Violent Tornadoes Are On The Decline In The US

October 31, 2014

According to theologians of the Cult of Anthropogenic Climate Change, we should be experiencing more storms (and more severe ones). Empirical facts, on the other hand, show otherwise. Darn those inconvenient truths.

Watts Up With That?

By Paul Homewood

torngraph

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/#data

As we, fortunately, head towards the end of the third quiet tornado year in a row, let’s take a closer look at the intensity of tornadoes in the US.

We often hear claims that tornadoes are growing stronger as a result of global warming. But what do the facts tell us?

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center maintains a database of tornadoes back to 1950. However, it is generally accepted by tornado experts that data is unreliable from the 1950’s and 60’s, which were known as the “tornado growth period”, as observation practices began to develop.

Another problem during these early decades was that, according to the SPC’s Greg Carbin, there were too many higher-rated tornadoes because of post rating.

Therefore, any analysis can only be reliably started from 1970.

It is also well accepted that many more small EF-0 tornadoes are spotted nowadays, that would…

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Poland Prepares for Russian Invasion

October 30, 2014

Poland has had sad experience of Russian aggression several times over the centuries, and now again they’re worried — with justification. But it’s not just Putin who worries them: read through to the end for absolutely brutal comments from Polish officials about Obama and his administration.

The XX Committee

As Vladimir Putin’s Russia continues to threaten Ukraine, having stolen Crimea in the spring and exerted de facto Kremlin control over much of the Donbas this summer, war worries are mounting on NATO’s eastern frontier. New reports of Russian troop movements on the Ukrainian border this week are not reassuring to those Atlantic Alliance members who suffered Soviet occupation for decades, and still live in Moscow’s neighborhood.

Neither are Russian air force incursions into Western airspace calming nerves with their reborn Cold War antics: yesterday, NATO fighters intercepted no less than nineteen Russian combat aircraft, including several heavy bombers. No NATO countries are more worried about Kremlin aggression than the Baltic states, with their small militaries and lack of strategic depth, which are frankly indefensible in any conventional sense without significant and timely Alliance assistance.

But Poland is the real issue when it comes to defending NATO’s exposed Eastern…

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North Korea: officials executed for watching soap operas

October 29, 2014
"Dear Leader, Jr."

“Secretly records ‘Days of Our Lives'”

Well, they were South Korean soaps, and thus vehicles for dangerous wrong-thought. So the viewers had to be killed. Or something:

At least 10 North Korean officials have reportedly been put to death recently for the crime of watching South Korean soap operas.

The latest public executions reportedly bring to at least 50 the number of people put to death by the hard-line regime for taking in the unauthorized day-time dramas from south of the DMZ, The Independent reports, quoting South Korean sources familiar with a National Intelligence Service (NIS) briefing.

Go to the original article in The Independent and you’ll see that smuggling in South Korean soaps and action shows is big business. It apparently pays well enough that smugglers are willing to risk their lives to get it into the North, while political activists will launch balloons carrying the “subversive” programming over the DMZ.

There’s a reason North Korean authorities would liquidate anyone caught watching these: they really are subversive of Pyongyang’s preferred, neo-Stalinist order. And they don’t have to be overtly political to be dangerous; it’s not the family drama or the wild car chase that poses the threat — it’s what North Koreans see in the background, glimpses of life in the South. Nice homes and furniture. The latest electronics. The ability to say what one thinks without being shot for it. Plenty of food. And, while seeing all that, they might begin to think “Why can’t we have those things?” As the late Andrew Breitbart often said, “culture is upstream of politics.”

That is what scares the tar out of Kim Jong Un and his handlers, and that’s why they’re willing to shoot people who are willing to defy them by watching those forbidden programs. They’re desperate to stop a cultural virus from spreading, but it’s already too late. More and more people are going to see what life is like without a Dear Leader Man-Child Who Thinks He Is A God ruling them and, one day, they’re going to do something about it.  At that point the regime will collapse like a house of cards, just like Poland, East Germany, and even the USSR. It may not be for many years, but it will happen, and these TV programs will have played a role.

via

PS: I’d hate to think what they’d do to someone caught watching reality TV! smiley worried


Investigator who investigated Secret Service prostitution scandal caught with prostitute

October 29, 2014
Secret Service recruiter in action

Secret Service recruiter in action

Seriously, I think the irony meter just gave up and went home:

The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal quietly resigned in August after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to current and former department officials.

