Friday, March 25, 2011

Meanwhile, In The Banana Republic Of Wisconsin

Hmmm...it seems Scott Walker is now taking his cues from Hugo Chavez:

A law to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin was unexpectedly published by a state agency on Friday despite a temporary restraining order barring publication, sparking confusion and more animosity among legislators who have fiercely debated the issue for weeks.

State officials disagreed over whether publication of the law — a procedural requirement — would allow it to be in force on Saturday. The state’s Legislative Reference Bureau said it is required to publish all laws within 10 days after they are enacted. Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the bill on March 11, but a county judge issued an order last week blocking the secretary of state from publishing it. The order did not bar the legislative bureau from publishing the law.

Democrats argued on Friday that the law would not go into effect on Saturday because it still required official publication by the secretary of state.

“This bill has been under a cloud of suspicion since Day 1,” Peter Barca, a Democrat and minority leader of the General Assembly, said in a statement. “Today’s actions and statements are only perpetuating the problem.”

But Republicans said they believed the law would take effect on Saturday. Senator Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican and the majority leader, said publishing the law was the right thing to do and the Legislature could now focus on the budget.

“I believe, as of this afternoon, it’s published, it’s law, and we can move forward,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in an interview.

Uh, yeah. We shall see how that goes. Even Hot Air isn't buying this:

Democrats are surely on their way back to court even as you’re reading this to demand that the TRO be expanded to cover the LRB, Walker, the legislature, and everyone else under the sun. The judge did, after all, enjoin “further implementation” of the law generally before specifying a particular actor, so they’ll probably win and the scope of the order will be enlarged.

Any sane reading of the court order should have been enough to reach this conclusion, but when Walker and Co. is involved you never pass up an opportunity to act thuggish.

I'll tell you something else as well... in the long run I don't think Walker will accomplish anything. If anything public service unions will be more entrenched in ten years time not less. For starters there will be more of them. University faculty across the state have been rushing to unionize. Sure, they may be curtailed in the short run, but you'd have to be kinda crazy to believe Republicans will somehow monopolize state politics in Wisconsin for very long. Eventually Democrats will get back in and undo what Walker implemented, but that won't be the status quo
because of the new union members created in direct response to Walker's agenda.

Walker has been betting from day one that this past election represented a realignment. It wasn't. All indications are Walker's term will be at best severely humbled and at worst an unmitigated disaster.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When Is Deliberately Bombing Civilians Not A Terrorist Attack?

According to Reuters, when the civilians in question are Jewish everything is fair game. Because, you know, there is no such thing as an innocent Jew... or something like that.

A bomb planted in a bag exploded near a bus stop in a Jewish district of Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a woman and injuring at least 30 people, in an attack police blamed on Palestinian militants...

Police said it was a "terrorist attack" -- Israel's term for a Palestinian strike.

Jeffrey Goldberg noticed:

Those Israelis and their crazy terms! I mean, referring to a fatal bombing of civilians as a "terrorist attack"? Who are they kidding? Everyone knows that a fatal bombing of Israeli civilians should be referred to as a "teachable moment." Or as a "venting of certain frustrations." Or as "an understandable reaction to Jewish perfidy."

...The mind reels.

It does indeed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"I Don't Like What You Say And I'm Black, Therefore You Are Racist"

Welcome to "logic" in today's America: Anti-abortion fliers spark campus outrage

It has become the talk among African American students at the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary -- racially charged fliers and postings. All of it is apparently anti-abortion literature.

Among the fliers was one that displayed a noose and another with the words "in the new klan lynching is for amateurs."

"I was shocked and appalled that someone would place something like that up at this particular institution," seminary student Maurice Stinnett told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

"There was a lot of devastation for me, psychological damage, injury, because I saw this as social bullying," student Shirley Thomas said.

Student leaders at the seminary, which neighbors Princeton University but is not directly affiliated, said the fliers first appeared on campus last November then reappeared in February for Black History Month.

