Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Poetry Corner

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Mother Goose

A cartoon I saw just now reminded me of this little piece of doggerel that a high school English teacher of mine once recited in class:

Old Mother Hubbard
went to her cupboard,
to get her poor daughter a dress.
When she got there,
the cupboard was bare,
and so was her daughter, I guess!

Obama Envious of Japanese Scientists?

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Japanese scientists achieve what the Obama administration could not...transparency!

See-through goldfish could be used for research purposes, or make an expensive pet

South Korean scientists may have created a glowing cat, but Japanese researchers have successfully developed a transparent goldfish.

The clear goldfish allows observers to see the tiny fish's beating heart, which allows scientists to observe living creatures and reduces the numbers of dissections.

"You can see a live heart and other organs because the scales and skin have no pigments," said Yukata Tamaru, Mie University associate professor, in a statement to the AFP. "You don't have to cut it open. You can see a tiny brain above the goldfish's black eyes. Having a pale colour is a disadvantage for goldfish in an aquarium but it's good to see how organs sit in a body three-dimensionally."

See, Mr. President? It can be done! Heh.

Cross posted at Say Anything

My Predictions for 2010

My Predictions for 2010 Making predictions is always a bit of risky business. Back in August, I predicted that a health care bill would be passed before the end of the year. And it did pass both the House and Senate. Will I get credit just because the bill wasn’t signed? Noooooooo! But, someone asked me recently for my predictions for 2010, and though my crystal ball is still a bit hazy, there are the things I have a good gut feeling about:
Sarah Palin will continue her book tour, Facebook updates and personal appearances. In a related story, incidents of stroke will rise in New York, San Francisco and Madison, WI. Harry Reid will remind us all, at least once, how many people will lose their health care insurance and their lives every single day before health care reform takes place…in 2013. You will no longer be able to purchase a house in Detroit on your credit card, as credit card fees outstrip the value of the real estate. The TSA will enforce new “security” procedures that do nothing to make you more secure. Michael Vick will continue to be “pounded” with dog cruelty jokes. America will get to see the Seahawks finally win a game. Unfortunately, they will be playing poker at the time! Obama’s teleprompter will malfunction at least once. Joe Biden is studying tapes of Alexander Haig‘s “I’m in charge” moment to prepare himself for any eventuality. Janet Napolitano will be strip searched going through an airport security line. She will pass through three more times to ensure that the “system is working”. (After the third time through the airport security gate, all the male TSA employees commit suicide.-sig94) The Pro Bowl will not be held in Hawaii for the first time since 1979. Honolulu cabbies may be forced to hock their $800 belt buckles in order to pay the bills.* It will be discovered that Obama staffers were not responsible for the “Chairman Mao” ornament on the White House Christmas tree. It seems the Pol Pot ornament was just not ready in time! Obama will play golf. Trolls will wish conservatives dead, tortured, stricken with poverty, cancer and any number of vile and deadly diseases 4,722 times. They will tell us that conservatives are hateful ones 9,444 times. Al Gore will fly in his private jet, met by a limousine, to speak about how much we need to change our lifestyle, or at least to buy carbon credits from him. And, last but not least, liberal trolls will still be clueless.
A mildly different version is cross posted at Say Anything *Little "In joke"

Quote du jour

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

-Winston Churchill

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ron Paul: " They're Terrorists Because We're Occupiers"

Sheila Jackson Lee, Ron Paul, Larry King and Ben Stein...together again for the first time! This is a shining example of idiocy squared! When Sheila Jackson Lee makes more sense than Ron Paul, that does not bode well for Paul!

The money quote is around 6:47

Ringling Brothers is missing a clown!

Cross posted at Say Anything

The Medal of Honor

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Gunnery Sergeant Allan Jay Kellogg, Jr.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company G, in connection with combat operations against the enemy on the night of 11 March 1970. Under the leadership of G/Sgt. Kellogg, a small unit from Company G was evacuating a fallen comrade when the unit came under a heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force occupying well-concealed emplacements in the surrounding jungle. During the ensuing fierce engagement, an enemy soldier managed to maneuver through the dense foliage to a position near the marines, and hurled a hand grenade into their midst which glanced off the chest of G/Sgt. Kellogg. Quick to act, he forced the grenade into the mud in which he was standing, threw himself over the lethal weapon and absorbed the full effects of its detonation with his body thereby preventing serious injury or possible death to several of his fellow marines. Although suffering multiple injuries to his chest and his right shoulder and arm, G/Sgt. Kellogg resolutely continued to direct the efforts of his men until all were able to maneuver to the relative safety of the company perimeter. By his heroic and decisive action in risking his life to save the lives of his comrades, G/Sgt. Kellogg reflected the highest credit upon himself and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Gunnery Sergeant Kellogg: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice.

Quote du jour

As the savvier Dems have always known, once you’ve crossed the Rubicon, you can endlessly re-reform your health reform until the end of time, and all the stuff you didn’t get this go-round will fall into place, and very quickly.

-Mark Steyn

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quote du jour

Anyone else notice you can't spell "liberal" without "libel"?


Monday, December 28, 2009

"Christmas Bomber" Boarded Without Passport

The "Christmas Bomber" apparently Boarded flight 253 without a passport.
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A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.
So, this is how the system works when it's working, Ms. Napolitano? Who gets on an international flight without a passport!

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich... said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

...While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'

You hear that, Janet? These guys "Do this all the time!" And the guy apparently had an accomplice, so let's knock off the lone wacko theories, shall we?

