Friday, July 30, 2010

The Taliban is Saying "Thanks WikiLeaks"

I'm glad that scumbag Wikileaks' Julian Assange could be of service to you homicidal maniacs. Can we send him to you so you can thank him in person?

The Taliban is wired, and they’re pouring over the military intelligence published by WikiLeaks earlier this week.

"We are studying the report," Zabihullah Mujahid, a self-proclaimed spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan, told British television station Channel 4.

"We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the U.S. If they are U.S. spies, then we know how to punish them."

Well, it is all fun and games until someone gets tortured to death. I think we need to lock up Assange and send him back to his native Australia for trial. We also need to lock down our secrets a little better because their leaking out will cause people to die.

Was the Coast Guard Partly to Blame for the Oil Spill?

Now this would seriously suck if it turns out to be the truth.

The Coast Guard is not supposed to participate in firefighting, but instead assign an expert to coordinate the private firefighting efforts of the rig operator and its contractors. The Coast Guard failed to do so, and the result was an uncoordinated, “general response” effort that mainly relied on salt water to extinguish the fires. That is not the most effective way to fight rig fires; the best way is to use foam, which apparently wasn’t on hand. An expert would have known this, but as CPI’s report of the testimony shows, none was assigned:

I wonder if they had this expert on hand he could have stopped the ships from using sea water to fight the fire. I'm not sure where they could have gotten the foam ships in time. Also the Obama White House cut their budget so the Coast Guard themselves had no way of fighting the fire only experts that could coordinate the effort.

One thing I did notice was that there sure was a lot of scrutiny on what BP is doing to cap the well but there was almost no news on the fire fighting response. I assumed that they didn't want to blame the brave people that scrambled ships to shoot salt water on the fire but maybe it was sue to a "cover the ass" effort by the White House.

If the Coast Guard didn't follow correct procedure because the couldn't pay a rig fire fighting expert due to budget cuts then that is a big deal and needs to be investigated. Also how far away were fire fighting ships that had foam aboard and why were they not involved in the effort?

Gibbs Lashes out at Rush then Immediately Scores Own Goal

This has to be the funniest I have heard from Gibbs so far.

“I’ll let those that sat in the cheap seats a year-and-a-half ago and wanted to walk away” from a milion workers, he continued, “explain to every one of those workers why they made that decision.”

Finally, he wrapped it up: “And then you should ask Mr. Limbaugh — I don’t know what kind of car he drives, but I bet it’s not an F-150.”

The F-150 truck, we should note, is made by Ford, which didn’t get federal rescue funds.

That has to be the biggest howler I have ever seen. I bet he doesn't drive a car made by the only American car maker that wasn't bailed out. Hell, the only American car that I will even consider buying is a Ford. All that bailout did was screw over the bondholders and gave a huge chunk of stock to the UAW. Then the idiotic "Car Czar" threw a bunch of darts at a map and closed a bunch of dealerships that had been in business for 70+ years. I saw the car bailout as what it was; the government blowing $60 billion to bail out the UAW.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Facebook Introduces an Answer Service

This seems like a pretty good idea and I hope it really takes off.

Facebook Questions helps you tap into the collective knowledge of the more than 500 million people on Facebook. For example, if you're vacationing in Costa Rica and want to know the best places to surf, you can use Facebook Questions to get answers from nearby surfing enthusiasts. Because questions will also appear to your friends and their friends, you'll receive answers that are more personalized to you.

To ask a question to the community, just click the "Ask Question" button at the top of the homepage. You can also ask questions about your friends from their profiles, similarly to how you would post on their Walls.

I hope you can get answers to something a little more interesting (at least to me) then were to surf in Costa Rica. If it is a lot of hipster sort of questions like this then I am not interested. However, if you can ask something like "What is the best history book on Wiemar Germany and why?" and you get a decent answer then I will be using Facebook Answers all the time.

Is the Global Warming Movement Dead?

Well it certainly seems that way according to this article.

Indeed, if Democrats backed-off from their grand designs to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 with sizable majorities in Congress and a “celestial healer” in the White House there is little chance that they will ever be able to accomplish anything better at a later date. And if America--the richest country in the world and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases--won't act, there is a snowball's chance in Mumbai that India or China will.

If the US has to back off their global warming plans then China and India will do so as well. The only reason they were for it at all is that it would have hobbled the US economy. The Chinese were already way ahead of us on solar panels and other "Green Tech." They would have won out big if we passed Cap-and-Tax and we had to buy billions more of their products.

The moment I knew this whole warming thing was dead is when I learned how shoddy the computer software was that all of their models were based on. There were no change logs or programming discipline involved in any of it. Instead it was just a black box you plugged numbers into that you tweaked until you got the right results. That means you cannot trust a single thing that came out of that program since you have no idea how it was created.

If they scrapped the whole mess, were contrite, started from scratch, and actually listened to their skeptics they might have more converts. Instead they just closed ranks and didn't even investigate their own failures. They just white-washed it and are hoping that no one was paying very good attention. Instead they have probably put the last nail in the coffin of the whole affair. I'm glad too because Cap-and-Tax would have sent us spiraling directly into a double dip.

Democratic Operative: John Podesta a UFO Enthusiast?

He can't be all bad. He seems pretty invested in the subject too.

