A View From the Cheap Seats

April 21, 2010

Grab Bag

Filed under: Illinois,Politics,Religion,World — trzupek @ 1:57 pm


By Rich Trzupek

– Not sure which is more remarkable: the flurry of radical proposals that USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is churning out on an almost monthly basis, or the way the mainstream media is completely ignoring what she’s been up to. In little more than a year, Jackson has developed new air quality standards that will make it just about impossible to build a new fossil-fuel fired power plant in this country, set up an Ocean Policy Taskforce that will prove more effective than anything at stopping off-shore drilling and is steadily working on a rewrite of storm water regulations that will impact the cost and availability of a whole new host of consumer products previously untouched by EPA’s grasping hands.

If they are seen through to fruition, all of these initiatives will be costly to consumers and drive even more jobs overseas to nations that don’t have a similarly dazzling array of well-intentioned, but ultimately pointless, rules. Veteran readers of the Cheap Seats know that your humble correspondent does battle with the EPA in the day job on a daily basis, so I have certain, well-earned bias against that particular agency. But, Jackson’s EPA is a bureaucracy on steroids. Privately – very privately – many EPA staffers have been shaking their heads in disbelief as well, for they understand that if Jackson has her way, there’s going to be very little industry left for them to regulate.

– Last week Trey Parker and Matt Stone, aka: the last two guys in Hollywood with any guts, took a shot at radical Islam. No, that’s not right. In the April 18 episode of South Park, Parker and Stone were merciless in exposing the cowardly hypocrisy of those who enable the intolerance of the jihadists out fear of violent retribution. The response from the jihadis was predictable. How dare Parker and Stone attack Islamic intolerance and violence. They must be killed! The situation might be termed ironic, if it wasn’t so pathetic.



April 2, 2010

Greek Fire

Filed under: World — trzupek @ 10:39 am


By Rich Trzupek

Chaos in the nation of Greece, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the European Union, ought to give thoughtful Americans pause. The economic mess that the Greeks have gotten themselves into, which is nearly as bad as the economic mess in that the General Assembly and Democratic governors have gotten Illinois into, serves as an object lesson as to what happens when legislators create government mandates and entitlements that are simply unsustainable.

In Greece, the government can no longer ignore all those past due notices, as will happen in the United States down the road, and the citizens of that ancient nation can not bear with the thought of losing all the government-provided goodies they have gotten used to.

Part of the problem the Greeks have is an aging population. There are less productive young people to pay for the government programs that support increasing numbers of retirees. In Greece, you not only get to retire in your fifties, you are guaranteed a comfortable pension for the rest of your life when you do.

That model is not unlike what has been happening in Illinois, by the by. A compliant, short-sighted series of General Assemblies have gleefully created generous pension programs for some public employees and forced municipal units of government to fund the same kind of programs for others. Those of us in the private sector, who are in charge of our own retirement plans, are thus forced to set money aside for own golden years and those of an increasing number of public sector employees.

Pension woes are not all that ails Greece of course. Greeks became addicted to government over the decades and, as inevitably happens, government grew in size, power and, most of all expense. Sure, you can make the productive people pay more taxes in order to pay for all the great things that big government does, but eventually that becomes counter-productive. At some point, people get fed up working their butts off to pay for a growing class of freeloaders. Why bother? The well runs dry and government wakes up one day to find that there is no money left to pay for all the programs that it has put into place.


March 16, 2010

Wrong Trial, Wrong Place


By Rich Trzupek

The decision to try 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court in New York City was ill-considered to begin with. Now that everyone from Congress to the Mayor of New York is piling on to criticize, it’s time for the Obama administration to make some tough decisions.

There are all kind of problems with holding the trial in New York and just about everyone, with the prominent exception of the administration, seems to understand that. Start with the estimated cost, $200 million, which prompted Senator Evan Bayh (D – Indiana) to observe: “If there’s somewhere we can try them without spending that money, why spend the money? We’ve got a lot of other fiscal problems.”

Happily there is such a place: Gitmo. But, the President seems bound by his promise to close Gitmo – er, eventually – so that sensible location would appear to be out of the question.

But hey, what’s $200 million in this age of multi-trillion dollar government spending? $200 million is background noise. The security nightmare that would surround this trial were it held in New York should be obvious to everyone. It would be a circus in New York, with the star performer being the guy who planned the World Trade Center attacks. Think that might draw the attention of other terrorists? You might as well draw a bulls-eye on New York and send engraved invitations to Al-Queda.


