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Monday, February 23, 2009

On This We Disagree

The Bristol Herald Courier:

Strength of U.S. is separation of church, state

Honestly, I've always considered it a weakness.

Not of our system of government, mind you. But of those who oversee it.

Here's my reasoning:

We whipped the Nazis.

We whipped the commies.

We run in fear of the Baptists.

Personally, I think we can handle 'em, should it become necessary.

So Which Is It?

It's got to be tough to fill that 1500 word quota (or, in this case, a 1600 worder) when one of the boys over at the Roanoke Times sits down to express in writing the thought that's rattling around in that expansive brain pan of his. How else to explain the complete shift of reasoning in a matter of five short paragraphs?

In today's "Putting politics ahead of jobs," someone there at the Times has taken out after the GOP here in Virginia (I know; you're shocked) because members therein have blocked legislation put forth by Senator Creigh Deeds, Democrat.

Paragraph four provides the explanation:

"Why? Because House Republicans apparently dislike Democrats and anything green more than they dislike taxes and love corporate assistance."

But then in paragraph eight we get a different explanation:

"Republicans see only a couple of bills from someone who might be the Democratic nominee for governor in November."

So do the Republicans ...

... a) Dislike Democrats? (not hard to believe; most of us do)

... b) Dislike anything green? (yeah, they have a death wish and want the planet - which includes their children and grandchildren - to be consumed in fire and pestilence)

... or c) See a chance to thwart the efforts of a Democratic candidate for governor?

They'll have to get back to us on that. As soon as they get a coherent thought together.

You might want to pack a bag. It might be a long wait.

* Note: Too bad the author couldn't have picked just one complaint and stuck to it. There was actually a valid point to be made here.

Did They Really Say That?

I have a general rule that forbids me picking on the Roanoke Times twice in one day. But they brought this one on themselves. I'll hedge this one by saying, if the information is accurate, shame on the idiot (Republican) who said it. If not, shame on the Times editorial team for thinking it.

What to make of this?
House Republicans raise a tax

Heavens to Betsy! Quick, make sure the sky isn't falling!

Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates voted last week to raise a tax! Doubled it, of all things! And then -- oh, please go check the sky again -- they said the tax increase will spur economic growth. Can you imagine such a thing?

Not all taxes are evil? Who'd have thought? This particular tax is especially appealing. It punishes the wallets of tourists and business travelers who entertain themselves in hotel rooms by supporting the ultimate liberal bastion of evil: Hollywood. [link]*
The subject matter has to do with those dirty movies that guys rent in hotel rooms. Apparently there's a 5% tax tacked onto the hotel bill at time of checkout. The Republicans apparently (according to the Times anyway) voted to raise the tax to 10%.

My only beef with this story is this: "[T]hey said the tax increase will spur economic growth."

A tax increase on the rental of "Debbie Does Dallas" will spur growth? Keeping our minds out of the gutter, what clueless moron said that? We want names.

Or did the author simply throw that in there as filler? (see above post)

Spill it, Dan. Where did you get this information?

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Update: I've just been informed that you can rent movies that are not XXX rated. I ... uh ... knew that.

* Whoever wrote this is a real smartass. I like it.

That's Not How It Works

I'm shocked!

None of the four men running to replace Virginia's governor is planning to make smoking bans a priority if elected.

Of course not. Candidates for governor here in the commonwealth promise lots of money and services to the electorate while running for office. It's only after they get elected that they bring up the bad stuff.

Mark Warner wasn't planning on raising our taxes.

Until he did.

Tim Kaine said he would not support any new gun laws.

Until he did.

Now Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, and Brian Moran aren't planning on introducing any new smoking bans.

Until they do.

In the meantime, and until election day, expect to be showered with all kinds of happiness by this trio. That's how Democrats do it. It's in the playbook under How To Lie Through Your Teeth To Get Elected.

Absolute Nonsense

And it makes its way to the pages of this morning's National Enquirer Washington Post.

