Quick Break From Bin Laden And Other Seriousness

I found the link to this at Ace’s place.  It is a really, really cool reinvention of still photography, with just a touch of movement.  Check it out.

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Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

They Should Have Slathered Him In Bacon And Fed Him To Hogs

FoxNews reports that Bin laden was given an Islamic funeral — “In accordance with Islamic practice, bin Laden was washed and wrapped in a white sheet before buried at sea at 2 a.m. local time, senior U.S. military and intelligence officials said.” 

The headline kind of sums up my thoughts about that.

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 11:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Uh, Donald, You Just Don’t Mess With CK

Donald Trump today decided to call Charles Krauthammer, who we in the Hound household fondly refer to as CK, a “sad fool” for, according to Trump,  disagreeing with him on whether we should take and use Iraqi oil to pay for the Iraq war.   Game over.

Krauthammer is the finest columnist writing today.  Period.  He will, if he decides to bother, crush Trump with the power of his pen.

He is also beloved by conservatives.  Meaning, the folks who pay enough attention to vote in primaries and show up for caucuses love him, and with good reason.  Picking a fight with an intellectual welterweight and partisan hack like Obama is one thing.  Picking a fight with CK is definitely another. 

Good bye and good riddance, Trump. You’re fired. 

By the way, siphoning off Iraqi oil is a dumb idea.  We would simply confirm everything that a big chunk of the middle east is predisposed to think about us — and desperately needs to think about us.  It is the dumbest thing I have heard about ME policy since Jumpin’ Joe Biden suggested sending $100 Million to Iran to after 9/11.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sorry For The Absence

I had some stuff to deal with and wasn’t really in a blogging frame of mind.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled random thoughts.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  

NPR’s Steve Inskeep — We Can’t Be Biased, Because We Have Conservative Listeners

Not true, Steve.  I know something about the issue, because I am a conservative NPR listener.  NPR is unquestionably biased in favor of the left.  So why do I listen?  Because it is high-quality news radio, albeit high quality biased news radio.

For example, Inskeep’s own Morning Edition is running an informal series focusing on concerns about the purported impacts of federal budget cuts on various programs.  You’ve all seen this kind of anecdote-based story before — they find a few sympathetic people of modest means and a troubled background to say how this or that program is the only thing keeping them from mugging listeners at gunpoint or having 14 kids out of wedlock while on welfare.

Missing from NPR’s coverage, however, is any discussion of whether running such programs is the proper role of the federal government, whether the programs being profiled actually achieve their goals in any demonstrable fashion (see Head Start), and whether they are cost-effective (see Department of Education).  Missing also is any discussion of the negative impacts that out of control spending will have on the economy, society as a whole, or the persons being profiled.  Missing also is any discussion of how the profiled persons ended up in their situation (unless it can be blamed on mean Republicans), such as through poor choices or unfortunate cultural issues that government cannot (and should not try to) control. 

The effect of these stories, whether intentional or not, is to undermine efforts at budgetary reform by trying to put a face on the people who claim to be (and might actually be) negatively impacted without providing the context to fully evaluate the issue.  While not every story can provide a complete picture, NPR’s pictures are generally incomplete in a way that reliably favors the left side of the debate. 

Assuming good faith on their part (which is likely far more than they do for the gang at FoxNews), it is because everyone producing and editing NPR’s stories comes from the same ideological background, and that ideology believes that government programs and spending are more often the solution to our ills than contributors to them.  NPR’s reporters and editors all wear the same blinders, so they have no idea they are wearing them.  This is reflected in their reporting.

But anyway, focusing on the bias issue begs the question of whether NPR and its brethren should be funded with (borrowed) taxpayer dollars.  Maybe, as Inskeep claims, the bias issue is overblown and NPR really is a neutral purveyor of facts and analysis (notwithstanding the fact that its entire board consists of Democratic supporters, and all of its anchors and analysts are left-leaning).  Or maybe, as I claim, NPR’s coverage is biased toward the ideology favored by its board and staff.  That doesn’t really matter.

The pertinent question is whether U.S. taxpayers should fund any news organization.  Inskeep and other NPR apologists should simply ask themselves whether they would support federal funding of a news organization that they felt was biased toward the right (whether such criticism were fair or not).  We know the answer.

