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November 25, 2015

All Hail Me Some Taranto!


Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all

But johngalt thinks:

I am conflicted. I would love to see Woodrow Wilson discredited, but to do it on the altar of race victimhood revisionism is a dangerous threshold to cross.

"After they came for the white progressives, there was nobody left to speak for me."

I guess we're all Wilsonians now.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2015 3:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm not conflicted at all. I'm happy to laugh at the NYTimes's hypocritical preening.

But no, I would not deny President Wilson any honorarium or remove his anem or visage from any memorial. Why, my speech should I be given a slot is going to include some kind words about John C. Calhoun.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2015 4:58 PM

A BC, not a SIC


Pew center has a new 23 question Political Typology quiz. I'm ranked a Business Conservative, which is fifth on scale where six is "Steadfast Conservative" and zero is "Solidly Liberal."

Interesting things:
- the only place "Faith" is listed by Pew is on the Left (1 out of 6 on this scale they've created).
- Young "Outsiders" slightly outnumber the NG Left.
- the silent middle are referred to as "Hard Pressed"
- if you look here, you'll see that Pew's respondents (66% white) are mostly isolationist!

But jk thinks:

BC as well (Prosperitarian, anybody?) I left quite a few blank. I can usually get into the spirit and pick one even if I am not totally on board. This one seemed to have several that were both bad.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2015 1:24 PM

November 24, 2015

ThreeSources Holiday Bash!

My check from the Koch Brothers is late, so our caviar and champagne soiree is off.

But we could all crash Liberty on the Rocks--Flatirons's party

Whoever said politics and booze don't go together has obviously never been to Liberty on the Rocks, because we've been combining the two with great success for over half a decade!

Traditionally, LotR has had one main speaker at each bi-monthly Happy Hour, but our friends at Liberty Toastmasters came up with a great idea--why not let everyone participate? And why not give away prizes to the best speakers?

You see, even in our circle of like-minded friends, there is still a good variety of thought. We might all have the same goals--liberty--but the way we promote that idea is unique.

So, we at LotR would like to open up the floor to everyone. Come tell us what you believe in, and why. Tell us what you're doing to promote your values. This is an opportunity for learning and for growth, and also for a PARTY!

So, mark your calendars for December 7th and plan on joining us for something completely different--a Speech Contest and Holiday Party at Miller's Grille in Lafayette!

The speaking opportunities will be limited to about 3 minutes to accommodate as many as possible, but there will also be a few slots open for speeches of about 8 minutes. If you know you want to address a large crowd of your peers, then please contact Mike L Shelton or send a message to this page.

We'll kick things off at 6pm, like always, with special appetizers and drinks; then we'll begin the main program at 7pm. There will be no better place to be than with us, so we hope to see you there!:

I'll be speaking on "The triumvirate, Calhoun's toast, and the modern message of forbearance."

Must Read

Trust me just once: this is a funny and true essay. Referenced in Russ Roberts's 500th Econtalk podcast. (The podcast is good, too).

I wish I had the gumption to share it with my cousin.

But johngalt thinks:
The fact that markets create dependencies without subjugation means that I am served well for the benefit of the server; other market participants are prevented from treating me badly not by their good character but by their desire for profits.

Proposition: Rather than struggling mightily to reduce the SIZE of government, perhaps we should find a way to require government to always earn a PROFIT?

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 4:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Finished reading to the end. Adorable!

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 4:29 PM
But dagny thinks:

JG is now working on how to similarly embarrass his daughters.

Posted by: dagny at November 24, 2015 5:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- I settle for boring my lovely bride. I may have mentioned the tortilla thing once or twice...

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 6:00 PM


This is, it seems to me, the hallmark of what it is to be American - ambition. Those who lack it typically use a different term - greed. Take Canada's Linda McQuaig, for example:

It's no accident that the United States claims the most billionaires -- but suffers among the highest rates of infant mortality and crime, the shortest life expectancy, as well as the lowest rates of social mobility and electoral political participation in the developed world.

Yeah, it's the billionaires' fault! Seriously? No, I don't think many take such suggestions seriously. But it is plainly evident that billionaires, at least some of them, are really, really, ambitious. I give you here, Exhibit A:

Jeff Bezos finally one-upped Elon Musk in space. On Tuesday Bezos' company, Blue Origin, announced its New Shepard space vehicle had ascended to 100.5km and returned successfully to the ground near its West Texas launch site.


Go ahead, billionaires, one-up each other. "Waste" your "ill-gotten" and "unequal" concentrated wealth on "extravagances" like reusable rocket ships. I, for one, approve. But next time give it a better name - like "The C.S.* Linda McQuaig."

* "capitalist ship"

But jk thinks:

And the Senate passes a bill facilitating asteroid mining. Homo sapiens had a pretty good November.

I went to post that sentiment on Facebook but cowered against an imagined onslaught of reminders about ISIS and refugees and shootings and a (NATO ally) Turkish fighter downing a Russian plane. I canceled, but I still believe it.