Cross posted at Say Anything

The Lawyer-in-Chief on the "Christmas Bomber"

Today, Lawyer-in-Chief Obama made this statement about the "Christmas Bomber"

Note at :51, Obama uses the lawyerly term "allegedly". Fair enough. But then, at 1:01, 1:06, 1:30, 2:54 and 3:19 on the video, (five times in two and a half minutes), the Lawyer-in-Chief refers to the "suspect". Suspect??? This guy is subdued with flames shooting out of his Underoos, trying to blow up a US passenger jet and Obama can only refer to him as a "suspect"?
Why does this guy sound more like some city's Assistant District Attorney than the President of the United States and the Leader of the Free World?

Cross posted at Say Anything

Mark Steyn's take: Putting aside the stuff that was just plain wrong (this guy's an "isolated extremist" - oh, yeah?), the President's remarks had a horrible desiccated complacency. "Alleged..." "suspect..." "charged..." - because this is no different from a punk holding up a gas station, right? In all their alleged allegedness, this Administration has an allergy to the concept of war, and thus to the tools of war, including strategy and war aims. In essence, they've accepted a Fort Hood model for this challenge: every so often, something will happen and people will die, and we'll seal off the crime scene and take the alleged suspect into alleged custody. But it's reactive, and it cripples our ability to prevent the death of innocents.

Top Ten Boneheaded Things of 2009

The end of the year is a traditional time for doing best of/worst of lists. In keeping with the spirit of the times, I give you: Top Ten Boneheaded Things of 2009 (I know we still have a couple more days, but I don't think anything is going to top these!) 1. Launching a helium balloon from your backyard and calling 911 to tell them you think your little boy is in the balloon. While you’re at it, call it a “flying saucer”. Balloon boy’s day will be serving time after the New Year begins. 2. Not having all the facts of an incident where someone you know is arrested, and publicly proclaim, while acknowledging that you do not have all the facts, that the police “acted stupidly”. Do this in a national forum, if possible. 3. Passing a national health insurance bill that a majority of the people do not want. 4. Giving Barack Obama a Nobel Prize for things he hasn’t done yet. 5. A tie between shredding the actual data that would prove or disprove man made global warming and keeping incriminating emails on your computer that talk about the tricks you use, in lieu of hard science, to make your numbers believable. 6. Anyone paying any attention at all to Al Gore. A blizzard follows this guy everywhere he goes…in his carbon spewing private jet and limos, to preach global warming and carbon offsets. 7. Giving a cheesy DVD gift to Great Britain. Their ambassador gives a priceless history relic and you give him cheap DVDs that aren’t even the correct format for him to play, in return. 8. US Attorney General dropping slam dunk case of voter intimidation against New Black Panther Party 9. Turning two Somalian detainees over to a government the US doesn’t even officially recognize, then watch said government release them. 10.And last, but not least, bringing wartime detainees into the US and give them legal standing not accorded to them by the Geneva Conventions and a civilian trial. You may have others? Let's hear them! Update: I actually wrote this list on Saturday, or I might have been tempted to put Janet Napolitano's "The system worked" comment on the list. Update II: How could I have forgotten Air Force One buzzing NYC for a photo op? That was this last year, too! So many boneheads, so little time!

Quote du jour

You can't even dignify this squalid racket as bribery: If I try to buy a cop, I have to use my own money. But, when Harry Reid buys a senator, he uses my money, too. It doesn't "border on immoral": it drives straight through the frontier post and heads for the dark heartland of immoral.

-Mark Steyn

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Fireworks" on Flight 253

I understand this turkey was sitting right over a fuel tank. Some coincidence, huh? William A. Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection had this video.
I, too, have been hearing this device described alternately as a "firecracker" or a "powder" smuggled on the plane. Pretty dang big for a firecracker, and more material than used in the shoe bomb in the video above.

Cross Posted at Say Anything

Insanity at the Department of Homeland (In)Security

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If you see this woman, speak in quiet, soothing tones and notify the authorities.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up the Amsterdam-Detroit flight this week demonstrated that "the system worked."

So, someone smuggles a bomb onto an aircraft heading to the United States, and you want to claim that the system worked???

Asked by CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" how that could be possible when the young Nigerian who sought to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the flight, Napolitano responded: "We're asking the same questions."
Ah! So, that's how the system works! You ask questions after the next catastrophe!

Napolitano added that there was "no suggestion that [the bomber] was improperly screened."
So, the system "worked" because the failure came after a "proper screening"? Yeah. Right!

The Alice in Wonderland approach to national security is not working out so well. Amateur hour continues apace at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

H/T Sweetness and Light
Cross posted at Say Anything

Barack Obama - Keeping Us All Safer!

...that was the sentiment of some of the more woolly headed Liberals a while back, not only had Obama kept us safe, but actually kept us safer than George Bush, who had prevented any more terrorist attacks on US soil after 9/11.

My suggestion, in light of the odious "precautions" that will soon beset every member of the flying public (outside of Air Force One and Pelosi's plane), I suggest that we put the following sign in the screening area of every US airport:

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It will give passengers something to read as they stand in line, taking off their shoes and belts and possibly their underwear!

Cross posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

James Delingpole has a great round-up of enranged warm-mongers furious at the "failure" of Nopenhagen/Copenhoaxin'.

