Sunday, October 28, 2007

Indoctrinate U - An Interview With Evan Coyne Maloney

I really want to see this movie when/if it comes to Phoenix. It's been 25 years since I graduated from college and I found much the same atmosphere that Evan Coyne Maloney's interviewees describe. Here's his interview with Sean Hannity on Sean Hannity's America:

And here is the actual film trailer:

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mark Steyn on The Real War on Children

In response to all the (nauseatingly predictable) liberal hysteria about the President's veto of the expansion of SCHIP to cover 18-25 year old "children" and families with income up to $80,000 a year, Mark Steyn points out the non-sustainability of that and similar entitlement programs, once they get entrenched. A sample:

"And so, in a democratic system today's electors vote to keep the government gravy coming and leave it to tomorrow for "the children" to worry about. That's the real "war on children" – and every time you add a new entitlement to the budget you make it less and less likely they'll win it"
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Nobel Prize Blunders Rectified

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has belatedly recognized exactly how useless it really is and gone out of business, but not before correcting a few of its most egregious errors.
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

A General Takes A Biased MSM To Task

Via Powerline. Read.

Update: It's worse than I thought. The MSM ignored all the criticism of themselves, constituting a major chunk of the Sanchez speech, and focused their reporting on a criticism of George Bush and the strategy/prosecution of the war, thereby proving Sanchez' point about them, the MSM. Absolutely shameless.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

The Third Most Undeserved Nobel Peace Prize In History....

...goes to Al Gore. Holding the number 1 and 2 slots are:
  1. Yasser Arafat - bloodthirsty terrorist and;
  2. Jimmy Carter - one of the chief enablers of number 1

The Nobel Peace Prize has become a bad joke.

Update: Now you can win your own Nobel! Three easy ways to get it.

Update 2: I'd permalink the following but no matter what, I end up at the front page of the paper. Anyway, The Manchester Union-Leader thinks Gore's Nobel is worse than a joke. Here's the full post:

"Five Norwegians gave a prize to Al Gore, and all the world is supposed to heed his counsel henceforth. No, thanks.

Alfred Nobel felt horrible about the uses to which his invention -- dynamite -- was put. So he endowed the Nobel Peace Prize and instructed that it go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Al Gore has done exactly none of those things.

Gore, however, did write a book and make a film about global warming. He has become the second environmental activist to win the peace prize in the past four years. Wangari Muta Maathai won it in 2004 for planting trees.

Thus we have indisputable confirmation that the Nobel Peace Prize is no longer a serious international award. In 1994 the five Norwegian politicians who award the prize gave it to the murdering thug Yasser Arafat. Two years before that they gave it to literary fraud Rigoberta Menchu, whose autobiography was largely fabricated. (An example: The brother she supposedly watched die of malnutrition was later found by a New York Times reporter to be very much alive and well.)

On Friday the prize was given to Al Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change. Two days before, a British judge ruled that Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," contained so many errors (read: lies) that it could be shown in British public schools only if accompanied by a fact sheet correcting the errors.

The Nobel Peace Prize is worse than a joke. It's a fraud. It is such a transparent fraud that the five Norwegian politicians who award it have been reduced to defending their decision by concocting elaborate rationalizations. This year they laughably claimed that Gore deserves the prize because, well, global climate change" may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the Earth's resources," and "there may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars." (Emphasis ours.)

And Islamic terrorists may give up jihad and sing Kumbaya after listening to old Cat Stevens records. But that's no basis for distributing the world's formerly most prestigious prize. If winning this useless medal prompts Al Gore to get into the presidential race, which we doubt, the irony will be that the American people will turn a more skeptical eye to His Smugness than the Nobel committee did.

The American public won't accept at face value Gore's self-righteous proclamations or his self-serving predictions of looming global catastrophe. And Gore has to know that, which is why he will almost certainly stick to the world of make-believe -- Hollywood and International Do-Goodery -- where he can pretend to be the great sage and savior he wishes he really were and left-wing Europeans and thespians try to convince us he is."

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More National Health Madness....

From The Times Online, another sample of what our health care system will eventually become if we socialize our medical care:

"The NHS is Britain’s last big state monopoly. It is the largest employer in the developed world. Its 1.4 million staff outnumber the private and public healthcare workforce of Germany, a country with 25 per cent more people and better health outcomes. Its powerful unions view any slowdown in spending growth as a “cut”. And cut is a deadly word in political terms. The Government had its chance, when it was flush with cash, to demand reform as a quid pro quo for more money. But it did not go far enough.

