Recently in Roadkill Category

Fox News;

Police are hunting for a man who approached a 5-year-old boy riding the New York City subway and punched him in the face as the child's mother was standing next to him.

Hear my prayer. (h/t Iowa Jim)

950 tons on a single 174 foot span.
A concrete ROOF.
5.5 tons of dead weight per linear foot.
For a pedestrian walkway.

The really, really fancy icing on the cake? This company prides itself on how many women they hire, saying that it's a big step towards gender equality.

Look everyone! Over Here! We're sending a squirrel to MARS!

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

Toronto Sun;

A 27-year-old now faces charges for a terrifying ice pick attack that saw an innocent TTC commuter randomly targeted and stabbed repeatedly on a subway train over the noon-hour Monday.

Via Halls of Macademia

Kemnay, Peopletoba. (Update - Story here.)

The company engaged in risky speculation in the finance field far away from its core competencies, while embracing progressive values in its fabled industrial divisions.

It's as if they don't understand that "progressive" is newspeak for "socialist".

If you believe the trucking industry is on the road to self-driving automation -- I have a case of oxycontin to sell you.


Tesla's problems with battery production at the company's Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, are worse than the company has acknowledged and could cause further delays and quality issues for the new Model 3, according to a number of current and former Tesla employees. These problems include Tesla needing to make some of the batteries by hand and borrowing scores of employees from one of its suppliers to help with this manual assembly, said these people.

Tesla's future as a mass-market carmaker hinges on automated production of the Model 3, which more than 400,000 people have already reserved, paying $1,000 refundable fees to do so.

More... "This leaves me a bit uneasy...I don't want to have to replace my steering rack every 3 years "

A Model T for the 21st Century: "You can have any color as long as it isn't black."

They'll pry my flip phone from my cold dead hands;

In 2013, Procter & Gamble Co. was concerned about its online ads, including some that Leo Burnett made for Always feminine-care products. The company wanted to make sure people wouldn't scroll right past them, according to Krister Karjalainen, a former P&G executive who tested some of the ads.

Through a partnership with tech company Sticky, now a unit of Sweden's Tobii AB, P&G had tracked the eye movements of millions of consumers using their webcams. That allowed P&G to measure how the people, who were paid to participate in the research, were responding to the placement of its logos.

It's behind the WSJ paywall, but if you hit ESC a few times as it begins to load, you may be able to grab the page. (Update -- archived copy here h/t Patrick)

The cars are part of a multimillion-dollar taxpayer funded project to help the LAPD go green.

But our investigation of department records found some electric cars are sitting unused with only a few hundred miles on them, and with hidden cameras, we found others are allegedly being misused. [...]

But sources say some personnel are reluctant to use the electric cars because they can only go 80-100 miles on a charge.

And the mileage logs we obtained seem to back that up.

Then, they followed a few on hidden camera. Oops.

Computer chip flaw affects billions of devices.


In October, Tesla reported that it produced 220 Model 3 vehicles in the third quarter. CEO Elon Musk had previously said the company would produce more than 1,600 Model 3s by September.

Via Instapundit; As Instapundit readers have long known, Elon Musk promised Tesla would produce 500,000 Model 3 sedans in 2018 -- and has accepted refundable $1,000 deposits on nearly that many.

"Please sir, may I move?"

It's only January 1st, but this may be the most important read of your year.

We're super happy about self driving cars, but who owns the self driving cars? Who owns the information about where they can and can't go? I don't want to ride in a self driving car that can't drive me to a certain place because someone has bought or sold an illegal copy of something there.

The obvious question with any kind of facial recognition-based biometric authentication system is, how easily can it be tricked with a photograph?

The executions will continue until morale improves.

At least Canada née Dominion Day won't be called 'Weed Day'.

H/t: TimR

In all fairness, this isn't entirely accurate;

"The superiority and narcissism of the Canadian media ... is beyond words," the Global Times wrote...

They forgot "incestuous".

h/t PFBatt

It could work:

Tesla's recently unveiled electric truck will require the equivalent power used by up to 4,000 homes to recharge, says Energy Live News.

That's according to new analysis by an energy consultancy, which calculated it based on the range and charge time for the megacharger.


Last month we highlighted a report from Automotive News which suggested that Tesla's Model 3 production misses might have been the result of a rather basic and embarrassing problem...the company hadn't yet figured out how to weld. As automotive manufacturing consultant Michael Tracy of Agile Group pointed out, the clues of Tesla's steel problems came from a video posted by Musk himself of the Model 3 assembly line. Referencing Musk's video, Tracy said a well functioning auto assembly line would not produce the sparks seen in the video below which are symptomatic of welds spots overheating or poor alignment of components.[...]

And while it's difficult to believe that Tesla hasn't been able to iron out simplistic assembly line issues like the proper alignment of welds, a new report from several current and former employees would seem to lend some credence to Tracy's hypothesis. As Reuters notes today, interviews with nine "current and former employees" revealed that 90% of all Model S and Model X vehicles that roll off the assembly line fail quality control checks...which compares to roughly 10% for Toyota.

They're what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.

h/t Jesse

Be a driver.




The tweet may be fake. This isn't.

Azim Shariff, an assistant professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine, co-authored a study last year that found that while respondents generally agreed that a car should, in the case of an inevitable crash, kill the fewest number of people possible regardless of whether they were passengers or people outside of the car, they were less likely to buy any car "in which they and their family member would be sacrificed for the greater good."

Do tell.

Via Lorrie Goldstein's twitter.


RE: Ezra Levant, Plaintiff


Robert P. J. Day, Defendant

BEFORE: Carole J. Brown, J.

COUNSEL: A. Irvin Schein, for the Responding Party/Plaintiff

Jeff G Saikaley, for the Moving Party/Defendant

HEARD: June 22nd and September 12th, 2017

This sounds like a sensible safety initiative.

People need to be alert for Diversity Trucks making sidewalk deliveries.

As I write,

...Geraldo is on Fox demanding to know why this bike path wasn't blocked off with concrete barriers.

Why? Why does every public place have to get uglified up just because Geraldo doesn't want to address the insanity of western immigration policies that day by day advance the interests of an ideology explicitly hostile to our civilization? Instead Geraldo wants to tighten up vehicle rental. Why? Why should you have to lose an extra 15 minutes at an already sclerotic check-in counter because Hertz and Avis and UHaul have to run your name through the No-Rent list? Why should open, free societies become closed, monitored, ugly, cramped and cowering?


Some of today's prototypes for fully autonomous systems consume two to four kilowatts of electricity -- the equivalent of having 50 to 100 laptops continuously running in the trunk, according to BorgWarner Inc.

In this paper, we examine the consequences of India's landmark legislation against child labor, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986. Using data from employment surveys conducted before and after the ban, and using age restrictions that determined who the ban applied to, we show that child wages decrease and child labor increases after the ban.


Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Politico -- August 29th, 2017

Texas -- August 31st, 2017

h/t to Twitchy

Surveillance video shows the woman tossing the liquid at the driver and then running away.

The long sought-after goal of diversity has been attained and it is not what many imagined.

Black Rod;

[Manitoba Hydro conceded to the Public Utilities Board] that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---which it could not afford.

Bipole III, the outrageously expensive power line ($5 billion and counting) that was built to bring electricity from the new dams south to customers in the United States, will be hooked up and operating in July, 2018. That's when Manitoba Hydro is supposed to start paying back the money it borrowed to build the line and the accumulated interest.

The problem is that Hydro doesn't have the money to pay for Bipole III !

We'll repeat that slowly in case you still don't understand:

Manitoba Hydro
doesn't have
the money
to pay
Bipole III.

Three years later, in 2021, the even more expensive Keeyask dam ($8.7 billion and counting) will go into service. You guessed it...

Manitoba Hydro
doesn't have
the money
to pay


Security Robot Meets Untimely Demise After Drowning On The Job

The woman told police she was sitting in the middle car on a Brooklyn-bound train as it left the 75th St.-Elderts Lane station in Woodhaven, Queens about 1:50 a.m. Her eyes were closed as she listened to music on her headphones. Then she felt something wet hit her face.

They all look alike to them;

Video surveillance footage of crimes committed on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service by minority youths is being withheld by San Francisco authorities due to their concern that the videos might perpetuate racial bias and stereotyping.

In three months time, at least three robberies have transpired at the San Francisco station by groups of teenagers. One such attack, on April 22, was committed by some 40-60 teens, reports KPXI-TV.

I guess we should be calling them ISS now then, shouldn't we.

h/t Fake Tapper

What kinds of people join the Losers? Mostly young males. And you know what brand young males do not want on them? Right: Losers.

If you call them monsters, they like it. If you call them ISIS or ISIL they put it on a flag and wave it around. If you call them non-Muslim, it just rolls off their backs because they have Korans and stuff. Almost any other "brand" you can imagine is either inert or beneficial to Loser recruitment.

Loser is different. No one joins the Loser movement.


A global cyberattack leveraging hacking tools widely believed by researchers to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency hit international shipper FedEx, disrupted Britain's health system and infected computers in dozens of other countries on Friday.

Russian cyber security software maker Kaspersky Lab said its researchers had observed more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries as of early Friday, although it expected the numbers to increase.

British hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients because their computers were infected by a pernicious new form of "ransomware" that rapidly spread across the globe, demanding payments of as much as $600 to restore access and scrambling data.

I figured we were doomed the day someone thought it was a good idea to let the internet into power plants.

Whoops! Nearly forgot this one: Secrets of a code breaking supercomputer found on an unsecured NYU server.

A "body-positive" marketing campaign goes horribly wrong.

We've stripped our cable subscription down to the bare minimum. When and if the CFL goes online, it's gone.

Sitting ducks.

A recent string of robberies on BART trains took a frightening turn when dozens of juveniles swarmed an Oakland station over the weekend and commandeered a train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries, witnesses told the transit agency.

Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor at ISU has been arrested on charges alleging he made false reports of anti-Islamic threats against him and even reported an attack authorities say did not happen.

Will the last business to flee California please blow out the candles.

Yes, it's early. It could be just an unfortunate traffic accident with gunfire.

NY Post;

The fast-food chain has slapped the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. with a lawsuit over an TV expose last month that claimed its chicken was only about 50-percent poultry and the rest of it soybeans, The Post has learned.

Subway's is claiming $210 million in damages in the legal flap, blasting the soy-filler allegations from news show CBC Marketplace as "defamatory and absolutely false," a Subway spokesman told The Post.

[...] A week after the damaging CBC report, Subway published a rebuttal, saying it had its chicken tested by two independent labs, one in the US and one in Canada, and that both found only trace amounts of soy.

"The allegation that our chicken is only 50% chicken is 100% wrong," Subway Chief Executive Suzanne Greco said at the time.

I predict they settle. The "only 50% chicken" claim didn't pass the smell test to begin with.

(h/t OttRob)

Man charged after knife allegedly pulled out on Greyhound bus

Bus driver dies after stabbing at University of Manitoba

"Our public transit is safe. I ride the bus. My family rides the bus. I believe it is safe." - Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth.

The CBC article helpfully provides supportive Winnipeg public transit safety links.


h/t Larry

An Irish journalist claims in a new documentary that fire, not ice, was responsible for the most famous nautical disaster of all time.

Senan Molony, a newspaper editor and large-boat enthusiast, says newly unearthed photos suggest a fire inside the Titanic's coal room was much more serious than anyone previously believed.

In Titanic: The New Evidence, which aired Sunday in Britain, Molony claims the flames, which were burning before the ocean liner even left Europe, weakened the ship's hull from the inside out.

By the time the boat reached the waters off Newfoundland, its skin was so brittle, Molony believes, that even a minor collision could have caused it to tear.

Here's the Youtube version. h/t Melonhead


If it keeps moving, regulate it: Shipping Industry Faces Uphill Battle Against New Climate Regulations

Don't bring a pie to a fist fight.

From Colonialista

The most bizarre thing I've ever heard of.

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

The Vancouver-based restaurant chain came under fire when it announced it would start sourcing its beef from an American ranch accredited by the non-profit group Humane Farm Animal Care. After sales plunged by 30 per cent at some locations, Earls said sorry and put Canadian beef back on the menu.

h/t Steve from Rockwood

Toronto Sun;

On Tuesday, Metrolinx awarded a $428 million contract to build double-decker Go Trains to Bombardier, even though the company is behind schedule on a $1 billion streetcar order with Toronto and a previous $770 million contract with Metrolinx for LRTs.

How the human body would have to be built to survive a catastrophic car crash.


I hear the scotch is good, can't say the same for the ale.

Tesla Quietly Kills Car Buyback Program

Last month, Tesla cut the base price of its Model S sedan to $66,000; this happens at a time when Tesla has missed its sales targets in the first two quarters this year. Then earlier today, Musk also added a lower-priced version of its Model X crossover. The new Tesla Model X 60D is priced from $74,000, $9,000 less than the Model X 75D. Equipped with a 60kWh battery,

But the real sign that Tesla is concerned about flailing demand for its cars came later in the day, when Tesla said it had discontinued its resale value guarantee program that assured buyers that cars would retain value over time.

As Reuters adds, the discontinuation of the buyback program, as of July 1, shows the company stepping back on a pledge begun in 2013 that Tesla would buy back its cars financed through specified loan partners for a predetermined resale value after three years. The program was intended to help Tesla control its secondary market and assure buyers that cars would retain value.

The crowd of crustaceans was caught on camera by 24-year-old Brian Slepian, who came across the crabs around 10:45 p.m. at the 45th Street subway station in Sunset Park.

Blamed on "too many parts" - Tesla had tried to reassure investors that it was only suffering from teething troubles as it ramps up production of the X and was not experiencing any deeper manufacturing failure or weakness in demand. However, it indicated that it would miss its target of 80,000-90,000 vehicle deliveries for the year as a whole.

"Cluster failure"

Functional MRI (fMRI) is 25 years old, yet surprisingly its most common statistical methods have not been validated using real data. Here, we used resting-state fMRI data from 499 healthy controls to conduct 3 million task group analyses. Using this null data with different experimental designs, we estimate the incidence of significant results. In theory, we should find 5% false positives (for a significance threshold of 5%), but instead we found that the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%. These results question the validity of some 40,000 fMRI studies and may have a large impact on the interpretation of neuroimaging results.


Ontariowe: The provincial government subsidized passengers on the troubled Union Pearson Express last year at a rate of $52.26 per ride.

Two teenage girls on their way home from school were beaten in a Washington D.C., Metro station by a group of teens -- who then posted video of the attack on social media.

Scarborough subway extension will cost $900M more than initially thought...

Good Samaritan assaulted on SkyTrain.

On June 9, a man noticed three men in their 20s board the train at Sperling and call out to a female passenger that they were going to follow her home.

One of the men "made jokes to his two friends about raping her. The first man stood up and sat down near this suspect, telling him to leave the woman alone," said a Transit Police news release. "Suspect 1 became aggressive, swearing at the man and threatening to follow him off the train."

h/t reverendken

Hamilton man in custody after bomb threat on GO bus (h/t Frank Q).

That's why: The TTC is likely to miss its target by more than 5 million riders this year, but nobody knows quite why.

On May 20, there were four separate incidents on Kelowna buses, prompting the local transit union to call for increased protection for bus drivers.

h/t KTR


Just when you thought that the biggest ever "multi-billion" private company that also happens to be an utter fraud, would quietly disappear before it risked attracting even more unwarranted attention from regulators, enforcers, and criminal investigators which could potentially lead to prison time for "billionaire" Elizabeth Holmes, here she comes again reminding everyone of her fallen from grace presence, in this case with what should be the terminal news for this company, namely that as the WSJ reports (and as the company confirms) Theranos has told federal health regulators that the company voided and revised two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices and has issued tens of thousands of corrected reports to doctors and patients.

As a reminder, the basis for Theranos ludicrous $9 billion valuation which it appears was achieved without anyone doing any actual due diligence, were the "Edison" machines which were touted as revolutionary - not just by Holmes but by the fawning media and even the Clintons. Theranos has now told regulators that it threw out all Edison test results from 2014 and 2015, effectively confirming it has no proprietary technology, and also validating that its valuation should be zero.


In other words, Theranos may have put as many as 890,000 lives per year in jeopardy with its fake technology.

Map Legend:

Red bus symbol represents a bus driver assaulted, blue passenger symbol represents a bus rider assaulted, handcuffs symbol represents a bus rider sexually assaulted, knife symbol represents a knife reported on bus, gun symbol represents a gun reported on bus, black bus station symbol represents an assault at a bus stop.

Helpful. (h/t Patrick)


h/t euan (bookmark his site).

Meh. It could've been worse. (h/t Dan)

Winnipeg: Senior attacked with skateboard in bus shelter

"Something is happening to us."

