Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This beyond funny: another Obama nominee w/ tax issues and an IRS agent..


Sebelius admits errors, pays $7,000 in back taxes

WASHINGTON – Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding "unintentional errors" — the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee. The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that the administration released. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.


And now we see that the IRS is corrupt from top (Geithner) to bottom:

IRS Auditor Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

n Internal Revenue Service agent who audits taxpayers in California has agreed to plead guilty to cheating on his own taxes. 

     In a plea agreement filed Monday in Orange County, 43-year-old Jim H. Liu (LOO) of Diamond Bar admitted that he filed a tax return claiming a loss on a real estate transaction when he in fact saw a large profit. 

     He pleaded guilty to one federal count of subscribing to a false tax return, a charge that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison. 

     According to the plea agreement, Liu sold a property in Pomona in 2002 for a profit of more than $48,000, but reported a loss of $4,200 on his taxes. 

     The tax loss to the government was more than $14,000. 

****Does the phrase "tax loss to the government" somehow imply that the government has first dibs on your money? ****

Clinton is being spat on and pretends it is rain. Better not kiss too much ass or it could get worse.


U.S. Drops 'War on Terror' Phrase, Clinton Says

THE HAGUE -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration has stopped using "war on terror,"... The phrase has been criticized as having inflammatory connotations in the Muslim world....."I haven't gotten any directive about using it or not using it. It's just not being used."

Mrs. Clinton and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Medhi Akhundzadeh ... Mrs. Clinton said she doesn't know whether she will speak directly to Mr. Akhundzadeh...

Mrs. Clinton said she will pledge $40 million Tuesday to support Afghanistan's elections in August. The U.S. is also seeking more support in fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban. ****As Negotiations 101 might teach, shouldn't the $40M pledge come AT THE SAME TIME as support is promised in turn?

Mrs. Clinton said the Obama administration wants to work with Iran and other nations to bolster Afghanistan's border security, monitor the financial flows of drug trafficking and help Afghan farmers move away from opium cultivation. ****Why is any of this in accord with Iranian goals? If they're asked nicely enough, or eloquently enough, perhaps they'll acquiesce anyway. "

Iran has reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama's overtures...U.S. officials acknowledged that Iran's sending of Mr. Akhundzadeh, rather than Foreign Minister Manouchechr Mottaki, signaled Tehran's ambivalence over direct negotiations with Washington. Officials said Mr. Obama may send a direct letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to begin formal talks. ****"Please, please. Pretty please. With sugar on top."

Good grief! Iran treats Obama worse than he treated Gordon Brown (and all of DC treated Israeli Chief of Staff Ashkenazi !). Now we hear that China must be propitiated because of economics ( they might not buy U.S. debt otherwise ) and so Tibet and Taiwan are off the table for discussion ( what happens when China THREATENS Taiwan is problematic. ). Obama said he wanted to have a Green Administation. It's starting off CHARTREUSE because of the strong admixture of YELLOW. ****

Why is it that the bad guys have an affinity for each other but Obama stiffs our friends and conciliates our enemies? Perhaps "his" and "our" differ.


Chavez Seeks Arab Support for Oil-Backed Currency to Challenge U.S. Dollar

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DOHA, Qatar — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sought Arab support Tuesday for a proposed oil-backed currency to challenge the U.S. dollar...

China has struck deals — most recently this week with Argentina — to conduct trade in currencies other than the dollar. Iran has proposed replacing the dollar...

the summit kicks off another high-profile foreign trip for Chavez in his efforts to build economic and diplomatic links to confront the United States.

"...There is a world crisis of capitalism, it's shaking the planet," Chavez told ... ***Sounds like D.C. and socialists everywhere: replace the fluctuations of capitalism with a reliable low standard of living and inefficiency. Allocate resources based on "pull" rather than markets. Throw the Nomenklatura rascals in! ****


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the gathering that the economic crisis...offers an opportunity "to correct the financial system..." ****More shades of Rahm Emanuel:Use a crisis to pursue your own agenda. ****

...In November, Chavez was hosted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran and said the two nations were "united like a single fist."...

He is wildly popular among ordinary Arabs for his public support for Palestinians, including cutting diplomatic relations with Israel in response to the offensive into Gaza...But his close rapport with Ahmadinejad is viewed with suspicion by governments in many Arab capitals.

