Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Photo and Quote: Sir Michael Caine

On Britain's tax policy:

"The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America," he said at the weekend. "We've got 3.5 million layabouts on benefits, and I'm 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them. Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it up."

You have to question the judgment of whomever it was that decided a low fly by over NYC for a photo op was a good idea.

Via purpleslog on twitter.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The problem with the tea parties

What began as a grass roots initiative in true libertarian form has become a partisan pundit hump fest. What looked to be a breath of fresh air in the ascent of new, non-traditional third party politics was quickly devoured by right wing ideologues and, naturally as the sun sets in the west, left wing flame throwers piled on.

Oh their message is reminiscent of the noble, early efforts; fair taxation, a government of the people, by the people, etc. However, the tea party's new custodian's bring some baggage. The now infamous rants of some imbecile suggesting we burn the books, "The ones in college, those, those brainwashing books," at an event sponsored by Glenn Beck. Or the populist, anti-rich melody of John Rich serenading a Hannity tea party crowd on the evil yankees of Wall Street being responsible for the demise of Detroit's automakers (which I watched live and so you'll have to hunt down those lyrical moments on your own.) Apparently waning interest in massive SUV's and unsustainable, union driven wage and healthcare demands make for less romantic country songs.

Once the coup was accomplished and the tedious blowhards stepped to the helm, the leftwing firebreathers held forth with their own salvo. Two infamous examples:

The pathetic bit of "journalism" espoused by CNN reporter Susan Roesgen, who may well have Shepard Fairey's "Hope" tattooed on the small of her back. Her indictment of Fox News for it's political impartiality is a clear case of pot, kettle, black.

The racist rant of Jeneane Garofalo on the Lord of Vanity's tedious effort at "news analysis" recently and the simpering of the host, which exceeded that of a bad case of salmonella in it's nauseating quality. In Garofalo's world (a world in which one suffering from advanced stage neurosyphilis might find themselves) any who disagree with the President's stimulus package hate black people.

The problem with the tea parties is that they've been boosted by the status quo on both sides of the traditional partisan extreme. Any revolutionary magic they held has been eviscerated by political hackery and partisan static. The third party message has been hijacked by little more than shallow, partisan, populist combat between the two parties that libertarian's view as the root of America's manifold political maladies. Now "owned" by right wing punditry and shat upon by their left wing counterparts the tea party has become a caricature. And that's a damn shame because it'd be nice to finally see the American people divided from traditional partisanship in mass dissent demanding genuine change.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here there be racist toddlers

File this under passive fundamentalism:

The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can "recognise different people in their lives".
I wonder if the NCB has given any thought to how such pervasive, intense scrutiny and constant control of a child's behavior effects the child's development?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

North Korea's latest tantrum fails

And it is as much a tantrum as it is anything else, I'd opine. A want for international attention and a saber rattle to keep the nuke talks on the front burner and the extorted aid flowing in.

The Taepo Dong 2, which allegedly has a wide enough range to reach Alaska, fizzled after lift off, failing to leave the planets atmosphere. It's "satellite" payload now rests with the fishes in the Pacific.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that North Korea launched a Taepo Dong 2 missile at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday which passed over the Sea of Japan/East Sea and the nation of Japan.

Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.

No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM assessed the space launch vehicle as not a threat to North America or Hawaii and took no action in response to this launch.
It'd be interesting to know if any recovery efforts (US/Japanese) were possible or planned.

Image via GSO

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's recent indictment of America's guns being unwitting enabler's of the looming disaster that is Mexico very likely had gun control advocates salivating. Various media reports have put the onus on American gun dealers, citing the "fact" that some 90% of Mexico's cartel weaponry is from the US. Those reports, in leaving out one whopping detail, were completely wrong.

In fact, it's not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, "is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S."

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

"Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market," Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

Full story.