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July 6th 2009

Crazifornia: Zero Intelligence In Concord Schools

Posted by: Laer at 01:23 pm

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chool days, school days, good old Golden Rule days. Remember that? Oh, how far we have slid down the slope to craziness here in California, the state where the book pictured here is a perpetual best-seller. Today’s lesson comes from the Conta Costa county town of Concord, where the 9th grade math class was just a bit short of Golden Rule behavior:

The ninth-grade students threw things around the room. Shortly after Christmas, students told the Times, someone exploded Play-Doh in the microwave, resulting in a smoke-filled classroom that teacher Michael Huang refused to air out. In other classes Huang taught, they said, students lit trash can fires and smoked cigarettes or even marijuana. (Source)

So, come May, after Huang failed to get his classroom under control – perhaps because the kids just couldn’t understand his thick Taiwanese accent, who knows? – a fifteen-year-old student, referred to in the news articles as Allison Moore’s daughter, videotaped a raging paper ball fight and a friend anonymously sent it to the assistant principle in a plea for discipline so she might, you know, learn something in school.  Seems resonable enough. Except not here.

A friend of Moore’s anonymously sent the video to Dick Nicoll, interim superintendent of the Mt. Diablo school district. The following week, the school suspended Moore’s daughter for two days after she admitted she had taped the class without permission, a violation of the state Education Code.

Confronted with this particular bit of lunacy, the school did not admit an error and provide a lesson in maturity to its students; oh no, anything but that!

Principal Gary Swanson said he could not discuss the suspension. He disputed Moore’s claims, saying students received “appropriate consequences.” Student Services Director Margot Tobias upheld the suspension, and Moore has appealed to the assistant superintendent.

“She may have felt that her purpose was valid,” Tobias wrote about the taping, “but as a result the privacy rights of all involved were violated.”

Privacy rights?! Does the “privacy rights” of disruptive and undisciplined students now supercede any right of a good student to expect having the opportunity to learn?  Apparently not.

Sadly, this story is hardly one limited to California. Across our nation, students are taught by administrations life lessons they will carry with them for a long time: Avoid blame, cover up, avoid making hard decisions, forget morality.

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Posted in California, Crazifornia, Education, Zero-Tolerance | 3 Comments » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

July 6th 2009

Those Bleeding-Heart, Weak-Kneed Mullahs

Posted by: Laer at 09:56 am

Y

eah, yeah, we sure tweeted about the #iranelections and blogged about how awful the Tehraniacs were, quashing political legitimate dissent over a fraudulent election.  But please, the Mullahs in Iran have nothing over the Commies in Beijing, who know how to quickly crush any expression in favor of political freedom.

AP reports from the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi, in the Uighurland west of China, that at least 140 have been killed and nearly 900 arrested after police a protest that up until than had been peaceful, demanding justice for two Uighurs killed last month during a fight with Han co-workers at a factory.  Soon thereafter, columns of paramilitary police were seen pouring into Urumqi, ready to open up a little Lhasa on the minority Uighers.

Sorry for not having a Tehran-like photo of suppression in action, but this is China, folks, and photos aren’t exactly flooding out of there.  In fact, Youku, China’s version of YouTube, and Fanfou, China’s Twitter, were both slammed shut in Xinjiang, and all Internet traffic slowed – a sure sign the government was heavily monitoring chatter.

Now that’s totalitarian suppression! The Mullahs should be moping, ashamed of themselves for their lily-livered response to pro-Democracy demonstrators.

Except not really.  Tehran was dealing pretty much with an all-Persian uprising; the Beijingoists are in the much more comfortable area of racial hatred and tribal supression, something they are very good at – the same thing that made the attacks on Tibet so pleasurable to the Han Chinese majority that runs China.

In Urumqui, as in Lhasa, the unrest is as much racial as it is political – if not more so.  With Chinese economic expansion, the majority Han ethnic group is spreading out throughout China, displacing Tibetans, Uighurs and others as they do.  The minorities complain to Beijing, but the Commies there see them as merely an inferior, backwards minority.

As for the Obama admin, as of 10:45 PST, there were no statements from the White House or State.

