Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This is what it's like in my house every morning. No car involved though.
***bonus joke, same via:
An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.
The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, ‘Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great.. I would recommend it very highly.’
The other man said, ‘What is the name of the restaurant?’
The first man thought and thought and finally said, ‘What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love?
You know…. The one that’s red and has thorns.’
‘Do you mean a rose?’
‘Yes, that’s the one,’ replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, ‘Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?’
Posted by lumberjack at 1:11 PM
The days of scrabbling around to find the correct mobile phone charger are to end after a landmark agreement between the leading manufacturers.
Companies including Apple, Nokia and Sony Ericsson yesterday promised to start offering phones that fit a universal charger from next year.
The move comes in response to anger from consumers who are landed with chargers with different connections for each phone bought.
This is good news. This means I'll no longer have to rent a warehouse for my phone charger collection. Though maybe I'll keep the space for the TV remote control menagerie.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:06 PM
Monday, June 29, 2009
Darn, Obama has left the ranks of the 'deeply concerned' and actually taken a position on the Honduras kerfuffle. Be careful what you wish for I suppose. Our president decided the Castro/Chavez take on the situation was best: reinstall President Zelaya.
OK, so then what do you do with the Honduran congress, the supreme court, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the military? From Heritage.org:
Early on June 28, members of the Honduran military temporarily arrested President Manuel Zelaya. Within minutes he was on a plane bound for Costa Rica. In San Jose, Zelaya denounced the military's intervention as a "coup d'etat" and a "brutal kidnapping." The military's actions, while swift and arbitrary, came after President Zelaya defied virtually every Honduran political and legal institution and propelled his citizens to the verge of polarizing violence. Zelaya's swift removal from Honduras probably saved many lives.
In less than six hours, Honduras's congress removed Zelaya as president for repeated violations of Honduras's laws and constitution, as well as for his failure to observe resolutions of Honduran courts. In short, the congress fired the sitting President for multiple acts of institutional insubordination. The congress then named its speaker, Robert Micheletti, to serve as chief executive until after national elections in November. The military has begun a return back to the barracks.
The events of June 28 mark the culmination in a series of confrontations between Zelaya and virtually all of Honduras's political and judicial institutions, including the congress, the supreme court, the two major political parties (including his own), and the military. At issue was Zelaya's effort to convene a non-binding public referendum that, he believed, would open the doors for major constitutional revision. Given that the Honduran constitution does not grant its president the power to convene such referenda, there is no question that, while the response of the Honduran military may have been rash, President Zelaya was fired for a legitimate reason....
The events unfolding in Honduras remain confused. Yet it appears the primary institutions of the nation--congress, the supreme court, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the military as the guardian of public order--have spoken. While these institutions may have acted precipitously, the bottom line is that President Zelaya was fired for cause. The U.S. can ill afford to open the door to a counter-intervention by Hugo Chávez, one that would deliver Honduras into the Chávez brand of "democracy."
What will Obama do if Chavez does intervene? I'm afraid then he'll shift back to 'deeply concerned'. One thing is for sure, Chavez doesn't fear intervention from the US. He knows a cupcake when he sees one.
Posted by lumberjack at 7:20 PM
Great graphic via the FT. I found it after seeing that our president's stance on Honduras is "deeply concerned". OK, not an in depth analysis here, but I think I see a pattern emerging. We have entered what Wikipedia will one day call the Era of Deeply Concerned Foreign Policy.
Light blogging due to dog training. How often do you see those words strung together?
***Update: Great minds think alike, James Taranto, though, put more effort into it:
To Whom It May Concern• "Obama Breaks Silence on Gaza, Voices 'Deep Concern' Over Civilian Deaths"--headline, Ha'aretz, Jan. 7
• "Obama Voices Concern About Freed Guantanamo Inmates"--headline, Reuters, Feb. 2
• "Obama Voices Concern About Pakistan"--headline, New York Times, April 30
• "Obama Expresses Concern for Tissainayagam"--headline, TamilNet.com, May 2
• "Obama: Long-Term Joblessness a Concern"--headline, CNN.com, May 20
• "Obama Says North Korea Nuclear Test a 'Grave Concern' "--headline, Reuters, May 25
• "Obama to 'Voice Concerns' in Egypt Speech"--headline, Hill, May 29
• "Obama Concerned at Sentence of Journalists in NKorea"--headline, Agence France-Presse, June 8
• "Obama Names Video Games as Health Concern in Speech to A.M.A."--headline, GamePolitics.com, June 15
• "Obama Has 'Deep Concerns' About Iran's Election"--headline, Newsweek Web site, June 16
• "Obama Concern About Oil Speculation Unchanged-W.House"--headline, Reuters, June 18
• "Obama Expresses Deep Concern Over Honduras Coup"--headline, Deutsche Presse Agentur, June 28
Posted by lumberjack at 2:05 PM
Saturday, June 27, 2009
So it looks like the needed deals were made to drive the Waxman-Markey stake through the heart of capitalism. They just needed to buy a few votes with special deals for a few lucky states. Now, if the Senate doesn't save us, we're done.
