“If in doubt, shoot the bear.”

So instructs Wesley J. Smith while discussing the fate of the Idaho man charged by federal prosecutors for killing a bear–a grizzly, not a black bear, mind you–to protect his wife and kids. From the story:

Hill was showering. His wife, not able to sleep, looked out her bedroom window and spotted the bears an estimated 40 yards from where the kids were playing. She ran outside, shouting for the kids to get in the house. Hill, finishing a shower, heard the screams and looked outside. Seeing the bears, he grabbed the only weapon at hand, a rifle, which was wrapped and unloaded. He found three bullets, loaded the weapon and raced outside. He didn’t know where his children or his wife were exactly, but could hear his wife’s panicked screams. He stepped out onto the back deck from their bedroom and saw one of the bears climbing halfway up the side of a pen for the children’s pigs. He ran out and fired a shot at the bear closest to him.

As would any man with common sense. Jeremy Hill killed the bear and self-reported it. Local prosecutors didn’t charge him. Self-defense, you know. But federal prosecutors have, and Michelle Malkin notes the penalty is steep:

He now faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Malkin details the plea for intervention from Idaho’s GOP governor to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.  <Crickets.> The call for help will go unanswered. As Smith noted:

This is just blind, obtuse, bureaucratism, tinged with radical environmentalism.  Protecting endangered species is a good thing, but not at the expense of a real potential for loss of human life.

My new definition of surreal: punishing a man for protecting his family from an animal, one noted for its savagery. Two men have been mauled to death by grizzlies in Yellowstone this summer.

Local law enforcement believes Hill “acted reasonably.” The federal government is doing anything but.

In the name of science (as if the Pill hasn’t contaminated enough lakes and streams)

They can’t stop until people aren’t fertile. From the NYT, the chase for testicular toxins:

The most studied approach in the United States uses testosterone and progestin hormones, which send the body signals to stop producing sperm. While effective and safe for most men, they have not worked for everyone, and questions about side effects remain.

So scientists are also testing other ways of interrupting sperm production, maturation or mobility.

One potential male birth control pill, gamendazole, derived from an anticancer drug, interrupts sperm maturation so “you’re making nonfunctional sperm,” said Gregory S. Kopf, associate vice chancellor for research administration at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The center has begun discussions with the Food and Drug Administration about the drug, already tested in rats and monkeys.

Dr. John K. Amory, a reproductive scientist at the University of Washington, is studying a drug that was developed for worm infections and was later tried on men because it caused infertility. Using rabbits, Dr. Amory said, he discovered the drug blocks production of retinoic acid, important for sperm production.

Anticancer drugs, worm infections. What happens if a “nonfuntional sperm” cracks into an egg? Is it non-motile or non-genetic-code-bearing? Hell, not that it matters anyway. Maybe these Ph.D folks in hot pursuit of science can partner up with these smarter-than-everyone-else-but-devoid-of-any-trace-of-ethics-geneticists. Then again, maybe not. You never know: after feminizing fish for generations on synthetic estrogen, maybe the male pill will balance the equation somehow, creating a new generation of completely asexual fish incapable of reproduction. I’m sure an environmentalist somewhere will tell us that the planet would benefit somehow with fewer fish in the sea, anyway, right?

 

Change: Americans won’t be able to use the a/c. Or the dryer. Or lights after dark.

How hot is it where you are? Hope you enjoy one of the last summers with air conditioning. Obama has fulfilled one of his campaign promises: skyrocketing electric prices. Of course he won’t mention it that way before the ’12 election. He’ll just say he’s doing his part to reduce our collective carbon footprint in the name of Mother Earth!

Via Hot Air, your bill will rise 40 to 60%:

Thanks to new regulations from the Obama administration, power companies will shut down a significant number of coal-fired plants by 2014, and without any other reliable sources of mass-produced electricity, consumers will see their bills go up as much as 60%

Better get used to hanging your laundry and candlelight, too, since taxpayers will have to cover the price increase for government as well. Hope! Change! We hear now that rising gasoline costs bankrupt school districts. Soon we’ll hear how districts need more money to keep the lights on, and liberals will resort to scare tactics including cold lunch and unsafe, dark hallways to grab more money. Keep your kids at home.

