January 27, 2011

Quick Takes, January 27, 2011

ITEM: In the “oh man, is this cool or what?” department, the US Navy has transformed promising theory into more promising reality by successfully testing the proof of concept hardware for the Free Electron Laser (FEL) program at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. This could be an enormous step forward over current laser technology which requires either enormous quantities of chemicals or huge electric generating plants to produce beams of sufficient power and range. According to the Navy, a FEL laser can be adapted to deal with cloud cover, precipitation or humidity, all significant issues for any ship-born system. The research team expects to have a full power prototype, capable of instantly shooting targets out of the sky by 2018. Godspeed and hurry up.

ITEM: Here we go again. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) took office promising to, once and for all, produce indisputable proof that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. However Abercrombie has not been able to produce the actual, long form birth certificate. According to Dr. Jerome Corsi on WorldNetDaily (story here), Abercrombie said the issues will have “political implications for the 2012 election that we simply cannot have.” So has he produced the birth certificate? Not quite. He said that to date, only some sort of unspecified “listing” or “notation” of Obama’s birth has been located in the Hawaii Department of Health archives. Abercrombie said “It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down.” Uh huh. We don’t want to reignite another birther outbreak, but wait: Abercrombie has done that himself, and who can’t produce their own birth certificate anyway? Sheesh.

UPDATE: Now Gov. Abercrombie’s office has announced that his quest for the holy birth certificate will end in failure. Apparently the Gov. has discovered that state law prevents the release of such records--if they exist--without the approval of the individual involved. This raises several questions: Why can’t/won’t Mr. Obama authorize the release and end this issue once and for all? Why did the Gov. Bring this up in the first place? Didn’t someone on his staff have a clue about privacy laws? And the most important question: What’s wrong with that guy? Were evil, Obama-hating right-wingers beaming anti-Obama rays into his brain when he wasn’t wearing his tinfoil hat? In any case, I’m sure this whole episode will clear up the birther issue...double sheesh.

UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: Four days later, here we go again, again. Journalist Mike Evans, a long time friend of Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, has now recanted his story that Abercrombie told him that he could not find Barack Obama’s original, long form birth certificate anywhere in Hawaii records (here). Evans now claims that he never spoke to Abercrombie and that he “misspoke.” Good grief. How do you make a mistake about whether you actually spoke to someone? Either you did or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you have nothing to say about what they said. And why was Abercrombie foozling around for weeks making repeated statements about what appeared to be an epic quest to try to find something that should have taken a single phone call and a 10 minute records search to locate? And people wonder why this issue won’t go away. One could easily be forgiven for thinking that Abercrombie and Evans were “persuaded” to recant and shut up. That is certainly a standard and often used Obamite tactic. I’m no birther, but Mr. Obama has the power--always has had it--to make this go away at will by producing the genuine article for verification by an independent authority. That he continues to keep so much of his past tightly under wraps only contributes to this continuing rodeo. Yee-hah!

ITEM: Who says that Obama Foreign policy hasn’t accomplished anything except derailing the Middle East Peace Process? From the Seattle Times, during the State visit of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, the White House announced the dramatic signing of a new deal for the sale of 200 Boeing civilian airliners worth 19 billion to China. Hope! Change! Smart Diplomacy! Economic progress! Not so much. The actual deal involves already secured orders from as far back as 2007 during the--gasp!--Bush Administration. And 19 billion is only the window sticker price. The Chinese will actually pay only about 11 billion for the aircraft. But other than giving a completely false impression of competence and economic foreign policy acumen, the White House press release was, as Dan Rather surely would have put it, “false but accurate.”

ITEM: And in other feckless foreign policy news, what concessions were “smart diplomacy” and “outreach” able to wring from the Chinese during Hu Jintao’s state visit? None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Dick and Squat. To be fair, the US is in a poor position to demand anything of China due to two years of smart economics, but that--like bad weather, bad breath, indigestion, global warning and acne--is, of course, George W. Bush’s fault. Ooops! No, sorry! These days it’s Sarah Palin’s fault! Former NYT columnist Leslie Gelb thinks this a stunning success. She writes: “On the plus side, Obama restored much of America’s credibility for being tough and serious that he had lost in Bejing a year ago. That’s important and will count as problems arise in the next two years.” Well thank goodness! And I thought Mr. Obama was simply incompetent. Silly me.

