Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pentecost Power

This is changing the world:

Pentecost Power - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest: "Sometimes the stone that the builders rejected ends up as the cornerstone of the whole building. That may not quite describe the role of Christianity in American foreign policy, but in some important and little understood ways the massive surge of Christian faith in the developing world is tilting the global playing field in America’s favor. At home, the appeal and the vigor of African-American Christianity, especially of the Pentecostal variety, may be America’s best defense against a sharp increase in home-grown terror."

Obama, the Thin-Skinned President

Yep:

Obama, the Thin-Skinned President: "Barack Obama -- a man who was as unprepared to be president as any man in our lifetime -- has over the last 16 months shown that he is overmatched by events. His poll numbers continue to drop, his health care proposal is becoming less rather than more popular, the oil spill in the Gulf is badly eroding his image for leadership and competence, and his party has been battered in election after election since November. We have now reached the point where Democrats are running against Obama and his agenda in order to survive (witness Mark Critz in Pennsylvania)."

Friday, May 28, 2010

When Germ Warfare Happened

I have never heard much about this:

When Germ Warfare Happened by Judith Miller, City Journal Spring 2010: "Jiang is one of 15 elderly Chinese men and women whom Zhu is treating in his simple village clinic for what locals label “rotten leg disease.” A definitive diagnosis is no longer possible so many decades after the initial exposure and secondary infections. But Chinese, American, and other Western physicians who have examined the survivors, documented their histories, and photographed their wounds claim that they are victims of the most gruesome biological warfare attacks in modern history."

Obama promises support to oil-stricken region over the long haul

Care:

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Obama promises support to oil-stricken region over the long haul - Blogs from CNN.com
ALT TEXT

Obamacare Taking on Water

Good summary of the whole health care issue:

Obamacare Taking on Water | The Weekly Standard: "As they followed one another off the political cliff in voting for the health-care overhaul, Democratic senators and representatives comforted themselves with their own self-created myth that, although ObamaCare was horribly unpopular as a bill, it would prove to be quite fetching as a law. Furthermore, this transformation, this change they could believe in, would take place sooner rather than later — as voters would reward rather than punish them for passing ObamaCare in clear and open defiance of popular will."

We’re too broke to be this stupid

Read the whole thing:

We’re too broke to be this stupid - Mark Steyn, Opinion - Macleans.ca: "In the economic expansion of the late 20th century, citizens of Western democracies paid more in taxes but lived better than their parents and grandparents. They weren’t exactly rich, but they got richer. They also got more stupid. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want.” Sir William and his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic succeeded beyond their wildest dreams: to be “poor” in the 21st-century West is not to be hungry and emaciated but to be obese, with your kids suffering from childhood diabetes. When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones. In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. They are not so much without employment as without need of it. At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted. It’s one of the basic rules of life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. But, in good and good-ish times, who cares?"

NJ Teacher who complained of low pay to Gov. Chris Christie makes >$100,000 with benefits

This will make the teacher's union well loved:

theblogprof: NJ Teacher who complained of low pay to Gov. Chris Christie makes >$100,000 with benefits: "Well, it turns out that that very teacher that claimed to be unfairly compensated, and that she would love to make $83,000, actually gets a salary of $86,389. Plus healthcare. plus pension. In totality, it amounts to well over $100,000 per year. From the Washington Examiner: NJ Teacher who complained to Gov. Chris Christie she deserved $83k actually makes $86k"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

North vs. South Korea: How Bad Could a War Get?

Very interesting:

North vs. South Korea: How Bad Could a War Get?: "“As we enter the summer of 2010,” writes Austin Bay, “the risk of all-out war on the Korean peninsula is quite high, and possibly the highest it has been since the armistice was signed in 1953.”

The good news: It’s unlikely that North Korea has enough gasoline to fight for more than a few days.

The bad news: they could really mess up the South in less time than that.

The worse news: nobody knows what would happen after the inevitable North Korean collapse, but everybody knows that nobody could afford it.

The downright scary news: even a wildly unspectacular North Korean invasion would serve as a test of our CINC’s mettle — a test we can’t be certain he’d pass."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus

I don't think this is good:

US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus - Telegraph: "The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history."

