Monday, February 28, 2011

The Most Powerful Word In America

A while back I was having the usual interchange with another commenter:

Those monsters must be rubbing their bloodstained hands in glee at the prospect of their poisons becoming legal.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM
Dark Star,

Nope. It will put them out of business.

MSimon on February 22, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Dark Star,

You will note that gangs no longer distribute alcohol. “Drug” is such a powerful word. It instantly makes some people stupid.

MSimon on February 22, 2011 at 11:22 PM
You will note I said nothing about ending drug use. All I suggested was that it would put the "monsters" out of business.

I'm A Trig Truther

sin2 θ + cos2 θ = 1

Triangle Of Greed

Tim Pawlenty has coined a phrase. I like it.

...growing government, powerful unions and bailed-out businesses make up "a royal triangle of greed" in America.
Define the enemy. And in most libertarian terms too.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Eventually You Run Out Of Other People's Money

Walter Russell Mead is discussing the fact that anti-public union fever is not just for Wisconsin anymore. He comes up with a quote which is the perfect explanation for why the SIHTF.

From a state that is bluer than blue, ultraviolet Vermont, comes the news that Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democratic governor with solid Democratic majorities in both houses of the legislature, will not solve his state’s fiscal problems with a tax increase. Why? As Politico reports, “We’ve already got a progressive income tax in Vermont, and we can’t get more progressive because we’ll lose the few payers that we have,” Shumlin said in between sessions at the National Governors Association meeting. “We don’t have any more tax capacity.”

“I can see New Hampshire from my house,” said the governor, noting that Vermont is already losing business, investments and residents to its low-tax neighbor.
As Dame Margaret Thacher (a grocers daughter) is reputed to have said,
The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.
It looks like eventually has arrived.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia - Follow the Money

When you want to know what a fight is all about - it is often helpful to follow the money. So where is the money in Wisconsin's fight with the Teachers Union?

We recently issued a report titled, ” A Crucial Challenge for Wisconsin Schools: Escaping the Shackles of WEA Trust Insurance.” After hours of investigation and research, we were able to demonstrate that WEA Trust is the most expensive form of school employee insurance in the state, and schools could save hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars, by switching to different insurance carriers.

We also pointed out that WEA Trust has a grossly unfair advantage in the Wisconsin school insurance market, allowing the company to charge inflated prices without losing a great deal of business. The problem is that state law makes the identify of the school insurance carrier a topic of collective bargaining. That allows local teachers unions to come to the table demanding WEA Trust coverage, because their state union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), created and is closely associated with WEA Trust.

We polled administrators from 20 school districts that managed to break away from WEA Trust coverage in recent years. All of them saved, or expected to save, at least $100,000 per year while still offering quality health coverage to employees. McIlheran wrote about one of those districts, Milton, which expects to save $1 million per year.
Well what do you know? It is not about teachers pay at all. It is about union profits.

The Chicago Boyz have more details.
Would someone please note that Unions make the great lion’s share of their $ from negotiating “benefits”, not salaries… or collection of dues.

This is why the decoupling of the Salaries and Benefits is so important to Unions in Wisconsin. And why the Union’s have countered the way they have. They’ll give up Salary and Jobs for Teachers in a second, but they will fight to death for the Benefit negotiation position. In another life as an executive in CA, I used to do administration for two Teamster’s “Health and Welfare” benefit packages. Do your research, but you’ll find I’m correct about motivation of Unions. I also believe that the amount of money kept by Unions will be very interesting to both your viewers, and the tax payers of the US of A. The way it works is that the Unions negotiate with the “Employer” regarding how much money per member/per month they will need to support the benefit options required in Union contract. In the case of WI, they negotiate with each of the 77 counties. Then the Unions negotiate the terms of benefits with “providers”/Ins Co’s, etc. They make the lion’s share of their money off of what is called the “breakage” created by Employees choosing between plan options, and the administration of the programs.
A commenter at the Boyz puts it in clear dollars and cents terms.
Mike Says:

February 20th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Average annual cost of family coverage for the teachers in the school district our business is located in $22,000 with no employee contribution required. Average annual cost of family coverage in our business $12,000 with employee contribution of 12%. We just received our May 1st renewal up 16%.

My advise to WI teachers. With all due respect, go back to work, carefully consider the “value” of your union and consider firing them. And lastly, stop whining and make the best of a not so good situation like the rest of us are. Maybe its just me.
So in this one case each union member is worth $10,000 a year to the union. Over and above union dues and any other money the union gets from the teachers. Talk about your sweetheart deals.

Here is some more information on what honest deals might do to the union.
[Waukesha, Wisc…] Wisconsin school districts are saving millions of dollars by switching health insurance providers away from WEA Trust, but the teachers union is not making it easy.

WEA Trust is affiliated with the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) [the State affiliate of the NEA - ed.], the union representing some 98,000 employees within Wisconsin schools. The MacIver News Service has learned some districts across the state have discovered they can provide equal coverage at a lower cost through soliciting bids from other companies in the health insurance marketplace.

For example, this year Campbellsport School District switched to the Wisconsin Counties Association’s plan and will save $100,000. The Slinger School District switched to United Healthcare and saved $200,000. Waukesha switched from WEA Trust as well and indicates it will save $2 million.

“United has a larger pool and can provide the same coverage at a much lower price,” said Todd Gray, Waukesha Superintendent.

This trend has caught the attention of the WEAC, and their locals are fighting to stop it. In Campbellsport, the Master Agreement between the union and the district allows the school board to switch insurance providers as long as the coverage is identical. The union there claims the district violated that agreement and filed a grievance and a prohibited practice complaint against the district.

“Since becoming effective July 1, 2010, the change in health insurance carriers has been almost seamless, without any loss in the level of benefits,” Dan Olson, Campbellsport Superintendent, said.

The school board decided to take up the grievance at an August meeting, and publicly posted the item on August 3 to comply with open meetings law. At that meeting, the board decided to take up the grievance in open session.

“In these tough economic times the residents of the Campbellsport School District deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent, including the efforts the District is taking to save approximately $100,000.00 in costs,” said Jay Miller, Board of Education President.
There are more details on how the union fought a change in insurance plans at the link. Hmmmmmm. I think I smell MONEY.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air goes even deeper into the money. Good material. But I think you get the general idea. The Union is skimming from the members Health Care Plan. They seem to do that sort of thing on pension plans when they control them. This is starting to look like a pattern of practices and behavior.

This book might be a good guide to those patterns and practices:

Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement

Charles Krauthammer says Wisconsin represents the shot heard 'round the world in America's efforts to right the ship.
Wisconsin is the epicenter. It began with economic issues. When Gov. Scott Walker proposed that state workers contribute more to their pension and health-care benefits, he started a revolution. Teachers called in sick. Schools closed. Demonstrators massed at the capitol. Democratic senators fled the state to paralyze the Legislature.

Unfortunately for them, that telegenic faux-Cairo scene drew national attention to the dispute - and to the sweetheart deals the public-sector unions had negotiated for themselves for years. They were contributing a fifth of a penny on a dollar of wages to their pensions and one-fourth what private-sector workers pay for health insurance.

