28 December 2009

no comment

"The lot offers wider parking spaces especially designed for female drivers, who tend to cause twice as many collisions in parking lots than in other places, according to insurance company data," the Global Times says.
from here

23 December 2009

A death panel by any name would smell as sweet ...

The senate bill includes a provision that the section of the bill that regulates the Independent Medical Advisory Board - the panel of bureaucrats who will be rationing care - can only be repealed or amended by a super-majority of the senate.

In a letter to Harry Reid last week, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf noted (with a number of caveats) that the bill's calculations call for a reduction in Medicare's spending rate by about 2 percent in the next two decades, but then he writes the kicker:
"It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care."

Reducing access to care or diminishing the quality of care. 
I'll take whatever's behind door number three. 

18 December 2009

following up

on the previous post on the Copenhagen Dictators Parade from earlier.

Here's Jonah Goldberg from National Review Online:
The historical record is clear: Democratic free-market nations are better at protecting their environments than statist regimes for the simple reason that they can afford to. West Germany's environment was far cleaner than East Germany's. I'd much sooner drink the tap water in South Korea than North Korea.
Mugabe rails against capitalism as if he has a better idea of how to run things. That's almost funny given that Mugabe has destroyed what was once a great cause for hope in Africa, in large part by abandoning capitalism and democracy. Zimbabwe now has the highest inflation rate in the world and one of the lowest life expectancies. Let's hope nobody was taking notes when he was giving out advice.
Moreover, capitalism, and the wealth it creates, is the best means of bending down the population curve. Don't take my word for it. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges that "affluence is correlated with long life and small families" and that growing prosperity will cause world population to decline even further.
Want to know the best way to heal the planet? Create more rich countries. Want to know the best way to hurt the planet? Throw a wet blanket on economic growth.

"Chavez, Morales, Mugabe lash out at Copenhagen"

yeah, that's definitely who we should be taking advice from.

"I don't think Obama is here yet," said Mr Chavez.
"He got the Nobel Peace Prize almost the same day as he sent 30,000 soldiers to kill innocent people in Afghanistan."
That's gotta hurt. 

 And from Mr. Mugabe - ranked the 7th worst dictator of all time according to a 2007 Parade Magazine article - we get this lovely analogy

"Why is the guilty north not showing the same fundamentalist spirit it exhibits in our developing countries on human rights matters on this more menacing threat of climate change?" he said.
"Where are its sanctions for eco-offenders? When a country spits on the Kyoto Protocol by seeking to shrink from its diktats, or by simply refusing to accede to it, is it not violating the global rule of law," he added in reference to the core emissions treaty which the US has refused to sign.

Senator, you can't HANDLE the truth

Kind of cheezy, but it made me grin.

17 December 2009

Political truth-o-meter

Interesting web site that investigates political sound-bites and rates them for accuracy. Seems pretty bipartisan. They're also keeping track of President Obama's various promises and how they're holding up.

11 December 2009

UN's armed response to questions about ClimateGate


What's up with our 'safe schools czar'?

An administration department of education appointee - the apparently ironically titled "safe schools czar" - was the executive director of an organization that presented seminars billed as promoting tolerance for homosexuals, but which were essentially sexual how-to classes for students at least as young as 14. 

This hasn't been widely covered in the media - at least I haven't seen it. The first references I saw to it - which I didn't understand, lacking the context - were in the Day by Day cartoons online.

Here's a treatment from the Washington Times. 

And here's a more graphic piece that includes some video and a poor quality image of one of the organisation's pamphlets. As well as a clip of the classic Monty Python skit on the same topic. It was funny because it was so outrageous. Or so they thought...

All we are saying ... is

everyone involved needs to embrace the idea that all scientists are skeptics; that all scientific theories are open to doubt; and in particular that future projections of climate change are subject to considerable uncertainty. Furthermore, the economic and environmental impacts of warming are also uncertain, as are the costs of CO2 mitigation.
From the Earth Institute at Columbia U. 

We need honest open discussion about the research and the options. There's no such thing as "settled science".

Love this title ...

And the Amazon reviews should be entertaining, too.

Friday Fun

A site dedicated to ... shoelaces. More specifically different ways to tie and lace shoes. 

The New Socialism

Politically it's an idea of genius, engaging at once every left-wing erogenous zone: rich man's guilt, post-colonial guilt, environmental guilt.
The Green movement is the new plan for transferring wealth from the developed world through the UN to (the dictators in) the Third World.
Read the rest here.

