Friday, September 24, 2010

Dedications: Bill Ayers

Obama pal and former 60’s radical terrorist Bill Ayers has been denied “emeritus” status at the University of Illinois in large part because he dedicated his 1973 manifesto “Prarie Fire” to Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of RFK. RFK's son, Chris Kennedy just so happens to sit on the board responsible for assigning emeritus status and didn’t take too kindly to Ayers’ dedication to his father’s murder.

Ayers dedicated the book to many “political prisoners”, most of them are nobodies who never received much national attention. Its mainly a list of left wing suburbanite radicals like Ayers from elite families mixed in with black nationalists.

One of those “political prisoners” did receive a bit of notoriety. Darrell Peatry is listed in Ayer’s book as a “political prisoner”. He was a member of the “De Mau Mau” group. The name is taken from the Kenyan Mau Mau movement that sought to drive British citizens from Kenya in the 50’s. The Mau Mau’s only killed a few dozen British and save most of their savagery for the thousands of native Kenyans they butchered.

Peatry’s De Mau Mau group was a kind of fusion between the Kenyan Mau Mau’s and the Manson family. They claimed to be a movement of disgruntled balck Vietnam veterans, but like most “disgruntled veterans movements” in the 60’s and 70’s, their ranks were full of wannabes, posers, and civilian groupies. De Mau Mau’s objective was to eliminate “white power” by randomly murdering middle class and upper middle class white families.

The scenes evoked grisly memories of the Manson killings. In August, Retired Insurance Broker Paul Corbett, his wife and sister-in-law were found dead, each shot in the back of the head with a .25-cal. gun, in the pantry of Corbett's $100,000 home in the fashionable Chicago suburb of Barrington Hills. A fourth victim, Corbett's stepdaughter, was dead in the blood-spattered kitchen, shot in the chest with a .30-cal. weapon. A month later Machine Designer Stephen Hawtree, his wife and teen-age son were executed in a similar fashion in the basement of their rural home in Monee, Ill. In both instances there was no apparent motive for the slaughter.
So here’s to you Mr Ayer’s and all your beloved “political prisoners”, because after all being a good leftist means never having to say you are sorry. Each of those nine trustees who opposed better put the bomb squad on speed dial. Old habits die hard.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Harvard: The Best and Brightest – 9/11 Truther Edition

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University’s stated mission is to "to promote and elevate the standards of journalism in the United States". Like most journalistic organizations it has a decidedly left wing audience, staff and editorial policy. Not that it should surprise anyone, an organization run by journalists for journalists being left wing isn’t exactly a man bites dog story.

However I was struck by an article on the Nieman Foundation’s website about the Time magazine cover depicting a young girl disfigured by the Taliban for running away from an abusive husband and his family.

The author of the Nieman article, Ralph Lopez, performs a dizzying array of rhetorical back flips to play the “blame America first card”, including a “history lesson” on how the US destabilized a “progressive” regime through our backing of the Afghan Mujahedeen:

In 1979, the CIA started secretly aiding opponents of the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, increasing the likelihood that the Soviet Union would be drawn into what Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski hoped would be "their own Vietnam." The young socialist government, which had overthrown a centuries-old monarchy, was cosmopolitan, outward-looking, and stressed the education of women as well as men. This was a time when women in Kabul could wear mini-skirts. In its search for proxies to attack the Kabul regime, Brzezinski and the Cold Warriors turned to the conservative warlord elements in the countryside. They were of all ethnicities; Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek. What they had in common was their ability to raise and organize fighters – and their Medieval attitudes toward women.
It’s a simple enough story to lefties like Mr Lopez: America was interfering in the internal affairs of a “progressive” regime. Never mind that in 1978, the year that the “progressive” KGB run People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan launched its coup on the Afghan government, the new “progressive” government instituted a widespread agriculture collectivization scheme, forced the closure of all religious houses of worship, assassinated every tribal and religious leader they could get their hands on, and brought in thousands of KGB advisors to help with re-education. Minor details that Mr Lopez could have included.

After reading this piece of shit left wing apologia I thought, “there they go again”. On a hunch though, I decided to Google Ralph Lopez, not knowing much about the guy, and boy oh boy was I surprised with what I found.

It seems that Lopez writes for and he wrote a delightful article on April 3, 2008 titled: It Has Happened: I'm a 9/11 Truther; A New Investigation, Broad Amnesty, and Forgiveness.

It was happening to me. Reading all that two and four-star brass saying it looked like a conspiracy put me face-to-face with it. I was becoming a 9/11 Truther. Kooks, lunatics, nuts. Everyone knows this. But these experts were just too credible, something the movement hadn't been before. I didn't need to be an expert or do much more research. It had been done, by military personnel with more flying time and expertise than I would have in a dozen lifetimes. And if they said there were a hell of lot of questions that needed to be answered in a new commission, That was good enough for me. I am now a 9/11 Truther. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
So is this what Harvard’s Nieman Foundation found when it scraped the barrel of lefty writers in its pursuit to cobble together another blame America first hot piece ..... a fucking truther?