UPDATE: At NRO’s The Corner, Veronique de Rugy makes a related point: If, as Inskeep says, “NPR attracts a politically diverse audience of 33.7 million weekly listeners to its member stations on-air,” then “this success means that the product NPR is selling is in demand” and a taxpayer subsidy is not needed.

That triggers a few more thoughts on my part.  If NPR can survive without the subsidy, what is the rationale for requiring taxpayers who have no desire to listen to NPR pay for it?  There is no reason.

Moreover, de Rugy links a story on The Hill noting that the Republican majority in the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of de-funding NPR, while every single Democrat — all 185 of them — opposed the bill.  If NPR is as reliably non-partisan, balanced, and conservative-favored as Inskeep contends, why would Republicans oppose its funding while all of the Democrats support it?  Again, we know the answer. 

The Democrats understand that NPR is a reliably liberal news outlet whose reporting favors liberal causes and Democrat politicians.  In standard liberal fashion, they therefore believe that everyone’s tax dollars should pay for it.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Earthquake In Japan

The Atlantic has a huge photo gallery.  Hot Air has a video round-up

The power of the water as its sweeps up houses, trucks, ships and takes them all miles inland is unbelievable.  I cannot imagine how terrifying it would be to be caught up in all of it.  Good luck to all who are.

Fortunately, the Japanese are far more affluent and prepared than the Haitians were for their earthquake, and the tsunami is not likely to have killed as many as the December 26 tsunami.

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Very Cool — A French Mansion Unsealed After 100 Years As A Time Capsule

A rich French bachelor from the turn of the century mandated in his will that his mansion should be turned into a museum dedicated himself and his lifestyle.  As an aficionado of antiques and antique architecture and (I live in a ~1904 home that is fairly original), I have toured such family homes — they are typically left to an historical society by a last-family-member-standing spinster — in Denver, Boston, and Charleston, S.C. 

 But here’s the kicker.  This particular guy ordered that the house be shuttered for a century before being reopened.  Now after 4 years of cleaning and restoration to get rid of some rot and insect damage, the mansion is being opened to the public.  It is spectacular.

Via Hot Air.

Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Stunningly Bloated U.S. Government

As the Democrats bemoan the disaster of any federal spending cuts — even back to 2008 levels — the Government Accountability Office has issued a report that outlines just how bloated, redundant, and wasteful the federal government is. 

At NRO’s The Corner, Andrew Stiles outlines some of the waste uncovered:

  • Eight federal agencies oversee 80 programs to provide “transportation for the transportation disadvantaged.” The GAO could not determined a cost estimate for these programs because the agencies “often do not separately track transportation costs from other program costs.” However, 23 of these programs were allotted $1.7 billion in 2009.
  • Two separate bureaus within the State Department received close to $80 billion in 2010 for “Arms Control and Nonproliferation.” The reports found significant redundancy, noting that a guiding document to outline the role and responsibilities of these bureaus “has never been drafted and approved.”
  • The Department of Transportation funds more than 100 “surface transportation” programs overseen by five individual agencies (and 6,000 employees) at an annual cost of nearly $60 billion. According to the report: “The current approach to surface transportation was established in 1956 to build the Interstate Highway System, but has not evolved to reflect current priorities in transportation planning.”. . .
  • Twenty federal agencies runs 56 programs designed to promote “financial literacy,” but, ironically enough, no one has any idea how much these programs actually cost, because “most federal agencies do not have an estimate for spending on ‘financial literacy’ per se.”
  • Nine federal agencies operate 47 job-training programs, 44 of which overlap with at least one other program. These programs cost $18 billion in 2009, but GAO found that due to their duplicative nature, “little is known about [their] effectiveness.
  • Ten agencies oversee 82 distinct programs on “teacher quality” at an annual cost of more than $4 billion. The report discovered that “there is no government wide strategy to minimize fragmentation, overlap or duplication among these many programs.”. . .
  • Domestic ethanol tax credits, totaling close to $6 billion, are “largely unneeded today to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production.”

There’s more, of course.  Do read the whole thing.

Ugh.  Our Fat Bastard of a federal government has plenty of places to trim.

Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s On — Sheen v. CBS & Co.