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Posted in China, Foreign policy, Human Rights, Iran | No Comments yet » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

July 4th 2009

Green Litigation Halts The Great White North

Posted by: Laer at 10:47 am

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he Arctic holds about a tenth of the world’s known oil and natural gas reserves – and it’s not clear what nation owns which offshore reserves because ownership is based on where the edge of the continental shelf is, and we don’t have a clear picture of undersea topography there.

As a result, the US, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, China and even South Korea, Singapore and Japanare all making forays into the region to establish drilling rights – rights that are becoming more valuable as ice-free navigation becomes possible in some parts of the Arctic.  So it would make good sense, wouldn’t it, for the US to establish operations wherever it can as quickly as it can, give a reasonable regulatory regimen?

And we would be doing just that, were it not for the Center for Biological Depravity Diversity.  The Washington Times reports today that the Center’s endless and aggressive litigation has brought much of the exploration by US companies to a halt:

Richard Ranger, senior policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, an industry lobbying group, said direct legal challenges are also slowing exploration and production off Alaska’s coast.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group, is the principal party behind Arctic litigation, Mr. Ranger said. The group has filed lawsuits with the federal Minerals Management Service to halt the issuing of air quality permits to Royal Dutch Shell, asserting, according to the center’s Web site, that the oil giant has not adequately assessed how exploratory drilling would affect wildlife and native populations.

Shell announced earlier this week that it was withdrawing its 2007-2009 drilling plan in the Beaufort Sea and would submit a new plan for 2010. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco blocked the company from oil drilling in July 2007.

The new lawsuits come on the heels of the Center’s central effort in getting the polar bear listed, a ridiculous, political contortion of the Endangered Species Act that should have been stopped in its tracks by the Bush Administration, but wasn’t, in one of Bush’s most signficiant domestic failures.  Building on that success, the Center is actively pursuing listings of numerous ice-dependent seals,  – the ribbon, bearded, spotted, and ringed seals – making similar arguments that worked well with its polar bear litigation strategy:

In addition to loss of its sea-ice habitat from global warming, the ribbon seal faces threats from oil and gas development in its habitat, and the growth of shipping in the increasingly ice-free Arctic. Last month, important summer feeding areas for the ribbon seal in the Chukchi Sea were leased for oil development, while seismic surveys are planned for the area this summer.

And what is the answer to these seals’ plight?  Hint: It’s not to just let them survive, as they have survived previous warming spells that melted the Arctic ice. No, we have to attack industry, the economy and the American way of life to save the seals:

“With rapid action to reduce carbon dioxide, methane, and black carbon emissions, combined with a moratorium on new oil-and-gas development and shipping routes in the Arctic, we can still save the ribbon seal, the polar bear, and the entire Arctic ecosystem,” said Brendan Cummings, oceans program director for the Center. “But the window of opportunity to act is closing rapidly. Endangered Species Act protection for the ribbon seal and other Arctic species will provide important tools to protect these species and their fragile habitat in the Arctic.”

Going after multiple seal listings at the same time is the same strategy that has worked so well for the Center in Central California, where its Delta smelt listing, which has slashed water deliveries and spiked unemployment in some areas to 40 percent, has been followed by similarly disruptive listings of the long-finned smelt and Delta-dependent salmon species.

The new litigation’s focus on air quality shows how opportunistically the Center bends environmental laws and regulations to their favor. Air quality is an area of easy pickings since the baseline arctic air is unusually clean. Regulations written for the Lower 50 are easy to exploit there, and exploit they have.

The Center takes no prisoners. It doesn’t believe in compromise. It certainly does not believe in an economically robust, expansive America. Its founder has made it clear he sees his purpose as the depopulaiton of the West. The Center’s mission obviously has grown, and its actions in the Arctic not only could lead to greater dependence on foreign oil, but also, tragically, could lead to foreign ownership of drilling sites that are rightfully ours.

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Posted in Center for Biological Diversity, Energy Policy, Environmentalism | 2 Comments » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

July 2nd 2009

A Perfect 4th Of July Read

Posted by: Laer at 06:09 pm

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hat better way to get ready for the 4th of July than to pull up a chair in George Washington’s study and have a friendly conversation about his feelings about the Revolutionary War, the Congress and man’s quest for liberty? Wouldn’t that be grand?

