March 05, 2010

Know Your Wavering Congresscritter

If you believe Bart Stupak's claim that he has a dozen Congresscritters who will join him in killing the Reidtacularly Ridiculous Reconciliation Rugfuck, make note (warning: lefty link) of Jerry Costello (D-IL).  He is the Representative for the 12th District, which is across the river from  me. This district is home to Scott Air Force Base, which is a major player in our military's air mobility capabilities and a massive employer in the area. Also, Rep. Costello has had a shady past with ties to folks who have gone to jail and trial lawyers as the Honorable Gentleman from Illinois keeps being reelcted.

Why do I mention this? Well, Costello is a slippery cat (even by Congressional Standards) who can be easily bought and bribed by the porkbarrel process. He has prided himself on protecting jobs and the Air Force Base and for the fact he has helped protect the "Jackpot Justice" system and out of control lawsuit abuse in Southwest Illinois. I would not count on him to stay with Stupak, especially if the Chicago Way threatens contracts or other ties to Scott AFB, or if a few trial lawyers start barking at him.

I will keep an eye on his activities, especially if truckloads of cash or Rahm Emmanuel (BIRM) start showing up in the area.

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March 02, 2010

Future Location of Moon Unit Alpha

There's water in that thar moon... hundreds of millions of tons of ice, as it turns out.

I think we need a "morons in space" category.

In lieu of morons in space, here's some classic Pigs In Space:


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Britain gets a B++

This blog I read sometimes (really), had a story about a Brit veteran who saw an evil gun in a garbage bag and took it to the police who then arrested him and a prosecutor decided to press the charges and a jury convicted him and he was waiting for sentencing of at least 5 years.
So the story was, naturally enough, under "Fail Britania".
The story was updated with more fail and less but still plenty of fail, just not quite a B+ level of fail.

Our hero claims he was doing one of the cops and some other cops didn't like that. He called the head cop to "bring him something" but kept getting blown off, he didn't want to tell the police what (either at 999 or the head cop) because he didn't want a SWAT type response.
Quote of the millenia from the judge, recall our hero had been calling the head cop for 4 days.
He said the fact Clarke had kept the gun for four days was "odd behaviour" and it was a "very serious matter" that he did not hand it in immediately.

Yeah, because bringing it in worked out so well.

So plenty of fail, but one spot of almost not-fail.
Paul Clarke, 27, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for possession of a firearm at Reading Crown Court today.

No jail time, but a suspended sentence for a weapons violation. I wonder how that will affect employment possibilities.
In keeping with this blog's style book, it's old. The story was updated before Christmas.

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February 27, 2010

HAARP destroys another country: Massive 8.8 earthquake in Chile

Tsunami warnings across Pacific region.



Where is Jesse Ventura when you need him?

Why would the US Government target Chile's second largest city for destruction so soon after destroying Haiti? Could it have something to do with the new regional organization being formed by Cuba and Venezuela?

These are questions that mus be answered before this fearsome weapon is deployed upon a helpless world again.
The quake downed buildings and houses in Santiago and knocked out a major bridge connecting the northern and southern sections of the country.

It struck at 3:34 a.m. local time and was centered about 200 miles southwest of Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The epicenter was some 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live.

Phone lines were down in Concepcion as of 7:30 a.m. and no reports were coming out of that area. The quake in Chile was more powerful than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Haiti on Jan 12, killing at least 230,000, earthquake experts reported on CNN International.

...

Eyewitnesses on Facebook and Twitter reported that the quake was felt from Japan to Argentina. The quake struck at the end of the Chilean summer vacation, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to be traveling back home this weekend.
Seriously, this is a huge quake. Historically it would be about the 4th most powerful ever. The most powerful being a 9.5 quake in the same area back in 1960. That killed 1700 people. So far the death toll is low compared to Haiti. I believe that is due to lower population density and better building codes. That doesn't mean the quake won't be devastating. If you are a prayer keep them in your prayers in you are a donater the Red Cross will probably have something set up soon, so will World Vision and Doctors without Borders I'm sure.


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February 23, 2010

The Climategate Story Is About To Get Very, Very Interestinger

I don't know how much this will accomplish, or if Attorney General Holder will indeed allow an investigation, but when a U.S. Senator calls for an investigation into Climategate, things should get interesting.

