Morning Whip, Dec. 31, 2009

The CRISIS OF THE HOUR just seems like an awful lot of work, doesn’t it? No crisis today. Crisis maybe tomorrow. No crisis today.

Seven Seas Navigator Emerges From Refit [*1]
Dutch say they’ll use full body scanners for U.S. flights [*2]
Man, Do I Hate Holiday Travel [*3] — allahu akbar . . . BOOM!
TSA targets travel bloggers over leaked security memo [*4]
Cruise West Expands Reach with World’s Longest Cruise [*5]

2009/the 2000’s In Review, and year-end lists:
A Decade and Its Three Crises [*6]
2009’s Idiots of the Year! [*7]
Technology Predictions Are Mostly Bunk [*8]
Most Jaw-Dropping Live Television Moments of the Decade [*9]
Reason Staffers Pick The Best and Worst Things of The Decade [*10]
Telegraph: The most conservative movie of the decade is… [*11]
Technology not as advanced by 2010 as some had hoped [*12]

The battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way :
Don’t Tase Me When I’m Having a Diabetic Seizure, Bro [*13]
The James Taggart Presidency and the value of work [*14]
More Guns, Less Crime in ’09 [*15]
SEIU Watch: More workers revolt against power-grabbing Purple Shirts [*16]
Tea Parties: The Biggest Mistake We Could Make in 2010 [*17]
White House Stonewalling on Obama’s Executive Order Unleashing Interpol [*18]
Minnesota University Wants K-12 Teachers to Hate America [*19] — mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to attend the U of M. . .
Political moralism and the self-defeating impulse towards totalitarian ‘purity’ [*20] — I’m not much into demanding ‘purity’ from others, personally.
The Criminalization of Protest: Police and politicians ignore the First Amendment when we need it the most. [*21]
Saving Money, Lives, and Human Civilization [*22]
Fighting the Beltway Mentality [*23]
More Radicalizing of Higher Education Ahead [*24]
Obama’s Game of False Choices [*25]
The Marxian Virus in American Thought [*26]
Blogging for ‘The Cause’? Nonsense! I Write for Money [*27]

The reality of Obama and the Democrat leadership as blithering idiots:
Max Baucus: I was totally sober [*28] — I dunno . . . “drunk” is a better excuse, I think, than “blithering idiot” but then he’s a Senator, for which “blithering idiot” is pretty much the primary job requirement . . .
Why is Obama still in Hawaii? [*29]
Why Obama pretends [*30]
Does Obama Realize We Are at War Yet? [*31]
Unfair attack from the Right on Obama’s lack of response? [*32] — um . . . well . . . upon reflection . . . no, no, not unfair at all. ‘Commander in Chief’ means something, as does “preserve, protect, and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States.” Or anyway, it used to, before the Blithering Idiots took over.
If Obama’s lost Maureen Dowd . . . [*33]
Obama Uses His Bush Similarities to Deflect Heat [*34]
The limits of “cool” [*35]
Barack Obama and the Exhausted Presidency [*36]

War and terror and diplomacy and peace:
“Iraq the model” after all? [*37]

“Global warming” aka “Climate change” — or should that be “Climate Reform?”:
Major northern hemisphere cold snap coming [*38]
French Revolution! Carbon tax ruled unconstitutional just two days before taking effect [*39]
From The IPCC [*40]
Let me try again [*41] — “. . . the French have ruled a proposed carbon tax scheduled to start on Jan 1, 2010 to be unconstitutional . . .”
Satellite visualization of December’s deadly cold in Europe and Russia [*42]
The Left’s End Times [*43]

The Economy:
Ponzi scheme collapses more than tripled in 2009 [*44] — Tough times for con artists, too, apparently . . .
More federal funds going to GMAC Financial [*45] — Yep. Tough times for con artists.
Public Sector Drives Deep Into The Night [*46]
Markets fail. That’s why we need markets. [*47] — “Too big to fail” is a profoundly anti-free-market concept. Unsuccessful businesses should fail–they should never, ever be propped up. The same should be said of political philosophies, but here we are, taking another run at collectivism . . .
The Monetary Base is exploding. So what? [*48]
Fannie & Freddie Officially Declared Bottomless Pits. GMAC Not Far Behind [*49]
Government-Caused Disaster [*50]

