Evening Whip, May 27, 2010

The Right Needs To Extend The Olive Branch To The Left [*1]

When you forgive outright and double down with the refusal to be vindictive, even if it means paying for Social Security, knowing that you’re buying so much air, the Lefty can be helped through depression, into acceptance[*2] of the fact that the Progressive Era has been nothing but the most expensive failure in human history.

Emphasis mine. But this is the central message that needs to be hammered home by the liberty community to the American public, in 2010 and beyond: What the “progressives” have tried for the past century has not worked. It’s time for something else. It’s time to give another try to something we know works: liberty, individual freedom and personal responsibility.


But Hillary will always have at least one party to talk to whatever happens to Kim Jong Il: China. Behind Pyongyang is Beijing. Both in 1950 and 2010, China pulled North Korea’s strings. It provided and provides Pyongyang with Great Power protection. It uses Pyongyang to advance its agenda against Japan and South Korea. Hillary’s confident declaration that North Korea is a problem which will solve itself no longer looks so certain when one looks slightly beyond the Korean peninsula. In that context it is not terribly clear Hillary is right when she declares “that time is on our side”. Once the problem is defined in terms of America’s relationship with China then the timescales become comparable to those of Cold War with the Soviet Union. Suppose it is Beijing that is displaying strategic patience and not Hillary? Beijing is not likely to gloat publicly. After all Napoleon also counseled, “never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

I suspect that it is not wise to play the game on China’s terms . . . Appears only drilling mud flowing from well, BP says [*3]

Marxists Hugo Chavez & Fidel Castro Join Obama to Denounce Arizona Immigration Law [*4]

Jacks place eight on all-league squad, Price top coach [*5]

Italian Prime Minister: You Know What? This Public Spending Binge We’ve Been On Is Pretty Much Kicking Our Ass [*6]

Ticket scandal will change perceptions of Perkins [*7]

Just how clueless are California’s Democratic State Legislators? [*8] — Almost as clueless as U.S. Senators and Representatives?

What “Exclusive?” [*9]

Getting People to Read Your Book [*10] — First, write a book . . .

Spaceflight and optimism [*11]

The Maddening Innards of the TARDIS [*12]

The near future is not amenable to fiction writers [*13]

The Book Industry Study Group sees eBook adoption growing [*14]

Continental Announces Its First 787 Route and It’s an Exciting One [*15]

The meaning of the tea party [*16]

A thug too far, part 5 [*17]

Mexico has spoken – hop to it Mr. Obama [*18]

Teaching the Pig to Dance: Fred Thompson Opens Up About Life, Politics, and ‘Law and Order’ [*19]

Is HuffPo Threatening Political Pressure in Gladney Case on Behalf of SEIU? [*20]

Drew Carey, Nick Gillespie Meet With Cleveland City Council This Morning [*21]

Professor: double-dip recession is a virtual certainty [*22]

Mercantilism in England [*23] — Definition of mercantilism, from the : “Adam Smith coined the term “mercantile system” to describe the system of political economy that sought to enrich the country by restraining imports and encouraging exports.”

Chicago: 80 Year Old Army Vet Shoots and Kills Armed Intruder [*24]

Top Democrats’ Actions Confirm FCC Has No Authority to Regulate Broadband [*25]

What Women Want [*26]

Study finds increased gov’t spending results in unemployment [*27]

Top Kill works – thank goodness! [*28]

So the Dow is up and everyhing is okay again, right? [*29]

Michelle Malkin: Todd Palin For Border Czar! [*30]

CNN poll: 82% oppose boycotts of Arizona over immigration-enforcement law [*31]

What Is Wrong With A Palin Hater Renting The House Next Door? [*32]

‘The First Amendment Protects Speech Even When It Is Rude and Offensive’ [*33] — It also, as a corollary, protects speech calling rude and offensive people “rude and offensive,” of course . . .

Bloggers Beware – They’re Coming After You! [*34] — Sadly for them, I’m a private citizen, saying what I want. See above re: the First Amendment. Also see the First Amendment itself. You know, the one that begins “Congress shall make no law . . .”?

The Classic Liberal Is a Good Blog [*35] — OK, McCain, I’ll link ’em:

The Classic Liberal [*36]

Obama says he, not BP, in charge of effort to stop disastrous oil leak in Gulf _ ‘It’s my job’ [*37] — Actually, Sir, since you and your “progressive” allies have so drastically expanded the Federal government’s reach and scope over the past hundred years or so, your job was to make sure that the oil spill didn’t happen in the first place. You failed. Everything else is excuse, coverup, and misdirection. You made your bed of responsibility, Sir. You get to lay in it. Would a “Tar Baby” joke here be completely, utterly inappropriate? Yeah, I guess it would.

STRATEGY NEEDED: How to help Sarah Palin and her family with their stalker, and new neighbor, Creepy McGinniss [*38]

Celebrating “Mama Grizzlies” [*39]

Under the Logic of the Left, Obama Used His Daughter as a Prop During His Press Conference[*40]

The Coming War on Bacon [*41]

Out of the Woods for ‘Ardi’: Early Human Habitat Was Savanna, Not Forest, Scientists Argue [*42]

Scientists Detect Huge Carbon ‘Burp’ That Helped End Last Ice Age [*43] — Maybe Mankind is Mother Gaia’s way of forestalling another Ice Age. Hmm???

Solar Panels Can Attract Breeding Water Insects … but Scientists Propose a Simple Fix [*44] — Unintended consequences . . .

This Just In: Gadsden Flag Now Officially “Offensive” In America [*45]

Obama: Um, I’m not sure if the MMS director was fired or resigned [*46] — Most incompetent President ever . . .