...Chavez also backed the Arab League's declaration Monday to reject the International Criminal Court charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. ****"He may be a bad guy but he's OUR bad guy."****

"Why don't they order the capture of (former President George W.) Bush? Or the president of Israel?" Chavez said on Venezuelan state television. "It's a monstrosity of justice and a disrespect to the people of the Third World."...

Why it's said "No good deed goes unpunished." - A Parable

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. What a beauty of
a bird feeder it is, as I filled it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds
taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table,
and next to the barbecue.Then came the poop.

It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table; everywhere!
Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to
peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.And other birds were boisterous
and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawkedand screamed at all hours of the day and
night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the
bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down
the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like
it used to be.... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Now let's see. Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and
free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.

Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for
their free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours tobe seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools
because over half the class doesn't speak English. Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box;
I have to 'press one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other
than 'Old Glory' are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and
free liberties. Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for my government to take down the bird

If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the poop!

Good and evil OF contemporary theater ( N.B. the preposition is deliberate: theater can be uplifting or propagandistic )


 New Broadway Play About Hero Who Is … Religious!

By Dennis Prager

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The Irena of the title is Irene Gut Opdyke, who, at the time of the play's World War II's setting, was a pretty 19-year-old blond Polish Roman Catholic to whom fate (she would say G-d) gave the opportunity to save 12 Jews in, of all places, the home of the highest-ranking German officer in a Polish city. Ultimately discovered by the Nazi officer, she was offered the choice of becoming the elderly Nazi's mistress or the Jews all being sent to death camps....

 how conflicted she was about what she consented to do not only because she became what fellow Poles derided as a "Nazi whore" but because as a deeply religious Catholic she was sure she was committing a grave sin by regularly sleeping with a man to whom she was not married and worse, indeed a married man, which likely rendered her sin of adultery a mortal sin. ...


On the other hand we have,


  • ... the plot of celebrated British playwright Caryl Churchill's "Seven Jewish Children," which debuted last month to some controversy and much acclaim at London's Royal Court Theater....
  • So, for the first scene we have the line, "Don't tell her they'll kill her" -- the "they" presumably referring to Nazis. Yet by the final scene the tables have turned. Now it's the Jews who behave like Nazis: "Tell her," says one of the play's Zionist elders, "I wouldn't care if we wiped them out . . . tell her we're better haters, tell her we're chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? Tell her all I feel is happy it's not her."

Just what is this supposed to mean? ... Ms. Churchill herself has written that she "wanted [the play] in some small way to reflect the shock and enormity of what happened in Gaza....

provided you're willing to reduce the Arab-Israeli conflict to caricature, magnify it to the exclusion of all others, assign blame (and moral agency) wholly to one side, ...

In other words, if you're prepared to manipulate history as dishonestly as our vile little "play" ...then it's easy to draw a damning moral. ...

Of course she cites the authority of Israel's many internal dissenters and Jewish critics as another method of self-justification, thereby using Israel's own openness as a club with which to bludgeon it. Yet if you say, for instance, that Israel is a fascist state and cite the testimony of Israelis who freely argue as much, then you have done nothing except instantly disprove your own premise.

But logic is not the issue here, nor, really, are the facts...

Readers may wonder why Ms. Churchill's trite agitprop...maybe it's best ignored. But I'm reminded of what a better Churchill -- Winston -- wrote about the German decision in 1917 to put V.I. Lenin on a sealed train to Petersburg, "in the same way you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city." Something foul has now gotten into our water, too.

The tactics, subterfuges and effects of gradual Islamization

Ignore this at your peril ( and mine and our children's ).



The most insidious distributionist tax ( unless you have trusts in Guam, like the Kennedys, and legislate earmarks )

Night of the Living Death Tax

Obama's budget quietly resurrects it in 2010.

Lawrence Summers, President Obama's chief economic adviser, declared recently that "Let's be very clear: There are no, no tax increases this year. There are no, no tax increases next year." Oh yes, yes, there are. The President's budget calls for the largest increase in the death tax in U.S. history in 2010.

The announcement of this tax increase is buried in footnote 1 on page 127 of the President's budget. That note reads: "The estate tax is maintained at its 2009 parameters." This means the death tax won't fall to zero next year as scheduled under current law, but estates will be taxed instead at up to 45%, with an exemption level of $3.5 million (or $7 million for a couple). Better not plan on dying next year after all.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birds of a feather flock together ... and atrophy their critical faculties.

