September 30, 2013

AP Covers the Shutdown

BUT BUT BUT . . . It's those intransigent Democrats that are "shutting down the government!"

Yeah, I'll even put my fair hat on and say it takes two to tango. When an agreement cannot be reached, it is difficult to pin blame on one side. Yet, John Hinderaker has the scoop: the AP has already found Republicans culpable. [That is a powerline link, apologize to your browser before clicking...]

Tomorrow, the AP will cover the current spending standoff in an article that will appear across the country, likely in whatever newspaper you read. The AP's piece, by Andrew Taylor, begins:
With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president’s health care law.

There you have it! Our government is "teetering," but those dastardly Republicans have "vowed" to use an "otherwise routine" spending bill to "try to attack" Obamacare. It's all their fault! Nowhere do the Democrats "vow," nowhere do they violate "routine," nowhere do they "attack" anything. So whatever is going on here, it evidently is the doing of Republicans.

And that's the AP. How will it be covered on CNN, The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, local teevee news, and most importantly Stewart/Colbert on The Comedy Channel?

Pro-shutdown forces like to hide behind polls that the polity-at-large is more distrustful than 1995 and that ObamaCare® is unpopular. But this is all before the steady drumbeat outlined above.

113th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

Yeah, they can win without our surrender we're the protester in Tiananmen Square and they are driving the tank. A huge majority of the electorate is going to hear about this through the AP filter (or as I fear one much worse).

If you will not accept my "impossibility" argument, would you please address my largest secondary concern? Viz: the President finds scandals and bad news overwhelming. But nobody talks about Benghazi, Lois Lerner, Syria fecklessness, or ginormous flaws in the ObamaCare exchange rollouts. We've shifted the debate to the one item where he is strong.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 4:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Fear over re-election - alone - is responsible for serial GOP surrenders. It's time to risk sacred honor, at least. (Lives and fortunes are safe, so what the _ell are we/they afraid of?)

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I start with the premise that other members of my party are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. RINOS! COWARDS! UNPRINCIPLED POWERLUSTERAFTERS!

My normally rational tweeps are turning into my Facebook friends. Could it not be true that there are legitimate disagreements about the best way to accomplish the goal? Was Eisenhower a Nazi because he did not storm the beaches in Normandy in 1942?

I don't know what is going to work. People love free stuff and I am not convinced that anything will. But I am very disappointed with the tone of this revolution -- they seem to be taking a position of weakness and splintering the forces.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 5:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There has been compromise: Rather than "defund Obamacare" Boehner has passed a bill to "delay implementation for a year" and "repeal the medical device tax." The senate killed it. Who is being absolutist again?

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 6:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Rep. Peter King (Lunatic NY) was leading the "moderate revolt" on the rule change and only got 6 of 17 required. So, I'm warming............

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 8:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Of course the Manhattan Media and below-the-Beltway hacks support all this gumint rot. I mean, like, that so cool (and kinda cute) prof I first took Sosh from just couldn't be wrong!

But seriously folks, look around. The above still refer to the The Sequester as a "Cut" and yet the country drones on and has ignored their drumbeat. Keep the faith, tweet and blog on!

Oh, and to really piss a liberal off: work hard and smile!

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 2, 2013 12:12 AM

September 29, 2013

I will stop the motor of the redistributionist state

Three Sources favorite Yaron Brook tweeted a reason Why Senate Republicans Hate Ted Cruz that was missing from the list compiled by John Dickerson of CBS. Dickerson's reasons include things like "he's fooled the grassroots" and created "false distrust" between members and their constituents. They're also jealous, says Dickerson, that "in a matter of months, Cruz has built a base of support that allowed him to act as the de facto Republican leader of the Senate."

But Brook nailed it, in less than 140 characters:

Why Senate Republicans hate Ted Cruz? Because they are unprincipled power-lusters.

Precisely. While Senate Republicans as a rule are more interested in going along and getting along, Senator Cruz is more interested in doing what he believes is right - acting consistently with his principles. Whatever a senator's principles, Cruz explained during the filibuster, he should be loyal to them and not to the dictates of party leaders. Cruz seeks to dismantle the power structure in the US Senate, where a cabal of senators from both parties effectively decides how every vote will transpire. That's not the way representative government works, it's the way a dictatorship tries to make itself look like representative government.

America's "dictators" employ wealth redistribution through government to maintain political power for themselves and, so far, Ted Cruz has shown he's not going to play that game.

I replied to Yaron Brook's tweet with an observation of my own: "In a very real sense, Ted Cruz has acted as a political John Galt - stopping the motor of redistributionism."

But jk thinks:

The blog pragmatist is displeased. There is a fine and infinitely arguable line between purity and "People's Front of Judea."

My particular problems with this latest go 'round are:

-- It is tactics. To make a bold stand on principle is fine. I offer the example of Sen. Rand Paul's (HOSS - KY) filibuster against NSA snooping. Many in the muscular-defense wing of the party held that the intrusions were necessary; Rand stood boldly on principle. Sen. Cruz, conversely, splits the party into good guys and bad guys over tactics. This is not worth it.

-- The bad guys, the mean ol' establishment republicans (eeeew!) include Tom Colburn? Jim Geraghty:

Senator Tom Coburn (Alleged RINO, Oklahoma) said, "You do not take a hostage you are not going to for sure shoot. And we will not for sure shoot this hostage." But as I read the conservative blogosphere, I increasingly suspect that there are quite a few folks on the right who are perfectly willing to shoot the hostage.

This is not about weeding out the Lincoln Chaffees and Susan Collinses who are principle-deficient. This is more about rending the party in twain.

Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner are Satan and Beelzebub on my Twitter feed. Fair enough that leadership attracts controversy, but because they will not go full-Quixote, they are "unprincipled power lusters?"

They may be, but it helps not the Judean Peoples' Front to call them on it.

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 10:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Chaffee and Collins are not the only principle-deficient senators. That list numbers closer to 90.

How many times have the tactics favored by Coburn et al been tried? How many times have they worked?

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 3:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't think Senator Colburn's tactics have ever been tried. The last GOP majority was the Bush-DeLay-Hastert axis. I'll give each a kind word for their service, but not a one of them had a desire for small government or liberty qua liberty.

You're going to stop the world with

Posted by: jk at September 30, 2013 4:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

... with a House majority that no longer signs the checks that pay the bills.

Posted by: johngalt at September 30, 2013 5:20 PM

Review Corner

As hinted, today's Review Corner may be equal parts self-analysis and review. For openers, I didn't even read the assignment. Brother Bryan recommended Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson and Yaron Brook. Sounds easy enough.

I went shopping on the Kindle and found The Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (Cato Unbound). The actual book is not -- alas and alak -- available on Kindle. And the CATO book is 99 cents. It opens with Thompson's synopsis. No doubt it lacks some nuance and the supporting text sounds quite interesting. But one gets the idea:

The neoconservative vision of a good America is one in which ordinary people work hard, read the Bible, go to church, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, practice homespun virtues, sacrifice themselves to the "common good," obey the commands of the government, fight wars, and die for the state.
The neoconservatives are the advocates of a new managerial state--a state controlled and regulated by a mandarin class of conservative virtucrats who think the American people are incapable of governing themselves without the help of the neocons' special, a priori wisdom. They are the conservative version of FDR's brain trust: they want to regulate virtually all areas of human thought and action.

(We'll put you down as a "no" then...)
The author and the three essayists selected to comment share an appreciation for Lockeian liberty. It's a bit ThreeSources-esque to watch them quibble over finer points in various levels of grouchiness.
polis. This term fuses together the notions of society and state. So, when Aristotle claims the human beings are political and cannot live without the polis, he is more plausibly understood as noting the social character of human beings and not that humans are naturally creatures of the state. Thus, as Fred D. Miller has noted, Aristotle's claim that the aim of the polis is to achieve the virtuous and happy life is correct in one sense and not in another:

Talk of the common good of the political community can be understood in both senses of polis, but insofar as one is concerned with explaining the aim of the state (or the political/legal order) in terms of the common good of the community, there is a sense in which classical liberalism can too speak of the common good. This good is not some determinate end that can be used to direct human conduct, but it can be understood as context-setting.Interestingly, this sense of the common good for the political community was noted by Ayn Rand: It is only with abstract principles that a social system may properly be concerned. A social system cannot force a particular good on a man nor can it force him to seek the good: it can only maintain conditions of existence which leave him free to seek it. A government cannot live a man's life, it can only protect his freedom. It cannot prescribe concretes, it cannot tell a man how to work, what to produce, what to buy, what to say, what to write, what values to seek, what form of happiness to pursue—it can only uphold the principle of his right to make such choices . . . . It is in this sense that "the common good". . . lies not in what men do when they are free, but in the fact that they are free.

In the end none of the essayists are ready to accept the assertion that the Straussian roots of neoconservatism make it as dangerous as other -isms in opposition to individual liberty.

I find much to agree with in Thompson's critique. President George W. Bush (who gets surprisingly little mention) wanted to use the tools of government to advance "conservative" ideals. Nobody ever mistook him for a libertarian. There is immense antipathy directed at Senator John McCain of late, from the Tea Party and these pages. I celebrate ten years of cracking on the man whose signature issue was removing our first amendment right of free speech in the name of campaign finance reform. The day after he debated Senator Barack Obama on "the economy," The Boulder Refugee and I wept that "one of these guys is going to be president next year."

But I am not amping up my dismay. Senator McCain is the same guy. I don't regret my vote for him in 2008. Nor am I going to regret my two votes for President Bush or, gasp!, my support for the Iraq War. It did not turn out as I had hoped and I will accept serious commentary that it was a mistake, yet I will stand by my thoughts at the time with the information I had.

Like Taranto eloquently said, however, I will let it inform my future decisions. I have no taste for Syria. I'm glad that President Bush did not succeed more with "Faith Based Initiatives" and wish he might have lost on "No Child Left Behind." We need to reclaim the GOP toward liberty roots.

And yet, Mr. Thompson, many of the voices of liberty and actual achievements in recent years have come from those driven by either neoconservatism or national greatness conservatism. I don't find myself pining for the swellness of a Gore or Kerry Administration and I cannot reject the intellectual contributions of William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, et al.

The CATO Unbound is a great read: four stars (that's less than 0.25/star -- great value!) And I may break down and buy the actual book someday.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 27, 2013

"Their Appeal is More Selective"

What's Wrong With Wharton?

Applications to the University of Pennsylvania's business school have declined 12% in the past four years, with the M.B.A. program receiving just 6,036 submissions for the class that started this fall. That was fewer than Stanford Graduate School of Business, with a class half Wharton's size.

Wharton says the decline, combined with a stronger applicant pool and a higher percentage of accepted applicants who enroll, proves that the school is doing a better job targeting candidates.

But business-school experts and b-school applicants say Wharton has lost its luster as students' interests shift from finance to technology and entrepreneurship.

Pity Melissa Korn at the WSJ missed the Spinal Tap joke. It cries for it.

Education Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Senator McCain's "Democratic Response" to Cruz's Filibuster

Did anyone else hear John McCain's weak-kneed floor speech after Ted Cruz finished his filibuster? I was dubstruck by the praise he gave to Obamacare and the Democrats, juxtaposed with his derision of Cruz et al and the principles and ideas of which they spoke for 21 hours. Investors' editorial page shared my disgust.

Cruz wasn't long off the floor before Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a war hero, raised a white flag in one of the most disgraceful Senate speeches ever delivered.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., aptly called it "the Democratic response" to Cruz. It can be summed up in two of McCain's own defeatist words: "We lost."

There's more on McCain's fecklessness but the editorial closes with a look at the GOPs future:

Aged elephants like McCain make a Tea Party-based third party likely. That would cinch long-term Democratic dominance in D.C. McCain's 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, told Fox's Neil Cavuto there already are three parties: the liberal Democrats, the GOP establishment, and Republican "good guys" like Cruz.

But this week, Ted Cruz gave America a look at the GOP future, in all its boldness and common sense. We hear Arizona has many fine retirement homes, Sen. McCain. Time to pass the torch.

Don't let the door hit yer ass.

But jk thinks:

Sen. McCain wants to hear from you! Your Opinion Matters!

