Archive for January, 2011

Electric cars, for those times you don’t have to get anywhere in a hurry

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I’ve never understood why electric cars are supposedly more energy efficient, since you have to recharge the battery by plugging into the power grid. However, one shouldn’t underestimate the value of a placebo in soothing the green conscience.

So go ahead and get an electric car; just don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere:
London to Edinburgh by electric car: it was quicker by stagecoach
The BBC’s stunt of taking an electric Mini to Edinburgh reveals just how impractical rechargeable cars are, writes Christopher Booker

In its obsessive desire to promote the virtues of electric cars, the BBC proudly showed us last week how its reporter Brian Milligan was able to drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh in a mere four days – with nine stops of up to 10 hours to recharge the batteries (with electricity from fossil fuels).

What the BBC omitted to tell us was that in the 1830s, a stagecoach was able to make the same journey in half the time, with two days and nights of continuous driving. This did require 50 stops to change horses, but each of these took only two minutes, giving a total stopping time of just over an hour and a half.

In case you don’t know, the distance from London to Edinbugh is 332 miles. In US terms that means can get from Princeton today and be in Akron, Ohio (364 miles) by Friday, but only if you leave right now.

Just make sure you don’t turn on the heat, and wear longjohns.

We’re going from the space age to the spaced-out age in 4…3…2…

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Egypt: US evacuating relatives of Embassy personnel

Monday, January 31st, 2011

While the Egyptian police reappear alongside army as Mubarak protests enter 7th day,

The U.S. Embassy was preparing to evacuate American citizens living in Egypt, diplomatic families and nonessential embassy personnel. The first charter flights were expected to leave by nightfall.

Cairo airport a scene of chaos as foreigners flee

Cairo’s international airport was a scene of chaos and confusion Monday as thousands of foreigners sought to flee the unrest in Egypt and countries around the world scrambled to send in planes to fly their citizens out.

Nerves frayed, shouting matches erupted and some passengers even had a fistfight as thousands crammed into Cairo airport’s new Terminal 3 seeking a flight home. The airport’s departures board stopped announcing flight times in an attempt to reduce tensions – but the move backfired, fueling anger over canceled or delayed flights.

Making matters worse, check-in counters were poorly staffed because many EgyptAir employees had been unable to get to work due to a 3 p.m.-to-8 a.m. curfew and traffic breakdowns across the Egyptian capital.

The US is using chartered flights for evacuation,

A U.S. military plane landed at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus on Monday afternoon ferrying 42 U.S. Embassy officials and their dependents from Egypt. The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia said at least one more plane was expected Monday with about 180 people – most of them U.S. citizens. U.S. officials have said it will take several flights over the coming days to fly out the thousands of Americans who want to leave Egypt.

As the Obama administratin puts Alfred E. Neuman in the driver’s seat and
Hillary Clinton was on TV just now giving lip service to “orderly transition”, Richard Fernandez considers the loss of intelligence assets

As the Mubarak regime goes into the last stages of existence, the race is on for the real treasures of a great state. Not the relics of antiquity, valuable as these may be, but the intelligence assets of a government which for decades traded them in exchange for Western financial and political support. With the ultimate fate of the Egypt uncertain, and the final extent of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence uncertain, the disposition of those assets will assume the utmost importance.

Also don’t miss John Podhoretz’s article, It’s never been about Palestine,

No one has ever been able to offer a convincing explanation for what role the anti-Zionist struggle, emotionally stirring though it may be, might play when it comes to, say, the price of bread in Tunis, the unemployment rate in Cairo or the prospects for economic growth in Yemen.

It has never made any sense to argue that, unique among the people of the world, Arabs are more concerned on a day-to-day basis about the treatment of people they don’t know than they are about how they’re going to put food on their own tables, or whether their sons will ever find a job.

Read the rest here

UPDATE:
“Mubarak does U.S. bidding”? (h/t Instapundit)

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Come to New Jersey

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Chris Christie’s radio ad running in Illinois,

Chris Christie Ad to Illinois Businesses: Come to Jersey

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The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 31st, 2011

LatinAmerIn today’s news, the US Embassy in Caracas is closed due to threats, according to El Universa (h/t Vlad). The nature of the threats was not specified.

While the world’s attention is focused on the Middle East, here are several of the news stories in our hemisphere this week,

CENTRAL AMERICA

Central America, crime, and what the Americas are doing about it

ARGENTINA
Argentine Wheat Exports May Fall to Lowest in Almost 30 Years

ARUBA
Following up on a story from a few years ago, Stanford Judged Incompetent to Stand Trial

BRAZIL
Business in Brazil
Top whack
Big country, big pay cheques

Brazil’s Canny Asia Game
Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva oversaw a period of growing influence in the Asia-Pacific. Will his successor follow suit?

CHILE
Copper Law

COLOMBIA
Colombia economy: Post-flood emergency mode

CUBA
Italian Parliament commits to the freedom of Cuba’s political prisoners

On those New OFAC regulations on Cuba travel released

The interesting thing here is that when originally reported it appeared that remitters would not be able to send more than $500 to Cuba per quarter. It now seems, however, that U.S. citizens can send $2,000 a year to as many qualified Cubans as they like. I’m not a lawyer and I received this information too late to call OFAC, so I can’t say for certain.

Cuba political prisoner Guido Sigler responds with defiance to Castro’s blackmail

EL SALVADOR
Obama’s heading to El Salvador in March. Obama and El Salvador

If there is one thing all media outlets can agree on, it is that they have no idea why President Obama is going to El Salvador.

Salvadoreños al tanto de la visita de Obama antes de su discurso

HONDURAS
Update on Liz

MEXICO
Saddling up for the trail to Los Pinos
Can anyone stop Enrique Peña Nieto restoring the PRI to power next year?

