Monday, May 5, 2008

Purpose and Updated Stats May 5, 2008

The content of the RRStar (online Rockford Register Star) blogs have an overwhelmingly liberal slant in both content, links, and quantity.

I established this blog in an attempt to provide Rockford with political balance and to demonstrate the type and quality of content the RRStar could offer to its readers.

Checking the stats of their political blogs it is clear that they need more of a balanced portfolio of political blogs.

Again, here are the political blogs available at the RRStar:

  • Applesauce is a prolific far left blog that addresses national issues. The content is mainly composed of links to the left wing of the blogosphere along with a short quips, photo, and video content. Occasionally there are longer posts that include opinions on the items linked. Comments are quickly answered, often with another quip.
  • In Chambers is a blog that covers Illinois state politics. It appears to be right of center but that could be the result of its adversarial nature to the current state administration. There is no real interaction in the comments.
  • Sweeny Report is a blog written by the Political Editor of the Register Star. Postings are sporadic, concentrating on local, state and national issues and are mainly short thoughts on events with few links.
  • Why We Vote is a group blog consisting of the thoughts of the members of the Register Star's voters opinion panel. The posts are mostly left of center (including those from the independents to date). The conservative member who was posting, sadly, passed away recently.
The Stats for April 28 through May 4, 2008:
  • Applesauce 32 posts with 28 out links 10 YouTube.
  • In Chambers 3 posts with 16 out links 0 YouTube.
  • Sweeny Report 7 posts with 7 out links 0 YouTube.
  • Why We Blog 4 posts (4 left) 0 out links 0 YouTube.
Totals since I started counting March 27, 2008 through May 4, 2008:
  • Applesauce 147 posts with 157 out links 26 YouTube.
  • In Chambers 23 posts with 214 out links 1 YouTube.
  • Sweeny Report 29 posts with 18 out links 0 YouTube.
  • Why We Blog 25 posts (22 left 1 right 2 unknown) 1 out links 0 YouTube.

If your interested in balance in the RRStar blogs keep coming back and let the RRStar know.

Perhaps Daley Could Pull Back to Okinawa?

Arming officers with assault rifles would make Chicago look like a developing nation. Why won't Chicago's mayor just let citizens defend themselves?

Fifty-four shootings in two weekends. Shot-up bodies recovered in groups of three and five. Is this Ramadi? Basra? No.

Welcome to Chicago.

After a recent outbreak of gun-related violence, Mayor Richard Daley is now pushed into supporting a plan by new Police Superintendent Jody Weis to arm 13,000 Chicago police officers with assault rifles. Depending on how many weapons are eventually deployed, this may develop into the largest militarization of police patrol officers in United States history. If the department arms 10,000 of their officers with M4s, the police will have 9,900 more assault rifles in Chicago than the U.S. Marines presently have in Fallujah, Iraq.


Perhaps instead of up-gunning the police, it is time for Chicago to admit its strict anti-gun laws have failed, and perhaps rescind mandates that only disarm Chicago’s law-abiding citizens in the face of increasing violent criminal activity. Mayor Daley is unlikely to see that logic, however. For him and those like him, guns in the hands of citizens are the problem, not the cure.

It is an irony lost on a man intent on turning his police force into a respectable third-world army, and his city into Chicagostan, Gaza on Lake Michigan.

Chicago ineffective reactionary politics -- Obamaland!


Pajamas Media

Litigating Every Aspect Of Life

The short version: If the polar bear is listed, every activity that emits a greenhouse gas of any sort in the lower 48 AND which receives a federal permit or requires federal agency action of any sort --even if that permit or action is unrelated to the emission of the gases-- those activities will be subject to new review by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the approval may not be forthcoming, will certainly at least be delayed, and will almost certainly come with massive new costs attached.

Thus coastal building programs that require federal flood insurance or Army Corps of Engineers permits, highway construction that gets FHA funding, or joint NASA-private industry initiatives that result in launchings, all these and hundreds of thousands of additional federal permits and actions get gathered in under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

Hugh Hewitt

The Canadians refused to declare the polar bear threatened or endangered last week, but enviro-wacko's won't let that stop them.

