UK: global warming nuttiness as official policy

March 31, 2010

It’s reasonable for the state to mandate basic measures to protect people in the workplace from unsafe conditions: wearing safety goggles in a machine shop or a hard-hat at a construction site, for example.

But what about workplace safety rules for a problem that doesn’t exist?

Climate change is the new health and safety

All public bodies should have a legal duty to protect their workers from climate change in the same way as institutions currently carry out health and safety checks, according to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

The body set up to warn Government about the risk of environmental disasters said climate change will cause floods, droughts and heatwaves in future.

In a key report on ‘Adapting Institutions to Climate Change’ the committee of experts recommended that every school, hosptial and business should have a legal duty to adapt to climate change. For example by putting in place flood defences and plans for water shortages.

Sir John Lawton, Chairman of the Royal Commission, said global warming is a real risk and could cause huge problems for Britain.

He said all businesses and public bodies should have to carry out a “climate change adaptation test” in the same way as they currently conduct health and safety checks.

The laugh-while-you-cry statement was this:

But Sir John said that adapting to climate change will not cost organisations extra money or add bureaucracy.

And if you believe that one….

Workplace safety rules exist for a couple of reasons. The first is simply to protect the employee from employers who don’t take safety seriously, or who don’t themselves. The other is to save society the cost of the lost productivity of the injured worker, and perhaps the expense born by the community to support him while he can’t work. (Whether through the dole or insurance payments, the costs of which are borne by premium-payers.)

But, if we’ve had hard evidence of anything climate related in the last few years, it’s that the anthropogenic/carbon-dioxide model of climate change is highly questionable, and that the computer models and data the alarmists use are worthless.

But try telling that to government bureaucrats determined to keep Britain from becoming a heat-ravaged desert. Does this look like a desert to you?

And that was just last winter. Like the US, Great Britain needs to create jobs now, not impose additional costs on businesses and thus discourage them from hiring by forcing them to guard against a Green phantom.

Lord, save us from those trying to save us.  Praying

(via Heliogenic Climate Change)

RELATED: A parliamentary committee whitewashes Climategate. Canadian Steve McIntyre shreds them for it.


Wednesday morning funnies

March 31, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:


Smart Power goes to Canada

March 30, 2010

America wants Canada to keep at least some forces in Afghanistan. Canada, after all, makes an important contribution to the war effort there, and Prime Minister Harper has been under pressure to withdraw. So, in the era of Smart Power(tm), how does Secretary of State Clinton go about doing this?

By first insulting the Canadians at a meeting hosted by Canada:

Clinton rebukes Canada at Arctic meeting

It was supposed to be a meeting of polar pals. But a high-level session on the vast opportunities opening up in the Arctic got off to a chilly start Monday, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Canada for leaving several players off the guest list.

The Canadian government invited foreign ministers from the other four countries with Arctic coastlines — Russia, Norway, Denmark and the United States — to hold talks on developing the region, which is being transformed by climate change.

Within a few years, the Arctic’s ice blanket could melt for at least a few months a year, opening up access to huge oil and gas reserves, as well as a new shipping lane. Under a United Nations treaty, the Arctic countries can claim ownership of natural resources up to 200 miles off their coasts.

Clinton noted that the three other nations in the Arctic region — Sweden, Finland and Iceland — had complained they were not included in the meeting. She said she also was contacted by representatives of indigenous groups in the area that had been left off the list.

“Significant international discussions on Arctic issues should include those who have legitimate interests in the region,” Clinton said, according to a prepared copy of her remarks to the meeting, which was closed to press. “And I hope the Arctic will always showcase our ability to work together, not create new divisions.”

You would think the Secretary of State of the United States would understand the basics of diplomacy, including the idea that issues between two nations rarely stand in isolation and that the status of one may affect the other. Or how about common courtesy, such as not chastising a valued ally in public over minor protocol issues?

Of course, this boorish behavior rests on one of the pillars of Obama Doctrine, that the United States has no real friends or enemies, and that conflict is reduced when we are an impartial arbiter between all. As Seth Cropsey described it in his article “Remedial Diplomacy,”

Barack Obama’s theory is that partisanship is the source of conflict. There should be no more red states or blue states. Every political choice is a false choice, an example of old thinking. Similarly on the international stage. If the United States distanced itself from its allies and drew closer to its adversaries, conflict would be reduced. The United States could then serve as the international mediator rather than as the guarantor of global order and an agent of democratic political change.