“The time to pull the curtain back on this subject is long overdue,” Podesta claims, arguing for the academic legitimacy of the book he’s endorsing. “It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. The American people – and people around the world – want to know, and they can handle the truth. UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record represents a pivotal step in that direction, laying the groundwork for a new way forward.”

I have to agree with him. If there are UFOs buzzing our pilots and checking into our affairs and the government knows about it they should come clean. I think the American people can take it especially in the Internet Age. I mean trying to find out what UFOs are be they natural phenomenon, or aliens, top secret aircraft, or even mental constructs Americans have a right to know.

I wonder if a person who is a deep insider like Podesta with all his contacts in Washington can get his hands on the real skinny on UFOs. Also the idea of putting his reputation on the line means he now has some skin in the game as well. Too bad one of Obama inner circle isn't intellectually curious about this kind of thing.

Did Obama Just Call Blacks a Mongrel People?

If this came out of just about any other person it would be pretty offensive.

When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: "We are sort of a mongrel people."

"I mean we're all kinds of mixed up," Obama said. "That's actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it."The president's remarks were directed at the roots of all Americans. The definition of mongrel as an adjective is defined as "of mixed breed, nature, or origin," according to

Talk about a rush to the dictionary to cover Obama's ass. The only people that I have ever heard that referred to blacks as "mongrel people" were White Supremacists. I guess he meant something like a melting pot or and myriad of different origins or something similar. Whenever he goes "off prompter" he seems to stumble into these messes. The idea of the President of the United States being on some frivolous gab fest like The View is another story entirely.

Up to 6600 Arlington Graves Screwed Up?

Now this is an egregious crime against these Vets and their families.

Estimates of the number of graves that might be affected by mix-ups at Arlington National Cemetery grew from hundreds to as many as 6,600 on Thursday, as the cemetery's former superintendent blamed his staff and a lack of resources for the scandal that forced his ouster.

John Metzler, who ran the historic military burial ground for 19 years, said he accepts "full responsibility" for the problems.

But he also denied some of the findings by Army investigators and suggested cemetery employees and poor technology were to blame for remains that may have been misidentified or misplaced. He said the system used to track grave sites relied mostly on a complicated paper trail vulnerable to error.

In the 19 years since this guy was the head why couldn't they just change the system to something more advanced. Hell, a Microsoft Access program in Office 2003 could track the remains of 6600 people. Now we might have to do some DNA testing in order to find out what remains are where. What a joke. I wish we could bring criminal charges against this Metzler character.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Could You Buy With a Trillion Dollars?

Now this is one eye opening article about the National Debt to say the least. The ones that immediately jumped off the page were these:

40,816,326 New Cars

The 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wins Kiplinger's Best in Class honors for cars in the $20,000-to-$25,000 price range. At a sticker price of $24,500 each, $1 trillion would let you drive away with a fleet of Jettas equivalent to 30% of all the cars already on U.S. highways. (The total U.S. car fleet is more than 135 million, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, excluding trucks and SUVs.)

Imagine a fleet of 40.8 million cars driving down the road paid for with Red Chinese money? That is pretty much what Obama spent in just 9 months. That is just breathtaking.

140 Billion Hours of Labor

That's calculated at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Still hard to get your mind around? How about this: One trillion dollars is enough to hire all 2.8 million residents of the state of Kansas -- men, women and children -- in full-time, minimum-wage jobs for the next 23 years.

Too bad with all that spending we still can't beat that 9% unemployment rate. I wonder if you just took that trillion and permanently slashed payroll taxes by 1/2 and see how many jobs that would be created that way?

1.33 Trillion Chocolate Bars

Got a hankering for something sweet? A sweet $1 trillion will buy you that many 1.55-ounce Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars at 75 cents apiece. That's 64 million tons of chocolate, equivalent to the weight of more than 150,000 Boeing 747-400s.

If you take the figure 3 billion pounds of chocolate is consumed per year that means that works out to 42.6 years of chocolate consumption. Now that is a lot of chocolate.

Replace Annual Incomes for 19.2 Million American Families

Median household income in the U.S. (half the families earn more, half earn less) was $52,029 in 2008, according to the Bureau of the Census. At that level, $1 trillion would be enough to cover the incomes of a sizable percentage of total U.S. family households. There are no recent official estimates, but the 2000 U.S. Census figured there were about 71.8 million family households.

In other words it could pay the entire salary of 26% of all working families in America. If you dropped the figure to like $40,000 you could pay for millions more.

The worst part of all this spending is that most of that money seems to flushed down the toilet. We see no decent return for that amount. No growth or a reduction in unemployment. Instead we just borrow more from the Red Chinese and set that money on fire. I wish we could take away that credit card for a few months and learn some actual fiscal discipline for once.

WikiLeaks Might Cause the Death of Afghan Civilians

It is all just some fun and games to these whistleblower sites until someone is tortured to death. That just might happen since these documents actually name names.

The Times cited one 2008 document that included a detailed interview with a Taliban fighter considering defection.

The man, who names local Taliban commanders and talks about other potential defectors, is identified by name, along with his father's name and village.

In another case from 2007, a senior official accuses named figures in the Afghan government of corruption.

"The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans," a senior official at the Afghan foreign ministry, who declined to be named told The Times.