The released CRU emails and documents display potentially unethical, and illegal, behavior. The scientists appear to discuss manipulating data to get their preferred results. On several occasions they appear to discuss subverting the scientific peer review process to ensure that skeptical papers had no access to publication. Moreover, there are emails discussing unjustified changes to data by federal employees and federal grantees.

These and other issues raise questions about the lawful use of federal funds and potential ethical misconduct. Discussed below are brief descriptions of the statutes and regulations that the Minority Staff believe are implicated in this scandal. In our investigation, we are examining the emails and documents and determining whether any violations of these federal laws and policies occurred.

Heh. Game. Fucking. On.

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February 20, 2010

Haig RIP

Alexander Haig is dead. (link via Ace, but I saw the news on TV)

He did some truly great things, but he will always be remembered for his statement that he was in control when Ronnie Raygun was shot.

I'll always remember that, I saw it on TV and I laughed my ass off.
I have to admit, it was a bit of hilarity on a not so pleasant day.

I understand why he did it, but it was still just funny.

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February 14, 2010

Have you seen this article - Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

Sounds like a win right? Read the article carefully, I'm not quite sure that's waht he actually said:

He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

I don't know who wrote this, but that first paragraph is misleading as hell. What it says is that Jones is now ascribing the 1975 to 1998 warming to natural rather than AGW causes. That is incorrect. 1975 to 1998 is the main period in which AGW is supposed to have occurred. The second paragraph is also misleading as hell. A quick read and it appears he is admitting global warming has stopped, but that isn't what he is actually say. He is actually claiming that the process is continuing we just are seeing an output from it at the moment.

The other major mistake in the article is the claim that he is admitting the medieval warming period could have been global. Read the article carefully. That is not what he says:

Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.

‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’


What he says is there is no data to show that the MWP was global, but if there was and the temps were less than they are today than AGW would still be the main cause.

I would be very careful in referencing this as an anti-AGW victory.

source added

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February 12, 2010

Pew pew pew pew pew

Air Force uses airborne laser to knock down ballistic missiles.

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February 09, 2010

Notes from #PA12

Some developing info on the Murtha seat to bring people up to speed:

There will be a special election to fill the vacancy.  This special election is almost certainly going to be held on the same day as the spring primary election, May 18th.  Candidates for the special election will be chosen by the parties, NY23-style. 

Because the special election is held coincident with the primary, voters will be voting both for the interim Congressman and also for the nominees for the November election -- voting for two elections for the same Congressional seat.  Nothing precludes the party-nominated interim candidate from seeking the primary nomination, so one candidate might be on the ballot twice.

Previously declared Republican candidates for the seat are Bill Russell (Army vet, 2008 challenger) and Tim Burns (businessman).  Other primary candidates may now emerge as well.  The petition period to get on the primary ballot in PA is Feb 16 to March 9.

Some other potential GOP candidates (either for the interim position, or I suppose for the "real" full-term election) might be:
- Jeff Pyle (State Rep.)
- Diana Irey (County commissioner and 2006 candidate)
- Mark Pasquerilla (business owner, hotels; regionally recognized last name)

A lot of eyes are probably on Russell.  He has demonstrated massive fundraising ability, though unfortunately it has been done through the inefficient direct-mail process, and he's not actually sitting on a ton of cash right now.  Some are out there exaggerating how "close" Russell came to unseating Murtha in 2008.  The vote was Murtha 57.9% to Russell 42.2%, a difference of 15.7%.  In my book, that's pretty bad, though in fairness it was a marginal improvement over Irey in 2006, and it was done in the worst possible environment for GOP candidates.  The "close" claim comes from one or two polls (iirc, media polls) that had the race at high single digits a few weeks out from the election.  If you want to call that "close", then go ahead, but I wouldn't.

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February 08, 2010

John Murtha Has Died

He was 77

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February 07, 2010

The Zero Rupee Note

Frustrated people in India are paying bribes... with worthless fake currency.

Behold, the zero rupee note:



I have no idea what sort of group the 5th Pillar is, and their website seems to be hosed at the moment, so don't count this as an endorsement.