Read the rest of Ed Morrissey’s post and mine last week.

You can find the bargain laundry line here.

Coincidence

Ah, gas prices. Why won’t we experience a rapid price decline mirroring the five-year chart above?

I don't fill up my own car, but I feel your pain even though I'm at fault!

Will Collier explains:

See that big peak in the middle? That was the last oil spike, in the summer of 2008. Notice how the price hit a high point, then fell off a cliff afterwards?

The day corresponding to that peak, an all-time high of $145.16/barrel, was July 14, 2008. By some strange coincidence, that was the very same day then-President George W. Bush lifted, by executive order, a federal ban on offshore oil drilling.

Bush’s order was, of course, immediately dismissed by the “experts.” Reuters waved away the action as “a largely symbolic move unlikely to have any short-term impact on high gasoline costs.” Barack Obama’s campaign lectured that if “offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks. But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither.”

The movement left was even more dismissive. ClimateProgress.org blasted The Washington Post for failing to headline their story about the order “Offshore Drilling Raises Oil Prices.” In response to Bush’s assertion that additional offshore extraction could equal current U.S. production in 10 years, they editorialized: “Yes, and monkeys could fly out of my butt” (emphasis in original).

There was just one problem: reality. Even though, as critics were eager to point out, any additional American drilling was years in the future, oil prices immediately went into free-fall. By Friday, July 18, the price of a barrel of crude had dropped to $128.94, a 12% decrease. A month later, on August 14, the price had fallen to $115.05. In spectacular fashion, Bush’s academic and media critics were proven seriously wrong.

Reality. Our Hopenchange reality includes a President who will starve us off oil in any way possible:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

I’m sure. As Professor Jacobson points out, this ruling makes three avenues of energy production the Obami have shut down.

Let’s all pause while President Tone-Deaf searches in vain for those evil speculators. What happens when none are found?

Related: Pundette, “Obamaflation.”

Fun at Natural Grocers

“Happy Earth Day,” the checkout girl chirped, “Here’s your free gift–a bag!”

“It’s Earth Day?” my husband asked.

“Yea,” I replied. “Hey, didja know that the Earth Day co-founder killed and composted his girlfriend? And I always thought you weren’t supposed to put meat in the pile!”

He didn’t really compost her as the headline asserts. Had he done so, rather than allowing the poor girl to partially mummify, he likely would not have been caught.

The look on the poor checkout girl’s face was priceless. I had to assure her the story was true. Ira Einhorn sits in jail. I’m sure he’s still a believer–much like Charlie Manson declaring global warming is a grave threat from his cell. Kooks.

Why I don’t–and won’t–love $5 gasoline

I caught bits of Rush this morning while cleaning. I heard this mid-stride and thought it was a joke. I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s not.

Via MSN Money, why liberals think $5 gas is “good for” me and “good for America,” as a result of people refusing to fork over $50 to partially fill up a tank. First, the usual arguments:

Fewer people will die on the road. The less you drive, the more likely you will survive, if the events of 2008, the year of the most recent gas price surge, are correct. In 2007, 30,527 died in automobile (including truck) accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, that number dropped 12%, to 26,791.

This mainly was attributed to a decrease in highway speed. Also contributing was a 2% drop in miles driven, from 3.03 trillion to 2.97 trillion, despite a 1.7% increase in the number of registered vehicles. On the negative side, with many turning to more economical modes of transportation, motorcycle deaths rose 2.6% in 2008 and bicycle deaths 1%.

Demand for high-mileage cars may grow. The key word here is “may.” Hybrid sales rose quickly in 2007 as gas prices climbed, then dropped noticeably in the second half of 2008 as gas prices plummeted from over $4 to $1.60. This time around, despite gas prices climbing steadily over the past year, hybrid cars shrunk from 2.9% of new vehicle sales in 2009 to 2.4% in 2010, according to Ward’s Auto. Meanwhile, sales of trucks, SUVs, crossovers and minivans rose from 48% of the market to 51% from 2009 to 2010. In addition, the average fuel economy rating of new vehicles sold in 2010 was 22.2 mpg, down from 22.3 mpg in 2009.

May I point out that more of the second on the road will automatically negate the first?  Smaller cars are death traps.