His lawyers Charlie Sheen is clean and sober and ready to work.  And more than ready to sue his bosses.  This should be interesting.

As a commercial litigator, I can imagine just how much fun the lawyers will have with this one.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama Admits That The ObamaCare Law Sucks

Maybe the headline isn’t exactly accurate.  But after voting present on his own signature legislation and allowing Pelosi and Reid to run with it, the President has apparently signalled that he supports “amending the 2010 health care law to allow states to opt out of its most burdensome requirements three years earlier than currently permitted.” 

Here’s an idea.  Maybe the Democrats could have thought through the consequences of their legislation before ramming it through.  Just a thought.

Here’s another thought — just repeal it.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Meet The Face Of The Dems’ New Age Of Civility

He was last seen valiantly defending himself against this unrepentant thug, who had the audacity to point a camera at him:

Full story and video at Michelle Malkin’s place.

I will patiently await the media’s constant looping of this video and cries of outrage.

Still waiting. . . .

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

One Definition Of Anti-Semitism Is Blaming Jews For Stuff They Had Nothing To Do With, Whatsoever

George Soros is a left-wing idiot.  Oddly, infuriatingly, and embarrassingly, Soros and I share some common ground on the situation in Egypt and what the U.S. response should be, though not a whole lot.  I agree with him that, at this juncture “President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy.”  Unfortunately, Obama has been trying to lead from the rear, with the predictable results one can expect when the POTUS votes “present,” like Obama does on just about every sticky issue.

But Soros and I part company pretty quickly.  In particular, Soros apparently believes that the big problem in Egypt is not a corrupt and oppressive regime, the Islamic Brotherhood, or a chaotic and now violent transfer of power, or the U.S. establishing its impotence by acting like it is impotent.  No, in Soros’ fevered imagination, it’s the Jews:

The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.

“The main stumbling block is Israel.”  How so, Mr. Soros?  You don’t say, and I mean that literally.  That’s because the notion is insane.  Israel has as much to do with the action in Egypt as the point spread for the Superbowl on Sunday.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Don’t Want A Civil Debate; They Want Everyone Else To Shut Up

At Commentary Contentions, Peter Wehner shows that Jim Wallis is supremely unqualified to lecture others about having a “robust debate but not resort[ing] to personal attack, falsely impugning others’ motives, assaulting their character, questioning their faith, or doubting their patriotism,” while Alana Goodman discusses the latest iteration of perpetual concern about a Muslim “backlash” in the U.S. that never happens.  The common thread here is the true goal of the complainers. 

Mr. Wallis clearly does not care about civility in political debate.  If he did, he would be more civil to others and not make serial ad hominem attacks.  Wallis instead wants one side — not his — to be muted in advancing its arguments, while he and his fellow travellers remain free to be as strident as they want.  Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin reminds us that the primary source of over-heated violence-tinged rhetoric is the left, not the right.

Likewise, the Muslim leaders are not worried about a “backlash” of violence against Muslims in the United States.  We made it through the first World Trade Center bombings, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, 9/11, the Fort Hood shootings, daily IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ground Zero Islamic Center debate, and so on, without the ever-predicted but never-occurring violent anti-Islamic backlash.  The Muslim leaders simply don’t like the idea of congressional hearings to investigate homegrown Islamic radicalization at all; they would prefer to focus on an imagined backlash in which Muslims are portrayed as potential victims rather than potential perpetrators of terrorist acts.

In short, all of this hand-wringing is not intended to ensure that debate remains within the bounds of civil and respectful discourse.  It seeks to silence others, not have a respectful discussion with them.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

BREAKING: Rahm Emanuel Removed From Chicago Mayoral Election

An Illinois appellate court just tossed Rahm Emanuel from the ballot in the Chicago mayoral election.  The decision is here.

Subsection 3.1-10-5(a) of the Illinois Municipal Code (Municipal Code) requires candidates to have “resided in” Chicago for the one year preceding the February 22, 2011 mayoral election.  Basically, the court held that “‘resided in’ as used in the Municipal Code requires actual, not constructive, residence.”  Intent to return eventually may mean you have a residence there, but you have to actually live there to “reside there.”

Via Ace.

 

 

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  

“Will Teabag for Food”

Happy job-hunting, Keith.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 12:27 am  Leave a Comment