Big kittehs vs. the evil pumpkins!

October 24, 2010

A bit of fun for your Sunday morning: watch as tigers, leopards, and other great cats play with (and destroy) leftover pumpkins:

(via The Jawa Report)

The organization is Big Cat Rescue. As they explain:

Each year we are lucky enough to receive left over pumpkins from stores after halloween, pumpkins are a great source of enrichment for our cats, as well as a great source of entertainment for the staff and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue! All the cats love to play, eat and generally demolish the pumpkins, providing them with hours of entertainment, watch as we show you what they get up to when they are given one of their favourite treats!

Just goes to show that the only difference between a tiger and a house cat is size.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Going back to the Moon looks easier than thought

October 23, 2010

Ouch!

 

Not only did the LCROSS mission recently find water on the Moon, but the amounts turn out to be significant and includes useful volatile chemicals:

The missions found evidence that lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials. Moreover, the moon appears to be chemically active and has a full-fledged water cycle. Scientists also confirmed that ‘moon water’ was in the form of mostly pure ice crystals in some places.

These results are featured in six papers published in the Oct. 22 issue of Science.

The twin impacts of LCROSS and a companion rocket stage in the moon’s Cabeus crater on Oct. 9, 2009, lifted a plume of material that might not have seen direct sunlight for billions of years. As the plume traveled nearly 10 miles above the crater’s rim, instruments aboard LCROSS and LRO made observations of the crater and debris and vapor clouds. After the impacts, grains of mostly pure water ice were lofted into the sunlight in the vacuum of space.

“Seeing mostly pure water ice grains in the plume means water ice was somehow delivered to the moon in the past, or chemical processes have been causing ice to accumulate in large quantities,” said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

In addition to water, the plume contained “volatiles.” These are compounds that freeze in the cold lunar craters and vaporize easily when warmed by the sun. The suite of LCROSS and LRO instruments determined as much as 20 percent of the material kicked up by the LCROSS impact was volatiles, including methane, ammonia, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Read the rest at WUWT. It’s very exciting; not only is the problem of water for lunar explorers probably solved, but the volatiles indicate that usable fuels could be extracted from the soil, rather than being shipped from Earth, a very expensive proposition. These twin discoveries make a return to Luna and the establishment of a base there potentially much less daunting than previously thought.

Gosh, it would be so nice to have a real space program again.

Maybe a private company will make it so.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bill Whittle: What we believe – on wealth creation

October 23, 2010

Bill Whittle continues his series on what American conservatives believe by taking a look at the creation of wealth and the fundamentally different ways Right and Left think about it:

I have a good friend who’s a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, and I’m convinced his deepest feelings about wealth fit Whittle’s description to a “T.” That, somehow, the accumulation of wealth beyond a certain point must be morally compromised: either it was unearned or in some way stolen from others. It couldn’t be earned legitimately; there must be some taint of immorality about it.

That’s a fundamental difference between him and me, and I’d swear that same opinion about the essential immorality of wealth accumulation lies at the foundation of Leftist politics.

As our President said, “At some point, you’ve earned enough money:”

It reminds me of an old joke about the difference between a conservative and a liberal:

A conservative down on his luck finds himself wandering through a wealthy neighborhood and sees a beautiful house on a hill. He looks up and thinks to himself, “Someday, I’m going to be that guy.”

Later that day, a liberal down on his luck finds himself wandering through the same wealthy neighborhood and sees the same beautiful house on a hill. He looks up and thinks to himself, “Someday, I’m going to get that guy.”

It’s so true.

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, no! The extremists are coming!!

October 22, 2010

In this latest Klavan on the Culture, Andrew Klavan explains to us how our mainstream media (which is really left wing) is trying to warn of the danger posed by extremist Tea-Partiers and Republicans (who are really mainstream) and encourage us to vote for moderate, centrist Democrats (who are really extremists), while…

Oh, never mind. I’ll let Andrew explain it. Besides, he’s much funnier than I. 