A recent study shows no amount of airbags, electronic stability control or roll cages can defeat the laws of physics.

Exactly. I’ll keep my mid-size SUV thankyouverymuch, even if it costs me $100 to fill it.

Moving right along:

Shorter security lines. Airlines fares are extremely fuel-price reactive. Soon, hardly anyone will be able to afford to fly willy-nilly around the country or globe. You will breeze through the maze of airport checkpoints.

Less pollution. Less driving means cleaner air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “pollution from vehicles causes two of our worst air pollution problems, smog and carbon monoxide.” There are no solid figures on how many Americans die annually from car-produced pollution, but a 2008 study by Great Britain’s University of Birmingham linked pneumonia deaths to pollution from motor vehicles.

Less congestion. Ever notice how well rush-hour freeway traffic flows on the minor holidays when most of the rest of us are working? A 2% drop in miles driven can make a big difference, allowing you to drive faster, although you now won’t want to. According to the Department of Energy, on average every 5 mph you drive over 60 is like paying an extra 24 cents per gallon (based on a $3.79 price).

Heh. The great equalizer, that Obama. He made air travel too expensive for everyone! But no worries, folks, we’ll have cleaner air and less congestion as our unused vehicles rust.

More exercise. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that by 2020, three out of four Americans will be categorized as overweight or obese. So, it can’t hurt to walk the three blocks to the grocery or bike to school or work.

Local businesses may profit. If you can’t afford to drive out to the Wal-Mart or The Home Depot, you may be buying instead at the local supermarket or neighborhood hardware store. In addition, as the cost of transporting, say, grapes from Chile, goes out of sight, you may turn to regional farmers for your produce.

I will admit there are two grocery stores within a mile, both of which are more expensive than my usual store of choice a whopping 10 minutes away. Unfortunately, I have a small child. A small child who wouldn’t be able to handle the hike back from either store given the 500-plus feet of elevation gain within a short distance. Said small child won’t stay in a stroller. And I couldn’t fit a gallon of milk in the stroller basket if I tried. So beyond the fact that both options are more expensive, what to do? Hire a babysitter to walk to the store? Not so much.

High prices lead to lower prices. Mackubin Thomas Owens, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College and editor of Orbis, the journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, theorizes that if gas prices rise enough, the government will open up areas now closed to oil production, and oil companies will be able to invest in more-expensive methods of extracting oil. Soon we will be drowning in the stuff, and prices will drop again.

That usually holds true. Except our POTUS would rather see $10 gas before he opened up ANWR to drilling. So no drowning in oil production for us!

What say you? Are you waiting with bated breath for $5 gasoline? Can’t wait to walk to the store on a daily basis because you can’t carry more than two bags home?

UPDATE: linked as a Featured Blog AND a “Recommended Read” at Pundit & Pundette. Thanks!

Across the pond, death panels and “smart” grids

What liberals dream of: the ability to regulate which babies deserve to live and when your light switches actually work.

From the UK Daily Mail, Donald Berwick must be swooning:

Babies born after just 23 weeks of pregnancy or earlier should be left to die, a leading NHS official has said.

Dr Daphne Austin said that despite millions being spent on specialised treatments, very few of these children survive as their tiny bodies are too underdeveloped.

She claimed keeping them alive is only ‘prolonging their agony’, and it would be better to invest the money in care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.

Until, of course, a doctor decides that money spent on cancer patients or the disabled just “prolong[s] their agony,” too, and that they’re better off dead.

But remember: there are no death panels.

And via motorcitytimes, the CEO of the British power grid says folks need to “get used to” flipping that switch and receiving no power. It’s called “smart” power:

Electricity consumers in the UK will need to get used to flicking the switch and finding the power unavailable, according to Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the country’s grid operator. Because of a six-fold increase in wind generation, which won’t be available when the wind doesn’t blow, “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030,” he told BBC’s Radio 4. “We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It’s going to be much smarter than that.

“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”

Holliday has for several years been predicting that blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets. Wind-based power systems are necessary to meet the government’s targets, he has explained, but they will require lifestyle changes.