-Mark Steyn

"warm-mongers" Nice!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obama Vacation Uninterrupted By Terror Attack

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Not that there's anything wrong with that!

President Obama was notified of the terrorist bombing attempt after 6AM this morning Hawaii time. But, Obama would not be dissuaded from his vacation and still managed to get in a round of golf today. No mention as to whether or not he was reading "My Pet Goat" between holes...

Cross posted at Say Anything

A Little Saturday Night Christmas Music

Natalie Cole - The First Noel

ABC News On Obama's Excellent Vacation

$4,000 a day for an $8.9 million dollar home in Hawaii. BTW, George, It's "shave" ice, not "shaved" ice!

How much did the summer vacation at Martha's Vineyard cost? $35- $50,000 a week? Didn't Bill Clinton at least pretend to feel the pain of Americans? The country is worse off than it was last summer and Mr. Obama still has a tin ear (and that's a lot of tin!) to the sounds of people in need. But, he's earned a rest! You can't bankrupt the economy, seize control of the nation's health care, auto industry and banks without suffering a wee bit of stress, now can you?

H/T Gateway Pundit
Cross posted at Say Anything

Happy Boxing Day! all our friends in Canada, the UK, Australia and NZ!

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Not sure if this picture captures the spirit of the holiday, but then, it's my blog and I post what interests me! Heh.

Quote du jour

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

-Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Little More Christmas Music

Enya- Silent Night

A Little Christmas Music

White Christmas from "Holiday Inn"

Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds

A Little Christmas Music

Coventry Carol

Friday Night Babe

Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night shall keep us from our appointed rounds!
It's Christmas! So, tonight's FNB*, in addition to all of our other high standards, had to wear a Santa Hat. Meeting all the requirements is Lucy Pinder.
(*a.k.a. Rule Five Friday)

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Headline du Jour

2009: The Year of Living Fecklessly

-Charles Krauthammer

A Little Christmas Thanksgiving

It's Christmas Day! And if you're here, looking at blogs, you probably need some cheering up! Something to be thankful for! Consider too, that even people living below what we call the "poverty line" live better in America than medieval kings did.
A king's ransom could not deliver the comforts, the health or the quality of life that we share today. Fresh fruit all year 'round. Air conditioning in the summer, warmth in winter and the ability to travel in hours what used to take days... things we take for granted every day...and complain that we do not have more.

Take stock of your blessings and your gifts this day, and I don't mean the ones wrapped in ribbons and foil. You know the ones I mean!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Old Toy Trains

One of my holiday favorites from Roger Miller.

Gary Varvel's Nativity

An unusual, yet compelling cartoon from Gary Varvel.

Quote du jour

"God bless us every one!"

-Tiny Tim, via Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Little More Christmas Music

Sarah McLachlan - I'll be home for Christmas

A Little Christmas Music

Celtic Woman - Carol of the Bells

Cocaine Cut With Possum Deworming Meds

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I kid you not!
Cocaine's a hell of a drug, and even more so when laced with another drug that's commonly used to deworm opossums.
Now, those are words I've never heard strung together before!

Federal agents have found that 69 percent of cocaine shipments seized entering the United States contain levamisole, a veterinary drug linked to serious weakening of the immune system in humans.
Now, I wasn't tempted to take illegal drugs anytime soon, but how messed up or desperate do you have to be to ingest anything when you haven't a clue what it will do to you? And what of the possible consequences? What about a possible possum wear shortage if there's not enough drugs to deworm the little fellows?

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Inquiring minds want to know!

Cross Posted at Say Anything

Silver Bells

Great trivia question: In what movie did "Silver Bells" makes its debut?

A. The Lemon Drop Kid

Harry Reid Votes "No" on Health Care Bill?

...but only for a moment.

I've heard rumors that Reid is suffering from Alzheimer's. If that is the case, we wish him well and hopes that he retires from public life soon to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible, while he can still remember them.

H/T Weasel Zippers

Health Care "Indian Givers"

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Remember the term "Indian Giver"? It has largely fallen out of favor, due to concerns of political correctness, but it used to "describe a person who gives a gift (literal or figurative) and later wants it back" -wiki
Karl Rove makes a good point about the abomination of a "health bill" recently passed by the Senate. (Yeah. Me agreeing with Karl Rove...what are the odds???) Mr. Rove describes some of the multi-million dollar deals given to some of the senators to vote for this trillion dollar boondoggle (Vermont $600 million, Massachusetts $500 million). And then he says this
How long that lasts may depend on how honest Democrats were in estimating costs. The pricier their bill is, the more likely this deal is upended.

And then it hit me! One of the complaints about this massive takeover of the American health system was a provision over the public funding of abortions. Even language that seemed to ban it on the short term was not absolutely guaranteed to even make it out of committee, but if it did, there were no guarantees that it would not be later revised or amended to include them. A "take back", if you will!

The same holds true for all of these big money deals, which Harry Reid has apparently offered to sixty (or more) senators to vote for this bill, which the public has said it does not want. If this bill does not reduce medical costs (and it won't), or provide greater efficiency (it won't) and includes greater numbers of people (it will) and does nothing to curb the excesses of our legal system (it doesn't), then the costs of medical care will continue to rise in the US and there will have to be a rationing of health care, and when the public clamor becomes too great to fund more doctors, more hospitals, better drugs...where will this money come from?
The same fools who voted for this monstrosity will find that the deals, the kickbacks, and the "bribes" they took to pass it are not written in stone, either. And to whom will they complain when it comes to pass? Yeah. Right!