January 22, 2010

Earthquakes And Political Shakes

Filed under: Politics,World — trzupek @ 10:51 pm


By Rich Trzupek

It was in interesting week…

Everyone’s prayers are with the people of Haiti. The scenes of devastation and carnage are truly horrific, and we should all be proud – once again – of the valiant efforts of our men and women in uniform to bring aid and comfort to that troubled, impoverished nation. The administration is to be commended for utilizing the best trained, best equipped, most professional military force in the world during this time of desperate need in the Caribbean.

It is ironic though: a fair bit of the world, so quick to criticize America for acting unilaterally with regard to any number of issues, always looks to us for leadership at times like these. Nobody’s shouting “imperialist” today, but given them time. (Actually Hugo Chavez says the US is in the midst of a “military occupation” of Haiti, but I’m only counting reasonably sane people here). Once Haiti is forgotten, global-government types will begin shouting “imperialist” anew.

Speaking of Haiti and criticism, Evangelist Pat Robertson drew quite a bit of fire for implying that last week’s earthquake was a result of nineteenth century pact with the devil that Haitins supposedly made in exchange for escaping French colonial rule. Robertson deserved the criticism. There is a time to evangelize and there is a time to help the victims. To his credit, Robertson apologized and he has been actively raising money for Haitian relief. Still, this isn’t the first time that Robertson has inserted his foot squarely into his mouth.


January 14, 2010

Surge Away

Filed under: Iraq,World — trzupek @ 7:07 pm


By Rich Trzupek

The President’s plan for Afghanistan didn’t do much to satisfy anyone, it would seem. Much of the left found it wanting, in that it involved committing more troops to a war that it long-ago declared hopeless. Much of the right felt it amounted to surrender, since the surge came with an expiration date.

Some commentators on the left stuck to the same, tired playbook, declaring the Obama was surrendering to corporate greed by prolonging the war. Because, you know, Afghanistan is famous for all its riches and resources that Exxon-Mobil is eager to exploit.

The argument on the right is that, by saying that the surge would end in eighteen months, the President was giving the Taliban a clear signal that all they have to do is to lie low for a year and a half and then they can have their way with the country.

Now, if I believed that we were really going to cut and run in eighteen months, I would probably join my brothers and sisters on the right in condemning the plan. Based on the history of this President – shoot, of most all Presidents – I don’t think that is what will actually happen.


December 2, 2009

An Open Letter Regarding the CRU Scandal

Filed under: Environment,Global Warming,National,Politics,Religion,Science,World — trzupek @ 3:19 pm


Dear Senators Burris and Durbin, and Representatives Bean, Foster, Kirk and Roskam:

My name is Rich Trzupek. I am a columnist for Examiner Publications, which is published in several northwest Chicago suburbs. More importantly, in terms of this letter, I am also a chemist who has been practicing environmental science for over twenty five years, with a focus on air quality issues. Among other accomplishments in the field, I have helped develop USEPA air test methods and I am the author of McGraw-Hill’s “Air Quality Compliance and Permitting Manual”. This open letter is being published in all December 2 editions of The Examiner.

The recent release of files from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) are disturbing and you, our elected representatives, should take action to determine the extent of the fraud that has been perpetrated on the public.

I have personally reviewed the CRU files, as have many of my colleagues in the scientific community. These files have been characterized by some as e-mail records. While the CRU files do include copies of many e-mails, there is much more in the record than that. The data files, in particular, show that the leading scientists researching so-called “climate change” have substituted fanciful, unsubstantiated data in order to create the impression that planetary temperatures have been increasing alarmingly for the last fifty years, when in fact this has not been the case.


Lies and Damned Lies

Filed under: Environment,Global Warming,National,Religion,World — trzupek @ 3:13 pm


There were amazing happenings in the bizarre world of “climate change” last week, although the mainstream media – Fox and the New York Times excepted – did their best to ignore it. Over 4,000 electronic files were published on the internet, files that the global warming alarmists really, really didn’t want anyone to see, files that exposed the alarmists as the frauds, bullies and hucksters that they are.

If this story involved another subject, one more popular with the MSM, the scandal would have been splashed across the front page of every newspaper in the country. But, since it didn’t involve the price of Sarah Palin’s shoes, or something equally vital to the national interest, the mainstream media dutifully dumped it in the circular file labeled “right wing nut jobs”.

