This Should Make Identifying “Greens” Easy.

American taste for soft toilet roll ‘worse than driving Hummers’

The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public’s insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

“This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous,” said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.

You’ll be able to tell who is an environmentalist by the smell.

A Well Traveled Path. But Not Here

Is Libertarianism a Sign of Mental Illness? (Cato @ Liberty)

I don’t know whether this belongs in the comic-relief category or the future-threats category, but the Harvard Law School is having a conference to analyze the “free market mindset.” The basic premise of the conference seems to be that people who believe in limited government are psychologically troubled.

I really don’t think things are to the point yet where people are going to be disenfranchised and isolated for having political opinions that are not considered normal by a bunch of posing pansies.

It’ not American nature, despite what you might think if you look at the writings of the left end of the spectrum. Putting people in mental asylums for doubting the government is something that happens in places like Russia and Eastern Europe. It’s the culture and was a common practice long before the Socialists or Communists ever came to power.

The American Ideal Is Dead! The Looting Commences

Soak the rich, legislative tax panel hears – Oregonlive.com

SALEM — ‘Tax the wealthy’ was the rallying cry as state legislators took up the contentious task of raising personal income taxes to shore up government services.The House Revenue Committee opened hearings Friday on four proposals that would create a new 10 percent tax bracket for higher earners, create a new alternative minimum tax, and reduce the amount all individuals could deduct in federal income taxes from their state tax returns.

Obviously the thing to do is to position yourself in a way to avoid being punished for earning more that the average.

That means forget about investing. Pull your money out of the market as soon as you can and convert it to something tangible and portable that the government can’t easily find.

If you’re in business shut down. If you don’t want to shut down, cut back to the bare minimum. Try to use only family members if possible. If not, keep only your best, most reliable employees. Keep the earnings below the cutoff for “rich”. Remember, they’re not looking to tax “wealth” they’re wanting to tax income. Which is not the same thing.

If you’re in government, try to get a position in one of the essential services. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Jail or ODOT. Those are going to continue no matter what. If you have no useful skills try to get in the Social Services. Those are going to continue. But there will probably be cuts. Suck up the right person and you might miss the cut.

From all indications the American experiment in self governance is over.

Do You Think Any Of The Other Bureaucracys Are Different?

A scathing report of the Department of Emergency Management finds “dismal accounting practices” and “flagrant mismanagement” – OregonLive.com

The Multnomah County agency charged with coordinating disaster response has for years operated under “flagrant mismanagement and a systematic failure of basic record keeping” that created an environment “ripe for abuse,” says a scathing report released Thursday.Allegations that the Department of Emergency Management’s former director, George Whitney, stole equipment led to a county criminal investigation that sparked the report.

Wait until the bureaucratic expansion that is the heart of the “stimulus” takes off.

But from 2003 to 2007, the department received and spent $12 million in federal grants. It is responsible for buying and distributing equipment that could range from night-vision goggles to Hummers, and contracting with agencies to provide training.Yet its heightened status didn’t bring heightened oversight. According to the report, the department kept no records of how it spent the money, who it contracted with and for how much, what it bought or who got the equipment.

We’re going to be handing out checks right and left, if they just steer the funds to their friends or political supporters they could be in trouble if they got caught. Or could they? The Department of Emergency Management kept no records, so there was nothing to show how the money was spent. No records, no evidence, no crime.

The investigation found no evidence that Whitney committed a crime. He resigned in August amid controversy over his leadership style. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

I’m sure he couldn’t. He’s probably somewhere spending time with Craig Livingstone.

They’d Still Be Allowed To Hire Illegals, But Not Educated Legal Immigrants

Schumer’s Second Thoughts (Or: This Is Why Reading Legislation Before Voting Is a Good Idea) – Kathryn Jean Lopez – The Corner on National Review Online

The amendment to the stimulus bill, proposed by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, D-Iowa, originally would have banned the visas for any company that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. A compromise lifted the ban, but companies will still be required to hire from the growing pool of laid-off American workers first. Advocates say that the mandate is so onerous that it will virtually stop banks from bringing foreign workers into the country.

