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Monday, January 7, 2013

EPA regulations force Ga. power company to shut down coal-fired generators

Stricter environmental regulations have led to Georgia Power asking state regulators for permission to shut down 15 coal-fired and oil-fired generators, totaling more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity generating capacity.

A study conducted by National Economic Research Associates for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity found that over the next four years companies will be forced to shut down between 54,000 and 69,000 megawatts of coal-fueled electricity generation, mainly due to the EPA regulations.

The study estimated the compliance costs would force electricity generators to spend $15 billion to $16.7 billion annually over the next two decades.

Seeking disability payments, pregnant women drinking heavily to deliberately harm unborn babies

Mothers-to-be in one of South Africa's poorest areas are drinking large amounts of cheap, illegal alcohol to deliberately damage their unborn babies - just so they can claim disability benefit.

State benefits mean 250 South African rand (£20) per child per month for an impoverished family. But disability allowance is a far more lucrative 1200 rand a month (£85).

A rational response to perverse incentives. Last month: Moms Keeping Kids Illiterate to Get More Welfare Money

"There is no such thing as a gun show loophole"

It's really a frightening scheme if you think about it. Politicians who make hay by pointing fingers at gun shows argue that gun show attendees get around federal law by buying their guns without a background check. What they never tell you is that there is no federal law requiring a background check on secondary gun sales, and there never has been. 

In other words -- it's not illegal to buy a gun from your neighbor, your father, or your friend.

MRI Shows Robert Griffin III Has Partially Torn ACL, LCL

More details on RG3's knee injury here.

Member of Biden's Gun Control Task Force Has a Son Convicted of Planning School Mass Murder

Apparently with the father's gun.

Health insurance rates going up by double digits: NYT

Why should this surprise? The must-issue regulation built into ObamaCare increases costs for the insurers, who cannot draw all of the needed revenues from the high-risk pool, thanks to mandates on rates. That means those costs have to get spread out to everyone in the pool. This is nothing more than Risk Pool 101, a course that Congress flunked repeatedly in the ObamaCare debate.

Orlando to Fine Couple $500 a Day for Vegetable Garden

The full story, with comments and links, is at Reason.

In the UK, a new brothel just for disabled customers

“There’s nothing illegal about spending disability living allowance or benefit money on sexual services and the brothel will not be run to make money, it will be organised on a strictly not-for-profit basis."

Lightning blasts boobs off statue

Everything disintegrated but the breasts.

"I'll leave the statue the way it is to show the force of nature ... I might mount (the breasts) and hang them in my office."

H/T ‏@mwbowler

Redskins Pumping Artificial Crowd Noise Into The Stadium During Yesterday's Game?

Interesting.  Apparently this isn't unusual, especially during playoff games.

The Monty Python/Family Guy mashup

Apparently this was from last night FG:

Gun Control - another set of perspectives

A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him "Why do you carry a 45?" The Ranger responded, "Because they don't make a 46."

The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?" He promptly replied, "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my shotgun."

I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house? I said I did. She said, "Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!" To which I said, "Of course it is loaded; it can't work without bullets!" She then asked, "Are you that afraid of someone evil coming into your house?" My reply was, "No, not at all. I am not afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too."

Video: Dog Trainer Saves Dog with CPR

Not NSFW but hard to watch in spite of the happy ending.

This is from 2011, but I hadn't seen it before.

Text from Youtube: Canyon Crest K9 Training Center owner, Ron Pace, saves the life of a boxer with CPR during a regular training session. During the session, the dog went into a seizure. As he stopped breathing and laid down Ron handed his assistant his iPhone with the video on and said to capture this so a veterinarian can see what happened. At that point he said to the handler move your hand so I can see if he is breathing and she said he is not. Ron immediately applied CPR. Sugar had stopped breathing for 2 minutes. He finally regained consciousness. Once the dog was resuscitated, the owner took him to the vet. 

Beyond Discouraged, 3.3 Million Workers Are Hopelessly Unemployed

“An often overlooked number calculated by the Labor Department shows millions of Americans want a job but haven’t searched for one in at least a year. They’ve simply given up hope. They’re not counted as part of the labor force, the official unemployment rate, or the category the Labor Department refers to as ‘discouraged workers’ — those who haven’t bothered to look for work in the last four weeks. These hopelessly unemployed workers have just been jobless so long, they’ve fallen off the main government measures altogether.” How convenient.

The Education of John Boehner: O's insistence that 'We don't have a spending problem.'

The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."

In hindsight, what does he think was his biggest strategic mistake? "What I should have done the day after the election was to come out and say: The House has done its work. The House passed a bill that replaced the sequester with real spending cuts. The House passed a plan extending all of the current tax rates. We passed a budget. We call upon the Senate to do their work."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Breaking into neighbor's condo with a knife, duct tape, and an 8 inch sexual device is "out of character for the fire chief"

At least according to his lawyer. Poor guy.  You'll be glad to hear that he's on indefinite administrative leave and so still collecting a check, so you can stop worrying about him being financially stressed.