The fact that it took over a trillion dollars worth of pork to make this palatable to lawmakers should have been the indication that it was bad legislation. Legislation which would be damaging to the Constitution they swore to uphold.
When the government which handed out all these bribes inducements on paper asks to have them back, there will be a giant case of buyer's remorse, realized far too late. They will have sold out their constituents, their country and their souls for nothing, or at least, cheaply.

Cross posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Medal of Honor

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Lieutenant Commander Thomas G. Kelley


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in the afternoon while serving as commander of River Assault Division 152 during combat operations against enemy aggressor forces. Lt. Comdr. (then Lt.) Kelley was in charge of a column of 8 river assault craft which were extracting 1 company of U.S. Army infantry troops on the east bank of the Ong Muong Canal in Kien Hoa province, when 1 of the armored troop carriers reported a mechanical failure of a loading ramp. At approximately the same time, Viet Cong forces opened fire from the opposite bank of the canal. After issuing orders for the crippled troop carrier to raise its ramp manually, and for the remaining boats to form a protective cordon around the disabled craft, Lt. Comdr. Kelley realizing the extreme danger to his column and its inability to clear the ambush site until the crippled unit was repaired, boldly maneuvered the monitor in which he was embarked to the exposed side of the protective cordon in direct line with the enemy's fire, and ordered the monitor to commence firing. Suddenly, an enemy rocket scored a direct hit on the coxswain's flat, the shell penetrating the thick armor plate, and the explosion spraying shrapnel in all directions. Sustaining serious head wounds from the blast, which hurled him to the deck of the monitor, Lt. Cmdr. Kelley disregarded his severe injuries and attempted to continue directing the other boats. Although unable to move from the deck or to speak clearly into the radio, he succeeded in relaying his commands through 1 of his men until the enemy attack was silenced and the boats were able to move to an area of safety. Lt. Comdr. Kelley's brilliant leadership, bold initiative, and resolute determination served to inspire his men and provide the impetus needed to carry out the mission after he was medically evacuated by helicopter. His extraordinary courage under fire, and his selfless devotion to duty sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Lieutenant Commander Kelley : We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice.

A Little Christmas Music

Amy Grant - Tennessee Christmas

The Poetry Corner Redux

The second piece of doggerel followed closely behind:

Ooshy Gooshy was a worm.
A very brave worm was he!
He climbed up on a railroad track,
and Ooshy Gooshy was a worm!


Ah! Nostalgia!

The Poetry Corner

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The earliest poem I can remember from my misspent youth:

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy,
was he?


Quote du jour

“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect. This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”

-Senator Jim DeMint

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Osama Gets What He Deserves for Christmas

If your sensibilities are easily offended, please skip this video.
(Cartoon, i.e. puppet violence)

H/T Threedonia

Nothing Says "Christmas at the White House" Like Chairman Mao

What a difference a year makes! There is no accounting for taste, but this may rise to new levels of tastelessness:

2009 Mao ornament
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or Obama on Mt. Rushmore:
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White House ornament 2008
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So, the Bush administration honors Teddy Roosevelt in 2008 with an ornament and the Obama administration honors Chairman Mao, and presumptuously puts Obama's face on Mt. Rushmore...

Merry Christmas, and God bless us each and every one. We're gonna need it!

H/T Weasel Zippers
Cross posted at Say Anything

Update: Did I say "new levels of tastelessness"? I missed the ornament featuring the transvestite! Because nothing really says Christmas like your transvestite ornament!
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Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right...

...make that Jokers on the Left!
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Claire McCaskill

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Ben Nelson

2010 is going to be a Zowie* year for some
Democrat Congress Critters and their opponents!

*Homage to the campy Batman TV series of the sixties

H/T Michelle Malkin, Gateway Pundit

Update: Gateway Pundit shows that it continues to spread.
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A Little Christmas Music

James Taylor: Go Tell it on the Mountain

Smartest Man in the World Walks into a Closet

This will only be mildly depressing, but the humor should compensate for it:

As trzupr put it at,
I give you: two men who would control virtually every aspect of your lives – walking into a closet! (British PM Gordon Brown and the Goreacle)

Steven Crowder on Detroit

Not trying to "harsh anybody's mellow", but here's what I hope will be the last depressing story before Christmas, and maybe it, too, will help you count your blessings?

H/T Rob at Say Anything

Record Lows Aren't Only For the Weather!

From Rasmussen:
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Two words: (well, one compound German word, anyway!)
Schadenfreude! Heh.

H/T Rob at Say Anything

Earth First Wackadoos & Clint Eastwood Talk to the Trees

Red State had this video of extreme tree huggers. Enjoy!

Think of them when you go out and cut this years Christmas tree (if you haven't already). Or for your listening pleasure, Clint Eastwood singing "I talk to the trees":

Lyrics of particular note to tree huggers: "I talk to the trees, but they don't listen to me!...I talk to them all in vain!" You can all go back and sit on your redwood decks and contemplate the mysteries of life, now!

Cross posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

“There are those who say there is no evil in the world. There are others who argue that pink fluffy bunnies are the spawn of Satan and conspiring to overthrow civilization. Let me be clear: I believe people of goodwill on all sides can find common ground between the absurdly implausible caricatures I attribute to them on a daily basis. We must begin by finding the courage to acknowledge the hard truth that I am living testimony to the power of nuance to triumph over hard truth and come to the end of the sentence on a note of sonorous, polysyllabic, if somewhat hollow, uplift. Pause for applause.”

