Friday, March 25, 2011

Column Drop

Alright, I've got some columns that have been sitting up in my favorites bar for way to long now, so I'm going to give the link and sampling of each. What Would a Desperate Wimp Do?

At about this stage in the Carter years, I began to worry: the president was getting a reputation for being a wimp, the economy was going to hell, and his poll numbers were headed steadily south. The main enemy — the Soviet Union — was flexing its muscles, invading Afghanistan in December of 1979. This came amidst the Iranian hostage crisis, which began early the previous month.

We tend to forget that the U.S. military buildup, which ultimately played a big role in the successful outcome of the Cold War, was started by Carter in response to the Soviet move, but by the time it started, “the wimp” could not hope to recover his lost manhood by sending money to the Pentagon.

And so I asked myself, is there a point at which a president realizes that wimps don’t get reelected? And if so, what might he do to shatter that image? For the next two years I worried that Carter might overreact to some international crisis in order to make folks see that he was really a tough guy.

I thought this was interesting. See what you think. Next: Choosing Your Hill to Die On

For some folks, their one gear can best be described as CHAAAAAARGE!! In politics, every single thing that any Republican does that displeases them in the least is grounds to threaten to NEVER DONATE TO OR VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN AGAIN. Threatening total abandonment of politics (or voting third party, or for Democrats), is the only negotiating tactic these people know. Similarly, everything Obama and/or the Democrats do is the most shocking attack on capitalism and the Constitution that has ever been seen in the history of ever.

Another group of folks knows only the gear that we will call “Congress.” Another word for this gear is “retreat.” For these folks, there is always an excuse for capitulation, always a reason to bend to pragmatism, always a reason to not rock the boat. No matter what horrible thing the Republicans do, we dare not abandon them and be left to the Democrats. To these folks, we dare not risk provoking either a governmental shutdown or the teachers’ unions, no matter the stakes, for fear of bad polling.

Of course, the person who bluffs every hand is just as bad at poker as the person who folds every hand. At the risk of being labeled an enabler of Democrats, achieving success in politics takes a more nuanced approach. Sometimes you have to swallow a bitter pill of compromise and sometimes you have to pick up your torch and pitchfork and let people know you mean business, and knowing which situation calls for which is everything as both a politican and an activist.

This one I really enjoyed, and I had to admit that author has a point. The thing that bothers me is that it always seems to be the Republicans who are forced to bow the knee. The Democrats never have to. (Incidentally, I'd like to recommend that all Republicans be forced to read Ann Coulter's book 'Guilty.' They might learn a thing or two about the Dems.)

And the last one: How to Think About the Tea Party

On February 19, 2009, when the finance commentator Rick Santelli indulged in a rant against the newly unveiled “stimulus” bill on the CNBC cable network and called for a demonstration in Chicago modeled on the Boston Tea Party, he fired a shot heard round the country. Santelli’s diatribe was focused on the fact that Americans who had played by the rules, had saved much of what they had earned, and had paid their bills on time were being required to bail out fellow citizens who had gotten caught short in purchasing a domicile they could not afford or while speculating in real estate. In the weeks that followed, ordinary citizens spontaneously gathered in towns and cities across the continent to organize Tea Parties in protest against what they took to be an unjust redistribution of wealth from the industrious and the rational to the greedy and improvident.

I really liked this one, as it has kind of a history of the Tea Party in it. Check it out.

And that's all the columns. I hope you find something interesting up there!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Back and Forth of Japan's 'Nuclear Meltdown'

I have waited a long time to write about events in Japan. The people there have my condolences, but as for information to pass along on this blog, there wasn't much to report.

So instead, I decided to wait and see what would happen with Japan's nuclear facilities, inasmuch as what happens over there will most certainly effect what happens over here.

The news about what is happening over there is being filtered through the American media, a group well known to most sane Americans as a group with nothing better to do but scaremonger. I can't believe anything those people tell me, and so I have been ignoring them in favor of the blogs. Gateway Pundits, as always, has been reporting on what's going on over there, and his commenters (the 'Punditeers') are very helpful with their knowledge.

Here are the two links that have been sitting in my favorites bar for nearly a week now, waiting for me to put them down here:

This site here I found a little difficult to understand; maybe someone else will have better luck than I.

And then we have William Tucker of the Wall street Journal saying that Japan does not face Another Chernobyl. Heck, that's what I've been screaming at the TV every time they mention a nuclear crises in Japan.

So honestly, as far as radiation goes, I haven't been to worried about that. What I have been worried about is the fact that people need food and shelter and POTUS is doing nothing - except golfing.