Most death-by-GPS incidents do not involve actual deaths--or even serious injuries. They are accidents or accidental journeys brought about by an uncritical acceptance of turn-by-turn commands: the Japanese tourists in Australia who drove their car into the ocean while attempting to reach North Stradbroke Island from the mainland; the man who drove his BMW down a narrow path in a village in Yorkshire, England, and nearly over a cliff; the woman in Bellevue, Washington, who drove her car into a lake that their GPS said was a road; the Swedish couple who asked GPS to guide them to the Mediterranean island of Capri, but instead arrived at the Italian industrial town of Carpi; the elderly woman in Belgium who tried to use GPS to guide her to her home, 90 miles away, but instead drove hundreds of miles to Zagreb, only realizing her mistake when she noticed the street signs were in Croatian.

You, maybe. I won't own one. .

Juveniles Assault Bus Driver, Hijack Metrobus in DC. Developing...

Earls happy, shiny new "Certified Humane" beef supplier is a Halal slaughterhouse.

Hear my prayer: What I regret most, however, is the disappearance of the rule of law.

Story here.

Hey, you only live once: Try the 'death simulator'

40 people in a moving tin can, how hard can they be to police?

A man aboard the 96 Wilson bus route waves a steak knife in front of a pregnant woman's stomach before punching her in the head. A public masturbator on the 53 Steeles East line ejaculates on another passenger's sleeve.

These incidents represent just two of more than 4,000 crimes that have taken place on board TTC buses since 2010.

This sounds like a job for Officials!

TTC officials declined to comment on why some routes attracted more crime than others...

h/t PB

Security guards hired to protect Jude Law when he visited the 'Jungle' migrant camp were reportedly targeted by rock-pelting migrants just moments after the actor boarded the coach home.

Hear my prayer: In California the postmodern and the premodern are but a few miles apart.

Move over, Tiny House.

He seems nice.


Don't ever let them take your car.

Kevin Williamson: We've just legalized mortgage fraud.

Under its new and cynically misnamed "HomeReady" program, borrowers with subprime credit don't need to show that they have enough income to qualify for the mortgage they're after -- they simply have to show that all the people residing in their household put together have enough income to qualify for that mortgage. We're not talking just about husbands and wives here, but any group of people who happen to share a roof and a mailing address. And some non-residents can be added, too, such as your parents.

That would be one thing if all these people were applying for a mortgage together, and were jointly on the hook for the mortgage payments. But that isn't the case. HomeReady will permit borrowers to claim other people's income for the purpose for qualifying for a mortgage, but will not give mortgage lenders any actual claim against that additional income.

This is madness.

It was 15 seconds of terror for a D.C. couple after they were attacked by a group of teenagers on Metro. (h/t lld)

More here.

The $600 million Edmonton train;

Edmonton's LRT project is the equivalent of a candy company releasing a new chocolate bar called Herpes Al-Qaeda

It's slower than a bus. It has slowed down the buses that existed. And it is almost certainly increasing Edmonton's net amount of carbon emissions. In short, it fails on every single possible justification for why cities should build light rail.

h/t TimR

(From 2014. Grab a coffee.)

The future of self driving cars.

We don't want to downplay Scott's amazing talent, presence or his ability to light up any stage with brilliant electricity. So many people have been gracious enough to praise his gift. The music is here to stay. But at some point, someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again - because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click "add to cart" because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.

They won't be the only ones: The diesel cars were programmed to sense when emissions were being tested and to turn on equipment that reduced emissions, according to United States officials. At other times, the cars had better fuel economy and performance, but produced as much as 40 times the allowed amount of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that can contribute to respiratory problems including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

From the comments:

I have an experience working with a company trying to make a new wood stove that meets the new draconian EPA particulate requirements. In order to pass the testing and certify the stove they had to create a specific method to stack the wood, pre burn a nice warm coal bed, etc so that they could get a clean burn for the test. The test is also done with 4x4's and 2x4's, not irregular pieces of wood. They passed by ensuring that there was no chance that a piece of wood could shift to the front of the stove instead of straight down. Any wood shifting to the front would result in over 1000% increase in particulate. Impossible to actually meet the requirements under any real world condition.

Quote of the Week: "You'd think all we'd have to do is follow the track ... but it is not that easy."

h/t Judy

Luis B. Aramburu: "Just when you thought the EV lobby wouldn't ask for more subsidies, they ask for more subsidies!"

The underground unpleasantness happened on the No. 3 train in Brooklyn, near the Nevins Street station. The rider, Tiffany Jackson, saw the man masturbating while looking at her and she discreetly snapped a few photos.

Hear my prayer.

h/t POK

These ghost homes are the most visible sign of human retreat in a country where the population peaked a half-decade ago and is forecast to fall by a third over the next 50 years. The demographic pressure has weighed on the Japanese economy, as a smaller workforce struggles to support a growing proportion of the old, and has prompted intense debate over long-term proposals to boost immigration or encourage women to have more children.

For now, though, after decades during which it struggled with overcrowding, Japan is confronting the opposite problem: When a society shrinks, what should be done with the buildings it no longer needs?

A broken ankle and five heart attacks this week. (language advisory)

h/t kcdist

The victim was in non-life-threatening condition after he was stabbed while riding on a Route 94 bus into the Lincoln Fields station at around 11:38 a.m... (h/t Sue)

Police say;

An unknown number of Toronto Transit Commission employees allegedly colluded with a local orthotics shop to bilk the TTC's benefits plan...

(h/t Kevin B)

RIP #DeadRaccoonTO. We hope you find peace.

Redmonton Journal;

The much maligned NAIT LRT line, now 15 months behind schedule, ran into serious flaws in construction long before the city blamed Thales Canada and its signalling system for the delay.

According to a report obtained by the Journal and interviews with other sources, water has been pooling on the tracks, the guard rails protecting train wheels from wear have come loose and electrical conduits for the signalling and communications systems have been found blocked or filled with debris and water.

Pass the fava beans.

And then some. (h/t Raymond)

"Every person who is riding transit is one less person in the car in front of us."

A Victoria bus driver was sent to hospital over the weekend after urine and vomit leaked from the upper floor of the double-decker onto her.

h/t Kelly

The TTC had a wee bit of a problem this morning.

He's just a lonely boy...

A New York City man was arrested for the 28th time after allegedly grinding on a woman in a subway train.

Basam Syed, 35, from Queens, has been taken in four times since a 2014 sex offense.

Exactly one year ago he was found guilty of rubbing his genitals against the behind of a woman on the same east Manhattan subway line, but on the local rather than the express track.

NYC Extra-Special Victims Unit: "UNSPREAD 'EM".

Self-parking Volvo ploughs into journalists.

h/t Kevin

Graphic: Mob of teenagers beats two high school students in Philadelphia subway station

CBC advises it's probably nothing: The news that Toyota is moving production of its popular Corolla vehicle from Cambridge, Ont., to Mexico is further confirmation that Canada has slipped to third place in North America's auto sector... (h/t Larry)

American Interest: New York City could be facing fiscal death by expensive bus stations. In the NY Daily News, Aaron Renn points out how absurdly pricey New York City's transportation projects have become--often for very little return. The city will be spending upwards of $10 billion (perhaps more) on a new Port Authority Bus Terminal. Other projects have price tags of $1.4 billion to $11 billion.

h/t Francois

More at the Top Gear blog.

Dianne Feinstein's husband wins California 'high speed rail' contract:
Those paying attention to the project call it the "half-fast" rail line because it will share trackage with conventional commuter rail trains in the sprawling Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, lowering its average speed to levels achieved by American railways a century ago.

h/t Iowa Jim

A Streetcar Undesired:

If nearly everybody likes a streetcar, fewer want to ride one. Several cities have tried to bring them back as part of the attempt to restore downtown, but the renaissance has rarely been a commercial success. Tourists can ride a reclaimed streetcar to Beale Street in Memphis, and visitors to Little Rock can take a streetcar to the city's bustling restaurant and entertainment district along the Arkansas River, or within walking distance of the Clinton Presidential Library. In New Orleans, where the streetcar never died, visitors can still ride past the mansions that line St. Charles Avenue, and the cars are back at last on Canal Street. But nowhere has ridership reached the numbers promised. "In a lot of traffic conditions," says Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, "you can walk faster than these streetcars."

You Had One Job, Lenovo: And it didn't involve sneaking malicious adware onto your customers' computers.

Sean McCormick (on FB) - "Holy crap this is bad. Really bad. As in, next time you're in a bank take a note of how many of the pieces of hardware are labeled 'Lenovo' bad."

Toronto: "As the train arrived at the Ajax station, the male stood up in front of the victim and exposed himself," Calder said. "When the victim yelled, he fled the train." (h/t Kevin B.)

But it's really, really hard to catch.

Aboard a No. 6 local train in Manhattan, Weill Cornell researcher Christopher Mason patiently rubbed a nylon swab back and forth along a metal handrail, collecting DNA in an effort to identify the bacteria in the New York City subway.

In 18 months of scouring the entire system, he has found germs that can cause bubonic plague uptown, meningitis in midtown, stomach trouble in the financial district and antibiotic-resistant infections throughout the boroughs.

Acid Attack On Subway Passenger In New York's Port Authority

Women Driving Fail compilation of 2013. h/t Gordon

"Bob wants 60 an hour, he gets 60 an hour."


Just beautiful.

Taxpayers Federation:

TransLink bus drivers pressed a special button in their coaches to record a "fare not paid" more than 2.76 million times in 2013, according to documents released today by the No TransLink Tax campaign. The information was obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) yesterday through a Freedom of Information request. [...]

The 2,762,363 "fare not paid" button pushes do not include fare evasion on SkyTrain, West Coast Express, SeaBus, or the West Vancouver blue bus network. Further, many bus drivers have previously told media outlets they have stopped pressing the button as "there are so many freeloaders and TransLink doesn't do anything about it." The buttons were pushed 2.5 million times in 2011.

'Manspreading' and other transit misbehaviours we could all do without

Blood loss in Seattle: "The suspect began to argue with the victim about how close he sat to him..."

(h/t Neocon Servative)

On Friday, the Chicago Tribune released the results of a study it commissioned on injury crashes and red light cameras, revealing that while right angle crash incidents have been reduced, rear-end crashes that resulted in injuries went up 22 percent. The results of the study throw cold water on the booster efforts of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration and raise questions about the use of red light cameras as a whole. [...]

On a more granular level, the researchers found that there were no safety benefits from cameras that are installed at intersections where there have already been few crashes with injuries, and occasionally, there was evidence that red light cameras actually increased injury crashes at such intersections. "When intersections experiencing fewer than 4 injury crashes per year are considered, there is a significant increase in all crashes by 19 percent after the installation of RLCs," the Tribune study found.

A deranged homeless man chased several straphangers around a Manhattan subway station Tuesday trying to throw them onto the tracks, police sources and witnesses said. h/t Laura

Calgary's worst driver.

Boing Boing;

Shawn Parcells became an instant media star in August after assisting in a private autopsy commissioned by the family of slain teen Michael Brown. Parcells showed up constantly on TV news as a forensic pathology expert, and claimed to have testified in court dozens of times in several states over the years. He also claims to be a professor. "But an investigation by CNN that included interviews with attorneys, law enforcement and physicians suggests Parcells isn't the expert he seems to be."

Actually, the investigation makes him out to be a "con artist," "manipulator," and "fraud," according to pathology experts interviewed for the piece.



The girl was at a bus stop near the corner of Taradale Drive and Taracove Road N.E. at 11:30 p.m. Friday, when the men -- unknown to her -- attacked her and dragged her to a nearby alley before sexually assaulting her, Oncescu said.

The men later walked the teenager by force to a home in a nearby community, which police have not identified, where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted for hours. She was also beaten with a weapon.


h/t Sean

The Feast of Sharing happening on the far end of the Esplanade provided a steady trickle of passersby to cast befuddled glances at the row of shiny new bikes and the reporters and cameramen who were staring at it. A few paused to satisfy their curiosity...

h/t Ed S.

Not a 4 mpg muscle car.

Not a diesel spewing truck.

Not even a custom piped motorcycle.

A sedan.

Vicious Rotten Bollocks!*

A brawl broke out on an F train in Greenwich Village when a woman was smacked in the face and knocked down by a man she was arguing with -- and four people were cuffed following the melee, cops said.

National Post - Toronto Police have arrested a Brampton man in connection with four sexual assaults on TTC buses.

h/t Uncle Meat

CBC: A Kelowna, B.C., man bled to death after he was stabbed in the neck in an apparent random attack on a busy bus yesterday evening. (h/t Terry O)

Sexual assault on disabled woman on Winnipeg bus;

CBC News has learned the woman, who requires 24 hour care, was with a support worker at the time.

But the support worker, sitting two rows ahead of her with her back to the victim, didn't notice her client was being assaulted until more than 10 minutes into the attack.

h/t Raymond

Via Top Right News;

"She actually let these children get off of this bus and beat me and my family for at least three minutes, then let them get back on, get weapons, get back off and back on again, and then took off with every one of them that did it," victim Kristina Gibson told 11 News reporter Lowell Melser.

Via email;

Referring to the latest reports about some jihadists learning how to fly in ISIS, there is a video about an air crash, probably in Tobruk, in the last few weeks.

Considering all the things happening in Libya now and the way the MIG-21 plane was shown flying and crashing, it quite likely was an inexperienced and overly cocky pilot.

My guess is it could have been an under trained jihad pilot.

Check out the video here

And that's why you should always keep a bat handy.

Trust the experts: Dr. Tom Frieden, director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else. A new study shows that hands free technology designed to keep us safe on the road, may not be any better than using our hands to hold the phone. AAA says the inaccuracies of voice-activated systems in vehicles can even be more distracting to a driver. Mercedes Is Making a Self-Driving Semi to Change the Future of Shipping

The Province;

Until Higuchi's sergeant showed up, he was by himself because his partner for the evening, Constable Mike Rossa, was back at Surrey Central helping write a report on a young man who had been robbed of his cellphone at knifepoint near the busy SkyTrain station and bus loop.

"The kid was pretty shook up," said Rossa, who explained the phone couldn't be 'pinged' because the thief had probably removed its SIM card and turned it off.

Higuchi and Rossa were taking a reporter and photographer on what's called a 'ride-along' -- but which turned out to be mostly walking around the rapidly-changing neighbourhood and a little riding the SkyTrain, all in hopes of illustrating what transit police have to deal with on a daily basis

h/t Terry

Along with their bags.

h/t Dave from Guelph

CBS NY: Woman Says She Was Brutally Beaten By Teenage Girls On Subway In Brooklyn

Where the foxes caper unmolested, the government packs your school lunch, and the sun never... eh...


What happens when bike fanatics push limited mobility on a mobile populace?

Youthful hi-jinx?

No injuries are reported after a nine-year-old boy stole a city bus in Saskatoon and managed to drive it for a couple of blocks Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the Transit union is feeling their oats.

H/t: Plainzdrifter and @tammyrobert.

'We've never had sightings to this magnitude,' said Joe Costales, a chairman with Transport Workers Union Local 100.


h/t Antelope

Could have been worse: Woman plucks and eats raw bird on Montreal Metro

Could have been some guy's eyeballs.

h/t Edward

QOTW - "I used to be a big supporter of the streetcar until I started riding it every day".

h/t Kevin B.

"Who's there?"



Ultimate roadkill. (h/t Ed S.)

And I do mean "hitchhikers". (h/t Tom)

Arsonist ignites flammable liquid inside bus

How did I miss this?

In small towns across America, manly men are customizing their jacked-up diesel trucks to intentionally emit giant plumes of toxic smoke every time they rev their engines. They call it "rollin' coal," and it's something they do for fun.

And irritating environmentalists is a lot of fun. (h/t north of 60)

Video! Woman lighting bus passenger's hair on fire.

h/t Brian W.

#ThatWasSoYesterday - Boko Haram is suspected of kidnapping approximately 60 more women and girls.

"Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel - not President Obama - executed the administration's final call to proceed with the prisoner exchange of five ranking Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, administration officials told Congress today in a classified briefing today."

Sunday Times;

TOUGHER penalties for using mobile phones while driving are being considered by the government after research showed that it slowed a driver's reactions more than drink or drugs.

Only if one sets aside the somewhat obvious fact that when the call ends, the driver is sober. The article goes on to bury the lede;

For those on the drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times were reduced by 13%. For those who had used cannabis it was 21%. Goodwill said: "I will see if we need to change the penalties."

While legalizing pot.

But that's the UK, this is Canada. So, note the spike in fatalities as cell phones became ubiquitous on our highways.

There's a reason that the "distracted driving" campaign is driven by anecdote - the facts fail the narrative.

'Stratfor was pwned because their mysql root password was null. How stupid could these folks be???"

Hear my prayer.

One of the worst droughts in California's history has devastated more than a half-million acres of the most fertile farmland in America. In communities like Sacramento, "water police" go from door to door to enforce conservation measures. There's even a mobile "app" to report neighbors to city authorities so they can be fined for wasting water.

