Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Climate Chump Change

Those who live in green glass houses:
Cause of Action, a government watchdog group, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, filed a joint IRS complaint Tuesday against the Institute of Global Environment and Society to have the organization stripped of its tax-exempt status.

The complaint alleges that IGES, run by George Mason University climate dynamics professor Jagadish Shukla, has received more than $60 million in federal grants for the stated purpose of climate research but that the funds have actually gone to benefit Shukla and his family.

“It’s incredibly ironic that while Dr. Shukla accuses global warming skeptics of deceiving the public, his own environmental organization has been pulling a fast one at taxpayer expense,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman. “His attempt to use RICO to silence public debate is groundless, and so is his organization’s tax-exempt status.”
So why is the IRS wasting its time going after actual nonprofits?

That'll Show 'Em

The only thing we have to fear is climate change:
“I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader, to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business, and that Paris … is not going to be cowered by the violent, demented actions of a few,” Obama said about the upcoming climate conference.
Obama and other administration officials have been criticized for their insistence that climate change is a threat to national security on par with terrorism.
Obama and dozens of other international leaders will participate in an event at the conference Monday, but he will leave Tuesday, and the conference will continue until at least Dec. 11.
Be not afraid, green warriors...

Duck And Run For Cover

War, or no war?
"World War III" was trending on Twitter Tuesday as the world waited to see how Russia would respond to Turkey shooting down one of its warplanes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the incident as "stab in the back by terrorist helpers," as NATO held what it described as an "extraordinary meeting" Tuesday afternoon just hours after the incident.

Russia denies its warplane was violating Turkish airspace, while Turkey — a NATO member — said it warned the aircraft 10 times before shooting it down.

Putin said Russia would "never tolerate such atrocities" and called for the international community to "fight this evil."

"Do they want to have NATO serve ISIS? I understand that every state has regional interests, and we respect that, but we would never tolerate crime like today's," Putin added.
So, what now? Another reset?

A Clone Of Your Own

Who wants a clone?
The centre may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations.
But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns.
“Let me ask one question. Was this ban based on scientific rationale or ethical rationale or political agenda?” Mr Xu told The Telegraph.
“Legislation is always behind science. But in the area of cloning, I think we are going the wrong way and starting to kill the technology.”
Is it Spot, or is it Memorex?

The Switch

A Native American Senator changes sides:
Begay, appointed as a Democrat in 2013 and re-elected in 2014, recently cited his colleague’s reaction to his decision to cross party lines to pass the current budget as a “tipping point.”

In a video released on Monday, Begay said it has been the Republicans who have worked with him to “improve education, jobs and infrastructure.”

Begay said families living within the rural and Arizona tribal communities are in a “crisis” with unemployment as high as 80 percent in some instances. The Republican Party, he said, is more equipped to address the issues.

“With an open mind and heart, I clearly see the Republican Party as a party of progress, the party of opportunity, and moving forward, my party,” he added.
Progress matters!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost And Found In Stereo

President Obama, the sample:
The album, which is set for release on Friday, will use a clip of Obama singing the hymn as an “interlude,” The Sun reported.

“We have a tiny clip of the president singing Amazing Grace at that church,” Coldplay frontman Chris Martin told The Sun. “Because of the historical significance of what he did and also that that song being about, ‘I’m lost but now I’m found.’”
Sorry, but it doesn't have a beat and you can't dance to it...

The Yoga Police

Yoga is now officially offensive:
The center suggested that some practices involved in the routine “are being taken from” some cultures that ”have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy.”

Thus, the center contends, “we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practicing yoga.”

Acting student federation president Romeo Ahimakin said that as a result, student leaders are looking at ways to make students aware of where the spiritual and cultural aspects of yoga come from, ”so that these sessions are done in a respectful manner.”

Meanwhile, yoga classes have been put on hiatus. It was not clear when or if they might resume.
No meditation for you...

Campus Correction

Not all students are happy with the direction their school (and too many others) have taken:
Students with the Princeton Open Campus Coalition expressed concern with the events and asked for a meeting with Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber.

“Academic discourse consists of reasoned arguments. We simply wish to present our own reasoned arguments and engage you and other senior administrators in dialogue. We will not occupy your office, and, though we respectfully request a minimum of an hour of your time, we will only stay for as long as you wish. We will conduct ourselves in the civil manner that it is our hope to maintain and reinforce as the norm at Princeton,” a letter published to Facebook said.

It continued, “This dialogue is necessary because many students have shared with us that they are afraid to state publicly their opinions on recent events for fear of being vilified, slandered, and subjected to hatred, either by fellow students or faculty. Many who questioned the protest were labeled racist, and black students who expressed disagreement with the protesters were called ‘white sympathizers’ and were told they were ‘not black.’ We, the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, refuse to let our peers be intimidated or bullied into silence on these–or any–important matters.”
Sanity is a dirty word these days...