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 3:44 PM

ACA Horror Story of the Day

President Obama was hammered last week for his failure on ISIS. But there's at least one bright spot for him in that criticism: At least it deflected the spotlight from the unfolding catastrophe that is ObamaCare. -- Shikha Dalmia
And then it gets better.

November 23, 2015


I love this. (On the minus side, one of my favorite cousins may never speak to me again). This photo is from LIFE magazine in 1939:


Now this is going around Pinterest with the following explanation;

1939. Kansas Wheat. When they realized women were using their sacks to make clothes for their children, the mills started using flowered fabric for their sacks so the kids would have pretty clothes. Pure kindness. The label would wash out.

Pure kindness. Said cuz shares on Facebook and asks "How do we get back to more of this?"

She is a wonderful person, stunningly bright, and was employed many years in advertising. Why she accepted this as kindness and not "brilliant marketing ploy," only Jonathan Haidt can explain.

My favorite speech that I give to myself (who knows, I may do it in public at the Holiday Liberty on the Rocks if my infield fly rule history cannot be trimmed to the allocated time slot) is the celebration of the Ziploc™ closure on tortilla bags and cheese.. Tortilla bags being a synecdoche for innovative packaging. I can beam myself into the meeting, having attended a meeting or two myself. where the idea is first proposed.

Pedro (ACME Tortilla Floor Operations Manager): See, we can build the device right into our bag. Customers can close it up and keep the product fresher. It'll be terrific

Donald Trump, Star of Celebrity Apprentice: Terrific, huh? Won't this cost more?

Pedro: Well, yes, a couple of cents...

Donald: Times 20,000 bags is a lot of money. Can we charge three cents extra?

Pedro: Probably not.

Donald: Will our existing machinery handle it? Don't we have existing stock? What about returns and obsoleting old inventory?

Pedro: Well...

Donald: You're Fired.

It's a tough sell. They probably sell more because they go bad in the old packaging. But somebody hired Pedro and now every manufacturer uses them and the packaging is spreading to other items.

So, I say it is pure kindness to print flowers on wheat sacks and put Ziplocs on tortilla bags. That kind of pure kindness that free market capitalism brings out in people. Pure kindness toward our customers.

And that's the spirit of Christmas.

But nanobrewer thinks:

It's an unintentional kindness; of the sort that naturally grows out of the respect people grant each other when conducting mutually-beneficial transactions of the type that either [a] confound the regulators and beltway admistrata, [b] cut K-street out of the loop.

Simply part and parcel of the massive PR campaign driven by the liberal desire to ensure that 'you can do whatever you want, so long as it's mandatory.'

Personally, I like this quote from Churchill, tho' it would not help one wit with the low-information, FB crowd:

Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow
they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.
If people are allowed to own the wagon, they'll make it pretty, useful, helpful even and nice.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 24, 2015 9:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Describe a Democrat/progressive/redistributionist voter in two words: "Big heart."

Now describe a Republican/libertarian/keep what you earn voter: "Big brain."

Why wouldn't she speak to you? Did you accuse her of having a tiny brain? Or did you answer her question with the same long winded, but otherwise excellent, response posted here?

Why not just answer "How do we get back to more of this" with the answer "by telling government to let businesses run themselves again?" Then you will have so much comity and good will together that you can ask her why she doesn't make her own clothes from flour sacks!

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 1:02 PM
But jk thinks:

We're speaking and will continue so to do. Everything is fine but I my spidey sense interprets a brief silence as "OMG do you have to make everything political?"

For the record, my exact response (again, she was in the industry) was:

John Kranz: Umm, it's called brilliant marketing and innovative packaging, is it not? Meeting customer needs and establishing a consistent brand?"

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 3:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"No, I don't make everything 'political' I make it about LOVE!"

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 5:05 PM

Still Early

Hope: "Scared of Trump's pending triumph? The Atlantic offers food for thought" The article looks at others who were leading at this stage, and {SPOILER ALERT] a lot of them did not become president.

I'm more disturbed that it has further reduced the intelligence level of the debate.

That said, I'm ready to give Mr. Trump one cheer on the "Muslim Database" contretemps. Calling that ambush journalism is a real affront to ambush journalism. The idea is suggested by the -- ahem -- journalist in an rhetorical, dontchyathinkthat, tone. His answer may not be the best, but it is acceptable. Now it is front page news. See -- he even made the media stupider. I did not see that one coming.

But johngalt thinks:

You and I may not like it brother, but common sense is so miscalibrated today that it may take a carnival barker like Don Trump to push the ossified national "reset" button. We'll then have to wait a cycle or three before a thoughtful conservative can gain traction, hopefully, once again.

Just a random thought on the passing scene.

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 1:06 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps. But the inevitable rise of President Giuliani in 2008 gives me hope. (No, that makes me sad, too -- that would've been great by comparison.)

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 5:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

two words: Howard Dean.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2015 12:17 AM

Different Definition of "Hilarious" Than Mine.