The unions quickly understood that the more than 85 percent of Wisconsin not part of this privileged special-interest group would not take kindly to "public servants" resisting adjustments that still leave them paying less for benefits than private-sector workers. They immediately capitulated and claimed they were only protesting the other part of the bill, the part about collective-bargaining rights.

Indeed. Walker understands that a one-time giveback means little. The state's financial straits - a $3.6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years - did not come out of nowhere. They came largely from a half-century-long power imbalance between the unions and the politicians with whom they collectively bargain.
Wretchard at the Belmont Club (who quotes an article I recently wrote) thinks if America can right the ship it will be an example for the rest of the world.
...what’s important to remember is that the United States is the fulcrum of fate. Unlike other world crises, in which there were rival centers of hard power, the suddenness of this storm happens while the US remains, and will remain for the short run, the center of hard power.

Not that it will be used, and therein lies the key redeeming feature of the struggle. The world does not have the capacity to break out into global war because, with the exception of Russia, their nuclear arsenals are “too small” and they cannot cross the seas to attack each other because they have no power projection capacities and cannot challenge the USN.

That means that if America regains rationality, it can hold the ring and the world crisis will not spill over into international chaos. This can be a global velvet revolution instead of a bloody one. If America regains rationality
And that is the key. Rationality. Which is why I'm a TEA Partier.

1. Fiscal Responsibility
2. Constitutional Government
3. Free Markets

Tea Party Difference

Click on the above image and learn how to spread it around.

H/T Linearthinker for the Wretchard link.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia II

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia:

We are holding your children hostage.

Attack On Coptic Monastary In Egypt

Don't watch this if you have a weak stomach. Even if you have a strong stomach it is hard to watch.

Here is a report from Coptic Solidarity (which has a shorter version of the video).
For the second time in as many days, Egyptian armed force stormed the 5th century old St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, 110 kilometers from Cairo. Live ammunition was fired, wounding two monks and six Coptic monastery workers. Several sources confirmed the army's use of RPG ammunition. Four people have been arrested including three monks and a Coptic lawyer who was at the monastery investigating yesterday's army attack.

Monk Aksios Ava Bishoy told activist Nader Shoukry of Freecopts the armed forces stormed the main entrance gate to the monastery in the morning using five tanks, armored vehicles and a bulldozer to demolish the fence built by the monastery last month to protect themselves and the monastery from the lawlessness which prevailed in Egypt during the January 25 Uprising.
Asia News says:
The confrontation was sparked by the construction of fences around the convents to protect them from marauding criminals who escaped prison in the wake of the 25 January uprising. After issuing a 48-hour demolition order, the army moved in. Some 7,000 Copts protest in Tahrir Square.
There are more details at how the "situation" arose at the Asia News link.

This seems to be a rather excessive reaction to what amounts to a building code violation.

And don't forget: always take your camera to the action. Evidence is always good to counter the "narrative".

Here are a few pages of books on the The Copts and Egypt.

H/T Judith Weiss (Yehudit) on Facebook

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Hide Away In Rockford

H/T Hot Air

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Kind Of Utopia Do You Want?

The left likes pain free utopias (why should anyone suffer?). The right likes painful ones (how else can you learn?). A middle way would be nice.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Miscarriages Will Need To Be Investigated

Back in December of 2009 a commenter at The Other McCain said:

The Indentured Servant Girl said...

M. Simon: women were not, and would not be charged with murder for procuring an abortion. It is the doctors that the law goes after.
Of course I had a response in my post Abortion Is Murder. My central question was this:
The question for me is enforcement. How intrusive will the government have to get to make it work? Weekly pregnancy tests? (the Drug War precedent) And of course with new technology coming on line - maybe electronic sniffers to look for changes in the body? Then every miscarriage becomes a murder investigation.
I was pretty far out on a limb on that one. So far out that it was not taken seriously.

Well I 'm not on a limb any longer. According to Bridget Casey we have a state legislator proposing just such a law.
Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) just introduced a new bill to the legislature called HB 1. This bill is basically an anti-abortion bill. It is extremely rigid with almost no wiggle room and it’s causing the lefty loons to go berserk. His bill defines the beginning of life as the moment of conception and any person who ends that life shall be guilty of murder….period. Now…I am a very devout Catholic pro-life gal and I think abortions are wrong but I think this bill goes too far.

For instance….Mr. Franklin wants all miscarriages to be investigated unless they occurred in the presence of a doctor. So in other words, if you miscarry at home, you could be investigated and you would have to prove that you did nothing to cause that miscarriage. If you took a sleeping pill or if you had a glass of wine then you would have to prove that neither of those things caused you to lose your baby…or you could be charged with murder.
I warned of this very thing in my November 2005 post It Is All About Enforcement.
And of course every miscarriage will need a murder investigation.
There is much more there about how an anti-abortion law will need to be enforced. None of it is good. Murder investigations are expensive and the number of them required if this law was a nationwide law would go from about 20,000 to on the order of 200,000. The effort on regular murder cases would decline or vast sums of money would be required to put this into effect.

Neil Boortz has some thoughts on this.
We are sure that Franklin believes women who suffer miscarriages should be put in a position where they might have to prove they did nothing to cause that miscarriage or face charges for murder and possible execution.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’ve blown an exhaust valve here. Read it for yourself in Franklin’s House Bill 1 — introduced, by the way, with no co-sponsors.

The purpose of the bill is to take what Franklin calls “prenatal murder” and make it a crime punishable by death. By “prenatal murder,” Mr. Franklin means abortion.

What you may not immediately realize is that Mr. Franklin is also referring to miscarriages. See line 114 of my copy of Franklin’s bill: “Prenatal murder means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.”

On line 118 you’ll read that a miscarriage might also be prosecuted as prenatal murder if it can be shown that the pregnant woman took some action that might have played a role in the miscarriage.

In other words, if Bobby Franklin’s bill were to become law (not gonna happen) a woman who suffers the anguish of a miscarriage could be put in the position of having to prove that she did nothing whatsoever to cause that miscarriage or face a murder charge.
One of the commenters at Hill Buzz
dginga Says:

February 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm

“I can’t imagine the pain and horror of having to deal with losing a child and then *prove my freaking innocence* if I had a miscarriage out of a doctor’s sight!”

