July 31, 2012
On the occasion of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's brief foreign tour coming to a close:
I believe in-- I am proud to belong to -- the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.
Our Position Hasn't Changed...
I like this:
Statistical Proof That Pop Music Growing Worse
Special to Brother jk: As I noted below, my favorite period of American music ended circa 1962. Now comes a post from the brilliant statistician and blogger William J. Briggs with (insert hyperbole warning) unimpeachable analysis that shows how objective is my good taste.
New proof (which wasn't really need) that popular music is, as has long been claimed, been growing worse has arrived thanks to the diligent work of Joan Serrà and her colleagues in the Nature: Scientific Reports paper, "Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music." From the abstract:
Why Can't Mitt Talk Like This? (Bumped)
I don't think any ThreeSourcers are going to complain about this. I did a screen grab so you could experience as I did:
GDANSK, Poland (AP) -- It wasn't supposed to be this way.
Brother jg is more concerned about disconcerting-gate than I. Anything that gets the Telegraph readers' panties in a bunch is okay by me. But if a Mulligan is offered, perhaps "fine" would suffice.
But to fail to see that the free, pluralist, racially tolerant state of Israel enjoys economic advantage over its kleptocratic, misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted, religious loony neighbors is such willful sophistry that only an academic could profess to believe it.
UPDATE II: Jim Geraghty compares it to Reagan's tough words for the Soviets and suggests "If a U.S. Leader Isn't Offending Palestinian Leaders, He's Probably Doing Something Wrong" [subscribe]
Regarding the Palestinians, when you teach your kids to become suicide bombers, and glorify that as one of the best things your children can aspire to, you're not going to find a lot of innovation, or education, or long-term planning. When Hezbollah and Hamas talk about their desire for a booming economy, they don't mean the term the way we do.
UPDATE III: Let it be recorded that MSM 100-day war on Romney started on foreign soil
Best of the "Didn't Build That" ads
July 30, 2012
Change that Works
I don't remember everything from 1985 - Ronald Reagan was president and I was graduating from college - but another vivid memory is the US Defense Department's decision to replace the venerable John Browning designed Colt 1911 pistol as the standard duty issue firearm for all armed forces. It was the height of a nascent competitive bid movement in government procurement and not enough attention was paid to quality or to a host of other issues. The Pentagon seemed to hope that making a change to a cheaper, foreign-made, smaller caliber pistol would deliver the same excellent service as its predecessor while also showing that they were a modern, non-discriminatory, progressive organization willing to take the "smarter" path. They selected the Beretta M9, a 9mm pistol made in Italy, to replace the seventy-four year old Colt. Now, some twenty seven years later, at least one branch of the U.S. armed forces is willing to admit a mistake. Fox News: Sticking to their guns: Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911
Some reports suggest Marines are not happy with their main Beretta M9s for their lack of accuracy and stopping power. With M1911's now supplying Special Ops, growing interest may lead to a better solution.
Now, more than any time I can remember, it is reassuring to know that some Americans are willing to admit when they make a mistake - and act quickly to fix the problem the best way they know how.
Newly Discovered Doors Recording!
I was thinking of including "The Soft Parade" among the greatest songs of all time. Then I saw this:
Now I'm having troubles, 'cause it's a toss-up.
Cold comfort for Jordyn Wieber:
Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win.
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Doin' the red carpet thing "Joss Whedon and Summer Glau on the red carpet. They were at last night's Celebration of Dance gala organised by The Dizzy Feet Foundation (Summer is on the Board of Directors)."
IOC BS Flag
I took to the comments of a recent post to defend the Olympic movement on the basis of individual competition and excellence, and the opportunity for athletes to measure themselves against each other to find the best in the world. I also said, "If the Olympics were a competition to see who could be the most "average" I would ridicule and despise them." I meant this as comparative example rather than the prescience it has now become.
United States artistic gymnast Jordyn Wieber is the reigning world champion in her sport. In qualifying events for the final field of twenty-four gymnasts from which medals in the Individual All Around competition will be awarded based on score, Wieber's score was the fourth highest. Despite this, Wieber will not be allowed to compete for a medal versus the three who scored higher than her and the twenty who scored lower. Jordan Wieber was disqualified, not by some infraction she committed, but because two of her American teammates also made the All Around final and did so with scores higher than hers. For reasons that can only be interpreted as egalitarian, IOC rules prohibit more than two individual athletes from the same nation advancing to the finals.
Boo! Ridiculous. Two other athletes, one from Great Britain and another from China, suffered the same injustice although their scores ranked them 21 and 22 respectively and neither of them is the REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION IN HER SPORT.
Weiber is not the only loser in this sad saga. Whomever ultimately wins the gold medal will not be able to say she is the best artistic woman gymnast in the world. One who may have kicked her ass all over the spring floor was told "get lost - thanks for playing."
I plan to write my congressman. On this count, the Olympics suck.
UPDATE: David Wallechinsky, author of 'The Complete Book of the Olympics' said the Olympic philosophy is "we want to spread the wealth, we want to spread sport to other parts of the world."
But Wieber's failure to make a final that her scores suggest she clearly deserved points to a philosophy run amok, says Mr. Wallechinsky. "Sure, let them compete in the Olympics, but you don't have to let them compete in the final," he says.
Click through for a good background on the rule, first imposed for the 2004 games.
Half of US "Global Warming" Due to Poor Thermometer Siting
...and "post measurement adjustments."
Question Authority, baby! Speak Truth to Power!
From the rational thinkers at Watts Up With That:
PRESS RELEASE -- U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.
A comparison and summary of trends is shown from the paper. Acceptably placed thermometers away from common urban influences read much cooler nationwide:
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France's Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.
The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.
Since this is SCIENCE I'm sure Mikey Mann and the rest will immediately back it up with fulsome praise for the authors and a nomination for some prizes.
Take that haters!
In the ABC/Post poll, 47 percent had a favorable impression of the "horse-riding competition called dressage" and 27 percent an unfavorable opinion.Hat-tip: Kelly Bowman, AEI
Poor Jerry Sandusky!
If he would have had a job as a NYC Union Public School Teacher, everything would have been fine.
Campbell Brown, whom I have always considered left-leaning, opens her WSJ guest editorial with the growing unease of Hollywood in defending the Union. She adds that some Union teachers are now becoming uncomfortable belonging to an organization that protects pedophiles.
In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city's special commissioner of investigation--that is, found to have sufficient merit that an arbitrator's full examination was justified--in the 2011-12 school year:
My big-L libertarian friends will rattle off statistics of spending in the George Bush years and things Eisenhower said to claim that the 2012 election does not matter. I suggest there is a great window of opportunity for pruning back the Teachers' Unions and possibly all public sector unions. A Romney Administration -- even with a GOP Senate -- may not be a libertarian paradise, but the reforms in Wisconsin and Louisiana might spread to the entire country. Well, the entire country west of the Hudson...
I have indeed had the same thought -- even before Nanny Bloomberg locked up the baby formula.
Is anyone else dumbfounded that the most draconian of food and health laws are being enacted in "hey, fuggedaboudit" New York City? This is the city of pugnacious tabloids, the mafia, Archie Bunker, Taxi Driver, Joe Namath -- this city used to define its identity through toughness, and defiance, and independence, and disregarding authority. And now some pint-size billionaire has decided he's the city's healthy-living messiah, sent to save us from ourselves, to use the power of government to force us to make what are considered the healthy choices . . . today. -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
July 29, 2012
Quote of the Day
Capitalism is not, Monbiot is forced to admit, a fragile system that will easily be replaced. Bolstered by huge supplies of oil, it is here to stay. Industrial civilization is, as far as he can now see, unstoppable. Gaia, that treacherous slut, has made so much oil and gas that her faithful acolytes today cannot protect her from the consequences of her own folly. -- Walter Russell Mead
The Necessary and Proper Clause has been widely misunderstood. Some have called it the "elastic clause," and suggested that it granted Congress vast authority that Congress otherwise would not have. But leading Federalists, including Madison and Hamilton, asserted the contrary. Even John Marshall, the Ratifier who as Chief Justice was accused of taking an overly-broad view of the Necessary and Proper Clause, specifically affirmed that it was a mere statement of what the rule would have been if the Clause had been simply omitted.Robert G. Natelson filed amicus curiae briefs on ObamaCare with Dr. Dave Kopel, who spoke on NFIB v Sibelius at Liberty on the Rocks. (If you have not watched the videos Ari Armstrong took, you are missing something.)
He is also the author of The Original Constitution, an all night house party for Constitutional Originalists. Natelson goes through the Constitution, clause by clause, and clarifies it based on the law books of the time in addition to secondary papers like Madison's notes, ratification documents and The Federalist Papers.
It was an entertaining read (you know who you are, it might not displace Harry Potter), and I look forward to hanging on to it for reference. It is a superb way to go "one step deeper" than just the original text. Natelson is a lover of liberty and brilliant legal scholar -- he is not imputing his beliefs on the text but rather expanding understanding based on originalist knowledge.
The Founders would have seen permanent federal land ownership for unenumerated purposes as subversive of the constitutional scheme. This was partly because the government was to enjoy only enumerated powers and partly because extensive federal land ownership would render many people dependent on the government.
July 28, 2012
Greatest Songs Countdown, Number 3: "Toxicity", System of a Down
Writing credit goes to Shavo Odadjian (bass) and Daron Malakian (vocals).
I knew nothing of this group before I heard this song and saw the video at a friend's house about 10 years ago. The apotheosis of metal - soft to hard, sweet to screaming, and with a beautiful melodic structure to the chorus that is almost operatic.
These choices for "greatest" are obviously subjective but this one is Top Five in the impact it had on me when I first heard it.
RAHQOTD - Post Facto Edition
I missed an important anniversary last week. It was overshadowed, temporarily, by the horrific acts of a sociopathic young man. In my adulthood I have generally categorized those younger than me as either pre- or post-moonwalk babies. Today's 'post facto' Heinlein quote celebrates the significance of that event, forty-three years ago.
This is the great day. This is the greatest event in all the history of the human race, up to this time. That is -- today is New Year's Day of the Year One. If we don't change the calendar, historians will do so. The human race -- this is our change, our puberty rite, bar mitzvah, confirmation, from the change of our infancy into adulthood for the human race. And we're going to go on out, not only to the Moon, to the stars; we're going to spread. I don't know that the United States is going to do it; I hope so. I have -- I'm an American myself; I want it to be done by us. But in any case, the human race is going to do it, it's utterly inevitable: we're going to spread through the entire universe.