Infographic du jour: Inflation

At Freedom Is Just Another Word via IMAO.

The Afghan Quarterback

The Afghan Quarterback

The coach had put together the perfect team for the Chicago Bears. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in   Afghanistan. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away. KABOOM! He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney. KA-BLOOEY! Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph. BULLS-EYE! 

"I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!"  

So, he brings him to the States and teaches him the great game of football. And the Bears go on to win the Super Bowl. 

The young Afghan is hailed as the great hero of football, and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants is to call his mother. 

"Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!" 

"I don't want to talk to you, the old Muslim woman says."You are not my son!" 

"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads. "I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans." 

"No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!" 

The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us move to Chicago!

(Thanks, Laurie!)

Photo: 5 megabyte hard drive from 1956, being loaded via forklift onto plane

via @sbadsgood

Gorgeous set of WW1 posters

See more at BibliOdyssey, and There are over 1600 World War I Posters from the Elisabeth Ball Collection at Ball State University (Indiana) that can be viewed segmentally in very high resolution.

Must read: excellent, well-researched post on what went on at the White House during Benghazi

Benghazi – During Attack Denis McDonough and Tom Donilon Replace President Obama and VP Biden…

The conversation with Netanyahu lasted an hour and both Obama and Biden were on that call. It appears that political "fixers" McDonough and Donilon were the only national security staff on duty in the White House.

Interesting numbers on grandparent-provided child care

I hesitate to even blog this because I think it's so wrong-headed, but the numbers are interesting - the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 27 per cent of parents use grandparents as their main source of child care.

The title of the article is “Gran-sploitation”: Are grandparents being used for free childcare? and the author really seems to be reacting to someone else's contention that grandparents are being taken advantage of and that they secretly resent it. She concludes, "I think the fact families have become so fragmented that it is seen as extraordinary by people such as Robin Barker for grandparents to do some of the heavy lifting is a real loss for the parents of my generation, and for our kids.

Despite what experts such as Robin Barker say, I reckon most grandparent child minders are not resentful, and that they understand the richness they are offering to the kids – and the preciousness of the experience they are having in return."

Discuss amongst yourselves.

In the "who cares?" department, NHL lockout is over

Five days short of a January 11 deadline that would have scuttled the entire season, the NHL and NHLPA have reached a deal that, pending approval from a player vote, will end the lockout and allow for a condensed 50 game season. Teams will likely only play other teams from within their own conference during the shortened regular season.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

What Makes an Anti-Semite? Wiesenthal List Induces Hand-Wringing in Germany

An interesting, albeit not-new issue: are you anti-Jew if you don't like Israeli policy?

Most of the entries on the 2012 list of top anti-Semites published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center just after Christmas are unsurprising. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood makes the list. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is there. European soccer fans, some of them notoriously racist, land at No. 4. A handful of right-wing extremist parties in Europe are also fingered.

Number nine on the list (PDF), however, has caused many in Germany to scratch their heads. It is Jakob Augstein, the editor of the weekly paper Der Freitag and a columnist for SPIEGEL ONLINE (whose editorials are occasionally translated for publication in English). His offense? The fact that he has been vociferously critical of Israeli policy.

Intuition leads us to think—wrongly—that without government we’d be victims of fraud.

At Reason:

In the short time since President Obama was re-elected, government has issued hundreds of new regulations. The bureaucrats never stop. There are now more than 170,000 pages of federal regulations.

President Obama wants still more rules. Cheering on increased financial regulation, he said, “We’ve got to keep moving forward.” To the president, and probably most Americans, “forward” means passing more laws.

It is scary to think about a world without regulation. Intuition leads us to think that without government we'd be victims of fraud, as I explain in my latest book, “No, They Can't!” But our intuition is wrong.

Consider this: An entire sector of the economy operates almost entirely without government controls. Complete strangers exchange big money there every day.

It's the Internet. It does have regulation, just not government regulation.

On my next TV show, titled "Freedom 2.0" (which the Fox Business Network airs this Thursday at 9 p.m. EST), economics professor Ed Stringham explains that, which transfers billions of dollars for people, at first assumed they needed government help to prevent fraud.

"They faced fraudsters from all over the world. They turned to the FBI," says Stringham. "But the FBI had no idea who these people were."

So PayPal invented a new form of regulation. "They developed a private fraud detection system, where they used computers to say, 'This might be fraudulent,' and then it would send it to a human to investigate that." That dramatically reduced fraud, and PayPal thrived.