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Greg Gutfeld’s ‘The Bible of Unspeakable Truths’ [*47]

Maybe Sarah Palin (or perhaps Willow?) should consider this to deal with her overly inquisitive new neighbor . . .

2010 Panama Canal Cruise, part 13

The Panama Canal-Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco-20-night Voyage, May 6-26, Regent Seven Seas Navigator

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Thirteen

May 19 (Wednesday, Day 15, Acapulco, Mexico) –

May 19 sunrise

Filbert was up early again, taking pictures and hoping for dolphins. No dolphins today. Just one big honking moth, that Filbert originally thought was a hummingbird because it was so big. It had to be a good six inches long, and five or six inches’ wingspan.

Big honking moth

Filbert and Dad decided to stay on the ship while Snookums, Judy, Mom and Bill went to the 5-star Fairmont Pierre Marques Hotel for 4 hours. There were three very nice freshwater pools and a nice beach. Snookums got a great sunburn and even Judy ended up with a sunburn line on her chest! A buffet lunch was included, too, but the only Mexican items were refried beans, excellent guacamole and tortilla chips. We all had a very nice time. This is the off season in Acapulco and the hotel was hosting a Siemens training session and there seemed to be only about 10 other guests around the pools.


When we got back to the ship Judy and Snookums ventured out again to go to the “Pelican” grocery store about 3 blocks away. Mom had mentioned that she wished she had brought some mint Tums or Rolaids so that was our mission. Of course, the grocery store only had fruit flavor so we decided to keep on walking in hopes of finding a pharmacy. We went into two different OXXO stores. These are nice convenience stores that are on every block (no kidding). They didn’t have them, either. We kept walking and came to the next big grocery store and got lucky. We walked back to the ship and figured that we walked 3 miles total. The weather was very pleasant and all day we could tell that we were farther north than we had been since it wasn’t stifling hot and humid.

Dinner was a special event – a Grand Deck BBQ followed by a Mexican Folkloric Festival. The staff closed the pool deck at 3PM in order to get it decorated and set up.

The pool deck set up for the BBQ

All of the deck chairs were moved out and tables and chairs were brought in on both decks 10 and 11. There were balloons and banners and palm fronds in front of every pillar. It was very, very well done. Judy didn’t want to eat outside so she ate at Compass Rose while Mom, Dad, Filbert and Snookums enjoyed the buffet.

Seafood canoe
Family (sans Judy) at the BBQ
Seafood: a closeup

It wasn’t crowded at all and everyone had seats. It was kind of amazing, actually, that there weren’t any lines and no one seemed to be looking for places to sit. Dad enjoyed king crab claws while Mom enjoyed varieties of smoked fish, among other things. Filbert really enjoyed the grilled jalapeno and cheddar sausages and Snookums liked picking at a little bit of everything, except the sushi. It really was one of the better outdoor pool-deck events that we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship–well laid out, well run, and very good food. At 9:15PM a 20-member folkloric dance group and mariachi band performed and it was very festive.

Festive folkloric dance

May 20 (Thursday, Day 16, At sea)

Sea days are great.

Filbert got up early again for more dolphin-watching and a bit of radio listening–he even got a Los Angeles AM station for a while right around sunrise. But no dolphins. Sniff.

Snookums slept until 9:45 this morning so that meant no “Abs Express” for her. After slowly waking up and then showering, it was time for the noon “curry buffet” poolside for Snookums and Filbert. A little while later Dad and Judy appeared and had curry, too. Then it was Mom’s turn to show up poolside. Snookums decided to go back to the room around 2:30 and found Filbert fast asleep in a perfectly dark room. She took her book out to the balcony and read, watched for sealife and dozed a bit, too. She contemplated attending the 3PM “Body Sculpting” class, but laziness prevailed! At one point she put a robe on since it was cool on the balcony since the sun was on the other side of the ship. Yep, we’re definitely heading north.

(Here’s the explanation: up until about Puerto Vallarta, we’ve been sailing with the north-bound equatorial current–that’s warm water. Around the tip of the Baja California peninsula, and right around Puerto Vallarta, that current meets up with the southbound, cold California current. That’s why the sea around Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta is so rich in sea life. But that’s also why it gets a lot colder when you get north of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo.)

Around 4PM Snookums decided she wasn’t going to eat in Compass Rose tonight and instead was going to be a bum and order room service and eat in bed. She was just very exhausted. Filbert decided yesterday that he wasn’t going to eat in Compass Rose for dinner again since he eats too much and drinks too much when he goes there. Snookums ordered risotto carbonara and Filbert ate his high-protein, low calorie instant oatmeal. We watched two movies, Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and Up. It was a very, very, very hard day at sea!!

Regent television has “pay-per-view” movies (free) as well as the Cruise Director’s channel (Paul Reynolds reviews the upcoming daily schedule and interviews an entertainer or crew member), a channel with a camera view from the front of the ship, a channel describing upcoming shore excursions, a channel that replays the lectures from the previous day, CNN International, Fox News, TNT, ESPN Latin America, Explorer Cousteau, channels that just play “CSI Las Vegas”, “24”, and “Blue Planet” documentaries, and a channel that shows the menus for the evening. There is also a DVD player in every suite if you want to check out some DVDs from the library.

May 21 (Friday, Day 17, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) –

Diving pelican
Snookums’ favorite building
Magnificant Frigatebird

Next: Getting personal with sea lions!