July 27, 2012
What's That Got To Do With The Price of Tape in America?
For five minutes recently, the floor of the US House of Representatives turned into a TEA Party rally. Rep. Mike Kelly (TPD-PA) courtesy of Breitbart.
"But we don't use red tape." "Oh yes we do. It costs one point seven five trillion dollars."
Olympics, Ho Hum
I've probably let it slip around here that I don't go all-in for the Olympics. I keep that pretty well to myself outside in teh real world. I've learned to smile and nod every four years -- and on the other two I get hockey.
Shikha Dalmia makes me look like a fan. In a harsh but accurate critique, she suggests the West has outgrown the Games:
The Olympics are a giant exercise in sports socialism -- or crony capitalism, if you prefer -- where the profits are privatized and the costs socialized. The games never pay for themselves because they are designed not to. That’s because the International Olympic Committee (an opaque "nongovernmental" bureaucracy made up of fat cats from various countries) pockets most of the revenue from sponsorships and media rights (allegedly to promote global sports), requiring the host country to pay the bulk of the costs. Among the very few times the games haven't left a city swimming in red ink was after the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when voters, having learned from Montreal’s experience, barred the use of public funds, forcing the IOC to use existing facilities and pick up most of the tab for new ones.
Enjoy the opening ceremonies!!!
Hackuva Good Question
I have not been able to generate any enthusiasm for Rep. Ron Paul's quixotic campaign to "Audit the Fed!" One can criticize fiat money, wish Alexander Hamilton had read George Selgin or that Roger Taney had slayed Nicholas Biddle in a duel -- I get that.
But the equation "X is bad, therefore add Congress" has few if any real values for 'X.'
Daniel Hansen asks "Do we really want Congress controlling the Fed?" It being the AEI blog, he has to present a serious argument and take time to enumerate things that our 535 economists-in-chief have -- if I may use a technical term -- boogered up.
Ron Paul's recent Audit-the-Fed bill that passed through the House (with no hope of passing through the Senate or being signed by Obama) marks an interesting victory for supporters of Ron Paul. Should the bill magically enter into force, all aspects of the Fed's operations -- like monetary policy moves, discount window operations, agreements with foreign central banks, and so on -- could be subject to intense public scrutiny and Congressional oversight.
Compared to the rest of ThreeSourcers, I am Chairman Bernanke's biggest fan, telling his mom that Inflation Targeting remains valid and forcing her to accept Operation Twist's subtle manipulation of the yield curve. But no matter what your feelings of Bearded Ben, can you look me in the eye and say that the guys who gave us Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley, the light bulb ban, ethanol and mohair subsidies, and the Designated Hitter are going to do better?
No. Hell no. Let Barney Frank yell at the Chair a few times a year by all means. But keep him or his replacement away from the monetary policy levers.
UPDATE: Okay, maybe I cannot blame Congress for the DH...
July 26, 2012
Everything You Wanted to Know about Fracking
And then a dozen more pages!
Independence Institute's Frack Attack: Cracking the Case Against Hydraulic Fracturing by Donovan D. Schafer looks very good. At 33 pages, I sent it to my Kindle for later consumption.
Bury the Lede?
Chicago Chicago, that Toddlin' Town. The town that Otis McDonald almost shut down...
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in the news for accepting the help of anti-semitic-whackjob Louis Farrakhan as he rejects the building of a new Chick Fil-A restaurant.
Fair segue. I'm no expert but -- oh hell yes I am and it's a very good segue! But the "Eat Mor Chikun" folks are a distraction.
Emanuel's city has a monthly bodycount twice the Aurora shooting, and the Mayor can get props for thinking outside the box. But applauding Farrakhan's paramilitary racist patrols as official vigilantes? Oh no -- hell no!
"People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy," the mayor said.
The Rolling Stones tried this at Altamont, guys. It did not end well!
I have several nieces and a nephew matriculating at CU-Denver. But I'm going to have to call Shenanigans on their recent study:
The researchers had a stack of 55 photos of male candidates and 55 photos of female candidates that they handed out to participants. Each participant was given a list of jobs and asked to sort the previously mentioned photos according to suitability for certain positions. Researchers found that women who were attractive were ruled out for certain jobs, while men who were attractive were always at an advantage.
And Boo-Freakin'-Hoo, the hot chicks did not land in the Truck Driver pile. Inherent, atavistic discrimination!
I was expecting at least they would stage some interviews or somehow mimic an actual hiring process. Sorting a stack of photos to find the Fireman sounds like a great activity for preschool (or a bachelorette party). But it ain't research.
Browncoats on Unification Day
A sagacious commenter once remarked that you cannot go wrong with a Firefly reference. Maybe some other blog, I don't know...
But on the "Unhappy Anniversary" of Dodd-Frank, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (HOSS - TX) recounts his days on the right but losing side of this atrocious bill. The whole WSJ Guest Editorial is superb, but this part is worthy of "Quote of the Day:"
Having incorrectly diagnosed the problem, Dodd-Frank's authors wrote 400 new regulations. These generally fall into one of two categories: those that create uncertainty and those that create economic harm.
Randal O'Toole, Call Your Office!
Under RTD's latest "rethink," transit will no longer take people from where they are to where they want to go. Instead, planners will try to coerce and entice people to live in places served by rail transit and go where those rail lines go. On one hand, this is far more intrusive on people's lifestyles; on the other hand, it is a far more limited view of the purpose of transit. Instead of "mobility for those who can't or don't want to drive," the new purpose is "mobility for those who are willing to completely rebuild their lifestyles around transit."
UPDATE: I am such a git! The linked CATO piece was written by . . . wait for it . . .Randal O'Toole.
July 25, 2012
"Lost" Ayn Rand Tonight Show tape found!
And in 1967 her celebrity was officially recognized by an invitation to appear on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Those who remember it say that Carson was so fascinated that he scrapped his other guests and kept her on for the whole show. He invited her back twice more. Alas, many of the early Carson shows were lost in a fire at NBC's archive, and Objectivists have lamented the lost tapes ever since. Now a partial tape of that first Tonight Show appearance has turned up, and Libertarianism.org has it:
UPDATE: Hell, let's embed -- this is big news!
Quote of the Day
But I will happily don the term "gun lobbyist" if the Denver Post editorial board will concede to being part of "the gun-restriction lobby"--or to state it more negatively, "the victim disarmament lobby." -- Ari ArmstrongI pulled the snarkiest quote from a serious and balanced piece on DP reporting.
On the O.K. Corral
An understandable and prevalent misconception of self defense with firearms is that the cinema shooting would have been far worse with return fire. People educated on TV Westerns no doubt envision a dozen cowboys firing at will. Stray fire everywhere. Scary.
In fact the first gun control I heard was on Facebook. A normally apolitical musician buddy said "Stop the Politics! (Facebook code for "listen to me and then shut up!") Had they fired back, 50 or 100 would have died!"
I have heard this echoed by more responsible commentators including some on the right. Firearm self defense clearly breaks down more among regional lines and elitism than left/right. I have been watching Bill Kristol and Larry Kudlow acquiesce to all kinds of restrictions that they'd never accept on speech or taxes. The NRA clearly has a point being non-partisan.
John Lott puts the rumors to bed in the NY Daily News today.
The ban against nonpolice carrying guns usually rests on the false notion that almost anyone can suddenly go crazy and start misusing their weapon or that any crossfire with a killer would be worse than the crime itself. But in state after state, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. They can lose their permits for any type of firearms-related violation.
Not a single example of a permit-holding defender... ThreeSourcers have a very different picture of a responsible citizen's capacity to interrupt such an event than my drummer friend.
Even Lott's piece specifies that "And it’s true that the gunman, wearing protective body armor, would have been tough for a civilian to stop." I think this is more bad media coverage from the people who told us he was a tea partier and that his Mom thought he was a likely mass murderer (oops).
The sterling record of self defense provides a superb consequentialist argument to the rights argument. Believers should promote the truth.
No They Didn't!
Am I the first to this obvious and terrible joke?
July 24, 2012
Thanks to blog procreator JK for the subject of today's Heinlein quote:
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist -- a master -- and that is what Auguste Rodin was -- can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is... and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be.... and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart.... no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired -- but it does to them. Look at her!
CFLs Give You Cancer
Happy Birthday, Garota de Ipanema!
Had to pull out an old version to commemorate this tune's fiftieth.
Anthem Against Obama
Interesting email today:
I just read the blog post by Ellis Wyatt about Cato and John Allison for the first time while searching on Ayn Rand tonight. My book, Anthem against Obama, was just published. It's an adaptation and expansion of the short novella, Anthem, by Ayn Rand, which did not have its copyright renewed in the USA. (The book is not sanctioned by any Ayn Rand related organization or individual.)
Sounds fun, Dr. Hennenfent! I just picked up the Kindle version.
Jon Stewart Nails it!
UPDATE: Of course, compared to their coverage of the suspect's mother, the Tea Party smear is Pulitzer stuff!
I have been thinking of this quote for a few days. It's time I can say it and apologize if I offend. I found it in an old post of mine. (I hope my Google searches for "penn jillette terrorist" and similar variants don't cause my hero too much consternation...)
Life, my friends, is both tenuous and tenacious. I think we owe it to the world to live it bravely. I bring you Christopher Beam ridiculing Penn & Teller's soi disant rigid libertarianism:
When I was in high school, I owned a book by Penn & Teller called How to Play in Traffic. It's mainly a series of jokes, gags, and madcap yarns by the magic-comedy duo. But it also channels the libertarian id of Penn Jillette. "I sincerely don't want to offend any of our readers, but I've got something to say," he writes. "It's very simple, but a bit controversial: The United States of America does not have a problem with terrorism. We just don't." Airport security is not worth the hassle, he continues: "Hey, we're alive, there's risk. Some planes are going to go down like falling twisted burning human cattle cars and there's no stopping it. No one can make any form of travel 100 percent safe. We'll take our chances. As for the victims of a security-free transportation system? Let's consider those terrorism victims heroes," he writes. Let's say they died for freedom. They didn't die for us to have our phones tapped and have our time wasted at airports." He then describes a prank where you create a screensaver for your laptop that looks like a countdown to detonation.
This, I'll confess, was about my first thought after the Aurora movie shooting. Let us live freely and act courageously. And when our brave companions die in the sky, at the cinema, or in the hospital, let us cheer the valiant heroics of a life lived freely.
