Monday, June 20, 2011

Beautifully Macabre... From Paris

"Cemeteries aren't the first places most people go to while on vacation, but they can tell a lot about a culture and its history. We all have to die sometime and the way we deal with the dead says a lot about ourselves.

Some cemeteries are overgrown and covered in moss. Others are orderly and well-kept. Some are beautiful, and can inspire wonderful photographs like the one taken here by user Perrimoon over at Flickr. Sometimes graveyards can be downright dangerous, like the cemetery in Haworth, England, famous as the hometown of the Brontë sisters. The dead were literally stacked ten deep in this graveyard and the stream that provided the town's water flowed right through them!

Some of the best free sights in Paris are cemeteries. The same goes for New York. My pick for the best place to see cemeteries is Rome, the city of the dead, which has splendid Renaissance tombs, ancient Roman gravestones, and mummified monks.

Insanity. We are going broke. And he is just throwing money away.

Obama Admin Giving Unemployed Free $50K

A long-delayed federal program aimed at helping hundreds of unemployed Massachusetts homeowners pay their mortgages is finally being launched today, with $61 million earmarked for the state.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the nonprofit NeighborWorks America said the program will provide hundreds of local borrowers with interest-free loans of up to $50,000 over a two-year period. In some cases, the money will not have to be paid back.

The $1 billion national program is expected to benefit 30,000 unemployed homeowners in 27 states and Puerto Rico with financial assistance.

Weiner’s bulging deductions

NY Post: Odd Bulge in Weiner Tax Form
New York Post, Odd Bulge in Weiner Tax Form:

Anthony Weiner likes to do things big -- especially when it comes to his tax deductions. The disgraced former congressman's 2010 tax return shows he took $40,521 in unspecified itemized deductions on an income of $156,117.

"It's definitely a very large deduction," said Manhattan CPA Jonathan Medows.

A spokesman for Weiner, who resigned Thursday in the wake of a sexting scandal, refused to provide any details about the return.

O is closer to his $6 or $7 a gallon gas and he spends another $Billion on deadbeats.


Gov't floats $1B in new homeowner bailouts...
In some cases, 'loan' won't even have to be paid back...

Mrs O is on the road again.

Holder: Justice Dept Has Re-Opened The 'Civil Rights Division'...

SHE'S OFF! Michelle Obama embarks on Africa visit...

Does O hate Jews?

Why is Obama so tough on Israel and timid on Syria?

One of the hallmarks of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of a new and more modest American foreign policy. The Obama administration has insisted on not taking the lead in promoting democratic change; it has declined to act unless not just the French and British but the Arab League go first. It still can’t bring itself to say that Bashar al-Assad, a dictator and implacable U.S. enemy who is using tanks and helicopter gunships to slaughter his people, is not qualified to lead Syria to democracy.

Whoops! That Settled Science Al likes so much is not so settled.

New research lends support to recent studies that suggest abrupt climate change is the result of alterations in ocean circulation uniquely associated with ice ages, not from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Buildup Unlikely to Spark Abrupt Climate Change, Scientists Find

New research lends support to evidence from numerous recent studies that suggest abrupt climate change appears to be the result of alterations in ocean circulation uniquely associated with ice ages.

I would not limit it to them.

Bachmann: Obama 'has failed' blacks, Hispanics...
Presidential no-show miffs Hispanics...
African-American unemployment at 16%...

Reporter leaves CNN for Fox News

While this appears to be no biggie, if you have a spare hour or two, you can read his resignation letter at the link below

Using immune system to fight cancer

British study confirms focusing on immune system showing promising results

In this economy, there is still frivolous spending

Marilyn Monroe dress is auctioned for $4.6 million

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 1954 file photo, Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating while in character for the filming of "TheAP – FILE - In this Sept. 9, 1954 file photo, Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating …

LOS ANGELES – The Marilyn Monroe dress that flirted revealingly with a gust of New York subway air in "The Seven Year Itch" fetched $4.6 million at an auction of film memorabilia.

A more sedate outfit worn by Audrey Hepburn in the Ascot race scene of "My Fair Lady" drew a $3.7 million bid at the sale of nearly 600 Hollywood costumes and props collected by film star Debbie Reynolds.;_ylt=AgfAB9CIofhKDFgKyHmi6ZGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFramVnMWpoBHBvcwMxNjMEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl9lbnRlcnRhaW5tZW50BHNsawNtYXJpbHlubW9ucm8-

You are still paying him.

Anthony Weiner

Has Weiner REALLY Resigned? Nope one is publicly pushing for Weiner to move quickly on his official resignation.

Lawyers are not a weapon and they are not effective against terrorists. Which side is Holder on?

'Simply lunatic': Holder's terror tools under fire

National security experts blast Holder's claim that lawyers are America's 'most effective terror-fighting weapon'

This Admin is simply going to far. It is now losing those that got them there.

