April 13, 2011

Quick Takes, April 13, 2011

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What? Department: From Fox News (here) comes news of a GPS guided mortar round already entering service in Afghanistan. This innovation promises much greater precision at the lower levels of our order of battle, giving our ground troops a much greater margin of effectiveness and safety. Greatest nation in the history of the world? Discuss.

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What II? Department: We’ve previously reported on US Navy research into a practical ship-bourn laser weapon, but the first practical test has been completed. Go here for a video and story. For the first time, a lower powered laser fired at a moving target, a mile distant, in four-foot seas set the engines ablaze within seconds. Very cool indeed. Work is underway on a massively more powerful free electron laser that promises to be able to more or less instantly swat missiles from the sky in all weather conditions. As you watch the video, remember that lasers do not produce a visible beam, ala Star Trek and Star Wars.

ITEM: In the Same Old, Same Old, Department, Instapundit (here) reports on a trip by Mr. Obama to a wind turbine plant where he said there is nothing he can do in the short term to effect gasoline prices. When someone in the audience complained about high gas prices, Mr. Obama suggested that he trade in his car for one that gets better mileage. Uh, Mr. Obama? Saying that drilling for oil is useless because it will take several years to get production up to speed doesn’t work anymore. It’s several years later and gas is climbing rapidly to $5.00 a gallon. Oh yes, and because of your economic debacle, most folks can’t afford new cars, especially if they cost $41,000 like your Chevy Volt wonder greeniemobile. The best part is that the story by the AP, which originally reported on this issue has since been sanitized and rewritten to squelch Mr. Obama’s haughtily offensive suggestion to his questioner. Good to know our mainstream media is looking out for the interests of the public by not worrying their pretty little heads with Mr. Obama’s condescension and economic cluelessness.

ITEM: Well, it’s final. The United States Congress and Mr. Obama have agreed to cut: Wait for it...$38.5 billions dollars! That’s right, almost nothing at all. Visit John Hinderaker’s piece at Powerline (here) for his take on this non-event which staved off a government shutdown. I’m still not sure why that would be a bad thing. Anyway, Hinderaker has a balanced, rational outlook on this issue, and the Ramirez cartoon, like so much of his work, is a classic, though sure to provoke cries of “RACIST!” All the more reason to view it like the good little racists all those who disagree with Mr. Obama are.

ITEM: According to the LA Times (here), the White House is worried that rising gas prices could derail Mr. Obama’s reelection hopes. Ya think? What to do? They’re arranging a series of opportunities for Mr. Obama to give teleprompter readings! They’re going to give him the opportunity to reassure the public that he has a plan to lower prices, which have risen 30% in the last year. Ah! That explains why he’s telling people worried about high gas prices to buy more fuel efficient cars! That’ll convince folks, won’t it? Discuss.

ITEM: Continuing Tales Of The Religion Of Peace Department: Peaceful Palestinians hit an Israeli school bus with a peaceful anti-tank missile on April 7, seriously wounding a 16 year old boy and the bus driver. Fortunately. Most of the kids got off the bus only minutes earlier. And these are the people with whom President Obama reflexively sides? Sigh. Yes, they are. Go here for the whole story.

ITEM: Blasts From The Past! Department: Go here for an interesting—and sobering—analysis of our fiscal problem by former Reagan budget guru David Stockman. Yes, it is as bad as you think it is, and worse.

ITEM: In the bad old days of the Cold War, and even today, Communist regimes always talk about “The People’s” this and “The People’s” that. It is part of the inherent propaganda of communism, and an essential part of the big lie that communist governments care for their people. Mao cared so much that he killed, arguably, 100 million of his “the people.” Congressional Democrats have produced their own budget outline, and the most amazing coincidence! They’re calling it “The People’s Budget.” Anyone who is not offended—and deeply concerned—by this, knows nothing of history or of communism, or worse, is very well aware. Go here to read the whole thing. Notice that they are not afraid to tell “the people” that they intend to reduce our strategic capabilities—to greatly decrease our ability to defend ourselves and others. To what has Barack Obama—The One--brought us?

ITEM: Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-State of Incoherence) recently delivered a speech (here) wherein she observed that in 1994 Republicans were elected to defund the National Endowment of the Arts, but in 2010, they were elected to “kill women.” Uh…what?! Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Democrat representatives! (cue laugh track and rim shot)

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Millennium: Yes, those peaceful humanitarians of Iran are at it again. The world was recently shocked, shocked! to discover yet another previously unknown nuclear facility where the Iranians were producing centrifuge parts--according to them--for purely peaceful purposes, of course. Read the whole thing here. I’m shocked, shocked! that Mr. Obama’s smart diplomacy and serious sanctions don’t appear to be having any effect on the peaceful theocratic lunatics who run Iran and export peaceful terror around the globe. Perhaps if Mr. Obama gives another teleprompter reading to the Muslim world?