MamaCon, my mother had to do that very thing back in the 1960′s before Roe V. Wade, and it made her a rabid pro-choice advocate forever after (and she’s 85 now). Even though she already had SEVEN children. Even though she was well over 40 at the time. Even though it was a high-risk pregnancy to begin with, when she miscarried at home and my dad took her to the emergency room, she said the docs and nurses treated her like a criminal assuming that she had given herself an abortion rather than making the very realistic (and true) assumption that she was too old for the fetus to be viable. After that experience she vowed to support the pro-choice advocates so that no woman would ever be treated like that again following a miscarriage.
The problem is a political one. As a commenter points out.
rikc Says:

February 24, 2011 at 10:08 pm

One jack-wagon and an order of fries to go! Geeze is this dude for real???? Someone please tell me this person is a plant from the Odumbo camp to make us Indies lean back towards the dems! There are a lot of us Indies who are moderate to liberal who voted GOP in the last election because the dems were simply out of control, not to mention Odumob’s antics, however if the GOP doesn’t squash this asshattery by lunatic fringe people like this guy, a lot of us will be forced to go back to the left. So again I pose the question, is this guy for real, or is he a plant from the Odumbo camp to gather up all the Indies who left the dems at the starting gate in the past two elections???
Lefty site Mother Jones has this to say:
Holding women criminally liable for a totally natural, common biological process is cruel and non-sensical. Even more ridiculous, the bill holds women responsible for protecting their fetuses from "the moment of conception," despite the fact that pregnancy tests aren't accurate until at least 3 weeks after conception. Unless Franklin (who is not a health professional) invents a revolutionary intrauterine conception alarm system, it's unclear how exactly the state of Georgia would enforce that rule other than holding all possibly-pregnant women under lock and key.

I've seen a lot of anti-woman, hate-filled bills this year, but this one takes the cake. And it's not just anti-woman, it's anti-logic. The bill contends that Georgia is exempt from upholding Supreme Court decisions like Roe v. Wade because the Constitution's Article I only governs five crimes: counterfeiting, piracy, high seas felonies, offenses against the law of nations, and treason. According to the bill, since murder is not one of those five crimes, it should be solely governed by the state. The bill also mandates that doctors must try to save the mother and the fetus, even though as we know, there are many situations in which both cannot be saved. It also changes medical terminology, re-designating all zygotes, embryos, and concepti as fetuses. In the bill's logic, a fertilized egg is the same as a person, and its destruction is murder. Sometimes even a fertilized egg will fail to adhere to the uterine lining, so would that make a uterus a murderer?
I have written a few other posts on the abortion question.

Letter To A Friend

The Jewish Position On Abortion

The Jews And Partial Birth Abortion

I'm against abortion and I'm also against government involvement in the question. It is a political, medical, and legal minefield. Which is why I support Rockford Pro Life which is against abortion and against government involvement in the question.

Which reminds me of another question. Can anyone point me to a secular anti-abortion group? I have never heard of one.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Problem With Socialists And Socialist Conservatives

Bill Whittle explains "The Problem With Socialists And Socialist Conservatives" in his review of the movie Forbidden Planet.

Forbidden Planet (Two-Disc 50th Anniversary DVD Edition)

This book is a further exposition on the subject:

God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland

And if that isn't enough for you I have a C.S. Lewis quote:

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - Clive Staples "CS" Lewis

Me? I'd rather not live under any form of socialism. As a wag once said of the "problem": "If you tell people what to do they will do the opposite. If you leave them alone they will do as they damn well please."

Short version: leaving people alone causes fewer problems.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia: Give us the money or the kid gets it.

Parent: Gets what?

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia: Educated by us.

Parent: But you don't educate the kids.

Wisconsin Teachers Mafia: OK. How much will you pay us to leave the kids alone?

Parent: You are going to need a doctor's excuse for that.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

We Are The Middle Finger

The above image is from Looking At The Left where you can find a larger version plus many other images. The occasion was a union rally in Denver supporting the Wisconsin Teachers Mafia.

H/T Instapundit

Which Utopia?

In a peripheral discussion at the Belmont Club the subject of drugs and politics came up. Which prompted a few thoughts. Here they are revised and extended.


The proper way to look at it:

Addicted to drugs = person in pain.

Looked at that way a lot of what goes on becomes more comprehensible.

I believe left/right is more about intolerance/tolerance for pain than any kind of political theory. i.e. how do you feel about the suffering of others/yourself. And it has nothing to do with drug use (although that can be an indicator of the level of pain) Bomber Joe was an opiate addict. And Halsted.

The left likes pain free utopias (why should anyone suffer?). The right likes painful ones (how else can you learn?). A middle way would be nice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bursting The Lower Education Bubble

What is going on in Wisconsin is the bursting of the lower education bubble. You heard it here first.

Welcome Instapundit readers.

I'm A Little Late On This

But it was too funny to pass up.

Take The Bastards Down

I think they have the wrong bastards in mind. But if they want smashing this 66 year old is up for it. Let them fire the first shot. Then give them some serious counter battery fire. Two for range and then fire for effect.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Old Order Is Breaking Down

Commenter Frank asked me to elaborate on my point about the start of the next world war at Palin: Libyans Should Be Protected By Nato. I replied in a comment. I think that comment deserves more eyeballs.



The world system is breaking down. In America:

1. The lower education/union bubble
2. The higher education bubble
3. The real estate bubble
4. Not enough oil production
5. Drug Prohibition is being recognized as a failure
6. Insufficient food production to support the world system.
7. The Green bubble
8. Unsustainable Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
9. The Democrat party is near a collapse point. Wisconsin is the leading indicator
10. etc

Europe - similar to the above without oil resources plus a Muslim problem.

In the Middle East:

1. Islam is breaking down due to the Internet/cell phones
2. It will not go quietly
3. Muslim Brotherhood etc.
4. Not enough food production
5. Dictators R us
6. etc.


1. Food
2. The Jasmine Revolution
3. Internet/cell phones - see Jasmine Revolution
4. One Party rule - like the Democrats in America only worse

India - I'm going to have to study more. Probably much of the above plus an Islam problem going back at least 500 years only partially resolved with the India/Pakistan partition.

No doubt much more.

The world system is breaking down. Much of the old system that we have been carrying is unsupportable. It will be a better system once the old order is gone. The old order will not go without a fight.

Texas is designing a degree system that will cost the student $10,000. I don't see why the cost shouldn't be more on the order of $2,000. We have the Internet.

The US is well positioned with its TEA Parties to come out on top of this upheaval. But it will not be pretty here either.

Some good places to start for further reading are:

The Origins of The Second World War


The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914

From a review:

The fateful quarter-century leading up to the World War I was a time when the world of Privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of Protest was heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate. The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.

Sound familiar?


The Guns of August

May I also suggest Sara Hoyt's blog post Marx Is Dead

Batten the hatches, General Quarters, Incoming! This is not going to be pretty. At all.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Palin: Libyans Should Be Protected By Nato

Sarah Palin says Libya should be declared a no-fly zone.

...Gaddafi is a brutal killer and Libya – not to mention the world – would be better off if he were out of power. Now is the time to speak out. Speak out for the long-suffering Libyan people. Speak out for the victims of Gaddafi’s terror. NATO and our allies should look at establishing a no-fly zone so Libyan air forces cannot continue slaughtering the Libyan people.
You know what the Peacemongers will say:
Damn Warmongers interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. Every nation has the right to kill its own citizens in mass quantities. The Warmongers should stay out and let the slaughter proceed.
I believe that we are witnessing the start of the next world war.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make Up

Do you just make stuff up or do you have a special orifice you pull it out of?