Then, last night, I found this from the British Newspaper Daily Mail: The moment nuclear plant chief WEPT as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people

The article goes on:

The boss of the company behind the devastated Japanese nuclear reactor today broke down in tears - as his country finally acknowledged the radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some citizens

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing 'several radiation deaths' by the UN International Atomic Energy. Officials said the rating was raised after they realised the full extent of the radiation leaking from the plant. They also said that 3 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima plant had been severely damaged, suggesting those reactor cores have partially melted down. After Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri cried as he left a conference to brief journalists on the situation at Fukushima, a senior Japanese minister also admitted that the country was overwhelmed by the scale of the tsunami and nuclear crisis. He said officials should have admitted earlier how serious the radiation leaks were.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said: 'The unprecedented scale of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, frankly speaking, were among many things that happened that had not been anticipated under our disaster management contingency plans. 'In hindsight, we could have moved a little quicker in assessing the situation and coordinating all that information and provided it faster.'

Nuclear experts have been saying for days that Japan was underplaying the crisis' severity. It is now officially on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979. Only the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 has topped the scale.

The way this is portrayed, you would think that there was nothing that could happen except FOR another Chernobyl, and I don't understand that, particularly because they compare affairs in Japan to Three Mile Island - and to the best of my understanding, nothing happened at Three Mile Island, other than a nuclear plant got shut down.

But this is by no means conclusive evidence that everyone is going to get cancer now. Form this week's Ann Coulter column, which I cannot link too:

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.

This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however,
burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level -- much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government -- radiation is good for you. "They theorize," the Times said, that "these doses protect against cancer by activating cells' natural defense mechanisms."

Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population.

And there are lots more!

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Isn't that just incredible? I mean, that the Department of Energy spent $10 million doing something useful? Amazing, right?

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings' 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

The people in those buildings had been exposed to radiation nearly five times the maximum "safe" level according to the U.S. government. But they ended up with a cancer rate 96 percent lower than the general population.

What? But the media said we would get cancer and die!!

Alright, not that I'm trying to downplay the fact that a tragedy happened in Japan, but I don't think Japan is anywhere near Chernobyl. I'm tired of the American (and now British) media running round shrieking that you need to start taking iodine or you'll die. Just when it seem like everyone is doomed (re: Daily Mail) I find something that shows that, wow, we're not doomed after all (see: Ann Coulter).

Only time will tell about the nuclear effects on Japan. I don't think it will be much. I don't even think it will hurt the West coast of America that much, even if we do get a cloud of radiation blown over.

Now will the media please settle down and stop portraying this as a new Chernobyl in the making?

Related: Radiation levels beyond 12 miles of Japanese nuke plant are normal

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Indiana Republicans Sing About the Missing Democrats

This is so good, I just had to pass it on. The house Republicans do a special version of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" just for the Democrats.

Here is their song, 'I-74.'


74 bring them home to the place they belong, Indiana, not Urbana, take them home 74

Pat Bauer, lost his mind, took his caucus, ran across state lines,

Right to work, PLA’s, bunch other stuff, made them run away.

74 bring them home, to the place they belong, Indiana not Urbana take them home 74

School reform, was our plea rather than debate it, they all chose to flee

When they come back, time will tell, if they don’t, they can go to (slap)

74 bring them home to the place they belong, Indiana, not Urbana, take them home 74

Unemployment, (inaudible — I think it’s, “who steps up?”) we got elected, stop acting like you won,

When they show up, you know who, just like Noah’s ark they come back two by two

74 bring them home to the place they belong, Indiana, not Urbana, take them home 74

What more can you say?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Missing Person: Marizela Perez

It's been awhile I visited Michelle Malkin's blog, but today I went back, just in time to hear that her cousin, Marizela Perez, is missing.

[Marizela] is a University of Washington undergrad and she has been missing
since Saturday afternoon, when she left the Rainier Beach neighborhood headed to
the UW Seattle campus. Her parents have been trying to reach her all weekend;
she apparently never made it to campus and has not been heard from by
phone/Internet. They’ve filed a missing persons report with the Seattle Police
Department. Hospitals have been alerted, according to family members, and bus
and train routes have been checked. No sign.

Here’s more info we’re trying to spread via Facebook and Q13Fox/KCPQ in Seattle:


Name: Marizela Perez

Date Missing: March 5, 2011, 12:00-12:30 P.M.

Last Seen: Rainier Beach area, heading to UW Seattle campus to meet friends for lunch or study in the UW libraries

Possible Routes: Sound Link Light Rail stations, downtown/Chinatown areas, UW Seattle campus, U-district

Description – Asian female, 5’5” tall, 110 lbs, skinny build, asymmetrical bob with short bangs and brown/red highlights hairstyle, tattoo on left inner arm with the words ‘lahat ay magiging maayos’, last seen wearing denim jeans, light brown suede laced boots, possibly wearing green eye contacts, possibly carrying a plaid backpack with a Macbook Pro laptop, taking medication for depression.

Seattle-area readers, can you please help get the word out — and if you or anyone you know might know anything about Marizela’s (nickname: “Em-Em”)whereabouts, please get in touch with the Seattle Police Department/UWPD or contacts listed at Facebook link above ASAP.

Marizela, if you are able to let your dad and mom know that you are okay, please contact them. You are so loved.


“Lahat ay magiging maayos” is Tagalog for “All will be well.”

May God make it so. Please keep my cousin and her family in your prayers. Thank you.

Follow this link for a picture of Marizela.

May she be found soon.