ITEM: Uh, Who Are The Children Here? Via Fox News (here), a football coach in San Diego attacked and seriously injured a man when he thought he overheard the man trying to recruit one of his players. The players were 9, 10 and 11 years old. “Get a life” comes to mind...

ITEM: Drinkin’ Good In the Neighborhood! A 15 month old toddler in a Michigan Applebee’s began to act strangely. His mother found that what she thought was apple juice was actually margarita mix. The manager of the Applebee’s called it “unacceptable.” Well, yeah. Go here for the story. LATE UPDATE: Apparently the kiddie was served booze due to a labeling mixup. Applebees plans to dispense all juices in sealed, individual containers from now on. Good idea.

ITEM: At Hot Air (here) Jazz Shaw has an article on the incredible self-delusion of progressives who cannot imagine why the Tea Party and it’s obviously stupid, horribly flawed ideals is, well, kicking their butts. Shaw takes a bit of vicarious pleasure in their misery. It’s worth reading to provide a bit of insight into what passes for thinking in progressive circles, but do not, gentle reader, begin your victory dance just yet. Thus far, we have only saved or slightly hindered a tiny portion of an ever-expanding and still out of control budget and bureaucracy. We’ve successfully fired the first signal flare in what will certainly be a very long and bitterly fought war. The live ammunition has not yet begun to fly.

ITEM: The “We’re Doing WHAT?!” Department: The Obama Administration, mired in the worst debt crisis in American, nay, in world history, is going to spend $20 million to: Wait for it...remake Sesame Street in Pakistan! There just aren’t words... Some are apparently saying, “hey, it’s only $20 million...” I dunno. Seems like a lot of money to me regardless of what it’s for. Why, I’d bet that if you started saving 20 million here and 20 million there, eventually, it would add up to some real money! Go here if you have the stomach.

ITEM: Newsmax (here) has a story on the never-ending fun in Wisconsin. As you may recall, Wisconsin Supreme Court hopeful JoAnn Kloppenburg, who all but promised to be a partisan progressive rubber stamp, declared victory with a 200+ vote margin. Then, miracle of miracles, some 15,00 uncounted votes were discovered and incumbent Justice David Prosser was suddenly up by 7500 votes, which will most likely hold and be outside the trigger for a state-paid recount. How do we know this is likely an honest mistake rather than criminal vote fraud? Easy: It benefited a Republican. Gov. Scott Walker is vowing that unions won’t be able to cheat their way to victory. Wisconsin is becoming an endless source of entertainment, and I thought that all it had to recommend it was cheese hats.

ITEM: Say, wasn’t there some sort of trouble in one of those foreign places, like last week or so. You know, like, Venezlulu, or Nobukistan, or Libya maybe? Wasn’t it Libya or something like that? Go here for Mark Steyn’s take. Apparently the non-war with a non-battle plan for non-victory is going non-well under the non-inspired non-guidance of our non-Commander-In-Chief. What a non-relief!

ITEM: Remember the multiple injunctions issued by Judge Sumi in Wisconsin on behalf of the unions? Go here to find out, specifically, why everything she did was illegal under Wisconsin law. But hey, what’s a little thing like breaking the law when public sector union pocketbooks are at risk? It’s all about the money. It always was.

ITEM: Are you a state laboring under oppressive DOJ interference? Want to take on the Holder DOJ and not only win, but kick its nether regions a considerable distance down the road? Visit here to find out how. There may be justice in the world after all.

ITEM: Even in the People’s Democrat Republic of Illinois, it seems, some sanity may yet exist. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan, determined to release the names of law-abiding gun owners to the press, has been temporarily restrained by the Illinois House which passed a bill to keep those names—remind me again why any state should be collecting the names of gun owners?—private. Go here for the whole mess.

ITEM: Signs of the Apocalypse Department: From Fox News (here) comes the tale of a man and woman who robbed a lemonade stand, taking $150 that three girls had raised for charity. The woman was arrested but the man is still at large. What, I wonder, besides lengthy prison terms, would be an appropriate punishment? Mandatory lemon sucking for life?