Taking The Lead

You can lead a man to information but you can't make him think.

Camel Dating Advice

Althouse has a video up (under a minute) of some Daley Show folks abusing a camel. A commenter said:

...whoever did it apparently did not know enough about the animals to understand how they should be handled.
Foreplay is the key. Dry humping can chafe you and the camel. You will never get a date with that camel again.

H/T Instapundit

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Try To Blow Sunshine Up My Butt

Col Allen West confronts a Muslim from CAIR. The sound is a little indistinct at the beginning. Keep replaying until you get it. BTW the "Don't blow sunshine..." quote is unmistakable.

From West's wiki.
"If it's about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can."
My kinda guy.

H/T Hill Buzz

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Labor Theory Of Value

Sarah Hoyt destroys it. Go read the whole thing.

What Madison Is All About

Chuck Sweeny - a Rockford Register Star reporter that I know from his days of covering the local Libertarian Party - gets to the heart of the goings on in Madison and explains why it is so critical for the unions to win against Governor Walker and the Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature.

But Democrats can’t compromise on ending collective bargaining rights, because that would weaken their party’s key political bloc. Democrats know that Walker’s gambit to break the unions is part of the national Republican strategy in the run up to the 2012 elections.
Chuck thinks that the Republicans, who only need one Democrat to show up to pass their agenda, will fold in the face of union pressure. I don't think so. It costs real money to bus in all those protestors and keep them fed and housed. Every day Walker can keep the protesters on the street further weakens the Democrats for the next election.

What Chuck also leaves out is that recall elections can be called by petition in Wisconsin one year after a person is elected. All the Republicans have to do is collect about 25,000 signatures from a Senate District, get them verified, and six weeks later there will be an election. In a district that was barely won by a Democrat and with sentiment favoring the Governor there is a good chance that in 12 or 16 weeks Walker will have enough Senators to make a quorum and the unions will lose a LOT. Can he hold out that long? Walker has been in politics for a while and he has a reputation for not backing down. Time will tell.

As Chuck points out the Democrats depend on that union money to elect Democrats who will do the unions more favors so they can get their cut. But the marks are staring to wise up. My take is that the longer he holds out the stronger he will get. And he doesn't have to get everything to win. A couple of things would do it: yearly union elections and no automatic deduction of union dues. The last point alone would mean a raise of a few percent for those who didn't want to pay. In these hard times who wouldn't like a raise or even a smaller cut in pay?

Wisconsin is only the first battle. Ohio is next. Indiana is even going after private sector unions. And a labor leader emphasizes Chuck's point:
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation's largest public-sector union, said the moves in various state capitals to target state employees were an explicit effort to undermine a key source of Democratic funds.

"They know how much we spent in the last campaign," he said. "They're going to try and shoot us down."

The 1.6 million-member AFSCME last year tapped emergency accounts and took out loans as it poured more than $90 million into Democratic campaign efforts in the mid-term elections.

Overall, unions put around $400 million into the 2008 campaign to help elect Mr. Obama and other Democrats.
That is quite a war chest. I think the Republicans would like to flatten it. I think they can.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Islam Builds Confidence

The build up is spectacular the end is wonderful. Stick though to the end. You will not be disappointed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Perfect Metaphor

H/T Hill Buzz

Opiates For PTSD

As those of you who read me regularly know I have frequently been inflicting on you a link to my article Heroin in discussions of both the Drug War and PTSD. And some of you with an irrational hatred of Heroin have derided me and told me I'm full of it. The evidence in the article was circumstantial and not extremely strong. Well I have some extremely strong evidence now and it first surfaced in my article Underground In Las Vegas. And where did the evidence come from? Probably the most conservative sector of our society. The US Military.

And what is the military prescribing for PTSD? The article refers to them as narcotics. Really they are opiate analogs. Here is part of the story:

By some estimates, well over 300,000 troops have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with P.T.S.D., depression, traumatic brain injury or some combination of those. The Pentagon has looked to pharmacology to treat those complex problems, following the lead of civilian medicine. As a result, psychiatric drugs have been used more widely across the military than in any previous war.

But those medications, along with narcotic painkillers, are being increasingly linked to a rising tide of other problems, among them drug dependency, suicide and fatal accidents — sometimes from the interaction of the drugs themselves. An Army report on suicide released last year documented the problem, saying one-third of the force was on at least one prescription medication.

“Prescription drug use is on the rise,” the report said, noting that medications were involved in one-third of the record 162 suicides by active-duty soldiers in 2009. An additional 101 soldiers died accidentally from the toxic mixing of prescription drugs from 2006 to 2009.
Obviously the military doctors are having no more luck with PTSD than their civilian counterparts. Which is to say - there is no cure.

But the civilian doctors in some states have an option the military doesn't have. Medical Marijuana.
Chronic pain conditions change peoples lives. The discomfort and pain is consuming. Many patients fail to truly weigh the pros and cons of the medications they are given for pain, especially those who have chronic conditions. Constipating opiates are almost always an option, but medical marijuana is rarely discussed. But, it should be an option for those facing hard treatment decisions regarding long term medication use. There are blood tests that doctors run to check for long term kidney and liver damage by medications, although they fail to mention all of the reasons for testing. The very idea that it is routine for some doctors to check to the amount of damage a medication can do to the kidneys and liver is indicative of its inherent damage. Medical marijuana presents none of those problems.

Chronic pain patients often end up at pain management facilities. Treating chronic pain is about providing the patient with the best quality of life while they are in pain, whether this is cancer pain or herniated disc pain awaiting new surgical fusion technology. Pain treatment often involves a combination of physical therapy, medication, relaxation, ice and heat rotations, and surgery. Doctors prescribe cocktails drawing from Opioids, Anti-convulsives, muscle relaxants, beta blockers, Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and others. Rather than discuss medical marijuana and the proven efficacy of cannabis as a pain remedy, patients are given expensive cocktails. Medical marijuana has long been a taboo subject for patients, especially when it comes to asking their primary care doctor. The stigma associated with medical marijuana blinds physicians from seeing that cannabis often far outweighs the use of other medication combinations. Medical marijuana is a valid treatment for many conditions. Using medical marijuana can reduce the amount of other medications. Marijuana is safer.
Yep. Marijuana is safer. DEA Judge Young in a legal opinion about marijuana as medicine said:
Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.
What else can marijuana do when combined with opiates?
Medical marijuana can help pain patients in many ways. Using cannabis as an adjunct medicine can help opiate pain meds work better. Medical marijuana can successfully treat pain and help lower the overall dose of narcotics, something that is healthy for the patient.
Marijuana is safer than a very common psychoactive over the counter drug. Alcohol. In fact some one has written a book about it.

Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?

In fact alcohol was considered a kind of folk remedy for PTSD before the condition had an official name. Back in the day it was called "shell shock" or similar. And as you might have guessed I have written something on the subject. See: The Soldiers Disease.

Our understanding of the use of marijuana for PTSD is rather advanced. See: PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System.