From the World Bank blog:

Fed up with requests for bribes and equipped with a zero rupee note, the old lady handed the note to the official. He was stunned. Remarkably, the official stood up from his seat, offered her a chair, offered her tea and gave her the title she had been seeking for the last year and a half to obtain without success.


Culture is a bitch, because this makes no sense to me, but I'm glad it seems to work.  Hopefully some sort of tipping point against official corruption is being reached.  Shame and fear are powerful social weapons.

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Massive explosion in CT industrial plant

Keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.

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January 31, 2010

I can't decide if this is hot or disturbing

you decide

Rumor: Angelina Jolie Had an Affair with Lady Gaga

According to the latest rumors, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are finished. Expanding upon that rumor is another interesting claim: that Jolie had an affair with Lady Gaga.

...

Jolie is openly bisexual, and Lady Gaga is a rumored hermaphrodite who has insinuated in the past that she might be open to getting down with both girls and boys.
It's Angelina Jolie so by definition there is some hot involved, but it's also Lady Gaga so there is a little "ick" factor in there also.  Throw in the way the Cleveland Leader makes her sound like a freak performing in the Cirque de 'Soleil and it comes off as a little disturbing to me. 

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January 27, 2010

Hey, wait a minute!

I thought Barack Obama was the mostest popularest American leader among foreigners since, well, anybody.

Weeeeelllll, maybe not so much...

Indonesian authorities said Monday they are considering a petition to tear down a statue of US President Barack Obama as a boy, only a month after the bronze was unveiled in Jakarta.

The statue of "Little Barry" -- as Obama was known when he lived in the capital in the late 1960s -- stands in central Jakarta's Menteng Park, a short walk from the US president's former elementary school.

Critics say the site should have been used to honour an Indonesian and 55,000 people have joined a page on social networking website Facebook calling for the statue to be removed.

[...]

Members of the "Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Menteng Park" group on Facebook say Obama has done nothing for Indonesia.

"Barack Obama has yet to make a significant contribution to the Indonesian nation. We could say Obama only ate and s (expletive) in Menteng. He spent his subsequent days living as an American," the web page says.

To be fair, he only lived there for a while after his mom married some guy and dragged him there when he was a little kid, and I don't think he ever had Indonesian citizenship, so it's not exactly like he owes them much of anything. Plus, it's not like he asked to have the statue put up.

On the other hand, we were told repeatedly by certain people (*cough* "Grown-up Barry" *cough*) that the fact that he had lived in a certain Muslim country (*cough* Indonesia *cough*) would endear him—and by extension, the rest of us—to Muslims around the world.

What I'm trying to say is that if you'll excuse me, I think I'm gonna go grab a schadenfreude-flavored pudding cup.

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January 23, 2010

Kind of like President's Day but more Boomy

That American Saint, John Moses Browning, was born on this date in 1855.

In a just world, today would be one of America's biggest holidays with Saint Browning giving all the good boys and girls .45ACP and .50 BMG rounds with the day's festivities ending with the Shooting of the BAR.

I'm off to send some 235 grain projectiles down-range at high velocity using two of the finest slayers of enemies of America, the 1911 and .45 ACP, that he invented.


Via the Texas Scribbler

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January 18, 2010

Credit where credit is due

I am not a Sanjay Gupta fan. For the most part, I find his "reporting" to be deserving of the scare quotes. From what I've seen, he's yet another one of those RUN RUN EVERYTHING WILL KILL YOU types.

Having said that, I give him credit for this. He was reporting in Haiti when a bunch of doctors left a group of patients.  Gupta took off the reporter hat, put on the doctor hat and tried to do the best he could to care for the patients.  He's getting kudos for that and both he and his crew should.  They did the right thing. 

I am trying very very very hard to give the benefit of the doubt to those who left but I'm finding it hard to do so.  Yes, Haiti is, basically, in a state of anarchy.  Yes, there are very legitimate concerns for safety.  But I cannot begin to conceive of walking away and letting other people die if I were responsible for their care.  Hell, I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on the internet, and I can't imagine leaving in that situation.

Good for Gupta.  This is one of those situations where objectivity and the like should go flying out the window.  Damn it, Jim, he's a doctor, not a reporter and he did the right thing. 

