Archive for December, 2011

“If he wants money, get a job. Work, like everyone else in the world.”

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Guy punches a robber, and makes him clean up the blood:
Ace, Bookworm and Jim have the video,


The amazing Medellin escalator,

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

a Stairway to Comuna 13 Heaven?

Medellin slum gets giant outdoor escalator
Officials in Colombia’s second-largest city on Monday have inaugurated a giant, outdoor escalator for residents of one of its poorest slums.

For generations, the 12,000 residents of Medellin’s tough Comuna 13, which clings to the side of a steep hillside, have had to climb hundreds of large steps authorities say is the same as going up a 28-story building.

Now they can ride an escalator, in what the mayor of Medellin said is the first massive, outdoor public escalator for use by residents of a poor area.
“It turned out very well,” said Mayor Alonso Salazar.
Mr Salazar said officials from Rio de Janeiro plan to visit the Colombian city to see if such an escalator would work in that city’s favelas, which also cling precariously to hillsides.

Comuna 13 residents came out to celebrate and study the $6.7 million escalator which officials say will shorten the 35-minute hike on foot up the hillside to six minutes. Use of the escalator is free.

The escalator will certainly make the residents’ lives easier, along with that of the police on the beat.

However, I would also be glad to hear that free market measures, including property rights and the legal structures that support them, rule of law and less bureaucracy and corruption, were granted in Colombia, Brazil, and throughout Latin America. Now, that would be an escalator out of poverty!

Read Hernando de Soto’s books, for more on property rights for the poor.

Of course, one thinks of Stairway to Heaven, which has nothing to do with the news, other than the title,


Many thanks to all the visitors who purchased items through my Amazon links. I really appreciate it!


A couple of New Jersey items, re: Lautenberg & Corzine

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Frank Lautenberg, Senator for my district,
Sen. Charles Schumer’s brother-in-law was quietly nominated this month to a federal judgeship in New Jersey

What no one mentioned is that McNulty, 57, was the last-minute choice of Lautenberg, who had been leaning toward other candidates until surprisingly submitting McNulty’s name to the White House.

Lautenberg and his aides have given no public explanation for the decision to go with McNulty even though the latter had never been publicly touted as a contender for the job, which carries life tenure and a $174,000-a-year salary.

Now comes the good part,

People involved in the judicial-nomination process in New Jersey told The Post they believe the surprise nomination was a naked political maneuver by the 87-year-old Lautenberg to stay in Schumer’s good graces. Lautenberg is worried that party elders will try to push him out of his beloved Senate seat because of his advanced age — something that Schumer, one of the party’s top opinion makers and fund-raisers, would be able to stop.


A reader emails:

While such naked nepotism is usually reserved for filling the village dog catcher’s job, that’s not the aspect of this that caught my eye. This is: Sen. Lautenberg is 87 years old and is so pathetically desperate to remain attached to the federal teat that he would do something so obvious as this. I know the Obama economy is pretty ugly, but what’s the matter Frank, afraid you won’t be able to find a job if you get pushed out?

Please leave me anonymous if you mention this, I’m an at-will government employee in an adjacent navy blue state.

The addiction to power — and, even more, to a feeling of importance — is stronger than the addiction to heroin or cocaine. And more destructive, to society if not to the addict. . . .

And an update on our former governor,
Surprise! Obama Still Pocketing Corzine Cash, according to the New York Post,

Before the MF Global episode, Corzine had been a key figure for Wall Street contributions to Obama and was openly being considered for the top spot at the Treasury Department in a second Obama term.

Corzine is not the only connection between MF and Obama. Three other MF honchos, including Corzine’s second-in-command, Brad Abelow, and his wife have given $5,000 to the president’s re-election campaign and another $30,800 to the DNC.
In addition to Abelow, the other MF donors are former board member David Schamis and Joseph Patt.

Did Jon remember where the money went yet?

So out of almost a million dollars connected to Corzine, which may or may not include part or all of the other $150,000 from MF Global, Obama and the DNC are returning only $70,000?



The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Argentina Deputy Commerce Secretary Found Dead

As Argentina Seizes Newsprint, Press Freedom Suffers

Cristina prepares to defy gravity
The president begins her second term facing an economic slowdown. She will meet it with a mixture of rhetoric, controls and austerity

Ash From Chilean Volcano Craters Argentine Towns
Unpredictable Eruptions Leave a Pristine Patagonian Region Bereft of Its Tourism Lifeblood; Planes Grounded 7,200 Miles Away

Brazil Police Seek to Indict Chevron, Transocean Staff

Mystery Of Amazonian Tribe’s Head Shapes Solved, via GoV.