Well, pull up that chair.  History News Network is highlighting an article by Thomas Fleming, Channeling George Washington: The Glorious Fourth! that puts you in his study for a Q&A in which he uses sentences considerably shorter and fresher than those Geo. wrote in his letters.  I’ll entice you with the lead-in paragraphs and the closing ones.

The good general  has just explained how he and Continental Congress secretary Charles Thompson had decided in their old age not to write their memoirs.

“Why not, General? There isn’t an historian I know who wouldn’t give an arm and maybe a leg to read them.”

“We both agreed that if either of us committed such an act of folly – and told the truth about how close we came to losing the war -  it would disillusion every man and woman in the country.”

“Does that mean you don’t have an answer for how we won?”

”I told Charlie Thomson  there  was only one explanation – Divine Providence.  Charlie was a hotheaded Irishman in his youth –  for a while he was known  as the Sam Adams of Philadelphia.  But he was older and a lot wiser when we talked. He replied: “That’s the only answer.”

“Does Ben Franklin agree with that answer?”

“Absolutely. Do you know that by 1781, Franklin was so disgusted and discouraged with the way things were going, he resigned as ambassador to France? Congress persuaded him to change his mind, thank God.”

If you’ve read any history of the American Revolution, it’s hard not to see God’s hand in the war, from the fog bank that rolled in at the opportune time or the cloud that covered the moon, to the strength our generals and soldiers drew from their faith.  So remember to make a part of your 4th of July celebration a prayer of thanksgiving.

Now to the close:

“Does the American Revolution still matter, General?”

“It will always matter. Within a century of  our victory, no less than 200 similar declarations of independence were published around the world. I like to think there are invisible American Revolutions happening today in Iran,  in Russia, in China,  in Venezuela. Wherever men and women realize they’re being deprived of freedom,  America’s example stirs resistance in their souls.”

It is a fundamental purpose of America to be the shining light of freedom in a still-dark world.  Our current president does not seem to grasp the overriding importance of that purpose, but fortunately he will not outlast the strength of our Constitution and the power of this nation’s spirit and will.  At least I don’t think he will.  I have great faith in America … and great awareness that if Gen. Washington were here today, he would find much to his displeasure eminating from Washington DC and spreading throughout the land.

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July 2nd 2009

Unequal Justice For All

Posted by: Laer at 06:43 am

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ostile, America-hating jihadists captured in battles in Afghanistan were shown U.S. hospitality in Guantanamo – given Qur’ans and a proper Muslim diet, offered exercise and prayer time.  Each individual’s case was carefully researched and heard, a lawyer by the jihadist’s side to represent his interests.  Many were simply freed after this process, others ascertained judiciously to be too dangerous and returned to their cells.

And for this process, Leftists in America and anti-Americans around the world howled and spat and said vile things about our country and our president.  Even our new president joined in the condemning chorus, staking out the most left-wing of all candidates’ position on the matter.

Now, with the capture of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, we have a sad and tragic opportunity to measure the behavior of America against the behavior of those who fight us on the battlefield, betray us on our shores, and denigrate us from the comfort of their protected European easy chairs.

We certainly can’t expect anything approaching equal treatment and respect from those jihadist thugs who captured the soldier. Here’s what WaPo reports on them:

“Our leaders have not decided on the fate of this soldier.” the AFP quoted the Haqqani commander, identified only as Bahram, as saying. “They will decide on his fate and soon we will present video tapes of the coalition soldier and our demand to media.”

So Haqqani leaders, not a tribunal, will decide his fate.  And he will be videotaped and used as a propaganda tool, a violation of the Geneva accords.  And they will use the soldier to make demands of us, rather than treat him as a prisoner of war.  Anyone who has followed these sorts of cases has to fear for the life of this soldier; I hope that is not the case, but he has suffered the great misfortune of being captured by people who are not Americans.

Check out the several stories posted on Memeorandum about this breaking event, and you will find no Leftist outlets or blogs listed; you will not be able to link over to any stories or posts from the Left, calling for justice and demanding compliance with Geneva. They are uninterested, just as they are suddenly uninterested in civilian deaths in Iraq or military operations in Afghanistan.  Hypocrites.

