AreYouLiberal.Com
31Mar/12Off

UC’s Leftist Echo Chamber Drowns Out Diverse Voices

Political activism has drawn the University of California into an academic death spiral. Too many professors believe their job is to “advance social justice” rather than teach the subject they were hired to teach. Groupthink has replaced lively debate. Institutions that were designed to stir intellectual curiosity aren’t challenging young minds. They’re churning out “ignorance.” So argues a new report, “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California,” from the conservative California Association of Scholars.
The report cites a number of studies that document ...

31Mar/12Off

Baby Aardvark Time

From the always wonderful ZooBorns, via Busch Gardens:


31Mar/12Off

Forensic Experts: It Was Not George Zimmerman Crying for Help

Some interesting news on the Trayvon Martin case from the Orlando Sentinel: two experts in forensic voice analysis have analyzed the 911 recordings of someone screaming for help on the night Trayvon Martin was killed, and both concluded that it was not George Zimmerman.

As the Trayvon Martin controversy splinters into a debate about self-defense, a central question remains: Who was heard crying for help on a 911 call in the moments before the teen was shot?

A leading expert in the field of forensic voice identification sought to answer that question by analyzing the recordings for the Orlando Sentinel.

His result: It was not George Zimmerman who called for help.

Tom Owen, forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used voice identification software to rule out Zimmerman. Another expert contacted by the Sentinel, utilizing different techniques, came to the same conclusion.

Zimmerman claims self-defense in the shooting and told police he was the one screaming for help. But these experts say the evidence tells a different story. ...

Owen, a court-qualified expert witness and former chief engineer for the New York Public Library's Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, is an authority on biometric voice analysis — a computerized process comparing attributes of voices to determine whether they match.

After the Sentinel contacted Owen, he used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to compare Zimmerman's voice to the 911 call screams.

"I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else," Owen says.

The software compared that audio to Zimmerman's voice. It returned a 48 percent match. Owen said to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he'd expect higher than 90 percent.

"As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it's not Zimmerman," Owen says, stressing that he cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon's, because he didn't have a sample of the teen's voice to compare.


31Mar/12Off

On the Outpost of Sovereignty at Sea

A driving, wind-swept rain pummels the deck of the USCG Stratton. A typical day at sea for the Coast Guard’s newest National Security Cutter when it plys the Bearing Straits or protects fisheries in America’s Arctic waters. But today the Stratton is not at sea—it’s commissioning day at the pier in Oakland, California. The crew is being piped aboard for the first time. Speeches made, and then it is down to the business of protecting America’s sovereignty at sea. The National Security Cutters are...

Click the title to read the full post.

31Mar/12Off

Still More Overtly Racist Comments at Breitbart.com

NOT MY PROBLEMSince I posted yesterday about Dan Riehl's ugly race-baiting article at Breitbart.com and the deluge of overtly racist comments that followed, hundreds more comments have been posted there: Hoodie-Wearing Gunmen Kill 1, Wound 5 in Bobby Rush's Chicago District.

None of the sickening hate speech quoted in our previous post has been deleted; instead, they're just piling more onto the heap.

WARNING: this stuff is ugly and offensive. But it shows you what the Breitbart.com team is now encouraging and permitting at their site.

This is what we need My African brothers and sisters! We need show everyone we don't f|_|ck around. We real n199as!!!!

[...]

he can't help it. it's just the animal instinct.

[...]

Does anybody here know the local number of the "Klan"?

[...]

This is just violent, criminal, damn Niggers doing what Niggers do best. No surprise here.

[...]

You have got that right. Can't argue that.

[...]

The Blacks from Chicago are the worst. Just take a look at our current POTUS and you see no character, no morals, no kindness, JUST GREED

[...]

Looks like the problem is taking care of itself. If we are going to continue giving these animals free stuff it should be limited to ammunition only.

This is just from a quick scan of the first couple of pages, and as usual, all of these comments have high ratings from other readers.