Morning Whip, May 27, 2010

AP Exclusive: Palin aides worked to sell gas deal[*1] — OH MY GOD!!!! The AP blows the doors off the sleazy bitch AT LAST!!!!:

“There’s a Costco in Juneau, if you know what I mean,” Palin wrote. “And my family is quite capable of setting out food and cleaning up afterwards.”

Hey, AP! I can see your bias from my back yard! Damn, this was a stupid story. I’m dumber for having read it. It’s two minutes of my life I will never have back.

Lunchtime video fun: Governor Awesome on meaning what you say [*2]

North Korea threatens to cut last link with South [*3]

Figures. Obama Knew Arizona Immigration Law Would Be Challenged When He Announced 1,200 Guard Troops Would Be Sent to the Border Today [*4]

Massa charges Petraeus with treason [*5]

Parasitic Threat to Animals and the Environment Revealed [*6] — “Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered animal populations may often be under a much larger threat from parasites than previously recognised.” The study findings are expected to have applications in fields as diverse as economics and politics . . .

NFL picks New Jersey for 2014 Super Bowl[*7]

David J. Williams Guest Post 2 of 3: O’Neill cylinders [*8]

Planetary Profiling: Dr. Who Part II [*9]

Top 8 Most Ridiculous Moments in Science Fiction and Fantasy Film in the 21st Century [*10]

The Western Snowpack is 137% of normal [*11]

Bombardier’s C Series Could be a Game Changer, If It Delivers [*12]

Setting the table for Tulsa [*13]

Never enough [*14]

Why are welfare state liberals like our president and his congressional allies perpetually seeking to appropriate the income and manage the lives of productive citizens? Why can’t they tell us when they will have taken all that it is right to take, so we can relax, secure in the enjoyment of our property?

A thug too far, part 4 [*15]

Obama Holds San Fran Fundraiser with Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer… Tea Party Breaks Out [*16] — Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Obama raised money while Louisiana strangled under an oil slick.

The luckiest people in history [*17] — But then, “chance favors the prepared mind” . . .

ACTION ITEM: Republicans should push to replace Andrew Jackson with Martin Luther King Jr. on the $20 bill [*18] — Subversive. I like it.

DC Bank Protest: So, SEIU Now Owns the Cops Too? [*19]

Sometimes it is the small story that illuminates the overall narrative. Let’s dispense with all the semantics and timelines and legalese. Last week, 500 union thugs descended on a private home and terrorized a teenage boy. They violated someone’s most personal space, their home. And they attacked their most precious gift, their child. The police in two jurisdictions knew about this. They did nothing.

Sleeping passenger left on plane for 4 hours after it lands in Philadelphia [*20]

Lefty Defense, Righty Attack of Rand Paul [*21]

Your future under ObamaCare? Just look to RomneyCare [*22]

What’s Really Wrong with the Healthcare Industry [*23]

The most important economic consequence of the existence of the employer-provided health insurance is that consumers are much less likely to discriminate on cost. Beyond the deductible, the employer pays the cost of medical procedures through an insurance company. As anyone who has gone on a business trip knows, if the company is paying, then the employee is likely to purchase a more expensive ticket and accommodation. Where an economy ticket may have sufficed for a personal budget, a business-class ticket becomes far more attractive.

Not only are consumers less likely to discriminate on cost, but providers of healthcare services have greater incentive to provide medical treatments that are only marginally more effective at much higher cost. This is the opposite of how the price mechanism works in a free market, where consumers (who are paying out of their own pocket) search for the cheapest prices and providers work hard to provide services that are equally efficacious but less costly.

While employer-provided health insurance undermined price sensitivity among consumers, it did not completely destroy it. Businesses, being profit-maximizing organizations, have an incentive to push back when costs increase. However, because of privacy concerns, businesses are less able to push back against rising healthcare than they are for plane tickets. An employer is less likely to pry into the cost effectiveness of a particular surgical procedure undertaken by an employee than they would be to pry into the purchase of a substantially more expensive first-class plane ticket.

In 1965, Medicare was passed as part of the Social Security Act, essentially supplying employer-provided health insurance to all citizens above the age of 65. However, the “employer” in this case was the US government, which does not have the same economic incentives as a business, but rather has political incentives. Elected officials have a strong incentive to promise their elderly constituents an expansion in the range of treatments covered by Medicare, as well as to lower the deductible that Medicare consumers pay out of their own pocket. Both these factors further undermine a consumer’s desire to discriminate on cost when seeking medical treatments.

Will We Just Be Printing Money? [*24]

Private pay shrinks, government payouts soar [*25]

The Washington Pattern Obama is Not Trying to Break [*26] — My first guess would be Corruption. But pass-the-buckism is right up there, too.

The Underground Economy in One Page [*27]

When something becomes illegal, consumer demand does not vanish. Instead, consumers seek alternative, more costly and risky, means of satisfying their wants. Prices are higher than they would be otherwise, and product diversity, quality, and quantity demanded are lower. In view of suppressed demand and the potential to earn large profits, individuals with a knack for averting authorities direct their energy and resources to satisfy this demand. The illegality of the activity enables the intermediaries to ask higher prices of consumers and to bid down prices paid to growers of hemp, coca, and opium poppies. It gives rise to drug cartels, prostitution rings, and violence associated with the protection of “their” territories.

This seems so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be said. But then, you have people who still think the “war on drugs” is a good idea. It isn’t. Legalize and regulate will cause less harm to our society than the current SWAT-testosterone-loaded war on citizens, at the same time lining the pockets of drug lords and terrorist organizations throughout the world. That seems like a very, very bad deal to me, compared with having our law enforcement agencies concentrate on dealing with impaired people the way we do with drunks–hell, maybe even a bit more aggressively than that. But this New Prohibition is destroying our liberty AND AT THE SAME TIME funding the worldwide enemies of liberty, and that’s got to stop.