09 December 2009

ClimateGate as the tip of the iceburg

Most of the participants in Copenhagen seem intent on rushing headlong into a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. But it would seem more fruitful at this point to redouble our efforts to figure out what we do and don't know about the climate's past, present and future. That includes casting some much-needed sunshine on the data on which so much importance is being placed, but which so far has remained shielded from public view.
from the WSJ 

08 December 2009

The first sign of corruption

 in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means. – Georges Bernanos

At this scale of government, corruption is endemic. It doesn't make that much of a difference which party sits on top of that much power. With the rare exception prosecuted by law enforcement, there is little immediate risk of penalty for dirty politicians. It takes years to get them voted out of office, and their local electorate might not be eager to displace a powerful, long-term incumbent with a new representative… especially if the incumbent has brought a lot of money home to the district, in addition to lining his own pockets. Big Government even corrupts thevoters.

The larger government becomes, the more its arrogant ruling class believe themselves worthy of royal treatment… and the more justified they feel about lying to the public for their own good. That is why the climate change elite gathered in Copenhagen this week is outraged that anyone would dare question their right to save a foolish world from itself, by lying through its teeth in a bid to seize power.

Read the rest

07 December 2009

EPA to declare Carbon Dioxide a pollutant

"An endangerment finding from the EPA could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project," Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. "The devil will be in the details, and we look forward to working with the government to ensure we don't stifle our economic recovery."
Never mind that we're finding out that there has been a conspiracy among top global warming scientists to manipulate data models and to squash any dissenting research.  

06 December 2009

How long can the blame game go on ...

Barack Obama, nearly a year into his term, is still talking about Bush culpability for everything from unemployment to Afghanistan.  At what year will it ever stop?
Bush inherited a nuclear Pakistan, a firewall between the CIA and FBI in matters of counter-terrorism, an appeased and ascendant Osama bin Laden, unsustainable no-fly zones over Iraq (the French had already bailed), al-Qaeda with a safe zone in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and an intifada-prone Mideast—in other words, no more than the regular stuff. But I don't remember Bush talking of the creepy Clinton pardons—Eric Holder  being at their epicenter—after a year in office.
When Clinton arrived in January 1993, the Balkans were a mess, and no one knew what to do about Milosevic. Eastern Europe and the former republics had been promised varying degrees of NATO membership. And we were running staggering trade deficits, and in a recession. But even Clinton got over blaming Bush soon enough.
Bush I had to deal with an invigorated Saddam Hussein, the Kuwait mess, a Noriega who was out of control, easing the Soviets out of eastern Europe, a divided Berlin reuniting—and, again, the usual stuff.
Reagan inherited a demoralized military, an insane regime in Khomeini's Iran, a bellicose and appeased Soviet Union, and communist expansion in Central America.
In other words, nothing Obama has seen overseas is, by past standards, all that unusual. Iraq was mostly quiet when he assumed office. We had not been hit again since 9/11. The Patriot Act and anti-terrorism protocols were in play and working. The fact that he has not yet closed Guantanamo and kept Predators, tribunals, renditions, etc. apparently means he finds them useful—despite the reset rhetoric.

04 December 2009

Steyn on global warming

"If you're 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life. If you're graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century. None. Admittedly the 21st century is only one century out of the many centuries of planetary existence, but it happens to be the one you're stuck living in." 
In response to that, the shrieking pansies of the eco-left had a fit. The general tenor of my mail was summed up by one correspondent: "How can you live with your lies, dumb f–k?" George Soros's stenographers at Media Matters confidently pronounced it a "false claim." Well, take it up with Phil Jones. He agrees with me. The only difference is he won't say so in public.
Which is a bit odd, don't you think?
From here

03 December 2009

What he believes ...

Thomas Friedman's opinion piece in the NY Times. 
He makes some good arguments. This in particular seems worth keeping in mind:
 Many big bad things happen in the world without America, but not a lot of big good things.
We may not like being the sole super power in the world today. And people elsewhere may not like us in that role either. But as our power decreases, the relative influence of other nations becomes greater. Raise your hands who wants to live in a world where China or Russia is the dominant power in the world.
Personally, on the Afghanistan situation I'm undecided. I agree with him that nation building there is not the same as in Iraq. It's a different mix of cultures with fewer people spread over a larger area. That said, whatever we decide I hope we back our decision appropriately. If we're in it, we need to be in it to win it.

02 December 2009

jon stewart

on Climategate. Funny stuff.

Hear, hear!

Congressfolks introduce bill to set IRS penalties at level paid by Treasury Secretary Geithner - $0.