Urbin Report

Friday, April 27, 2007

Todays Reading

The Intellectual Origins of America-Bashing by Lee Harris

HT to John Ringo.
There is a good political essay at the end of Yellow Eyes, which he wrote with Tom Kratman.

I should be flattered...

Some credit and a link back would have been nice though.
Take a look at this post at the Free Republic.

Then compare to this page from my website.

My page dates back farther than the FR post.
Not that I really mind, I put up this information for the public good. I want the information spread around and used.
Some credit for collecting them by the FR poster Liz just would have been polite.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Get Smart Returns

The classic TV comedy is coming to the big screen.

Steve Carell is playing Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99.

Carbon Offset Scam!

Saw this one coming several miles away. The whole "carbon offset" deal is one big scam.
The Financial Times has a write up on the green version of Three Card Monty

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.
The FT investigation found:

■ Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.

■ Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.

■ Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.

■ A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.

■ Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

Francis Sullivan, environment adviser at HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank that went carbon-neutral in 2005, said he found “serious credibility concerns” in the offsetting market after evaluating it for several months.

“The police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to be looking into this. Otherwise people will lose faith in it,” he said.

People loosing faith in the cult of Algore would be a damn good thing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fact checking Harry Reid

From Pollster.com and Eugene Volokh.
It seems the Senate democrat Majority Leader is "fact challenged", or to put it plain, honest English, he has to lie to support his agenda.

HT to Mr. Reynolds.

Update: By way of Ed Driscoll, The five myths of Harry Reid.

An example of democrat debating style

Poweline notes that one of it's former forum posters makes the news:

Given the level of hysteria that is constantly being whipped up by the Party of Hate, we've worried for a while that someone is going to get hurt. Cases of voter intimidation and violence against Republican campaign headquarters were widely reported during the last election cycle. A Democratic poster whom we had to ban from the Power Line Forum recently went to the home of a Republican campus leader and assaulted him, resulting in criminal charges.

Most recently, a Democrat and former political candidate named Matthew Hunter Kramer has been arrested for threatening the executive director of the Republican Party of Nevada with a rifle, tearing photos of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney off the wall of the party's headquarters, threatening staffers at the Republican Party's office, and "warning that he would be back if President Bush vetoed an emergency war spending bill being considered by Congress."

It's no secret that Democrats are trying to bully their way back into power. But bullying with rifles--as well as "swords, knives, a flare gun, a shotgun and shells," which also were found in Kramer's car, ups the ante considerably.

This says a lot about the level of logic and debate that support the leftist liberal democrat party line.
HT to Ed Driscoll

Update: This not new behavior. College campuses are particularly intolerant of violations of the liberal group-think.

Wonders of Science: Using Greenhouse gas to fuel your H2

The MIT Technology Review has the story:

Chemists have shown that it is possible to use solar energy, paired with the right catalyst, to convert carbon dioxide into a raw material for making a wide range of products, including plastics and gasoline.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Now that is funny...

...and damn accurate too. I am referring to Rosie O'Donnell's response to entertainer Sheryl Crow's suggestion on reducing toilet paper use:

"Have you seen my ass?!"

Rosie may be a raving Moonbat, but let's give credit where credit is due.
As for Ms. Crow, I offer the advice of Laura Ingraham, Shut Up and Sing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The attack of the Gulfstream Liberals

By way of Ed Driscoll and Libertas, comes the story of how "Gulfstream Liberals" have one set of rules and another for the "little people" (also know as the Breck Boy's "Other America").
Case in point, Hollywood Trophy Wife Laurie David:

Even worse is David's chic but hypocritical environmentalism at her summer home in Martha's Vineyard. She was issued a "notice of apparent violations" for building a 26-foot-long barbecue station, stone-and-concrete bonfire pit, and outdoor theater on an environmentally sensitive patch of their 14-acre North Road property without the proper permits. They were also cited for tearing up protected vegetation to make way for a lush, sodded lawn, among other crimes against nature.

The commission has since ordered her to remove the offending structures and restore the area to its previous state. All these violations were allegedly done to prepare for a political fundraiser hosted by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (another faux Green). Alas, there's no such thing as cheap environmentalism on the Vineyard.

Laurie David has been labeled a "Gulfstream liberal" by Eric Alterman, himself a proud member of the Left and a regular columnist for the Nation. He recognizes that Ms. David's brand of environmentalism is nothing more than a facade, a distraction from the financially secure yet intellectually boring life of the fabulously wealthy. But this hobby has dire consequences for the rest of us. By transforming her politics into a religion, and by demonizing all who question her positions, including the author Michael Crichton, who actually is a Harvard trained scientist and physician, Laurie David makes the environmental movement seem bizarre and more than a bit ridiculous.

Update: Ace jumps in with both feet:
...this is the moral sin form of hypocrisy, advocating a standard and seeking to impose it on others -- against their will -- when one flagrantly ignores that standard oneself, without even making a pretense of attempting to comply with it.
Fact: Laurie David could easily reduce her own "carbon footprint" more than anyone but the top 10,000 richest people on earth simply by scaling back her lavish "lifestyle choices." She could do far more to reduce "greenhouse warming" by merely living as a member of the lower upper class rather than the upper upper class.

Fact: Laurie David refuses, outright, to do so.

Fact: And yet Laurie David demands all of us reduce our standards of living by a few rungs down the class ladder.

If Laurie David cannot even manage to reduce her consumption levels from "stinking rich" to merely "filthy rich," how exactly can this harpy demand that the middle class begin living like the working poor, and the working poor like the destitute?

