Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thoughtless?...From Paris

There appears to be a lack of careful, considerate, deliberate thought on the part of the Obama Administration and the media regarding Ms Sherrod. Although we still don't know all the facts, there does appear to be an emerging pattern of bad decisions. The Administration and media lack self control. They react before thoughtful review; shoot first, ask questions later.
"Fire her."
"Re-hire her."
Careful, considerate deliberate thought are requirements of a democracy. What does this ONE situation reveal about the Obama Administration? They are reactive. They are thoughtless.

It is way too early for this, but the Senate Races

Of the 10 Senate seats most likely to change hands, 9 are currently held by Democrats!

Journolist Conspiracy: New Yorker, Newsweek and Time among the participants.

Here, via the Daily Caller, are some reflections from the deep-thinking lefty journalists on Journolist following the 2008 election:

Nov. 7

LAURA ROZEN: People we no longer have to listen to: would it be unwise to start a thread of people we are grateful we no longer have to listen to? If not, I'll start off: Michael Rubin.

MICHAEL COHEN, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Mark Penn and Bob Shrum. Anyone who uses the expression "Real America." We should send there [sic] ass to Gitmo!

JESSE TAYLOR, PANDAGON.NET: Michael Barone? Please?

LAURA ROZEN: Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich (afraid it's not true), Drill Here Drill Now, And David Addington, John Yoo, we'll see you in court?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, THE NEW YORKER: As a side note, does anyone know what prompted Michael Barone to go insane?


SPENCER ACKERMAN: Let's just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I'll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies.

JOE KLEIN, TIME: Pete Wehner...these sort of things always end badly.


MICHAEL HIRSH, NEWSWEEK: so many of you still seem tied down to your old ideological moorings. on the early evidence obama is not similarly tied down on any level, whether diplomatically or economically.

Computers to translate world's 'lost' languages after program deciphers ancient text


Scientists have used a computer program to decipher a written language that is more than three thousand years old.

The program automatically translated the ancient written language of Ugaritic within just a few hours.

Scientists hope the breakthrough could help them decipher the few ancient languages that they have been unable to translate so far.

Ugaritic was last used around 1200 B.C. in western Syria and consists of dots on clay tablets. It was first discovered in 1920 but was not deciphered until 1932.

The computer program was able to decipher many of the words that Ugaritic (pictured) has in common with Hebrew

The computer program was able to decipher many of the words that Ugaritic (pictured) has in common with Hebrew


  • Etruscan - Repeated attempts to decipher this language have led little further than the numbers one to six.
  • The Rohonc Codex - Discovered in Hungary, it contains 10 times more symbols than any other known alphabet
  • Rongorongo - Discovered on Easter Island, scientists are not even sure if it is language
  • Linear A - An ancient Minoan script from Crete from around 1900-1800 BC
  • Vinca symbols - Believed to be the earliest 'proto-language' known to man, these symbols were found in Hungary in 1875. They date from around 4000 BC

Read more:

Whale Watching

A couple who took a yacht for a quiet sailing trip were stunned when a 40-ton whale crash-landed on their boat off Cape Town.

The 40-ton whale crash-landed on their boat.

The pair were enjoying calm seas off the South African coast when the animal flipped into the air and smashed into their mast.

Ralph Mothes, 59, and Paloma Werner, 50, were helpless as the beast thrashed around on their 33ft vessel before slipping back into the water.

Forty-ton whale lands on yacht during Cape Town sailing trip

The dismasted yacht struggled back to port under engine power

Streaming seems to be the future


Netflix: 61% of Customers Streaming Movies

Netflix's revenue missed expectations last quarter, possibly because many of us haven't laid hands upon a DVD or Blu-ray in quite some time. The number of customers streaming movies has jumped drastically from a year ago.

Just another MSM day

Government should shut down Fox News,

Watching Rush die in the street would be funny,

Teabaggers are mean-spirited fascists.

In short, JournoList was just a really big Politics tab thread

Stimulating Unemployment: If you can't create any jobs, pay people not to work.