Now my questions are a simple ones. Why don't those who have so much compassion for our military men work for the repeal of Federal Marijuana Prohibition so those in desperate need can get better help than they are now receiving? And why aren't we looking at the vast untreated population in America with PTSD who are now self medicating with illegal drugs? Why are we punishing the traumatized in this country? Or at least those the government can catch and of course their suppliers. I do not consider the drug dealers evil. I think of them as heroes. They are helping people (for profit - just like the pharma companies) that our government in its infinite wisdom does not count as worthy of treatment. Unless their condition was acquired on the battlefield. Why are victims of sexual assault or child abuse any less worthy than the folks in the military?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Drugs Corrupt Cops

Alcohol prohibition corrupted the law enforcement apparatus of the United States.

4. Prohibition permanently corrupted law enforcement, the court system, and politics. During Prohibition, organized crime had on its payroll police, judges, prosecutors, and politicians. If mobsters couldn't buy or successfully threaten someone in a powerful position, they either "wiped him out" or, following more democratic principles, ran a candidate against the incumbent in the next election. They put money behind their candidate, stuffed the ballot box, or leaked some scandal about the incumbent just before the election (or all three). The important thing was winning, and more often than not, someone beholden to organized crime rose to the position of power. After more than twelve years of purchases, threats, and elections, organized crime had "in its pocket" the political and governmental power structure of most medium-to-large cities, and several states.
National drug prohibition has been in effect since 1914. In 1937, after the repeal of alcohol prohibition, marijuana was added to the list.

So what has been the result of drug prohibition according to a former head of the CIA?
"The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995
Thanks to Instapundit I have come across a more local example of police corruption.
MARTINEZ -- Public defenders on Thursday quickly moved to re-examine cases against their clients after the arrests of a Contra Costa County drug task force chief and a private investigator accused of running a narcotics-selling scheme, possibly with confiscated drugs.

The arrest of Norman Wielsch, commander of the state's Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, could have far-reaching ramifications in superior and appellate courts, said Contra Costa County Public Defender Robin Lipetzky. The arrest not only calls into question the credibility and integrity of Wielsch as an individual, she said, but also that of the task force as an investigative body and the guardian of prosecution evidence.

"Was he motivated by a desire to confiscate as much drugs as he could so he could turn around and sell them? Was he writing false police reports? Was he exaggerating in police reports? You have to question everything in a CNET investigation," Lipetzky said. "You also have to wonder when it's the top cop of the investigation that's a crooked cop, what did others in CNET know?"

Wielsch and Chris Butler, who runs the investigative firm Butler and Associates, were arrested together in Benicia by federal agents Wednesday morning after an undercover investigation that began in January, said Department of Justice special agent Michelle Gregory.

Both men were booked into County Jail in Martinez on as many as 25 suspected felony offenses, including possessing, transporting and selling marijuana, methamphetamine and steroids, and embezzlement, second-degree burglary and conspiracy. District Attorney Mark Peterson said his office will likely decide whether to file charges Friday [18 Feb - ed.].
Public defenders are asking for what the investigators have turned up so far in order to find out what cases may have been tainted by these public servants. And you have to wonder who else in the department was doing dirty deeds if the guy at the top was dirty.

Plus you have to wonder where else stuff like this was going on? We do know that this is not the first time such malfeasance has been discovered. There was the Rampart Scandal that broke in 2000. There were cover ups and gang ties found in the Rampart Division of the LAPD.
The Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were implicated in misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities
So are the police with their never ending drug war preventing anarchy or fomenting it? Hard call.

Take my town Rockford, Illinois. Around 1986 or '87 the FBI and DEA took out a whole gang of drug dealers. The local murder rate spiked and citizens were irate over the increase in street violence. They haven't done a whole gang raid like that since. I guess the ensuing anarchy was too much for the community. My guess is that the police are working with the gangs (or working with their favored gangs) to prevent a return of anarchy.

Well what about free speech? If you are tasked with fighting the drug war it is not allowed lest the public find out what is actually going on.
The War on Talking About the Drug War

Border Patrol agent loses job after stating the obvious

In April 2009, El Paso native and rookie Border Patrol Agent Bryan Gonzalez was working a stretch of the Mexican border near Deming, N.M. It was a relatively slow day, so when Gonzalez saw fellow Agent Shawn Montoya patrolling in the same area, the two men took a break, pulled their vehicles up next to each other, rolled down their windows, and began talking. When the conversation turned to the drug-related violence that was plaguing the border, Gonzalez "mentioned that he thought that legalization of marijuana would save a lot of lives across the border and over here," New Mexico ACLU spokesman Micah McCoy said during a recent interview. Gonzalez also mentioned that there's an organization of law enforcement officers and officials – Law Enforce­ment Against Prohibition – that stands in opposition to the drug war. "The other guy didn't agree" with Gonzalez's views, McCoy said, but regardless, "it was a friendly conversation" between the two men.

The conversation ended, and that was that – or so Gonzalez thought. As it turned out, Montoya related the content of the conversation to a fellow officer stationed out of the Customs and Border Patrol El Paso Sector headquarters; in turn, that agent bypassed his supervisor and went straight up the food chain to the agency's Joint Intake Command in Washington, D.C., to report what Gonzalez had said that day. "From there, they started a full-blown Internal Affairs investigation," says McCoy.
Well that backfired on them. Now instead of a conversation between a few officers it is now a conversation with the public.

And how about the latest national news on drug gangs?
Mexican and US security experts, some with inside information, suspect the Zetas in the killing of an American special agent this week, a prospect that could complicate investigations due to the Mexican drug gang's brutal yet sophisticated tactics.

Further knotting the matter, experts say it is not entirely clear if the gunmen were operating independently or on orders from commanders when they opened fire Tuesday on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents Jamie Zapata and Victor Avila, who were driven off the road between the violent city of Monterrey and Mexico City in the state of San Luis Potosí. Mr. Zapata died from his injuries, and Mr. Avila suffered leg wounds.

Washington swiftly announced the creation of an FBI-led task force from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to work with Mexico in its investigation.
And for those of you who think it is the drugs. Please explain why alcohol distribution gangs melted away after 1933. Did some one find a cheap way to instantly turn water into wine?

Well the above catalogs a whole host of things that are going wrong with the drug war. So how about some more? Like raiding the wrong house.
When narcotics officers appeared at a Castro home shortly after 7 a.m. on Jan. 11, they had permission from a judge to search for "proceeds" from an illegal marijuana grow.

The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they found Clark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman's insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law. "I told them to call the judge and get their warrant updated," he says. "They just laughed at me — I guess that's why they're called pigs."

Soon they may be called defendants in a lawsuit. A furious Freshman has pledged to sue the DEA and the SFPD for unlawful search and seizure of his home.

In his search warrant, Officer Scott Biggs of the SFPD's narcotics unit says that prior to the raid, he spent two days and two nights casing the address looking for Mahmoud Larizadeh, the property's owner. Larizadeh also owns a 13th Street warehouse, a part of which he rents to Bruce Rossignol, a licensed medical cannabis patient who now faces three felony charges for growing pot there.
Thanks to Instapundit for that one too. I'm not going to go into the marijuana as medicine issue here. If it interests you you can start your reading here: Cannabis is the Best Medicine. I'll just say that it seems rather evil to slap a man with a felony for growing his own medicine.