If this is what Harvard and Yale (since it seems that Lopez is a Yaley), the mills producing America’s political and cultural elite ..... our “Best and Brightest”, are churning out, then we are seriously fucked.

I wonder though, would Harvard’s Nieman Foundation ever give space on its prestigious pages for a Birther, or does being a good left really mean never having to say you’re sorry ..... about anything.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chinese Comments

Ahhh .... how do I stop all these Chinamen from spamming my comment section?

Any ideas?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Center for American Progress: Experts aint what they used to be.

This article from the Center for American Progress caught my eye this morning. Its author, Daniel J. Weiss, is an “expert on climate strategy. He has gained this prestigious title mainly through his many years of experience as a PR hack for environmental groups. The article argues that we don’t need more exploration, focusing on offshore exploration, because we just wind up exporting all of it anyways,

More offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast region, however, may not do much to increase our energy security. A CAP analysis (.xls) of Energy Information Administration data found that a large portion of the oil produced in the Gulf Coast region is actually exported to other nations, and this undoubtedly includes some of the offshore oil produced there.
After looking into this, there are several problems with Weiss’s argument.

First, there is no data that directly states what oil drilled from what region is exported. Weiss admits this, but manages to weasel out of it.

But the main problem with his argument is that no clarification is given as to what exactly is being exported.

The “oil” we export is not in the form crude, but rather is composed of diesel and other heavy fractional petroleum distillates. When crude is refined into its final products, the ratio of what is produced out is fixed (for the most part). A barrel of oil is 42 gallons, out of which refiners can squeeze about 20 gallons of gasoline and about 10 gallons of diesel. Refiners have become pretty good at modifying their process to maximize the most marketable products, but the chemistry and thermodynamics of refining do have limits as to how much they can maximize the more profitable distillates. And since we use far more gasoline than diesel, refiners are always left with excess diesel.

Weiss’s data that he used for his “analysis” (if that’s what you’d call it) states quite clearly: Total Crude Oil and Petroleum Products. Had Weiss bothered to look at the footnotes in his link, he would have also found this:

Exports of distillate fuel oil categories for sulfur greater than 15 ppm to 500 ppm and sulfur greater than 500 ppm to 2000 ppm may include distillate fuel oil with sulfur content 15 ppm and under.
Had Weiss then done some more digging (I know, hard work for an “expert”) he would have come across this set of data, also from the Energy Information Administration, breaking down the subcategories for exports of “Total Crude Oil and Petroleum Products”.

Even more digging (once again, hard work for an “expert”) he would have seen that what little raw crude oil the US exports goes exclusively to Canada. To further put this into perspective, in 2009 we exported a whopping 15.9 million barrels to Canada, or 0.82% of total US domestic oil production.

This leaves us with three possible conclusion: Weiss isn’t the expert he claims to be because he dint know how to look deeper into the numbers or he deliberately mislead to make his case against additional oil production.

Either way, its just another reason not to take the Center for American Progress seriously. And, naturally, “climate expert” Joe Romm bought off on this POS as well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Power in Venezuela

Recently, Venezuela’s socialist “man of the people” Hugo Chavez was giving a speech about the evils of capitalism when the lights went out, quite literally.

This is a appropriate metaphor for the oil rich country. Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution is destroying what should in all rights be prospering nation.

Chavez and his defenders (and he has many of them) blame the nation’s power problems on the El Nino drought that has nearly depleted the Guri reservoir, which supplies nearly 2/3rds of the nation’s electricity. They do have a point, the output of the Guri dam has been severely impacted by the drought, but that alone does not tell the whole story. Venezuela experienced similarly sever droughts in 1998 and had associated power blackouts, but nowhere near the extent of what is seen today.

Venezuela experienced 67 “significant power outages” during the drought of 1998, now they now experience that number every month.
Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia also generates about 2/3rds of its electricity from hydro and has been hit just a hard by El Nino but hasn’t faced similarly large power outages. Colombia has managed its power sector so well that they have even offered to sell Venezuela excess power.

Considering the record prices of oil the past ten years, one would assume that the Venezuelan government would have invested in non hydro power, like its Colombian neighbors. Well, you’d be mistaken.

In what is endemic of Venezuela’s crumbling power grid, Planta Centro a 2,000MW oil and gas fired plant is in such a state of disrepair that it is only operating at 273MW. For a country whose generating capacity is only 23,600MW, a 10% reduction in capacity is sorely missed at a time like this.