PANAMA
What is economic freedom?

S. Korea to get FTA but not Panama

PERU
State Department says relations with Peru “never been this strong”

PUERTO RICO
Back when I was a student at the University of Puerto Rico, the students were protesting. No change on that front,

VENEZUELA
LOS VENEZOLANOS QUEREMOS SER UN PUEBLO PROPIETARIO, NO UN PUEBLO EXPROPIADO…

After the Flood in Venezuela
Housing the estimated 130,000 homeless people is drastically more difficult thanks to Hugo Chávez’s nationalizations and regulations in the construction industry.

How a bully Dictator like Hugo Chavez runs Venezuela

How people in Taiwan see Hugo,

Venezuela tells foreign oil firms to keep output at 3.1 mn bpd

Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela
Charting a course to irrelevance
The Inter-American Democratic Charter is proven toothless

Investing in Venezuela’s Future

English language chavismo in the web on the decline

The week’s posts,
Chavez says Egpyt embassy briefly taken over by protestors
Muslim cleric catapults to fame by crossing the border
Catapult over the border!
Tanks for Hugo, bankrupt states, the Supremes, and the roundup

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Chris Matthews single-handedly relocates Panama Canal to Egypt

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Newsbusters has the transcript and video,

Palin and Bachmann Nitpicker Chris Matthews Says Panama Canal Is In Egypt

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about the prospects we’re looking at as an American. We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal.

NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE MSNBC DRAWER

It is, of course, the kind of mistake anyone can make on the air. But it’s true — if Palin made it, it would be proof of stupidity. So, goose, meet gander.

Slip of the tongue, by the guy who demands 100% perfection 100% of the time by conservatives.

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Al Jazeera: Egypt military have said “they will not go against the people”

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

I’m watching the livefeed from Al Jazeera English and their reporter said “nothing suggests a confrontation between the military and the people on the ground.”

Al-Jazeera has continued to broadcast live from Egypt even when the network’s licences were cancelled and accreditation of staff in Cairo withdrawn by order of information minister

“The information minister [Anas al-Fikki] ordered … suspension of operations of Al Jazeera, cancelling of its licences and withdrawing accreditation to all its staff as of today,” a statement on the official Mena news agency said on Sunday.

Stratfor has a Red Alert on Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile in the USA, the President is voting present. Darleen has the photoshop.

UPDATE
Thad McCotter: “This is not a nostalgic ‘anti-colonial uprising’ from within”

This is not a nostalgic ‘anti-colonial uprising’ from within, of all places, the land of Nassar. Right now, freedom’s radicalized enemies are subverting Egypt and our other allies.

Muslim Brotherhood Announces They Will Support El-Baradei. Blame Bush!

The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy

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Venezuela: 1 dead, 40 wounded in weapons dept blast

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

One dead, several hurt in Venezuela arms depot blast

At least one person was killed and several injured in northern Venezuela early Sunday when a series of powerful explosions shook an arms and munitions depot, officials said.

The arsenal is located in the city of Maracay, in Aragua state. All residents living within five kilometers (3.1 miles) of the munitions dump, about 10,000 people, were evacuated, state governor Rafael Isea said.

The explosions were triggered by a fire, but the cause of the fire is unknown.

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Saturday night tango: Vals

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Jorge Firpo and Maria Noel Sciuto,

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Venezuela: Chavez says Egpyt embassy briefly taken over by protestors

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

A fake takeover, and a real takeover in today’s news:

First, the fake takeover,
Egyptian Embassy in Venezuela Briefly Taken Over, Chavez Says

Demonstrators briefly took over Egypt’s Embassy in Caracas today in a bid to show support for protests taking place in the North African country against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said.

The protesters entered peacefully under the pretext of collecting documents and once inside took over the building, Chavez said. They were persuaded to leave after speaking with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, he said.

“The wanted to protest, of course, but they shouldn’t have done that because we are obliged to protect all of the embassies, which are sovereign territory,” Chavez said in comments carried on state television during a military event.

Seems to me that the protesters made their point and left, without much happening; indeed, the Wall Street Journal’s headline is less dramatic, Egypt Embassy In Venezuela Sees Shortlived Protest – Chavez

When reached for comment, a worker at the embassy who declined to identify himself said “everything was calm and had returned to normal.” He declined to give further details.

It seems to be another instance where Chávez is inflating his importance by injecting himself into today’s headline.

The real story in Venezuela, however, is the housing crisis. Chávez is now commanding the poor to squat on private property:
Chávez tackles housing crisis by urging poor to squat wealthy parts of Caracas
Move to exploit ‘unused’ land in capital rattles Venezuela’s middle class, as troops also take over ‘unproductive’ farms

ugo Chávez has sent out troops to take over farms and urged the poor to occupy “unused” land in wealthy areas of Caracas, prompting a wave of squats that is rattling Venezuela’s middle class.

The move by Venezuela’s president to step up the campaign to “recover” land and other property follows a housing crisis that has left millions of people in shabby conditions and affected his popularity in the run-up to next year’s election.

Squatters wearing red T-shirts from Chávez’s socialist party seized 20 spaces in a co-ordinated strike in the well-off Caracas municipality of Chacao last weekend, a move which shocked even some government supporters. Additional groups have targeted other cities.

Chávez’s attack on property rights, the cornerstone of democracy, continues (emphasis added),

The government has stepped up rural expropriations by deploying 1,600 troops at 47 farms in the western states of Merida and Zulia, claiming the farms were unproductive. The state has taken control of 2.5m hectares since Chávez gained power in 1999.

Just another day in the cult of Chavismo.

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Al-Jazeera has continued livestream video in English from Egypt, which you can watch here.

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Obamacare’s impact on doctors

Friday, January 28th, 2011

From Heritage,

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