The first quote in this article was taken from:

Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Country That Isn't Barking

There is large scale unrest all across the Middle East. Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Iran, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and probably others. Which country (besides Israel) is not on the list? Iraq.

And yet we were told by our anti-war and lefty friends that Iraq was the biggest military/foreign policy mistake the US had made since Vietnam.

I know we have lefty/anti-war readers. Would any of them care to explain the Iraq anomaly? Comments are open.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hoosier Daddy

The title of this post is an ironic reference to a song by The Zombies. But the question has come up in reference to the Obama birth certificate question (not that again). And there are some strange alliances at work here. Gay run site Hill Buzz is quoting gay haters WND.

Drudge has linked this story from World Net Daily that notes the odd decision by the Supreme Court to hold a new “conference” on Obama’s eligibility to hold the presidency.

Let’s research WHY the court could be compelled to do this.

It MUST have something to do with the fact that Obama has no birth certificate on file in the Hawaiian Hall of Records with the name “Barack Hussein Obama” on it — since his original Hawaiian birth certificate with that name was sealed in the 1970s when he was adopted in Indonesia by Lolo Soetoro, his stepfather. At the time of adoption, a child’s original birth certificate is sealed away and replaced in the Hall of Records by a new birth certificate that bears the adopted parents’ names and the child’s new name, if a new name is given.

This is what happened to Obama, when he was renamed “Soetobakh” by his mother and stepfather at the time of adoption.

In Indonesia, there are no last names. The man who adopted Obama is routinely called “Lolo Soetoro”, but in reality his name in Indonesia is just Soetoro. ”Lolo” is a nickname — but on documents in the West, Soetoro seems to have used the name “Lolo Soetoro” because he needed to complete a first and last name line on documentation.
I know next to NOTHING about the laws in this area. Can you sign an alias to official documents? Probably. Especially if you have an alias notification filed at some courthouse. But what if you don't have such a document on file? I suppose if you are notorious like Obama it may be OK. In any case (in this case?) the Supreme Court seems to have taken an interest despite being previously disinterested.

There is way more at Hill Buzz and if this sort of speculation and the ensuing discussion interests you may I suggest a visit there.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Rick Santorum Has An Anal Problem

Rick Santorum may be making a run for President.

Back in September, I wrote a story about former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who was jetting around to Iowa and New Hampshire laying the obvious groundwork for a presidential run in 2012.
But Google Santorum and some very ugly crap comes up. Similar results come up for Rick Santorum.
Santorum advisers told Roll Call that burying Savage's site on Google was virtually impossible. The reporter suggested that Santorum might consider getting his supporters to fight back with blog posts and Internet traffic directed at his own sites. But his advisers wrote this effort off as too expensive. Of course, what they didn't say is that the homophobes Santorum panders to—he's a frequent fundraiser for the anti-gay marriage group National Organization for Marriage—aren't nearly as many or as motivated as the pissed off gay people and their friends, relatives, and sympathizers who were outraged by the comments he made equating homosexuality with bestiality. The fact that Santorum can't generate enough web traffic to bury the Savage's seven-year-old site in the Google rankings suggests that winning the bigot vote won't be enough to put him in the White House. But of course, we knew that. After all, it wasn't even enough to keep him in the Senate.
That is not my issue with Rick. My issue with Rick is the Drug War. He is a total Drug Warrior.

And Sarah Palin doesn't like him for her own reasons. She says she will not call him "A Knuckle Dragging Neanderthal" though. In any case I'm willing to help him with his anal problems. By making them worse.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Adam Carrola Rants On The Schools

Adam Carolla has a beautiful rant on the school systems. Don't Miss It. If you only do the first five minutes it is worth it.

Not Safe For Work

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Wisconsin Legislators Are Gone

As you may or may not know 14 Wisconsin Senators were camped out in Rockford. The first mate and I had gone out today for a late Valentines Day lunch (we often celebrate holidays early or late depending) at Aunt Mary's on State Street which is owned by Sam from Albania. We had the best Reuben sandwiches in Rockford plus a really decadent chocolate fudge cake for desert. When we got back home we were really full and decided that a Valentines Day snuggle was in order. Yummy. We stared the snuggle at about 3:30 PM local time and I didn't get up until a little after 9 PM. And I look at my e-mail and all heck has broken loose. Tall Dave (who blogs at Classical Values among other places) sent me an e-mail with the Gateway Pundit link above. And there were others like these:

Patriot Action Network

Rockford Tea Party - Facebook

Plus my favorite link resource:


I was planning to make it to their hide out at the Clock Tower tomorrow and take some pictures so I decided to watch the local news for an update - something I rarely do - and found out that the Wisconsin guys had left town. Dang. But you know a man has got to know his priorities. My personal coverage of the event would have meant lots of blog hits. Snuggles (naked) with the first mate? Priceless.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Diet Of Champions

There is a lot of craziness going around about healthy eating. Last night I saw a TV news clip showing that poor eating habits (mostly in the South) have led to poor medical outcomes. I think I have a solution. "The Pink Taco Diet"

I'm waiting for the "The Pink Taco Diet Book - Illustrated". One way to get most men and some women eating healthy. And if you eat slow - say two hours per meal - well the benefits are obvious. Preparation time is minimal and the wife and husband (or mate) can both be involved in the meal.

You have to wonder why no one has though of it yet?

I can just see it:

The husband gets home and asks the wife, "What's for supper dear?"

The wife points to the appropriate spot and says, "Healthy choice."

And for the ladies and guys who prefer something different: "The Raw Hot Dog Diet - With Protein Sauce."

In fact it is possible for both partners to enjoy their healthy choices simultaneously. With a diet like that much less hectoring will be required to get folks to stick to their diets. I can't wait.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Underground In Las Vegas

There are people living in the flood tunnel system under Las Vegas.

Further into the maze are Amy and Junior who married in the Shalimar Chapel – one of Vegas’s most popular venues - before returning to the tunnels for their honeymoon.

They lost their home when they became addicted to drugs after the death of their son Brady at four months old.

‘I heard Las Vegas was a good place for jobs,’ Amy said. ‘But it was tough and we started living under the staircase outside the MGM casino.

‘Then we met a guy who lived in the tunnels. We’ve been down here ever since.’

Matthew O’Brien, a reporter who stumbled across the tunnel people when he was researching a murder case, has set up The Shine A Light foundation to help.

‘These are normal people of all ages who’ve lost their way, generally after a traumatic event,’ he said.

‘Many are war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.
It is really shameful the way we treat people with personal problems in the US. If they take drugs for relief we hound them into jail if we can find them. But that is not the only problem.

PTSD treatment for returned soldiers is haphazard at best.
In his last months alive, Senior Airman Anthony Mena rarely left home without a backpack filled with medications.