Mesmerized by 'The Daily Me'
Nicholas Kristoff, NY Times


While it's more comfortable only to talk to those who agree with you, there is limited ability to modify or even improve your arguments and positions. Open discussion of diverse opinions, together with fact-checking, is the best way to arrive at both truth and a consensus ( the first being much more important than the second. ) The fact-checking is important because, while everyone is entitled to her own opinion, everyone is not entitled to her own set of facts. What's more, there are principles of logic. For example, a reductio ad absurdum is an endpoint not a start for a new, still erroneous thread.

Obama thinks there are no "terrorists" but, perhaps, "...sponsors of human-caused disasters."

Forget the abandonment of Western values implicit in Obama's snubbing of, first Britain, and now Israel. The Obama Left is soft and appeasing to bad guys and cold to old friends who, after all, don't commit acts of terrorism or even rioting. The "Better Red than Dead" mantra still holds for some with any new threat substituting for "Red." However, they assume that everyone who counts agrees with them. They won an election, didn't they?

The idea seems to be that Israel can be assumed to "be nice" even if its obliteration is in the offing. Abandoning Israel is merely a moral problem with no other risk to the world and U.S. interests. Only terrorists and rioters and the unreasonable need to be mollified.  

Even if you are willing to live on your knees, perhaps it's a mistake not to realize that someone else might rather die on his feet. The thought is alien to Obama policy wonks that a desperate small country might prefer a mutual apocalyptic ending to acquiescence to its own unilateral destruction or even dhimmitude. No one on the Israeli side can actually say this, or even admit to thinking of the "Samson Option", but American failure to recognize this possibility makes it much more likely.

IDF Chief snubbed in Washington - a message to Israel
Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona U.S. Air Force (Retired)
March 25, 2009
The Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, visited Washington, DC, last week to meet with senior American officials to discuss what Israel believes is the growing Iranian threat to his country.  In light of President Obama's attempts to reach out to the mullahs in Tehran - the most recent a Nowruz (Persian new year) video message - the IDF chief brought new intelligence on Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
Both American and Israeli intelligence establishments believe that Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons.  The difference between the two assessments is how soon Iran will achieve that capability.  The Israelis believe the Iranians are on the verge of developing a nuclear warhead for its ballistic missiles - missiles that can easily reach anywhere in Israel.
Press reports described Ashkenazi's reception in Washington as "extraordinarily cool" - he did not meet with any of the Obama Cabinet, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  He also was unable to schedule a meeting with his counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.  Add to that list Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair.
This is almost unheard of.  The United States and Israel have close military and intelligence ties.  It is quite normal for the IDF chief to meet with defense and intelligence officers.  Keep in mind that in Israel, the defense establishment is the senior intelligence authority, making Ashkenazi not only Admiral Mullen's counterpart, but Admiral Blair's as well.  Meetings such as those that did not happen are commonplace, at least they were.
What has changed?  Obviously, we have a new administration whose foreign policy is somewhat changed.  The unavailability of virtually any senior official is telling.  This administration appears to have determined that forging a new relationship with Iran may come at the expense of the close relationship with Israel that goes back decades.
The only meeting with a senior American official was with National Security Advisor General James Jones.  However, the meeting was focused on U.S. demands that Israel lift some military restrictions on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.  Jones was not there to listen to anything about what Israeli leaders considers an "existential" threat to the Jewish state.
The IDF spokesman tried to soften the blow with this emailed explanation, "The schedule for the United States visit of the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen.  Gabi Ashkenazi, was preplanned according to requests made by American officials.  Any meetings that were canceled were substituted with telephone conference calls."  An IDF internet site claimed that Ashkenazi returned to Israel to participate in talks revolving around the negotiations for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Conference calls?  I'm not buying it.  This treatment of General Ashkenazi is a not-so-subtle message to the Israelis: the situation has changed and you may be on your own in dealing with the Iranians.
How else can the Israelis interpret it?  Obama has made several overtures to the Iranians - a terrorist country (unless you ask Janet Napolitano, then it is a "state sponsor of human-caused disasters") according to the State Department - all of which have been rebuffed.  Obama advisors are urging the President to talk to not only the Taliban (a terrorist organization), but also Hizballah and Hamas (also terrorist organizations).  As one analyst (that would be me) puts it, "We are trying to talk to the exact people we should be trying to kill."
Rather than dissuading the Israelis from a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the Obama Administration's refusal to talk to senior Israeli military and intelligence officials may actually hasten the action they seek to stop.  If Israel cannot get some assurance of support from the United States, it will feel compelled to act unilaterally.
Mr. President, you are talking to the wrong people. ****Perhaps the President IS among the wrong people.
Since retiring from the Air Force, Lt Col Francona has written Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace, and consulted with government and private firms.  FROM 2003 to 2008, he was a media analyst on Middle East political-military events for NBC News, and appeared regularly on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, CNBC, Hardball, Countdown, and others.
The colonel has a bachelors degree in government and the Arabic language, and a masters degree in international relations with a concentration in Middle East studies.  His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and nine Air Medals, as well as campaign awards for service in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the Balkans.  The colonel was awarded the Central Intelligence Agency Seal Medallion for his service with that agency.  In 2006, Lt Col Francona was inducted into the Defense Language Institute Hall of Fame.

