January 31, 2016

the state of conservatism

Again, have to give props to the GOP for producing (collecting, developing... who cares?) people like Ben Sasse.

I think he slightly oversimplifies in that the while the constitution (which many nations currently have) is great, its superlative nature comes from the Billl of Rights (which nobody else has*). I could be wrong here, as I seem to recall many think the BoR are basically part'n parcel of and to the constitution.

* - Hmm, Wiki says that Britain has a BoR [1689]... anybody know if it's still in effect?

Sooo... Cotton-Sasse, 2024 anyone?

Posted by nanobrewer at 6:30 PM | What do you think? [3]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Wikipedia says there are 154 constitutions enacted/in-force across the world. Interestingly, I can't find anything in Germany's Grundgesetz that provides for freedom of speech....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 31, 2016 7:01 PM
But jk thinks:

I really enjoyed this video.

I have whined before that the Bill of Rights established by the Glorious Revolution is pretty weak tea to Yank tastes:

While I enjoyed Barone's book twice now, I'll stand by my seven year old concern that liberty is an afterthought or unintended consequence of expelling an -- egads -- Popish King! I guess you take your liberty where you get it, but fans of the American Revolution, like fans of Star Wars, will find they prefer the original to the prequel.

Sen Sasse (Rising HOSS - NE) provides as much as media can handle, but the true greatness of 'Murcuh! is the delicate interplay between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: the purpose of government and its limitation.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2016 12:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

#Like

Posted by: johngalt at February 1, 2016 5:28 PM

Review Corner

A scientist by training, Michael C. Glaviano holds a PhD in mathematical physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He carved out a career as a software engineer and has worked for startups, established companies, and research labs. Michael surfed the leading edge of the high tech wave until a sea change carried him into uncharted waters.

Crows' Gambit is his third novel. His previous novels, Edge Station and The Locust Queen's Feast, are available via most of the usual channels. He is currently working on A Fragment of Nothing, the long-awaited sequel to Locust Queen.


Review Corner again asks for your trust. Michael is a personal friend of mine from college and I have long admired his smarts and guitar chops. I reviewed Edge Station [Review Corner] last year and gave it high marks. Crows' Gambit is even better.

I may be sympathetic to friends, but I can be equally hard on fiction. I had just finished a popular Sci-Fi book which was made into a major motion picture and all. It was a Christmas gift so I'll spare it a bad review. But, while it was a good story, I was anxious for it to end so I could tuck into some entertaining 200 year old economics book or something.

Instead I hopped into Crows' Gambit and reconnected with what fiction could be. Crows' has exceptional pacing, endearing characters, and truly beautiful prose. As a personal bonus to me, one of the characters of this book is protagonist Phil Andrade's playlist. Phil is a jazz fan and he carefully and consciously selects the music for each of his scenes.

He should check his email and see if Jerry Talvert had come up with anything. Instead, he paced around the small living room. He wanted to hear some music, but what? He flipped open his laptop and glanced over the playlists. There it was: Kenny Burrell's album, Soul Call. He called up the title track, a blues featuring Burrell's guitar work over congas, bass, and a sparse piano. Phil closed his eyes and leaned back. The muscles in his neck and shoulders relaxed. He took a deep breath and felt a knot in his stomach let go. Phil imagined things getting better.

Spoiler alert, Phil, things get a little worse before they get better, but the music stays good and eventually contributes to the plotline.

Like his others, there is an endearing ensemble cast that lacks from a lot of fiction. Plus a few fun items interspersed:

He paged through ebooks he'd purchased and finally settled on a science fiction novel, a book called Edge Station by someone he'd never heard of.

Good story, good fun. Five review corner stars and a personal recommendation.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | What do you think? [7]
But nanobrewer thinks:

so, was the book Martian or Interstellar?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 31, 2016 9:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, nb. I have not tried it because my tastes are so odd err, I mean eclectic, that I suspected it might not be for me. Don't know if that is fair or not. But this is available on Kindle Unlimited (or a bruising $2.99 if not).

"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. He has a strong libertarian following and I hope not to offend anybody more than usual.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2016 12:34 PM
But dagny thinks:

I am kinda an SF geek and I was a fan of Ender's Game actually both book and movie. Some of Cards other stuff is a little like swimming through molasses. BUT, JK not sure if you know this but Ender's Game was originally a short story. Guessing you would have preferred the short story version to the full length novel.

Posted by: dagny at February 1, 2016 12:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, I suspect you are right. And I might try the movie.

Of course, I was trying to say to Card "It's not you, it's me. I think we should start seeing other genres." But the parallel of my enjoying my friend's Indie book 100 times more than the blockbuster seemed germane.

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2016 1:08 PM
But jk thinks:

@dagny: "kinda?"

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2016 1:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Your being "kinda" an SF geek reminds me of Penn Jillette's being told Reason magazine "leans libertarian."

"Leans?" said Penn, "it done fell over!"

Posted by: jk at February 1, 2016 1:46 PM

January 29, 2016

Quote of the Day

Our Margaret.

Surely it means something that Mr. Obama spent eight years insisting he was not a socialist, and Bernie Sanders is rising while saying he is one. -- Peggy Noonan


Amity Shlaes, Call Your Office

FDR's policies prolonged the depression?

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies." . . .


Whew -- thankfully that'll never happen again.

But johngalt thinks:

"From a University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Aug. 10, 2004."

And it took WSJ over ten years to unearth the "news?"

No matter, it's merely proof that the Koch Brothers sometimes fund academic research, non?

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 12:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

From the 2004 UCLA presser:

"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."
Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 12:23 PM

January 28, 2016

Rubio's revenge

Politics has become a show sport, Trump is first on that ball this season, and I wonder if Bill Clinton was there firstest; either way, I'm glad someone in the GOP is taking the mantle up!

I LOVE the Gowdy cameo! I still like Cruz's jurisprudence, but one should give good theater it's due... I should note that Carly has already done this a couple of times as well. So, the stupid party is learning to use social media while the leading Democrat is still seeking the correct type of Pledge to wipe her server.... time's a changin' ?!?

But jk thinks:

And Senator Gardner. Yes, that is well done.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2016 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. I thought you meant CURT Gowdy! I like it! Marco needs to work on his "Superman" move, but it's hard to imagine anyone in the race, in either party, coming off this hip.

Nicely embedded, nb. Be sure to share this all over FB too everyone.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 11:58 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Taking a look at the RCP average for GOP primary in Iowa, trajectories of the top 4 candidates seemed to reverse after Sunday, January 24. This week respondents are -2 points on Trump and Cruz, +2 on Rubio and +1 on Carson. Rubio rising? His performance in last night's debate could refuel the trend.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 12:04 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yes, the range of cameos (disclaimer, I didn't recognize several of them, esp. the sports writers; "I can't work this way" was whom?) Here's hoping Marco continues to lock down the cheetos and Sunday-queso crowd.... I can't see Cruz getting them to listen.

Oyy, Trump +7?!? I hope that's as far off as Herzog's article suggests is the norm.

If not, I think this depressed me more than the report I heard on the radio about the anemic GDP growth!

As far as posting to FB; I will as long as someone else posts the WSJ 'discovery'....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 29, 2016 12:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/616811/rubio-makes-most-his-final-debate-opportunity

In ab­sen­tia, Trump came out of the de­bate un­scathed, a win for him. That’s not good for Cruz—and if you buy the Ru­bio cam­paign’s think­ing, it of­fers Ru­bio a chance to emerge as the most cred­ible al­tern­at­ive to Trump.
Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 6:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I posted it. And the FDR (and Obama) prolonged the Depression piece too.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2016 10:58 AM

Set Shocked Face on "Stun"

Damn those rightwingnuts at Vox:

Bernie Sanders's single-payer plan is almost twice as expensive as he says

[Emory University health care expert Kenneth] Thorpe isn't some right-wing critic skeptical of all single-payer proposals. Indeed, in 2006 he laid out a single-payer proposal for Vermont after being hired by the legislature, and was retained by progressive Vermont lawmakers again in 2014 as the state seriously considered single-payer, authoring a memo laying out alternative ways to expand coverage. A 2005 report he wrote estimated that a single-payer system would save $1.1 trillion in health spending from 2006 to 2015.


January 27, 2016

All Hail Insty!

insty160127.gif

Science Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

It doesn't speak well of Clinton that, next to her, a 74-year-old guy who has been in politics for four decades is a bright and shiny object -- Dana Milbank (in an endorsement of Sec. Clinton)

Make a Difference

Sad news from the WhatsUpWithThat Facebook Page:

Just an FYI to everyone.

I have decided to close down this Facebook page. It was started by somebody else other than me, but given my workload, I am not able to maintain it. This year my New Year's resolution is to consolidate and simplify, so that I am more effective instead of being scattered about. So, at the end of the week, this page will be gone. I may reactivate it someday if time permits.
The WUWT main page will continue, as always.

If anyone has suggestions, on how I might minimize my workload so that this FB page does not add to it, I'm all ears.

Thanks for understanding - Anthony Watts


I'm in some Facebook groups with some very restrictive admins. We could volunteer to administer the site (9882 Likes), posting from his main page and managing the trolls.

I go back and forth whether that would be fun, but it is a chance to have some reach and audience. Maybe the Koch brothers would send us free doughnuts...

But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd lend a hand!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 27, 2016 11:04 PM

January 26, 2016

Otequay of the Day

Once again from Ace of Spades, in the article excerpted heavily in the previous post:

We are Americans, damn it. We are supposed to be unruly. We are supposed to be rebellious.

God did not make us to stand patiently in queues and politely clap for our leaders no matter how distant, corrupt, and dismissive.

That's why he made Canadians.



Marco? Oh No!

My brother is vociferously promoting Marco Rubio, as the most conservative Republican who can win the general election against Hillary. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I'm quite sure I do agree with Ace of Spades who writes,

Now, if we all squawk, and make noise, and have our tantrum, but then, in the end, dutifully support an Amensty Super-Hawk like Marco Rubio, precisely as the Establishment always planned for us to do, do you think they'll take that as a repudiation, and a sign that they must reform?

Or do you think, rather, they'll take that as a sign that they calculated the political math perfectly, and they knew our numbers to three decimal places, and they did everything right, and have successfully Managed their stupid, three-toothed inbred voters yet again?

Of course it's the latter.

They could not possibly take the nomination of Marco Rubio any other way. They would take it as total and complete vindication -- and they'd be right to do so, because it would in fact be total and complete vindication.

It has been charged that some Republicans would rather lose to Hillary than win with Cruz. If nominating Rubio is what it takes to beat Hillary, I'm not sure I could swallow that pill. Fortunately, there's really no reason why Cruz isn't just as electable as the talented but mercurial Rubio. And anyone who says differently may just be one of Jeb or Chris or John - or Marco's - "clients."

So for me, it has to be Cruz, or Trump. I'd prefer Cruz, as I keep saying. I'll take Trump, though, because, while he's kind of stupid and temperamentally unsuited for the job, he would nevertheless also serve as a repudiation of the Establishment's Corporate Client "Conservatism."

The GOP is nakedly now a "clientist" party the same as the Democrat Party. They just have different clients.

And those clients aren't us.


But jk thinks:

When tomorrow we resume disagreement, however, I intend to point out that you are both mistaken.

Immigration policy cannot be considered independent of cronyism, jg? You may call me names if you want, but I think I have advocated steadily for increased immigration for some time.

My #1 reason is to enlarge the size of the economic sphere. Metcalfe's law says the value of a network grows at the square of its nodes. You can align that with Adam Smith's division of labor and Ricardo's Comparative Advantage.

Secondly, I am uncomfortable denying our opportunities to those who were born elsewhere.

Neither of those align with cronyism in any way. If big, crony businesses want more workers, then that is one place they are correct. I'll join them in pursuing it.

