December 30, 2011

The New, "Improved" Light Bulbs

Supposedly the new light bulbs make up for their expense via a long lifetime and savings on power. Iirc Instapundit has posted anecdotal evidence that the new bulbs do not last nearly as long as advertised.

A Congress that has consumers' interests at heart would make the bulb manufacturers live up to their commitments. This could be done, for example, with a time stamp on each bulb. A bulb that stopped working before the time stamp expired would be replaceable with a new bulb--one with a fresh time stamp, just to make the point clear to the industry.

I'm not holding my breath: the current arrangement lets the government practice crony capitalism and pander to the green lobby at the same time.

December 29, 2011

A New Precautionary Principle

The Precautionary Principle states that no innovation or policy change should be implemented until it has been proven to be safe. That is, no change should be adopted until every objection has been conclusively refuted; the burden of proof falls on those who propose the change.

My suggestion:

Disregard everybody who invokes or implies the Precautionary Principle.

December 20, 2011

Compelling Goverment Interest

That phrase is BS that the government, including a complicit judiciary, has cooked up to justify unConstitutional actions and policies. Just keep repeating the mantra long enough and the peasants will accept it.

, for one.

Sustainability, for another (HT: Instapundit).


Hopefully it will be defeated or blunted, but Hollywood will be back--even if, heaven forbid, it passes.

Are we really going to throw a spanner in the works of 21st-century technology so Hollywood can continue to collect rent with its 20th century model? Big Media will only stop trying when its efforts are penalized by revoking some of the monopolistic privileges it already has. Target the DMCA or copyright terms.

December 19, 2011

What Would Jesus Henry VIII Do?

When those who "occupy" Episcopal and Anglican churches in NYC and London bleat how they think the founder of the Christian religion would treat them, they should have a similar, cautionary thought about the founder of the Church of England.

December 3, 2011


1. "U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity" (HT: researchok@LGF) It's news to me that achieving "diversity" is a "compelling interest".

In effect, a compelling interest means it's something that the government is doing without a Constitutional, legislative, or electoral basis because it would not survive scrutiny under any of those criteria.

2. Who needs overrepresented minorities?

3. Huzzah! Researchers have fabricated, um, discovered a nondiscriminatory law school entrance exam. (HT: Instapundit)

November 29, 2011

Polarization: An Unintended Consequence of the Internet?

The Web may actually have made people more partisan because it has become easy to cherry-pick data to support a preconceived position.

November 21, 2011

Bill Clinton Speaks

1. Seems reasonable to me:

Should you raise taxes on anybody right today — rich or poor or middle class? No, because there’s no growth in the economy. Should those of us who make more money and are in better position to contribute to America’s public needs and getting this deficit under control pay a higher tax rate when the economy recovers? Yes, that’s what I think

2. Maybe we need a supercommittee of one. Let Bubba do it.

(A supercommittee of ex-Presidents? No way: Clinton is the only one who is competent.)

November 13, 2011

Is a New Kent State on the Way?

By militarized police?

Repeating an Action and Expecting a Different Result

David Brooks released a trial balloon for Jeb Bush.

Afaic only the Kennedys have done more damage than the Bushes.

The Machines Are Conspiring Against Humans

I got an email offering me a 90-day extension of my TracFone service, but couldn't find the offer online. So I tried calling and got stuck in their automated system. The I tried the site and got Could not connect to database.

This guy
saved me even though the post is almost six years old.

October 25, 2011

One Term for the Fed Chairman

This reduces the temptation to manipulate rates in a manner that panders to politicians, the President in particular.

If a given Fed chair is supposedly irreplaceable--the Greenspan debacle is a counterexample--, the Fed is structured incorrectly and invested with too much power.

Maybe the single term should be made longer than the current renewable term.

October 6, 2011

Worst I've Seen Yet

Forfeiture abuse: the authorities are trying to seize the property of a motel owner who has cooperated with them against crime, leaving similar corporate properties unmolested.

