Monday, February 28, 2011

Xcel slashes solar subsidies

It's all contingent on whether the Colorado Public Utilities Commission lets them do it, but the solar companies (allegedly 400+ of them in Colorado) and greenies are squealing.

Currently, apparently, Xcel subsidizes solar installations for homes and business to the tune of $2.35 per watt. According to the hated, money-grubbing, reader-alienating Post, the cut would be to $1.25 a watt. The Examiner article, though, says Xcel has already cut the subsidy to $2.01 per watt; the further reduction, it says, would take it down to 25 cents. Must be a typo, but it's been up since Friday and nobody's corrected them.

Xcel made the move, a spokesgink said, because solar prices have been coming down and Xcel now covers about 75 percent of the cost, rather than the 50 percent they originally covered. They want the money, which naturally comes from a two-percent add-on to utility bills, to "go further," so don't hold your breath waiting for a rate reduction.

The Colorado legislature, by the way, has mandated that 30 percent of Colorado's energy come from "renewables" by 2020.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Denver protest in support of WI public union employees

Althouse owns this story, of course (that's her top post at the mo, but scroll down; she's covered nothing else for a week), if only because of proximity, but I did manage to get down to the Capitol to take pics of the local brouhaha supporting the doofs in Wisconsin. Look at them or I'll be so angry!

You can't tell, but the woman on the right was a tea partier--or at least, someone who disagreed with the protesters. (l. and further l.) They abused her mildly.

Didn't Pope Leo just die?

Yeah, sure. There's something ghoulish about taking the slogans of real movements for the petty purposes of these yebs.

Look out! There's a Tea Partier sneaking up behind you!

Be my guest.

Cops all over the place.

Another sign laughing at its own joke.


Living in the past.

The farfahters were there too. One of them spoke.

Somehow Billy Bob and I always manage to insinuate ourselves up among the speakers and organizers at the top of the Capitol steps. I think it's Billy Bob's ultimate cuteness when he's carrying his Frisbee.

So I'm standing there watching some gink yell impassioned nothings into the mike when I notice Billy Bob has wandered out to the speakers' platform, where he proceeds to politely place his Frisbee on the foot of the gink yelling impassioned nothings. Let me tell you something about a Billy Bob-transported Frisbee: it's slimy. I was so embarrassed. Not really, but I'm like, "Billy Bob! Get your Frisbee!" and tugging on his leash. Finally, he did. Wonder if it'll make the news tonight.

Anyway, one speaker said there were 3000 people attending. I'd say closer to 2000, but we'll split the diff. Hell of a lot more than I ever saw at an anti-war rally here. Gotta prioritize.

I didn't really listen to the speeches, by the way. All were basically content-free.

So 2005. The sign's probably left over from then, too.

He kinda looks like Perry Como.

Like many, I'm perplexed by how these Koch Bros., whom I'd never heard of before, say, last year some time, have become for the left the exact equivalent in sheer halitosised evil that George Soros is for the right.


Denver Newspaper Guild: Dedicated to killing the last daily in Denver.


Spellcheck fail.

Yeah, su--oh, already said that.

Yes, if Wisconsin ends its phony war on terror, all will be hunky-dory.


Self-aggrandize like a fool.

Hot for teacher.

Who's the guy in the lower right corner?

In a flash, word rippled through the crowd: Dylan's here! Dylan's here!

And at last, too late for the protest, a lone paint-bucket drummer shows. He was the worst drummer I'd ever heard, and I've heard some lulus.

For some reason the cops never bother me at protests when I let BB off the leash (definitely illegal) for a spot of Frizzlebunk. One of them even said, "I'm not supposed to take sides in this, but I can say that's a cool dog."

He is, even at 12 years and seven months of age.

A firefighter sporting the latest high-tech headgear.

What a bore. But a bit of the old time for your darling D-blog. Refreshing, too, since neither I, nor Billy Bob, nor my camera was threatened even once by goons or punks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Something wrong!

Front page of the Mail right now:

"Damien Fowkes, left, was arrested last night on suspicion of killing Colin Hatch, centre, who was jailed for life in 1994 for the murder of seven-year-old Sean Williams, right. Fowkes is facing trial accused of attacking Soham murderer Ian Huntley who was slashed with a razor blade in prison last year."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ooooooooooh, double standards

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Peter Wood has part one of his look at the American Association of University Professors' draft policy "aimed at creating new procedural safeguards to protect faculty members from unjust interference with their expression of political views." He is not impressed.