Twain’s Real Autobiography on its Way [*28]

Audacity, thy name is Mexico [*29]

Republican Jo Ann Emerson Sponsoring Union Bailout Bill! [*30] — I think that should be “Former Republican” personally . . .

ObamaCare By Any Other Name [*31]

The sloppy craftsmanship and outrageous over-reach of ObamaCare make it a “magic eye” portrait of an incompetent president and party. As you stare at the countless little fraudulent cost estimates, unplanned side effects, and economy-killing mandates, a 3-D image of an upraised middle finger materializes. This is a deadly narrative for a Democrat Party that claims its handful of legislators and bureaucrats can run our massive economy better than millions of private citizens. Americans are understandably angry at a Democrat Congress which rammed through a trillion-dollar health-care takeover, but can’t produce a coherent annual budget.

Study: 94% of businesses believe ObamaCare will hike costs [*32]

Live Video of BP “Top Kill” Procedure [*33]

Anthony Weiner’s AAA Rated Attack on Beck and Goldline: Amateur, Arrogant and Asinine [*34]

Suspect in Phoenix Cop Killing Identified, SPLC Unavailable for Comment [*35]

Palin to Beck: We can’t leave our windows open any longer [*36]

Ominous Number: US Debt at $13 Trillion [*37] — Your share: $6,165, and going up.

Weird fetishism for the Constitution [*38]

Echoes of the reconquest near Ground Zero [*39] — This will not end well . . . for anyone . . .

The Audacity to Lie… Obama Tells Republican Senators That Obamacare Will Reduce the Debt [*40]

How Do Bumblebees Get Predators to Buzz Off? [*41]

DoJ “weighing challenge” to AZ immigration enforcement law [*42] — This will not end well for the Obama Administration . . . I have the feeling that the State of Arizona will eat them alive in Federal Court, on the transparently obvious point that the Federal Government has not guaranteed to Arizona the security of its borders, and so the State is well within its Constitutional powers to do so itself in the absence of meaningful Federal action. This could be fun . . .

Get Your Genotype Tests Now Before Congress Makes Them Illegal [*43]

(VIDEO) Chicagoans React To Recent SEIU-NPA Mob Actions [*44] — With bonus at the end of the clip explaining exactly why Europe is NOT an appropriate role model for a civil society:

Obama’s Slide Continues [*45]

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Greg Gutfeld’s ‘The Bible of Unspeakable Truths’ [*46]

KU Investigation Reveals Over $1 Million Worth of Tickets Mishandled [*47]

John Mulaney – Law and Order and Mr. Jerry Orbach [*48] — A YouTube audio diversion on the cliches in L&O, Snookums’ favorite TV show (which I abhor, of course) . . . eight minutes of funny . . .

Apple overtakes Microsoft as biggest tech company [*49]

Why Make 1 Bad Movie When You Can Make 4 Bad Movies… [*50] — “The Loch Ness Monster of libertarianism — the “Atlas Shrugged” movie — has apparently been sighted again, reports Mike Fleming of Deadline New York” . . .

Detailed Metabolic Profile Gives ‘Chemical Snapshot’ of the Effects of Exercise [*51]

The Latest on the Supposed Atlas Shrugged Film: Plucky Entrepreneurs Make End Run Around Entrenched Elites [*52] — Here’s how it breaks down: Chances of an Atlas Shrugged film truly, deeply sucking the big one: 94.6% (higher if done by a major Hollywood studio, or starring any name Hollywood actor); Film being the proverbial “swing and a miss, he strikes out!”: 4.7%; Film being the greatest cinematic event in the history of mankind or in fact of all the civiilizations in the entire Milky Way Galaxy including both Magellenic Clouds: 0.7%.

Ohmygod: Teabagging Racist Traitor James O’Keefe Somehow Gets Off By Pleading Out to a Rinky-Dink Misdemeanor. . .Update: Corrected — the MFM Lied to Me [*53] — As Ace says: “Why not? Why not just make stuff up?”

Did the U.S. Government Leak James O’Keefe’s Privileged Attorney-Cleint Emails to the Press? [*54]

Is the oil spill becoming Obama’s “Katrina”? [*55]

Rule 6: Don’t Be a Complete Douchebag [*56]

Judiciary committee Republicans: It’s time for the DOJ to investigate Sestak’s job offer [*57]

Awesome! Check Out Obama’s New Nominee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals [*58] — And when Ace says “awesome” what he means is “oh, geez, pass the Valu-Rite vodka!”

What Price Christie? Part 2 [*59]

Louisiana Rep. Scalise Screams at Obama: “We’re Tired of the Excuses” (Video) [*60] — Yeah, Rep. Scalise. We are.

Nina Easton: What I saw at the SEIU thug protest at that banker’s home [*61]

2010 Panama Canal Cruise, part 12

The Panama Canal-Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco-20-night Voyage, May 6-26, Regent Seven Seas Navigator

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Twelve

May 18 (Tuesday, Day 14, Huatulco, Mexico) –

Mom on watch

Mom, Dad, and Judy headed out for a tour, but Mom bailed out after walking a long, long, long way down the pier and onto the dockside, and then finding out they were only half way to their bus. So she headed back to the ship for some quiet alone time.

