May 16, 2010
VARIETIES OF religious politics.
VARIETIES OF religious politics.
GO ONLINE, be happy!
CLIMATEGATE: When Prophecy Fails.
AFTER THE FLOOD: Your House As A Superfund Site, And How To Clean It Up.
BUT REMEMBER, THE SOLUTION TO EVERY PROBLEM IS MORE REGULATION: “The federal agency responsible for ensuring that the Deepwater Horizon was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that the rig be inspected at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows. In fact, the agency’s inspection frequency on the Deepwater Horizon fell dramatically over the past five years, according to federal Minerals Management Service records. . . . In fact, last year MMS awarded the rig an award for its safety history.”
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Apologizing for Arizona. “This is unfreakingbelievable, even for the Obama administration.”
RAID: “At about this time, the officer’s weapon discharged one round which, tragically, struck 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in the neck/head area.” In their defense, they were looking for a violent criminal, not — as is so often the case — serving a warrant for nonviolent drug crimes.
MARKDOWNS ON bar tools and glasses.
CAN CAMERAS AND SOFTWARE replace referees?
I’M SURE THIS IS THE ISRAELIS’ FAULT SOMEHOW: Hamas destroys dozens of homes in southern Gaza:
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) – Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said.
Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers said the homes were built illegally on government land. Newly homeless residents were furious over Palestinians on bulldozers razing Palestinian homes.
For years, Palestinians have criticized Israel for destroying houses, mostly because they were built without permits issued by the military. Now, Rafah residents complained, their own government, run by the Islamic militant Hamas that seized power in Gaza in July 2007, has done the same.
Meet the new boss, who you only wish was the same as the old boss. . . .
JAMES ELY: Stevens, Kagan and property rights. “Little people beware – you’re beside the point.”
BOY SCOUTS in Iraq.
THIS WEEK in the future.
SAYUNCLE VIDEOBLOGS. He emails that he’s using the Kodak Playsport. “Only complaint is the audio is a bit weak. But we were surrounded by 70,000 people.” Well, that’s a tough environment, though the Zi8 allows an external microphone. But with that much noise, you just have to get close, or go somewhere quieter. Fancier equipment — like the Sennheiser Evolution microphones we use for PJTV — can handle that background noise, but the microphone alone costs more than these miniature video cameras. (And don’t buy one thinking you can use it with the Zi8 — you can’t.) And SayUncle’s audio is entirely intelligible, though it could be a bit louder against the background noise.
ARNOLD CONFRONTS REALITY: Arnold Schwarzenegger calls for state welfare to be ended in California.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has compared his state’s financial crisis to that of Greece and called for scrapping the state welfare system to close a $19.1 billion budget gap. He said the US state, with an economy that ranks as the eighth largest in the world, faced the same budget deficit crisis as eurozone countries such as Greece, Spain and Ireland. . . . Democratic State Senate President Darrell Steinberg said his party, which controls both chambers of the legislature, could not support Schwarzenegger.
“The cuts are absolutely unacceptable,” Steinberg said, adding that instead of slashing spending Schwarzenegger should delay business tax breaks.
Yep, sounds like Greece all right.
UPDATE: Reader Dale Russell writes: “When can we expect to see Californians rioting, burning down buildings, etc.? It is time for the entitlement class to hit the streets.” Well, we’ve already seen a bit of that.
IGNORE DISGRACE and people will soon forget it, apparently. But what is it with Harvard and plagiarism, anyway?
HOW STUDENT LOANS helped destroy America. “Destroy” may be a bit strong, but I do think that student loans have been a very bad development, encouraging price inflation in academia while saddling graduates with enormous — and non-bankruptable — debt.
SOME PEOPLE WILL BE COMFORTED BY THIS: Being Bad at Relationships Is Good for Survival.
“LET IT BURN.” A reader emails, “These sorts of sentiments are becoming rather more widespread and openly stated.”
A SCANDAL IN FLORIDA: “Police records show that Dennis Stackhouse cultivated a cozy relationship with the mother and aide of U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek as the congressman supported the developer’s project. Meek says he didn’t know about a mortgage deal given to the aide.”
FATHER’S DAY MARKDOWNS on computers and accessories.
STEPHEN GREEN’S WEEK IN BLOGS: It’s Not A Purge, It’s An Insurrection. Plus, how to get a free year’s subscription to PJTV.
MORE WORRIES about the Euro.
UPDATE: Just out of curiosity, what happens if the Euro craters? Will Euros be like confederate money, or will there be a transition where they can be exchanged for deutschmarks, francs, etc? If the former, it seems as if we’d have a colossal financial collapse. If the latter, it seems kind of complicated. That may be the Euro’s greatest source of strength . . . .
HOW TO GUARD AGAINST sexual injuries.
SPANISH JUDGE BALTAZAR GARZON GOT THE BOOT, and Jose Guardia has some thoughts.
LOWER TESTOSTERONE means getting less sleep? And here I thought it worked the other way . . . .
UH OH: Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds: Many more of Iceland’s volcanoes seem to be stirring. Bring back transatlantic dirigibles? So long as I get a nice stateroom, and there’s a bar.