I hope the US can get these people out of the country because it is a matter of time before the Taliban kidnaps these people in the middle of the night and tortures them to death. I wonder if Julian Assange will be like Lady McBeth and just can't quite scrub the blood off his hands if the Taliban nabs these people.

The Vulture Comes to Washington State

Oh, oh Obama is coming to Washington to stump for Sen. Patty Murray.

President Obama will visit the Puget Sound area next month to talk about the economy and headline a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., an administration ally locked in what she describes as a close reelection race.

A White House spokesman would not give a date, but Murray campaign spokeswoman Julie Edwards indicated the visit will be August 17.

He has pretty much doomed the chances of every candidate he has stumped for in the past. Washington State is pretty deeply blue plus Murray has been Senator for 17 years. So if they lose here then Obama's vulture streak will take on epic proportions. I wonder if he should avoid White Sox games in order for them to win the AL Central?

SEC is Now Behind the Iron Curtain

Well, the SEC has just gone from federal regulatory body to inscrutable monolithic entity according to this.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

Well, I guess it would be up the Congress to pierce the Iron Curtain suddenly thrown up in from of the SEC. Paging Paul Ryan could you send some of your staffers down there to get the real skinny when the need arises. I thought Obama was all about the transparency.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good Commenatry on the Whole Journolist Affair

This sounds about right from my point of view.

Journolist provides a window into the mindset of the journalistic and academic left in this country. It is not a pretty sight. The demonization and dehumanization of critics is arresting. Those who hold contrary views to the Journolist crowd aren’t individuals who have honest disagreements; they are evil, malignant, and their voices need to be eliminated from the public square. It is illiberal in the extreme.

Well liberals have always been illiberal about any thought that they don't agree with. If they can't raise a better argument they are quick to censor and try to use the government to stop the argument from going on any further.

It all goes down to a saying I heard from Dennis Prager years ago: Conservatives think Liberals are Wrong; Liberals think Conservatives are Evil. If you go by that assumption it isn't a big stretch to see them demonizing and dehumanizing conservatives. Even the insane violence and the watching Rush Limbaugh die fantasies are from this same mindset.

Maradona Out as Argentina Coach

Well, that didn't last long. You get blown out by the Germans in the World Cup and you are out on your ass.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) on Tuesday elected not to renew Diego Maradona's contract as national team coach, AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo said.

Doubts had surrounded the 49-year-old's future ever since a tense meeting with AFA president Julio Grondona on Monday and newspapers had spent the day speculating on who would succeed the man who led the team to victory as star player at the 1986 World Cup.

I guess he can go back to bad-mouthing the US and sniffing that "Bolivian Marching Powder" again.

France Declares War Against Al-Quida

The thought of the French surrendering and having Al-Quida march down the Champs De Elysees with those black scarves over their faces while holding AK-47s just wouldn't be right. However, these are some pretty robust words from the French.

The declaration and attack marked a shift in strategy for France, usually discrete about its behind-the-scenes battle against terrorism.

"We are at war with al-Qaida," Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday, a day after President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the death of 78-year-old hostage Michel Germaneau.

The humanitarian worker had been abducted April 20 or 22 in Niger by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, and was later taken to Mali, officials said.

Well, at least France is finally understanding the true face of these al-Quida scumbags. Yeah they will execute some 78 year old aid-worker in a minute if they get the chance. Let's hope they channel the spirit of Napoleon in this war and not the spirit of Petain.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sherrod Back Under the Bus

Now this is some crazy movement. She went from obscurity, to media darling, to media pariah all in the stretch of a week.

Earlier this week a handful of people in the blogosphere began to speculate Sherrod would pull off a “full Ginsburg,” or become only the thirteenth person to appear on all major Sunday talk-shows on the same day since the feat was first accomplished by William H. Ginsburg in 1998. However, this was before a clip of Sherrod suggesting Andrew Breitbart wants blacks “stuck back in the times of slavery” went viral. Sherrod also drew extensive criticism late in the week for blasting Fox News as racist.

Considering the Shirley Sherrod interview barrage that took place last Thursday, to not see Sherrod on television Sunday morning sends a clear signal the mainstream media no longer feels allowing the public to get to know the real Shirley Sherrod advances their agenda.

I think they were afraid she would do more damage to their narrative with more extemporaneous charges of racism toward conservative boogy-men. She was the aggrieved party right up until she started to slander Breitbart with a charge that you could safely say that no one has had in 60+ years.

At least she could have said he wanted to bring back Jim Crow or something. I mean who other then some 100 year old white planter in the 1950s really wanted to actually bring back slavery? Now the media just wants her to disappear before she says something else outrageous.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ObamaCare Just Keeps on Giving: Insruance Companies are Not Selling New Plans to Children

I think this is the kind of bill that will keep cropping up every few months with a new abomination until it is repealed.

Some major health insurance companies have stopped issuing certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise.

Now the Obama guilt trip followed with some Chicago style demonization will be directed at UnitedHealh and Blue Cross Blue Shield to make them toe the line. Of course they won't and more threats will be issued etc.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

JournoList Went After Palin En Masse

Now we know where that the whole "the Palin pick for VP was sexist" idea came from.

Suzanne Nossel, chief of operations for Human Rights Watch, added a novel take: “I think it is and can be spun as a profoundly sexist pick. Women should feel umbrage at the idea that their votes can be attracted just by putting a woman, any woman, on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views.”