When Dan Riehl was made aware of these comments, here's how he responded on Twitter to me:


31Mar/12Off

Video: Tenacious D in the Greatest Film Ever Made


31Mar/12Off

Olbermann Mockery Reaches New Heights On Twitter: The Top 10 Keith Olbermann Was Fired Tweets

A venture involving Keith Olbermann blew up in someone’s face? You don’t say. Guy is like workplace napalm.
— Mike Ashmore (@mashmore98) March 30, 2012

@algore thanks for taking my advice and starting noise again saw u fired Keith olberman. If u need a replacement I’m available
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) March 31, 2012

So..@limbaugh is still on the air and @KeithOlbermann is gone. @mmfa ROCKS
— Bob Hicks (@Lemming_Watcher) March 30, 2012

RT @RBPundit: How much of a douche do you need to be to get fired by the company that still employs Cenk Uygur? ...

31Mar/12Off

Finally! Government Tackles The Scourge Of “Distracted Walking”

You name it and there’s some power hungry government tyrant out there who wants to regulate it. They want to decide which toilet and lightbulbs you use, what sort of food you’re allowed to give to homeless people, and whether Catholic Nuns are going to be forced to hand out free condoms to anyone who comes into their hospital. Is there any bit of minutia in American life, anything at all, that someone in the government somewhere doesn’t want to regulate? Apparently not.
While some Utah Transit Authority board members argued ...

31Mar/12Off

Daily Links – March 31, 2012

REMINDER: Today is the LAST DAY to get the Early Bird Rate for the RedState Gathering. Read about it here, or sign up right away here!Today is March 31st. On this date in 1889, the Eiffel Tower had its first official tour, as Gustave Eiffel led a group of reporters and city officials throughout the structure. The ascent to the top was accomplished by stairs, as the elevators weren’t yet working. If I had to lead a group of people to the top of what is essentially an 81-story building, there’d need to be sherpas and possibly a yak, and it would probably still end in cannibalism and search parties. Also on this date, in 1536, philosopher René Descartes was born in France. Descartes was a drunken fart, who once famously said “I drink, therefore I am.” Truly a visionary. And finally, today is World Backup Day, and National Bunsen Burner Day. Way to go out on an exciting note, March! Consider this an Open Thread.

Media Silent As Left Attacks Kids Of Wi Lt. Gov. | Big Journalism
“She’s currently being targeted for recall and by some of the ugliest personal attacks you’ll hear — at least until the left launches the next one.”

AFL-CIO exec: Conservatives to blame for Trayvon Martin’s death | Daily Caller
“AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told The Daily Caller that it is “conservative, right-wing policies that are to blame” for Trayvon Martin‘s death.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s Shocking Ignorance | American Thinker
“The percentage of American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and were turned away because the parent didn’t have insurance is exactly zero.”

Stunning: Obamacare creates $17 trillion in unfunded liabilities | Right Scoop
“Ranking Member Sessions announced that a new Budget Committee analysis has found that the long-term, unfunded liabilities associated with President Obama’s health care law will reach $17 trillion.”

Today’s Word of the Day comes via Luciferous Logolepsy.
sabulous: adjective 1. like sand in texture; gritty 2. Also: sabuline (of plants) growing in sand

31Mar/12Off

‘Electricity Appreciation Hour’ is nigh

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s hard to believe that another “Earth Hour” is almost here. My light bulbs have just barely cooled down from last year when the house turned into the largest tanning bed in the county.

This evening’s Earth Hour will be a little different because we’ll be monitored from on high:

On Saturday, European Space Agency astronaut and World Wildlife Fund ambassador André Kuipers will watch from the International Space Station as each time zone hits 8:30 p.m. — and track to see who on Earth turns out the lights.

Kuipers will blog from 240 miles above the planet as part of the Earth Hour, an annual event that encourages homes, businesses and governments to turn off their lights for one hour to build awareness about energy use and climate change.

“We are living beyond our means. That is not sustainable,” says Andy Ridley, co-founder and executive director of Earth Hour. “We want to unite people around the world to build a sustainable future.”

The message seems to hit home. Earth Hour 2012 has commitments from individuals, companies and landmarks to switch off lights in 147 countries and territories and over 5,000 cities, organizers say.

They should send up this professor next year. It’s the perfect perch from which to find large clusters of skeptics in need of psychological treatment.