Sheriff’s deputies in Broward County, Fla., saw David Nieland, the investigator, entering and leaving a building they had under surveillance as part of a prostitution investigation, according to officials briefed on the investigation. They later interviewed a prostitute who identified Mr. Nieland in a photograph and said he had paid her for sex.

Mr. Nieland resigned after he refused to answer a series of questions from the Department of Homeland Security inspector general about the incident, the officials said.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general said in a statement that he could confirm only that Mr. Nieland resigned in August. But the spokesman added that department officials “became aware in early May of this year of an incident in Florida that involved one of our employees.”

Nieland was an investigator in the DHS Inspector General’s office and had been charged with examining how the Secret Service had handled its investigation of allegations that a White House volunteer on the trip had himself hired a call girl. (That guy, by the way, is now a policy adviser “Office on Global Women’s Issues” at State. Really.) Nieland had also alleged that he had been pressured to omit details from his report that would be embarrassing to the White House. Well, who’s embarrassed now?

Are there any adults left in D.C. at all?

Don’t answer that.


Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts

October 28, 2014

This is where the cult of “Green energy” leads — brownouts and blackouts. By heavily subsidizing inefficient, unreliable wind power and eschewing new coal and (until recently) nuclear facilities, Britain has to take draconian steps to avoid a climate-caused disaster: not warming, bit freezing to death in winter. And if the Enviro-radicals have their way in the US, we won’t be far behind.

Watts Up With That?

MODIS_UK_SnowFrom the GWPF: Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent.
–Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge.
–Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years – a 5 per cent chance – then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January.
–Tim…

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Did the government hack Sharyl Attkisson’s computers and set her up for a frame job?

October 27, 2014

sharyl attkisson

That’s the explosive accusation in the former CBS investigative reporter’s forthcoming memoir, previewed in the New York Post:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

And if that’s not bad enough:

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

The logical conclusion is that those documents were planted to serve as a reason to prosecute Attkisson, should she ever prove too troublesome. And she has been a thorn in the paw of the administration for several years, digging deeply and doggedly both into the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals. Fortunately (from the government’s point of view), CBS was willing to run interference, until it got to the point that Attkisson felt she had no choice but to resign.

Like I said, these are explosive allegations if true, and Attkisson is putting her reputation on the line by making them. (One should note that her source remains unidentified.) At the very least, this calls for a congressional investigation into the administration’s possible persecution of some in the media. (Let’s not forget how they went after FOX News’ James Rosen and the AP.) Sadly, one cannot trust the current Justice Department to investigate the matter fairly.

“Nixonian” doesn’t begin to describe the White House under Obama.

RELATED: Power Line calls this potentially one of the biggest scandals in US history and suggests Ms. Attkisson hire a top lawyer.


(Video) Who are the real racists: liberals or conservatives?

October 27, 2014

Liberal tolerance racist

If you’re a conservative, or just someone who thinks everyone should be treated equally, you’ve probably been called a racist at one point or another. And if, like most people, you’re a decent person, you’ve probably been taken aback and left wondering if maybe, subconsciously, you did hold beliefs and attitudes that were racist.

Stop wondering. You’re not. In fact, as Derryck Green of Project 21 explains in this Prager University video, it’s the American Left that harbors the racist attitudes, rooted in the assumption that Blacks just can’t compete, the infamous “soft bigotry of low expectations:”

So, relax. You’re not racist for believing we can all be held to the same standards. Far from it.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Respect: Canadian MPs fashioned spears to fight off jihadist gunman

October 25, 2014

flag_canadian_maple_leaf

Apparently House of Commons Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers wasn’t the only badass on Parliament Hill that day. Conservative MPs taking shelter in a caucus room while a Muslim gunman stalked the halls of parliament were determined to fight for their lives:

After they heard gunfire outside their meeting room door Wednesday, members of Parliament snapped close to 15 flagpoles to make weapons.

Some positioned themselves on risers that flanked doors, ready to attack an assailant.

“There were 15 flags up at caucus and all but two were taken down,” one MP recalled.