Obama's Slide Continues

Seems to be picking up momentum:

Power Line - Obama's Slide Continues: "The combination of oil spill and anti-Arizona rhetoric continues to drag down President Obama's poll numbers. Scott Rasmussen's Approval Index, the difference between those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove of his performance, has declined to -22, the lowest point of Obama's presidency so far:"

Yard signs that work

Sign.jpg






















HT:  Ken

Monday, May 24, 2010

Obama White House probe of Obama White House finds no Obama White House impropriety on Sestak

Ouch:

Obama White House probe of Obama White House finds no Obama White House impropriety on Sestak | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times: "Obviously, nothing to see over here, folks. Move along now.

Joe Sestak, the newly-elected Democratic Senate nominee from Pennsylvania, repeated his assertion Sunday that somebody he did not identify from the Obama White House offered him an administration job he did not detail, possibly in return for him dropping out of his undesirable primary challenge of Arlen 'I Was a Republican Before I Realized I Was a Democrat' Specter.

Obviously, Sestak didn't accept the offer. And Specter didn't win a primary race that he feared losing if he stayed a Republican.�

On NBC's 'Meet the Press' David Gregory asked Sestak about the job offer."

71% in Arizona Now Support State’s New Immigration Law

Interesting:

71% in Arizona Now Support State’s New Immigration Law - Rasmussen Reports™: "Arizona voters now support the state’s new immigration law more than ever and are still more inclined to think the law will be good for the state’s economy rather than bad. A lot of voters in the state are thinking it’s payback time, too, to those cities or states that boycott Arizona.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Arizona finds that 71% now favor the immigration law, while 24% oppose it."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all

I wonder what the old scoundrel says:

After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all -
News, Books - The Independent
: "Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published."

“Draw Mo Day” or “Offensive”

Hot Air “Draw Mo Day” or “Offensive”

In U.S., Increasing Number Have No Religious Identity

I wish I could say this is surprising:

In U.S., Increasing Number Have No Religious Identity: "Americans have become increasingly less tied to formal religion in recent decades, with the percentage saying they do not have a specific religious identity growing from near zero in the 1950s to 16% this year and last."
1948-2010 Trend: Percentage of Americans With No Religious Identity

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dow Theorist Richard Russell: Sell Everything, You Won't Recognize America By The End Of The Year

Yikes!

Dow Theorist Richard Russell: Sell Everything, You Won't Recognize America By The End Of The Year: "Richard Russell, the famous writer of the Dow Theory Letters, has a chilling line in today's note:
Do your friends a favor. Tell them to 'batten down the hatches' because there's a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to get out of debt and sell anything they can sell (and don't need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won't recognize the country. They'll retort, 'How the dickens does Russell know -- who told him?' Tell them the stock market told him.
That's pretty intense!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seattle immigration protesters promise another one soon

I don't see how this helps their cause:

Seattle immigration protesters promise another one soon |
KING5.com
| Seattle Area Local News
: "More than 100 demonstrators demanding that that Pres. Obama pass immigration reform blocked off Seattle streets as well as people inside an office building. And they say they're prepared to do it again, soon.
The group started the day outside the Federal Building, but surprised some by moving into a building that houses an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency office and court.
The group, including Seattle City Councilman Larry Gossett and El Centro de la Raza Executive Director Estela Ortega, locked arms during the noon hour and blocked the elevators. When some people tried to get through the human blockade, they were pushed away."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Calderon Calls for Restoring Assault Weapons Ban

Yeah, this is going to go down well...

Calderon Calls for Restoring Assault Weapons Ban - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com: "President Felipe Calderon of Mexico argued before a joint meeting of Congress today that his country was making extraordinary investments in confronting drug-fueled crime – a problem that also affects the United States— as he implored lawmakers in Washington to restore a ban on the assault weapons often used by traffickers.

He also assailed as a “terrible idea” the new Arizona law that allows law enforcement officials to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, repeating the criticism he made Wednesday, when he spent much of the day with President Obama. Mr. Obama himself called the law “misdirected.”"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Enemy God – The Movie

This looks like an interesting movie, especially from a cross-cultural perspective.