-Mark Steyn, satirizing Obama's speaking style

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little Christmas Music

Celtic Woman: Oh, Come All Ye Faithful

Detainees Freed From Gitmo, Some Free As a Bird

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Fine, upstanding citizens all, I presume!

A couple of days ago, I posted a link on the Forum about the Obama administration releasing two detainees from Guantanamo to Yemen, where we were currently firing missiles at Al-Qaeda camps. Since then, color me unsurprised, it's gotten worse.

News is out now that twelve detainees have been released to foreign custody, two of them to a "government" that the US does not formally recognize. And, get this: that "government" has already released these two to go about whatever they were doing before.

The United States freed a dozen men from Guantanamo this week -- including one of the last captives sent there by the Bush administration -- in a mission that dropped detainees off in Yemen, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

The dozen included six Yemenis, four Afghans and two Somali citizens. Their departure left the prison camp census at 198 on Saturday -- the first time the detention center dropped below 200 captives since February 2002.

...Reports from Somaliland, a breakaway region in northern Somalia that has its own autonomous government, identified the freed Somalis as Ismael Arale, 45, and Mohamed Suleiman Barre, 44.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air:

We captured Arale in Somalia three years ago. Since we don’t have any military presence in that country, or at least none we acknowledge, Arale had to have been captured either by covert intelligence forces or a secret military mission. That must have meant that the Pentagon and/or the CIA thought him to be a significant target. We don’t know, because the paperwork released on Arale has been heavily redacted — which also indicates the presumed value of having him in our custody.

Now he’s gone back to an area known to be a haven for terrorists — and under the control of a government with which the US doesn’t do business. How exactly did that happen? Somaliland is a breakaway piece of Somalia that no one recognizes. Does the US usually extradite prisoners to jurisdictions that we do not recognize and in the absence of an extradition treaty?

Wonder if Al-Qaeda could use a good forger for anything?

Arale, who’s been described as a document forger and Islamic jurist, was captured in Somalia in 2006 was one of the last detainees ever taken to Guantánamo.

Cross posted at Say Anything

Update: Here's what was thought of Arale when he was first shipped to Gitmo:

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of a dangerous terror suspect to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Abdullahi Sudi Arale is suspected of being a member of the Al Qaeda terrorist network in East Africa, serving as a courier between East Africa Al Qaeda (EAAQ) and Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Since his return from Pakistan to Somalia in September 2006, he has held a leadership role in the EAAQ-affiliated Somali Council of Islamic Courts (CIC).

There is significant information available indicating that Arale has been assisting various EAAQ-affiliated extremists in acquiring weapons and explosives, and has facilitated terrorist travel by providing false documents for AQ and EAAQ-affiliates and foreign fighters traveling into Somalia. Arale played a significant role in the re-emergence of the CIC in Mogadishu.

The capture of Abdullahi Sudi Arale exemplifies the genuine threat that the United States and other countries face throughout the world from dangerous extremists.
The detainees being held at Guantanamo have provided information essential to our ability to better understand how Al Qaeda operates and thus to prevent future attacks.

As with all detainees in Guantanamo, Arale will undergo a combatant status review tribunal, where he will be given the opportunity to review an unclassified summary of the evidence against him and contest his enemy combatant status

H/T Weasel Zippers

Quote du jour

“Nothing is real in Copenhagen — not the temperature record, not the predictions, not the agenda, not the ‘solution.’”

-Andrew Bolt, Australian Herald Sun

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Update: Auschwitz Sign Found

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...cut in three pieces. Police have detained five men ages 25-39.
Two days ago we reported that the sign "Arbeit Macht Frei", The "Work will make you free" was stolen from the Holocaust Memorial site at Auschwitz.

No word yet on the motive for the theft.

Cross posted at Say Anything

A Little Christmas Music

Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

Hawaii: Detroit With Palm Trees?

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HONOLULU - Hawaii public schools are closed most Fridays, rats scurry across bananas in uninspected stores and there may not be enough money to run the next election...
Hawaii's money troubles are creating a society more befitting a tropical backwater than a state celebrating its 50th anniversary and preparing to welcome President Barack Obama home for Christmas this week.

Hmm. Let me see. A presidential visit usual require additional security from local law enforcement. Look for some overtime costs to further unbalance the budget!

Hawaii now has the shortest school year in the nation after the state and teachers union agreed to shutter schools for 17 days a year, leaving 171,000 students without class on most Fridays. Negotiations to reopen them collapsed last week.

—Food establishments often go uninspected, a fact highlighted by an Internet video showing rats roaming freely across produce in a Honolulu Chinatown market. The state has just nine health inspectors on Oahu to handle nearly 6,000 markets and restaurants.

—The state Elections Office said it may not be able to afford a pending special election, which would leave half of the state's population without representation in the U.S. House of Representatives until September 2010.

—Homelessness is on the rise as mental health, child abuse, welfare and daycare programs run short on cash.

And next year may be even worse because tax revenues continue to plunge with the economy.

Trouble in paradise. Search as you might, the two words you won't see in this article about Hawaii's social and financial collapse are "liberal" and Democrat". It does talk obliquely about a "lack of leadership". Maybe the author thought that who largely constituted that leadership went without saying...