I hope you will also forward it to your family and friends so I can get their input on the issues facing our nation as well. Upon completing your survey, please consider making a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to Country First. Your donation will ensure we have the funds necessary to fight back and have our voices heard.
Posted by: jk at September 27, 2013 5:07 PM
But jk thinks:

He's pretty bashful about it, but I am sure ThreeSourcers who wanted could give more than $250. The web page seems to allow it.

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2013 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Upon reflection, I was crass and disrespectful to the senior senator from Arizona. I'll rephrase:

Americans respect and appreciate your service to our nation, Senator McCain. Few in our country's history have given faithful service for so long and in so many ways. It is long past time for us to repay your dedication and so, with our most sincere blessings, we invite you to take the rest of your life off, in peace and solitude, far from the chattering and partisan bickering of our nation's capital. Happy retirement, American hero. Go now. Please.

Posted by: johngalt at September 28, 2013 10:44 AM
But jk thinks:

To be continued in Review Corner tomorrow. I, the GOP, and ThreeSources need to come to terms with neoconservatism and national greatness conservatism.

C. Bradley Thompson and Yaron Brook have a book, "Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea" that traces it to its Straussian roots and finds it philosophically dangerous. Brother Bryan recommend this book. I mistakenly purchased the CATO roundtable discussion where several CATO scholars respond to the book and Thompson responds/rebuts.

Very satisfying, but I need -- as a neocon in recovery as it were -- to go back and read the entire book. Those piqued can view a video discussion.

In a life-or-death struggle between modernity and radical Islam, which I am not convinced does not exist, Senator McCain is a good Republican. In a life-or-death struggle with Progressives and Luddites and collectivists at home: Not. So. Much.

Your updated phraseology is spot on.

Posted by: jk at September 28, 2013 12:31 PM

But They'll Rock at Health Care!

I trust I will not be accused of defending NSA privacy abuses if I admit to a hope that most of those empowered to snoop have undergone some kind of background check.

Hey, stop laughing in the back! My point is that the IT guys, insurance form handlers, and Community Organizer "Facilitators" that will have access to the health care information of an ObamaCare® exchange customer will be subject to far less rigor and will have access to even more private data.

The NSA has released some details of 12 incidents in which analysts used their access to America's high-tech surveillance infrastructure to spy on girlfriends, boyfriends, and random people they met in social settings. It's a fascinating look at what happens when the impulse that drives average netizens to look up long-ago ex-lovers on Facebook is mated with the power to fire up a wiretap with a few keystrokes.

One such analyst working on foreign soil started surveillance on nine phone numbers belonging to women over five years, from 1998 to 2003. He "listened to collected phone conversations," according to a letter from the NSA's Inspector General to Senator Charles Grassley released today. The unnamed spy conducted "call chaining" on one of the numbers -- to determine who had called, or been called from, the phone -- and then started surveillance on two of those numbers as well.

What? Could? Possibly? Go? Wrong?

An Anthem for our Times!

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 12:13 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

You gotta hand it to Miley Cyrus for her success increasing her, um, "visibility."

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2013 1:40 PM

September 26, 2013


Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 4:50 PM | What do you think? [3]
But AndyN thinks:

Aside from the obvious, desperate, if you're resorting to cute anthropomorphized animals to sell your program you don't have a rational argument to make in its favor aspect of all this, something else struck me. It's easy to promise lifetime benefits if your subject's lifetime is maybe 3 years. Do you really want to suggest that you're only making that promise because you know nobody's going to survive the program long enough for it to cost you?

Posted by: AndyN at September 27, 2013 9:57 AM
But jk thinks:

I LOL-ed this morning reading Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt. He says that we should recognize how effective this is and sends pictures of a Tarantula, shark, and a snake biting a man in the face with captions like "The exchanges are almost open!"

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2013 10:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

To make the slogan factual, replace "on" with "and."

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2013 1:41 PM


Energiewende means "energy revolution or transformation."

According to IBD, Energiewende has transformed electricity from a commodity to a "Third World Luxury."

Talk about turning back the clock.

Der Spiegel reports that German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier is asking his countrymen to live as if they are trapped in a backward Third World economy that can't keep the lights on. He has put together a list of energy-saving tips that surely makes the average German think he's living in Uganda rather than Europe.

Sounding a lot like Jimmy Carter, Altmaier suggests consumers avoid preheating ovens, fuzz their television pictures (because poor picture quality requires less energy), cook with lids on the pots and live with refrigerators that don't keep perishable items quite so cool. Sounds like East Germany all over again.

But this is what the Germans wanted -- in fact, it's what they almost rioted for.

Coming here soon! Matt Ridley, call your office.

But johngalt thinks:

German energy retrograde presaged by Three Sources in 2011.

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2013 3:35 PM

September 25, 2013

Dear Senator Udall

Well, if we must truly try everything... I have been shamed by a less-political-than-me Facebook friend. She likely voted for both our Democratic Senators, but has contacted both to ask them to defund.

We're really trying everything:


I appreciate your position as a Democratic Senator, but I have been very impressed with your independence and your ability to choose constituents over party politics.

And I boldly ask you to do it one more time.

I have MS and my wife is recovering from a severe stroke. We both require quality care and technological innovation -- both of which suffer under the ACA.

I also have privacy concerns -- again I applaud your devotion to privacy even in times uncomfortable by your party. I cannot imagine handing this most personal information over to the Federal government.

Please put your Colorado constituents over party pressure and vote to at least allow amendments to this out-of-control legislation.

Thank you for your time,
<jk & the loveley bride>

& the same to Sen. Bennett with the bipartisan praise toned down substantively.

But johngalt thinks:

Perfect. I was thinking of trying this myself and will take your effort as inspiration.

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2013 12:47 PM

Quote of the Day

Naturally, the liberal Bill Clinton fared better on "The Simpsons" than Bush did. "[T]he show was surprisingly slow to satirize President Bill Clinton," observes Paul Cantor, a literary critic and professor at the University of Virginia. Still, Clinton was mocked over 40 times on the show, often for his wandering eye. More than once, Bart's chalkboard punishment was Clinton-related, including "Nobody cares what my definition of 'is' is..." and "'The president did it' is not an excuse." -- Tevi Troy AEI: The Simpsons: Poking Fun at U.S. Presidents for a Quarter Century


I question the efficacy of tactics, but boy howdy, Senator Ted Cruz's not-a-filibuster was great in content, courage and spectacle.

Well done, HOSS!

But johngalt thinks:

A hearty cheer of agreement from Atlantis Farm. This morning I DVR'd a 15-20 minute segment wherein he read several Ayn Rand quotes and explained how they relate to the situation at hand. Very powerful. When he said, "We have to do something that Republicans rarely ever do; we have to make our case to the American people" this is precisely what I hoped and expected to hear. Too bad the American people may never hear it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2013 2:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I recall another Rand quote from last evening: "A speech is never criticized, only the speaker, for it is far easier to attack a person than an idea."

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2013 3:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I saw both of those live (plus Green Eggs & Ham, plus Bastiat's "The Law" (HOSSNES OVERLOAD!)) I actually watched a lot of this. Anytime the lovely bride or I stirred we would flip on C-SPAN to see how it was going. Once you start, it is mesmerizing.

And yet, my favorite part was at 12:00 Eastern. Sen. Cruz stepped down from a 20-hour tour-de-force of energetically delivered principle and philosophy. Leader Reid took over with his wilty dreary whine saying that nothing new had been said. I said "I'm in the right party." This skeptic admits that that is one of the underappreciated benefits of this exercise.

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2013 4:42 PM

September 24, 2013

Senator Cruz

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 6:06 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Mr. Tanaka, the distinguished gentleman from Texas has not yielded the floor...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 6:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Takano. Dagnab spell-check...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 6:27 PM

Political Heresy

Ted Cruz's "rule breaking" fillibuster begins.

"Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am," Cruz said of reading media reports that quote Republican lawmakers and aides critical of him. "Most Americans could not give a flying flip about politicians in Washington. Who cares? Most of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?"

Scientific Heresy?

The once prestigious Scientific American Magazine has taken the "skeptic" label a step further and labeled Dr. Judith Curry, director of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, a "heretic." Then has the audacity to ask in the sub-head, "Why can't we have a civil conversation about climate?"

Her-e-tic: n. 3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. Synonyms: 3. dissenter, skeptic, freethinker.

If science always conformed to established attitudes, doctrines and principles then the earth would still be flat and man would be flightless. At least as far as "science" is concerned.

So, how did Dr. Curry's apostasy begin?

But over the past year or so she has become better known for something that annoys, even infuriates, many of her scientific colleagues. Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs such as Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black­board. Along the way, she has come to question how climatologists react to those who question the science, no matter how well established it is. Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved, others, she believes, bring up valid points -- and by lumping the good with the bad, climate researchers not only miss out on a chance to improve their science, they come across to the public as haughty.

You mean, she's been trying to have a civil conversation about climate?

Ultimately though, I think this one quote is the most important one in the entire article:

Still, once Curry ventured out onto the skeptic blogs, the questions she saw coming from the most technically savvy of the outsiders -- including statisticians, mechanical engineers and computer modelers from industry -- helped to solidify her own uneasiness. "Not to say that the IPCC science was wrong, but I no longer felt obligated in substituting the IPCC for my own personal judgment," she said in a recent interview posted on the Collide-a-Scape climate blog.

That any scientist would ever substitute anything for her own personal judgment is the reason why science got off the fact-finding and truth-seeking track in the first place.

UPDATE: This article was mentioned by Mark Steyn yesterday, but it was published in November, 2010. [No matches found for "curry" in ThreeSources archives from November 2010.]

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Heretic, is she? Eppur si muove, baby. Sometimes, the heretics are right.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 3:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Dr. Curry made ThreeSources (your home for heretics and heterodoxy since 2003...) on January 9, 2013.

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2013 4:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Copernicus. Galileo. Kepler. Newton. How many of them "felt obligated in substituting the ____ for my own personal judgment?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2013 4:52 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

When stone-cold scientists substitute their own personal judgment (based on their scientific inquiry)in the place of orthodoxy, you get wonderful discoveries and advances, and they get branded as heretics.

When jurists substitute their own personal judgment in place of the black-letter law, you get penumbras, and they get hailed as advanced and elite, or having grown in office.

I had to say it. I supposed I'll have to be burned at the stake for saying it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 6:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nah. I submit there is more in common between your two examples than you realize. The key is "based on their scientific inquiry" and "based on their explicit reading of the law." Now, the law was created by man and can be inconsistent. Conversely, reality was created by NED and is absolutely consistent.

And if'n you weren't a heretic we wouldn't let you hang around here.

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2013 7:23 PM
But Jk thinks:

Popular Science turns off comments to silence those wacky deniers. Once proud?

Posted by: Jk at September 24, 2013 11:00 PM

War of Words

My friends are quarreling. WSJ Ed Page:

If Republicans are looking for a more plausible strategy, one idea would be to seek a year delay in the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Mr. Obama has already delayed for a year the business mandate to provide insurance for workers, and it is hard to defend helping business but not people.

Another idea would be to join Senator David Vitter's effort to make Members of Congress and staff live under the same rules as ObamaCare. Democrats would hate defending their special carve-out. Both of these might seem more politically reasonable to independent voters than defunding a program that is already the law.

These columns opposed ObamaCare before it was known by that name, and we may have even been the first to call it by that name. We also don't need any lectures about principle from the Heritage Foundation that promoted RomneyCare and the individual mandate that is part of ObamaCare. Or from cable TV pundits who sold Republicans on Mitt Romney despite RomneyCare.

That's gotta sting a bit! Jonah Goldberg (and I) are a bit surprised that things have heated to this temperature over tactics: nobody is luvvin' the ObamaCare®, there is a valid disagreement over the best way for the party to move forward.

I will, sadly, stay in the WSJ camp (jk: Establishment Republican). I could go chain myself to the Weld County Courthouse to "do something" about ObamaCare, but it might be better to wait for something more efficacious.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 PM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

I wouldn't call you "establishment" jk but like the WSJ your sensibilities seem to favor keeping the machinery in order. The machinery of government, and elections, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

I've seen the "go along and fix it later" approach tried and failed too many times to admit. I approve of the Cruz-Lee gambit because the Tree of Liberty hasn't had any blood in its roots for the entireity of my lifetime. WSJ characterizes this as Cruz and Lee charging fixed bayonets, but from where I sit - since the GOP house holds the government's purse strings - they are holding the bayonets, not charging them.

