Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sir Galahad

Peter Wehner writing in Commentary:

As for the president’s claim that some folks in Congress refuse to “put the country ahead of party” and that they would “rather see their opponents lose than see America win”: this repeats a nasty little Obama habit, which is not simply to disagree with his opponents but to impugn their character. The Tea Party and Republican Members of Congress can’t possibly believe that the federal government is too large, spending needs to be reduced, and taxes shouldn’t be raised. And they certainly can’t believe that the philosophy they hold and the policies they embrace are in the best interest of America. It’s easier to assume they are knaves and traitors to their country.

If there’s anything we have learned about Mr. Obama during the last two-and-a-half years, it is his obsessive need to advertise his moral superiority. He wants us to believe – he is desperate for us to believe – that his motivations are pure, that he is the only adult in Washington, that he is a champion for the national interest while his critics are champions of special interests. It is not enough for Obama to be president; he wants us to believe he’s Sir Galahad.

Thanks the Dems and Barney Franks in particular.

The 10 Housing Markets That Will Collapse This Year

The real estate market is already in the deepest depression in modern U.S. history. If you think it can't get any worse, think again. In several cities, the real estate market is about to drop even more. Home values in many of those cities, such as Las Vegas, have already collapsed as unemployment has shot higher. And with no hope of quick recovery, housing prices are expected to continue to fall. 24/7 Wall St. identified ten housing markets that are expected to drop by at least another 10% by 2012.

'The trajectory that the country is going right now is negative, everyone knows it,'

'[Washington] is absolutely vile and corrupt. It has no connection with where we need to spend the money. It has everything to do with political connections'
Bachmann speaking today’


Speaking out: Michele Bachmann, pictured today, hit out at a 'vile Washington' just hours after winning the Iowa Straw Poll

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Mass protest forces Chinese factory to close...

Chinese authorities ordered a petrochemical factory to close on Sunday after more than 12,000 demonstrators confronted riot police, demanding the plant’s relocation over health fears.

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters, mostly young people, in the public square in front of the municipal government offices in Dalian, Liaoning province, but Chinese state media gave no reports of injuries.

Today’s Quote

“One man who minds his own business is more valuable to the world than 10,000 cocksure moralists.”

H. L. Mencken, as quoted in Cafe Hayek's piece on food: Choice is Diktat; Diktat is Choice

The Argument for Perry and Texas

Between June 2006 and June 2011, only nine states plus Washington, DC added any net new non-farm jobs. Of those states over that period, Texas added 2.75 times more new jobs than the others combined.

After Obama’s Worst Week


Obama’s job approval: 39%

Second Level Analysis: Perry had more votes than Romney? Huntsman had 69?

Emmanuel Dunand / Getty Images

Minnesota Rep. finishes first, and write-in effort for Perry lands Texan topper sixth place finish.

Bachmann 4,823 votes
Paul 4,671 votes
Pawlenty 2,293
Santorum 1657
Cain 1456
Perry 718
Romney 567
Gingrich 385
Huntsman 69
McCotter 35
Scattering: 162

Read more:

Obama Produces Worst Consumer Confidence Since Carter

And the public believes government is the problem.

How baby chimps are like, and not like, humans

Young chimp. In both chimpanzees and humans, portions of the brain that are critical for complex cognitive functions, including decision-making, self-awareness and creativity, are immature at birth. But there are important differences, too. Baby chimpanzees don't show the same dramatic increase in the volume of prefrontal white matter in the brain that human infants do.

But how do you really feel?

Bachmann: D.C. is 'Vile and Corrupt'APMinnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, GOP presidential candidate on victory lap from straw poll results, urges Washington to reform its fiscal outlook, saying it's based too heavily on political connections.

Not quite "trailer trash"

Ashton Kutcher's villa on wheels: Inside the actor's trailer on Two And A Half Men set


This two-storey, 53ft long, 30-ton luxury home from home is described as a 'mobile estate'. With seven 60in 3D plasma screens, a vast living area, two bathrooms, a kitchen with granite surfaces and a conference space, the rent-a-trailer will set Mr Demi Moore around £5,400 a week.

To borrow Bill's headline: Why England is Doomed

Living in luxury: How jobless Somali asylum seekers have been handed a £2million home in London's upmarket West Hampstead

Mr Khaliif and his new home

Why are Dems so locked into this out dated technology?

Surprise! California high-speed rail cost explodes

The Bankruptcy Express.

What 10 years of fighting Muslim Extremist has really cost us. (And why casualties are much lower)

After ten years of fighting, the war on terror has caused 51,600 American military casualties (6,200 dead and 45,400 wounded).

This includes a small number of CIA, State Department and other agency personnel. Over 99 percent are Department of Defense. Not all the casualties were from combat, with 21 percent of the deaths from non-combat causes. In World War II that was 25 percent. Iraq fighting accounted for 71 percent of the deaths and 70 percent of the wounded. Outside of Afghanistan and Iraq, operations in dozens of other countries represented 2.5 percent of deaths, but about 71 percent of these were from non-combat causes. 

The first 21st century war was quite different than the 20th century conflicts.  In Iraq and Afghanistan, there has also been a dramatic reduction in combat deaths compared to Vietnam, and previous 20th century wars. The death rate (adjusting for the number of troops involved) in Iraq was a third of what it was in Vietnam.

