April 29, 2014
What I Learned in Peloponnese...
Whoa. David Brooks is right. I was readying the stopped-clock gags, but the NYTimes's political-trouser-pressing critic has a superb column which introduces a topic I wanted to discuss. Spoiler alert -- I want to share the end but recommend the entire piece:
The liberal pluralistic system is not a spontaneous natural thing. Preserving that hard-earned ecosystem requires an ever-advancing fabric of alliances, clear lines about what behavior is unacceptably system-disrupting, and the credible threat of political, financial and hard power enforcement.
Deepak Lal -- call your office. But the point I hoped to make was the comparison of anarcho-capitalism and socialism. A great friend of this blog riffs that the proponents of both build their premises on prelapsarian man. "If men were Angels..." James Madison intoned.
My contribution, besides sharing the awesome word, prelapsarian, with you, is this. The Rule of jk:
Neither liberty nor prosperity is a natural state.
We, of the liberty ilk, chide the left for their half. They see the land of milk of honey, with happy people hunting plentiful buffalo and enjoying organic carrots -- until the mean old corporations and greedy Wall Street bankers ruined everything. Deirdre McCloskey is turned on her head to my lefty friends.
But I appeal to my righty friends to eschew not only anarcho-capitalism, but also isolationism. Surely Rep. Ron Paul isolationism -- we'll negotiate with Paul the Younger. These Righty Facebook Friends (RFFs) are increasingly contemptuous of "consent of the governed." Even accepting the Constitution, one can make a perfect case for Ron Paulism -- more easily than for the Deepak Lal side.
I learned on these very pages that Thomas Hobbes translated Thucydides to English. Now we know where he "got his mellow harshed." Just as the natural economic state is poverty and privation, digging for roots with a stick to try and ingest enough calories -- the natural political state is for some person or group to come take those roots and your stick away from you.
Brooks is dead right -- maintaining a Lal-ian Liberal International Economic Order is difficult and we lack the stomach for it. Make your choices, but do not pretend that everything will be fine. That the terrorists just want us to leave them alone and that Putin just wants us to stop giving them stupid props. China just wants a couple of rocks in the ocean.
UPDATE: Heh. Insty links to the same column, importunely pointing out "This a direct consequence of who we elected in 2008. You, David, were a part of that."
So Long, Starbucks! It's Been Swell.
It was fun. It was "real" as we used to say. But:
Steep Your Soul™ Teavana and Oprah invite you to take a few moments to pause and reflect each day. Your own personal "steep time."
Nah. Please let me know when this promotion is finished. In the meantime, the Black Dog Coffee Shop in Erie is awesome, as is the Brewing Market (on Dagny Way in Atlas Valley). Oprah's scolding me ruined my morning coffee.
April 28, 2014
Quote of the Day
But thanks to fracking and the shale revolution, peak oil and gas have been postponed. They will run out one day, but only in the sense that you will run out of Atlantic Ocean one day if you take a rowboat west out of a harbor in Ireland. Just as you are likely to stop rowing long before you bump into Newfoundland, so we may well find cheap substitutes for fossil fuels long before they run out. -- "Rational Optimist" Matt Ridley in today's WSJ.
April 27, 2014
I could work for a Curmudgeon. I do not think I am actually one myself, though I do have some curmudgeonly qualities. All the same, I did enjoy Charles Murray's The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life Being betwixt the curmudgeon and the go getter, I can sit back and enjoy his life's suggestions as a spectator (though there is probably some good advise about not using "betwixt...") I mentioned that today's Review Corner would address income inequality. Let's fire the big guns.
Here's the secret you should remember whenever you hear someone lamenting how tough it is to get ahead in the postindustrial global economy: Few people work nearly as hard as they could. The few who do have it made.I'm not one to write off the millennials as slackers; I know too many of tem that are hard-working and ambitious. But they have been a ill-served by many of their teachers and parents. Not everybody gets a trophy when you leave school. Those who are prepared to look for the field in which they can compete and toil to get the trophy will thrive even in the Obama economy An improving, dynamic and growing economy will always provide greater opportunity for the talented, intelligent and hard-working. That will distance them from those who lack those traits. Instead of government solutions, the career tips in Murray's book would go a lot further (not farther, Charles, I'm in) to keep up. The book provides a reality check, plus some great practical advice. Your pedantic blog brother could not keep up with his writing and grammar. He provides a page of "know the difference between these words." I hope he is grading on a (Bell) Curve because they were difficult -- and I'm giving myself full credit for further/farther. Here's a random tasting:
Which one do you use for "give up in abject humiliation," Charles? The target is a young person just starting in the workplace. As it is AEI, writing is emphasized. The entire project started out as a web reference for new hires and interns to check for writing and style questions -- he added the body-piercing bits to fill it out to book length. Curmudgeons are key players in meritocracy and one suspects Murray may be the "Devil Wears Prada" of AEI:
Furthermore, you should keep in mind that the people who are most likely to recognize superior performance are successful curmudgeons. Suppose you are stuck with a job as an administrative assistant and want to break out into a managerial career track. If that's your ambition, you don't want to be assigned to a friendly, sympathetic boss who forgives his assistant's mistakes. You want to be assigned to a successful curmudgeon, the more demanding the better. He is more likely to have a gimlet eye for mistakes --and by the same token is more likely to notice when they don't occur. Being successful himself, he is likely to be in love with excellent performance and to be impressed when he detects it.The part of the book that is career advice I figured out most on my own, and am too late for the rest. But there is a considerable emphasis on happiness or a life well lived.