Such seizures, of course, are the kind of thing that the Bill of Rights is supposed to prevent. Is the government returning to the days of predatory Roman tax collectors?

(The foregoing assumes that the facts of the case are as presented by the Institute for Justice.)

September 27, 2011

Never Spoken Were Truer Words Than...

The Internet’s full of small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don’t have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them.

August 20, 2011

Perry Links

Via texexec, here and here. The classic Political Math post is here. A serious Iowahawk weighs in.

July 28, 2011

On the Budget Negotiations

Relax, America.

Have a banana.

June 27, 2011

Flash Mobs and Yutes

In Philadelphia: here and here.

In Vancouver, after the Stanley Cup.

"Whose Side Are You On?"

Says Hillary Clinton to Libya skeptics.

Lord, I despise 1960s Boomers. (Whose side was Hillary on then? Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is bound to win.)

A disenchanted Hillary supporter vents here and here.

April 16, 2011

Obama Budget Speech and Ryan Response

The Obama speech is here. The Ryan response is here and here.

The Republicans were invited and felt betrayed: expecting a bipartisan address, they perceived the speech as a political attack.

But using a veneer of civility to hit below the belt has become an Obama trademark trademar: giving the finger to Hillary during a debate, criticizing SCOTUS to their faces during the State of the Union, and now this.

April 11, 2011

The Wisdom of Christina Romer

Before she returned to academia after serving as being Obama's chief economic advisor, Romer did much to turn the Great Recession into the prosperity we enjoy today. She has more:
Christina Romer: A Weaker Dollar Is Good For America
In a way, this is consistent with the position that US pre-eminence is illegitimate, so we might as well divest ourselves of both the prerogatives and responsibiliities of a superpower. Next: the Romer-Smoot-Hawley Tariff?

Meanwhile, Joe Stiglitz doesn't know what ails us, but prescribes redistributive taxation anyway.

March 15, 2011

Let's Call a Spade a Spade

James Taranto:
"Collective bargaining" is outrageous because it is an affront to democracy: a system of collusion between politicians and unions, which cuts out the taxpayers whose money they are spending.
Bargaining between government unions and Democrat politicians is misnamed as collective bargaining. It should be called what it is: collusive bargaining.

(It's my impression that it is unconstitutional to prevent unions from participating in politcs: for the same reason that businesses are allowed to participate. But is that privilege negotiable?)

February 25, 2011

Scott Walker is No Angel

His legislation proposes that government workers not be allowed collective bargaining on beneftis--but he exempts police and firefighters. In fact, such first responders have the biggest role in public safety. As such they should be more strongly disincentivized from striking than noncritical politics.

Okay, one says, but politics is the art of the possible.

But what about the proposed proposed no-bid sale of state-owned utilities (HT: Reason)?

Afaik Walker is doing more good than harm, but he isn't pure as driven snow.

February 17, 2011

On, Wisconsin!

The Democrats and government unions urgently to nip Walker's efforts in the bud because otherwise they will spread to other states--and then it will be possible to compare the economies of states in which government unions are curtailed and those in which they are dominant.

See here and here for summaries of Walker's proposals. I'll substitute better references when I find them.

February 11, 2011

Is Arianna Going Rogue?

Huffington : selling HuffPo :: Palin : resigning as governor.

February 2, 2011

Valerie Jarrett

Reportedly, she treated a general in dress uniform as a waiter. Per Instapundit, let's hope the story is an exaggeration.

Addendum 20110208. The incident has been smoothed over.

January 30, 2011

Our Friends, the Saudis?

See here (HT: Instapundit).

Bacterial Biofuels?

There are reports that bacteria can be engineered to create biofuels (HT: Instapundit).

This might be like the situation with affordable human spaceflight: apparently impossible...while incremental progress in a number of fields crept on over decades. And suddenly we are at the verge. (Even if Western bureaucracies seize on catastrophic failures as a pretext to cripple the efforts, the work will continue somewhere.)