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January 17, 2010

Is there something in the water? Like maybe meth?

This is a bit of local blogging so forgive me for that.

Very very very condensed background - I live in the NE PA area. Most of you may only be vaguely area that there's an enormous corruption scandal in Luzerne County right now. So far, three judges have been indicted and removed from office and there have been a whole bunch of other people pleading guilty for kickbacks. There are allegations of case fixing. It's an utter disaster, complete and total disaster. The public, quite rightly, assumes that the "justice" system is anything but.

So. That's the background to explain why I just flailed and gaped over this.

Luzerne County Senior Judge arrested for assault.

This guy was specifically appointed by the PA Supreme Court to come into Luzerne County to hear cases since the Court is so backed up.  What does he do?  Apparently, choke his wife.

What the fucking hell!  Seriously, if Grisham wrote a novel with this stuff in it, his editor would laugh him out of the building.


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NY Times to begin charging for content

New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.
I know a lot of people think this will be the death knell for the Times, but will it? The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Economist, all charge for content and seem to be doing OK.

This change probably will have a major effect on news bloggers however. That loss of content will leave a major hole in a lot of blogs content, and if the Times is successful and other papers follow suit that whole will just get bigger.

If that happens what will develop to fill the void? Or will the news blog die?

h/t Althouse via Instapundit

Althouse asks the relevant question, how many page views will the Times lose because of this?  How will that affect their advertising rates? 

If it was me I would hire some web page design gurus to develop a system that won't allow a blogger to cut and paste unless they accept an ad from one of the Times' paid advertisers to be embedded on the blog.  That seems like the best possible solution.  They could even develop a profile system so that Pro-life bloggers don't end up with Planned Parenthood.  They could also develop an associates program so if you accept more than the minimum ads then you get a cut of the sales.  (I know that's capitalist crazy talk)

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January 13, 2010

Must See CNBC Interview of Kyle Bass

Did ya know Fannie & Freddie were leveraged 95x at the peak of the housing bubble? Yeah...

CNBC's David Faber interviews investor Kyle Bass:

(If you can't see the embedded video, go here.)

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" height="380" width="400">
Important notes...

* - "Why is the taxpayer losing a dime" on Fannie and Freddie?

* - Washington is more sensitive to Chinese losses than losses to the US Taxpayer.

* - We must end the corrupting situation where Fannie & Freddie lobby and contribute to their Congressional overseers.

* - Japan is the canary in the coal mine for sovereign debt and deficit spending... and we're 10-12 years away from being Japan.

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January 12, 2010

Last person that hid Frank family has passed

Miep Gies was from one of the many families that hid Jews from the Nazis in Holland during WWII, Gies was the one who kept Anne Frank's now famous diary when Anne and her family were captured by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camps.  Two of the people in the network Gies operated with were also arrested because of the same informant that revealed the Frank family.  During the time Gies held the diary, she refrained from reading it, which according to her, saved the writings,

Mixed into the entries were the names of the Dutch helpers, who risked their lives to keep the family's secret.

"I didn't read Anne's diary papers. ... It's a good thing I didn't because if I had read them I would have had to burn them," she said in the 1998 interview. "Some of the information in them was dangerous."



She handed the writings to Otto Frank, who was the only member of the Frank family to survive the Holocaust.  Gies was just one of thousands of Dutch citizens to hide Jewish refugees and citizens from the Nazis.

On the other end of it, we now have perennial leftist conspiracymonger douchebag Oliver Stone preparing to offer some relativist piece of shit on Hitler himself.  Says Stone,

We can't judge people as only 'bad' or 'good.'


Uh, yeah, we can, watch us.  We cannot allow relativist fucktards like Stone to go unanswered, especially now, as the generation that witnessed the horrific atrocities of the Nazi regime age and pass on.  I know Hitler's story, I know German history during the time of the World Wars, I know the story of the rise and fall of Nazism, I spent four years learning Western history, and continue to learn more daily, I don't need Stone's "context" to know that Hitler and the Nazi ideology were evil and destructive to their core.  We cannot allow moral relativists like Stone continue to undermine the public's ability to make moral judgment, not only because of the destruction it can wreak on our society today, but to honor the heroes like Miep Gies, and the victims like Anne Frank.

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