Cross posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

This is not new. Courtiers used to surround little child princes and princesses with years of flattery, resulting in Roman Emperors like Caligula and Nero, and French Queens like Marie Antoinette and Dominique de Villepin. Human beings drift out of touch with reality when they are constantly poodle-licked with flattery. They become easy to manipulate, which is why all the cynical courtiers constantly polish the egos of their little princes. They still do.

-James Lewis

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Little Saturday Night Music

Rascal Flatts: I'll be Home For Christmas

-H/T Christopher!

Unintended Consequences Redux

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Energy efficiency. Those are the buzz words floating around the planet. Go green or die, some might say. Here's a story where a municipality "went green" and somebody died:
A number of cities around the country that have installed more energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a dangerous downside: The bulbs aren't warm enough to melt snow and can become covered over in a storm — a problem blamed for scores of accidents and at least one fatality.

But, look at how much energy they saved!!! It reminded me of a similar story, where up in the Sonora California area, there was a large public arena that had been built back when energy was a lot cheaper. The municipality responsible for its upkeep decided to insulate the roof to keep all that energy from escaping...which, in turn, caused the roof to collapse under the weight of all the snow which had typically been melted by the escaping heat!

LEDs "burn" with much less energy than incandescent bulbs and don't need to be replaced as frequently. That makes them great money savers for lights that burn around the clock, like stop lights and reduce maintenance costs over their lifetime.

Not being able to melt snow was an unexpected consequence.

Authorities in Illinois said that during a storm last April, a 34-year-old named Lisa Richter could see she had a green light and entered the intersection. A driver coming from the opposite direction could not see the stoplight was obscured by snow and ran into Richter's vehicle, resulting in the fatality.

"Would the accident have occurred if the lights had been clear? I would be willing to bet not," according to Oswego police Detective Rob Sherwood.

Authorities said similar collisions have been reported in other cold-weather states, such as Iowa and Minnesota.

Not every storm causes this condition, but with wet snow and the right wind, drivers should be extra careful, according to Gary Fox, a traffic engineer for Des Moines, Iowa.

I remember the first winter after I moved to Ohio, (before I got my first GPS) I drove to one of our manufacturing plants after work. I wasn't real familiar with the area, but I knew enough to be able to follow the signs back the way I came. Only it snowed before I was finished, and on the trip home, snow had blown up against and covered every street sign along the way, like the sign in the photo above. Had there been any traffic signals along that route, they could have suffered the same fate as the one that killed that Illinois woman.

I think that LEDs in traffic lights are a good idea. The energy savings of around 80% of incandescents can save municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars. Up north, however, steps need to be taken to compensate for that loss of heat which keeps the lights clear and the public safe.

Cross posted at Say Anything

Glenn Beck :" I Would Have Voted for Hillary"

Glenn, a self admitted Libertarian, says he would have voted for Hillary over John McCain. He also compared it to the choice of wanting to shoot himself as opposed to hanging himself!

H/T American Glob

Ben Nelson Caves

Image search at
...says he will provide 60th vote to pass health care bill in Senate.

...according to a crawler headline on my local weather channel. Huff Po confirms.

Senator Ben Nelson has announced that he will support the health care reform bill in the Senate, effectively providing Democrats with the 60th vote needed to pass the bill and send it to conference with the House.

Cross Posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

Barack Obama continues to cast the closing of Guantanamo and the importation of Al Qaeda terrorists into the American heartland as a moral victory. But this is nothing more than moral vanity and rank political theater aimed at satisfying his liberal soul-mates at the ACLU and Human Rights First. In truth, the security nightmare he is about to visit on this country will only be surpassed by the legal morass that will accompany the transfer of foreign terrorists to American soil.

-Debra Burlingame

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Night Babe

Tonight's FNB (a.k.a. Rule Five Friday!) is actress Lake Bell.

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Again, let me restate the rules as I make them up :

Friday Night Babe is an Equal Opportunity position. We do not discriminate on race, creed, color (well, maybe some of the pasty white ones! -Just joking! ), or religion.
We do discriminate on the basis of sex! Most men do not meet the rigid qualifications! (Well, maybe some of the pasty white ones! - Now, I'm really kidding!) (That's what's called a "running gag" - Get over it!)

If a "babe" is "conservative" that is a plus, but not a requirement! There is no political "litmus" test to become a FNB.

Nominations are welcomed, but don't get your feelings hurt if I don't pick yours, immediately or at all. I treat my stewardship of the Friday Night Babe as a Sacred Trust!

Would you believe an "Awesome Responsibility"?

How about "Weekly Chore"? Heh.

Earthquakes: Brought to you by Clean Energy!

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Disclaimer: This is not a picture of the actual Swiss earthquake, but a pictorial representation of earthquakes in general. I am not "lying" or "misleading". Your earthquake may vary.

Seems there's a guy in Switzerland, a geologist named Markus Haering, who had a bright idea for "green" energy: Turn cold water to steam subterraneanly and use the steam to run a turbine. Give this guy a Nobel prize!
But, wait! It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature. Something about cold things contracting and hot things expanding...

The aim of Haering's project was to shoot cold water three miles underground, where naturally occurring rocks would turn it into steam. Using a steam turbine, the project was expected to generate clean energy to power 10,000 households and heat 2,700.

Unfortunately, the drilling was done on top of a fault line, in the middle of a city, causing a number of earthquakes, one of which had a 3.4 magnitude and resulted in Geopower Basel, the project leader, coughing up 9 million Swiss francs in property damages.