ITEM: Harry Reid Follies Redux: In this space, we’ve criticized Sen. Harry Reid (D-State of Delusion) for weeping over the coming cowboy poetry apocalypse. The New York Times (here), of all places (Yeeeha! Git along, little urban doggies!) has a sympathetic article on the topic. Paul Zarzyski, a cowboy poet said:

“A lot of art forms at first brush might sound peculiar,” he said. “After you learn a little bit about them and the people who perform them, you find out that they are as significant as any kind of art forms. Cowboy poetry comes out of a culture that most people don’t understand. Most of that criticism is urban and uninformed.”

Not really, Paul. We suburban, informed types just don’t believe that money falls out of the back of chuck wagons, and if it’s a choice between, for example, ammunition for our troops or, well, cowboy poetry, we’ll go for the most bang for the buck anytime.

ITEM: And You Wonder Why Public Education Get A Bad Reputation? Department: From Michelle Malkin (here) comes the story of a Chicago elementary school where the principal has decided she knows better than parents and has enacted a nanny-state policy to protect them from themselves. The policy? Kids can’t bring lunch from home; they have to eat cafeteria food. Unsurprisingly, a great many kids choose to eat nothing at all rather than the wonderfully nutritious and tasty choices provided on the school menu. Isn’t forcing kids to eat school food a violation of the Geneva Conventions? Perhaps a violation of the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment? Where are the human rights types when you need them? Oh, the humanity!

ITEM: Cruzin! Department: I’ve been taking General (Government) Motors to task of late for wasting taxpayer dollars, primarily with the Chevy Volt. Now, from the Wall Street Journal (here), comes news of some minor difficulties with another Chevy offering: The Cruze, which is the new small car on which Chevy is basing a significant part of its post-bailout fortunes. Apparently the proud owner of a new Cruze was making a turn and the steering wheel broke off in their hands. Boy, that’s winning the future! Chevy has issued a recall (good idea!) and said that they will fix the problem for free (that’s big of them). Hmm. Have they asked Mr. Obama about that? He’ll probably want a repair tax added. Your taxpayer dollars at work!

ITEM: Do you remember when Mr. Obama was a senator way back in 2008, a senator taking gratuitous shots at Mr. Bush for high gas prices and for having the unbelievably high unemployment rate of 5.5%? Yeah, well, Mr. Obama would like you to forget that. After all, 10% functional unemployment and gas prices shooting toward $5.00 per gallon aren’t his fault and he can’t do anything about it anyway! That’s right, the man who could stop the rise of the seas and heal the planet is helpless! Read more at Powerline, here.

ITEM: Libya Update: Kaddafi is still in power, the war continues, our planes are still withdrawn, the French say that NATO isn’t enough, and Mr. Obama—like any semblance of American leadership or resolve—is absent. Hmm. Doesn’t demonstrated weakness and irresolution encourage tribal, Islamist barbarians? But hey, we’re winning the future! Or something...

ITEM: Further News From The Religion Of Peace Department: According to Reuters, as reported in the Jerusalem Post (here), Iran has announced plans to build “four our five” new nuclear reactors “in the next few years.” Iran plans to use these reactors for research and to produce medical radioisotopes. Suuuuuuure they do. One wonders what kind of sanctions Mr. Obama will want to impose when the first Iranian nuc goes off in Israel or America. No doubt it is only smart diplomacy that has prevented Iran for already having a bomb—maybe.

ITEM: And speaking of energy, the Washington Examiner (here) reports that America has the largest reserves of untapped energy on the entire planet. Exploiting those resources would greatly increase energy supplies while greatly lowering costs, and none of this exploitation would cost a single taxpayer dollar. So let’s see if I have this straight: We have the means, at no cost to the taxpayer, to immediately stimulate the economy, greatly increase the number of solid, long-term jobs, reduce our dependence on energy from hostile foreign suppliers, increase our national security, lower prices on just about everything, and to help to pay down the budget deficit. So of course, Mr. Obama is vehemently opposed, despite his rhetoric to the contrary. Is that about it? Thought so.

ITEM: So what does the hard Left think about budget cuts? Visit a column by Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post (here) to get a glimpse into the cobwebbed recesses of the liberal brain. An example: “There’s no question who won last week’s showdown. The outcome — nearly $40 billion in painful cuts — goes well beyond the GOP’s initial demands.” To Robinson, $40 billion cut from a multi-trillion dollar deficit is painful and unreasonable. Basically, liberals actually appear to believe that the Federal Government is not nearly large enough and that it is not possible to cut even a penny from the budget, unless, of course, it comes directly out of the defense budget. That we can cut, no problem. The article is certainly informative, but probably not as Mr. Robinson intended.