But, the real world doesn’t operate that way. Cozening up to North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela, while backhanding Great Britain, Israel, Canada, Poland, and the Czech Republic will only signal to our allies that we’re unreliable while telling our rivals that we’re feckless.

This is what they meant by “smart power?” It’s more like a recipe for a weakened United States and, therefore, a more dangerous world.

(via Hot Air)


Spot the real tyrants

March 30, 2010

Were they in Searchlight, or in Los Angeles? On the Right, or the Left? You make the call.

*(And note that, once again, all the hotties are on the Right. The babes of democracy live.)

RELATED: At a book signing Beverly Hills, the Left once again demonstrates its commitment to free speech and tolerance – for themselves and no one else.


Democracy must stand aside to fight global warming!

March 30, 2010

So says British scientist James Lovelock (Wikipedia bio), who thinks we’re all too stupid to deal with a (nonexistent) problem that only Supreme Geniuses(tm) are smart enough to recognize. The only hope of the sheep Mankind is to institute a dictatorship of the really smart!

Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.

It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists’ emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA)and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Here we have fascist elitism at its most exposed: “You fools can’t understand vast complexities, and so must be lead like children or animals, guided by your betters. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy….”

What garbage. I’m not denying there are stupid people in the world (hint: Joe Biden), but what really bothers elitists such as Lovelock is that people lacking the proper degrees have the temerity to question and even disagree with him and his brethren. In this modern information age, people can seek their own sources independent of the Lovelocks of the world, whether on the Web or between the covers of a good book. And if they’re more than a bit skeptical of what “their betters” are telling them, perhaps it’s because they’ve been pandered and lied to.

And that’s the real problem people like Lovelock and other statists have with democracy: all those smelly people get in the way of the Truly Enlightened. (All bow.)

It’s not an attitude limited to Lovelock and a few others, nor is it new by any means. Woodrow Wilson, a US president, thought the Constitution was obsolete, that limited, participatory government got in the way of progress. Erudite men such as H.G. Wells, who advocated a form of fascism, and George Bernard Shaw, a supporter of eugenics, felt that Man simply couldn’t be left to govern himself, that he had to be lead by an elite. Their intellectual descendants sit in the White House and run Congress today.

(I can’t let this moment go by without again shilling for Goldberg’s brilliant book, Liberal Fascism, which surveys the history of the fascist idea from the French Revolution to the modern day, though I think he needs to add a chapter for the Green Statists of the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming.)

Anyway, back to Dr. Lovelock and his annoyance with democracy. If you ever needed a reason to fight the global warming fraud besides the bad science behind it, there you have it. It’s not nearly so much about “saving the planet” as it is about controlling it.

And us.

(via Ace)

LINKS: More from Sister Toldjah and Hot Air. James Delingpole struggles to reconcile the call for dictatorship with the othwerwise sensible things Lovelock says.


The jihad targets children, too

March 29, 2010

Remember the horror of the Beslan massacre, which started when Islamic “holy warriors” took over a Russian school and ended with over 300 death, 186 of them children?

They’ve tried again, this time in Azerbaijan:

Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry said police had arrested eight members of an “organised criminal group, crossing illegally from Georgia into Azerbaijan with the aim of carrying out terrorist acts.”

A ministry statement said seven were Azeris, including three women, and the eighth was from Russia’s southern Chechnya republic.

It said the group had earlier concealed weapons and ammunition in the roof of a kindergarten and a school in the capital Baku and planned to attack both. The suspected ringleader is still at large, it added.

And yet we’re to believe Islam is a religion of peace.

RELATED: The attacks in Moscow yesterday were indeed carried out by al Qaeda-affiliated suicide bombers, in this case the notorious Black Widows.