With the Sierra snowpack at 4% of normal as of May 20, Californians will desperately need what little water remains behind its dams this summer. Authorities have warned some towns like Folsom--home of Folsom Lake--to expect daily rationing of 50 gallons per person, a 60% cut from average household usage.

Yet last month the Bureau of Reclamation drained Folsom and other reservoirs on the American and Stanislaus rivers of more than 70,000 acre feet of water--enough to meet the annual needs of a city of half a million people--for the comfort and convenience of fish.

h/t Don

Aware that France's provincial stations came in various shapes and sizes, SNCF had asked RFF to work out the right measurements for the new trains.

After being advised that station widths varied by around 10 centimetres in all, SNCF concluded the new trains could be 20cm wider than their predecessors.

However, in an oversight that would cost it dearly, the operator forgot to factor in some 1,300 stations built more than 50 years ago that are far narrower than today's norms.

"SNCF's wise engineers forgot to verify the reality in the field," wrote Le Canard.

h/t peterj

Bus attack in Langley, BC. (Language warning).

h/t Gen. Lee Wright

Hear my prayer. (h/t BLF)

Jim Henshaw;

Whenever I discuss CBC TV, it's with the same opinion I've held my entire career, that they uncontrollably stumble from crisis to crisis, always appearing neither certain of their creative direction nor their mandated priorities while repeatedly "re-imagining" some nebulous brighter future.

But there's always somebody (often entire movements of somebodies) insisting this is our single most important cultural institution, an essential we must trust to knit the country together. And that has always given me pause.

But now, I know I've been right. This week I came across a document that proves beyond any doubt that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is managed by Buffoons.

Hear my prayer: Sources say Toyota fleeing CA, taking 5,000 jobs to more business-friendly Texas


Total recall: "Here's the chart of GM's stock for the last six months. Did the Treasury Department get lucky with its sales or is the government guilty of insider trading?"

Portland Light Rail Revolt;

... Portland's transit agency faces financial difficulty and has been seriously criticized in a report by Secretary of State. The agency has more than $1 billion in unfunded liabilities and carries a smaller share of commuters than before the first of its six light rail and commuter rail lines was opened. Moreover, the latest American Community Survey data indicates that 3,000 more people work at home than ride transit (including light rail and commuter rail) to work in the Portland metropolitan area. Before light rail (1980), transit commuters numbered 35,000 more than people working at home. Over the period, transit's market share has dropped one-quarter.

What would we do without testing?

Testing by AAA has found that how far an electric vehicle can travel on one charge varies widely depending on the weather. Frigid temperatures can reduce that distance by 57%.


Ten days have passed and with no solid leads, only one conclusion can be drawn from the disappearance of a Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew -- the tales we were told of spy satellites that can "read a watch face from space" were, and still are, complete and utter bullshit.

That is all.

Er, no.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Engineering miracle, 1942 - "In March 1942, after striking a deal to build through Canadian territory, the U.S. Army broke ground. Just eight months later, the project (Alcan Highway) was complete."

Engineering miracle, 2014 - "Bridge company president Dan Stamper said Thursday it was a "proud" moment for management and owners of the Ambassador Bridge after nearly eight years of working toward getting EA (environmental) approval in Canada for a new span."

Big tip 'o the hat to Jamie Mac. for this one.

Make room for Patient Zero: BART Riders Exposed To Potentially Fatal Disease By UC Berkeley Student

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted Wednesday on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office, including right after Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005.

Nagin is best remembered for his impassioned pleas for help after levees broke during Katrina, flooding much of New Orleans and plunging the city into chaos.

Related: Eight paragraphs in, the CBC finally uses the word "Democrat".

The Kelo decision: Properties were seized and a neighborhood razed in the name of 'economic development' that never came

Excluding the reasons unfit to print: Why The World's Largest Experiment In Free Public Transportation Failed.

h/t Anthony K.

"You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?"

Better do something about those "man hands", dude.

As the Justin Bieber Downward-Spiral-Death-Watch Media enters its third day of coverage, I'm reminded of a time when teenagers, "muscle" cars, and a blood alcohol level of .014% was known as "Saturday Night, and the party's just getting started".

So, for the yawners and fingerwaggers alike, this evening we feature a clip from American Graffiti - in homage to the drag nights on Highway 35 north of Weyburn. They started after dark, and continued until the cops showed up.

Light up your tires in the comments.

It's 1965 all over again;

In the test of the Honda Fit, for example, the steering column pushed so far into the vehicle that the dummy's head slid off the air bag and hit the instrument panel. IIHS said the Fit was one of the worst performers in terms of potential injuries to the driver.

h/t peterj

Vancouver Sun: Sex assaults on transit jumped 24 per cent in late 2013

Hear my prayer: The bolt problem first surfaced in March when a third of the 96 rods used to secure seismic braces - known as shear keys - to one section of the bridge cracked when they were tightened down. The problem was traced to the galvanizing process that caused the rods to become overly brittle when they were left standing in rainwater.

h/t Iowa Jim

Oops. The Navy's FOIA office confirmed that it had received MacFarlane's [FOIA] request, but instead of sending him the relevant documents, they inadvertently sent an internal email containing instructions on how to avoid the reporter's request.

Hear my prayer.

It took years in Ventura County to make even the simplest modifications to the campground we ran. For example, it took 7 separate permits from the County (each requiring a substantial payment) just to remove a wooden deck that the County inspector had condemned. In order to allow us to temporarily park a small concession trailer in the parking lot, we had to (among other steps) take a soil sample of the dirt under the asphalt of the parking lot. It took 3 years to permit a simple 500 gallon fuel tank with CARB and the County equivalent. The entire campground desperately needed a major renovation but the smallest change would have triggered millions of dollars of new facility requirements from the County that we simply could not afford.

Permit me to revise my earlier advice: if you have any type of employee, doing anything important for your organization - close their Twitter account. More here.

Sober second thought, and rightfully so:


So, it appears it would not be unusual for Joe's dad to drink with one of his buddies along his route at 8:00 a.m. - awe, isn't that nostalgic - I can almost picture the Norman Rockwell painting just thinking about it.


Ottawa: Transit special constables have responded to 100 reports of assault and harassment either on buses or near bus stops so far this year. (h/t Ottawa MJ)

Greenpeace jumps the Beluga;

Russians aren't very fond of Greenpeace. The majority of people polled by the VTsIOM public opinion research centre aren't disapproving of the arrest of the ecologists who climbed the Prirazlomnaya oil rig but suspect other motives to be behind the Prirazlomnaya action apart from environmental protection.

In the West, there seems to be no particular fondness for Greenpeace either. The Internet is full of sarcastic comments on the "adventures" of Greenpeace activists in the Arctic.

"I need f---ing 10 minutes to make sure he's dead." - Rob Ford

I'm "really good at killing people" - Barack Obama

Even if you hate Twitter, you got to love this.

Inspired by....


h/t John Groves

Meet the latest victim of ObamaCare.

While I don't recommend reading the source article, for the same reason I wouldn't recommend mailing a dollar bill to the North Korean Government, I've chosen to discuss it on TTAC today because it's important to understand the mentality of people who push for outrageously oppressive anti-automobile regulation and taxation. Every idiotic, short-sighted, reality-averse program that comes from the state and federal governments, from "clunker crushing" to per-mile vehicle tracking, starts off as a vague idea in the head of somebody like Jane Brody. Somebody who hasn't the faintest fucking idea how the majority of Americans live, somebody who lives in a $2.85 million private home, someone who is as far removed from the everyday cares and concerns of working Americans of any class as a visitor from another star system would be.

Read on. It's a thing of beauty.

Winnipeg Police Assault Investigation -- Public Assistance Required.


h/t Ed S.

"Arriving officers are then seen hitting Vanhagen with an electric shock from a Taser and taking the knife from him."

What? They didn't wait outside watching him eat an ear?


Homeless man who 'pushed student in front of a train when she refused to give him money' rambles incoherently about people trying to kill him during bizarre court appearance. (h/t WalterF)

h/t John G

Hear my prayer. (h/t Iowa Jim)

Hear my prayer. (h/t Larry)

link fixed -lance


Dent and fellow passenger Doreen Krueger are now concerned that they may have been exposed to Tuberculosis - after riding alongside the sick passenger for nearly two days. Krueger says he boarded the bus in Los Angeles, California on Saturday. She says as the bus continued east, his illness appeared to worsen.

A Boston Magazine photo essay.

Man shoots and wounds two passengers on train - then himself - after becoming enraged when woman says he can't fall asleep on her shoulder (h/t mid island mike)

Ottawa Police;

On Sunday, August 11, 2013 at approximately 5:00am, a young woman was sitting at the Blair Road Transit Station when she was approached by a group of males who offered her cash for sex. When the victim refused, she was led to a secluded area in the 1600 block of James Naismith Drive where she was robbed and sexually assaulted.

A nearby security guard was alerted to the incident when he heard screams and immediately contacted Ottawa Police.

The four suspects are described as being black males, approximately 18-20 years old, 6 feet tall (183cm) and short black hair. They spoke English and an unknown foreign language.

h/t The Grey Lady

Update: Thanks once again, to everyone who hit the tip jar in the past day. The support of readers here continues to amaze me, and you've helped ease some of the financial sting of losing my little road warrior. Your generosity is deeply appreciated - (as are the light hearted remarks in the comments thread).

On a more serious note, please take a few moments to think about what you would do in a similar situation. I have an evacuation plan as part and parcel of those long trips to dog shows - and it helped, especially when it came to getting the dogs we had with us out of their crates and to safety. The electric windows were inoperative, so getting vehicle doors open quickly was imperative. Luckily the water wasn't too deep and the van only partially submerged.

(Original post continues below)

Things may be slow here for a day or two. We took an unexpected detour on the way home from a weekend fishing trip on Hwy20 south of Drake. No one was injured - outside of my dead, wet van.

As you might imagine, I have a lot on my plate in the next few days and blogging will have to take a back seat.

Story here.

San Francisco: Police Investigate Porn Video Shot On Train

h/t Iowa Jim

Breitbart; N.J. Bus Driver Suspended After Passenger Catches Him Masturbating On Job...

Winnipeg: "The cops were called but they never showed up." (Language advisory).

h/t Allen S

NY Post: Woman stabbed on Midtown subway platform

Council of Canadians, June 26th: Council of Canadians opposes the Energy East pipeline

Sun News, July 6: A train transporting crude oil derailed and exploded early Saturday morning in a town three hours east of Montreal, forcing the evacuation of the town's downtown and flooding a river with crude.


It's gas, grass or... (NSFW)

Next stop, Needle Exchange:BC Transit is calling it the most horrific attack they have ever faced, after a Kelowna area bus driver was randomly stabbed with a syringe in the arm, allegedly by a woman well known to both operators and the RCMP.

h/t Kelly

Easy prey; Woman Waiting at Bus Stop Sexually Assaulted

h/t Walter

Hear my prayer. (h/t peterj)

CBS: Bay Area Rapid Transit workers walked off the job early Monday morning after last-minute negotiations failed to produce a new contract agreement. The strike left about 400,000 BART riders finding other ways to get work.

Power grab:

With a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed near the core of flood-battered Calgary, Mayor Naheed Nenshi is picking a fight with the railway over its safety record, while saying cities should push for more power over the industrial goods running by their backyards.


Mr. Nenshi noted a series of recent CP layoffs, asking: "How many bridge inspectors did they fire?"

Mr. Harrison said none.

h/t bdoggins

The Globe and Mail reporter for this story engages in some ideological propaganda of the word:

The Canadian commute: By car, alone


Country-wide statistics on commuting, released Wednesday as part of the 2011 National Household Survey - the replacement for the cancelled long-form census - come amid growing recognition of the cost of congestion, which is hampering the economy and threatens to hurt the global appeal of the country's cities...

The data also show the key role played by transit and other forms of sustainable transport [emphasis added] in getting people off the road in the country's biggest urban centres...

Saskatchewan's two main cities lagged well behind other urban centres in the incidence of sustainable transportation [emphasis added], defined [by whom?] as transit, walking and cycling...

In other words your vehicle is going to help destroy the planet. By the way the phrase "sustainable transport" (or "transportion") does not occur in the StatsCan release (scroll down to "Almost three out of four commuters drove to work").

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim


Tocqueville would not recognize America today. Indeed, so completely has associational life collapsed, and so enormously has the state grown, that he would be forced to conclude that, at some point between 1833 and 2013, France must have conquered the United States.

On average, one TTC employee is assaulted every day, ranging from punching, slapping and spitting, to threats of physical harm or death. The TTC's Court Advocates work with Crown Attorneys to secure the stiffest penalties possible for those convicted of assaulting TTC employees, and continue to seek limits on the use of public transit in Toronto for those convicted of these crimes.

h/t Rob

James Delingpole explains.

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

Hear my prayer.

h/t Russell

Via, LiseMerle and OU812IC

Click image for full-size.

Montreal Gazette: Transit users might "panic" unnecessarily if told the number and type of crimes that occur in individual métro stations, says Montreal's police department, which is trying to keep the data secret.

h/t Charles

And why you should choose a psychiatrist who's in it for the money.

h/t Kevin B

Hear my prayer.

h/t Ed S

At the end of last week, after a long silence, the video's owner reached out to the intermediary we have been dealing with. He told him the video is "gone."


BC rejects Northern Gateway proposal. So send it down the scenic Fraser Canyon on rail cars, I say.

Ezra Levant's take.

40 Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe


And they sat and watched as their client made a statement that jeopardized her 5th amendment rights.

Okey dokey!

Update: "And Straight From The White House"

The plot thickens;

Stevens' mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming "insurgents" with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted "to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap."

This left Stevens in the position of having to clean up the scandalous enterprise when it became clear that the "insurgents" actually were al-Qaeda - indeed, in the view of one of the diplomats, the same group that attacked the consulate and ended up killing Stevens.

The former diplomat who spoke with PJ Media regarded the whole enterprise as totally amateurish and likened it to the Mike Nichols film Charlie Wilson's War about a clueless congressman who supplies Stingers to the Afghan guerrillas. "It's as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said 'Hey, let's do that!'" the diplomat said.

He added that he and his colleagues think the leaking of General David Petraeus' affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was timed to silence the former CIA chief on these matters.

Related: The Only Person In State Department Bureau That Oversaw Libya Who Has Been Punished For Benghazi Had Nothing To Do With It

Andrew C. McCarthy;

You hear it again and again: While Americans were under attack, the commander-in-chief checked out, leaving subordinates to deal with the crisis while he got his beauty sleep in preparation for a fundraising campaign trip to Vegas.

That is not true . . . and the truth, as we've come to expect with Obama, is almost surely worse. There is good reason to believe that while Americans were still fighting for their lives in Benghazi, while no military efforts were being made to rescue them, and while those desperately trying to rescue them were being told to stand down, the president was busy shaping the "blame the video" narrative to which his administration clung in the aftermath.


Quebec's Olympic Stadium architect warns of 'major risk' with structure

Second woman claims she too was sexually assaulted on OC Transpo bus. (h/t Jamie)

The world is being run by crazy people: Police, coroner called to scene of dead fish.

I suppose somebody's got to pay for it;

Americans eyeing 'crossing fee' for passenger vehicles at Canada-U.S. land borders

And Lord knows they can't.

Wild Brooklyn melee erupts as NYPD arrests Muslim teen for allegedly taunting Jewish subway rider (h/t EBD)

The week's not over.

You should have learned in Grade 6 math class.


Winnipeg's Toxic Chemical Ingesting Community warned their toxic chemicals may be be contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Andy Kessler;

Federal bankruptcy judge Christopher Klein ruled on April 1 that Stockton, Calif., can file for bankruptcy via Chapter 9 (Chapter 11's ugly cousin). The ruling may start the actuarial dominoes falling across the country, because Stockton's predicament stems from financial assumptions that are hardly restricted to one improvident California municipality. [...]

Pension math is more art than science. Actuaries guess, er, compute how much money is needed today based on life expectancies of retirees as well as the expected investment return on the pension portfolio. Shortfalls, or "underfunded pension liabilities," need to be made up by employers or, in the case of California, taxpayers.

In June of 2012, [the California Public Employees' Retirement System] lowered the expected rate of return on its portfolio to 7.5% from 7.75%. Mr. Milligan suggested 7.25%. Calpers had last dropped the rate in 2004, from 8.25%. But even the 7.5% return is fiction. Wall Street would laugh if the matter weren't so serious.



"As it turns out, these same oligrachs may have used the one week hiatus period of total chaos in the banking system to transfer the bulk of the cash they had deposited with one of the two main Cypriot banks, in the process making the whole punitive point of collapsing the Cyprus financial system entirely moot.