"Amnesty," nb, holds the same joy in my heart as "giving back to the community." These people committed no offense to be forgiven. To let a productive worker stay in the United States is no more amnesty than that of allowing slaves who had escaped to free states to escape the Fugitive Slave Act.

But for all those who want to punish people for seeking opportunity, fine. Let's continue to hunt good people down like rats. But can we please increase legal immigration enough to make us prosperous?

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2016 4:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let's consider immigration quantitatively rather than just qualitatively. When the rate of immigration is small, changes in the labor supply cause desirable distortions but not so quickly as to dislocate or disadvantage "hard-working 'Mericans." If the entire population of the world were imported into the USA overnight the resulting distortion would be unbearable by everyone, including you and me. The existing system with all its warts effectively allows immigration but at a manageable rate. "Amnesty" threatens a huge distortion with "in the shadows" workers coming out, and a much higher ongoing rate in the future.

Separate from this, and not mentioned in your excellent "preview of coming disagreements" is the cronyism of the left. They seek mass immigration for the purpose of manufacturing votes. I'm not sure I agree with those on my side who say "no Republican would ever win another election" after that, but at the margin it does seem to benefit Democrats in the short run. This is mostly what I referred to with my "first, fix cronyism" suggestion. We should open the doors when what we're offering the world is more "freedom and opportunity" and less "welfare state."

Posted by: johngalt at January 28, 2016 6:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I only wish it were tomorrow already, so I could respond.

I'd probably say that it's funny to see my blog brother put so much faith in government to select the proper rate on immigration. I don't believe he recognizes their dictating the gallons of water to be used in a toilet flush or the percentage of ethanol to be blended with gasoline, or the number of liquid ounces in a New York Big Gulp.

Yet, allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions is a non-starter. The US Congress, with its 435 Plus-sized intellects, unselfish dedication to national excellence, and deft understanding of economics will deliberate and produce the perfect number to let in. Not too many, not too few for our elected Goldilockses.

I remain a pragmatist or what did you call me Hopeless naive something-something. Bryan Caplan has dragged me into the real live open borders camp. If you get a minute (or 73) you'll find his EconTalk podcast or his GMU video are very enlightening. It's not all sweetness and light -- he admits that we would import some poverty which would be visible to us in a way it is not with them all in Africa or Central America.

But let's return to Pareto efficiency; having those who would excel here would be a tremendous boon.


Posted by: jk at January 28, 2016 7:08 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:
allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions
meaning in the real world that they'll keep coming here until we're as poor as Mexico.

> Effective/appropriate immigration rate?

I think one can look at the preferred growth rate of corporations, which I believe is considered practical in the 10-20% ballpark, but that's under 'one roof/set of rules' with effective, hands-on management. Any faster growth leads to breakdown in the Org structure. Did Caplan take a crack at it?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 28, 2016 10:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Umm, to be clear: you're suggesting that what keeps us wealthier than Mexico is fewer Mexicans? I'm not sure I've encountered serious research backing that up.

Caplan's idea is messy, disorganized, Hayekian freedom: good things and bad things but ultimately improving net outcomes. Yet I am a pragmatist and happy to compromise. If you are game to add 10-20% per annum, I can accede to that. We'll cap immigration at 60 million per year -- have your people draw up the papers and I'll sign.

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2016 10:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think we're currently closer to a one percent rate. That seems to be working economically, but not quite satisfying the demand. I'd go for doubling it, to two percent. - Your attempt to paint me a nannyist deserves a retaliatory attempt to paint you an anarchist: Along with Visas and green cards, are you also prepared to do away with government-operated police departments and courts? And the armed forces of the United States should most definitely be restricted to citizen militias, I suppose?

"Allowing free movement of people dictated by market conditions" is perfectly fine with me. Is that really the only thing you think is dictating people's movements? Will you at least grant my request to return to the old name for SNAP EBT cards, i.e. "Food Stamps?" Isn't a little bit of personal shame an effective motivator of individual initiative?

If I called you Hopeless naïve I am sorry. That does not seem to be my style, but I suppose it is possible in a limited context. But I think you did call me "Dudley Brown" in this very thread. That hurts, man.

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2016 3:00 PM

Yawn! FDA destroys some more families

This time a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I saw a video clip of a mother who had two sons with the disease. One was on the trial and doing great -- Mom was unable to get the pencil-pushers at the FDA to allow her to save the life of her other son.

It was tragic and heartbreaking, but I have good news: from now on, neither son will be able to get this treatment and should it happen again, both kids can die. For the FDA has spoken: Biomarin Pharmaceutical's drug Kyndrisa™ has had its application rejected.

Doing so became a true disaster. Under the 1962 law, drug after drug was removed from the market after years of successful use because the FDA decided that well-controlled clinical trials, for all their cost and limitation, were better than the long-term success of various drugs in the marketplace. It is for good reason that children, parents, and physicians are asking a different question from that which the FDA puts to itself: are they better off with the drug than without it? And when there is no alternative remedy, the answer is that they are better off with it.

At this point, the first question has nothing to do with abstract standards of scientific evidence. It has to do with the simple issue of who gets to decide what type of evidence, systematic or anecdotal, is most valid. American law today wrongly vests that power in the FDA on the ground that its expertise is needed on matters of public health. But Duchenne and similar genetic diseases are not communicable, as most public health concerns are. They are individual, not interconnected, tragedies.


I know my FDA tirades become tiresome, but Richard Epstein's "The Other Drug War" is worth a read in full.

But johngalt thinks:

How can this be excused as "for the children?"

It's more like, "for the bureaucracy."

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2016 2:54 PM

January 25, 2016

Quote of the Day

If Davos and Aspen were states, [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg would easily carry their six electoral votes. -- James Taranto (all hail)

Euophilia

Several things frighten me about this election cycle, mostly "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." But the underlying question, not just of Sen. Sanders's campaign, but across the board is whether we want to become Europe.

I've beat it up on these pages enough to get a reputation as a Europhobe. I'm not, but as we get closer than ever, it's important to explain that the Disneyland version of Europe people see on a two week vacation is really a combination of tyranny and poverty.

Okay, to avoid the Europhobe label, I'll trade tyranny for dirigisme -- it's more european and more accurate. But it is a far cry from our idea of liberty. We've traded "islands of control in a sea of liberty" for "islands of liberty in a sea of control;" Europe has districts of islands.

But those cute little cars, jk! The adorable and environmentally responsible paucity of SUVs! Yes, let's hear from the Briton who decides to escape the " frostbite and fury at the mercy of infrequent buses and trains" and pursue the wonder of Danish automobile ownership.

In common with everything else in Denmark, motoring isn't cheap. New cars are taxed at 180 per cent and the impact trickles down to used car prices. This means that a modest second-hand saloon suddenly becomes an indicator of extortionate wealth and most people drive matchboxes.

Inhaling a heady combination of pleather and Little Trees air-fresheners at my first forecourt on Sunday, I tell a salesman my budget. He chuckles, good-humouredly first of all, then gives me a look that says: "Yes, but what's your real budget?"


The whole column captures my view of the UK: business not open, diffident salespeople, &c. If Ms. Russell feels that way in Denmark, I'd be concerned.

All those wonders could be ours! #FeelTheBern

But Terri thinks:

So you're saying happiness is all about the stuff?

I'm all about the freedom, but there doesn't seem too much to endear it if its all about stuff. Especially stuff that will murder the earth in these folk's eyes.

If the Danes are happier and yet can't buy cars.....how does that make our system preferable? McArdle had a column about how Americans won't go for universal care, but I'm not so sure they wouldn't.
The rich and loud would always buy extra and the rest would get "free" care and not have to deal with the headaches that is our medical insurance system.

Somehow I think, Denmark (et al) need to subsidize a lot more nonworking people before that happiness bit changes. Perhaps the immigration mess of Europe will turn that corner.

Posted by: Terri at January 25, 2016 4:58 PM
But jk thinks:

You don't have to buy stuff if you do not want. There are quite a few popular things which I eschew.

I'm saying that they do not have the choice. A car is out of the question. A refrigerator that is not "dorm size" is too expensive to own and operate.

Cars might be evil, and big 'fridges bad. But the other thing I saw during my years working for an Irish company was that the millionaires with whom I associated all had American sized 'fridges and cars. Our plumbers live like their millionaires.

Many tell me "they're happy" and I cannot say they're not, but most of those who tell me that are far more familiar with their business leaders than their plumbers.

And more importantly, if we import their poverty we will not necessarily get their happiness. I remind people that if we turn America into France, we will not get their vistas, art museums, cheese, or chocolate. We'll have Velveeta Socialism, American Idol, and the strip mall -- with no Dodge Challengers to take us away.

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2016 5:56 PM
But Terri thinks:

Not sure what you mean by this.
"Many tell me "they're happy" and I cannot say they're not, but most of those who tell me that are far more familiar with their business leaders than their plumbers."

As in they don't have plumbing problems? Or that they are on the richer side of the divide that exists universally?

Posted by: Terri at January 25, 2016 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

The latter. The people who tell me that tend to be business associates. So there is an implicit selection bias that the sample of european contentment is populated by those doing business deals with Americans.

The plumbers they call are local; their Danish friends own their own computer businesses.

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2016 7:13 PM
But dagny thinks:

Terri says, "get "free" care and not have to deal with the headaches that is our medical insurance system."

Do you really think that if the government ran the health care system, we would have fewer headaches than we have now??

Have you been to the DMV?

Posted by: dagny at January 26, 2016 12:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Off topic, but I see a rare chance to cheese off everyone. I think the ultimate solution is "The Irish Model" and we are just wasting time delaying its implementation.

In Ireland, everyone gets horrible, crappy free care. I have a hunch that is what is proposed.

Anyone with any sense buys private insurance. But, because expensive items like long-term care and cancer treatments can be shifted onto the public, the private insurance is priced rather reasonably.

It is not respective of property rights nor fair and it keeps care decisions constantly in the political domain. And the "free" care is quite astonishingly bad. But we're never reverting to freedom, we might as well be done with it.

Bernie's "Medicare for All" with enough Republicans to kill the part where private care is disallowed. Then, the middle class can buy concierge care and upgraded pharmaceutical reimbursement.

With a private market viable enough, it might be freed of regulatory shackles and be more friendly to innovation than the current system.

#ImFeelinTheBern but wasn't this about cars?

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2016 1:04 PM

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

Too Marvelous for Words

Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting ©1937

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


Permalink


January 24, 2016

Quote of the Day

"Just e-mail it," Clinton snapped, to which Sullivan replied: "Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified e-mail system, there is no physical way for me to e-mail it." NY Post

January 22, 2016

Quote of the Day

"I just feel bad for the people who got here at five,"

Trust me. Just this once. Trust me.


Jonah on the "Dump Trump" Issue

[Click Here]

UPDATE: Jonah takes to the G-File to answer those who felt betrayed by National Review.

"Anti-establishment" is almost entirely devoid of any ideological content whatsoever. An ideological category that can include Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Occupy Wall Street, the tea parties, Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and Ben Carson is not a particularly meaningful one.

Some reply, oh no, it shows that the people are angry! I hear this all the time. And I agree. And Im angry too. But you know what? Being angry is not a frick'n argument. I'm angry that Washington has drowned the country in debt. I'm angry that Obama has been a failure. I'm also angry that broccoli doesn't taste like chicken and that Fox cancelled Firefly. Being angry is probably a necessary condition for fixing a lot of problems, but it isn't sufficient to the task. And it isn't a particularly powerful defense of Donald Trump.

But johngalt thinks:

A quote from the very bottom of this article:

My support for Trump is not based on his being an intellectually serious conservative, which he obviously isn't.

I'm not sure if Trump can help our country. However, I DO know for sure that none of the establishment-approved candidates will do anything but enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of what is still the American majority.

Trump is our Hail Mary pass, our last desperate attempt to salvage something of what America was before the whirlwind destroys the last of it.