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


FOX more tolerant than NPR

October 22, 2010

Yesterday, I opined that NPR’s firing of Juan Williams was due to his sin of honesty: admitting that flying with Muslims tended to make nervous, presumably because of the long, bloody history of Islamic terrorism in recent years. Violating the politically correct, multi-culti canon of modern left-liberalism had placed him beyond the pale.

Looks like that was only the shark’s fin breaking the water, giving sign of the real problem hidden underneath the surface: NPR listeners were complaining about Williams appearing on the hated FOX network and actually engaging conservatives. Ed Morrissey cites analysis by both Michael Barone, who noted that few if any FOX viewers complained about Williams airing liberal views on “their” network, and the NPR ombudsman, who admitted NPR listeners were complaining about what Williams said on FOX, and adds this observation:

So …. it’s safe to say that Williams’ appearances on NPR weren’t a problem at all.  NPR’s entire problem with Williams is that he shared his liberal perspective with the supposedly intolerant right-wing audience at Fox News, where people enjoyed an actual debate.  It’s also pretty clear that NPR was looking for a reason to cut Williams, and leaped at what appeared on the surface to be their best opportunity without actually watching the whole clip and hearing the context of Williams’ remarks, which actually argued against the point of what Bill O’Reilly was making.

And so we have the rather amusing, if destructive, spectacle of a radio network casting out a true believer solely because he dared to take the faith outside the chosen circle.  NPR insists that it hosts the most diverse forums for political debate, but based on their own actions, they’re not interested in diversity or even debate.  Rather than relish having a liberal point of view presented in what they see as a conservative forum, they prefer to keep their liberal point of view within the compound — and so do their listeners.

Just who is suffering from “epistemic closure,” here?

LINKS: My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah has a lot more on the crock of you-know-what justification given by NPR’s ombudsman for firing Williams.


Friday Funnies

October 22, 2010

It’s a busy day today, so Tito’s queuing up a few videos to keep you entertained. First, the latest NewsBusted, featuring Jodi Miller:


NPR fires Juan Williams for admitting he’s human

October 21, 2010

Yesterday, National Public Radio terminated its contract with liberal commentator Juan Williams over remarks he made on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox:

Here’s a transcript, courtesy of Big Journalism:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.

And for that, Williams was fired:

NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

So, let me get this straight. In an era when Muslims bent on jihad blow themselves up on crowded buses and in pizza parlors, when Muslims bent on jihad hijack planes and kill nearly 3,000 Americans in one day, when a Muslim bent on jihad takes to heart the Islamic doctrine of Wala’ wa Bara’ (“loyalty and enmity”) and guns down his fellow soldiers, when even the general manager of al-Arabiya television says

It is certainly true that not all Muslims are terrorists, however, sadly we say that the majority of terrorists in the world are Muslims.

… and on and on around the world: London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Beslan, Mumbai, Bali, Thailand, Nigeria, and on an on in a trail of blood blazed by Muslims bent on jihad…

…Juan Williams admitted to a very human failing: he gets nervous around Muslims. He’s not saying every Muslim is a terrorist; he is not saying he hates all Muslims or that all Muslims are jihadists. He is admitting to an instinctive reaction based on years of witnessing horrifying things done by Muslims waging jihad.

News flash: I was once robbed at gunpoint by a Black man. To this day, I still get a bit nervous when a Black male stranger approaches me on the street. It’s irrational, I usually ignore it, but it’s still there: a normal human reaction based on our survival instinct. And I bet if you look around hard enough, you’ll find Black men who have had bad experiences with White cops and get nervous when encountering another White cop.

Would NPR fire them, too?

What this really shows is how narrow the limits are on free speech at that bastion of liberalism, National Public Radio. Express an opinion beyond the bounds of progressive, multicultural orthodoxy and you get punished. And it’s another example of how the Left in general pays only lip service to intellectual freedom: you have the freedom to express any thought as long as it’s on the approved list.

Conservative women, minorities who stray off the liberal reservation, and Black liberal pundits who are honest about their feelings, on the other hand, can just shut up.