Inserting Reality in to the Moonbat arguments

Tamara K. injects some reality into the posturing and lies of the left:

With the one-note chorus in full song, we are again treated to the phrase "the easy availability of guns", with the subtext being that if guns were somehow less easily available, Things Like This wouldn't happen.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again: Never in the history of our republic have guns been more difficult to purchase. Prior to 1968 they could be purchased through the mail.
Name a mass shooting that occurred before 1968. How many between 1969 and 1993? How about 1994 and beyond? Folks, whatever the causative variable is here, it is not the ease of purchasing a firearm. If you want to play the statistics game, mass shootings in this country have trended upwards in lockstep with the difficulty of purchasing firearms. Am I suggesting that is the cause? No, but it makes every bit as much sense (or not) as the old "easy availability of guns" saw. Go find another bus to ride, because this one isn't going to your stop.

Short Political Quiz

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Liberals: Ignorant and Proud

Lawrence O'Donnell shows he doesn't have fact one right, and seems to be rather proud of it.

The Axis of Embarrassment

By way of Transterrestrial Musings, the possibility that Saddam had a shitload of WMD, and the WMDs were moved out of the country before the US troops got there (this was after going the UN Security Councial, twice, and getting Congressional approval, including the votes of Kerry, Kennedy & Clinton).

The Republicans won’t touch this because it would reveal the incompetence of the Bush administration in failing to neutralise the danger of Iraqi WMD. The Democrats won’t touch it because it would show President Bush was right to invade Iraq in the first place. It is an axis of embarrassment.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Educating the media

Here are several examples of the MSM pointing out their ignorance of the subject (or just spouting the party line in willful disinformation).

Greg Pierce in the Washington Times Inside Politics column also caught the ignorance (or intentional lies) of ABC.
Scarcely three hours after Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech, Brian Ross and Dana Hughes of ABC News posted a story on their "Blotter" blog (blogs.abcnews.com/ theblotter) implying that the expiration of a 1994 gun law was to blame.
"High-capacity ammo clips became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons," began the ABC story, which cited the "expert" opinion of Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: "When you have a weapon that can shoot off 20, 30 rounds very quickly, you're going to have a lot more injuries."
At the time of that report, there was no information about the weapons Cho Seung-hui used to kill his victims before committing suicide. Since then, law enforcement officials have said the mass murderer used two pistols (reportedly a 9 mm Glock and a .22-caliber Walther), but there was nothing to suggest that large-capacity magazines were involved in the crime.
"Does ABC News have an obligation to report facts, or is peddling a political agenda buttressed by lies their preferred stock in trade?" Bob Owens wrote yesterday at the Media Research Center's blog, NewsBusters.org.
"The Ross entry states that high-capacity magazines 'became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons.' This is a patently false statement, containing no truth at all.
"High-capacity magazines have been around for more than half a century, and the sale of high-capacity magazines has not impacted whatsoever by the 1994 Crime Bill. These magazines were freely and commercially available, both in retail stores and online, without interruption, for the 10-year life of the ban, the decades preceding it, and afterward."
"Armed America" author Clayton E. Cramer sent an e-mail Monday night to Robert Stacy McCain of The Washington Times, pointing out another problem with the ABC News item.
"The only time that an extended magazine is going to make a difference is if someone is shooting back at you," said Mr. Cramer, a firearms historian.

HT to Mr. Reynolds

An Earth Day Note

Blonde Sagacity notes:

I thought on this Earth Day 2007 I would address the much-touted hatred of the Earth and environment by the maniacal, and yet somehow still stupid, George W. Bush. The left is always saying how Bush turns his back on anything Green because he's an oil man from an oil state with lots of oil-rich donors, but is that really the case? Let's look to historical facts and an article written by a Bush-hater for the answer...

We already know that Bush's home in Crawford, Texas is WAY more earth-friendly than Al Gore's mansion, but what we may not know is that Bush was the brains behind the WIND ENERGY success in Texas...in 1996. YEARS before AL Gore decided to tell us his Inconvenient Truths.

Would this be the same Wind Energy that Teddy Kennedy didn't want near his home because saving the environment wasn't aesthetically pleasing enough for him?

An oil-rich state that produces more wind-energy than other state...and initiated by none other than, enemy of the left, George W. Bush. Hmmm, why haven't we read about this over at HuffPo?

Read the whole thing.

The history of so-called "Gun Control"

By way of Alphecca, Hal Lindsey lists some important history lessons:

The Turkish Ottoman Empire established gun control in 1911. It then proceeded to exterminate 1 and a half million Armenians from 1914 to 1917.

The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Subsequently, from 1928 to 1953, 60 million dissidents were imprisoned and then exterminated.

China enacted gun control laws in 1935. After the communist takeover, from 1948 to 1952, 20 million Chinese, unable to defend themselves, were murdered.

Nazi Germany fully established gun control in 1938. That helped the government to round up 13 million defenseless Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill and impaired human beings. Many were imprisoned in concentration camps, then destroyed.

Guatemala passed gun control laws in 1964. Then, from 1964 to 1981, 100,000 defenseless Mayan Indians were exterminated.

Uganda established gun control measures in 1970. Predictably, from 1971 to 1979, 300,000 defenseless Christians met a similar fate.

Cambodia established gun control measures in 1956. Subsequently, from 1957 to 1977, 1 million Cambodians met their deaths.

Remember that the history of so-called "Gun Control" in America is the history of racism.

Remember that Europe is a "Gun Free Zone"

Also remember what "Gun Free Zone" really means.

James Q. Wilson points out the real defination hold true:

AS FOR THE European disdain for our criminal culture, many of those countries should not spend too much time congratulating themselves. In 2000, the rate at which people were robbed or assaulted was higher in England, Scotland, Finland, Poland, Denmark and Sweden than it was in the United States. The assault rate in England was twice that in the United States. In the decade since England banned all private possession of handguns, the BBC reported that the number of gun crimes has gone up sharply.