Court: Stormwater runoff not a pollutant, EPA can’t regulate it

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by trying to regulate water as a pollutant and restricting stormwater flow into a Fairfax County creek.

“Stormwater runoff is not a pollutant, so EPA is not authorized to regulate it,” said federal judge Liam O’Grady, who sided with the county and Virginia in the ruling.

Previous post: EPA withdraws threat against W.Va. chicken farmer

Friday links

Why Does The New Year Begin On January 1?

Photos That Inspired Norman Rockwell’s Paintings.

3 very creepy ad campaigns from last year.

The evolution of the hand.

19 year old Isaac Newton recorded his secret sins in code.

Medieval snowball fights.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Biden: “Spread your legs, you’re going to be frisked”

Great - four more years of Bidenisms.

Supercut of Every Pop Culture Reference From Quentin Tarantino Films

NSFW (Language)

via Laughing Squid.

Hot Chocolate Tastes Better In an Orange Cup

Scientists have discovered that an orange or creme-colored cup definitely makes chocolate taste better, while a white or red cup will not enhance the flavor. The discovery demonstrates once again that our taste buds are definitely influenced by the colors our eyes perceive.

Homeowner shoots naked intruder found choking dog

Great headline: A naked intruder who was trying to choke a pet Rottweiler was shot by a homeowner in Miami Wednesday morning, police said.

Thursday links

Food sculptures: Bacon Eiffel Tower, CheeseHenge, PB&J Big Ben and more.

How does the Queen answer the phone?

Squash Holds Decapitated King Louis XVI's Blood.

Speaking of coprophagia, here's the science behind why dogs eat poop.

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World.

Does a guy's mood synchronize with his girlfriend's menstrual cycle?

At Straight Dope, thoughts on sympathetic hormone swings.

Doc Zero: Fiscal Cliff Payoffs

For a lucky few with the right political connections, the “fiscal cliff” presented an opportunity to take flight upon pork-encrusted wings. The bill, which no one in the House of Representatives had time to read before voting on it, was packed with juicy special-interest tax breaks and subsidies.

Mother, Should I Trust The Government?

I highly recommend this long guest post at ZeroHedge.

When he (Roger Waters) sang the lyric, “Mother, should I trust the government?” the entire stadium responded in unison – NO!!! This revealed a truth that is not permitted to be discussed by the corporate mainstream media acting as a mouthpiece for the ruling class.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”– Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Boehner Promises to Pass Sandy Bill Without Senate Pork

Comments and links at Gateway Pundit.

Photo of Baby Grasping Doctor’s Finger From the Womb During C-Section

More details and links at The Blaze.

Speaking of coprophagia, here's the science behind why dogs eat poop

via Laughing Squid.

Trailer for the return of Walking Dead

3 very creepy ad campaigns from last year

The taxpayers of Atlanta paid for this one:

Mens' underwear:

Little Baby's ice cream:

Watch an equally crazy second spot here.

WSJ chart of the taxes that are going up

via Dr. Zero, who has links and comments in America Gets Smaller: read the whole thing.

There isn’t much “deficit reduction” in the fiscal cliff deal. The only thing that got substantially reduced is the size of the American private sector.

Video: easy to understand guide to American federal debt.

From a previous post, here's the non-video version:

Lesson # 1:

  • U.S. Tax Revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
  • Federal Budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • New Debt: $1,650,000,000,000
  • National Debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Recent Budget cuts: 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budge:
  • Annual family income: $21,700
  • Money the family spent: $38,200
  • New debt on the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Total budget cuts so far: $385
Got it?…. OK now…
Lesson # 2
Here’s another way of looking at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood… and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.  What do you think you should do?
Raise the ceiling or remove the shit?

Cromwell's speech to Parliament: "Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation"

Actually, wrt Congress it's almost always apropos, but I was thinking of it in the midst of the "fiscal cliff" stuff:

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!"

Is There Really a Difference Anymore?


Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike.  No questions, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.  [Animal Farm, last paragraph]
Republicans were ushered into power in 2010, buoyed by limited government populism spawned by the Tea Party. They publicized a document called the GOP Pledge to America. You should take some time to read it. There are many interesting declarations in there. You’ll find lectures about the need to let the legislative process work; about the 3 day legislative transparency rule; about not spending most of the time on banal suspension bills; about cutting taxes; about getting rid of Obamacare; about cutting spending. Interesting indeed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cleaning the windows on the world's tallest building

Burj Khalifa in Dubai - it takes 3 months to clean all 24K windows, then they start again. You may not want to watch if you're afraid of heights.

Predictions for 2013, made in 1913

See the whole list, and a link to the original newspaper, at Weird Universe.  This is my favorite:

— these new aircraft will require "the protection of pedestrians and householders, possibly by wire netting laid over the housetops and even over the streets."