Thursday, February 23, 2012

Great Moments in Animal Rights Activism

Here's a heartwarming tale of an animal rights activist in Ohio:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio woman who compared animal-welfare work to the liberation of World War II concentration camps has been charged with soliciting a hit man to fatally shoot or slit the throat of a random fur-wearer, federal authorities said.
Let it not be said that the woman doesn't love children as well as animals, either:
The affidavit says an FBI employee posing as a possible hit man later began email correspondence with Lowell, and she offered him $730 in jewelry or cash for the killing of a victim of at least 12 years but "preferably 14 years old or older" outside a library near a playground in her hometown.
What a delightful person Meredith Lowell must be! And does she love her family as much as she loves animals? Mais non!
She hoped to be arrested so she could call attention to her beliefs and to get out of the home she shared with her parents and brothers who eat meat and eggs and use fur, leather and wool, investigators said.
Well, she got her wish. She's been arrested and taken out of the house. Let's hope it's for a good long time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Great Moments in Government Education

Here's a great example of what happens when you turn your children over to the Government:
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
The Agent?! A little preschool in a little North Carolina town has a Government Agent? And that Government Agent's job is to inspect home-packed lunches to insure they comply with Federal Guidelines? Specifically, guidelines issued by "The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services." Even the name of that organization sounds intrusive.

Has this Government gotten big enough and intrusive enough for you now? Especially nice is the way the Government Agent informs the four year old that her mother packed an inadequate lunch. What a repulsive, stomach turning story.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Ace has an excellent post on the nasty political fight over abortion and birth control currently being fought not just in Washington, but nation wide:
By the way, you know what Plan B costs? $20-30 or cheaper.

In order to spare women the costs of having to shell out twenty bucks once or twice a year (and that would be a lot, wouldn't it?), Obama's determined to run roughshod over religious liberties.

And it's not even sparing them the costs, of course. Insurers do not have piles of magic free money. What they pay out must always be a fair amount less than what is paid into them via premiums.

This is just adding an additional cost to premiums, then giving it back (minus administrative costs) to the final client.

It saves no one any money. Women using it are actually just paying for it via their premiums. (Well, women using it are being subsidized by women who have no need for it or refuse to use it; but that's an odd subsidy, isn't it?)

And all for a $20 pill. Something that costs less than a pizza with three toppings.

This is not about money. This is about imposing a Preferred, State-Endorsed Culture on people from the top down.

It's about forcing the insurer to compromise his own beliefs. It's about co-opting him. It's about using state coercion to pummel him down into conformity. It's not about saving the end-user that $20 (which is not saved at all, but simply paid in premiums).
Raw. Political. Dictatorial. Power. Entirely for its own sake. Stop it. Stop it now.

Geographically Challenging

Via Best of the Web Today comes this Associated Press story describing the work of Russian scientists in Antarctica:
MOSCOW (AP) — After more than two decades of drilling in Antarctica, Russian scientists have reached a gigantic freshwater lake hidden under miles of ice for some 20 million years
Interesting work to be sure, and I sure wouldn't want to spend 20 years in Antarctica. The real interesting thing about the article, though, is AP's description of where exactly this achievement occurred:
The Russian team hit the lake Sunday at the depth of 12,366 feet (3,769 meters) about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) southeast of the South Pole in the central part of the continent.
Southeast of the South Pole? In my understanding of latitude and longitude, there isn't anyplace on the globe that could be accurately described in such a manner. Southeast of the Magnetic South Pole would make some sense, but it doesn't say that. Were they actually Northeast of the Pole? Probably, but one would have thought an editor someplace along the line would have noticed such an absurdity.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

At the always excellent City Journal website we find a Steven Malanga piece describing how the New Jersey Supreme Court, legislating from the bench, has destroyed my home state financially:
For half a century now, New Jersey has been home to the most activist state appellate court in America. Lauded by proponents of “living” constitutions who urge courts to make policy instead of interpret the law as written, the New Jersey Supreme Court has profoundly transformed the Garden State by seizing control of school funding, hijacking zoning powers from towns and cities to increase subsidized housing, and nullifying taxpayer protections in the state constitution. Its undemocratic actions have blown apart the state’s finances and led to ill-conceived and ineffective policies. If you want to understand what rule by liberal judges looks like on the state level, you need only look at New Jersey, which is teetering on bankruptcy though it remains one of America’s wealthiest states.
Read the whole thing, it's instructive indeed.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Komen v Planned Parenthood

I put together a collection of observations on the Left's hysterical reaction to the Komen Foundation's decision not to send any more money to the abortion mill that is Planned Parenthood.

