John Noonan takes a look back at Operation Homecoming.
Let’s pretend that I run two businesses. Widgets Inc enjoys sales of a million dollars per year, with net profits of a half million. At the same time, Doohickey Corporation has earnings of a billion dollars, with net profits of 20 million dollars per annum. Now let’s say that you have a million dollars, and you want to start a new business to compete with me. Would you rather make widgets or doohickeys?
If you answered “Doohickeys,” then you’re an ignoramus, or you might be Jimmy Carter.
The most dangerous legacy Carter left us with was the “windfall profits tax,” and I mean to explain why by using the Let’s Pretend example above.
Competing with Doohickey Corporation looks pretty sweet. I mean, they made 20 million dollars last year, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Heck, it’s not even anything to burp at, even one of those tiny burps you think no one else noticed during the dessert course. But if you look a little harder, you’ll find that Doo-Corp eked out a tiny 2% profit margin. Do you really think there’s room for your brand-new company in an industry with profit margins that small? I wish you the best of luck, but don’t look to me for any start-up money.
Widgets Inc is another story. Sure, they made “only” $500k
Ed and Melenie Lambert are two of my favorite people, and part of Ye Olde Dinner Party Gang – my family-by-choice. Their daughter (my sister? cousin? niece?) Beka is pretty damn cool, too.
Since it’s all the rage to denounce Ann Coulter, please keep in mind that VodkaPundit was way ahead of the curve on this one. Four years ago I called her a “hatchet-faced hatchet-job artist whose main claim to fame is a poorly-written book and a TKO over the fearsome Katie Couric.”
My opinion of her hasn’t changed one whit since then.
Forget frivolous patent lawsuits; the real BlackBerry killer might just be – surprise! – Microsoft.
Michael Totten is back from Iraq, and blogging up a storm. The first post is here, but he promises many, many more.
Lack of sleep? No problem. The slightest touch of whatever bug is popular around here? No big deal. Combine them, though, and what little brain function I have on a good day is…
…I can’t think of how to finish that sentence, so I think I’ll take the night off. See you Monday morning.
My “reluctance” to discuss Ann has very little to do with any double standard and more to do with a more general unwillingness to talk about her routine at all. But, even though I think Media Matters is something of a joke, that doesn’t mean the point isn’t valid. I don’t think Ann does anybody but herself any good when she jokes about killing presidents, Supreme Court justices or uses terms like raghead. I don’t think she should do it and I don’t think conservatives should applaud it. I’m all for shattering the stereotype that conservatives can’t tell a joke, but that doesn’t mean any joke is worth making just because it gets a laugh (indeed, some jokes shouldn’t be made for fear that they will generate a laugh). Regardless, if anyone thinks Ann is going to stop her act simply because she gets heat from the likes of me, they’re crazy.
Okay, it’s not exactly frightful here in Atlanta, where big, puffy flakes just started falling. It’s pretty lousy in Philadelphia, though, where my in-laws have been stuck in the airport since three this morning. They’re hearing now that they might get on their way (to Mexico, where hopefully snow is not a factor) by seven tonight.
Just in case you were thinking you were having a crummy day…
This is just wrong:
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) — Airport baggage screeners found a human head with teeth, hair and skin in the luggage of a woman who said she intended to ward off evil spirits with it, authorities said Friday.
Myrlene Severe, 30, a Haitian-born permanent U.S. resident, was charged Friday with smuggling a human head into the U.S. without proper documentation.
I don’t mean to say there’s something wrong with this woman carrying a human head around to ward off spirits. If there’s any difference between that and wafting incense or wearing garlic, then it’s just a matter of taste.
What’s wrong with this story is, it seems to imply that there’s such a thing as proper documentation for this kind of thing.