He returned from his second deployment to Iraq complaining of back pain, insomnia, anxiety and nightmares. Doctors diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and prescribed powerful cocktails of psychiatric drugs and narcotics.

Yet his pain only deepened, as did his depression. “I have almost given up hope,” he told a doctor in 2008, medical records show. “I should have died in Iraq.”

Airman Mena died instead in his Albuquerque apartment, on July 21, 2009, five months after leaving the Air Force on a medical discharge. A toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood, including three antidepressants, a sedative, a sleeping pill and two potent painkillers.

Yet his death was no suicide, the medical examiner concluded. What killed Airman Mena was not an overdose of any one drug, but the interaction of many. He was 23.
It breaks my heart to see this. But that is not the only such story.
...the military came under criticism a decade ago for not prescribing enough medications, particularly for pain. In its willingness to prescribe more readily, the Pentagon was trying to meet standards similar to civilian medicine, General Chiarelli said.

But the response of modern psychiatry to modern warfare has not always been perfect. Psychiatrists still do not have good medications for the social withdrawal, nightmares and irritability that often accompany post-traumatic stress, so they mix and match drugs, trying to relieve symptoms.

“These decisions about medication are difficult enough in civilian psychiatry, but unfortunately in this very-high-stress population, there is almost no data to guide you,” said Dr. Ranga R. Krishnan, a psychiatrist at Duke University. “The psychiatrist is trying everything and to some extent is flying blind."
They are all flying blind - civilian and military doctors alike.

Worse - our government actively hampers the use of one of the safest drugs known to man for relief of PTSD symptoms. I have written about it at length. Here are some of the articles:

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

The Soldiers Disease

Is Addiction Real?

Police and PTSD

PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse

PTSD is not just a problem for combat vets: Heroin.

And where opiate use is necessary marijuana can reduce the required dose.
Medical marijuana can help pain patients in many ways. Using cannabis as an adjunct medicine can help opiate pain meds work better. Medical marijuana can successfully treat pain and help lower the overall dose of narcotics, something that is healthy for the patient.
It would be very useful if military doctors could use marijuana to reduce the required opiate dose. Unfortunately military doctors are not allowed to have anything to do with medical marijuana. There are Federal Laws against pot dontcha know.

I would love it if the Government wised up about all this. But first the people are going to have to demand it. We are not quite there yet. And that is very sad.

Here are a few books on the subject:

Marijuana Medical Handbook: Practical Guide to Therapeutic Uses of Marijuana

Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible

Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence

Medical Marijuana 101: Everything They Told You Is Wrong

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Hunger Coming To Korea

There has been an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in South Korea.

The severe foot and mouth epidemic that started in South Korea at the end of November could have even more serious repercussions for public health. Some 3m head of livestock have already been slaughtered but now the environment ministry is concerned about burial of the carcasses.

Under the pressure of events some cattle were buried alive and the authorities sometimes failed to take the necessary precautions: digging pits four or five metres deep and lining them with two layers of plastic sheeting. Farm animals were buried at more than 4,000 sites, often in easily accessible spots, for instance beside rivers.

As spring temperatures rise the corpses will start to rot. Rainfall leaching through the pits, above all during the June monsoon, could contaminate rivers and aquifers. This could be a hazard for drinking water with the risk of another outbreak of foot and mouth disease. To prevent "an unprecedented environmental disaster" the environment minister Lee Maanee last week called for "a full, detailed study of all the [burial] sites before spring".

According to a survey carried out in the eastern province of North Gyeongsang, where the epidemic started, more than one in 10 burial sites needs to be reinforced. New pits may be dug and lined with concrete.

The new problem comes on top of those posed by the epidemic itself, which has already cost South Korea 2,000bn won ($1.75bn) and pushed up food prices. The price of pork rose by nearly 12% in January alone. With about 5% of beef and dairy cattle having been destroyed the authorities are afraid there may be milk shortages, production having dropped by as much as one-fifth in some places.
Could it infect humans? Yes but it is rare.
Because FMD rarely infects humans, but spreads rapidly among animals, it is a much greater threat to the agriculture industry than to human health. Farmers around the world can lose huge amounts of money during a foot-and-mouth epizootic, when large numbers of animals are destroyed and revenues from milk and meat production go down.
And there are animal vaccines. It is looking bad for South Korea. But at least they have resources to buy their way out of the problem.

North Korea is in worse shape although the infection has not spread so far there.
SEOUL—A swiftly moving disease that has decimated South Korean livestock and damaged the country's food production now appears to be out of control in North Korea.

It is unclear where or when the latest outbreak of the airborne, easily transported illness known as foot-and-mouth disease began on the Korean peninsula. But in a sign of the pressure North Korea is facing over the issue, its state media on Tuesday reported that the outbreak originated in the South and that other countries, including Malaysia and Mongolia, have been hit with outbreaks in the past.

North Korea, which faces chronic food shortages and whose authoritarian government resists interaction with outsiders, hasn't taken any apparent steps to cull animals infected with the disease, as South Korea did.

Visitors to North Korea reported as far back as December they suspected the country was battling foot-and-mouth disease, but North Korea's state news agency didn't officially confirm the outbreak until Thursday when it said "more than 10,000 head of draft oxen, milk cows and pigs have been infected" and "thousands of them died."

In addition to reducing the North's already-constrained food supply, the disease's spread to oxen, widely used in place of tractors there, will limit the ability of North Korean farmers to carry out planting and other tasks.
And of course China, which borders North Korea is at risk. This is going to cause a spike in food prices world wide.

The rich countries will be stressed. Many of the poor countries of the world will be broken. Add in the recent freezes in in the US and Mexico and the world food supply is going to be strained severely. And yet the Delta Smelt has shut down a lot of food production in California (brilliant that) and we are using vast acreage to turn corn into alcohol. You have to wonder if the people running the show in America were born stupid or did they have to take classes?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Rage For A Day

You can see the Facebook page at Day of Rage (America). Ah. It looks like some 60s nostalgia. And the page owner likes HuffPo. I wonder who will be providing the tear gas? So far the page has 163 "likes". They are going to have to get a lot more people interested to make an impact.

I do like what a commenter had to say:
Pinky Anderbrayne
I've been wondering what does it take for a bunch of flourinated, chemtrailed Americans to get off their butts and get mad as hell. Egypt ain't got no religion I'm interested in but they got balls and the staying power to get the man out of office. They have taught us all an important lesson!
Does this mean they plan to overthrow Obama? That would be interesting.

It seems a number of wags are also posting:
Patrick Cromwell
How 'bout a Day of Diaper-Change? obama would be flattered.

Barry L. Camp Even after the diaper change, they'll still be full of shit.

China Hopkins Montgomery So true Barry!

Katie Andrews Kalpin LOL or they would still just STINK! lol that's what happens when one doesn't shower! ;) If we want to stop them...just have a job application, and a bar of soap, then try telling them FACTS. lol that will make them go back to the basement! ;)
Good Times. Until Daddy Takes The T-Bird Away.