Or, you know, we could go suborbital. Faster or slower, that seems to be the choice. . . .
IN THE MAIL: From Susan Westmoreland, The Good Housekeeping Cookbook.
IF YOU MISSED IT LAST NIGHT ON SIRIUS/XM SATELLITE RADIO, the latest PJM Political is now online.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: America is now a campus, and Obama is our Dean. Nonsense. No Dean would rock the boat so rashly, or offend the money folks so gratuitously, or put the college into so much debt. On the other hand, Hanson hits the nail on the head in other ways.
PROF. JACOBSON: Is It His Katrina Yet? “The evidence mounts of bungled permitting, delays in response, and understating the impact.” Of course, he’s got the press running interference, rather than playing gleeful executioner. So that’s a plus.
UPDATE: Reader Fred Schoeneman writes:
My Schadenfreude-ometer is pegged. As much as I enjoy the Obama administration squirming over their recent mis-steps in the gulf, and making comparisons to the previous administration’s failures in New Orleans, I’m not the one who gets to call this Obama’s Katrina. Nor are you. But the kids over at Firedoglake are.
Heh. Indeed. It’s definitely been a botch, and although the press has been soft-pedaling it, the fact that Obama got more money from BP than any other politician is sure to get more public notice as this disaster unfolds.
TEA PARTIERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! “Multi-national political movements are indeed an old concept. It should strike us as curious then that there has never been, as far as I can tell, an international movement focused on the tenets of individual liberty.”
RAND SIMBERG: A Translation Guide to the Obama Space Program. “It isn’t the ‘death knell for U.S. human space exploration.’ It’s simply the death knell for a egregiously unaffordable NASA program.”
ELENA KAGAN: Bad on guns?
MARKDOWNS ON flat-panel TVs.
SOMEWHERE, Clint Eastwood is smiling.
POOR OBAMA: For all his awesomeness, utterly powerless against the Bush legacy.
SHOCKER: Media blow it on Japan, again. Though I thought the Texas gay-bar line was at least mildly amusing.
SHOCKER: WH in panic due to Jewish sentiment? Donors running away? If true, I can’t blame them. . . .
MORE RUBES SELF-IDENTIFY: 2,000 US Actors, Prominent Liberals Accuse Obama of “War Crimes,” Says He’s “Worse Than Bush” For Authorizing Assassination of Anwar al-AwlakI. Ah, remember the fierce moral urgency of change? How’s that working for you, guys? . . .
MARKDOWNS ON FATHER’S DAY GIFTS in tools and home improvement.
CHARLIE CRIST: “I’m going to keep it!”
OPSEC PROBLEMS for British forces in Afghanistan? “Senior officer banned from elite unit’s HQ over tell-all book, while its commander takes aim at US general for breaking code of silence on operations.”
THEY’RE NOT “DEATH PANELS.” THEY’RE “PATRIOTIC DUTY PANELS.”
One fashionable notion among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have “a duty to die,” rather than become a burden to others.
This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already Britain’s government-run medical system is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. It seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when US medical care is taken over by the government.
Make no mistake: Letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.
There was a time when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly would simply go off to face their fate alone.
But is that where we are today?
Another reason for a carbon tax — if global warming strikes, we won’t be able to put them out to sea on an ice floe! It all makes sense now . . . .
UPDATE: Numerous readers send variations on “ObamaCare is people!”
LOOKING FOR THE CAUSE OF THE ammunition shortage.
ROUNDUP: Most Memorable Robin Hood Movies.
VIRGINIA POSTREL SENDS THIS, which looks like a worthy cause: A sort of Ronald McDonald House for wounded veterans.
WHAT OBAMA DIDN’T TELL CONGRESS: The health-care bill doesn’t cover re-election efforts. If only they’d taken the time to read it first . . . .
DEATH OF AN AMERICAN ICON. Now it’s personal, Bloomberg. . . .
TOM MAGUIRE: “As to the Death Drones, if Bush did this targeting [of] Americans we would read about nothing else, and I would support it. But don’t look for me to exert a lot of effort splashing pixels on Obama’s behalf – he can deal with his crazed base himself.”
MEGAN MCARDLE: Even More Bad News On The Health Care Cost Front. “I hope there’s a money tree somewhere to pay for all of this.”
IF YOU MISSED IT THE OTHER DAY, check out my interview with David Kirkham of the Utah Tea Party, on booting Bennett, and what’s next. Lots of advice for other Tea Party organizers. And if you like what you’re seeing on PJTV, consider subscribing.
A LESSON FOR OBAMA FROM SPAIN: Cut federal salaries? Yes, we can. “Mr. Zapatero will now impose a 5-percent across-the-board reduction in government salaries. Ministers will take a more substantial, but mostly symbolic, 15-percent cut. More importantly, the government will freeze pension benefits and eliminate a number of non-essential benefits. A total of 13,000 unnecessary government employees will be cut loose.”