As marvelously reported May 3 by the Christian Science Monitor (emphasis added throughout):

But global warming is not killing the polar bears of Canada's eastern Arctic, according to one ongoing study. Scheduled for release next year, it says the number of polar bears in the Davis Strait area of Canada's eastern Arctic – one of 19 polar bear populations worldwide – has grown to 2,100, up from 850 in the mid-1980s.

For those keeping score, that’s an almost 150 percent increase in two decades.

The article continued:

"There aren't just a few more bears. There are a ... lot more bears," biologist Mitchell Taylor told the Nunatsiaq News of Iqaluit in the Arctic territory of Nunavut. Earlier, in a long telephone conversation, Dr. Taylor explained his conviction that threats to polar bears from global warming are exaggerated and that their numbers are increasing. He has studied the animals for the Nunavut government for two decades.

Hmmm. So, a local biologist that has studied polar bears for two decades says their population is increasing. How marvelous.


If they can't get people to give up their way of lives willingly, they will use other means!

How annoying that they have to fight elections for their cause
The inconvenience, having to get a majority
If normal methods of persuasion fail to win them applause
There are other ways of establishing authority
(Lyrics -- Evita, A New Argentina -- Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice)

Put Away That Shovel, Potato's Have Rights You Know!

You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the "dignity" of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.

Lunacy, sheer lunacy.
The Weekly Standard -- The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

That Settles It!

Mounting evidence of lower temperature trends despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels is becoming a real problem for the greenhouse gas crowd. And reports that the cooling appears to follow a period of dormant solar activity aren't likely to ease their anxieties.

According to UK's Telegraph the report stemmed from "initial findings from a new computer model of how the oceans behave over decades," and readers were reminded that:

"The IPCC currently does not include in its models actual records of such events as the strength of the Gulf Stream and the El Nino cyclical warming event in the Pacific, which are known to have been behind the warmest year ever recorded in 1998."

Of course, solar activity is also essentially ignored by IPCC models, and it too saw an apex in 1998. Isn't it interesting how, not unlike insects scampering from light exposed by a stone overturned, greenies struggle desperately to avoid directly confronting the power of the Sun?

Temperatures are now expected to drop over the next decade or more. But don't worry, the warm-mongers have already written the excuses. And despite the fact that this anomaly in temperatures didn't show up in the vaunted computer models the science is settled! You hear me, the science is settled and no lack of confidence in the computer models can change that!

The American Thinker -- Are Global Warmists Pulling a Cool Fast One?


"One of the reasons I got annoyed with the IPCC when I was involved, was an almost universal dismissal of the contribution of natural forcing to the observed warming - particularly the role of decadal-scale climate variability such as the PDO. In discussions with one of our Nobel Peace Prize winning meteorologists back in the 1990s, their position was that the greenhouse effect had overwhelmed natural variability and it just would not be possible for the PDO to switch.”
Willem de Lange

Watts Up With That -- IPCC Annoyance

There's Never Enough For The UN

THERE'S NEVER ENOUGH MONEY: U.N.'s World Food Program Cried Poverty While Sitting on Cash Stockpile of More Than $1.22 Billion.

To be fair much of the money is committed to ongoing programs, but the following statements by the leaders at the UN boarders on fraud.

The startling figure is contained in the latest audited statements of the WFP, which were endorsed by the WFP’s executive director, Josette Sheeran, on March 31, just a month before Sheeran announced at an international aid conference on April 22 that a "silent tsunami" in rising food prices demanded the huge infusion of cash for the WFP’s latest budget.

In a May 1 International Herald Tribune op-ed, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon further declared that the WFP had just "$18 million cash in hand" in the wake of its appeal for emergency funding.


Via -- Instapundit

Update: The BBC is reporting --

An African leader has dismissed the UN's food agency as a "waste of money" and called for it to be scrapped.

President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal spoke out days after the UN announced an emergency plan to bring soaring world food prices under control.