Media bias and/or incompetence:
CBS totally objective about ‘teabaggers’ [*51] — I guess fair is fair . . . when I think of the media the first things that come to my mind are several slang terms for homosexual sex, too . . .
Tea Party Express official says liberal media used TPM’s ‘totally bogus story’ [*52]

Health care “change” (called by some “reform”):
Like Mushrooms, Health Care ‘Reform’ Flourishes in the Dark [*53]
Unhealthy arrogance [*54]
Rasmussen: Opposition to ObamaCare Reaches New High [*55]
Legal Discrimination [*56] — “Liberals funneling other people’s money (yours) to favored minorities and trial lawyers. Business as usual.”
Blinded By Good Intentions [*57]
13 Republican Attorneys General Threaten Lawsuits Over Nebraska’s Health Care Deal [*58]

Heroin, HIV stalk tropical resort of Zanzibar [*59]
‘Best Job’ winner stung by dangerous jellyfish [*60]
Power to the (Conservative) People [*61]
Wussie Watch: Yale censors the word “sissy” [*62]
Sarah & Hillary: Most Admired Women in USA [*63]
Rush Limbaugh Taken to Hospital with Chest Pains UPDATED [*64]
Rush Limbaugh reported ‘resting comfortably’ in Hawaii hospital [*65]

No. 1 Kansas overcomes early gaffe to rout Belmont [*66]
Tennessee beats longtime foe Old Dominion 102-62 [*67]
SDSU set for Summit action [*68]

Two Years Ago: Boulevard “Long Strange Tripel” ale

Having completely recovered from my India Pale Ale experience the other night, I ready a glass of the third in the Smokestack Series of ales from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company[*1] .

The Long Strange Tripel ale is lighter in color, and in flavor than either of the previous two entries in the Smokestack Series that I’ve sampled.  It is of course a more full-bodied beer than the mass market Bud/Miller/Coors stuff, and probably a bit more full than Boulevard’s Wheat beer.  It is not bitter at all (danke Gott) and I deem it most agreeable.

Now, all I need is a Jackrabbits win in men’s basketball vs. San Jose State tonight, and the evening will be complete.

Morning Whip, Dec. 30, 2009

Boy, you let a day or two slide by, and things do pile up, don’t they?

A new feature: CRISIS OF THE HOUR. With the sage advice to “never let a good crisis go to waste,” I intend to identify whatever it is that day about which we’re supposed to panic and rush blindly towards the loving arms of our caring and oh-so-competent government. Articles touching on the day’s CRISIS OF THE HOUR will be indicated by the word PANIC! after the article’s title. This could be amusing.

“When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”


Facing long lines, Canada bans most carry-ons from U.S.-bound flights [*1] — PANIC!
Finally Flying Midwest, er Frontier, er Chautauqua (Trip Report) [*2]
New TSA Rules Actually Make the Liquid Rule Look Rational [*3] — PANIC!
New TSA security guidelines means no iPods one hour before landing [*4] — PANIC!
TSA: Sanity makes a comeback [*5] — STOP PANICKING!
AirTran to establish second hub in Milwaukee [*6]
Government Wants More Body Scanners for Airports [*7] — PANIC! — Is that a panty-bomb, or are you just glad to see me?
‘It’s No Problem. It’s More Control.’ [*8] — PANIC! — and once more, we see that it’s not about dealing with the problem, it’s about exploiting the CRISIS!!!
Breaking: Fox Reporting That CIA Was Tracking The Underwear Bomber Since August [*9] — “Houston, we have a problem . . .” — PANIC!
Separating Explosives from the Detonator [*10] with what really ought to be the final word on this PANIC!: “I wish that, just once, some terrorist would try something that you can only foil by upgrading the passengers to first class and giving them free drinks.”