From Reuters:

While ordinary Cypriots queued at ATM machines to withdraw a few hundred euros as credit card transactions stopped, other depositors used an array of techniques to access their money.

No one knows exactly how much money has left Cyprus' banks, or where it has gone. The two banks at the centre of the crisis - Cyprus Popular Bank, also known as Laiki, and Bank of Cyprus - have units in London which remained open throughout the week and placed no limits on withdrawals. Bank of Cyprus also owns 80 percent of Russia's Uniastrum Bank, which put no restrictions on withdrawals in Russia. Russians were among Cypriot banks' largest depositors.

So while one could not withdraw from Bank of Cyprus or Laiki, one could withdraw without limitations from subsidiary and OpCo banks, and other affiliates?

Just brilliant.

In every sense of the word.

(h/t Marc in Calgary)

Blood for oil update;

China's largest oil company is due to start commercial production of crude oil in Afghanistan shortly, heralding a resource boom that could transform the country's economy over the next decade, the country's mining minister said.

(h/t Adrian)

Edmonton Sun;

The arrests of two girls after a region-spanning steak knife stabbing spree late Monday have raised concerns of an "organized group" of teens bent on violence and robbery on B.C. public transit. [...]

The girls have a combined 142 run-ins with police, Transit Police's Anne Drennan said.

She said the group, sometimes seen with seven teens in total, has become a "serious ongoing problem" particularly with cellphone robberies.

h/t Larry F.

Cyprus rejects bailout deal;

The Cypriot parliament has thrown out a controversial plan to skim €5.8bn from savers' bank accounts, in a move that risks plunging the eurozone into a fresh crisis and heightens expectations that the cash-strapped nation will seek a funding lifeline from Russia.

Cyprus has just 24 hours to find a solution to its funding gap before its banks are due to reopen following the dramatic no vote on Tuesday night, which failed to support a hastily renegotiated change to the original deal.

Dennis Gartman; (via Money Talks)

"... of course Cyprus was complacent about laundering. To think otherwise was and is naïve. Ah, but now you've stolen Russia money... or soon shall depending upon the vote in the Cypriot parliament... and that is dangerous... very. One does not steal Russian mafia money and get away with it. There are fewer statements of fact that are more certain, more factual, more unyielding than this statement. Russian Mafia figures do not take well to being stolen from, and they take even less well to be made fools of. We see no reason to mince words at this point: People will be hurt over this decision; some shall be killed."

Nigel Farage has advice for Europeans:

(Meanwhile, in Canadian mainstream news...)

26 Things You'll See On Public Transportation (h/t vanderleun)

Hear my prayer: Between 2000 and 2010, the [California Teachers Association] spent more than $211 million to influence California voters and elected officials. That is more money than the oil, tobacco and hospital industries combined. . . .

So E15 has been formulated to rectify that. (h/t PeterJ)

Walter Russell Mead;

...state politicians are now calling on local pension funds to make "socially responsible investments" in local businesses and other community endeavours.

Guess Who Was Buying Heinz Stock From Its Clients?


Acting just one day after the surprise announcement that H.J. Heinz would be acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Brazil-based 3G Capital for $23.3 billion, the SEC has gone to court to freeze assets associated with what it calls "highly suspicious options trading."

"[President Obama] didn't pick up the phone to call any government officials in Libya until Sept. 12, after everyone was dead."


h/t John Groves

Hear my prayer: Since 2001, [the Los Angeles] hit-and-run rate has hovered at or near 50 percent of all vehicle crashes.

Washington Free Beacon

A United States minesweeper ship that crashed into a coral reef due to inaccurate Navy maps will have to be cut into small pieces and removed in order to prevent harming the ocean's ecosystem, according to the Navy and other reports.

The $277 million USS Guardian, a Naval warship that clears waterways of mines, crashed into a coral reef near the Philippines earlier this month.

The Navy will disassemble it piece by piece in order to avoid damaging the reef rather than tow the multi-million dollar ship off of the reef and perform necessary repairs.

h/t Adrian

They should have voted for Republicans. This might be a scandal by now.

The brutal cold snap affecting much of the country is taking a devastating toll on victims of superstorm Sandy, many of whom are camped out in tent cities or living in homes without power, heat or running water.

Hundreds of people in New York's Staten Island and along the Jersey Shore are still without basic necessities nearly three months after the devastating storm struck.

Related - "What we are witnessing is the full and seamless fusion of media power with government power." And that's why Staten Island only makes news when there's an opportunity to blame Republicans for it.

*Disturbing Video* Woman Thrown On Subway Tracks During Violent Attack. Police keep incident secret.

Shocking, shocking development;

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted Friday on charges that he used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

The charges against Mr. Nagin are the outgrowth of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen and a prison sentence for a former city vendor.

The small business Angel of Death:

According to one Department of Motor Vehicles source, 122 Virginia dealers did not renew their licenses the year after "Cash for Clunkers" debuted.

Much more here on the environmental debacle of shredding perfectly good vehicles. Don't miss the comments.


Video at CTV. (h/t John B)

The plan was to turn this property into our vision of a slice of paradise and to live the good life as innkeepers on the Caribbean Sea. That's what happened...for a while. And not to toot our own horns, but we were a success. We won some awards, received great reviews and filled our rooms. We renamed it the Luna Blue Hotel, and we're quite proud of what it has become.

It wasn't always smooth sailing of course. The swine flu scare and the hysteria over central Mexico's drug wars really did some damage to tourism in this part of the world. But we held on and weathered the rough spots. We weren't going to give up. This was not just our was our dream. We put all of our money, time and heart into making it work. Then we made a mistake. We signed up with Expedia.

Update: SDA gets results!

National Post: Woman suspected in New York subway death pleaded guilty to assaulting a stranger in 2003

Grossly inadequate security, systemic failures of leadership, and no one's to blame.

CBS News;

A gun found at the scene of a shootout between a Mexican drug cartel and soldiers where a beauty queen died was part of the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, CBS News reports.

Authorities had said that Maria Susana Flores Gamez was likely used as a human shield and that an automatic rifle had been found near her body after the Nov. 23 shootout.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tells CBS News that the Justice Department did not notify Congress that a Fast and Furious firearm was found at the scene in Sinaloa.

When the attorney general does it, that means it is not illegal.

Should it come to pass that we must make a choice between food or fuel, it should be noted that there are now enough self-identified "greens" in existence to sustain the remaining human population until the fuel problem has been rectified.

So, turn up the thermostat, and pass the salt.

(h/t andycanuck)

Too bad, Staten Island guy. You're not black, and he's not Bush.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!


"Men that own government bonds are popular with the ladies!"

Via Zerohedge;

6) The only thing registering any meaningful growth in the US is the national debt. It took over 200 years for the US government to accumulate its first trillion dollars in debt. It took just 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion (from $15 trillion to $16 trillion).

When it all comes to a crashing end, I suggest they eat the "journalists" first.

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

So, let's get this straight.

"A lot of us out here are fighting for our lives,” said Feliciano, 51. “A lot of people are desperate. They don't know where they are getting their next meal.

"We are fighting amongst ourselves here because we are tired. And we are frustrated."

A major disaster occurs on the outskirts of one of the most advanced civilizations on earth, and 10 days later there are victims walking 6 miles to find food?

They should have voted for Republicans. This might be a scandal by now.

....surely car manufacturers can accomplish the same through advertising.

Not desperate enough:

Relief crews from Alabama who were specifically called to New Jersey found themselves diverted to Long Island, NY after they arrived because they use non-union labor.

And from the comments - "A neighboring team traveling with them from Trinity was not reassigned. They have turned around and are headed home. Unreal... Wasted resources and unnecessary suffering."


Hear my prayer.

On Jan. 1, [California] will become the first state in the nation to charge industries across the economy for the greenhouse gases they emit. Under the system, known as “cap and trade,” the state will set an overall ceiling on those emissions and assign allowable emission amounts for individual polluters. A portion of these so-called allowances will be allocated to utilities, manufacturers and others; the remainder will be auctioned off.


The outsize goals of California’s new law, known as A.B. 32, are to lower California’s emissions to what they were in 1990 by 2020 — a reduction of roughly 30 percent — and, more broadly, to show that the system works and can be replicated.

The risks for California are enormous. Opponents and supporters alike worry that the program could hurt the state’s fragile economy by driving out refineries, cement makers, glass factories and other businesses. Some are concerned that companies will find a way to outmaneuver the system, causing the state to fall short of its emission reduction targets.

“The worst possible thing to happen is if it fails,” said Robert N. Stavins, a Harvard economist.

Related: More Fraud Exposed in Green Carbon Trading Scheme

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

On Sunday night, Spanish-language station Univision— one of the only networks to provide critical coverage of President Obama’s failures in office instead of cream-puff interviews — broke open the Fast and Furious investigation, revealing new evidence of weapons smuggling and displaying shocking new images of the bloody aftermath of the government-supported gun-smuggling program.

The Univision report undermines the integrity of the recently released DOJ inspector general report on Operation Fast and Furious, already heavily criticized as an attempt to whitewash criminal activity within the Obama administration.

The hour-long Univision report revealed the existence of another 57 guns recovered by Mexican authorities, including some of those used in the mass-murder at a party just one year after Obama’s inauguration...

The City of Chicago is asking residents with ideas on how to get illegal guns off the streets to share their thoughts — in 140 characters or fewer on Twitter.


Conrad Black;

About 70% of the American deficit is “bought” directly or through the banking system by the Treasury’s 100% subsidiary, the Federal Reserve, and the minimal interest paid on it is recycled back through the Federal Reserve to the Treasury, so the cost of borrowing is zero. It is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, the fiscal nirvana of endless, mountainous debt, rendered easily bearable because it doesn’t cost anything. It is a fraud, a mirage. It all possesses the hypnotic allure of the Gotterdammerung — as the Gods ascend to a burning Valhalla. If this administration is re-elected, Canada, as it has for the entire mighty spectacle of the inexorable rise of the United States, will have the ring-side seat for a disaster.

Now is the time at SDA when we watch the giant snowball of stupid gather momentum...

Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as US$49,000 on each Volt it builds...

Not so fast, Einstein. If you can't turn a profit, then go for volume!

The Pentagon is buying Chevrolet Volts to help “green up” the military—while propping up sales of the bailed-out automaker’s most politicized car.


(h/t trappedintrudopia)

Hear my prayer. (h/t Pete)


You're dumber than we thought! - “There’s still some appeal in making people feel there’s a potential silver lining in that now-foreboding folder of investment statements.”

h/t Reginald

Your one stop shopping place for ongoing developments in the Obama administration gun-running debacle and ongoing cover up. should have learned in Grade 6 math class.

"More retirees are falling behind on student debt, and Uncle Sam is coming after their benefits."

Where the foxes caper unmolested, the government packs your school lunch and they're "arming Big Brother with Predator vision just to stop people from hawking unauthorized Wenlock shirts."

h/t Rob

[T]his study compares the number of new oncology drugs approved by each agency and their review times. Of 33 new oncology drugs, 30 were approved in the United States, 26 in the European Community, and 24 in Canada between 2003 and 2011. The median review times (the time within which 50% of the drugs were approved) of these drugs were 182 days in the United States, 410 days in Europe, and 356 days in Canada.

Full report here.

Hear my prayer.

h/t Iowa Jim

CNS News;

Since Jan. 1 of this year, according to congressional testimony presented Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized 106 federal, state and local government “entities” to fly “unmanned aircraft systems,” also known as drones, within U.S. airspace.



Hear my prayer.

(h/t Ed S.)

More on Issa's bombshell;

This revelation alone is of paramount importance because it lays to rest once and for all the notion that Fast and Furious was merely a local Phoenix ATF sting operation gone bad. That claim is false. The operation received its very name from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), and as such, it had to be fully cleared and approved by officials at the highest levels of government, specifically the Justice Department.

Previous articles by this reporter provide details on the nature of OCDETF and why understanding Fast and Furious within the context of this Justice Department task force is crucial to getting at the truth about the scandal.

But the information only gets worse for the Obama Administration.

Holder has stated repeatedly before Congress that neither he nor the president, nor any of his top aides knew anything about illegal "gunwalking' within the Fast and Furious program or the wiretapping that was part and parcel of the operation.

However, the wiretap applications themselves show otherwise...


“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.

Grassley and Issa said that in early 2011, right around the time Grassley first made public the whistleblowers’ allegations about Fast and Furious, Scot Thomasson – then the chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division – said, according to an eyewitness account: “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys [the whistleblowers] and take them down.”

Thomasson also allegedly said that: “All these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f—k these guys.”

You can take the Administration out of Chicago...

Wall Street as we know it may not be long for this world—though the movement that occupied its parks has little to do with it. The New York Times reports that, despite good years for America’s investment bankers, the number of mid-level financial positions on the Street is slowly dropping as banks escape the city’s regulations, high taxes, and high labor costs to open offices in friendlier states like Utah, North Carolina, and Florida.

Someone wrote a book about that, I think.


Quote of the Week: "If anyone wants to advance safety through regulation, it can't be done without further loss of life."

h/t Ed S.

A new program is teaching US border agents to run, hide and call for help when they are confronted by a shooter.
h/t EBD

Hear my prayer. (h/t EBD)

Meets Jon Stewart.

More from Bill Whittle - the ideological motives behind the Fast & Furious scandal.

Via Blog Quebecois;

The smell of singed air here is inescapable. Less than 50 miles west of my neighborhood, the latest wildfire has spread across 1,100 acres. It’s the fifth active blaze to erupt in our state over the past month. But ashes aren’t the only things smoldering.

Some footage I shot of the smoke over Fort Collins on June 10th.

A West Virginia man who claimed to be the victim of a drive-by shooting along a rural Montana highway while working on a memoir called “Kindness in America” has confessed to shooting himself...

"I say pick'em up, clean'em up and turn'em into something beautiful!" (h/t Jerry)

Subprime loans fuel Chrysler sales;

In the first quarter of 2012, 29 of every 100 new-auto loans for Chrysler vehicles have been to consumers with credit scores below 680, says credit agency Experian Automotive. Experian considers scores below 680 subprime. [...]

Through mid-May, nameplates with the highest percentage of purchasers with loan rates of 10% or higher, which Edmunds considers subprime.

Mitsubishi Galant, 43%
Suzuki SX4, 41%
Dodge Avenger, 39%
Kia Forte, 37%
Dodge Caliber, 36%
Nissan Sentra, 26%
Chrysler 200, 24%
Dodge Journey, 21%
Nissan Versa, 21%
Chevrolet Sonic, 20%

h/t gordonkneehill

George Monbiot;

Energy policy in the United Kingdom looks like a jam factory hit by a meteorite: a multicoloured pool of gloop studded with broken glass. Consider these two press releases, issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last week.

Tuesday: the government's new energy bill will help the UK to "move away from high carbon technologies". Wednesday: applications for new oil and gas drilling in the North Sea have "broken all previous records". This is "tremendous news for industry and for the UK economy".


The new bill sets a limit for the amount of carbon dioxide that power stations can produce. This is 450 grams of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour of electricity. Compare it to the 50g which the Committee on Climate Change says should be the average produced by power stations in this country by the end of the 2020s, if the government is to meet its 2050 target.

Modern gas power stations produce less than 400g/kWh, so the new limit won't touch them. Worse, the level will be fixed – by primary legislation – until 2045 for power stations built today: in 33 years gas plants will still be allowed to produce more CO2 than they do at the moment.

Boris Johnson;

You will see businesses boarded up and windows smashed because no one has the money or the energy to fix them, and on almost every wall a riot of graffiti full of poisonous hatred for politicians. You will see people sitting on cardboard, heads down, hands out, or pushing trolleys full of scrap metal.


Europe now has the lowest growth of any region in the world. We have already wasted years in trying to control this sickness in the euro, and we are saving the cancer and killing the patient. We have blighted countless lives and lost countless jobs by kidding ourselves that the answer to the crisis might be “more Europe”. And all for what? To salvage the prestige of the European Project, and to spare the egos of those who were wrong and muddle-headed enough to campaign for the euro.

In the lawsuit titled “United States of America vs. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Massachusetts” the government is suing an inanimate object, the motel Caswell’s father built in 1955. The U.S. Department of Justice intends to seize it, sell it for perhaps $1.5 million and give up to 80 percent of that to the Tewksbury Police Department, whose budget is just $5.5 million. The Caswells have not been charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime. They are being persecuted by two governments eager to profit from what is antiseptically called the “equitable sharing” of the fruits of civil forfeiture, a process of government enrichment that often is indistinguishable from robbery.

h/t Kevin

The Gated-Community Community strikes again;

A psychiatrist treating Vince Li has asked a federal review board to let Li take escorted trips into the city of Selkirk, Man.


The Crown did not object to the request at today's hearing.

...scientists scatter toxic rodents over Guam’s forest canopy.

