Welcome, one and all, to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the web ; The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble.
- COAL-MINE: We’ve all seen the news coming out of the area around Montcoal, West Virginia. As of this writing something like 25 dead and 4 more missing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those affected. The mainstream media, CNN in particular, seem to take great pride in pointing out that the mine involved has had something on the order of a million dollars worth of fines over 483 safety violations. What CNN will not tell you how ever is something that Fox has up on their website:
A federal audit released just days before a massive explosion killed 25 coal miners in West Virginia found that the country’s top mine safety agency was not adequately retraining its veteran inspectors, even as hundreds of new inspectors were being hired.
The audit, released on March 30, found that 56 percent of veteran Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors had not completed required retraining between 2006 and 2007. A few hadn’t attended any training sessions since the policy was enacted a decade earlier, and even entry-level hires “lacked supporting documentation” to show they went through the required 21-23 weeks of instruction.
The report found there were “no consequences” for not attending retraining, and said that training gap “increases the possibility that hazardous conditions may not be identified and corrected during inspections which, in turn, could increase the risk of accidents, injuries, fatalities.”
I think the quickest rental Asian here is that government fell down on the job. And those in the news media also fell down on their job, when they went out of their way to pin the failure on the mine owner, and not the government which assumed , of its own power, the right to penalize the mine owner for not keeping the workers safe. Here’s another situation where the government usurped a power, and then fail to live up to the responsibility a tendency to such power. But the mainstream news media, we’ll never tell you this when the democrats are in power. Cheers from here to Fox, who had the testicular mass to point out who it was who failed those families in West Virginia.
- NUCLEAR DEFEATISM: Apparently “Hope and Change” means America surrenders. I’ve seen the document in question, and the primary goal, it states itself is to reduce the use of nuclear weapons. Forgive me, but isn’t the goal of ANY defense policy to protect and defend our country? This document, a long with a forthcoming antinuclear summit being held by Mr. Obama next week, or all clearly for domestic consumption, amongst the base of Mr. Obama’s party. The trouble is, the policy has stated is nothing less than incredibly stupid. There is a level at which naivetÃ© become stupidity, and the Obama administration has outdone itself with this one. Among the many common shares that you should read, is John at Powerline: 
President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons. … To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary. …
For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.
On its face, that is unbelievably stupid. A country attacks us with biological weapons, and we stay our hand because they are “in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty”? That is too dumb even for Barack Obama. The administration hedged its commitment with qualifications suggesting that if there actually were a successful biological or chemical attack, it would rethink its position. The Times puts its finger on what is wrong with the administration’s announcement:
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war.
That’s exactly right. The cardinal rule, when it comes to nuclear weapons, is keep ’em guessing. We want our enemies to believe that we may well be crazy enough to vaporize them, given sufficient provocation; one just can’t tell. There is a reason why that ambiguity has been the American government’s policy for more than 50 years. Obama cheerfully tosses overboard the strategic consensus of two generations.
Or pretends to, anyway. Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don’t.
I don’t, either, frankly. But that answer makes the perhaps unwarranted assumption that such weapons are actually available, and that Mr. Obama choice making ability has not been handcuffed limited by the policy imposed by his own naivetÃ©. To my mind that remains an open question. That’s particularly so, given the amount of insults that Mr. Obama and his minions have been tossing around amongst our strongest Allies , recently. Most of home, I note, also have nuclear capability. I’ll leave that one sit in your craw for a while. Others commenting: The Corner , Little Green Footballs , Hot Air , Political Punch , Jihad Watch , Dan Drezner , BLACKFIVE , Q & O , Pajamas Media , Ben Smith’s Blog ,Another Black Conservative , Taylor Marsh , Don Surber , JammieWearingFool , Riehl World View , The Anchoress  and The Lonely Conservative 
- ASTROTURFING: James Joyner today  makes mention of Kevin Drum who in his turn is trumpeting the virtues of the” Coffee Party”. According to Drum, and I assume his source, they’re trying to attract what is being called “coffee conservatives” … which is apparently defined as someone who “remains interested in actual policy and doesn’t feel the urge to rant tirelessly about decline of the west and the imminent tyranny that Barack Obama is bringing down on us.” I tell James:
One of the habits the left has been perfecting over the last couple of decades is making out that the Lynch mob that is chasing them, is actually a parade they’re leading. Witness, as an example, Bubba and welfare reform. They get out in front of the angry mob and make out like it was their idea in the first place.
This is simply more of the same. It’s an attempt to muddy the water. An interesting simile given coffee or tea.
One other point ….and it’s one I’ve raised before from the road a few weeks ago… is that Drum talking up the group is indication enough of their true leanings, but it gets better. Has anybody bothered investigating the fact that the leader of this organization, and its founder, is Anabele Park, a lifelong Democrat who worked for the Obama Campaign?
Sorry, I know Astroturf when I see it. This is not about silencing the current members of the tea party, this is about keeping you from seeing what’s really going on out there in raising your own voice in Unison with them. It’s called controlling the narrative. That’s all the “fairness doctrine” was ever about, that’s all that “net neutrality” was ever about, and so on. Controlling the narrative. Next case, please.
- SOCIALISM: Billy Says…. 
the complete text of Ludwig von Mises’ “Socialism” is available online here . If you don’t have a hardcopy handy, I urge you to go get this crucial work and get with it.
What he said. It’s something I’ve been meaning to attend to myself. My immediate regret is that it is not in raw text so I can toss it into the Palm Reader. I suppose that I can read it online, if I strip most of the CSS out… but that’s such a pain on the Palm, and a battery killer as well.
- WHITE HOUSE DERANGEMENT: Roger Simon will explain it.  Roger, you really have to stop acting like you’re surprised over this stuff. It’s probably safer to assume that there is nothing but good about this White House occupant, and go from there. Unless that is you want to agree with Joe Biden and suggest that he’s extraordinarily clean and well spoken, for a black man. (Sheesh, what an idiot)
- THE TERRORISM OUR GOVERNMENT WON’T ATTEND TO: I made mention of this kind of thing yesterday. David did so as well. I must admit to being surprised this moron  was actually sentenced to anything at all. so, I suppose I should be thankful. But five years? Not nearly enough time. Not even close. And time isn’t the only issue, either. Personally I figure he should come out of that jail minus gonads so there’s no chance he’ll pollute the gene pool. That to me is the most urgent environmental protection issue in this story.
- UNSUSTAINABLE: Megan McArdle says today: 
If the feds bail out these states, they’re assuming an ongoing obligation-and encouraging other states to let their fiscal problems get as big as possible, so Uncle Sugar will have to pay off. Leaving aside any ideological questions about robbing Peter to pay Paul, and the proper size of government, the federal government simply cannot afford to take on all these new obligations-and if it did, its ability to borrow money would rapidly become unsustainable. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with giving states temporary assistance to keep the recession from hitting too hard-but we’re approaching the point where that’s not really what we’re talking about. We’re talking about letting states make big promises without bothering to find sustainable sources of revenue with which to pay for them. That’s not something the federal government can afford to encourage.
For all the leftist rant and rave about unsustainable impact on the environment, you would think they would have at least a small understanding of what is unsustainable in economics. that seems to me to be Megan’s argument. And, she’s right, as far as she goes. The trouble is, this ignores Cloward-Piven, which the Obama administration has been faithfully following, and which suggested that the objective of pulling down this country and removing its free enterprise routes, could be best accomplished by swapping it with obligations that it couldn’t possibly pay. Megan, you’re wonderful… and I mean that. but you’re going to have to start understanding , and in short order, that there is far more than economics at work here. Something far more dangerous at work.