Don’t count on this story even breaking through the Michael Jackson storm in the European press, obsessed as it is with deviant behaviors – especially by Americans.

Those who demanded full rights don’t even much care about this soldier’s right to life.  Guantanamo was all about serving a purpose other than protecting jihadists; it was about destroying a presidency and denigrating America, nothing more – and the Left’s disinterest in the fate of this soldier is all the proof we need.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Blogosphere, Guantanamo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Leftism, Libertarianism | 2 Comments » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

July 1st 2009

A Little Post-Waxman-Markey Clarity

Posted by: Laer at 05:09 pm

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K, gang, let’s start prepping for the Senate showdown and, hopefully, the crashing and oh- so- carbon- emitting burning of the cap and tax lunacy.  Let’s start in a chilly place that by rights should be one of the leading proponents of global warming.  Lord knows, the weather certainly could stand to get a wee bit warmer in Scotland.

But for reasons unfathomable by rational minds, Scotland has decided its proper role as a nation is to lead the lemmings off the global warming cliff.  It hails itself, claiming it has the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals – a 42 percent reduction by 2020 and a mind-numbingly stupid 80 percent slash by 2050. Just listen to Scotland’s Climate Minister (Climate Minister?! He should be filed on the spot! Have you seen Scotland’s climate? Disgusting!) says about it all:

Scotland can be proud of this bill, the most ambitious and comprehensive piece of climate change legislation anywhere in the world. As a country, we are leading global action and expect others to follow our lead as we look to the international summit in Copenhagen this December.

I bet it’s going to be bone-chillingly cold in Copenhagen this December – big global warming confab or not.

I bring all this up because in Scotland’s goals we see what’s ahead for a cap and tax America.

Get ready for hefty fines if your household doesn’t do its part. And heftier fines if your business doesn’t. That’s now the rule in Scotland.

Prepare yourself for the Greenshirts busting into your house in search of plastic bags, or forcing your corporation to drop its theft-resistant packaging for something more easy to steal. OK, they’re not yet breaking down doors in Scotland, but they are attacking plastic bags as heinous, anti-social tools of destruction, only slightly more acceptable than the dreaded product packaging.

To incentivize thrifty Scots to part with some of their cash to reduce their carbon footprints, the Scotish Parliament has approved a 50 pound reduction in a local tax.  That sounds exactly like Obama thinking.  Everyone who pitches in to save the planet gets a tax cut.  Never mind that you’ll spend a 500, or 1,000 or 10,000 pounds to insulate your quaint cottage or install solar – that 50-pound tax cut is exactly the sort of great incentive a big government control freak would come up with. And we have more than a few of those in DC.

Not all the Scots are buying it, of course.  Here’s university prof Dr. James Buckee attempting too late to interject some rationality into all this:

“As far as reducing emissions by 80 per cent, banning the internal combustion engine, and coal-fired power stations from Scotland would not get close to doing it. This is clearly unobtainable.

“More energy has been expended on finding ways to infringe on human activity than has gone into understanding the science.”

Heh.  Loved that.  And speaking of understanding the science, there was one heck of an article in Forbes the other day, Waxman-Markey Flunks the Math.  Math is the base of all science, so that’s bad news for the Warmies. Here we go with the basics:

In the U.S., electricity is produced from these sources. If you are reading this on a handheld and can’t read Wikipedia’s wonderful pie chart, here is the breakdown:

48.9% — Coal
20% — Natural Gas
19.3% — Nuclear
1.6% — Petroleum

Got that? A tick over 88% of U.S. electricity comes from three sources: coal, gas and nuclear. Petroleum brings the contribution of so-called “evil” energy–that is, energy that is carbon- or uranium-based–to almost 90%.

The remaining sources of U.S. electricity, the renewables, are, by comparison, tiny players:

7.1% — Hydroelectric
2.4% — Other Renewables
0.7% — Other

Hydroelectric accounts for 70% of renewable energy in America. But, of course, hydro is mostly tapped out. Almost every dam that could be built has been built. Ironically enough, political opposition to building more dams comes from the same crowd of tree huggers who oppose coal, gas and uranium.