At a meeting dominated by fanatics, some are totally crazy.

Libya's Gadhafi storms out of Arab summit in Qatar

In this image provided by the Qatari News Agency shows Libyan leader Moammar AP – In this image provided by the Qatari News Agency shows Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi speaking during …

DOHA, Qatar – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stormed out of an Arab summit on Monday after denouncing the Saudi king and declaring himself "the dean of Arab rulers."

Gadhafi disrupted the opening Arab League summit in Qatar by taking a microphone and criticizing Saudi's King Abdullah, calling him a "British product and American ally."

When the Qatari emir tried to quiet him, the Libyan leader and current Africa Union chairman insisted he be allowed to speak.

"I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam (leader) of Muslims, and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level," Gadhafi said.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Multiculturalism and Arab/Muslim values: genocide is OK ( when they do it) but don't call it that.


Sudan's wanted president welcomed at Arab summit

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi greets Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, right, AP – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi greets Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, right, upon his arrival in Tripoli, …

DOHA, Qatar – Sudan's president, who is sought by an international court on charges of war crimes in Darfur, received a warm welcome Sunday in Qatar, where he will attend this week's Arab League summit.

President Omar al-Bashir was greeted with hugs and kisses by Qatar's emir in a red-carpet welcome at Doha's airport on Sunday. He later had coffee with the emir and the head of the Arab League. The summit begins Monday.

The 22-nation Arab League has already said it would not enforce the International Criminal Court's arrest order for al-Bashir issued on March 4 and the Sudanese leader visited Eritrea, Egypt and Libya over the past week in a show of defiance. ...


The best line from this conference? 

"The leaders reject attempts to politicize the principles of international justice and using them to undermine the sovereignty, unity and stability, of ......Sudan," said the draft resolution.

Why only Sudan? Are there some who constantly attempt to politicize the principles of international justice to undermine the sovereignty, unity and stability of ...........? Fill in the blank.

A voice from the past; a voice from the present; both are right.

Some still believe in common sense; it's too bad they're not in Washington, DC.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

Global warming has only SEEMED to stop say the Gorethodox; "we don't know why but we have utter faith that GW will pick up again and be due to man."

 Posted by The Week
Global warming: Has it stopped?

Believe it or not, said Michael Reilly in MSNBC.com, global warming may have come to a mysterious halt. Environmentalists have long believed that as humans continue pumping huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the Earth will inevitably get hotter—with potentially devastating results. But some unknown natural process may have stopped the warming trend seen since the 1970s, says a new University of Wisconsin study. Global temperatures, the research indicates, have actually “flat-lined since 2001.” Climate models predicted a 0.36 degree Fahrenheit increase over that time, because greenhouse-gas emissions—and concentrations in the atmosphere—continued to rise. The University of Wisconsin scientists theorize that an increase in tropical cloud cover could be reflecting sunlight back into space, or that unusually strong ocean currents are sucking heat down into the depths. But they admit they’re puzzled by the lack of a “firm cause” for global warming’s stopping dead in its tracks. ****Could it be that their models are ...INCOMPLETE and fail to account for all the factors? They cannot, after all, even successfully back-test their models to account for The Little Ice Age/Maunder Minimum or even why the glaciers retreated after the last big ICE AGE.****