2009 -or- the 2000’s In Review, and year-end lists:
Global Freedom Had Few Blooms: Why 2009 was a bleak year [*11]
Tax Vox’s Lump of Coal Award: The Worst Tax Ideas of 2009 [*12]
Facebook, Twitter top list of weird stories in 2009 [*13]
Best Libertarian Books of the Decade? [*14] “. . . He discovered that institutional costs imposed by governments all over the world are the main obstacles to reducing poverty. . .”
Judicial Watch’s ten most corrupt politicians [*15]
Not Quite the ‘Decade from Hell’ [*16] — No, not the Oughts–the Decade from Hell is likely to be the one we’re about to start, unless people pull their heads out of their collectivist posteriors . . .
Obama’s 6 Worst Policy Decisions [*17]
This Year’s Worst Reporting: A Look Back at State-Run Media’s Most Embarrassing Moments (Video) [*18]
Looking Back at the 100 Best Innovations of 2009 [*19]

Reason vs. Irrationalism:
High Court to Consider Government’s Low Tactics [*20]
The Hypocrisy of the Left [*21] — “Obama and his friends preach tolerance, but there is bigotry at their group’s core.”
Liberals terrorized by Americans [*22] — PANIC!
John Cassidy Fails in His Critique of Markets [*23]
How to Improve the Culture [*24]
Why the Tea-Party Movement Matters: ObamaCare Edition [*25] — Featuring the notorious Baucus (is he drunk on the Senate floor?) C-SPAN video
The Progressive Crack-up, Cont. [*26]
“Change you can believe in? More like bullshit you can take a bath in, if you ask me.” [*27]
16 Months From Hell [*28]
Politicized Justice: Official Who Signed Off On Voter-Intimidation Complaint Against Black Panthers Sacked [*29]
Tea partiers to GOP: Campaign on full repeal of ObamaCare [*30]
The Future of America [*31]
Question His Judgment [*32]
Sticking to the Official Narrative [*33]
The Right to Work [*34]
Bernie Quigley: Palin Will be the Nominee [*35]
Who’s To Blame for the Massive Deficit? [*36]
2010 and beyond [*37] — good enough to include a block quote:

We never wanted to become activists. We didn’t want to spend our days and nights in front of computers. We certainly didn’t want to become targets for hate mail, death threats, or other creative reprisals — all for speaking out against the madness in this Golden Age.

Invasion of the Election Snatchers: Urban Democrats are flooding rural districts to steal elections. [*38] Gosh. Democrats trying to steal elections. Knock me over with a feather.

The reality of Obama and the Democrat leadership as blithering idiots:
What a mess[*39] — The Obama Administration’s Afghanistan Strategy (Strategies) Of The Week, that is.
Obama at 10:10 am: I Shall Not Rest Until These Terrorists Are Captured . . . Obama at 10:40 am: Okay, Now Watch This Drive! [*40] — Obviously, we simply don’t understand the meaning of the phrase “I shall not rest” . . .
MUST READ: Regular Americans Turning Away From Democrats [*41]
‘I Am Not a Spendthrift’ [*42]
What Irony: Could Democrats Lose Kennedy’s Seat [*43]
Dodd cut aviation security funding in July [*44]
Ponzi Schemer Rothstein and the Democrats [*45] — this is actually more towards the category of “the reality of the Democrats as cynically corrupt and quite probably evil power-grubbing monsters” than mere blithering idiotry. . .
Rasmussen: Ben Nelson down 30 points to Heineman after health-care reversal [*46]
Ben Nelson (D-Free Medicaid For Nebraska) Trails Potential Challenger By 31 Points In Rasmussen Poll [*47] — from Ace of Spades HQ, which (sorry, Ed Morrissey) usually guarantees that it will be a more entertaining (if occasionally more scatological) take on the issue . . .
The Obama Way [*48]
Poor Obama: Being president is exhausting [*49]
Putin to Obama: Thanks for those missile-defense concessions but we’re going ahead with new weapons [*50]
Ashcroft v. Napolitano [*51]
Suddenly, Obama’s not so fluent any more [*52]

