Monday, February 01, 2010

Afternoon Cruising the Web

Michael Barone notes that, as scientists tackle the probability that there is more involved in climate change than just carbon dioxide, it might behoove policy makers to slow down before making massive economic changes based on faulty science.

While we're on the topic of faulty science, it is amusing, and appalling, to read of how the head of the IPCC is twisting the truth about how he came to insert the unsubstantiated assertion about the melting of the Himalayan glaciers into his supposedly scientifically authoritative report and ignored questions about his fakery.

Remember when every criticism of the government by Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean had the media shaking its head in distress? Well, now they're criticizing Obama about how clueless he is about how the whole intelligence gathering business works. We're not talking about a slow learning curve, but a willing ignorance that shows no sign of dissipating.

Former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden excoriated
the Obama administration's choices on intelligence. it has been one dogma-laden choice after another with no concern for the impact on our intelligence-gathering capability. In one year, the administration has hollowed out our capabilities to learn about those who want to kill Americans.

Peggy Noonan captured the essential contradiction in Obama's SOTU address. He told us how broken Washington is and how everyone is just interested in the next election. Then he urges us to turn more of our lives and national economy over to that broken place.


Howard Kurtz notes
that Obama's clay feet are starting to show up on Jon Stewart's Daily Show as the comic points some gentle fun at Obama. Of course, it's nothing like the daily zinging of Bush's administration, but it's one more sign that the curtain has been pulled back from the supposed wizardry of the Obamanians. (How many metaphors can I crowd into one paragraph?) And, as Jennifer Rubin points out, the major media may now follow Stewart's opening. If Obama is actually, gasp, worthy of humor, perhaps there is something they can find to critique in his administration.

Byron York catches Frank Rich
calling John McCain unpatriotic despite all the times Rich has railed against Republicans supposedly challenging the patriotism of Democrats.

Mary Anastasia O'Grady describes how Hugo Chavez, having destroyed his nation's economy, is now proceeding to crack down on all criticisms and protests. I wonder how his willing useful idiots such as Danny Glover and Sean Penn feel about the wonders of Chavismo now.

The idea of strengthening the economy and fighting pollution with the construction of high-speed railways always seemed like a mirage. Wendell Cox exposes how absolutely silly the whole idea is. Why spend hundreds of millions of federal and state money to build railways that will shave maybe 10 or 15 minutes off travel time not counting the problem that, once you arrive at your destination, you'll still need to rent a car to travel around. As he points out, the problems with traffic congestion are within cities, not between cities.

For something light, check out this portrait gallery of the least appropriate Playmobil kits. There is something charmingly non-PC in these kits that my daughter wishes that I'd bought them when they were little.

Phyllis Chesler has an intriguing photo-essay over at PJM depicting the graduating class at Cairo University from 1959 to 2004. What is striking is how, over the decades, they've gone from no women wearing the hijab to every woman wearing the hijab. It's a pictorial display of how culture has changed in the past 50 years in Egypt. (Link via Mark Steyn)