Some of the worst examples of mass gun violence have also occurred in Europe. In recent years, 17 students and teachers were killed by a shooter in one incident at a German public school; 14 legislators were shot to death in Switzerland, and eight city council members were shot to death near Paris.

The main lesson that should emerge from the Virginia Tech killings is that we need to work harder to identify and cope with dangerously unstable personalities.

It is a problem for Europeans as well as Americans, one for which there are no easy solutions — such as passing more gun control laws.

Mr. Reynold has a roundup of the facts.
Remember that "Gun Control" is a liberal democrat code word for Victim Disarmament.

That is for the little people

That is how Mr. Reynolds correctly sums up the environmentalism of the liberal democrat rich

Still, she has no plans to reduce the family’s significant carbon footprint by, say, selling the Manhattan second home. "I’m not a perfect person," she said. "I’m not the greenest woman in America." And there was scant indication that other guests, most of whom, presumably, knew their way up the steps of a private jet, were contemplating major lifestyle cutbacks. Glancing about the room, Ms. Barnett said, “We aren’t all going to move to one-bedroom apartments." . . . She plans to practice conservation, to a point. Energy-saving light bulbs are fine — for the utility closet, perhaps. In other rooms, "they don’t give a very pretty light," she said.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Penn & Teller call Bullshit on "Gun Control"

Mike's America has the video. Swing by and check it out.

He'll never work in Hollywood again.

Actor Jon Voight commits in the unpardonable sin of speaking the truth.

You recently visited with wounded troops at Walter Reed. What were your impressions?

I was deeply impressed by them. Most I spoke to were young people, around 20 years old. And they were really very eloquent, very positive, very respectful. You have to be proud of the children we're turning out from looking at this group of people. For me, I would much rather hear from these guys than the people who are presenting the news on television on a daily basis.

Were you able to gauge the mood among the troops—have they lost a sense of mission?

These guys say, well, it's possible to win it. And I'll tell you one thing they said that was very remarkable: the increase in troops that has been recommended by the president, they say anybody who's over there knows the value of backup and we should be behind this. When you're out in that situation in danger, you want to know you've got backup. Only one guy said he wasn't going back to Iraq, and he had been wounded a couple times. But all the other guys wanted to go back. One young woman, a very attractive young woman, had her leg amputated. But she says she's going to find a way to get back into it. She just reupped and she said they would find something for her to do.

Do you think it's possible to win the Iraq War?

Here's what I think: this is a real war, extended beyond the borders of Iraq.

As in the more general war on terror?

The war on terror is real. People would have you believe it's not real. This is not Vietnam. This particular situation is not the same wherein we can walk away and just leave destruction behind us. No, we can't. Anyone who has paid attention to what [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad is saying, what all the mullahs are saying in this country and in England, and in all of the Arab world, this is serious—they're calling for the destruction of America and all democracy and that's what's going on. We could lose this war.

Fact Checking the Anti-Civil Rights crowd

Reason Magazine sheads some reality on the lies:

"In any case, note that the 'children' killed by firearms include older teenagers, among them 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds, a.k.a. 'adults.' Judging from the breakdown in 1998 (I can't find comparable data for 1997), more than 80 percent of gun deaths for the under-20 group involve teenagers 15 or older. About 58 percent of the gun deaths that year were homicides, and these included drug dealers shot by other drug dealers, violent criminals shot by police, and other noninnocent nonchildren. About 33 percent of the gun deaths were suicides; 7 percent were accidents."

It's the same old song and dance. The gun grabbers have to lie in order to make themselves sound reasonable.
They are anti-civil rights fear mongers who'd rather see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand.

Simply put, gun control cannot survive without an accompanying sea of disinformation.

Another country figures out Kyoto

The Canadian government figures out what 98 members of the US Senate figured out.
The Kyoto Treaty was an economic transfer program from the first world to third, not an environmental treaty.

This week's announcement by the Canadian government -- that it may join a U.S.-led coalition focused on voluntary emissions cuts -- could be part of a global shift away from Kyoto's binding targets.

In a somewhat surprising development, Canada, a long-time supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, announced that it may want to join the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), a six-nation coalition focusing on voluntary emission-reduction steps and technology transfers. Many environmentalists oppose AP6 out of a fear that it may undermine political support for the legally binding Kyoto treaty.

HT to Mr. Reynolds

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Truth in advertising.

Randy at Cold Fury has some much more honest terms to replace "Gun Free Zone"

"Your Children Get Murdered Here Zone"

"“Israel Doesn’t Have This Problem Because Their Teachers Are Armed Zone"

"Victim Zone"

"Leave Your Gun At Home And Hope You Survive Zone"

"Rape Murder and Armed Robbery Zone"

"The Physically Strongest Brutes Survive Zone"

And in a nod to Fuckface;

“Free Fire Zone”

They have to lie

The sun is actually shining here in the PRM, so I was out of the building for lunch. NPR's Fresh Air had a talking head from the anti-civil rights gun-grabbers on.
Of course, he told a flat out lie and the host didn't know enough to call him on it. Even if she did, I don't think she would anyway.

democrats don't let ignorance get in the way of writing legislation

Hot Air has the video of Tucker Carlson nailing democrat Rep Carolyn McCarthy. Not only does she shamelessly spread the "guns criminals use" about the thankfully ended anti-civil rights semi-automatic rifle ban, she doesn't doesn't even know what the terms are in her own bill. For example, she has no clue to as what a barrel shroud is.