Mark Stein:
"Notwithstanding that those who give to the foundation are specifically giving to support breast-cancer research, Komen could not be permitted to get away with disrespecting Big Abortion. We don’t want to return to the bad old days of the back alley, when a poor vulnerable person who made the mistake of stepping out of line had to be forced into the shadows and have the realities explained to them with a tire iron."

Kathryn Jean Lopez:
"Much of the American media have been overtaken by a cancerous rhetoric in recent days: It has been suggested that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the breast-cancer charity, should be no more. In the eyes of many, such as National Organization for Women president, Terry O’Neill, Komen has gone from being a women’s health charity to becoming “anti-woman.” O’Neill predicted to MSNBC host Ed Schulz that, within five years or so, Komen will cease to exist. And good riddance!"

Jim Daly:
"According to its annual report, the nation’s leading abortion provider is worth in excess of $1 billion. In 2010, abortion procedures constituted 91 percent (329,445) of Planned Parenthood’s services for pregnant women.

Yet, to follow their illogical argument, to have lost Komen’s projected yearly gift of $680,000 was somehow going to cripple their empire — and prevent them from continuing to offer mammograms. But Planned Parenthood centers do not offer mammograms, and instead refer women to other clinics for such services."

Daniel Foster:
"The anti-Komen backlash operated under the assumption that PP was somehow entitled to the Komen grants. A healthier, more proportionate response might have been for PP to thank Komen for its years of support and urge donors to make up the difference. What happened instead is — functionally if not intentionally — hard to distinguish from a shakedown. I can’t see how it is in any charity’s long-term interest to be seen as publicly cajoling donors who have the audacity to stop writing checks."

Daniel Foster (again):
"(T)here’s something quite a bit different, something creepy and not a little despicable, about the Planned Parenthood set’s besmirching Komen’s good name across a thousand platforms for having the audacity to stop giving them free money. And I don’t care why that decision was made, frankly."

Mark Krikorian:
"Who do the Planned Parenthood people think they are? It takes real chutzpah to think, and announce, that you’re entitled to someone else’s money."

James Taranto:
"Planned Parenthood's bitter campaign against Komen--aided by left-liberal activists and media--is analogous to a protection racket: Nice charity you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it. The message to other Planned Parenthood donors is that if they don't play nice and keep coughing up the cash, they'll get the Komen treatment."

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Linkfest

There's a treasure trove of good reading today at National Review Online.

Charles Krauthammer on Syria and Iran:
Human rights — decency — is reason enough to do everything we can to bring down Assad. But strategic opportunity compounds the urgency. With its archipelago of clients anchored by Syria, Iran is today the greatest regional threat — to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states terrified of Iranian nuclear hegemony; to traditional regimes menaced by Iranian jihadist subversion; to Israel, which the Islamic republic has pledged to annihilate; to America and the West, whom the mullahs have vowed to drive from the region.

Anthony Paletta on why Leftists hate vigilante films:
The principal objection, in each case, seems not aesthetic, but moral; the offense is to create one-dimensional criminals that one need not regret seeing handled with summary force, with nary a glance at their broken homes, or hungry children, or kindness to animals.

Rich Lowry warns that sugar is the next tobacco:
If this all seems good for yuks, just wait ten years. Before it’s over, the offending food and beverage companies — the “sugar merchants,” as a journalist sympathetic to Lustig’s case puts it — could well be as beaten-down as the tobacco companies. One of Lustig’s co-authors refers to sugar as “the substance.” The article cites “the dependence-producing properties of sugar in humans.” The predicate is there for making Little Debbie, despite her wholesome red curls and cheery slogan (“Unwrap a Smile”), into the moral equivalent of a drug pusher.

Jay Nordlinger, from his "Impromptus" column:
A month ago, I had a couple of indignant notes in Impromptus (here). Indignant Note 1: “I was talking to someone the other day who told me, with exquisite condescension, that ‘political elites’ disagreed with me. And here I thought I was one! Who does the certification?” Indignant Note 2: “This same fellow said he could not go along with something I said because — get this — ‘I’m a writer and I care about words.’ And here I thought I cared a little about words, and did a little writing! Maybe I should return to the pro shop, selling sleeves of Titleists . . .”

Michelle Malkin doesn't think much of Virginia congressman Jim Moran:
Responding on cable news to GOP congressman Allen West’s blunt criticisms of President Obama this week, Moran derided the retired U.S. Army colonel, who is black, as “not representative of the African-American community.” Moran then launched into the kind of tired race-traitor tirade I’ve heard from progressives of pallor for more than 20 years.