The one possibility the President and Congressional Democrats won't entertain is that their own spending and taxing and regulating and labor union favoritism have become the main hindrance to job creation. Since February 2009, the jobless rate has climbed to 9.5% from 8.1%, and private industry has shed two million jobs. The overall economy has been expanding for at least a year, but employers still don't seem confident enough to add new workers. The economists who sold us the stimulus say it's a mystery. But maybe employers are afraid to hire because they don't know what costs government will impose on them next.

In the immediate policy case, Democrats are going so far as to subsidize more unemployment. If you subsidize something, you get more of it. So if you pay people not to work, they often decide . . . not to work.

A March 2010 economic report by Michael Feroli of J.P. Morgan Chase examined several studies and concluded that "lengthened availability of jobless benefits has raised the unemployment rate by 1.5% points."

A 2006 NBER study by Raj Chetty of UC Berkeley on a related subject begins, "It is well known that unemployment benefits raise unemployment durations."

The current recession is bearing this out, as a record 6.7 million Americans have now been out of work for at least six months. That's 45.5% of the total jobless, close to the highest share ever recorded. The number was 23.4% in February 2009.

What Bailout? Where did it go? What did it do?


Gov't watchdogs: Mortgage program not working...

Now that is hot

Heat wave in Moscow and other parts of Russia

A polar bear cub looks at an adult polar bear resting with a bucket on its head in the cooling waters of a pool at the Moscow Zoo

A polar bear cub looks at an adult polar bear resting with a bucket on its head in the cooling waters of a pool at the Moscow Zoo, as the city experiences a prolonged heatwave

JournoList Conspiracy continues. (Delong misses the point. Being part of the Ruling Elite is more important to these “journalist” than profits.

JournoList As A Management Problem. “The real problem with JournoList is that much of it consisted of exchanges among people who worked for institutions about how to best hijack their employers for the cause of Progressivism. Thus, the J-List discussion revealed yesterday in the Daily Caller was about how the group could get their media organizations to play down the Reverend Wright affair and help elect Barack Obama. Were I an editor of one of these institutions, I would instantly fire any employee who participated in this gross violation of his/her duty. For example, the J-List included Washington Post reporters, and the idea that the paper has been turned into a propaganda organ is a big reason it is bleeding readers and influence.

An example of the emails

As reported in the Daily Caller, Sarah Spitz, producer* of the KCRW public radio program “Left, Right and Center,” which is heard on a number of NPR stations across the country, wrote on JournoList that if she witnessed Limbaugh dying of a heart attack, she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out.”

“I never knew I had this much hate in me,” Spitz wrote, according to the Daily Caller account. “But he deserves it.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Sherrod: Jonah Goldberg’s view.

I think she should get her job back. I think she's owed apologies from pretty much everyone, including my good friend Andrew Breitbart. I generally think Andrew is on the side of the angels and a great champion of the cause. He says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, Would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset? I'd like to think he wouldn't have. Because to knowingly turn this woman into a racist in order to fight fire with fire with the NAACP is unacceptable. When it seemed that Sherrod was a racist who abused her power, exposing her and the NAACP's hypocrisy was perfectly fair game. But now that we have the benefit of knowing the facts, the equation is completely different.

In one of the recent Journolist belches we saw how creatures like Spencer Ackerman see nothing wrong with randomly charging innocent conservatives with racism in order to send a message. This is a deplorable tactic conservatives regularly and rightly deplore when used by liberals. I see no reason to emulate this tactic and I very much doubt that was Andrew's intent. Some emailers on the other hand seem to come close to making the case for this kind of thing. As I've argued countless times before, this sort of politics is almost always counter-productive and quite often grotesque.

The Mayflower Lands at Plymouth Rock due to Beer


Everyone knows the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth because they were searching for a place that would let them practice religious freedom (and that wasn't the Netherlands).

The Arbitrary Reason:

Actually, it was about beer. The pilgrims weren't even supposed to go to Massachusetts, they were set to settle in what is now the state of New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. That was the plan all along, and that's where they would have landed - if they hadn't run out of beer.

