Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Many who have long touted health care reform are turning up their noses at the final product. Michael Bloomberg, New York's independent mayor, told "Meet the Press" over the weekend: "I have asked congressperson after congressperson. Not one can explain to me what's in the bill, even in the House version. Certainly not in the other version. And so for them to vote on a bill that they don't understand whatsoever, really, you've got to question how -- what kind of government we have."
Mr. Bloomberg added that his own reading of the Senate bill led him to conclude that it would blow a hole in the New York State budget and force closure of perhaps 100 health clinics.
We’ve got three years of a four year inoculation against looney leftism left. Enjoy the sore arm and flu like symptoms, because he ain’t going away.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Missing the Point [Andy McCarthy]
Though I share their outrage, I think outraged readers are missing the point. The people now in charge of our government believe Clinton-era counterterrorism was a successful model. They start from the premise that terrorism is a crime problem to be managed, not a war to be won. Overdone "war on drugs" rhetoric aside, we don't try to "win" against (as in "defeat") law-enforcement challenges. We expect them to happen from time to time and to contain, but never completely prevent, the damage.
Here, no thanks to the government, the plane was not destoyed, and we won't get to the bottom of the larger conspiracy (enabling the likes of Napolitano to say there's no indication of a larger plot — much less one launched by an international jihadist enterprise) because the guy got to lawyer up rather than be treated like a combatant and subjected to lengthy interrogation. But the terrorist will be convicted at trial (this "case" tees up like a slam-dunk), so the administration will put it in the books as a success ... just like the Clinton folks did after the '93 WTC bombers and the embassy bombers were convicted. In their minds, litigation success equals national security success.
It is a dangerously absurd viewpoint, but it was clear during the campaign that it was Obama's viewpoint. The American people — only seven years after 9/11 — elected him anyway. As we learn more painfully everyday, elections matter.
2. Once again, airline passengers 1, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 0.
And the response of the TSA?
To further punish the passengers, of course. I see that now no one will be allowed to leave their seats one hour prior to landing or have items in their laps, including laptops and pillows. And of course, as usual, the new measures, hastily put into place because something happened, will be measures that would likely have had no effect on what happened. But since they already had measures in place, and something happened anyway, they have to do something new to keep the curtains open in the theater. What next? In addition to deshoeing ourselves, will we have to drop trou in security? It’s ironic that on the day commemorating the birth of a lone man who was supposed to die for all of our sins, a little over two millennia later, we are now going to all have to suffer for the sin of another lone man.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Mark Steyn on Obamacare:
Looking at the millions of Americans it leaves uninsured, and the millions it leaves with worse treatment and reduced access, and the millions it makes pay significantly more for their current health care, one can only marvel at Harry Reid’s genius: government health care turns out to be all government and no health care. Adding up the zillions of new taxes and bureaucracies and regulations it imposes on the citizenry, one might almost think that was the only point of the exercise.
That’s why I believe America’s belated embrace of government health care is going to be far more expensive and disastrous than the Euro-Canadian models. Whatever one’s philosophical objection to the Canadian health system, it is, broadly, fair: Unless you’re a cabinet minister or a bigtime hockey player, you’ll enjoy the same equality of crappiness and universal lack of access that everybody else does. But, even before it’s up-and-running, Pelosi-Reid-Obamacare is an impenetrable thicket of contradictory boondoggles, shameless payoffs, and arbitrary shakedowns
Read the rest here.
Friday, December 25, 2009
College tuitions have increased over 400 percent in real terms since 1970. Where does all the increased college tuition money go? I ran across this gem at Carpe Deum – Truly the best econ blog:
This staffing behavior is characteristic of Oligopolistic industrial organization.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
MICKEY KAUS: “Only 33% of *U.S. born* (second-generation) Latino immigrant kids identify themselves first by the term ‘American.’ Most prefer either their country of origin (41%) or the term ‘Latino’ or ‘Hispanic.’ This is supposed to prove Lou Dobbs wrong?”