This is consistent with what I've posited - that rank and file conservatives are supporting Trump, not out of ideological *ahem* verisimilitude, but out of nativist desperation.

Posted by: johngalt at January 25, 2016 3:08 PM

All Hail Taranto!

taranto160122.gif

But johngalt thinks:

Thats awesome.

Posted by: johngalt at January 22, 2016 5:03 PM

Maybe Trump is Good

He does branding. He does sales. He reads the public mood. He competes. He makes deals.

Not sure that any of that makes him a good President. But, James Pethokoukis (dang, do I miss Larry Kudlow's show) -- with a little help from Scott Adams -- recognizes that these are great skills for a candidate. And that we should not be so surprised to see them succeed.

Maybe all those explanations are necessary to fully understand the Trump phenomenon. But they may not be sufficient without one more, one that is both simple and sophisticated. The simple part: Trump is just a really, really good salesman. Or, as the campaign pros put it, a "political athlete." The sophisticated part is how Trump is making that sale to voters. Consider the possibility that Trump -- a billionaire businessman with an Ivy League MBA and a best-selling author on dealmaking -- isn't some blithering idiot blurting out populist nonsense. Instead, perhaps Trump is calculatedly using tried-and-true influencing and negotiating techniques -- ones used by persuaders from carnival hypnotists to high-profile motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins -- to literally mesmerize the GOP.

I feel better. You?


Those Damned Speculators!

Daniel Bier @ FEE suggests supply and demand might control oil prices, contra Trump & Sanders:

Fortunately, when he wrote that in 2012, Sen. Bernie Sanders was ahead of the game, having never read anything about supply and demand at all. Unencumbered by basic economics, he was able to see that Big Oil "gouging" and Wall Street "speculators" were to blame.

Remarkably, right around the time of the fracking revolution, the price of oil and gas started tumbling. I guess Wall Street's heart grew three sizes that day.


January 21, 2016

Quote of the Day

Just cannot quit SciBabe:

"In the meantime, you are looking for a farmer who raises beef in a way you can support and you have so far visited 14 ranches in the tri-state area. You have burned 476 gallons of gas driving your 17-mpg SUV around to interview farmers but, sadly, have yet to find a ranch where the cattle feed exclusively on organic homegrown kale."


The Conspiracy Gets Vaster

Hate-filled, tawdry, right-wing attacks directed at Sec. Clinton from . . . The New York Times.

"We have to destroy her story," Mrs. Clinton said in 1991 of Connie Hamzy, one of the first women to come forward during her husband's first presidential campaign, according to George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton administration aide who described the events in his memoir, "All Too Human." (Three people signed sworn affidavits saying Ms. Hamzy's story was false.)

When Gennifer Flowers later surfaced, saying that she had had a long affair with Mr. Clinton, Mrs. Clinton undertook an "aggressive, explicit direction of the campaign to discredit" Ms. Flowers, according to an exhaustive biography of Mrs. Clinton, "A Woman in Charge," by Carl Bernstein.

Mrs. Clinton referred to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with the 42nd president, as a "narcissistic loony toon," according to one of her closest confidantes, Diane D. Blair, whose diaries were released to the University of Arkansas after her death in 2000.

Ms. Lewinsky later called the comment an example of Mrs. Clintons impulse to "blame the woman."
[...]
Over the years, the Clinton effort to cast doubt on the women included using words like "floozy," "bimbo" and "stalker," and raising questions about their motives. James Carville, a longtime strategist for Mr. Clinton, was especially cutting in attacking Ms. Flowers. "If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what youll find," Mr. Carville said of Ms. Flowers. (Mr. Carville has maintained that earlier reports indicating that he had made the remark about Paula Jones, another Clinton accuser, were incorrect.)

Now that the stories are resurfacing, they could hamper Mrs. Clinton's attempts to connect with younger women, who are learning the details of the Clintons history for the first time.


Friends like these... Hat-tip: James Taranto


January 20, 2016

Quote of the Day

The lovely bride and I watched Atlas Shrugged Part II last night (she watched Part I while I was workin' for the man). No, they're not cinematographic masterpieces but I'm surprised how derided they are. I still enjoy watching them.

But this is not Review Corner, damnit, this is a blog post! And Holman Jenkins has a brilliant editorial in the WSJ Ed Page today: "Bad Day for the Wal-Mart Americans." Straight out of a Rand novel, Jenkins juxtaposes the greedy progressives in the District of Columbia's insatiable thirst to impede Walmart's business model with the same bloodsuckers' tumult when proposed stores are cancelled.

To the politicians who serve as gatekeepers to opportunity, which first requires erecting obstacles to opportunity, the company has become unfit for citizenship in their republic of rent-seeking. "I'm blood mad," Mayor Muriel E. Bowser told a news conference. "This is devastating and disrespectful to the residents of the East End of the District of Columbia," former Mayor Vincent Gray told the Washington Post.

The proverbial Martian would wonder why politicians are surprised by a shortage of jobs for their constituents, when they continually promote policies that drive jobs away.


The whole piece is awesome on stilts.

But johngalt thinks:

Whole thing link the.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 6:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nice article. Excellent points on Trump, Cruz, and Obama.

Enjoyed the props for Atlas Shrugged Part II. I like to tell Randians who deride those films, "They are the best film adaptations of Atlas Shrugged ever made."

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 6:16 PM
But jk thinks:

My link ("has") was too small, sorry.

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2016 7:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Please let me try this again.

[Seems if you navigate there from a google search (this link) you get the full "behind the pay wall" version. I thought it was a different link, so I skipped the google search step in my previous attempt.]

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 7:35 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

That is an interesting end-around the WSJ firewall... has Google swung another deal like has been alleged in Germany and sweden*?

The best quote is

Donald Trump is not right that our politicians are stupid or incompetent. They are very competent at being politicians.

* [Merkel's Gov't] concluded an agreement with Facebook, Google, and Twitter to censor German “hate speech” about migrants on social media So the next time a "Taharrush gamea" event occurs, the victims will be accused of hate speech unless they blame white men.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 21, 2016 1:17 PM

January 19, 2016

Broken Faith

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

bernIe.jpg

Sigh.

But jk thinks:

...or "Mayor Richard Wilkins III -- Four More Years!"

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2016 4:32 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

At least it's refreshing that these ads are so honest, and he's not hiding from the Socialist label. Just shows how far the Left has grabbed so much of common culture, media, etc.

Time to cue up some of the "Liberty" quotes from Jefferson....I still hope they nominate this guy. HRC's case is taking a distinctly orange tint!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 20, 2016 8:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought that dotted-I looked familiar.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 7:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh my.

Do the Socialists still deny kinship with Nazism?

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 7:45 PM

Too Big to Jail?

Gen David Petraeus might be demoted.

In completely, totally, not-related-in-any way news:

Fox News exclusively obtained the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified "several dozen" additional classified emails -- including specific intelligence known as "special access programs" (SAP).

That indicates a level of classification beyond even "top secret," the label previously given to two emails found on her server, and brings even more scrutiny to the presidential candidate's handling of the government's closely held secrets.


The cases are totally different.
According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs, with the understanding "unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention or negligent handling ... could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation." Clinton signed an identical non-disclosure agreement Jan. 22, 2009.

What a traitor that Petraeus guy was, huh?

But johngalt thinks:

Is it too late for (Colonel?) Petraeus to get on the GOP primary ballot in Iowa?

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2016 6:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I guess that he would have to get by on a Three-Stars' pension, necessitating store-brand mustard in his chauffeured Bentley. The real target, as I read (I'll peek for a link), was to discredit him sufficiently to prevent his getting a cabinet position in a Republican Administration.

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2016 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

The Petraeus Vendetta (sounds too like a Robert Ludlum book for coincidence #amirite?

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2016 4:16 PM

All Hail Taranto!

Weeping with laughter:

taranto160119.gif

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 3:33 PM | What do you think? [0]

'Mercah!

We're going to build Apple products right here in a Trump administration!

The Gizmodo link includes some intemerate language but I'm disinclined to argue. Again, I appreciate his willingness to voice unpopular suggestions, but when they come from populism and not principle, we have a problem.

And, again, I have to point out that this is no less dangerous than the socialist nonsense Sen. Sanders (Ben & Jerry's Flavor - VT) spouts. And that it more within the purview of the Executive that he could enact them.

UPDATE: Thomas Sowell hopes the GOP does not mishandle a rare opportunity when it is really needed:

Eric Hoffer's shrewd insight into the success of charismatic leaders was that the "quality of ideas seems to play a minor role." What matters, he pointed out, "is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world."

Is that the emotional release that Republican voters will be seeking when they begin voting in the primaries? If so, Donald Trump will be their man. But if the sobering realities of life and the need for mature and wise leadership in dangerous times is uppermost in their minds, they will have to look elsewhere.


January 18, 2016

Six Reasons to be Skeptical about Oxfam

Ryan Bourne @ FEE:

5) Oxfam -- a development charity -- is now obsessed with the rich rather than the poor.

One would think that Oxfam as an anti-poverty charity would focus its energies on the vast literature showing the conditions necessary for poverty eradication and the role markets and capitalistic institutions can play in doing so.

Instead Oxfam is obsessed with the global rich -- almost implying that the wealth of the rich causes the poverty of the poor. It can do, in some cases -- where cronyism is rife. But there is scant evidence this is the important driver of current distributions. And Oxfam implying that it is, whilst perpetuating the fixed pie fallacy, is appalling for a supposed development organization.


I'd add #7: Read William Easterly! [Review Corner]

But johngalt thinks:
The media is running with Oxfam's annual "shocking" statistic on wealth. This year "the richest 62 people have the same wealth as poorest 3.6 bn."

How hard can it be for some subset of that 3.6 bn to loot the richest 62 and share it with everyone? Why wait for government to "do the right thing, dammit!"

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2016 3:22 PM

Quote of the Day

There are all sorts of ironies here. The notion that Clinton is more pro-Obama than Sanders would come as a shock to pretty much anyone who remembers the 2008 campaign, or has read her emails, or has good cognitive functions. -- Jonah Goldberg (All Hail!)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

In further irony, I just learned that the Eagles won't be reuniting again after all. I guess Hell isn't frozen over after all.

Lemmy, Bowie, and now Frey... we're losing a lot of guitarists all of a sudden. Keith Richards has to be getting nervous.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 18, 2016 5:29 PM

Aren't we Supposed to Emulate Denmark?

Right? If Denmark does it, we should. If Facebook memes have any meaning at all, surely this is . . . oh, wait.

Denmark's new government will reduce the amount of money it spends on "green" energy by 67 percent, according to a Sunday New York Times article.

Denmark and other Nordic countries have long been viewed as environmental utopias, but the government plans to reduce spending on green energy to save money and lower the country's electricity rates, which are among the world's highest.


What was that thing about the high electricity rates again?
Denmark currently has some of the highest electricity prices in the world at 41 cents per kWh. Electricity in Denmark is almost four times more expensive than in the United States. Impoverished citizens in the lowest Danish income brackets spend about 8.9 percent of their total budget on electricity. The poorest citizens in neighboring Sweden, which doesnt subsidize green energy to the same extent, spend only 3.6 percent of their household budget on electricity. The lowest income brackets in the United States spend a mere 2.9 percent of their household budget on electricity.

Hate the poor, do they. I wonder why Sen. Sanders (NRA - VT) wants us to follow in their footsteps?


Promising

Telegraph - 'Miraculous' results from new MS treatment

During the treatment, the patient's stem cells are harvested and stored. Then doctors use aggressive drugs which are usually given to cancer patients to completely destroy the immune system.

The harvested stem cells are then infused back into the body where they start to grow new red and white blood cells within just two weeks.


But jk thinks:

I don't see how we can play God with people's immune systems. I hope this is subject to 20 years of government scrutiny.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2016 4:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To the Nationwide Insurance tune, cue Peyton Manning:

"F - D - A is here to helllllp."