In the 1990s it was possible to argue that the NHS was starved of cash. But not any more. Britain is now spending at about the European average, but lags behind too many other European countries in terms of results. Far too many cancer patients, babies and stroke victims are still dying needlessly. Far too many patients, particularly the elderly, are treated with a callousness bordering on brutality. Almost everyone I know who has had a baby recently has been told by the nurses to bring their own Jif, and not to set foot in an NHS shower without scrubbing it. World-class that isn’t. "
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cashing In On Cory Lidle

David Nieporent has a post over at Overlawyered on the legal feeding frenzy that the crash of New York Yankee player Cory Lidle has become with claims now totaling $63 million against either the estates of the deceased pilot and his instructor or the aircraft manufacturer. Lidle's widow is of course trying to assert a claim through her lawyer that the aircraft itself, a Cirrus SR20, was defective: "Macaluso [the lawyer] charged Cirrus "knew about these flight control problems ... which cause the controls to lock up." This claim is utter BS of course but that doesn't mean he won't gull some jury into buying it.

The reason I call BS on the lawyer, and why the NTSB got the accident cause exactly right (in short: inadequate planning/pilot error), is that I am familiar with that airspace and fly aircraft with similar capabilities to the SR20. I used to live in New York City and once in a while I'd rent a plane from an FBO up at White Plains airport.

The airspace around New York is Class B airspace, meaning you need to have a clearance from the local approach control to enter it. However, there is a corridor of class D airspace, where clearance is not required, running down the width of the Hudson River and below an altitude of 1,100 feet (or maybe 900', I don't have the chart and it's been a while) to the harbor then hooking left, around the tip of Manhattan and going up the East River to the tip of Roosevelt Island. This is where Mr. Lidle and his instructor came to grief that day.

Cory Lidle was a freshly minted private pilot. I don't know how long his instructor had been flying or how many hours he had but he was not familiar with the area or the airspace. I made the excursion down the Hudson several times, turned around in the harbor and came straight back up the Hudson again. I was very leery of trying the East River because it is essentially a dead end and it would be necessary to get the attention of New York Approach and get permission to penetrate controlled airspace and fly over Manhattan back to the Hudson. The alternative is to attempt to do a 180 degree turn and fly back to the harbor. I have a commercial license with instrument rating and at that time about 400 hours. I was not willing to go into that part of the airspace because the risks weren't worth the view in my opinion.

At the point where Lidle & Tyler attempted to turn around the East River is approximately 1,100 to 1,300 feet wide. Call it a quarter mile. On the day of the crash there was a fairly stiff wind coming from the East at about 12-15 knots (13-17 mph), nearly perpendicular to their direction of flight, coming from their right. The rules of the airspace (uncontrolled is a bit of a misnomer, there are still procedures to follow) are that in those corridors aircraft should stay to the right (just like a car on the road) with southbound traffic staying to the west side of the corridor and northbound traffic to the east. If they were doing this, then when they attempted to turn, they were turning left, downwind. The SR20 is a fairly high performance airplane for being a single-engine aircraft. It is capable of cruising at 150 knots (about 165 mph) or roughly 2.75 miles / 14,500 feet every minute. At that rate of travel, even allowing for the fact that he was flying in an arcing turn and not going straight across, he would have crossed the river in roughly 9-10 seconds and he picked up a 15 knot tailwind in the turn, thereby increasing his speed in relation to the ground. Even if they had banked the airplane to a steep 60 degrees, which would have produced about 12 degrees of direction change per second (4 times standard rate or 3 degrees/second, 180 degrees per minute), a 180 degree turn would have taken 15 seconds. As you can see, the math doesn't work out too well.

The only way they may have gotten away with this maneuver, and this is pure speculation, is if they had bent the rules by staying to the left coming up the river then turning into the wind. They might have violated controlled airspace but there's a lot less to hit on the east side of the river. As it was, they essentially sealed their fate the minute they made the decision to go up the river and not use the option of contacting approach and get clearance to exit what was effectively a box canyon by climbing and overflying Manhattan. Given the conditions that day, there was simply no way they could have gotten away with what they tried. There just wasn't enough physical airspace for it. It wasn't a matter of the "controls locking." I was always taught by my instructors that when I was flying, my head needed to arrive at where I was flying next at least five minutes ahead of the airplane, i.e., I needed to have anticipated what was coming and plan accordingly. Cory Lidle and Tyler Stanger didn't do it.