Wikipedia has a good note on how the anti-civil rights "gun grabbers" actively try to confuse the issue and keep people from learning the facts:

As early as September 1988, Josh Sugarmann, gun-control activist and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, coined the term assault weapon to denote various semi-automatic firearms with features commonly associated with firearms used by military and/or law enforcement personnel. Sugarmann adopted the "assault weapon" label from the Sturmgewehr 44, a German military rifle used during World War II; Sturmgewehr translates into English as either "Storm Rifle" or "Assault Rifle." Note that this term is not synonymous with assault rifle, which has an established technical definition and refers only to military rifles with full-automatic capability. Sugarmann pushed for new legislation to restrict or outlaw civilian ownership of such firearms, stating that "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

Today, there is still no exact or universal definition for the term "assault weapon," although the term has gained significant popularity among gun-control advocates.

...and then MSM just gets it wrong

No suprise there. Confederate Yankee has been pointed out factual errors made by ABC.
The best part, ABC's Blotter is even deleting his comments pointing out the factual inaccuracies in their reporting.
At this point, I think it is fair to say the ABC is deliberately lying to press their agenda.
CY writes:

has the video of Olbermann parroting of Ross' falsehoods.

At least one of the weapons used by the shooter is believed, as we said, to be in nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol, which would be like this one, with a clip designed to hold more than 10 shots. Clips like those were banned under the Assault Weapons Law of 1994, but Congress and President Bush allowed that law to expire more than two years ago.

I'll try this once more, making it so easy that even journalists can understand it.

High-capacity magazines were never outlawed. They were never illegal to own, buy or sell, person-to-person, in retail stores, catalogs, or online.

Part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was the so-called Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was a ban on certain cosmetic features found on some firearms. It was, in fact, nothing more than "scary-looking gun" law.

Banned "assault rifles" were easily made legal again by manufacturers who merely had to remove the offensive accessories, such as flash hiders, pistol grip-style stocks, or bayonets lugs, none of which affected the rate of fire, accuracy or velocity of the firearms in question. Older firearms arbitrarily (and inaccurately) deemed assault weapons by the ban that were already in the market were grandfathered in, and the new "post-ban" assault weapons sold quite well during the length of the so-called ban.

Another provision of the ban was a ban on the manufacture of "large capacity ammunition feeding devices," which the law defined, again arbitrarily, as those rifle and pistol magazines that hold in excess of then rounds of ammunition.

Where Ross, ABC New, Olbermann and others are dead wrong is when they attempt to imply that the ban on the manufacture of new magazines of more than ten rounds was a ban on all high-capacity magazines. This is patently false.
I'm growing increasingly tired of journalists such as Brain Ross, ABC News, and Keith Olbermann spouting falsehoods, when they have obviously been too lazy--or perhaps just to agenda-driven--to simply read the law itself, or even point a web browser in the direction of Google.

These so-called journalists have forfeited their credibility by refusing to address the truth, and instead, decided to foist upon an unsuspecting public, blatant falsehoods to further a political agenda.

We've come to expect our media to be biased. We shouldn't have to deal with them blatantly, recklessly, and repeatedly lying to further their private policy beliefs.

MSM lapses in memory

By way of Ed Driscoll comes these two examples of the MSM not having a clue about history.

First, from the Jawa Report:

If you've been reading the papers and you have spotty knowledge of history, you might be forgiven for thinking that the shootings this week were the "worst mass murder in U.S. history." If you're a journalist with a lot on your plate, you may have forgotten the mass murder of September 11, 2001, which left over 3,000 dead. Then again, that was nearly six years ago & all.

This is followed by six examples of MSM newspapers getting it wrong, including the San Jose Mercury News

Then some more reality is injected:
Truth is, the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, while tragic, was not "the worst mass murder in U.S. history." It wasn't the "second worst mass murder in U.S. history," or even the third, or the fourth.

The 9/11 attacks (2,998 deaths), the Oklahoma City bombing (168 deaths), the HappyLand arson (87 deaths) and the Bath, Michigan bombing (45 deaths) all claimed more victims than the Virginia Tech shootings (32 deaths).

But, as Vinnie noted yesterday, those events don't fit neatly into the anti-gun political agenda, so they need to go down the memory hole, thereby leaving the Virginia Tech shootings as "the worst mass murder in U.S. history," with Charles Whitman's shooting rampage taking a close second.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Meanwhile, in the "gun free zone" of Japan.

Mayor of Nagasaki shot to death by an irate citizen.

HT to Doug Ross

The definition of insanity...

...is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Fuck you very much google

Given the reports that google had trouble transferring large blogs from blogger, I purposely didn't transfer my 4+ year old blog.

Google decided to do it for me. How did I find out about this?
When I tried to post using Bloggar, which failed because google decided they wanted an incompatible API. When I tried to log into blogger, my only option was transfer to a google account.

"We're Google. We're too big to care about our customers."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

That obviously didn't work...

The Roanoke Times published this interesting bit of news back on January 31, 2006:

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.

House Bill 1572 didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.
Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus. The legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."
Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

Well, I wonder if those words are now haunting Mr. Hincker. The defeat of that civil rights bill not only did not make the campus safer for the "parents, students, faculty and visitors."
What it did was provide a safer working environment for a homicide bent man who ignored the "gun free zone" law while going on a killing rampage.

Of course, the ghouls are out feeding on the dead.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

That whole "Culture of Corruption" thing...

The democrats seem to have it well in hand.

Tennesee State Senator John Ford resigned from the state Senate after he has been brought up on charges of extortion, conspiracy and bribery.