Washington Post editorial board condemns Obama's NLRB, favors Boeing

The NLRB is attempting to force Boeing to move a plant it recently built in South Carolina to Washington

Read more:

Fla. Teachers Union Sues Governor, Claim Paying 3% of Their Own Pension Is 'Unconstitutional'


The Florida Education Association on Monday filed a class action lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) and several administrators with oversight over a state retirement fund, alleging that they violated teachers' existing contracts with an "unconstitutional" 3% pay cut imposed by the recently-passed budget.

It did cost a Border Agent his life.

Gunwalker: The Fast and Furious scandal expands Update: Gun control lobby involved?

Over the last week we’ve given you a couple of reports on the emerging scandal surrounding the ATF’s disastrously handled Operation Fast and Furious, also known as Operation Gunwalker. Over the weekend, Pajamas Media (where they have been doing a bang-up job breaking and covering this story) brought forth more damning details coming from Darrell Issa’s investigation. In particular, some of the comments from whistle-blowers inside the ATF have been beyond alarming.

Page 27: [Special Agent John Dodson, the original whistle blower]

“Well, every time we voiced concerns…But every day being out here watching a guy go into the same gun store buying another 15 or 20 AK-47s or variants or . . . five or ten Draco pistols or FN Five-seveNs . . . guys that don’t have a job, and he is walking in here spending $27,000 for three Barrett .50 calibers …and you are sitting there every day and you can’t do anything…”

Page 38: [Dodson, speaking about ATF supervisors in Phoenix and their disregard for lives lost due to Fast & Furious]

“[T]here was a prevailing attitude amongst the group and outside of the group in the ATF chain of command… I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent’s funeral over this… because that’s going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that…if you are going to make an omelette [sic], you need to scramble some eggs.”

“Bad Luck”

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”  Robert Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land

More on Gunwalker

MORE ON THAT ATF GUN-SMUGGLING DEBACLE: Mega-Scandal: Was ‘Gunwalker’ a PR Op for Gun Control? “Buckle up: An agent testifies that surveillance stopped at the border, meaning the operation didn’t actually trace guns to cartels to make arrests. The only conclusion? Law enforcement wasn’t the point, orchestrated violence was, and that’s a history-making scandal. . . . At the same time they were damning gun dealers in public, the administration was secretly forcing them to provide weapons to the cartels, by the armful and without oversight.”

Well, people are calling it worse than Iran-Contra. Also, Michael Walsh bears down on this scandal in the Post. “Fast and Furious was supposed to prove the theory. That is, the administration ‘knew’ who the bad guys were — legitimate gun dealers in the Southwest — and set out to make them the heavies in a phony sting operation.”

Nothing really wrong with the document as it stands at the Archives

Reaction is strong to Immigrant Zakaria's idea to rewrite Constitution

Clear example of government intrusion into business

Issa condemns NLRB on Boeing dispute: 'Far in excess of their mandate' - TheDC

House Oversight chair explains why his committee is looking into the government's attempt to prevent Boeing's expansion into South Carolina

Read more:


Japan’s Beached Ships Cost $1M To Return To Sea

Japan's Beached Ships Cost src= How do you return a 400-tonne ship to Japan's waters, after it washed ashore in March's brutal tsunami? Using giant cranes that hoist it 30ft above the ground, lowering it onto a massive 192-tyre trolley normally reserved for trains.

It's a process that's expected to take 2 - 3 days per ship, and cost $1 million each. Luckily the insurers have agreed to pay for the retrieval of each of the five ships, a deal which was finally agreed upon three months after they became beached in Kesennuma, part of the Miyagi province in the north-east of Japan.

Covers contest ... from the New Yorker

Here are the answers to last week's covers ...

ATF provides the guns to kill 150 Mexicans and a Border Patrolmen.

Return Fire

June 20, 2011: The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) is facing heavy criticism for an operation that has apparently gone terribly wrong. Operation Fast and Furious (also known in the media as operation Gunwalker) was supposed to be a covert operation that would use weapon sales (from monitored U.S. sources to Mexico) as a means of gaining information about drug cartel activities then penetrating the cartels. Law enforcement agents would track the buyers and track the weapons. It didn’t turn out that way. U.S. agents lost track of the weapons and the weapons started being used to commit major crimes, including murdering a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona. The operation ultimately involved some 2,000 weapons (a lot of weapons), including AK-47 type assault rifles and .50 caliber sniper rifles. A U.S. congressional committee is investigating the operation. Allegedly, 150 Mexican security personnel were killed by weapons that came through the Fast and Furious program.

They want to control your thoughts, your speech, your life.

Obama Bureaucrats Imposing Radical Homosexual Sensitivity Training

U.S. Department of Agriculture activists want to impose their intense brand of homosexual sensitivity training governmentwide, including a discussion that compares "heterosexism" - believing marriage can be between only one man and one woman - to racism.