Is there anyone out there who believes this horse shit?
Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe
By Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post Staff Writer

By choice or necessity, millions of "ecomigrants" -- most of them poor and desperate -- are on the move in search of more habitable living space.

There were about 25 million ecomigrants in the world a little more than a decade ago, said Norman Myers, a respected British environmental researcher at Oxford University. That number is now "a good deal higher," he added. "It's plain that sea-level rise in the wake of climate change will inundate the homelands of huge numbers of people."

In Bangladesh, about 12 million to 17 million people have fled their homes in recent decades because of environmental disasters -- and the low-lying country is likely to experience more intense flooding in the future. In several countries in Africa's Sahel region, bordering the Sahara, about 10 million people have been driven to move by droughts and famines.

In the Philippines, upwards of 4 million people have moved from lowlands to highlands as a result of deforestation. And in an earlier era, about 2.5 million Americans became ecomigrants after droughts and land degradation during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s. [link] [my emphasis]

The first thing I have to ask is: How did the editor at the Post who read over this gem let the joker who wrote it get away with making the claim that "It's plain that sea-level rise in the wake of climate change will inundate the homelands of huge numbers of people," then tag the piece with the title that leads one to believe that a sizable portion of the human species is on the move because of "climate change," and then include a paragraph that says in part: "4 million people have moved from lowlands to highlands as a result of deforestation."

Deforestation is not climate change, genius.

But beyond that, does anyone take this kind of wild-eyed hysteria seriously? Millions of humans are fleeing their traditional homelands because of fears of a changing climate?


Then there's that Bangladesh thing. The country "is likely to experience more intense flooding in the future"? Could that be because it has experienced devastating floods throughout its history? The problem there is not the result of "climate change." It's simply climate as they've always known it to be.

Having said that, I do believe this anecdote to be perfectly believable:
Adam Fier recently sold his home, got rid of his car and pulled his twin 6-year-old girls out of elementary school in Montgomery County. He and his wife packed the family's belongings and moved to New Zealand -- a place they had never visited or seen before, and where they have no family or professional connections. Among the top reasons: global warming.
Adam Fier is an idiot. And he's a coward for having passed his fears on to his impressionable little children. If he fled to New Zealand because Montgomery County, Maryland surface temperatures have climbed, on average, 1° fahrenheit over the last century, and not because taxes in very liberal Montgomery County, Maryland are oppressive and the nanny state being directed out of next-door neighbor Washington D.C. aren't frightening, then New Zealand deserves the moron.

Look, this kind of thing is silly. There are many things we could be scaring our little children into wetting the bed over. Economic recession comes to mind. Heath Ledger movies. But fears of global warming, as more and more empirical data pour in, are baseless.

So quit scaring the young'uns. But stay in New Zealand. Please.

I'm Glad Obama Agrees

For years now I've argued that the terrorists being held in Gitmo are not entitled to have their cases tried in American courts because (a) they are not American citizens and (b) they are not on American soil.

It's good to see that Barack Obama suddenly agrees with me:
'No US rights' for Bagram inmates

The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.

Most have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of waging a terrorist war against the US.

The move has disappointed human rights lawyers who had hoped the Obama administration would take a different line to that of George W Bush. [link]
Yeah, Obama is referring to prisoners being held at Bagram and not Guantanamo. But there is no real difference. What's right at one is right at the other.

It's good to see him breaking certain of his campaign promises.

Another Day ...

... another state secret divulged by the New York Times Company.

Yep, they're at it again. Publishing classified information that will aid the terrorists:

Secret U.S. unit trains commandos in Pakistan
By Eric Schmitt and Jane Perlez, International Herald Tribune

As you probably know, the International Herald Tribune is owned by the New York Times. In the article, the IHT reporters not only give a description of the clandestine activity but they also pinpoint where it's taking place and the number of Americans involved.

I'm surprised they didn't include photos and home addresses.

Shameful. Just shameful.

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Update: I should have known. The story appears on the front page of the New York Times as well.