July 23, 2012
AlterNet's Worried Sick About John Allison at Cato
I didn't think it was THAT big of a deal, but if this Little Stalin has his panties in a bunch THIS bad, maybe it's Doubleplus Good:
That's why this recent bit of news is so startling: John Allison, a former bank CEO and a leader of the Rand movement, has just become president of the Cato Institute, the oldest and most influential libertarian think tank. This received only a modest amount of attention when it surfaced late last month, and you had to be a real political junkie to even be aware of it. But it is a seminal event in recent political history—a dramatic indication of the mainstreaming of the radical right.
Also includes cool pic!
Liberty in Boulder Tonight!
They only allow it two Mondays per month -- don't miss it!
Join us on Monday, July 23th, where your featured speaker will be Dr. Jill Vecchio, who will be discussing free market healthcare reforms. After Dr. Vecchio's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!
Quote of the Day
"We all have friends we love dearly that couldn't pass for human in a strict Turing test." -- Penn Jillette
Drawing the Line
I'm going to stretch for a segue here. Very young or feeble readers may want to hang on to something.
But there is an important aspect of liberty hiding in a frivolous and a not frivolous example. When somebody calls for regulation, I always ask "Who draws the line?" If there is no regulation, free people will choose.
Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, of course, thinks he can draw the magic line at 16 ounces. Seth Goldman of Honest TEA dissents. He makes healthy, low calorie, all natural drinks that Boulder Mommies would love. Uh-oh...
Under the proposed changes to Article 81 of the NYC Health Code, food-service establishments would not be able to sell packages larger than 16 ounces for drinks that have more than 25 calories per eight-ounce serving. Honest Tea's top-selling item is our organic Honey Green Tea, which has 35 calories per eight-ounce serving and is in a 16.9 oz. bottle. We label 70 calories on the front of the package so consumers know what's in the full bottle.
So 16oz of Mountain Dew is fine; 16.9 of organic Honey Green Tea -- not so much. Not that I am going to outlaw Dew, but climbing into the nanny brain, this seems an unintended consequence at best.
I could quit now and this would be a good post, but I promised a tortured segue.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D - CA) was on FOX News Sunday yesterday, bravely drumming up interest in her lapsed "Assault Weapons Ban." She disingenuously rattled off statistics of gun violence after it was not renewed implying it would have helped. Her most convincing point was railing against 100-round magazines: "Why do you need that?"
Well, Senator, as an inalienable right, one doesn't have to explain to you. I'd agree it sounds pretty excessive -- Jeeburz, that would cost a lot to fill it. But you are asking me to let you declare the right number. Ten rounds? Five? Twenty? If we're attempting to impede mass murders, smaller is better. But manufacturers like Seth Goldman (Tea guy, remember?) have capital invested in making certain sizes. Larger firms will be able to lobby Congress to allow my seven-round but not my competitors' eight -- why eight is irresponsible!
Frighten people with 100-round clips and 44 oz sodas, then you can take away their 500ml Teas and 11-round magazines -- all the while arrogating power over the manufacturers and consumers.
July 22, 2012
Thomas Wolfe, Call your Office!
This Review Corner might become a midlife crisis -- thou art forewarned.
Insty linked to the Kindle Deal of the Day or whatever and I picked up Kurt Vonnegut's "Welcome to the Monkey House" for $2.99. My first apartment (below) was littered with Kurt Vonnegut paperbacks. I had read each a dozen times, but they were out and I would pick them up and reread them. "Sirens of Titan" was on the coffee table and I must have read it 20 times. "Welcome to the Monkey House," however, was in the car.
I continued to read Vonnegut -- if less obsessively -- as long as he wrote. Even though I came to abhor his philosophy, his percussive, poignant, and amusing writing style always made it worthwhile. He deteriorated as a writer pari-passu with my growing impatience with his ideas. The cruel joke was that his paean to Socialism, "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," is an unappreciated flop while the damning scorch of "Harrison Bergeron" lives on.
I had reread Bergeron many times recently, but the rest of the stories in Monkey House were dim memories. I laughed out loud, the man was brilliant. But his dystopian themes and überhip irony grate on me. I could not really get into them. I don't know if have outgrown childish things or lost my youthful sense of whimsy.
About that apartment. I don't want to overplay my brush at fame, but I got on Google to look at my old 'hood that is on the news 24 x 7. It was closer than I thought.
Thomas Wolfe reminds "You can't ever go home again." True that -- and not just because it has been evacuated.
July 21, 2012
Economic Freedom or Economic Dependency?
Another good Atlas Shrugged vid. This one with Congressman Allen West. Ten minutes long, it includes very good short answers to questions like "How did Atlas Shrugged inspire you" and "Do you see any change in the American culture back towards individualism?" He even uses the ladder to prosperity analogy I use to explain how minimum wage and equal pay laws hurt workers instead of help them.
July 20, 2012
A modest and civilized society would give room to the families and friends of the dead to begin to process their shattering losses. It would give room to the police to do their work and gather evidence. It would leave room for citizens of this nation to reflect with soberness and seriousness on what has happened; to participate, if only for a brief time, in a national mourning of sorts. And it might even resist the impulse to leverage a massacre into a political culture war. It would be helpful if members of the press and politicians understood this, and acted in a way that showed some measure of decency and compassion. -- Peter Wehner
Quote of the Day
Chris Christie is not a wimp, a hippie, or a countercultural icon. He's not known for taking time out from budget negotiations to smoke dope, or for his sympathy for drug dealers.
Today the world, tomorrow ThreeSources!
Bad people do bad things.
I've heard all the usual Sweetness and Light that kids get pushed at them -- how they should always forgive, how there's some good in the worst of us, etc. But when I see a black widow, I step on it; I don't plead with it to be a good little spider and please stop poisoning people. A black widow spider can't help it -- but that's the point.
He Built That.
Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka took government nanotubes, cool stuff a great teacher had shared with him, and a few things that the US Postal Service delivered over some public bridges to create "a new, improved test for diagnosing pancreatic cancer that is 90% more accurate, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than existing methods."
See what happens when we all work together?
Hat-tip: Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem blog.
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Emma Caulfield has started a vlog. I link without necessaily recommending. (Like most if you will stay away...) She is funny and looks lovely, but it is celebrity chatter. Were it anyone else, I would compare it to torture.
But Anya gets a link. Life isn't fair.
Free the Fretboards!!!
"Free the fretboards!" is not exactly Patrick Henry, but it comes with a much cooler picture:
Gibson guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz has a guest editorial in the WSJ today in support of a house bill to prevent business from what befell Gibson (discussed extensively 'round these parts). More importantly, a broader look at the criminalization of ticky-tacky business regulation:
This is an overreach of government authority and indicative of the kinds of burdens the federal government routinely imposes on growing businesses. It also highlights a dangerous trend: an attempt to punish even paperwork errors with criminal charges and to regulate business activities through criminal law. Policy wonks call this "overcriminalization." I call it a job killer.
Lobster guy was on Stossel, whose show last night discussed minimum sentencing and prosecutorial misconduct. At the risk of a short digression, I used to believe that economic battles were most important and I was willing to let Radley Balko and the occasional meritorious ACLU suit police the justice system. Yet liberty lovers can no longer ignore the growing criminalization of -- well -- everything.
Tweet of the Day
Peter Burns @PeterBurnsRadio
This fucking coward doesn't deserve his name uttered or picture shown. Give zero publicity to this monster.
Peter Burns is a friend of Jessica Ghawi, handle @JessicaRedfield, who was caught up in the Aurora movie theater shooting last night and died. Redfield was a sports reporter covering the Colorado Avalanche and also interned at Denver sports radio station 104.3 The Fan.
Burns also Tweeted:
Sorry for the outburst. Just upset, angry, confused. So many lives, so many futures.
Just talked to @JessicaRedfield mom. She's asked to everyone share the wonderful stories. Please trend #RIPJessica. She loved Twitter.
UPDATE: Obviously my heart goes out to all of the victims and their families but as a semi-public figure Jessica is the first we've been able to get to know. Here is a tribute from a colleague. And a tribute blog by her brother.
July 19, 2012
Two Guys that Did Build That
The best answer to the President's "You didn't build that" which I have encountered. And it's not even silly.
John Kass describes his Dad and his uncle, getting up every day, driving the old white Chrysler out of the driveway before dawn to open their grocery store.
But what about those government helpers, John? Your Dad didn't pave the streets did he? What about government?
One of my earliest memories as a boy at the store was that of the government men coming from City Hall. One was tall and beefy. The other was wiry. They wanted steaks.
The link requires (free) registration to the Chicago Trib -- no doubt David Axelrod has my IP address now. But it's worth it to read the whole thing and see a brief clip of Kass feeling it.
Powerful -- Hat-tip: Robert Tracinski (RCP email)
Inspired by a Joss Whedon quote: "And nobody has the perfect answer."
All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can -- and must -- be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly-- and no doubt will keep on trying.
Ten Things Obama has not Released
I have a new Internet friend. I met Tim Ross by insulting his Joss Whedon post.
Perusing the excellent A Hollywood Republican site, and some of Ross's other work, I noticed that we have another thing in common: lefty Facebook friends. Thankfully, mine are not writing for Disney and polluting any young minds but their offspring. But we most both endure hate and rumor and lies about the things we believe and the people we choose to support -- all presented as matter-of-(non)-factly as a cute kitten video.
My FB friends have been on Defcon 3 over the Romney tax releases and his precise exit date from Bain. I may or may not share Joel Pollack's Top Ten things Obama has not Released with them. That would be an exercise in porcine vocal coaching.
But ThreeSourcers will dig it:
As the Obama campaign and the media continue to press Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, and to suggest--without a shred of evidence--that he is a "felon," it is worth noting how much critical information Barack Obama has withheld from view--both as a candidate in 2008, and during his term in office. Here is a Breitbart News top ten list of things that Obama has refused to release (a complete list would fill volumes):
Gotta click for the list.
ABC News's Jonathan Karl pens a piece reporting that the DNC is pulling videos of Ann Romney and her dressage horses, and offering apologies.
"Our use of the Romneys' dressage horse was not meant to offend Mrs. Romney in any way, and we regret it if it did," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse told ABC News. "We were simply making a point about Governor Romney's failure to give straight answers on a variety of issues in this race. We have no plans to invoke the horse any further to avoid misinterpretation."