(via Jihad Watch)


America gives its opinion of Congress

March 29, 2010

The Pew Research Center asked people to give a one-word impression of Congress, from which they built a word cloud. The size of a word relates to its frequency. Behold the result:

Vox populi, vox Dei.  Rolling on the floor

(via: American Thinker and International Liberty)


The Flat Tax: Good for America, Bad for Washington

March 29, 2010

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity has just released a video explaining why he believes a flat tax would be better for the country and fairer overall:

Here’s what he says about the “progressive taxes are more fair” argument favored by the left-liberals:

There are two big hurdles that must be overcome to achieve tax reform. The first obstacle is that the class-warfare crowd wants the tax code to penalize success with high tax rates. That issue is addressed in the video in a couple of ways. I explain that fairness should be defined as treating all people equally, and I also point out that upper-income taxpayers are far more likely to benefit from all the deductions, credits, exemptions, preferences, and other loopholes in the tax code.

You can read the other reason in his article at Big Government.

Personally, I’m drawn to the idea of a national sales tax or VAT as a replacement for the income tax. It makes sense to tax consumption instead of productive work, though I recognize some fear that it would be a hidden tax that fuels government growth.

Regardless, I think we can all* agree that the current tax system is a nightmare that needs to end.

*(Except for Democrats progressive statists and the tax-prep industry.)

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Terror in Russia

March 29, 2010

Two blasts rip through the Moscow subway system, one near the infamous Lubyanka prison:

Explosions tore through two subway stations at rush hour on Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding others, authorities and news agencies said.

The first blast came just before 8 a.m. at Lubyanka station, the Emergencies Ministry said. The headquarters of the Federal Security Service, successor to the Soviet-era KGB, is just above the station.

“The blast hit the second carriage of a Metro train that stopped at Lubyanka” at 7:56 a.m., ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said. The victims were inside the carriage and on the platform, she said.

About 45 minutes later, a second explosion rocked the Park Kultury station, authorities said.

Police spokesman Viktor Biryukov told the Associated Press that at least 12 people were killed in the second blast, which occurred at 8:38 a.m.

Terrorism was suspected in both incidents.

No, really?

To be blunt, I’ve been no admirer of how the Russians have handled their own jihadist insurgency in Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus region. In fact, the Russian Army and related security forces have acted like barbarians, little better than the enemy they’re fighting. Brutality, rape, and murder have been their tools, and one hopes in vain for the day when these savages are prosecuted.

But that does not excuse attacks on civilian Russian targets by the jihadists, and while the Russians often show the darkest side of Western civilization, the mujaheddin are utterly antithetical to it – and in a ruthless calculation of self-interest constitute a greater long-term threat.  Assuming jihadists carried out this threat, here’s wishing the Russians good hunting in bringing them to bay.

(Just try not to live down to your reputations while doing it, okay?)


The jihad against free speech

March 28, 2010

Typical of fascists and other would-be dictators, Islamic supremacists use intellectual bullying and physical violence to stifle criticism and cow opposition to the spread of sharia law in free lands. The hope is that enough shouts of “racist” and “Islamophobe,” coupled with acts of violence and murder, will intimidate non-Muslims into submission and self-censorship.

Islamist Watch has a good article on this, using the furor over the Muhammad cartoons as an example of the path to submission and dhimmitude:

Islamists do not wish to debate their opponents; they wish to silence them. This means demonstrating the high costs, whether legal or physical, of speaking out. Recent news items show how the fear of violence can drive capitulation — and, therefore, how violent Islamism can advance, rather than inhibit, the work of stealthy, nonviolent Islamists to crush free speech.

Following the global riots of 2006 and a flare-up two years later, caricatures of Muhammad once again are stirring jihadist passions. Two Chicago-area Muslims were charged last October with planning terror strikes against those involved in the publication of the Danish Muhammad cartoons. New Year’s Day then saw an attack on the home of Kurt Westergaard, creator of the infamous bomb-in-the-turban illustration.

Read the whole thing; the author has many good examples. For another, have a look at this article on Islamic lawfare, the use by Islamic supremacists in the courts and international law to criminalize and punish those who would speak against them.


Smart Power: How to lose friends and influence no one

March 28, 2010

In the nearly 15 months since Barack Obama was inaugurated as President and Hillary Clinton installed as his Secretary of State, our Smart Power team has done something I thought impossible: make me yearn for the days of Jimmy Carter as a model of a strong and effective foreign policy. Consider three recent items:

First, he has managed to do almost certainly fatal damage to our “special relationship” with Great Britain, an alliance forged between FDR and Winston Churchill in crucible of the Second World War. After that, the two nations cooperated closely in the Cold War against Soviet communist aggression, operating hand-in-glove whether the governments in Washington and London were Democrat or Republican, Labour or Conservative. In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the welcome death of the USSR, America and Britain have continued to work together, even to the point war.