Court Time

Never let a fake clock go to waste:
The attorneys have sent letters to both the City of Irving and Irving ISD (read below), demanding $10 million and $5 million respectively, for the way the incident was handled earlier this year. They claim 14-year-old Ahmed has suffered severe damages as a result of his interrogation and arrest at the school. They also point the finger at Irving’s Police Chief and Mayor for the way they portrayed Ahmed to the media once the story gained international interest.

The attorneys claim that both the school district and the police department violated Ahmed’s rights, which led to a chain of events that ultimately forced the family to move out of the country to Doha, Qatar. The family wants to return to Irving, Texas, when they feel safe again, according to the letters.

Several hardships are spelled out in the nine-page letter to the school district, which states, “Ahmed’s reputation in the global community is permanently scarred.” Among the damages his attorney’s claim include: Ahmed’s face being super-imposed onto a famous image of Osama bin Laden, Ahmed being portrayed as a clock boy on a Halloween costume website, and Ahmed’s address being tweeted out, which forced his family to leave their home.
Fifteen million would buy a lot of therapy, and clocks...

The Smell Of Sweden

No cleanliness for you:
King Carl XVI Gustaf, who once had a reputation as a lothario and is now a staunch environmentalist, said he realised how much water and energy they used when he was recently staying somewhere without a shower.

The 69-year-old ‘green king’ told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: ‘It hit me how much water and energy it used.

‘I thought “I can’t believe I’m having to do this”. I felt quite ashamed.’

Apparently in jest, he added: ‘We should ban all baths.’
Unfortunately, there are people who would actually want this. Smell ya later, Sweden...

Blogging In The Years: 1941

Did warm weather give the world a hothead?
Increasingly warmer temperatures throughout the world may produce a trend toward dictatorial governments, in the opinion of Dr. Clarence A. Mills, professor of experimental medicine at the University of Cincinnati.
In fact, Dr. Mills believes that the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in German and Benito Mussolini in Italy may be due in part to the gradually warming temperature of the world. People are more docile and easily led in warm weather than in cold, Dr. Mills insists.
Maybe Mother Nature is just getting Hitler and his followers ready for the place they will eventually end up in...

Creative Clinton Accounting

They really do mean private:
According to its corporate records, Fondo Acceso is registered in Colombia as a “simplified stock corporation,” which legal experts said precludes it from doing business as a private equity fund.

Fondo Acceso’s website was also removed from the internet this week, shortly after the Washington Free Beacon reported that the $20 million investment firm was owned by the Clinton Foundation and was run out of the foundation’s office in Bogota.

The website had previously described Acceso as “a Private Equity Fund that seeks investment opportunities in small and medium Colombian compan[ies] with the purpose of obtaining economic and social returns.”

Its website also included a contract for companies seeking investment to fill out, which authorized the release of financial and other internal information to Fondo Acceso and the Clinton Foundation.
Every little bit helps as long as you think you can get away with it...

We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Washington

Americans are not big fans of the Federal government:
More than a third (35 percent) of Republicans believe the federal government is the enemy, while 34 percent of Independents believe the same. The poll found that half of all Democrats (50 percent) view the government as a friend and only 12 percent see it as the enemy.

Other findings include that few think the government is run for the benefit of all the people and that it is viewed as wasteful and inefficient. About 3 in 4 Americans say the federal government is “run by a few big interests” and 57 percent say the “government is almost always wasteful and inefficient.”
It hasn't given a good accounting of itself, at that...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Don't Cry for Kirchner, Argentina

There's a new kid in town:
Macri, the outgoing mayor of Buenos Aires, hails from one of the country's richest families. On the campaign trail, he sometimes talked about being kidnapped in the early 1990s, an experience he said helped him understand the needs of others and he credits with pushing him into politics.

As mayor of Argentina's most important city, he was known for a technocrat manner that stressed efficiency over style.

He campaigned for president on promises to reform and jumpstart the South American country's sagging economy. He also pledged to lead by "listening more and speaking less" than Fernandez, something he frequently said on the campaign trail.

"I'm so happy," said Julia Juarez, a 66-year-old retired teacher who was one of thousands watching the returns at Macri's bunker. "Argentines are tired of this government. Tired of the corruption. We are ready for something new."
Let the free marketer decide!

First Amendment Responders

College professors try to stand up for free speech:
A recent wave of campus protests nationwide has brought new attention to the issue, with some civil liberties advocates fretting that it will erode free speech. The protests, including those that led to the ouster of the University of Missouri's president, also have added to the pressure on presidents to be responsive to students' demands.