The AP has a story on it. Interestingly enough, his political party is not mentioned in the story. Let's test my theory here, hmmm...., yup, John Ford, who resigned in disgrace after accepting bribes (which gives him the moral high ground over democrat Louisiana congressman William "Cold Cash" Jefferson), is a democrat.

HT to Doug Ross

Meanwhile in the leftist Socialist Paradise of Chavez's Venezuela

Things are going to Hell in a Handbasket and Chavez is using raw naked force to prop up his failing government.

President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that soldiers will accompany government officials when they take over oil projects in the Orinoco River basin next month.

Chavez has decreed that Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, will take a minimum 60 percent stake in four heavy-oil projects in the Orinoco River region and invited the six private companies operating there to stay on as minority partners.

"On May 1 we are going to take control of the oil fields," Chavez said. "I'm sure no transnational company is going to draw a shotgun, but we will go with the armed forces and the people."

The projects _ run by BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, France's Total SA and Norway's Statoil ASA _ upgrade heavy, tar-like crude into more marketable oils and are considered Venezuela's most promising. As older fields elsewhere go into decline, development of the Orinoco is seen as key to Venezuela's future production.

LA_Sunset has the right take on the subject:
If I were the oil companies, I'd be tempted to use a scorched earth policy. Oil companies have invested heavily in this exploration and development. They put up the capital, the time, the labor, and for some thug like Chavez to wrest it by force, is theft. We would see how innovative Hugo would be with no process to make the tar-like crude, usable and ready for sale. Burn it to the ground, I say. They are going to lose it all, anyway.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Now its Nifong's turn

ESPN reports that Ethics Charges against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong moving forward:

A disciplinary committee rejected a request Friday to dismiss ethics charges against the former prosecutor in the dismissed Duke lacrosse case, who is accused of withholding critical DNA evidence from the defense.
The North Carolina State Bar has accused Nifong with breaking several rules of professional conduct as he led the investigation into allegations three lacrosse players sexually assaulted an exotic dancer at a team party in March 2006.

This week, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges in the case, and said the three players indicted were innocent and that his investigators concluded no attack occurred. In doing so, he portrayed Nifong as a "rogue" prosecutor who rushed the case by failing to verify the accuser's allegations.
The bar has also charged Nifong with lying to the court and to bar investigators, and for making misleading and inflammatory comments about the athletes under suspicion.
Nifong, who apologized to the three cleared players in a statement issued Thursday, could be disbarred if convicted. His ethics trial is scheduled to start in June.

There have been calls for Nifong to resign, but his attorney David Freedman said the veteran prosecutor has no intention of leaving office.

Brad Bannon, an attorney who represented one of the three players, said the men's families "want to see Mr. Nifong get what they believe he was ready to deny their sons, which is a fair hearing."

Historical note, back in December, Mary Katharine Ham reported on what didn't happen in Durham.

Explaining the tax hikes on the way...

Senator John Thune (R-SD) points out how many taxes the democrats want to raise and the effect of these multiple tax hikes on American taxpayers.

It is really time for the Fair Tax.

Morning Quote

"WTC-7 is the gateway drug to 9-11 Denial" -- Pat at Screw Loose Change

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Let me get this straight...

Don Imus, a cranky old shock jock, was just fired from MSNBC (which will probably negatively effect their ratings, but since they were dead last in the cable News ratings anyway...) and CBS Radio for saying what Rap Music "performers" get Grammys for.

On the other hand, the dangerously incompetent DA who ruined the lives of several young men still is on the public payroll.

To further add to the general retreat from reality of the entire subject, Don Imus was being judged by the well known race baiter, Rev. Al Sharpton. Come on people! This man started race riots that resulted in a man being murdered in the streets for the crime of having the wrong skin color in the wrong neighborhood.

FYI, I went to the same high school as Tawana Brawley, although I graduated years earlier and was living in the Peoples Commonwealth before she lied about spending a few days in Newburgh with her crack dealing boyfriend. One of my cousins was on the jury that found Sharpton guilty of slander against Steven Pagones, who was an assistant DA in Dutchess County at the time.

Remember that this is the same Al Sharpton who when a group of black men attacked a white jogger in Central Park, he never made the race of the rapists an issue, and called the jogger/victim a whore.

To give credit where it is due, most of the cast of "The View" called Sharpton on complete lack of "moral authority" on the subject of racism. Justin McCarthy notes on NewsBusters that even Rosie O'Donnell was "unusually quiet" on the subject. Ms. O'Donnell, your silence speaks volumes in this case, and it's probably the best and most important thing you have said since joining the show.

On the subject of Don Imus' alleged racism, last I checked, it wasn't just little white kids with Cancer that he ran the Imus Ranch for.

Baldilocks has a well thought out and interesting view on the subject.

Scott from Powerline has a good round up of Rev. Al Sharpton's history.
Interestingly enough, the Rev. Sharpton's religious background goes back to preaching at tent revivals.
A history he shares with the late Sam Kinison.

Palm betting the Farm on Linux

By way of the MIT Technology Review comes this story about Palm Inc. swtiching to a Linux basd platform.
Here are some highlights:

Smart phone maker Palm Inc. said Tuesday it will use a new platform based on Linux to help the company compete better.

Palm officials announced the new operating system platform during a meeting with analysts in New York, where they also discussed the company's business strategy and refused to talk about recent rumors of a possible buyout.
The upcoming Linux-based platform, which Palm had been developing quietly for several years, will join the product mix as ''a new foundation,'' Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan said.

He said the platform will take the Palm software and ''modernize'' it.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company does not own the Palm OS and spent $44 million (euro32.77 million) last year for a permanent license to use it.

Although the Palm OS had set an industry standard for ease of use in handheld computing years ago and attracted millions of Palm devotees, some industry analysts have criticized the aging platform as lacking in significant improvements, especially in handling multimedia applications.