“He will get Americans killed”

Holder Claims Lawyers Are 'Most Effective Terror-Fighting Weapon'

Centrist and right-of-center national security experts reacted with contempt to Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim at a legal convention that the courts are the nation’s “most effective terror-fighting weapon.”

“That’s utter nonsense … it is simply lunatic,” said Ralph Peters, military analyst, author and former soldier. In the war against the jihadis, he said, the courts “have been totally ineffective when they’re not outright destructive.”

“He’s unconsciously shilling for his own profession,” said Michael Rubin, a Middle East expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “Holder, like many ambitious bureaucrats, wants to build a bureaucratic empire … [and] by doing so, he will get Americans killed.”

The former head of the Democratic Party.


  • Dean Screams: The Future Does Not Belong to White Christians!

  • Black Unemployment At Great Depression Levels

    The Border

    Illegal Aliens Behind AZ Wildfires, Charges McCain


    Illegal immigrants from Mexico are responsible for starting some of the huge wildfires in Arizona, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., alleges.

    At a Phoenix news conference, the senator claimed illegal immigrants light fires in the wilderness for warmth, to send signals and to distract border agents, CNN said.

    "There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain said. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border."

    The Border

    Drug Smugglers Open Fire Across Border on U.S. Lawmen


    MISSION - Drug smugglers opened fire on U.S. law enforcement officers Sunday morning near the Anzalduas International Bridge after Mission police intercepted a 500-pound load of marijuana, police Chief Leo Longoria said.

    U.S. law enforcement officers shot back, Longoria said, and no injuries were reported. Details remained hazy Sunday afternoon, and Longoria couldn't give further information about the brief shootout.

    Less than two weeks ago, U.S. law enforcement officers came under fire near Abram and shot back, injuring three smugglers. On June 9, after Texas Rangers, Border Patrol agents and state game wardens were fired upon, they returned more than 300 rounds. The suspects escaped into Mexico on inflatable rafts.

    Russia Dumps U.S. Treasuries

    Just in time for the end of QE2, when the US needs every possible foreign buyer of US debt to step up to the plate, we get confirmation that yet another major foreign central bank has decided to not only not add to its US debt holdings, but to actively sell US Treasurys. The WSJ reports that "Russia will likely continue lowering its U.S. debt holdings as Washington struggles to contain a budget deficit and bolster a tepid economic recovery, a top aide to President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday

    It might be a good idea to only elect presidents from intact, normal families.

    Obama Still Wonders About His Absent Father


    Barack Obama, whose Kenyan father left his family when the future U.S. president was 2 years old, said Saturday he still thinks about how things would have worked out had his dad been there.

    "I felt his absence. And I wonder what my life would have been like had he been a greater presence," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address

    Read more:

    They are learning. They are understanding. They have been used.

    President Obama no-show miffs Hispanics

    Barack Obama speaks at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington. | AP Photo

    Some Latino legislators are questioning Obama’s commitment to immigration reform.

    Leaders of a national Hispanic organization are criticizing President Barack Obama for skipping their annual conference for the third consecutive year after he promised as a candidate in 2008 that he would return as president.

    Read more:

    Very fast helicopters in development

    (The X3 shown on left went 267 mph)

    Rivals Eurocopter, U.S.-based Sikorsky and other companies are testing fast prototypes, all with an eye toward redefining the helicopter's place in the sky and expanding its market. Eurocopter's X3 is set to make its public debut Monday at the Paris Air Show.

    The companies hope that increasing range and boosting maximum speed to as fast as 280 milesper hour from about 175 mph will spark increased use as emergency vehicles and as transportation for executives and workers in remote locations.

    To increase speed, engineers added two stubby wings with small forward-pointing propellers, much like on an airplane. The hybrid hit 267 mph on May 12. Eurocopter says it is gunning for efficiency and speed, not a record.

    Structural Unemployment

    Robert Samuelson in the WashPost:

    One puzzle of this somber economy is the existence of unfilled jobs in the midst of mass unemployment. You might think (I did) that with almost 14 million Americans unemployed — and nearly half those for more than six months — that companies could fill almost any opening quickly. Not so. Somehow, there’s a mismatch between idle workers and open jobs. Economists call this “structural unemployment.”

    In any dynamic economy, constant changes in technologies, products and companies naturally create gaps between skills available and skills wanted. But today’s gaps seem to transcend this. A survey for the National Association of Manufacturers in 2009, near the recession’s nadir, found that a third of companies still faced shortages. These were largest for engineers and scientists and among aerospace, defense and biotechnology firms.

    Hospitals are hiring primary-care doctors

    In one of the first concrete steps to remake the way medical care is delivered, hospitals are competing to hire primary-care physicians, trying to lure them from their private practices to work as salaried employees alongside specialists.

    The push is forcing doctors to make decisions about how to deliver care to patients, many of whom have relied on long-standing relationships with trusted independent neighborhood physicians and wonder what lies ahead.