You don't need to be an Aristotelian to be good. For two millennia, the world's other most influential ethical system was Confucianism. The central virtue in Confucianism is ren, the summation of all subsidiary virtues. Ren translates as humaneness or benevolence, but the Confucian conception of ren is richer than either word conveys. Ren incorporates the idea of reciprocity (a form of the Golden Rule), which overlaps with Aristotle's concept of justice. Ren incorporates courage. Confucianism is emphatic about the need for temperance.As long as it does not apply to coffee, I could try me some temperance. You get the idea. It's an engaging and interesting book of practical advice.
In any case, I'm not discouraging you from going for the big bucks and the spotlight. I wish you luck. But suppose you arrive at age forty and you enjoy your work, have found your soul mate, and are raising a couple of terrific kids, but must recognize that you will probably never become either rich or famous. At that point, it's important to supplement your youthful ambition with mature understanding. That's where the clichés come in-- the ones about money not buying happiness and fame being empty.And a last one, I may not be too old for. Murray channels somebody else I know:
Taking religion seriously means homework. If you're waiting for a road-to-Damascus experience, you're kidding yourself. Taking one of the great religions seriously, getting inside its rich body of thought, doesn't happen by sitting on beaches, watching sunsets, and waiting for enlightenment. It can easily require as much intellectual effort as a law degree. Even dabbling at the edges has demonstrated the truth of that statement to me for Judaism, Buddhism, and Taoism. I assume it's true of Islam and Hinduism as well. In the case of Christianity, with which I'm most familiar, the church has produced profound religious thinkers for two thousand years. You don't have to go back to Thomas Aquinas (though that wouldn't be a bad idea). Just the last century has produced excellent and accessible work. But whomever you read, Christianity considered seriously bears little resemblance to your Sunday school lessons. You've got to grapple with the real thing.Sounds like work. I'll give the book four fulsome (or does he mean emphatic?) stars and a hearty recommendation.
UPDATE: Murray is interviewed by Marry Kissel at OpinionJournal. The second section is about this book.
April 25, 2014
Quote of the Day
Funny story: Recently, the Dalai Lama visited AEI (Big hitter, the Lama). I was out of town for it, but Ramesh Ponnuru attended his talk. At one point, His Holiness turned to Ramesh and said something like "You're from India, you know what I mean" (not exact quote). Ramesh replied, "Actually, I'm from Kansas." Then Arthur Brooks apparently quipped something like, "Don't worry your holiness, everyone in Kansas looks like Ramesh."
April 24, 2014
Oh Noes! Trouble for Sen Udall?
Alyssa Finley: Bad News for Colorado's Udall
Democrats are taking cold comfort in a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll this week that finds Senate Democrats leading Republican challengers in pivotal southern states with double-digit spreads in Arkansas and Louisiana. Meantime, a couple of new polls suggest that Colorado Democrat Mark Udall could be in serious trouble.
Oregon's health insurance exchange failed to launch in October as planned and no Oregon residents have been able to sign up for health insurance through the exchange site. As Reason's Peter Suderman explained in January, the exchange received $48 million thanks to one of the federal government's "early innovator grants" as well as $11.8 million in IT support.
And every web coder, and database dude, and the ladies script'n Java for client-side tools, and the back-end XML techs writing strongly typed XSDs in the Oregon Waaaaaay..
'Scuse me, but the complete toileting of $60 Million makes me burst into song.
UPDATE: Make that $303 Million:
An internal audit ordered by [Democratic Governor John] Kitzhaber concludes that Cover Oregon's architects were doomed by multi-agency bureaucratic confusion with no quality control or accountability for results. Investigators at the KATU news station uncovered evidence suggesting that Cover Oregon officials created a fake website to create the illusion of progress for the feds, who made ObamaCare grants that totalled $303 million.
Shameless Promotion of Others
Blog friend sc's current project gets a great review in BluesBytes. (Scroll halfway or search for "Annie Mack")
Annie and the band close out Baptized in the Blues with another Gospel-tinged tune, "Revolution." "Can I get an amen...or am I preaching to the choir...we need a revolution...truth start a righteous fire." I've enjoyed Annie's disc immensely and am glad that my Minnesota buddies -- Gary, Spike and John Hammer -- brought her to my attention. Sad that I missed seeing a live performance from Annie in Memphis, but I'm hoping to correct that later on this summer. Annies website is www.anniemackblues.com and I'd head over there and grab yourself a copy of Annie's disc. We need a revolution in Annie's case, and buying her CD is the best way to start a righteous fire!
Why Johnny Can't Recycle!
From the tortured metaphor to the triple-segue. Like the fine print says in the Mercedes commercial with the woman driving her $70K car in the demolition derby: caution is warranted.
But -- fruit juicy! -- three rockin' anti-enviro links in two days.
1) If you only look at one, enjoy this writing assignment and its handling.
A public high school junior in Littleton, Colorado, was assigned an in-class essay in AP English using prepackaged materials from the College Board. Students were to explain what "key issues" leaders "should consider when making policies that may affect global warming." The student argued that leaders should consider "how much money, time, and effort" can be spent on fighting global warming without compromising efforts to resolve other key issues.
Click through to see the essay and the teacher's response. No grammar, punctuation or style guidance was given, mind you, but the instructor shared some thoughts on the topic.
2) The most courageous man in the world!
A US economics professor has published the letter he wrote to his daughter's schoolteacher explaining why he doesn't want his girl indoctrinated in the green religion. Steven Landsburg, a professor at Rochester, NY, included it as part of a longer essay in which he calls environmentalism a "coercive ideology" targeted specifically at children.
3) The Masters speak (well, one of them anyway...) Hat-tip: Yaron Brook
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
The lovely bride queued up Atlas Shrugged Part 1 on the TiVo. I will admit is not "Citizen Kane," but I find the first Hank and Dagny quite endearing.
The WSJ abruptly thrusts the Part III tagline: "Now Non-fiction" into view with an editorial on President Obama's "Pay As You Earn" program.
We've warned for years about the risks of this program as Mr. Obama has worked to expand the number of eligible borrowers and sweeten its terms.
I have a friend who rails on Facebook at any mention of the makers/takers distinction -- he becomes quite animated at the suggestion that any of the poor or dependent are in any way culpable for their situations. Yet each of these programs are bricks with largess mortar that wall the two groups.
[Kids, don't try these advanced metaphors at home -- these are trained and highly-caffeinated bloggers...]
April 23, 2014
Maybe there is hope:
Air pressure denier!
But . . . the science is settled!
QUT Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary.
Neil de Grasse Tyson could not be reached for comment.
Quote of the Day
"This is once again politics at its worst, In another gutless move, the Administration is delaying a finding on whether the [Keystone XL] pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process--and which has nothing to with the national interest. They waited until Good Friday, believing no one would be paying attention. The only surprise is they didn't wait to do it in the dark of night." -- FOX News Commen, er -- Republican Strateg, er -- Laborers' International Union chief Terry O'Sullivan
A Smart Piece on McCutcheon
The infamous Facebook friends do have value in their reminding me that other views to mine are extant.
Many of my friends posted a meme from smaterterest-man-in-the-world, Jon Stewart, railing against the eeevil decision in McCutcheon v. FEC All our elections will be bought now. I posted, where it might be heard, that I remain far more worried about incumbent power than the influence of money. And, perhaps, a few sarcastic references to Presidents Perot, Forbes and Romney who bought their way into office.
But, for ThreeSourcers, this piece in the American.com by Michael M. Rosen will resonate. The difference, sez Rosen, is that the Left is protecting a collective, pragmatic right to use speech to affect policy. The right, conversely, protects an individual right of speech qua speech.
Thus, says Justice Breyer, the problem with political corruption is it "derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie" and "cuts the link between political thought and political action."
Thing the whole got read to.
April 22, 2014
Review Corner is On!
Azuza Pacific University has postponed Charles Murray's address so as to not harm students of color.
I was scheduled to speak to you tomorrow. I was going to talk about my new book, "The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead," and was looking forward to it. But it has been "postponed." Why? An email from your president, Jon Wallace, to my employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said "Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray's scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday's conversation." This, about an appearance that has been planned for months. I also understand from another faculty member that he and the provost were afraid of "hurting our faculty and students of color."
Rest assured, ThreeSourcers, that Sunday's Review Corner is on. Review Corner does not back down.
Mike Rowe -- Call Your Office!
Welders earn $150-200K and the owner of Pioneer Pipe in Ohio "has had to turn down orders because he can't find enough skilled welders." Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says it's time to bring back shop classes.
The Ohio School Board Association recently heard a similar message--from the actor John Ratzenberger, whom you might remember as Cliff Clavin, the mailman from the 1980s sitcom "Cheers." Mr. Ratzenberger these days is devoting considerable charitable time and dollars toward raising the profile of America's skilled laborers as role models for young people.
That Jenny with her anti-vaccination, hysterical, junk-science bullpuckey!
Nope -- I mean Tailgunner Joe, the Senator from Wisconsin. If Helen launched a thousand ships, Senator Mac launched a thousand preening Hollywood films.
Jesse Walker lists Four Great Myths of the McCarthy Era. And it is very good.
It may be tempting to put all the madness of the early Cold War on the shoulders of one Wisconsin senator, and then to cheer as Joseph Welch ritually exorcises him on the floor of the Senate and the TV screens of America. The truth, alas, is much messier and uglier than that. When it comes to the Red Scare, there's plenty of shame to go around.
Underappreciated in the discussion is the perfidy of the 17th Amendment (oh, man, here he goes...). In "Master of the Senate," Robert A. Caro details Sen. McCarty's fundraising prowess. He and Johnson pioneered the habit of raising prodigious amounts of money to fund the campaigns of those who would play along. To hear Caro tell it, there were quite a few members of that august body who tired of McCarthy's tactics, but incumbency always comes first, and the difference between his financing your campaign or your competitors -- or his besmirching your name in campaign materials -- kept those in line who may have normally calmed him down a bit.
Quote of the Day
Language about "appropriation" suggests that we live in an endowment economy, as does the claim that post-World War I wealth inequality fell "so low that nearly half the population were able to acquire some measure of wealth" (350). Endogeneity, anyone? -- Ryan DeckerHat-tip: Blog friend tg in the comments below. The entire piece is a superb and serious answer to Thomas Piketty's new book, "Capital in the 21st Century."
ObamaCare: Kids Have to all Move Home
I was going to save this for a Review Corner anecdote. But it's too good. And, well, YOLO.
Do we have to carry our 24-year-old daughter on our health insurance policy? She is employed and has two degrees. We informed her that we would be dropping her at the end of the year because it's costing us a fortune, and she told us today that we are required by law to cover her. We do not claim her on our taxes.
You have to Mom! The President says so! And I get a car!
Well, no, the WaPo's Dear-Abby-for-the-ACA points out that the insurer must accept princess, but until the President scribbles it into the margins of the bill, the parents need not provide.
Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty who says "Kids, one of your goals in life should be to never prompt either of your parents' writing in to an advice columnist over you." I'd add "Legislators, one of your goals in life should be to never prompt the Washington Post to create an advice columnist over your bills' ambiguities..."
April 21, 2014
Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy Inc. said in a written report to the county [Boulder, CO] that focus groups have shown that "support for alternative transportation efforts is driven not by what would get a person out of their own car, but by the hope those programs get others out of their cars so the roads are less congested for them as they continue to drive."
Wow, who saw that coming? Certainly not the people who wrote this:
By investing in such programs as those that support cycling, walking, car pooling and public transportation, "Boulder County strives to make it easier for people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, while conserving natural resources and living an active, healthy lifestyle," the county said in a report detailing its sustainability programs.
But what if people don't want those things?
Here's my prediction: Boulder County residents will get the least popular "alternative-transportation program:" Making personal transportation advisers available to advise residents and businesses on how to shorten commutes and reduce car use. That'll get their heads right.
Piketty is Back
Jane Goodall studied gorillas. She contributed much to academic research and also brought interesting facts and riveting footage to lay people.
Thomas Piketty studies income inequality; he seeks it with the same intensity as Ms. Goodall -- mutatis mutandis. Wikipedia points out "Piketty has close connections with the French socialist party, and took part in the economic commission of that party from 1995 to 1997." His 2004 paper with Emanuel Saez is probably the most frequently cited academic work on inequality. Alan Reynolds's "Income and Wealth" is generally a book length refutation.
While he has strong views, he is a serious academic and those views are worthy of scrutiny. His new book, Capital in the 21st Century" has received rave reviews from the left and I exchanged some messages with a good friend of this blog who regretted that most of the opposition was political and polemical. I liked Christopher Demuth's QOTD-achieving WSJ editorial.
While it is not an economic refutation, Clive Crook's piece in Bloomberg View is a good read and inspired my "Inequalities in the Mist" comparison. Piketty, sez Crook, does superb research -- but then takes imaginative leaps from the data to reach conclusions.
Piketty's terror at rising inequality is an important data point for the reader. It has perhaps influenced his judgment and his tendentious reading of his own evidence. It could also explain why the book has been greeted with such erotic intensity: It meets the need for a work of deep research and scholarly respectability which affirms that inequality, as Cassidy remarked, is "a defining issue of our era."
If that is not sufficiently conclusive for you, keep in mind Paul Krugman likes it.
April 20, 2014
Things at Thasos thus turned out just the contrary to what the oligarchical conspirators at Athens expected; and the same in my opinion was the case in many of the other dependencies; as the cities no sooner got a moderate government and liberty of action, than they went on to absolute freedom without being at all seduced by the show of reform offered by the Athenians.Thus spake Thucydides in the nineteenth year of the war in which Thucydides was the historian. The first person acknowledgment is unusual from the Athenian General and author of The Peloponnesian War.
Much scholarship has been devoted to Thucydides; while I rarely lack self-esteem, it is not my intention to add to it. I will tell instead of what happens when a regular Joe--er John lands in its pages and how it speaks to politics today, for it is a deeply political book.
"This we cannot have unless we have a more moderate form of government, and put the offices into fewer hands, and so gain the King's confidence, and forthwith restore Alcibiades, who is the only man living that can bring this about. The safety of the state, not the form of its government, is for the moment the most pressing question, as we can always change afterwards whatever we do not like."
It seems Democracies struggled long before ObamaCare, but the primary takeaway for me is the brutality of life. As Hemmingway would offer two thousand years later "Que Puta es la Guerra" but to your basic Fifth Century BC hoplite, Thomas Hobbes's subjects' life would seen neither nasty, brutish nor short.
This underscores to your humble reviewer the impracticality of anarcho-capitalism. Pass around the Deepak Lal books, lads; your plunder-free libertarian utopia will be invaded by a neighboring power or undermined by your grandchildren's love of bread and circuses. The Founders were well versed in the Classics, and that "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men" must have been obvious. Scores of independent city states are less than pawns in the struggle between Sparta and Athens.
But enough of that -- let's talk about me. I applaud blog friend tg for his suggestion of The Landmark Edition. True to Professor Adler, I eschewed its explanations, maps, and the perspicuity of its commentary for a naked run through the Richard Crawley translation completed in 1874. Then, less true to Adler, I turned immediately to the Landmark Edition to fill the substantial lacunae in my comprehension.
I was not cut out for a scholar. I think we can say it aloud. But a few weeks were very enjoyable. The text is eminently readable. Even if you lose track of where you are, when it is, and who is whom, it is full of keen insights. And the plot moves along by way of 141 orations. (Real) scholars question his sources of these exact quoted orations in pre-Google Greece, but they are a masterful literary device to relate the beliefs and goals of different factions.
The great blunder of Athens was the invasion of Sicily. They pulled defeat from the jaws of victory by overextending into a different theatre. Young commanders desiring glory speak to an easy campaign where they will be greeted as liberators. Nicias thinks this foolhardy. But to avoid sounding cowardly or unpatriotic delivers a speech instead reciting the great requirements for success. Instead of dissuading the assembled, they become enraptured in glory. Yes, you're right Nicias -- we should raise a huge army and navy and fill ships with food and supplies. This is going to be awesome!
[Spoiler Alert] The entrenched Syracusians dismantle the navy which has outdistanced supply lines and no Sicilian towns are keen on joining an outside alliance and providing harbor. When news reaches home that this massive force has been crushed, culpability is assessed, democracy-style:
When the conviction was forced upon them, they were angry with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition, just as if they had not themselves voted it, and were enraged also with the reciters of oracles and soothsayers, and all other omen-mongers of the time who had encouraged them to hope that they should conquer Sicily.
For 20+ years of strategy, bravado, tactics, skullduggery and politics. It is finally settled (post Thucydides) more by Persian capital -- after they enjoyed their two largest rivals beating the crap out of each other. There might be a lesson in there as well, if you're looking.
No sir, I am no scholar, but both Virgil's Works and The Peloponnesian War were enjoyable and add to inner pedantry (the word "laconic" comes from the inhabitants of Laconia who were spartan in speech and Spartan in politics. The names of the musical modes "Ionian," "Dorian," "Phrygian," &c. all come from areas in the book. "Eponymous" refers to the one archon after whom the assembly was named (think "The Roberts Court.")
It seems untoward to award stars. It is a treasure.
April 18, 2014
Everybody thinks he's Nate Silver
Michael Medved has a guest editorial in the WSJ today. He claims -- music to ThreeSourcers -- that "The War on Women" was not successful in 2012
A closer look at the numbers reveals that Mr. Obama's success with the ladies actually stemmed from his well-known appeal to minority voters. In 2012, 72% of all women voters identified themselves as "white." This subset preferred Mitt Romney by a crushing 14-point advantage, 56% to 42%. Though Democrats ratcheted up the women's rhetoric in the run-up to Election Day, the party did poorly among the white women it sought to influence: The Republican advantage in this crucial segment of the electorate doubled to 14 points in 2012 from seven points in 2008. In the race against Mr. Romney, Obama carried the overall female vote--and with it the election--based solely on his success with the 28% of women voters who identified as nonwhite. He carried 76% of Latina women and a startling 96% of black women.
I'm not going to ask the lovely bride to bring me my slippers so we can pop the champagne corks just yet. I think Medved is abusing statistics. The differential among female voters is interesting but not conclusive. You don't have to be "Pajama Boy" to be repelled by a perception of "troglodytery;" I wince at #WaronWomen because I see its being effective among my Facebook friends -- and I could even see its working on me were I not both connected and deeply committed to other issues.
I don't wince at the stupid, over the top attack ads: just the ones that look like they'd work. But to measure efficacy only by the female vote seems short-sided.
April 17, 2014
Man of the People
#WarOnWomen update, courtesy of the WSJ Ed Page. Of course the Administration's
Second, the Paycheck Fairness Act would reward one of the Democrats' most generous sources of ready cash: wealthy personal-injury lawyers.
The days of female tort lawyers making $77 Million for every $100 Million of their male counterparts is soon to be tossed into the ashbin of history!
UPDATE: This is from a guest editorial by Karl Rove.
April 16, 2014
All Hail Taranto!
Quote of the Day
"We have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don't vote at the same rates," President Obama said at a Houston fundraiser the other day. He means that the Obama Democrats are now what they call the "coalition of the ascendant," made up of minorities, young people, single women and affluent, college-educated cultural liberals. The problem is that this year they may be a coalition of the disappointed, so Democrats are trying to scare them to the polls with pseudo-controversies. -- WSJ Ed Page
April 15, 2014
Quote of the Day
The comparison is especially apt because Illinois Democrats are doubling down on their strategy in this election year. Governor Pat Quinn has announced plans to make permanent the "temporary" tax hikes that were supposed to sunset at the end of this year. -- WSJ Ed Page What's the Matter with Illinois?I just don't understand. It was a temporary tax hike. Now they want to make it permanent? Man, if only somebody might've seen that coming...
In Case Y'all Don't Have Facebook Friends:
Be a part of it! Spread the Word! #globalloveday
April 13, 2014
And we're back!
What the ????
Our server has been moved and the (normally superb) hosting company did not install our database driver.
So posters cannot post, commenters cannot comment -- though fish can still swim and birds, apparently still fly.
A ticket is in and it should be fixed soon.
I thought everybody just quit after my Sen. Harry Reid Limerick...
And, if you're Jonesing for reading matter, Download Glenn Reynolds's The Second Amendment as Ordinary Constitutional Law.
UPDATE: And we're back -- thanks to lunarpages.com. Very good hosting.
April 10, 2014
Thank you Senator!
Senator Harry Reid (Hypocrite-NV) vigorously defended federal funding for a Cowboy Poetry Festival in his state 3 years ago, slamming Republicans who sought to cut it from the federal budget as "mean spirited."
He might feel that move has come back to haunt him, as the manager of a ranch under siege by the Obama Administration's Bureau of Land Management for letting cattle eat desert grass, as the family has done since about 1870, seems to have benefited from the event.
"They're trying to take our stewardships,
I wonder who he would say is more "mean spirited" - Republican legislators or armed BLM agents engaged in cattle rustling?
Climate Scientists "on Strike?"
If only! In 'What if a climate scientist fell in the forest" Eric Golub writes,
"So at this point it's absurd to keep asking the scientific community to churn out more reports. In fact, it might almost be more useful if they went on strike: until you pay attention to what we've already told you, we won’t be telling you more."This guy thinks we are children, afraid to live without mommy and daddy (or mommy1 and mommy2) here to watch over us. Go ahead, climate scientists, "go Galt." We'll manage.
These more frequent illustrations of the nannyists disconnection from reality are some of the things that make me more optimistic that humanity is not doomed to return to pre-history.
April 9, 2014
Gladius! (Limited Engagement)
I want to share with all ThreeSourcers, friends and family, and anyone in the Denver area a great opportunity to see a Vegas quality live performance of acrobats, equestrians and clowns complete with lights, music and even a fire act. It is called "Gladius the Show" and one of the co-creators is a friend of ours, Erik Martonovich, a long-time fellow vaulter who grew up in Golden.
We opted for the "VIP" tickets, which gave us access to meet and talk with the performers after the show. My favorite parts were the gymnast who wound himself up and down on nylon straps with amazing grace, strength and flexibility, the combination of Roman riding and hanging from the ceiling, the high-speed CHARIOT RACE, and the four-horse Roman riding/vaulting finale.
It was truly impressive and well worth the modest ticket price (although I think I can post a 10% discount ordering code here later, to make it even more affordable.)
Shows continue daily at Jefferson County Fairgrounds Westernaires Arena, but only through April 20th. The time and money they have invested to create this impressive show have really paid off and I'm happy to endorse and promote them as much as I possibly can. Tell your friends!
Film at Eleven...
I referenced this in a comment. Watching the video is pretty impressive (although it is on Fox so it cannot be shared...)
April 8, 2014
cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful
Thus spake Charles Koch.
Terrific article, worth the read.
Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011
consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions
employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them
Yes, I can see why the leftists must try to destroy them!
Quote of the Day
They cannot even handle adhesive, and they wonder why the Google guys are wealthy:
Today, Twitter accounts using the names Occupy Oakland and Defend The Bay Area claim they stopped a Google bus in the street and attached a sticker to it, with the words "Die Techie Scum" on it. The protesters tell Business Insider that the sign didn't stay attached, and the bus was later allowed on its way.
From a very sad Richard Fernandez piece (Hat-tip: Insty)
Quote of the Day
Yet Mr. Piketty has no interest in expanding capital ownership: It doesn't even make his list of inferior alternatives, and he dismisses capitalized pensions with a few uncharacteristic rhetorical slights. Like others on the left, he seems to have concluded that the only way to promote economic equality is confiscatory taxation--redistribution of capital returns rather than wider distribution of capital ownership. After Marx's idea of comprehensive state ownership of the means of production proved to be hellacious and tyrannical, progressive attentions turned in a different direction. They would leave ownership--with all of its risks and tribulations--alone, and control its rewards through taxation and regulation. -- Christopher DeMuth
UPDATE: I emailed this to a friend of the blog. While we're ripping off Mr. Murdoch, this link should be good for seven days. (I recommend it highly.)
April 7, 2014
Facebook has the "Poke" button...
And ThreeSources, the Monetary Policy Category.
AEI: Now is the time to preempt deflation
Great Idea on Health Care!
Colorado gubernatorial candidate Steve House has just jumped into first place. In the polls, I think he is seventh or eighth -- have not looked today -- but this singularly awesome idea shows that he is the candidate for me.
I had the good fortune of meeting him at Liberty on the Rocks Flatirons (and you required another data point?) and knew he was from the Heath Care industry.
I had suggested, many moons ago on these pages, that I should open a clinic in Puerto Vallarta to hire mal-effected medical personnel and offer patients freedom from ObamaCare and the FDA within a short plane ride. This was at a height of violence in that area and it seemed ill advised.
House suggests the same could be done in sovereign nations on Indian reservations.
Patients wouldn't go to such facilities for a sore throat -- most Colorado residents live hours away from the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in the southwest corner of the state. But House said reservations everywhere might benefit from "medical tourism" involving some procedures that constitute a fast-growing industry overseas.
Genius! I considered a flippant line like "They could pick up some untaxed cigarettes and do a bit of gambling while they wait for lab results," but thought better of it. This is a serious and very good idea.
Coffeehouse in lieu of Review Corner
April 4, 2014
Quote of the Day
Andrew Sullivan has not had a approbational reference from this blog in some time. But he earns it today:
Will [Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich] now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me -- as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today -- hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else -- then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us. -- The Dish
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"In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself," writes the New York Times.
I'm on record as a supporter of gay marriage. I celebrate that David Boies and Ted Olsen, opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore, came together to overturn Prop 8.
But I am disconcerted with my new friends. George Takei posted on Facebook, spiking the ball in the endzone over the CEO's removal, er, resignation. I left a respectful comment that, while I agree, I think those who do not should still be allowed to work. Surprisingly, most of the comments I saw were similar to mine.
Nick Gillespie wrote a great article in Time (really!) welcoming the world to "Politically Correct Web Browsing"
It wasn't that long ago -- in fact, it seems like just last week -- that we accessed the web to hunt for the best deal on a new cell phone or a pair of shoes. Now we must be aware not simply of the deep politics of the companies we actually buy from, but even the company whose free downloads we use. Increasingly, we will be asking ourselves what sorts of non-business-related policies companies have and whether we want to associate with all that -- even when we don't pay a dime for a particular good or service.
Getting a little Cray-Cray on the intertubes if you ask me.
A Facebook friend (they're not all nuts) made a good point as well. In the battle against Campaign Finance regulation, a familiar libertarian cry is "unlimited donations but full transparency!' It sounds good, even with that high-pitched, nasally squeal we associate with libertarians. But this shows that even that is a bridge too far. The Constitution was founded on the anonymous writings of "Publius;" anonymous advocacy should be permitted under its protections.
There is a false claim that the IRS "outed" CEO Eich's (included in my friend's perspicuity). It is public record. Yet this episode proves it should not be.
UPDATE: Good Roger L. Simon column on this.
The weird part of all this is that gay marriage is virtually a fait accompli in our culture. Leading politicians in both parties either back it or say that it should be decided by the states. But the Robespierres go on.
April 3, 2014
ACA "Good" Story of the Day
Also could be filed under "All Hail Taranto"
According to those so blinkered that as long as the sky hasn't fallen, the latest government program simply must be wonderful: that huge lines at the ACA Enrollment Center in Miami is a good thing. Liberals think "this good!" / Taranto thinks it looks like bread lines in Caracas.
Waiting in line to purchase necessities is a characteristic not of a prosperous free society but of command economies under repressive regimes. Closer to home, one doubts even the Transportation Security Administration would be so tone-deaf as to advertise long airport lines as an indication it's doing a great job.
Awesome, as always. Now back to wrestling with taxes!
April 2, 2014
Brother jg says "or ELSE;" Jimmy Fallon says
"It's amazing what you can achieve when you make something mandatory, and fine people if they don't do it, and keep extending the deadline for months," cracked the Tonight Show host. "It's like a Cinderella story."
Quote of the Day
In the Rose Garden Tuesday, President Obama reported that 7.1 million people had signed up so far, confirming a Monday night White House news leak. "That doesn't mean all our health-care problems have been solved forever," he conceded with customary modesty. -- WSJ Ed Page, The ObamaCare Copperheads
April 1, 2014
Stauncher than the staunchest Libertarian!
Able to leap public roads in a single bound!
Road & Track makes an interesting assertion:
GM's recent wave of recalls reveals the ugly truth: The brutal competition for car sales can lead automakers to cut corners, including in crucial safety gear like airbags, steering, and brakes. The bottom line is that some automakers can't be relied on to always put customer safety first.
Well ain't I the staunchiest ever all of a sudden? I reject, flatly, that "we ultimately rely on government regulators to ensure our safety on the road"' and would suggest in a heartbeat that the Underwriter's Laboratory model would work well to replace both the FDA and the National Highway Transit Safety Administration.
States say you have to get insurance. I'll part with some staunch points to accept that (Murray Rothbard, forgive thy straying servant...) I suggest that State Farm or <stentorian_voice>Allstate</stentorian_voice> can refuse or overcharge for insurance if your car does not pass Johnny's Kwick Kar Kompany's substantive inspection.
Send the other lads home -- they terrorized Toyota for a non-defect and gave Gub'mint Motors (I'll accept a shade of conspiracy theory on this) a pass.
Brother jg is sadly correct. A major roll-out planned for this weekend is like, totally seriously, eating into my blogging time. I'm reading; I'm alive.
Thursday I will get my trial drug infusion. The steroids I get for symptom mitigation generally have the symptom of making me overly loquacious. I'll make up for lost words then.
When Reporting the News, Isn't
Readers may recall a 2012 presidential debate between Messrs. Obama and Romney where the former claimed to have recognized Benghazi 9/11/2012 as a "terrorist attack" and the later challenged that assertion. "Yes, he did call it terrorism" was the ruling of the debate moderator, Ms. Candy Crowley. What he actually said during a Rose Garden speech was "No act of terror shall..." without specifically admitting that is what happened that night in Libya.
The Denver Post printed a report on Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission investigation into Governor Hickenlooper's receipt of food and lodging at a conference in Aspen at the expense of a political campaign group, the Democratic Governor's Association. The Post's Lynn Bartels ended the story on yesterday's hearing this way:
[Compass Colorado attorney] Blue also expressed concern that the commission's own investigator has released drafts of his report to the governor's attorneys but not to Compass Colorado.
But from this brief mention one may scarcely recognize the extent of the impropriety at issue. Fortunately for me, I had first read the account of The Colorado Observer.
Lawyers for Compass Colorado, the conservative group that filed the ethics complaint, were surprised to learn that the Democratic governor’s legal team had already reviewed two drafts of the IEC investigator’s report that the Compass attorneys had not yet seen.
A detailed account of the back-and-forth is included in the TCO story including a statement by Compass Colorado Executive Director after the hearing, which questioned "the transparency of this process."
Indeed, particularly when one considers the possible reasons for a second, or revised, draft report. Perhaps the governor's counsel suggested a change or two?
But I certainly won't accuse Ms. Bartels of any bias in her coverage of this story. After all, she did report "drafts," plural, had been "released" to one side and not the other. Fair and balanced, yessir.