No more. The special relationship is dead, and Obama and Clinton own the corpse:

BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US — forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war — no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs.

Instead, America’s relationship with Britain is no more special than with its other main allies, according to a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee published today.

The report also warns that the perception of the UK after the Iraq war as America’s “subservient poodle” has been highly damaging to Britain’s reputation and interests around the world. The MPs conclude that British prime ministers have to learn to be less deferential to US presidents and be “willing to say no” to America.

Gosh, I’m not sure why they would conclude that, after the respect Obama has shown for the UK, such as returning a bust of Churchill loaned by London as a show of solidarity after 9/11, or insulting Prime Minister Brown and the Queen with gifts from the Wal-Mart bargain bin. I mean, why should they be bothered by his failure to acknowledge the sacrifice made by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, or other acts of deliberate rudeness? And why should Whitehall care that Secretary Clinton is willing to negotiate the status of sovereign British territory? Nial Gardiner implores Conservative leader David Cameron to do all he can to preserve the relationship, but, really, what is Britain to do when Obama repeatedly spits in her eye?

Special Relationship, we hardly knew ye.

Then we come to something just appalling. Regardless of what one thinks of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel is a close ally of the United States, until recently the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, and certainly one of the most humane and ethical nations on the planet. Thus for the President of the United States to treat the Prime Minister of Israel as a recalcitrant child beggars belief:

For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

Translation: Obama says to Netanyahu, “You just think about that young man, and you’d better have a different answer when I get back, or there will be no TV for you!” It reminds one of the rumors of his bizarre behavior in Copenhagen and calls into question his vaunted judgment and even his maturity. Israel is a key ally in our war with jihadist Islam and for the furtherance of Western interests in the region, in general. And yet, time and again, Obama and Clinton have gone out of their way to turn minor incidents into causes celebres requiring the public pillorying of Israel and to put it on the same moral level as the despotisms that surround it. (More at Legal Insurrection, Fausta’s blog, Hot Air, the Telegraph, Contentions, and The Jawa Report)

This is “smart power?”  Raised Eyebrow

Finally, what can be said but Russia skunked us?

Face it. The only conclusion one can draw from these and other blunders is that we are lead by callow and incompetent (and even delusional) leaders. Their conduct of American foreign policy has been a disgrace.

The only question is whether this mangling of American interests is unwitting or the fruit of deliberate choice.

You can guess my answer.  Doh

ADDENDUM: At least Obama and Clinton have created a bipartisan consensus on their policy toward Israel – both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats hate it.


Big FBI raids? Updated!

March 28, 2010

There’s not much detail, but the FBI conducted raids in three states last night, at least one of which involved the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force:

Federal officials would not say who they were targeting or where, but the FBI has set up a command center at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department in Ann Arbor (MI), where they have brought in two satellite trucks and a radio tower.

Last time this happened, it was tied to a jihadist plot to murder one of the cartoonists responsible for the Muhammad cartoons and attack the publisher. This time… ?

(via The Jawa Report)

UPDATE: Homegrown militia troubles?


The Cult of Global Warming blows another prediction

March 28, 2010

This time regarding the slowing and potential stoppage of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which regulates the climate of the North Atlantic (the Gulf Stream is part of it).

Is there anything this farcical religion masquerading as science has got right yet? Well?  Waiting

(via redostoneage on Twitter)


Klavan on culture: the MSM’s tea-party obsession

March 27, 2010

Andrew Klavan explores the mainstream media’s weird obsession with proving the Tea Party is racist, homophobic, fascist, and all those other nasty things:

Wait. Are we sure this isn’t a documentary, rather than satire?


Saturday morning funnies

March 27, 2010

The latest Newsbusted, with Jodi Miller:


And now for your Friday evening Jew hatred

March 26, 2010

Apes, pigs, fathers of rats. Hey, it was just a matter of time before some cleric of the Religion of Tolerance came out and said what they really mean. Preach it, Brother Jarbu’!

