Archive for January, 2010

Biased BBC slices, dices and chops the Beeb

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

The Beeb has put up this piece of chicanery, Why do people often vote against their own interests? which pretends to explain why us plebes don’t see the light and embrace the Obama agenda.

Leave it to the folks at Biased BBC blog to slice, dice, and chop them to smithereens,
Those crazy Republicans explained: a BBC bias masterclass. For instance, the Beeb’s political scientist says,

It might be tempting to put the whole thing down to what the historian Richard Hofstadter back in the 1960s called “the paranoid style” of American politics, in which God, guns and race get mixed into a toxic stew of resentment at anything coming out of Washington.

Biased BBC counters,

Admire the ju-jitsu with which the author gives us a pleasing whiff of paranoia by warning about that scary toxic stew of right wing paranoia which has been bubbling poisonously in the background for decades.

Go read the rest, and check out the comments, too.

On the GOP governor primary in Texas

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

GM Roper has an article on the goings-on in Texas, Heavyweight Showdown in Texas GOP Primary for Governor

A popular U.S. senator and an incumbent governor headline a close race, but a feisty conservative activist is gaining ground.

Among the contenders,

Last but by no means least is the most conservative of the bunch, Debra Medina. A Republican Party activist and the former Wharton County Republican Party chair, as well as the former state coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty, Medina is an admitted long shot, but she has seemingly pushed an awful lot of the right buttons with her share of likely voters

Medina, “the most conservative of the bunch”… but wait, don’t the Democrats claim that anyone of Spanish surname (be it by marriage or by descent) belongs to them?

Stossel & Fumento on the swine flu hysteria

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

John Stossel has an article on Swine Flu Hysteria which points out what Michael Fumento has been saying all along:

Michael Fumento writes that the facts on swine flu hardly live up to the months of hype

What Michael has been saying is,

Hidden within the latest edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
FluView was this sentence: “The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was below the epidemic threshold”…

You may recall all those additional deaths we were supposed to suffer as a result of swine flu – 30,000 to 90,000, according to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (a number I previously disputed)…

But like New Zealand and Australia, the United States can actually expect considerably fewer overall flu deaths because of the swine flu…

Only 161 new infections were reported to CDC-monitored labs last week, compared to 11,470 at the epidemic’s mid-October peak.

Michael adds,

in addition to the usual bureaucratic desire for growth in power and budget, the WHO was seeking to cover its tracks for an earlier hysteria – that of avian flu. Moreover, it has been remarkably open (Even if I’m the only one to report on it) about seeking to exploit swine flu to engineer hard-left political change including the redistribution of wealth between countries and instituting “social justice.”

That‘s what the fuss is really about.

The real beauty queens coming to your flight?

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

At Public Secrets,

According to Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali of the Gaza Islamic University, beauty contests are yet another part of the eternal Western plot against Islam. The true beauty queen, according to Cousin Itt Dr. Al-Ramali, is the “jihad mother” who waits patiently while her menfolk blow themselves up or otherwise get themselves killed trying to murder Jews

In other news, Terrorists ‘plan attack on Britain with bombs INSIDE their bodies’ to foil new airport scanners

an operation by MI5 has uncovered evidence that Al Qaeda is planning a new stage in its terror campaign by inserting ‘surgical bombs’ inside people for the first time.

A leading source added that male bombers would have the explosive secreted near their appendix or in their buttocks, while females would have the material placed inside their breasts in the same way as figure-enhancing implants.

Experts said the explosive PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate) would be placed in a plastic sachet inside the bomber’s body before the wound was stitched up like a normal operation incision and allowed to heal.

A shaped charge of 8oz of PETN can penetrate five inches of armour and would easily blow a large hole in an airliner.

Security sources said the explosives would be detonated by the bomber using a hypodermic syringe to inject TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide) through their skin into the explosives sachet.

Of course a body cavity search will be useless, but rest assured that the general public will be subjected to them.

China and Obama

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

China’s strident tone raises concerns among Western governments, analysts

China’s indignant reaction to the announcement of U.S. plans to sell weapons to Taiwan appears to be in keeping with a new triumphalist attitude from Beijing that is worrying governments and analysts across the globe.

From the Copenhagen climate change conference to Internet freedom to China’s border with India, China observers have noticed a tough tone emanating from its government, its representatives and influential analysts from its state-funded think tanks.

Calling in U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the United States would be responsible for “serious repercussions” if it did not reverse the decision to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, minesweepers and communications gear. The reaction came even though China has known for months about the planned deal, U.S. officials said.

“There has been a change in China’s attitude,” said Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a former senior National Security Council official who is currently at the Brookings Institution. “The Chinese find with startling speed that people have come to view them as a major global player. And that has fed a sense of confidence.”

Maybe so, but having a putz in the White House as Commander in Chief doesn’t help things:

And about the emerging hegemon that is mounting attacks against us each and every hour of each and every day? There was not one word on the most extensive and continuous attempt to intrude into our computers, disrupt electronic infrastructure and steal technology and information. The president had exactly two things to say about China: “There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products,” followed by “Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy.”