For those unfamiliar with the genre, that constitutes a Democratic apology. "I'm sorry I called your six year old nephew a 'queerbait c*******ing a******' but I was just trying to highlight your willful misrepresentation of the fractional reserve banking system!"
We discussed this issue a bit around these parts, and I suggest that sentient observers were unmoved by political ads which ridiculed the therapy of a woman with a chronic disease. Yet Karl, with no proof, suggests this as an example of the high-mindedness of [President Obama?] [Speaker Pelosi?] [David Axelrod?] [The Pope?]
This is already a brutal campaign, but the Obamas have long said families are off limits. Apparently somebody high up reminded the DNC of that.
No doubt the Romney camp would enjoy the same approbation if it pulled objectionable ads.
Quote of the Day
The popularization of Derridaian post-modernism since the 1990s has generally been a lot of fun, turning mainstream Americans into sharp observers of signs and meaning who are sure that either there's nothing outside the text or everything is outside the text or both. But at some point it helps to look at that thing above the subtext, which is generally known as "the text." Up to this point the presidential election has been Obama vs. Obama Junior. With "You didn't build that," which his campaign has made no effort to clarify or redirect, the president has drawn a line in the sand.
July 18, 2012
Can President Obama possibly believe all of his demagoguery, recent and otherwise?
A confidence man knows he's lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman believes what he says -- and belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope.
The cost of government "help"
I finally made a cogent point out of a post I put up day before yesterday:
Government tax revenues as a percentage of national GDP:
Doing much to explain why manufacturing [of Olympic uniforms and other necessities] is less costly in communist China than in "free" America. Also revealing why leftists think Americans are whiny losers for claiming we are Taxed Enough Already.
Even so, wouldn't France be much better off if they didn't waste so much tax money on smart bombs and aircraft carriers?
You Didn't Write That!
Quote of the Day
Is it really so shocking that that the dying companies Bain tried to turn around shed jobs? Is it fair or intellectually honest to hang a global trend of the last 40 years around Romney's neck? Do all the liberal activists tweeting on their made-in-China smartphones actually believe what they're saying about the evils of outsourcing? -- Jonah
Atlas Shrugged QOTD
What? I can't play? An especially germane selection from the Ayn Rand Facebook page:
"He didn't invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?"
July 17, 2012
Quote of the Day
Having learned that the U.S. olympic uniforms were manufactured in China, Senator Harry Reid said, "I think they should take all of the uniforms put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again."
Better than Sand Millionaires!
Why oh why do leftists want to conscript poor children to poverty?
LORDI, India -- Sohan Singh's shoeless children have spent most of their lives hungry, dirty and hot. A farmer in a desert land, Mr. Singh could not afford anything better than a mud hut and a barely adequate diet for his family.
Meanwhile, in Buffy News
Happy 20th Anniversary, BtVS! (James Marsters offers the link -- I have not been able to make it work all day.)
More important to ThreeSourcers -- the tape and transcript are in (HT: @jtLOL).
Tim Ross's transcript rather rudely includes every "umm." The man is extemporaneously answering a rather serous question, I'll allow him a few cycles to compose. And he ends with a smack at the atheist Whedon being called "A God" by a fan.
But in-between, he makes a substantive case that Whedon was actually embracing and promoting socialism.
Whedon's socialist hero, John Reed, received horrible grades as a youth, was a socialist in college, considered a bully, committed several crimes, promoted the Communist movement, belonged to the Communist Labor Party, and was indicted for sedition.
Best thing I read all day!
Insty links to a poignant piece on, well, the Humanities and Liberal Arts, President Obama's "Julia" character, Elvis, Freedom, Jack Ruby...
The right wing commentariat was in stitches about Julia (who resembles an international symbol for "Ladies Room"), but really, her story is not funny at all; it is chilling to someone who has experienced the liberal arts. The practice of the liberal arts, especially literature, involves comparison, contrast, allusion, resonance, recognition of irony, suggestion, implication--all the artistic architectonics of meaning and sensation that arouse in us what it is to be human. Julia is only a cartoon but what is so unfunny and repellant about her is that she represents what her creators think about human beings. Let me explain by contrast and allusion.
The whole thing is great and super short. Sadly, one is shocked to encounter liberal arts used in defense of liberty. It is sad that that is sad, but I don't want to get too meta. David Clemens knows that liberty is universal from literature. What an odd thought that must be in a modern classroom.
It's not that "more cowbell" is overused, it's that it's wrongly used. Gene Healy correctly ties it to the President:
There you have it. Contemplating the policy wreckage that surrounds him, the president has concluded that what this country needs is a fresh injection of presidential hope. Like "more cowbell" in the old "Saturday Night Live" skit, it's the magic ingredient that makes everything better.
July 16, 2012
International Tax Misery Index
Well aware that I'm risking graphic chart overload here, I couldn't resist posting the graph below showing the combined total, in percentage points, of corporate income tax rate, personal income tax rate, employer SS tax rate, employee SS tax rate, VAT/sales tax rate and wealth tax rate for the countries that have such a thing. Sixty-one countries are listed, including China. Since both corporate and personal taxes are listed I suppose the theoretical maximum index score is 200, or 100 percent of personal income plus 100 percent of corporate income. But this is no justification for US federal government confiscation of 42.65 percent of both personal and corporate income. (61.6% and 53.9% in NYC when state and local taxes are included.)
Of sixty one nations, four have a TMI below 52 points: Qatar, UAE, Hong Kong and Georgia. The rest start at 70 points and go up from there. I find it mind boggling that Americans take to the streets to protest taxes that approach 50 percent, while Frenchmen sit still for tax rates of 79.4% on corporations and 86.7% on individuals. I realize these are top marginal rates, paid only by evil "one percenters" and corporations. Nonetheless...
And despite the second highest Tax Misery Index in the world, China is still better disposed to make American Olympic Team costumes. (Perhaps this is better explained by an average US hourly compensation cost of $34.74.)
Now that I've returned home from my family summer vacation in Disneyland the election season may begin in earnest.
After JK's suggestion that job creators are not an electoral plum but merely a goose to be plucked I went looking for 2008 presidential exit polling to see if small business owners voted for Obama more than McCain as I suspect. I couldn't find that split but did notice the strong split in Right direction / wrong track voters when candidate Obama promised "Hope and Change" to an electorate who believed, by a 2-to-1 margin, in 2008 we were going the wrong way.
Although candidate McCain was not the incumbent he was of the incumbent party and thus was saddled with the "status quo" albatross. But now the shoe is on Obama's other foot as he attempts to defend the change he has wrought. The incumbent president seeks re-election in the face of this:
This, combined with the unemployment situation, will make it harder even for those who like the president to choose four more years of "status quo-bama."
Sand Millionaires, Duex
No risk of dating myself further after posting a wedding picture, but the post below reminded me of the first intelligent political argument I ever made. There have been so few it seems I can catalog them.
But Kirkpatrick Sale's "Human Scale" was the it book when Georgia Gov. James Earl Carter was president. I was running with a fairly apolitical crowd, but everybody I knew had read it. And everyone accepted its Malthusian limitations. It is thankfully out of print, but Amazon has links to used sellers and this handy blurb:
Size matters. And "progress", as it translates into sprawl, congestion, resource depletion, overpopulation, the decline of communities and the rise of corporate rule, is quite literally killing us. In his landmark work Human Scale, Kirkpatrick Sale details the crises facing modern society and offers real solutions, laying out ways that we can take control of every facet of our lives by building institutions, workplaces and communities that are sustainable, ecologically balanced, and responsive to the needs of the individual. As relevant today as when it was first published in 1980, this remarkable book provides a fascinating perspective on the last quarter-century of "growth" and anticipates by decades the current movement towards relocalization in response to the end of cheap oil.
I was accosted by some Sale-ite that it was obvious that our resources were limited. I shrugged and said "they make computer chips out of sand. I don't think we're running out of sand."
Pre Rand. Pre Kudlow. But I saw T.J. Rodgers and Andy Grove as the first sand millionaires.
Someday, I might have another good one -- I'm not giving up yet!
Dozens of "Sand Millionaires"
Not a phrase one expects to encounter. But that good fracking sand has to come from somewhere, don't it? Why not "America's Sandbox?" Prof. Mark J,. Perry:
I spent the weekend along the Mississippi River in Buffalo City, Wisconsin, about 120 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul (across the river from Winona, Minnesota), where there is a growing controversy in sand-rich southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin ("America's Sandbox") about mining for frac sand (the silica sand used for hydraulic fracturing). While starting my drive this morning to the Minneapolis airport, I took pictures of the two signs above that help tell the story of the controversy
Free markets make millionaires out of sand farmers.
Quote of the Day
All Hail Taranto! On the President's "If you've got a business--you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen:"
Finally, Obama didn't even come up with this noxious idea himself. He ripped it off from Elizabeth Warren. First the white man steals her ancestors' land--well, 31/32nds of her ancestors steal the other 1/32nd's land, anyway--and now this.
As California cities declare bankruptcy like dominoes, a pair of them are now holding public hearings on a proposal to sieze underwater private homes from lenders via eminent domain, paying the lender a "fair value" for the property, then assisting the borrower in refinancing at a lower principal and with favorable interest rates. The scheme was apparently concocted by a private corporation:
Steven Gluckstern, chairman of the newly formed San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners, says his main concern is to help the economy, which is being held back by the mortgage crisis.
Thus preparing us for today's Heinlein quote:
Every law that was ever written opened up a new way to graft.
Otequay of the Ayday
"Every small business is not indebted to the government or some other benefactor. If anything, small businesses are historically an economic and job-creating powerhouse in spite of the government."
Headline of the Day
Obama to mark birthday with Chicago fundraiser
That is just soooo sweet. A fundraiser birthday -- with a guest member of the hoi polloi!
Meanwhile, In Buffy News
The news isn't good. Love Joss Whedon's work but never suspected he shared my love of liberty. Clearly, all those great Captain Mal lines were just good dialog to the man who was hosting fundraisers for Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
A great friend of the blog sends a link to a depressing reminder: 'Avengers' Director Whedon Goes On Anti-Capitalist Rant
So says the guy probably worth somewhere around a gajillion dollars and who likely made somewhere around a thousand times more money from "Avengers" than anyone on the crew.