Mother Jones’s Stein loved the idea. “That’s excellent! If enough people – people on this list? – write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket,” he wrote. . . .

This article also pointed out how journalists all went after CNBC people at the same time as well. I remember Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli were blasted in the press seeming out of the clear blue sky. Suddenly they were causing the financial crisis etc. I also remember that Jon Stewart went after Cramer with special gusto as well. I am wondering if he or one of his minions was on this list as well?

Cap-and-Trade Dead: Killed by Recession

Well, at least we can get rid of the idea of a light switch tax hopefully once and for all.

Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned plans to pass an energy bill that caps emissions of carbon dioxide, saying Republicans refuse to support the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said no Republican was willing to back a comprehensive energy bill, a development he called "terribly disappointing."

There were no Republicans willing to lose their jobs over a tax that will be levied on all Americans as the utilities pass it on to consumers. This one bill would have raised the prices on everything in the US since almost all of them need electricity in order for them to be produced. I am convinced that it would have made us spiral into a double dip recession. With Cap and Tax dead the idea that you should never raise taxes (especially on everything produced using electricity in the US) will still hold true.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is the JournoList the Death of the Mainstream Media?

I have to agree with this article wholeheartedly.

For independents who don’t follow politics closely, the JournoList scandal provides a simple, blatantly obvious narrative about fraud and propaganda. A sizable segment of the “journalist” population stands revealed as sputtering extremists, who talk about killing stories and destroying people’s lives to protect their favored political candidate. Yes, these people are self-professed liberals – they’re not pretending to be “objective” reporters or news anchors – but the cross-pollination between “liberal” and “objective” journalists is a blindingly obvious matter of public knowledge, and the things they’re talking about doing are vile, underhanded, and conspiratorial.

I think the idea of the "objective" journalist will die because of this so-called Newsgate. I mean some of them had fantasies of watching Rush Limbaugh die as they stood there and laughed.

As reported in the Daily Caller, Sarah Spitz, producer* of the KCRW public radio program “Left, Right and Center,” which is heard on a number of NPR stations across the country, wrote on JournoList that if she witnessed Limbaugh dying of a heart attack, she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out.”

I can't wait to tune into the "objective" reporting of KCRW public radio "Left, Right, and Center" (maybe they should change the name to Left, Far Left, and Communist) when their producer wants to laugh in the face of a dying Conservative. That is a woman I can trust to report the news "fair and square" without any bias when she is not fantasizing about watching people die. I don't like Rachel Maddow but I never had visions of me laughing in her face as she expired right in front of me. This kind of grotesque liberal sickness has finally been brought out into the light.

This is just like the ClimateGate emails in many ways. This finally shows Americans how they are being duped by the people they used to trust. ClimateGate shows that scientists "cook the books" and try to destroy reputations rather then present an unbiased view of their science. It got people to think about what hidden motives these scientists actually harbor. Are they slanting the science for money or prestige or just to run the show when it comes to world economies?

Newsgate shows that the media tells only certain stories and buries what goes against their ideological narrative. These reporters are seen duping the American people into, for instance, voting for an unready candidate just because he was the media darling. It will have Americans asking what other sorts of stories do the media like to bury? Who else do they want to see die as they laugh in their face? How deep does this conspiracy go? Should I keep paying for the Washington Post if they are simply printing propaganda that is filtered through their far left lens?

In many ways this might be the gravestone of the modern media establishment. Already newspapers can barely stay solvent and magazines are closing their doors. Now we have the revelation that many of their contributors and confidants are bunch of vile underhanded hacks that fantasize about watching you die if you are middle of the road or conservative.

Any readers that they have that are not far leftists probably don't want to read propaganda day in and day out. Americans don't like to be tricked or have someone tell them what news is safe for them to read. Now we have bald-faced proof that a large portion of the media cannot be trusted to be objective anymore.Conservatives knew this for years but now everyone else will.

I think the Dems should write the "Leftist Media Bailout Bill" or maybe consider nationalizing them because their slow march to oblivion might have just turned into a headlong rush.

Conspiracy Theory Time: ObamaCare to Track Gold Purchases

This isn't some theory based on shaky facts. This was put into the Health Care Bill at the 11th hour.

Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the scope of Form 1099. Currently, 1099 forms are used to track and report the miscellaneous income associated with services rendered by independent contractors or self-employed individuals.

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, Form 1099s will become a means of reporting to the Internal Revenue Service the purchases of all goods and services by small businesses and self-employed people that exceed $600 during a calendar year. Precious metals such as coins and bullion fall into this category and coin dealers have been among those most rankled by the change.

So that means if you own your own business and are socking some money away in gold just in case things go bad the government wants to make sure they tax you. The conspiracy theory idea comes from the idea that $600 is so low which means just about every gold transaction would be flagged. So they could add a little dossier about "survivalist types" that are squirreling away gold and do something nefarious. They can sell that knowledge to shady international bankers for whatever schemes they have.

The really bad part is that suddenly small businesses have another added layer of reporting that they have to do for pretty much no reason. So the payment to your accountant or your attorney, the new laptop you bought for the intern, or that new postage meter will suddenly have to be tracked by the IRS. All this extra reporting won't be free. Some 1099s would read like phone books depending on what sort of business you own and how many $600+ purchases you need to do in order to get your business to run profitably.