So where are the front-page headlines? asked Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. For years, “global-warming alarmists” such as Al Gore have touted every story detailing shrinking Arctic ice or warmer seasons as proof that the planet will soon be an unbearable hothouse. The Wisconsin report doesn’t debunk this hysteria, but it does suggest that science still doesn’t “fully understand the immense complexity of the Earth’s ever-changing climate.” In fact, 2008 was the coolest year of the past decade, with snow falling on New Orleans and Las Vegas, and a cold wave paralyzing Europe. Mention any of this to Gore and his acolytes, though, and they react with the furious “and closed-minded dogmatism of a religious zealot.”

Speaking of zealotry, said Jeremy Jacquot in Huffingtonpost.com, I notice you left out the conclusion of the Wisconsin study. Kyle Swanson and his co-author, Anastasios Tsonis, do not belong to that shrinking club of global-warming deniers. They fully accept evidence that greenhouse gases have already warmed the planet; their study concludes only that some natural cycle is now holding that warming in check. When that cycle ends in a few decades, Swanson says, “bang—the warming will return,” and when that happens, he warns, the temperature increase may be “explosive”—far greater than current climate models predict. So here’s the good news: Global warming may be on hold. And here’s the bad: Not for long.  ****But, if Messrs. Swanson and Tsonic don't know the natural cause, how do they know it will end in a few decades?  

Or, do they have to hew to the Gorethodoxy, of the Puffington Host and others, and pay lip service to the fact that they are still believers (Oh, yeah. Goredy! Goredy! ), else they will not get more funding for their work. At least they didn't fake the facts, as others have done. 

It seems that Iran and Israel are already at war but both sides seem to be keeping quiet about it.

U.S. Officials Confirm Israel Struck in Sudan - Michael R. Gordon and Jeffrey Gettleman
American officials said Israeli planes bombed a convoy of trucks in Sudan in January believed to be carrying arms to Gaza during the weeks it was fighting a war with Hamas there. Two American officials who are privy to classified intelligence assessments said Iran had been involved in the effort to smuggle weapons to Gaza and that an operative with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had gone to Sudan to coordinate the effort. One American military official said the strike was one of a series of Israeli attacks against arms shipments bound for Gaza. (New York Times)
    See also Report: Second Airstrike Hit Iranian Ship at Sea
A new report by Sudanese sources cited an additional strike on a ship possibly making its way to Sudan from Iran. "There were indeed two strikes in Sudan, in January and February," Sudan's deputy transportation minister told Israel's Channel 10 television on Thursday. "The second strike was against a ship at sea and it was completely destroyed," another Sudanese official said. (Jerusalem Post)

"Carbomorons" and Gorethodoxy

Believers in Anthropic Global Warming often inveigh against ignorance and apathy. When the "feel good" types often sin against their own goals by following Gorethodoxy, they don't know and they don't care. If an oxymoron seems to embody contradiction, Carbomorons are those whose own policies increase the very carbon problem they profess to be concerned about.

Consider Earth Hour ( used to be Earth Day but symbolism rather than reality is all that counts). "Lights went out at Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge on Saturday for Earth Hour 2009, a global event in which landmarks and homes go dark for an hour to highlight the threat from climate change.
In Asia, lights at landmarks in China, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines also dimmed as people celebrated with candle-lit picnics and concerts."

Think about this: use of candles is OK. What about soot (actual carbon) as well as CO2 from candles? Flatulence from the animals whose tallow went into the candles ( as well as the fertilizer, pesticides, and Caterpillar tractors needed to grow the feed for these)? It doesn't require a detailed calculation to realize that candles are not a good way to reduce a "carbon footprint." Romantic, perhaps, but not effective. (Likewise, wood-burning stoves for heat sounds environmentally friendly before thought intrudes. )

Embrace of corn-based ethanol.
Here's an envirofraud of the first order. When you consider all the inputs to corn growing, distillation, truck transport ( because pipelines don't work ), etc. the energy savings in using c-b ethanol is small to nil. Also, the energy content per gallon is less than that of gasoline. The cost, however, in money is great, raising the prices of food but vastly enriching the corn lobby who, in addition to standard farm subsidies, get 50 cents a gallon in specific ethanol subsidy to make the product competitive. 
But wait, is ethanol really stupid? Actually, sugar-cane-based ethanol is more of an energy gain and, if imported from Brazil, would be cheaper yet BUT the US Congress in its wisdom ( about earmarks and constituent favors ) put a 50 cent a gallon tariff on such imports. Whatever the competitive advantage nature and physics gave Brazilian ethanol over cb ethanol, the US Congress gave it a $1 disadvantage. The boom in cb ethanol is over, having been exposed as a fraud on the public's intelligence and the taxpayer's wallet. NEVERTHELESS, Congressional REQUIREMENTS for increased use of cb ethanol proceed.