War and terror and diplomacy and peace:
Spin versus spool [*53] — PANIC!
What Went Wrong? [*54] — PANIC!
It’s not that we give up our Constitutional rights, but to whom? [*55] — I wasn’t entirely sure where to place this one . . .
Iran on Fire [*56]
Lawyers at war [*57]
“Why do we fail to detect or defeat the guilty, and why do we do so well at collective punishment of the innocent?” [*58] — PANIC!
Armageddon alert? Israelis convene meeting of diplomatic corps [*59]
Iran again [*60]
Inside Our OODA Loop [*61] — PANIC!
Obama’s Second Major Terror Failure in Two Months [*62] — PANIC! PANIC!
Iranian Officials Face Tens of Thousands of Protesters, Blame “The West” [*63]
Too good to check: Khamenei’s plane being overhauled in case he has to leave Iran? [*64]

“Global warming” aka “Climate change” — or should that be “Climate Reform?”:
CRU’s forecast: UK winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event” [*65] — file this one under WRONG!!!
The Arctic Oscillation Index goes strongly negative [*66] — file this one under UH-OH!!!
2,780 Climate Lobbyists and Counting [*67]
Censorship Threatens Truth on Climate [*68]
The Green Religion and ClimateGate: Interview With Steven Mosher [*69]
Global Warming and Melting Ice: The seas are rising, but you’ve still got time to enjoy your beach house [*70]
USGS: Arctic sea too warm for sea ice 3 million years ago [*71]

The Economy:
Will the Market Rise or Fall? [*72] — “The long-term outlook for the stock market is not good, and here is why . . .”

Media bias and/or incompetence:
In which the Strib arrives late to the case [*73]
The Left’s Blind Eye to the Obvious [*74]
John Yoo (of “torture memo” fame) brings teh funny in an NYT interview [*75]
Big Journalism’s Bronx Cheer For The Common Man [*76]
If Sarah Palin Had Done This [*77]
Too Much Decline For CNN To Hide [*78]
The Collapse of Professional Journalism, Cont’d [*79]

Health care “change” (called by some “reform”):
The Health Care Fight is Not Over [*80]
Health Care Reform – Left and Right [*81]
Health Care: Now’s the Hard Part [*83]
Aborting Health Care Reform [*84]
The Real Healthcare ‘Chart of the Day’ [*85]

Delhi sex workers concerned over poor quality of free condoms [*86]
Itchy skin can be psychologically stressful [*87]
Projects that have changed Kansas City’s identity this decade [*88]
Broadcasters’ woes could spell trouble for free TV [*89]
Bristol Palin seeks full custody; no comment from ‘Ricky Hollywood’ [*90]
Coffee. Is there anything it cannot do? [*91]
University of Hawaii cuts faculty salaries [*92]
Alcohol substitute that avoids drunkenness and hangovers in development [*93]

SF and Writing:
Finding an Agent [*94]
Science Fiction is not about science [*95]
Best New Characters of the Decade [*96]

Science and space:
Decelerating at Alpha Centauri [*97]
The Problem with Warp Drive [*98]

Four Years Ago: Bush Didn’t Lie

In the words of the December 28, 2005 Chicago Tribune editorial[*1] :

On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration’s arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured–those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.
. . .
After reassessing the administration’s nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of “the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq.” We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.

Was the case for war overstated? Yes. Was there sufficient casus belli to go to war? Reasonable people can disagree. I think yes as well. Saddam was as brutal a tyrant as this world has ever seen. His only difference from monsters such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot is that he “only” killed hundreds of thousands instead of millions. Saddam’s removal from power was in and of itself a good thing.

Both kneejerk war hawks and Bush Derangement Syndrome[*2] sufferers would benefit themselves and the entire national political debate by reading and comprehending this outstanding series of editorials by the Chicago Tribune. Sometimes Old Media remembers its true calling and purpose. Are you listening, New York Times?