But institution leaders say it is nothing new for them to navigate First Amendment conflicts, with more cropping up with this generation in particular on campuses that are generally far more diverse than their communities at home.

Wesleyan's president, Michael Roth, wrote a piece defending free speech in September after the student government moved to cut funding for the student newspaper over an op-ed piece on the Black Lives Matter movement. In an interview, he said the fact that some do not value free speech above all things is not a sign of a problem, but rather reflects one of many continuing debates on a diverse campus.

"As a president, I think it's pretty simple," Roth said. "You want to keep the conversation going so that you can learn from other people's views, but you also want to make sure you're learning and not just spinning your wheels."

Still, Roth said he was asked this week by students how he could defend both the student newspaper and students protesting racism.
Because, that whole free speech thing?

No Explanations Necessary

So how does the Obama administration expect to explain its climate change policy? They won't:
Stephen D. Eule, vice president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, a Chamber affiliate, appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and told lawmakers that it is “difficult to see how the administration proposes to sell such an unrealistic, bare-bones plan” given the unresolved questions and the lawsuits filed to halt implementation.

“The legal limbo the administration’s actions have created will have real consequences for business as it tries to plan for the future,” Eule said.

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have set a goal to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from established 2005 emission levels by 2025. The plan, Eule said, “raises more questions than it answers.”

“Nowhere does it explain how the administration intends to achieve the unrealistic goals it has set out,” he said. “In the absence of a detailed explanation of how the administration intends to meet the goal, the Congress, foreign governments and stakeholders here and abroad have no basis on which to assess its cost or achievability.”
Unicorns still need an explanation...

The War On Tweets

You've got to get them where it hurts:
Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech Thursday wasn’t exactly packed with specific strategies to defeat the Islamic State. But the Democratic presidential front-runner did offer this highly targeted approach:

“Social media companies can also do their part by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts, so they’re not used to plan, provoke or celebrate violence,” she said.

Boom. Just shut it down. And do it swiftly.

On the surface, this sounds like a common-sense proposal. Social media is an important part of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine. When the group claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks on Paris, it did so on Twitter. Islamic State members routinely use social media to exchange instructions and recruit new members.
It's a war of words out there...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Subsides In The Wind

Britain cuts down on wind and solar subsidies:
The moves have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies. Britain has long been in the vanguard of efforts to combat global warming. It has been expected to play a leading role — alongside the Obama administration — in efforts to secure a package of tough reforms at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, which kicks off at the end of this month.

But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home, with a planned 87 percent reduction in subsidies for solar power, threatens to undermine Britain’s international authority, while showing just how difficult it can be for a developed nation to break a centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels.
Or maybe they figured out that supporting unreliable, bird-killing tech isn't such a great idea after all...

Big Ben

Ben Shapiro takes on the culture of micro aggression:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Poop Heads On Campus

Sometimes poop is just poop:
“The one thing that guide dog school trains every student to do is that if they don’t know where the garbage can is, you still always pick it up and put it in the bag, that way no one steps in it,” Zundel told the paper. “But then you leave it outside of a building that way someone else who sees a garbage can put it in there.”

Zundel got a call from police, and her roommates told her about the Hidden Dores post, which she told the Hustler that she read. And while Zundel indicated she supports the group, the tone of the post was troubling.

“The thing that bothered me and upset me was that the post was written very extreme, and what happened was they wrote it without any investigation,” Zundel told the paper. “So there were a lot of assumptions being made.”
First, they came for the poop scoopers...

The Real Science Isn't Settled

Real scientists debunk the alarmists:
The scientists appeared at a climate summit sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The summit in Austin was titled: “At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.”
Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, derided what he termed climate “catastrophism.”
“Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best and even modest warming is mostly beneficial,” Lindzen said.
Lindzen cautioned: “The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc. — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point.”
Never let hysteria go to waste...

Cocaine Madness

This is an already crazy person on drugs:
Captagon, the trade name of a now banned German drug designed to treat ADHD, has in it’s copy-cat home-made form, for years been the narcotic of choice for many in the Middle East.

The drug, whose generic name is Fenethylline, increases aggression at higher doses and abusers can have aural and visual hallucinations, psychotic episodes or extreme dysphoria that manifests as paranoia or depression. It also carries the risk of heart failure or brain haemorrhages, followed by death.

Captagon was first produced in the 1960s to treat conditions such as hyperactivity, narcolepsy and depression, but was banned by most countries in the 1980s for being too addictive.

The underground trade continued to prosper over the years, however, and today ISIS fighters are using the drug to help them stay alert and on their feet for days, during long, protracted battles.
Insanity and death? They don't need much help there...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Exit Strategy

No more Obamacare for them:
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) today reported revised expectations for 2015, reflecting a continuing deterioration in individual exchange-compliant product performance, and provided an initial outlook for 2016.