Posted by: johngalt at January 18, 2016 4:33 PM
But jk thinks:

"AHLIKEIT." Everything sounds better in Peyton-American: "Sing-le Pay-er Med-i-carrreee..."

On a serious note, thanks for posting. I did see this and there has been a lot of excitement around stem cells. I put the damper on good and bad news to smooth them out. These stories come around now and then: promise, but a long way from commercialization. (Maybe we bet a beer on this vs. Brassard Fusion... :)

To those who do not know, I feel very fortunate to be in a drug trial (six years now) which has reallllllly helped. I'm still not a good pick for pick up hockey game, but it has stopped the progression of symptoms almost entirely. All with zero noticeable side effects.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2016 5:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Great comment. I continue to be amazed at the ways we discover that stem cells can be used. I think I've even read about anti-aging research that uses them. The stuff of science fiction in our youth.

Posted by: johngalt at January 19, 2016 12:08 PM

jk Defends Islamic Whackjobs

If you live long enough, you see it all. I think basing a government on the Quran makes as much sense as basing a zoology course on Margaret & H.A. Rey's "Curious George."

But I think media outlets should be fair and that headlines should support the underlying story's content. I may be wrong here, but I have yet to see evidence. Friends on the right, left, and center have pummeled Pakistan over "Pakistan bill aiming to ban child marriages shot down as 'anti-Islamic' and 'blasphemous'"

[CII Chairman Mohammad Khan Sheerani] said: "Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah."

The proposed legislation recommended giving out harsher punishments to those entering a marriage with a minor, as well as raising the minimum age of marriage for women to 18-years-old.

The current minimum age for marriage is 16-years-old for women, and 18-years-old for men


I have seen this referenced several times, and I hate to break up the Kumbaya fest. But refusing to raise the marriage age from 16 to 18 is not exactly endorsing pedophilia. There is an ambiguous not-raising-penalties for arranged marriage with young brides but this is never spelled out. I'm guessing I would likely endorse the legislation, but I have yet to see a story with a factual underpinning for righteous indignation.

Middle East Posted by John Kranz at 1:24 PM | What do you think? [0]

#FEELTHEBERN

I joked about this, but I want to ask it seriously. Why are the Democrat debates on broadcast TV and GOP on cable? I won't insist on serious comments, but hear me out. Millennials are not watching FOX Business Channel.

I was surprised to see a nominally apolitical Facebook friend post "I Love Bernie" last night. I understand my true-believer friends, and I can sort of appreciate a few teachers (If a candidate promised to shovel money at data storage...).

This woman owned her own business and, while I wish she knew better, I suggest was drawn to his passion and authenticity. I bet a lot of cable-cutting, Hulu/Netflix millennials are as well. I wish they would see a Republican someday.


Scheherazade ?

I only saw brief references to brother KA's kindle-book and now that I dug it up from my archives, I see the commentary that it was published?

If so, do tell! I can't find it, but I'm not the prime sort...

Review Corner Posted by nanobrewer at 1:28 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Nano: it's still a work in progress (32 final-edited chapters out of 55!), so if there's a Kindle book out there already, I don't think it's mine... unless you've perfected a time machine -- and if you have, have I sold the movie rights yet?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 18, 2016 12:11 PM

January 16, 2016

UNCLE,

Okay, so autonomous cars won't be a thing after all. USA Today:

DETROIT -- The Obama administration on Thursday proposed a 10-year, $4 billion push to spark the development of self-driving cars, hoping to one day eliminate roadway deaths
Technology Posted by John Kranz at 5:34 PM | What do you think? [1]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Yup, that outta kill it for the foreseeable future!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 17, 2016 9:25 AM

psych!

Who knew the psychology of people's political predilections were so endlessly analyzed? Reason, of course, notes a study by Jonathan Haidt (where have I seen that name before?). It should be no surprise here or elsewhere that:

a significant proportion of Americans did not fit the simplistic left/right ideological dichotomy that dominates so much of our political and social discourse.

Part of the study and background material draws upon the Moral Foundations Questionnaire which lays out five different moral foundations: Harm/Care, Fairness/Reciprocity, Ingroup/Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity/Sanctity, and how Conservatives and Liberals score on each.

Anybody see a gap? Dr. Haidt did, and added a sixth: Liberty (!) Finally the Libertarians have their shining moment as a MF leader. There was also a Big 5 Personality Test (what ever happened to 3 being so sacred? inflation, I suppose.... but inflation of what), an Empathizer-Systemizer scale, a disgust index, Cognitive scale and .... well, I kind of lost track, but any interested can check out the link. The article cites a very solid conclusion:

Haidt and his fellow researchers suggest that people who are dispositionally (level 1) low on disgust sensitivity and high on openness to experience will be drawn to classically liberal philosophers who argue for (level 2) the superordinate value of individual liberty. But also being highly individualistic and low on empathy, they feel little attraction to modern liberals emphasis on altruism and coercive social welfare policies. Haidt and his colleagues further speculate that an intellectual feedback loop develops (level 3) in which such people will find more and more of the libertarian narrative copacetic and begin identifying themselves as libertarian. From Haidts social intuitionist perspective, this process is no different from the psychological comfort that liberals attain in moralizing their empathic responses or that social conservatives attain in moralizing their connection to their groups.

I came to all this from Ronald Bailey's column (hat tip: PowerLine) noting in another shocking discovery akin to finding gambling in Casablanca, that a vast bulk of political-psychological research to date, which aims to say that Conservatives are simplistic, are based on skewed data sets.

Science Posted by nanobrewer at 9:49 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 15, 2016

And radios, and eating, and sightseeing, and ...

talking to your passenger?

"We have recommended prohibiting all cell phone use, including hands-free, because a driver's mind must be on the driving, just as their hands must be on the wheel," he said.

The agency called for a "cultural change" for its recommendation, since no states or the District of Columbia currently outlaw hands-free devices.

"Since people have limited attention, each auxiliary task impairs our processing of the primary task. For safety-critical operations, distraction must be managed, even engineered, to ensure safe operations," according to the agency's recommendations.

And don't even get me started on lowering the BAC limit.

But AndyN thinks:

Years ago when cell phones were just becoming popular and started being blamed for distracted driving accidents, somebody did a study comparing the severity of different kinds of distractions. The one that caused the most problems was driving with children in the car. I'll believe the anti-cell crusaders are serious about cutting down on distracted driving when they start insisting that anyone transporting children have a limo screen installed between the front and back seats.

As for hands free devices, personally I find they make the distraction of talking on a phone worse. If I'm just talking on the phone, I have one hand one the wheel and my eyes on the road. If I'm using a hands free device I may or may not keep both hands on the wheel, but I frequently catch myself looking at the phone while I talk, as if I'm trying to make eye contact with the person on the other end of the line.

Posted by: AndyN at January 16, 2016 10:38 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I don't have the issue Andy speaks of, and I've still missed a turn (but never hit anything) or two while talking over a bluetooth. They are distracting indeed, but I think navi-devices are the worst.

I'll also share with TS'ers is how this excellent drive with no accidents, just one moving violation in over 35 years, quite comfortable on LA freeways and a few stints behind the wheel on the wrong side of road will NOT use bluetooth ever again on Houston freeways. I'd rather tackle roundabouts in Scotland or go crosstown in Boston...

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 18, 2016 12:39 AM
But AndyN thinks:

Navi-devices may be the worst but it's worth remembering that the alternative to navi-devices isn't simply no navigation aid at all, it's a paper map, frequently big and difficult to fold even if you're trying to do it when you're not driving.

Posted by: AndyN at January 18, 2016 12:33 PM

De Mortuis nil Nisi Bonum

Sigh.

I was a perfect squish on the news of David Bowie's death. I admitted that I own none of his music and could not name five of his songs. Yet I pushed back against the inevitable backlash. He was a true icon. And I do have fond memories of him onstage with Mick Jagger and Tina Turner at some of those kleptocrat-enriching benefit concerts.

In contrast, I was genuinely melancholy to read about Alan Rickman. I don't gush over actors, but so many of his great roles came to mind. (If you have not seen the sleeper hit "Blow Dry" rent it this weekend.) The lovely bride and I saw Ang Lee's 1995 "Sense & Sensibility" last night and were verklempt at his sad Colonel Brandon. What a fine actor.

Salon bears bad tidings:

British actor Alan Rickman died Thursday at age 69, after a battle with cancer. Although perhaps most known for playing the melancholy Professor Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies, Rickman had not only a legendary film and theater résumé, but also a firm commitment to progressive politics, and support for Palestinian rights in particular.

Rickman edited and directed a play in 2005 titled "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," based on the life of a 23-year-old American activist who was killed by an Israeli soldier.


I remember Rachel Corrie. She [while I am speaking ill of the dead] was one of the millions of automaton SJW's our Universities churn out every year. She flew to Israeli territory to stand in a tunnel that soldiers were destroying. The bulldozer won.

No doubt Rickman was a chattering-class BBC bloke. I should be neither surprised nor disappointed. But I am.

War on Terror Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | What do you think? [7]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Davie Bowie wasn't so famous an actor as Alan Rickman, but he had his moment.

I've put "Blow Dry" on my to-watch list; consider doing the same with a much younger Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer, and David Bowie as a completely splendid villain, in "Into The Night." Not only is there a long list of interesting cameos most of us will remember, but JK will enjoy the soundtrack, perhaps as much as I do.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 15, 2016 5:17 PM
But jk thinks:

You've forced my hand. I have to admit some deeply embarrassing things to continue the conversation. I *ahem* have not really seen a lot of his villain movies. I think of him as a member of the British comedy clique and was rather convinced he was in Pirate Radio and Kink Boots which he was not. I guess he was bad in Dogma -- that counts.

I always say that the keys to Joss Whedon's artistry are his interesting villains. Knowing Rickman from another side, I can see him using those chops for the dark side.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2016 5:52 PM
But dagny thinks:

My favorites of Rickman are Hans Gruber, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the Mr. Spock character in Galaxy Quest.

As for David Bowie, I must say the only movie I remember him in is Labyrinth. Bet my kids would like that one.

Posted by: dagny at January 15, 2016 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Goblin king?"

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2016 7:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I'll begin rehab tonight. Either Truly Madly Deeply or Into the Night.

Stick with me.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2016 7:19 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I liked Bowie's cameo in Basquiat as Andy Warhol! IMDB has him with over 400 movie-music credits, and 40 as an actor. I never owned a single or album of his and hated his big hits (China Girl, Let's Dance) nearly as much as he did.

I will really miss Alan Rickman; he was spot on as Severus Snape, terrific as Hans Gruber, the best part of that stupid Costner/R.Hood movie, and outstanding in Galaxy Quest. We can forgive him lionizing Ms. Corrie.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 15, 2016 10:42 PM

1000 Words of the Day

TrumpShirt.jpg

Courtesy of Jim Geraghty [subscribe]



Quote of the Day

Our Margaret. To be fair, I am cherry-picking a great anti-Sec. Clinton quote out of a column which generally celebrates Republican Establishmentarianism. But she can string words together...

Democrats who like her all say the same thing: She's having trouble because she's not really good at campaigning. That's true as far as it goes. She is especially poor at the podium, where, when she wants to emphasize an applause line, her voice becomes loud, flat and harassing to the ear. She lately reminds me of the landlady yelling up the stairs that your kids left their bikes in the hall again. Literally that's how it sounds: "And we won't let them roll back the progress we've made. Your kids left their bikes in the hall." -- Peggy Noonan


Sick of the Naysayers

People are making fun of the President's war on cancer. Jenna Adamson at USA Today points out that it may have been tried once or twice before in "Obama's new, new!, new!!, new!!!, new!!!! war on cancer":

It turns out beauty pageant contestants and presidents have a lot in common. They both want to achieve world peace and cure cancer (as if "cancer" were one disease). President Obama is an experienced practitioner of this brand of presidential puffery, having first launched his "new" effort to cure cancer back in 2009. But our current president wasn't the first to launch a medical moon race or to promise a cure in a speech before a joint session of Congress. Those distinctions go to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton:

Peter Suderman and Kevin Williamson have whacked at the idea that "cancer" is not a monolithic entity to be battled. Williamson:
To begin with, there's the inconvenient fact that there is no such thing as cancer. "Cancer" refers to a category of diseases, one that contains hundreds of different maladies. Some of those have a great deal in common with one another, many do not. Spindle-cell breast cancer really isn't very much at all like Hodgkin's lymphoma; the former presents a very difficult course of treatment with a poor outlook, while the latter is so effectively treated (90 percent survival rate) that it is sometimes described as "curable," though physicians tend to shy away from the use of that word.