Via Steve Antler[*3] and Instapundit[*4] .

Two Years Ago: Boulevard “Double-Wide India Pale Ale”

On December 27, 2007, I posted:

I admit up front–I don’t care for India Pale Ales.  I find them too bitter for my taste.  And the second in the Boulevard Brewing Company’s[*1] Smokestack Series of ales doesn’t disappoint there, with an IBU of 55, it’s quite bitter to my palate.  But it shares a lushness with the previous entry, the Sixth Glass ale, and has a sweetness which is unusual in an India Pale Ale. 

Boulevard’s web site[*2] warns that this one is “not for the pedestrian palate.”  I’d have to agree there–if your tastes run to Bud or Miller or Coors or any of the mass-market American beers, you probably won’t care for the Double-Wide.  If however you’re a bit adventurous in your beer consumption, and don’t shy away from sampling microbrews or obscure foreign beers, you’ll find this one interesting at least, and possibly more.

Three Years Ago: Re-engaging the world

On December 27, 2006, I posted:

I haven’t been posting much lately–ever since the November election in fact.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, I really didn’t have much to say.  Second, college basketball season was starting and that always provides me with a huge distraction (and, much entertainment) during the late fall and winter months.

But, with Christmas now behind, I’m beginning to re-engage with the world, and so to post my thoughts here.

The biggest thing I notice is how little changed with the U.S. election results.  The Jihadist threat remains, although Ethiopia is in the process of demonstrating in Somalia that the Jihadists have a very, very vulnerable glass jaw, should they be opposed determined resistance.  Of course, we know this, but our problem has always been that our resistance to Jihadist fascism is anything but determined.  The laughable Iraq Study Group report is a classic example of feckless appeasement.  We shall see if it is remembered in the same breath as Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” prelude to a world war.

Elsewhere, Iran and Syria continue to make trouble.  Iranian agents have been detained in Iraq, and bombs and weapons of undisputed Iranian origin are routinely found in Iraq.  Yet, no one in power is willing to call Iran to account for these acts of war.  Syria and Hezbollah continue to work to destabilize Lebanon.  So far, the world is letting them do it.

Israel continues to send stronger and stronger signals that it will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.  Nobody is listening.

Meanwhile, the scandal-ridden Democrats are set to take power in Congress.  Too bad that nobody wanted to focus on Murtha, Jefferson, Hastings, and the rest of the corrupt Democrats, being so focused as they were on sending the corrupt Republicans home.

So, maybe it’s time to get back to those Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD’s, House, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica on TV, and those rascally Jackrabbits and oh so orange Lady Vols basketballers.  There’s only so much “realism” you can take in one dose. – Morning Whip, Dec. 27, 2009

Media bias:
AP Reports Democratic Talking Points in Health Care Debate [*1]

Reason vs. Irrationalism:
Utopian New Left Just Like Old Left [*2]
‘Avatar’ and Boycotts: When the Left Does and Doesn’t Champion Free Speech [*3]
Where Did These Guys Come From? [*4]
Is Stalinism Back? [*5]
Insist that GOP Make Repeal of Government-Run Health Care a 2010 Issue [*6]
Engineers, Scientific and Social [*7]
IP: The Objectivists Strike Back! [*8] (that’s IP: Intellectual Property . . .)
Central Problem: the Central Bank [*9] That’s in Barron’s–not at
Counties with worst joblessness get least from stimulus package [*10] — This is no shock to those who expected Chicago-style corruption to explode in Washington with the current Administration. The fix is in.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Social Justice [*11] — “This week our government chose social justice over liberty. We will get neither.”
On a hopeful note, a hint that the human urge for freedom will never be fully extinguished: In N. Korea, a strong movement recoils at Kim Jong Il’s attempt to limit wealth [*12]
Oh, by the way–if you don’t want to be called Stalinist, stop bloody acting like Stalinists. If it walks and quacks like a duck, etc., etc. If you voted for Obama or any Democrat in the last election, and haven’t publicly recanted and apologized, I’m talking specifically to you. Yes, you. You my naive friend, voted for collectivism. Thanks. How are those jackboots fitting? Any blisters yet?