I’m doing my part by promising never to turn on this light bulb. Otherwise it’s time for another toast to Edison as well as a tribute to Tesla (the inventor and, what the heck, the band too — the cd player runs on electricity so it’ll fit nicely into the theme of the evening).

Here’s what I wrote last year for Earth Hour, and I stand behind it yet again this year:

The harnessing and generation of electricity is among the greatest discoveries ever. It’s helped make the world safer and more sanitary. Electricity runs the equipment that is used to make the medicine that saves lives. It runs the cameras, televisions and computers that allow us to see evils that are being perpetuated around the world that we might not have otherwise known about — except in North Korea, where you can’t see crimes at night because Earth Hour is mandatory 365 days a year. The list goes on. We should be celebrating electricity instead of pretending it’s some sort of cancer that needs to be cut out of our lives. That’s why my lights will be proudly shining at 8:30 tonight.

Speaking of North Korea, the people who thought up Earth Hour must be proud:

null

Fun fact: That one speck of light visible in NK is because Lil’ Kim left the refrigerator open.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

31Mar/12Off

The Truth about Public Servants: Adrian Moore at Reason Weekend 2012

"The problem [with government workers] really is the unions,"
says Adrian Moore,
who is Reason Foundation's vice
president for policy. "These are organizations whose mission is to
oppose the taxpayers and get a better deal for their members.
That's their mission."

At Reason Weekend, the annual donor event held by Reason
Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this website), Moore
challenged the misperception that public-sector workers are
underpaid. In fact, government workers do better than their private
sector counterparts in terms of wages, benefits, pensions, and job
stability. And the size of the government workforce expands, Moore
argued, whether the economy is up or down, a phenomenon he calls
"fair weather Keynesianism."

Approximately 33 minutes. Filmed by Joshua Swain and Anthony
Fisher. Edited by Jim Epstein.

Visit Reason.tv for
downloadable versions and subscribe
to Reason.tv's YouTube Channel
to receive automatic
notifications when new material goes live


31Mar/12Off

Keith Olbermann Fired, Will Sue Al Gore and Current TV

Keith Olbermann has been fired from his job at Current TV (a show which, I must admit, I never watched), and he's firing back.

My full statement:

I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.

Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I've been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.

It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain.

http://nyti.ms/HueZsa

In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.


31Mar/12Off

Recovering America: Earning Less, Spending More, $6.7 Trillion Poorer

If Bernanke's the hero, God help the greatest living novelist. Since Ben Bernanke the hero

saved the global economy
, things have been coming up roses for,
well, nobody. 

The Department of Commerce reports that Americans are spending
far more than they are making. That’s good news,
according to CNN

[PNC economist Stuart] Hoffman said he was encouraged by the
fact that Friday's report showed a 1.6% increase in spending on
durable goods, which are typically big-ticket items. That was
driven by strong auto sales during the month, as automakers
reported the best new-car sales in four years.

Spending on nondurable goods, such as food and gasoline, rose
0.9%. with virtually all of that increase due to the higher
prices.

But spending on services, such as airfare and cable TV, grew
only 0.4%, which kept the overall spending increase to 0.8%.

February's income gain was less than the 0.3% rise forecast by
economists surveyed by Briefing.com, while spending was more than
forecasts of a 0.6% rise.

But the willingness of consumers to spend is a good sign for
economic growth, since consumer spending represents more than
two-thirds of the nation's economic activity.

I remember hearing somewhere that there’s this thing you need to
do before you spend money, it’s called, like, churning it or
spurning or yearning it or something like that. Anyway,
USA Today has more details

Still, the job gains are not resulting in bigger paychecks for
most Americans. Income grew just 0.2% last month, matching
January's weak increase. And when taking inflation into account,
income after taxes fell for a second straight month.

Most consumers spent more of what they earned and saved less.
The saving rate dropped to 3.7% of after-tax income in February.
That was the lowest level since August 2009. It had averaged 4.7%
for all of last year.

Americans are also taking on more debt. Consumer borrowing
increased from November through January by the most in a decade for
a three-month stretch. Yet the increases were driven almost
entirely by auto and student loans. Credit card debt decreased in
January and remains well below pre-recession levels.