H/T The Corner
Cross posted at Say Anything

Update: "naturally occurring rocks" This has been bothering me for a while. Did he expect to find un-naturally occurring rocks there?

Ray Stevens - "We the People"

Not a classic, like Harry the Hairy Ape, but not bad after all these years!

H/T Eye of Polyphemus

"Arbeit Macht Frei" Sign Stolen from Auschwitz

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"Arbeit Macht Frei", The "Work will make you free" sign was stolen from the Holocaust Memorial site at Auschwitz.

Police spokeswoman Katarzyna Padlo said police believe it was stolen between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Friday morning, when museum guards noticed that it was missing and alerted police.

Padlo also said that the iron sign, which spanned a gate at the main entrance to the former Nazi death camp in southern Poland, was removed by being unscrewed on one side and pulled off on the other.

Sounds like a good history revisionist putting shoe leather to his words. I hope they catch whoever did this. People who tamper with history are not only destined to repeat it, but doom others as well.

Thankfully, there is a less cynical phrase auf Deutsch: Die gedanken sind frei. Thoughts are free.

I suspect that Holocaust deniers are responsible for the theft, to erase physical evidence that it actually happened. But, they cannot take away our freedom to think and to recognize the truth for what it is. And imagine a world without man's inhumanity to man.

H/T News Real Blog

Cross posted at Say Anything

On Making History...

...Lisa Benson reminds us that not everything that "makes history" is a good thing!

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House Passes Measure to Regulate TV Commercials

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Have you heard about this? Congress is considering a bill introduced last year, sponsored by Anna Eschoo, a California Democrat, with 63 co-sponsors, to regulate how loud TV commercials can be! The act is called CALM (for the laid back California lifestyle I presume!), the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation.

Apparently, this intrusion into your bedroom (you do have a TV in the bedroom, don't you?) was passed last Tuesday on a voice vote.

Having apparently solved all of the problems of the economy, world peace, health care, and man's inhumanity to man, Congress turns its unwavering eye towards the millions of Americans without a mute button on their remote or TiVo. Finally!

Your tax dollars at work.

Cross posted at Say Anything

Update: Brent Bozell had this:
In fact, Eshoo’s bill may be nothing more than well, noise. It doesn’t really change anything that wasn’t already changing. Her bill originally demanded that television advertisements could be no louder than the average maximum loudness of the programs they accompany. She changed her bill to instead adopt guidelines already being developed by the TV industry, which she said will accomplish the same goal. Given the industry’s similar promises to develop standards to curb indecency, we can all begin to laugh (quietly) now.

Yeah. This merits Congressional attention!

Iron Man II Trailer

I'm impressed!

Quote du jour

“Avatar,” a sanctimonious thud of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC clichés that not a single plot turn – small or large – surprises. I call it the “liberal tell,” where the early and obvious politics of the film gives away the entire story before the second act begins, and “Avatar” might be the sorriest example of this yet. For all the time and money and technology that went into its making, the thing that matters most – character and story – are strictly Afterschool Special.

-John Nolte

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ex-Con James Traficant (D'OH) Contemplates Another Run at Congress

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CLEVELAND — Former Rep. James Traficant, who was recently released from prison after serving seven years for corruption, said Thursday that he is "proud of being an ex-con" and may try to return to Congress.

Traficant, a Democrat who was elected to nine terms from Youngstown before he was kicked out of the House, said he will circulate nominating petitions in three House districts. He didn't specify which, but the three districts closest to his hometown are all held by Democrats.

Why elect a guy who might turn out to be a crook, when you can elect one you know is for sure!

Traficant was released in September 2009 after serving seven years for racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

In other words...cabinet material!

Cross posted at Say Anything

Huffington Post Caught Hotlinking

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PG 13 version of the pic

I defended Toby Keith from the Left in the past, in a piece called Huff Po Hackery, Part II , where some hack at the Puffington Host tried to smear Keith as a racist for his mention of hanging ne'er-do-wells in his song "Beer for my horses".

The Huff Po piece used a picture of blacks being lynched, to roil the emotions and show just how despicable Toby Keith truly what passes for a mind in Max Blumenthal. If you click on the link to my piece, you'll see that Tiny Pic, the service I used to host the picture removed it (probably as too offensive). I will not defend myself from using a picture that most people would find offensive, because I was demonstrating the depth to which the Left often sinks in trying to vilify its opponents. (Keith was seen as a supporter of the war in Iraq at the time)

It appears that Mr. Blumenthal and the Huff Po apparently "hotlinked" the picture they used. Hotlinking is a form of bandwidth theft, where you "borrow" the picture by linking to its location on someone else's site.

On of the problems of hotlinking, for the unwary, is that the person hosting the site from whence the picture originates, sometimes finds out about the theft and substitutes a different picture in place of the original, which then appears on the hotlinked sites. (see Rickrolling)

So, instead of a black and white picture, showing blacks being lynched, there is a full color picture of a clown, telling the Huff Po (and its readers we would presume), to "F" off!
Click on the link and see for yourself! Huffington Post
Too funny!

Cross posted at Say Anything

Hotlinking definition
More info on hotlinking

More on Max Blumenthal as a serial hotlinker.

Tiger Woods Action Figures

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2000 U.S. Open and British Open

It has just recently come to my attention that there are a whole series of Tiger Woods action figures. Some are available at Toys-R-Us.