Colligan did not give specific product details but said the Linux platform, which will give the company control again over its own operating system, will help the company lower costs and reduce the time spent to bring products to market. He said Palm will introduce Linux-based products later this year.
Speculation of Palm getting acquired by either a larger gadget maker or a private equity firm has circled on Wall Street over the past few months.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Klingons on the left coast

The best part of a review of the Klingon Death Metal band Stovokor

They spotted a young woman with a tribal tattoo on her lower back, and the 6’6”, one-armed vocalist, pInluH HoD, pointed his glorious battle wound of a stub and declared, “She does bear the tramp stamp! We will take her to our breeding camp.”

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He's doing the Lord Work you secular heathens!

Former VP Albert Gore, Jr said the following during his March 21 Senate testimony as to why global warming is the moral challenge of our time:

I do believe that the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. I believe that the purpose of life is to glorify God, and you cannot do it while heaping contempt on God's creation. And I think that the joining of this debate by the evangelical and faith communities has been a very powerful factor changing the dynamics here.

It's good that he has the Lord on his side, since his science is a bit shakey.
HT to the National Review.

That isn't a Green Apple

Note to all you watching Algore's fundraising movie on your Video IPod, Apple was ranked last in environmentally friendly computer companies by Greenpeace.

Follow the Money!

Keep in mind that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a political body first and foremost.
Doug Ross has a good round up of key data on them, including their principle driving goal, scamming money.

Recall that the IPCC is "a political body and not a scientific panel." It has commissioned billions of dollars worth of research by thousands of scientists. In fact, a great many scientific livelihoods rest upon the promotion of the IPCC's curriculum.

But that's only the beginning of the story.

The Carbon-Offset Market: "Fraudulent" and "Fictitious"

A set of meetings in March ("The Vienna Energy Efficiency and Climate Meetings" - March 19-22, 2007) offers another clue. Much of the discussion related to the growth of the carbon offset market. Panelists represented a variety of companies set to profit from "carbon offseting," including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Point Carbon, EDF Trading, Capital Carbon Markets, and Natsource.

Carbon offsets are a currency that supposedly allow organizations and individuals to "make up" (offset) their carbon-dioxide emissions.

What Al Gore and the rest of the IPCC bureaucrats won't tell you is that wanton profiteering appears to be at the very heart of "carbon offsets." Put simply, a wide range of respected scientists, environmentalists, researchers, agriculturalists, and activists believe that carbon offsets are a "scam", "fantasy", "fiction", "nonsense", "fraudulent" and worse.

In a 2001 report, a UK-based environmentalist group called The Corner House labeled the carbon-offseting scheme a "fantasy." And even earlier, in May of 2000, a presentation at the Agrarian Studies 2000 Conference at Yale University denounced the carbon offset market in extremely stark terms:
...This [carbon-offset] market is being put together not so much by states as by a burgeoning international web of technocrats, multilateral agencies, corporate alliances, brokers, lobbyists, consultants, financiers, think tanks, lawyers, forestry companies and non-government organizations...

...the [biological climate-change equivalents, or carbon sequestration credits] commodity to be traded in this new market is fictitious...

In fact, what did IPCC officials do around the time they were finalizing their reports? They formed businesses to take financial advantage of their 'findings'. Among the IPCC panel members set to benefit from earlier IPCC reports on warming were Richard Tipper, Mark Trexler, Pedro Moura-Costa, Careth Phips, Sandra Brown, and Peter Hill. Tipper, for example, formed a consulting company just months after being appointed to one of the UN's climate panels.

The World Rainforest Movement investigated these bizarre financial ties and concluded that the IPCC report "must now be shelved due to their clear conflict of interest and a new report instigated which will be free of the taint of intellectual corruption."

And solar energy portal Ecotopia reports that members of the IPCC "...had vested interests in reaching unrealistically and unjustifiably optimistic conclusions about the possibility of compensating for emissions with trees... [and] should have been automatically disqualified from serving on an intergovernmental panel charged with investigating impartially the feasibility and benefits of such... projects."

In other words, IPCC members were poised to profit from carbon-profiteering from the very outset of their reporting.

Read the whole thing.

Happy Easter

Taking a short break from the politics to wish a speedy and full recovery to Tony Snow and Elizabeth Edwards.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Bush Economy

Captain Ed has a good summary, but here are the highlights:

The economy continues its growth under the stewardship of the Bush administration. Unemployment fell to 4.4%, a five-year low, as the nation added 180,000 jobs last month. Wages also rose faster than inflation in March, indicating continuing strength and real gains for workers
What has kept the economy moving? According to the New York Times' Jeremy Peters, "the tireless American consumer." With wages continuing to rise in real terms, consumers spend more money, creating more energy and expansion.
All of these show good signs for continued, moderate economic growth -- the kind that will keep inflation at bay while creating more and more opportunities for Americans to prosper. The Bush tax cuts continue to do their job by keeping capital in the market and earnings in the pockets of earners. The repeal of those cuts will take that capital out of the market, where it creates jobs, growth, and wealth, and stick it in the coffers of the federal government, where it does nothing but allow politicians to use it for pork projects and expansion of entitlement programs.

Will the Democrats learn the lesson of Reagan, Kennedy, and Bush, and keep the lower taxes that have fueled this expansion? Somehow, I doubt it. But if they don't, hopefully the voters will allow them to cut in the front of the unepmployment lines they will create.

Here is some more items from the graduate Macro Economics Course I'm taking (Source: Economic Policy Instiitute):
2006 was a respectable year for GDP growth.
The combination of a strong export growth and import declines led to a large contribution to GDP from net exports.
Inflation in core prices fell again in the fourth quarter...