More after the jump . . . Snookums and Filbert went on a snorkeling trip and saw some great fish, including a ray “vacuuming” the bottom of the ocean while a flounder (?) stayed close by. Our guide caught a puffer fish that Snookums got to pet and also found two starfish that Snookums held. We snorkeled into a cave, too. The water was so warm that for the first time ever, Snookums would have been completely comfortable without wearing her wetsuit. But she wore it anyway.

Snookums and the starfish
These little nippers were everywhere. And they nipped–Snookums, at least.
The cave
The puffer fish
Ray, with flounder wing-man

After the snorkel trip we shopped in the tourist shops at the end of the pier, continuing the quest for a Mexican shirt for Filbert. We had 350 pesos and a credit card. We found a shirt that was 420 pesos (around $35). We didn’t show the credit card and managed to get the shirt for 350 pesos ($28). That was probably still too much, but as another past cruiser (Gary G.) used to say, “we helped the local economy”.

The Navigator at the Huatulco dock

While Filbert and Snookums were on the snorkel trip, Judy and Dad 9as mentioned previously) went on a catamaran trip around 5 of the bays near Huatulco. There are 9 bays that make up the 22-mile area around Huatulco that the Mexican government has chosen for the site of a master-planned resort area and 52,000 acres are going to be ecological preserves in order to protect the nature’s environment. The government is hoping that Huatulco will rival Acapulco, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta as one of Mexico’s most desirable beach getaways.

That afternoon, after showers, changes of clothes, and lunch all the way around, Filbert and Dad went on the bridge tour and that was a first for them while we were docked. They learned that the three lifeboats that are on Deck 7 beneath our rooms are really a rescue boat that holds 50 and two lifeboats that hold 150 each.

The bridge

The ship sailed away at 4PM and Filbert thought that we needed a private sail away party so he ordered champagne and snacks. (What can I say? I like private intimate little sailaway parties . . . –Filbert) The room temp champagne arrived so Snookums called and requested chilled champagne. That soon came as did the snacks (cheese plate, fruit plate, prosciutto-wrapped melon). Mom was taking a nap and when she woke up she enjoyed the champagne and nibbles. Judy didn’t eat or drink anything since she was going to yoga at 5.

The Mexican navy wants no incidents
Captain overseeing the departure from the flying bridge

Filbert stayed outside on the balcony even after we sailed away and listened to short-wave radio. For the first time ever, he listened to Radio Romania.

Next: A big honking moth, Acapulco, and a good BBQ . . .

p.s. Huatulco is pronounced “Wah-TOOL-co.”

Morning Whip, May 26, 2010

Axelrod: When We Illegally Offered Sestak the Bribe of a Federal Job to Not Seek Office, We Were Careful to Leave No Evidence of Our Crime [*1]

Will Folks: Actually, It Turns Out I Do Have a Lot More To Say About My Alleged Affair With Nikki Haley [*2]

Modeling the Polar Bear Tipping Point [*3]

America Speaks Out! [*4] — The ‘Cuda-approved site:
America Speaking Out [*5] — from the House Republicans . . . actually, to the House Republicans, from the American People . . . How not to fight a war [*6]

Fighting words (update) [*7] — Wherein Bruce McQuain, proprietor of the QandO.net blog, is less than amused by a pencilheaded Harvard type . . .

Governor Palin is Rush Limbaugh’s Choice for 2012 [*8] — If so, Limbaugh’s ahead of me. While I don’t see anybody better than Palin out there right now, I do keep my mind open. Most of Palin’s backers are not interested in a cult of personality–we had a bellyfull of that during the 2008 Presidential campaign from the Democrats, thank you very much, and look what it got us.

Think you smell bad? Sometimes it’s in your mind [*9] — “Olfactory reference syndrome” . . . a new way to be crazy . . .

Drinking alcohol can lower chance of diabetes: study [*10] — And also anecdotally shown to be beneficial for those with olfactory reference syndrome . . .

Constituents Using a Forum to Register Displeasure With Representative: Spooky! 700 Angry Protesters on a Bankster’s Front Lawn: “About damn time” [*11] On the other hand, 700 union rent-a-thugs showing up on someone’s front lawn and terrorizing a teenager really does stink . . .

So Arizona Was Right After All? [*12]

A quote from yet another hero… [*13]

Heh: Slate Runs Experiment To Prove People Can Be Deceived By Falsified Pictures; Winds Up Proving Progressives Are Weak-Minded Dummies [*14]

Media now moving in next door to Palin to be close to her [*15] — Seems like some enterprising reporter (hello, Glenn Beck?) should start digging into Joe McGuinness’ background, past life, that sort of thing. You know . . . we deserve to know who’s telling us all these interesting things about Governor Palin, don’t we?

Past the tipping point [*16] — “He’s no fun, he fell right over.” — Firesign Theater

And they can’t be fired! [*17] — I’m coming to the point where maybe we should fire them all.

The Spending Must Stop [*18]

GOP senator on Obama: “He needs to take a Valium before he … talks to Republicans” [*19]

The Ghost of Donald Rumsfeld [*20]

But however glittering the attractions of a post-Kim Korea might be, war gaming has showed that upwards of 100,000 civilians might die in the period immediately following hostilities — even without nuclear weapons. With the nukes in play then all the bets, even in Tokyo, are off. Neither South Korea nor the US are likely to desire all-out war, simply because the stakes are so catastrophically high although they may feel it necessary to retaliate against the North simply to keep it honest.

A Moment of Snark [*21]

But, just for fun, let’s take time out to laugh at the New York Times. You know, the ultra-liberal Manhattan newspaper that tries to teach the rest of us how to think because they are smarter than we are. Over the years, we have chronicled the Times’s failures with respect to history, literature, economics, science and arithmetic. But wine? Is it possible that when it comes to wine, the Times is dumber than you are? If so, there is no possible reason why you should take the paper seriously when it hectors you about politics.