The Jews, the brothers of apes and pigs, have gathered from all corners of the world, in order to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They have come to rob it of its purity, and they replaced it with their impurity, their filth, and their abomination. The Al-Aqsa Mosque… Along come the criminal Zionists, and open the so-called Hurva (“destruction”) synagogue. May Allah bring their homes down on them.

[...]

You cannot go on living, oh Arab and Islamic nation, while the Al-Aqsa Mosque is being defiled by the Jews, the most despicable people on this Earth. By Allah, they are not human beings. They are not men who deserve to live, as long as we are alive.

In case the name rings a bell, we’ve met Abdallah Jarbu’ before. Charming fellow. I bet he has a copy of Mein Kampf on the table next to his bed.

LINKS: Video of his exhortation.


Religion of Misogyny watch

March 26, 2010

Remember kids, a real Muslim man beats his wife. “Break her head,” Egyptian Cleric Mazen Al-Sarsawi advises us. If a man is soft on his wife and daughters, it must be… SATAN!!

I kid you not:

Here’s the transcript.

Part of me hopes this guy eventually sees the light. The other part hopes he finds himself alone with a group of women, all armed with crowbars.

(via The Jawa Report)


Letter to my Congresswoman

March 26, 2010

I sent the following letter to my representative today. Not that I expect it to do any good, but she should know that not everyone in her district is pleased (to say the least) with her vote for ObamaCare:

This is in reply to your email of 3/26/10, in which you take credit for voting for the Democratic Health Care Reform plan:

  • “I was proud to support the health care reform legislation that passed the House at midnight on Sunday, and to attend the signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House.”

Though I am a registered Republican and consider myself a conservative, I have in the past been willing to vote for you because you were the best candidate on the ballot, largely based on your stands on national security. (Let’s face it, Republicans cannot win in a gerrymandered district like CA-36, and I would much rather have you in office than a genuine fruitcake such as Marcy Winograd.) However, my support for you ended Sunday night, when you voted for the nationalization of American health care.

To be clear: I will never vote for you for anything ever again.

Let me explain why. In general, you voted for the statist takeover of roughly 16% of the US economy, a process that will turn free-born citizens into wards of the State, aggrandize the federal government over the states and the individual far beyond what the Founders ever intended, and set our nation on a path toward Greece-like debt and fiscal ruin. It was utterly irresponsible of you and a violation of your oath of office.

Specifically, the individual mandate is wholly unconstitutional and, in fact, tyrannical. Never in the history of the United States has any individual citizen been required to buy a product from a third party under terms dictated by the government. There is no enumerated power under Article I that gives Congress this authority, and I believe it violates the 5th and 10th amendments of the Bill of Rights: the former for an illegal taking of a citizen’s property (his money and his right to determine its use) and the latter for violating those rights and powers reserved to the People. This is a gross usurpation of power on the part of Congress, rammed through in a wholly undemocratic manner by what can only be described as the act of an arrogant oligarchy.

(Disagree on that last point? Then how would you describe the sections that exempt Congress and senior congressional staff from the bill’s provisions?)

What’s more, any sober analysis shows this bill will in no way meet the goals the President, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid have bragged about. It will not reduce costs. It will not provide better care. It will not allow us to keep the insurance we like. It will not reduce the deficit. It will, however, reduce citizens’ freedoms; it will drive up premiums; it will harm the elderly with the cuts to Medicare; it will result in rationing; and it will make US medical care worse overall.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Your oath of office reads:

  • “I … do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

You have broken that oath and you no longer represent me in any meaningful way. Not only will I never vote for you again, I will work to see you defeated, quixotic as that goal may be. No member of the House or Senate who voted for this bill -not just “unconstitutional” but anti-constitutional- should keep their seat.

You’ve done good work in the past, but it has all been washed away by this act.

I’ll be surprised if she even notices. Looking at it, there’s so much more I could have said.

I’ll just say it all with one vote next November.


Seal of Approval: ObamaCare endorsed by Cuba and the UN!

March 25, 2010

Well, this should sell our new statist health system to the masses of bitter-clingers like nothing else could: kind words and congratulations from the United Nations and communist Cuba! Hope and Change are here at last!

First, a pat on the head from Turtle Bay by way of Geneva:

“The people in this country and their leaders are courageous. That (healthcare reform) is an unprecedented achievement,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said.

She was speaking to reporters after a lecture in which she argued that unrestricted market forces were limited as a means of redressing imbalances in global health care.