Well, maybe a little impressed, above all with the completely uncontroversial (not to say boring) finding that, as he quotes the draft (fetchingly titled "Ensuring Academic Freedom in Politically Controversial Academic Personnel Decisions"),
All academic personnel decisions, including new appointments and renewals of appointments, should rest on considerations that demonstrably pertain to the effective performance of the academic’s professional responsibilities.
Fine, fine. Less fine--or "dramatically wrong," as Wood puts it--is the AAUP's assumption that

the [academic freedom] “controversies” to be addressed arise almost entirely from “political intrusion” from outside the university. They are concerned, in so many words, with an assault on liberal academia by “talk‐show hosts, bloggers, and well‐funded interest groups” (p. 1) who put “untoward pressure on the university.” The AAUP’s task at hand is to defend academic freedom from this ignorant mob.
Did I put that link in the wrong place? (Checking.) Nah. Unfortunately, Wood says, the AAUP is concerned solely with this kind of attack, ignoring controversies that arise when professors become advocates in the classroom and the poor ill-educated public, instead of just shutting up, responds (usually, at least in my case, with derisive laughter and finger-pointing). For Wood,
This is the central folly of this report. It presents a double standard. When someone outside the university speaks about campus matters, it is in the AAUP’s view illegitimate “pressure.” When someone inside the academy speaks, it is enlightened opinion. “Academic freedom” is construed by the AAUP as a firewall. Those inside can aim their weapons at those outside with impunity, but if those outside respond in anything other than humility, they offend against this fine principle.
Read whole thing, for it is not bad. Wart is mentioned, is in fact, according to Wood, sort of the (mostly tacit) poster primate of the whole report. Good quote: "It is [hard] to see Ward Churchill in the light of someone whose commitment to the scientific method and the long view offered a “check on the hasty and unconsidered impulses of popular feeling [as the report claims the academy generally does].” Professor Churchill, to the contrary, famously photographed lofting a rifle, exemplifies a certain kind of appeal to those very impulses."


Update: The profs under attack Wood mentions at the beginning are a pretty interesting bunch. The D-blog, by the way, is also potentially evangelical. Hubba-hubba.


Just finished Andrew McCarthy's The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. This isn't a review, praise God for vittory; the D-blog just wanted to mention one thing. In discussing Obama's much-mocked low bow to Saudi King Abdullah at the London G-20 summit in 2009, McCarthy defines "America's exceptionalism" as "the historically unique determination, forged in the blood of patriots, to refuse submission to a tyrannical power."

Um, look, there are approximately 2,551 metric shit-boatloads of attempts to define, celebrate or denigrate "American exceptionalism," many of them dumb, but McCarthy's definition seems standout dumb even among them (and I include the various commie definitions you'll run across almost immediately).

What I always thought is that American exceptionalism, at its most basic, is the idea that human beings possess certain rights ("negative" rights, as President Toonces and his ilk would have it) that are not granted by government and cannot be taken away by government. That's it. I could be wrong (he said falsely), but it sure as hell ain't refusal to submit to a tyrannical power.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The effulgence

That is Gore-Al appeared last week at that Forests at Risk thingie in Aspen I mentioned a while back, and he brought a slide show! Wildfires, pine beetles, overwhelming consensus, non-partisan issue, evil corporations, you know the drill. On that last point, this was funny (from the Aspen Times):
[Gore] said many global corporations base their profit margins on the ability to pollute. They have banded together and spent billions of dollars in the media and in political campaigns, even hiring “four anti-climate lobbyists for every member of Congress.”
"Anti-climate." There's precision in language for you. And four lobbyists for each congresshump. Not three, not five. Four. He did acknowledge that the "scientific community" had some "self-inflicted wounds" (you know, Climategate, Himalayan glaciers melted by 2035, etc., etc., etc.), but:
“I think the mistakes were blown way way out of proportion,” Gore said. One reason for the mistakes, he said, was that a defensive culture developed among some scientists because they were “harassed on a regular basis” by opponents of the concept of global warming.
Harassment = FOI requests.
“But the general consensus [recognizing global warming [those are the Times' brackets. These are mine.]] is so strong, and so firm [oh, baby], and so widely shared now, that it is clearly the basis for action that the rest of us ought to take,” Gore said.
"The rest of us" = you. Somebody warm up my jet.

At least Gore was "passionate," and managed to work in a quote from noted climate scientist and all 'round hunk Bill Maher, so, not a complete waste of time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday night at the radio!

Man, it's been forever since I've done one of these, not that anybody cares (except Snaps. and besides the occasional new-IP sneak attack in which she exposes more Rooskies and their Western minions, she's long gone).

Suspense! Howard Da Silva in the Cornell Woolrich story You Take Ballistics (13 March 1947). Da Silva was Nat the bartender in The Lost Weekend and Louis B. Mayer in Mommie Dearest. Tons of other stuffs I'm sure, but that's all I remember him from. And by God, that's an uncredited and pre-Dragnet Jack Webb as Coleman, da moiderer. Funny line from Da Silva just after he arrests Coleman: "Three months later, Coleman went to the chair."