Bye, Bye, Mexican Pie [*22] Are cruises to the “Mexican Riviera” a dying breed?

Chris Christie to teacher: If you don’t like my education budget, find a new job [*23]

Let’s be more like us [*24]

Why Republicans Other than Palin Are Failing With Respect to the Obama Oil Spill [*25]

in which the token Blackfive liberal challenges Senate challenger Joe Sestak [*26] — In the reading of which, the phrase misprison of felony[*27] comes to mind . . .

The Subjects of the Constitution — and:

The Subjects of the Constitution [*29] — where Constitutional scholar Randy Barnett comments:

Legal Theory Blog[*30] guru Larry Solum just named The Subjects of the Constitution[*28] the Download of the Week, and I concur. Written by my Georgetown colleague Nick Rosenkranz and just published in the Stanford Law Review, this article is a stunner. It is one of those rare pieces that hits you between the eyes and causes you to reconsider how you think about the Constitution.

Ag Department shuts down embarrassing subsidies database [*31]

Tropical Diseases: Outbreak of Dengue Fever Is Reported in Florida, Health Officials Say [*32]

The Culture Wars are turning [*33] — I think rather that people are finally, finally figuring out what’s really important–politically, that is. Most of the “culture issues” we’ve been subjected to are, and always have been distractions, used by “progressives” to distract and divide the broad, wide alliance of liberty-lovers while the “progressives” enact their naive, wrong-headed collectivist policies.

2010 Panama Canal Cruise, part 11

The Panama Canal-Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco-20-night Voyage, May 6-26, Regent Seven Seas Navigator

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Eleven

May 17 (Monday, Day 13, Puerto Chiapas, Mexico) –

Sunrise, May 17

Chiapas is the southernmost state in Mexico and Puerto Chiapas is one of three ports in the state but the only one that handles cruise ships. Puerto Chiapas was built in 2005 and around 11 or 12 cruise ships dock each year. The port has two pyramid-type buildings with thatch roofs. The port area was nicely landscaped, including a fountain between the main pyramid port terminal building and the ship dock. One pyramid houses various gift shops and the other has an outdoor pool (mostly used by crew members). The closest town is Tapachula, 30 minutes away, which is close to the border of Mexico and Guatemala.

More after the jump . . .

Not the biggest pilot boat we’ve seen
Mexican navy wants no incidents

Filbert, Snookums and Bill took the guided tour to Tapachula, population around 200,000. Unfortunately the guide didn’t use the microphone on the bus until the tour was about 90% complete, and this was after a person asked her to either speak up or to stand in the middle of the bus! We didn’t need to hear her anyway to see the fields and rural countryside for the first 20 minutes of the ride. Then we got to the outskirts of Tapachula and saw a Home Depot, Blockbuster, Burger King, Sam’s Club and just about every other American chain establishment. It looked “nice” for a Mexican city and is one of the richest cities in Mexico on a per capita basis.

The tour had two stops. The first one was at the town’s cathedral which was very modern and really not that interesting. The local handicraft store was across the street and probably owned by the tour company, which was why this was a 30-minute stop. A waste of time, from our point of view, but we suppose the locals have to try to extract money from us, don’t they? The second stop, which was much more interesting, was in town at the Central Park. We had one hour to walk around and see things. Just off the central square, a local pharmacy was having some kind of promotion, and had their mascot there–in humongous inflatable version, man-in-a-mascot-suit version, and small, foot-long stuffed toy versions. This amused us all greatly.

Pharmacy mascot
Big and little pharmacy mascots

We walked a block or so off of the main central plaza to the San Sebastian Market, an open-air market with many, many individual vendors selling pastries, spices, clothing, vegetables, meat, fish, etc. The meat section was interesting since the hunks of chicken and beef were lying out in the open and the vendors were swatting away the bugs and flies with dirty rags. The rags frequently touched the meat to make it even more sanitary! By the way, the temperature on this very sunny day was around 95 and the humidity was probably 85% – perfect conditions for storing meat out in the open.

This is why Mexican food is so spicy, don’t you know . . .

Outside San Sebastian Market
The street level of the market
Big pineapples

We tried to buy Filbert a Mexican shirt, but the vendors didn’t speak English and our attempts at “blanco” (white) weren’t being understood. Since he lost so much weight, his old Mexican shirts are huge so we were hoping to buy one on this cruise.

On the way back to the bus Bill had to buy one of the small stuffed toy pharmacist mascot dolls for a friend of his who is a pharmacist. We wonder about Bill sometimes. But probably no more than he wonders about himself, we suppose.

We were amazed by the number of people we saw on a Monday around 11:30AM in the park and market. The guide told us that this was normal and that on Sundays the park would be completely filled with Guatemalans looking for work. There were two tour buses of tourists from the ship and we were definitely being stared at. Tapachula isn’t a tourist mecca and since only a dozen or so cruise ships dock at Puerto Chiapas, we were an unusual sight.

Commemorating the event
Topiary at the central square

While we were on our tour, Judy took Dad to the port’s pyramid building and they watched the dancers for a few minutes and perused the tourist stores. There were dancers performing the entire 9 hours the ship was in port. And remember that it was very, very hot and humid.

At Puerto Chiapas
These yellow birds are everywhere in Central America,
but since they’re usually flying from one place to another in a hurry, they’re hard to photograph.
We think they’re the tropical flycatcher, but aren’t sure.

Next: A Mexican town the name of which Snookums just simply can’t pronounce!