PS: Why in God’s name is the United States government giving taxpayer money to a media organization that punishes people for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech?

PPS: And how odd this happened right after “progressive” billionaire (and Nazi collaborator) George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” a $1.8 million grant to pay for more reporters. Must be a coincidence.

LINKS: As you can guess, lots of sites are writing about this today. In addition to Big Journalism (and do read their post for a good survey of NPR’s “editorial standards and practices”), see also The Jawa Report, Fausta, Power Line, Legal Insurrection, Hot Air, and Michelle Malkin. On a related note, The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm reports that most Americans feel political correctness has gone too far. I’ll bet Juan Williams would agree with that.

UPDATE: Sammy at Yid With Lid argues that Juan’s presence on Fox was NPR’s real problem, not so much what he said.

UPDATE II: Oh, now they’re after Mara Liasson, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Our good friends: Pakistani Intelligence behind Mumbai massacre

October 21, 2010

In late November, 2008, the world stood transfixed in horror as Muslim terrorists waging jihad (jihad fi sabil Allah) went on a murderous rampage in the Indian city of Mumbai. At the time, there was strong suspicion that the terrorists, who belonged to a jihad group called Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), had received some support from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. But the evidence, while suggestive, wasn’t considered conclusive.

Now it is. An American who became involved with LeT, David Headley, acted as a scout for LeT, picking targets and reporting to… the ISI:

Pakistan’s powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by the Guardian.

A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.

Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

He claims a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups.

Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai for the operation, claims that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched.

I’m not sure which is worse: that Pakistan’s intelligence service was involved in the operation, or that it’s so poorly supervised, fractured, and riddled with Islamists that it can run rogue operations senior officials are unaware of. Regardless, I’m wary of the “the bosses didn’t know” argument, as Pakistan has had a long history of using LeT and similar groups as proxy forces against India in Kashmir and have been suspected of facilitating other spectacular attacks inside India.

Pakistan’s possession of nuclear weapons prevents India from taking strong military action against Pakistan in retaliation (as they have every right to do), but we should nevertheless stay aware that our “ally” in the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban is quite willing to play a double or triple game and that it would be foolish to trust them completely.

Via Big Peace.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The global-warming skeptic’s position in brief

October 20, 2010

It’s a busy-busy day today, but I wanted to direct your attention to an article at Forbes by Warren Meyer of Climate Skeptic, which provides an excellent summation of the reasons behind the dissenters’ argument against anthropogenic global warming:

In last week’s column, I lamented the devolution of the climate debate into dueling ad hominem attacks, which has led in almost a straight line to the incredible totalitarian vision of the 10:10 climate group’s recent film showing school kids getting blown up for not adhering to the global warming alarmists’ position.

In writing that column, it struck me that it was not surprising that many average folks may be unfamiliar with the science behind the climate skeptic’s position, since it almost never appears anywhere in the press. This week I want to give a necessarily brief summary of the skeptic’s case. There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers; for those interested, this video and slide presentation provides much of the analytical backup.

It is important to begin by emphasizing that few skeptics doubt or deny that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas or that it and other greenhouse gasses (water vapor being the most important) help to warm the surface of the Earth. Further, few skeptics deny that man is probably contributing to higher CO2 levels through his burning of fossil fuels, though remember we are talking about a maximum total change in atmospheric CO2 concentration due to man of about 0.01% over the last 100 years.

What skeptics deny is the catastrophe, the notion that man’s incremental contributions to CO2 levels will create catastrophic warming and wildly adverse climate changes. To understand the skeptic’s position requires understanding something about the alarmists’ case that is seldom discussed in the press: the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming is actually comprised of two separate, linked theories, of which only the first is frequently discussed in the media.

Emphasis added.

Do read the whole thing; I don’t think you’ll find a better introduction.

And maybe pass it along to any alarmists you know, just to bug them.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wednesday funnies

October 20, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:


Whose foreign money, Mr. President?