Under the so-called “smart grid” that the UK is developing, the government-regulated utility will be able to decide when and where power should be delivered, to ensure that it meets the highest social purpose. Governments may, for example, decide that the needs of key industries take precedence over others, or that the needs of industry trump that of residential consumers. Governments would also be able to price power prohibitively if it is used for non-essential purposes

Let me guess: that air conditioner will be non-essential. And forget it if your fridge draws too much power. Will the government then cover the cost of your spoiled-contents? Ha. That will be your fault, I’m sure, for greedily stocking too much.

Steve at motorcitytimes comments:

Even if you are good and faithful environmentalist and purchase a planet saving Volt or Leaf, the government through the ‘smart grid’ might decide that allowing you to charge your EV has less social benefit than providing power elsewhere. Then your choices to get to work are public transportation, riding your bike or walking.

Remember: your freedom of movement is a threat.

Let there be no doubt what the “green” movement really is. I prefer the watermelon analogy: green on the outside and flaming red within.

Liberalism comes full (and stinky) circle

Need a funny?

How about this: Low-flow toilets cause a stink in San Francisco.

Giggling yet?

San Francisco’s big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.

Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.

The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem

Ah, $100 million taxpayer dollars to combat an unforseen complication of “environmentally friendly” toilets. Save water! Don’t flush your, um, sludge.
 
But wait, there’s more:
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite – better known as bleach – to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city’s treated water before it’s dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.
$14 million more taxpayer dollars! It doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
 
But some eco-nuts–the ones who pushed the low-flow toilets in the first place–aren’t pleased about the bleach-the-water campaign and tout the bennies of the water savings: 20 million gallons saved annually.
 
Was that really worth $114 million dollars and the whiff of rotten-egg?

 

Lazy Sunday Laundry

If you’re under a bigger self-imposed newsless rock than I am this weekend, a tender teenaged jihadi, Mohamed Mohamud, 19, was arrested for trying to blow up a slew of liberals at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.  Which leads to the headline of the day: Season’s Greetings from the Religion of Peace.  Heh.  I wonder how many politically correct Portlanders no longer fear the G-men who saved the city from a naturalized jihadi.  I guess since they aren’t G-W-men, then it’s all a-ok, right?  Just like rendition makes us safer–when Obama does it!  But I digress.  Pundette has a quiz.  In all seriousness, though, how do you deal with someone who felt this at the tender age of 9:

“Do you remember when 9/11 happened, when those people were jumping from skyscrapers? I thought that was awesome,” said Mohamud, his words later printed in an FBI affidavit. “I want to see that, that’s what I want for these people. … I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”

Charming. 

Why is it that liberals who threaten folks with whom they disagree are called “activists” while Tea Partiers are smeared as the rabid racist crazies?  Via the Volokh Conspiracy:

“We follow you on campus,” Jentsch recalled the note reading. “One day, when you’re walking by, we’ll come up behind you, and cut your throat.”

Activists claimed the razors were tainted with AIDS, though it hasn’t been confirmed by officials. University officials have said the latest threat, confirmed by UCLA on Tuesday, is under investigation by the FBI and UCLA police.

But the 38-year-old professor has been through this before. Last year, he woke up to an orange flash and a car alarm. He ran outside to find his car had been blown up….

The “activists” in question disagree with the UCLA neuroscientist’s use of monkeys in medical research.  Wesley J. Smith has more. 

On to better news via Instapundit, a “faster, please” stem cell update: Stem cell spray heals burns.  And what a surprise–no embryos were destroyed in the process.  Liberals can thank GW for pointing science in the right direction, not at the expense of life.  From the story:

A spray solution of a patient’s own stem cells is healing their severe burns. So far, early experiments under a University of Utah pilot project are showing some remarkable results.

What was once a serious burn on Kaye Adkins foot is healing nicely now because of a topical spray. With diabetes as a complication, the small but open wound had not healed after weeks of failed treatments.

Dr. Amalia Cochran with the university’s Burn Care Center says, “With a wound that is open for several months, as this patient suffered prior to seeing us in our burn clinic, we worry about a pretty heavy bacterial load there.”

But enter the evolutionary world of regenerative medicine, using almost a bedside stem cell technique that takes only about 15 minutes. With red cells removed, a concentrate of platelets and progenitor cells is combined with calcium and thrombin. The final mixture looks almost like Jello.