Afternoon Whip, May 25, 2010

U.S. declares fishery disaster in 3 Gulf states [*1]

Lord Monckton wins global warming debate at Oxford Union [*2] — Bottom line: global warming alarmists can’t cite sources for their assertions. Global warming “skeptics” can.

North Korea cuts ties with South [*3] — Uh-oh? Or just more psychotic North Korean saber-rattling?

Cruise Line Cancels Sailing After Engine Room Fire [*4]

NASA calls it quits for Mars Phoenix lander [*5]

Jason Killian Meath: Obama Should Send Sarah Palin to Louisiana [*6] — It would be an uncharacteristically non-divisive move from our most partisan President of modern times . . . Numbers don’t add up to U.S. being socialist [*7] — Stand a straw man up, knock a straw man down . . . a favorite “argument” tactic of “progressives” . . .

Stadium service workers for Royals vote to join union [*8] — SEIU, no less . . .

Covert U.S. operations authorized in secret order [*9] — I guess they’re not so covert or secret any more, are they?

Climate alarmism in Britain: “…the poll figures are going through the floor.” [*10]

Dick Morris: Sestak Bribery Scandal Is Impeachable Offense (Video) [*11]

The Betrayal of Mystery [*12]

Sarah Palin: Just When Ya Think It Can’t Get Any More “Interesting”… Welcome, Neighbor! [*13]

The State of Genre TV [*14]

The Future Is… [*15]

While eBooks have been around for a while, the concept of e-reading hasn’t really gained traction, although I suspect that may change in 2010. Not necessarily because I believe everyone is going to suddenly go and buy an iPad, but because of one particular feature of the iPad that will help bridge the gap between physical books and eBooks. It’s not a feature that will be confined to the iPad either – I expect many similar, non-Apple devices to start appearing in the second half of this year, all featuring some variation of adaptation of the iBookstore and the iBook reader, which has one vital feature.

SDSU finds success as D-I trek continues [*16] — Vindication.

The most unloved heroes in America [*17]

Tuesday Tidbits [*18] — re: South Dakota State athletics . . .

A thug too far, part 3 [*19] — I wonder if there is left any sense of decency on the side of the “progressive” leftists any more . . .

BOOK REVIEW: Greg Gutfeld’s ‘Bible of Unspeakable Truths’ [*20]

SEIU = thugs [*21]

Obergruppenführer McPollster: President’s Approval Drops to Lowest Level Yet [*22] — “Obergruppenführer McPollster” is the local name on the Ace of Spades web site for the Rasmussen polling firm, in case you’re a bit confused . . .

Obama hits new low in Rasmussen poll [*23] — A less theatrical title discussing the same topic, from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air . . .

L’Etat C’est Moi: The Rise Of Dependency In America [*24] — What happens when there are no longer enough people who choose to pull the wagon, allowing the majority to ride for free? Seems like some Russian immigrant woman wrote a big honking book about that–a book that’s become famous, or notorious, depending . . .

Private wages sink to new lows [*25] — The number of people pulling the wagon gets smaller and smaller, and the number of people riding in the wagon continues to increase . . . the term for this phenomenon is “unsustainable” . . .

Richard Epstein: What Rand Paul Should Have Said [*26]

More on Monkey See-Monkey Do Theories about Media Violence & Real-World Crime [*27]

North Korea severs ties, communications with South[*28]

‘Nature’s Batteries’ May Have Helped Power Early Lifeforms [*29]

As Long As You Call It An “Emergency,” You Can Spend As Much As You Want [*30]

Another Cruise Ship Drug Raid — This Time in U.K. [*31]

Obama DOJ Prosecutes FBI Linguist For Leaking [*32] — Where is the screeching of the “civil libertarians” over this obvious trampling of the freedom of the press to print whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want to regardless of any consideration other than coup-counting?

Obama To Honor Commitment to Visiting Chicago Periodically By Blowing Off Commitment to Speak at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day [*33] — “it could be that Obama is so oblivious that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know”

Talk about unsustainable [*34]

Video: Martyrs at the border? [*35]

2010 Panama Canal Cruise, part 10

The Panama Canal-Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco-20-night Voyage, May 6-26, Regent Seven Seas Navigator

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Ten

May 15 (Saturday, Day 11, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, continued) –

Snowy egret

We continue with pictures of the boat tour of the Guacalillo estuary and Tarcoles River.

More after the jump . . .

Jesus Christ lizard
Roseate spoonbill
Wood stork
Bare throated tiger heron
Boat-billed heron

We enjoyed a buffet of watermelon, pineapple and bananas as well as Costa Rican “Imperial” beer before boarding the bus for the trip home. The consensus was that the trip was actually a bit better than we had expected it to be. We certainly saw more wildlife—well, Filbert and Snookums certainly saw more today than in the rain forest on the other side of Costa Rica, anyway! We got back to the ship around 2 and Mom and Dad headed for the Pool Grill for a late lunch. Filbert went to the cabin and Snookums and Judy headed out to Puntarenas. When Mom returned to her cabin, she found two birthday cards in the “mailbox” from Jean and Pam. They had been sent from the U.S. to the port agent for Puntarenas and arrived on her 82nd birthday. She was very excited to receive them.