And since we mentioned it, Dragnet. This one is called The Big Actor (10 August 1950). And don't forget, it's wise to smoke Fatima.

And just for a changeup, perhaps the first adult sci-fi program on radio, Dimension X: First Contact (8 September 1951).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

That's why I'm movin' to Montana!

Late to this, but yippee-aye-o-kye-ay! anyhow. Section one of a bill introduced this session in the Montana Legislature by freshman Rep. Joe Read (guess what party) reads:


NEW SECTION. Section 1. Public policy concerning global warming.

(1) The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana's natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.

(2) The legislature finds:

(a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

(b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and

(c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.

(3) (a) For the purposes of this section, "global warming" relates to an increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface.

(b) It does not include a one-time, catastrophic release of carbon dioxide.

Doesn't include a one-time catastrophic CO2 release? What are you planning, Joe, you scamp?

It'll never pass, of course. ThinkProgress's "Wonk Room" blog has a sneery interview with Read and trots out the good stuff--Glacier National Park has lost 83% of its glaciers! Bugs are eating trees! Seasons are "shifting!" None of which, even if true, and even if caused by "global warming," says one whit about the existence of AGW, let alone CAGW. No matter. Read is not a scientist of any sort, and so can be dismissed out of hand. Worse, and as you'll see if you hit the link, he's goofy looking. Oh well. Comments are worth a skim.

Update: Yeah, whatever.

Friday, February 11, 2011


For reasons too dumb to go into, I have to reapply for health insurance. Here are some of the, uh, professions that are automatically declined for coverage:

  • Actors and Actresses

  • Amusement Park Employees

  • Boxers, Prize Fighters, Pugilists (is there a difference?)

  • Entertainers

  • Circus or Carnival Workers (Oops, sorry. Circus or Carnival Workers)

  • Explorers

  • Massage Therapists

  • Missionaries (Yeah, I looked at a bunch of them, and none is very funny)

  • Models

  • Musicians (No point linking to anyone in particular; come up with your own examples)

  • Postal Workers

  • Pyrotechnists

  • Rodeo Riders

  • Singers (Yeah, Tony Bennett again)

  • Unemployed (D-blog readers: insert self-portrait here)
  • Tuesday, February 08, 2011

    See you in Aspen!

    Join Nobel lariat (we are in the West, after all) Gore-Al, former Colorado Gov. Bill Bennet and a bunch of other yebs in Aspen February 18 to discuss the horrendous effect Global Climate Disruption is having on Colorado forests: FORESTS AT RISK (isk-isk-isk-isk)!

    Naw, don't even try. It's already sold out. The no-doubt sober and unhysterical environmental group For the Forest, among others, is sponsoring the event. Here's their

    Symposium Overview

    Across the American West, forests are imperiled. Recent studies reveal that the death rate of the West’s old growth forests has doubled, that dying forests in British Columbia are releasing 990 megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that the western wildfire season is 78 days longer now than two decades ago. Some scientists now predict the loss within this century of half the West’s old growth forests.

    What’s going on with our forests – and what’s the connection to climate change? What happens when forests change from carbon sinks to carbon sources? How do warmer temperatures affect forests, and does increased forest mortality feed back into climate change? Are forest ecosystem changes affecting the intensity of wildfires? Do tipping points exist that could accelerate the rate of change? And will our grandchildren enjoy the same healthy forests across the West that we have taken for granted?
    Don't worry. These questions are merely a rhetorical device. They have all the answers. Read the whole thing or For the Forest will creep into your bedroom as you sleep and place a mountain pine beetle in your ear, where it will sit for a while, confused, then crawl away to find a mountain pine to eat.

    Update: Night Gallery: "The Caterpillar." Part one of four.

    Update II: BBC Radio 4 will air a piece Thursday exploring why your average gink-on-the-street isn't as frightened about "climate change" as they are, and how to make him so:
    Something strange is happening to the climate - the climate of opinion. On the one hand, scientists are forecasting terrible changes to the planet, and to us. On the other, most of us don't seem that bothered, even though the government keeps telling us we ought to be. Even climate scientists and environmental campaigners find it hard to stop themselves taking holidays in long haul destinations.

