Sunday, December 8, 2013

Politidumb of the Week

So much material to work with and so little time. There's a resurgence in reader interest on this topic, and surplus material. So we relaunch our weekly feature, with a review of the leading nominees.

It's not only politicians whose commentary gets outrageously obtuse. First up for Politidumb of this week is Bob Dylan, for comments that caught the attention of the socialists in France.
Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France after a Croatian community organisation alleged comments he made to Rolling Stone magazine last year amounted to an incitement of racial hatred.

"If you got a slave master or [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that," he was quoted as saying. "That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."
Hey Bob dude, the answer isn't blood -- blood flows, it is not something you normally see blowing in the wind.

Uncle Omar Obama at DUI trial
The second nominee is President Barack Obama's White House staff. Whether or not Barack Obama had ever met his Kenyan uncle (who is involved in potential deportation hearings), and whether, if so, the President had kept in touch or lived with this uncle are questions that are irrelevant to Obama's piloting the ship of state. Yet, the President's crew believed it necessary to wrap questions concerning Uncle Omar with a web of fabrication and deceit. Notwithstanding the White House's claims that Barack had never met uncle Omar, the future President of the United States actually roomed with his father's brother when he was a student at Harvard Law.
The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Barack Obama lived briefly years ago with a Kenyan uncle previously targeted for deportation — after initially insisting there was no evidence they had ever met.
Why the stark turnaround? “Nobody spoke to the president” when the question first arose in 2011, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.
Instead, staff appear to have relied on one of the president’s autobiographical books.
“Back when this arose, folks looked at the record, including the president's book, and there was no evidence that they had met, there was — and that was what was conveyed,” Carney explained.
That appeared to be a reference to “Dreams From My Father,” which famously includes the warning that some people in the book are composites.
The unforced error surfaces at a time when the majority of the American public do not believe the President is honest and trustworthy. Geez, I wonder why?

Speaking of drones, Senator Jay Rockefeller qualified as the third Politidumb nominee.  He had an announcement to make.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing next year on the commercial use of drones, including Amazon's plan to use drones to deliver products.
Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon drones on "60 Minutes"
"Amazon's plans for using drones to deliver packages is just one example of the potential this technology offers consumers, and a reflection of the ingenuity of American business," Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said in a statement Monday.
"As we move forward toward integrating drones into civilian life and capitalizing on the economic opportunities they offer, we must make certain that these aircraft meet rigorous safety and privacy standards. I plan to hold a hearing early next year to explore the potential economic benefits of unmanned vehicles in our airspace as well as the potential risks they may create."
Way to fall for the publicity stunt timed to align with the start of the Christmas buying season. Meanwhile, Amazon intentionally loses money in its campaign to dominate and destroy competition in the online marketplace. Hey, how about an Amazon antitrust hearing Senator Rockefeller dude, something you ought to know something about -- remember how predatory pricing worked out for Standard Oil and great grandpa John?

As I sit here and write, the temperature not having cracked zero for the last three days, the winning nominee is James Hansen, who runs the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at the Columbia University Earth Institute. Hansen retired this year as director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- you know one of those highly competent, incredibly well informed, apolitical government employees. Hansen said,
Climate change is altering people's lives, right now, from the United States to Africa to the Arctic. It is as clear and present a danger as we've ever seen.

And the threat will only get worse if left unchecked. If we allow the planet's energy imbalance to increase and the ocean to continue to warm, we will pass a point of no return. Our children and grandchildren would inherit disintegrating ice sheets, rising seas that inundate all coastal cities, increasingly violent climate extremes and extermination of countless species. We would leave future generations a far more desolate planet than the one that we were blessed to inherit.
We are breaking records for temperature lows previously set in 1909, when my long departed father, who regaled us kids with stories about the extreme cold and blizzards of his youth, was but three months old.  I agree about the danger thing -- had to turn my daughter down today on her request to go skiing. Too much risk of frostbite.  Dude Hansen, come get your award. And don't forget the tire chains. You'll need them to get over the pass.


  1. Can temperature extremes (cold and hot) not be the consequence of global warming/climate change?

    1. Or global cooling. See Take your pick -- whatever gives polticians control, yields government grants for universities and that the theory of the month club wants to put out there

  2. Temperature differentials are of course the consequence of all kinds of horrific problems. I live in Chicago. I too an experiencing bitter cold today. But a mere three weeks ago, we experience severe NOVEMBER tornados, a first for that time of year. Accordingly, from where I sit, Global Warming is more than a bit of a misnomer to the extent that while it is true that we have overall global warming it does not preclude extreme record lows in certain areas of the globe.