“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in,” the source said.

“It was that or get mowed down,” the member of Parliament said of the threat posed by a gunman who was ultimately shot dead by Parliament Hill security.

The article also reports that Prime Minister Harper was “whisked” into a closet where he hid for about 15 minutes. But, before anyone thinks harshly of him, remember that he was the most important person in Canada, the head of its government, and his safety was his security detail’s responsibility. Just as President Bush’s safety was a top priority on 9/11, thus forcing a delay in his return to Washington, it would have been gravely irresponsible of him to place himself at risk by joining those manning the barricade, given his responsibilities to the nation.

That said, hats off to the MPs willing to lay their lives on the line. Let no one ever say Canadians are wimps.

via Instapundit

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


We’re winning – National Public Radio guts its climate reporting team

October 25, 2014

Well, my,my,my. One of the oracles of progressive “right-thought” is quietly axing its coverage of “climate change.” Can there be any clearer sign that the skeptic argument is carrying the day? I wonder how long it will be before Paul Krugman denounces NPR as “traitors to the Earth?”

Watts Up With That?

NPR_officesFrom InsideClimate News: (hat tip to Michael E. Mann)

NPR has cut back on the number of staffers focused solely on the environment and climate change.

Earlier this year, the news outlet had three full-time reporters and one editor dedicated to covering the issue within NPR’s science desk. One remains—and he is covering it only part-time. A few reporters on other desks occasionally cover the topic as well.

The move to shift reporters off the environment beat was driven by an interest to cover other fields more in depth, said Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR’s science desk.

“We’ll think of a project we want to do and the kind of staff that we need to do it, and then organize ourselves that way,” she said. “One of the things we always do is change in response to the changing world.”

Gudenkauf also said…

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I guess, per @DonnaBrazile, the Washington Post must be “big ass liars”

October 24, 2014
Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

After all, it was Al Gore’s former campaign manager who said there is no real “concrete evidence” of voter fraud and that it was all a “big ass lie.”

Tell that to the non-citizens who fraudulently vote and might decide a close election:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Estimated Voter Turnout by Non-Citizens
2008 2010
Self reported and/or verified 38 (11.3%) 13 (3.5%)
Self reported and verified 5 (1.5%) N.A.
Adjusted estimate 21 (6.4%) 8 (2.2%)

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

Emphases added. Note that a requirement to show ID didn’t often help in these cases:

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.

Clearly election workers need better training to spot IDs issued to immigrants, or else there are a heck of a lot of forged IDs out there. And non-citizens voting illegally should be subject to immediate deportation.

Meanwhile, I wonder how Donna Brazile feels at being shown to be a big as.. er… fat idiot? Again.


Iran, Russia, and some damn thing in the Balkans

October 24, 2014
Bosnia-map

Bosnia

There are a couple of must-read articles today at XX Committee (1), both dealing with Iran’s schemes against the West. This first details Iran’s growing activities in Bosnia and Central Europe, where they have been working to cultivate Muslim extremists since Yugoslavia broke up. Note especially that Shiite Iran is quite happy to cooperate with Sunni jihadists, when the target is the “main enemy” — us and Europe. Here’s an excerpt:

…Iran has a considerable espionage base in Bosnia, which they view as a safe haven for their secret operations in the rest of Europe. Of greatest concern are the detectable ties between Iranian intelligencers and Salafi jihadist groups in Bosnia, some of which operate more or less openly (Sunni-Shia disputes notwithstanding, Tehran is happy to arm, train and equip Salafi jihadists, and nowhere more than Bosnia, where they have been doing that for over two decades). This Tehran-Sarajevo spy-terror nexus cannot be divorced from radical activities in Vienna, since Austria’s capital in many ways is the de facto capital of Salafi jihadism in Southeastern Europe, as well as a major playground for Iranian spies. These form an extended web of malevolence that stretches across Eastern and Central Europe.

…and…

Of particular concern is the large number of Iranian intelligence fronts operating in Bosnia that provide cover for operations and funding of terrorists and radicals: NGOs, charities of various sorts, and schools. For the Pasdaran, its most important cut-outs in Bosnia are the “Ibn Sina” Research Institute and the Persian-Bosnian College, but there is a long list of Iranian-linked fronts in the country (my analysis of these and how they provide cover for VEVAK and Pasdaran is here) that play an important role in Tehran’s secret war in Europe.