"It's not beer, it's just a rock!"

The more standard story is that the bad weather made navigation almost impossible and people were getting sick, so they had to stop somewhere. They began searching for a suitable place to settle. However, it was the fact that they were running out of provisions--especially beer--that finally made them realize they couldn't be picky. And as anyone who's lived in New England can tell you, the only way you can voluntarily choose to settle there is if you're not picky about climate, or really anything else.

"We could not take time for further search or consideration,
our victuals being much spent, especially our beer
" -The First Americans (1622)

Since beer was boiled, it was cleaner than what passed for regular water at the time and therefore safer to drink (especially during long trips). So, if the beer in the Mayflower hadn't been running low at the time they were passing near Plymouth, they almost definitely would have continued their trip further down south, as close to the Hudson River as they could make it.

Of course, once they had settled on land and found perfectly drinkable water there, they didn't really need beer... which didn't stop them from fighting over the beer that remained, and sending the first ship back to England with an order for plenty more.

The World-Changing Consequences:

Plymouth Colony became the oldest permanent English settlement in America, and their search for ideological freedom remained an important theme all through the history of the United States.

As did their obsession with beer.

Read more:

Political Cartoon by Steve Kelley

Very Good News

Nanoparticles Plus Adult Stem Cells Demolish Plaque, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2010) — A technique that combines nanotechnology with adult stem cells appears to destroy atherosclerotic plaque and rejuvenate the arteries, according to a study reported at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2010 Scientific Sessions -- Technological and Conceptual Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.

Spending us to hell

Bailout Watchdog Calls Mortgage Programs a Bust

  • AP

  • Government watchdogs tell a Senate panel that the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar effort to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure is not working and could put the nation's economic recovery at risk.

Enquirer was right on Clinton, right on Edwards. Given the emerging pattern, probably right again.


The ENQUIRER reports in an exclusive bombshell exclusive that police have investigated charges from TWO MORE WOMEN who claimed they were abused by former VP AL GORE!
The allegations come hot on the heels of an ongoing Portland, Ore., police investigation that reopened after The ENQUIRER exclusively revealed accusations by a licensed massage therapist who says Gore groped her in 2006.
The ENQUIRER recently uncovered shocking allegations, from two other massage therapists.
The first incident allegedly took place at a Beverly Hills luxury hotel when Gore, 62, was in Hollywood to attend the Oscars in 2007.
The second reportedly occurred a year later at a hotel in Tokyo.
A Beverly Hills hotel source  told The ENQUIRER:
"The therapist claimed that when they were alone, Gore shrugged off a towel and stood naked in front of her.
"He pointed at his erect penis and ordered her, 'Take care of THIS.'"

CNN’s role in the JournoList Conspiracy.

Back in 2008, CNN’s John Roberts had this to say when interviewing Barack Obama:

“I want to just stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we’re going to move on.”

Given the JournoList discussions about suppressing the Jeremiah Wright story, CNN”s viewers have a right to know if Roberts was a member of JournoList. Or if other CNN staffers were.

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Meet the new JournoList, smaller than the old JournoList.

UPDATE: It Begins: Journolistas Start Preemptive Confessions.

Sherrod is the victim, of the NAACP and this administration.

Charles Krauthammer, on Sheryl Sherrod’s firing:

That was a really remarkable statement from the NAACP. They obviously reacted without even knowing that this [Sherrod's racially tinged action] had happened a quarter century ago — in their original statement, they seemed to be under the impression that this had happened while she was at the USDA.

And the Obama administration — they didn’t speak to her. As she said herself in the interview, nobody spoke to her, nobody from USDA had spoken to her, nobody from the NAACP had spoken to her.

She is owed an apology, restitution, and the restoration of her job. I don’t think there is any question about that. …

She did say, interestingly, that this is because of what the NAACP did in attacking the Tea Party, which it did … egregiously, gratuitously, and without any [evidentiary] support. …  As a result of that provocation, she was essentially saying the NAACP had to undo it by then throwing her under a bus without even looking at her case. And I think her analysis of that is entirely right.