ITEM: And the hits just keep on coming! Via The Epoch Times, via Ann Althouse (here), at the White House state dinner honoring Hu Jintao, Chinese pianist Lang Lang (I didn’t know Pandas could play the piano!) played a Chinese propaganda song from the Korean War era that insults America. Ms. Althouse quoted Yang Jingduan, a Chinese psychiatrist now living in Philadelphia who had been a doctor in the chinese military: “In the eyes of all Chinese, this will not be seen as anything other than a big insult to the U.S....It’s like insulting you in your face and you don’t know it, it’s humiliating...” Does anyone at the Obama State Department know anything about, you know, affairs of state? Oh well. At least it’s clear that while the Chinese have no respect for us or fear of us, we make up for it by being seen as a paper tiger.

ITEM: Like a swarm of well dressed locust, more than 200 mayors have descended on Washington famished for federal bailouts, and have apparently been given at least the hope of stripping bare juicy taxpayer crops. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said they had a “great meeting” with Mr. Obama. “What was clear to me, this is a president who is focused on our cities,” he chortled. Uh, am I missing something, or aren’t these the same mayors whose lunatic progressive policies have flushed their cities down the fiscal commode? Give thanks, dear readers, that the entire Congress is no longer controlled by the Progressives. Were that the case, the mayors would be installing money pipelines directly to DC. Truly, we live in--as the ancient Chinese curse goes--interesting times.

iTEM: And the winners of January’s Captain Louis Renault Award are: The U.S., Russia, France, England, Germany and China, the six powers negotiating with Iran to convince the mad mullahs to stop uranium enrichment. The talks collapsed on January 22 when Iran said: “nanner, nanner nanner,” while simultaneously sticking out its tongue while inserting its thumbs in its ears and wiggling its fingers. Captain Louis Renault, for those not familiar with “Casa Blanca,” was the policeman who was “shocked, shocked” to discover illegal gambling going on in Rick’s Place, just before his gambling winnings were delivered to him.

ITEM: According to MSN, Marc Higgins, 21, of Connecticut has been charged with murder and assault after stabbing Mathew Walton, 21, to death, and stabbing three others, apparently at random. Higgins was angered at a party when some present made fun of his farting. Yes, farting. He left and returned with two knives and began attacking people indiscriminately. According to the Hartford Courant, Higgins told police that he wanted to teach people that they shouldn’t “trifle” with him. No doubt Higgins was inspired by Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Republicans trying to repeal ObamaCare, the Tea Party and those guys selling Ginsu knives on late night TV. The usual suspects will surely introduce a bill to limit the number of blades and accessories available in Swiss Army knives. I’ve always been worried about the destructive potential of those little toothpick thingies. I do have one pertinent question: How is it possible to have killed or injured anyone without a 30 round magazine? I don’t get it...

ITEM: So Sarah Palin is unelectable? She’s inexperienced, she’ name it, as long as it’s derogatory. It doesn’t take much reading of the Founders to discover that they well knew that a professional political class could arise--and would be a disaster. They hoped that our elected representatives would come from the general public, serve their limited time in the Congress, and return to real lives. How then could anyone be elected to Congress without massive prior experience? By an examination of their character and reputations which tends to help to predict future actions. Interesting, isn’t it, that we’ve become what the Founders feared. By any reasonable standard, they might well have admired a self-made, accomplished, intelligent, strong and successful candidate for national office, a doer, not one to vote “present” to avoid political footprints. And she’s the one who is unelectable... Sigh.

ITEM: A group of 13 Somali pirates in control of a Norwegian-owned ship run by South Koreans off the east coast of Africa received a wake up call from South Korean Naval Special Forces on Jan 21. The operators rescued the 21 man crew, killed eight pirates and captured five. So should it ever be. Congratulations to the South Korean government and to all involved.

ITEM: In the positive negative trends corner, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that labor union membership has dropped from 12.3% of the workforce to 11.9 in 2010. Of 14.7 million union members, 7.6 million are in the public sector. At one time, unions achieved necessary, even noble ends, but those days have long since passed and most unions now exist as greedy, corrupt arms of the Democrat party, arms that have materially contributed to the fiscal plight of many cities and states. With the possibility of doing away with secret ballot elections for union certification now a distant memory, unions justifiably continue to recede into oblivion. While I have no animosity toward hard working Americans (I are one), unionized or otherwise, it’s hard to feel anything but relief at these statistics.

ITEM: The State of The Union Pep Rally and Insomnia Cure! For my article on that epic event--or whatever it was--go here.

ITEM: Well, that sucks! According to Fox News, a 44-year old New Zealand woman made her way to the emergency department of an Auckland hospital complaining of a loss of movement in her left arm. Doctors traced the problem to a hickey on her neck near a major artery and concluded that the suction effect of the hickey bruised the artery, dislodging a clot which caused a minor stroke. The doctors administered an anti-coagulant and the woman recovered. Who’da thunk it? Mom was right about hickeys after all!

And on that warm and fuzzy note, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next time!

Posted by MikeM at January 27, 2011 12:13 AM