Patterico's Pontifications


On-Point Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:28 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Jim Geraghty at National Review Online: “I’m so old, I remember when it was a big deal when a president vacationed as Louisiana was devastated by floods.”

Count me as one of those curmudgeons who thinks that the photo-ops where politicians show how “caring” they are by bringing their huge entourage into a disaster zone is stupefyingly counterproductive. Roads are blocked, thinly-stretched resources are diverted to security, and people are highly inconvenienced all for that ten-second clip on the nightly news where the politician looks grimly determined as he or she offers a reassuring hug to a victim (a child or senior citizen being the optimal image here). When wildfires reached my cousin’s Southern California community during the Schwarzenegger era, I remember her complaining about what a hassle it had been when Arnie made an appearance on the scene, gubernatorial staff and news crew in tow, and everything came to a halt while people patiently waited for him to go through the compassion routine. It really bugged her and she otherwise didn’t have a problem with Schwarzenegger’s policies or his politics.

And to Geraghty’s point, I too remember when Bush was excoriated for inspecting the Hurricane Katrina damage high above from Marine One rather than on the ground surrounded by Secret Service, assorted undersecretaries, Louisiana politicos, and Cokie Roberts. Why is it then that the titans of opinion-making are so sanguine about the latest floods failing to distract President Obama from important golfing matters? Is it because we now all accept that Obama has been phoning it in for some time now? Is it because deep down the media knows that politicians appearing on scene is contrived and detrimental? Or is it as basic as the idea that some politicians are beyond reproach, while others are to be criticized at every available opportunity?


CNN Edits Video to Make Bloodthirsty Woman Look Peaceful

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 am

It’s good to have the occasional reminder of how your media lies to you, right to your face. The latest example is this 28-second video, in which CNN edits a video of a woman screaming for violence in the suburbs to portray her as “calling for peace”:

CNN says it was “unintentional.”

Thus blatantly lying again.

Thanks to Tom Woods on Facebook. (Check the links on the sidebar for his Liberty Classroom. A couple of people have joined up and I hope to post more about it soon.)

Farts, Donald Trump, the Spanish National Debt, and a Stark Choice

Filed under: General,Stark Choice — Patterico @ 7:20 am

This story was prompted by a Hot Air Headlines entry about the volume of farts. Stick with me.

Spain’s national debt reaches highest level in over century

Spain’s state debt reached €1.1 trillion ($1.24 trillion) in June, the highest level since 1909, according to the data released by the Bank of Spain.

People wait at the employment center to open in Sintra, Portugal. © Hugo CorreiaSpain & Portugal avoid budget fines
Sovereign debt has been continuing its unswerving escalation since 2008, when it was 39.4 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).

Debt rose 4.7 percent in June compared to a year ago when it amounted to €1,057 trillion.

The figure, equivalent to 100.9 per cent of the country’s output, is well above the target projected for the current year.

Why am I talking about the Spanish national debt when I started out talking about the volume of farts? I’m getting there.

I followed the Hot Air Headlines fart-volume item to the original article: How Big Is A Fart? Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda. (Saved you a click!) This passage caught my eye:

Certain foods, beans included, produce more easily fermentable residues as they break down in the stomach and intestines. More fermentation means more gas, so the “flatulogenic foods” really will increase the volume of gas in your gut and in your farts. In 2012, for instance, researchers took healthy volunteers and those who suffered from chronic gastrointestinal problems, fed them either a neutral or fart-inducing breakfast, and then put a catheter up each of their anuses to collect farts and transfer the gas to a machine that measured the volume of those farts in real time.

I decided to follow the hyperlink to learn more about this study. Specifically, I was curious to learn: did taxpayers somewhere pay for “scientists” to put catheters up the anuses of volunteers? So I went to the study, titled Anal gas evacuation and colonic microbiota in patients with flatulence: effect of diet.

Funding This work was supported by the FIS PI10/00902 grant (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion, Spain), the Spanish Ministry of Education (Dirección General de Investigación, SAF 2009–07416), Fundació La Marató TV3 (MARATV3_072010), the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013: IHMS, grant agreement HEALTH.2010.2.1.1-2) and a grant from Danone Research (France). Ciberehd is funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

If your Spanish is failing you: yes, government grants were involved.

And then I noticed this morning’s story about Spain’s record debt.

This kind of thing is universal, folks. It’s not just the U.S. Government that taxes you and spends the money on idiotic stuff. It happens everywhere.

Let’s get local. We face the possibility this November of having a Democrat in office, Hillary Clinton, who is promising to spend $275 billion that we don’t have on a federal infrastructure program. Our debt is $19 trillion, and most of the infrastructure issues, to the extent they exist, are local and state issues, not federal. Nevertheless, Hillary is unfazed. She apparently thinks Barack Obama’s giant stimulus was a great idea, and needs to be repeated.

Luckily, we have an alternative: Donald Trump, a Republican stalwart and fiscal conservative who . . . says he’ll take Hillary’s proposal and double it. Remember this from a few days ago?

Donald J. Trump took a step to Hillary Clinton’s left on Tuesday, saying that he would like to spend at least twice as much as his Democratic opponent has proposed to invest in new infrastructure as part of his plan to stimulate the United States’ economy.

The idea takes a page out of the progressive playbook and is another indication that the Republican presidential nominee is prepared to break with the fiscal conservatism that his party has evangelized over the past eight years.

Nevertheless, we are going to be told that we must vote for Trump because, I don’t know. I guess because he’s a fucking clown who never means anything he says and therefore maybe he won’t actually carry out this stupid idea? Is that the argument?

It’s a stark choice, folks. This is easily the most least important election of our lifetimes.

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