The Enemy God – The Movie: "Here in the Amazon jungle, where the spirit world and the natural world merge, Shake has reached the highest honor a Yanomamshaman can attain, that of ‘child-eater.’ Traveling in the spirit to an enemy’s village to loose your demons results in many deaths, and the reverence of your people. Shake has possession of many spirits, but the Spirit most feared by all Yanomam is one they call Yai Wanonablew – The Enemy God."

Obama folks having real t-r-o-u-b-l-e reading the new A-r-i-z-o-n-a illegal immigrant l-a-w

Must be dyslexia:

Obama folks having real t-r-o-u-b-l-e reading the new A-r-i-z-o-n-a illegal immigrant l-a-w | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times: "Maybe instead of childhood obesity, the Obama administration should focus its feel-good campaign attention on adult literacy.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is now the second outspoken member of President Obama's high-powered cabinet to admit she has not actually read the Arizona illegal immigrant law that she's been so thoroughly denouncing anyway."

Mortgage delinquencies hit new record

This is not good:

Hot Air: Mortgage delinquencies hit new record: "The number of homeowners who missed at least one payment on their mortgage surged to a record in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the foreclosure crisis is far from over.

More than 10 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the January-March period, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. That number was up from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 9.1 percent a year earlier. …"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Texas doctors fleeing Medicare in droves

Not good:

Texas doctors fleeing Medicare in droves | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "Texas doctors are opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable.
Two years after a survey found nearly half of Texas doctors weren't taking some new Medicare patients, new data shows 100 to 200 a year are now ending all involvement with the program. Before 2007, the number of doctors opting out averaged less than a handful a year.
“This new data shows the Medicare system is beginning to implode,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the Texas Medical Association. “If Congress doesn't fix Medicare soon, there'll be more and more doctors dropping out and Congress' promise to provide medical care to seniors will be broken.”"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Health reform threatens to cram already overwhelmed emergency rooms

More of that hopey changey thing:

Health reform threatens to cram already overwhelmed emergency rooms - TheHill.com: "The new healthcare law will pack 32 million newly insured people into emergency rooms already crammed beyond capacity, according to experts on healthcare facilities.

A chief aim of the new healthcare law was to take the pressure off emergency rooms by mandating that people either have insurance coverage. The idea was that if people have insurance, they will go to a doctor rather than putting off care until they faced an emergency.

People who build hospitals, however, say newly insured people will still go to emergency rooms for primary care because they don’t have a doctor."

A Hidden History of Evil

Read the whole thing:

A Hidden History of Evil by Claire Berlinski, City Journal Spring 2010: "Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

As Polls Show Overwhelming Support for Arizona's Law, Nets Focus on 'Uproar' and 'Spreading' Boycotts

It's a good thing we don't have media bias. HT: Ken

As Polls Show Overwhelming Support for Arizona's Law, Nets Focus on 'Uproar' and 'Spreading' Boycotts: "The night after two major national polls confirmed overwhelming majorities support Arizona's impending immigration enforcement statute (59 percent per Pew and 64 percent per NBC/WSJ), CBS and ABC promoted the cause of activists in the minority. Both devoted full stories to the “uproar” and “emotional civil war” over the law and moves by a few liberal local government bodies to enact boycotts, only getting late in their stories to those who like the law."

Cronkite was in the tank

Why is this not a surprise:

JammieWearingFool: "Now this would be a shocker, huh? A high-profile media hack sympathizing with anti-war protesters? No wonder he's such an icon on the left."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Biden's Secret Diplomacy

Wow:

FrontPage Magazine - Biden's Secret Diplomacy: "Here before us is a Soviet archival document,* a top secret report by a communist apparatchik who had received a delegation of US Senators led by Joseph Biden in 1979. After describing routine arms control discussions, it quotes Biden as telling the Soviets off-record that he did not really care about the persecution of Russian dissidents. He and other Senators might raise human rights issues with their Soviet counterparts, but only to be seen by the public as defenders of human rights, not to have those problems really solved. They would happily take no for an answer."