Democrats: They'll do for America what they've done for Detroit.

The latest scandal, which leaves even hardened observers of the abysmal Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind. The firm, apparently run by a sleazy low class crook named by the reprehensible Kilpatrick to be the Treasurer of what was left of Detroit’s finances, used Detroit pension funds to buy a couple of California strip malls. Title to the properties was never transferred to the pension funds, and they seem to be out $3.1 million.

Via email;

Ray Danyluk must love being an MLA for the good folks of Lac-La-Biche St Paul.

Indeed he must be very committed to his constituents and very committed to living among them.

We know that is true because nothing else would explain his irrational attachment to the jinxed land that he farms.

You see, over the last ten years Ray Danyluk’s small mixed farming operation in Elk Point has had AFSC claims totalling $1.36M – that’s not too much less than he got for being an MLA and cabinet minister.

He has had worse luck than his neighbours many of whom have more land and larger operations.

Year after year, since Ray was elected in 2001, bad luck strikes and Ray gets AFSC payouts to cover his catastrophic losses.

Indeed, his best luck years have resulted in payouts that were twice his insurance premiums, in his worst year he received 13 times what he paid in premiums.

In the last 4 years he has received over $700K in payouts on premiums of $101K.

The voters of Lac La Biche need to do Ray a favour and defeat him.

That way he won’t feel compelled to hold onto this accursed land. He might be able to sell it and move to farmland that won’t be so prone to flooding, hail, and drought.

I hope he`s laying low today, what with it being Friday the 13th.

North Korea rocket appears to have broken up.

(Tangentially related.)

Stalin exercise books fly off shelves in Moscow.

There's nothing like getting back to 2010 levels to make you think "strong expansion"!!!! Whoooo, baby, the ditch is the limit!

If we want to keep this going we all need to run out and buy cars. Two each! But don't drive them - that would support gas prices and be fatal! Just leave them in the driveway with large, colorful Obama campaign stickers plastered all over. Be sure to insure them with comprehensive coverage, because somebody biking by to go to the supermarket might become offended and attack.

(right click to enlarge)

Just part of a larger roundup from Maxed Out Mama.

Skittles, the rainbow-coloured candy, has seen a surge in popularity following the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighbourhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., last month.

Well, nobody saw that coming.

You need to plant a flag.

Pranab Mukherjee and other Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year - but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.


"Jury nullification"

But back to my original question: Just when was Ian Thomson guilty of unsafe storage?

And we're here to prey upon you...

[Freddie Mac's] charter calls for the company to make home loans more accessible. Its chief executive, Charles Haldeman Jr., recently told Congress that his company is “helping financially strapped families reduce their mortgage costs through refinancing their mortgages.”

But the trades, uncovered for the first time in an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, give Freddie a powerful incentive to do the opposite, highlighting a conflict of interest at the heart of the company. In addition to being an instrument of government policy dedicated to making home loans more accessible, Freddie also has giant investment portfolios and could lose substantial amounts of money if too many borrowers refinance.

h/t Jason

What's a poor Obama to do?

Small Cars Test Ford Resolve

Inventory Climbs on Dealer Lots Amid High-Price Strategy; Will It Curb Output or Discount Sales?

Guess what is selling:


Ford’s passenger car sales fell 15 percent in December, while sport-utility vehicle sales rose 16 percent, the company said. Ford brand sales for 2011 were above 2 million for the first time since 2007, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said last week.

Sales of Ford’s Explorer SUV rose 37 percent and its F- Series pickup gained 24 percent. Fusion, the company’s top- selling car, decreased 4.5 percent and its Fiesta small car was down 30 percent...

In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d try to find out who’s been naughty, who’s been nice, and who’s been torrenting at work.

It's what you get when you cross a congressional investigation with 300 dead Mexicans.


Data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October this year will be revised down next week because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!



If Obama were Republican, this would be news.


Quote of the Week;

There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen having his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a "Don't Tread on Me" T-shirt is certainly one of them.

h/t Revnant Dream


R. French Transport truck, southwest of Oungre, SK. yesterday.

(Related suggestion by Texas Canuck.)

Who could believe such a thing was possible?

And that's why the family compound is patrolled by hyenas..

Just in time for Thanksgiving:

The Illinois Senate Thursday overrode Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of legislation allowing Illinoisans to legally scoop up road kill. In action Thursday, senators voted 52-0 in favor of the proposed law, which is designed to allow people to collect dead mammals found on roadways.

h/t Rob J.

They eat pandas in Europe, don't they?

Orange County Register;

These used to be wealthy resource-based economies, but now many of the towns are drying up, with revenue to local governments evaporating. Unemployment rates are in the 20-percent-and-higher range. Nearly 79 percent of the county's voters in a recent advisory initiative opposed the dam removal, but that isn't stopping the authorities from blasting the dams anyway.

These rural folks, living in the shadow of the majestic Mount Shasta, believe that they are being driven away so that their communities can essentially go back to the wild, to conform to a modern environmentalist ethos that puts wildlands above humanity. As the locals told it during the Defend Rural America conference Oct. 22 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, environmental officials are treading on their liberties, traipsing unannounced on their properties, confronting ranchers with guns drawn to enforce arcane regulatory rules and destroying their livelihoods in the process.


Is there nothing that Obama can't do?

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is investigating to what extent the White House was aware of — or involved in — the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal.

The committee recently requested to speak with former White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly....

Finally, someone's saying it out loud;

Your Department has made an enormous error in judgment. It instructed federally-licensed firearms dealers to illegally sell at least 2,000 guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) intended to be trafficked to drug cartels in Mexico. The results of this error in judgment have implicated the United States in well over one hundred deadly crimes and the deaths of two federal agents.

This not only raises serious questions about your ability to serve as the head of the Justice Department, but also begs the question of why an anti-gun Administration would knowingly force licensed firearms dealers to sell guns to violent criminals. I raise this because Operation Fast and Furious — if the facts of this case had not come to light — would have been used by this Administration as another false argument to attack law-abiding American gun owners.

The American people deserve to know if your Department had any intent to link the legal purchase of firearms here in the U.S. to crimes committed near our southern border. Operation Fast and Furious funneled firearms legally purchased at gun shops in the U.S. to known criminal syndicates to prove these syndicates have access to legal purchased weapons. This is a deliberate attempt to vilify and attack the millions of gun owners in America who value our Second Amendment and have never broken the law.

h/t G

They commit suicide. (h/t Lee M)

Seven scientists and other experts have gone on trial on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy.

Law bans cash for second hand transactions. (h/t Larry)

Dan Wheldon is dead. There were far too many cars in the race (34) for a fairly high-banked 1 1/2 mile oval with laps speeds well over 200 MPH (Indianapolis is 2 1/2 miles with low banking).

An accident, indeed a death, waiting to happen. The stands were nowhere near full. Clearly the large field and the $5 million extra if Wheldon won were effectively a pretty desperate attempt to gain attention for, and to save, open-wheel racing in the US. At a time when there are even lots of empty seats at NASCAR Chase events (yes, I watch them too).

IndyCar should now end. F1, especially this year with DRS and KERS, provides superb--and pretty safe--open wheel laps. If Americans are not enamoured of open-wheel give it up. Though why they cannot compete as either builders or drivers (remember Michael Andretti?) in F1, the highest tech, beats me.

In not-Tony Blair's Britain:

Speed limit on motorways to rise to 80mph

On the 401 in Ontario--limit 100 KPH--120 is a normal speed that will rarely get you busted, even a bit higher. But anything over 100 on an 80-limit two-lane highway and you're fair game.

"All these events are true so help me God." (h/t Michael)

Which is regretable.

Designer hopes to make a killing in New York with bulletproof fashion line.

Uh oh...


Legal review of my manuscript is underway and here’s my problem: no one has ever offered documentation of any of the lurid stories about the Palins.

Eventually, all noble gestures get hijacked by "fundraisers";

A former employee of the Terry Fox Foundation in Saskatchewan says he was forced to fabricate fundraising stories in a booklet for donors.

The booklet Gregory Procknow worked on before resigning earlier this year was sent to donors of the well-known charity, which raises money for cancer research.

Procknow says he was asked to do a series of short write-ups, ostensibly by donors, talking about creative ways they had raised money.

One quotes "Norma Rae" from Saskatoon: "As a dilettante canner, I make jars of jellies and pickles and attach a Terry Fox sticker to the jars, and I allow people to make donations of any kind and take away a wonderful autumn treat!"

Procknow, a University of Regina graduate student, said he felt bad about what he had written and eventually quit his summer job.

"Who can really take pride in creating fictitious people and assigning them a gender and a name and parlaying this to the public. It's just really disgusting," Procknow said.

h/t Mike W

Next time, nukes.

[T]he Chinese State Oil Company, CNPC, has won the tender for the Kashkari, Bazarkhami and Zamarudsay blocks in Northern Afghanistan...

h/t Adrian, who writes;

You know I got to musing, another one of those navel moments (instead of getting the house roof finished/started) as to where it all went wrong and it occurred to me, and maybe not for the first time, that the world and humans used to operate a winner takes all, or a spoils of victory approach. Isn't it the victory or accomplishment that makes the effort worthwhile in all our endeavours?

I think we know? We the west stopped doing that after WW2 Not only did we pay to win, but we paid to rebuild Europe in doing so we bankrupted ourselves our industries and our economy's, and set up the losers to be winners both economically and culturally for the last 5 decades. I know its old history and been run through time and again but we in the free or British dominions had rationing and drained our capital not to invest in our industries and infrastructure but to re-build Europe. Did Europe pay for anything? (And I'm not talking here about Germanys blood money paid to the state of Israel) And this was based on what?

I believe the League of Nations was fond of and full of communists and losers and created the thesis that the results of the WW1 would create havoc unless they could dictate the future, That worked so well in that WW2 happened, that its successor just had to be right, if the natural order created the revulsion of death that was expressed in "war to end all wars" and had failed then the league of nations position had to be the right alternative and its successor UN has continued over the last 60 years to propagate every conceivable intrusion in the natural order of life and society. It has pushed its socialist agenda and its rabid hatred into every function of the world. A conglomerate of failed, destitute countries, ideologies and demagogues that should have been the natural vanquished humiliated losers banished from any type of influence in the order of the natural world being elevated to the status of victors and legislatures.

The natural god given order will not and cannot survive like this and a natural correction must follow. Is the world in the end game of having letting the losers win? The western civilisation that has been the enabler for the world during the last 200 years started committing suicide after the second world war. Instead of crushing the defeated we elevated them, enabled them and served penance on ourselves eventually allowing every failed cause to push back against the natural order.

Or have I missed something?


h/t EBD

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank has been informed by the Swiss National Bank about its decision to “no longer tolerate a EUR/CHF exchange rate below the minimum rate of CHF 1.20.”

What could possibly go wrong?

They won't be satisfied until even the soup kitchens run dry;

California's dominant ruling class—consisting of public-employee unions, green jihadis, and Democratic machine politicians—has no real use for science as Gilman saw it: as a way to create prosperity for its citizens. Instead, the prevailing credo of the state has been how to do everything possible to return to its pre-settlement condition, with little regard for what that means to the average Californian.

Nowhere was California's old technological ethos more pronounced than in agriculture, where great Californians such as William Mulholland, creator of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and Pat Brown, who forged the state water project, created the greatest water-delivery system since the Roman Empire. Their effort brought water from the ice-bound Sierra Nevada mountains down to the state's dry but fertile valleys and to the great desert metropolis of Southern California. Now, largely at the behest of greens, California agriculture is being systematically cut down by regulation. In an attempt to protect a small fish called the Delta smelt, upward of 200,000 acres of prime farmland have been idled, according to the state's Department of Conservation. Even in the current "wet" cycle, California's agricultural industry, which exports roughly $14 billion annually, is slowly being decimated. Unemployment in some Central Valley towns tops 30 percent, and in cases even 40 percent.

And now, notes my friend, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, green regulators are imposing new groundwater regulations that may force the shutdown of production even in areas like his that have their own ample water supplies.

They shall not sleep until we're shivering silently in the dark.

From Wikipedia;

Profitable trade

Shares in C & Company currently trade at $10 per share.

1. A short seller borrows 100 shares of C & Company and immediately sells them for a total of $1,000.
2. Subsequently, the price of the shares falls to $8 per share.
3. Short seller now buys 100 shares of C & Company for $800.
4. Short seller returns the shares to the lender, who accepts the return of the same number of shares as was lent, despite the fact that the market value of the shares has decreased.
5. Short seller retains as profit the $200 difference (minus borrowing fees) between the price at which he sold the shares he borrowed and the lower price at which he was able to purchase the shares he returned.

Loss-making trade

Shares in C & Company currently trade at $10 per share.

1. A short seller borrows 100 shares of C & Company and immediately sells them for a total of $1,000.
2. Subsequently the price of the shares rises to $25.
3. Short seller is required to return the shares, and to meet the obligation is compelled to buy 100 shares of C & Company for $2,500.
4. Short seller returns the shares to the lender who accepts the return of the same number of shares as was lent.
5. Short seller incurs as a loss the $1,500 difference between the price at which he sold the shares he borrowed and the higher price at which he had to purchase the shares he returned (plus borrowing fees).

h/t Melinda Romanoff

"Is that an endotracheal tube in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

*This action is indefensible on economic merits. This move is not motivated by sound monetary policy. It’s motivated by politics. This is a payback to Obama. Shame on the Fed for mixing politics with money.

*We will not go two years with this monetary policy without inflation (measured by core) exceeding the previously stated commitment by Bernanke that policy would not be allowed to rise above 2%. Bernanke and the dove members that signed onto this policy have lied to the American people. Bernanke has done it on 60 Minutes. He has done it to Congress. Shame on all of them.

The Fed has taken away its ability to react to a situation that would require them to tighten. We are now on a one-way street. There is no way to turn around anymore. I believe the Fed has abdicated its responsibilities under the dual mandate. The have no ability to react if inflation should pop up in a year from now. Even worse, they have no policy options should there be a run on the dollar. The possibility of a run on the buck has gone up exponentially as a result. Should that happen, the Fed will have left us economically defenseless."


This summer the pace of layoffs seems to be accelerating all over the nation. Just check out what has been happening over the past few weeks....

-Lockheed Martin has made "voluntary layoff offers" to 6,500 employees.

-Detroit is losing even more jobs. American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings has told the remaining 300 workers at its manufacturing facility in Detroit that their jobs will be ending in early 2012.

-Layoff notices have been sent to 519 employees of Milwaukee Public Schools, and more than 400 open positions are going to go unfilled.

-The Gap has announced that up to 200 stores will be closed over the next two years.

-Cisco has announced plans to lay off 9 percent of their total workforce.

-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that 625 city employees will be losing their jobs as a result of cutbacks.

-Pharmaceutical giant Merck recently dumped 51 workers from an office in Raleigh, North Carolina.

-Perkins has revealed that they will be closing 58 restaurants.

-This week, Goldman Sachs announced that they will be eliminating 1,000 jobs.

-Cracker Barrel is rapidly reducing staff at its headquarters.

-Telecommunications and web marketing firm Crexendo has announced that it will be laying off about 30 percent of its workforce.

-Borders has announced that they will be shutting down their remaining 399 stores and that 10,700 employees will lose their jobs.

-Now that the space shuttle program has ended, thousands of NASA employees will be losing their jobs.

Keep track at On the other hand, when Paul Krugman disapproves, there may be hope!

Ed Morrissey has more.

h/t Maz2, Ed S.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

CBC, July 27th - Britain is expelling all Libyan diplomats and unfreezing assets to help fund the National Transitional Council, the group now officially recognized by Britain as the legitimate governing authority in Libya.

Politico, July 25th - The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs' pronouncement today that Libya is a "stalemate" would, I think, have gotten a bit more attention but for the debt debate.

Get our pilots out of there.

Related: Forget Gaddafi outlasting Obama. At the rate things are going, the Lockerbie bomber is going to outlast Obama.

I don't know what you call it when you use a credit card to pay off your other credit cards - but I do know that you don't call it "paying your bills".

That is all.

Like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction...


"Wow. Those human eating dogs are with foster families? They must be some crazy daredevil people."
(Judy N, via text.)

The US Department of Defense is determined to free itself of "dirty" Canadian oil...

In a short, but strongly worded statement, the Department of Defense (DOD) has weighed in in support of Section 526, the provision of the 2007 energy bill that requires federal agencies to make sure that the fuels they buy do not create more pollution and exacerbate global warming. The statement was sent to Congress on July 5 and reported in The Hill on July 8.

What could possibly go wrong?

Here we go again? (Remember the Canadian and Ontario governments still own some nine per cent of the company.) It's tough relying on older pick-up trucks when gas prices go, er, north.

Now that's a voiture:

Peugeot 505 STi update: Another very good voiture.