They are clearly missing the point -- we've never thrown VP Joe Biden at the problem before.

VP Biden Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The generic definition of "cancer" that I am familiar with is "uncontrolled growth to the point of harm." And in this light, perhaps you're right about Uncle Joe. Nothing is a greater retarder of growth than a big name Democrat politician.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2016 5:02 PM

The Wages of Progressive Sin

They don't "bury the lede" at the WSJ. Here is the actual opening paragraph:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is closing hundreds of underperforming stores in the U.S. and Latin America, as the company works to invest more money in e-commerce activities and wage growth for store employees.

Invest more in wage growth? Huh. Maybe I should have gone to B-School. Or J-School; this is a brutal reminder that the news pages do not share the free-market values of the WSJ Ed Page.

If I recall correctly, the company famous for cost containment and lowering inputs made a big splash promising higher wages. Then -- and this is all recollection, even though it is correct -- their gross profit came down. (J-School majors: this is a bad thing).

Now they are closing stores and a lot of the workers will have no jobs at all. If only there were some discipline of social science which could have predicted this, it could have saved these people much turmoil. Too bad.

On the other hand, I could be wrong. Perhaps people are no longer interested in a big store with low prices. The accompanying photo, however...



January 14, 2016

State of the Presidency

This comment from PowerLine reader deserves a nod for QOTD:

There is no failure so spectacular that Obama would not tout it as a success.

I didn't watch SotU (I don't have TV), but did get some major schadenfreude from the Comments section in the PowerLine article;

I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt2. It was more in touch with reality
The one propaganda tool Obama mastered was to lie with absolute malice.
But jk thinks:

I complained that I had no cable until I met a man who had no TV...

I watched it and it was truly surreal. Syria was listed as an achievement as was the Iran deal, even though they held ten sailors and two ships of ours as he was taking his victory lap.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2016 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

For me it was a non-stop "are you kidding?" The legitimate explanations for all of his misplaced blame were fairly obvious, to me.

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2016 4:57 PM

Yes and So What?

Every summer the swallows return to Capistrano. And every playoff season, the good folks at Reason do an exposé on subsidies to NFL owners and the poor economics surrounding the public finance of stadia.

Well, It is playoff season!

After a crazy NFL Wild Card weekend, in which the Cincinnati Bengals managed to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory and the Minnesota Vikings kicker blew a chance at an easy game-winning field goal, Americans are ready for another round of playoff football. Fans should tune in this weekend, as they are paying for the NFL whether they watch the games or not.

I can't find a whole lot to quibble with in the article. Yes, the owners are rich. And no, a stadium will not revitalize a decrepit area. (Although Coors Field was built in Denver's then-Skid Row and coincided quite nicely with a rebirth that spread for miles. All for a team that dreams of .500. Just sayin'...)

And yet, dear ThreeSourcers -- when I look at all the heinous crap government does, I find it hard to get too excited about funding the Broncos. Denver gets the first shout down in the Reason piece:

The Denver Broncos play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Taxpayers took on a $300 million share of the $400 million cost of the stadium when construction began in 2002. One of the ways this public financing was paid for was through a 0.1 percent sales tax that was applied to taxpayers in six Colorado counties until 2012.

Taxpayers funded the majority of the stadium, but they are forced to split the $6 million annual profits from naming rights 50-50 with the Broncos. This is still better than the situation faced by Pittsburgh residents. The Broncos are playing the Steelers this weekend. The Steelers keep all of their $2.9 million a year in naming rights for Heinz Field, even though the public covered 61 percent of the cost.


I guess this is not liberty as envisioned by Lysander Spooner or Lord Acton, but please. Denver just voted to finance an updated Stock Show complex by gouging visitors. They are tax happy, regulation happy, and send a quorum of the lefty legislators who took our gun rights. They go for every piece of green nonsense and ensure that massive portions of desperately needed road money end up funding bike paths and walking trails.

Sixty, a hundred bucks over ten years for the Broncos? I'm in. I don't claim to be a dispassionate economist on the subject -- I do bleed blue and orange. But the NFL does quite a bit for the city.

Well, can't Pat Bowlen afford his own gorram stadium, jk? (Does the 'K' stand for 'Kronie?')

Yes he could. But we go to war with the liberties we have. And if Las Vegas or Fort Wayne would offer to foot the bill, why would he not be enticed? I wish cities did not lard up tax breaks to score factories either but they do. Maybe a headline employer outranks purity?

Were this the Feds I would search Article I Section 8 for the stadium power, but if six Colorado counties want to "fleece" us to provide a home for the Broncos, I'll repeat that I have seen worse.

Sports Posted by John Kranz at 5:12 PM | What do you think? [1]
But nanobrewer thinks:

I also don't have too much heartburn over community-funded stadiums. I'd rather a "real deal" whereby [Denver] sees a decent, 10-15 year ROI, and/or gets to use the stadium for fireworks or whatever.

There are much more important battles to be won.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 11:40 PM

All Hail Taranto!

Good, clean fun:

taranto160114.gif

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 4:13 PM | What do you think? [0]

Otequay of the Ayday

Trump supporters apparently don't believe that Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, or Republican party grandees offer many antidotes to Obamaism. Republicans who play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules don't seem to have the belly to deal with the $10 trillion in additional debt accumulated during the Obama administration; out-of-control entitlement spending; chaos in the Middle East; the empowerment of the Islamic State, Iran, Russia, and China; the deterioration of racial relations; and political correctness gone wild.

-Victor Davis Hanson

But jk thinks:

Professor VDH is of course correct and I think we have all pretty well admitted to most of that around here.

Where his authority weakens for me is that he is the doyen of intellectual nativists on immigration. It is easy for me to break off with Ann Coulter or Laura Ingraham or Sen. Jeff Sessions (Nat. - AL), but I must admit it gives me pause to think orthogonally from VDH.

Painful, but I do it. When you agree with Trump on immigration, a lot of his other positions are easy to accept or agree with When you start as I do opposite him on immigration only to hear a blanket 45% tariff on all Chinese goods would be swell, it becomes much harder to ignore his dangerous side.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I believe VDH would be an open borders guy if our current system of government didn't, for example, excuse lawlessness on the part of illegal immigrants simply because they are illegal immigrants. In the rush to grant "sanctuary" from prosecution for immigration lawlessness they gloss over all but the most serious of every other crime.

And VDH sees the effects of this in the Golden State every day.

Before we can "fix our broken immigration system" we must first fix our broken everything else.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 6:17 PM
But jk thinks:

I know it is informed by his experiences in Cali -- excuse me, "Mexifornia" -- but I'm going to push back.

Hansen attributes all the problems of progressivism in California to immigrants. His stories are heartbreaking, but California has a governance problem more than an immigration problem. Fix the other things what's busted in the Golden State and immigration will work itself out.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 6:28 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Hmm, I must have read a different article. I didn't see the estimable VDH say much about immigration here (in the past, his most memorable moment was mentioning at least two of his daughters have married into immigrant families from "el sur").

Here, he's mostly noting the power of the Donald, who - in one of his most shiny moments helped the GOP ticket more than all his billions ever could.

In about a day, Trump wrecked Hillary Clinton’s planned “war on women” talking points that had helped to win the election for Obama in 2012.

Agreed in general with JG's comment that "we must first fix our broken everything else" but feel compelled to pose this thought:

Does allowing a continued crush of illegals / faux-amnesters make this problem better or worse? For now, where the beltway is in a crush to route away our money from roads and defense to sensitivity classes for muslims and ESL for those from the south, I can think of no better time to slow down immigration to a trickle. We can always pick it up later.

For those genuinely interested in saving lives of those threatened by nefarious forces, then by any analysis ME Christians (and Yazidiz and Kurds), L.American indigenous types (e.g., Aztecs) and untouchables from the asian continent must be at the front of the line.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 9:09 PM
But jk thinks:

... and with the recent, high-profile shootings, it is a good time to stop firearm sales. We can always pick them up later.

.. with the recent terror attacks, we should allow unlimited, warrantless wiretaps. We can always restore the Fourth Amendment down the road.

I can continue if you'd like. Policy is good or bad -- fending off opposition with "it's temporary" got us the mohair subsidy in WWI and innumerable "temporary tax increases" ever since.

Professor Hansen wrote an entire book opposing immigration. I don't think I'm pulling a rabbit out a hat. I'm a fan of his and have read dozens of columns of his asking for greater border enforcement.

My comment described a natural alliance between Trump supporters and immigration restrictionists. If you're with him on that it is easier to forgive positions of his with which you disagree. If you're not with him on the beautiful Trump wall of our southern border, it is much harder.

Posted by: jk at January 15, 2016 11:03 AM

Quote of the Day

Irony: Bernie Sanders' Website Ran Out of Free Stickers

But this is Bernie's plan for your healthcare, your childcare, your education, and your company. Provided for "free" until the money needed to provide it just isn't there. What's going to happen when your honors student, with a perfect attendance record, can't attend college because there's a shortage of room there, too? Are you going to get a letter that says "Sorry, we're out of free college for now" or when your dying mother who needs her doctor going to get a call that says, "Sorry, we're out of free medicine for now?" Is this how Bernie plans to run the country too? -- Chris Johncox

But johngalt thinks:

A delicious irony at that. However...

"Since Bernie's entire economic plan dismisses the needs of suppliers, it's almost a certainty that shortages would be rampant..."

The "almost" is where Bern feelers place their faith. In the bottomlessness of government benevolence. And after all of socialism's failures, if there's a chance, then finally, Bernie will deliver.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 2:48 PM

George Will on Marco Rubio

Spoiler alert -- it is not pretty.

Will admits to many of Sen. Rubio (C12H22O11 - FL)'s good points. But he points out the bad -- and they are each disturbing.

Rubio's misjudgment regarding Libya indicates a susceptibility to slapdash foreign policies. His support of S. 590, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, indicates a susceptibility to trendy temptations, carelessness regarding evidence, and indifference to constitutional values.

My candidates are fading faster than a thing that fades very quickly. Dearest Carly and Handsome Rand will not be in the main stage at the next GOP debate. The undercard is no longer a launching pad (mix metaphors much?). I was preparing myself to "settle." Yes, that is normally a summer activity, but these are desperate times.

No doubt I could accept Ted Cruz (R - Tim Horton's). He's not my first choice. And like Taft, would serve us better in the Supreme Court than President. But I'm in. Yard signs and donations. The same is probably true for Rubio, but Will's column is a big disappointment. Best case scenario is that he is another George W. Bush: generally friendly to liberty, but not directed by it.

But johngalt thinks:

Indeed, my metaphorically-challenged blog brother:

"By co-sponsoring S. 590, Rubio is helping the administration sacrifice a core constitutional value, due process, in order to advance progressives’ cultural aggression."

Cruz isn't my perfect candidate either - it would be nice if his American mother had birthed him in Des Moines and he never loaned himself money - but he understands Constitutional principles and the proper role of the presidency better than any other candidate except possibly Rand. I can support him fulsomely.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 11:41 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And besides that, he just secured a Trump-scale endorsement.

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 11:49 AM
But jk thinks:

Yuuge!

