Sunday, March 27, 2011

U.S. Taxpayers Giving General Electric $375 Million Worth of Chevy Volts

Does GE really need that money more than hard-pressed American taxpayers?

The Chevy Volt, that little darlin' of the green set, is a four-door hatchback that goes about 25 to 50 miles on a 111 kilowatt electric motor after a 4- to 10-hour charge of its lithium-ion batteries, which are manufactured by a South Korean chemical company. After the battery gives out, or when the Volt hits freeway speeds, the motor switches over to a conventional gasoline engine. In mixed driving, the Volt provides about 31 miles per gallon of premium fuel. Subtract the fuel used by the car heater or air conditioner and the Volt gets about 27 miles per gallon of that ever-pricier premium fuel.

According to the Green Car Book, which judges vehicles on fuel economy, tailpipe emissions, factory pollution, and ease of recycling, the Volt was ranked in 11th place, behind even gas burners like the Hyundai Elantra.  

Consumer Reports doesn't think much of the Volt either:
When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn't particularly efficient as an electric vehicle, and it's not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy.
Thus, despite Barack Hussein Obama's recommendation to buy a Chevy Volt and a $7,500 tax credit to anyone who purchases one (bringing its price down to $33,500), General Motors has succeeded in selling only 326 Volts in December, 321 in January, and 281 in February.

In one full quarter, GM managed to sell only 928 Volts--less than 1,000.

Could Volt enthusiasts be waiting for optional solar panels?

To the rescue: Jeff Immelt of General Electric infamy who, as chair of Obama's Economic Advisory Board, is one of the CEOs helping the President turn the U.S. into one of Brazil's petroleum customers while simultaneously leading a corporation that paid $0.00 in 2010 federal income taxes on profits of 14.2 billion.

Interestingly, as recently reported:
Immelt announced that GE will buy 50,000 Volts in the next two years, or half the total produced. Assuming the corporation qualifies for the same tax credit, we (you and me) just shelled out $375,000,000 to a company to buy cars that no one else wants so that GM will not tank and [will] produce even more cars that no one wants.
Instant replay: Obama is giving $375 million of American tax serf dollars to his economic advisor to use to buy cars from General Motors, a company that still owes U.S. taxpayers nearly $50 billion.

Of course, Obama does not plan on personally driving a Chevy Volt anytime soon. The presidential state car, known as The Beast, is fitted with assorted weaponry and 5-inch thick armor, making it about as unlikely to be powered by a lithium-ion battery system as Air Force One.

Hopefully, though, we'll be seeing Private Citizen Barack Obama behind the wheel of his very own Chevy Volt in March of 2013.  On family outings, though, the Obamas will have to leave grandmother behind. The Volt seats only four people.

Bluegrass Hymns Medley - Sherman Mountain Boys

A medley of Jesus Hold My Hand, I Saw the Light, and I'll Fly Away:


Friday, March 25, 2011

Intermittent Posting & Missing My Blogger Friends . . .

but stretched a bit too thin at the moment to blog.

I'll be back as soon as I can. . .

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time-Lapse Japan Quake Map

In the last eleven days, Japan has suffered 664 quakes; in the last seven days, 203 quakes.

For a time-lapse visualization of these quakes, click on the image.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

This is the Way We Praise Him - Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir

Near Union Square in New York City, members of the award-winning Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir sang and collected donations for earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. The cardboard sign held by one of the singers reads: "My family is still taking shelter from tsunami. We Need Your Support!"

The Salvation Army in Japan has three emergency service relief teams working in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. One of the teams is assisting people who have been evacuated from areas threatened by the damage of nuclear power plants. To make a $10 donation, text the words Japan or Quake to 80888. (Make sure to respond YES to the "Thank You" message you will receive.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

NPR Serves 11% of U.S.--"Predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite"

I notice that Democrats are busy mocking as clownish and inconsequential yesterday's vote by House Republicans to cut public funding for NPR. That's good news, because when the Left mocks, it means they are sweating. And the Left does not sweat about radio propaganda, attitudes, and dollars that are inconsequential to the Democrat Party.
NPR might very well be "better off in the long run without public funding" as its chief fundraiser, Ron Schiller, famously claimed just last month. But the Democrat Party will not be better off without tax dollars devoted pretty much exclusively to NPR's promotion of the Democrat agenda.