Should the West ever come to blows with Iran over its nuclear program, don’t doubt for a moment that the mullahs would use these assets to strike back violently in Europe.

Then Mr. Schindler also broke news today of a major Iranian-Russian intelligence cooperation agreement, aimed, of course, at us and the Israelis:

An indication of how cozy things are getting between Moscow and Tehran came this week with a visit to Iran by Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s National Security Council, who met with Iranian counterparts to discuss mutual threats. As Patrushev explained, “Iran has been one of Russia’s key partners in the region and it will remain so in future … [we] have similar and close views on many key regional issues and we had a serious exchange of views on the situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”

But this was not just a diplomatic gab fest. In the first place, Patrushev is a career intelligence officer and one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants. A career counterintelligence officer with the Leningrad KGB, just like Putin, Patrushev served as head of the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) from 1999 to 2008, leaving that position to take over the National Security Council.

As you’ll discover in the article, Mr. Patrushev is not a friend of the United States. For him, the Cold War is still very warm. Continuing:

Now, however, a full intelligence alliance has been agreed to. As a Russian report on Patrushev’s visit explained:

“The events in Syria and Iraq, where contacts between the Russian and Iranian special services have not only been resumed but have also proven their mutually advantageous nature, particularly in assessing the threats and plans of local bandit formations, both “secular” and Islamist, with respect to Russian facilities in Tartus in Syria, have impelled Moscow and Tehran to the idea of the need to formalize these contacts in the shape of a permanently operating mechanism. Russian special services also valued the volume of information, voluntarily conveyed by Iran to our specialists, on the potential activity of the Israeli Air Force against the Russian humanitarian convoys to Syria in the period of the sharp aggravation of the situation in that country in the summer of last year.”

Let there be no doubt that this new espionage alliance is aimed directly at the United States and Israel. As the report added, “the Iranians are prepared to provide Russia on a permanent basis with information on American military activity in the Persian Gulf obtained from their own technical intelligence facilities” — in other words, the Russians and Iranians will be sharing SIGINT, the most sensitive of all forms of intelligence gathering.

As Mr. Schindler likes to say, there is a “secret war” going on against us and our allies, one which our enemies seem to be fighting better than we do. Now that Iran and Russia have buried the hatchet, their cooperation will likely pose us serious problems and threats, not just in the Middle East, but also in Europe, where Russia maintains significant intelligence operations.

Our enemies have stepped up our game; I wish I had faith our current leadership could do the same.

Footnote:
(1) Frankly, one can say that about all Mr. Schindler’s posts.


Canada Shows How to Eliminate the Tax Bias against Saving

October 24, 2014

This will drive lefties who like to point to Canada’s health system as a model for the US crazy, but they’re much more free market-oriented than we are these days in other areas, and they treat savings in a more intelligent fashion. There are some very good ideas in here we should emulate, as well as looking at the Australian and Chilean national pension models as a replacement for the failing Social Security.

International Liberty

Since all economic theories – even Marxism and socialism – recognize that capital formation is a key to long-run growth, higher wages, and improved living standards, it obviously doesn’t make sense to penalize saving and investment.

Yet that’s exactly what happens because of double taxation in the United States, as can be seen by this rather sobering flowchart.

So how can we fix the problem? The best answer, particularly in the long run, is to shrink the burden of government spending so that there’s no pressure for punitive tax policies.

Good reform is also possible in the medium run. Policy makers could implement a big bang version of tax reform, replacing the corrupt internal revenue code with a simple and fair flat tax. That automatically would eliminate the tax bias against saving and investment since one of the key principles of the flat tax is that income…

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Kill Santa to save the Earth! Approved for Common Core!

October 22, 2014
Enemy of Gaia?

Enemy of Gaia?

I realize misanthropy lies at the heart of hardcore environmentalism, but there’s a substantial subset that revels in almost pornographic fantasies of violence against skeptics of anthropogenic global warming and the policies meant to deal with it. First we were treated to a gory video of skeptics exploding.

