February 16, 2011

Quick Takes, February 17, 2011

ITEM: “Favorite Bedtime Stories From the Religion of Peace” department: The High Court of Bangladesh recently ordered district officials (here) to explain why they allowed a 14 year old rape victim to be whipped to death. Hena was raped by Mahbub, her 40-year-old relative. A day later, at a village arbitration, a fatwa (religious decree) for 100 lashes was issued. She lapsed into unconsciousness at 80 lashes and was rushed to a hospital where she died. Lord, grant Hena the mercy and peace she never found here and visit your justice on those who killed her.

ITEM: Peace In Our Time! During a meeting of the House Intelligence Committee on February 10, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the Muslim Brotherhood is “...a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence...” For those not up to date on the players of the Global Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are the intellectual and spiritual heirs of Sayyid Qutb, arguably the father of the modern Islamist movement. Suggesting that the MB is largely secular and non-violent is akin to suggesting that Fidel Castro is one of the foremost proponents of democracy and free market capitalism in the world. Have I mentioned that Mr. Clapper is Mr. Obama’s primary source of intelligence?

UPDATE! A few hours after his dog and pony show, Mr. Clapper’s underlings more or less, sort of attempted to walk back his comments, a little, saying that he is “well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.” Have I mentioned that Mr. Clapper is the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America? Our country? Feeling safer?

ITEM: CIA director Leon Panetta announced that he obtained the information on Egypt he provided at the February 10 House Intelligence Committee hearing from media accounts. Media accounts? Like the NYT? CNN? The Daily Kos? Yup. Have I mentioned that Mr. Panetta is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency? Of the United States of America? Our country? Only the best and brightest are in charge.

ITEM: From Claudia Rosett writing at Pajamas Media (here). United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice was, at the same time things were exploding in Egypt, touring the West Coast to deliver a February 11th speech to the World Affairs Council (the what?!) in Portland. OR on “Why America Needs the United Nations.” Uh, isn’t Ms. Rice supposed to be representing America at the UN rather than representing the UN to America? And shouldn’t she be at the UN, doing, you know, like, diplomacy or something when the entire Middle East is in danger of more or less blowing up in our faces? Have I mentioned that Ms. Rice is the American Ambassador to the United Nations? The Ambassador of the United States of America? Our country? Ever feel like running into the nearest woods screaming “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”?

NOTE: To see how an American Ambassador to the UN who actually represents, you know, America, behaves, go here.

ITEM: During his State of The State Address, Texas Governor Rick Perry advocated that Texas Universities establish a $10,000, texts included, four-year college degree program (here). Cruelly taunting educrats, Perry said “It’s time for a bold, Texas-style solution to their challenge that I’m sure the brightest minds in their universities can devise.” Perry suggested that it might be done by means of online courses and “innovative teaching techniques.” That Perry! Academics offering an affordable, useful college education! What a jokester!

ITEM: Many years ago there was a commercial that urged people to lock their cars with a tag line something like “don’t help a good boy to go bad.” The public demanded that it be pulled, and it was. Why? Old fashioned as they were, the public back in the 1400’s realized that the issue was personal responsibility, the personal responsibility to resist temptation. Stealing cars wasn’t the fault of the car owner, but of the criminal who, you know, stole the car. Comes now Brenda Speaks, a Washington DC Ward 4 “Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner” (just what the heck is that?!), who opposes the construction of four WalMart stores in the area. Why does she oppose them? She feels that young people will be unable to resist shoplifting and will get criminal records that they otherwise would be able to avoid--due to the evil, impossible-to-resist tempting influence of WalMart, which will provide jobs, low cost goods and food, job training and insurance. Should anyone in DC be allowed to wear clothing? After all, young people might steal it and get criminal records! And we wonder why so many Democrat-controlled urban areas are third world snake pits. Actually, we really don’t, but if you’re reading this site, you know what I mean.

ITEM: President Obama submitted his 2013 budget on Monday, saying that it contains “tough choices and sacrifices.” Among its features are a claimed $1.1 trillion dollar savings over ten years. Unfortunately, over the same period, it would add at least $9 trillion to the debt while adding $1.65 trillion in the current fiscal year. It would also spend at least $3.73 trillion in the 2012 budget year. I would observe that spending far more than you save isn’t really saving at all, but when you’re in the land of fiscal unicorns and fairy dust, reality is--flexible. But wait! as they say on late night TV; there’s more! The bill also “saves” money and “cuts spending” by massively raising taxes! And more good news: absolutely vital programs such as high speed rail are fully funded! Act now and you’ll get not only a stratospherically higher deficit but obscenely higher taxes! Call 1-800-screwu! Bankruptcies limited to one per customer per day! Even some normally shameless Democrats are beginning to look a little red in the face over this one.