Ah well, it's history being made. What Smoot-Hawley did for us in 1929, Waxman-Markey promises to do in 2009. In fact, an IBD article claims: Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump:
Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.
The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.
It's what Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, might call a "man-caused disaster," a phrase she coined to replace the politically incorrect "terrorist attack." But no terrorist could ever dream of inflicting as much damage as this bill.
Its centerpiece is a "cap and trade" provision that has been rightfully derided as "cap and tax." It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide.
It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase.
BTW, that "lucky states" comment was sarcasm. A few farm state votes were bought with special considerations for farmers. So now the representatives can go back to their districts and boast. Only problem is: if the rest of the country is too poor to buy beef, your federal cow-fart exemption won't seem so fine. "Your farm still in foreclosure Bob?", "Well yeah, but on the upside, if I can find a place to keep them, those cows are still pooting federally tax-free.", "Yeah, thank goodness we still got that."
As part of the agreement reached Tuesday night and announced by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, agricultural oversight for cap-and-trade was transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmers hope the USDA will be less intrusive. The EPA has been tasked by a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from your nostrils to your lawn mower. This even covers the emissions of barnyard animals, including the methane from cows.
Good luck with that.
As we've said before, capping emissions is capping economic growth. An analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Heritage Foundation projects that by 2035 it would reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $7.4 trillion. In an average year, 844,000 jobs would be destroyed, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by almost 2 million (see charts below).
Consumers would pay through the nose as electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, as President Obama once put it, by 90% adjusted for inflation. Inflation-adjusted gasoline prices would rise 74%, residential natural gas prices by 55% and the average family's annual energy bill by $1,500.
Hit hardest by all this would be the "95% of working families" Obama keeps mentioning as being protected from increased taxation. They are protected, that is, unless they use energy. Then they'll be hit by this draconian energy tax.
And what would we get for all this pain? According to an analysis by Chip Knappenberger, administrator of the World Climate Report, the reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions to 83% below 2005 levels by 2050 — the goal of the Waxman-Markey bill — would reduce global temperature in 2050 by a mere 0.05 degree Celsius.
That is .05 by the way; 20 times that is one tenth of a degree. OK -- so we lead by example. Let the rest of the world look upon us and learn. I suspect the nut of the lesson will be: don't do that.
Hands on Stimulus News:
A government installation I do work for got one of these today:
Look at that price tag. It's a little steep for a flimsy plastic box that goes 25 mph tops. It's cute, but it shouldn't be counted as an electric vehicle. It's not a car; it's a golf cart. (made by Chrysler, btw) This option is the giveaway:
Now, don't get me wrong, golf carts are fine for some things. And this installation can use a few of these in places they already have golf carts. But that's the thing - they already have golf carts. They didn't need another one just to increment a government electric vehicle fleet number up by one.
Posted by lumberjack at 1:04 AM
Friday, June 26, 2009
NPR - Out to identify the bad guys:
When 22 senators started working over the first health care overhaul bill on June 17, the news cameras were pointed at them -- except for NPR's photographer, who turned his lens on the lobbyists. Whatever bill emerges from Congress will affect one-sixth of the economy, and stakeholders have mobilized. We've begun to identify some of the faces in the hearing room, and we want to keep the process going. Know someone in these photos? Let us know who that someone is -- e-mail email@example.com
OK, so never let it be said that I don't support my local public radio; I've done my best to identify who's who:
Yes, of course I've e-mailed them to the government radio folks.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:21 PM
At first I thought it funny, but it's really kind of sick. It seems Russian entrepreneurs are offering pirate hunting cruises aboard armed private yachts off the Somali coast. Change that to "human hunting cruises":
Wealthy punters pay £3,500 per day to patrol the most dangerous waters in the world hoping to be attacked by raiders.
When attacked, they retaliate with grenade launchers, machine guns and rocket launchers, reports Austrian business paper Wirtschaftsblatt.