And to revisit some of my favorite back-of-the-envelope
factoids: 

Just a reminder: He's called "Rich Uncle Pennybags," not "The Monopoly Guy." * The BEA’s measure of personal
savings
[pdf]
stopped going up a
while back
, and now it has dropped through the floor. In
February it came in at 3.7 percent – a rate
close to what was considered negative savings
back before
Barack Obama’s sparkling intelligence saved us from the misrule of
President Chimpy McHitler. 

* According to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of
Funds report
[pdf]
for the fourth quarter of 2011, household net worth is also in the
toilet. We are now collectively worth $58.5 trillion. In 2007 we
were worth $65.2 trillion. I know I feel $6.7 trillion poorer; how
about you? Those are inflation-adjusted figures, but how’s this for
adding insult to injury: I still have a copy of the Q3 2007 Flow of
Funds report, and even the household net worth figure at the time
(i.e., not adjusted for the last five years of inflation) was still
higher than today’s, at $58.6
trillion
. That means that not only is our money worth 10
percent less than it was in 2007 (literally decimated!), but we
have $100 billion less of it. 

* Finally, the one healthy trend I have been following – a very
tiny, fractions-of-a-percent increase
in the equity portion of real estate
– has started going back
down again. In the third quarter of 2011, the equity portion (that
is, total real estate owned less mortgage debt) came in at just
under $8 trillion, comprising 43.5 percent of real estate owned in
the United States. In the fourth quarter, the equity portion
dropped to $7.7 trillion, while mortgage debt dropped barely at
all, leaving the current equity portion at 43 percent even. It’s a
small decline, but remember: The increase in the equity portion,
even if it was driven mostly by brute-force deleveraging, had been
the only evidence that Americans were getting their atrocious
balance sheets under control. 

These trends could shift, but they have long-term implications
that are more serious than anything having to do with current
unemployment or real estate prices. The one good thing about
recessions is that they serve as reminders that betting on the come
is not sound personal finance, that at some point you actually do
have to sock away some money, earn more than you spend, accumulate
wealth and create value. 

Now even that small step in the right direction has been
retracted, and it's another reason that Keynesian
success feels like failure
. This rotten fiscal behavior on
the part of Americans is dangerous and inadvisable, but it’s a
completely rational response to the macro signals Bernanke and his
wise men are sending. This is the result you get when you
treat deflation as a dirty word
and devalue
the dollar so ruthlessly
that saving money becomes a ticket to
the poorhouse. And the most maddening part is that Bernanke won't
get the blame: When the stagnation sets in again, it will be the
fault of private people who didn’t spend enough and clearly lack
the wisdom to run their own economic affairs. All that for a
stimulus
that increased unemployment
and a
recovery that exists only in Jay Carney’s
imagination

In other currency devaluation news,
Canada is retiring its penny
. That’s a symbolic (and according
to some evidence,
practical
) surrender to inflation that I’ll fight like
James K. Polk to keep from happening
on this side of the
border. 


31Mar/12Off

Follow-up: Have you done your part to fight the Left’s war on Wisconsin and conservative women?

This week, I called your attention to the Left’s ongoing war on Wisconsin’s brave fiscal conservative leaders. Yesterday, the state’s Government Accountability Board certified the recall elections against top GOP officials.

Please spread the word — and thanks to all of you have dug into your pockets to help the recall targets.

I published links in my newsletter to all of the recall targets’ campaign donation pages and I’m doing it again here:

Gov. Scott Walker

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald

Sen. Van Wanggaard

Sen. Terry Moulton

The Wisconsin GOP will run protest candidates in all the races to ensure that primaries are held:

“The protest candidates will run as Democrats to guarantee that there is one clear date for the primary election and one clear date for the general election,” said Stephan Thomas, the party’s executive director.

He said the move was made because otherwise some or all of the general elections for state senators would happen the same day as the primary for governor – when Democrats flood to the polls to pick their candidate for governor.