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2013 2:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

WSJ- "This won't be the end of the world, but the politics are treacherous and unpredictable."

The humanity!

If Obamacare isn't a political hill worth dying on I don't know what is. If Republicans shy from this fight they'll just have to face the same "unpredictable" choice again in the not too distant future. At some point Republicans have to stand up and save the Republic. Or "die" trying. Let's do it now, while we're all still young.

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2013 2:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Good points well said. The Junior Senator from Texas happens to be tearing it up on the Senate floor right now.

At least it is a good time!

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2013 4:33 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Actually, I find the WSJ editorial board to the right of the Republican establishment (tre). WSJ may not agree with Sen. Cruz, but are willing to "engage" and look at his ideas and approach.

TRE are demo-lite and HATE the Senator from Texas, IMO. They hated RR too, and anyone else who's not interested, a la Tom Delay, of bringing every single piece of bacon they can coerce to D.C. I call them "DC-ists" and damn near despise them. Poster boys for TRE? McCain, Feingold and Graham.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 25, 2013 12:31 AM
But jk thinks:

I may or may not choose to defend myself, but I won't sit idly by when Paul Gigot is scurrilously attacked on the pages of ThreeSources!

The WSJ Ed Page is a Prosperitarian organ. Prosperitarians note that the market, like a packet-switching network, is extremely resilient. All kinds of nonsense like Islamic usury laws and Sunday liquor sales can be circumvented by clever traders.

So, yes, Prosperitarians accept a certain amount of non-disruptive crap and choose to fight at the margins. They will trade some purity to prevent disruption: calamitous change that cannot be circumvented.

Brother jg is correct to highlight their trademark DJIA. Kudlow, Gigot, and I are pretty cautious of a government shutdown that might trim 1000 or 1500 points off the index. Were that to usher in a new era of free market health care reforms and an end to dirigisme, sign me up. But such an outcome is unlikely.

Social engagements superseded "Review Corner" this week, so you will all have to wait five more days for CATO's roundtable on "Neoconservatism: Obituary for an Idea." McCain and Graham are TRE members in good standing, but I suggest that they represent the neocon wing of the GOP.

The worst Republican behavior prize in l'Affaire Cruz goes to Rep Peter King (Looney - NY). Now there's a guy even this pragmatist would trade for a Democrat.

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2013 1:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The problem with the resilient equity market is that it will go on merrily trading for its daily advantage while Washington centrally plans its demise. At some point one must look up from the green eyeshade and see which way the course of the river is being altered.

And I'll nominate Mitch McConnell as the third poster boy for TRE, replacing Feingold - a Democrat who was ushered out of office in the 2010 TEA Party wave.

"But such an outcome is unlikely?" I'll take it. At least you didn't say impossible.

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2013 3:02 PM

September 23, 2013

Thinking of South Park...

I don't hate Apple. But I don't love Apple.


There was some mirth to seeing this as I recalled the South Park episode "HUMANCENTiPAD". Kyle was subjected to pornographically monstrous indignities that it turns out he accepted by clicking OK on the iTunes "Terms and Conditions." It was one of the South Parks that was a little over-the-top even for me. But the great comedic moment was when he talks to Stan, Eric, Kenny, and Butters -- all of whom are astonished that he clicked okay without reading the entire agreement: "Else, how could you know what you were agreeing to?" asks eight-year-old Cartman. Comedy gold.

Haha. But there is a property rights issue underneath that disturbs me. I had that decision thrust upon me today for a bunch of stuff that I purchased a long time ago. My Amazon collection is mine. It is delivered on MP3s that I can play anywhere. No DRM, no licensing, no sewing of your mouth on the butthole of another iTunes user...

I celebrate Steve Jobs's saving the music industry by figuring out a digital model which eluded the labels. But I don't buy anything from Apple unless it is not available from Amazon. Even then, I think pretty seriously whether I really want it.

But AndyN thinks:

Every time I'm asked to agree to a questionable terms of service agreement, I'm reminded of this...

"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorised minions."

Posted by: AndyN at September 24, 2013 7:35 AM

A Global-Temperature Predictive Model that Works

Get out the grant money! Blogger Coyote Blog has nailed it:

In 2007, for my first climate video, I created an admittedly simplistic model of global temperatures. I did not try to model any details within the climate system. Instead, I attempted to tease out a very few (it ended up being three) trends from the historic temperature data and simply projected them forward. Each of these trends has a logic grounded in physical processes, but the values I used were pure regression rather than any bottom up calculation from physics. Here they are:
· A long term trend of 0.4C warming per century. This can be thought of as a sort of base natural rate for the post-little ice age era.
· An additional linear trend beginning in 1945 of an additional 0.35C per century. This represents combined effects of CO2 (whose effects should largely appear after mid-century) and higher solar activity in the second half of the 20th century (Note that this is way, way below the mainstream estimates in the IPCC of the historic contribution of CO2, as it implies the maximum historic contribution is less than 0.2C)
· A cyclic trend that looks like a sine wave centered on zero (such that over time it adds nothing to the long term trend) with a period of about 63 years. Think of this as representing the net effect of cyclical climate processes such as the PDO and AMO.

It works better than the others...

UPDATE: Speaking of "works," EPA admits its regulations won't help:

The moon is full. Jupiter is aligned with Mars. Venus is in the seventh house, and the Environmental Protection Agency actually has made a truthful statement about the effects of a proposed regulation, specifically, its new proposed "carbon pollution" rule for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new powerplants.

To wit (pp. 16-17): "... the EPA projects that this proposed rule will result in negligible CO2 emission changes [or] quantified benefits... by 2022."

Yes, you read that correctly: EPA argues explicitly that its proposed carbon pollution rule will yield no actual benefits. EPA asserts also that there will be no costs from the rule, a premise deeply problematic; but this projected vacuum devoid of regulatory effects, benefits, or costs is the result of the EPA's broader argument that coal-fired powerplants are unlikely to be built with or without the carbon pollution rule because of long-term competitive pressures from gas-fired plants.

But johngalt thinks:

Please define what you mean by "works."

-Predicts actual temperature patterns? Okay.

-Precipitates a widespread guilt-driven surrender of the American Dream and voluntary submission to soviet-style egalitarian socialism by way of penance? The IPCC version works way better for that.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2013 2:43 PM

September 21, 2013

I Did Not Know That!

When media bias even gets through to me, the Democratic Operatives journalists in the MSM are keepin' rockin'! The IBD Ed Page shares something I didn't know:

Bias: Heard the one about how House Republicans have passed 40-plus bills to repeal or defund ObamaCare, all of which went nowhere? It's not true. Yet the mainstream press continues to peddle this blatant falsehood.

I keep hearing how they cannot do this anymore, now that we have FOX News and blogs. Yet, there is still an "official," "real" record that comes from the NYTimes and echoes through Jon Stewart.

But T. Greer thinks:

The problem with the 'fox news' strategy of balancing the news is that it really doesn't do anything of the sort - it just divides the media and their viewership into two channels of communication. The right leaning side then gets marginalized out of the main conversation. If only conservatives are watching Fox News, then the best they can do is preach to the choir. Which is useless.

In order to contest mainstream narratives you must have conservative voices in the (non-Fox) mainstream media. Indeed. If Fox News offers conservative voices the best bang for their buck (be it actual bucks or simply in prominence) and gets them all to switch to Fox (ala Glenn Beck) then they actually hurt conservatives ability to push back.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 22, 2013 1:17 AM
But jk thinks:

I agree but . . . there are no classic liberal voices in the MSM (I dislike the term, but have not found another).

The major networks, big dailies, and incestuous J-Schools have been able to keep activism elevated over rational self interest at least since Watergate. One of the few things that make me doubt capitalism is watching countless media organizations fail rather than try the FOX formula.

There are four TV news organizations in Denver on five stations (NBC, ABC, CBS, with the FOX and WB Affiliates teamed together). It is hyper-competitive and a key part of station revenues. It staggers me that nobody ever says let's try to appeal to the 50% that are being completely ignored. Exact cookie-cutter shows are on each evening: only the hair changes.

If you read John Stossel's books or Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" and "Arrogance," you see how deep this goes. Brian Williams would not return Stossel's greetings in the hallway. Goldberg has developed into a something of a FOX-News crank, but the first two books are serious and compelling. Goldberg was excommunicated for questioning a hit piece on Steve Forbes's flat tax. Thou shalt not suggest that "other" ideas be taken seriously.

So, yeah, I think we say the same thing. But it ain't gonna happen. It is disturbing that half get their news from FOX and half from Jon Stewart and neither believe a word the other says. Before FOX (and Instapundit) the ABC-NBC-CBS-NYTimes axis could completely squash a story. I do not want to revert to that. A bifurcated media beats a monopoly.

But I am all ears for any way to blend them.

Posted by: jk at September 23, 2013 10:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Despite what information we are spoon-fed, and by whom, there remains an insatiable thirst for news, information and connectedness. I expect social media to play an ever growing part in the de-spinning of information.

Here's something I never thought I'd ever read, until it happened this morning: "Kenyan Police Tweeted ..." Twitter can make the truth of a shot heard round the world travel as fast as the lies.

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2013 2:48 PM

September 20, 2013


I was not paying huge attention to the gubernatorial election in The Old Dominion. I hoped to see Clintonista snake Terry McAuliffe lose on the basis of his outrageous 'lectriccar crony capitalism, but I was just watching.

Kim Strassel (must be Friday) makes an interesting point. I have wondered since 2010 how we (Colorado Republicans, Kimosabe) could ever win against the tactics that opposed Ken Buck. Strassel nails it:

Virginia so far has been a carbon copy of what Democrats did so successfully in last year's Senate and House races. The approach runs thus: A Democratic candidate, assisted by unions and outside partisan groups, floods the zone with attack ads, painting the GOP opponent as a tea-party nut who is too "extreme" for the state. The left focuses on divisive wedge issues--like abortion--that resonate with women or other important voting constituencies.

As the Republican's unfavorable ratings rise, the Democrat presents himself as a reasonable moderate, in tune with the state's values. A friendly media overlook the Democrat's reliably liberal record, and the lies within the smears against his opponent, and ultimately declares the Democrat unbeatable.

She doesn't say "Ken Buck" but could not be more accurate in describing Colorado's 2010 Senate race. Buck was a tea party guy and an imperfect candidate. He is grouped with Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware as "Tea Party Overreach." It may be true, but nobody compared his actual beliefs with that of Sen. Bennett; they saw a caricature.

That will work every even numbered year in Colorado. The GOP candidate -- not likely to be Pro Life -- will be presented as Todd Akin's more conservative cousin on his mom and his dad's side. Media in Colorado is comparatively cheap and the left's SuperPACs can flood the zone pretty cost-effectively.

Virginia, Strassel says, has come up with a remedy. Just be true to your philosophy and engage your opponent on important local issues and -- oh who am I kidding? It's "don't bring a knife to a gun fight."

Enter a new conservative Super PAC, Fight For Tomorrow, which last week began running a creative TV ad against Mr. McAuliffe in the Washington and Richmond areas. Little is known about FFT (as a national Super PAC, it will be required to disclose its backers in January), but one thing is clear from conversations with those involved: The organization's primary focus is to directly take on the Democratic bare-knuckle strategy--and not just neutralize it, but throw it back at the attackers.

The concept behind FFT's ad is to give Virginia voters a context in which to view the McAuliffe attacks. The group's TV spot notes that there is a "gang" supporting Mr. McAuliffe: the leaders of the Democratic Party; an elitist media; Wall Street liberals; outside partisan groups; Hollywood.

Having specified who is doing the smearing on Mr. McAuliffe's behalf, the spot goes on to explain why the groups want Mr. McAuliffe to win: To impose an agenda that Virginians truly would view as nuts. Employing a potent list of "geography verbs," the ad finishes: "Tell these McAuliffe puppeteers, this is Virginia. We won't let you Detroit us with taxes and debt. You will not California Virginia with regulations that kill jobs, or Hollywood our families and schools. You will not bring District of Columbia tax and spend to our state. Tell them: You can't have Virginia."

I like the geography verbs. And I guess I prefer low-information fodder to losing. But will anybody ever explain to these people that this is a direct result of campaign finance reform? Real live election buying because we could not let rich people fund candidates' campaigns. At least when The Adams Camp accused Andrew Jackson of polygamy everybody knew where it came from.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 5:45 PM | What do you think? [0]

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Happy Unification Day!

Television Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the 13th and 21st Centiries

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg. [Matt Ridley Review Corner]

Quote of the Day

In love, as some of us learn the hard way, there's a really thin line between romantic and creepy. We all know that sometimes when a woman really likes a guy, it's adorable when he sneaks into her apartment and covers her bed in rose petals and maybe leaves a love poem on her pillow. When Arnold from accounting does it, after being repeatedly told by the love of his life that she just wants to be friends, it's grounds for a restraining order. Similarly, if you're John Cusack playing "In Your Eyes" on a boom box outside a teenager's window, it's adorable. But when Anthony Weiner does it, not so much. -- Jonah Goldberg [Subscribe]

Flood Resources and Info

Some folks at work have put up a pretty good website:

I'm not even sure who it is, but get help give help get info, pretty cool.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 19, 2013

ALL HAIL . . . ME!!!!!

I alerted James Taranto yesterday of some dispute over the popular whack that President Clinton is responsible for disarming military bases. Taranto corrects under "Homer Nods:"

Contrary to an assertion in yesterday's column, the policy that forbids most U.S. military servicemen from carrying firearms on base did not originate in the Clinton administration. Rather, according to, it was the Bush administration--the first one--in a February 1992 Defense Department directive.

I got my props:

But I'm sad he did not borrow my heading: "We Blame George H W Bush." Dang. Solid gold that one.

But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at September 19, 2013 5:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Reading -- so you don't have to!

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2013 5:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Shameless! ;)

GHWB also signed the "assault weapon" ban, did he not? Hence, One-Term Charlie. (His defeat was widely blamed on "read my lips - no new taxes" but I think it was the NRA who cut him loose.) Maybe someone who was paying closer attention at the time can support or refute.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2013 3:42 PM

Quote of the Day

I support defunding, but let me be blunt: I've been covering politics for over a decade, and I've never seen "and then a miracle happens" work as part of a legislative strategy. Absent use of Orbital Mind Control Lasers, this scenario almost certainly ends with the Republican leadership having to decide whether to play chicken with the US economy. In their place, I'd be damned hesitant to pull the trigger, too. -- Moe Lane (via Jim Geraghty)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

In related news: All Hail Harsanyi -

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 19, 2013 1:03 PM

September 18, 2013

Lean Forward

Angela Giron -- ex of the Colorado Legislature -- gets it wrong on MSNBC:

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 6:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

Yes, Still Whining

American Automobile Association observes that Gas Prices Surpass $3.00 per Gallon for 1,000 Consecutive Days in Longest Streak Ever.

"Motorists took notice when gas prices crept past $3 per gallon," continued Darbelnet. "Spending more on gas concerns consumers because it reduces savings and spending for everything else we need. Our leaders can help alleviate this economic burden by encouraging a national policy that stimulates production, limits price volatility, ensures greater efficiency and promotes alternative energy."

I have argued that Stealthflation contributes to higher fuel costs, but regulation is probably the larger culprit. Mandates and limitations on production, refining, blending and distributing all make fuel more expensive and less plentiful. The author previously concluded "the reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives" but if "our leaders" were to alleviate this economic burden, as he later suggested, then the 62% of people who believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon wouldn't have to "stop their whining." After all, the average household pays only about 4 percent of pre-tax income on gasoline. That's less than the portion it spends on food prepared at home.

But jk thinks:

Some guys cannot declare victory and move on.

Fuel is the best example of my contention: even though oil is denominated in dollars, the monetary inflation component of gasoline prices is minimal.

I get your "sucks to pay $60 to fill the minivan" point, really I do. But as we select whether Janet Yellen, Matt Damon, or Maya Angelou is to be the next FOMC Chair, I suggest there is value in bifurcating monetary inflation versus the costs of regulation (and everything else).

If one separates the monetary component, one sees that monetary inflation is not a big problem at this time. Buying Gold and demanding immediate unwinding of the Fed's prodigious balance sheet will not ease gas process. Building the Keystone Pipeline, fracking in update New York, removing biofuels mandates and eliminating boutique fuels requirements, conversely, will have a huge impact.

Call things by their right name, attribute effects to their proper cause and we can all get along.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2013 3:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Your buddy, Prof. Mark J. Perry, has an interesting piece today comparing what a young person could buy with a summer's minimum wage wages.

Just interesting...

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2013 4:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, yep and yeah. I agree. Maybe I wasn't dismissive enough of the Stealthflation component of fuel prices but I couldn't pass on tying in with Perfessor Perry's "quit your whining" dismissal.

(Still, the Stealthflation component IS non-zero.) Moving on is overrated. ;)

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 5:30 PM
But jk thinks:

> 0 on purpose. I am "old school" enough that I accept a 1-2% inflation target because the risk of deflation is so much worse. Some people I respect say that fear is overrated, but when it happens it always seems to be bad -- I'll keep my caution.

It is hard on mattress-savers, but if it is predictable and stays < 2 an investor can plan around it. Plus, like the just-linked Perry piece, disinflationary pressure from trade, productivity and innovation should easily eclipse it.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2013 10:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

A true Prosertarian wouldn't be so willing to let government absorb the lions share (okay, would you admit "a healthy portion?") of productivity and innovation gains, for any reason. Isn't a fear of deflation akin to buggy whip price supports? Wouldn't it be better to let the market creatively destruct some businesses and deliver greater prosperity to one and all in the process? The whole inflation targeting thing just seems so 1974 to me.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2013 3:36 PM

Quote of the Day

After each shooting, we hear pundits and columnists declare, "it's time for a national conversation on guns." But we actually have had national conversations on guns after each one of these awful events; the conversation usually ends with lawmakers rejecting new restrictions on gun ownership. The pundits and columnists pretend the national conversation hasn't occurred because they keep losing the argument. -- Jim Geraghty
Part of a long and thoughtful response to an NPR correspondent who made an honest inquiry to understand the other side. I can't link, but you oughtta [Subscribe].
Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 2:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Miss 'Mer'cuh

If I get some good swimsuit pictures, I'll post them as an update. Not to be prurient, but I think it important that we all have a clear idea of Ms.Nina Davuluri's flesh tone. What better way to become acclimated than to see a lot of it?

In a country of 300 million+ people, I refuse to judge our culture by a few -- even a few hundred -- ignorant folks on Twitter. I love Twitter but some of its allure is its capacity for spontaneous stupidity -- sort of an intellectual NASCAR where it is always rainy and slick.

H8ers got H8. People who are outraged for a living gotta be outraged. But does it not say more that she won? How many of the vicious tweets were legitimate? Is our standard that we are a racist society until there is not one racist thought unexpunged?

Daily Beast has a video montage of ugly tweets and a trenchant piece by noted Muslim Terrorist Tunku Varadarajan, who points out that Davuluri is too dark to win a beauty contest in India or Brazil. But she does here.

Take a victory lap America!

UPDATE: Look closely, it's for science:


But johngalt thinks:

Nice tan.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 1:48 PM
But jk thinks:

For a Muslim terrorist!

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2013 3:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

LOL! Well, if that's a Muslim terrorist I don't wanna be an infidel any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 5:32 PM

September 17, 2013

Better Than any Movie!

Making the rounds on Facebook. The three minute commercial that puts all movies to shame. Better than the last movie you saw. People really do love this.

Funny, it seems rather like every movie you see. Is it that well done? May I use the term "cloying?"

But I don't post so that I can whack it down. (Of course, if anyone else wants to, go ahead). I post it to remind ThreeSourcers that Jonathan Haidt is correct and there are multitudes out there that see the world this way, wish the world were this way, and enjoy wishing.

UPDATE: The second I post this, I see The 51st State Initiative has posted the video.

Great three minute video about paying it forward. We have a long road ahead of us in the dozens of communities impacted by this tragedy. We are Coloradans. We will band together and take care of each other! Pass it on!

Goin' to bed...

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:43 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

As much as not, the world IS this way. That is because ours is a world of prosperity where most can afford to give, when they choose, when they believe it will make a difference, and thus bring themselves a feeling of happiness. Such a way of life is enabled by prosperity, but disabled by the myriad things which diminish prosperity: Regulation, redistribution, unearned guilt.

This could also be an Obamacare ad- "Obamacare: Because not all of us can do something nice for our doctor 30 years before we fall ill." But the rebuttal is this- "Any doctor can treat one patient pro-bono; no doctor can treat every patient pro-bono."

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 2:52 PM
But jk thinks:

One my first thoughts: "Too bad they don't have ObamaCare® in Thailand."

Second: "What is the exchange rate for the Bhat -- jeeburz!"

Third: "Why do we not celebrate that the poor child grew up to be a doctor, enjoying challenging work, saving countless lives, and able -- as you say -- to help others? Is that not a better story than some bizarre confluence?"

I am not certain why this bugs me as much as it does. My employer has opened some office space to a Jamestown company that lost everything in the flood and I am literally tearful with pride. The Pay-it-forward people are missing the point. Helping is its own great joy and if somebody helps you, swell. Trying to construct a worldview around it robs charity of its majesty.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2013 3:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think it bugs you because it's a short bicycle or electric-car ride from charity to altruism. If that bridge could be wiped out by a flash flood the world would be a better place.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 5:35 PM
But jk thinks:

But but but -- you're the anti-Compte-altruism guy. I was posting to see if it would "make your head explode like that guy in Scanners.'

Pay-it-forward-ism is a perversion of altruism, or at least of benevolence. All this swell Karma is going to come back around. It replaces capitalism and reason at some level. Buckley would say it immanentizes the eschaton. We all just take care of each other and the others take care of us.

What. Could. Possibly. Go. Wrong?

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2013 10:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It's difficult for one to say "sacrifice yourself for others" without using words. I took the gift of food and medicine as charity, not sacrifice. If he went hungry and endured pain so that another might not, then I'd be howlin'. OR, if some third party [tax man] compelled the charity.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2013 3:39 PM

NOT The Onion

Poor President Obama. He wants to strengthen the middle class, restore the economy that Bush ruined, promote green energy, and see that we all drink enough water.

But: "A term filled with unpredictable calamities"

As reports of the deadly shooting broke, Obama was forced to rewrite prepared remarks on the economy.

Gosh darn it, has any President ever faced such adversity?

Please click. It exceeds parody and -- by far -- my sarcasmic gifts. David Nakamura is serious.

UPDATE: All Hail Taranto!


But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Why do bad things always happen to him?"

I'll take "Unintended Consequences" for $400, Alex...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 17, 2013 5:09 PM

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Joss's (Is Joss Whedon like Jesus and Moses and Bill Gates that he gets a singular possessive of Joss'?) Much Ado About Nothing gets a scholarly review from Shakespearian Hoss Stephen Greenblatt in the New York Review of Books.

The squabbling between them takes place in public, under everyone's watchful eyes. This is a world in which everyone is constantly observing everyone else--"nothing" in Elizabethan English was pronounced "noting," and this is indeed a play of much ado about noting. To understand the culture out of which Shakespeare is writing, it helps to read Renaissance courtesy manuals like Baldassare Castiglione's famous Book of the Courtier (1528) or, still better, Giovanni della Casa's Galateo or, The Rules of Polite Behavior (1558, available in a delightful new translation by M.F. Rusnak).3 It is fine for gentlemen and ladies to make jokes, della Casa writes, for we all like people who are funny, and a genuine witticism produces "joy, laughter, and a kind of astonishment." But mockery has its risks. It is perilously easy to cross a social and moral line of no return. Whatever quality or error is being mocked "must be such that no noticeable shame or serious harm could arise from it; otherwise it would be hard to distinguish quips from slander."

Out on DVD/Blu-ray/Amazon Instant October 8.

Hat-tip: Whedonesque

Art Posted by John Kranz at 11:46 AM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

These critics portrayed the Boehner plan as a sellout because of a campaign that captured the imagination of some conservatives this summer: Republicans must threaten to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare. Their demand is that the House pair the "must pass" CR or the debt limit with defunding the health-care bill. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots. -- WSJ Ed Page
The editorial is titled "The Power of 218." We cannot undo the President's signature initiative from the House. Sad but true. Purists demanding a pointless gesture are endangering actual efforts.

UPDATE: NO! NO! NO! Rasmussen: 51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding

That's a majority, innit? I appreciate research and I am genuinely pleased that the ACA is so unpopular. But 100% of media disapprove. I call to mind the best episode of the best show.

Simon: I don't think my last act in this verse is gonna be betraying my sister.

Jubal Early: You're gonna help me. 'Cause every second you're with me is a chance to turn the tables, get the better of me. Maybe you'll find your moment. Maybe I'll slip.
Jubal Early: Firefly is a good design. People don't appreciate the substance of things. Objects in space. People miss out on what's solid... It's not your moment, Doctor.

It's not your moment, Tea Partiers.

113th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 10:37 AM | What do you think? [9]
But jk thinks:

No no no no no. Firstly, my blog brother bested one of my favorite economics professors in an economic argument.

Secondly, I expected to be the crackpot -- er, outlier -- in this argument with my damnëd pragmatism.

But I will stick with cautious pragmatism here. Larry Kudlow has me truly convinced that these sparring matches which ThreeSourcers so enjoy (me among them) are truly deleterious to prosperity. It is not just a political question: trillions of dollars of GDP are at risk.

The WSJ Editorial makes a good point that the second Obama term is dematerializing right before our eyes and that an easy-to-spin domestic quarrel will take heat off clear failures.

Wait for your moment, Doctor. The difference between pointless gesture and masterful victory can be one of timing. Nothing would have been gained by Simon jumping Early.

Posted by: jk at September 17, 2013 3:21 PM
But Terri thinks:

I'm with JK here. Force the side issues like the mandatory individual coverage vs businesses getting to slide for another year. Force the D's to vote on that. Shutting down the government is a bad idea that will only crash around the Tea Partiers and they will die an all too early death. (as would have Simon)

Posted by: Terri at September 17, 2013 5:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Y'all may be right but success of the "let it proceed so voters can see how crappy it is and vote in politicians who will repeal it" strategy relies on smart voters and principled politicians. While both of those may somehow miraculously appear, there's still the issue of self-interest that Obamacare front-loaded goodies will shamelessly exploit.

Posted by: johngalt at September 17, 2013 9:12 PM
But Jk thinks:

Robert Costa is on Kudlow saying there will be a vote, there seems to be a deal to give "conservatives" a chance. Interesting.

You misrepresent my position. I'm saying we cannot kill it so let us not damage electoral prospects which would put us in a better position.

Posted by: Jk at September 17, 2013 9:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I interpret your position as primarily avoiding the risk of damaging electoral prospects. My position is that we do equal damage by allowing this self-imposed man-caused disaster to proceed. When do we dare to contrast the ideas and priciples of free people and free markets with the statists? If not now, when?

"Democrats tell us we can all have everything for nothing. We're not telling you anything you don't already know when we say no, we can't."

"Would you rather get busy fixing the runaway costs of health care or keep arguing about who has to pay those ridiculous costs? Vote for progress. Vote for prosperity. Vote Republican."

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

An exercise:

Try reading "Vote for progress, vote for prosperity, vote Republican" without the three sentences I wrote before those. Let me know when the laughing stops.

Unless the GOP changes its approach its electoral prospects will continue to be damaged, with Republicans (and independents and economically-literate Democrats.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2013 3:23 PM

September 16, 2013

Ein Klein Barackmusik

Stolen from professor Hayward, he plays it nice, compared to Time4Klein Joe, who says

It has been one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed.

A very nice entry in the growing chorus of those noticing the BarackMobile in the ditch, digging furiously while grinding the gears in the process, and Time magazine's cover tells us we need to be focused on college football (while the RoW front covers say: "America’s weak and waffling, Russia’s rich an resurgent–and its leader doesn’t care what anybody thinks of him.").

God help our low-information voters when the Shrillery starts her campaign by harping on voter suppression!

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:41 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Headline points to you and Hayward.

I find myself torn. On hand the one, I do hate to see Putin's "basically doing donuts on the lawn" of the United States's President. The long-term effects of diminished US leadership and debased trust will likely be bad and difficult to reverse. All Deepak Lal-ian libertarians need be concerned with damage to the Liberal Economic International Order.

On hand the other, however, we seemed -- ten days ago -- headed toward a wrong-headed mission with no strategic foundation and zero risk mitigation for expanded conflict. I cannot be unhappy that that has been avoided.

It is not software. We cannot run it both ways to see which is worse. But I am tempted to accept that credibility can be repaired more easily than an unexpectedly uncontained conflict.

Posted by: jk at September 16, 2013 12:06 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

JK is too kind:
a wrong-headed mission with no strategic foundation and zero risk mitigation for expanded conflict

I see nothing the teleprompter-in-chief can conjure will work to anybody's satisfaction, except those of course in the americans for whatever barack obama wants crowd. I think this will become his "hostage crisis."

I also see nothing that Putin can come up with that gets the (however feeble) support of SoSUS and POTUS being slightly popular outside of beltway and Manhattan editorial circles.

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 17, 2013 12:57 AM

September 15, 2013

Professor Perry Attacks Blog Brother jg

It's almost too much to bear. Dramatis Personae:

Dr. Mark J. Perry: is a full professor of economics at the Flint campus of The University of Michigan, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and finance since 1996. Starting in the fall of 2009, Perry has also held a joint appointment as a scholar at The American Enterprise Institute.

Brother johngalt: Champion of Stealthflation. All around good guy. Great blogger.

Prof Perry tells jg (the academic in him does not permit him to call out one blogger by name, he hides it in generalities) "stop whining!"
It's a favorite pastime in this country -- Americans [like johngalt @ threesources] love to complain about rising food prices. Even when they aren't. In fact, given all of the complaining you would never know that average food price inflation in recent years is actually the lowest in several generations. Below are three reasons that Americans should stop whining about food prices, and be a little more appreciative of how affordable food is in the US today, especially when compared to other countries, or when compared to previous decades in US history.

While I agree with Perry, I don't think this level of ad hominem attacks is appropriate.

But johngalt thinks:

This is way more fun than pumping flood water! :)

Dr. Michael E. Mann: A.B. applied mathematics and physics (1989), MS physics (1991), MPhil physics (1991), MPhil geology (1993), PhD geology & geophysics (1998)

QED: Appeal to authority dispatched.

Regarding Dr. Perry's assertion that "annual increases in food prices over the last four years have averaged less than 2%" he bases this conclusion on CPI food data. I agree with commenter 'morganovich':

"this is a VERY simple concept here.

changing basket weighting to shift from things that get more expensive to less expensive substitutes but not then accounting for the drop in quality understates actual inflation."

Regarding Dr. Perry's observations that food (prepared at home) expenditure in the U.S. the lowest share of the household budget for any other country in the world, and a lower share of the household budget than at any other time in history so "stop your whining" I can only ask, literally, "What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?" Does individual prosperity have to be flat before you'll acknowledge inflation? We aren't allowed to have a higher disposable income than our parents generation any longer? That was a key component of the American Dream you just left on the table, Bub.

Posted by: johngalt at September 16, 2013 3:49 PM
But jk thinks:

ThreeSources: Better than pumping floodwater!

I think the tagline contest is over.

Posted by: jk at September 16, 2013 6:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Better than pumping Natalie Holloway pictures?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 17, 2013 2:34 AM

Review Corner

Something short today. At least one blog brother has some underwater property and we have one more day of predicted rain plus the mountain floods hitting the plains in earnest (Earnest is about 20 miles south of the county line...)

Niall Ferguson already has two entries in Review Corner: The Great Degeneration and Civilization. Both scored highly (averaging 4.875 stars including revisions).

Always Right is a Kindle Single ($0.99 -- ThreeSources takes care of its readers in the Obama economy). In this short but serious work, Ferguson, rightfully gives props to PM Margaret Thatcher, her governing philosophy, and its results.

While President Reagan's reputation has been reformed on this side of the pond (lefties can get verklempt over dead Republicans), I suggest that the even more stark success of PM Thatcher has received less recognition in Old Blighty. My previous line of work had me cavorting with members of the "Chattering Class" and they were positively gobsmacked that I thought highly of The Iron Lady. It is just accepted by all thinking people that she was an idiot. Ferguson details the incredible turnaround:

For the British stock market, the Eighties were comfortably the best decade of the twentieth century. Naive economists look at the wrong indicators when trying to assess the Thatcher achievement. They fail to see what the project to restore British capitalism should be measured by capitalist, not socialist standards.

Ferguson was a punk in more ways than one during her tenure but he saw where the revolution was heading and got on board. Glad he is around to document her achievements.

American Republicans do come off as silly waiting, Beckett-Style, for "the next Reagan." But reading this and Sagebrush Rebel [Review Corner] one is reminded that ideas need a champion.

Historians of my generation were taught to despise the "great man theory of history". The Reformation had not been the work of Luther, Calvin or Henry VIII, but of great social forces -- the rising gentry, I seem to remember. The English Civil War was not Oliver Cromwell's triumph but the defeat of a declining aristocracy. The reductio ad absurdum of this approach was the erudite German professor who set out to write a history of the Third Reich without mentioning Hitler.

Would Governor Romney had benefitted more from better ideas or from a better capacity for explaining them and dealing with the Candy Crawleys along the way? We all love ideas here, but it is fantastic to read about Reagan and Thatcher and their capacity to advance their ideas. And this is a great piece of it. Five Stars (bringing Ferguson asymptotically toward five).

Bonus: shortly after finishing the book, I ran across ThreeSources's favorite Yaron Brook answering "How did someone like Margaret Thatcher get elected?"

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:54 AM | What do you think? [0]

September 13, 2013

A Man with Nothing to Hide

I do not think ThreeSources will make a formal endorsement in the Minneapolis Mayoral election.

But there are a lot of lakes around there, and Jeff Wagner is all dressed up.:


Over a million dollars is gonna be spent to become the mayor of Minneapolis, a $100,000-a-year job. You're not the one’s that are deciding who you vote for -- the media and the money is," he says. "I'm cool with making $100,000 a year. I will not take money from the developers; I will not take money from the political angle. I will not even go to the strip clubs anymore. Wake the f**k up! I'm Jeff Wagner, and I approve this message."

Not sure that Hubert H. Humphrey started out this way, but he launched that office into an extensive national career.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Look for Da Yoonion Label...

Ezra Klein: Obama administration denies labor's request for health care waiver

Wow! Unions gotta be in ObamaCare® -- harsh!

Now if the Congressional Republicans can be principled and (stop laughing in the back!!!) make Congress have to live with it, we'll have some powerful allies.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 6:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

If you can make it there...

Yahoo News: Is New York unwilling to elect a gay, woman mayor? In Quinn's loss, no clear answer

Gay Rights Posted by John Kranz at 5:11 PM | What do you think? [0]

Got an hour to kill?

Much as I admire George Will, I have derided him on occasion as a conventional wisdom guy. I take all of that back. He and I have some differences but they are all well founded and philosophically consistent on "the Indiana Whig."

Click it on, you can work. But this is a masterful interview:

Hoss Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 2:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

September 12, 2013

Bizarro World

A blog friend shares a Jon Stewart quote on Facebook.

I get that Fox opposes a Syria peace plan because its modus operandi is to foment dissent in the form of a relentless and irrational contrarianism to Barack Obama and all things Democratic to advance its ultimate objective of creating a deliberately misinformed body politic whose fear, anger, mistrust and discontent is the manna upon which it sustains its parasitic succubus-like existence. -- Jon Stewart on The Daily Show Tuesday night

"Nicely distilled ..." says our friend.

I'll give anybody points for using "succubus," but after that I wonder if we are living on the same planet. That and widespread flooding across our normally-arid high dessert plains give me pause.

Now wouldn't you know it, I missed Stewart last Tuesday. I will take <redacted> at his word that the transcription is accurate. It certainly seems in character. To make things worse, this was approbationally linked by another friend who added "So very true! Keep your critical thinking caps on folks! Don't let any media outlet tell you what to think! Investigate and think it all through!" Great advice.

Maybe it is the continual rain but I. Just. Can't. Take. It.

-- The "Syria peace plan?" Again, I missed mister clown-nose on, clown-nose-off on Tuesday, but is that the "peace plan" where we rain down a billion dollars worth of high-tech ordinance on an impoverished nation? Is that the peace plan those damnëd FOX people dare oppose?

-- We have a difficult time finding a friend in the contretemps (I'll see your succubus and raise you a contretemps!) Assad is a tyrant who gasses his own people, the rebels are interleaved with al Qaeda and desecrate the corpses of their opponents.It is pretty difficult to tell who the good guys are. That is one of my first problems with action in the theatre. But: we sure know who the enemy is, do we not? FOX and its viewers!

I am frustrated by the lack of reason and I am frustrated at yet another ad hominem attack. People who oppose the "peace plan where we blow a lot of shit up and then just bask in the peace after" clearly have no legitimate grievance with the C-in-C or plans as outlined. No, there is no room for honest disagreement. They are evil and anti-peace.

I typed but removed incriminating evidence that could identify these two; it is not about them. The whole blessed Church of Stewart-Colbert surely nodded along, not noting that the President's "peace plan" has been attacked by Democrats and supported by Republicans. No, that is not interesting to those who find us un-nuanced.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Syrian PEACE plan"? As you say, Obama was looking for approval for offensive military action - launching two and a half metric trainloads of cruise missiles is not a peace plan, unless the Boy King Narcissus has adopted "peace through superior firepower" as a core philosophy.

I believe it was the famous philosopher John Lennon who once said "Fighting for peace is like f-" Well, you can Google the rest of that for yourselves...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 12, 2013 1:19 PM
But AndyN thinks:

To quote a right winger so extreme he's persona non grata among the rest of the right wing extremists, "rubble don't make trouble." I'll accept lack of trouble as a close enough substitute for peace. Of course, I'm a bit surprised that Jon Stewart would try to out wingnut the wingnuts.

Posted by: AndyN at September 12, 2013 4:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To a hammer, everything is a nail.

If you answer every policy criticism of a black president with the charge "Racist!" then you can never criticize. Ever. (The logical justification of this is left as a simple exercise for the reader.)

We've noted previously how America's political actors seem to have all traded uniforms and assumed each other's positions. The left believes the right is willing to contradict its "obvious" war-monger-ness in order to damage the black president. I believe the right is once bitten, twice shy and is rightly seeing no national interest in drive-by bombing or other warmaking activities in anarchistic foreign lands. (In many ways the right has acknowledged the "blow-back" theory once championed by the left. At least, that is, when the president was a Republican.)

As for the left, they think themselves principled - standing up for the black president against the modern Klan or some such nonsense. I think they are the ones who choose to contradict every other principle in the name of one overarching absolute necessity - the solidarity of the collective. There is a notable exception to this in the form of Ed Asner and Mike Farrell.

Contemporary Colorado politics shows us how, in practice, Democrats will happily sacrifice various principles in order to maximize political power. Republicans have thusfar proven incapable of this democratic virtue, which makes me damned proud to be a Republican. (One of the few reasons, I should add.)

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2013 12:17 PM

September 11, 2013

Don't Tread on Us

"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids -- She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. -- She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. -- As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal: -- Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her. -- Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?" -American Guesser, aka Benjamin Franklin December, 1775

Happy Patriot's Day!

Ready, Aim, Fired!

Like Jim Geraghty, I went to bed last night (before my blog brother it appears) thinking the recall elections had been split. I saw Morse's grouchy concession speech, but the attempted fraud vote counting in Pueblo was slow and the CW was that the heavily-D district would not out Giron.

If I may quote Geraghty: "Nope,"

Charles Cooke:

None of it worked. This was the recall that was never supposed to happen -- let alone be successful. The nine men who set the ball rolling weren't supposed to be capable of organizing a town hall, let alone taking down the state-senate president. And yet they did it. Victor Head, a 29-year-old plumber who had never been politically active, took down a senator in a district that went Democratic in 2012 by ten points; a group of six concerned men from the chat room removed the state's top-ranking legislator. "We are a quiet people," recall founder Tim Knight told his victorious friends when the results became known at the Stargazers Theater. "You may be tempted to ignore us. Clearly, that would be a mistake."

Perhaps Dave Kopel said it best:

UPDATE: Too good not to embed!

UPDATE II: Speaking of Glenn Reynolds. I'll give him quote of the day after linking to this same article:

The message the defeat of Morse and Giron sends to legislators all across the country is unmistakable: If you are thinking about pushing for new gun-control laws, you could face swift consequences.

Well, when you try to deny people’s civil rights, there should be swift consequences.

But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Wonderful news! I guess this means I can remove the charges that would blow up my wells...

It was unclear from the maps I perused whether Morse represented the late Robert Heinlein's former Colorado Springs home--I think the line missed it by a whisker. Still, given his love of shooting, the Second Amendment and a good political fight let's make him an honorary District 11 constituent. Democrats shouldn't be the only ones who get the dead person vote!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 11, 2013 8:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Don't know if you have seen the exploits of Jon Caldera, ey, but a side note of this whole venture was a new same-day-voter-fraud-I-mean-registration law that allows any 22 day Colorado resident to cast a ballot if they have "intent" to reside at the address they use (Caldera registered and submitted a blank ballot).

This was supposed to take effect in the 2014 General election, but was curiously accelerated by -- what was that guy's name again -- oh, yeah: John Morse!

Ergo: district-schmistrict, in Colorado we vote wherever we want! RAH could have done whatever pleased.

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2013 1:13 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heinlein was, I believe, a staunch Democrat. He'd probably have voted for Morse.

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:33 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Dagny--he was only a staunch Democrat for about the half of his life before he moved to Colorado. And he was always very pro-liberty and RTKABA. A lot like Reagan, and over similar time periods, he left the Democrats shortly after the Democrats left him.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 12, 2013 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suspect he was more of a Zell Miller democrat. Today's are not our father's democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2013 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

And yet sister dagny is correct to caution on appropriating historical figures for our own use.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2013 1:30 PM

Headline of the Day


A perfect headline by Colorado's Complete Colorado linking to this Colorado Peak Politics article:

In a historic recall election Senate President John Morse was booted from office, capping the end of a long and passionate fight over gun rights in Colorado. It marks a wake-up call for Colorado Democrats, who are suddenly coming to the realization that they're not invincible after all.

In a legislative session this spring dubbed "one of the most liberal ever" by the Durango Herald's Joe Hanel, Democrats sprinted to the left on gun control, and virtually every other policy in the left-wing agenda.

The Morse recall results are a swift kick in their proverbial nuts. A reminder to legislators that getting elected office doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever your progressive paymasters demand of you.

A hearty congratulations to my compatriots to the south. It wasn't my fight but I cheered loudly and rooted you on.

Oh and by the way, the headline says "total" recall, alluding to the other senator facing a no-confidence vote, Pueblo Democrat Angela Giron. She's toast too, by a 20-point margin.

But johngalt thinks:

One very popular symbol of the TEA Party and the liberty movement in general is the Gadsden flag, recognizable for its "Don't Tread On Me" motto. It bears the likeness of a rattlesnake.

During hearings in the most recent Colorado legislative session, those of us who endorse that banner gave the legislative majority "the rattle." Yesterday we gave it "the fangs."

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2013 4:27 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Total Recall?"

As long as we're going to use Schwarzenegger references, should we respond with "Hasta la vista, baby" or "you're terminated"?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 11, 2013 8:34 PM
But dagny thinks:

Anything but, "I'll be back."

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ladies and gentlemen, please walk away from the keyboards. Dagny's comeback is today's Winner of the Internet.

I will credit the source when I use that one myself.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2013 1:05 AM

September 10, 2013

No, no, no... anything but that!

Hollywood Reporter (magazine): "Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist."

Last week I asked, "So, you're on board for going to war with no more justification than 'the black president decided we should?'" Days later Ed Asner answered, "A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama." In other words, "yes."

It's not a partisan thing, according to Ed.

"Whether it's a Republican or Democrat president, or Republican or Democrat Congress -- and it doesn't make a God-damned difference -- it behooves us to get off our ass and ask these questions," Asner said.

Just don't ever disagree with a black president.

More good anti-war schadenfreude at the first link.

But nanobrewer thinks:

This is friggin' hilarious: from "Americans for whatever Barack Obama wants"

P.S.: who's Jay-z?

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 12, 2013 1:55 AM

$1,200 in your pocket from Fracking

Given the unambiguous atmospheric benefits of fracking -- it produces far fewer greenhouse gases than coal or traditional petroleum products -- and the big savings it's producing across the economy, expect the attacks on it to become more heated and vitriolic. Because the only thing many environmentalists hate more than a cheaper, cleaner potential energy source is an actualized one.
So says Nick Gillespie on a study of the positive effects of hydraulic fracturing. It adds $1200 to the average household. So: more protests!
Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 12:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

Tweet of the Day

Hard to argue.

Syria Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This is choice. I'm seeing all kinds of lefties on my Twitter feed, saying that Obama isn't getting credit for averting war in Syria because he's black.

Next, I suppose we're going to be told he won't get credit for inventing the Candygram, too.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 10, 2013 3:02 PM

Maybe Make it a "Gay Pride" Park

The City of Chicago infamously blocked a Chick-Fil-A store last year, sending me to eat chikin sandwiches in solidarity with many folks whom I would normally oppose. While I support gay marriage, it is trumped clearly by right to contract and does not trump others' right to worship.

And: people, people, people. When you fight business we all lose. Here is the lot that could be offering 60 jobs to Chicagoans of all sexual preferences:


Moreno claimed "Aldermanic Privilege," to deny Chick-Fil-A a zoning variance which would have allowed subdividing an unused portion of a Home Depot parking lot to open the restaurant. As a result, an uproar over freedom of religion spanned across the entire country, as supporters of the fast food chain waited hours to buy chicken sandwiches in a massive show of support for the first amendment against Moreno's progressive-bully tactics.

Thanks to Moreno's prejudice against Cathy's First Amendment "protected" religious freedom, the proposed site for the restaurant, in a busy industrial and big-box commercial corridor, is sits for sale, vacant with no more than a pile of rubble and overgrown weeds, bordered by a dilapidated and incomplete chain link fence. It is estimated that as many as 200 temporary and permanent, full and part-time jobs could have been affected by Alderman Moreno's actions.

A representative from Chick-Fil-A's public relations department confirmed with Breitbart News, that on average, each of their freestanding restaurants employ more than 60 team members.

That's why I am not a big boycott guy.

Hat-tip: @MrsFreedomFirst

But johngalt thinks:

"Nose? You're outta here.
Face? STFU."

Posted by: johngalt at September 10, 2013 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, and I'm sure you recognize the difference between private consumers "voting with dollars" and political thuggery.

Posted by: johngalt at September 10, 2013 3:25 PM
But Jk thinks:

Point taken. They arrived at the same time. Alderman's discretion is immoral, boycotts are generally just bad.

Posted by: Jk at September 10, 2013 8:31 PM

September 9, 2013

These People are Animals!

We hereby pause from our Syria coverage (well, now that Vladimir Putin is going to ride in and save the day, we mightn't return).

The antecedent in the title is the whole gorram Kennedy family! Every few months, I read of some absolute depravity: JFK whorring out 19-year old interbs, Chris Dodd & Teddy sandwiching a poor waitress, the younger males all with rape lawyers on speed dial. Helen Maria! What gives with these people?

A diary belonging to Robert F. Kennedy Jr has emerged containing details of encounters with 37 different women during 2001
  • He often describes himself as a victim and uses the word 'mugged' as shorthand for being seduced
  • He also writes of his guilt at being unable to control his libido
  • 2001 was the year that his wife Mary gave birth to their fourth son, she killed herself in May 2012
  • Kennedy has denied that the diary belongs to him

Camelot? Caligula's Palace is a better analogy. Brutal, murdering rapists all of them -- at least Papa Joe was an honest bootlegger.

Rant Posted by John Kranz at 4:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Unbelievably Small

Speak softly and carry an "unbelievably small" stick...


Syria Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Unbelievably incompetent. Embarassingly, dangerously, breathtakingly so.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2013 2:48 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Once again would like to forward the thesis that Hillary Clinton was an incredibly more effective SecState than Mr. Kerry.

See also this story:

Last round of this discussion you mentioned that Hillary was really good at taking other people's credit and keeping up appearances that really are not deserved. Don't doubt that. But that is probably exactly what made her succeed as SecState. An important part of a good diplomat's skill set, actually.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 9, 2013 6:08 PM
But Jk thinks:

You have me twisting on the wind, my friend. I hope everyone is enjoying it.

I must withdraw my cheer for Sec. Kerry. I don't know that I will transfer approbation to Sec. Clinton, but today's performance is pretty pitiful. To be fair, the incompetence goes all the way up.

Posted by: Jk at September 9, 2013 9:35 PM



Maybe You'll be There

Words & Music by Sammy Gallop & Rube Bloom, 1947

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


September 8, 2013

Review Corner

Ahh, epistemology. There are so few things that we know with absolute conviction. The Moon orbits the Earth, VP J. Danforth Quayle was stoopid. Global Warming is real, man-made and catastrophic. Warren Gamaliel Harding was a terrible president. James Watt was a crazy man who wanted to pave the West.

Wait -- that last one might not actually be true. In Sagebrush Rebel, William Perry Pendley takes on the task of defending President Reagan's environmental policy and concomitantly rehabilitating the reputation of Interior Secretary James Watt. Those Augean Stables were a light dusting job in comparison.

Younger readers may not appreciate the enmity directed at Watt. Even being a Reagan guy I bought in. I left a copy of Atlas Shrugged out once at blog friend Sugarchuck's house. His New Dealer father read it in one sitting (still impresses me) and greeted me with "Who wrote this? James Watt's Mother?" The popular bumper sticker of the time showed the Colorado license plate mountains -- but leveled flat with a bulldozer and "James Watt's America" or some such caption.

Pendley tells the story that was never told. Watt understood exactly what Reagan wanted and was tough enough to take the heat for it. Coming out of the Carter years, where environmentalists had tied up energy production and economic development, America lacked the economic footing to defeat Communism.

Stop me if you've heard this, but by opening energy production, the entire economy was, ahem, fueled. And that was the same economy that crumbled the Soviet Union with a few harsh glares. No energy and none of the other Reagan initiatives worked. Cut taxes. swell. Negotiate firmly, nice. But the world knows what strength lies behind an American leader. Thanks to Watt's carrying out the shared vision, the strength was undeniable.

If ThreeSourcers are all picturing President Obama right now instead of President Carter, that's easily forgiven. Pendley brings the context around to today at the end of several chapters -- and ties it up in a bow toward the end:

In 2013, America's situation is similar to that of 1980--an economy in distress, vast natural resources locked up with no plans to put them to use, and a regulatory regime that inhibits the development of resources and the creation of jobs. What lessons can we take from President Reagan's policies and the responses to them?

But, jk, my Facebook friends intone gravely, "at what cost to the environment?" And "Would you like to play Candy Crush?"

None. And no.

Reagan and his Interior Department acted like grown-ups in that they made choices. Many many square miles were set aside for wilderness. The National Parks were upgraded for use. But the Feds own 1/3 of the nation's land mass and it is not all pristine wilderness. Reagan rejected the idea that man is not part of nature or ecology. Carter's folks -- and I fear Obama's -- do not sort, strategize, and allot. They see every acre of Federal land as something to be regulated and removed from economic use. That not only damages an energy hungry economy, but also reduces the efficacy of the actual lands that should be protected.

Reagan adhered to what one social scientist called the "human exemptionalism paradigm," according to which "human technological ingenuity can continue infinitely to improve the human situation." Carter, the Earth Day organizers, and the environmental groups embraced a neo-Malthusian "ecological paradigm," which posits environmental limits on economic growth.

Pendley doesn't say it, but I'd suggest that defeating Soviet Communism was probably the best thing that's happened to the environment in modern times. Look at the state of stewardship in Romania in the documentary Mine Your Own Business.

The other thing that makes it so relevant to today is the successful battle against bureaucracy and elite opinion. From its onset, the Interior Department was so squishily defined as to promise runaway scope and bureaucracy.

Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina had opposed creation of the Department of the Interior, fearing, "Everything upon the face of God's earth will go into the Home Department." He was prophetic. Soon the department was called the "Great Miscellany," "[a] slop bucket for executive fragments," and a "hydra-headed monster," or, more kindly, "Mother of Departments," for the tendency of agencies it adopted as orphans to become grown-up, stand-alone agencies,

Score one for the Gentleman from South Carolina. But Watt's courage and Reagan's righteousness prevailed if but for a short time. There's a lesson

There are, in fact, many lessons in "Sagebrush Rebel." As we discuss urban vs. rural, Democrat vs. Republican, Libertoid vs, Randian &c., Pendley details the very real War against the West. The title comes from the Californian's willingness to choose sides with the West. Democratic Western governors are pitted against Carter's policies, and most -- some more begrudgingly than others -- end up conceding agreement with the 'R' in the White House.

Environmental extremists had another reason for their rage toward Ronald Reagan; he was an unabashed Sagebrush Rebel who pledged to put an end to Carter's War on the West. He had made common cause with Westerners who were fed up with an arrogant environmental movement that was entrenched in positions of power in San Francisco, New York, and especially in Washington, where the federal bureaucracy was filled with environmental activists.

Side note: my growing nostalgia for the free-trading, cost-cutting, President Clinton is truncated by his enthusiastic escalation of the W on the W.

ThreeSourcers will love everything about this book: dedication to ideas, and the success of that dedication. Good fights, good choices, good victories. And a very good book: five stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Cool review. I'll add my own anecdotal recollection of the Watt era. I was "informed" that Watt disregarded any protection of any natural resources because, "when Christ returns to take all of the believers to heaven there will no longer be any use for planet Earth." I think it was a high school classmate who parroted this nugget of propaganda and yes, I took her to be completely serious. So much so I actually believed he had said it.

Also related to domestic oil production, I heard KT McFarland explain how we could flood the world petroleum market and drive the price of oil down, effectively starving Iran of petrodollars so critical to fueling their nuclear ambitions. We supposedly can't "drill our way to prosperity" but can we "drill our way to peace?" Isn't it worth a try?

All we are SAAAY-ing,
Is give oil a chaaaance.

Posted by: johngalt at September 9, 2013 3:04 PM
But jk thinks:


The line you reference is documented in the book. It was actually said by an interviewer, attributed to Watt mistakenly, and followed him around his entire career.

What, were they going to assess and rebut his ideas?

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2013 4:47 PM

September 6, 2013

Colo Legislators

Denver Post:


Syria Posted by John Kranz at 7:12 PM | What do you think? [0]


Insty shares an odd story. It speaks to my inner engineer: newer cars have some unusual and unexpected issues (no keys to shut them off, &c.)

SO A FRIEND HAD A WEIRD EXPERIENCE LAST WEEK -- her car was struck by lightning on the Interstate. All the electronics were fried, they managed to coast to the side of the road, and then they couldn't get out because the door locks and windows were frozen. The guy she was with managed to kick out a window, cutting himself a bit in the process (but impressing her with his derring-do). The cops told her she should have had a Lifehammer in the car. Good idea. Or a ResQMe tool.

Or, in my case, a good pair of scissors:

Posted by John Kranz at 7:03 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Heh. An e-mailer suggests if I am hit by lightning in the Mister, that egress will be the least of my worries. Fair Cop, guv.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2013 7:17 PM


It used to be that if dozens of foreign countries signed onto a U.S. military intervention, but not France, we were "going it alone." Now, if we have a military coalition consisting exclusively of France, we are leading the world. -- Rich Lowry (via Jonah's G-File; dude owns QOTD like Peyton Manning owned Tyrell Suggs)
Syria Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

"The genius of you Americans," the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, "is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing." -- via Jonah Goldberg
Middle East Posted by John Kranz at 10:34 AM | What do you think? [6]
But AndyN thinks:

I just got a mental image of Obama and Assad sitting across a makeshift table from one another, two goblets between them, one supposedly containing iocane powder. Unfortunately for us, I'm afraid the President doesn't understand which one of them is Vizzini.

Posted by: AndyN at September 6, 2013 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at September 6, 2013 1:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

How is that scenario unfortunate for us?

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2013 3:43 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Because Vizzini thought he was clever enough to figure out which goblet had been poisoned, but The Man in Black knew that both goblets had been.

Our leader having a dizzying intellect is only beneficial to us if it results in our enemies letting our muddled approach scare them into behaving the way we want them to. I haven't seen any indication that that's the case.

Posted by: AndyN at September 6, 2013 4:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Unfortunately, in our world, our man at the table has Vizzini's mouth, Fezzik's brainpower, and Humperdinck's integrity - all the while getting ready to start a land war in Asia.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 7, 2013 10:27 AM
But Jk thinks:


Posted by: Jk at September 7, 2013 4:53 PM

September 5, 2013

Dear <legislator>

Usually, when I write my (Democrat) Senators and (Republican) Congressman, I am pretty certain how they'll vote. This time, I truly have no idea:


I thank you for your time and trust you will vote your conscience on upcoming resolutions to pursue military options with Syria.

As a constituent, however, I wanted to ask that you oppose action.

I have not heard a clear strategy to protect the further spread of chemical weapons or to mitigate the many possible disadvantages of such actions. Without a clear and achievable purpose, I feel the risks are far too high.

Thank you,
John Kranz & Riza Rivera

Syria Posted by John Kranz at 6:12 PM | What do you think? [0]

I'll be Post-Feminist in the Post-Patriarchy!

The title of this post is my favorite bumper sticker ever from "the other side."

But the President was certainly right that there is "more work to do." There are still employers out there -- Prof. Mark J Perry has found -- that think they can get away with paying women less than 87 cents for every dollar they'd pay a man:


^&*@-*ing Troglodytes!

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Deep in my mind, I'm hearing the President's voice saying "make me a sammich" - and then winding up on the business end of a bat'leth.

This is what "binders full of women" is all about, friends - blatant sexism. They told me that if I voted for Romney, we'd see a policy of sexism in the White House - AND THEY WERE RIGHT!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 5, 2013 2:45 PM

September 4, 2013

But, jk, What do Your Facebook Friends Think?

This was written by -- not one of my loony moonbat friends -- just a musician buddy. I don't recruit him for GOP GOTV efforts, but don't consider him a partisan on either side. Ergo, a bit of surprise:

Since when did Republicans in Congress suddenly become a bunch of 60s countercultural "make-war-no- more" peaceniks? Since Obama arranged for a strike and gave them the deciding vote, that's when. Bipartisanism and anti-Barack no-matter-what-ism runs pretty deep when you go against your own deeply held principles simply to say "no" yet again to Obama in a transparent attempt to humiliate the administration you resent so much for keeping your full power from you.

I suspect the President would much like to cultivate this opinion. Is this a one off or is it working? Is this the Katie Couric/Jon Stewart view of the world?

I respectfully pressed him (and delivered a little historical perspective on Robert Taft and Charles Evans Hughes, baby nobody can out-isolationist Republicans!) I asked if he was 100% in favor of the President's response and he said "Yes I am!!"

A data point of one, but interesting.

Syria Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Since when did musicians and other hip, enlightened folks fall full-square behind a plan to bomb a sovereign nation, with no defined purpose, killing unknown numbers of people with unknown connection to any military purpose, against their own deeply held principles of "make-war-no-more" simply because the right charismatic leader of the non-villianized political party says "we have to do something?" Is it because it would be racist to disagree with an African-American President? If so, I should think you would never want to see such a situation again, forcing you to support something you spent your entire youth denouncing with every fiber of your being.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 3:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Musicians and other hip, enlightened folks?

Are we taking bets on which side of this the Dixie Chicks come out on? Springsteen?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 5, 2013 4:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

A simpler formulation, for jk's musician buddy:

"So, you're on board for going to war with no more justification than 'the black president decided we should?'"

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 4:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I've always referred to them as the "tragically hip." I'll pass on judging the "E" word....

As Mike Rosen noted a long time ago: "Behind every double standard, is a single standard."

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 8, 2013 11:56 PM

Through the Looking Glass?

UPDATE: She upon whom war hinges:

Syria Posted by John Kranz at 12:34 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Can we get Nancy replaced by her 5-year-old grandson? I'm in!

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 3:40 PM
But jk thinks:

Sounds like it would double the average IQ of Congress.

Posted by: jk at September 5, 2013 4:11 PM

September 3, 2013

Wampum Generating Idea

Wampum. Even when I come up with a serious idea, I cannot avoid the puerile. Put that racist transgression aside and hear me out.

You can get the jump on a future Review Corner by picking up Sagebrush Rebel by William Perry Pendley. It is the story of President Reagan's environmental stewardship, his universally maligned Interior Secretary James Watt, and the primacy of good energy and mineral policies. And it is very good.

I had a side thought, not suggested in any way by Pendley. But among Reagan's achievements was a respectful and honest relationship between Reagan's Interior Department and the governments of indigenous Americans: a "government to government" relationship.