Ron Schiller typified NPR's cultural attitude when he branded the Tea Party as a "scary," "white," "seriously racist," "weird evangelical kind of move" made up of people who aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic."

Schiller didn't make clear how the intense hatred for people of other countries with which he has stereotyped the Tea Party manages to translate into the millions and millions of dollars in aid given by American conservatives to earthquake and tsunami survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand (2004), in Pakistan (2005), in Haiti (2010) and, of course, in Japan.

About the time that NPR's chief fundraiser was characterizing a large percentage of the American public served by National Public Radio as "undereducated," another proponent of public radio, Sue Schardt, was advising NPR's board and execs (perhaps including Ron Schiller) on how to "address criticism that has undercut its case for continued federal aid." According to Schardt, who is the executive director of a group of 800 media makers in 13 countries, NPR has, for 30 years, followed a "very specific methodology," to "cultivate and build . . . a highly educated, influential audience . . . a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite." An audience that Schardt identified as "11% of America."

Now that many of the remaining 89% of America no longer are inclined to foot part of NPR's bill for their "elite" neighbors, Schardt suggested NPR consider whether or not the franchise of radio stations does indeed "warrant public funding." If not, she suggested, NPR could commit to "serving--truly--and speaking in the voices--truly--of 80 percent or 90 percent of the public." Interestingly, NPR would "set the timetable" for this change in "service."

Thanks but no thanks, NPR. If you and your fellow "white, liberal, highly educated" self-appointed "elite" have finally come around to wanting to "serve" the people whom you scorn--the non-white, conservative, and in your view "under-educated," the supposedly luckless majority who by your definition are "scary xenophobes," I think you should feel free to do it on voluntary donations from your well-heeled "elite" audience. To save trees and energy, you might advise them to skip the middleman and send their contributions directly to the Democrat Party.

Hat tip: How's That Obama Vote Working Out for You???


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Boehner's House of Wafflers*

Well, the Republican-led House did it again, passing its second short-term budget extender intended to fund the federal government for the next three weeks until April 8. This continuing resolution is much to the Dem-majority Senate's taste.

Altogether, between the two resolutions, the House will have managed to cut $10 billion from the 2011 budget, $4 billion the first time around and $6 billion more this time. That's a mere bag of shells when compared to the enormity of this year's deficit and this administration's backbreaking contribution to the national debt.

Among the many superfluous--and worse--budget items that the House continues to burden America with is the unconstitutional--not to mention repugnant--law popularly known as ObamaCare.

This move by Republicans awards Obama's shameful executive-branch entourage yet more time to weld ObamaCare into our system using the regulatory-power blowtorch that Kathleen Sebelius and other agency administrators picked up at the Little Shop of Congress. If these Obamatons get their way, the regulatory flame issuing from the ObamaCare blowtorch will reduce our precious Constitution to cinders, but hey . . . .

The waffling Republicans who just can't seem to make a decision to defund ObamaCare--despite the overwhelming voter and judicial mandate to do so--manage to remain firm in their conviction to pick up their paychecks, travel vouchers, perks, publicly funded pensions, and ObamaCare-exempt health insurance.

And they are pretty well content to tell the Conservatives and Tea Partiers who worked unceasingly to get them elected to go suck wind.

*Thanks to Mark Levin (via The Right Scoop) who has proposed a new name for the House of Reps, the "Waffle House."

Japan: Radiation Leak Upgraded to Level 5 of 7

Three separate explosions in three separate nuclear reactors; fire burns in a fourth reactor:


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Muslims Celebrate Barbaric Slaughter of Israeli Babies in Gaza

Content warning: Graphic images released by the remaining family members:

The baby-slaughterers, anticipating adulation, couldn't wait to identify themselves as members of "Fatah," the most popular Palestinian political party. Hamas called the murder of the three little children and their parents "a heroic operation, and "residents of the Gaza city of Rafah on Saturday poured out on the streets to celebrate the terror attack."