“In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step,” said Stephen J. Hemsley, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group. “We continue to be pleased with the growth and overall performance of our Company outside of the individual exchange products and look forward to strong, positive and broad based earnings growth across our enterprise in 2016.” …

UnitedHealthcare has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016. The Company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.
I am shocked that no one saw this coming...

The Hemingway Revolt

Fighting back with the old man:
Hemingway’s ‘‘A Moveable Feast,’’ or “Paris est une Fete” in French, is flying off the shelves at bookstores across the French capital and is the fastest-selling biography and foreign-language book at online retailer Amazon.fr. Daily orders of the memoir, first published in 1964, three years after the American author’s death, have risen 50-fold to 500 since Monday, according to publisher Folio.
Copies have been laid among the flowers and tributes at the sites of the massacres, and people are reading the book in bars and cafes, Folio spokesman David Ducreux said Thursday. Orders surged after a BFM television interview on Monday with a 77-year-old woman called Danielle, who urged people to read the memoir as she laid flowers for the dead. The video was shared hundreds of times on social media.
If you stop reading, the terrorists win...

Some Backgrounds Get Vetted More Than Others

The liberal bigots who have been going after Ben Carson:
Let’s consider this “vetting” process as they call it for a moment. Barak Obama grew up under strong communist, anti-American influences. He spoke throughout his 2008 campaign about transforming America. But the media ignored it, embraced him, and accused anyone who questioned or disagreed with him as racist.

By contrast, Ben Carson was raised in the Detroit ghetto by a single mother, pulled himself up, worked hard and—with the strong influence and encouragement of his mother—went on to become a world-renowned doctor who helped thousands of people. Ben Carson is the American Dream. So why aren’t the media head over heels, embracing him?
Ben Carson worked to get where he is. Obama didn't, and neither did most of those who praised him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Middle Class Muddle

No, raising the minimum wage wouldn't help the middle class:
An analysis conducted by economists William E. Even of Miami University and David Macpherson from Trinity University found that the bill would eliminate 770,000 jobs. Nearly 85 percent of the estimated job losses will come from those earning less than $100,000 each year.

“Presidential primary candidate Hillary Clinton has argued for a minimum wage increase as part of her policy platform to boost the middle class. But this analysis shows that those with household incomes between $35,000 and up to $100,000 would bear a large portion (43%) of the job loss from this higher minimum wage,” the analysis says.
You might get your wage increase. Too bad you won't be able to get a job...

The Gawker Gamble

Will politics save Gawker? Probably not:
Desperate Denton’s latest gambit is to transform Gawker into a purely political publication in anticipation of the 2016 presidential race. To accommodate for the pivot, the blogging network has eliminated seven full-time editorial positions and a swathe of contributors. Amusingly, Sam Biddle is not just staying but is to be sent out on the campaign trail.

But Gawker has no credibility, no connections and no core audience in the world of politics, and it has not made the hires necessary to develop expertise. From what we can tell, its plan is to bring the same tired, bitchy formula to bear on politics in an era of unprecedented competition for readers’ attention and widespread loathing of the media.

It’s tough to interpret this new direction as anything more than Denton’s own political aspirations morphing Gawker from what it ought to be — a funny, feisty lifestyle publication — into an instrument of partisan political hackery. Trust me: the progressive Left has enough of those already.
Who needs more hacks? The left, apparently...

The High Country

This is your country on drugs:
Now that the court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to prevent people from smoking marijuana, Fox said it would eventually have to make a similar decision for drugs like cocaine and heroin.
"The other drugs will take a longer cycle, say five to 10 years," he said.
In a 2013 interview, Fox told Reuters he believed Mexico could legalize pot by the end of current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's six-year term in 2018, which had seemed far-fetched to many at the time, but now appears possible.
Party time south of the border?

The Comedians

Thou shall not mock the Queen:
Practically all of the country’s most acclaimed comedians have performed at the Laugh Factory and undoubtedly they have offended politicians and other well-known personalities with their standup routines. Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Roseanne Bar, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Martin Lawrence, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez are among the big names that have headlined at the Laugh Factory. The First Amendment right to free speech is a crucial component of the operation, though Masada drew the line a few years ago banning performers—including African Americans—from using the “n-word” in their acts.

The five short performances that Clinton wants eliminated include some profanity and portions could be considered crass, but some of the lines are funny and that’s what the Laugh Factory is all about. The video features the individual acts of five comedians, four men and a woman. The skits make fun of Clinton’s wardrobe, her age, sexual orientation, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the former First Lady’s relationship with her famous husband. The Laugh Factory has appropriately titled it “Hillary vs. The First Amendment.”
Off with their heads?