John Nolte at Big Journalism challenges the liberal media silence on the vile, misogynist attacks against Lt. Gov. Kleefisch — which I first reported in January 2011. John notes:

Here’s the mocking of the Lt. Governor’s children:

“I love it that your kids have actually have to hear about what evil things you’re doing. I hope they have to hear it every day. And I hope they come home right to you. And just because you’re good looking — and she is — and just ‘cuz you’re cutes and I’m sure you got a precocious little daughter you put in little Jon Benet contests, and I’m sure you have a little jock son, and they come home and say ‘Mommy, they’re saying you’re a witch.’ You are a witch!”

The attack on the Kleefisch’s children is quite intentional. We’ve seen the media do the same to Sarah Palin. The idea is to gut-punch the target, to attempt to make the price of staying in the public arena awful and toxic. The left’s hope, obviously, is that the target will shrivel up and go away. Well, this evil tactic didn’t work on Palin and I doubt it will on Kleefisch.

But where is the media on this?

AWOL, naturally, because Rebecca Kleefisch is an apostate — a self-made Republican woman who became the Lt. Governor of a swing state Barack Obama desperately needs to fall his way if he’s to have four more years to be more, uhm, flexible.

The fact that this is a local matter is no excuse for the mainstream media covering it up, either. For over a year now, the state of Wisconsin has seen plenty of national media attention surrounding every twist and turn of these recall elections.

Badger Pundit and Brian Simka of Media Trackers add that many liberal journalists in Wisconsin continue to frequent the program of Kleefisch smear-monger and liberal radio talk show host “Sly” Sylvester:

Sly Sylvester is a guy that’s respected not only by the Democratic establishment but by the mainstream media. John Nichols of the Capital Times is a regular contributor to his show. Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regularly goes on that show. None of these individuals has come out and condemned Sly Sylvester for comments that were reprehensible!

Like I’ve said before: Acknowledging the the war on conservative women would obliterate The Narrative.

Break the silence.

***

In related news, a federal judge ruled on Gov. Walker’s union/budget reform law yesterday — upholding most of it, but striking down the compulsory union dues reforms. It will go to appeal

Walker considered Friday’s ruling something of a victory. Cullen Werwie, Walker’s spokesman, said the administration was still trying to figure out what the ruling meant in terms of increased costs to the state and enforcement, but felt the judge affirmed the constitutionality of nearly everything in Act 10.
“We are confident that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will continue to uphold the constitutionality of the law,” he said.

31Mar/12Off

Obama’s Saturday address: C’mon, pass the Buffett Rule already!

**Written by Doug Powers

The “Buffett Rule” was a central theme in President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal that the House recently voted on, and, well, you know how that went.

But Obama isn’t giving up easily in the quest for a return to what made America great: Higher taxes:

“We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it,” Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address. “But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead — not just a few.”

Obama calls the plan the “Buffett Rule” for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers. Many wealthy taxpayers earn investment income, which is taxed at 15%. Obama has proposed that people earning at least $1 million annually should pay at least 30% of their income in taxes.

In his remarks today, the president encouraged listeners to pressure their members of Congress “to stop giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them.”

Does “no tax breaks to people who don’t need them” include buyers of $41,000 Volts, which taxpayers subsidize to the tune of $7,500 per car for owners with average incomes of $170,000? Or to millionaires who buy $95,000 Fisker Karmas and get the same taxpayer subsidy?

The “Buffett Rule” would raise $47 billion in revenue in the next decade, and that’s assuming the people being taxed at greater rates wouldn’t find escape hatches. Compare that to about $7 trillion in projected federal deficits over the same time period. Like many often say, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

It took me a while to figure out what was with the additional sense of urgency in Obama’s renewed Buffett Rule push, and then I remembered that there are three more mega-millionaires in the country than there were just yesterday. Buffett Rule — we can’t wait:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

31Mar/12Off

Planned Parenthood head says “keep politics out of women’s health”

Sometimes liberals say the funniest things!
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards spoke at Princeton University this week. The topic of her talk? “Keeping Politics out of Women’s Health.”
No, that’s not a misprint.
“The single biggest struggle is dealing with the politics of it all,” Richards said. “It’s the barrier that politics are putting ahead on the wellbeing on young people in this country and of women. Every time we take two steps forward, we take another step backwards. Partisan politics rather than public health interests are driving healthcare policy in America.”
Saying ...