Dangers of good intentions
Well-meaning contributors donated bicycle-powered pumps to an Indian village to save on electricity and reduce their carbon footprint. A simple calculation revealed that human power is an inefficient use of even food and the energy used to grow it. While bicycles in Western countries have the ancillary advantage of being healthy and reducing obesity, that's not a problem in Indian villages.

When actual pollution ( NOT CO2 ) became an issue in the 70s, the first regulations on gasoline in 1974 specified the necessary reduction in pollutants emitted per gallon. Unfortunately, the reformulations produced a mileage-per-gallon loss greater than this reduction so that the pollution per MILE TRAVELED actually went up. Environmentalists rarely get things right the first few times ( and sometimes never. )

Often rhetoric is the only goal. Twenty years ago, in continuing efforts to demonize nuclear power, the effluent from the Zion plant on Lake Michigan was accused of producing "thermal pollution" of the lake. Anyone living near Lake Michigan can attest to it being one of the coldest bodies of water anyone would want to swim in so the less than 0.25 deg F projected temperature rise was not terrifying. Then it was noticed that fish were thriving at the outlets to the power plant and the issue...just.....faded.......away.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Don't call them terrorists... but watch your rear end.

He Didn't Get the Memo
The Middle East Media Research Institute transcribes a sermon Sunni Islamic scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi delivered last month on Qatari TV:

A few days ago, a Muslim asked me if we were allowed to possess WMDs--nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. I said to him: "Yes, we must possess such weapons, but not use them." We must possess such weapons in order to strike terror in our enemies--"Strike terror in the hearts of the enemies," and frighten them.

Is this guy illiterate or something? Everyone knows it's not called "terror" but "man-caused disaster."
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The Prophet Muhammad wanted peace that is based on strength. He does not want the peace of the weak, the peace of those who disappoint, the peace of those who surrender – like the peace Israel wants to impose on us and the Palestinians. That is not peace. That is what Allah meant when he said: "And do not falter and cry for peace when you have the upper hand, for Allah is with you, and will not refrain from [rewarding] you for your actions." Peace that is based on delusion and submission is not peace. The Prophet Muhammad wanted peace that is based on strength. Therefore, the Koran referred to this, saying: "Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and of your own enemies, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows."

So, "W" expresses his knowledgeable theological judgement that Islam is a religion of peace and Obama changes all the rhetoric so as not to offend Muslim terrorists by identifying them as either Muslims, Islamofascists, or terrorists. It's funny that they took offense at the phrase "War on Terror" as applying to them. It was an awkward phrase at best, designed to avoid giving offense.

After all, not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Palestinians want to destroy Israel. Most terrorists seem to be Muslim, however, and only 20% of Palestinian Arabs say they do NOT want to destroy Israel meaning 80% do ( including Israeli citizens ). Whatever the percentage of active terrorists among the Muslim world population of 1.2Billion people, that leaves a fair number and the others don't seem to demonstrate against them or even criticize in words.

It's like the story about the male alligator being man's best friend. The female alligator lays 1000 eggs and the male alligator eats 999 of them. But for the male alligator, we'd be up to our asses in alligators.

Any way you slice it, we're up to our asses in Muslim terrorists.

Multiculturalists say that all value systems are equal. Turkey is the most enlightened Muslim country ( or was ) and wants in to the Euro community.

'Honor Killings' Have Morphed Into 'Honor Suicides' in Turkey

The Independent   |  Ramita Navai in Batman, eastern Turkey   |   March 27, 2009 08:55 AM


Turn ON your lights Sunday evening! It's so hard to protest these days and this is a rare opportunity.

Turn On, Tune In

Cast a vote for freedom by switching on the lights Sunday night!