The fliers originate from various sources, pointing out the number of African American deaths by abortion...

"People need to understand that racism is not dead," Thomas said.

Where to start, where to start...

First, can you believe how poorly written this news "story" is? I realize there has been a general slide in literacy in this country, but this is shockingly bad even for a journalist.

Second, how dumb do you have to be to give credence to the argument that it is racist to advocate for fewer abortions in the black community?

Third, is irony such a foreign concept to students at Princeton Theological Seminary that they are unable to see that calling ideas they don't like "racist" is itself a form of intellectual "bullying"? I guess the feeling is why have an intellectual discussion when you could more easily throw a temper tantrum.

How compelling.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Told You So

Four years ago... FOUR years ago I wrote the following about the snows of Kilimanjaro:

Please remember that last year was (so we were told) the "warmest year ever" and the glacier at Kilimanjaro grew larger. Also notice that this research confirms the hypothesis that glacier retreat has nothing to do with "warming" but with moisture patterns AND that these patterns starting changing in the 19th century. (Must have been caused by those "Sport Utility Horse and Buggies.")

Today one can read:

Standing as the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is slowly regaining its snow after several years of drought in East Africa and the effects of climate change in African continent.

The snow is slowly mounting on the top point of the mountain, giving new hopes to Mount Kilimanjaro environmental watchdogs and tourists that the mountain may not lose its beautiful ice cap as scientists predicted.

Covered in mist most of the day, Mount Kilimanjaro is the most tourist attractive site in Tanzania, pulling in tens of thousands of tourists each year. The snow, which once disappeared in some parts of the mountain is mounting slowly, giving a beautiful view of the Kibo peak.

A visit by our Tanzania eTurboNews reporter to Mount Kilimanjaro's slopes proved that there were changes on the mountain snow, which has been covering some parts of the mountain where once the ice had melted.

Lo! and behold, some "scientists" have egg on their faces:

“Unfortunately, we made the prediction. I wish we hadn’t,” says Douglas R. Hardy, a UMass geoscientist who was among 11 co-authors of the paper in the journal Science that sparked the pessimistic Kilimanjaro forecast. “None of us had much history working on that mountain, and we didn’t understand a lot of the complicated processes on the peak like we do now.”

Look, I am not a geoscientist, but I got this right and the so-called "experts" got it wrong. Am I lucky? No. I simply do not believe reality is beholden to some ideological preconception I may hold. And, let's get real here geoscientists, the problem was not that the complicated mountain tricked you, the problem was you wanted reality to conform to your will. Until you stop doing that you will continue to get things wrong, and look stupid doing it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

From My Death Bed (Pratically)

I have the flu and feel like complete and utter crap, but the monsters (literally people who have no soul) are out trumpeting that earthquakes are caused by people driving SUV's. Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like

So far, today's tsunami has mainly affected Japan -- there are reports of up to 300 dead in the coastal city of Sendai -- but future tsunamis could strike the U.S. and virtually any other coastal area of the world with equal or greater force, say scientists. In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity.

"When the ice is lost, the earth's crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis," Bill McGuire, professor at University College London, told Reuters.

Yep. It's official. There is no reason anyone should ever listen to a word these despicable loons say ever again.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Not That You Should Care Really...

...but I feel terrible.



Unfortunately, I iz at skool.

Friday, March 04, 2011

My Goodness. The President And I Have Something In Common

Politics be damned, this is pretty cool: Obamas Make History with Homebrewed White House Honey Ale

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made culinary history when they served homebrewed White House Honey Ale, made with a pound of honey from the White House Beehive, to guests at last month's Super Bowl party. They are the first presidential couple to ever charge their chefs with the ancient--and now wildly popular--art of homebrewing, according to White House Curator Bill Allman....