In Walks The Village Idiot

Inspired by: IN WALKS THE VILLAGE IDIOT, AND HIS FACE IS ALL AGLOW. He’s been up all night listening to Mohammed’s radio.

Which linked to an article about The Village Idiot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Next Ron Paul?

To tell you the truth I'm not entirely comfortable with the last one. His policy re: the jihadis is not very sound in my opinion. In any case the both agree about drug prohibition.

"I really wanted to take a hard look at the war on drugs in this country, and I wanted to include legalization as a potential alternative to what we were doing," Johnson told the audience, to cheers.

If it's any indication of Ron Paul's effect on Republican politics, CPAC's young audience has taken on a more libertarian strain since his 2008 run. Last year, Paul won the presidential straw poll, to the surprise of many.

In 2012, the libertarians in the Republican party will be looking for somewhere to go. Paul has not yet said whether he intends to run.

A marijuana legalizer will probably not win the White House any time soon. Johnson himself says the nation is two years away from a tipping point on the issue, when it stops being "the one issue you can't talk about and get elected." According to that timeline, the tipping point will occur several months after the 2012 Election Day.

But Johnson's campaign could surprise, in the same way Paul's did.

"Gary Johnson could very well make a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary. 'Live Free or Die,' after all, is their motto," estimates Ethan Nadelmann, who heads the Drug Policy Alliance.
I expect we will see legalization as a winning issue by 2015 or 2016. Why?

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck

The same goes for political questions.

All Purpose Insult

Were you born stupid or did you have to take classes?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Triumph

Niall Ferguson schools some lefties on the amateurism of the Obama foreign policy team.

Update: If the above video wasn't enough you can watch the whole thing (11 minutes) at No Quarter.

Niall Ferguson has written books. This one looks interesting:

Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power


More Niall Ferguson Books

H/T Hill Buzz

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Legalizing To Help The Black Community

The first speaker in the video, John McWhorter, makes points similar to those made in the article Demographics.

Here is a book with a rather ironic title given the subject of the video:

Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where Were They?

My fellow bloggers and I have been going at the idea that "only social conservatives can be fiscal conservatives" at Classical Values rather hot and heavy. You can read about it here: Only Social Conservatives and here: Did the homos crash the economy?

So let me ask my Social Conservative friends why a Republican Congress spent part of 2005 dealing with Terri Schiavo instead of (in addition to) getting and keeping our fiscal house in order? The fiscal disorder was part of what led to a Democrat takeover of Congress in 2006 and the Presidency in 2008.

The Schiavo case proved there were a LOT of social conservatives in Congress and that they had the upper hand when setting the agenda. So if only social conservatives can be fiscal conservatives wha hoppened? Is it as Cynthia Yockey says:

Fiscal conservative, social conservative (when OUT of power, fiscal promises dominate; when IN power, social vendettas dominate and the majority of fiscal promises are scheduled for the indefinite future, aka, in your dreams)
You know what I think happened? The social conservatives were/are lying. Or maybe to use a kinder gentler term: they are terribly mistaken about the connection between social conservatives in government and a fiscally conservative government.

Of course the Democrats are worse. But that is not the point. Or maybe it is: social conservatism is just (or can justify) socialism lite. Because they really are not at heart fiscally conservative when it comes to their pet projects. Which is to say that despite all their discipline when it comes to social matters such discipline does not translate into conservatism in government economic matters.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Nuclear Material Found Entering The Port Of San Diego?

Over at Classical Values Frank in the comments to ARMZ Buys Wyoming Uranium Mines said that there are nuclear weapons found entering the port of San Diego. Well to say the least I was sceptical (love the Brit spelling). So I started checking for a reputable source. And it depresses me to no end to say I found one.

San Diego Channel 10 News - Interview Raises Questions Over Weapons Of Mass Effect In SD. Excerpted from the report:

In San Diego, every cargo container is driven through a radiation detector before leaving San Diego's seaport.

"So, specifically, you're looking for the dirty bomb? You're looking for the nuclear device?" asked Blacher.

"Correct. Weapons of mass effect," Hallor said.

"You ever found one?" asked Blacher.

"Not at this location," Hallor said.

"But they have found them?" asked Blacher.

"Yes," said Hallor.

"You never found one in San Diego though?" Blacher asked.

"I would say at the port of San Diego we have not," Hallor said.
So nothing in San Diego but maybe elsewhere. And not necessarily a bomb. It may have been a conventional explosive device surrounded by radioactive material. The purpose may not have been to spread destruction but rather to spread panic. For that purpose ordinary mined uranium or even depleted uranium would do. The general population is scared of anything radioactive even if the level of radioactivity is small.

We have video of the interview and follow-up:

There is more video here. And information and speculation here.

If this don't get your heebies jeeben I don't know what will. I wish McCain had won the last election. We could sure use a guy with military experience at the helm in times like these.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Food - Force Majeure

The weather has dealt a blow to food prices and not in a good way. Prices are going up.

Food inflation driven by freezing weather in Florida during December and in Mexico during February, is hitting the US supermarkets in the coming day’s. Sysco sent out an alert that announced an “Act of God”, to address their contracted supply issues.

The cold of the Superbowl weekend in Texas, has had a more lasting impact than on just the game plans for lots of travelers. The deep cold sank into the produce fields of northern Mexico, destroying fresh produce crops. This is the biggest page 16 story, about to hit a headline, that you have seen in a while. Your restaurants will be low on fresh produces for weeks. They will have to raise prices significantly or cut the produce out of the menu.
That global warming we hear so much about really is a killer. Naturally Watts Up With That has more.

May I suggest you get this book and read it before spring:

How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back: A New Method of Mulch Gardening

Then pick some seeds and start a garden.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Predators Infected With Teh Gay At CPAC

You can read about it here. But I really liked this part:

“…the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”
I guess if I have to be patted down by a guy I'd prefer some one who is experienced and likes his job. My top preference would be some one who is experienced and likes her job. But you can't always get what you want.

H/T Radley Balko

Cross Posted at Classical Values

ARMZ Buys Wyoming Uranium Mines

That is correct. A Russian company named ARMZ has bought two uranium mines in Wyoming.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the license transfer of two Wyoming mines to a Russian company, despite concerns over national security raised by local and national government officials including senior House Republicans.

From the Telegram:
Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the mines’ licenses.

The NRC last week approved the license transfer to a Russian company known as ARMZ which expects to obtain a controlling interest in Canadian-owned Uranium One by year’s end. Uranium One holds the licenses for a proposed uranium mine and an existing uranium mine in northeast Wyoming.

The approval comes despite concerns from local and national lawmakers. Bother groups worry that Wyoming’s uranium could in theory go overseas and serve against U.S. interests.
Clever name ARMZ. Those Russians sure do have a sense of humor. The whole deal kind of makes me think of the scrap iron deal with Japan pre-WW2.

Of course once the war started we sent Japan more scrap iron.

Get the poster: Salvage Scrap To Blast the Jap

I wonder if we should start collecting scrap uranium. Just in case.

H/T Bunkerville who also discusses the sale of two BP refineries.

Cross Posted at Classical Values