Americans more pro-life for second straight year

Good:

Hot Air: Americans more pro-life for second straight year: "We are looking at a cultural shift on abortion, where its perceived morality (consistently rejected by majorities over the same period of time) has finally come into closer relationship with personal identification on the issue. It’s not the political divide that’s driving these numbers — but it may be that the cultural shift has started to impact political identification as well. If so, pro-choice Democrats could find themselves in a minority party in the next several years."

Drugs to help us live to 100 may be available from 2012

Amazing and a little scary:

Drugs to help us live to 100 may be available from 2012
| Mail Online
: "Medicines that can help people live healthy lives to 100 and beyond may be available in as little as two years, an expert said today.

The drugs have come out of research into age-related ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.

To satisfy the requirements of drug regulators and the market they are billed as remedies for specific illnesses. But in actual fact they tackle multiple causes of unhealthy ageing, according to Professor Nir Barzilai, one of the world's leading age scientists."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Divorce and Abortion - Red States and Blue States

Interesting:

Op-Ed Columnist - Divorce and Abortion - Red States and Blue States - NYTimes.com: "Liberals sometimes argue that their preferred approach to family life reduces the need for abortion. In reality, it may depend on abortion to succeed. The teen pregnancy rate in blue Connecticut, for instance, is roughly identical to the teen pregnancy rate in red Montana. But in Connecticut, those pregnancies are half as likely to be carried to term. Over all, the abortion rate is twice as high in New York as in Texas and three times as high in Massachusetts as in Utah."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Carbs against Cardio: More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart

Interesting:

Carbs against Cardio: More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart: Scientific American: "Eat less saturated fat: that has been the take-home message from the U.S. government for the past 30 years. But while Americans have dutifully reduced the percentage of daily calories from saturated fat since 1970, the obesity rate during that time has more than doubled, diabetes has tripled, and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer. Now a spate of new research, including a meta-analysis of nearly two dozen studies, suggests a reason why: investigators may have picked the wrong culprit. Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more than fat does—a finding that has serious implications for new dietary guidelines expected this year."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

It's sex o'clock in America

From Raquel Welch:

It's sex o'clock in America - CNN.com: "Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it's precisely because of the sexy image I've had that it's important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We're capable of so much better."

Operation Mincemeat and spycraft in World War Two

Fascinating:

Operation Mincemeat and spycraft in World War Two : The New Yorker: "On April 30, 1943, a fisherman came across a badly decomposed corpse floating in the water off the coast of Huelva, in southwestern Spain. The body was of an adult male dressed in a trenchcoat, a uniform, and boots, with a black attache case chained to his waist. His wallet identified him as Major William Martin, of the Royal Marines. The Spanish authorities called in the local British vice-consul, Francis Haselden, and in his presence opened the attache case, revealing an official-looking military envelope."

Demonizing Wall Street, then a big Dow drop...coincidence?

Interesting:

Demonizing Wall Street, then a big Dow drop...coincidence?: QuincyNews.org: "Somewhere – wherever his eternal home is – Dick Nixon is smiling today. He pulled a lot of shady, underhanded, illegal stuff in his life. But he’s potentially giving the Commander in Chief props today."

On Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange was brought to its knees by what many reports are saying was “one stray trade” or “one mistakenly stroked key” on a keyboard. Investigators are trying to find the singular cause of the problem that caused the largest point swing in the history of investments.

On Thursday afternoon, CNBC’s Money Honey, Maria Bartiromo, said, “I mean this really sounds like market manipulation to me. This is outrageous.” Her comments weren’t made to colleagues off the record; they were said on the network, in the midst of the meltdown.

Ironically enough, Obama’s financial reform measure languishing in Congress may actually have received a huge shot in the arm by this horrifying result. What an amazing coincidence. Hmmm.