Now it’s an award-winning graphic novel –approved for use as a Common Core text!– in which terrorists protest Gaia-harming consumerism by wasting some mall Santas:

When is it acceptable for a terrorist to go berserk in a shopping mall and machine gun innocent victims to death?

When it’s all being done for the noble cause of environmentalism, of course!

Such is the take-home message of an award-winning graphic novel which has been praised by a top scientist at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a marvellous way to convey the knowledge accumulated by our scientific community.” (H/T Marc Morano at Climate Depot)

It has also been recommended by a curriculum developer at the US National Council of Teachers of English as a “rigorous” and “highly expressive” work which will make an “optimal text for students at various levels”. (Naturally, the novel has been deemed Common-Core-compliant too.)

Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni shows a beautiful woman called Camille in a supermarket staring down the sights of an automatic rifle at three men dressed in Santa costumes.

“In an energy model based on a vision of demand continually increasing we produce more so we can consume more,” says the caption, disapprovingly.

Luckily, the author has found the perfect solution to this rampant and offensive consumerism, as he demonstrates in the next frames.

The woman opens up, shellcases tumbling, and the screaming Father Christmases are riddled with bullets.

There’s something disturbingly eliminationist about the Left, whether Green save-the-Earth types or those simply fantasizing about killing a president they don’t like. One can’t simply disagree and yell at each other. No, many on the Left, including climate warriors, are so convinced of their righteousness that they want to eliminate their foes altogether, whether by jailing them or even having them executed.

For what it’s worth, I don’t want to eliminate, jail, or execute climate alarmists. I just want them exposed for the fools (often mendacious ones, at that) they are, so that they’ll slink away in embarrassment and stop corrupting science and trying to reduce us all back to a carbon-free poverty.

And I certainly don’t want to blow away Santa.


Is President Obama a Republican mole?

October 21, 2014

barack obama capitol

Sometimes I think that’s the only explanation. Consider what’s happened: More than half the nation wants to repeal and replace his signature legislation, Obamacare; if you add in those who want to just repeal it, you’re pushing 60%. In 2010 the nation punished the Democrats with huge federal and state losses. The 2009 “stimulus” bill was a big, fat failure that only rewarded cronies and drove up the national debt. His foreign policy is a shambles in a way we haven’t seen since the lowest days of Jimmy Carter’s maladministration. His administration has utterly bungled the Ebola crisis. His job approval rating has been mired in the low 40% for months. All this and more have given incumbent Democratic senators and candidates seeking to unseat Republicans good reason to run screaming from Obama and his policies to try save their party’s grip on the federal Senate. Some will do anything to avoid saying they voted for him.

But, for some reason, Obama won’t let them run away, regardless of his protestations otherwise. First he said that his policies are definitely on the ballot, in effect declaring this a referendum election on him. Democrat candidates in difficult races across the country did a collective face-palm.

But then in an interview with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, discussing incumbents running for reelection in states that voted against him in 2012, which are most of those holding elections in this cycle,  Obama doubled down:

Here’s a partial transcript:

“The bottom line is tough, these are all folks who vote with me, they have supported my agenda in Congress…” and “These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me,…”

Those sounds you hear are Mark Pryor, Allison Lundergan Grimes, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Mark Udall, Bruce Braley, and other Democrat candidates all speed-dialing to look for lobbying jobs after the election. Because, with Obama’s “help,” that’s the only way they’re going to D.C.

Maybe it’s his ego overwhelming his common sense, but, whatever the reason, President Obama may be the Republicans’ best friend in this election.


Why do Democrats fight voter ID?

October 20, 2014
"I get to vote twice? Gee, thanks, pal!"

“No ID needed? Gee, thanks, pal!”

Writing at PJ Media, former DoJ election law attorney J. Christian Adams argues that it isn’t so much because they want to cheat (1), but that there are other, more subtle reasons. He describes three. Read the article for the first and the last, but I want to highlight the second:

2. Voter ID Opponents Have the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations.

Leftist opponents of voter ID truly think minorities are less able to function in American life. I learned this when a Department of Justice Voting Section lawyer opposed to voter ID told me he thought blacks were more likely to forget their photo identification than whites were. Their lives “were more disorganized,” he said. This is a lawyer currently still working in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. This is a perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

And it isn’t just one crank lawyer at DOJ. The plaintiffs challenging voter ID and election integrity laws actually hired an expert to testify in federal court in voter ID cases that blacks were less capable of functioning efficiently in a daily routine and photo ID laws have a disparate impact on them. The expert called this idea the “calculus of voting.” For example, they have to take the bus more. Taking the bus, naturally, makes it harder to get photo ID.