10 obsolete technologies to kill in 2010 [*13]

Cat dies after being glued to Interstate 90 [*14]
What to do with the 95 Yemenis at Gitmo now? [*15]
Security Theater: A New Show Opens In Detroit [*16]

Obama’s lost face [*17]
What to do with the 95 Yemenis at Gitmo now? [*15]
Too Funny. Far Left Finally Discovers Obama Is a Weak Leader [*18]
Vacation’s Over, Mr. President [*19] — when you’ve lost the Huffington Post . . .

Oh, by the way, those people still want to kill us:
The flying Dutchman and other notes on the victory in Detroit [*20]
What to do with the 95 Yemenis at Gitmo now? [*15]
Storm petrels — Richard Fernandez–“Wretchard”–always has thought-provoking articles. “The threat may indeed be very real. Sooner or later that harsh realization may come to those who thought the War on Terror was over.”
Reality intrudes on plans to close Gitmo [*22]
Analysis: Detroit terror attack is a major intelligence and security failure [*23] — why does it seem that the foreign press covers sensitive issues in the U.S. better than our domestic press does?

“Global warming” aka “Climate change” — or should that be “Climate Reform?”:
Nearly two thirds of the continental USA gets a white Christmas [*24]
S.D. digs out, back on the move [*25] — yes, yes, “weather is not climate.”
Digging out from under [*26] — a longer Sioux Falls Argus Leader article–get it while it’s hot.
877 new snowfall records set or tied in the USA in the last week [*27] — but this is how ice ages start. It snows a lot, and it just keeps coming. You should be praying that it doesn’t keep coming.
It’s not global warming you have to worry about. It’s an ice age. We’re in an interglacial period, people. The ice will come again, and cold will kill you far, far quicker than warmth will. And literally billions of other people who don’t die of hypothermia will starve to death when the ice sheet covers over much of Europe and North America. Suddenly, “global warming” doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Health care “change” (called by some “reform”):
The Senate Postmortem: Every Democrat cast the deciding health-care vote [*28]

DC airport reopens after flooding closed terminal [*29]
Safety & Security in Ports of Call [*30]
Carl has updates! [*31] — breaking the format, the link is to Carl’s blog, not to a specific article.
New Restrictions Quickly Added for Air Passengers [*32] — oh, great. How about screening the passengers to weed out the wackos rather than imprisoning innocent travelers?

What Makes A Good Book Blogger? (From A Writer’s Point Of View) [*33]
Should SF Die? [*34]
Oh no, Russel T. Davies, no! [*35]
High-tech vehicles pose trouble for some mechanics [*36]
Top Ten Movies You Don’t Realize are Sci-Fi or Fantasy [*37]
NDSU keeps eye on Title IX [*38]
My lazy American students [*39] — “My “C,” “D,” and “F” students this semester are almost exclusively American . . .”
Lazy American Students: After the Deluge [*40] — “There are, though, the facts. Studies show that American students know less about math, science, and geography than peers in many other industrialized countries.”

Two Years Ago: Boulevard “The Sixth Glass” Ale

First of a series of four “Smokestack Ales[*1] ” from the beloved Boulevard Brewing Company right here in ol’ Kansas City Mo.

It’s . . . yummy.

Its color was a robust reddish-brown in the wine glass from which I partook of its charms.  It has a bit of a thick feel in the mouth, not at all bad.  A bit creamy, actually.  It has not a harsh taste in it at all, being a mellow, well-behaved ale–actually, a bit sweet.  The 750 ml bottle is not nearly enough but at the same time, probably quite enough for an evening’s beverage enjoyment.  Trust me, you don’t want more than one bottle, unless you’re with friends.  Whoo, it’s starting to take it’s effect on ol’ filbert here.   Very nice.  I’ll be going to bed soon.

I’ll give it a full 10/10.  Very, very good.  If you see it in a liquor/package store near you, snap it up.  Good stuff, Maynard.