Rescuers End Search for Colombian Blast Survivors

American Not in Cuban Prisoner Amnesty

60 Minutes Fails to Note Why Invasive Lionfish Dominate Cuban Coral Reef

Political arrests on rise in Castro´s Cuba

Journalists who denounced human rights abuses in Guatemalan civil war accused of participating in kidnapping, torture


Iranian Regime TV Beamed in the Americas

Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Hispasat claims it reaches 15 million homes in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. In addition to this new Iranian line-up, they also carry programming for another state sponsor of terror, Cuba. Cuba Vision Internacional (CVI), one of Cuba’s propaganda arms of the Cuban Communist party, is broadcast via Hispasat systems.

Intelsat is a owned by a several private equity firms including one based in Chicago, Illinois. They have several offices in the United States, including one large office right here in Washington, DC.

Iran and S. Arabia launch 2 tv channels in Spanish, via MEXICO

“Underwater” Santa Claus a Hit in Mexico

US-based Excelerate to develop liquid natural gas port off Puerto Rico

Venezuela, Iran Linked to Alleged Cyberattack Plot

The Region: Obama preaches, dictators sneer


The Artist: The best movie you haven’t seen yet

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Maatkare reviews The Artist,
‘The Artist’ Review: Ode to Classic Hollywood Crushes Soulless Modern Films

A fun movie, starring Jean Dujardin, who looks like someone mixed Douglas Fairbanks’s genes with Gene Kelly’s with great success

If you like the Turner Movie Classics and Kevin Brownlow’s Hollywood, you’ll like this

And yet, the movie transcends mere pastiche. In one scene, Bejo wistfully interacts with Valentin’s empty tailcoat in the most chaste yet erotic movie moment in recent memory. In another, Bejo luminously ascends a flight of stairs clad in white as Valentin descends, dressed in somber gray, in the iconic Bradbury Building (seen in “Blade Runner” and many more), a perfect melding of themes and production design.

There are even some noir undertones.

Oh, yeah, I even love the dog.

Go see it.


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25th, 2011


NORAD tracks Santa!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

You can track him here.


This is why Ron Paul should not be elected

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

TNR Exclusive: A Collection of Ron Paul’s Most Incendiary Newsletters


A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. … What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.”

The November 1990 issue of the Political Report had kind words for David Duke.

This December 1990 newsletter describes Martin Luther King Jr. as “a world-class adulterer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and “replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

February 1991 newsletter attacks “The X-Rated Martin Luther King.”

An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that  “Welfaria,”  “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,”and “Lazyopolis ” would be better alternatives—and says,  “Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”

May 1990 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report cites Jared Taylor, who six months later would go onto found the eugenicist and white supremacist periodical American Renaissance. 


The November 1992 Ron Paul Survival Report defends chess champion and Holocaust-denier Bobby Fischer, saying that “the brilliant Fischer, who has all the makings of an American hero, is very politically incorrect on Jewish questions, for which he will never be forgiven, even though he is a Jew. Thus we are not supposed to herald him as the world’s greatest chess player.”

It gets worse. Read the whole thing.

Paul has denied having anything to do with the newsletters; here he is in a 1995 interview where he plugs the newsletters,

Politico: Ron Paul really has to explain these six statements. Ed Morrissey bullet-pointed them,

  • The “disaster” of Ronald Reagan’s conservative agenda
  • Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional
  • American drug laws are designed to fund rogue governments, CIA programs
  • U.S. foreign policy “significantly contributed” to 9/11 attacks
  • Returning white supremacist donation is “pandering”
  • The Civil Rights Act “violated the Constitution”

“Communism looks good on paper” to Whoopi; Whoopi never looks good

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Greg, however, always looks good:

(h/t FSM)

In case you missed Whoopi’s words,

his is what happens with communism. It’s a great concept. On paper it makes perfect sense. But once you put a human being in power, it shifts. We saw it in Russia, we’ve seen it all around the world. It’s nuts. But, I keep my fingers crossed.

Uncross your finger, Whoopi, and read this.


Secular Theocracy

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

David Theroux of the Independent Institute has an excellent essay on Secular Theocracy
The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny
(emphasis added)

We live in an increasingly secularized world of massive and pervasive nation states in which traditional religion, especially Christianity, is ruled unwelcome and even a real danger on the basis of a purported history of intolerance and “religious violence.” This is found in most all “public” domains, including the institutions of education, business, government, welfare, transportation, parks and recreation, science, art, foreign affairs, economics, entertainment, and the media. A secularized public square policed by government is viewed as providing a neutral, rational, free, and safe domain that keeps the “irrational” forces of religion from creating conflict and darkness. And we are told that real progress requires expanding this domain by pushing religion ever backward into remote corners of society where it has little or no influence. In short, modern America has become a secular theocracy with a civic religion of national politics (nationalism) occupying the public realm in which government has replaced God.

Read Part 1 here.