Let's recap hilariously wrong Republican predictions about Obamacare
Haha, Kos, no it's too funny, Stop! Don't read the last one sipping coffee (you were warned!):
Scott Walker, 2/20/2015:
In a 2013 interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker argued that Obamacare was hampering the economic recovery. "They made a promise that nobody could actually deliver on, not just in terms of the website, but on the overall policy of Obamacare, which is an abysmal failure," Walker told Kudlow, adding, "It's not only a failure for Obamacare, it is continuing to be a wet blanket on the recovery of the nation's economy."

"Firm after firm telling the White House, the administration this isn't going to work," Walker went on. "It's either one of those things where there not listening to the facts, or they're not being informed, in either case, it's troubling."

"Troubling," Kudlow chimed in, "No CEO experience whatsoever."

Now we don't trifle with Kos too much around here. But my friend posted this on Facebook a few hours after I had watched the WSJ Editorial Board's video proclaiming essentially that the death spiral was finally beginning. The nation's largest insurer -- and the ACA's biggest cheerleader -- was pulling out of the exchanges.

So I had what I expect will be my last argument with this guy. He accepts this "Baghdad Bob" line on ObamaCare: Kos says it is fine, he sent me a 20-month old blog post from Rick Unger. It seems I am wrong -- ObamaCare is fine!

Oh, wait

On a UnitedHealth call Thursday with Wall Street analysts, Josh Raskin of Barclays asked, "Simply, how long are you willing to lose money in exchanges?" and then followed up, "Are you willing to lose money again in 2017, Steve?" UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley replied: "No, we cannot sustain these losses. We can't really subsidize a marketplace that doesn't appear at the moment to be sustaining itself," adding that "we saw no indication of anything actually improving."

UnitedHealth reported one problem after another: An expensive risk pool that lacks the younger and healthier consumers who are supposed to buy overpriced plans to cross-subsidize everyone else. Enrollment growth continues to lag. People join the exchanges before they incur large medical expenses--insurers are required under ObamaCare to cover anyone who applies--and then drop out after they receive care. The collapse of the ObamaCare co-ops is recoiling through the market.


But nanobrewer thinks:

Unger's column is a strong screed, but balanced on a thin reed, namely; one study from the Urban Institute. This confirms that ACA didn't all by itself caused the boom in part time work, but also notes Part-Time Employed Remains Higher Than the Pre-Recession Levels and is willing to entertain the idea that the ACA isn't helping this 'jobless' recovery become an actual recovery as well as noting

the anticipation of the penalty [$2000, for not providing "compliant" coverage], even though delayed a year, no doubt influenced the decisions of private employers

Wow, but the Kool-Aid scented comments on the Kos article drip with condescension and cluelessness. If I'd the time and the Tums, it would be interesting to delve down into that netherworld; what does it mean, that word; "working" ? The inevitable followup would be: what do you do for a living; teach teachers?

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 24, 2015 1:09 AM
But jk thinks:

The Unger column is from March 2014 and one of the bright things the ACA miscreants did was to provide benefits up front: free contraception, no pre-existing conditions, 26-year-old snowflakes on mommy & daddy's policy -- all of these happened at the stroke of a pen. All the bad stuff was deferred: phased in mandates, delayed enforcement and rising penalties.

So Unger's "the place ain't burned down yet" seems to be weak tea. But Kos's is an outright lie -- you can smell smoke in the background.

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 11:09 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

The Kos universe is the perfect example of how Liberals are willfully ignorant of the past (and far too much science).

FB is their bible; I saw a post a little while ago titled "Republicans Wrong on Everything ... for 30 years!" I found this amusing, and said so, that they should have changed the by line to 25 years, or waited a few more years to allow the fall of The Wall in September, 1989 to recede further into the past.

is more proof of the slow unravelling; a textbook case of adverse selection! I like this quote:

It could well become President Obama's Iraq: A costly and conceited intervention that destroyed an imperfect but functioning system just because it didn't fit his utopian designs

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2015 11:16 AM

November 20, 2015

Poorly timed

...but perhaps not. Holding our ideals and values in a time of crisis and fear is important.

Here's Bryan Caplan behind enemy lines at "the staunchly anti-immigration US Inc."

"Out of all the people who are usually accused of favoring open borders, actually almost none of them do, I know this because I do favor open borders, so I know that they don't."

But nanobrewer thinks:

I'm only ready to discuss this as a pie'n sky scenario. I actually trust potential Syrian immigrants quite far; refugees a bit less far. The current POTUS, not one bit.

I trust BHO to attempt completion of the "fundamental transformation" of the country, thereby to trump any good efforts by any government entity towards safely and successfully integrating immigrants, refugees and petulant, spoiled children currently enrolled in Ivy League schools all over. I expect that he, being seemingly happy with the current situation in the middle east, to his best ability to recreate this angry chaos from Baltimore to Ferguson.

For this, and compassion for homeless Vets, I oppose admission of Syrian refugees.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2015 12:27 AM

November 19, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Global surface temperature has risen about 0.8°C in the last 125 years. The surface temperature you experience will rise, on average, that much if you drive 150 miles south. Raleigh, North Carolina, does not typically send terrorists to Washington." -- Patrick J. Michaels and Christopher A. Preble @ Cato

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