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

Jobless and no end in sight

median longterm unemployment.png

The median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in the last 50 years. That's an understatement. It is more than twice as high today than any time in the last 50 years.

Farnborough Airshow

Farnborough Airshow 2010

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yes, it's Supermarine Spitfires flanking the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The Airbus A380 on final approach glides over spectators below.

Pink Floyd would understand.


The dark side of the Moon turns out to be trippier than we could have imagined

Here's a dazzlingly bright look at the dark side of the Moon — more accurately called the far side, since it gets as much light as the side we can see. The colors come from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

And yes, that "altimeter" part means that the colors denote different heights of the Moon's surface. This gives us a better sense of the topography on the far side, which is rougher and has more craters than the side facing us. The areas in red are the highest, up around 20,000 feet, and the blue areas are the lowest, around -20,000 feet. This image came out in March, but it's new to us. I like the idea that they're using fricken lasers to scan the Moon's surface.

This is terribly unfair. It does make me feel better about my desk, but it is unfair to the President. From Ken

Saw these photos on the Internet about a person's mind and his desk...
(William F. Buckley)


(Nat Hentoff)

(Albert Einstein)

Melting your own carrier.

F-35 Hot Stuff Cooled Down

July 20, 2010: The navy has found a way to handle the heat. Over the last two years, the U.S. Navy discovered that the engine exhaust heat from its two newest aircraft, the tilt-rotor MV-22 and the vertical takeoff F-35B's, was too hot for the deck plates on some of the carriers these aircraft will operate from. The gas turbine engines of both aircraft, which blow their exhaust right on to the deck of the carrier while waiting to take off, caused high enough temperatures to the steel under the deck plates, to possibly warp the understructure. The navy also discovered that the exhaust heat problem varied in intensity between different classes of helicopter carriers (each with a different deck design.)

In any event, inexpensive solutions were found, sort of. For the MV-22, the navy developed portable heat shield mats, that deck crew could drag into place under the exhausts of the MV-22s, if these aircraft were expected to be sitting in one place for a while.

For the F-35B, the heat shield mats don't work as well (the F-35B engines put out more heat), so the exhaust nozzle on the F-35B engine is being redesigned, to spread the exhaust over a larger area, thus lowering the peak heat build up to the deck plates. This would also help solve the problem of the F-35B turning asphalt surfaces to a liquid state.

PC can get you killed or in this case arrested.

Gurkha Soldier Arrested For Battlefield Bravery

July 21, 2010: In Afghanistan, a British Gurkha is facing court martial for beheading a dead Taliban gunman. The trouble began when the accused Gurkhas unit had been sent in pursuit of a group of Taliban believed to contain a local Taliban leader. When the Gurkhas caught up with the Taliban, a gun battle broke out and several of the enemy were killed. The Gurkhas were ordered to retrieve the bodies of the dead Taliban, to see if one of them was the wanted leader. But the Gurkhas were still under heavy fire, and the Gurkha who reached one body realized he could not drag it away without getting shot. Thinking fast, he cut off the dead Taliban's head and scampered away to safety. When senior British commanders heard of this, they had the Gurkha arrested (and sent back to Britain for trial), and apologized to the family of the dead Taliban. The head was returned, so that the entire body (as required by Islamic law) could be buried.

Since the sun is 25,000 times larger than the earth…

UK astronomers discover largest star in the universe

The Tarantula Nebula: a cluster of stars named RMC 136a, 165,000 light years from earth, which contains 'monster' stars

Star R136a1 is 320 times more massive than the Sun.

Sort of ties the last three postings. Maybe the NAACP should focus on MSM

POLITICO So much for that ‘conversation’ on race.

Meanwhile, a reader notes this pic of the White House press corps, and calls it “as diverse as an Osmond Family reunion.” But that’s unfair, since the Osmonds represent a religious minority that probably isn’t welcome in the White House press corps.