"A Web site called EarthHour.org, apparently unconcerned about the carbon footprint of majuscules*, urges global warmists to "VOTE EARTH BY SWITCHING OFF YOUR LIGHTS FOR ONE HOUR" starting at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow. We were tempted to make fun of this, as many people in the site's comment section have done, but then we remembered what President Obama said about cynics who fail to understand that the ground has shifted beneath them. So instead of being consumed by the stale political argument that this protest is silly, we're going to do something positive: organize a counterprotest.

* - opposite of minuscules

"Reader, if you are against global-warming hysteria, high taxes, socialized medicine and a weak foreign policy, Sunday is your day. Show how you feel about the issues by turning on your lights in the evening and leaving them on until you go to bed. If you go out for a drive after dark, make sure you turn your headlights on too.

Granted, the EarthHour people have a head start on us. They started planning this months ago, whereas we're giving you all of 48 hours notice. Yet we think the outlook is bright for this effort. Tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends, and so on, and we'll bet millions of people across the country will turn their lights on Sunday night.

If no one will listen to the silent majority, let's at least make sure they see us."

The prejudice of VERY low expectations.

How and why Muslims riot in liberal democracies
Caroline Glick


Condescension is rife: Muslims aren't expected to behave with civility and the Left doesn't recognize that it is contemptuous to have low expectations of any group. The simple answer is probably twofold: 1) they can get away with it; 2) no-one expects them to behave differently. "...the Left's bigoted assumption that Israeli Arabs cannot be expected to be loyal to the country or act as law-abiding citizens."

It is multiculturalism at its worst: assimilation to Western values is not required or expected and intolerance is tolerated. 

Lying from the Left; Correction from the Center

Blatant lying about "card check" and the abolition of the secret ballot in union elections ( an Obama fave ).


'New York Times' Spiked Obama Donor Story

Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN

By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin
Monday, March 30, 2009
A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”



Blatant lying about putative Israeli human rights violations in Gaza.

The debunking of the myriad myths about Israeli atrocities in Gaza has proceeded apace but always, even when corrected, on an interior page while the calumnies were published on Page 1. A gullible or conniving media colludes to use propaganda from Palestinian sources as journalistic when they have no objective sources of their own. Jenin was not a massacre although the figure of 500 was bruited about for a long time. The fictional story of Mohammed Dura took years to be disproved in a French court of law and many know the story but not the contradiction. As has been truly said, "A lie gets around the world before Truth can get its pants on."
Some media are even worse than others, the Guardian being among the very worst.

When ludicrousness stops being funny, the Guardian Gaza report....thought there is little more to add on the Guardian videos accusing the IDF of war crimes during the Gaza operation, given what has already been written in ZioNation in the Jerusalem Post, by the indispensable Melanie Philips, and more, and more. And more as these lines are been written, but apparently, there is more to add...This is either bad journalism or selective journalism on behalf of the Guardian...The problem in those two accounts is not the credibility of the witnesses but the quality of the Guardian’s research. ***An obvious problem is that much that the Guardian claims actually DEFIES COMMON SENSE. Much is denied that is documented elsewhere****
...As for the reporter's claim that no proof has been found of Hamas using human shields, perhaps he should check this BBC story with pictures, that records the use of human shields by Hamas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The market liked the idea that Gaithner HAD a plan.It will sink in that the plan has great difficulties before it can work& there will be 2nd thoughts

The market reacted favorably but second thoughts will inevitably appear. The toxic assets plan has to steer between Scylla and Charybdis of the higher prices needed by the present owners and the lower prices needed by the public-private partnership; it also needs to convince private institutional partners that the government can be trusted not to abrogate agreements after the fact, as they explicitly did last week ( albeit in a way that I would think, and hope, will be found unConstitutional ).) There is also the choice of the five managers ( and Maxine Waters laid siege to Goldman Sachs being one of them) with Blackstone and PIMCO being the only ones so far identified.

Reasonable people might question the premises of the testimony of both Bernanke and Geithner that AIG HAD to be bailed out because of the threat it posed to systemic risk and that it still poses such a threat ( and, therefore, will continue to require being bailed out.) If  the systemic risk exists on a global scale ( thereby presumably justifying taking money from American taxpayers to pay off the counterparties to AIG, among whom are Deustchebank, Societe Generale and Barclaysbank ), I would still have AIG go into bankruptcy and use US taxpayer funds to bail out the international  system...if necessary. It's often a matter of convenience, and what is habituation for bureaucrats, to maintain the status quo rather than consider the system being turned upside down ( and perhaps being improved.)