Passengers, who can pay an extra £5 a day for an AK-47 machine gun and £7 for 100 rounds of ammo, are also protected by a squad of ex special forces troops.
The yachts travel from Djibouti in Somalia to Mombasa in Kenya.
The ships deliberately cruise close to the coast at a speed of just five nautical miles in an attempt to attract the interest of pirates.
This will appeal to an especially sick kind of individual: the guy who wants to kill a human, but so far hasn't been able to come up with an excuse to do so. I'm convinced that many of those who would kill abortionists, or bomb abortion clinics, are in the same category. They aren't motivated by ideology, they're just looking to justify an unacceptable act.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:14 AM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The only way to get Obamacare pushed through is to keep people in the dark about the consequences. The pitch:
Reporting from Washington -- President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don't stand to gain from the extra care.
In a nationally televised event at the White House, Obama said families need better information so they don't unthinkingly approve "additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care."
Ah, so we'll save money by informing families and patients exactly what to expect from treatment? If you believe that, I'd like to talk to you about a bridge I've got for sale. No, we'll save money by having the government decide what treatment is worthwhile. Gravely ill patients, and their families, are extremely well versed in what the pros and cons of possible treatments are. To say that they just grasp-at-straws is insulting.
"Unthinkingly approve"? Mr Obama, you are really are shooting for the title of Dumbest President Ever.
Posted by lumberjack at 10:00 AM
As per usual, I was late calling and the time ran out. I missed Hillarycare too. But I imagine Obamacare is pretty much the same merchandise in a different box. I'll try to catch it next time around.
***Update: Ha! From the too hard working Michelle Malkin, quoting ABC:
…Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.
Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.
The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother I always want them to get the very best care.”
Well of course he refused. The elite won't be affected by this. But this reminded me: I have a rare heart condition that had more than a few cardiologists scratching their heads. Finally, it took a visit to President Bush's doctor to get it diagnosed. (Bush One, Not Jr.) And how was it that I was able to get an appointment with this high octane doctor? Well, I had insurance. In the present system, using the usual channels, when it's needed, average people can get some amazing care.
Does the current system have waste? Sure it does. But that can be addressed. The waste and inefficiencies of a federal system would be worse. And who would we complain to? No, for purely selfish reasons, I would like to keep my doctor. Obama will be able to see him should he ever need to, regardless of what he does to the health care system. I would like that right too.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:51 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Media Matters and others are doing the frantic Dance of Indignation because of an image going around the intertubes. (top one) Why? Because those lying, lying, liars at Fox News identified Stanford as a "D" instead of an "R". (which, btw, didn't CNN identify Spitzer as an "R" a month or so ago? Never mind - that was a typo, this was deception) Anyway those lying liars almost fooled the country into thinking that a Democrat had an affair and was therefore going to resign his post as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Ah whatever.
But there may be a flag on the play. The only YouTube I can find of the press conference shows Fox identifying him as an "R". (see second image) Now, I could accept that one Fox affiliate may have gotten it wrong... it's possible. But also, it should be pointed out that photoshopping a change like that is ridiculously easy:
Here I've made him a member of the Stupid party. (S) Which, R or D, is really where he belongs.
Posted by lumberjack at 7:57 PM
Most likely you've heard, but well, here we go again:
Back when the housing mania was taking off, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank famously said he wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to "roll the dice" in the name of affordable housing. That didn't turn out so well, but Mr. Frank has since only accumulated more power. And now he is returning to the scene of the calamity -- with your money. He and New York Representative Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie exhorting them to lower lending standards for condo buyers.
You read that right. After two years of telling us how lax lending standards drove up the market and led to loans that should never have been made, Mr. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to take more risk in condo developments with high percentages of unsold units, high delinquency rates or high concentrations of ownership within the development.
Just what the, hello? Barney? This is what got us into this mess in the first place. And that first time you somehow escaped the blame you so richly deserved. Is the MSM so in the tank that you feel safe enough to do the whole thing over again?
I got two words for ya Barney: You're an idiot.
Posted by lumberjack at 1:23 PM
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The president seems to have a change of heart:
WASHINGTON – Dramatically hardening the U.S. reaction to Iran's disputed elections and bloody aftermath, President Barack Obama condemned the violence against protesters Tuesday and lent his strongest support yet to their accusations the hardline victory was a fraud.
At first I was puzzled by this shift in attitude, then it struck me: Oil. The president wants a regime change in order to give the US a foothold in this oil rich region. Now that he's got a car company, he needs oil to run them. I suspect Biden is the real brains behind this operation - Obama is just his puppet.