ITEM: Despite still owing the American people megabucks, General Motors is planning to pay some $189 million in profit-sharing to 48,000 hourly workers. This amounts to about $4000 each, which is far more than the then-record 1999 payout of $1,775 each at the height of the pickup and SUV boom, and this was paid out of GM’s profits, not the taxpayer’s pockets. Add some $200 million for salaried workers, most of which make more than $100,000 per year, for a total of nearly $400 million dollars--of taxpayer money. We still own 61% of GM, folks. So the new American mantra should be, work very little, drive your company into the ground, suck up to Marxist politicians, and you’ll be able to screw the public and benefit. It’s the new American way! Hope ! Change! Winning the future through screwing the present! Buy a Chevy Volt! We’ll even give you $7500 to do it! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

ITEM: IN NYC, a 23 year old man--he would like his name to be mentioned here--was arrested in a subway after a rampage during which he allegedly murdered four people and wounded several others--with a knife. The accused killer is said to have been enraged by his stepfather’s refusal to allow him to drive a Lexus. His response was to stab his stepfather to death, which apparently began the rampage. I’m confused. No gun? No “large capacity magazine?” No “assault weapon?” How was this possible? Was it an “assault knife?”

ITEM: A multitude of talking heads and politicians have expressed confusion over Mr. Obama’s foreign affairs behavior, most recently his utterly feckless and contradictory statements regarding Egypt, pronouncements that have not only been universally wrong, but damaging in every possible way. “But he’s the smartest man in any room! How can this be?” If he really is the smartest man in any room, if he really is the most magnificent POTUS in history, it can’t. If however, he is a small time, grossly overrated, thuggish, race-hustling, class-warfare provoking, narcissistic, socialist, wealth-redistributing, America-loathing community organizer then all manner of things make perfect sense. Discuss.

ITEM: As the story goes, on the eve of WWII a German General, conversing with a Swiss General, asked the Swiss what his 500,000 man militia would do if invaded by a 1,000,000 man German army. The Swiss General is reported to have calmly replied: “Shoot twice.” History records that Germany wisely chose to respect Swiss neutrality. No doubt Swiss terrain also played a role, but the Swiss General wasn’t kidding. Now comes the result of an emotional national debate over gun control in Switzerland, where fully automatic military weapons and ammunition are kept in most homes, and entire families frequently trot off for local weekend marksmanship competitions. Exit polls indicate the measure, which would have removed military weapons from homes, was rejected by at least 57% of the populace. And what about America? Shoot once? Discuss.

ITEM: According to Debra J. Saunders (here), on February 8th, the “Peace and Justice Commission” of Berkeley, CA recommended a resolution to the Berkeley City Council to invite “one or two cleared” Guantanamo Bay detainees to resettle in Berkeley. P & J Commissioner Rita Maran expressed the Commission’s intention was to invite “the kind of people you’d like to have living next door to you or dating your cousin.” Indeed. Particularly if you’d like the people next door beheaded or your cousin blown up. They don’t call it “Berzerkeley” for nothing, folks. Can you imagine a “Peace and Justice Commission” in your community, perhaps instead of a department of wastewater treatment or a street department? Discuss.

UPDATE: With four of its members voting an Obamian “present,” the Berzerkley Council declined to approve the resolution. Apparently the fact that federal law expressly prohibits any Gitmo inmates from ever entering the US was something of a sobering factor...

ITEM: From the Wall Street Journal, Via Doug Powers (here), who is reportedly not nearly as delightful, lovely or charming as Michelle Malkin, on whose site he posts, Al Gore’s recent pronouncements blaming recent fierce winter storms on global warming amount to so many moose droppings in the wilderness. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project, which is apparently staffed by competent, honest scientists, has been reexamining climate data from 1871 to the present to find out if more extreme weather patterns are--as climate alarmists and their computer models have repeatedly warned--increasing. Results thus far? No evidence of more-extreme weather patterns, in direct contradiction of alarmist computer models. Reportedly, some of the scientists involved are surprised by the results. Reportedly, the public is primarily surprised that a climate scientist would honestly report any result not approved for public consumption by the Goracle.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award! CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, during a hearing of the House Budget Committee, admitted to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) that ObamaCare will wipe out 800,000 jobs by 2021. The CBO is also now admitting that ObamaCare will not only not reduce the deficit, but worsen it. I’m shocked, shocked! to learn this. Mr. Obama promised that ObamaCare would not only dramatically reduce the deficit and create or save a multitude of (green) jobs, but would cure cancer, remove pimples, serve as a one-pill-per-lifetime form of Viagra, produce warp drive, time travel, a Star Trek transporter, and establish world peace. What gives?

