47 minutes ago
I realized that the real crux of the matter, and the truly paralyzing aspect for the liberals around me, was simply that — her courage. To the Hollywood community, a community that did not even have the courage to list Theo Van Gogh during the 2005 Oscar ceremony as one of the people in film who had died that year, a woman willing to continue espousing her deep convictions after being threatened with death by the same people who had murdered her colleague was utterly confounding. And for someone like me, a person who writes from behind a mask, not even for fear of death but of the economic retribution I might face from the supposedly tolerant community in which I live and work, the evening I spent in a room with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was all the more humbling.
Why are so many liberal intellectuals, social democrats and feminists so silent on the more noxious features of Islam – the fierce intolerance toward unbelievers, the repression of individual freedom, the routine abuse of children, the misogyny, the forced subservience of women? “It’s the seduction of totalitarianism,” she says. In her view, Western defenders of Islam are the intellectual heirs of those highly intelligent men and women who used to heap praise on Comrade Stalin. “It’s a blind spot that left-wing intellectuals have always had.”
Ms. Hirsi Ali’s own history is a horrifying study in female subjugation. Her grandmother and mother hit her often. At 5, she was held down, screaming, as her genitals were mutilated. (She has nothing but contempt for feminists who urge us to understand this brutal practice in its cultural context.) She was regularly beaten by her brother, the enforcer of family morals. After being married off by her father to a Toronto cousin she had never met, she escaped to the Netherlands.
Dear Sen. Webb,
You voted no on the Murkowski Resolution. I will not forget or forgive this.
If the EPA gets to regulate carbon dioxide, our economy is going to suffer. I will hole YOU personally responsibile for that.
I have already blogged my displeasure on the two websites I participate in (one as an individual and one as a group blogging effort). Please rest assured, my opinion of you is being made very well known. And when you run for re-election, I will not have forgotten your vote. And I will blog RELENTLESSLY to expose your terrible voting deed to all Virginians.
I am completely disappointed in you.
I wrote this morning in the American Spectator about how tight the vote is on Senator Murkowski's bid to stop the EPA regulating CO2. It looks like Sen. Scott Brown is fully on board now, and three cheers to him for that, but thanks to a midnight deal by an obviously scared Harry Reid, Senator Webb of Virginia looks like he's going to vote no.
If you're a Virginian, get on to his office. You can call 1-866-507-1570 or use this handy-dandy message generator, courtesy of FreedomAction, to send his office an email.
Other senators are also on the fence. If you're a constituent of any of these and want EPA's power grab stopped, call or message them using the link above or this one from Americans for Prosperity. The senators that most need to hear from their constituents are:
Sen. Bayh, Indiana
Sen. Dorgan, North Dakota
Sen. Conrad (apparently targeted by Reid, like Sen. Webb), North Dakota
Sen. Tester, Montana
Sen. Pryor, Arkansas
Sen. Warner, Virginia
Sen. Begich, Alaska
Here are some things you can tell them:
● Every senator who votes no is taking full responsibility for the consequences of EPA regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions.
● The Reid alternative, a vote on Sen. Rockefeller's bill to delay regulation by two years, is not an adequate alternative. Who will invest in a new factory if EPA is going to begin regulating emissions within two years? Even Sen. Rockefeller is supporting Sen. Murkowski.
● The argument many Senators are making, that this is a vote against higher fuel-economy standards, is silly. See here.
This issue is vital. Any help you can give is much appreciated.
Senator Boxer lost any credibility she might have had left when she said that the Murkowski Resolution would be like Congress "saying the Earth is flat." Preposterous demagoguery, as Marlo Lewis explains. Any Senator who claims his/her vote was swayed by that argument should be disqualified from office.
California is home to the high-tech and entertainment industries, has one of the nation’s largest tourism industries, and has the most productive agricultural land in the country. Historically, it was not a state with a disproportionately large unskilled population, unlike Appalachia, parts of the American South, or the Rio Grande valley. Relative to other states, it had one of the more educated labor forces in terms of the share of workers who had completed high school. But today it is the state with the largest share of its labor force that has not completed high school.
Analysis of Census Bureau data through 2008 by the Center for Immigration Studies shows this relative change is a direct result of immigration. California has become a state with one of the most skewed income distributions and it is among the states with high rates of welfare use and lack of health insurance. Immigrants in the state are six times more likely than natives not to have completed high school. While some employers argue that a continuing stream of unskilled immigrant workers is desirable, such a policy has consequences. Productivity, standard of living, welfare use, health insurance coverage, and the tax base are heavily impacted by education levels. The low level of educational attainment in the state is likely to create significant challenges for California in the foreseeable future.
