August 29, 2010

'Liberal Fascism':
If It's Evil, the Left is to Blame

I often see Jonah Goldberg's book cited as proof of the above.

Goldberg's trekkie acting out in The Corner gave me a bad impression of him, and the title of his book added to it. The Wikipedia link in the previous paragraph mentions a number of takedowns from the Right; David Gordon's is devastating.

However, I gather that Goldberg is responsible for launching National Review Online.

Who Benefits?

Submitted as a comment on this piece:
Keep in mind that the Clinton Justice Department refused to attack the South Carolina prison plan even though it was pressed to do so.

Who was/is doing the pressing, and why? Excellent piece, Mr. Adams, but I hope you have more to say about this key point.

Having worked in the Civil Rights Division, I cannot emphasize strongly enough how perfectly correct and completely justified DOJ bureaucrats consider policies like the threat to South Carolina to be. And having lived and worked in the private sector and in parts of America far from the Beltway, I also cannot overstate just how insane such policies sound to most Americans.

Are the bureaucrats suing SC just crazy & disconnected from common sense, or is something sinister going on? (Intellectual honesty requires me to add that there might be a legitimate reason for suing, but I can't imagine what it might be.)


If government wasn't so big, its blundering wouldn't be so serious.

August 27, 2010

Another Question

The theocratic Right keeps blabbing that 'America is a Christian nation' blah blah yadda yadda, yet Christianity is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

Yet Lincoln mentioned it in his First Inaugural Address:
Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.
So why don't the Hucksters highlight this speech as they seek to rewrite the Constitution to agree with God's law their prejudices?

Ah have no ahdee-uh, suh. None at all.

A Question

Richard Darman wrecked the first Bush administration. Karl Rove's implementation of the so-called Permanent Republican Majority gravely wounded the GOP and if not for Democratic incompetence the damage would be even worse.

Yet Rove's views are taken seriously both in the mainstream and in the GOP whereas Darman became a non-person. Why?

My guess is that Darman wrecked Bush 41 while telling the GOP "base" what they didn't want to hear whereas Rove did comparble (worse, if anything) damage--but did it in a way that catered to theocratic delusions.

August 23, 2010

Bedbugs, Transfats, and NYC

The city found time and resources to micromanage restaurant, deli, and street vendor menus but was oblivious to the spreading infestation of bedbugs.

This is not a government that does a few essential things well.

Will food shortages follow the FDA's expanding regulatory reach? (That would be a rationale for even greater regulatory authority.)

August 20, 2010

Not to Be a Prude, but...

...isn't this going too far to be healthy? "How To Be A Good Hookup":
Just like tasting ice cream flavors, sampling sex with a new guy is what being young and single is all about.
When marriage and children are deferred well past the teens or early twenties, one doesn't expect people to live celibate lives.

Still, sex is an extremely powerful drive. A libertarian attitude toward sex is compatible with a recognition that the power of the sex drive warrants respect.

Spending the night with someone and then deciding if a relationship is possible strikes me as a dubious lifestyle.

I might be wrong, of course. A strong indicator will be whether the hookup generation has stable marriages and a sustainable birthrate.

Is There More Beyond Codevilla?

He talked about the conflict between the ruling class and ordinary citizens. Well and good.

Another thing that's happened over the last few decades is the widening disparity between the incomes of top earners and the incomes of average workers. Some of this, no doubt, is legitmate: technology allows the skills of high performers to be leveraged more highly than they were in the past, and competition for top talent increases accordingly.

But some of it, IMO, is not. The high incomes at the top are partially due to connivance similar to that of the political ruling class (and to connivance with the political ruling class). Moreover, much of that wealth is due to so-called intellectual property, i.e. government-enforced monopolies. The purpose behind such monopolies is worthy and legitimate, but its implementation has been perverted to a point where both the public nor, IMHO, intellectual creators are shortchanged, at least relatively.

So when he talks about giving away half his wealth to charity, Bill Gates may be in the right ballpark.

August 18, 2010

Might It Come to This?

A bill to reduce spiking of CA state pensions has been so watered down by union forces that backers have withdrawn support. (Apparently CA pensions are based on the last year's compensation, and employees are allowed to include things like unused vacation, sick time, and uniform allowances in that amount.)