So there you have it. We're Imperialists. The Europeans hate us. Cronies getting rich. Change.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:26 PM
I edited down the Perez Hilton video for language and poignancy. Sure, he deserves a sad violin in the background, and maybe some weeping gypsies, but all I could afford was keyboard cat. You'll have to imagine the rest, as this sensitive man relates his tragedy.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:39 PM
Har, important life lessons from Perez: "Another person should never be hit... That's why people die." OK Perez, thanks for that. (language warning on video)
Wise move, too, to post the video of your ten minute snivel. You're sure to look back on that with pride in the years to come. Just a little advice, in trade for your "that's why people die" wisdom: don't call people fagg*ts if you don't want to get hit.
Posted by lumberjack at 9:01 AM
Monday, June 22, 2009
A few of "Actual Analogies from High School Essays":
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a Guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one those boxes with a pinhole in it.
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
(more at link)
Oh, also check out - Actual Courtroom Dialogue – the Big Funny List:
Lawyer: "Was that the same nose you broke as a child?"
Witness: "I only have one, you know."
Lawyer: "Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?"
Witness: "By death."
Lawyer: "And by whose death was it terminated?"
Accused, Defending His Own Case: "Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?" The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in jail.
Lawyer: "What is your date of birth?"
Witness: "July 15th."
Lawyer: "What year?"
Witness: "Every year."
Posted by lumberjack at 12:24 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Hey, happy father's day to all the dads. We all know we're undeserving, but let us speak no more of that.
Good news: I woke up from the mandatory father's day nap with a Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix puppy on my chest. Good news two: I wasn't having the rat-attack dream at the time, so the puppy wasn't tossed across the room.
I will post a picture when he slows down enough for photons to bounce off of him.
Posted by lumberjack at 9:31 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Another case of mistaken headline on Yahoo:
Calif. looks to immigrant inmates to save costs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With California slipping into a financial sinkhole, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing to save more than $180 million by cutting short the sentences of thousands of immigrants in the state's prisons and turning them over to federal authorities for deportation.
OK, it was probably just me. I'll go get more coffee.
Posted by lumberjack at 1:32 PM
Friday, June 19, 2009
"You have to throw money in a hole, and set it on fire, to make money"
In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?
caution: some language
Posted by lumberjack at 12:19 PM
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It seems Senator Boxer has decided to change (change!) the rules, but up until today, the word from the US Army Training and Doctrine Command was:
So to be safe, it's probably a good idea to use: Senator, Congressman, Sir, or B*tch, whichever is applicable.
Posted by lumberjack at 10:02 PM
The biggest problem with the cult of personality emerges: serious events, that should cause concern, don't even register with the true believers. Now the third IG has been fired, and this one is very important:
WASHINGTON - -- He was appointed with fanfare as the public watchdog over the government's multi-billion dollar bailout of the nation's financial system. But now Neil Barofsky is embroiled in a dispute with the Obama administration that delayed one recent inquiry and sparked questions about his ability to freely investigate.
The disagreement stems from a claim by the Treasury Department that Barofsky is not entirely independent of the agency he is assigned to examine ¿ a claim that has prompted a stern letter from a Republican senator warning that agency officials are encroaching on the integrity of an office created to protect taxpayers.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent the letter Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner demanding information about a "dispute over certain Treasury documents" that he said were being "withheld" from Barofsky's office on a "specious claim of attorney-client privilege."
Ah, Tim Geithner is on one side of this dispute. Good to know that the man in charge is smart enough to cheat on his taxes. Does anyone else suspect that they're making a job opening for Blagojevich?
btw- Something I read in Wikipedia before the election, regarding "political machines":
In the 1940s most of the big city machines collapsed, with the notable exception of the Chicago machine.
OK question: what kind of guy is drawn to a place where the political landscape is generally regarded as unfair? Follow-up: what kind of guy thrives in those conditions?
Posted by lumberjack at 12:14 PM
"Those in charge of supervising the elections are always trustworthy people."
-Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
We seem to have a limited commitment to ensuring 100% free and fair elections. Sometimes we care about things like voter intimidation; and sometimes not. Maybe Obama isn't criticizing the Iranian elections because there are no pictures of Iranian poll-thugs comparable to the lovely gangsters pictured above.
Posted by lumberjack at 12:44 AM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
let me say I'm here today to elucidate,educate
and enumerate a few of the priceless gems of
wisdom that I have learned during my far-flung
travels around the civilized world and parts of Chicago.