When the market realizes the problems ( they have to pick managers, they have to bid on the toxic assets, the bids have to be high enough to entice the present owners and yet low enough to produce a good chance of profit -- clearly a potentially conflicted and possibly impossible constraint-- and the private sector has to trust the government enough to get into bed with it -- which, after the vote to tax away the bonuses and violate contracts might not be a trivial trust to rebuild), it might reconsider the 500 point uptick of Monday.

The plan for toxic assets is fraught with uncertainty. There will be five managers appointed who will have their own (tiny) equity added to more equity from the public and  both supplemented by debt guaranteed by the government ( FDIC ) at an interest rate not yet determined and with NO RECOURSE if the equity portion goes sour ( i.e. if the underlying toxic asset is worth less than initially determined by the bidding managers. ).The taxpayers will therefore lend the equity holders about 5 or 6:1.  

One public version of the legislation has the seller of the toxic securities actually doing the lending with the government providing the guarantee but how this will help the capital position of the seller banks is totally unclear.

The five managers will bid for various kinds of toxic assets at some number of cents on the dollar. The problem for this being the wonderful "solution" that it appears to be on Monday will subsequently be realized to depend on what the managers bid for the assets. The assets are presently held by banks and other fiduciaries. The bid price has to fit into a narrow window that may not even be an open window.

It has to be high enough to encourage the banks to sell ( they might prefer to hold onto the assets to see if they will rise more than they will be offered; they also might not want to recognize the loss -- i.e. they KNOW they have a loss compared to the current illiquid market price but they need regulatory capital to stay in business and can't make loans if that is too low.) The bids have to be high enough to satisfy the present owners but low enough to make a profit for the buyers when the assets are ultimately sold or held to maturity ( with significant deterioration due to defaults ). We don't know who the managers will be ( although PIMCO and Blackstone are likely two among the five ), and they haven't had the auction yet. After the auction, the seller banks have some time to decide to accept the offer or decline and keep the assets themselves. 

Leverage ( the incentive provided by the FDIC ) only works if the deal makes sense in a simple way. There is the chance of a Groucho-Marx-type impass ( If the price is low enough for the buyers to want it, perhaps the sellers should keep it. If the price is high enough for the sellers to accept it, perhaps the buyers are paying more than they can make a profit from. )

One might think Congress' actions are clearly unConstitutional. What's Constitutional, however, is whatever the Supreme Court says it is.

Common sense would indicate that destroying the confidence of business and its ability to operate in the U.S. is a dangerous path to pursue and that our economy will lose. These arguments cut no ice with Congress in general and this Congress, in particular. Why the Supremes defer to Congress' greater knowledge of business and the economy is a wonder and likely a consequence of extreme ignorance on the part of both Congress and the Court.

Is the Bonus Tax Unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court defers too much to Congress.


Dueling Environmentalists: Greens are splitting into different shades

Greens are against nuclear power; but nuclear power is the only power source that is "carbon-free." Some are conflicted but the nuclear issue so far trumps the carbon issue.

Solar and wind power would seem to be unexceptionable to Greens ( they don't mind the fact that these are thus far uneconomic ) but it was only a matter of time before someone noted that T.Boone Pickens' wind pathway coincided with the flight path of American raptors and that eagle-burgers would offend those who love eagles. 

Now we see that there are defenders of the Mojave Desert who wish to stop both wind towers and solar mirrors from being placed there because it would destroy the pristine nature of the Mojave and also the desert turtle habitat ( although, unlike eagles, turtles are unlikely to be chopped up by wind blades and can probably circumnavigate solar installations, albeit slowly.)

Of course we have the Green Kennedys who espouse green power everywhere except when it might encroach on their views of Cape Cod ( actually, only their views from boats since the wind towers would be over the horizon for most land elevations. )

We also had John McCain, who was never there, sticking up for keeping  ANWR pristine while real outdoors types like Sarah Palin ( who also has the somewhat higher moral posture of being a local ) are for drilling in a small part of it. 

We need a new palette of colors for the Greens who can't agree even with each other about what is the environment and what is good for it.