Waxman-Markey is all about punitively taxing the energy sources that make up 90 percent of our electrical generation, in order to subsidize the 10 percent that’s renewable.  Well, really 3 percent if you don’t count hydroelectric generation, which isn’t targeted for big Waxman-Markey subsidies. The author then reveals what the bill is all about; not stopping global warming, but good ol’ politics as usual:

In other words, Waxman-Markey is betting the future of U.S. electricity production on sources that now contribute 3% or supply 10 million Americans with electricity. That’s enough juice for the people in Waxman’s Los Angeles County. Or, if you prefer, for Nancy Pelosi’s metro San Francisco plus Markey’s metro Boston.

Well, what about electricity for the other 295 million? You can’t get there from here with Waxman-Markey. At very best, solar, wind and cellulosic ethanol will make 20% contributions by 2025. The smart money would bet on 10%.

Besides, those nasty ol’ Devil fuels are doing very well on the technology front, advancing at a clip that rivals or surpasses gains made in alternative energy.  Engines are cleaner and more efficient, fuels burn hotter and cleaner, and extraction and processing technologies are greener than ever.

There simply is no reason for Waxman-Markey … except for power-grabbing and money-sucking.  But there is a great alternative, an absolutely brilliant alternative, promoted today by Doug Ross:

We start with the most useless government agencies we can find. The Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, The Department of Health and Human Services, The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the FCC and Amtrak. For the sake of argument, let’s say that together, they consume $250 billion a year.

Congress’ job? They would be required to cut spending for these ridiculous bureaucracies according to the following schedule (which I had a lot of fun creating — all numbers in billions).

2012 – $250
2013 – $210
2014 – $190
2015 – $160
2016  – $140
2017 – $120
2018 – $110
2019 – $100
2020 – $90
2021 – $75
2022 – $60
2023 – $50

Pay-cuts? Layoffs? Closing unnecessary facilities? Who gives a crap? That’s for them to figure out.

How do you like Cap-and-trade now, Democrats?

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Posted in Alternative Energy, Democrats, Energy Policy, Environmentalism, Global warming, Uncategorized | 3 Comments » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

July 1st 2009

Our Crumbling Civilization – Biscuit Holes

Posted by: Laer at 07:04 am

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C-based Carl’s Jr. was founded by an outstanding gentleman, a devout Catholic and patriotic American, Carl Karcher. He sold the company late in his life and all the good, wholesomeness he put into his advertising campaigns disappeared, replaced with Paris Hilton making love to a hamburger and similar tawdry and sleazy campaigns designed to appeal to their target market: sex-obsessed, hormone-drenched nitwits.

That was then.  It’s gotten worse.  Carl’s Jr. and its co-brand, Hardee’s, have just introduced donut holes on their breakfast menu – a nasty looking product of fried, cinnamon-sprinkled bread globs with a sugar and chemical dipping sauce that looks to be made of 100% artery plaque.

OK, so that should be fairly simple to advertise without offending the multitudes and crumbling the civilization.  But what fun would that be?

In the first TV spot, the announcer says Hardee’s is announcing its new product, “Biscuit Holes,” and asks passers-by, who look like normal people but are really gutter-dwellers for hire, what they think the product should be named.  Cover the kids’ eyes; here come some of their responses: Goodie Balls, Hole Munchers, Puffy Nuts, Melting Holes.

Not content to let that pass by without some one-upsmanship, the announcer cleverly holds up two of the balls side by side and asks the last taster, “What about ‘Bistecles?’”

Not appalling enough? There’s always TV spot #2, where the announcer has conventional donut holes and Carl’s/Hardee’s Biscuit Holes on a little table, the donut holes marked “A” and the Biscuit Holes marked “B.”  He asks another group of sex-obsessed sell-outs which they prefer.  You guessed it:

“The B hole has it over the A hole.” “The A hole seems kind of small.” “The A hole tastes nasty.”

These are not commercials that play on late-night pay-per-view soft porn channels. They are designed for every day, all day TV – the kind families watch together and kids watch alone. The TV we watch after church on Sunday.

One Million Dads has set up an auto-letter you can use to send a protest letter to the company’s president, Andrew Puzder.  I suggest you click here and fire one off.  And, come to think of it, you might want to offer him a name or two of your own. Like sleazeballs.

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Posted in Advertising, America, Civilization | 3 Comments » | Post URI Trackback URI| |

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