their quest to get answers about his death. They want to know why he was in northern Mexico when he initially was told that his assignment was intelligence gathering in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
They want to know more about the guns used in the attack, and whether any of them were tied to the U.S. government’s Operation Fast and Furious, which failed to track weapons that ended up in the hands of Mexican cartel members.
“I feel like I’m not getting the truth,” his mother said Friday in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
I feel the same way. . . .
ORTHOSTATIC TACHYCARDIA: Ailment Can Steal Youth From the Young.
Patrick Fox, now 14, considers himself lucky. It took only a year to find out why he was always tired, his heart raced and he ached all over, why he became overheated easily and had terrible headaches almost every day. Once a happy, active child and good student who enjoyed school, by age 12 he could hardly get out of bed. Various medical specialists — pediatrician, cardiologist, rheumatologist and geneticist — failed to find a physical cause for his symptoms. Some said he should see a psychiatrist because he was a malingerer, lazy, depressed, manipulative or overly anxious.
Instead, after his racing heart caused chest pains that felt like an impending heart attack, his mother whisked him off to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where in just two hours he learned he had a form of autonomic dysfunction known as POTS, short for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
It has taken some youngsters with the syndrome as long as a decade to get a proper diagnosis, by which time their teen years are a washout.
In my experience, whenever medical doctors offer a psychological diagnosis, it’s a copout. I’m sure that’s not always the case, but it has been my experience. After Helen had her heart attack, she got all sorts of psychological diagnoses, when she was really suffering the after-effects of an undiagnosed heart attack.
UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails:
In 1971 my father complained constantly about increasing pain in his abdomen. The doctors did the usual tests and didn’t find anything, and eventually recommended that he be put into a psychiatric institution to treat what they thought was an imaginary pain.
A few days after that began, some test came back that they hadn’t bothered waiting for. What they found out was that he had advanced cancer of the pancreas. An exploratory operation determined that it had spread to his liver, and there was no hope.
In 1972 it finally killed him.
I’m with you on this: “In my experience, whenever medical doctors offer a psychological diagnosis, it’s a copout.”
(I should mention that it didn’t actually cost him his life. By the point where he finally got doctors to start trying to find out what
was wrong, it was already too late.)
So they just added insult to injury. Okay.
VOIP UPDATE: Researchers uncover privacy flaws that can reveal users’ identities, locations and digital files. “Ross, the Leonard J. Shustek Professor of Computer Science at NYU-Poly, explained that the team uncovered several properties of Skype that can track not only users’ locations over time but also their peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing activity. Even when a user blocks callers or connects from behind a Network Address Translation (NAT) – a common type of firewall – it does not prevent the privacy risk, he said. The research also revealed that marketers can easily link to information such as name, age, address, profession and employer from social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn in order to inexpensively build profiles on a single tracked target or a database of hundreds of thousands.”
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in digital cameras.
UPDATE: Reader Jerry Huling writes:
I want to call your attention to the Sylvania HD1Z SD/SDHC/MMC 720p HD Pocket Video Digital Camera/Camcorder.
I bought a couple of these under the “Emerson” brand name at Big Lots for $25 each. With an 8-Gig SIMM card, they’ll record about an hour of video and audio or store about a zillion snapshots.
They’re certainly not “high-end”, but for turning on and dropping in your shirt pocket while being “interviewed” on the side of the road by the highway patrol, I don’t think they could be beat.
Here’s an example of the Emerson. Even the Sylvania model, at thirty-seven bucks is not a bad deal for a simple, rugged, and cheap video/audio/still camera.
As I said quite a while ago, what’s really impressive isn’t how good the expensive cameras have gotten. It’s how good the cheap cameras have gotten. And if you plan to shoot video in rough-and-tumble circumstances, there’s a lot to be said for having one that’s cheap enough to be expendable.
TURMERIC FOR JOINT PAIN? “A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, with ibuprofen for pain relief in 107 people with knee osteoarthritis. The curcumin eased pain and improved function about as well as the ibuprofen. Another study, by researchers at Baylor University Medical Center in 2008, reported that taking curcumin daily in moderate doses for up to three months was safe.” I just use it in cooking whenever I can.
FROM SPACE, IT’S your weekly volcano report.
IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS: Memo to single women: there is nothing ‘wrong’ with men today.
HOW TO AVOID gadget-buyer’s remorse.
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Biographies & Memoirs.
PROF. JACOBSON: Why I Respect Jennifer Rubin.
THIS WEEK IN THE FUTURE.