We start with the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which we will now abbreviate “CRU”. The CRU has long been a repository for a great deal of raw data and correspondence that is used by global warming alarmists to make their dubious case. There is a very good reason that CRU plays this role: since it’s located in the UK, all of these files have been out of reach of the United States’ Freedom of Information Act.

Unfortunately (for the alarmists) the UK recently enacted its own version of FOIA and leading skeptics like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts began the tedious process of getting the data that the alarmists have steadfastly refused to produce. You know – those “the science is settled” alarmists who have nothing to hide, but who ignore requests to examine their data at every opportunity.


November 12, 2009

Motive? What Motive?

Filed under: Iraq,Media,National,World — trzupek @ 11:02 am

dragnet20300x240EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – NOVEMBER 11, 2009

By Rich Trzupek

Usually – heck, almost without exception – the public and media loves to speculate about the motives and ideology of the perpetrator whenever there is a mass murder on American soil. So it’s rather remarkable to think that practically nobody in the mainstream media seems to wonder about makes a guy murder thirteen people and wound forty two others.

Well, except that we are told definitively not to wonder about one particular thing. No less an authority than the President of the United States has warned us not to “jump to conclusions” about Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s motives for opening fire in a Fort Hood processing center.

Heavens no – wouldn’t want that. It’s not like he was some obviously right wing nut job – like a fundamentalist Christian blowing up an abortion clinic – in which case the media happily jumps to as many conclusions as possible about not only fundamentalist Christians, but the very institution of Christianity itself.

And it’s not like Hasan was repeatedly shouting “Allahu akbar” as he fired – oh wait – yes he did. Still, that doesn’t really mean anything. Surely that behavior was just another manifestation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (otherwise known as: “Bush’s fault”), which will be rather hard to prove given that Hasan had not yet been within 8,000 miles of a war zone. However, apologists have already begun to speculate (which we are not supposed to do) that Hasan suffers from a contagious version of PTSD called “secondary trauma”. Yeah, that’s it.


November 1, 2009

Rush To Judgement

Filed under: National,Politics,Religion,World — trzupek @ 7:34 pm
Tags: ,


By Rich Trzupek

It’s really hard to keep one’s priorities in order. The mullahs in Iran are happily developing atomic weaponry, Congress is happily working on socializing medicine and we’re running up the national debt faster than you can say “it’s still Bush’s fault.” And sure, we hear about these things in the news, but – last week – these events paled in importance compared to the really, REALLY big news: the name of the guy who wants to be a minority owner of the St. Louis Rams.

Your humble correspondent is not a Limbaugh listener. Nothing against the man, and we obviously would agree on a great many subjects, but talk radio is not my cup of tea.

Still, the predictable and entirely hysterical response of the mainstream media and other race-baiters when Limbaugh was revealed to part of a prospective ownership group was, well, kind of sad. Limbaugh is said to be contemplating suing for libel and it would appear that he has a case.

The worst of the coverage attributed the following quote to Limbaugh: “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

The source for this quote, for most in the media, was a book written by left-wing author Jack Huberman, entitled “101 Persons Who Are Really Screwing Up America”, published in 2006.


October 14, 2009

Not Gonna Do It

Filed under: Humor,National,Politics,World — trzupek @ 1:59 pm



By Rich Trzupek

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “here we go, Trzupek is going to make fun of the President winning the Nobel Peace Prize.” You’re expecting that I am going to join the chorus of voices laughing their heads off because the President was nominated for the award after he had been in office all of eleven days.

Sorry, I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to be so tactless as to point out that the Nobel Peace Prize has more closely resembled the Nobel Door Prize in recent decades. Just look at the honor roll of Nobel Peace Prize winners in living memory.

Take the late Yasser Arafat (please), for example. What more noble example of a Nobel Peace Prize winner could one ask for than that guy who tried so desperately to bring peace to the Middle East? And, although his efforts have not yet been successful, his peace-loving, spiritual descendents carry on the quest and his peaceful strategy of ensuring peace by wiping out every last Israeli on the face of the earth.

And then there is ex-secretary general of the UN Kofi Annan. There is some confusion as to whether Annan won the Nobel Peace Prize, or the Nobel Piece Prize, since the fine fellow was never offered a piece of the pie he didn’t like, but no matter. What better example of a life-long dedication to peace can we find than Kofi Annan (English translation: “where’s my cut?”) the guy whose participation in the multi-billion dollar oil-for-food scam ensured that Saddam Hussein would continue ruling an Iraq dedicated to peace and freedom?


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