I fantasize that the public unions will be willing to sell CA to the Chinese if that will get their pensions paid. When it comes to that, the dollar might be worth so little that it would be a bargain for the Chinese. A bargain for everybody except the country the public employees are supposedly working for.

But you can't really blame government workers for driving the best bargain they could get. The real blame lies with the employters who acceded to the ruinous obligations.

In a future, fiscally ruined America, can we envision a series of drumhead courts for the legislators who voted for those benefits, the executive branchers who proposed them, and their heirs? If you proposed or supported a bill that contributed to the state's bankruptcy, your assets get confiscated even if you're dead.

August 17, 2010

Human Rights Advocates Hail Breakthrough in Price Fixing

The AP reports:
In what's being hailed as an unprecedented move...a global diamond trading network vowed Monday to expel any member who knowingly trades gems from two Zimbabwe mines where laborers have been killed and children enslaved.
Blah blah blah, the story continues, until:
Mining experts also have cautioned that...(i)n any case, Zimbabwe would not be allowed to flood the world market and bring down global prices...
Of course not. Diamond prices not set by an open market. They are controlled by a cartel. Via this image-enhancing human rights gesture, the cartel is reinforcing its control and profits.

Come to think of it, inefficient government-regulated cartels staffed with union labor may be just the kind of thing that people who write for the AP like. This is not to ignore that some human side-effects of capitalism can be bad, even horrific. It is also not to ignore the fact that big businesses do not like the vulnerability to competition that an open market brings and routinely collude among themselves and with government to impede it.

So I read with mixed feelings that the Zimbabwe government intends to route around the ban.

August 14, 2010

A Small Step

Today, for the first time in years, when I turned my computer on I went to the Yahoo home page instead of to Instapundit.

My comparison to Schlitz finally sunk in.

Why Hasn't the Stimulus Worked?

Because the money was spent on people who didn't need it? See here, here, here, and here. (Last two links found via Instapundit.)

According to the links, feminist pressure groups succeeded in getting TARP funding diverted to their "human infrastructure" white-collar constituencies even though males and laborers are disproportionately hit by the recession.

Given how the Democratic government is operating, I suspect that that's not the only way the money was misallocated.

They're so incompetent that you can't tell if they have the wrong policy, or if a correct policy is implemented so badly that it has no positive effect. (Which may well be an excuse that economic interventionists will use in future crises.)

August 8, 2010

A Misconstrued Platitude

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong. I've seen that attributed to Twain, Mencken and Einstein.

The saying does not claim that every simple and obvious solution is wrong, but it is often invoked to imply that--often by those who have a vested interest in complexity.

I have the size of the government in mind. The corruption and inefficiency would matter less if a smaller government had less power and demanded less money.

Comments: August 2010

On the trustworthiness of the GOP establishment.

The democratic process has been deliberately trivialized.

On German criticism of Gates/Buffett philanthropy.

On regulatory response to the flash crash.

On the Clemens indictment.

On parasitism, California, and Massachusetts.

On gender inconsistency of reported promiscuity (additional comments follow in the the thread).

On Dr. Sanity, post-Challenger NASA, and the post-2006 GOP: here and here.

On a VAT Pledge.

On Joe Miller.

Is Obama a technocrat?

Hurray for the green economy!

To the GOP re the Ground Zero Mosque: Zip your lip. Just. Shut. Up.

More on Obama's birth certificate.

On the NYC Islamic center, and disguising cowardice as tolerance.

On gay marriage and the Walker ruling: here and here.

On On Bullshit.

On the Right's Heavenly Cities: here and here. Lead-in: here.

August 2, 2010

The Breitbart Reward

Submitted as a comment on this:
Frank must be exceptionally well-paid as a Timesman, because there’s $100,000 on the table to verify this claim.

I clicked on the link in the '$100,000' original text. It brought me to another Driscoll column in which, in turn, clicking on '$100,000' brought me to a Breitbart column offering $10K.

Whether the reward in question is $10K or $100K, has Breitbart made a legally binding offer? Is the money in an escrow account? Who decides if it should be paid? Where are the ground rules written down? How are they enforceable?

Note that Driscoll is a PJM editor.
Ann Althouse rubs me the wrong way, but I have never doubted that there is a brain in her head. She was astute in staying away from PJM.

To give due credit, PJM (presumably Driscoll) printed the comment here.