(…)

Chan has made clear her view that governments and global organizations such as WHO should make a case for market regulation to deliver more equitable health benefits.

“Market forces, all by themselves, will not solve social problems. That is why public health needs to be concerned,” said Chan in a lecture at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The hardest thing … is persuading world leaders or ministers … that health concerns can, in some instances, be more important than economic interests. Economic growth is not, after all, the be-all, end-all, cure-all,” said Chan, whose organization is based in Geneva.

The World Health Organization is the same organization that helped spread panic during the bird-flu outbreak of 2005-06 and the recent swine flu non-epidemic. Given this lack of sober judgment and the fact that they are part of the massively corrupt UN –the home of Oil-for-Food, Cash for Kim, and peacekeeper rape, among other badges of honor– it’s not surprising that one of their avid statists would endorse a massive expansion of statism. As Nile Gardiner put it:

It is hard to think of a more embarrassing endorsement of President Obama’s health care reform bill than that offered this week by the United Nations. The UN, probably the most corrupt and ineffective multilateral body on the face of the earth, which devotes much of its time trying to undermine American global power, has officially given its blessing to Barack Obama’s hugely controversial and unpopular legislation. The United Nations is increasingly disliked in the eyes of the American public, and continues to empower some of the most odious anti- American tyrannies across the world.

But wait, Nile! It does get more embarrassing! The Washington Post reports that last Sunday’s passage of the health-care reform act received a big thumbs-up from no less than Fidel Castro, himself:

It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

“We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government,” Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president’s hand against lobbyists and “mercenaries.”

Before anyone takes Castro at his word (Hint: He’s a murdering creep), perhaps they should look at the reality behind Cuba’s health care and then breathe a sigh of relief that it’s taken us this long to start down that same path.

I bet you won’t be seeing these testimonials anywhere on the White House web site, anytime soon.


Arne Duncan’s list and the Chicago Way

March 25, 2010

Following up on this item, have a look at John Kass’ column in the Chicago Tribune on Arne Duncan’s secret list and how it fits in the Chicago Way.

The mayor knows how it works. He etched it into Chicago’s civic infrastructure years ago, when he took over the public schools.

Machiavellian? Yes. Because it is a relationship that feeds upon the love of hard-working, tax-paying parents for their children. And it works just fine for the mayor too.

When first elected in 1989, Daley eagerly reached out to those in the city’s predominantly white professional class. They were edgy and many were considering leaving Chicago.

In response, the mayor built top magnet and college prep high schools, pushing through work-rule changes to attract the best teachers. He produced the schools that nervous white-collar voters demanded.

Members of the professional class wanted city life. But they wanted their children educated. They became clients of Daley’s first tier.

The second tier pretty much remained the same, a tier mostly for minorities and the poor.

Daley spent millions upon millions of dollars on new school buildings in low-income neighborhoods. This massive wave of construction endeared him to the predominantly white trade unions: the carpenters, the bricklayers, the electricians who formed his power base on the Far Southwest Side and the southwest suburbs.

But education in the second tier remains abysmal. High school dropout rates are still around 50 percent, yet much higher when magnet schools are exempted. But even as tens of thousands of kids drop out to become calcified in the permanent underclass, the second tier still supports the mayor.

It’s not just about education. It is about jobs and patronage. Top teachers either fled or were lured to the top schools. But middle-rung teachers and below are the backbone of the teachers union.

The neighborhoods were rewarded with local school councils to elect, and budgets to manage and principals to appoint. By allowing the locals to run their mini-fiefdoms, Daley bound neighborhood activists to the system.

They were no longer beefers outside City Hall. They’d bought in.

And the vast public school bureaucracy, with tens of thousands of administrators, remained a patronage base for City Hall and Democratic pols in Springfield, particularly the black legislative caucus.

Then-State Senator Barack Obama was a member of that caucus. Arne Duncan was Daley’s man running the school system, and he’s now President Obama’s education secretary. And what was one of the first acts of the new administration? Shutting down the school-voucher program for poor DC kids that enabled them to go to good private schools and escape the lousy schools staffed by unionized teachers. The patrons looking out for their clients.

And the Chicago Way brought to the national stage.

Read the whole thing. It’s educational.

(hat tip: Vermontaigne)


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