Fatah logo: Two clenched fists holding rifles
and a hand grenade over the State of Israel,
the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip

This attack is being called part of a larger plan by the Muslim Brotherhood. That would be the same Muslim Brotherhood whose identity NPR fundraisers were just last month so blithely willing to "shield" from U.S. government audits in exchange for a $5 million "gift" from undercover reporters posing as representatives of a Muslim Brotherhood front group promoting worldwide shariah.

Update 3/14, 7:00 p.m.: The Guardian (via The Blaze) has reported that, within 24 hours of the attack, the Israeli government approved the building of 500 housing units in the large settlement blocks that Israel will be retaining under any "peace agreement"
Interior minister Eli Yishai, of the pro-settlement, rightwing Shas party, said Israel should build "at least a thousand new homes for each person murdered".
According to The Blaze, yesterday more than 20,000 mourners accompanied the bodies of the slain Fogel family members to their final resting place.


Just a Closer Walk with Thee - Ella Fitzgerald


Friday, March 11, 2011

English and Chinese-Language TV News from Toyko

Other languages too. Here's the link: via Business Insider and The Anchoress.

Update 1/12/11, 11:40: The northern Prefecture of Miyagi got hit the hardest by the quake.

This aerial view of Minamisanruriku, a town in Miyagi Prefecture, taken before the quake and tsunami, shows a two-storey City Hall (top) and a hospital (below right).

Now, the City Hall seems to be gone. The five-storey hospital is flooded to the forth floor.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NPR Offers to Shield Muslim Brotherhood Front Group from Gov't Audit

NPR's Senior Director of Institutional Giving, Betsy Liley, assured reporters posing as representatives of a Muslim Brotherhood front group that NPR would shield them from a U.S. government by hiding its identity. ("No paperwork in any official place.")

Here's the audiotape:

Not only is the offer on audiotape, Betsy Liley PUT IT IN WRITING! (Click on image to enlarge.)

Interestingly, Barack Hussein Obama, intends to give NPR a raise in this year's budget as the rest of us pull our belts a notch tighter, even after NPR's head fundraiser, Ron Schiller, opined that NPR doesn't need taxpayer funding and would be better off in the long run without it. From The Daily Caller via Yahoo:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended Wednesday President Barack Obama’s request for $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides taxpayer funds to National Public Radio (NPR), PBS and a slew of other media organizations.
Update: Following the release of this tape, NPR has placed Betsy Liley on administrative leave.

Father of Islamic Terrorist Carlos Bledsoe Tells Hearing: God Help Us!

Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, shot and murdered one U.S. soldier, Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded another, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, at a Little Rock, Arkansas military recruiting station in an act of Islamic terrorism on June 1, 2009. What follows is a recording of Carlos's father, Mr. Melvin Bledsoe, testifying at today's Congressional hearing on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims.

It's a heart-breaker.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Access Denied: NPR's Ron Schiller Scrubbed from New Job

Yesterday, I grabbed the following screen shot from the prominently displayed announcement of The Aspen Institute Web site and wondered how long it would last:

Not long. It was scrubbed today, as was Ronald J. Schiller's name from The Aspen Institute's roster of personnel.

This is all that remains under a search of the site for "Ronald Schiller":

Elsewhere this announcement is still clattering around the Internets, echoing the comradeship felt by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson for the fallen Schiller:
"Ron Schiller embraces and lives the values that we share as a community . . . ."

Remind me not to move to Aspen, Colorado.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Citizen Reporters Pose as Muslim Brotherhood to NPR, Part I

Q. What happens when the president of the NPR Foundation and chief fundraising executive of NPR sits down with another NPR fundraiser to talk with "Amir Malik" and "Ibrahim Kassam" from "a Muslim Brotherhood front group" with $5 million to help "spread the acceptance of shariah across the world"?

A. They talk about lack of Muslim voices in our schools, the inconvenience of federal funding for NPR, uneducated Christians and "xenophobic," "seriously racist" Tea Partiers taking over the Republican party, Jews in the media, how Juan Williams got what was coming to him, and--oh, yeah--professional ethics.