In previous waves of immigration, we got assimilation because teachers, politicians, media, etc. believed in it, and thought America as it was an indisputably good thing, and thus acted accordingly. This time, they feel differently, and act differently, and so we get different results
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I got this email (I’ll keep the emailer anonymous unless (s)he notifies me otherwise):
It’s very disturbing how Google is behaving with regard to Climategate/Climaquiddick. I put both of those in my custom news page. For a while, it steadfastly refused to update Climaquiddick, and then it began to update Climategate only with stories attacking climate change skeptics. I could find many more stories on Yahoo, most of which were alarmed at the fraud which seems to be occurring.
Then when I logged in today, Google News had deleted those two categories from my custom section. When I reestablished them, they brought up only a few of the old, outdated original stories plus a few newer attack stories.
Web searches on Climaquiddick yielded only 72,600 hits on Google and 84,300 on Bing, but 565,000 on Yahoo. None of them will autocomplete the word “Climaquiddick.” They won’t autocomplete “Climategate” either, but Yahoo alone will suggest “climate gate.”
Does everyone in Silicon Valley think that pretending information doesn’t exist will make it so? If so, how much can we trust the technology they produce?
I think that there are going to be huge reverberations of untrust throughout many areas of authority resulting from this. As was pointed out early on, it’s not just a scientific scandal, it’s a journalistic one.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
John Steele Gordon makes a key observation about the destruction of the source data underlying the claims of Global Warming:
But today the Times of London has published a revelation that, if not a smoking gun, is pretty close. The University of East Anglia scientists had refused numerous attempts by other scientists they regarded as unfriendly to see the raw data. But when confronted with a freedom-of-information-act request (Britain now has a FOIA, too), they were forced to admit that they had thrown away much of the raw data upon which their conclusions regarding global warming over the past 150 years had been based.
In order to make such data consistent, it needs to be adjusted in various ways, and there is nothing nefarious about that. (The adjustment might be as simple as converting Fahrenheit to Celsius. Or say a weather station that had been located out in a potato field when it was installed in 1927 now finds itself behind a strip mall in a densely populated suburb. The data over the past 82 years would obviously need to be adjusted to take into account the fact that a suburban strip mall is inherently more heat-producing than a potato field.)
But without the raw data, it is impossible to check the work, and checking each other’s work lies at the very heart of the scientific method. Without the raw data, the adjusted data is useless. So if the destruction of the raw data was accidental, it was inexcusable. If it was deliberate, it was a scientific felony. If the data is now irretrievably lost, it is a tragedy.
Is it too much to ask these people to behave with some integrity?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Science and Public Policy Institute issued a report on the money involved in funding the global warming debate in August concluding, “Over the last two decades, US taxpayers have subsidized the American climate change industry to the tune of $79 billion.”
By contrast, the same study found that the media bogeyman “Exxon Mobil gave a mere $23 million, spread over ten years, to climate sceptics.”
See the video and transcript at Newsbusters
The Obama Justice Department apparently intends to investigate Bush Administration lawyers for rendering opinions that certain interrogation techniques were legal, now that bien pensantopinion has concluded they were not. They are not investigating those who committed the acts, nor are they investigating those who ordered or tolerated their commission, but instead the lawyers who rendered the opinion. This seems rather unsporting. The Obama Administration is being very careful not to set the precedent that the principals, namely the President and his reports or their Congressional overseers are to be held accountable for their actions. Instead certain mid-level functionaries, people quite lacking the star power of Messrs Obama, Bush orPelosi are to be held accountable for their superior’s sins.
In this approach Mr. Obama is applying a quite advanced moral calculus to the art of statecraft, one that he must have learned while teaching law at the
This sophisticated approach also extends to Mr. Obama’s current campaign in
If I were asked whether I would want to be waterboarded to death versus being burnt or crushed to death, I’m not sure I wouldn’t choose waterboarding. But of course no American captive has ever been waterboarded to death, have they? They’ve been frightened, panicked, in fear of their lives no doubt, but not exterminated, like their Predated colleagues (and their wives, children, servants, servants children, bystanders).