Seriously, how cool is that? 

A freebie alert for parents of toddlers: Amazon offers a Veggie Tales Christmas album download for free. 

Finally, a palate cleanser: A beautiful post from Stacy McCain on the truth and beauty of Humanae Vitae.  Stacy isn’t Catholic, yet he “gets it” more than many Catholics I know. 

And myriad thanks to Legal Insurrection for the “Blog of the Day” link which forced me to step away from the tangled mess of Christmas lights.  WOW!  Thank you!

Nanny state dreamin’

Does it ever end?

From the WaPo yesterday, the uptopian grandeur of life in DC sans air conditioning:

Washington didn’t grind to a sweaty halt last week under triple-digit temperatures. People didn’t even slow down. Instead, the three-day, 100-plus-degree, record-shattering heat wave prompted Washingtonians to crank up their favorite humidity-reducing, electricity-bill-busting, fluorocarbon-filled appliance: the air conditioner.

Bad, bad, bad air conditioning.  Fossil fuels.  Bad!

In a world without air conditioning, a warmer, more flexible, more relaxed workplace helps make summer a time to slow down again. Three-digit temperatures prompt siestas. Code-orange days mean offices are closed. Shorter summer business hours and month-long closings — common in pre-air-conditioned America — return.

Reminds me of summers in Europe as a kid.  Siestas and month-long closings also mean less profit for companies, which in turn would mean less pay for employees.  But that’s ok, right?  Who wouldn’t be willing to forgo a month’s worth of salary for a vacation, right?  Oh, you should still be paid the same yet want the month off?  Not so fast.

And lookie, he even thinks conservative “tea partiers” should rally ’round the idea:

In 1978, 50 years after air conditioning was installed in Congress, New York Times columnist Russell Baker noted that, pre-A.C., Congress was forced to adjourn to avoid Washington’s torturous summers, and “the nation enjoyed a respite from the promulgation of more laws, the depredations of lobbyists, the hatching of new schemes for Federal expansion and, of course, the cost of maintaining a government running at full blast.”

Post-A.C., Congress again adjourns for the summer, giving “tea partiers” the smaller government they seek.

You’re right.  Nancy and  Harry should ban air conditioning in the Capitol long before they pass cap and trade!

Lest you worry about some enterprising young thief with all of your windows open (since DC is notoriously crime-free):

In the air-conditioned age, fear of crime was often cited by people reluctant to open their homes to night breezes. In Washington, as in most of the world’s warm cities, window grilles (not “bars,” please) are now standard.

How quaint!  We’re even told the new vernacular!  (For liberals, that’s always a good idea). 

More:

Families unplug as many heat-generating appliances as possible. Forget clothes dryers –post-A.C. neighborhoods are crisscrossed with clotheslines. The hot stove is abandoned for the grill, and dinner is eaten on the porch.

Who, pray tell, will be hanging the laundry?   Oh, I forgot: since we’re all home from work on the month-long leave, we have the time to do it!  And when do our coupons for the grill come in the mail?

Just a thought: how many businesses would pack up as a result of a month-long shut down (or myriad “code orange days” are called as per the article, presumably by the government)?  Would they all migrate to cooler climes?  How long until the powers that be decide that Texans shouldn’t have AC, either, because “they didn’t have it 50 years ago,” either.  Brilliant logic, that. 

And where are the kids?

Children — and others — take to bikes and scooters, because of the cooling effect of air movement. Calls for more summer school and even year-round school cease.

Not because we’re behind in education or anything like that.  It’s simply too hot to have school, you see.   And the death rate among children in DC skyrockets (has anyone ever driven inside the Beltway? It’s not fun).

It was my choice to buy a house sans air conditioning because we moved to a dry climate where it cools off to 50 degrees every night.  I do laugh at my neighbor given that I hear the hum of her air conditioning through my open windows as I drink my coffee in the morning and note the killer temperature of 65 degrees.  I admit I like line-dried clothes.

But these are my choices, not dictates for all from on high.

Because liberals can’t do as they wish–AC for me, but not for thee–they hide behind the false promises of utopia: trust us, your lives will be better without it.

 H/T: Memeorandum.

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