    So why the gap between what the science says, and what we feel and do? In this programme Jolyon Jenkins investigates the psychology of climate change. Have environmentalists and the government been putting out messages that are actually counterproductive? Might trying to scare people into action actually be causing them to consume more? Are images of polar bears actually damaging to the environmentalists' case because they alienate people who don't think of themselves as environmentalists - and make climate change seem like a problem that's a long way off and doesn't have much relevance to normal life? Does the message that there are "simple and painless" steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint (like unplugging your phone charger) unintentionally cause people to think that the problem can't be that serious if the answers are so trivial?
    Update 2/13/11: Listened to the show. How original. It's the messaging, not the (self-evident) message.

    Et tu, Lennie?

    In a piece giving the University of Toronto student union a hard time for inviting Ward Churchill to speak last week, some guy laboring under the handle "Peter Worthington" at the FrumForum mentions this almost in passing: "When I visited Leonard Peltier in Leavenworth prison (three times), on each occasion he had harsh things to say about Ward Churchill, and wanted no part of 'this phony.'”

    Heh. Wonder if Wart still opens his speeches by sending greetings from the "still-caged" Peltier.

    (via Newspaper Rock, "Where Native America meets pop culture")

    Monday, February 07, 2011

    No story here

    Move along . . .

    Update: A little background.

    Another day, another foreword

    Eugene of The Volokh Conspiracy notes a new book, Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims, by Stephen Sheehi. More to the point, he notes the preface by mellifluous murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal and foreword by aggrieved fat fake Injun Ward Churchill. A couple of commenters over there wondered if Sheehi, associate professor of Arab and Arabic culture and director of the Arabic program at the University of South Carolina, might not have been aware the twin scumbags of different psychotic gerbils were hired to mess up his book. Commenter "krs" sets them straight:
    The Amazon “Product Description” gives a few more clues about what Sheehi’s book is about, and why the preface and foreword authors were chosen:
    Using “Operation Desert Storm” as a watershed moment, Stephen Sheehi examines the increased mainstreaming of Muslim-baiting rhetoric and explicitly racist legislation, police surveillance, witch-trials and discriminatory policies towards Muslims in North America and abroad. The book focuses on the various genres and modalities of Islamophobia from the works of rogue academics to the commentary by mainstream journalists, to campaigns by political hacks and special interest groups. [lotsa text cropped] Sheehi, therefore, concludes that Muslim and Arab-hating emanate from all corners of the American political and cultural spectrum, serving poignant ideological functions in the age of economic, cultural and political globalization. Mumia Abu Jamal’s elegant Preface and Ward Churchil’s powerful Foreword further contextualize and foreground Sheehi’s seminal contribution.
    So, if I'm counting right, that's three forewords and a book chapter Wart has done since his lawsuit was tried. I'm guessing those are the "four books" he was writing and from which, he once complained, he was so untimely ripp'd by the trial.

    Update: The WSJ blog Ideas Market noticed too.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    Cheap at twice the price

    Tickets for tonight's meet 'n' agiteet ("eXpression against Oppression") at the University of Toronto with keynote '60s relics Angela Davis and Wart are $16.50 for students and $29.50 for non-students. Damn, not too many baggage handlers, parking lot attendants or homeless people (see first update) will be there, I'll bet.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011


    Minus 9 right now, with a forecast high of -2 (F, for you international reader) and a low of -20. This means I'll have to go downcellar, take the plywood panel off the crawlspace entrance (oh, the smell) and open the door to the furnace room so the pipes in the crawlspace don't freeze.

    For some reason this reminds me of the winters in central Illinois in the latish 70s when I still lived out there. Bitter cold, high winds, lots of snow. Around midnight on such nights I liked nothing better than to get in my ' 74 Dodge Dart (5.2 liter V8 318) drive out in the country and buck snowdrifts.

    That car was something. Not counting the engine it probably weighed about seven pounds. And it flew. Literally, when you hit a two-foot drift across the road at 50 miles an hour.

    But I was prepared for disaster. Warm clothes, beer, sleeping bag, beer, book, flashlight, beer. . .

    Once, disaster struck. Boom, over a snowdrift, sqweeeee! right off the road and into the ditch. The front end of the car was buried up to the windshield. Oh, well. Snuggle, burp, book (probably, God h'ep me, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), snort, bwee-bwee-bwee-bwee.

    Woke up to bright sunshine and a farmer clearing his driveway with a front-end loader. Hook up a chain, pop! and putting home.

    Sorry, random memory trace. So, have you been watching Pawn Stars? I just got hooked. That Corey is a gigantic sack of crap, isn't he?

    Update: The pirate with the slant-six parrot has several good Wart posts (I've been kind of out of it), including this one via Westword (and the Wart-laving Michael Roberts) featuring both Wart and his little crap-dog Benjie lying to the end. Benjie actually claims (again) that CU didn't get rid of him because of his filthy, slanderous, now-disappeared blogs, and that he didn't want to teach anymore, anyhow. Yeah, sure.