Shooting for the earth's, er, canopy:

Iran to send monkey into space

That's half a century after the US first brought 'em back alive. Sam was third to survive, also in 1959 (Daily Telegraph got the date wrong):


More space monkey business here.

h/t Al the fish in MB

"Tweeps my progressive idol @RepWeiner is following me! Today is the best day ever!"

"One German organic farm has killed twice as many people as the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Gulf Oil spill combined. Crickets."

Update: great minds at the Washington Times. (via Deputy Editorial Page Editor David Mastio) - link fixed now!

"Men considered only the 'welfare' of the patient, with no thought for those who were to provide it." - Ayn Rand


Cancer medicines desperately needed by sick children and adults are in short supply, undermining the ability of U.S. doctors to administer treatments, top oncologists warned this week.

Many drugs are scarce because there is no incentive for drugmakers to manufacture low-cost generics, which have slim profit margins for pharmaceutical companies. Doctors do not expect that equation to change any time soon, making them scramble to find acceptable alternatives, or to ration or delay treatment when they cannot.

For a few years, Mike Haege’s sister lived in north Minneapolis. He knows the neighborhood at least a little bit, and when a tornado tore through the area on Sunday, May 22, he took notice.

On the news he saw trees strewn about lawns and streets. Then inspiration struck. He wanted to help. His schedule for Monday, May 23, was wide open. And, since he operates Custom Cut, a tree trimming business here, he figured his services could be put to good use.

“I thought it would be the perfect chance to help,” he said. “I knew there would be people needing help.”


What happened next shocked Haege.

h/t Paul H.

Fox' documentary Gasland, claims that fracking, a way of drilling for natural gas, has polluted water and endangered lives. One of the most alarming scenes is when he lights water that residents claim has been polluted by fracking. It is dramatic and at first glance seems like a slam dunk. I mean they can light their water - it is polluted and there is gas drilling nearby. It must be responsible.

But then a little digging reveals a few inconvenient facts.

What could possibly go wrong?

He described Li as a "model patient" who has shown tremendous insight into his mental illness and the need to continue taking medication. Kremer said Li's last reported hallucination occurred five months ago but was quickly managed by him.

WFP Update: "We will no longer accept comments on this story as submissions have been consistently unacceptable."

I'll bet.


Martin Reid says he's been forced to buy a fishing licence to remove carp that are swimming in a metre of water on his flooded-out fields.

He says he bought the permit to avoid the problems he faced the last time he was forced to remove fish from his flooded farmland. In 1993, Reid was fined $1,000 for illegal fishing.

"My father and I ... were charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada," Reid recalled. "We were jointly responsible for having caused the death of fish for reasons other than sport fishing."

Reid says the fine will jump to $100,000 if he's cited a second time.

He's under strict orders to safeguard the lives of the carp once he begins to expel them.

Related poll!

h/t Larry

You see, here is the situation in California. Tens of thousands of prisoners are scheduled by a U.S. Supreme Court order to be released. But why this inability to house our criminals when we pay among the highest sales, income, and gas taxes in the nation? Too many criminals? Too few new prisons? Too high costs per prisoner? Too many non-violent crimes that warrant incarceration? God help us when they are released. We know what crime is like now; what will it be like if thousands are let go? I doubt they will end up in the yards of the justices who let them out.

Flashback: The Global Village Fortifies.


Via the Corner;

Government talk of economic recovery was undermined on Friday when the country’s largest steel maker announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs in Lincolnshire and Teesside. Tata Steel, which bought the Corus business in 2007, blamed a continued slump in demand from the construction sector but also new climate change legislation for its decision. [...]

“The continuing weakness in market conditions is one of the main reasons why we are setting out on this difficult course of action. Another is the regulatory outlook. EU carbon legislation threatens to impose huge additional costs on the steel industry. Besides, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the level of further unilateral carbon cost rises that the UK government is planning,” he added.

h/t Mississauga Matt

Disaster for the town of Slave Lake, Alberta. Video.

Wind gusts that accelerated the advance of fires and grounded water bombers Sunday afternoon allowed the fire to jump two highways. Afterwards, it was free to tear through the Alberta town of 7,000 people. A long list of hundreds of buildings have burned down – including city hall, the police station, the radio station and countless houses.


Meanwhile, flames blocked all but one road, trapping many residents in the town and leaving officials to urge people to simply flee to wide open parking lots or beaches, and hope the fire doesn’t reach them. Traffic along the one highway was slow, as residents navigated through thick smoke amid waning daylight Sunday evening.

Main street - Town Hall.

This Reddit thread has more info - as if 9pm local time: Friend on Facebook just posted that the Brick, the library are GONE and the Ford dealer is on fire. Shocking! Edit: also the school and the Sawridge Hotel! Edit: 9:30 pm Also the hospital, the courthouse, the police station, 92.7 radio are now gone. Highway 2 east is open for now.

There seems to be little by way of media coverage yet, so Twitter seems to be the go to place, if you can keep up.


Slave lake fire continues to burn out of control. Entire town of 7000 expected to be gone by morning.

Via Newswatch Canada, evacuation video. Frightening stuff.

Morgan Kelly on the impending bankruptcy of Ireland;

… the sole purpose of the Irish bailout was to frighten the Spanish into line with a vivid demonstration that EU rescues are not for the faint-hearted. And the ECB plan, so far anyway, has worked. Given a choice between being strung up like Ireland – an object of international ridicule, paying exorbitant rates on bailout funds, its government ministers answerable to a Hungarian university lecturer – or mending their ways, the Spanish have understandably chosen the latter […]

Cutting Government borrowing to zero immediately is not painless but it is the only way of disentangling ourselves from the loan sharks who are intent on making an example of us. In contrast, the new Government’s current policy of lying on the ground with a begging bowl and hoping that someone takes pity on us does not make for a particularly strong negotiating position. By bringing our budget immediately into balance, we focus attention on the fact that Ireland’s problems stem almost entirely from the activities of six privately owned banks, while freeing ourselves to walk away from these poisonous institutions. Just as importantly, it sends a signal to the rest of the world that Ireland – which 20 years ago showed how a small country could drag itself out of poverty through the energy and hard work of its inhabitants, but has since fallen among thieves and their political fixers – is back and means business.

What could possibly go wrong?

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Thursday announced a group of environmental, industry and state regulatory experts who will make recommendations to improve the safety and environmental performance of natural gas hydraulic fracturing from shale formations. President Obama directed Secretary Chu to convene this group as part of the President's "Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future" plan to reduce America's oil dependence, save consumers money, and make the U.S. the leader in clean energy industries.

h/t Adrian


h/t Dan C.

Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative, saying it believes there's a risk U.S. policymakers may not reach agreement on how to address the country's long-term fiscal pressures...

Brother, can you spare a trillion?

HOW doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin!
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!

- Lewis Carroll

A number of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are seeking to step up the Internal Revenue Service's powers, and technology, to essentially audit taxpayers before returns are even filed.

This time* they'll bomb both sides.

NATO Prepared to Bomb the Libyan Rebels

Get our pilots out of there.

"Assad The Reformer". Well, these things are bound to happen when your Secretary of State's resume is shorter than that of her President.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Feb. 26th, 2011 - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that a carbon tax will be implemented by July 2012 in Australia. This carbon tax will be an interim measure that will eventually transition into a cap-and-trade system.

March 26th, 2011 - Labor member of the upper house Luke Foley said the party had suffered "a massacre, a slaughter the likes of which none of us have seen".

The hybrids’ overall likelihood of crashing with a pedestrian was 40 per cent higher than the other cars’, increasing to a 50 per cent difference in areas where speed limits were 35 mph (approximately 56 km/hour) or slower.

h/t Larry

For the second time in two years, a rocket glitch sent a NASA global warming satellite to the bottom of the sea ...

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Calgary Herald;

One can blame Furlong. Since the release of the e-mails, Furlong has struggled to split hairs by saying that while Vanoc knew the track was too fast, it didn't know it was dangerous.

One could blame the International Luge Federation. This week, it passed the buck by saying it didn't know the speeds were too high until the track was in operation and it was too late for any changes. But it altered the track in Turin one year before the 2006 Olympic Games because of too many accidents on a track that was too fast.

One could blame the track designer. The designer for the Whistler luge track also designed the too-fast Turin track. He has also designed the track for the 2014 Sochi Olympic luge event. Given his track record (literally) at Turin and Whistler, one would think that it's time to find a new track designer -or at least buy this one a new calculator.

One could even blame Ku-maritashvili himself.

Via David Thompson;

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Cape Bretoner, Feb. 2010 - The latest numbers from the Saskatchewan Coyote Control Program indicate that residents have removed nearly 18,000 coyotes since the program was introduced in November. [...] The [Nova Scotia] Department of Natural Resources is adamant that a bounty would not be effective and have no intention of initiating one.

Halifiax Chronicle Herald, Feb. 2011 - Coyote attacks man on farm in Hants County

I encountered several coyotes while hunting last fall - all of them running hard in the opposite direction before I had a chance to raise my gun. Memo to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources: shooting coyotes is less about population control than it is "attitude adjustment".

h/t Larry

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Financial Times, Feb.25th - Spain reduces motorway speed limit to save oil

Telegraph, Feb.28th - Speed limits on the [British] motorway could be increased to 80mph in a bid to increase productivity,

What a difference an economic apocalypse makes - Fine Gael took 36.1% of the vote, with Labour coming second with 20.5%. Fianna Fáil support is put at just 15.1%, [...] while the Greens are on 2.7%......

So, you don't like governments picking winners and losers? If only we had it so good. Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Popular Mechanics, Feb.3, 2011 -

Shell Oil has canceled its plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska in 2011, but will now set its sights on the summer of 2012. The company has run into repeated regulatory hurdles in its attempts to explore for oil in America's slice of the Arctic Ocean. Most recently, in late December 2010, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) sent air quality permits granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to regulators for revision. Pete Slaiby, the VP of Shell Alaska, cited "tremendous uncertainty"—and frustration—during a press conference in Anchorage to announce the decision. The company has been seeking the required permits for the past five years.

Washington Examiner, Feb.2, 2011 -

To turn wood chips into ethanol fuel, George W. Bush's Department of Energy in February 2007 announced a $76 million grant to Range Fuels for a cutting-edge refinery. A few months later, the refinery opened in the piney woods of Treutlen County, Ga., as the taxpayers of Georgia piled on another $6 million. In 2008, the ethanol plant was the first beneficiary of the Biorefinery Assistance Program, pocketing a loan for $80 million guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers.

Last month, the refinery closed down, having failed to squeeze even a drop of ethanol out of its pine chips.

Works for pollution monitors...

The state prosecutor’s office found that in 2009 the Madrid municipality had quietly moved nearly half its pollution sensors from traffic-clogged streets in the city centre to parks and gardens.
Related: The Great Thermometer Extinction.

Affirmative Action meets Wild Kingdom;

Nothing's worked. Not the clamp on federal timber sales that hammered Oregon's mill towns. Not the lawsuits or the listing as an endangered species. The belated work to retain and restore its favored old-growth habitat will take decades to unfold. Twenty plus years of trying to save the northern spotted owl and it's still slipping away.

Come summer, federal wildlife officials expect to finish a draft environmental impact statement that most likely recommends taking to the woods with shotguns. Over the next year, in three or more study areas from Washington to northern California, they might kill 1,200 to 1,500 barred owls -- the larger, more aggressive competitor that has routed spotted owls from much of their territory and become, along with habitat loss, the biggest threat to their survival

Note: The spotted owl is a vital member of the ecosystem, as it permits environmentalists to kill off the forestry industry.

Abe Froman - "I say let the owls fight their own war. America always gets embroiled in these regional wars and they never seem to end well."

h/t Lee - This moving footage not only challenges those who might question the extent to which animals experience the loss of a life, it bridges the perceived differences between the natural world and we humans who are harbingers of so much death therein.

And, now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Understanding the Causes and Consequences (pdf) - a "soup-to-nuts explanation of the credit crisis", by Ross McKitrick.



This car was parked in front of the Mercedes-Benz dealership on Broadway in Vancouver today:

Smart Car 'Taxi'

I have no particularly great skill at funny captions. Please submit a better one!!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if gay bars looked like cigarette packages?

(But I repeat myself.)

Julian Assange... feminist.

More from Ezra.

Other plans to protect cyclists include putting airbags on the outside of cars to reduce the severity of collisions …

Julian Assange "turns on everyone".

He accused his media partners at The Guardian newspaper, which worked with him to make the embarrassing leaks public, of unfairly tarnishing him by revealing damaging details of the sex assault allegations he faces in Sweden. [...] Speaking from the English mansion where he is confined on bail, the 39-year-old Australian said that the decision to publish incriminating police files about him was "disgusting".

As usual, the Huffington Post is out ahead of the pack - "This all has Karl [Rove's] signature..."

Yes it does, my pretties.

Why isn't Julian Assange dead yet?

Time Magazine's 404 Of The Year.


Kind of odd.

Update. If it's some sort of planned new page rollout, it's a strange way of going about it. In other news, GDP just went up.

Signing the petition from Love, Saskatchewan.


h/t John Galt, from Galt Gulch, BC.

For those reluctant to share their own email addresses, I suggest inserting into that info box.

Related - MPs will investigate the CBC and how the state broadcaster releases -- and sometimes refuses -- to reveal information to the public.

Amir Ali, 28, and an accomplice were caught on CCTV trying to lob the home-made grenade through the window of the Imperial Pub, in Crawley, Sussex.

Emphasis on "trying".

Just look out Phil Jones' window.

Or into Hansen's data!

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sens. David Vitter and John Barrasso today introduced S. 4015, the Public Access to Historical Records Act, which would dramatically improve the transparency and accuracy of NASA’s historical records and guarantee public access to the data.

“Recent incidents, such as the investigation showing that the Obama administration manipulated data to justify the drilling moratorium, have raised concerns that some scientists and government agencies are using misleading data to support their favored viewpoints,” said Vitter. “This bill would open NASA’s temperature records to public scrutiny and establish an objective set of data to ensure that influential climate research is protected from political agendas.”

“Each year, Americans are forced to spend billions of their hard-earned dollars to support climate change research. Since this administration promised to be the most open administration in history, it should immediately share NASA’s temperature data with the American public,” said Barrasso. “There are too many questions regarding temperature models not to allow all Americans access to this data. This legislation will ensure that our nation has the most accurate and transparent historic temperature record in the world.”

Millions of online holiday shoppers are asking, "Why isn't Julian Assange dead yet?"

Related - "Consider the case of a 75-year-old dentist in Los Angeles, Hossein Vahedi... Tehran has a new excuse to target his relatives in Iran."


Related... March of the Imams.

When Pelley asked Bernanke what degree of confidence he had in his ability to control inflation, the Fed chairman responded, "one hundred percent."

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers needs to fire every single one of their high-priced communications help.

Earlier this week, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) voluntarily pulled a commercial from its latest campaign featuring individual oil sands workers talking about their contribution to mitigating environmental damage.

And replace them with me.


The federal funding that supported most university-based weather and climate research for the past decade has almost run out, and there is no sign it will be renewed.

The Ottawa-based Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, launched under prime minister Jean Chrétien's Liberal government in 2000, will have given out $118 million in research grants by the time it runs dry at the end of 2011.

More good news! Republicans will eliminate the House committee created by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to highlight the threat of climate change,Representative James Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the panel, said today.

More than 95 percent of Ground Zero workers have signed off on a $625 million lawsuit settlement for health damage at the lower Manhattan site following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The suit was filed against the City of New York.

Tyler Durden;
...somehow Interpol does not have access to the Internet and is unable to pull an image of the wanted criminal.

When your truck gets stuck on a back road during hunting season, and this is the tow vehicle they send to pull you out... might be from Saskatchewan!

Previous .... and related.

For the third time - why isn't Julian Assange dead yet?

Ten purple Babies R Us shopping carts were turned upside down in a row to thwart line-jumpers..."

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Chicago Breaking News, Nov.15th 2010 - Brad Block, a supervisor for the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control, said the [coyote] has the run of the Loop to help deal with rats and mice. He said no one has called today to complain. "He's not a threat...He's not going to pick up your children," Block said. "His job is to deal with all of the nuisance problems, like mice, rats and rabbits."

CBC, Oct.28, 2009 - A 19-year-old folk singer from Toronto has died after being attacked by two coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

h/t Pete

Fox 5 saw one turkey playing chicken with a car. The bird just stood there, until the driver gave in and went around. One woman recently said she was trapped in her car after turkeys jumped onto her windshield.


Raising awareness;

A Vancouver cyclist is recovering after being struck by an electric vehicle during an event to promote an around-the-world carbon-free race.

(Post title courtesy of Speedy)

Stories like this remind me how much I still miss Timothy.

When in Rome...

