There was never a $50M federal grant for an ‘illegal alien resort’

JISHOU, HUNAN — In the aftermath of the last two days’ blog drama about the so-called “luxury resort” for immigrants in Weslaco, Texas, I decided to do some research of my own into the mysterious $50 million federal grant being bandied about on the Internet. In other words, I’m doing what The Gateway Pundit should have done in the first place. They’re the ones who falsely spread the $50 million resort idea all over the Internet this week, effectively killing a project that was costing more like $4 million. As near as I can tell, the $50 million federal grant exists only in the fevered imaginations of people who hate undocumented immigrants from Central America, and President Barack Obama, in no particular order. To recap, a nonprofit agency called Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS), which is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, planned to buy the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites in Weslaco and convert it into a 600-bed shelter for unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border into the USA. The 3-star hotel has been up for sale since at least January 2013, and BCFS was going to purchase it for $3.8 million. It was just before their hearing with ...

For sale: beachfront property on Mars. Contact B. Smith (R-Hazard, KY)

JISHOU, HUNAN — Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) is stupid. By now you have heard about Smith’s now famous remarks about man-made global warming being a hoax, because … Mars. As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of. — Brandon Smith in committee, July 3 Well, many people did dispute the idea that Mars and Earth share the same temperatures. They don’t. Mars is way colder. More on that later. In a sane world, a politician making such a certifiably ignorant remark would claim he misspoke, or made an error, or offer some other lame excuse. Smith did not. He confirmed his ignorance, and corroborated his stupidity. First, he claimed that he was misquoted. False. KET recorded the ...

Evolution and Bill Nye 1 – Creationism and Ken Ham 0 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Bill Nye, the Science Guy, debated Ken Ham, the Bible Guy, Tuesday, as I am sure you’ve heard. Nye defended the theory of evolution; Ham, the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) perspective. I haven’t watched the whole thing, and I haven’t found a transcript of their remarks yet, but it seems Nye had the edge, as he should, since evolution is real and the 6-day Creation wasn’t. Whether the debate made any fence-sitters change their minds remains to be seen. Ken Ham is a leading champion of a literal interpretation of the Biblical account of Genesis. Ham insists the Earth is no more than 6,000 years old, and that God created the animals and plants in their present forms we see today. As for the dinosaurs, they perished when God sent the Flood. His Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., attempts to debunk more than 200 years of solid scientific evidence that demonstrates the Earth is more like 4.6 billion years old, that present-day plants and animals are the results of billions of years of evolution, and that the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, long before any human-like animal walked the Earth. Among the world’s scientists — ...

Paleo-hokum 3

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” — David Hannum, P.T. Barnum’s competitor at hoodwinking the public (1860) JISHOU, HUNAN — Eat like a caveman! Lose weight! Be healthy! Science proves it! The paleo-diet is the latest in a series of diet fads that seem to crop every decade or so. (Anyone remember the Atkins diet, the grapefruit diet, the protein diet, the low-carb diet?) A few of my relatives and friends are trying the paleo-diet out. Since this amazing new diet plan has not yet made headlines in China, I had to go look it up. My bullshit meter hit level 9. While the actual dietary recommendations of the paleo-diet are not so bad, the so-called “scientific basis” for the paleo-diet is mostly a crock of mastodon droppings. (See photo at right) It’s a gimmick. It’s one of those ideas that at first glance seems almost plausible, but on deeper inspection is just hucksterism dressed up in a white labcoat. So, I’m going to put on my science teacher hat and analyze the paleo-diet. I’m not saying you need to give it up, but you should at least understand a lot of it is hokum. The basis of the paleo-diet ...

Bitcoiners’ dubious sense of economic history 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Banks are all evil, right? Especially the Federal Reserve Bank, which if you believe Sen. Ron Paul (R-TX), is unconstitutional and shouldn’t even exist. And governments shouldn’t control currency, because … free markets! That’s pretty much the reasoning behind bitcoin and its various clones. Although I have playing with bitcoin and other crypto-currencies for the last month, I don’t totally buy into the philosophy behind their creation. For one thing, bitcoin fans don’t know their economic and political history too well. Here’s a tip, guys. It’s important to get your history straight before you introduce a whole new currency to replace something that’s been used for centuries. Maybe I’ve put the cart before the horse, but only now have I had the time to review the rationale for introducing bitcoin and its offshoots. Quite simply, I am not impressed. The wiki for Devcoin, an offshoot of bitcoin, links to this so-called “History of Money,” which contains this reference to Colonial Scrip (paper money) and Parliament’s regulation of it. In Response the world’s most powerful independent bank [The Bank of England] used its influence on the British parliament to press for the passing of the Currency Act of ...