But the Senate took out the provision requiring contractors doing work under the stimulus to check their employees through e-verify.

The Democrats are OK with uneducated illegal immigrants, it’s the educated, legal ones that they worry about.

Gee. D’ya Think So?

Possibility of ‘honor killing’ mulled in Orchard Park slaying : Home: The Buffalo News

While Muslim leaders have urged against applying cultural stereotypes to the crime, advocates for women linked the killing to attitudes in Muslim societies.“This was apparently a terroristic version of honor killing, a murder rooted in cultural notions about women’s subordination to men,” said Marcia Pappas, New York State president of the National Organization for Women.

She decried the scant national media attention paid to the story, which broke the same day as the commuter plane crash that killed 50 people in Clarence.

Well, the whole wife killing and head chopping thing does seem to be more prominent in the Muslim community than elsewhere.

But maybe we ought to not mention that to keep the Muslim Street from coming over and chopping our head off?

DeFazio: Unions And Lobbyists Can Spend Stimulus Better Than You Can.

DeFazio a no on stimulus; Obama still needs him.

Lots of ink and electrons today for Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, the only member of the House to switch from voting yes on the stimulus bill to voting no on the second go-around.

As DeFazio told my colleague Charles Pope, the bill is simply too larded with tax cuts – as opposed to infrastructure spending – for him to accept the final version.

What DeFazio means is that you and I, being ordinary people, are too stupid to know what to do with the money. He would like the money to go through his committee so that he can control who benefits. With DeFazio that means Lobbyists and Unions. Since with 60% of his funding coming from out-of-state sources, that doesn’t even mean Oregon Lobbyists and Unions.

With DeFazio, if you’re not kicking some of your paycheck back to the Union, which in turn finds its way into his campaign coffers, you don’t matter.

Voting against it will also give him an out when it blows up.

That’s DeFazio. He’s a “maverick,” meaning that he’ll do his best to pretend to be on your side, no matter what side that is.

See Where The Big Money Goes.

OpenSecrets | Investment Manager Stanford Was Big-Time Campaign Contributor – Capital Eye

Money manager Robert Allen Stanford now has two things in common with embattled investment manager Bernard Madoff: both have come under scrutiny for allegedly defrauding their investors, and both have given significant funds to politicians. The Securities and Exchange Commission today accused Stanford, chief of Stanford Financial Group, of “fraud in the sale of about $8 billion of high-yielding certificates of deposit held in the firm’s bank in Antigua,” according to the New York Times.

Between its PAC and its employees, Stanford Financial Group has given $2.4 million to federal candidates (including both candidate committees and leadership PACs), parties and committees since 2000, with 65 percent of that going to Democrats. Stanford and his wife, Susan, have given $931,100 out of their own pockets, with 78 percent going to Democrats. The top recipients of cash in the current Congress include Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who received $45,900; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who collected $41,375; and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who brought in $28,150. (For a full list of recipients, see below.) The company gave the most during the 2002 election cycle, when Congress was debating the Financial Services Antifraud Network Act, a bill that would have created a computer network linking the databases of state and federal banking, securities and insurance regulators to curb financial fraud. Lobbying reports indicate that Stanford Financial Group lobbied on the bill, which the House passed but the Senate did not. Nelson was vice chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the ’02 cycle, when the DSCC collected more than $800,000 from the company. (UPDATE 2/18/09: A spokesman for Nelson pointed out to Capital Eye that Nelson was not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where the antifraud act appears to have stalled in 2001. Nelson’s spokesman said the senator supported the bill, which Stanford presumably opposed.)

The entire list is at the link. The list of recipients in the article stopped just short of Senator Chris Dodd, who has been a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for 26 years and is now its Chairman.

I guess he has been connected with too much of the problems in the financial industry to warrant a mention. He received $1000 less than Senator John McCain, the Democrats favorite Republican.