Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowzilla Ordered Destroyed in Anchorage

MSNBC story subtitle: Officials have issued a cease-and-desist order to builders of the giant.

Clearly they were concerned about the off-hand chance that there could be some magic in that old silk hat they planned to put on his head. I mean come on: at more than 16 feet tall, the resulting thumpety-thump-thump could have leveled the entire city. Furthermore, a snowman that large arguably wouldn't even pause a moment if a policeman were to holler "stop".


Weirdly, Snowzilla reappeared anyway. "Magically", per the Anchorage Daily News. In the same article, the owner of the land on which the huge snow man is built seems to be getting the Joe the Plumber treatment from unnamed "officials".

Monday, December 22, 2008

Once Is Happenstance, Twice Coincidence...

Joe Conason writing in Salon: What's Obama hiding about Blagojevich? (D) The subtitle answers the question: "Probably nothing. But by mishandling the scandal, his team has allowed questions to be raised where there were none."
You'd have to read the whole thing to see if you really agree "there were none" in terms of questions about talking with Blagojevich. (He must really have political cooties if Obama--who famously stated he'd talk to a whole Rogue's Gallery of international scumbags without precondition--won't talk to the Illinois Democrat.)
Where have we seen this pattern before? Do a search on Obama and "birth certificate" and you'll find a whole roiling controversy on the right, where there didn't need to be one.
So why would they repeat the mistake of letting something fester endlessly?
Outside of Free Republic, the birth certificate controversy didn't get much of a look from the nation at large. As such, it may not have registered as a lesson that Team O! should take anything from. Perhaps the Obama campaign liked it--after all it kept the dextrosphere wrapped up about one particular thing on message boards and not out in the streets getting out the vote. And if it didn't really make a true penetration into the Big News cycles, what was the real harm to him? A bunch of people who wouldn't vote for the man anyway were now really sure they wouldn't vote for the man. A simple enough calculation for a campaign run by the numbers.
So now? The tapes that have been released give the impression that Obama's camp wasn't about to give Blagojevich a thin dime in return for appointing Valerie Jarrett to Obama's Senate seat. So what was the big deal?
We'll almost certainly never find out since the prosecutor pulled the plug right around the time Ms. Jarrett withdrew herself from consideration and was subsequently handed a job in the White House. If there's a third instance along these lines, we'll see if there's a trend.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rand Simberg on the UAW

It isn't just the compensation packages UAW workers get that has made GM, Ford and Chrysler less profitable than their non-unionized competitors: it's the thousands of union work rules that have dragged down productivity. Like what? Check this out, from Rand Simberg's own time working in AC Sparkplug and Fisher Body plants:
A breaker might trip on the robot. A gate might jam, causing the reservoir to fill and the parts line to be depleted, making the workers below unable to complete the assembly of an oil filter. And when these things happened, what was I supposed to do? If a breaker tripped, I was supposed to put in a repair ticket for an electrician. If a gate jammed, I was supposed to put in a ticket for a pipefitter — it may even have been a special subclassification for an assembly-line upper-level pipefitter. If a belt jammed, I was supposed to requisition a machinist, any of whom might be busy on other jobs. Or outside, taking a nap in their van. While waiting for them to arrive, assembly lines, perhaps even the entire plant, would be shut down, costing thousands of dollars a minute with workers sitting around unable to assemble the product.
They'll get to it, when they get to it. Rand also shares a couple of anecdotes from a former supervisor. Lest you think management has no role in this:
...but when I tried to make them increase production ever so slightly they sabotaged my ability to make even the current production levels by hiding stock, calling in sick, feigning equipment problems, and even once, as a show of force, used a fork lift truck and pallets and racks to create a car part prison where they trapped me while I was conducting inventory. The reaction of upper management to my request to boost production was that I should “not be naive.”
Sounds like management had long since given up on trying. You can, as they say, read the whole thing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

There is just no telling about some people

Family: Shoe thrower hates both US, Iran role

Al-Zeidi's act of defiance Sunday transformed an obscure reporter from a minor TV station into a national hero to many Iraqis fed up with the nearly six-year U.S. presence here, but also fearful that their country will fall under Iran's influence once the Americans leave.

It's a real dilemma for them, isn't it?  But, Al-Zeidi, once he has cooled down, will consider what would have happened to him if Saddam was his target.

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Obama vs. 'Global Varming'

Obama left with little time to curb global warming

Obama on global warming:

"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday...

I thought 'de Nile' was a river in Africa. Where is Obama getting these wild ideas?

...after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming.

Oh, him again.

The article goes on to add more pseudoscientific blather and breathless one-line quotes about impending doom. But, there is cause for hope that we will not, as a nation, be driven to ruin:

After years of inaction on global warming, 2009 might be different. Obama replaces a president who opposed mandatory cuts of greenhouse gas pollution and it appears he will have a willing Congress.

A willing Congress? What was the AP writer smoking when that was written?

President Bush realized the folly of reacting to the global warming hysteria. At the same time, he realized it would be politically imprudent to pooh pooh the idea we can do something about it. So, he took the smart course of action: He handed it over to Congress; a body that, as everyone knows, is biased towards inaction.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Once the Climate Change Is Taken Care Of...

...here's a whole new windmill at which to tilt menace to confront: Continental Drift. Save the Pacific Ocean, man!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our own Climate Change Fool

Greenhouse gases warming North America unevenly[1]

WASHINGTON — Climate change caused by greenhouse gases is warming the United States, though unevenly, government researchers said Thursday.

"The continent as a whole is warming, mostly as a result of the energy sources we are using," William J. Brennan, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said at a briefing on the nation's climate since 1951.

Brennan is the director of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

Why is this significant? Because, being an agency dependant on government funding, continuation of same depends on finding something related to their charter. Can you imagine what would happen to their funding if they reported the fact that there has been no global warming since 1995?

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Trackposted to Rosemary's Thoughts, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, and Democrat=Socialist, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Ship of Fools, Partie Deux

EU hails climate deal as example for the world[1]

BRUSSELS, Belgium — European nations on Friday dared the United States, Russia and China to follow their lead on global warming after agreeing on a plan to meet the so-called "20-20-20" targets: reducing greenhouse emissions by 20 percent and ensuring that 20 percent of energy comes from wind, sun and other renewable sources by 2020.

You go guys.  And, no backing down when it becomes painfully clear you are on a fool's mission.

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Trackposted to Rosemary's Thoughts, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, and Democrat=Socialist, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Big Government, Big Money and the Big Three

If some in Congress get their way, any bag full of cash to the automakers will come with Government oversight. That will mean Congressional oversight hearings to oversee the overseer. And how did that work out for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? If the Big 3 are lucky they may reach the success level of Amtrak.