Well, still here

JISHOU, HUNAN — In case you were worried, the end of the world has not come as some predicted. It’s midway through Dec. 21 here in China, and everything is copacetic. You do know that all that hoo-roar about the Mayan calendar was a lot of hogwash, don’t you? Good. Have a great weekend! Woo-hoo!

World’s dumbest suggestion, I mean, really dumb

JISHOU, HUNAN — Others have commented on this boneheaded idea of Megan McArdle, but I have to add my two cents. The. Dumbest. Suggestion. In. The. World. Near the end of a long screed about how gun control laws would ultimately be futile, she opines: My guess is that we’re going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity. I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips. [Bolding is mine.] What a wonderful idea! Forget gun controls. If we all make a habit of ...

10th Circuit slaps Oklahoma anti-Sharia law down like bug on a wall

JISHOU, HUNAN — Oklahoma’s anti-Sharia law violates the US Constitution, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The ruling states that the law — which amended the state constitution — violated the Establishment clause of the First Amendment by singling out one religion, Islam. In addition, the court noted that the proponents of the law, which passed November 2010 in a state referendum, could not identify one occasion in which Sharia was used in Oklahoma. Too bad courts can’t comment on the stupidity of laws, too. Oklahoma’s Islamophobic factions took the lead nationally in pressing for such a law, creating a nontroversy about “creeping Sharia” and Muslim infiltration of the USA. After the Sooner State’s successful ballot initiative, other states jumped on the bandwagon, fabricating Muslim threats from whole cloth. The 10th Circuit got to the heart of the matter in its ruling: “Sharia? What Sharia?” Appellants do not identify any actual problem the challenged amendment seeks to solve. Indeed, they admitted at the preliminary injunction hearing that they did not know of even a single instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, let alone that such ...

Beware of demons? Beware of David Barton

JISHOU, HUNAN — David Barton is a loon, a dangerous loon. I’ve blogged before about David Barton’s peculiar version of American history. He teaches that the USA was deliberately conceived as a Christian nation, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. Barton misquotes the Founding Fathers, twists and quotemines historical documents, and when all else fails outright lies about history to support his cockeyed ideas. The Religious Right adores him. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is vainly trying to be the presidential nominee of her party, invited Barton to teach the Constitution to newly minted Representatives. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who at one point was considering a presidential run, famously said: `“I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced–forced at gunpoint no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen.” The Atlantic Monthly had a lengthy analysis of Barton’s appeal and his peculiar methods of historical research. There is no doubt that Barton’s religious belief drives his interpretation of history, but what kind of beliefs does he have? Here’s a clue. Right Wing Watch posted this excerpt of ...

Nothing to see here. No Rapture here. Now move along. 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Six pm came and went, and nothing unusual happened, despite Harold Camping’s prophecy of the Rapture today. It is raining, but cats and dogs, not fire and brimstone. No one rose up into Heaven, either. Draw your own conclusions. And enjoy your weekend — maybe it will be rapturous in an entirely different way.

Canary in the cage 14

JISHOU, HUNAN — I hear tell that the Rapture will happen this Saturday. I’m not clear if the prophet, Harold Camping, has worked out the exact time of the event, but since China is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time, I’ll give you a heads up.

Stopping creeping sharia law in the Cowboy State 1

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — There are perhaps 300 Muslims who live in Wyoming, where the livestock outnumber the people in general. Yet, a state representative there (he’s a Republican, in case you couldn’t guess) has proposed a ballot measure to forbid state judges from using Islamic law (sharia) or “international law” in deciding cases. He calls it a “pre-emptive strike.” Just in case those 300 Muslims rise up and try to impose religious law on Wyoming’s people … and livestock. Voters in another hotbed of Islam, Oklahoma, approved a similar measure last year. It was later struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge. Despite the futility of trying to have a similar referendum in Wyoming, Rep. Gerald Gay wants to waste everyone’s time anyway. I can’t decide if these guys are insane, or are playing to the crazies to garner votes. Maybe both.
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