Snookums had asked Bill to get her a Costa Rican coin for her collection since he planned on going to the market and buying pottery. He gave her a 500 colon coin. (That’s pronounced “co-LOAN,” not “COAL-un,” smartypants!) About 500 colons equal one dollar so Snookums figured she had to spend most of it since she just wanted a “cheap” coin. So, their mission was to find a grocery store and buy cheap candy or potato chips. They found WalMart’s Costa Rican super market (WalMart owns 80% of the super markets in Costa Rica) and Snookums bought a package of panty liners for $.80 (a bargain!) and then a one-use packet of Pantene shampoo for $.13. She got two “dimes” as change and gave the young girl behind her in line the one-use packet of Pantene and one of the dimes. Judy and Snookums walked all over the town and saw the Catholic church with portholes for windows and a front door facing east which is unusual in this country since other churches have entryways that face west.

Snookums and Judy headed back to the ship and saw two schools of small (or baby?) stingrays alongside the dock near the bow of the ship. Snookums had never seen such small stingrays. They were about 8” wide. Then Snookums and Judy went to teatime since they were starving.

Dad arranged for a flower to be delivered to him to give to Mom and Regent delivered a single stem of a wonderful smelling lily with five blooms on it. Dad also gave Mom a bag of licorice.

Dinner was food that we specially ordered. We asked for an Indian dinner since we had done this on other Regent cruises. In the past we received three different Indian entrees for the entire table but this time we only received some kind of Indian spiced chicken pieces (with bones) in a gravy, naan and white rice. Everyone enjoyed it except for Snookums who thought it was way too salty. Judy even thought she was back in India and started eating dinner with her right hand (much to Mom and Snookums’s embarrassment)! When we were done with our entrée they brought out a birthday cake for Mom and five of our waitstaff sang “Happy Birthday”. We’ve never heard “Happy Birthday” sung on Regent before so we were kind of shocked when it happened. Mom was pleasantly surprised, though, and it was a great ending to a great day.

May 16 (Sunday, Day 12, At sea) –

Today is one month prior to Mom and Dad’s 59th wedding anniversary so Snookums told Regent it was their 59th wedding anniversary (and told Mom and Dad, too). No one knows how it will be celebrated.

Snookums and Judy attended Cardio Circuit which is a 45-minute class with 6 stations of different cardio activities that are done for 3 minutes each. Snookums thought the spinning bike was the easiest and didn’t enjoy the burpee and squat jump station!

After her shower, Snookums went to the coffee corner to write the journal and she sat with Mom who was reading her book and we both enjoyed the pianist playing morning melodies.

Today’s pool deck lunch was Tex-Mex BBQ which meant a giant taco salad buffet. We both enjoyed the ground beef as well as the chicken fajita as toppings on our taco salads. Right before lunch the Captain came on the PA with his daily noon announcement with our position and the weather forecast. He closed by saying that he wanted to wish a happy birthday to a very important female, his 2-year old granddaughter. She is NOT onboard but he wanted us all to know that he just called her and sang to her. Captain John McNeill, from Scotland, is really down to earth and is seen all over the ship. The other day Snookums was on deck 6 pushing Dad’s wheelchair to some shore excursion meeting point and the Captain asked if he could push! Snookums told him that she had it under control. We’ve noticed that any issues are dealt with very quickly and we think one reason is that the captain is so hands on. We like it!

The afternoon ended up being another “sea life watching” day and we saw dolphins in groups of twos and threes, sea turtles and four huge manta rays. The rays were probably 10’ wide and they weren’t traveling together. The sea turtles weren’t traveling together, either. We also enjoyed watching a boobie do dive bombs into the water to try to catch fish. The sun was just right and the water was so clear that we could easily see the boobie dive under the water and swim forward a few feet before coming back up to the surface to fly away.

Dolphin of the day
Fishing boobie
The same boobie, a quarter of a second (!) later

Mom and Dad did receive two glasses of champagne and a delicious dessert for their anniversary around 4:30. Mom said it was the best dessert she’s had on a ship, but she and Dad ate it all so neither Judy nor Snookums could try any to verify that.

Tonight was the second “formal optional” night and we met in Stars Lounge before dinner for drinks and photographs by Bill. (Regent no longer has a photographer onboard which is actually very nice. They aren’t always taking your picture and asking you to buy it.) Mom enjoyed another glass of champagne, her third for the day since she started the day with the champagne and caviar breakfast and then enjoyed a glass with her anniversary dessert. (Yes, Snookums does keep count . . . )

We were invited to the Seven Seas Society party but opted not to attend. We learned, however, that 62% of the 500 passengers on board are repeat Regent cruisers. That is actually a low number since most Regent cruises are around 75% repeat passengers. But, the cruise is sold out so Regent probably isn’t too concerned whether the passengers are repeat guests or not.

Formal Night pictures:

After dinner Mom, Dad and Judy attended Rodi Alexander’s show based on Barbra Streisand. Snookums and Filbert returned to their cabin after dinner and got online to use the free internet.

For those of you wondering what there is to do during a day at sea, the following activities happened between 11:00 and 3:00 today:

11:00 – “Olympic Gold” photography lecture by David Burnett, Galilleo’s Lounge
11:00 – Cooking Demonstration, Seven Seas Lounge
11:00 – Slot Tournament, Casino
11:15 – Mah Jongg, Card Room
11:15 – Golf Putting, Sports Deck
Noon – 2:00 – Tex-Mex BBQ, Pool Deck
12:30 – Bingo, Galilleo’s Lounge
1:45 – Social and Duplicate Bridge, Card Room
2:00 – “Christopher Columbus on the Spanish Main” Enrichment Lecture, Seven Seas Lounge
2:15 – Baggo, Forward Alcove
2:45 – “Color You Beautiful” spa talk, Stars Lounge
3:00 – Blackjack Tournament, Casino
3:00 – 3:45 – Indoor Cycling, Aerobic Studio

Next: Enormous Mexican Pharmicists!