John Nolte is a little harsh, perhaps, but Whedon deserves it. The shining silver lining to Firefly's cancellation is that I felt that the Blue Sun Corporation was shaping up to be the villain. Whedon had to wait for Dollhouse.
Ah, well, I always say if I enjoyed only the art of those who agreed with me, I would have an extremely un-ornate life.
My Darling Bride initials Section XIV, Paragraph 9, declining the "Obey Clause..."
July 15, 2012
Or, Why didn't we nominate this Bain guy?
Edward W. Conard is, I believe, the current Managing Director of Bain (you know how hard it is to figure out when those guys come and go!) but for our purposes, the author of a magisterial book on the "Panic of '08," which Conard refers to as "the Financial Crisis" (caps his).
Unintended Consequences, Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. is a very serious look at the banking system, political economics, and policy. He pulls no punches and he goes into the weeds when he must to explain complex financial instruments.
Anybody who remains interested in the Po08 needs learn about MBSs, CDSs, SIVs and the like. I considered myself -- not a financial whiz -- but self-congratulatory that I understood what these were and why they were used. Conard's book took me to a brand new level. On a good day, I could now explain whey the mezzanine tranches of subprime mortgage backed securities were as deserving of AAA status as a 20% down home mortgage. But I'd still suggest you pick it up from Conard.
More interesting to the average ThreeSourcer is his philosophy. I would compare him to Larry Kudlow: he is an outstanding proponent of free markets and their benefits, yet he is in no way "all-in" on freedom when it conflicts with asset prices. He sees roles for government that many ThreeSourcers will not appreciate, yet his cogent appeals to liberty make his heterodoxies difficult to dismiss [If we had editors at ThreeSourcers, that last sentence would have a big red line through it...]
Speaking of Heterodoxy, he opens early with a numbingly-counterintuitive chapter to get things flowing. Conard credits Roe v. Wade as the source to American freedom vis-à-vis Europe. Fusionism writ large, the alliance of anti-abortion social conservatives and free-market folk saved the country from the general human disposition toward wealth redistribution. US and European GDP growth tracks closely through the 1960s, splits near Roe, and diverges from there.
By the random dint of history, the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade brought pro-investment voters to power in the United States. This faction, representing about 35 percent of the electorate, combined with enough of the now-mobilized social conservatives-- principally the Christian Right, who vote Republican and represent 15 percent of the electorate-- seized the majority and permanently shifted the political economic center to the right. Without a similar legal ruling in Europe and Japan, a similar shift in political power never occurred.
He is brilliant on trade and immigration. I don't think he is up late worrying that the Chinese are sewing our Olympic Uniforms. He asks "if offshore workers were to offer their labor to US consumption for free -- how much would we want?" All of it, right? As much as we could get. Well, seventy-five cents an hour is essentially free. Let us have Americans do something more wealth-producing and have others stitch up our homoerotic, paramilitary athletic uniforms.
In addition to talented workers thinking about how to improve future outcomes, there are other forms of overlooked investment. Immigration has freed many talented workers from household tasks and increased their availability for more productive activities-- namely, work.
This is a hefty and serious book, which I do no favors by summarizing in a blog post, but he does see a role for government as lender of last resort. FDIC prevented bank runs for 75 years. If institutions keep sufficient liquid reserves to prevent runs, there will not be sufficient risk capital and growth will be slowed. Much has been written as to why Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers received different treatment. Conard would have had the Fed and Treasury save both. And backstop AIG.
The crisis was an old fashioned bank run -- only the investment vehicles were changed. As only government can provide enough warm fuzzies to depositors to prevent withdrawls, it makes sense to have them backstop these 75-year storms so that the economy can grow at full strength in-between. He has some innovative ideas to address concerns of moral hazard.
Of greatest appeal 'round these parts is his appreciation for the morality of freedom. I wish that "that other Bain guy" could explain so well the benefits of risk taking and capital accumulation:
Who captures the value from the tractor? Not the farmer who competes with other farmers for unskilled tractor-driving wages; his return comes largely from avoiding the cost of not investing. Not the tractor manufacturers who compete fiercely with one another on price. Not the landowners-- tractors make it easier to plow more difficult land-- and not investors, such as banks, that compete with one another to supply the capital at perhaps a 7 percent return. The consumer captured almost all of the value through lower food prices.
Long review corner, sorry. And I have still not captured much from this fascinating book. Five Stars.
July 14, 2012
I have admonished a certain blog brother that appraising politicians -- like training a dog -- should be done on the most recent event. Yes, I could point out that Senator Mark Udall has raised taxes and opposed tax cuts over his years as my Congressman and my Senator.
Or I could applaud him for a supply-side beer tax cut.
"Beer is an important part of our economy. With the excise tax lowered, capital will increase and we can invest that back into the companies," he said.
If only that same effect of increased capital and investment worked for other industries.
July 13, 2012
Dave Kopel on NFIB v Sebelius (Bumped)
I have delayed discussion of Monday's Liberty on the Rocks because Ari Armstrong was recording it. And I was waiting for him to post. Here is the first of what may be ten parts:
Don't let "ten" scare you. It was a short and very interesting talk.
Hope you will all watch Dr. Kopel, but I'm going to engage in an appeal to authority and suggest his views very similar to what I have been saying. Imagine if I were smart and well spoken and knew what I was talking about, and wore a tie -- I would be just like Dr. Kopel!
On the serious side, he does elaborate several liberty-protecting parts of the decision: starting as you can tell with the Commerce Clause, but proceeding to some important limitations on Necessary and Proper.
The raucous bar noise (and this is a musician talking) is a little distracting -- as it was live. But I think Brother Bryan would point out that these are "tavern" meetings. Casual comfort is a great part of their charm.
Hat-tip: Terri, who sat across the table from the lovely bride and I and saw this posted before I did.
UPDATE: The second segment (on N & P) is up.
UPDATE 1.5: Link? No embed? Huh? What?
UPDATE II: Part III (Medicaid & State Spending)
UPDATE III: (ObamaCare's "Seinfeld Tax on Nothing")
Gold Medal in Demagoguery
Senator Bernie Saunders, who insulates himself from a clever (?? - VT) appellation by being an avowed Socialist, is pretty upset mind you about this Ricardian Economics thingy!
This was posted on Facebook by a very nice new grandmother woman I work with and with whom I don't wish to pick a fight.
What are you gonna do? Gramma said "it makes me sick to my stomach" and I am confident she doesn't mean the demagoguery and Sen. Saunders's failure to appreciate competitive advantage.
UPDATE: Heh. Professor "White Power Toothbrush" Reynolds piles on "to me the real issue is that they're terrible. They look like something from an SNL skit about America becoming a gay military dictatorship."
There is a certain Lady Gaga-ness about them . . .
Quote of the Day
Hence, many of the early pop anthems of the baby boomers -- technically, those born between 1946 and 1964 but or all intents and purposes folks 55 years and older -- focused on how stupid old people were ("don't criticize what you can't understand") and how young people would rather croak themselves then end up like their parents ("I hope I die before I get old"). "We are stardust, we are golden," sang Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Woodstock. "We got to get ourselves back to the garden." Flash forward four or five decades, a couple of hundred pounds, the odd organ transplant, random arrests and jail stints, and the only garden David Crosby is getting back to is the Olive Garden with its unlimited pasta bowls and breadsticks. What small parts of American life and power the boomers don't yet run they will soon enough. -- Nick GillespieLibertario Delenda Est still, but tomorrow, this is a very good and important piece.
Friday Calf Blog
And some good news at the link for Firefly fans.
One for Brother HB...
All Instapundit, all the time today. But this book was a fave, and at $1.99 I am looking forward to recapturing my youth.
Pretty Good Ad
Damn. Those right wingers are all alike!
July 12, 2012
We can't be serious ALL the time can we? The President channels Ann Romney:
Courtesy of Lee Stranahan. Warning: if you click through, you see the Romney's picture is cropped and she actually has shorts, Yet as Stranahan observes: "Still. Dude."
Headline of the Day
Libertario Delenda Est
Quote of the Day
The usual way to mourn someone's passing is with a moment of silence. I think everyone who knew Anna even a little realizes that that would be absolutely the wrong way to remember her. So instead, let's remember her this week by being loud, forceful, and argumentative, and by interrupting one another when we feel really strongly about something. To honor her, we also need to keep our discussions and debates focused on the substantive questions at hand and firmly grounded in the evidence. -- David Romer in tribute to Anna SchwartzHat-tip: Prof. Mankiw
The Internet Segue machine was firing on all eight this week and I am trying to keep up. But this is pretty important. If you live in Colorado, extremely important.
First I read Matthew Scoenfeld's Air Jordan and the 1%
Even without a segue, it is an important piece, summarized perfectly in its subtitle: "There was a lot more income inequality on the Chicago Bulls roster after Michael Jordan's years with the team, but everyone was better off." Did the third-stringers sit around and stew that their big star was overpaid? I am guessing not.
An hour later -- or a millennium in Internet Segue Time (IST) -- I was alerted to a real estate transaction in the Denver post.
Peyton Manning buys Denver Mansion for $4.5 Million.
They showed some video on the TeeVee news last night; it looks like a nice place.
Aside from a few disgruntled union teachers, I am thinking most Denverites will be pretty placid with our now elevated Gini coefficient if we make the playoffs.
UPDATE: Even the DP Comments feature minimal kvetching. I dug:
Hope they're comfortable, because I don't want him going anywhere!
July 11, 2012
Great News for the President
The DJIA is only down 48.49 today.
Under the President's Bold Leadership!
The Peace Garden State's oil production has surged.
All of this in spite of vigorous Republican opposition and obstructionism!
Libertario Delenda Est
Firstly I must define this phrase. Somehow, it seems made-up, ungrammatical phrases with made up words in dead foreign languages are not as easily understood as their supercilious coiners imagine. (Though it was pointed out that ThreeSources owns the locution in a Google Search -- I am King of all I survey!)
Cato the Elder (234-198 BC) would end every speech with Carthago Delenda Est or "Carthage must be destroyed." Follow the link for gerundivicy goodness if that's what you enjoy.
I give money to the Reason Foundation every year, wear their T-Shirt with pride in my Facebook profile, read the magazine, tune in to TV shows where The Jacket or Matt Welch, or Veronique du Rugy appear. I agree with every word they say. Our ideal government and philosophy is all but identical.
