April 29, 2010

Crist to Run as Independent

David Frum swats Crist and sticks with Rubio. (Memo to David Frum: when you've lost Charles Johnson, you've lost Andrew Sullivan. I read Johnson, but I didn't get the memo that anointed him as The Conscience of the Nation. Reading Johnson and Reynolds is like viewing two alternate histories.)

Apparently some Crist donors will demand their money back.

Haven't thought this through, but I wonder if it's legal to contractually require that a participant in a party's primary to not run in the general unless he wins the primary; or to demand that she refund all donations if she does not accept the primary's results.
Damn your principles! Stick to your party.
Benjamin Disraeli might agree.

April 26, 2010

Tenured Libertarian Civil Servant

I read Glenn Reynolds regularly and respect him as person and pundit, but sometimes he annoys the devil out of me.

Like when he keeps flacking for the Singularity cult.

Reynolds is trying to do too much--and I suspect he's diverting a lot of his energy to things that may bring cash flow. Personally, I'm not impressed by Pajamas Media TV; I almost never watch it and have no intention of paying for it.

Good post on government pensions here, though. And a good link here about the Tea Parties.
A chip remains on my shoulder from my time working for a braying free-enterpriser whose every single paycheck in his life came from the government.

April 24, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

After Comedy Central caved to threats and censored South Park for its satire of Mohammed, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris declared May 20 to be "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."
Producers of South Park said Thursday that Comedy Central removed a speech about intimidation and fear from their show after a radical Muslim group warned that they could be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The group said it wasn't threatening South Park producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but it included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh...The website posted the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and the California production studio where South Park is made.
The link has additional URLs, and the comments there are well worth reading.

Brava, Molly Norris.
If Comedy Central doesn't want to show the full episode, they could release the rights to Parker and Stone, who do. But I'm thinking they're too gutless to do even that.

Oh, and where's Obama? He was right there during the Skip Gates affair. Will the press ask him?

April 21, 2010

Walter Tevis's The Steps of the Sun

The author is famous for The Hustler and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

The Steps of the Son depicts an energy crisis in a world dominated by China. The book is dated in a 70s way, but I enjoyed it at the time and it's still worth a look afaic.

In Tevis's future China, men are emasculated and women are dominant.

Right prediction, wrong country?

April 20, 2010

More Power to Our Wise and Good Government!

You know so much better than I what is good and bad for me. Thank you for keeping me away from fat, sugar and salt.

April 19, 2010

Carbon Credits = Let Them Eat Cake

When Algore or Laurie David or some such affluent environanny rationalizes their extravagance via a purchase of carbon credits, they ignore that the cost of such credits is negligible to them and major to ordinary people.

In other words, the envirosnobs want to impose privations on the public that are not privations to them. And they don't acknowledge it: quite deliberately and cynically no doubt.

Hey, in a planetary emergency, the leaders should set the example, right? Instead, this is yet another instance where they want rules for the public that do not affect themselves.

April 15, 2010

Out of the Fire and Back in the Frying Pan

That's my reaction to the people who are missing Bush.

Afaic reacting to Obama by missing Bush is like reacting to Nixon by missing LBJ.

April 14, 2010

Bravo, Fred Bright, Georgia DA

He decided that there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute the tacky Ben Roethlisberger. "We do not prosecute morals. We prosecute crimes." Like I said:
That saying should be posted on the wall of every prosecutor in the country. And every on the wall of “activist” zealot, for that matter.

Whether he seeks higher office, remains in law enforcement, or enters private practice, I wish Mr. Bright well in his future endeavors.

Addendum 20100418. Unfortunately, not everyone involved in the case was as professional as Bright: Cop who investigated Roethlisberger forced to resign.

MD Motorcyclist Stopped at Gunpoint

A motorcycle rider is recording his ride with a helmet cam. He is cut off by an unmarked car from which somebody emerges holding a gun, orders the driver off the bike, and then identifies himself as a police officer. The driver gets a ticker. He posts the video on You Tube and pretty much forgets about the incident.

Thereupon he is served with a search warrant and charged with felonious recording; the maximum sentence is five years in prison. If not for undisclosed medical issues, he would have been arrested. It's illegal to record someone in MD without them knowing (unless you're Linda Tripp?). Apparently a helmet cam in plain sight does not qualify.