Journalistic Conspiracy continues. What did the WashPost know and when?

At Washington Post, mum’s the word on JournoList.

Since the paper employs JournoList’s founder and proprietor, and since comments on JournoList led to Weigel’s leaving the paper, and since those events raise questions about whether other Post journalists took part in JournoList, and since there are likely more stories to come from the thousands of still-unpublished exchanges on JournoList, it is reasonable to ask what the Post’s management knows, and what it knew in the past, about Post journalists taking part in the list-serv.

It’s reasonable to ask — but the Post isn’t going to answer. . . . Finally, in light of the “call them racists” passage in Tuesday’s Daily Caller story on JournoList, I asked whether Post management believes that kind of organized behind-the-scenes conversation is appropriate for Post journalists to take part in.

The Post’s response was brief. “We do not discuss personnel matters,”

So the President of NAACP is in the audience laughing at black on white racism.

Breaking: NAACP President Was In Attendance at Sherrod Speech!

NAACP racism shown and Sherrod pays.

Shirley Sherrod pays for the sins of the NAACP

The NAACP can't get out its own way on the story of Shirley Sherrod, the Department of Agriculture official who was sacked following comments she made to the "civil rights" group about a white farmer. The Obama administration isn't exactly covering itself in glory either. Meanwhile, most folks seem to be missing the basic point of the story, at least from the perspective of Andrew Breitbart, the man who drove it.

By way of background, as John explained yesterday, Sherrod spoke at an NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia earlier this year. During her talk, she described how she was conflicted years ago when, for the first time, a white farmer came to her for help in her capacity as a government official. To the laughter and obvious approval of members of the NAACP audience, Sherrod admitted that she did not give the white farmer "the full force of what I could do" because she thought the farmer was acting superior and because of his race. But Sherrod went on to explain that the episode taught her to reject racist impulses and to view issues more in terms of rich vs poor (i.e. economics) than black vs white (i.e. race).

The NAACP promptly condemned Sherrod. But now it claims it was "snookered" into doing so by Fox News and Breitbart.

But neither Fox News nor Breitbart forced the NAACP to issue a condemnation. If the NAACP rushed to judgment, it is the fault of the NAACP. It is not the fault of Breitbart; as we shall see, he was making a point about the NAACP, not Sherrod.

The NAACP is asking the Agricultural Department to reconsider its decision to fire Sherrod. But the Department is sticking to its guns, saying that the discharge is based on comments Sherrod made as an Obama adminsitration official, not for what she did or did not do for farmers in the past. This strikes me as strange because Sherrod's statements to the NAACP ultimately are, if anything, anti-racist.

But the point Breitbart was making has nothing to do with the merits of Sherrod or her fitness to continue at the Agriculture Department. The portions of the tape of interest to Breitbart are those in which members of the NAACP laugh at and approve of Sherrod's initial impulse to provide inferior service to a white farmer. These NAACP members have been caught on tape condoning racism by a government official and demonstrating their own racism. Meanwhile, the NAACP condemns the Tea Party for what appears to be phantom racism.

Where the forest are and how tall

A first-of-its-kind global map shows forest canopy height in shades of green from 0 to 70 meters (230 feet). For any patch of forest, the height shown means that 90 percent or more of the trees in the patch are that tall or taller.

There are some things you read and think: how will we ever get beyond this lunacy?

Arab guilty of rape after consensual sex with Jew...

Jerusalem's old city walls Jerusalem's old city walls. Arabs constitute about 20% of Israel's population, but relationships between Jews and Arabs are rare. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left.

They are part of the Elite and they don’t like any variance from The Orthodoxy – even at the cost of the 1st Amend.

Journolisters debate, endorse gov’t control of Fox News

And then call their opponents fascists.

Tucker Carlson has another Journolist exclusive today for the Daily Caller, and this one rates high on the irony meter.

The very existence of Fox News, meanwhile, sends Journolisters into paroxysms of rage. When Howell Raines charged that the network had a conservative bias, the members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down.