The President and First Lady purchased the brewing equipment with their own funds, a White House aide said on Super Bowl Sunday. Stephens declined to identify exactly what kind of equipment--it's a private purchase, after all--but according to Alan Talman of Karp's Homebrew, a brewing supply shop in East Northport, New York, the Obamas could have a very workable homebrewing set-up for as little as $60 dollars. A fancy rig would run between $200-$400 dollars. And the White House kitchen, though notoriously small considering the vast amount of delights that are created each week, is already in possession of some of the finest cooking equipment available.

I'll admit Honey Ale wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was honey from their own hive so you have to respect that.

Hmmm...I bet the White House has decent lagering potential.

"Someone Get This Prisoner A Pedicure!"

Welcome to the hysteria: PFC Manning Stripped Naked Again

PFC Manning was forced to strip naked in his cell again last night. As with the previous evening, Quantico Brig guards required him to surrender all of his clothing. PFC Manning then walked back to his bed, and spent the next seven hours in humiliation.

The decision to require him to be stripped of all clothing was made by the Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes. According to First Lieutenant Brian Villard, a Marine spokesman, the decision was "not punitive" and done in accordance with Brig rules. There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning.

Uh, in other words the prisoner has to sleep in the nude?

Little did I realize I've been torturing myself for years.

Obviously prisoner Manning if on a suicide watch, which can involve the removal of clothing and other items which could be used to strangle/choke the prisoner if they attempted to harm themselves.

Is it pretty? Probably not, but Manning is not residing at the Ritz-Carlton for a pretty compelling reason.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Higher Education Has Just Jumped The Shark

Remember when this used to be satirical?

Really. Northwestern University defends after-class live sex demonstration


More than 100 Northwestern University students watched as a naked 25-year-old woman was penetrated by a sex toy wielded by her fiancee during an after-class session of the school’s popular “Human Sexuality” class.

The woman said she showed up at the Feb. 21 lecture in the Ryan Family Auditorium in Evanston expecting just to answer questions, but was game to demonstrate. The course’s professor on Wednesday acknowledged some initial hesitation, but said student feedback was “uniformly positive.”

And Northwestern defended the class and its professor.

“Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and at the leading edge of their respective disciplines,” said Alan K. Cubbage, vice president for University Relations. “The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge.”

The optional, non-credit demo followed psychology Prof. John Michael Bailey’s sexuality class. Nearly 600 students are in Bailey’s class this quarter, and most didn’t stick around for the after-class show, which featured four members of Chicago’s fetish community describing “BDSM,” or bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.

Oh, come on. (Poor word choice?) Even the stated reasons for this bout of exhibitionism is prurient in nature. Pretending there is actual educational value in the porn show is laughable.

And university types wonder why conservatives hold them in such ill repute. It is because of garbage like this. There are no intellectual standards any more. Yes, it is true that deviant sexual practices are a fact of human existence. It is also true that, from an intellectual point of view, they are boring as shit. Literally. Human feces is also a fact of human existence. Maybe Northwestern should sponsor a class where students can do a number two on stage and take turns pawing through it. It would be as "educationally valid" as turning a Northwestern classroom into a Tijuana sex show.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Stop The Contest...

...Someone is going to get hurt.

Iowahawk not being funny:

Please pardon this brief departure from my normal folderol, but every so often a member of the chattering class issues a nugget of stupidity so egregious that no amount of mockery will suffice. Particularly when the issuer of said stupidity holds a Nobel Prize.

Case in point: Paul Krugman. The Times' staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:

And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.

Similarly, The Economist passes on what appears to be the cut-'n'-paste lefty factoid du jour:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.

The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn't complete bullshit.

Go read the whole thing, but I'll tell you right now, he's 100% right. One would have to be morally and intellectually bankrupt to argue the reverse, which explains why Krugman does so.

I Think I Understand The Obama Admin's Approach To The Libyan Crisis

They seem to be hoping it just goes away.

I simply said I understand it. I never said I didn't think it was idiotic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011