So gather around folks and let me tell you about
Doctor Barry's World Famous, All Inclusive,
Cure for Everything and More.
Posted by lumberjack at 5:44 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009
Could the delay in CNN coverage of the Iranian turmoil be due to a lack of marching orders? Where do we stand on this? Has the President said anything?
That's one good thing about having principles; you don't have to consult with anyone before you can know how to feel. Myself, I think many of the people who voted for Mousavi are pro Western, though certainly not all. And Mousavi would probably be more reasonable than Ahmadinejad, though you can never be 100% sure of such stuff. But overriding all of that is the fact that it looks like the election was stolen. And I'm agin' that.
***Update: From Stratfor- More input, could be right, could be wrong, but it's worth considering. Partial conclusion: "Ahmadinejad’s victory is a triumph of both democracy and repression.":
There are undoubtedly people who want to liberalize the Iranian regime. They are to be found among the professional classes in Tehran, as well as among students. Many speak English, making them accessible to the touring journalists, diplomats and intelligence people who pass through. They are the ones who can speak to Westerners, and they are the ones willing to speak to Westerners. And these people give Westerners a wildly distorted view of Iran. They can create the impression that a fantastic liberalization is at hand — but not when you realize that iPod-owning Anglophones are not exactly the majority in Iran.
Last Friday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected with about two-thirds of the vote. Supporters of his opponent, both inside and outside Iran, were stunned. A poll revealed that former Iranian Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi was beating Ahmadinejad. It is, of course, interesting to meditate on how you could conduct a poll in a country where phones are not universal, and making a call once you have found a phone can be a trial. A poll therefore would probably reach people who had phones and lived in Tehran and other urban areas. Among those, Mousavi probably did win. But outside Tehran, and beyond persons easy to poll, the numbers turned out quite different.
Some still charge that Ahmadinejad cheated. That is certainly a possibility, but it is difficult to see how he could have stolen the election by such a large margin. Doing so would have required the involvement of an incredible number of people, and would have risked creating numbers that quite plainly did not jibe with sentiment in each precinct. Widespread fraud would mean that Ahmadinejad manufactured numbers in Tehran without any regard for the vote. But he has many powerful enemies who would quickly have spotted this and would have called him on it. Mousavi still insists he was robbed, and we must remain open to the possibility that he was, although it is hard to see the mechanics of this.
It also misses a crucial point: Ahmadinejad enjoys widespread popularity. He doesn’t speak to the issues that matter to the urban professionals, namely, the economy and liberalization. But Ahmadinejad speaks to three fundamental issues that accord with the rest of the country.
First, Ahmadinejad speaks of piety. Among vast swathes of Iranian society, the willingness to speak unaffectedly about religion is crucial. Though it may be difficult for Americans and Europeans to believe, there are people in the world to whom economic progress is not of the essence; people who want to maintain their communities as they are and live the way their grandparents lived. These are people who see modernization — whether from the shah or Mousavi — as unattractive. They forgive Ahmadinejad his economic failures.
Second, Ahmadinejad speaks of corruption. There is a sense in the countryside that the ayatollahs — who enjoy enormous wealth and power, and often have lifestyles that reflect this — have corrupted the Islamic Revolution. Ahmadinejad is disliked by many of the religious elite precisely because he has systematically raised the corruption issue, which resonates in the countryside.
Third, Ahmadinejad is a spokesman for Iranian national security, a tremendously popular stance. It must always be remembered that Iran fought a war with Iraq in the 1980s that lasted eight years, cost untold lives and suffering, and effectively ended in its defeat. Iranians, particularly the poor, experienced this war on an intimate level. They fought in the war, and lost husbands and sons in it. As in other countries, memories of a lost war don’t necessarily delegitimize the regime. Rather, they can generate hopes for a resurgent Iran, thus validating the sacrifices made in that war — something Ahmadinejad taps into. By arguing that Iran should not back down but become a major power, he speaks to the veterans and their families, who want something positive to emerge from all their sacrifices in the war.
Posted by lumberjack at 7:21 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Michael J. Totten has some good coverage of the happenings in Iran. You can also get quite a bit on YouTube. Meanwhile FARS News hasn't noticed anything going on. What? Protests? Of course, FARS coverage of political rallies ran about 10 to 1 in favor of Ahmadinejad.
So, well, big happenings.