October 19, 2010

Last week, the President called out the US Chamber of Commerce for allegedly using foreign donations to buy add time for Republican candidates and to attack anti-business Democrats. At the time, I noted with contempt our Head of State’s blatant hypocrisy.

Writing at the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen points out, rather than opening a line of attack against the Republicans, the President may instead have open a political Pandora’s Box, full of woe for him and his allies:

The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU’s 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals — almost 100 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.

Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU’s anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can’t be certain that foreign nationals haven’t contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats.” The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers’ International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000. How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU’s, it could be tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help elect Democrats this November?

Read the rest for an… “interesting” discussion of how a good deal of the SEIU’s political funds may also come from illegal aliens.

Democrats have been screaming for an investigation of the Chamber of Commerce and its dirty, dirty FOREIGN!!* money (for which they have absolutely no evidence), so I bet they’ll be happy as can be when the House Republicans** next year initiate investigations into the sources of their union allies’ cash.

And SEIU and the others will be wishing the President had kept his big mouth shut.

*Amusing, isn’t it? The enlightened party playing the Xenophobia Card.

**I suppose there’s a miniscule chance of the Democrats retaining the House, but, honestly, betting on boxcars at the craps table would be a safer bet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Antisemitism is the Jews’ fault because of their greed

October 18, 2010

Don’t take my word for it. This comes straight from two honored and esteemed Jordanian scholars on Palestinian TV, so it must be true:

Note also the assertion by the first “scholar,” Arafat Hijazi, that there were no Jews in Palestine 150 years ago. Evidently this learned man has never heard of Hebron. I could be charitable and assume he’s an ignorant, bigoted ass, but then I would have to apologize to donkeys around the world. No, this is one of the lies told by Arab Muslims to delegitimize the State of Israel.

With intellectual leaders such as these two clowns, no wonder Palestinian society is so screwed up.


Rick Perry for President?

October 18, 2010

Hey, why not? Over a 12-month span ending last August, roughly 214,000 new jobs were created in the US. Half of those were created in Texas, alone.

It seems to me that Austin is doing a better job at creating jobs than Washington.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And speaking of “elitism,” guess what the President said?

October 17, 2010

President Obama captured the elitist mindset perfectly with this one statement:

“Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,” Obama said Saturday evening in remarks at a small Democratic fundraiser Saturday evening. “And the country’s scared.”

Sigh. This is one his most self-revealing statements since the “bitter clingers” moment in the Democratic primaries in 2008. In Obamaland, it isn’t possible to oppose his policies because one has come to a reasoned conclusion that they’re wrongheaded, bad for the country, and just plain won’t work. It can’t be because one has a different vision for the role of government, its relation to the people, and the best way to bring prosperity to as many as possible. It can’t be because you believe (correctly) that the Constitution is a document that limits government and gives it specific powers because unrestrained government is a threat to both liberty and prosperity.

Nope, it’s because you’re irrational and scared.

If I’m scared, Mr. President, it’s because of a very rational rejection of the poor policy choices you’ve made both domestically and in foreign affairs, and a revulsion at the direction you want to take this nation. It is based very much on “facts and science and arguments,” unlike your “stimulus” program that was nothing but a pork-fest, or your climate-change agenda that’s based on junk-science. It’s because of a feckless national security policy that has only served to make the world a more dangerous place by making us weak and pusillanimous, encouraging our rivals and enemies.

I may have disagreed with George W. Bush on many things, but at least –at the minimum– I knew he didn’t hold the  people he lead in a patronizing contempt.

I’m not a religious person, but God save me from my self-anointed betters.

PS. Bill Whittle is right.

UPDATE: Byron York has a very good column on this today.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What we believe, part 2: the problem with elitism

October 17, 2010

Bill Whittle continues his series on what American* conservatives believe, this time dealing with the problems caused by a self-appointed ruling class:

Part one is worth reviewing.