In a free country you do not threaten someone with five years in prison because he made the police look bad.

This will not stop until there are serious consequences for police and prosecutors--don't forget the prosecutor who is willingly joining the witch hunt--who abuse their authority. The rogue cop and the rogue prosecutor will get out of this scot free.

(Look at films from the 70s and 80s to see how scared people were about rampant lawlessness. We no longer live in such fear. But have we traded an unnecessary amount of liberty for the security we have? For that matter, how much security do we have when police abuse their power in the manner shown on the video?)

Oh, and why does it take two police cars and a drawn weapon to make a routine traffic stop?

Those police are working for us. Sure they are.

April 10, 2010

The Franchise

Restricting the franchise to "qualified" voters has an unsavory history in the USA. (When assessing the damage from the Civil War, the damage from Jim Crow and Reconstruction should not be forgotten.) Nevertheless, in the abstract, I can accept the proposition that someone who turns to their fellow citizens, via the State, for support should forego some--not all--of their civil rights.

I've placed a related comment here:
The Founders were aware that voters and special interests might try to plunder the federal treasury. That is presumably one reason why the franchise was originally restricted to property-owning males.

The nation is on the brink of terminal stagnation or worse. It’s tempting to associate that condition with the extension of the franchise to irresponsible voters. IMO such linkage is plausible but, because correlation is not causation, not conclusive.

However, when there is a push to allow non-citizens to vote (via deliberate non-enforceability of registration requirements or via illegal-alien “amnesties”), something is very very wrong.
And the government and special interests deliberately refuse to enforce the borders. Combine that with goo-goo multiculturalism...

April 9, 2010

I Hope She's Right

Rand Simberg interviews NASA second-in-command Lori Garver:
A caveat to begin: the agency is still planning its mission sequence and goals. With that in mind, within five years, I would expect to see at least one commercial U.S. vehicle carrying astronauts to and from the ISS on a regular basis for a per-seat price. I would anticipate that additional private citizens and other government agencies might also be buying transportation services to and from a possible co-orbiting commercial/industrial space station, perhaps using inflatable technology. NASA will be, at that time, developing our state-of-the-art heavy-lift vehicle that will take us into deep space for missions to a variety of destinations throughout the solar system...I'm confident the excitement of the President's future-looking vision for NASA will carry the day and in five years, we will be amazed at how far we have progressed beyond today's capabilities.
The private sector servicing the space station within five years? Together with, perhaps, a private sector version(s) of the station? If that happens--and I hope it does--, wow!

The first sustainable step out of the gravity well. (By which I mean that it can be profitable via tourism if nothing else. Hopefully additional economic opportunities will arise.)

April 7, 2010

USA Squelches Emerging Economic Competitors

This'll fix 'em:

The financial geniuses who gave us the housing collapse and other credit bubbles are turning their talents toward emerging-market debt.

April 6, 2010

Paul Ryan

Worthwhile speech here (HT: Neo-Neocon).

Transterrestrial commenter McGehee:
I’d be more open to the idea of Paul Ryan running for president if his Reagan hairstyle didn’t look so obvious. I hear all kinds of good things about the guy, but that hairstyle just looks a bit too cute.

April 5, 2010

Comments: April 2010

On the intentional disfigurement of language by the PC. In particular, note this quote from Theodore Dalrymple.

On the proposition that the franchise be restricted to taxpayers.

Georgia DA Fred Bright's decision not to prosecute Ben Roethlisberger. “We do not prosecute morals,” Bright said, “We prosecute crimes.”

"intellectual property".

On LSU's grade-inflation kerfluffle, and the principals. I wonder if the dean was settling a score.

On Clausewitz's relevance to politics.

Wrt John Paulson's bet against the housing market, on a foolish convention in financial reporting about burst market bubbles.

Concluding, here and here, that Haley Barbour is a racist bigot.

On Obama and the VAT.

On potential Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan: pro, then con My point is that an anti-military Justice should be especially unthinkable when we have troops fighting abroad as part of a novel kind of war. (And I'm no fan of expanded government authority.)

April 1, 2010

April the Fool

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

You tell 'em, Edna.