ITEM: At the 2004 Democrat National Convention. Barack Obama delivered the speech that, in the language of Chicago, “made his (political) bones.” But, via Real Clear Politics (here), even then, Mr. Obama was a serious, sober, international statesman, focusing like a laser on matters of the greatest gravity. From Mr. Obama: “The most challenging problem was what tie to wear. And this went up to the very last minute. I mean, 10 minutes before we were about to go onstage, we were still having an argument about ties. I had brought five, six ties, and Michelle didn’t like any of them...And then somebody..turned and said, ‘you know what? What about Gibbs’ tie? That might look good.’ And frankly, Robert didn’t want to give it up because he thought he looked really good in the ties. But eventually he was willing to take one for the Gipper, and so he took off his tie, and I put it on, and that’s the tie I wore at the national convention.”

In fairness, this was apparently intended to be humorous, but let me just say, “Mr. Obama, I knew the Gipper. The Gipper was a friend of America. You’re no Gipper. And you’re still an empty suit no matter which tie you wear.”

ITEM: According to Gallup, unemployment now stands at 10.3%. “Official” government numbers put it at 9.7%. The recession seems to be pretty spry, particularly considering that its corner has been rounded, it had its back broken and it spent the entire summer of 2010 being “recovered.”

ITEM: Via The Telegraph (here)--and this is not a parody--the British police are warning citizens in an area stricken by burglaries of tool and garden sheds not to reinforce shed windows with wire mesh lest burglars hurt themselves and get compensation against homeowners from the British courts. In fact, this sort of thing has been happening in England for many years. No doubt, some politicians any of us could name would find this state of affairs to be desirable here. Britain was once one of the bright lights of civilization. Mr. Obama finds much to emulate in Britain, even as the British are finally realizing and admitting what a mess they’ve made of things.

iTEM: Subsidizing the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7,500 each, the Obama Administration is now going to subsidize the installation of charging stations (about $3000 each) in nine cities, including Austin, TX. Remember, please dear readers, that taxpayers own 61% of GM, so not only are we paying for other people’s cars, we’re going to pay for the hardware necessary to charge them! For my take on the Volt in particular and electric vehicles in general, go here and here. Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute noted “If they [the auto and power industries] could easily make money from it [electric vehicles] without a federal subsidy, they would be there. Obviously they don’t think there’s a big demand.” Considering electric vehicles cost much more than conventional vehicles, have a ridiculously short range and take as many as 12 hours to recharge, I simply can’t imagine why the demand isn’t stratospheric, but Obama knows best!

ITEM: Who says the Dems aren’t paying strict attention to the budget deficit? Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) are delivering substantial pressure to a pivotal figure to manifest an earth-shaking public good. That’s right, they’re pressuring Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, to ban smokeless tobacco in the game. No doubt this will not only create green jobs, but save the environment, reduce the deficit, and increase overall neatness and tidiness. I’m still not quite sure how high-speed rail fits in, but I’m Senator Durbin will get around to that eventually. Maybe the trains can burn chew?

ITEM: It occurred to me the other day, while reading about the Obama budget, that my mother taught me everything I ever needed to know about economics. Her wisdom, final and terrible in its application, is encapsulated in four words: “We can’t afford it.” Could it be as simple as merely applying these words to our economic issues? High-speed rail? We can’t afford it. ObamaCare? We can’t afford it; next item on the agenda? No oil drilling permits? We can’t afford it; start issuing them immediately. See? It works, just as it always did when Mom said it. Discuss.

ITEM: Thank God None Of Them Are Really Criminal Masterminds! Department: According to, a 16 year old burglar in Arlington Heights, Chicago killed all of the goldfish in the home of his victims because he didn’t want to leave any witnesses. Prosecutor: “Do you see the man who burglarized your home in the courtroom today?” Goldfish: “Glurg.” Prosecutor: “May the record reflect that the witness has identified the defendant, your honor?” Judge: “So ordered.” Defendant, leaping to his feet: “You dirty squealer! You’re gonna sleep with the fishes!” Judge: “You’re out of order!” Prosecutor: “Your Honor, he’s threatening the witness!” Defense Attorney: “Your honor, may the record reflect that the witness already sleeps with the fishes?” Goldfish: “Glurg.”

And on that encouraging note on the intellectual capacity of criminals, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at February 16, 2011 11:35 PM
A brewing scandal at the Department of Justice involving an illegal scheme to pad statistics on U.S. guns in Mexico threatens to erupt as U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee begins an investigation. ATF agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives--a DOJ agency--allegedly smuggled U.S. guns into Mexico in order to bolster the Department's disputed contention that Mexican drug cartels are armed primarily with U.S. guns. Whistleblowers within the ATF contend that one of the these guns was used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry in December of 2010.
Posted by: Neo at February 17, 2011 12:56 PM

Yeah, but a 22 sounds puny, doesn't kick, and generally makes your gun feel impotent.

Now plinkin with a 22 - built as a 22 - that's fun. Plinkin with a $1500 22 - that's silly. Thinking that shooting 22 longs will simulate shooting the 5.56 cartridge? priceless.

Posted by: Brian Tucker at February 17, 2011 10:59 PM