Friday, May 07, 2010

L.A. Times Fails To Endorse Barbara ‘Call Me Senator’ Boxer On Grounds Of Stupidity

Heh:

L.A. Times Fails To Endorse Barbara ‘Call Me Senator’ Boxer On Grounds Of Stupidity - Big Journalism: "Amazing but true: the Los Angeles Times, which hardly ever met a Democrat it didn’t want to endorse, today has decided to remain neutral in the California primary.
On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Comedy Central developing Jesus Christ cartoon

How brave:

Comedy Central developing Jesus Christ cartoon | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment: "Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on “South Park,” yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.

As part of the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers, the network is set to announce “JC,” a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father” and live a regular life in New York City."

Five Morgan Hill students sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts

Wow:

GilroyDispatch.com | Five Morgan Hill students sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts: "Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts 'incendiary.'"

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

El Presidente Obama celebrates 'Cinco de Cuatro'

Sort of a cross-cultural version of the 57 state gaffe:

El Presidente Obama celebrates 'Cinco de Cuatro' | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times: "President Obama greeted a White House crowd this afternoon gathered for a May 4 premature celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday honoring an upset military victory over the French, whose troops didn't do so well in North America and don't celebrate the same day much.

Anyway, in a well-intentioned attempt at Spanish and a joke about being a day early, Obama said:

'Bienvenidos. Welcome to Cinco de Cuatro -- (laughter) -- Cinco de Mayo at the White House. We are a day early, but we always like to get a head start here at the Obama White House.'

Apparently unbeknownst to the president he wasn't saying 'Happy May 4th.' He was saying, 'Happy fifth of fourth.'"

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What’s Happened to Silicon Valley?

Until California can get its tax situation under control all industry is going to be in trouble:

What’s Happened to Silicon Valley? (Part 1): "Silicon Valley has been world famous for decades. And, like other worldwide icons (Columbus, Madonna, Tiger Woods), the Valley has been both loved and hated over the years. Lately, there have been clouds parked over Silicon Valley, and people in and out of the tech world have become skeptical about where we go from here.

We decided to dig deep into Silicon Valley, its culture, and its businesses, for a week-long series of reports called “Boom, Bust, and Beyond.” We got a lot of help from Valley heavy hitters. Some, like Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO Russell Hancock, say that after a series of ups and downs, the Valley faces a current slump it may not be able to get out of. On the other hand, Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz says she’s seen worse, and the tech industry always finds some new way to bounce back and create new magic."

Concealed Carry on Campus

Interesting:

Concealed Carry on Campus | The Weekly Standard: "A little more than three years ago, Seung-Hui Cho entered a building at Virginia Tech, chained the doors shut and began shooting. He killed 32 people--the deadliest school shooting in United States history. The tragedy sparked a nationwide review of campus safety measures. Colleges began coordinating with local police to update old and outdated emergency policies. But the shooting also caused many students, dismayed by the poor emergency response by Virginia Tech administrators and police, to start looking toward ensuring their own safety. A movement was born to roll back long-standing handgun bans at colleges, led by the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus."

The Real Economy: A Whiff of Irrational Exuberance

Hmm...

The Real Economy: A Whiff of Irrational Exuberance - TheFiscalTimes.com: "Whew. I’m glad that’s over, aren’t you?First quarter GDP growth of 3.2 percent, a 3.6 percent jump in consumer spending, consumer confidence posting its strongest gain in years: Now that the Great Recession is behind us, we can get back to being a great nation again. Corporate bonds stand at almost back-to-normal levels compared to Treasuries, the stock market is up 70 percent from its low, and even patheticGMAC managed to pay off its TARP loan. Newsweek economics writer Daniel Gross captured the mood in a triumphant April cover story that touted the resilience of American enterprise and the creativity of homegrown corporations like Apple and Fisker Automotive, a maker of $87,000 electric cars: “America is Back!”

Saturday, May 01, 2010

LAPD estimate crowd at immigrant rights rally is about half of what was expected

Good:

LAPD estimate crowd at immigrant rights rally is about half of what was expected [Updated] | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times: "Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck estimated that about 50,000 immigration rights activists participated in Saturday's May Day rally, about half of what police estimated earlier.

Police had anticipated a larger crowd because of the controversy surrounding the recent passage of a tough immigration law in Arizona that allows police to check the legal status of people they believe are in the state illegally."