This is hidden-camera footage that you don't want to miss!!
Ron Schiller, President, NPR Foundation; Senior Vice President for Fundraising, NPR
Betsy Liley, Senior Director, NPR Institutional Giving.

Shaughn Adeleye as Amir Malik
Simon Templar as Ibrahim Kasaam.

Produced by James O'Keefe
Promoting Modern-Day Muckrakers.

Some highlights via the "National Palestinian Radio" Web site:
— "The Tea Party is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian--I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move."
— "Tea Party people" aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."
— "I think what we all believe is if we don't have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air ... it's the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn't have female voices."
— That NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding."
Non-racist, non-bigoted, uncompromised, credible, and basically ethical: Is that how you would describe Ron Schiller, President of the NPR Foundation, and his brainy sidekick?

Or would you have to burn a few of your advanced degrees and abandon all your real-world experience to see things their way?

Update: I thought I'd post this screen shot from the Web site of Schiller's new employer, The Aspen Institute, where he is supposed to start work on . . . April Fools' Day!


Fat Cat Foundations Get ObamaCare Waivers

Michelle Obama and the Muppet Veggies,
brought to you by the Pew Charitable Trusts
The Carnegie Corporation of New York is a foundation worth $3 Billion. That's billion with a "B."

It is interesting that this major foundation shows up on Kathleen Sebelius's list of 1,040 organizations receiving waivers releasing them from ObamaCare regulations. After all, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the waivers exist for the purpose of "helping Americans keep the coverage they have." 

(That is, the coverage that Barack Hussein Obama assured the American people we are in no danger of losing due to ObamaCare. But I digress . . . .)

One would think that a foundation worth $3 Billion that exists for the express purpose of giving away money would be able to keep their employees covered by health insurance without the aid of a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services.

I mean, the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS expect you and I to maintain our own health insurance coverage without the aid of Kathleen Sebelius even though we are not (I think it is safe to say) worth $3 billion.

The selection of the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the honor of not having to comply with ObamaCare regulations also is interesting because Andrew Carnegie, who originally endowed the foundation with his fabulous wealth 100 years ago, famously believed in helping those who help themselves: giving to the "industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others." That's not exactly a public policy that this administration has endorsed, at least when it comes to benefiting industrious and ambitious small business owners.

On the other hand, America has learned to expect that members of Democrat-supporting unions of service and food workers, farm laborers, and members of the construction trades like electrical and iron workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and plumbers and pipefitters, as well as miners and workers in other industries, and even, (though it's a stretch) wine and liquor salesmen of New Jersey, will be rewarded for their support of ObamaCare, even though it means they are exempted from it, but does America really want to go the extra parsec to help foot the health-care bill for charitable foundations worth billions, like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (worth at least $9 Billion) and the Pew Charitable Trusts (worth $5 Billion)?

These foundations and the others granted waivers by Kathleen Sebelius exert enormous power of social engineering by directing huge sums of grant money to the activities and the types of research they are interested in promoting.

At present, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has special interests in health insurance reform and childhood obesity. Where have you heard about those recently? Among many other concerns, the Pew Charitable Trusts fund studies of great concern to this administration: including economic policy and public opinion, not to mention Public Broadcasting and the Muppets.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bill Whittle's Take on Wisconsin: The End of the Beginning

Goodbye, unions, goodbye . . .


Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior - Blind Pig and the Acorn

A father, son, and nephew play and sing a hymn by the legendary blind lyricist, Mrs. Fanny Crosby:


Saturday, March 5, 2011

4,000 Muslims Shouting Allahu Akbar Torch Church, Terrorize Christians

St. Mina the Miracle Worker, a martyr who was beheaded
for refusing to renounce Christianity
From the Assyrian International News Agency, reported today by Mary Abdelmassih:
(AINA) -- A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.

Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was "in order now."

A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.
As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch recommends, think about the next paragraph, in all its various parts, for awhile:
The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.
The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside. Activist Ramy Kamel of Katibatibia Coptic advocacy called US-based Coptic Hope Sat TV and sent an SOS on behalf of the Copts in Soul village, as they are presently being attacked by the mob. He also said that no one is able to contact the priest and the deacons inside the burning church and there is no answer from their mobile phones.

Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub reported the mob has broken into Coptic homes and has called on Copts to leave the village. "Terrorized Copts have fled and some hid in homes of Muslim neighbors," he added.

Witnesses said the mob chanted "Allahu Akbar" and vowed to conduct their morning prayers on the church plot after razing it.
Sharia law administered by the Religion of Peace, Egyptian uprising style.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Flashback: 1928 Version of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It"

This is a reproduction of a 1928 Edison recording of Cole Porter's fox trot masterpiece performed by trumpet virtuoso B.A. Rolfe and his Palais D'or Orchestra. I don't revise history, so PC purists be warned. Everyone else, enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Christian Martyr in Pakistan

Until yesterday, Shabaz Bhatti was Pakistan's Minorities Minister and the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet. He opposed Pakistan's blasphemy law, which makes insulting the founder of Islam a capital offense. Yesterday, the predictable happened: Bhatti was assassinated, gunned down in his unguarded car.

Two months ago, Salman Taseer, a Pakistani provincial governor and a defender of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death under the blasphemy law, was assassinated by a Muslim guard assigned to protect him.

Shabaz Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, knew that his days were numbered if he did not stop speaking for Pakistani's Christians and other minorities. Four months ago, he sent the following interview to the BBC to be shown in the event of his assassination:

In it, Bhutti stated:
The forces of violence, militant band organizations, the Taliban, and al Qaeda: they want to impose their radical philosophy on Pakistan and whoever stands against their radical philosophy threatens them. When I am leading this campaign against Sharia law for the abolishment of blasphemy law and speaking for the oppressed and marginalized, persecuted Christian and other minorities, these Taliban threaten me.  But I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ who has given His own life for us. I know what is the meaning of [the] cross, and I am following the cross, and I am ready to die for a cause. I am living for my community and my suffering people, and I will die to defend their rights. So these threats and these warnings cannot change my opinion and principles. I prefer to die for my principles and for the justice of my community rather [than] to compromise on these threats.
Thanks to the Right Scoop, where more video and information is available.
Related posts:  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shiver Me Timbers! New Hampshire Sinks Cap'n Tax

It was walk-the-plank time for Cap'n Tax in New Hampshire last week, when the state's House of Reps "voted overwhelmingly -- 246 to 104 -- for New Hampshire to be become the first state to repeal an up-and-running global warming cap-and-trade energy tax system." That was a bipartisan vote, and the state's senate is expected to second the motion with a veto-proof vote.

Unlike Obama's national plan, which would tax a variety of CO2 emitters at the government's whim, New Hampshire had only subjected electric utilities to Cap'n Tax's ransom demands. Even that relatively modest piracy--as compared to the widespread CO2 looting that the Obama administration has planned for the nation--was expected to separate New Hampshire residents from $70 million hard-earned dollars in hidden taxes next year.

Cap'n Tax was a pirate from the cradle, as Phil Kerpen at The Daily Caller observed:
Lisa Jackson likes Cap'n Tax's booty
RGGI [Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative] was supposed to segue directly into a national cap-and-trade system, and was designed by Lisa Jackson, now EPA administrator, when she ran New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection.* The pitch to industry was that they could get a head start on buying cap-and-trade permits for two or three dollars each, and make a fortune when a federal bill passed with permit prices ten times that or higher. Now that a federal bill is dead, RGGI is a lose-lose for everyone except the politicians who get to spend the money and the special interests receiving subsidies.
But the really, really good news is that, since New Hampshire voters are escaping from Cap'n Tax's hold, they aren't likely to become the wind in the sails of any candidate who advertises that he (or she) is sleeping in the same hammock with that scurvy scum.

*New Jersey is catching on to Cap'n Tax's infamy, too it seems, with proposed legislation in the works to hang the old feller from the nearest yardarm.


A Profile of Allen West

It's in the Washington Post Magazine. A sample:

I know everyone is kind of perplexed about, you know, a black Republican congressman from South Florida who's a very strong conservative. But I think when you look at the basis of a conservative ideology--individual responsibility, accountability, faith, good education and national security--that's how I was raised. I think it's important to talk about conservative principles and values and not make it such a boogeyman thing.

Read the rest here.