Brought to the United States by President Obama a year ago to teach the planet-killers at Chrysler how to make fuel-efficient econoboxes like the ones that proper Europeans drive, [Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne] has fallen in love with big, money-making American SUVs. In an announcement that shook the auto world this week, Sergio announced that he wants Chrysler to help make . . . Alfa Romeo and Maserati SUVs.

Mama Mia! Just wait until Papa Obama gets back from Asia!


Sergio’s got religion all right. He announced November 8 that he wants Chrysler’s Detroit Assembly Plant — the very facility Obama visited last July to crow about his Detroit bailouts – to build SUV platforms for as many as four brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.

The missile witnessed yesterday off the coast of California appears to have landed in Ireland.

This your brain, in the nanny state.


Innocent brown boy snatched by evil occupiers on his way to school pleads guilty.


"... that looks behind the headlines of the Department of Truth".

Your must-read of the week. Particularly if you own property in the US, whether it's mortgaged or not.

Wells Fargo wanted to foreclose on a condo unit which had multiple mortgages attached to it. Wells Fargo also owned one of those second mortgages. So Wells Fargo spent money to hire a law firm and file suit against the irresponsible lenders at Wells Fargo. Then, Wells Fargo spent money to hire a different law firm in an understandable effort to defend Wells Fargo from the vicious legal attack coming from Wells Fargo. The second law firm even prepared a legal statement for Wells Fargo which called into question the dubious claims being made by Wells Fargo. Sadly, Wells Fargo won the case, crushing the hopes of Wells Fargo.

As business reporter Al Lewis wrote at the time, “You can’t expect a bank that is dumb enough to sue itself to know why it is suing itself.” So goes the unprecedented wave of foreclosures that has swept across the country since the housing bubble popped. Mortgages have been bought, sold, and repackaged so many times through such an opaque process that banks have no idea who owns what. When they foreclose, they simply guess, making up the documents and information necessary to do so.

It gets worse.

h/t Melinda Romanoff

Another "flash crash" in NY today. This time it involved the "SPY" ETF, which is a proxy for the SP500, and is the most widely traded security on the NYSE. Minutes after today's 4pm close, SPY dropped 10% in less than 15 minutes (so called "market on close" orders were triggered). The NYSE stepped in and cancelled all trades. How can anyone ask for any more proof that Wall Street, as currently set up, is rigged?



Related items from France, here and here.

... and there's more!

Ratings agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor's have been highlighting the lack of transparency in union pension plans. Now Wall Street wants union businesses to be upfront about their liabilities.

[Financial Accounting Standards Board's ] new rule could effectively wipe out the paper worth of many companies, especially in the trucking and construction industries. Once banks and creditors are aware of these staggering pension liabilities, it will make it nearly impossible for union businesses to get loans, credit lines or bonding.

If forced to report their true liabilities, hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of companies will scramble to get out from under their union obligations.

"The blind panic is un-frickin'-believable. [Unions] are flipping out," says Brett McMahon, a representative of Associated Builders and Contractors and vice president of Miller & Long Concrete Construction.

Forbes, February 2010;

In an industry dominated by men, Ford's all-women renewable materials research team is a rarity. Led by Debbie Mielewski, 46, the group of six innovate novel uses of plastics and natural materials, like soy and hemp, to revolutionize the production of Ford vehicles.

Denver News, October 2010;


...and then, there are corrections.



But, it's lunch break.

These days I can never keep them straight.

And people complain about the Chinese goods at Wal-Mart...

The NY Times reports that the Chinese government has placed a trade embargo on all exports to Japan of a crucial category of minerals used in products like hybrid cars, wind turbines and guided missiles.

China mines 93 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals, and more than 99 percent of the world’s supply of some of the most prized rare earths, which sell for several hundred dollars a pound.

Daily Caller;

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert is slated to testify at a congressional hearing Friday on immigration titled “Protecting America’s Harvest.”

One Republican source said Colbert will be testifying “in character,” the Bill O’Reilly-like muse Colbert uses for his show.


Your facility is tasked with the storage of a mountain of gold and you're not subject to periodic auditing?

How does that work, exactly?


24 hour update:


Heh. I'll bet it is.

Next time, everyone gets a vote.

Berlin 'cannibal' restaurant calls for diners to donate body parts for menu.

They will...well, no....


Six Months On, Haiti Remains Covered in Rubble"

A half a year after a devastating earthquake claimed at least 222,570 lives, the work of rebuilding Haiti is still in the early stages. Helpers have traveled to the country from around the world, but reconstruction has barely progressed. In many parts of the country, people have simply moved on with their lives amidst the rubble.


h/t Maz2

Robert Werner;

Every day I listen to an excellent 4-hour podcast (minus commercials) of John Batchelor from WABC in NYC. Just heard him talking with Bob Zimmerman about this story. The actual segment can be found here beginning at 18:45. It's an absolutely beautiful thing to hear Michael Mann squirm!

(Update: Video no longer available)

Jon Stewart: "Andrew Breitbart may be the most honest person in this entire story"

(Via Daily Caller, where you can watch the video from the US, or link through to Comedy Central.)

Related - "We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections."


"Poll based on the responses of 1,177 Canadians. Results are considered accurate within 2.99 percentage points, 19 times out of 20."


With Kate also in mind:

Squirrel stew (or soup)

(Update from Kate: You can drop your "get well soon" notes in the comments, and I'll be sure to send them on.)

Uh oh...

The Ontario government is dropping its short-lived and controversial eco fee in the face of growing consumer and retailer malcontent.

Environment Minister John Gerretsen will announce on Tuesday that fees attached to thousands of household items will be eliminated, according to government sources. The fees went into effect on July 1, the same day as the Harmonized Sales Tax, without the knowledge of most Ontarians. They were attacked by politicians of all stripes, along with retailers, including Canadian Tire, which announced on Monday it was refusing to collect the fee.

More of this please.

Previous - Nova Scotia emissions climb down.

I'd make a surprise appearance in Washington, just to announce my retirement.

Louisiana State University Endowed Chair of Banking and nationally-renowned economist Dr. Joseph R. Mason estimates that the first six months of the Obama administration's moratorium on oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico will trigger a loss of more than 8,000 jobs, nearly $500 million in wages, and over $2.1 billion in economic activity in the Gulf region alone.


According to the study, the United States will see a net loss of 12,000 jobs in the six months – a number which could grow to 36,000 over the next year. Additionally, Dr. Mason estimates that the U.S. economy will lose about $2.8 billion in economic activity and the federal treasuries will lose about $220 million in lost tax revenue.

You can download the paper here (word doc.)

Related: "Where did the jobs go?" Bepuzzlement at the New York Times. Not so much in the comments.


From the comments; "Wow.. I think I'd be tempted to start booby -trapping all those trails."

Think that's far fetched? Think again: Car bomb in Mexican drug war changes ground rules


Now remember - it's our "legal obligation" to send them cheap drugs.


A couple of years ago I wrote the following...

"When the sea of societal ills is so shallow that "phone calls I don't like" is scraped from the bottom and added to the legislative agenda, when the public tolerance for disagreeable things has dropped so low that "I have to hold my breath" is a complaint worthy of the commiseration of 100,000 radio listeners, we have a problem."

Well, with two years of said "no-call" legislation under the nation's belt, it seems that it isn't having the intended effect;

The 2006 legislation underpinning the do-not-call list appears to be a huckster’s dream. The process of investigating complaints and meting out penalties is dawdling along at such a leisurely pace that it’s hardly a deterrent to flouting the rules.

This is beautiful with a capital "B". Unlike most nanny state regulations that afflict the unsuspecting and uncomplaining, this one is coming back to bite the very people who wanted it most.

So, I hope that list is sold to every third world call center on the planet, 'cause my number ain't on it.

Via Chuck Adler.

Lots more here.

Now is the time at SDA when we witness the evolution of hands free devices!

Toronto Star. 2009 - Ontario motorists will likely have until fall before it becomes illegal to use hand-held cellphones and other electronic devices like BlackBerrys and global positioning systems while at the wheel..

Cnews, 2010 - Lambton County OPP say they stopped a big rig driver doing some driving dentistry along Hwy. 402 on Wednesday.

It's all fun and games until someone runs over a baby carriage.

"The start of Rudd's downfall can be traced back to December, when an attempt to pass vaunted emissions trading laws ended in embarrassing failure..."


Gore-Edwards: less Presidential running mates than bimbo bookends.

Now the latest bad news...

[Is] that the government may be preparing to prosecute BP, alleging criminal negligence. BP denies it took any safety shortcuts – despite the shameful history of its Texas City refinery explosion in which 15 workers died – and insists it is doing everything possible to put things right in the Gulf of Mexico.

But the American government and media seem to have decided the oil company put profits above safety in its list of priorities. Nor is there any reason to suppose British politicians and journalists would behave any differently if it was an American company that suffered similar setbacks here.

Or is there? When the Piper Alpha rig exploded in the North Sea in July, 1988, no fewer than 167 workers died and environmental damage pushed insured losses to £1.7bn. It was the worst offshore oil disaster in the world at that time and feelings ran high in Aberdeen, where many families suffered bereavement and financial loss.

But I do not recall Margaret Thatcher seeking to make political capital out of that tragedy by using inflammatory language about having her boot on the throat of Occidental Petroleum, the American oil giant which operated Piper Alpha. Oxy, as it was known because of the Los Angeles-based company’s New York Stock Exchange ticker, did not become the target of any government-sponsored hate campaigns in Britain.

... during the filming of this episode.

When Capt. Kuchta realized what she had done, he reprimanded her, she says.

"I didn't give you authority to do that," he said, according to Ms. Fleytas, who says she responded: "I'm sorry."

The more that industry is regulated by government, the more they begin to resemble it;

The vessel's written safety procedures appear to have made it difficult to respond swiftly to a disaster that escalated at the speed of the events on April 20. For example, the guidelines require that a rig worker attempting to contain a gas emergency had to call two senior rig officials before deciding what to do. One of them was in the shower during the critical minutes, according to several crew members.

An excellent piece from the WSJ, via Cjunk.

Don't think of it as internet stalking. Think of it as dropping a note to your next door neighbor.

(Update: Heh. Make that "can't".)

A verdict in the Michael Bryant road rage case: Not enough basketball courts bicycle lanes!

Update: Here's video that I hadn't seen until today.

Via David Thompson.

"How many Mexicans will it take to dependably replicate the performance of one Arizona power plant?"

Show your math.

NYT Breaking News Alert;

Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who is running for the United States Senate from Connecticut, never served in Vietnam, despite statements to the contrary. The Times has found that he obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war.

Yes, the same New York Times that so studiously avoided the "swift boat" controversy that dogged John Kerry. What gives? Suppose this might be a "teaching moment"?

Just admit it. There's much to like about Vladimir Putin.

Following high level complaints about "imperfections" in international law, Russia announced Tuesday that captured Somali pirates "have all died."

Update! And now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!
Alberta to spend $1.9M to help Somali youth resist drug trade.
Time for a poll! If a Somali drug dealer were about to commandeer your boat, and you could have only one other person on board, who would you choose?
Vladimir Putin
Ed Stelmach free polls

h/t old Lori

Toronto Star, May 6th...

Mercifully, the latest stock market crash might have been caused by something with which many of us have personal experience: a “fat finger.”

SDA, via commentor 'Melinda Romanoff' at May 6, 2010 10:59 PM...

No trading platform allows the use of common english, in place of numerics, for electronic trading. None. And the CME has said nothing untoward occurred in the e-minis (electronically traded mini (1/5) S & P 500 stock futures contract).

The list of "corrections" from the NASDAQ has some unique overlapping data points: mutual funds and ETF's holding the same individual stocks, as a multiplier).

This was no error, and I have made very expensive mistakes on the Globex trading platform. (In the pits too, but I won't go into that.)

Cjunk, quoting Zero Hedge on May 7th...

A year ago, before anyone aside from a hundred or so people had ever heard the words High Frequency Trading, Flash orders, Predatory algorithms, Sigma X, Sonar, Market topology, Liquidity providers, Supplementary Liquidity Providers, and many variations on these, Zero Hedge embarked upon a path to warn and hopefully prevent a full-blown market meltdown.

WSJ, May 10th...

The trade by Universa, a hedge fund advised by Nassim Taleb, author of "Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable," led traders on the other side of the transaction—including Barclays Capital, the brokerage arm of British bank Barclays PLC—to do their own selling to offset some of the risk, according to traders in Chicago.

Then, as the market fell, those declines are likely to have forced even more "hedging" sales, creating a tsunami of pressure that spread to nearly all parts of the market.


As more details of Thursday's collapse become clear, there is less evidence to suggest a "fat finger" data-entry error caused the collapse. Instead, the picture is one of a rare confluence of events, some linked, some unrelated, that exposed weaknesses in the stock market large and small...

"Expert Recommends Killing Oil-Soaked Birds"

Nears finish line.


Hamas fails to turn out in numbers expected.

h/t Allen

Where the foxes caper unmolested, the government packs confiscates your school lunch, and the question facing British voters today is why anyone wants the job?

Whoever wins the election must make sorting out the public finances the top priority, the European commission warned on the eve of the poll, as it predicted the British budget deficit would swell this year to become the biggest in the European Union, overtaking even Greece.

The commission's spring economic forecasts put the UK deficit for this calendar year at 12% of GDP, the highest of all 27 EU nations and worse than the Treasury's own forecasts.

Polls close at 2100 GMT . You can follow election results later today with the Sky News election map.

When Mr. Rudd was elected in 2007, he declared addressing climate change as the great moral challenge of the current generations.

That is, second only to the great moral challenge of re-election.

h/t Manotick


Just to watch it die.

As readers may appreciate, I am morally obligated to link to this.

h/t Larry W.

I had my suspicions that there might be more to this than Obama's auto mall shopping spree;

Sen. Chuck Grassley's charge was backed up by the inspector general for the bailout — also known as the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Watchdog Neil Barofsky told Fox News, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, that General Motors used bailout money to pay back the federal government.

If this keeps up, the graves they dig in may end up their own;

Allix was required by law to hire an archeology team last year — to dig up the family property — before she was allowed to build a house just outside of Parksville. Bones and aboriginal artifacts were found, but her son said not much has been done with that discovery.

"It's just a box full of artifacts — that aren’t even on display," said Tim Allix. "If the B.C. government had to pay $35,000 for this, they wouldn't do it. They're saying 'Ah, let's just pass this on to the landowner.'"

Under the province's Heritage Conservation Act, landowners whose property has been designated a heritage site cannot build until archeologists have done an assessment and removed any First Nations artifacts or human remains — at the landowner's expense.

I'm become relatively immune to outrage over public policy infringements of private property - the sheer volume of abuse makes rage unsustainable. What I can't wrap my head around is the behavior of free citizens who apparently believe they can exploit government-mandated property abuse without eventual risk to their personal safety.

Many B.C. residents don't know their land has been designated, because there is no system in place to inform them. The province keeps the database of sites that are reported to them, by First Nations and other interested parties, but that information is not shown on land title documents.

There are now 38,000 registered sites with some 2,000 new ones added every year. The minister responsible, Kevin Krueger, acknowledged that the lack of disclosure has been a long-standing problem.

Canadians are a numbingly tolerant lot, but everyone has their breaking point. If my job description included digging around in someone else's dirt, I'd be certain to have a freely-offered invitation in hand before setting foot on their property - "Heritage Conservation Act" be damned.

h/t Kevin B

A lot of people had forgotten...

[...] the shameful incompetence that led to the Waco massacre that — unlike the blamed Limbaugh, etc. — actually inspired Timothy McVeigh, but by bringing it up again Clinton is reminding people, and undermining the elder-statesman role he was trying to carve out. Bad move. Either he’s losing his touch, or they’re getting desperate.



And, if that's not enough to cheer you up - "I'd say we are in the eye of the deflationary storm." Enjoy!

Via Flea;

The video released by Wiki Leaks is EXTREMELY misleading, and propagating it as “murder” is borderline criminal. Their 17 minute version edited out any mention of hostile gunfire on the part of insurgents for the purpose of defaming U.S. Defence Forces. WikiLeak head Julian Assange has since reluctantly admitted to AK-47 and RPGs being present. To their credit, they did release a full 39 minute version, but for “research” purposes only. Their edited version tells a very different story.

I was afraid they were going to force us to eat them all.

"Money and ethnics are good for some things, afterall."

Ritual sacrifice of children on rise in Uganda.

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

April 1, 2010 - Canada, U.S. unite on car emission standards [...] Until now, California was seen as the bellwether of emissions standards...

April 1, 2010 - California's last auto plant shuts its doors

Related - "Taxpayers spent $60 billion to bailout GM. They own 60 percent of the company. And now they’re buying its cars."

Need a pick me up?