When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week.Read the whole thing.
People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How's it feel to be a disgruntled victim?
I have a theory that you should invest in the companies that you hate the most. The usual reason for hating a company is that the company is so powerful it can make you balance your wallet on your nose while you beg for their product. Oil companies such as BP don't actually make you beg for oil, but I think we all realize that they could. It's implied in the price of gas.
I hate BP, but I admire them too, in the same way I respect the work ethic of serial killers. I remember the day I learned that BP was using a submarine…with a web cam…a mile under the sea…to feed live video of their disaster to the world. My mind screamed "STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME LOVE YOU! MUST…THINK…OF DEAD BIRDS TO MAINTAIN ANGER!" The geeky side of me has a bit of a crush on them, but I still hate them for turning Florida into a dip stick.
Apparently BP has its own navy, a small air force, and enough money to build floating cities on the sea, most of which are still upright. If there's oil on the moon, BP will be the first to send a hose into space and suck on the moon until it's the size of a grapefruit. As an investor, that's the side I want to be on, with BP, not the loser moon.
You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal".
Both families have two parents, two children and live in California.
Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour, with taxes deducted.
Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number and gets paid $15.00 cash per hour, "under the table".
Ready? Now pay attention ...
Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week or $52,000.00 per year. Now take minimum 30% away for state and federal tax and Joe Legal now has$31,231.00.
Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays NO state or federal taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.
Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.
Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare, due to his "anchor children" that were born in the US. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.
Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.
Jose Illegal says "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.
Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, plus what he sends out of the country every month.
Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.
Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.
Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home and he needs to pay for a babysitter to watch them while he and his wife work.
Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay anything.
A Virginia-based insurance company says “considerable uncertainties” created by the Democrats’ health care overhaul will force it to close its doors by the end of the year.Thanks an effing lot democrats.
The firm, nHealth, appears to be the first to claim that the new law has driven it out of business. “We don’t know what the rules are going to be, and, as a start-up, our investors need certainty,” nHealth CEO and President Paul Kitchen told POLITICO. “The law created so much uncertainty that is beyond our control.”
Last week, in a letter to the company’s 50 or so employees, Executive Vice President James Slabaugh said nHealth has stopped accepting new group customers and will terminate all business by Dec. 31.
BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans. It employs the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, Obama’s transition director and confidant. Other BP troops on K Street include Michael Berman, a former top aide to Vice President Walter Mondale; Steven Champlin, former executive director of the House Democratic Caucus; and Matthew LaRocco, who worked in Bill Clinton’s Interior Department and whose father was a Democratic congressman. Former Republican staffers, such as Reagan alumnus Ken Duberstein, also lobby for BP, but there’s no truth to Democratic portrayals of the oil company as an arm of the GOP.
Two patterns have emerged during Obama’s presidency: 1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and 2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand
I'm not sure why they spiked it but as regards to Helen Thomas - good riddance to old trash. Cal Thomas column on Helen Thomas spikedFunny that you can get a video of Helen Thomas spewing her hate, but we can’t find one showing ugly names being shouted in a crowd at congressmen.
A guy with a flip camera just took out one of the most storied names in American journalism. Presumably US newspaper managements have been assured by Obama, Pelosi, Frank et al that that bailout's a-comin' any day now. The alternative is that they're inept timeserving mediocrities too dullwitted even to know they're going over the falls.
At this point, there are only two camps of honest people: those who believe Obamacare will blow up the budget, and that this is a problem; and those who believe that Obamacare will blow up the budget, and that this is not a problem (because wealth redistribution is more important, and because the wealthy can be taxed more if needed).Avik Roy, a savvy health care analyst in New York City
I often see "no nitrates or nitrites added" bacon in the grocery store. How does this differ from regular bacon? E.W. New Orleans, LA.
Nitrite has long been a controversial food additive, with studies showing it forms carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines when heated in the presence of proteins, like those in bacon. Regular bacon is cured with nitrite (NO2) or a virtually identical chemical, nitrate (NO3), both of which act as preservatives, though only nitrite has the potential to form potentially harmful nitrosamines. Bacon labeled "nitrate-or nitrite-free" on the other hand, is brined with salt, a bacterial lactic acid starter culture, and celery juice (sometimes listed as "natural flavor").
But here's the catch: Celery juice naturally contains a high level of organic nitrate, which is converted into the problematic nitrite by the bacteria in the starter culture and also by saliva during chewing. Despite this fact, it's technically correct to label the bacon "no nitrates or nitrites added," since the compounds are formed during production, not added as ingredients. The question is: How do the levels of nitrite and nitrate in uncured bacon compare with those in its cured counterpart?