ITEM: From Fox News (here) comes news of The California Federation of Teachers which has passed a resolution renewing its support for convicted Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal has long been a liberal icon, despite overwhelmingly conclusive evidence of his guilt, including multiple eye witnesses, his possession of the gun used to kill the officer, and a bullet fired by the officer he killed recovered from his own personal body. Despite all of this, he has become a liberal symbol of the racism and injustice of the system. Power to the people, right on! One might be forgiven for wondering what business a teacher’s union might have dealing with an issue like this—particularly where the object of their affections is so utterly loathsome--but then again, what business does a teacher’s union have being a subsidiary of and fund raiser for the Democrat party?

ITEM: Louis Renault Award for March: Remember all the mainstream media news stories about the Iranian cargo plane forced to land in Turkey by Turkish fighters in March? Remember the international outrage when it was discovered that the plane carried 600 kilos of explosives, mortars, assault rifles, rocket launchers and about $560 million in cash, all bound for Hezbollah through Syria? You don’t? I’m shocked, shocked! that you didn’t. Well, maybe not so much. Google the event and you’ll discover much Israeli and internet coverage, but otherwise? After all, all of those goodies were only destined to kill Israelis, you know, Jews. It only had the potential to inflame an entire region of strategic interest to the United States. Why would that be news? Oh, right! It would embarrass Mr. Obama. Go here for the rest.

ITEM: Remember how Obamites postulated that once ObamaCare was a fait accompli, everyone would find out what was in it and just love it up one side and down the other? Reality, fortunately, is not quite so sanguine. According to a recent AP poll (here), only 35% support ObamaCare, which is almost tied with the low of 34% during the season of entertaining town hall meetings, during which many Democrats were nearly tarred, feathered and run out of town on rails. How’s that hope and change workin’ out for yah?

ITEM: In the “Oh Goody” Department, comes the news (here) that the Magma pocket under Yellowstone National Park’s super volcano is likely far larger than had been previously suspected. The last eruption, which was about 600,000 years ago, blanketed much of North American was a thick blanket of ash. According to scientists, a super eruption occurs about once every 600,000 years…uh-oh…

ITEM: Continuing with the unceasing tradition of public employee labor union altruism and civic-mindedness, the California Teacher’s association (here) has budgeted one million dollars for protests against upcoming cuts to education in a state that is about ready, economically speaking, to slide off the map into the Pacific any day now. Among the tactics they’ve posted on their website:

“Follow targeted legislators for the entire day.”

“Have students and parents camp in front of schools all night.’

And my personal favorite:

“Work with organization[sic] like Ben & Jerry to have them create a labor-union flavored ice cream that can be sold at the rallies and in stores.”

Like what, exactly, would mouth-watering “labor-union flavored ice cream” taste? Would that be anything like “environmental-activist flavored ice cream?” The mind boggles. Discuss.

Mark Twain was right: Truth is stranger than fiction. And on that somewhat disquieting note, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at April 13, 2011 08:20 PM

im guessing labor union flavor is flavored using sweaty shirts from fat thugs who collect paychecks they didnt earn while threatening women who dont want how they voted to be public.

side note, why the heck is my having my blog addy in the url box questionable content? really guys, deal with that

Posted by: rumcrook at April 13, 2011 11:23 PM

@rumcrock , I assume labor union flavored ice cream tastes like the bottom of your shoes after walking through the Wisconsin Statehouse.

Once again, fantastic Quick Takes! Keep up the great work.

Tarheel Repub Out!

Posted by: Tarheel Repub at April 14, 2011 12:23 PM

GPS mortar rounds and lasers?
I think I just wet myself.

Now all we need is Rules of Engagement that allow us to use our tech to destroy their asses.

Posted by: Stretch at April 14, 2011 12:35 PM

The ice-cream would obviously taste like assholes and picket signs. Obama can have my share.

Posted by: Marty at April 14, 2011 01:18 PM

Ref the GPS mortar rounds, son's in an artillery unit, and a few months back was telling me about the new-generation GPS-guided 155mm artillery shells. From what he said one of the big uses for them is counter-battery fire, because the gun doesn't have to line up precisely on the target location before firing. I can't remember the numbers offhand, but the gun can be an amazing number of degrees off-line from the target and the shell still guide to and hit.

Add this to the vehicle close-in defense system the Israelis have out, if they get the THEL working in the field we're going to have some armored unit calling themselves the Slammers.

Posted by: Firehand at April 15, 2011 12:41 PM