PETER BERKOWITZ: Why Liberal Education Matters: “The true aim of the humanities is to prepare citizens for exercising their freedom responsibly.” Is that aim reflected in how humanities are taught now? No. “The drop in humanities enrollments has a lot to do with the pretentious and opaque theorizing that humanities professors have inserted between students and the study of history, literature and philosophy. Meanwhile, confused faculty and incoherent university curricula encourage students to equate liberal education with studying whatever they please. Education for freedom requires more systematic training.”
RACISM IN AMERICA: Are Liberals Anti-WASP?
GREECE SYNDROME: The fiscal equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome.
4 AMAZING BUT COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY kitchen gadgets.
EVERY TREE a quantum mechanic?
IN THE MAIL: From Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.
9,500 “PRIORITY CUSTOMERS” have already reserved a Nissan Leaf.
MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Palin In The Mainstream. “As I listened to the speech, I was struck by how Palin’s positions are widely shared. She opposes the health care law — so does the public. She’s concerned about the federal deficit — so is the public (see question 10b). She supports the Arizona illegal immigration law — so does the public. She supports the right to life — and the public is moving toward her. She supports the Afghanistan surge and the current course in Iraq — both Obama administration policies.”
ROGER SIMON: “Goin’ to Chicago”… for the Climate Conference.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD ON CLIMATEGATE: Global Green Meltdown Gains Momentum. “We trust the experts less and less, but they keep coming to us for money. . . . Experts armed with computer models are just guessing: that is the corrosive message coming out of the economic and political turmoil that has engulfed the world economy in the last three years. Look for the populist backlash to grow, and look for the global climate treaty to be one of its victims.”
THE BATTLE for the Internet.
JUSTIN HIGGINS: A Need to Connect With Those Society Forgets. Sometimes, they don’t want to be connected with, though.
MICHAEL YON IS COVERING THE TURMOIL IN THAILAND and posting frequent updates on Facebook. He emails: “Possible civil war breaking out. Kind of surreal. (Much of the fighting is happening right outside my hotel.) About 16 were killed yesterday with about another 140 wounded. It’s a no-kidding fight.”
UPDATE: More blogging on Thailand here.
IT MOVED LEFT, HEMORRHAGED VIEWERS, and now Law & Order has been cancelled. Along with a bunch of other shows.
JOHN HINDERAKER: The Looming Obama Debt Disaster. “Under the Obama administration’s current fiscal plans, the national debt in the US (on a gross basis) will climb to above 100pc of GDP by 2015 – a far steeper increase than almost any other country.”
What riled Utah Republicans against Bob Bennett? One complaint was that he sponsored a health-care bill with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden to eliminate the tax preference for employer-provided health insurance and subsidize premiums. The party activists and tea partiers who thronged to the state party convention evidently have little appetite for bipartisan initiatives—even those that might have saved the republic from what they regard as the ravages of ObamaCare. More important, apparently, was Mr. Bennett’s vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in September 2008. This was the kind of emergency legislation politicians expect to be unpopular but most regard as essential. Such bills tend to pass with the votes of members of both parties with safe seats. But sometimes those seats prove not to be so safe. Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss was nearly beaten in 2008 after voting for TARP. And now TARP seems to have ended the Senate career of Bob Bennett. . . .
If you move across the country, from the desert-like landscape where the Wasatch Mountains look out on the Great Salt Lake to the green trees in the hills and hollows of northern West Virginia, you find another defeated incumbent. Democrat Alan Mollohan was first elected to represent the 1st congressional district of West Virginia in 1982. His father was elected to represent the district nine times—in 1952 and 1954, and again from 1968 to 1980.
But 46 years of representation by the Mollohan family were rewarded with only 44% of the votes in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary. State Senator Mike Oliverio, who opposed the Democrats’ health-care bill, won 56%, carrying 14 of the district’s 20 counties.
Mr. Mollohan has been accused of using his senior position on the Appropriations Committee to earmark spending in ways that benefited him and his family—obviously a political liability. But he was also attacked for not strongly opposing the Democrats’ cap-and-trade bill—unpopular in coal-dependent West Virginia—and for voting for the health-care bill after stating that he would not do so if it funded abortions.
I think that there are no longer any truly safe seats, and that the old-style political games aimed at fooling, or at least pacifying, the voters back home don’t work as well as they used to.
Barone concludes: “How many overdogs are in trouble? Probably more than those who currently think so.”
Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed $12.4 billon in cuts to California’s budget would reduce state spending to levels unseen since… 2008!
Surely, Californians were suffering a from a dearth of government all those years ago.
JOHN FUND: A Republican Revival In Massachusetts?
NOTED FINGER-POINTER tired of all the finger-pointing. Tough. There’ll be much, much more of it to come, and the fingers will be pointing at you.
POLANSKI never stopped.
FEARS GROW over weaker Euro.
PHOTOS FROM THE CINCINNATI TEA PARTY’S ONGOING Read The Bill Marathon, in which the ObamaCare bill is being read out loud by volunteers, over a period of days.
WHAT ARIZONA’S ETHNIC STUDIES STUDENTS are reading.
TEA PARTY TV: Dana Loesch: This Week In Tea.
HOW TO MAKE VISA fulfill your every desire.