That's my long winded way of saying that Cirrus should not settle this case because it ought to be very clear, it wasn't the equipment. It was the operator. The problem is that the operator didn't leave a large enough estate and the aircraft manufacturer is perceived to have the deep pockets here, regardless of whether its product is actually at fault.

Update: corrected minor typo in second to last paragraph and added a couple of words for clarity in how many degrees of direction change per second for a standard rate turn.
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Monday, October 08, 2007

Who Said That?

This is why we need to make sure Hillary Clinton is not elected.
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A FairTax Webcast You Should Watch.

A couple of weeks back, I undertook to "fisk" Bruce Bartlett's hatchet job on the FairTax. Shortly after, Newt Gingrich's group, American Solutions held a seminar on it wich was webcast. You can view it here and I strongly suggest that you do if you'd really like to understand what it is all about and how it works.

I would also recommend getting a copy of Neal Boortz and John Linder's book on the FairTax. It's a quick read (because it really is that simple) and a great reference to have around. You can buy it at the following link:

The FairTax is nothing less than a revolution in the way we fund government and the biggest transfer of power from Washington back to the people since 1776.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

More on Health Care

If there's any crisis in health care, it's one caused by a cartel-like health insurance system and a legal liability climate that is driving good physiscians, particularly much-needed specialists, out of the practice of medicine. This article from the East Valley Tribune (AZ) this weekend illustrates what happens when insurance companies fix reimbursement rates below what it actually costs to provide care, hopsitals must treat patients without regard to ability to pay and lawyers are waiting to cash in on by portraying every bad outcome as being due to malpractice.

".....hospitals are at the mercy of specialists, who have been fleeing emergency departments because of burnout, financial pressure, legal liability or all three.

Shortages are most acute among neurosurgery, behavioral health, hand surgery, urology, orthopedics, gastroenterology and otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat).

Though the problem is nationwide, it’s become particularly acute in the fast-growing Valley, where physicians say their colleagues fear managed care and malpractice suits."

This is not something that a single-payer, government run health care bureaucracy is going to fix. No, that would make it even worse.
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Health Care's Poster-Child Du Jour

Writing at The Corner, Mark Steyn has a piece on the latest poster child for families without healthcare and his family's desperate straits.

"If it ever occurred to Matthew Hay Brown, the Sun's "reporter", to look into just what kind of "woodworking" Mr Frost did, he managed to suppress the urge.

..........Mr Frost, the "woodworker", owns his own design company and the commercial property it operates from, part of which space he also rents out; they have a 3,000-sq-ft home on a street where a 2,000-sq-ft home recently sold for half a million dollars; he was able to afford to send two children simultaneously to a $20,000-a-year private school; his father and grandfather were successful New York designers and architects; etc. This is apparently the new definition of "working families":..."

The "health care crisis" is another one of those "issues" manufactured manufactured by those who want to have us completely beholden to, controlled by and dependent on the state.

(via Instapundit)

Update: More perspective from Powerline.
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fred Thompson for President

I'm a big fan of Fred Thompson and have decided to support him for President in 2008. In fact, I'm now a Friend of Fred. There's something just very down to earth about the guy that I relate to. I've actually only seen him act once, in "Hunt For Red October." I've never seen the legal drama he plays in (in fact, I'm not even positive about what it's called. Is it Law & Order or Boston Legal?) but he was one of my Senators during the time I lived in Tennessee and I liked the way he represented us. I saw him in person just once, at the Davis-Kidd Boookstore in Green Hills one Sunday morning when I stopped by with the family to shop. We decided to have a bite to eat in the cafe upstairs and there he was, reading and enjoying his coffee and some breakfast. I opted not to bother him but we did exchange "the nod", so he knew I recognized him.

I saw this article at the American Thinker earlier today that pretty well describes what it is that I like about the man. He's a no BS type and bluntly straightforward. I like that quality in a politician because, well, he doesn't sound like a politician, just trying to talk without actually saying anything.

Please do investigate for yourself. I hope you'll agree with me that Fred Thompson is the best candidate for President.
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