The moral mathematics that demands the prosecution of lawyers who had the temerity to argue their side’s case in a matter of frightening terrorists but views as perfectly normal the deliberate, if incidental incineration and suffocation of innocent women and children has me using my fingers in an effort to catch up. Of course there is a difference: the poor Tragic Victims of CIA frightening were in our grasp, whereas the Predator Villains (child villains, servant villains) were not. With this I am pulling off my socks, hoping that by counting toes I can understand the logic. It is my understanding that our surveillance and rocket technologies have become so good that we can see or otherwise confirm our victims' presence before we fire and once we shoot, we are almost certain to hit them, or someone near them. It is therefore hard for this grade school moral mathematician to see how these remote ‘villains’ are truly is any less in our grasp than a Guantanamo ‘poor tragic victim’ in chains.
Mind you, I am not objecting to the attacks, but unlike the advanced math crowd, I do not claim such moral sophistication that I would assume that they are anything but a dirty, horrible expedient in a nasty war. I don’t for a moment pretend that it is any less vicious to incidentally, but knowingly incinerate innocent bystanders than to torture terror kingpins. But, again, the simple sums that I can do are overborne by such brilliant moral trigonometry that I’m sure a demonstration would make it all clear.
Perhaps our President and his Press can provide the rest of the nation with a quick précis so that we can be elevated to his moral plane.
The ancient Romans were religious people. Most Roman homes had a small shrine area called a lararium where clay or silver replicas of the family’s gods were displayed. It was tradition to pray to these gods each day, perhaps with a small offering. Modern Americans don’t usually have family shrines but if we did they would feature, recently pushed too one side or smashed to pieces, a clay dollar sign, behind it, gathering dust woud be a Cross or Crucifix or perhaps David’s Star.
Americans have (too late) largely repented of our recent lust for money. Now older and wiser, we understand what Paul meant when he said that “the love of money is the root of all evil”, what with our collapsed 401ks and dashed dreams of lifestyles of the rich or at least the affluent. But if we glance back at that notional family shrine, we would notice that a new idol has emerged: a small clay bust of President Obama or perhaps a silver Capitol building has taken pride of place.
Because what we want now more than anything is security, the assurance by someone, anyone in authority that things will turn out O.K. In the past we thought we would simply use our expanding wealth to buy that security but now, with those dreams dashed, we look to politicians who in exchange for power, promise us security, safety, protection.
It’s rather ironic that we have shifted from one set of powerful men making promises on pieces of paper - bankers on stocks, bonds, mortgages - to another – politicians making promises on laws, edicts and decrees. What makes us believe that one group is more trustworthy than the other?
Our European brethren have traveled farthest down the path of placing their faith in politicians. Talk to most Europeans and they will describe a life free of most of life’s existential struggles, housing, food, health care are all taken care of by a far sighted state. But at what cost? Charles Murray in his perceptive recent speech on the topic would say that the cost has been the loss of any notion of excellence or achievement. Life, in the short run, has been made so comfortable, so without challenge or struggle, that people have become anesthetized. They no longer think great thoughts or dream great dreams, they simply go through life eating and drinking and being merry because they believe that tomorrow they may die and cease to exist.
Needless to say this is not the Christian life. A life shorn of struggle, of challenge, of risk and worry is a life missing much of what we fall back on God for. If our day to day lives are taken care of, if our needs are satisfied and if we seek to do no great thing, then why do we need God? A life of politically derived comfort and safety creates practical atheists even more efficiently than one of wealth and speculation. We look to the false god of politics or the state to care for us, neglecting the real author of our security.
Yet one day the prophets of political salvation will be long gone and Medicare will no longer be able to keep us alive. At that point we will recognize the truth of Jesus’ words: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also”.
We need to smash another set of idols in our shrines and dust off the cross in the back, returning to the only true source of security: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.