For one thing, far fewer Americans are being killed or wounded in combat. And fewer and fewer of those who are wounded die. It’s a continuing trend. Last year, eight percent of the wounded died, compared to eleven percent in 2009. There are several reasons for more troops surviving battle wounds (and injuries from accidents). An obvious cause is body armor. Improvements over the past decade, in terms of design and bullet resistance, account for about 20 percent of the decline in casualties

Another major factor is medical care, which has gotten much better, quicker and faster. Not only are procedures more effective, but badly wounded soldiers get to the operating table more quickly. Medics now have capabilities that, during Vietnam, only surgeons possessed.

What made the experience so different today, versus past wars? It was a combination of things. The most important difference is that the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting smarter. While the Vietnam era troops were representative of the general population, the post-Vietnam era army is all-volunteer and highly selective. The troops are smarter, healthier and better educated than the general population. During the last three decades, new attitudes have developed throughout the army (which always got most of the draftees). The army, so to speak, has become more like the marines (which was always all-volunteer, and more innovative as a result). This ability to quickly analyze and adapt gets recognized by military historians, and other armies, but not by the media. It also saves lives in combat.

One way to play defense

Portugal's Sergio Oliveira, right, dribbles past Guatemala's Manuel Moreno during a U-20 World Cup round of 16 soccer match in Cali, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.

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Really Like the Goose and Fox

Quote of the day

Rick Perry:

“I will work every day to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your lives as I can.”

Billionaire George Soros didn't even give me a birthday gift for three years, so I'm suing, says his ex-lover

Adriana Ferreyr plans to sue her ex George Soros

Brazilian soap opera star Adriana Ferreyr told of her terror during a row over property with the financier, 81. She claimed he became violent when she asked why he had given the £1.2million apartment he is said to have promised her to another woman, telling her: 'I don't care.'

England’s Rioters

No shame: Masked looters brazenly pose with their haul of top gadgets

So proud: The quartet brazenly show off their piles of thieved goods

Proudly posing with their stolen spoils, this bunch of thieves embody the greedy nature of looters who snatched whatever they could while ransacking England's streets. But specialist officers at Scotland Yard are matching images from CCTV with pictures stored in the computerised files of people who had been arrested or charged, so these posers' smug pictures could be their downfall

Uh-oh! Non PC speech in England. How dare he have an opinion. What does he think he is a historian or something?

'White chavs have become black': David Starkey TV outburst provokes race row.

Historian David Starkey remained defiant last night after provoking a race storm by claiming the recent riots happened because too many young white people had ‘now become black’.

The broadcaster was branded a racist yesterday after an appearance on Friday night’s Newsnight programme, when he blamed the riots on a ‘violent, destructive and nihilistic’ gang culture, which he said was being embraced by many white and black people.

He stunned his fellow guests on the BBC2 show, writer Owen Jones and black author and broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell, by placing the blame for the riots squarely with a form of black male culture that he said ‘mitigated against education’.

David Starkey

He said: ‘A substantial section of the chavs have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.  

‘Black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.’

Read more:

Ashton Kutcher's villa on wheels: Inside the actor's trailer on Two And A Half Men

Ashton Kutcher

This two-storey, 53ft long, 30-ton luxury home from home is described as a ‘mobile estate’. With seven 60in 3D plasma screens, a vast living area, two bathrooms, a kitchen with granite surfaces and a conference space, the rent-a-trailer will set Mr Demi Moore around £5,400 a week.

Beautiful people with symmetrical faces more likely to be selfish

Beautiful people are more selfish and less likely to make good life partners

Their beautiful facial features have made them the envy of men and women the world over. But the likes of George Clooney and Kate Moss aren’t that perfect after all.

Indian State Fair Stage Collapse

Horrific moment the stage collapsed onto screaming crowd at Indiana State Fair killing at least five and injuring 45


Strong winds caused the stage rigging for the outdoor concert to collapse at the fairground in Indianapolis. Fans were trapped and injured in the incident shortly before 9pm as country music band Sugarland were about to perform. Thousands of concert-goers were being evacuated to a nearby building because of high winds of up to 60 mph (96 km/h) when the rigging for the stage fell onto the track where some were seated.

A bit late with this report

Narcissists rise to the top because people mistake their confidence and authority for leadership qualities.

“However, scientists have discovered that while narcissists are convincing leaders, they are so consumed by their own brilliance that it actually cripples their creativity and often causes them to make bad decisions.”

Pawlenty Drops Out of 2012 Race

ReutersFormer Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announces that he's pulling out of the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after disappointing straw poll results in Iowa.

New Non-Invasive Technology Shows Promise in Shrinking Liver Tumors

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2011) — A potential new option is beginning to emerge for patients with the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In a phase II study, 41 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a liver cancer that often does not respond well to chemotherapy, were treated with very low levels of an electromagnetic field emitting from a spoon-like device placed in the patients' mouths.

After six months, the tumors in 14 patients had stabilized after each received three one-hour treatments per day each day; the therapy created no significant side effects. The most successful tumor shrinkage occurred in a female patient who has received regular therapy since August 2006; her tumor continues to shrink without serious side effects.

Liberals and Magical Thinking.

TNR’s Jonathan Chait. After listening to NPR’s Diane Rehm, reading news analysis from The New York Times and a column by the NYT’s Tom Friedman, Chait concludes that “our political discourse is consumed by magical thinking” about the Great Recession and the debt bomb:

Conservative pundits, while usually slanting their account in highly partisan and often misleading terms, do a fairly good job of grasping and explaining the fact that the two parties fundamentally disagree on the causes of and solutions to the economic crisis and the long-term deficit.

In this sense, a Rush Limbaugh listener may well be better informed about the causes of the impasse than listener of NPR or other mainstream organs. The former will have in his mind a wildly slanted version of the basic political landscape, while the latter’s head will be filled with magical thinking.