And if you think that this mismanagement and corruption only applies to Venezuela’s power sector, Stratfor has an interesting analysis on PDVSA’s production discrepancies:

that if the government’s assertion that Venezuela is producing 3.3 million bpd is truthful, oil exports should be averaging at least 2.8 million bpd after netting out some 500,000 bpd of internal consumption. Based on an official average export price of $39.33 per barrel during first quarter 2005, this means Venezuela’s oil export earnings during the first quarter should have totaled slightly more than $9.9 billion.

However, Energy and Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez, PDVSA’s president, recently said PDVSA deposited only $6.43 billion at the central bank. This leaves $2.39 billion in oil export earnings unaccounted for — if the government’s official production figures are truthful.

Whether its graft or mismanagement, Venezuela’s leadership is putting itself into a hole that it wont soon climb out of and is killing its golden goose in the process.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obama and the Opposition

I have read many articles as of late bemoaning (or rejoicing) in Obama’s inability to pass legislation.

The standard response from the right is that Obama and Rham Emanuel (specifically brought in as a legislative enforcer) are incompetent and that their policies don’t reflect the real sentiment of the voters. This is true on some level. The health care reform legislation is very unpopular even if some aspects of it appeal to most voters and has turned toxic on the democratic party. America is a also center right nation.

The standard response from the left seems to be the Republicans are the Party of “no” and have banded together to squash Obama. The gravy for this charge seems is either the racially flavored (republicans don’t like black people) or populist (republicans are in the pockets of the corporations). As with the conservative explanation, this one has some, all be it less merit. Republicans have banded together in a fairly uniform block to oppose the president however I don’t believe its for the more nefarious reasons given above. Some of it is standard loyal opposition type stuff and some is ideological. Special interests dominate both parties and I am sure on some specific legislation it does play a factor.

I believe that Obama’s lack of executive experience coupled with the environment his political career was incubated in is more to blame: The Cook County Democratic machine

Ironically enough, this actually attracted some voters to Obama. They believed that experience operating within a big time political machine would some how “toughen” an inexperienced junior senator.

Take Charles Kaiser from the Hillman Foundation:

I always thought the fact that Obama was the product of the Chicago Democratic machine was one of the most appealing parts of his resume–because it made it plausible that this freshman Senator could be strong enough to become an effective president.
What Kaiser doesn’t realize is machine politics is more like a family unit: you may have disagreements and feuds, but at the end of the day everyone has a similar perspective on things and you all have the same agenda. Differences are always tactical and very seldom ideological. The machine runs everything in government and there really is no organized effective political opposition.

You maintain your place in the machine by bribing key demographics with cushy city jobs, nepotism, government contracts and generous concessions to allied unions. They in turn provide political muscle, votes, intimidation campaigns, and share in the machine’s plundering of the taxbase. Machines like this tend to operate in urban areas for reasons of demographics. The average white urbanite is a liberal who will always vote democrat no matter what. Minorities vote democrat because they have been successfully corralled in a different kind of plantation by their new overseers. Combine that with the union vote, government employees, dependants and no effective opposition and it gives you a recipe for perpetual one party domination.

This is the environment Obama acquired his skills as a political operator in. His much ballyhooed “bi-partisanship” consisted of cosponsoring some legislation with Tom Coburn. He has never had to operate in an environment where there was not only political opposition but ideological opposition. And unlike the democratic machine in cook county, the national democratic party has very striking ideological fissures in it. They aint all Nancy Pelosies and Henry Waxmans.

What about his time in the US Senate working with opposition there, surely he learned from his experience there? Not hardly, he was there for what, 6 months before he went into campaign mode?

His lack of experience in dealing with organized opposition explains his ineffectiveness. All his talk of bipartisanship is bullshit because he thought having a large majority in both houses would allow him to Rahm anything he wanted through.

Having operated in a bubble his whole life, Obama now founders when removed from his comfort zone.

The results of the 2010 midterms are going to be really interesting.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Filibustering democrats bad, Filibustering republicans good!

NPR's Daniel Schoor on why the filibuster is good:

With 55 Senate seats held by the GOP, that should be no problem. But apparently there is a problem. As demonstrated in the spirited fight in the Foreign Relations Committee over Mr. Bolton, the Democrats seem united; the Republicans do not. Senator Frist must be aware that opinion polls reflect a general lack of enthusiasm for abolishing the filibuster.
Daniel Schoor now:

On occasion the frustrated majority has threatened to invoke what is called the nuclear option: a change in Senate rules that would require only a simple majority to overcome a filibuster. And so why don't the Democrats do it? Why do they leave themselves at the mercy of a minority? Until now the majority has been reluctant to end a venerable practice that it may want when it becomes a minority. But now the stakes for the nation are too high. A single senator has too much power to obstruct. A handful of senators can bog down the whole legislative process. It is time to restore majority rule as intended by our Constitution
I wonder what accounted for his change in heart?