January 23, 2011

Lang Lang

Submitted as a comment to the Tatler report:
1. This is gross negligence by whoever, presumably the State Department, vetted the program. A senior head should roll: somebody at the undersecretary level, and maybe the Secretary herself, should be fired.

2. Imagine if an American residing in China had done this kind of thing. He'd be lucky--lucky--to be kicked out of the country on the spot.

Yes, my immediate reaction is that that Lang Lang should be expelled from the US (I gather he does not have dual citizenship). Unfortunately, this would only deepen the tragicomedy since our Left would rally around him as a human-rights victim--but so be it.

3. Since I don't expect Lang Lang to be expelled, I have a more modest proposal: have him play at the opening of the Ground Zero Mosque.

4. From sean Carlsd #6: ...The song is also the opening theme song for 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony (the lip-syncing brouhaha is on this song), G.W. Bush attended the opening ceremony, nobody seemed to think China showed disrespect back then.

Bush also stayed at the Olympics (and was photographed with our bikini-clad female volleyball team) while his BFF Vladimir's army invaded Georgia.

Bush and Obama: Chimpy and Chumpy.

No wonder the Chinese believe that history is on their side.
The comment is posted here.

Addendum 20110202: John Derbyshire thinks this is much ado about little as far as Lang Lang is concerned. Money quote:
I applaud Lang Lang as an honest patriot. I only wish our ruling class had half as much love for their country as Lang Lang has for his.
There's a lot of ruin in a great nation. For the time being our wounds are primarily self-inflicted. As the ruling class continues to weaken the country, at some point that will no longer be true.

January 11, 2011

Round-Up of Smears Against the Right

Michelle Malkin collects examples.

Perusing conservative blogs leaves no doubt that there are similar smears against the Left, but the so-called mainstream media is not a willing participant in these.

January 1, 2011

Comments: January 2011

On demographic inevitability and the GOP.

On IRS proactive cooperation with foreign tax authorities.

On Obama's show of conciliation: here and here.

On US abolition of slavery.

On the incestuousness of the superelite. (Scroll down to Posted by: gs | Jan 13, 2011 9:07:54 PM.)

On airbrushing RFK Jr.'s antivax article.

On the Curse of the Bambino.

On Obama and oil prices.

On using the massacre as a pretext for authoritarianism.

On the Giffords attack: here, here and here.

On suing the government taxpayers.

On creativity and rote learning.

On activist fraud, especially wrt vaccines: here, here, here, and here.

On the revival of civil defense.

On the purges in Iran.

Abuse of Prosecutorial Discretion and
the Presumption of Innocence

Abuses of government authority, like the prosecutorial abuse unleashed against Siobhan Reynolds and her Pain Relief Network, the Smithwick case, etc etc etc etc, have got me to thinking.

It's accepted that if an accused person cannot afford a lawyer, he will be assigned a public defender. Given the enormous disparity between the resources of government prosecutors, especially at the federal level, and most individuals, maybe that needs to be taken a step further.

For brainstorming purposes: Maybe beyond a certain percentage of an individual's assets and income, their defense costs should be compensated as a fraction of what the government spends on the prosecution, with such compensation coming out of the prosecutor's budget. Ditto for the costs of complying with a subpoena. Ditto for jury duty; as an alternative, jurors should be offered a tax credit at their ongoing income level.

Prosecutors wwould scream that this will make their job much harder--but making their job harder is the whole point if they've acquired too much power and are abusing it. No doubt some guilty people would walk free--but our system is supposed to be predicated on the presumption of innocence.

The Stupid Party and the Evil Party

According to M. Stanton Evans, the USA has two political parties, the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. Bipartisanship occurs when they occur to do something both stupid and evil.

Actually, some people find it expedient to join the Stupid Party and pretend to be stupid. They are called RINOs.