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 12:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have a new theory about the Trump master plan. He wants to make the prospect of his winning the nomination so dire to the GOP that it will gladly embrace Cruz, despite all the names he has called party leaders. It's Cruz's entrée into the "establishment lane."

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 5:48 PM
But jk thinks:

...and then I'll bank the 14 off the three with juuuust enough backspin to curve around the seven and tap the five into the side pocket, then block his easy side shot for the win.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2016 6:17 PM

January 13, 2016

Quote of the Day

He said he wouldn't give a laundry list and instead just sort of dumped laundry on the table. -- Nick Gillespie

January 12, 2016

Immigration w/o Assimilation

... equals invasion.

The New Year has once again, I believe, reaffirmed the point that in today's world, many young men from the Middle East are plenty happy to spread across the world, with little interest in local assimilation.

Add in the wobbly-kneed whites in the western world offering a beckoning finger where we can run a new chapter on the "Stockholm Syndrome" and add this to the script we saw play out in Cologne (and a few other N.European cities), right down to the corrupt police, mendacious media and craven politicians who, in John Hiderocker's words:

[the] political class doesnt really care what happens to citizens. Its all about their power. In Europe, that power is threatened by far right parties that speak for the people on the issue of immigration.

I first heard about this sort of rape jihad going on in Gothenburg, back in 2005. It's a power struggle, and the good guys are misinformed, slandered, and even actively silenced.

I am fine in principle with large #'s of immigrants, even from the ME. I am not fine with it at this time, with the triple threat presented in Rotherham, Stockholm and Cologne, that is in full play in the good old US of A, in the White House and in the Democratic primary race. Dorothy Rabinowitz highlights the case in Philly:

To hear the mayor of Philadelphia was to grasp, more clearly than ever, the fury that has led to Donald Trumps success in attracting votersthe fury of citizens who know official lies when they hear them, whether about border security, immigration, or the ever-expanding requirements of multiculturalist dogma.

So, while local officials are either encouraging them, overwhelmed by them, or turning a blind eye to them their leaders gilt their rose-colored glasses and collect accolades from media (Merkel was Time's Person of the Year), academia and L/W think tanks, what are these "asylum" seekers doing? Well, some 10-20,000 were told by a prominent Islamic-leaning statesman that assimilation is a crime against humanity

McCarthy adds more, calling them Unassimilable, reminding us that no-go zones are active all across Europe.

From a report on Rotherham, we saw an echo in San Bernadino, where neighbors didn't report the suspicious activity of the soon-to-be mass killers, so as to avoid profiling (of themselves!):

the fear of appearing racist was more pressing in official minds than enforcing the law of the land or rescuing terrified children. It is one of the great scandals of our lifetime.

Open borders some day, but not today.... the nation state needs to be en vogue.

But jk thinks:

Were we in Europe, I'd perhaps say "Hear, Hear!" (or "Ja,Ja" or something).

Your nation-state argument is a core belief of mine. The type of republican, minarchist sovereignty I seek requires Westphalian boundaries and borders.

But my border is to delineate where my government will protect my rights -- not some cage to keep me in and the other guys out. I'll borrow a Boulder word and suggest that it is not sustainable to set up the US as a gated community.

The problem with Europe is that they have lost confidence in the Enlightenment. The Syrian crisis has exacerbated this, but we've discussed it as long as we've had a blog. Thankfully, New York is not Rotterdam. Yet.

Even our extraordinarily pusillanimous feminist community would not react to the New Year's Eve attacks with "they had it coming." And if they had tried it in Red states, they'd have got their asses shot.

With all due respect, the path to keep our Enlightenment values is not to keep certain race/religion/country-of-origins out. We must rather keep the (Lockean) faith in. Europe lost it years ago.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2016 10:14 AM
But jk thinks:
But johngalt thinks:

Can anyone explain how the loss of Enlightenment values led to the formation of no-go zones for European police agencies?

One might say that would never happen in the USA. Look what happens when, for example, people exercising their religious traditions take multiple wives. This precedent must surely mean that conspiring mass murders and physical assaults could never be protected by the thin veil of "religious liberty." Or could it?

Or, one might say there should be places that police are prohibited from going. But this breaks down when the clandestine activities cause harm to others, or make preparations to cause harm. That is all I require anyone "assimilate" to: That every person has an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even the infidels.

Posted by: johngalt at January 13, 2016 4:16 PM
But Jk thinks:
But nanobrewer thinks:

I'd argue that an excess of "Enlightenment Values" [aka, multiculturism etc.] and a lack of Lockean common sense [property precedes government and government cannot "dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily."] is what's causing Europe's problem. JK can jump in, and perhaps he considers the Westphalian sovereignty concept as a centerpiece of the Enlightenment?

Throw in a lack of duty to one's country (and, by extension its citizenry) and an overzealous approach to world citizenship or more generally the "I want to be a UN hot shot in my next guise." If true, this does indeed suggest that Merkel unt allies have lost the concept of the social contract and have ceased ruling in the interests of the electorate.

Certainly the disdain of the political elites as widely documented and blogged upon is showing through here, Enlightened or not, and is thoroughly saturating our shores (well, from Manhattan to the Beltway and on the Left Coast as well). Who was it that said

no matter how much you hold DC in contempt, it's nothing to how much contempt they hold over you!
Insty?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 12:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

When you say "social contract" nb, I think "communitarian" which is awfully close in many respects to "collectivism." I currently view right-communitarian to be the domain of the RINO or "big-government conservative."

To me, "Enlightenment values" means the classical liberalism that elevated individual rights to the top of the social pyramid, directly above "duty to one's country" and miles above "the interests of the electorate."

That last bit, "interests of the electorate" - can it be interpreted differently than "majority rule?"

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2016 2:14 PM

Trumperiffic!

I'm nothing if not fair [pause for murmurs and nods of assent...]

Here is a screengrab of the Election 2016 section of the Wall Street Journal this morning:

Trump_wsj.jpg

There is an advantage to "this courage thing." I left the other stories intact: my other candidates are fizzling, and Sec. Clinton has ever-so-boldly called for additional revenue!


January 11, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

To compensate for my downer of a Powerball comment:

taranto160111.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 5:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Blotto for Lotto

While it's not really enough money to completely eliminate poverty in America, the ever growing Powerball lottery payout has now eclipsed a billion (annuitized, pre-tax) dollars. Not that anyone should expect to win the payout - except maybe a $21 or so prize for matching a few numbers - but I do think it's illuminating to consider what you might do if you did win the lion's share of a billion dollar windfall.

Most that I've heard have said they will "give a lot of it away." Whether to charities or to family members, I haven't heard anyone talk about this without being sure to mention that he will be a philanthropist to one degree or another. I won't go into why I believe this is, and mostly I suspect most readers already know where I would place the blame. I want to talk about what to do instead.

I would start with, pay off any debts and immediately buy or make plans to buy everything I've ever dreamed of buying. Then I would make some investments and set up trust funds and annuities for my offspring and their progeny. And for the coup de grace, I would bankroll brother Keith's presidential run.

But one thing I would not do is feel any guilt for my "conspicuous" consumption. I would pay people to build products that they enjoy building. I would hire people to do work that they choose to do. I would make all of them richer in wages and spirit than if I merely gifted the same sum of dollars. And doing so would be sustainable for all involved.

What say you, 3sourcers? What would you do?

But jk thinks:

Anybody play? I was an anti-lottery tyrant most of my life, with the subtlety of a college student asked about GMOs, gluten, or the GOP. I've come around to accept that this speculation is the purchased product and that its value is totally subjective. The projected, discounted payout is of no consequence.

While I've attained a Hayekian contentment with others' play, I confess I am completely missing the gene to enjoy it. Keith's Presidential campaign does sound good, but I got nothin'. Randian hero that I am, I want what I earn in recognition of my value. Extra millions laying about would be fun now and then but I suspect more pain in the ass in the long run than fun.

If forced to play and victorious, I hate to disappoint with philanthropy but bankrolling a school or scholarship for kids to attend a rigorous academic environment like the Coolidge School is about all I can think of. Then I'd have meetings to attend... What a drag.

While I don't ridicule those who play anymore, I answer that there are two things that would disappoint me, were I to play: if I lost or if I won.

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2016 4:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I've thought about this too... don't even know how many numbers I'd need to match to even get a Lincoln (greenback or car)! I'm generally anti-lottery as well.

I'd buy a nice house in lousy condition and go nuts on it (utilizing useful local artisans, like WaterJetWonders). I'd buy into a few companies, travel a lot and certainly wipe out my siblings' debts (and fund a family get together or two... somewhere warm!). I'd be sponsoring favored politicians.... :-)

I probably would do a philanthropist dabble but would be very quiet about it, and a scholarship or two to places like Hillsdale would factor in. Why are people telling media-pollsters' they'd turn Mother Teresa would be an interesting topic as a separate post.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 12, 2016 10:55 AM

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

September in the Rain

Harry Warren and Al Dubin ©1937

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


Permalink

January 10, 2016

Minnesota flogged as Liberal success [updated]

PowerLine principle John Hinderocker has retired from his law practice and taken up leadership as President of The Center of the American Experiment, in order as he says to "to take our free-market case directly to the people"

The bottom line is that the blue state model doesnt work anywhere. This has tremendous implications, not just for Minnesota but for the nation.

The Center has a new video popping the liberal balloon (hard to keep track of them all, isn't it?) about Minnesota's vaunted economic success under Mark Dayton (and more broadly, the largely liberal legislature).

In keeping with getting my blogging skills a shade better, I'll try to embed it .... Sadly, my weak economic position keeps me from being as full-throated as I'd sometimes like (then again, FB is a lousy venue for meritorious and serious discussion).

Two cheers for the free market, and for the expanding and deepening American experiment!

But nanobrewer thinks:

OK, I haven't exhaustively exercised all options, but I can't figure nor recall how to imbed a video... must it first exist as a file on my computer?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 11:29 AM
But Jk thinks:

You look for a snippet of html that displays an object, usually you can hit a share button to copy it to your clipboard. Sometimes, it is not allowed.

The file continues to live on the host's server, it just publishes a player on the page.

Posted by: Jk at January 10, 2016 6:55 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

OK, to the other TS'ers "in English" ... one imbeds a video by clicking so-named the tab in YouTube, and then pasting that Snippet into one's post.

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 11:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Au contraire, mon frère, everywhere is an excellent venue for meritorious and serious discussion. The difference with venues like FB is that you have to "dumb it down" not make it dumb. Or unmeritorious. Or wrong.

It may be true that the easiest way to go viral is to make it wrong, but I do think we make a difference, as Rand promised we would.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2016 3:05 PM

January 8, 2016

Smoot-Hawley Rides Again!

I added a link as a quick comment from my Etch-a-Sketch (iPad) last night. And it attracted a response from Brother Keith which I purloined for the post title. It needs its own post.

Donald Trump wants the U.S. to impose a massive, 45 percent tariff on all products coming into the country from China.

"I would tax China on products coming in," the Republican presidential front-runner told the New York Times. "And the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be . . . the tax should be 45 percent."


Ed Driscoll posted this on Instapundit last night with a bonus S\moot-Hawley reference and "Relax -- I'm sure that trade protectionism will work this time."

The best defense is "he doesn't mean it." But I tell you, blog brothers and sisters, I went through the 2008 and 2012 elections grinding my teeth and writhing in agony when "my candidate" spoke out on economics. And both of those had other, endearing qualities. I cannot pull the lever for the 45% Tariff man. Not even William McKinley. Nossir. Noma'am.

UPDATE (CHASER):

Enter Trump, via his fabulous escalator. The GOP front-runner isn't openly contemptuous of the Constitution; it just doesn't enter his thinking very much. If he believes something is worth doing, he says he will do it. He makes little effort to explain how he will get Congress to agree, never mind write the laws the president is supposed to faithfully execute. And that's the way Trump's fans like it. -- Jonah Goldberg

But jk thinks:

I'm deaf to cries of currency manipulation. "Stop selling me stuff for cheap! I'll tell Mom!" More likely a threat would incite a trade war.

I perhaps have earned my reputation for melodrama, but a wacky anarchist friend put up a Bernie Sanders meme. I added a link to this as a comment, saying "[Sanders] is Henry Hazlitt compared to Trump!"

And truly, for all the worry we rightfully have about the economy under President Sanders (Bernie, not The Colonel), all his mischief would be ameliorated by Congress and the natural, Smithian ability of liberty to sidestep regulation.

Trump's is a guaranteed global recession causer. Again the defense is "don't listen to him, he just blurts out bullshit all the time!" But just in case he means it this time -- this would truly be ten times worse than anything Bernie has proposed.

Posted by: jk at January 8, 2016 5:13 PM
But Jk thinks:

Interesting piece on currency manipulation.

Posted by: Jk at January 9, 2016 10:53 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think any thread that ties Trump to practical, useful policy is purely incidental... he's a buzz-addicted blowhard and has now idea how or why any of his ideas would work, apart from blowing away the reality-challenged PC-mindset of the MSM and beltway insiders. If BHO was our teleprompter-in-chief candidate, Trump is the reality-TV version...

OK, given that rant, how would this suggestion be any different from other Tariffs or duties?

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2016 10:26 PM
But Jk thinks:

First in size, we buy a lot from China and 45% is, to use a favorite Trump word, huge.

Second, it is indiscriminate to target a country. Typically, you might hit an industry like tires or steel, or grain. I think the others are wrong too. If you had a duty on oil to fund tanker inspection, okay. But tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them.

He was on FOXNews Sunday yesterday, and already backing off this. "I didn't say that..." So I'm glad it's not in his stump speech. But it is still irresponsible bluster right at a time I was trying to accept that I'd be a good Republican and support the nominee.

Posted by: Jk at January 11, 2016 4:46 AM
But Jk thinks:

First in size, we buy a lot from China and 45% is, to use a favorite Trump word, huge.

Second, it is indiscriminate to target a country. Typically, you might hit an industry like tires or steel, or grain. I think the others are wrong too. If you had a duty on oil to fund tanker inspection, okay. But tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them.

He was on FOXNews Sunday yesterday, and already backing off this. "I didn't say that..." So I'm glad it's not in his stump speech. But it is still irresponsible bluster right at a time I was trying to accept that I'd be a good Republican and support the nominee.

Posted by: Jk at January 11, 2016 4:46 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

>tariffs for protection are bad and I seek to lower or remove them

Agreed. Now, "we'll impose tariffs if the hack-attacks don't stop!" is more defensible, but a better answer is more along the lines of the STUXNet attack....

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 14, 2016 12:12 AM

January 7, 2016

Quote of the Day

All Hail! James sees a clear path toward Trump vs. Sanders

"Sexual history" and "sex life" are two more for the euphemism file. But maybe this is a shrewd approach for Sanders to take. After all, he's trying to win over supporters of Mrs. Clinton, who are instinctively inclined to defend her. By leaving the attacks to others, he remains an acceptable alternative should they yield to their own misgivings. That means he doesn't control his destiny, but then neither did the Pittsburgh Steelers as of noon Sunday.-- James Taranto

But johngalt thinks:
But barring a third-party deus ex machina, a Trump vs. Sanders contest would necessarily elect the “unelectable.” It would be as if Barry Goldwater faced George McGovern in the 1968 election. We have no idea what the result would be, except that it would be impossible.

Did somebody say third party?

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2016 6:18 PM
But jk thinks:

If I can address you and Terri in same comment, my new dream is an 1824, four-way with a GOP nominee (Cruz, Rubio, jeb!), and a disgruntled Trump, and a Democrat (Clinton, Sanders), and Jim Webb. Trump could even be the GOP nominee in this scenario with a more establishment party figure running independent.

It might get settled in the House (like 1820) or somebody might pull of an electoral majority. But it would be a good time.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 6:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Mea maxima culpa! An early version of this comment said 1820, the uncontested "Era of Good Feelings" election, rather than the 1824, "Corrupt Bargain and vicious slander of Rachel Jackson" election. Three Sources regrets the error.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 7:17 PM

January 6, 2016

Otequay of the Ayday

It is an outrage to claim that Donald Trump's support constitutes mob rule. Trump has not incited violence or any dilution or disrespect for democratic principles, and mob rule has never been described by a serious writer before as being the espousal of uncorrupted capitalism.

- Conrad M Black in Trump's Populism Is Not Mob Rule at NRO.

But johngalt thinks:

Dan Henninger wrote today that Trump isn't leading in the polls, a popular revolt against 25 years of Political Correctness is leading in the polls. Trump merely happens to be the loudest and most frequent voice for this revolt. Ben Carson was the first, but Trump knows more about marketing.

Last night my heroine told Sean Hannity [4:56] "When I tell voters that it's time, citizens, to take our country back, and a professional politician isn't gonna be able to do it, and a guy who's a celebrity but has no plan isn't gonna do it either, they're listening."

Well, I hope her "plan" includes better marketing for her version of the PC Revolt.

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2016 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

@Terri: I am warming up to The Donald. I shan't say "Can not be tolerated," but I am presently undecided. (Hop up a few posts for my dream four-way race scenario. It nearly destroyed this great nation in 1824, whaddaya say we try it again?)

The question is less "can I vote for Trump?" The question is [melodrama alert!] "do I want to stay with a party that would nominate him?" All my libertarian and public-choice-theorist friends laugh at my quaint belief in advancing liberty through the ballot box and the the GOP. If my party nominates Mister Trump, I do not know if it remains my party.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 6:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Brother jk, I wonder if it might offer you any consolation at all to replace the words "Donald Trump" with "Political Correctness Revolutionary?"

Politics is a strange realm, wherein necessary medicine is often packaged in distasteful vessels.

I found another interesting opinion piece on the present maelstrom. Being better informed on Presidential history, perhaps you'll get more out of it than I did.

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2016 7:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Great article. It happens that I loves me some "Mudcat." He used to be a regular fixture on cable news but I don't think the Democratic party can abide by his existence. I surely feel for the few non-loonies remaining in the party. Hell, on a good day, I might vote for Jim Webb; he was very good in that first debate.

Replacing Trump with an abstract instantiation of his good points? That might work. And it's not like his current principles will last any longer than his old ones.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2016 7:32 PM
But Jk thinks:

oh my.

Posted by: Jk at January 7, 2016 8:29 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Smoot-Hawley rides again.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 8, 2016 9:34 AM

Ethanol

That math thing again. There is actually another bad thing about ethanol which I had not considered. You smart guys, and Merrill Matthews at the WSJ Ed Page are likely way ahead.

Maybe even Iowans are having second thoughts about a law that has been a boon to corn growers but hardly anyone else. Before long, it may be politically safe to take a wise step and eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This would immediately and dramatically increase the demand for oil, help stabilize energy markets, boost the economy--and likely reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

The RFS requires gasoline to contain a specified level of ethanol--renewable biofuels mostly from corn, but increasingly from other plant and animal substances. The law also requires the Environmental Protection Agency to periodically increase the amount of ethanol that must be used. But raising the amount of ethanol in gasoline past 10% could harm millions of car engines.


I had not considered that, as oil prices tumble, we are forcing refiners to use more expensive ethanol and in greater quantities. "You have to add caviar to that Mac'n'Cheese -- the First Lady says!"

Much as I love filling up the MR2 for $19 instead of $30, I worry about my property values in the country's eighth cranked county for energy production. I dig the idea of exports (Thanks, Speaker Ryan!) but it would be a start if we were allowed to, say, add it to gasoline.

Replacing the 18 billion gallons of ethanol under the EPA's 2016 RFS with roughly 18 billion gallons of gasoline would reduce the oil glut and improve the nation's carbon footprint. Sounds like a candidate for bipartisan agreement.

But johngalt thinks:

Full article here. Thanks Bing!

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 6:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Add to this that commercial fuel ethanol production has been (barely) profitable for only about two of the last four years and repeal of the RFS is a win-win-win proposition.

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 6:41 PM

The President's Gun Control Speech

We could have a serious discussion of his "nanoball" proposals, but I'm going to just give up and let a goofy meme tell my story:


Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 9:21 AM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

Can't do it. I'd make a terrible Facebook lefty. (I got into a bloody scrape yesterday about #YallQueda).

Maybe we need to use brother jg's tactics. He suggested that we accept the Paris Climate CHange accords and say Yup, fixed it! Can we move on now?

Likewise, we might say. Okay, Obama fixed that! Yup, new guidance to ATF on what constitutes a dealer. We're done!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2016 9:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I was struck by all the problems the President explained would not be solved as he began his Oscar-worthy performance. "So why do it then" I wondered?

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 5:33 PM
But jk thinks:

For the children.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2016 5:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh yeah, them. Well, apparently not. And law-abiding poor blacks are the hardest hit:

There are real costs of expanding background checks to private transfers. In particular, the fees on private transfers. Law-abiding poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas and who benefit the most from protecting themselves will be the ones most likely priced out of owning guns for protection.

Without some benefits in terms of either reduced crime or mass public shootings, it is
hard to see how these rules pass any type of cost-benefit test.

(From the conclusion of the report linked at the bottom of the linked page above, which shows that rates of killing and injury are higher - 80% and 101% respectively - from mass public shootings in states adopting additional background checks on private firearm transfers.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 7:06 PM

January 5, 2016

What I Read in 2015

.. or "If TGreer Jumped Off a Cliff?"

Blog Friend tg captured some attention with his impressive 2015 reading list. Another of his friends has piled on and published his 2015 book list. Am I bashful?

What I Read in 2015

Matt Ridley The Evolution of Everything [Review Corner]

César Hidalgo Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies [Review Corner]

Charles Koch Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies [Review Corner]

Angus Deaton The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality [Review Corner]

Mark Steyn A Disgrace to the Profession. [Review Corner]

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, and Kenneth Cukier Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think [Review Corner]

Frank Wilczek A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design. [Review Corner]

Michael Huemer The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey [Review Corner]

FA Hayek Individualism and Economic Order [Review Corner]

Ronald Bailey The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century [Review Corner]

Arthur Brooks The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America [Review Corner]

Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations [Review Corner]

Russ Roberts The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance [Review Corner]

Don Boudreaux The Essential Hayek [Review Corner]

Pope Francis Laudato Si [Review Corner]

Thaddeus Russell A Renegade History of the United States [Part One]. [Review Corner]

Ed Meese With Reagan The Inside Story [Review Corner]

Charles Krauthammer Things That Matter [Review Corner]

Lawrence H. White The Clash of Economic Ideas [Review Corner]

Randall Munroe What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions [Review Corner]

Hans Hermann-Hoppe A Short History of Man: Progress and Decline [Review Corner]

Mary Elizabeth Berry Hideyoshi [Review Corner]

Michael Shermer The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom [Review Corner]

Jaime Joyce Moonshine: A Cultural History of America's Infamous Liquor. [Review Corner]

Robert Nozick Anarchy, State, and Utopia [Review Corner]

David Kopel Rules for State Legislators: Jerry Kopel's Guide [Review Corner]

Charles C.W. Cooke. His The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right's Future [Review Corner]

Jay Cost A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption [Review Corner]

Randy T. Simmons Beyond Politics: The Roots of Government Failure [Review Corner]

David Goetz Hell is being Republican in Virginia [Review Corner]

Peter H. Diamandis Laws as recounted in Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World, [Review Corner]

Steven Pinker The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined [Review Corner]

John Allison The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why the Future of Business Depends on the Return to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [Review Corner]

Thomas Pynchon Inherent Vice [Review Corner]

Alex Epstein The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels [Review Corner]

Damon Root Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court [Review Corner]

Plus a lot of stupid books on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Work.

Too heavy on politics! I expected pure history and science to get a better representation -- I guess I do have a resolution after all.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 4:41 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Terri thinks:

#whyJKissomuchsmarterthanme
!
I'm tired just reading the list!

Posted by: Terri at January 5, 2016 7:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Pfft! Compared to tg's list, mine looks like the 3rd Grade summer list.

I did have a life-changing experience a few years ago. Nassim Taleb's "The Black Swan" included a pitch to put away the newspapers and magazines and to just read books. Looking back, that was some seriously good advice.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2016 9:28 AM

Life Imitates ThreeSources

Events on New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany, appear to reflect the "license to rape" I wrote about over a year ago.

...Ayaan Hirsi Ali's claim in a WSJ piece that a central part of what the jihadists are about is the oppression of women.

The central issue here, morally justified by the "pure principles of the Prophet" is a profound illiberalism. One which permits one class - devout Muslim men - to do anything his heart desires to every member of any other group. A "license to rape" is a popular selling point to young men.

Flash forward sixteen months:

Police in the western German city of Cologne responded on Monday to outrage over a string of sexual crimes over New Year's Eve. According to police, the series of assaults in one of the city's busiest thoroughfares represented a "completely new dimension of crime."

Some 90 criminal complaints, including one allegation of rape, have been brought to the Cologne police department after women said they were molested by a crowd of men who had gathered in the city's famous square between its central train station and towering Gothic cathedral. Authorities expect more victims to come forward in the next few days.

Fortunately, German authorities are not taking this lying down:

Mayor Henriette Reker, who made international headlines in October when she was stabbed on the campaign trail, has called a crisis meeting, which will include local and federal police, for Tuesday to address the crimes.

Reker told the local press she found the men's actions "monstrous."

"We cannot tolerate this development of lawlessness," Reker told the "Klner Stadt-Anzeiger" newspaper.

Speaking with local newspaper "Express," Ralf Jger, the state interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, promised swift action.

"We will not accept that groups of North African men gather expressly for the purpose of debasing women by sexually assaulting them," the paper quoted Jger as saying.

Memo to "2016's young feminist crusaders" - You're doing it wrong.

Joking aside, if I have one message for 2016's young feminist crusaders, it's this: stop fiddling while Rome burns. If you really want to defend the rights of women, stop the navel-gazing and open your eyes to the real abuse of women in the world.

Pick your fight with Islamic State; or the barbarians who publicly caned that young woman in Indonesia this week for being 'caught' near to a male fellow student; or the people who mutilate young girls' genitals in the name of religion; or the Sharia courts spreading across Britain, with their systematic bias against women.

Or with gangs of a thousand Muslim refugees getting sauced (is that Sharia compliant, by the way?) and feeling up (or worse) western women in public.


January 3, 2016

Review Corner

The famed Kansas editor and Republican activist William Allen White once observed that Ohio Republican politics "combined the virtues of the serpent, the shark and the cooing dove." It was often fractured, rural versus urban, or between regions, sometimes over philosophical differences. The GOP front-runner for governor, Cincinnati judge Alphonso Taft, found himself with these problems as McKinley and other delegates arrived in Columbus on June 2 for their convention. Rural Republicans distrusted the big-city judge. Other delegates disliked his opposition to a court decision restoring Bible reading in public schools.
The English language lacks a word. I suspect there is a 19-syllable version in German or a two-syllable bon mot in French, but there is no English word to ridicule moderns who think that their times and events are uniquely interesting or unusual. Patricia Calhoun who publishes Denver's alternative weekly newspaper Westword, used her pundit position on Colorado Inside Out last night to assure viewers that Colorado is a "Purple State," but we will get there through being black and blue as 2016 shapes up to be a nasty campaign.

I don't mean to pile on her. We'll hear that 365 times this year. But they should read a little more history. And a surprisingly decent place to start would be Karl Rove (yes, that Karl Rove)'s The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. Rove delivers a detailed look at state, national, and party politics from the election of President Hayes, on whose campaign McKinley started, through McKinley's victory in 1896 (did that last one require a spoiler alert?)

You want blood and bruises, Ms. Calhoun, this book has pistols drawn on the State Convention floor, fistfights to prevent a delegate's recognition, and more than a few uses of a state's party banner used to strike other delegates.

These state conventions saw bitter political combat (in the case of Texas, with pistols, knives, and broken furniture) and the raw exercise of power. Sometimes the majority prevailed, and, on occasion, control of the process and underhanded maneuvering gave a determined minority the day. In too many instances, competing slates of delegates emerged, each claiming to be the state's true representatives-- claims that would have to be settled in credentials fights at the national convention.

The bad news is that modern politics is beanbag. Back to Austin:
The hall exploded. The McKinley men stormed the stage, aiming to push Cuney aside and install Web Flanagan, the GOP's 1890 gubernatorial candidate, in his place. "One burley negro came plowing through the jam," an Associated Press reporter wrote, "pushing men in front of him as if they were so much chaff." Behind him was a determined, fast-moving, angry mob of five hundred McKinley men. Cuney expected the assault: his people were prepared to defend the podium and him. "The first negro to reach the stand made a lunge at Cuney's head with a fist," an eyewitness wrote, but little Bill Ellis, Cuney's longtime right-hand man, moved faster, pulling his revolver and shoving it in the assailant's face. "The two men eyed each other for ten seconds," then grappled and went down with "the howling crowd swaying around and about them." A large table on the stage collapsed under the combatants. Delegates grabbed broken pieces as weapons. Chairs and other tables were smashed over heads or against bodies. Fists, bludgeons, bottles, knives, and razors appeared. Other pistols were drawn, but luckily not used. The fight went on for twenty minutes before the city marshal and a squad of officers arrived and began indiscriminately clubbing delegates.

Perhaps Rove can sell the movie rights and Bruce Willis will be cast as Hanna.

One of my favorite characters from American History has a huge part. Charles G. Dawes is encharged with McKinley's Illinois campaign. Illinois is crucial, hotly contested, yet the Cook County bosses are eschewed in favor of a 26 year old. In a time of pure patronage and graft, Dawes brings structure and discipline to the campaign. There is no shortage of events, but the McKinley team outworks its rival Republicans and William Jennings Bryan's campaign if not Bryan himself.

I jokingly like to call myself "one of the nation's foremost authorities on Charles Gates Dawes." I make this claim because there is one book on him, it is out of print, and I have read it [Review Corner]. In all seriousness, Dawes is a fascinating character, and we get a deep peek into his younger days and politically formative years. The bad news is that Rove's story of the 1896 Democratic Convention in Chicago contravenes one of my favorite stories in history. Review Corner includes a very dramatic version of Dawes's hearing the "Cross of Gold" speech late at night, telegraphing the McKinley campaign that the dark horse candidate will surely be nominated and heading home. Great, Liberty Valence story -- Rove has the speech being delivered at midday. I don't know, I am tempted to write Rove and see if he wants to call "Shenanigans" on Dawes's biographer Bascom N. Timmons.

After the GOP nominating convention in Illinois (another spoiler alert missed):

After receiving the news of the Illinois victory, McKinley sat down to write Dawes. "I can not close the day without sending you a message of appreciation and congratulations," he told the young man in whom he had placed all his trust. "There is nothing in all of this long campaign so signal and significant as the triumph at Springfield. I cannot find words to express my admiration for your high qualities of leadership. You have won exceptional honor. You had long ago won my heart."

Rove had frequently said that he modeled the 2000 George W. Bush campaigns on that. Many thinking he played the part of Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, rumored to be the brains behind the scenes driving the kind but simple candidate. For the record, Rove to great lengths to dispel that. His McKinley is bright and politically astute.

This is a substantive and well researched book. Knowing the author, no one will be surprised that it is about politics. McKinley's Civil War heroism is told to open the story, but more to set the stage of literal grace under fire to underlay future political skirmishes. Instead of what color grandma pained the barn, this book is full of political players, state conventions, national conventions, machine politics, and campaign strategy.

I'm running out of room and reader patience, but Rove delves deeply into the two key issues of the day: funding for PBS's Big Bird and "Binders full of women." No, wait, that was 2012. In 1896, McKinley wanted to speak only of protectionism. President Cleveland advocated frugal government, low inflation, and collecting just enough revenue to support a restrained government. Glad we drove that loser out of the Democratic Party! McKinley was a key advocate of protectionism: the Whig element in the GOP thought that American workers should be protected from competition by steep Tariffs. Wait a minute, which side am I on again?

McKinley wanted to talk about protectionism, Bryan wanted only to talk about Free Silver. Our 19th Century Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to fight the powerful, moneyed Wall Street interests by allowing debtor Western and Southern Farmers to pay back those evil Eastern Bankers in deprecated Silver Dollars. McKinley did his best to straddle the issue and change topic to tariffs. Silver and Gold did not break along party lines. Colorado Senator Henry M. Teller (many many things in Colorado are named after the Senator, Territorial Governor and Arthur's Interior Secretary) spoke passionately at the convention and led a group of delegates off the convention floor to abandon the party.

Teller was weeping as he led his ragged detachment out, causing the Nation to later mock him, calling silver "the first raw metal that has ever been wept over."" Alerted by wire, Colorado governor Albert W. McIntyre ordered the state guard to fire a cannon salute to their senator, which one Centennial State delegate said "meant war."

Bryan was perhaps too good an orator and overplayed his hand, dividing America into lenders and debtors. McKinley pushed unity as the nation was finally moving beyond the Civil War. Taking a train to New York to collect contributions, Bryan gaffed that he was headed into "enemy territory." This angered supporters and laid the foundation of McKinley attacks. McKinley brought an ex-Confederate regiment to Canton for a dinner and march with an "ex-Union regiment." Even supporters were questioning Bryan's dogmatic division:
This so irritated the twenty-eight-year-old small-town newspaperman that he "stalked," he said,"as well as a fat man who toddles can stalk," to his office and wrote a broadside blasting the Populist views many Republicans believed animated Bryan's campaign. "What we are after is the money power," [William Allen] White wrote sarcastically. "Give the prosperous man the dickens! Legislate the thriftless man into ease, whack the stuffing out of the creditors, and tell the debtors who borrowed the money . . . that the contradiction of currency gives him a right to repudiate." White's editorial-- "What's the Matter With Kansas?"-- swept across the country as fast as the telegraph could carry it and was reprinted in hundreds of papers,

I'll risk the wrath of my Austrian friends and suggest that the brutal, four year recession of 1893 was at heart a deflationary shock and could have been helped by increasing the money supply. But the Free SIlver / 16 to 1 coinage proposed by the Populists was two bridges too far. Though I'm a free trader to the bottom of my dark soul, I like to ask liberty lovers if they would trade the 16th Amendment for some large tariffs for revenue. So I'll cheer McKinley's victory in '96 and the rematch in 1900. But I wish he had replaced VP Hobart with Charles G. Dawes instead of Theodore Roosevelt.

Rove's appreciation was his defeat of the machine politicians in the GOP:

NO FAN OF MCKINLEY in the past, the Chicago Tribune had to admit nonetheless, "The people have won at St. Louis." The Major's victory was "a hard blow to bossism" and a victory of the "rank and file of the party over its self-centered and presumptuous leaders," namely the Combine. McKinley's victory presaged a major change in future nomination battles in which the power of the bosses would be diminished and the power of voters and candidates elevated.

Five gold stars (or 80 silver at 16:1).

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:31 AM | What do you think? [0]

January 2, 2016

Propsworthy

Blog friend tg makes Tyler Cowen's new year's list.

Pretty cool.

But johngalt thinks:

An impressive reading list for sure. Not sure who Tyler Cowen is, but I do like another of his assorted links - Razib Khan on ISIS. It is fascinating, and helps to integrate some thoughts I've had on the matter. Specifically, that the motivation of the Islamist movement is rooted more in a collectivist power structure than in Islam qua Islam.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2016 12:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Dr. Cowen

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2016 5:24 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)