Also why does the IRS need to know this stuff in the first place? It seems they just want to make an extra $17 billion in income taxes over 10 years. This comes at the cost of $10s of billions more in wasted time and extra man-hours that it would take to comply with this asinine new 1099. The sooner the Supreme Court strikes this monstrosity down the better life will be.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leftist Media Actual Conspired to Kill Stories and Smear Conservatives

Even though many people suspected it all along it turns out to be true.

Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

In other words the leftist media pretty much buried the story that might have damaged their golden boy and just wanted to throw the racist tag at any Conservative writer they could get in their sights. If the media wasn't dying already the idea that they all hide the news from you should be the final nail in their coffin.

There is no such thing as journalistic integrity in a business that literally conspires to keep you from learning the truth. I guess you can now call it the Pravda Era of American Journalism and simply ignore vast swaths of the main stream media as news hiders and not news reporters.

Cast the Movie Now: Daring Escape from Auschwitz Brought on By Love

This movie would make a pile of money and maybe Oscar nods depending on who plays the hero.

The day was July 21, 1944. Bielecki was walking in broad daylight down a pathway at Auschwitz, wearing a stolen SS uniform with his Jewish sweetheart Cyla Cybulska by his side.

His knees buckling with fear, he tried to keep a stern bearing on the long stretch of gravel to the sentry post.

The German guard frowned at his forged pass and eyed the two for a period that seemed like an eternity — then uttered the miraculous words: "Ja, danke" — yes, thank you — and let Jerzy and Cyla out of the death camp and into freedom.

I would go with Johnny Depp to play Bielecki and maybe Kate Winslett with dyed hair to play Cyla. It would be like the Notebook with SS guards. Maybe like Letters to Juliet meets the Great Escape.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Primer on the Cultural Elite

A very interesting article on how the cultural elite are currently in charge of America.

It is a sloppy term that might include the academic class in the university that educates our children in college. The upper echelons that run government departments constitute part of this cultural elite. So does an entertainment cadre that oversees television and Hollywood. Corporate managers are elites as well.

There is no racial, regional, religious, or tribal commonality. One shared allegiance perhaps is to higher education that certifies the cultural elite by diplomas of all sorts from a “good school,” as well as a respectable salary and a nice home with appurtenances. The good life of the elite is defined by both the absence of worry about necessities, and a certain status that accrues from properly recognized advanced education and sensitivity.

I think them being divorced from actual labor and running a business is part of why we can't get the unemployment under 10%. They think that all people need is more grant money or more contacts on a foundation and jobs should be flowing like crazy. They haven't had to run a business in order to make money so the business can continue. That is why they have such an aversion to profit since they have never had to make it or their company goes out of business. I mean no one is going to close Cal Berkley even if it lost money for 20 years strait.

What is so odd to me is that they can be okay with Leo DiCaprio making $20 million a picture but can't stand when a CEO makes $1 million or more a year. They both do a job that the vast majority of Americans cannot do. Only a handful of people could open a $60 million movie or run multi-billion dollar company. So they are both paid what they are worth. However, the left hates the CEO for whatever reason and treats DiCaprio with reverence and awe.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Evidence of the Stimulus Bill Failure: How we paid $500,000 to generate each job

Now this would be really funny if it wasn't such an indictment of government wasting money.

The purpose of the trip is to highlight the “success” of the President’s $862 billion economic stimulus package which the White House claimed yesterday has already “saved or created” 3 million jobs. Specifically, this factory is being subsidized by $151 million of stimulus funds from an even larger $2 billion honey pot of stimulus money set aside for electric car battery investments. This one plant is expected to employ 300 workers. That works out to more than $500,000 per job created. $500,000 per job. This plant, in a nutshell, explains why the President’s stimulus plan has been an objective failure.

The government is the master in taking billions of dollars and figuratively flushing them down the toilet. They might have been better off if they didn't just give the money to people so that they could pay the bills or start businesses or something.

BP Caps the Well on the 85th Day

Well at least the White House can take their boot off their necks for a little while. Maybe they can put their boot on the neck of unemployment next.

A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. The victory — long awaited by weary residents along the coast — is the most significant milestone yet in BP's effort to control one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"White Flight" From MySpace?

At least this article seems to think so.

Subsequent statistical analyses of the characteristics of users of online social networks by researchers, marketers and bloggers, she notes in her latest work, backed up her claims that white and asian teens who belonged to higher socieconomic strata (and who aspired to college, with which Facebook at the time was associated) were attracted to Facebook, while latino, black and working-class teens tended to opt for MySpace.

This seems like an interesting parallel to draw:

Boyd argues that MySpace's inability to deal with spammers added to the feeling of urban blight that overtook the site, leaving derelict profiles "covered in spam, a form of digital graffiti... As MySpace failed to address these issues, spammers took over like street gangs."

Subsequent media coverage of the "death of MySpace" was a direct result of this flight, says Boyd. For example, she cites a 2009 New York Times article that was entitled "Do You Know Anyone Still on MySpace?" despite the fact that at the time Facebook and MySpace has roughly equal numbers of users.