The plaintiffs argue that voting “is largely a product of habit,” and blacks, well, their habits just don’t brook any interruptions to their habits, so they argue.

This is another perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Opponents of voter ID are genuinely afraid that forcing blacks to get photo ID will impose a burden on them they just can’t handle.

This is a subset of the Progressive belief that modern society is too complex for the average person to handle, and so we need (in the early 20th century formulation) boards of experts to run the economy and manage social relations for us. Hence the Democrats’ eagerness, which has infected many Republicans, to hand off legislative functions to administrative agencies run by supposedly expert bureaucrats.

What Adams describes, though, is essential to the victim-culture that pervades the Left. Blacks and other minorities have so suffered from both blatant and structural racism that they simply can’t overcome life’s obstacles on their own, so they have to be excused from what would otherwise be a reasonable requirement. Never mind that one has to show an ID to write a check or board a plane.

It’s also blatantly patronizing and offensive toward minorities.

RELATED: Mr. Adams has written a book exposing the blatant racialism at the Justice Department, including its battle against voter ID laws. Also, for the dirty history of the Democratic Party on race, be sure to read “Wrong on Race.”

Footnote:
(1) Here’s I’ll disagree with Mr. Adams a bit. John Fund has written an excellent book on (mostly) Democratic election fraud, and the conviction of ACORN in Nevada, the probably fraud in the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election, and the confirmed fraud in the 2004 presidential balloting in Milwaukee all show that at least some Democrats and their allies on the left have a strong interest in benefiting from fraud.


The real #waronwomen: higher costs under #Obamacare

October 19, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

From investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, a personal story:

Not even the medicos can afford insurance under our new glorious regime:

The husband had lost his job, so it became easier for them to just pay the penalty-tax-whatever than wreck their finances trying to afford “affordable insurance.”

Check the archives under “Obamacare,” and you’ll find many examples of people being harmed by this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law.

Which only Democrats voted to pass, I’ll remind you.


Good news! ISIS now has an air force!

October 18, 2014
Early Islamic Air Force

Early Islamic Air Force

It’s not much of one: three planes and they only flew for a short time, but that it exists at all is evidence that Obama’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” the so-called Islamic State is going swimmingly, right?

Right??

Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time the militant group had taken to the air.

The group, which has seized swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report and U.S. Central Command said it was not aware of Islamic State flying jets in Syria.

U.S-led forces are bombing Islamic State bases in Syria and Iraq. The group has regularly used weaponry captured from the Syrian and Iraqi armies and has overrun several military bases but, if the report is confirmed, this would be the first time it has been able to pilot warplanes.

“They have trainers, Iraqi officers who were pilots before for (former Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein,” Abdulrahman said.

“People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back,” he said, citing witnesses in northern Aleppo province near the base, which is 70 km (45 miles) south of the Turkish border.

Witnesses reported the flights were at a low altitude and only lasted five to 10 minutes before landing, the Observatory said. It was not possible to reach the Syrian government for comment and state media did not mention the report.

It was not clear whether the jets were equipped with weaponry or whether the pilots could fly longer distances in the planes, which witnesses said appeared to be MiG 21 or MiG 23 models captured from the Syrian military.

For what it’s worth, it’s not at all clear how long they can keep these operational, given the need for maintenance, fuel, and spare parts, but it shouldn’t exist at all. Were Obama running a serious campaign to destroy ISIS, and not just a desultory, diffident, really wishes he were golfing instead “war,” these refugees from a 7th century insane asylum would be already dead or fleeing for the hills.

But that would require having a president who understood American interests and was willing to defend them. Hopefully we’ll find one in 2016.

And hopefully ISIS won’t have a Space Corps by then.


John Brown: freedom fighter or rebel?