New to the Blogroll

Bob Parks: Black & Right, and he has something to say.

Yet another Star Trek series rumor

Star Trek: Cardinal. Here is the scoop from Slice of SciFi:

If Sal Lagonia, president and producer of Project: Cardinal, a whole new concept in Trek lore, has his way that possiblity seems promising with “Star Trek: Cardinal.” While Lagonia admits to having no prior experience as a producer, he does claim to be a semi-professional screenwriter, having “done a great deal of production work for various series and movies, as well as owning a film degree,” according to the project’s creator.
His attempt at revitalizing the 40 year franchise back on to the small screen will concentrate on the crew of the USS Cardinal, a small vessel which is charged with the unglorified job of maintaining the Ferengi border, a small rectangle that also happens to connect the Romulans to the Cardassians in a smugglers corridor. The crew would be charged with chasing criminals and would-be invaders.

If this were the be all and end all to the series, some Trek fans might burn the studio down in protest. However, it is not the be all and end all. The creator of this unique concept is not just giving the crew a mission and leaving it to the writers to decide what random aliens they will encounter every week. Instead, the crew of the Cardinal is inadvertently placed in the center of events that will change the entire galaxy.

From the very beginning, the crew is faced with mysteries that don’t have solutions, mysteries that are causing powers to challenge other powers. The Federation Starship USS Cardinal is placed in the unenviable position of stopping a war, something that becomes increasingly harder until they are no longer able to accomplish that particular mission and war becomes inevitiable.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A simple truth

Cozying up to Bill Clinton is not something a feminist should be doing. -- Ann Althouse

Hate Crimes from the left...

No surprise here. It's all about the hate.
The Scripps Howard News Service has the story about the huge volume of abusive and hateful calls and email leveled against those who dared Speak The Truth about the Goracle.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research recently generated headlines when it announced that former Vice President Al Gore's Nashville estate "devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours" of electricity in 2006, "more than 20 times the national average."

This free-market think tank's phones lit up when it analyzed Nashville Electric Service's public records and identified an inconvenient gap between Gore's conservationism and his energy consumption. The research center's one-page press release was greeted with enough megawatts of hatred to power the South.

"I was accused several times of being a 'stupid, redneck bitch,'" recalls Nicole Williams, who fielded numerous calls. "I repeatedly was called a 'whore' and asked 'Whose whore are you?' for three days straight, almost as if those were talking points ... I was shocked by these sexist insults _ basically attacking my gender."

The calls continued beyond Williams' Nashville office.

"I had to change my home number and get an unlisted number," Williams says.

"I got about 10 death threats by phone. I got the 'I'm gonna get you'-type threats more than 100 times ... I worried I would get shot walking to my car."
Gore's defenders also spewed venomous e-mails. They sent the research center nearly 3,000 Gore-related messages that exhibited the very bigotry the Left routinely denounces. Warning: These offensive, often-vulgar, and occasionally unschooled comments reveal the vitriol behind much of today's "progressive" rhetoric.

_ Many e-mails displayed Dixiephobia _ an intense disdain for the South and Southerners.

"Why don't you all go back to shooting one another across the hollows instead of trying to make people think anyone in Tennessee has an ounce of intelligence?" Roger Miller insisted. "Get your snaggle tooth grins capped and learn to read and write."

"W.T.F. difference would it make if he was (sic) using 1000 times more energy than the average household if it came from clean energy?" Thomas Grinnell wondered. "Don't think about that too much. It will give your southern mullet a headache."

"You really should concentrate on what Southerners do best," D. Hunter advised. "Sodomizing and impregnating little children!"

Christopher LaBarge declared: "I hope you all die slowly and have your hearts and brains trampled to pieces you small-minded, ignorant, backwoods ideologues."

"We should have flattened the South when we had the chance!" wrote Mount Laurel, New Jersey's Robert Dodelin. "If ever you confederates (sic) want to leave the Union please do. We Nothen (sic) states would love to stop having to subsidize you with our tax dollars."
Some e-mails, like Benjamin Greuel's, reflected anti-religious bias: "Go f_k yourselves you neo con, non-secular, bible thumpin, anti-science dumb f_-k pricks."

Similarly, Anthony Black wrote: "You bunch of stupid hick red-necks. I am sure you are quite religious, yet you have no problem destroying His creation with pollution; and, rather than addressing that, you cast dispersions (sic) on Al Gore's home energy use.

_"How about you have a do (sic) humanity a favor and have a stroke," Russ Smith recommended. "You silly metrosexual twit, need some more hi-lites in your hair?"

Another gay-hater wrote: "You guys are the faggiest fags I've ever come across. How do you get any work done, what with all the c_k sucking and such?"
Such anti-intellectual intimidation reflects the high-octane hate that fuels so much Leftist discourse. Rather than simply argue that Johnson, Williams, and their colleagues are ecologically misguided or misinformed, these bullies call them barefoot, same-sex-loving, Winchester-wielding whores and evangel-yokels. Remember this whenever liberals crow about diversity, tolerance, and open-mindedness.

HT to Ms. Malkin

What the MSM isn't telling you.

Joel Mowbray writes in the Washington Times:

Ask most Americans if they were aware that Iraqis, by almost a 2-to-1 margin, believe that life today is better than it was under Saddam Hussein, and you'd most likely elicit incredulousness, blank stares or outright laughter. Not because it isn't true, though. It is.

The mainstream media just forgot to mention it.
In what appears to be a compulsion to attack any good news coming out of Iraq — assuming it bothers to report the information in the first place...

