Hello and welcome to the first Quick Points of the new year.  I’m still deciding how QP’s will fit into what I’m doing at SMM, but for the time being, I hope you enjoy this edition.

POINT:  Erik Scott Petition: The good folks at Change.Org have asked me to help publicize a petition to the Department of Justice urging a federal investigation of the Las Vegas Metro Police, particularly relating to the shooting death of Erik Scott.  As regular readers know, I’ve been following that case for more than a year.  The Erik Scott Case archive has all of my previous writings on the case, with more to follow in the near future.

Why is such a petition necessary?  It is federal policy never to confirm or deny the existence of such investigations, and while it is possible that one has been underway for some time, there is no reliable way to know with certainty.  Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to let the DOJ know that there is real interest in this case and in honest, competent law enforcement.

By all means, take the second link to sign the petition.

POINT:  Favorite Spam Of The Week Department: All bloggers receive amazing amounts of spam, much of it pretending to be comments on articles.  Fortunately Word Press has software that filters virtually all of that stuff out, but occasionally, an absolutely hilarious bit of processed meat product stands out, like this one:

absolutely adore your site! You aggressive me as able-bodied as all the others actuality and your broiled PS is absolutely great!

Well thanks!  I’ve always been fond of my broiled PS too.

POINT:  How Low Can You Go? Department:  The invaluable Walter Russell Mead, in an enlightening article titled “More Motor City Blues,” delves into the fetid cesspool that is Detroit.  What’s up in Detroit these days?  Many writers have chronicled the decades-long descent of Detroit into sub-third world status under the rule—and I mean rule—of the Democrat machine.  The level of systemic criminality and corruption makes Latin American banana republics look like models of good government by comparison.  So bad is Detroit that the state—at long last—may actually take over the governance of the city.

Mead writes:

It is hard to see how a city recovers when things have fallen this far. Detroit’s voters do not seem interested in good governance, either unwilling or unable to penalize incompetence at the polls; the political class spouts blue liberal slogans but appears to have the compassion and generosity of a pack of velociraptors; the city’s core institutions have been so corroded and degraded after decades of decline that there is little hope for improvement anytime soon.

The status quo cannot stand.

Change is on the way.

Unfortunately, there are many reasons to believe that the status quo can stand, in Detroit and DC.  Change, of the kind promised by Mr. Obama and his Detroit allies, has been here for three years.  Detroit is also a mess at least partially because of the political culture of Michigan.  By all means, read the whole article and glimpse (perhaps?) America’s future.

POINT:  Fond Nostalgia Department:  When an article has this title–Top 20 Sexually Suggestive Auto Ads –how can any red-blooded American male resist?  Actually, it’s pretty funny, and I even recognized a few of the more or less ancient ads.  Good, clean four-wheeled and two-legged fun.

POINT:  Louis Renault Award Of The Year:  The Operators, by Michael Hastings, describes one of Mr. Obama’s trips to Baghdad:

After the talk, out of earshot from the soldiers and diplomats, he starts to complain. He starts to act very un-Obamalike, according to a U.S. embassy official
 who helped organize the trip in Baghdad.

He’s asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. He’s asked to sign copies of his book. ‘He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,’ a State Department official tells me. ‘Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my
eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take fucking pictures with them?’

I’m shocked, shocked!  Who could have possibly imagined that Mr. Obama isn’t an enthusiastic supporter of our troops?

POINT:  Louis Renault Award of the Month:  Well, now they’ve gone and done it.  The Obama EPA is trying to fine companies for not using EPA mandated fuels that don’t actually exist.  I’m shocked, shocked!

It seems that the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act mandated an increase in biofuels, which essentially means Cellulosic biofuel; fuels made from wood chips and non-edible corncobs and plant parts.  Like Solyndra, a number of companies have received millions in subsidies to develop the fuel (and gone out of business), but the technology just doesn’t work.  It remains wildly unprofitable to produce the fuel, which exists only in small amounts in labs.

So rather than realizing that it’s quite insane to try to fine companies for not producing that which cannot be produced, the EPA is drooling at the prospect of huge fines for these companies.

Hey, the Obama Administration is pro-business, right?  Read the whole article, but take your blood pressure meds first.

POINT:  Who Says Kids Can’t Write? Department: Despite the claims by some that our schools are utter failures, my students manage to turn a sprightly phrase from time to time, like this gem:

I thought he was my knight in shining armor, but he turned out to be a jerk in tinfoil.

POINT:  What The…?! Department:  I hope you enjoyed the last little QP, because you won’t enjoy this one.  Our friends at the EPA apparently think the time is ripe to impose new, stringent rules on the content of gasoline, rules that could easily add 25 cents to every gallon of gasoline.

Senators James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; David Vitter, R-La.; and Mark Begich, D-Alaska recently sent a letter to EPA administrator and greenie zealot Lisa Jackson asking the EPA not to issue any such new regulations, saying:

Now is not the time for new regulations that will raise the price of fuel even further.

You think?  Don’t read this one without sedatives close at hand.

POINT:  But He’s Just A Child!  Not so much.  Read this chilling story of 15 year old Maryland “child,” one Brian Lee Wonsom, recently sentenced to 85 year in prison for the rape and murder of a female teacher at a Maryland youth facility.  He did it when he was 13.  He is also the “prime suspect” in another attempted rape/murder.

‘Oh yeah, completely without being mentally ill,’ Prosecutor Wes Adams said. ‘He exhibited no remorse, childhood onset anti-social personality disorder. That’s not criminally insane, that’s dangerous.’

Wonsom will be able to apply for parole in his mid 50′s.  Sometimes you just need to practice enlightened penology, and after locking them up, actually throw away the key.  Any bets on this one becoming the newest Progressive cause célèbre?  Discuss.

POINT:  What?!  Sanity in—California?!  So it seems, for about 53% of the population anyway.  From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air we learn of a recent survey on the high-speed rail project CA and Obama Administration officials have been pushing, despite rapidly climbing costs that seem to have no ceiling.  Apparently 53% of Californians want to stop the sale of bonds for the project, yet 33% still want to build it!  Is anyone surprised to discover that they’re liberals?

Read the entire article to see the liberal mind in action, regardless of fiscal reality, perhaps even because of it.  Governor Jerry “Moonbeam Brown, in what passes for adult fiscal responsibility in California, is doubling down and pressing to build the project which could only be an ever-growing monetary black hole.

Some backers of the rail project have gone so far as to suggest that building it would actually help the state to prosper, asserting that people that are now leaving the state in droves would stick around to ride the train, a train slower and more expensive than air travel, which would never be self-supporting, and would only drain billions from California’s already empty tax coffers.

Hope.  Change.  What transparent delusions.

POINT:  Uh—why?  Department:  It seems that Real Housewives of New York (have you heard of this show?  Me neither.  I guess I always assumed New York had them and they were real.) cast member Cindy Barshop has an unusual side business.  For what are reportedly hefty prices, she is marketing a line of “luxury pubic wigs,” which apparently combine a wax job with a merkin (yup, that’s what they’re called) made of fox fur or feathers.  I can’t decide if this one is just terminally silly or simply odd.  Help?

POINT:  Awwwwwww!  Take the time to visit Zoo Borns, particularly for the polar bear cub and the sea otter pup.  Major league cute and a fine, if brief, antidote to the news, to say nothing of “luxury pubic wigs.”  I wonder what a cheap one would be made of?  Frightening.

Thanks for dropping by Quick Points.  They’ll return before long.  In the meantime, look both ways before crossing the street, don’t run with scissors, and put that down; you’ll put someone’s eye out!