And yet "The Libertarians Must be Destroyed!" There is no force so opposed to realizing the goals of Liberty than the Bleedin' Libertarians. I suggested that we were close enough to election season, that they would shortly start to diss Governor Romney to show how cool they are. On queue: Obama and Romney Are As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
Yet for all the distinction-drawing, the candidates' visions often sound strikingly similar. Not long ago one of them said he wants "an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living, [with] children even more successful than their parents....This America is fundamentally fair....In the America I see, character and choices matter. And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded." And "poverty will be defeated," and yadda yadda yadda. Can you tell which candidate said that? Of course not.
So don't get all uptight about the election people. It doesn't matter. You can vote for the President, stay home and watch The Flintstones, or vote for Rep. Bob Barr -- I mean Gov. Gary Johnson. It doesn't matter.
That is until next year, when the Reason folks will be wondering how we got Mister Obama for a second term. They'll be stunned! Bastards!
Quote of the Day
Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours? -- GK ChestertonTo be paired with Insty's (and my) favorite RAH Quote: "On Bad Luck."
Facebook Bleeding into ThreeSources
Can't help it, this is too awesome:
If you are on Facebook, you want to like George Takei; he has a direct conduit to the funny.
July 10, 2012
Sad to See a HOSS Fall
That sound you hear is the stumbling of a Congressional giant, mixed with my sigh of disappointment. Rep Jeff Flake (HOSS [Ret.] - AZ) has been a champion of not only spending restraint but also a gifted expositor of the non-intuitive benefits of liberty. He can tell it like it is and make a powerful case for less government.
How sad to see him joining the Tancredo wing to try to win a Senate Seat in The Grand Canyon State. Jason Riley on the WSJ Ed Page:
Mr. Flake has represented suburban Phoenix since 2001 and distinguished himself as, among other things, a champion of comprehensive immigration reform that includes not only more border security but also viable guest worker programs to meet U.S. labor market demand and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers already here. These days, he sounds more like Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio, denouncing comprehensive immigration reform as "a dead end" and saying it's no longer "possible or even desirable." He touts his support for walling off the Mexican border and suggests (incorrectly) that illegal Latinos drive violent crime in the U.S., telling one interviewer that "virtually all" of the people entering the country illegally today are tied to smuggling rings and drug cartels.
A Senator Flake would surely be an additional vote for spending restraint in the Upper Chamber. Unfortunately, he might also be another vote for the immigration status quo that he once bravely fought to change.
The idea that the WSJ Ed Page (and me) would be lukewarm to the candidacy of a fiscal hawk like Flake would have been unthinkable.
Obama Pledges To Repeal Health Care Law If Reelected
It's a Blog!!!
Blog friend and liberty lover, Terri, has moved her calf blogging and trenchant commentary to Ruminants.
UPDATE: Changed in blogroll.
I suggested to some fellow liberty lovers last night, that Jim Carlton and Max Taves must have been biting their mouth severely enough to draw blood as they penned this WSJ Politics Blog piece:
For Now, Bullet Train May Go Nowhere
Negative Nellies, huh. I've a mind to reserve my tickets for the Bakersfield-Modesto link.
The Moral Case for Free Enterprise
July 9, 2012
Quote of the Day
Densie Rich leaving the good old USA? Sure hope we get that Canadian model to balance things out.
4) And this leads me to the biggest problem with Rich. As far as I understand it, Denise Rich raised millions for Democrats who supported policies to raise taxes on wealthy people (and many others). Now, she's packing up and leaving after supporting politicians who created the very conditions that prompts her to leave. That’s not merely pathetic, it's disgusting. Admittedly she raised at least some of that money to buy a pardon for her ex-husband, but that's hardly a great excuse. -- Jonah Glodberg
In praise of the potted plant:
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for, but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.
W. R. Mead on the Energy Revolution (Part I, the Losers)
We all seem to be WRM admirers here, more or less, so it was probably only a matter of time before one of the blog brothers posted this but...is it wrong of me to be so happy about these losers?:
If the US, Canada and Israel are the likeliest big winners, the biggest losers in the coming shift will be the Gulf petro-states and Russia. Their Gulf losses aren’t going to be economic; the Gulf will still have the world’s cheapest oil to produce and so its oilfields will be the most profitable at any given price point.
The Whole Thing is here.
Election 2012: Barack Obama vs. Potted Plant
Speaker Boehner, in response to a guest at a West Virginia GOP fundraiser, said,
"The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama."
This could be an effective strategy if nobody else were running. Nobody who, for example, promotes a clear policy of more freedom and less government designed to appeal to the influential Liberty Movement. Someone like that could attract pro-votes away from a GOP potted plant intent on collecting all of the anti-Obama protest vote. This could be especially important in western swing states like, Colorado. For team Obama it is AP to the rescue with a puff piece on the TEA party explaining why they should vote Libertarian.
The unknown, of course, is Johnson, who is working to ensure his name is also on the ballot in all 50 states. Paul supporters may very well desert the GOP for Johnson, especially in Western states where the former two-term New Mexico governor is better known. A June poll in the swing state of Colorado showed Johnson garnering 7 percent support, mostly coming from potential Romney backers.
Sheer and utter madness. With Obamatax and Obamasityourassdownandshutup hanging in the balance of this election, any pro-freedom folks who vote for Johnson or don't vote are risking decades of Euro-socialism in America. If they think their chances are better with a third party in 4, 8 or 12 years than by co-opting the GOP now, a feat that the AP piece shows is already accomplished in Nevada, they are too stupid even for politics.
Dear Gary Johnson - Please take your ego and GET LOST.
And Just What is a Fair Share Again?
Mark J. Perry offers an interesting graphic:
Bottom Line: A small group of 400 of America's most successful earners in 2009, about the number of residents living in a typical apartment building in Washington, D.C., paid almost as much in federal income taxes as the entire bottom half of America’s 138 million tax filers, which is a population equivalent to the combined number of residents living in America's 29 least populated states, plus the District of Columbia. What makes this disparity possible is the fact that an estimated 47% of individual income tax returns filed in 2009 had a zero or negative tax liability.
The Fiscal Cliff:
As always, my embed does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Mister Hazard's musical arrangements or economic conclusions. But I always enjoy them Hat-tip: Mankiw.
Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons
Join us on Monday, July 9th, where your featured speaker will be Dr. Dave Kopel, who will be discussing the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act. After Dr. Kopel's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!
July 8, 2012
First. Apologies. In discussing Randal O'Toole, I had been dutifully looking up his last name to ascertain spelling -- all the while adding an extra l to his first. I hope some of the Colorado ThreeSourcers were able to catch O'Toole on Jon Caldera's "Devil's Advocate." He is a fascinating man and a serious mental hoss.
I'm on my fourth book which purports to explain the financial crisis I like to call "The Panic of Oh-eight." If you add the inane Matt Damon documentary, that's five different viewpoints. O'Toole's (the third book) is perhaps the most unusual and counterintuitive. Yet his knowledge of history, supporting statistics and anecdotal evidence force you to take it seriously.
Being a CATO guy, O'Toole is not a big fan of the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, fiat currency, or Countrywide cronyism. And yet, he shows that the housing bubble did not devastate Houston, which had all of those, but did affect Vancouver which had none. The real problem, detailed comprehensively in American Nightmare, is zoning, growth restrictions, and urban planning that seeks to enforce the leftist utopia of dense urban housing and public transit.
In Houston, if you want a house, you can buy a plot, get a permit, build a house and move in within 120 days. Texas does not give counties the right to zone or restrict residential housing. Supply and demand are therefore matched and prices are non-volatile: when more housing is needed, they build it. What a concept, eh? In Boulder, you bid up the price of an existing home or start a decadal permit process.
Slow-growth advocates say, "Only the wealthy can move to our city." Smart-growth advocates say, "Less-wealthy people can move into our city as long as they are willing to live in one of the high-density enclaves we have prepared for them."
Houston is his favorite example but not an anomaly. Raleigh, Atlanta, and a host of other cities without onerous growth restrictions escaped the housing bubble. In his interview, Jon Caldera suggests homes are affordable in Houston "because nobody wants to move there." Turns out, Houston is the fastest growing metropolitan area and is adding another Boulder to its ranks every year. Yet $90,000 buys you a large three-bedroom house.
It's difficult to summarize this argument and not sound like a fruitcake. You've got to read the book or watch O'Toole (sadly, I don't think Caldera's show is posted online; if I find it I will link). He has a serious grasp of historical trends in housing and property ownership and a firm statistical/economic footing for his theory. Five stars.
July 6, 2012
"Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get."
Oh No, Mr. Bill!!! Noooooo!!!
George Monbiot is realy, really bummed that "We were [really, totally] wrong on peak oil. There's enough to fry us all."
Some of us made vague predictions, others were more specific. In all cases we were wrong. In 1975 MK Hubbert, a geoscientist working for Shell who had correctly predicted the decline in US oil production, suggested that global supplies could peak in 1995. In 1997 the petroleum geologist Colin Campbell estimated that it would happen before 2010. In 2003 the geophysicist Kenneth Deffeyes said he was "99% confident" that peak oil would occur in 2004. In 2004, the Texas tycoon T Boone Pickens predicted that "never again will we pump more than 82m barrels" per day of liquid fuels. (Average daily supply in May 2012 was 91m.) In 2005 the investment banker Matthew Simmons maintained that "Saudi Arabia … cannot materially grow its oil production". (Since then its output has risen from 9m barrels a day to 10m, and it has another 1.5m in spare capacity.)
The horror. The horror.
(Note, I am about to head out to the wilds for 24 hours or so, sorry but next 5 Best Song not quite ready...)
Only 310,000 Jobs!
Damn that President Bush!!
David Boaz looks beyond the bad jobs numbers to give the President some solid accomplishments: most medical marijuana raids, most fundraisers, most drone strikes -- but I don't want to spoil them all.
Must See TV
& it's not even Buffy.
O'Toole's "American Nightmare" will be the subject of Sunday's Review Corner. He has an unorthodox -- but superbly developed -- explanation for the Panic of Ought-Eight. Save yourself my cicumlocuitous prose and bad typing and get the story straight from O'Toole.
He might also wear that cool, trademark western tie of his.
Bill Patterson: Three At-Risk Children of the Enlightenment
Robert A. Heinlein biographer Bill Patterson has posted a very fine essay at Cato Unbound:
Liberty, commerce, and literature do have at least one thing in common — as we now think of these very different subjects, they are all products of the Enlightenment. This is not so surprising, given that so much else in our culture is a product of the Enlightenment.