When we fired up strips of our favorite supermarket bacon, Farmland Hickory Smoked, along with Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon ("no nitrate or nitrite added"), tasters found the sampled virtually identical in taste and texture. To quantify the nitrite and nitrate levels in these bacons, we sent three packages of each type to a lab for testing. For comparison, we also sent three packages of the Best Buy from our tasting of artisanal bacon, Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon (labeled "no nitrites added"). As we expected, all the of the bacons contained nitrite and nitrate and the nitrite levels were well withing U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines of no more than 120 parts per million (ppm). But to our surprise, the uncured bacon actually had higher levels of nitrite than the cured meat: Farmland Hickory Smoked Bacon registered an average of 9.7 ppm nitrite (and 48ppm nitrate), while its All-Natural counterpart showed an average of 16.3 ppm nitrite (and 10.3 ppm nitrate). And the Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon averaged more than three times the level of regular bacon: 35 ppm nitrite (and nearly as much nitrate, at 44.3 ppm).
The bottom line: All bacon is likely to contain nitrite and nitrate, whether added at the outset or formed naturally during processing. If you want to avoid these compounds, you'll have to avoid bacon - and any other processed meats containing celery juice - altogether.
During the next two weeks, the Supreme Court will rule on a case that, if decided correctly, will bring relief to small businesses all over the nation. The details of the case sound arcane, but they get to the heart of how America is governed and what the Founders intended. Should the Justices uphold a challenge to the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB, often pronounced "Peekaboo"), then entrepreneurs, the Constitution, and the rule of law will win. The losers? Beancounters and bureaucrats.There's more. Read the whole article by my husband and published in The American Spectator to learn how this stupid regulation, the PCAOB, "has been a little-noticed exacerbating factor in the current recession."
Facing public anger after the demise of Enron, Congress rushed to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (known as Sarbox), which imposed a ton of new paperwork on businesses in the name of preventing another Enron-like scandal and subsequent bankruptcy. Ironically, many of the new requirements were already present at Enron, and the main beneficiaries of Sarbox were the Big Five accounting firms.
To oversee this huge exercise in ineffective check-box regulation, Sarbanes-Oxley set up a new bureaucracy, the PCAOB. Peekaboo has vast powers, including the ability to fine companies up to $2 million for even inadvertent breaches of its rules, which can go into absurd detail. Auditors must, for example, rule on which low-level employees have access to computer passwords.
Peekaboo's clunking fist has fallen the most heavily on small businesses, which find compliance harder. Big businesses, which are the big accounting firms' main clients, are able to absorb the large cost of the accounting requirements. Small accounting firms that specialized in helping small clients are unable to cope with the workload and are going out of business. A University of Rochester researcher has calculated that Sarbox has hammered the economy with over $1.4 trillion in direct and indirect costs.
When the Deepwater Horizon first started gushing oil, many considered the incident an example of private enterprise having no regard for the environment. However, it is becoming clear that government was involved from the start, is in charge now (as President Obama himself tells us), and cannot do much about the problem. So is there any way to address this?Read the whole thing, my husband has several very good points in this article originally published on National Review Online.
Yes. We need to move away from the crony corporatism that has characterized much of the nation’s energy sector during the last century or so. It would be foolish to promise that market-based reforms would prevent another disaster, but they would be more effective than yet more meaningless bureaucracy. There are several reasons for this.
Rabbi David F. Nesenoff, the man behind the Helen Thomas video, was just on Fox News, and he says Part II will be released "in a day or two."
If the ethics committee releases a damaging report on Rangel before the Sept. 14 primary, it could be a death blow to the Harlem congressman’s storied career and open the door to a serious Democratic challenge, Democratic colleagues and party strategists said.
But if the ethics committee’s findings come out after the primary, Rangel will very likely survive and win a 21st term in the House. Still, that timing would raise questions about the ethics committee’s process and whether the investigative panel was too aware of the political calendar.
Click here to view the DNC major donor list ACORN used to fundraise for its voter registration drives.
Iain Murray argues for a non-governmental response to the Gulf oil spill.
Daniel Foster discusses five technological marvels at work in the Gulf crisis.
Michael Barone predicts a tough election year for the Democrats.
Edward Whelan calls for a tough Senate inquiry into Elena Kagan’s judicial philosophy.
Jeffrey A. Miron explains why the tea-party movement should take the libertarian position on drug prohibition.
Kathryn Jean Lopez argues that the media is attempting to weaken Catholic identity.
And this is interesting: “Young people ages 18-29 were more against the changes than any other age group, with 69% opposed.”AND this again Disasters