From The Truth About Cars:
Again, Wall Street was suitably unimpressed with GM’s black February. More importantly, so was United Auto Workers (UAW) President Big Ron Gettelfinger. Lest we forget, convincing the UAW to take one for the team was the whole point of the exercise, as Rabid Rick quickly pointed out: “I think it’s clear, now more than ever, that we very much have a shared fate.Comments Off
By contrast, in a spectacular exercise of self-censorship, almost every major newspaper in this country is refraining from publishing the controversial Danish cartoons, even though they are at the center of a major news story that these papers cover at length every day. An editorial in the Times on Wednesday said that not publishing the cartoons was “a reasonable choice” because they would offend many people and “are so easy to describe in words.” As I write I am looking at a front-page photo in today’s Times of Mariah Carey singing into a microphone. Words do it justice, I think.
The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy — to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.
What is at issue is fear. The unspoken reason many newspapers do not want to republish is not sensitivity but simple fear. They know what happened to Theo van Gogh, who made a film about the Islamic treatment of women and got a knife through the chest with an Islamist manifesto attached.
You should probably read both columns. You can even find them in the same place – the Washington Post’s Friday op-ed page. It’s interesting that the Post is one of those many, many American papers who won’t publish the cartoons. It’s even more interesting that Kinsley is the paper’s most reliable liberal columnist, and Krauthammer is the fiercest neocon. Yet here they are today in perfect harmony.
Now if only the editors of the Washington Post were half as brave as two of their diametrically opposed columnists.
In response to my question, “Where have the Democrats been,” someone calling himself “True Progressive” comments:
Oh know [sic], we don’t get a whiny neocon on our side. Big loss. Listen up, do think there is an “in-between” on social justice? Well there isn’t. So you take your Randian-fascist views and keep them to yourself. We progressives don’t need you, and we don’t need your militia-KKK buddies either. Keep pumping the corporate and Rovian messages over and over…we are watching you. You nazis won’t infiltrate us. You will be stopped.
Way to win the middle!
It used to be, Democrats prayed for high turnout on election day. The thinking was that a majority of voters held Democratic beleifs – and judging by the results, the thinking was correct. But if “True Progressive” is any indication, the vast majority is no longer welcome in his party, as evidenced by both his arguments and his attitude.
So if the Democrats aren’t about winning the majority, maybe they’re dedicated to disgusting us all so much, that they can win in low-turnout elections.
Some people think the armed forces are for people of lesser intelligence. Oh, really:
I majored in international relations, and minored in Arabic at the Virginia Military Institute. I studied abroad at the American Language Institute in Fez, Morocco, where I lived in an old medina with an Arab family. I took Arabic at VMI until they ran out of classes, and then had to press the higher-ups to invent more classes so I could continue my studies. I attended multipleComments Off
I am sick and tired of being taken advantage of by both political parties. But you know what? Before screwing me over, the Republicans have the decency to at least buy me dinner, and they always use plenty of lube. If only the Democrats were so thoughtful.
That crude imagery came to mind when I read the latest from Ann Althouse. Generally speaking, Ann writes that
In the year that I’ve been blogging I’ve taken a lot of different positions, some left and some right. What I’ve noticed, over and over, is that the bloggers on the right link to you when they agree and ignore the disagreements, and the bloggers on the left link only for the things they disagree with, to denounce you with short posts saying you’re evil/stupid/crazy, and don’t even seem to notice all the times you’ve written posts that take their side.
Ann and I arrived at the same conclusion, even though we chew on different slices of the political pie. She describes herself as “a political moderate.” My beliefs are a bit more radical
I’m working on something, and I think it’s going to annoy some people. The right people, I hope.
Meantime, sit back and break the threatened boycott by buying some Danish products.
Am I the last guy in America or maybe the world who just doesn’t care for U2? I mean, they’ve put out a few singles I didn’t hate, but if I hear anything off “The Joshua Tree” one more time, I’m going to step on hungry Third World children until Bono signs an affidavit admitting that “With Or Without You” is legally-smarmy dreck.
PS Same goes for REM, only more so.
OK, so maybe the MSM isn’t really a bunch of cowards. Perhaps they’re only cowards selectively:
CNN’s excuse is — and excuse the expression — complete bullshit. Did that consideration — “not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy” — stop CNN or any of the rest of the Western media from displaying those inflammatory photos from the Abu Graib prison scandal, globally, for weeks, and 24/7? No?