He also makes another point that we here are no doubt already considering; but are most of our fellow citizens merely sleepwalking along?
We live in another end period now: the old world is visibly, palpably, passing away. The Enlightenment has been set aside in this country; it just does not cooperate too well with the nanny state, with the imperial presidency or with neocon globalist agendas. The drive to roll back the Enlightenment entirely kicked into high gear on September 12, 2001 — and it continues to accelerate.
Massachusetts Experiment - The Verdict
As a leading expert on the Massachusetts health care system, candidate Romney is in an excellent position to explain why the health plan he helped create for Massachusetts (quite different from what he would have done without his "partners" in the Democrat-controlled state legislature) was a failure. Here's the message:
So "Obamacare" is not only now "Obamatax" it's also "Obamasityourassdownandshutup."
JOBS Numbers are out
Concerning the abysmal 80,000 jobs figure from the BLS -- did you know Romney once put his dog on the roof?
Anybody can just get on a blog and whine. I like to fix things!
Paul Caron @ TaxProfBlog brings news that IRS Goes on 'Hiring Frenzy' After Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Affordable Care Act
I think it's a superb job opportunity for all the doctors who are quitting medicine to escape ObamaCare®
All Hail Harsanyi!
Herewith, this sixth day of July, Anno Domini 2012, I do coin Kranz's Law: "The token member of the opposition party in the cabinet will undoubtedly become the greatest embarrassment to both parties."
Videlicet: Secretary Ray LaHood:
It's not every day you hear a cabinet member praising authoritarians abroad. Then again, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unleashes so many preposterous statements he makes Joe Biden look like a high priest of Vulcan.
July 5, 2012
Five Best "Dirty Harry" Lines
The Five Best Dirty Harry Lines
(I leave out "Do I feel lucky...?" as far too easy). Even if you've never seen the film Dirty Harry (1971) I believe these distilled pearls of the English language stand on their own, whether as practical wisdom or koan:
5. Harry Callahan: We’re not just going to let you walk out of here
4. Harry Callahan: Yeah, I’ve been following him on my own time. And anybody can tell I didn’t do that to him
3. Mayor: All right, let's have it.
2. Mayor: I don't want any more trouble like you had last year in the Fillmore District. Understand? That's my policy.
1. Callahan: That's o.k. Look, I want you to tell Chico that I understand, you know, him quitting. I-I think he's right. This is no life for you two.
Recommended by dagny, inspired by her comment on the Culture War post.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
Quote of the Day
Abolitionist minister Thomas Wentworth Higginson (via Jay Nordlinger)"
These men and women, who have tested their courage in the lonely swamp against the alligator and the bloodhound, who have starved on prairies, hidden in holds, clung to locomotives, ridden hundreds of miles cramped in boxes, head downward, equally near to death if discovered or deserted -- and who have then, after enduring all this, gone voluntarily back to risk it over again, for the sake of wife or child -- what are we pale faces, that we should claim a rival capacity with theirs for heroic deeds?
The GOOD News for Colorado
Please ignore the headline and refer to the end of this AgJournal article-
Back at the Colorado Climate Center, however, Doesken is a little more optimistic. “If we’re going to have extreme heat, the last week of June and the first couple of weeks of July is historically when the most intense heat is recorded,” he said.
Struggling to find the Losers
Jonah Goldberg steps in to help an NPR journalist with a difficult question:
Someone in the audience asked NPR health-policy correspondent Julie Rovner this question: "Today’s decision is a positive decision for the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans. Who are the losers today?"
After that, it starts to get good...
"Colorado Burning" because "Climate Changed?"
Anyone who has read many stories on the Colorado forest fires has surely seen at least one account that links the events with "climate change." Stories like Huffpo's "Stunning NASA Map Shows Severe Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires" are an extreme example. But Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken has a much different explanation:
While it’s true that this June was the hottest June on record, averaging 75 degrees, or 7.6 degrees above normal, he said extreme heat was just one of the ingredients–and maybe not even the most important one–involved in this year’s perfect wildfire storm.
The story continues, exploring more likely factors:
Forest-health advocates say there’s one thing missing from the climate-change-causes-wildfires theory: The forests are so poorly managed that it doesn’t take much for them to go up in flames. Twenty years of reductions in timber sales and environmental lawsuits have gutted logging on public lands, resulting in densely packed, tinder-dry trees that are practically designed for crown fires.
So one explanation is 7.6 degrees warmer temperatures for a month and the other explanation includes 15 to 20 times higher density of trees that are diseased and dead, at least partially due to that very overcrowding. Given that tens of thousands of wildfires occur each year in the United States, Colorado's fire disasters are unprecedented for their severity rather than frequency. And that severity is driven more by wind and fuel density than by a dubious, anti-scientific theory called climate change.
I Don't Need Your (Culture) War. However...
In response to my post Law of the Day on Tuesday, Brother jk notes "I tend to run from this stuff because it is tainted with "The Cuture War" which I avoid."
Amen, brother. The "Culture War" belongs with the Wars on poverty, drugs, cancer, etc. They aren't "wars" and they can't be won. However, neither can we disconnect our love of liberty from the culture that sustains it.
I'm not planning to make this an wide-ranging essay, just a few observations and assertions that can be tested and critiqued. I am a huge fan of Paul Johnson's epic Modern Times, and on the Fourth of July Ed Driscoll of PJ Media taps it, if only to partly disagree with Johnson's main thesis.
It's a great, wide-ranging piece, but I don't think Driscoll has quite hit the nail squarely on every point, this time. The New Man theme, the "starting from zero" conceit, got its big debut with the French Revolutionaries, not the scientific socialist eugenics technocrats of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. About a million died in that 18th century effort to change the very nature of humanity, admittedly a pittance compared to the tolls of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and their heirs, but given the old technology the French had available, pretty large, non?
One of the many, many wonderful things about the U.S. of A. is that we managed to have our culture "wars" over the last five decades with hardly a handful of persons actually killed on either side. Lots of court battles, from Griswold to Roe to Lawrence and all points in between, have broken the legal power of the State to ban birth control, abortion, adultery and sodomy. The battle in most educational institutions to "celebrate" homosexuality, teenage oral sex and condoms for every 12-year-old has been won, and our third graders are being drilled on how "proud" people should be about, well, you know, THAT.
We are in the middle portion of a vast experiment in yes, moral relativism. Nothing is bad, except "trying to tell other people what to do." The funny thing is, the Founders, who ranged in religious conviction from hard-core Christian to Deist to (closeted) atheist, all seemed to believe that individual liberty and continued self government would have to stand on a base of a moral people.
I consider myself a libertarian. I don't believe the power of the state should be used to enforce all of my personal beliefs about the Good, the True and the Beautiful. However, I don't believe that a culture that says it's beautiful to have children with no fathers and no means of support except the state, to screw who- or what-ever you want without social censure and to "tolerate" the intolerable is going to continue to thrive.
I don't want a war, for sure, but I want to be able to apply social pressure to meet the standards that allow for freedom and prosperity. These standards include some restraint and delayed gratification. I'll keep speaking up for those, call it what you may.
July 4, 2012
Special Fourth-of-July Edition:
"It may not be possible to do away with government — sometimes I think that government is an inescapable disease of human beings. But it may be possible to keep it small and starved and inoffensive — and can you think of a better way than by requiring the governors themselves to pay the costs of their antisocial hobby?"
-- RAH 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (1968)
All in all, a good day blogging
I got in Ray Charles, George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Curtis Stigers, and Joanie Loves Chachi, Just another day at ThreeSources.
"...the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."
Courtesy the New York Times, which ran a companion piece yesterday describing their history of printing the Declaration on July 4. Take a close look at the image accompanying that article. (Who knew that "18th-century English extant" read right-to-left?
But they redeem themselves today with this nicely transcribed reprint:
[Hint: Right-click and "save picture as" to open in a viewer allowing magnification.]
Many have publicly encouraged the reading of this foundational document on the holiday celebrating our nation's birth. I was surprised to learn one of them is Bill Moyers, but not surprised to learn why.
Moyers calls it "the pathology of white superiority that attended the birth of our nation." Jefferson, he said, got it right when he wrote about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the core of our human aspirations," but he denied these liberties to others on the basis of their race.
Let us hope that future historians have the luxury of a similarly derisive view of Chief Justice Roberts' majority opinion on the 2012 'Obamacare' case, for buttressing an originalist interpretation of the commerce clause but "allowing the prevailing mood of the era to dictate his ruling on questions of taxation." Thomas Jefferson and John Roberts - apparently, a pair of "cowardly clowns."
Independence Day Money Bomb
Fellow ThreeSourcers -
I wanted to ask a personal favor of you today.
As a few of you know, I am the campaign manager for Ellyn Hilliard's state house campaign. Ellyn is in a VERY competitive race against an appointed candidate that has spent his life as a career bureaucrat. Due to redistricting, House District 11 went from being solidly democrat to a toss up.
Ellyn is the PERFECT Republican to run in Boulder county as she holds a PhD in Holistic medicine and runs an organic and sustainable farm. Our campaign is starting to build a lot of momentum and we are very close to earning "on the radar" status with the state Republican party. This will give us access to additional money, speaking engagements, and booths at future Republican events between now and election day.
Recently, Ellyn out-raised her democrat opponent by a margin of 10:1 in the last two weeks of June. While this is great news, as soon as the Boulder progressive democrat machine sees this, they will surely start pumping large sums of money into what has always been a safe seat for them.
The personal favor I wanted to ask today is this:
Would you consider contributing to our July 4th money bomb?
Your donation of $17.76, $50, $177.60, or the maximum of $400 will ensure that not only do we hold onto the one seat majority in the Colorado State House, but that we elect a candidate who will tirelessly fight for the principals on which our nation was founded 236 years ago.
Happy 4th, Deux
Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" is the anthem of the überpatriotic. It's blasted to misty eyed Americans at NASCAR and TEA Parties. And I get it. It's a fine song and an interstice 'twixt those who can comfortably express such love of country and those what cannot. I get it
But if we're going to have a Pop country anthem, may I nominate this:
This is what our country is about and what I fear may be slipping away. But it's a unique look at the corporeal reality of liberty versus the abstractions we discuss around these parts.
July 3, 2012
Law of the Day
Taranto includes this paragraph which stands on its own:
SB 1476 stemmed from an appellate court case last year involving a child's biological mother, her same-sex partner, and a man who had an affair with the biological mother and impregnated her while she was separated temporarily from her female lover.