Posted by lumberjack at 7:22 PM
Friday, June 12, 2009
No, not here. Barack Obama desires a little privacy now that it's time to divide up the AmeriCorps pie. Step One: fire the Inspector General:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he has lost confidence in the inspector general who investigates AmeriCorps and other national service programs and has told Congress he is removing him from the position.
Obama's move follows an investigation by IG Gerald Walpin of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star, into the misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group that Johnson headed.
Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled an investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit group that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants from the Corporation for National Community Service. The corporation runs the AmeriCorps program.
OK, so is the investigation of Johnson political? Or is the firing of Walpin political?
The IG found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car.
In August 2008, Walpin referred the matter to the local U.S. attorney's office, which said the IG's conclusions seemed overstated and did not accurately reflect all the information gathered in the investigation.
"We also highlighted numerous questions and further investigation they needed to conduct, including the fact that they had not done an audit to establish how much AmeriCorps money was actually misspent," Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said in an April 29 letter to the federal counsel of inspectors general.
Walpin's office made repeated public comments just before the Sacramento mayoral election, prompting the U.S. attorney's office to inform the media that it did not intend to file any criminal charges.
The U.S. attorney's office reached a settlement in the matter. Brown cited press accounts that said Johnson and the nonprofit would repay half of nearly $850,000 in grants it received.
I imagine that the IG's "repeated public comments just before the Sacramento mayoral election" were political. But I expect I would have done the same thing if I had information that public funds had been (mis)used for political activities, and it looked like the perpetrator was going to be elected mayor. It probably wasn't a smart thing to do, seeing as Johnson was a big Obama supporter. But was it the right thing to do? I think yes.
If Johnson wasn't guilty of at least some mismanagement of these public funds, why did he, and the nonprofit, pay back over nearly half of $ 850,000 ?
So the lesson learned is: don't get in the way of FOO's (friends of Obama) now that the election has been won, and the game is being played by Chicago rules. What happened to Walpin is a shame, but the other big loser here is the American taxpayer. ACORN and AmeriCorps are set to receive billions of taxpayer dollars. This is the payoff, the big pie. And it looks as though Obama intends to carve it up without mom looking over his shoulder.
Michelle Malkin has much more on this.
Posted by lumberjack at 10:06 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Danger Room reports:
Rangel Steers Darpa Millions to Natural History Museum
* By Katie Drummond
Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out science division, is known for beyond-the-bleeding-edge research into thinking machines and shapeshifting drones. But over the last five years, the agency has also given $10 million to New York City’s 140 year-old American Museum of Natural History, of all places. Thank a powerful and controversial lawmaker for this collaboration between a far-out military branch and an iconic institution best known for its display of mummies and dinosaur bones.
OK, earmarks bad, yes. But let's not condemn this one too quickly; this could be scary-cool:
Posted by lumberjack at 2:44 AM
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Doesn't it just figure? A mentally ill, antisemitic, loner goes nuts at the Holocaust Museum and Joan Walsh blames Rush Limbaugh. Listen up Joan, antisemitism emanates simultaneously from the left, the right, and fundamentalist Islam. Not from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity.
I'm not a regular listener but I've heard Limbaugh from time to time, and I can't remember anything he has said that might be considered antisemitic. If anyone can quote anything that Rush has said that might have set this guy off, they should step forward.
I've wracked my brain but the only antisemitic speech I've heard lately was this:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says "them Jews" are keeping him from speaking to President Obama, according to the Daily Press newspaper of Virginia.
Wright was Obama's pastor at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side. Wright's sermons were a lightning rod in the presidential race in 2008, particularly one in which he said "God damn America."....
......"Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright was quoted as saying in an article posted Tuesday.
"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do," he said.
Think this is what Joan was thinking of? Of course not. In her heart of hearts Joan knows damn well that this was a mentally ill loner, with no more of a connection to Rush Limbaugh than to Reverend Wright. But she thinks that this tragedy might be an opportunity to score political points. And that is despicable. On the same day an innocent man was murdered, Joan, you sought to use that tragedy for political advantage. Shame on you.
Our prayers are for the soul of Stephen T. Johns, and the comforting of his family and friends.
Posted by lumberjack at 11:38 PM
For those that missed it, Letterman on Monday evening's "Late Show" said:
One awkward moment though during the game, maybe you heard about it, maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels. One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked-up by Alex Rodriguez.
On Wednesday, Palin's office released the following statement:
"Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands -- that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"
***Update: VDH pegs Letterman's non-apology. Nails it, and, bonus, uses paradigm in a sentence. It don't get better than that.
Posted by lumberjack at 6:26 PM