The problem too was that the corporations and the celebrities jumped onto Facebook almost en mass. In other words the so-called cool kids with the flashy cars and the big bank accounts were on Facebook. I guess MySpace was the inner city public high school with its gang problems, its giant crappy advertisements, and graffiti everywhere. I remember that most of the MySpace sites you went to had floating crap everywhere and just looked thrown together and haphazard.

While Facebook was college with its privacy, its white suburban sameness, and its games with cute little avatars. In fact Facebook started as a place for college students to meet and only opened to the public in the last few years. In other words it was a place to graduate to after MySpace.

So if you take the college analogy a little further most inner city kids and poor whites don't (or can't due to circumstances) aspire to college so they may not have made the jump from MySpace High to the University of Facebook. What incentive is there to go to a place populated with white and Asian college kids when you aren't a white or Asian college kid?

Two New Diet Drugs Move Toward Possible Approval: lorcaserin and Contrave

Well tomorrow is an important day in diet pill land as the FDA advisory panel is looking over a drug from Vivus called Qnexa on Thursday. There are also a couple of other promising pills on the horizon as well.

Arena Pharmaceuticals' lorcaserin is one of three drugs that are boosting hope for a new generation of more effective weight-loss medicines. One gets a Food and Drug Administration review on Thursday and the others, later this year.

In the study, lorcaserin (lore-KASS-ah-rin) caused more people to lose at least 5 percent of their body weight over one year, more than twice the rate achieved by those on dummy pills.

There is also this drug in the works as well:

Contrave, made by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., combines bupropion and naltrexone. The first is used to help people quit smoking and deal with depression. The second is used to decrease cravings for alcohol and illegal drugs.

As long as they don't blow out your heart like Fen-Phen did in the 90s. That second one sounds petty interesting because it is a smoking cessation drug mixed with a drug to decrease cravings. That should work well for those compulsive eaters out there.

In any case it is good to see some companies taking a chance on diet drugs. That Fen-Phen scare and the resulting lawsuits pretty much soured the whole deal for years. The idea that you just pop a pill and you lose weight sounds like it should have been invented decades ago.

Stimulus "Saved" Millions More Jobs: Pricetag of Each Job $239,444

This sounds so good right?:

Updating its estimate of the impact the controversial new law has had, the White House now projects that the vast spending act has created or saved between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs.

That's up from the estimate of 2.2 million to 2.8 million jobs that was released in the first quarter of the year from the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The new estimate says the act is on track, if it hasn't already reached, the promise that the stimulus act would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.

Well, if you actually break that number down. They spent $862 billion to "save" 3.6 million jobs. That means that each job cost $239,444 to save. If each of those jobs paid the median yearly wage of $32,140 that means that $207,304 extra was needed to generate each job. I know that most of that amount was funneled off for Democrat pet projects and shovel ready BS but you get the point.

The funny part is the White House is crowing about the stimulus like it was anything but a dismal failure. The unemployment rate was still 10% when it was promised to be 8%. Also the total jobs lost during the recession was 7.9 million. So even with the stimulus we are still 4.3 million jobs short of a full recovery. The more you look at it the more you can say that they took $862 billion and just set it on fire.

Pelosi Blasts Gibbs for Speaking the Truth

Wow the infighting has begun and we still have quite a few months until November.

Asked Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" if the Democratic majority in the House was in jeopardy, Gibbs responded: "I think there is no doubt there are a lot of seats that will be up, a lot of contested seats. I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall, but I think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control."

What was wrong with saying the truth? Does Pelosi feel that even speaking about the GOP taking over the House will make it happen? Is she that scared of the possibility that she doesn't even want anyone to talk about it? I mean Gibbs is actually being a pragmatist here. In any case this rift shows how contentious this election is going to be even among fellow Democrats.

Monday, July 12, 2010

IPhone 4G Death Group Problem Solved: Duct Tape?

Now this seems like something that should have gotten ironed out in the testing or prototyping phase but what can you do?

The main culprit appears to be a gap in the band separating the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS segment of the antenna from the section for cellular GSM and 3G reception. Experts believe that if you touch the gap and "bridge" the two antenna segments, you may lose reception and even drop calls.

So here is what you do to get around that problem:

That said, Gikas notes that there is an "affordable" fix for iPhone 4 owners other than Apple's $30 Bumper cases: duct tape, or "another thick, nonconductive material." "It may not be pretty," Gikas says (now there's an understatement), "but it works."

Department of the Interior Attempts to Kill 1000s of Gulf Jobs

Well, I guess they won't rest until every oilfield worker in Louisiana is out of work.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar unveiled the new six-month moratorium, worded differently from an earlier drilling ban after a U.S. appeals court struck down the original moratorium last week.

"I am basing my decision on evidence that grows every day of the industry's inability in the deepwater to contain a catastrophic blowout, respond to an oil spill and to operate safely," Salazar said.

The new ban will extend until November 30 and affects the same drill rigs as before, although it is based on types of drilling technologies rather than on water depths as the old one was.

The oil companies won't simply stack up their rigs until November 30. They will move them to Brazil or the North Sea or somewhere else where they won't be losing millions per day. So Obama pretty much ceded those jobs that were once held by American oil field workers to someone living in Brazil or Sweden.