I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTHSHATTERING KA-BOOM: Scientists Model Chicxulub Meteorite Impact. “2 million times more powerful than a hydrogen bomb is pretty extreme.”
STANDARD-ISSUE HYPOCRISY: Lefty activist demands oped ‘transparency,’ but hides own funding ties to Big Green, anti-energy groups. “I wonder if the 50 journalists – five of whom identified themselves with the Society for Professional Journalists – who signed a TrueTies.org letter to The New York Times endorsing the demand for oped page transparency were aware when they signed the letter of the hypocrisy behind the campaign or Elsner’s prevarication about his group’s stance on energy issues? I’m guessing it wouldn’t make any difference if they did.”
A LOU GEHRIG’S DISEASE BREAKTHROUGH? Major ALS Breakthrough – Common Cause of All Forms of ALS Discovered.
ADVICE ON securing your home.
IN THE MAIL: From Kameron Hurley, Infidel.
LECH WALESA figures things out.
THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM THE MOVIES: Including this: “When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your room will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.”
DO YOU REALLY NEED A FLOWCHART TO EXPLAIN WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? “In Three Years, He Never Slept With Me Once!”
NOT-SO-FREE SPEECH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA:
The word “audience” refers to people listening. Didn’t these protesters intend to chant or shout or otherwise wreck the speech? If a university arranges a speaking event for someone who is invited as an honored guest and the event transmogrifies into one in which he will serve as a platform for other people who want to yell out their ideas, then the university should to expect him to decline to participate in what has become an alternate event of a sort that he would never have accepted if it had been the original invitation. To portray the erstwhile honored guest as fearful of critics and skeptics is demagoguery.
From the comments: “So, the people who were mad that Cantor was scheduled to speak are now mad that they won’t have the opportunity to shout?” I love the Dr. Weevil comment, too.
When famous people on the right speak at universities, they’re often abused. Why send taxpayer money to support institutions where this sort of thing is common?
CLASS WAR ERUPTS AT “OCCUPY NEW YORK:”
All occupiers are equal — but some occupiers are more equal than others. In wind-whipped Zuccotti Park, new divisions and hierarchies are threatening to upend Occupy Wall Street and its leaderless collective. . . .
Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out,” said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.
But the drums were fun. They brought in publicity and money. Many non-facilitators were infuriated by the decision and claimed that it had been forced through the General Assembly.
“They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music,” said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. “The GA decided to do it … they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”
To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal. “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” he said. “They didn’t even give the drummers a say … Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”
The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting.”
All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain. The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.
But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming: “You’re going to break my fucking tent, get that shit off!” Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Michael Ubaldi emails: “The Occupation movement is doing for anarchist theory what the Obama administration has done for European-style socialism: put all the myths festering on college campuses over two decades to the test so the world can watch them falter utterly.”
THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal. “Obama announces the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq but fails to persuade Nouri al-Maliki to allow US to keep bases there.”
UPDATE: Reader Fred Butzen writes:
With regard to the troop pullout from Iraq: Has anyone noticed that the end of this year is only ten weeks away? How in the world does thenpresident expect the orderly withdrawal of 40,000 US troops, with all their weapons and equipment, in that brief time?
President Obama is doing what I feared he would do when he first took office: order a mad dash for the exits. An army in disarray is an army that’s vulnerable; no doubt the Iranian terrorists are licking their chops at the prospect of hitting vulnerable American troops and installations. I hope to God I’m wrong, but I’m afraid that the New Year’s is going to get pretty ugly over there.
I’m sure this has been thought through with the same care as the stimulus bill got.
SIGH: Unvaccinated Behind Largest U.S. Measles Outbreak In Years. “The largest U.S. outbreak of measles to occur in 15 years — affecting 214 children so far — is likely driven by travelers returning from abroad and by too many unvaccinated U.S. children, according to new research. The finding could highlight the dangers of a trend among some U.S. parents to skip the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for their children, out of what many experts call misguided fears over its safety.” I blame Jenny McCarthy.
TODAY IS THE 25th Anniversary of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
ANOTHER CONFLICT coming to Korea?
THOSE SPORTS PEOPLE SURE ARE PREJUDICED: NFL Analysts: Tim Tebow Hated Because of His Faith. “Outspoken Christian athlete Tim Tebow, now the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, has been widely criticized by many in the media. NFL analysts are starting to admit that criticism, in large part, has been because of his faith.”
If only those sportswriters and sportscasters were as open-minded and tolerant as the Tea Party.