October 16, 2014

506px-John_brown_abo

Today is the 155th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. Brown, a fanatical abolitionist, seized the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in the hope of fomenting a slave insurrection. The Marines – lead, ironically, by Army Colonel Robert E. Lee – suppressed the rebellion after three days. Brown and several of his surviving comrades were swiftly tried and hanged. Interestingly, the crime for which Brown was executed was not treason against the United States, but treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia. I wonder how many states still have treason statutes?

I’ve always had mixed feelings about John Brown. On the one hand, he was a fanatic, a rebel against the United States, and an insurrectionist who hoped to spark a slave revolt that surely would have cost thousands of innocent lives. On the other hand, the evil that lead him to his rebellion, the abomination against which he held a fanatical hatred, was slavery. While I can’t approve the means, I can surely sympathize with the motives. Those mixed feelings were felt much more intensely in the 1850s, and John Brown’s raid was the first flaring of the fire that would break out in civil war just two years later.

(Note: this is a republication of a post from 2009 that I thought worth sharing again.)


Ebola: What is so hard about a travel ban?

October 16, 2014
Ebola virus

Ebola virus

Honestly, it seems like the most commonsense move in the world: If Ebola is rampant in West Africa, you bar incoming flights and passengers from that region until the disease is brought under control. After all, the disease was introduced into Houston Dallas by a man flying from West Africa. If he hadn’t been allowed in, there would be no people sick with Ebola in Houston Dallas, now.

But, that’s not how this White House operates. At a White House briefing yesterday after the President (finally) held a meeting on Ebola, press secretary the latest Mouth of Sauron, Josh Earnest, was asked about the possibility of imposing a travel ban. Here’s his response:

At today’s briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked why it was still OK to allow flights from the three West African countries that comprise Ebola ground zero — Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone — if it was risky for [nurse Amber] Vinson to hop on a commercial flight from Ohio.

“There’s a multilayered screening protocol that’s in place to ensure that individuals that may have symptoms consistent with Ebola are not even able to board planes in West Africa,” Earnest said.

A travel ban “is not on the table at this point.”

“Shutting down travel to that area of the world would prevent the expeditious flow of personnel and equipment into the region, and the only way for us to stop this outbreak and to eliminate any risk from Ebola to the American public is to stop this outbreak at the source,” Earnest said.

“So we are mobilizing significant resources to make sure that supplies and personnel can get to the affected region and start meeting the needs of the affected region so that we can stop the outbreak there. And that’s why, right now, the travel ban is not on the table.”

There’s a word to describe Earnest’s response that begins with “bull,” but this is a family show. First, the guy from Liberia carrying the disease showed no symptoms until after arriving in Dallas Houston, thus the “multi-layered” screening process Earnest mentions probably would not have caught him. Second nurse Vinson, who had been treating the infected Liberian, had a mild fever and was allowed to fly anyway, even after reporting herself to CDC. Who’s to say similar mistakes wouldn’t be made by far less sophisticated personnel in Dakar or Monrovia?

As for interfering with needed personnel and equipment reaching the affected countries, that is utter nonsense. Any necessary planes can be given the needed clearances easily, and procedures can be put in place for quarantining crew and disinfecting equipment. What a ban would stop is a casual traveler bringing the virus back with him — just as has already happened!

This is malfeasance in office that goes beyond incompetence and verges, in my non-legal opinion, on criminal negligence. And if Chief Executive Obama won’t take the necessary executive action , then Congress should haul its collective butt back to Washington and pass legislation that does impose a ban.

Really, this shouldn’t be hard.

PS: Be sure to read the whole article. Obama’s “statement” is a marvel of bureaucratic blather, verbal “jazz hands” meant to hide the fact that he has, again, done nothing about a potential crisis.

UPDATE: Edited because I placed “patient zero” in Houston instead of Dallas. Not sure which city would be more offended.


Musical Interlude: I got nothin’

October 15, 2014

satire Empty pockets

It’s not that there’s no news today, but plenty of other people are covering it quite well, and, well, it’s been another hectic day (no rat sightings, though) that  doesn’t leave me with time to string three coherent words together. So, maybe something later, but, for now, enjoy one of the great Jazz albums of all time, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.”

I still think the Hard Bop/Cool periods of Jazz, late 40s to early 60s, were its greatest days. And this, along with Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” its greatest album.