Those are year long leases they will be signing so you can kiss that American job goodbye. So we have the spectacle of having the coast fisheries decimated by oil and the oil field workers also out of a job at the same time. I wonder if they would be doing this if Louisiana was a blue state?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Poll Against Obama on Immigration Lawsuit

I wonder if he ever gets tired of having just 30% of people support him on just about anything he does?

Half of Americans reject President Barack Obama's lawsuit against Arizona's controversial immigration law, with only a third supporting the move, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

I can just hear him now:

"I don't do the things that a popular *pauses looks at teleprompter* i do what I think * pauses looks at other teleprompter* is right! *pauses looks at both teleprompters*

LeBron Criticized for Train-Wreck of a Move to Maimi

Now this is pretty harsh words directed toward LeBron.

As the worst idea in the history of marketing unfolded, James looked trapped somewhere between despondence and defiance. His bumbling buddy Maverick Carter had walked him into the public execution of his legacy, his image, and there was a part of James that clearly wished he could turn back through the doors and hide. Only, it was too late. No going back now. James goes to the Miami Heat, Cleveland goes into a basketball Hades and LeBron’s legacy becomes that of a callous carpetbagger.

Yeah I have to agree that this was not a smart marketing move at all. I mean you have the Cavs owners ripping the crap out of him a few minutes after the announcement and you do have an actual train-wreck on your hands.

He should have just said that he didn't want to play in Cleveland any longer and saved the humiliation of the town trying to hold on to him. He could have just said he wanted to try his luck with his good friend Wade down in Miami weeks ago and saved us all this run-up and stupidity. Then the speculation would be on bringing Bosh to Miami to make the team into a contender.

What Miami gets now is 3 All-Star players and that is pretty much it. They have to "fill in the role-players" most of which will be at minimum salary. That means they probably won't win any titles for years until they can get the right mix of defense and long range shooting to compliment the All-Stars.

So in other words LeBron left a title contender that he gave up on in the Playoffs to join a team that is basically 3 guys and a bunch of nobodies. I guess it just boils down to that the allure of the Miami nightlife and all those hot Latinas was just better than a bunch of frozen winters in a town that once had its river catch fire.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Our Long National Nightmare is Over: LaBron is Going to Miami

This crap was drawn out so much that it became a joke after a while.

LeBron James has made his decision. He's going to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat.

James made his long-awaited announcement in a hastily arranged ESPN special Thursday night in Greenwich, Conn., and James wasted no time in making a prediction: "We're going to be a real good team."

I stopped watching SportsCenter for a while just to avoid all the annoying speculation. I was also tired of the army of talking heads that were sure where LaBron was going because they heard from someone close to his Camp that LaBron was wearing Bermuda shorts and thus was going to Miami. I guess on the upside NBA was finally relevant again for like 5 minutes.

The New Head of Medicare and Medicaid Sounds Like a Communist

I don't throw the communist word around too much but this statement could have come right out of Marx or Lenin's writings.

“In America, the best predictor of cost is supply; the more we make, the more we use—hospi­tal beds, consultancy services, procedures, diagnostic tests,” Dr. Berwick wrote. “… Here, you choose a harder path. You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too lit­tle of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.”

If you control the means of production and "plan the supply" you can control the people through an artificial shortage. That sounds like something that Stalin or Mao tried and their people died by the millions. I assume that "enlightened individuals" like this Dr. Berwick will be the ones who will be doing this "central planning."

I wonder how many hospital beds and procedures will go to the Party Members in Good Standing (ie Hollywood and Government elite) and not to everyone else? I think you just saw a little red under the white doctors smock of Dr. Berwick.

UAE Wants Us to Bomb Iran

Hmm, maybe we can do some join Saudi attack on Iran's nuclear facilities so it doesn't look like the Crusader vs. the Muslims. In any case the so-called Arab Street might want Iran taken out of the game when it comes to the bomb.

Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba: “I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis. I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion… there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what. If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’ I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.”

I agree that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East will be the last thing that the UAE would need.

Doom Seems Overrated

I have to agree with the thesis of this article.

I now see at firsthand how I avoided hearing any good news when I was young. Where are the pressure groups that have an interest in telling the good news? They do not exist. By contrast, the behemoths of bad news, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF, spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year and doom is their best fund-raiser. Where is the news media's interest in checking out how pessimists' predictions panned out before? There is none. By my count, Lester Brown has now predicted a turning point in the rise of agricultural yields six times since 1974, and been wrong each time. Paul Ehrlich has been predicting mass starvation and mass cancer for 40 years. He still predicts that `the world is coming to a turning point'.

The doom industry takes in billions a year and employs 1000s of people so things are always at a turning point headed downward. They can't say that things have been solved or they would all be out of business. So Global Warming will kill millions of people even if they have to cook the books because it challenges the existence of an entire industry. When their livelihoods are threatened as well as their decades of accomplishments then a little lying and exaggeration is a small price to pay.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Time to Stop Buying Dell Computers

If these allegations are true then I might have bought my last Dell Computer.

Dell, along with many other manufacturers of PCs, used capacitors produced by Nichicon, a Japanese electronics giant. According to court documents [PDF] in the suit against Dell brought by a major customer, Nichicon sold faulty capacitors, a key motherboard component, that leaked and failed with alarming regularity -- and Dell knew it.

In his excellent piece in the New York Times this week, reporter Ashlee Vance refers to an internal study by Dell that predicted its Optiplex line of business computers containing Nichicon capacitors were expected to have a failure rate of 97 percent over three years.