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, OTHER COUNTRIES WOULD ACCUSE AMERICA AND ITS ALLIES OF MURDERING IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Gaddafi’s death breached the law, says Russia. “In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Geneva Conventions had been breached with the killing of Colonel Gaddafi.”
Of course, this may be what’s actually at stake: “The main concern for Moscow now is whether the new Libyan authorities will honour contracts signed by the Gaddafi regime.”
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Fewer Jobs, Less Pay.
LOOKING FOR WAR ON TERROR NEWS? Check out Fred Pruitt’s Rantburg.
THEY ARE HARDWORKING, HONEST, AND NEVER LATE: “Strange country.”
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Speaking of floor leaders: Steny Hoyer’s intimate ties with lobbyists. “I’m talking about House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who has raised far more money from lobbyists this year — $142,000 — than any other House candidate. In fact, Hoyer has outraised Boehner 3-to-1 from K Street. . . . Some of those company names — Goldman, Citi, Miller — remind me of Robert Cogorno. Hoyer’s former floor director, Cogorno is a lobbyist representing those companies Goldman, Citi, and MillerCoors. Cogorno also represents the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, the Managed Funds Association, and a dozen more big companies.”
UPDATE: Sorry, brain-burp. Somebody sent me this and I didn’t notice its age. Should’ve gone to bed earlier. Not that the lobbyist-ties bit isn’t still true. . . .
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The $1 Trillion Student Loan Rip-Off: How an Entire Generation Was Tricked into Taking on Crushing Debt That Just Enriches Banks. The lefties are almost waking up to this. But Alex Pareene still thinks the problem is “for profit” colleges, even though he notes the crushing debt complained of by the OWS crowd, most of whom ran up their debt at traditional universities.
They’re slow learners, but they’ll catch on eventually.
BARTON HINKLE: In Northern Virginia, Democrats Unleash Anti-Gay Hate Campaign Against Gay Republican. “Democrats in Northern Virginia know better than to harp on a candidate’s sexuality. Doing so might bring them short-term gain. But playing to homophobia is a form of participating in it. To paraphrase Imarti: You guys say you’re pro-gay, but you’re running an anti-gay whisper campaign. What you gonna do about it?” Any weapon to hand.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So Smart, He’s Above Democracy And The Rule Of Law.
THIS WEEKEND: The Orionid Meteor Shower.
CHARLIE MARTIN: Watch Out For Science Reporting. “Lesson: Be cautious about the reporting of a scientific paper that hasn’t been published yet, and be doubly cautious about how a paper is reported when it’s a politically sensitive topic.”
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: “Should I Choose the Rich Guy or the Nice Guy?”
BRILLIANCE on display. Heh.
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: “How Much Sex Do Guys Really Need?”
EIGHT HOT USED CARS on sale for pennies on the dollar.
UPDATE: Sports-car builder extraordinaire David Kirkham emails: “Beware of the Ferrari 308/328. Those pennies will rapidly turn back into dollars (BIG dollars) if you have ANY problems. An engine rebuild can cost you as much as the car. Worse, there is only word to describe the driving experience–underwhelming.”
Of course, look what he’s got as a baseline.
AT AMAZON, 30-40% off on men’s sleepwear.
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WHERE ONLY THE POLICE ARE TO BE TRUSTED WITH GUNS: D.C. Police Sergeant Sentenced For Drunken Gun Threat. “Christopher Whitehouse, 51, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault from an incident in March when he pointed a handgun at a friend’s head during an argument at her Cheverly home. . . . According to the charging documents, Whitehouse unholstered a handgun, grabbed the woman around her neck and pointed the weapon underneath her chin. ‘How do you like this bitch?’ Whitehouse purportedly said to her, the records state. Whitehouse put the gun away when the woman’s boyfriend came into the room. . . . Whitehouse was previously demoted in the department for a 2002 incident, in which he pulled a man over while off-duty and intoxicated and was accused of threatening the driver with a gun.”
But remember, they’re trained and professional. Not like you ordinary slobs, who might do something stupid or irrational with a gun.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU crash a Ford Focus at 120 mph. Nothing pretty.
SO LET’S INVADE: An Infant Star System With “Thousands of Oceans’” Worth of Water.
SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT ENACT a gun purchase individual mandate? Well, unlike the ObamaCare mandate, Congress has an enumerated power for that one. In fact, the Militia Act of 1792 contained just such a mandate.
BRUCE THORNTON: The End Of The Euro?
IN THE MAIL: From Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect.