Hyphenated "rights" usually trample the rights of others
A right cannot be violated except by physical force. One man cannot deprive another of his life, nor enslave him, nor forbid him to pursue his happiness, except by using force against him. Whenever a man is made to act without his own free, personal, individual, voluntary consent—his right has been violated. -Ayn Rand, 'Textbook of Americanism'
Minority-rights, women's-rights, gay-rights are generally slogans used to promote a usurpation of someone else's rights. They represent the principle of group or "collective rights" and are therefore invalid with respect to the only true right, the right of an individual. As Rand explained in "The Virtue of Selfishness:"
Man holds these rights, not from the Collective nor for the Collective, but against the Collective—as a barrier which the Collective cannot cross; . . . these rights are man’s protection against all other men.
Like Bono, who as he ages seems to salute the machinery of capitalism that made him wealthy. In mixed company no less. But his social conscience couldn’t be better established if he were Bishop Tutu doing an anti-fracking interpretive dance. With Tina Fey. On an Indian reservation.
I was quite ill last weekend. In my weakened state, I could not really dive into The Peloponnesian War. I had just seen Greg Gutfeld on "The Independents" and his new book, Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You, looked interesting. So, I left the siege of Pylos (they're not really going anywhere...) for the hipsters' siege on all that is good and true.
I never have occasion to watch Gutfeld shows, their being early and late, but when he is a guest I do enjoy his humor. The book reflects this; if you can traverse its covers without LOL-ing several times, you are a humorless scold who is unlikely to be reading "Review Corner."
I bother, because we're now watching a false morality replacing a real one. I'm not a religious person. I’m half atheist , half agnostic (and all sexy). Meaning, in the daytime , I don't believe in God . But at night, alone with my thoughts, facing that gaping, terrifying maw without a rail to hold on to, I drift toward something less certain than nothing . Especially in a contract year.
And the book makes a valid and important point. We elected the cool guy to be president last couple (or dozen) times, we pay attention to Hollywood several standard deviations above its mean IQ, the faux rebellion of academia holds sway -- life is high school, claims Gutfeld, and we're letting the cool kids run things to our peril.
For cool to exist, it must ignore all the boring stuff that made cool possible. We forget all the hard work that made our leisure time possible. We forget that our ability to go places, buy things, and listen to cool stuff is predicated on a population’s ability to produce, to create , and to sell cool stuff. To gain that ability takes years of studying and hours spent not doing ecstasy at clubs or sucking on bongs in a basement, but alone, thinking, building, and working. Sometimes its boring, sometimes fruitless.
If you didn’t understand how far superior it was to mountain-bike in really expensive clothes and munch on organic buckwheat flapjacks with artisanal pomegranate syrup instead of scrambled eggs, then you weren't one of us. And that’s the essence of organic cool , really: exclusion. The organic health movement really is about excluding you and saying, "I am better than you because I care." And can afford to care. The cool are united by their hidden bank accounts and the rhythmic regularity of their colons.
Between the depths of philosophy and the mindless shallowness of politics, I think it easy to overlook both the power of "cool" and its record for steering humanity off course. There's a lengthy section on the Boston Bomber's Rolling Stone cover: a Che for our time, the soft brown eyes that placed a bomb next to an eight year old.
For his love of death-metal and comfort with explicit language, the Fox News libertarian (I think I am correct with that characterization but will accept advice) is surprisingly (or not) conservative. There's little of Penn Jillette's libertine-libertarianism. His list of "Free Radicals" in the last chapter includes a fine homage to Penn, but also to Governor Mike Huckabee. He sees the social conservative lifestyle as the antidote to government dependency. I'm not criticizing or completely disagreeing, just remarking. I am taking substantive blows from libertarian Facebook friends of late for being insufficiently purist and too conservative. They might want to stay away.
But its a great time reading, laugh out loud funny book. If it is not new territory it is a new spin. I think any ThreeSourcer would dig it, Four stars.
But it is in South America, thousands of miles from the New Mexico site where the Clovis spear points were discovered, where archaeologists are putting forward some of the most profound challenges to the Clovis-first theory.
Paleontologists in Uruguay published findings in November suggesting that humans hunted giant sloths there about 30,000 years ago. All the way in southern Chile, Tom D. Dillehay, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt University, has shown that humans lived at a coastal site called Monte Verde as early as 14,800 years ago.
And here in Brazil's caatinga, a semi-arid region of mesas and canyons, European and Brazilian archaeologists building on decades of earlier excavations said last year that they had found artifacts at a rock shelter showing that humans had arrived in South America almost 10,000 years before Clovis hunters began appearing in North America.
"The Clovis paradigm is finally buried," said Eric Boëda, the French archaeologist leading the excavations here.
Only weeks after leaving office, Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come out and fix it. Joe drives to Obama's new house, which is located in a very exclusive gated community where all the residents make more than $250,000 per year. how much it will cost. Joe checks his rate chart and says, "$9,500." "What?! $9,500?" Obama asks, stunned,
Joe says, "Yes, but what I do is charge those who make $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free," explains Joe. "This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It's known as 'Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014.' I’m Surprised you haven't heard of it
Okay, I know it really seemed like I was about to stop there, but I just had a great idea. They should do a show where Rich Lowry goes undercover to work with the guys and gals in the trenches at NRO. Returning from his "research villa" on the Aegean, Lowry could toil with the associate editors, chained to their drafting tables like so many Korean animators. He could spend a day in the editorial hot box, where such miserable wretches as Stephen Spruiell and Kevin Williamson are locked away until they almost literally sweat out another editorial on debt reduction or steel tariffs. For once Lowry would have to tie Ponnuru's shoes and hand-crush each cube of ice for Kathryn's margaritas. Potemra could swing by Lowry's desk instead of poor Helen Rittelmeyer's and drop some 500-page tome in the original Greek in Lowry's lap with the order "Summarize this by morning." -- Jonah Goldberg
Alert readers have surmised from three QsOTD by 11AM Mountain that a) I have a very important work project; b) I am now on critical path; c) it is late; and d) I am finding it difficult to devote my full attention.
But Larry [Kudlow]'s friendship has been far better for me as a person. Larry taught me how to disagree without being disagreeable. He taught me about the value of indefatigable optimism. Most importantly, he taught me that when life puts your butt on the mat, you need to get back up. That's the true measure. Oh, and when you're climbing back to your feet, it sure helps to have a few good friends around to lend a helping hand. Those friends you never forget. -- James Pethokoukis
The new ThreeSources Entertainment and Celebrity Channel: 3!
[Gwynth Paltrow] added, "I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you're shooting a movie, they're like, 'We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,' and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it's not like being on set." -- Lily Harrison E!
I, like, never considered that. And what is this E! Network? It sounds like a direct rip-off of 3!
Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty's J! Morning Celebrity newsletter [very selective subscription list -- not providing a link because you'd be disappointed when not accepted...]
Liberals say they believe in a living Constitution, and apparently they think the Affordable Care Act is a living document too. Amid one more last-minute regulatory delay, number 38 at last count, the mandate forcing nuns to sponsor birth control is more or less the only part of ObamaCare that is still intact. -- WSJ Ed Page
With the presidency of George W. Bush, American constitutionalists and other liberty advocates learned that even Republican policies can promote big-government liberalism, central planning, and other ideals previously thought the exclusive domain of Progressives, Marxists and others of that ilk. With the TEA Party movement of 2010 came the identification of "the establishment" as the source of such anti-capitalist, redistributionist, mercantilist tendencies in the party we all had believed was the only real counterweight to Democratic socialism in America - the GOP.
Such talk has been dismissed as conspiracy theorizing, tut tutting it's speakers with dismissive rejoinders like, "Just who exactly is this great 'establishment' of power brokers who control the Republican party?" I can't answer that question definitively but I will nominate a prime suspect: CFR, or the Council on Foreign Relations. Their fingerprints can be traced to, among many others, Egypt, Benghazi, Cuba, and now, Ukraine.
Employing the indispensible insight and analysis provided by Golitsyn and the detailed information in his books, it is difficult to view the orchestrated chaos that has been unfolding in Ukraine without recognizing unmistakable evidence that it is being directed along a pre-planned path toward EU-U.S.-Ukraine-Russian convergence. Putin’s role is to rattle the sabers menacingly enough to frighten reluctant Ukraine to join the EU, while also convincing American and EU taxpayers to be forthcoming with the foreign aid and IMF funding that will “rescue” Ukraine and avert a war.
And, after the hyperventilating CFR policy “experts” move on to their next project and things settle down, we will look around to find Putin and his oligarchs carrying on business as usual with the new Ukrainian government and its oligarchs — as well as with the Obama administration and “our” oligarchs.
What does this have to do with the GOP, you might ask?
During the Bush administration, Nuland was the principal foreign policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney (CFR), a committed “Republican” globalist who boasted at a CFR luncheon that he had successfully kept his CFR membership secret while a congressman so that his conservative constituents in Wyoming wouldn’t find out. Cheney has joined John McCain (CFR) and other interventionist Republicans in stirring the Ukrainian pot. Prior to serving under Kerry, Nuland served Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is not herself, formally, a CFR member (although her husband, Bill, and daughter, Chelsea, both are), but who in a speech to the CFR infamously referred to the CFR as the State Department’s “mother ship” and confessed that the State Department looks to the CFR “to be told what we should be doing and how we should think.”
Which gives substantial support to the popular notion that "there's no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans." On the level of foreign relations and federal government, it seems more true than not.
Never mind, too, that the industry's idea of "low fat" became the emblematic SnackWell's and other highly processed "low-fat" carbs (a substitution that is probably the single most important factor in our overweight/obesity problem), as well as reduced fat and even fat-free dairy, on which it made billions of dollars. (How you could produce fat-free "sour cream" is something worth contemplating.)
But let's not cry over the chicharrones or even nicely buttered toast we passed up. And let's not think about the literally millions of people who are repelled by fat, not because it doesn't taste good (any chef will tell you that "fat is flavor") but because they have been brainwashed.
This is the NYTimes, mind you, so we can't leave without a little scolding.
So at this juncture it would be natural for a person who does not read volumes of material about agriculture, diet and health to ask, "If saturated fat isn't bad for me, why should I eat less meat?"
Even if large quantities of industrially produced animal products were safe to eat, the environmental costs are demonstrable and huge.
I ate a lot of SnackWell's on my way up to 270 pounds -- and a lot of bacon on my way down to 200.
Hat-tip: Insty who is right: "AND YET THE FOOD NAZIS WERE SO SURE OF THEMSELVES"
In his pending contest versus Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner for the senate seat he already holds, Mark Udall had finally picked his side. Despite canceling more insurance policies than it created, taking health care decisions away from patients and doctors and giving them to insurance companies directed by government bureaucrats, and throwing an industry representing one-sixth of the national economy into turmoil, Senator Mark Udall believes standing up for "Colorado values" means defending his deciding vote to implement the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
Udall: "We had to fix a broken system. We now have a system that's far from perfect but my focus is on making it work for Coloradans, and that's the Colorado spirit. We can't go back to a time when if you were a woman the insurance companies could drop your coverage. Too many families went into bankruptcy because of health care costs. So in the end we did the right thing, the law is far from perfect, my focus is on making it work for Colorado."
Tubbs: "So you'd do it again?"
Udall: "I would do it again, yes. I would, I think, look, if I were there I would say here are some things we should have done differently. Here are some things that would make more sense. But we're on track. You're going to see some important numbers, new enrollees, you have many more people on Medicaid, and by the way the law allows you to cover your adult children until the age of 26, which is a big deal because a lot of young adults can't afford coverage."
But you were there, senator. Why didn't you point out what made more sense instead of voting for this? It's "the right thing" to have this law that, so far at least, doesn't work for Colorado because, what, it was broken to begin with? Ask the roughly 335,000 Coloradans whose insurance was cancelled by your law if they believe this was "the right thing." Your best defense of the law is "more people are on Medicaid" and "a lot of young adults can't afford coverage?" Yeah, you really made things better didn't you?
Full audio here, courtesy of 850 KOA's interview by Steffan Tubbs. O'care discussion starts around 5 minute mark of the 7 minute interview.
In November jk commented, "The Democrats cannot back too far off -- repeat after me -- "the President's Signature initiative." Yet, they cannot get too close and be elected in any state less blue than Illinois."
"Pass the popcorn" indeed.
UPDATE: Colorado Peak Politics' coverage of this includes a partial enumeration of how the PPACA law doesn't work for Colorado.
The 2009 economic stimulus package promoted by President Obama included $5 billion to weatherize some 607,000 homes--with the goals of both spurring the economy and increasing energy efficiency. But the project was required to comply with a statute called the Davis-Bacon Act (signed into law by President Hoover in 1931), which provides that construction projects with federal funding must pay workers the "prevailing wage"--basically a union perk that costs taxpayers about 20 percent more than actual labor rates. This requirement comes with a mass of red tape; bureaucrats in the Labor Department must set wages, as a matter of law, for each category of construction worker in each of three thou- sand counties in America. There was no schedule for "weatherproofers." So the Labor Department began a slow trudge of determining how much weatherproofers should be paid in Merced County, California; Monmouth County, New Jersey; and several thousand other counties. The stimulus plan had projected that California would weatherproof twenty-five hundred homes per month. At the end of 2009, the actual total was twelve. -- Philip K. Howard
"We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don't actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014." -- Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11
"Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently." -- HHS official Michael Hash, March 11
"March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You've heard us make that clear." -- Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21
"There is no delay beyond March 31." -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12
One of the most memorable stops during my 2001 trip to the Austria and Southern Germany was Andechs Monastery, not far from Munich. Occasionally I visit their web site and on a previous visit I found this page on the health benefits of beer. A few highlights:
According to studies in Finland and Italy, the moderate and regular consumption of beer (0.5 l/day) reduces the risk of kidney stones by 40%.
Beer, by the way, is not the cause of the so called beer belly. The beer’s constituents of hops, alcohol, and carbonic acid whet the appetite. Pils itself contains fewer calories than orange and other fruit juices.
Beer has also proved an effective preventive against osteoporosis.
Beer is also important in the fight against cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks).
Beer also has preventive effects on ischaemic strokes because alcohol, as described above, apparently thins the blood.
According to yearlong studies, moderate and regular beer consumption enhances life expectancy.
These studies have confirmed that a moderate beer consumption reduces the risk of senile dementia by up to 50%.
And of course there's the added benefit, it's delicious!
And, I learned something else this visit - several Andechs beers are now available in the U.S.! I'll be contacting S&H Independent Premium Brands soon to inquire about my favorite brew, Special Hell (basically the helles or pils.) They are, wait for it - on Wynkoop Street in Denver. Pinch me!
Here's your Koch Brothers folderol for the day. I don't like it either, but I get a $6000 monthly stipend from them as long as I post these and don't believe in catastrophic climate change. Dog food isn't free, y'know...
I got to thinking last night of a good series of commercials: Lie of the Year? Hell. it's the Lie of the Century!
Really, let us certainly remind the electorate that the Democrats all lied to them. But let us also voice an implicit "We Told You So." They say government will take over 1/6th of the economy -- and the good parts will stay just as good, the bad parts will become good -- and you'll probably save $2500! Where do I sign?
The Republicans said "Balderdash. It will become more expensive, less flexible, you'll have fewer choices . . ." I was not prescient enough to realize how bad the web page would suck, but am I surprised?
Lie of the Century! It's a good line, and the Koch's can have it included in my monthly stipend.
Obama's Overtime-Pay Boomerang
The new rule hurts the very managers climbing the ranks whom it claims to help.
President Obama on March 13 signed an order directing the Labor Department to expand the class of employees entitled to overtime pay. Currently, if a salaried employee makes more than $24,000 a year and is part of management--if he manages the business, directs the work of other employees, and has the authority to hire and fire--that employee is exempt from overtime coverage. The president wants to raise this salary threshold, perhaps as high as $50,000, demoting entry-level managers to glorified crew members by replacing their incentive to get results with an incentive to log more hours.
After Chief Justice John Roberts upheld ObamaCare, the refrain on the political left was "it's the law," but the last year has proven that the White House thinks the law is whatever it says it is. Mr. Obama has conceded that "obviously we didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law." The right and only lawful way to repair ObamaCare is through another act of Congress. In Halbig, the judiciary can remind the Obama Administration of this basic constitutional truth. -- WSJ Ed Page
From a superb editorial on Halbig v. Sebelius "The plaintiffs are merely asking the judges to tell the Administration to faithfully execute the plain language of the statute that Congress passed and President Obama signed."
A Facebook Friend shared this story on collusion: big tech firms' agreeing not to recruit each others workers. There is much to discuss in this story, but my friend used it to call for more regulation and used the phrase "the invisible hand is bullshit."
I thought it funny that the story actually validates Adam Smith, and replied:
I'll defend Adam Smith if not Apple. Smith suggested the invisible hand in "Theory of Moral Sentiments." In "Wealth of Nations" he says "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."
I once heard of an economics professor who offered an A to any student who could find pro-business sentiment in the nine hundred eleventy-two pages of Wealth of Nations.
But the invisible hand refers to the lack of planning required to get to produce the subordinate parts or materials of (in his case, breakfast). I don't see collusion as counter-example. (And while I'll admit it's wrong, wrong, wrong, I cannot engender great sympathy for the greatest treated workforce in the history of the world: tech workers in this time period did okay as I recall.)
Friend (okay, it's this blog's own "LatteSipper...") has a point that I am so used to defending capitalism from the Occupy crowd, I fall into the bad habit of defending businesses. Is this a crack in the heretofore unscathed "Bourgeois Dignity" theory of Deirdre McClosky? Not a direct contradiction -- but something to be considered.
Truth is, I thought it just some crazy Facebook, <earnest-sounding-phrase>.ORG story and was prepared to seek out cute puppies. Then, Insty linked. You know my appreciation and general agreement for "The Sage of Knoxville," but his comment was "You can see why they want a lot of temporary visas for cheap foreign workers." Oh, man, dude's been hanging out with Mickey Kaus too much -- we're going to have to seat them in different sides of the room.
I want justice for all, but these are the least sympathetic clients since the Westboro Morons had their free speech rights underscored in Snyder v Phelps. Poor Apple coder has to live with $165K, free lunches and an iridium health care plan -- the recruiter from Intuit can't call with an offer of $190! Boo-flippin'-hoo! Lawr is lawr and I wish them luck in court.
But the Insty accusation is a disconnect. They cannot find enough workers to continue -- neither can my firm. It's a great company, if some of you want to come write software for us, tell them I sent you and I get a cool five grand.
There are a lot of codified and assumed rules among partners and collaborators (I've broken a few of both) about not "sniping" each others' talent. I can accept this is different, but still want to call somebody a waaaaaahmbulance.
While in full-blown gloat mode over the Affordable Care Act electoral distress facing Democrats in this midterm election, blog brother jk reminded [sixth comment] "There is a personhood amendment in his past" about GOP senate hopeful Cory Gardner. Gardner, on Friday, sought to disarm that line of attack. Lynn Bartels reports in the Denver Post.
He said that after learning more about the measures, which would have had the impact of outlawing abortion, he realized the proposals also could ban certain forms of contraception, a prohibition he does not support.
"This was a bad idea driven by good intentions," he told The Denver Post. "I was not right. I can't support personhood now. I can't support personhood going forward. To do it again would be a mistake."
The Udall campaign isn't buying it, of course, saying,
"Coloradans will see through this cheap election-year stunt," Harris said. "Gardner is showing a profound lack of respect for Colorado voters. Coloradans want a senator who always promotes and protects women's health, not one who simply pretends to during election years."
But Gardner cites the hypocrisy of that charge:
But he pointed to Udall, who in a 2012 opinion piece in Politico explained how his views had changed to the point where he supported marriage for same-sex couples.
"It was perhaps best said by Mark Udall, who said a good-faith re-examination of a position you've held in the past should be seen as a virtue, not a vice," Gardner said.
All told a fairly well balanced piece by Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, except that she closed with a detailed retelling of the "Personhood" history, including videotape.
Personally I support so-called Personhood laws for unborn babies, but only to criminalize harm done to them by individuals other than their mother, or her doctor. But the prohibition crowd will definitely try to expand them to include those cases.
WHY DEMOCRATS DON'T LIKE KOCH ADS: BECAUSE THEY WORK
The left likes to pretend that the free-market message promoted by industrialists Charles and David Koch represents a narrow special interest. But a New York Times report suggests that the message is increasingly resonating with voters in swing states. Citing improvements in advertising and field operations at Americans for Prosperity, the outfit supported by the Kochs and others that promotes limited government, the Times describes incumbent Senate Democrats under intense pressure. "Americans for Prosperity is now producing testimonial-style ads and carrying out an elaborate field effort, spending more than $30 million already in at least eight states with crucial Senate races and in some House districts as well." -- James Freeman Morning Editorial Report
I would like to get together with my lefty friends -- I'll buy each a beer -- watch and discuss this:
Education, abortion, gay-rights, drugs, and welfare all engender powerful emotions in people. I was thinking that most of my friends could handle transportation and zoning with limited tears. And, yet, here is a (yet another even better) microcosm of what I believe. The planners are making things worse: worse for the poor, worse for the environment, worse for transportation. Some good old Hayekian spontaneous order would improve so much. But, as Insty would say, there are insufficient opportunities for graft.
Then, perhaps, if liberty gets a small foothold...
Hey there, who's for some progress? Maybe an 11-fold increase in average incomes, doubling global life expectancy, stuff like that? This IBD Editorial explains how Progressives ignore the real benefits when calculating government required cost-benefit analyses.
Hydrocarbons provide 81% of world energy. Most important, the positive relationship between fossil fuel, economic growth and CO2 emissions is strong — supporting $70 trillion per year in gross domestic product.
Under accepted benefit-cost analyses, proposed regulations would pass muster if the rules' benefits exceed their cost by a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. But employing the government's own carbon "cost" figures demonstrates that the ratios are dramatically reversed.
The benefits of using carbon-based fuel outweigh hypothesized "social carbon costs" by orders of magnitude: from 50-to-1 (using the inflated 2013 costs of carbon of $36/ton of CO2) to 500-to-1 (using the arbitrary 2010 $22/ton estimate). Any cost estimate is lost in the "statistical noise" of carbon and CO2 benefits.
If the world is serious about economic growth, living standards and affordable energy, fossil fuel is essential. Restrictions on hydrocarbon energy and faulty carbon cost analyses will only undermine progress in these areas.
"This issue is one of common sense and fairness - if a community decides to ignore all the science and all the facts and ban responsible energy development, those communities shouldn’t be able to line up at the trough and benefit from responsible oil and gas development occurring in other parts of the State. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Boulders and Ft. Collins of the world to benefit from oil and gas taxes so long as they have an oil and gas ban in place." [the Peak emphasis]
Europe has had nearly a decade -- since Moscow cut off gas supplies to the region for the first time -- to ready itself for renewed Russian misbehavior, but has been caught as flatfooted as Obama. Instead of reducing their dependence on gas from Ukraine and Russia, the leaders of Western Europe have chosen to combat climate change. Instead of investing in secure energy, the EU has invested in green energy, driving up energy costs, reducing competitiveness, and allowing Putin to remain in the driver's seat.
By "Europe" we can certainly throw in Sec. John Kerry who still calls Climate Change the greatest threat. The Administration could permit LNG exports, approve the Keystone Pipeline, permit fracking on Federal Lands and tell the free world that America has your back.
I'm not calling for Destroyers in the Black Sea or missiles in Poland, just actions that are in our interest whatever Iran, Russia, or Saudi Arabia chooses.
And I call it a microcosm because I don't think my Facebook friends would argue with how I've laid out the board. Most would be very comfortable arguing that Sec. Kerry and the Administration are doing the right thing and that the German Greens have a longer world view than we goofy Cold Warriors.
UPDATE: In completely unrelated news, Jim Geraghty brings us the President's Thursday Schedule: President Obama to make first appearance on 'Ellen'
One of my heterodox beliefs had a very very good week:
For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.
But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.
This is important to me both as childish retort to "science is settled" and as an anti-government rant. The Food Pyramid -- and its devil spawn MyPlate.gov did a lot of real damage, pushing people toward the carbohydrates that this story suggests to be the real heart disease culprits.
Granted, this study could be upended. But there is a vibrant market out there for nutritional advice. Our government has short-circuited the process multiple times in my life (I am old enough to remember the Four Food Groups as a non-punch line).
I was argumentative with blog friend sc yesterday on Facebook (continued grousing on my part at Pope-onomics). I don't want to give ThreeSources short shift on my bellicosity and general bad temper.
Insty linked this piece. And I was prepared to magnanimously present it as intelligent commentary bolstering blog brother jg's position.
Inflation is starting to really mean something when it comes to food and energy. The government stats on inflation conveniently omit food and energy when reporting things like the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Let's see what Janet Yellen has to say this week. I bet she isn't worried about inflation in the least.
I agree that she, whom Kudlow calls "Queen of the Doves," is not worried about inflation. But, nor am I.
What about food jk? Not like you're a dainty eater! Well, I quote -- the very same blog post. This is clearly NOT a monetary phenomenon.
The recent farm bill that passed was chock full of subsidies for corporate farmers. A goody bag of money from the government that influences what farmers plant, and how much of each crop gets produced. An economist once told me that every jar of peanut butter we buy is .50 higher than it should be because of farm subsidies.
Grain crop prices ($ZC_F, $ZW_F, $ZS_F) have gone higher in past years because of rising demand, but also because of drought. No rain, no grain. Farmers are planting fencepost to fencepost. Still, a lot of land is idle because of CRP. The cost to farm has gone up with the cost of energy. Successful farmers look at cost/benefit analysis just like a factory. Innovations like Farmlogs help them manage their cropland better.
Meat ($LC_F) has seen a tremendous upsurge in prices. Part of that has been scare. Remember the pink slime scare over a year ago? Because of it, beef prices have to go up because not using pink slime decreases supply. The cost of feed has gone up too (drought) so cattle ranchers thinned their herds. Animal gestation isn't automatic, and the cost to bring a steer to market hasn't gone down, so the nation's cattle herd isn't being rebuilt on higher prices.
Hogs ($HE_F) have seen an exponential price move higher in recent weeks. A virus, PEDv hit the nation's hog herd last May. At first, it was controlled. Since the spread, US pig farmers have seen 5,000,000 pigs die, mostly piglets. The crisis is so severe, the largest hog processing plant in the country, Tarheel in North Carolina, is shutting down a few days during the week because it cannot source enough pork to butcher. Oh, and yes, the price of bacon is going to skyrocket.
Poor government policy, drought, junk science, a virus. None of those are monetary. Bacon in Bitcoin is going to go up when five million pigs die.
The Journal also quotes former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle saying "there's a fatigue and a physical demand that [Sec. Hillary Clinton] has to consider. She's much older than she was 20 years ago, when her husband first started, so there are a lot of personal considerations to take into account." -- WSJ
Tuesday's report on U.S. inflation is expected to show modest price increases. Economists polled by the Journal expect February data to show an annual increase of just 1.1%. But thanks to drought conditions in various regions, food prices are surging.
The Journal reports that "in California, the biggest U.S. producer of agricultural products, about 95% of the state is suffering from drought conditions, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. This has led to water shortages that are hampering crop and livestock production."
But don't give Mother Nature all the blame. Allysia Finley recently explained in these pages how environmental regulations allegedly intended to protect fish like the tiny smelt are diverting water from California agriculture.
Now the federal government expects U.S. retail food prices to rise up to 3.5% this year. This would be the largest annual increase in three years, and would continue a decade-long trend of food prices rising faster than general inflation. Sounds like a war on the middle class.
Drill, baby drill -- and (potentially) irrigate, baby, irrigate. And soi-disant inflation suddenly disappears.
The Denver Post's top headline today reminds us more than a little of George W. Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner. In huge letters across the top of the physical newspaper that scream "we don't know what context is" "UNINSURED RATE DROPS", The Post goes full hyperbole on a rather limp article on Obamacare from The Associated Press.
Too bad the AP didn't look back to, say, 2008 when the rate was a significantly lower 13.9%. As we can see from U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate under W never got higher than 15.8%, and, for the most, part hung around 14%, going as low as 13.7% in 2000.
His slogans were vapid even by the standards of political sloganeering: "Yes, we can." "Hope and change." "We are the ones we've been waiting for." He was often called a "rock star"--a celeb, not a cause. It's as if the Beatles came to America in 1964 to run for president rather than to sell records, and got elected on slogans like "Let it be," "Please please me" and "I want to hold your hand." Half a century later, the Beatles' tunes have an enduring appeal to their once-youthful, now-elderly fans. Had they been forced to face the exigencies of governing, it's unlikely a Lennon-McCartney administration would be remembered much more fondly than Johnson-Humphrey is. -- James Taranto
Heinlein's recurring character, Lazarus Long, certainly offers plenty of management advice. In Long's first appearance in Methusaleh's Children, in which another character asks what Long expects a meeting resolution to be, he says, "A committee is the only known form of life with a hundred bellies and no brain." That's an oft-quoted quip, but too often it leaves off the next line: "But presently somebody with a mind of his own will bulldoze them into accepting his plan. I don't know what it will be." It was an important thing for me to learn: The plan that is adopted often is not "the best" but the brain-child of the most persistent communicator.
However, the best example of leadership in Methusaleh's Children is the government official Slayton Ford, who demonstrates a willingness to make hard decisions and to commit to them. During a crisis, "Ford knew that this would end his career," writes Heinlein. "He would leave office in disgrace, perhaps be sent to Coventry, but he gave it no thought; he was so constituted as to be unable to weigh his personal welfare against his concept of his public duty."
"Let neither winds o'erset, nor waves intomb The floating forests of the sacred pine; But let it be their safety to be mine." Then thus replied her awful son, who rolls The radiant stars, and heav'n and earth controls: "How dare you, mother, endless date demand For vessels molded by a mortal hand? What then is fate? Shall bold Aeneas ride, Of safety certain, on th' uncertain tide?"
Virgil (2013-04-22). Works of Virgil (Kindle Locations 7467-7474). The Perfect Library. Kindle Edition.
Well, I am glad somebody noticed. I will finish the Aeneid after I finish up here. But Book X (they hadn't invented chapters back then, or Arabic Numerals) disturbed me a bit. Mortimer Adler did challenge me to read more difficult books, but I cruised through books I - IX pretty well. The names are difficult and I suggest a modern translation with the characters named Bob, Joe and Steve would help a modern reader who struggles to remember Lagus, Anchises, and Anchemolus.
Book X moves back and forth between the Gods' Polytheistic Committee Roundtable meeting and the mortals' massacring each other on the Latian fields below. Not knowing all the names, I spent much of the section in Purgatory. I'll be suspected of Penn Jillette or Richard Dawkins -ism, but all the earthly valors seem to be for naught as the gods tilt the table capriciously. The entire navy is penned in by a brilliant tactical martial stroke. But some god who feels kinship with the lumber turns the ships into nymphs so they can swim to safety.
Man, don't you just hate it when that happens?
It's a ripping good yarn, and Mister Virgil can expect some stars in spite of my quibble. There's love and yeaning, lots of blood and gore, and -- nobody tell George Takei but:
Then wretched Cydon had receiv'd his doom, Who courted Clytius in his beardless bloom, And sought with lust obscene polluted joys: The Trojan sword had curd his love of boys,
An aside [Goldbergesque throat-clearing? -- The Couch] to begin: I'd take my lumps from the Neil deGrasse Tyson crowd for my heterodox position on the Earth's sensitivity to CO2 -- were they not coming from folks who likely don't vaccinate their kids and seek to ban fracking and GMO crops. "Oh yes, I'm anti-science."
The GMO opposition burns the lovely bride and I with exceptional pain. Her grandfather was a pioneer in the field. He held two doctorates and is famous in family lore both for giving a cow a bamboo udder and developing a small pit avocado (eaten by the Japanese in their occupation).
His great-grandchildren have made a vocation of taking to Facebook to unwind all the incredible gains for which he laid the foundation. I guess some of the Fords aren't the best advocates for automobiles, but it still saddens me and angers my lovely bride.
It seems the forces of goodness and light have won a small victory in the Aloha State.
"For the locals, the islands have always been a place of high tech agriculture," writes [Author Rachel] Laudan. "Many of them worked on the big sugar and pineapple plantations. They saved to buy small plots of land. Those who farm these plots know that the papaya growers have survived thanks to genetically modified varieties that have been safely used since the 1990s."
The South Park episode with all the very white mainlanders who bought property five years ago fighting the incursion of mainlanders and tourists (and reduction of benefits to their "Mahalo Rewards Card") is particularly beloved as two pair of the Facebook cadre also fit into this group.
Grandpa saw people starve because of the challenges of tropical agriculture and devoted his sadly short, war-abbreviated life to improving it. Let's hope Ayn Rand is right and he is not looking down on his progeny's opposition now that the science has come so far.
This is why I despair. With a straight face, the creators of ObamaCare claim they are preserving women "making their own health care decisions." Democracy has some famous structural defects, but I don't see self rule's working in any form without some underpinnings of objective truth.
UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page notes some "Rookie Mistakes:
We doubt that hailing the bank bailout as a profit-maker will pay dividends with Democratic or Republican constituencies. He'd do better sidestepping the issue by noting that many California Democrats in Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, voted for TARP because they believed it was necessary at the time to save the economy.
While doing conservative outreach on the Hugh Hewitt radio show earlier this week, the Republican slighted the governor for his wealthy upbringing. "Nobody was born into a life of privilege like Jerry Brown," Mr. Kashkari said. He also challenged Mr. Brown to release his tax returns and made hay of a financial disclosure statement that showed $1 million in stock in Jack in the Box. "Jerry Brown owns a million dollars of Jack in the Box stock," the Republican quipped. "I eat at Jack in the Box."
Derision of wealth--inherited or otherwise attained--may be typical of Democratic campaigns, but it seems beneath Mr. Kashkari. While it might be tempting to try to neutralize his personal fortune by smearing his opponent with the same marker, the Republican merely comes across as petty. What's more, such lines detract from his anti-poverty and jobs message.
UPDATE II: Huh? Tax troubles in California? One-third marginal rate against Texas's one-fourth.
"You look at the kind of Democrats who have been elected in the last few election cycles, and they are to the left, way to the left of center in Colorado, and they'll support this fracking ban," said Wadhams.
The Democratic Party's ability to keep its far left in line and avoid fractious battles on issues has helped it win the support of the business community, which values political stability. That could change if business leaders suspect Democrats are aligned with the anti-fracking forces.
"So you're watching the fracturing of the base, but also as important, they’re going to alienate the business community and [even] the progressive business community," said Ciruli. "I don't think those people won't give to Hickenlooper, but they might not give to these Democratic Senate campaigns."
So Hick might still get donations but his base will not be behind him.
Politico's Jake Sherman and Burgess Everett caution against "overanalyz[ing] the results of a special election" but I can't contain my enthusiasm over the way the PPACA debacle has boomeranged on the President and his party.
Republicans seem to think they've struck political gold, but Democrats aren't even sure how to interpret the loss. A veteran Democratic fundraiser called the loss a "double whammy," hurting the party with major donors and energizing Republicans.
Democrats naturally put a positive spin on the health care law, the increasingly unpopular President's signature achievement, but the depth and breadth of its stupidity, economic impossibilities, widespread personal dislocations and unmitigated incompetence combine into a self-inflicted wound so great that even Republicans can't screw up their good fortune. And Democrats, privately, seem to be admitting it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for her part, didn't discuss changing health care messaging at a closed party meeting. One Democratic source at the meeting said members were privately "angry and disgruntled."
So veto-proof might be a bridge too far, as 22 seats would have to switch from D to R in the Senate and I'm pretty sure there aren't that many D terms expiring this year. But the House? Who knows?
Don't tell blog friend JC, but SUVs for paramecia are on their way
Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine
Getting an engine that small isn't easy. As the researchers, led by the Netherlands' University of Twente's Vitaly Svetovoy, explain in their Nature paper, even the mechanism by which they've managed to get combustion happening is debatable.
"It is not obvious that the reaction in nanobubbles and performance of the microscopic actuator are related. Nevertheless, we speculate that the gas combustion in the chamber happens via combustion in transitional nanobubbles," they write.
The search for a Liliputian V8 might sound silly, but the researchers say "a fast and strong actuator ... can be applied in microfluidics, micro/nano positioning, or in compact sound/ultrasound emitters".
"To put it another way, it's quite possible that the uninsured rate has inched downward in spite of, rather than because of, ObamaCare's central "reforms." Further, shouldn't the number of uninsured have declined a lot more after five months of heavily subsidized or free coverage?"
and now, drum roll please:
The Democrats have never managed to sell ObamaCare to voters, but the administration can't even give it away.wuh-hoo-hoo!
He starts off with the title drawn from the FL-13 special election:
Sink Sank Sunk
Noting: Young wasn't, Sink did, and Jolly is.
Testing a theory by experimentation -- would that this could catch on!
Now, 60 years after [Alan] Turing's death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory in cell-like structures.
The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, March 10.
Turing was the first to offer an explanation of morphogenesis through chemistry. He theorized that identical biological cells differentiate, change shape and create patterns through a process called intercellular reaction-diffusion. In this model, a system of chemicals react with each other and diffuse across a space--say between cells in an embryo. These chemical reactions need an inhibitory agent, to suppress the reaction, and an excitatory agent, to activate the reaction. This chemical reaction, diffused across an embryo, will create patterns of chemically different cells.
. . . or. "Blog Brother, will you loan me a headline?"
Brother jg connected the timeless quest for other people's money to present day government. I'll raise him the "Google Bus Attacks:"
The class warriors [in Silicon Valley] have a lot to learn from Washington: So far, their main target has been the sleek buses that shuttle programmers and other workers from San Francisco to their offices at Apple, Google and a constellation of startups in the Valley. Dubbed "Google buses," the shuttles remove thousands of cars from San Francisco's madcap streets and allow coders to continue building the enterprises that help to keep the city's jobless rate at 4.8%.
But leftists in San Francisco see daggers in Google buses, which they insist are symbols of growing inequality. In December, Oakland protesters broke the windows on a Google bus, and last spring a few dozen street demonstrators in San Francisco's Mission District smacked piñata buses. Local writer-activist Rebecca Solnit summed up the populist perspective about the buses when she wrote recently in the London Review of Books that "some days I think of them as the spaceships on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us."
Spoiler alert: Ms. Solnit sold her apartment to a Goggle Engineer last year. That's the thing about overlords -- their checks tend to clear!
The whole piece is superb. This group keeps the city alive and vibrant, minting millionaires, billionaires, and useful products along the way. For this -- and the environmental carpooling -- they get metaphorical and corporeal whacks to their buses.
Still, the more gas is available worldwide, the less leverage Putin will have in bullying neighbors and in talks with European powers such as Germany, which also depends on Russian gas.
That's the Denver Post Editorial Board speaking. And if that doesn't sound enough like the words of Republicans Cory Gardner and Rand Paul [starting at 5:00], among many others, the Post continues:
Not everyone agrees, of course. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., was among 20 House Democrats last fall who wrote to the energy secretary expressing concern LNG exports "would lead to greater hydraulic fracturing activity," which is probably true. But we would hope most members of Congress appreciate that fracking can be done safely, and that America's new energy bounty offers a huge opportunity to assist pro-Western governments abroad.
Read more: Liquefied natural gas as a geopolitical tool - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_25314888/liquefied-natural-gas-geopolitical-tool
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I'm as surprised and outraged as you are to be fighting an anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality nominee put forward by Obama's White House to serve on the federal bench in my home state in Georgia...We can turn this train around, but the Senate needs to know that the American people aren't willing to put the future of our courts in the hands of someone whose values should have been left behind in the 1950s. -- Rep. David Scott, D-Ga
Plundering the wealth of one's neighbor is a mean of survival as old as time, or at least as old as ancient Athens.
And, as the Romans learned, it is not merely a vocation for individuals. It can be done, legally and effectively, by government.
Many people believe the "rich" can afford to pay higher taxes since they command a disproportionate share of the nation's income. However, the current amount of redistribution already takes 21% of the top quintile's income. That would have to soar to 74% to make every family in America "average."
These are the missing pieces of the current inequality debate. To recap: Current federal tax-and-spending policies combine to redistribute $1.5 trillion each year from the top 40% of Americans to the bottom 60%. To close the income gap to zero would require $4 trillion.
The questions to those who say we should do more to narrow the income gap are: Where on that continuum should we aim, and what policies would achieve these goals without bringing the economy to its knees?
So writes Scott Hodge, President of the inestimable Tax Foundation, which plays these issues non-partisan. As for "what policies would achieve these goals without bringing the economy to its knees," Art Laffer, call your office. As for "where on that continuum should we aim," paging Hank Rearden and Ragnar Danneskjold. (And Jefferson, Madison, Franklin ...)
Know, gentle youth, in Libyan lands you are
A people rude in peace, and rough in war.
The rising city, which from far you see,
Is Carthage, and a Tyrian colony.
Phoenician Dido rules the growing state,
Who fled from Tyre, to shun her brother's hate.
Virgil (2013-04-22). Works of Virgil (Kindle Locations 419-424). The Perfect Library. Kindle Edition.
I do not want to leave ThreeSourcers lonely on Sunday with no Review Corner up with which to curl. But I'll be occupied with the Aeneid and The Peloponnesian War for a spell.
I'm not above sharing some quotes and first impressions.
My favorite morsel in the banquets of Buffy literary criticism I have consumed is one professor's suggestion that the slayer's three boyfriends represent the three heroes of antiquity: Spike the quick-tongued and well travelled warrior with Mommy issues is Odysseus, Angel as the taciturn Achilles whose single vulnerability is found and exploited at the end of Season Two, and Riley as Aeneas who abandons the happy comforts of romantic love to pursue his quest.
You don't have to wait too long. In Book IV of the Aeneid, our brave hero after coming out the bad side of all that Greeks and wooden horse business finds Dido on the Libyan coast. All is swell but the Gods have been pretty clear that his ticket is punched through all the way to Italy. He splits in the dead of night (Men!) and she doesn't take it well.
Great stuff! A few books later, he enters hell and crosses the Stygian flood to get some advice from the ghost of his father, Anchises. The shade confides that the only time he feared for Aeneas's mission was "when he found love on the Libyan coast."
Riley, you dog!
Meanwhile, Thucydides relates the realignment of alliances and enmities that led to the Peloponnesian War. He opens with a diatribe against piracy that presages Professor Deepak Lal by a couple millennia. Industry and capital formation require a belief that the next group of marauders won't just take your acquired wealth.
The narrative proceeds by a mix of exposition and 141 speeches. There is no shortage of academic discussion about the accuracy of either. But the speeches provide the viewpoint of a faction, while entertaining the reader. All but the illiterate of Thomas Jefferson's peers knew these speeches well, and it strikes me that the Declaration of Independence borrowed heavily from the very first speech. As Jefferson addressed France, he invokes the Corcyraeans delegation to Athens
"Athenians! when a people that have not rendered any important service or support to their neighbours in times past, for which they might claim to be repaid, appear before them as we now appear before you to solicit their assistance, they may fairly be required to satisfy certain preliminary conditions. They should show, first, that it is expedient or at least safe to grant their request; next, that they will retain a lasting sense of the kindness.
Thucydides (2012-05-12). The History of the Peloponnesian War (pp. 13-14). . Kindle Edition.
I thank Blog friend TGreer for his suggestion of the Landmark Edition with maps and commentary. I picked it up on Kindle and enjoyed Professor Victor Davis Hansen's introductory essay. I will keep it handy, but Mortimer Adler suggests that a difficult book be tackled first by reading it cover to cover. In our youth, blog friend sc and I once made late night plans to go skiing the next day, which neither of us knew how, "Ernest Hemmingway style:" put skis on and figure it out. By morning, bravado and alcohol had dissipated enough that the voyage did not commence. But I am going to do Thucydides without training wheels. Y'all can visit me in the hospital.
If the Declaration of Independence "rhymes" with Thucydides, so perhaps does the Cadillac commercial's view of America nod to the Corinthians speech comparing Athenians to Lacedaemonians:
The Athenians are addicted to innovation, and their designs are characterized by swiftness alike in conception and execution; you have a genius for keeping what you have got, accompanied by a total want of invention, and when forced to act you never go far enough. Again, they are adventurous beyond their power, and daring beyond their judgment, and in danger they are sanguine; your wont is to attempt less than is justified by your power, to mistrust even what is sanctioned by your judgment, and to fancy that from danger there is no release. Further, there is promptitude on their side against procrastination on yours; they are never at home, you are never from it: for they hope by their absence to extend their acquisitions, you fear by your advance to endanger what you have left behind.
Mollie Zieglar Hemingway has a guest editorial in the WSJ that might warm the cold, unfeeling hearts of ThreeSourcers. She takes to task one Dalai Lama. "The longtime Marxist doesn't seem to realize markets are the best way to 'take care of others.'"
She mentions the AEI visit and his admission that he has come to better respect Capitalism. "But that respect seems grudging. He also criticized 'the capitalist country, United States,' as 'the richest, but you also see a big gap between rich and poor.' And he said of capitalism that it 'only takes the money, then exploitation.'"
While the Dalai Lama was bringing his critique of capitalism to Washington, Venezuelans were continuing their sustained protests against a Marxist government that they blame for high inflation, rampant crime and the imprisonment of opposition leaders. Then there are the Communist regimes in China, Cuba and North Korea, which remain far more repressive and unequal than any capitalist democracy. Yet the Dalai Lama didn't mention Communist oppression.
The fact that Marxism has achieved the opposite of what it promises hasn't seemed to move the Dalai Lama. On this trip, the Dalai Lama told a Vanity Fair reporter that the issue is not Marxist ideology, just its practitioners: "I think the Marxist economics is right. But gradually Lenin, [though he was] supposed to apply that concept, he sacrificed individual rights, individual freedom."
Yeah, Lenin was swell before he turned away from his dedication to individual rights and individual freedom.
Holler if you want this mailed over Rupert's pay wall -- I'm, like, totally prepared to "fight the man" today.
"These are the 194 Harlem children who have been kicked out of their beloved school by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:"
The 194 children attend Harlem Central Middle School, a charter school in the Success Academy network of 22 high-performing New York City public schools founded by de Blasio's longtime nemesis, Eva Moskowitz, a fellow Democrat who served with him on the City Council a decade ago. The mayor last month revoked the previous administration’s approval of the school's plan to "co-locate" using excess space inside an ordinary public school on West 118th Street. The charter-school students must vacate their current building at the end of the school year and so are rendered educationally homeless by de Blasio's decision
UPDATE II: The problem with those damn charter schools:
On Thursday Mr. de Blasio went on a sympathetic radio station and couldn't have been clearer about what is driving his actions. Charter schools may help the poor and those just starting out in America, they may give options to kids who've floundered elsewhere, but a lot of them are supported by rich people. There is a "strong private-sector element" in their funding, he said. The mayor agreed with host Ebro Darden that "a lot" of charter schools are funded by big business: "Oh yeah, a lot of them are funded by very wealthy Wall Street folks and others." When Mr. Darden and co-host Peter Rosenberg suggested that a "campaign" to portray the mayor as anti-charter-school was also funded by big business, Mr. de Blasio, as the New York Post noted, didn't disagree. "I think you're providing a keen political analysis there." -- Peggy Noonan
To its discredit, Colorado's Republican Party chose to NOT conduct a statewide straw poll on any of the primary races in 2014. What are they afraid of, I wonder? To their credit, however, many counties chose to conduct straw polls independently. My county of Weld was one of them as was Douglas County, whose website has conveniently aggregated all of the county by county straw polls from:
Douglas, Broomfield, Pueblo (partial), Yuma, Larimer (partial), Adams (partial) Montrose, Weld, Teller (governor only), and Boulder.
Cory Gardner ran away with the US Senate preference poll with 83.6 percent to Hill and Baumgardner's 8.4 and 5.2, respectively.
The Governor's contest was, a contest:
Gessler - 30.3%
Beauprez - 22.5%
Tancredo - 15.7%
Kopp - 14.0%
Brophy - 11.9%
House - 3.6%
Others - 2%
My county seems to prefer Beauprez with 23.2%, followed by Gessler at 20.3%, Tancredo at 19.9%, Kopp at 15.7% and Brophy with 13.6%. House fared very poorly in Weld coming in behind Roni Bell Sylvester, who's 77 multi-county votes included 42 in Weld County.
Big day! I'm officially going live with my boxed set website: www,jkboxed.com.
I've been working on this in the background for a year. I have digitized and edited a giant tub of disks, cds, vinyl, and tapes of many formats, Recently a friend of mine returned to this great nation of ours and she helped me finish the site design. And today is go-live.
I have added the website address to the blogroll, and there is also a Facebook Page where I will highlight videos and pictures on occasion.
Midterm caucuses are sleepy affairs after the quadrennials. I thought all the churn in Centennial State races would supercharge the political atmosphere. But . . . nah.
Eleven souls from my precinct showed up in pretty good weather. There was none of the Ron Paul, Tea Party vibe that permeated 2010 and 2012. A bunch of nice folks who completed all their tasks by 8:30.
Our straw poll results:
Governor: Tancredo 4, Beauprez 3, Brophy 2, Gessler 1, Kopp 1
Senate: Cory Garner 10, Owen Hill 1 (Ten write-in votes, he was not on the ballot).
If the libertarian revolution is going to sweep the GOP. It does not appear it will start in precinct 34.
UPDATE: The highlight may have been Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer's announcing for CO4. She made a rousing, energetic speech about "bringing some Weld County to Washington." Challenging DA Ken Buck, I could not help but notice she was wearing high heels.
UPDATE II: I had the new Nokia Lumina 1020 on me:
Curiously, none of the candidates played the vibraphone . . .
Hat-tip Jim Geraghty [if you haven't subscribed yet...] who puts this in context with the RAM Truck "God Made a Farmer" and the Coke multicultural milieu ad as "we want to feel good about America again."
The farmer in the Ram Trucks ad is what we think we once were, and want to still be: hard-working, reliable, honest, filled with determination and integrity. The Coke ad actually begins with a cowboy who would fit in the Ram Truck ad, but moves on to breakdancing kids, a family visiting the Grand Canyon, a big (Hispanic?) family settling in for dinner, folks wobbling at a roller rink and laughing at themselves. That ad shows that we're warm and welcoming, close to our families, spending quality time with our kids who aren't sitting in front of a video game console or staring at the screen of their phone.
And then Neal McDonough -- "Hey, it's that guy from Band of Brothers and Captain America!" -- comes along and stabs a needle of adrenaline and confidence into our heart. He chuckles about other countries sitting at cafes and taking August off. He walks past his kids, who are doing their homework, with one appearing to working on a model of DNA. He explains that "we're crazy, driven hard-working believers," and high-fives his younger child, who obviously has already absorbed this cheerful, confident philosophy. He's got a gorgeous house with a pool, happy, bright kids, a good-looking wife who reads the Wall Street Journal after he does, and he looks good in a suit. He's got spring in his step. The world is his oyster, and he says it's America's oyster, too, because "you work hard, you create your own luck, and you've got to believe anything is possible."
The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers' articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the "Flat Earth Society."
A movement with confidence in its scientific theories would be able to admit there are many climate factors beyond carbon dioxide that are not yet well understood, and that some climate models have been shown to be unreliable. Such a movement would not downplay or whitewash leaked emails evincing the possibility of massaged data. When it criticizes its skeptics as hired guns of the fossil-fuel industry who are influenced by money, it would be willing to acknowledge that it thrives on government and private funding that would shrink if its research did not continue to say warming is here and getting worse. And there would be more confessions such as Al Gore's belated acknowledgment that his support for ethanol was misguided. -- Pete du Pont
I have a dream. I have seen the future. There is a home appliance that will bring its developer a huge fortune.
The device uses all existing technology, it just requires smart design and integration: a single serve coffeemaker that takes whole beans on one side and serves one cup of hot and fresh coffee on the other. I love my Senseo® machine; it is the Betamax® of single serve -- great, but losing market share to Keurig. The flaw in both is the expense, waste, and lack-of-freshness in the pods or cups.
I want the convenience and freshness of of single serve with the freshness and diversity of whole beans.Is that too much to ask? In America?
Today, Insty brings word of the perfect opportunity to roll ours out. It seems Keurig will require proprietary K-cups.
"Lame and tacky" says the sage of Knoxville. I could not agree more. Let's leapfrog all those dissatisfied customers into our machine. Just a cool design to facilitate cleaning, and a little miniaturization of current technology. Who's in?
Complete Colorado dot com has solicited 700 word op eds from the governor's candidates. My prior post linked the one penned by the Losertarian, Matthew Hess. Here are the ones submitted by Republicans:
As was raised by JK and Jonah Goldberg last week, one really shouldn't bloviate as a way of opening an essay, particularly when one has a 700 word limit. This illustrative specimen comes from Matthew Hess who, I hope you don't know, is the Libertario delenda est candidate for Colorado governor.
Former Congressman Bob Beauprez on Monday filed his paperwork to run for governor, saying Coloradans for weeks have urged him to get into the GOP primary.
In an interview with the Denver Post, the 65-year-old Boulder County native blasted Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's style of leadership, talked about defeat of the education tax-hike measure Amendment 66, and explained why he got into a race where six Republicans already have announced.
"I want to get Colorado moving again and be the envy of the whole country," he said.
Losing to Bill Ritter by 17 is disconcerting. But despite what you may have read on the Internet, I've no great, fundamental objection.
Much has been made of the Russian naval base in the Crimea region of Ukraine, which Russia has a long-term lease upon. Why send troops to protect other troops? So the cover story is "to protect ethnic Russians" an excuse at least as old as the start of World War II. Sudetenland, anyone?
But what hasn't been reported, until this morning, is the vast network of natural gas pipelines in Ukraine, where about 80% of her neighbors get their natural gas, sourced from Russia. But the stakes are even higher for Ukraine herself, as she gets 65% of her own natural gas from Russia, who has not been shy in reminding them who's boss. Consequently, Ukraine has been working toward construction of compressed natural gas (CNG) terminals in Odessa, Ukraine, for the purpose of free trade consumption on world markets. Perhaps this taste of freedom is something Putin can not stomach.
Commander Victor Vescovo, USN retired, writes in Real Clear Defense:
The key to Ukraine’s energy independence from Russia and, therefore, its ability to determine its own political future lies in Odessa -- the city, its port area and energy infrastructure, and the access to Black Sea it provides. Crimea is likely lost. But if Ukraine is to survive, all of its current focus should be on Odessa and preventing any Russian movements against this vital region from Crimea, Transnistria, or Russian territory.
Cdr. Vescovo outlines a fairly simple strategy to protect Odessa but also explains, with the help of a map, that Odessa, like Crimea and eastern Ukraine, is majority native Russian speaking.
1. Start fracking in Europe
2. Expand fracking in the US
3. Promote LNG exports
4. Allow U.S. petroleum exports
5. OK Keystone XL
6. Expand, not contract, nuclear power in Ukraine
7. Unify Cypress and build a new pipeline
"Finally, smart energy policies also would undermine other energy autocrats around the world, including Venezuela." And Iran.
HOLY COW! Caucus in tomorrow! I am ill-prepared and need to lean on ThreeSourcers.
A: Are we showing up with platform planks? This seems a great opportunity to sneak a bit of liberty into the Colorado GOP when they're not looking :)
B: What is the strategy for the gubernatorial nomination? I enjoyed the debate on Sunday and both the lovely bride and I came out choosing Greg Brophy. He is a Republican Hickenlooper -- and I mean that in a very good way -- drives a Prius, rides a bike, bla, bla, bla. He was also the most friendly to liberty in the drug and gay marriage debate. That was a low bar, but he crossed it.
I would be happy to line up for any of the participants. I mentioned two unsurprising areas of disagreement, but they all were good. The guy I am not certain I could support is Rep, Tancredo. He did not bother to show up at the debate, but I figured it was for Republicans as he ran against the Republican nominee last time.
So how do we nominate one of the Anybody But Tancredos? I asked Steve House that very question at LOTR-F. I am worried that the ABT vote will split and open the field for the toxic interloper.
A hybrid aircraft, this goofy looking vehicle is capable of heavy lifting and long flight times thanks to the buoyancy of helium gas. The UK Telegraph article that describes it touts its "low carbon" and "green" attributes. I call it a possibly cost-effective vehicle for heavy transport and other specialized uses - provided it is economical in its use of the non-renewable commodity, helium gas.
Some people say that I tend to write absolute gibberish as throat-clearing before I get to the point because vests have no sleeves. I say to them: Trieste belongs to the Italians! -- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]