If they went ahead and used these capacitors knowing full well that they would fail and then covered it up then they join Sony in my product dustbin. This is especially bad when it comes to a computer since I know how bad people take it when their computers die.

I have bought an HP Netbook and I am very much enjoying it so far. I was thinking of upgrading my desktop so I can take advantage of Virtualization Technology and I was looking at the Dells. I can now stop and look at the HPs and Acers now instead. I don't buy things from companies that attempt to defraud their customers.

Steele commits Own Goal on Afghanistan Comments

I have to level out criticism when it is due and GOP Chairman Michael Steele needs some history lessons himself.

"If he's such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who's tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed," Steele said. "And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."

I wouldn't call the British holding Afghanistan from 1839 - 1919 a failure. If not for WW1 I would be willing to bet the Brits would have still been able to hold Afghanistan for many more years after 1919. They fought 3 major wars against the Afghan people and one 2 out of 3. They were eventually removed but you cannot say that controlling Afghanistan for 80 years was some sort of disastrous failure.

In any case that defeatist talk should not come out of any top official in the GOP and Steele should really look at stepping down. I mean he is taking the same tract as the Dems did when it was Bush's failed war. Now that Obama has taken possession of the war by sending an additional 30,000 troops the GOP needs to support their commander in chief.

Sumo Betting Scandal Makes the US News

Yup and they just might cancel the upcoming Nagoya Basho as well. In fact NHK might not even show the match if they do decide to go ahead with it.

Japan's public broadcasting network, NHK, added to the sport's woes Friday by announcing it might drop coverage of the event. The network said it had received 8,200 public comments, only about 10 percent of which supported going ahead with airing the Nagoya Basho.

"We will wait until after the Sumo Association announces its measures and decide what to do after that," said NHK spokesman Yuichiro Ishii. "We will weigh viewers' opinion about whether it should be shown."

That would be the only time in the postwar era where a tournament was canceled. It all started with a blackmail scheme by Ozeki Kotomitsuki.

The latest scandal began May 20 when a weekly magazine claimed that senior wrestler Kotomitsuki was being blackmailed over his gambling debts. Ironically, the source of Kotomitsuki's troubles appears to have been his winnings: Having complained to his bookmaker about not receiving 5 million yen ($55,000) in payments on bets, he was approached by a mob-connected ex-wrestler who extorted 3.5 million yen in hush money. The mobster is alleged to have demanded a further 100 million yen ($1.1 million), which Kotomitsuki refused to pay.

That is why if you have to bet you do it with Vegas gambling houses and not mob controlled bookmaker. Or if you have to bet then do it through a trusted friend or associate and not directly to the bookmakers. If Kotomitsuki was smart he would have just told one of his fan club people that he can trust to handle all the bets with him including the money transfers. Actually what he should have done is not bet on baseball in the first place since he knows he would get into trouble if he did.

Russian Spies Use Pretty Wimpy Methods Techwise

You would think the successors to the mighty KGB would be a little better at transmitting Top Secret data.

The FBI said that one of the suspects, Anna Chapman, would go to a coffee shop in Manhattan on Wednesdays and set up her laptop. A little while later, a minivan the FBI knew was used by a Russian official would drive by. To the naked eye, there was no contact between them.

But the FBI said it figured out that Chapman's computer was set to link wirelessly to a laptop in the minivan, using a standard, built-in Wi-Fi chip. In the short time the computers were close, they could transfer encrypted files between each other.

The agency figured this out with commercial Wi-Fi analysis software, not with something from Q's lab.

Yup she just connected to a regular wireless network sent out by a Russian official from a minivan. No secret networks or hidden drop sites or anything like that. Hell, even sending coded messages in the newspaper to a hidden drop box would have been harder to crack.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Google Buys Travel Software Company

That sound you heard was the screams of frustration coming from Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline.

Google Inc. plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc. in a $700 million deal that would provide the Internet search leader with more comprehensive information about airline flights.

The all-cash deal announced Thursday could signal Google's intention to mount a challenge to other online travel services such as Expedia and Orbitz.

I wonder if they are going to start selling airline tickets as well in a Google Travel Service sort of thing? I bet some airlines would hate it because it would let people search for the lowest fares using Google search technology. Although the idea that the airlines could pay Google for better placement above their rivals might make them feel better. The idea that you could book your flight right from Google sounds pretty good as well. All they need is Google Bank and they can handle everything.

Maradona Throws Fuel on the Germany vs. Argentina Match

It is just like the coke-sniffing prince of World Cup assholes.

Diego Maradona is Argentina’s irascible coach and former mega-star player. He had gotten word that German player Bastian Schweinsteiger was complaining about Argentina’s tactics with the referees, the behavior of their fans and, of course, the dirty acts that went down during a brawl following Germany’s 2006 World Cup penalty kick victory.

So Maradona stared into a Fox Sports camera on Thursday and with a mock German accent asked:

“What’s the matter Schweinsteiger? Are you nerrrvoushhh?”

I really hope Germany kicks the crap out of Argentina so we can see the Hand of Cocaine sniffing and crying on the sidelines after the game. Maybe he will pull a Woody Hayes and punch a German player so he gets banned from the sport for life.