Actually the Chinese are not reforming, restructuring or revamping their economy, though the U.S. should make better trains. Nonetheless we needed to hear more about the country that is supposed to replace the U.S. as the global superpower in 10 years’ time, the nation his administration says is essential to the solution of every major global problem.

Maybe he thought we would not notice or would not care that he neglected China in the State of the Union. But Obama’s failure to address the challenges posed by that nation and by others sends a chilling message to America’s allies and friends. While the global community faces daunting tasks, Obama devoted almost all of his address to swaying a domestic audience and to scoring points against Republicans.

This is only the beginning, folks.

Jules’s Adolescent Angst-Free Curriculum

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Jules Crittenden has come up with a great idea, the Adolescent Angst-Free Curriculum

I’m thinking a kid could get his or her thoughts provoked, learn about things worth angsting over, how deal with a lot of angst and alienation issues in a practical way just like bbmoe said, without wallowing in a lot of “I hate my parents” and victimhood culture.

He starts with Romeo and Juliet, and his curriculum includes the Zeffirelli film

With the 1968 Olivia Hussey flick. I recall finding her dumbstrikingly hot when I saw it in class at age 15. I could sit around listening to “prithees” and “forsooths” and convoluted Elizabethan gobbledegook all day. Haven’t seen the newer R&J remakes, but if they don’t have a pole-axingly, gobsmackingly hot Juliet, it’s a waste of time.

I have fond memories of the film, about which I posted three years ago, so here’s the original trailer.

In addition to the list of books Jules proposes for the Adolescent Angst-Free Curriculum, I would add John Glasworthy’s Indian Summer of a Forsyte, which is part of The Forsyte Saga, and Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Wortle’s School.

What would you suggest for an Adolescent Angst-Free Curriculum?

The start of the Dark Ages in Venezuela

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

A thousand words in one picture:

012910_claw

The caption reads,

This image, widely circulated online, adorned the front page of El Nacional, a leading Venezuelan newspaper. The original caption reads, in translation, “National Guardsmen suppressing the students in Maracaibo and other state capitals showed a new yet primitive weapon: a thick chain with hooks capable of tearing and doing serious damage to those attacked.”

H/t Joe Lima

Who makes these weapons? Are they imported, or are they a Hugolandia exclusive?

Today’s editorial at the Wall Street Journal, The Chávez Meltdown
There’s a lot of ruin in Venezuela.

UPDATE, Sunday 31 January
How many forms of torture can you count in this picture?

Love the Garmin!

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Some people have amazing skills. They can wrap any odd-shaped present to look like a thing of beauty. They can craft a stack of old photos, colored paper and lettering into a beautiful scrapbook. They can bake cookies that will delight you aesthetically and digestively. And they have a sense of direction.

Alas, not I.

The first three skills are not particularly important, but I can not find my way out of a paper bag. I get lost so often I simply allow extra time to get anywhere. It happens so often it doesn’t even bother me.

Behold the Garmin!

My first experience with the Garmin was when a friend of mine (let’s call her D) and I were heading to a mutual friend’s home. D had her Garmin on and it directed us, or should I say, cajoled us, to the correct place without a hitch. Considering that the location was several miles away in a suburb with many turns, I was impressed at the ease and simplicity.

Later on I rode as a passenger in other friends’ cars and they, too, had GPS gadgets which got us there in no time.

While I lack crafts skills, I love gadgets. Gadgets do cool things and all you have to do is plug them. Good.

By now, I saw the advantages to owning a GPS gadget.

Then recently I got lost (as I normally do) trying to get to someone’s house, and decided to take the plunge and get a Garmin. No, I didn’t check Consumers’ Reports or anyone. I just drove myself to Best Buy – mercifully I had been there enough times that I could get there without getting lost – and got the Garmin on display on the aisle.

Bought the Garmin, and been using it for the past week. Love it! Did not get lost once in the entire week.

However, I switched the female voice – “Barbara”, to the British male voice – “Daniel.” “Barbara” sounds like she’s nagging when she insists that you TURN RIGHT or TURN LEFT, tetchy when you’re approaching an intersection, and downright bitter when you take a different route forcing her to go into RECALCULATING mode.

“Daniel” keeps his cool, aloof tone all throughout. Not sure why they call him “Daniel.” Instead, he sounds a lot like this guy,

extra-c3po

However, maybe “Daniel” is named after C3PO’s voice, Anthony Daniels.

Either way, it’s nice to have him in the car.

Something you should know: Continuous chest compression

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The new CPR for heart attack patients,

Cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR) is a new approach to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that has been shown to improve rates of neurologically intact survival by 250%–300% over the approach advocated by the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines.

Call 911, and then do 100 compressions per minute until the EMS gets there:

Chris Matthews, deconstructed by the Daily Show

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Chris Matthews Wednesday night,

The Daily Show last night,