Hollywood is on the phone right now. Has there ever been a better description of what it foolishly thinks Americans want to see?
Dan Riehl is Grateful
Maybe gratitude has something to do with it. It almost sounds silly, now. But if you're sitting there suffering somehow, large or small - and trust me, people were and still are from this .... The minute it all came back on, when you heard and felt that air conditioning kick on and you knew you could take a hot shower, again - or just go to the refridgerator for a cold drink, or something you wanted to eat? Strange as it may sound to you, there's a gratitude, a beauty in that moment you can only hope to never forget. Imagine that? Hmm. What can I say? It was an experience. Leave it at that.
I don't choose to leave it that. I'll add that this is one of many reasons we should all have a sense of history; it produces such appreciation. I make a major effort, every day, to notice the bricks in the sidewalk of our downtown. Man rose out of the muck and mined the materials and built a plant and a road and a truck to bring it there, and a man placed it just right to make a nice sidewalk, rather than the dung-splattered mud that was here only 100 years ago. Electricity? That's such a miracle that we should give thanks every time we turn on the bathroom light.
Every pole, every wire, every part of your car. To give Ayn Rand credit, she's the one that really cemented this is my mind. I knew, but didn't know.
The Watermelons would take this away, and allow millions to die in the midwestern heat, because we're producing too much carbon.
Never forget that, either.
Headline of the Day
Adidas has provided Andy Murray with a new pair of shorts after his tennis balls repeatedly popped out of his shorts during his victory against Marcos Baghdatis.
Of course. And you thought they meant ???
Hat-tip (in the context of "completely lifted from"): @pourmecoffee
JK Links Rush
Mister Limbaugh that is -- not the Canadian, Objectivist Rockers. These are the end times. But when the man is right...
If youre in the DC area, are you happy you don't have an electric car? Yeah, with the power outages, are you happy you don't have an electric car? Because two million, five million, three schmillion, whatever. Aren't you glad you don't have an electric car? By the way, how are those windmills working out for you? How are the windmills and solar panels working out? Are they running your air-conditioning for you? As you sit there and sweat away, how are things doing in the nation's capital? All those windmills are really working out, huh? Solar panels, yeah, man, that's the future. There you are, sitting there, sweating, stinking like a stuck pig for three days, and it's gonna be this way for another week..."
Good RNC Ad
I like cerebral but know emotional ads are more effective. This baby hits a legitimate topic in a capturing way. The graphics are well done.
For the Record
I am not accepting the word of CBS News's two unnamed sources that the Chief Justice of the United States put his finger to the wind before deciding NFIB v Sibelius. My defense stands until I see something more substantive.
It's quite a serious charge. The strum and drang on the right takes the story at face value, and I am in no way sure that the home of Rathergate has earned the benefit of the doubt better than Justice Roberts.
Or, "No wonder they kicked him out or NPR!"
Juan Williams pens a perfect and beautiful piece on the WSJ Ed Page today. I hesitate to excerpt, but the ThreeSources Style Guide is pretty explicit on this point.
Williams supports the US decision to refuse Castro an invitation to the Summit of the Americas, by tying freedom to prosperity and tyranny to privation, with the latter underscored by a visit to his hometown of Colon, Panama.
Secure markets are necessary for successful trade policy, and investment cannot take root when dictators can usurp property rights. Real, vigorous trade also leads to global investors and an educated workforce--all of which threaten dictators' power. That is why the U.S. stance on Cuba is so important for the region.
Juan? The token prog on FOX? It is beautiful. This link should be free for seven days for non-subscribers.
Quote of the Day
There will be no Morning Jolt on July 4; the family and I have to put up our Fourth of July Tree, so that on Fourth of July Eve, Uncle Sam comes down the chimney and delivers presents to all the good little American children around the world. I joke, but that's not that different from how many of our friends think their government benefits are paid for . . . -- Jim Geraghty
July 2, 2012
He's All Edumacated now!
CPAC Wünderkind Jonathan Krohn "took the conservative world by storm" in a 2009 speech about Conservative values.
Now that he's 17, however, he doesn't buy it. He was simply parroting things he had heard around him in Georgia.
"I started reflecting on a lot of what I wrote, just thinking about what I had said and what I had done and started reading a lot of other stuff, and not just political stuff," Krohn said. "I started getting into philosophy -- Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kant and lots of other German philosophers."
I think it is great now that he is so grown up that he is not merely repeating what people around him think. It is great that he has formed his own adult intellectual self.
Gay marriage? In favor. Obamacare? "It's a good idea." Who would he vote for (if he could) in November? "Probably Barack Obama." His favorite TV shows? "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." His favorite magazine? The New Yorker. And, perhaps telling of all, Krohn is enrolling this fall at a college not exactly known for its conservatism: New York University.
Thirteen-year-olds are so impressionable. But a 17-year-old reading Wittgenstein and watching the Daily Show, that's a powerful thing.
Hat-tip @jamestaranto, who adds: "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! "
Greatest Songs Countdown: Number 4
Following on to the initial Greatest Songs entry, we present the fourth greatest song ever (IOHO) written:
"All the Things You Are" by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. As Wikipedia notes:
The modulations in this song are very unusual for a pop song of the period, and present challenges to a singer or improviser, including a semitone modulation that ends each A section (these modulations start with measure 6 in the A and A2 sections and measure 9 of the A3 section), and a striking use of enharmonic substitution at the turnaround of the B section (last two measures of the B Section), where the G# melody note over a E major chord turns into an A-flat over the F minor 7th of measure 1 of section A3. The result is a tune that in the space of every chorus manages to include at least one chord built on every note of the Western 12-tone scale - a fact that was celebrated in jazz pianist Alex von Schlippenbach's serialist reimagining of it on his album Twelve Tone Tales.
That's just beautiful.
Here's a very early version in a different style (Artie Shaw with Helen Forrest on vocals).
YouTube of the Day
I'll respond to Brother jg's thoughtful and serious post on Federal intrusions into appropriate fire mitigation and forest management with . . . . . . a cool YouTube:
Five-day time lapse of the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs.
Forest Fire Analysis Paralysis
Given the utter devastation that can result from forest fires near urban areas, and the near unanimity about why their frequency and magnitude is peaking, one may wonder why no efforts to reduce the threat seem to be under way. The good news is that 11 years ago, five federal government agencies joined efforts to create an integrated wildland fire managment system called Fire Program Analysis or FPA. A comprehensive computer modeling system, FPA would "help them weigh the benefits of fire suppression versus forest thinning, evaluate where to station people and equipment and decide how many planes to buy." The bad news is that the effort was undertaken by federal government agencies. Denver Post:
The idea was to figure out how much money to devote to fire suppression, and to reducing fuels to improve overall forest health, and where to do it.
Part of the problem turned out to be the presumption that a computer model could provide a sort of holy grail of fire management planning.
"Quite honestly, I don't think there was any plot" to scuttle the original system, he said.
Naaaah, nobody ever invests too much confidence in the pure and objective conclusions of comprehensive computer models!
But the failure of the computer modeling solution seems to me merely a scapegoat.
Asked how this year's fire outbreak might be different if the original FPA were in place as planned, Rideout said: "I think the responses to fire would be more cost-effective. I'm not sure whether we would have gotten to these fires any faster or later or better, or with less expense."
"More cost-effective" but not sure there would be "less expense?" How's that again?
Most officials seem to agree on the basic problem:
In 2008, the GAO reported to Congress that federal wildland-fire costs had tripled since the mid-1990s to more than $3 billion a year, citing three factors: "uncharacteristic accumulations of vegetation" from fire suppression; increasing human development in wildlands; and severe drought "in part due to climate change."
Setting aside the suggested causes for accumulations of vegetation and severe drought, both are clearly evident conditions. So why has the firefighting aircraft fleet been cut from 40 planes to 9? And why, during this period when the air fleet was dismantled, have federal wildland-fire costs tripled? Unfortunately, sometimes technology prevents the application of common sense: More potential for fire - expand fire mitigation and suppression resources. QED.
Liberty on the Rocks -- Next Week!
Second & Fourth Monday in July
Join us on Monday, July 9th, where your featured speaker will be Dr. Dave Kopel, who will be discussing the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act. After Dr. Kopel's presentation there will be a short Q&A session, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!
July 1, 2012
With my company's fiscal year end and rollout of a new ERP system on adjacent days, hopes for a Sunday Review Corner were fading fast. Randall O'Toole's "American Nightmare" is superb but not really a page turner. And the RMA automation section for which I am responsible is not going that well...
How fortuitous, then, that Professor Glenn Reynolds's The Higher Education Bubble is finally out on Kindle®. I teased him a bit over email that -- of all people -- his electronic version should not have been two weeks after hardcopies were shipping. Among its many virtues, it's a quick read. ($4.99 on Kindle and the stats say 56 pages).
Regular readers of Instapundit will not be bedazzled by new concepts. But he very clearly lays out what I agree to be an important new trend. And it's short enough you might be able to get a teacher to read it (now that was just mean!) I'd pair it up with Change.edu (free borrow for Prime members) to really see some of the flaws.
He opens with Herb Stein's superb dictum of "Anything that can't go on forever won't." Then he makes a compelling case that while the utility of a liberal arts education has fallen, its cost has soared. I remain pleased that my nieces and nephews in college today have chosen less expensive institutions and generally less debt. (That said, I'll package up a NBS [Niece Backed Securities] bond and offer it to ThreeSourcers at about .03 on the dollar if anybody is in -- but I digress). Most are following the recommendations of completing the first years at community college. Even our budding MD completed her undergrad downtown.
I'm less sanguine than the Professor that government bailouts are not going to be the answer. In the fever-pitch-shadow of the Tea Parties, all of our legislators fell all over themselves to make a 3.1% college loan a new American Right; they fought only over how to fund it.
A great, quick, read. A bargain at $4.99. A Karmic indulgence for all the free use of Instapundit all these years. Four stars.
Google Gun Ban
A Tweet from Doug Giles alerted me to this story posted yesterday at a blog called Freedom Outpost. It includes the original text of a written notice from Google Shopping (Mountain View, CA) to weapon’s parts and accessories vendor Hamlund Tactical.
We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping. In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed and then re-submit your feed in the Merchant Center.
So glad I'm already practicing a "boycott Google" policy. For those inclined to join me, just say no to:
and one I just learned -