HT to Doug Ross

Veterans Speak Truth to Power

A group of Veterans condemn democrat Harry Reid "for using the troops as a political football"

Good on 'em!

Clean, Greenhouse-friendly Energy!

By way of Mr. Reynolds comes an interesting read on the recent Supreme Court ruling on "greenhouse gases:

The irony is that the beneficiary of Monday's ruling won't be wind power, solar power, or any of the other renewable technologies favored by the Green establishment. Their economic and technological limitations are too severe for them ever to occupy more than a small niche in the American energy economy. Instead, one of the winners from Massachusetts v. EPA just may be something that many of the environmentalists who brought the suit have long abhorred: nuclear power. Like renewables, nuclear power generates electricity with no pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. But unlike renewables, nuclear is capable of generating reliable power on a massive scale, which is what our country's future energy demands will require.

Nuclear power is on the verge of making a comeback in the United States. Thanks to several favorable provisions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, as well as a streamlined licensing process, it is possible we could see the construction of new plants start within several years. The economics for new plant construction are still being worked out, particularly with regard to financing and federal loan guarantees. But there can be no doubt that federal efforts to hamstring coal can only help nuclear. Moreover, any future regulatory scheme allowing nuclear power plant operators to earn credits for generating emissions-free electricity would enhance nuclear's attractiveness to investors.

Read the whole thing

Fred Thompson getting ready to run

Mike Allen writes in The Politico:

Fred Thompson, the “Law & Order” actor and former senator from Tennessee, has moved beyond pondering a bid for the White House and begun assembling the nucleus of a campaign should he decide to run, according to people involved in the effort.

Thompson has not yet decided to seek the Republican presidential nomination. But “he is getting more serious every day,” said an adviser familiar with Thompson's plans.
“The outreach to him has been so overwhelming that he is now starting to talk to people to really calibrate what it would take to run a successful campaign,’’ the adviser said. “He’s talking to some of the top unaligned strategists and fundraisers. He’s said: ‘I’m seriously considering it, and I’m happy to hear your thoughts and ideas.’ ”

Thompson will not make a final decision until at least May and may delay any announcement until even later because he recognizes the benefits of being “a non-candidate candidate,” according to advisers.

“As soon as you announce, they start throwing spitballs, so why not wait?” said a Thompson friend involved in the discussions.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quote of the Evening

"Between Global Thermonuclear War with the Soviet Union, Global Cooling, the Population Bomb, DDT, AIDS, the Elbola virus, a half dozen other doomsday issues, and now Global Warming, it's like living in one long 1970's disaster film." -- Mark Urbin

What you gonna do with all that junk?

An amusing, but on target, video about HRC's baggage.

HT to LASunsett

Better biofuels through chemistry

There are very solid reasons for finding alternates to fossil fuels (including reducing the value of Middle Eastern oil reserve).
Amyris Biotechnologies is doing research into alternate biofuels using synthetic biology.

Unlike the conventional genetic engineering currently used in the manufacture of antibiotics and protein drugs such as insulin, synthetic biology involves hacking the entire metabolic system--changing the structure of some proteins, altering the expression of others, and adding in genes from other organisms--to create an efficient microbial machine.
The researchers selected several candidate compounds based on their energy content (ethanol has only 70 percent the energy of gasoline), their volatility (an ideal fuel shouldn't evaporate too fast), and their solubility in water (unlike ethanol, a water-insoluble fuel could be piped around the country like petroleum). After narrowing the list by determining which fuels could be both produced in the lab and used in today's engines, they were left with a selection of compounds including replacements for both diesel and jet fuel. "We've tested a lot of fuels with fantastic properties," says Neil Renninger, Amyris cofounder and vice president of development.

It's a fair bet that somebody will be protesting this and calling it "Frankenfuel."

Doing what she was paid to do...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Words from an actual Scientist in the field

"Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that th early twenty-first century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age."

-- Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT; member of the National Academy of Sciences; and former lead author, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Morning HRC Quotes

Hillary Clinton supports the right of thirteen-year-old girls to have abortions without parental consent -- yet she forbade thirteen-year-old Chelsea to pierce her ears and enrolled her in a school that would not distribute condoms to minors.

"The intelligence which the president shared with us was in line with what we saw in the White House." -- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2003

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapon stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"The only real model for a Hillary presidency is that of Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, Hillary hides a personality driven by paranoia, fear, and hatred for enemies, and a willingness to get even and do what it takes to prevail, behind a sencerity and good nature." -- Long time Clinton advisor Dick Morris, Rewriting History

"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." -- Hillary Rodham Clinton

"But the truth is that Hillary Clinton owes her charisma not to her accomplishments but to her role as the diva in one of the most bizarre political soap operas ever." -- Maureen Dowd, 07/19/98

"In truth, Hillary is just one of a group of supremely powerful women, some of whom have learned to expertly play the victim card for their own benefit, others who peddle victimization and fear in order to influence you..." -- longtime Ladies Home Journal editor in chief Myrna Blyth

"...when President Clinton went into Kosovo, he didn’t have Security Council authorization." -- Senator Hillary Clinton, Sept. 15, 2000, Meet the Press

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tammy Bruce on HRC & Al Gore

Tammy Bruce has some interesting insight on HRC and her long time political foe, Al Gore:

Now you know why I hope Al Gore gets into the mix. Despite my personal distaste for his politics, he is the only person out there who is not afraid of the Clinton machine, and will take Rodham Clinton on in a way that will force her to be exposed for what she is. For all you may think of Gore, I do not believe he is a liar or depraved. She, on the other hand, is both. The only way the nation gets an honest election is if the Democrats do. And at this point, unless Gore enters, the entire "race" is a sham.