What we are seeing is the decline of the classic African liberation movement and the proliferation of something else -- something wilder, messier, more violent, and harder to wrap our heads around. If you'd like to call this war, fine. But what is spreading across Africa like a viral pandemic is actually just opportunistic, heavily armed banditry. My job as the New York Times' East Africa bureau chief is to cover news and feature stories in 12 countries. But most of my time is spent immersed in these un-wars.

I've witnessed up close -- often way too close -- how combat has morphed from soldier vs. soldier (now a rarity in Africa) to soldier vs. civilian. Most of today's African fighters are not rebels with a cause; they're predators. That's why we see stunning atrocities like eastern Congo's rape epidemic, where armed groups in recent years have sexually assaulted hundreds of thousands of women, often so sadistically that the victims are left incontinent for life. What is the military or political objective of ramming an assault rifle inside a woman and pulling the trigger? Terror has become an end, not just a means.

If only they had more condoms.

I feel the same way about hippies and wolves...

Mike Hamilton of Herons Forever has photographed the birds in the Black River Riparian Forest for eight years, and seen numerous eagle attacks.

"Intellectually I know it may be just part of nature," he said. "But there's an attachment you feel to the herons, watching their lives, taking pictures of their chicks. And when you see one carried off, you can't help but have feelings of dismay, even disgust. If I could, I would fly up there and chase the eagle away."

h/t Lee Matthews

Designed to meet the needs of the pre-emptive European driver.

Associated Press;

Police say they charged a Pennsylvania man with public drunkenness after he was seen trying to resuscitate a long-dead opossum along a highway. [...]

Levier says the animal already had been dead a while.

The Associated Press could not locate a home telephone number for Wolfe.

I suggest they try under Green, Tom.

h/t to Mystery Meat. (Oddly enough.)

LA Times;

Octuplets mother Nadya Suleman, whose financial troubles have been well-documented, has accepted an offer from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: $5,000 and a month's supply of vegan hot dogs and hamburger patties for her family of 15 in exchange for allowing the animal-rights group to place an ad on her lawn.


France has backed down from a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions that had been central to its push for a more prominent role in the fight against climate change.

The plan, launched by president Nichola Sarkozy with much fanfare last September, has been stalled since being ruled unconstitutional in December.

Government mulls car burning tax....

Or, as one reader emailed, "Are these guys on acid???????????"

No, they're not. Acid induces temporary psychosis, not terminal stupidity.

(That, and it outlines everything in your world with neon, not that I'd know anything about that.)

From the comments - "Does this scream HEAD FAKE to anyone else?". Yeah, it does.

A terminally stupid head fake.

"As far as I can tell, the entire song is a giant Human Rights Commission complaint waiting to happen."

Connecting the dots....

h/t Allen

Quote of the Week;

"Can we really call that whale a "killer"? Is the issue really that black and white?"

1st Runner Up: "I call them "snuggly-fish", so this has all been a huge shock to me."

(Plus, keep scrolling for helpful design ideas for whale pool safety apparatus.)

County Medical Examiner Dr. Noshit Sherlock: "Trainer likely died from drowning, trauma".

Via David Thompson - "Mitigating Global Warming Through Art"

Music in general and art in particular seems to be a promising Archimedean point for multiple new life styles. Performing music and dancing... may be powerful enough to substitute the culture of consumerism since they enable a creativity-based self-autonomy as well as cultural self-sufficiency. “Back to art” could even open up the path to self-induced simplification in order to overcome the hegemonic consumerist environment... Humanity should not be primarily treated according to the logic of homo economicus. Rather it might be best envisioned as communities of artists.

It's catching on!

Mmmmmm.... tastes like seal meat!

h/t the Greek

So here's the question of the day: Without a thieving climate engineering porn writer at the helm, how does the IPCC retain its credibility?

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose

BBC - California 'protects' Apollo 11 landing site on Moon

Mercury News - California controller: State will run out of cash before April

Bonus link. (h/t Robert B.)


No moon for you!

The White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects -- principally, researching and monitoring climate change....

That climate change funding sow just turned around to bite them.

At the height of the pandemic scare, UK's Chief Medical Officer warned of up to 65,000 deaths. The death toll now stands at 251; and the UK Government is now trying to offload up to £1 billion worth of unwanted swine flu vaccines.

What ACORN giveth, the Tea Party taketh away...


French health ministry issued a warning on Tuesday after eight people died and seven fell sick in two European countries from using heroin contaminated by anthrax.

"Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?"

Polls have opened. And go here for Steyn's take.

Updates: In a watershed moment for post-2009 Democrats, the first mention of "blame" that excludes the word "Bush". And speaking of monkey wrenches, the media wing of the Democratic machine has its own problems.

(I'm busy with stuff that makes blogging difficult today. Your best source for ongoing developments is likely to be the Corner.)

But not like I hate seals.

h/t Brent Weston


Police make arrest in Canadian pipeline bombings

Police arrested a man Friday in connection with a series of oil and gas pipeline bombings in northeastern British Columbia.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Tim Shields said a man in his 50s or 60s was taken into custody on a farm in the western Alberta town of Hythe. Police did not release the suspect's name pending the filing of formal charges.

About a dozen officers conducted a search of the farm, Shield said.

Oh, why it's Wiebo Ludwig, again.

Ford owners can follow developments here.

h/t Dave H.

Is there nothing that Obama can't do? Amid rejoicing at the NYT;

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed stricter health standards for smog, replacing a Bush-era limit that ran counter to scientific recommendations.

The new limits -- which are presented as a range -- will likely put hundreds more counties nationwide in violation, a designation that will require them to find additional ways to clamp down on pollution or face government sanctions, most likely the loss of federal highway dollars.

The tighter standards will cost tens of billions of dollars to implement, but will ultimately save billions in avoided emergency room visits, premature deaths, and missed work and school days, the EPA said.


While smog has been a long-term problem in parts of Texas, California, and along the northeast Coast, the new standards could affect counties in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, the Dakotas, Kansas, Minnesota and Iowa for the first time based on EPA data.

Yes, those Dakotas.

Or, maybe not.

h/t Tim Blair, who has more.

Dear Britain,

Now you know.

Yours truly,


Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Times, Jan 3, 2010 - "The UK has 259 onshore wind farms, of which 108 are in England, 91 in Scotland, 33 in Wales and 27 in Northern Ireland. Planning permission has been granted for a further 222 and there are plans for another 270 after that."

Express, Jan.5, 2010 - "SHIVERING Britain faces the prospect of gas supply shortages as the worst cold spell in 30 years keeps a stranglehold on the country."

(Of course, we coulda warned 'em that the wind don't blow when it's cold, but what would a bunch of prairie hicks know about the reliability of wind power, anyway?)

Update: More...


First shipment of unsold Al Gore books leaves dock in British relief effort... developing .....


More at Boing Boing.

Related: Strangers On My Flight

(h/t Jim)


SDA gets results!

Our goal is to entertain and engage the imagination of children with our stuffed animals, our store environment, and online. Our intention with the Polar Bear story was to inspire children, through the voices of our animal characters, to make a difference in their own individual ways. We did not intend to politicize the topic of global climate change or offend anyone in any way. The webisodes concluded this week with Santa successfully leaving on his journey to deliver gifts around the world. The webisodes will no longer be available on the site.

I get the sense that, for as important as it is to yell at elected representatives who endorse policies that damage our interests, it's the negative feedback directed towards AGW promoting corporations that may produce the most results per complaint over the long run.

Unlike their counterparts in mass media, most sensible retailers understand that the consumer can, and will, reject a product tainted by political agenda. A few angry letters can alert an executive that the global warming "consensus" ain't what she used to be.

An update from Ed Driscoll, in the comments. "For what it's worth, the three Build-A-Bear videos that Hot Air linked to are all still up on YouTube, where any kid can, and will stumble across them."

Not just antonyms anymore!

Carbon prices plunged yesterday in the aftermath of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, dealing a blow to the credibility of the European Union's carbon-trading scheme.


Carbon traders blamed the price fall on the Copenhagen conference, which produced an accord among the world's biggest developed and developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, but omitted details on what those limits would be. Governments now have a month to submit formal pledges on how far they will reduce their carbon output.

"This [accord] is a very disappointing outcome," said Trevor Sikorski, director at Barclays Capital. "I see nothing here that should drive investment in low-carbon technology." He said that it was "bearish for the market and bearish for the world".

SDA gets results!

The grass was green,
The oceans riz,
I wonder where the islanders is.

"Carbon trading" and "fraud" - not just synonyms anymore!

Denmark is the centre of a comprehensive tax scam involving CO2 quotas, in which the cheats exploit a so-called ‘VAT carrousel’, reports Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

Police and authorities in several European countries are investigating scams worth billions of kroner, which all originate in the Danish quota register. The CO2 quotas are traded in other EU countries.

Denmark’s quota register, which the Energy Agency within the Climate and Energy Ministry administers, is the largest in the world in terms of personal quota registrations. It is much easier to register here than in other countries, where it can take up to three months to be approved.

Critics often compare today's carbon trade to the tulip bubble of the 1600's. I disagree, for the two differ in a fundamental way. When a trader placed a tulip on the auction block, he actually had a tulip to sell.

In other news, polar bears are eating their young., topped with Beluga caviar and a Coca Cola chaser.

Overpopulation is an ugly thing.

[1] - Not making that up.

Before the College of Physicians and Surgeons have a chance to get their pants on;

The investigator discovered, instead, that Dr. O'Connor's public statements about the health of Fort Chipewyan's residents contained "mistruths, inaccuracies and unconfirmed information."

He had reported five cases of a rare bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma in the community of 1,200. There were two. The doctor had told reporters of a man who had died of colon cancer at the young age of 33. It was fiction. "No patient died at age 33 from colon cancer as reported by Dr. O'Connor," says the report.

"These weren't misdiagnoses; they were diagnoses that never occurred," says Hakique Virani, one of the three Health Canada physicians who lodged the original complaint with the college. "Our concern was, this is a guy who is saying there are a huge number -- five in a community that small is a huge number -- of rare cancers and there were outward associations being drawn between environmental concerns and cancers.

"Basically you're telling a group of people that you're likely to get these rare cancers and there's nothing you can do about it because of the place you live, the water that you drink and the food that you eat. If it's true, you're darn-straight to advocate. If not, you're really abusing the trust of an entire community."

CPSA Investigation Report (pdf)

h/t Mario

I'd be happier featuring video of current world leadership in prevention. Outside of Vaclav Klaus, though, I can't think of any.

Deniers of the 'Nation unite! A bit of fun to go with your morning coffee. (The survey will take a few minutes).

h/t Scott.

Daily Mail - A British nuclear expert who fell from the 17th floor of a United Nations building did not commit suicide and may have been hurled to his death, says a doctor who carried out a second post-mortem examination.

Skynews - Four months ago another UN worker also believed to be British fell from a similar height in the same building, it has been reported."

"Thailand. Happiness on Earth."

"Ireland. The Island of Memories..."

"Switzerland. The Undiscovered Country."

Now is the time at SDA when we told you so!

White City, SK - 2005 - A Saskatchewan town has asked hunters for help amid reports that unusually aggressive coyotes bit at a small girl's pants and carried off a pet.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park - 2009 - "Taylor Mitchell, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Toronto, died this morning after she was attacked by two coyotes while hiking....

When the White City incidents occurred, we know nothing prairie bumpkins were treated to media-borne fingerwagging lectures about no-kill strategies from a Toronto Humane Society "coyote management expert". (I will continue to search for his name).

I trust he's had the good sense today to keep his trap firmly shut.

An "independent" think tank closes its doors.

"It is with sadness that I must announce that after 15 years of quality public policy research, Canadian Policy Research Networks [CPRN] is no longer financially viable and will cease operations," announced Dr. Sharon Manson Singer, President of CPRN.

Among the CPRN policy research areas now left orphan: "Diversity", "Labour Market / Vulnerable Workers", "Social Protection".

You'd think all those "our values are Canadian values" folks would have stepped forward with their chequebooks before now, what with them vastly outnumbering us knuckledraggers and all.

Update. This is just plain cruelty.

Via KevinB, whose comments you should read upon conclusion of the video.

But first, pour yourself a stiff drink.

Canwest News;

People with outstanding warrants will be denied income assistance in British Columbia as soon as next year if legislation introduced yesterday is passed into law, said Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development. "People who have outstanding warrants shouldn't be getting welfare until they clean up the problem," said Mr. Coleman, adding that to qualify, warrants must be for indictable offences such as murder, sexual assault and drug trafficking. But Mr. Coleman said the government will not run criminal background checks on welfare applicants to enforce the policy. Instead, it will rely on criminals to disclose their outstanding legal issues when they make an application.

h/t R. Black

March, 2009 - "Hillary Clinton gave Sergei Lavrov a mock "reset" button, symbolising US hopes to mend frayed ties with Moscow. "

October, 2009 - Forsaking good sportsmanship, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin yesterday ridiculed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lack of success in Moscow in getting agreement on Iranian sanctions. Speaking in Beijing, he said, “There is no need to frighten the Iranians. We need to look for a compromise. If that is not found . . . then we will see.”

Breaking: ACORN suspends operations. (link fixed)

And another epic fail for a gatekeeper media that has failed to notice the walls are tumbling down around them.


Another celebrity has thrown his Hollywood clout behind animal-rights activists who want the Edmonton Valley Zoo to move Lucy, a 33-year-old ailing Asian elephant, to a sanctuary.

Canadian-born actor William Shatner, best known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk on Star Trek , sent a letter to Mayor Stephen Mandel requesting that the beloved pachyderm be retired to “better circumstances.”

Via Sean, who suggests - "I'm thinking that we should let the elephant go if Shatner agrees to take her place. It's not like anyone will notice much of a switch, except for the fact that the new elephant eats nothing but All Bran cereal and takes bigger dumps."


So how did it come to pass that critical components of both the private and public communications infrastructure for a major metropolitan area all ended up on one hill, surrounded by kindling?

Since the law's enactment in 2005, pit bulls have killed fewer Ontarians than former attorney general Michael Bryant;

"Burrows could not explain why the driver crossed lanes of traffic and drove up onto the curb."

His legacy is fondly remembered by both American media and the KGB.

Related - the fondly forgotten.

Jules Crittenden;

Meanwhile, listening to ”Reflections on Sen. Kennedy … Lion of the Senate” on the Diane Rehm Show on the drive home last night, I was deeply moved to hear Newsweek’s Ed Klein tell guest host Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones. Not that Kennedy lacked remorse, Klein quickly added, seeming to intuit that my jaw and perhaps those of other listeners had just hit the floorboards. I gather it was a self-deprecating manuever on Kennedy’s part, exercised with the famous Kennedy charm, though it sounds like one of those “I guess you had to have been there” things.

Jackson rumours swirl as negotiations with drag on....

"... despite the outrage of owner Kevin Spaans, amused bystanders posed with the flipped car and snapped photos with their cellphone cameras."

h/t Edward Teach

Previous - "This Is Not Your Father's Paper Sailboat"

Kate's roof repairs? ... or Obama's Presidency? You decide:

(Kate update: I dunno. Mine looks worse...)

If you leave nothing purposely behind when you die, then what is there here for you when you return?

Don Surber - "The London Sun quoted Casper de Jong, whose Smart car was last seen floating by his apartment:"

Will Dems lose the Hollywood street?

Dead fish found stuck on boat, autopsy scheduled.

Reader Lee M. updates: "What to you expect for $165M per mile ... four consecutive days of uninterrupted service?"

Previous - Seattle's brand spanking new parking-lot free light rail system.

Seattle Department of Transport spokesman Rick Sheridan;

"Light rail was meant to be fed by people taking the bus, walking or biking. It was not mean to be fed by cars."

Reader Lee M. writes;

Thus no parking lots near most of the train terminals. After packing the trains (free fare) over the weekend the new system commenced paid operation this morning and .... around 8 a.m., trains were arriving at Tukwila from downtown Seattle with fewer than 10 passengers aboard.

$165,467,625. That's the cost of building the system. Per mile.

Mercifully the rail, created to carry passengers from downtown Seattle to the airport, is only 13.9 miles. It's 15.6 miles from downtown Seattle to the airport. But that's being fixed.

This boondoggle was created by King County, WA Executive Ron "tax-to-the-max" Sims. Ron is now Obama's deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

We're winning;

General Electric has pulled the plug on its Earth Rewards MasterCard program due to lack of interest, ClimateWire reports.

A first-of-its-kind program, card users could set aside 1 percent of the value of their purchases for carbon offset projects.

Meanwhile... congressman Mike Castle (R - Delaware), meets his constituents at a town hall meeting three days after voting in favour of cap and trade. Things get really interesting at about the 4 minute mark.

(via WUWT)


Montreal investment adviser vanishes...

Brook Hamilton said his mother, who lives in Beaconsfield, west of Montreal, has invested about $350,000 and even refinanced her home after Jones persuaded her to do so.