I think I'm going to hold out for the new line:

Motel Six Tiger: Posed with motel key, nervously looking over shoulder

Back Seat Buick Tiger: Posed uncomfortably with large smile on face

Pre-Nup Tiger: On the phone to his lawyer. Removable legal papers.

and my personal favorite:

Red Handed Tiger: posed with his trousers strategically around his ankles!

And what would the set be without the SUV Meets Hydrant Tiger?

Coming soon to a toy store near you!

Quote du jour

"In a 2,074-page bill, there's a lot of room for mischief"
-John McCain

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Medal of Honor

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Sergeant Leonard B. Keller


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sweeping through an area where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier, Sgt. Keller's unit suddenly came under Intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a number of enemy bunkers and numerous snipers in nearby trees. Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing 1 Viet Cong who attempted to escape. Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire. Armed with a light machinegun, Sgt. Keller and his comrade began a systematic assault on the enemy bunkers. While Sgt. Keller neutralized the fire from the first bunker with his machinegun, the other soldier threw in a hand grenade killing its occupant. Then he and the other soldier charged a second bunker, killing its occupant. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. Again, with utter disregard for the fire directed to them, the 2 men charged, killing the enemy within. Continuing their attack, Sgt. Keller and his comrade assaulted 4 more bunkers, killing the enemy within. During their furious assault, Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. The ferocity of their assault had carried the soldiers beyond the line of bunkers into the treeline, forcing snipers to flee. The 2 men gave immediate chase, driving the enemy away from the friendly unit. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sgt. Keller returned to the platoon to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The 2-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy dead, and prevented further friendly casualties. Sgt. Keller's selfless heroism and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Sergeant Keller: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice.

Quote du jour

One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama’s speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan — and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war — and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.

-Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Price Closing Guantanamo?

Aside from the security concerns in bringing terrorists into the homeland and the questions over the precedents set by granting Constitutional rights to enemy combatants, is anyone asking about the physical pricetag for Obama's Folly? Illinois State Sen. John O. Jones raises some interesting points.
“Our minimum price for Thomson should be $1 billion; it will cost more than $80 million to pay off the existing debt for Thomson and another $200 million or more to build another correctional center,”
A billion dollars is a tad excessive, but what will the cost of the property and a replacement facility be to state and federal taxpayers? A couple hundred million? More? I've heard figures from 3,800 to 10,000 new jobs bandied about. And that new single family homes would be built and sold to prison employees. So, if the feds are going to hire 4-10,000 new civilians, with good wages and benefits plus the cost of the facility and security upgrades, what is this doing to the budget in poor economic times? According to the State of Illinois, the current cost per inmate is about $44 grand to house a Total Average Daily Population of 144
Average Annual Cost Per Inmate: $43,803.00
Obama proposes putting as many as a hundred terrorists here. At the current level of security, that would raise the cost to as much as $63,000 per inmate, but I imagine that security would be (should be) enhanced for this type of inmate. Daniel Foster notes
The facility sits beside the Mississippi River, five miles south of a a municipal airport and one mile north of the West Carroll School District.
And they tell me we already had a facility in Guantanamo, maintained by the military, housed in military barracks, who we presume are not going to be laid off when the facility moves. (Or is reduced in population) Since Obama has been running up debt like it was Monopoly® money, I don't think that Obama will be deterred in making this largely empty symbolic gesture.

Brit Hume Grades Obama's Presidency

I think Obama was grading himself on the curve...

H/T American Glob

Quote du jour

Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.

-George Will

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your Monday Morning Schadenfreude

After cratering yesterday in his Presidential Approval poll, Barack has made a small recovery. Instead of 19% more Strongly Unfavorable than Strongly Favorable, Obama has narrowed the gap to 18%. That's the picture among those who feel very strongly about the President. But, what about the rest of us? Those who go about their lives and don't think much about politics until just before an election?
Here's that graphic:
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Cross posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

Tiger Woods will pay "$15 million per floozy." In lost winnings and endorsements.

-Ann Althouse

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the Re-importation of Drugs

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Call it "the law of unintended consequences"...

John Lott had a post on "The amendment that may kill the health care bill", that prompted me to jot down one of my long held convictions on the subject.

One aspect of Obamacare under debate, is whether or not to allow the re-importation of drugs from Canada, ostensibly to reduce costs, since those drugs are available in places like Canada for less than they can be purchased here.

It's my belief that if there were a large scale re-importation of drugs from Canada, the first thing that would happen is that costs would go up on Canadian drugs.

US firms can currently increase their market share by shipping drugs to Canada at reduced rates, where costs (read: litigation) are lower.

If those same drugs were to come back across the border, they would subject those companies to the same liabilities as other drugs in the US market. I believe that the first thing the pharmaceutical companies would do, is raise prices to a level more commensurate with US sales, partly to help them cover the increased cost of litigation.

Liberals should rejoice over this, since it is a form of "leveling the playing field". Both countries should suffer equally for the rampaging litigious society in the US.

The only thing large scale re-importation will do without some version of tort reform, is screw the Canadians, putting even more pressure on their underfunded and overburdened health care system.

Cross posted at Say Anything

What Do Doctors Think of Obamacare?

John Lott had this on his excellent website, that graphically shows the opinions of medical professionals on the proposed government take over of health care:

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65% of doctors are opposed to the plan

45% will consider retirement if it passes

71% believe that it cannot cover more people and provide better quality of care at less cost

What was it that commercial used to say? "Nine out of ten doctors agree..."

Cross posted at Say Anything