Ah, but you see, that case was different! Then they were only inflaming Muslims by trashing and insulting the fascistic American military. But here they would be inflaming Muslims by trashing and insulting anti-American terrorists. You do see the difference, don’t you? Unrestricted free speech is contextual: it all depends on whether you’re trashing the reputation of America, or that of its enemies.
We have seen the enemy, and he is us. Except he isn’t really us. The MSM have all-but-declared themselves the useful idiots of the other side. If only they were also dumb – as in, “mute.”
Related stuff here from Pieter Dorsman, who wonders why it’s “taking so long to get the west to formulate a proper response.”
UPDATE: At Cumulative Model, Aaron writes, “But the cartoons suck.”
Thomas Lifson accuses the press of cowardice:
If against all historical records, the Republicans really do gain seats in this mid-term election, it will be in large part because of Howard Dean:
This morning on ABC’s GOOD MORNING AMERICA, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean attacked President Bush for turning the United States into Iran.
Dean: “All we ask is that we not turn into a country like Iran where the President can do anything he wants.”
Leaving aside Dean’s overheated anti-Bush rhetoric, does he really think that Iran is a one-man dictatorship? It seems Dean knows as much about Iranian politics as he does about… well, anything else, really.
I can’t understand why anyone would want to protest the Olympics. Yet here they go:
Hundreds of street protesters, denouncing the Winter Games, forced Olympic torch bearers to change route through the host city on Thursday on the eve of the opening ceremony.
Games organizers diverted the flame from the protest site after the demonstrators gathered on the planned route and police warned of possible harm to torch bearers or spectators.
“We’ve succeeded today in making our voices heard,” a protest organizer called Marco shouted through a loud speaker. “They’ve diverted the flame.”
If Marco’s message to the world is that he’s a brat, then: We hear you loud and clear, buddy! Most annoying was this:
But a protester called Federico said: “Turin is using this as a showcase to the world. Why shouldn’t we use the same showcase to protest?”
Because the Olympics are about the athletes, and not any spoiled little shits who can do nothing better than get in the way.
Near the Gobi Desert, archaeologists have found a 160-million year-old ancestor of Tyrannosaurus Rex:
The primitive ancestor that lived 160 million years ago was a mere 10 feet long when it was alive, compared to the monster T. rex, who measured more than 40 feet from head to tail and dominated all the dinosaurs on Earth more than 90 million years later. Unlike T. rex, the smaller creature bore a striking but fragile crest atop its head, three fingers on the hands of its surprisingly long forearms and a long, slender snout.
To scientists, the find provides new clues to the evolution of the meat-eating dinosaur tribes known as therapods whose ancestral lineage relates them all to the world’s birds of today.
The crested dinosaur has been named Guanlong wucaii, meaning “crowned dragon of the five-colored rocks” — a reference both to the crest that runs from its nose to the back of its head and the colorful layers of sediment where two of the beasts, one atop the other, were discovered three years ago.
Cool. Also, I doubt I’m the only one who feels like an eight-year-old boy again every time I read about dinosaurs.
You might want to read Ryan Lizza’s just-published piece in The New Republic. Lizza looks at “Hillaryland,” otherwise known as the staff and advisors of Clinton’s senate office and presidential election campaign. (There does seem to be some small difference between the two.) It’s obvious from Lizza’s story that Hillary has put together an impressive machine – maybe the largest and most dedicated in Senate history.
That said, something in the second graf really got under my skin. Detailing Hillayland’s start-up days in the White House way back when, Lizza writes that
Bill Clinton staffers regarded the dwellers in Hillaryland as Kool-Aid drinkers with awful political judgment. Hillarylanders saw Bill’s people as showboats and referred to them dismissively as the “white boys.”
As a white boy myself, I don’t really want to get dismissed just because of my color and sex. I wonder how Lizza would have played that, if it were President Bush’s people dismissing Laura’s staff as “barefoot baby makers.”
In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show “prudence” when covering religion.
“The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression,” he told the newspaper. “We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.”
In other words, the EU’s official policy on free speech, when challenged by violent, immature, brainless barbarism is, “RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”