August 23, 2013

Very Belated Thoughts on the NBA Finals

1. I don't begrudge high salaries to people who excel. Too many professional athletes don't excel, and collect anyway. Too many are thugs.

Apparently LeBron James is shaping up as an exception. It's good to watch him (hopefully) mature and grow out of his juvenile arrogance.

2. It was a very good series played by well-managed franchises which expressed mutual respect. The saying that It's too bad somebody had to lose applied. A heart wrench for Tim Duncan.

3. The decisive seventh game almost went to overtime. That would have been something else.

4. The whole thing about championships has gotten grossly overdone in American sports. It's reasonable in the pros (though how statistically significant is a narrow win in a seventh game?), but at the college level it's become completely crazy.

August 21, 2013

Coptic Self-Determination? Arm the Copts?

Makes sense to me, but not to the doofi or worse who are ignoring the Iranian Green Movement.

Bad as their situation is, the Copts may be better off without American support: cf. the fate of Iraq's Marsh Arabs.

The US is not doing enough on behalf of religious communities (Christian, Hindu, Buddhists, etc.) which externally funded Islamists attack. NB: I am hesitant to interfere in internal conflicts, which is why I specified 'externally funded'.

Addendum 20130823. Megan McArdle suggests we offer asylum to the Copts. I had the same thought, but in contrast to McArdle (and Instapundit), I looked up how many there are: over 7 million.

I gradually have been getting disenchanted with McArdle. My guess is that a lot of knives have been sharpened for the release of her book.

August 18, 2013

The Religious Right: A Glimmer of Sanity?

Maybe. Rising Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore acknowledges that the Religious Right has lost the culture wars. (HT: Rick Moran/PJ Media.)

On protecting the unborn, Mr. Moore says he is a "long-term optimist" but "a short-term pessimist." He doesn't get excited every time a poll shows that more Americans are pro-life than pro-choice...

But he also believes that this battle will not be won in Washington: "You have to take it to a personal level." He touts the many faith-based pregnancy crisis centers that not only try to talk women out of having abortions, but also help with child-care, job training and housing—"all of the things that have brought them there in the first place."
Yours trulyy, after the 2012 election:
Social conservatives should stop trying to impose their religious views via the federal government. They should work to devolve social issues to the states: abortion, drugs, gay marriage, assisted suicide, etc.

Or maybe not: it's not clear whether the Religious Right understands why they lost the culture wars in center-right country that Reagan left them. Still, Moore's views are a hopeful development---hopefully not too late---and bear watching. Too bad that socons didn't think this way all along.

Speed Traps Are Sooo 20th Century

Why issue a ticket when you can seize the car and everything in it? In Tenaha, TX for example. The ACLU Apparently has stepped in. (The fever swamps have spilled into reality: I found the previous links here, at a conspiracy forum. Maybe one should say that the expansion of the authoritarian state has carried it into the fever swamps.)

The justification is the Drug War, yet this kind of action is only taken against the vulnerable. As the New Yorker piece notes, Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid was not seized although his sons used it as an "emporium of drugs".

Stillman's New Yorker article makes me wonder about linkage between the Drug Warriors and the Religious Right.

August 17, 2013

Intelligence and Ideology

Unfortunately, the point is not whether liberals are smarter than conservatives/libertarians (or vice versa). The point is under what kind of system the ruling class is more prosperous.

IMHO a nation with market-based economy requires greater intelligence to govern than a state-directed economy---but the ruling class fares better in the latter. The American Founding may have been an exception.

The NSA Allegations

1. Diane Feinstein says everthing's fine. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, also Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, say it isn't.

2. Somewhere, Brezhnev is laughing.

August 15, 2013

Obama and Egypt

After the violence involving the Muslim Brotherhood, Barry is cancelling military exercises with Egypt.

Is he trying to reestablish Russian influence in Egypt, and to establish Chinese?

No, but with the like of John Kerry, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice steering foreign policy, he might as well be.

This is a tough, take-no-prisoners bunch. If you know what's good for you, don't disagree with them---if you're an ally or an American citizen.

Addendum 20130817. Amid their solicitude for the Muslim Brotherhood, has the Administration forgotten that Egypt's military leaders are also Muslims? Just askin'.

Addendum 20130821:
While this post was being written, there were already reports of contact between Russia and Egypt.

August 8, 2013

America's Arrested Development

Radley Balko reports that in 2011 there was one arrest per 25 Americans (HT: Instapundit). The great majority of these were not for violent crimes.

Is this country still a free and democratic society? Seems doubtful, though I'd like to see the historical numbers and comparison to other countries.

Stop Ogling Kate Upton, You Slavering Animals!

The poor lamb was distressed after her first Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue cover:
"After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month," Upton tells Elle in its September issue. "Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something. I'm not a toy, I'm a human. I'm not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your s**t out."
So distressed, in fact, that she posed for the cover a second time.

Sad to say, Upton seems to be Republican. Is she positioning herself to run for office once the modelling/acting money dries up?

August 7, 2013

They Got Me Again!

A week or two ago, cross my heart, I had the idea of proposing that arrests for various crimes be race-normed for "fairness".

But I've been dawdling because the idea seemed abrasive and ridiculous, even for today's craziness.

Well, here it is, for real. They're already doing it in Maryland. I haven't seen anything that so flagrantly reveals that Obama is deliberately dividing the country rather than uniting it.

Richard Fernandez:
...It is not too late. Not yet. But the craziness has to stop now.

If there’s any hope within this editorial it is that the first glimmer of fear is now openly appearing within the liberal establishment. They’re beginning to suspect it’s not going to work; that survival is not guaranteed; Detroit can go broke, the pensions can be forfeit, their writ may no longer run in Cairo and American dominance — indeed their own jobs and lives — are not a given. It has finally occurred to them that the US can lose in the Middle East and beyond; that America can be defeated after all, if they behave stupidly enough.

But one must let them come to this realization themselves, just as if they were the first persons to think of it. Their vanity must be given its due. Because it is all they have. It impelled them to make history’s most stupid luxury purchase: the elevation of Barack Obama to President of the United States. That memory is embarassment enough for anyone. Let them eat crow in peace.
In principle, it is not too late. As a practical matter...

August 2, 2013