Reservations are sovereign nations are they not? Why not trade in the casinos and cigarette sales for a Libertarian Utopia? I saw the folks on Stossel who were mooring a cruise ship 12 miles off San Francisco to populate with engineers who can not get H1-B visas. (Sort of a Pirate Radio for geeks -- were I a younger man...)

Instead of a million dollars for a ship, weather concerns. and expensive transfer of supplies from the mainland -- why not New Mexico or Oklahoma? Lay some fiber optic cable and develop world class business facilities. Tenants would enjoy non-restrictive immigration policies and lenient taxation. The reservation would attract capital. jobs, and educational opportunities.

UPDATE: The seasteading venture is Blueseed, and its founders are interviewed by John Stossel (~20:20)

Rant Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | What do you think? [3]
But AndyN thinks:

How sure are you about lenient taxation? How are imports into the US from reservations treated? Would a company have to be owned, or at least majority owned, by tribal members to avoid getting hit by business taxes that the IRS hits companies with when they bring profits home to the US? Employees who work there will still have to pay all applicable municipal, state and federal taxes unless they live on the reservation too.

I think it's a prospect worth pursuing, especially since technology has made it possible to run just about any kind of business anywhere that you have space. I just don't know that tax relief will necessarily be a particularly big selling point.

Here's another thought - I'm always hearing about how the indigenous population got the short end of the stick with the crappy land they were dumped on. How about covering that crappy land with solar panels and windmills? It seems they'd have a lot fewer NIMBY complaints.

Posted by: AndyN at September 3, 2013 6:10 PM
But jk thinks:

There are many questions, and I have not it through; this is brainstorming.

But my comparison was to the seasteading plans (I added a link to the Stossel show as an update to the post). They're talking about $27,000,000. I'm suggesting the Rez as a cheaper alternative and am serious that it would offer some opportunity for the current residents.

As you posit, there will eventually be a negotiation between the US and either Blueseed or my Pueblo-capitalism-incubator. Here, too, I would suggest my idea has an advantage. Politicians would be wary of putting the screws to indigenous Americans as soon as they started to be profitable in business. Bunch of rich guy VC sharks circling outside SF bay? Not. So. Much.

Both require full-time residency in the new nation. I would hope the US would be gracious neighbors to either and allow frequent travel and reasonable custom arrangements.

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2013 6:35 PM
But jk thinks:

One concern about the solar or wind farms is the transmission lines to get power to big cities where it is needed. I believe that is a larger hurdle than getting land. A large farm in SoCal could not get environmental dispensation to build a comparatively short stretch into Los Angeles. Algae farms, perhaps.

Also, I find the windmills and solar plants to be a huge eyesore and would not wish any more evil on those we have treated badly. May be a minority view, but I can see the monstrous ones in the Rocky Flats wind tunnel in Boulder Valley from high ground near my condo -- 25-30 miles away.

I cannot wish those upon people who value Earth and nature. A swishy business park, yeah.

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2013 6:45 PM

Tweet of the 2013 MLB Season

I have a new favorite non-Rockies player. Brandon Phillips was on 2nd base for the Cincinnati Reds when Todd Helton hit his 2500th. (I'm not sure BP didn't tag him out -- I notice on the replays they don't look too closely at that). But Mr. Phillips is a class act. He enjoyed the moment, then warmly congratulated Helton. During yesterday's game, they displayed the following Tweet:


Sports Posted by John Kranz at 9:47 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Hear hear.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2013 3:47 PM

September 2, 2013

Failed Government Programs

I don't mean those that didn't deliver 100%, nor those that delivered a barely perceptible effect (like Dodd-Frank). I'm talking about the ones that made things WORSE.

Here's my list, feel free to add on:

ADA (Americans with Disabilities); Wiki article cites how it's decreased employment opportunties;

McCain Feingold - "let's get the money out of politics!" ooh yeah,

ADC Aid to Dependent Children - hurts, as do arguably all the war on poverty programs

Affirmative Action - hurts

Brings to mind Murray's law: The less likely it is that the unwanted behavior will change voluntarily, the more likely it is that a program to induce change will cause net harm

There's an article here, methinks. It spins off Romney's comment about Government picking Winners & Losers, which seems to lead them to always pick losers. This makes perfect sense, of course; only losers need government, and Government needs to be needed. Think on it; does Apple need government? No way! (well, they could use help with antennas...) Solyndra, Enron, GM need gov't. Where there aren't enough losers, the gov't steps in and lends a hand.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:06 AM | What do you think? [10]
But Jk thinks:

Eff Dee Ay.

Posted by: Jk at September 3, 2013 8:26 AM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at September 3, 2013 10:41 AM
But dagny thinks:

Is it too early to put the ACA (affordable care act) on this list?

Posted by: dagny at September 3, 2013 1:00 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's never too early, Dagny - early and often is called for, in this case.

The list of government agencies and programs that actually delivers on its mission and stays within its bounds would be far, far shorter, methinks (name any three, not counting the military, I triple-dog-dare you). But then, what would be the fun of that?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 3, 2013 1:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Is it too late to put the ACA on this list?

I might reverse directions on brother ka. Rather than enumerate the swell Federal entities, I'll take a whack at the military.

Yes, it's an enumerated power, yes is important, and yes I still have "Support the Troops" license plates on the Mister2. But the military overspends and exceeds its mission (Corps of Engineers maintaining NOLA levies? Rilly?)

I think we can follow nb's magnanimity and grade on a curve. The military is worth it. I would say the same for the Federal Courts. Ninth-circuit brothers may not be completely on board, but these two remain my reason's for not going all Murray Rothbard on y'all.

And the White House tours -- oh wait...

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2013 1:53 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I sooooo want to respond to your Rothbard with Lysander Spooner and suggest the Post Office...

FEMA, FDA, TVA, Education, HHS...

Say it with me, friends: TSA. If I want a full body massage, I'll pay for it elsewhere.

Homeland Security. DEA. BATFE.

Can I take a whack at The Fed? Yes, we all know they're not a Federal agency, but The Fed deserves a good beating.

At least George Orwell stopped at fewer, but the Federal bureaucracy didn't have to go and take 1984 as a blueprint, did they?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 3, 2013 2:21 PM

September 1, 2013

One Cheer for Sec. Kerry

I am turning into an Administration cheerleader, but Secretary of State John Kerry was pretty good on FOX News Sunday. He has been given a bad hand, yet was forceful and statesmanlike.

I have 100 points of disagreement, but if I may damn with faint praise: he is immeasurably better than Sec. Clinton. He is silver-tounged and diplomatic -- pretty good in his line of work.

But Jk thinks:

OTOH, am I the only one hearing "We'll be greeted as liberators?"

Posted by: Jk at September 1, 2013 3:59 PM
But Jk thinks:

Ann Althouse is not impressed.

Posted by: Jk at September 1, 2013 10:53 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

He speaks well but manages poorly.

Raymond Pritchett said it well at the Naval affairs blog Information dissemination:

With that said, there is no question the reaction so far by the White House to the events in Syria have been mismanaged by national security leadership. It is impossible for me to imagine Tom Donilan, Hillary Clinton, and Leon Panetta allowing this situation to unfold like what we have seen this week with Susan Rice, John Kerry, and Chuck Hagel. It is also impossible for me to believe that Donilan would ever go along with a plan like this.

"But the military strategy that the Obama administration is considering is not linked to its larger diplomatic strategy of persuading President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to yield power and join in negotiations that would end the bloody civil war.'

Only someone as strategically inept as Susan Rice would think this is a good idea. Democrats have defended Susan Rice when the evidence has been overwhelming she really isn't qualified to be top National Security advisor, and her inexperience outside her foggy bubble is on parade right now. Partisans in the US keep making the same mistakes. They get caught up listening to what their political opponents say and don't pay enough attention to what the career oriented professionals say. The line of non-partisan career national security professionals who have deep respect for Susan Rice for her intellectual capacity of national security affairs is very short, and today may be invisible.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 3, 2013 7:29 PM
But jk thinks:

He's batting .667. I'll second the reasonably high esteem for Panetta and Donilan: I do not see eye-to-eye on partisan issues, but they are serious folks.

I'm astonished that Secretary Clinton is in anybody's Pantheon. I think she has been vastly overrated in every position she has held. Most notable is her term as SecState -- during which all of this misery happened.

My sympathy for Sec. Longface is that he inherited this mess and was brutally hung out to dry by the President. Yet he still does a pretty good job bluffing with a pair of threes. (And, no, don't count the metaphors in that last sentence and send it to Taranto.)

Posted by: jk at September 4, 2013 10:43 AM

Review Corner

It's a floor wax! It's a Review Corner! No -- it's a social conservative rant from jk! I don't know that today's Review Corner will bring back the luster to your laminate, but it is all of the others.

I've read Nick Schulz for a long time in several different forums. And like me, he is not one to push a social agenda or tell private individuals how to behave.

I come to this project as someone who writes primarily about economics and not primarily about social and cultural issues, but I also have found it impossible to write about economic topics without reference to some dramatic social shifts.

And so, more in sorrow than anger, does the liberty loving economist leap into Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure.
This book will advance a few related arguments. First, the collapse of the intact family is one of the most significant economic facts of our time. The discussion of the family is often tied up in culture war politics-- debates about feminism, gay marriage, birth control, abortion, and the like. Those are important and interesting topics. But because the debate about family structure is so thoroughly tied up in the culture war, those who think of themselves as primarily interested in economic topics-- business media, corporate leaders, Treasury and Commerce secretaries, macroeconomists, and so on-- often avoid this subject.

Right with you, Nick. I am one of those of whom you speak: preferring to stay silent rather than firing first shots in culture wars. But you read this book, or Charles Murray or Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and you realize that the topic cannot be ignored.

In an ideal world with only private charity, the topic could be ignored. But in the meantime, I believe there is plenty of time for a tortured segue. The conservo-libertario-sphere went to Defcon Five last week over Allison Benedikt's "You're a bad person." ThreeSources participated enthusiastically. Reading Home Ec right after, it struck me that -- not even for linkbait -- would anyone dare dish disapprobation on the behaviors that actually cause poverty. Schulz doesn't and I do not intend to.

McLanahan and Sandefur are careful researchers and point out that "growing up with a single parent is just one of many factors that put children at risk of failure." But there is little doubt that the economic problems created by single motherhood are sizable.

We all, Schulz discloses, know innumerable examples of great success from poor situations and no smaller number of ne'er do wells from great situations. But there is this thing called statistics.
My own research and writings in recent years have primarily focused on technology and entrepreneur-led growth. Like many people who think about the economy, I considered the debates over family structure a cultural issue distinct from economic issues. But over time this bifurcated view became untenable.

I found it became impossible to speak intelligently about, say, income inequality without discussing changing family structure (as well as technology and trade). It became difficult to discuss depressed wages for low-skilled workers without also bringing out-of-wedlock birth rates among lower-class white Americans into the picture. It was challenging to talk about entrepreneur-led growth and not include the rates of entrepreneurial risk-taking among those raised in intact families and those who were not.

Nor is Schulz the only right-wing crazy to address this:
For example, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, who has spent years investigating the lives and material conditions of poor people around the world, writes, “Liberals sometimes feel that it is narrow-minded to favor traditional marriage. Over time, my reporting on poverty has led me to disagree: Solid marriages have a huge beneficial impact on the lives of the poor (more so than in the lives of the middle class, who have more cushion when things go wrong).” 58

You know the end from here. The poverty rates among those who finish high school, get a job, and wait to have kids is miniscule. Shultz asks if that's such a high bar. Not an MBA, not getting a cartoon published in The New Yorker, not a platinum album.
At the start of this book I argued that when Americans talk about economic problems today-- poverty, income inequality, wealth disparities, unemployment, and the like-- they rarely bring the enormous changes in family structure over a half century into the discussion. They are far more likely to focus on things like trade and globalization, tax policy, deregulation, immigration, "Wall Street greed," and more.

ThreeSourcers know the story, but I still recommend you buy ($1 on Kindle!) and read (one afternoon sitting) this. He goes deeper than you're expecting by examining the effects on human capital and the foundations for entrepreneurship. That he is not Dana Carvey's Church Lady but rather a reluctant economic warrior makes it all the more potent.

Five stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | What do you think? [0]

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