Mr Wade said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was itself largely to blame for the price rises.

Tax Everything ! Sues To Stop N.Y. Tax
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | May 2, 2008 is fighting back with a lawsuit trying to strike down New York state’s new law forcing the online retailer to collect sales taxes on the state’s behalf.

The dispute, which is before a state court in Manhattan, is heading toward a constitutional showdown that will center on whether New York State is hindering interstate commerce by imposing on out-of-state companies, such as, the burden of serving as a tax collector for New York.

Via -- Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

Markets Works -- Too Bad Congress Doesn't

But in fact, even as our own dithering Congress refuses to help ease the energy crunch, things are already changing — thanks to you, the consumer, and you, the producer.

That's right: It's the private sector that's doing it.

One of the glories of a capitalist system is that price signals are allowed to work. When the price for a good rises, that means it's in scarce supply. When the price falls, it's relatively abundant. This signals to users and producers they must change their behavior.


The U.S. itself has 656 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 112 billion barrels of oil on federal lands alone — there for the taking if only Congress would allow it.

But even without it, we're going gangbusters. As the American Petroleum Institute recently noted, "an estimated 4,577 (U.S.) oil wells were completed in the first quarter of 2008, up 12%" from last year and the highest rate since 1986. U.S. oil companies are going back to tapped-out wells and pumping oil that wasn't economically recoverable at $25 a barrel but is at $100.

That's the supply side. What about demand? U.S. fuel demand in the first three months of 2008 was down 1.4% from a year earlier — the third straight quarterly year-over-year decline in a row.

Gasoline consumption has risen about 1.5% a year since 2000. But Energy Department data showed demand in the first quarter edging down for the first time in more than two decades.

In short, the tide has turned.

Don't cut the gas tax for the summer -- cut it for diesel only to reduce the inflation pressure on shipping food and other products.

More importantly, get the government out of the way and let the markets actually do their job.


Investors Business Daily

Fake Video -- But it's a Different Kind of Campaign Right?

Some blogs have linked to a video that had Clinton staffer Micky Kantor using derragatory terms toward some Indiana voters. Unfortunately the video appears bogus. Now the question is who is behind it.

Read the updates here.

Fire in the Night -- Why it Matters

Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

This is a great breakdown of why Obama needs to explain why this didn't seem important to him. The same goes for those supporters who would rather we discuss, "issues." Obama's judgment is an issue.

Fire in the Night by John Murtagh

If They Were Serious...

I just heard Barack Obama on Fox and Friends say that he understands people are concerned about gas prices and he wants to do something about it -- with tax breaks and .... huh?

If Obama, Clinton, and McCain were really serious about reducing gas prices they would all agree -- together as Americans (not Democrat or Republican) to increase US oil production and refinery capacity by at least 50% in the next 5 years.

You would see an immediate drop in price.

Quam! Obama via the Netroots Owns All Caucus

When all of the ballots were finally counted -- a process that lasted through the night until well after the sun was up -- Sen. Barack Obama had the most votes from Guam Democrats in the party’s caucus held yesterday.

Obama finished with 2,264 votes to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2,257 votes – a 7-point difference. Obama never trailed from the first vote count on.

Obama won 14 of 21 districts. Most districts that were won by Clinton were by small margins.

The Caucus battle has been Obama's the entire time due to the organizations on the ground. The states that vote have been far more balanced. Can that carry to an electoral victory?

Ben Smith's Blog --

Conventional Wisdom Again Falls to Time And The Facts

As is often the case the many of today's, "facts," end up being inaccurate when the actual facts are revealed. This is slowly proving to be the case with the invasion of Iraq.

Read the full review of Douglas Feith's book War and Decision written by Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal at Power Line blog.

Rock'n for the Red -- Red Cross Benefit

Rock’n for the Red.” This event is to celebrate HEROES for the American Red Cross in the Rock River area. The event will have bands, Red Cross education, an award ceremony, and it only cost $5 for a button to get in.

Save the date, June 21, 2008, noon to 11pm. There will be 7 bands for the all day festival.
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