*I specify “American” conservatism, since there are significant differences with conservatism as understood in Europe. Conservatism in the US tends strongly toward limited government and free market economics, which no one would associate with, for example, the UK’s Conservative Party.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When Democrat congressmen go wild

October 16, 2010

First, we saw Bob Etheridge (D-NC)  attack a student asking him a question:

Then , Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX) acted as if he was about to swat a constituent with a newspaper, as one would a dog:

Now we have Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) first telling a reporter to shut up…

…and then going for his throat:

After the shooters turned off their cameras and started to break down, Hinchey made a beeline for Kemble and got in his face, according to a YNN videographer who was on the scene. The congressman poked Kemble in the chest aggressively, according to the YNN staffer.

I spoke with Kemble briefly this afternoon, and he told me Hinchey “put his hand on my throat” and then “realized what he had done and walked away.” The YNN shooter told me he did not witness this part of the altercation.

(via Legal Insurrection)

The oligarchs are frightened, folks, and when frightened, they might lash out at peasants (i.e., us) who dare to question their exalted, entitled selves.

Let’s be careful out there.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Crist to Rubio: “You’ve betrayed your Hispanic family”

October 16, 2010

How this weasel is polling above single digits is beyond me. Orange White-bread Charlie tries to chide Marco Rubio for being an ethnic traitor. Yes, Charlie “I don’t have any principles because I sold them all” Crist is sticking up for… integrity? Even Democrat nominee Kendrick Meek can’t stomach this.

Video at Hot Air.


Why we’re angry

October 15, 2010

Jim Geraghty posted this great ad from Colorado Republican candidate for US Senate Ken Buck. Have a look:

He nails it: they ignored us. You can talk about policy and politics all you want, but, in the end, the unholy beating the Democrats will likely take in November is the result of their arrogance, of their patronizing condescension, of their disdain for their constituents. This anger is why people are willing to walk through fire to vote in this election, and it will be the Democrats’ just desserts for acting like oligarchs, instead of representatives.

They ignored us, but, come the night of November 2nd, they won’t be able to ignore it as the voters deliver their message with an electoral 2×4.

You betcha.


In Islam, marital rape isn’t rape-rape

October 15, 2010

A few weeks ago, I presented a video clip featuring a distinguished Egyptian cleric who told a rapt interviewer that Allah had created the punishment of beating a wife for refusing her husband sex and that this was a way of honoring her.

But this left open the question, what to do if she won’t help her husband get his freak on, even after a good beating?

Simple! He can just force her to have sex, since, according to the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, forcing your wife to have sex against her will really isn’t rape:

In the name of Allah, all praise is for Allah, and may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family. To proceed:

For a wife to abandon the bed of her husband without excuse is haram [forbidden]. It is one of the major sins and the angels curse her until the morning as we have been informed by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). She is considered nashiz (rebellious) under these circumstances. As for the issue of forcing a wife to have sex, if she refuses, this would not be called rape, even though it goes against natural instincts and destroys love and mercy, and there is a great sin upon the wife who refuses; and Allah Almighty is more exalted and more knowledgeable.

Notice that? Even though the husband is committing an act that “destroys love and mercy,” it isn’t rape and the sin is hers. Again, Islam makes the woman the one responsible for the sexual behavior of the man.

Be sure to read the whole thing, because Dr. Bostom opens with a discussion of a similar organization in the UK that also argues there is no rape within a marriage. I can understand their logic, since these sharia law experts define rape as “adultery by force,” making the marital state a prerequisite condition and meaning rape can only occur outside of marriage.

But understanding is not the same as approving. It is, in fact, utterly barbaric and disgusting, again turning the woman in a marriage into little more than the man’s property and justifying, or at least excusing, unspeakable atrocities against her.

And they call this civilized?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Detroit: the railroad to nowhere

October 15, 2010

When your city’s population has shrunk by half since 1950, thousands of buildings are unoccupied, Hollywood uses it for “urban apocalypse” shots, and it’s earned the title of “Murder Capital of the USA,” what does it need?

No, not a Marine Expeditionary Force, silly! It needs a $500 million light rail project!

That goes nowhere.

Reason.TV has the story:

Yeesh.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)