Saturday, December 27, 2008

I told you, stop saying this stuff!

Jules Crittenden:
"Because war and the defense of freedom, contrary to the misty Hallmark rearview of people unwilling to take any action to do so, is not a pretty or an easy thing. I’d add that it is with tremendous grace that George Bush has accepted his designated role as villain, fall guy, punching bag, even as president-elect Barack Obama picks up where Bush is leaving off. Maybe someday they’ll look back at that small footnote, Bush’s magnanimous handling of the not-so-friendly fire, as another sign of his great statesmanship. Much as Lincoln, revealed as an “ape” by lesser pols and small opinionmongers in his time, is today the statesman, commander in chief and champion of freedom everyone wants to be compared to."

Would you PLEASE stop trying to tell me this isn't Bush's fault!

Doug Ross on the Community Reinvestment Act:
All that said, these factors pale in comparison to the underlying instigator: a changed policy within the Clinton administration. Andrew Cuomo’s HUD and Janet Reno’s Justice Department threatened banks with a variety of sanctions unless they loosened underwriting standards. Their aim: to hit certain thresholds for loans to the urban poor. Securitization, leverage and poor ratings were all built upon the underlying subprime rot caused by the Clinton administration’s egregious experiments.

Be careful what you ask for...

Grow Up! by Mark Steyn:
"Hey, that’s great news, isn’t it? After all, everyone knows Americans consume too much. What was it that then Senator Obama said on the subject? “We can’t just keep driving our SUVs, eating whatever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees at all times regardless of whether we live in the tundra or the desert and keep consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources with just 4 percent of the world’s population, and expect the rest of the world to say you just go ahead, we’ll be fine.”

And boy, we took the great man’s words to heart. SUV sales have nosedived, and 72 is no longer your home’s thermostat setting but its current value expressed as a percentage of what you paid for it. If I understand then Senator Obama’s logic, in a just world Americans would be 4 percent of the population and consume a fair and reasonable 4 percent of the world’s resources. And in these last few months we’ve made an excellent start toward that blessed utopia: Americans are driving smaller cars, buying smaller homes, giving smaller Christmas presents.

And yet, strangely, President-Elect Obama doesn’t seem terribly happy about the Obamafication of the American economy......

The NT Times seems a bit conflicted, too.

Just another version of the same song...

As EMI and Apple Delay Beatles Reissues, Bootleg Sales Boom
"It is not for lack of interest at either end of the food chain that the Beatles can’t manage to get upgraded versions of their classic recordings onto the market, except by way of a video game or a site-specific show (Cirque du Soleil’s “Love,” in Las Vegas)."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Them's my Redskins....

Why Ohio Makes the Best Coaches:
"Ohio schools have long been known as proving grounds for young coaches. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, which has been called the 'Cradle of Coaches' (Messrs. Hayes, Parseghian and Schembechler all coached there), is where Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma's heralded offensive coordinator, got his first job running a major-college offense. Mr. Saban of Alabama got his first head-coaching gig at Toledo in 1990 and Bowling Green, just 20 miles away, gave Mr. Meyer, coach of the No. 1-ranked Florida Gators, his first team to command in 2001."

Do we need any more evidence that the Nobel Prize is no evidence of intelligence?

Barack Be Good
"Before Mr. Obama can make government cool, however, he has to make it good. Indeed, he has to be a goo-goo.

Goo-goo, in case you’re wondering, is a century-old term for “good government” types, reformers opposed to corruption and patronage. Franklin Roosevelt was a goo-goo extraordinaire. He simultaneously made government much bigger and much cleaner. Mr. Obama needs to do the same thing."

Here we have all the evidence we need that that the Bambi-watching Krugman has become (or has always been) a full-blown fool. In lock-step with the "compassionate government" crowd (my kids and their friends are in this, too) we are supposed to buy into the notion that the world's largest corporate bureaucracy , mired in process, union contracts, corruption, and silly political rules is somehow supposed to become "good". Oh, how marvelous a thing we shall have! If we can only make it bigger, it will be that much better! So, how'd we do with that whole thing making the banks and the insurance companies "bigger"? Yes, but our intentions were good....
Now, I don't really want to rain on this naive, adolescent parade; but I feel I must - if nothing else than to finally prove that Krugman is little more than a self-promoting snake oil salesman. First, his charactization of Roosevelt is so dead wrong, but appropriately self-serving, that I had to stop wretching before I could even write this. Second, do we really need to discuss the fact that institutions and things cannot be anthropomorphized into "good" or "bad" moral entities (hence the Bambi reference)? Do you own a "compassionate" car? Perhaps and empathetic washing machine?

If you think politicizing your health care is going to make it any better - please take a look at the last 25 years and tell me how we've done so far. If you think throwing (more) money at the educational system is going to get the job done - please tell me you don't work in the evidence department at your local police station. Do we really need to discuss the histories of Social Security, the CIA, the State Department, and just about each and every government department you can think of in order to finally realize that "bigger" in almost never "better" - unless, of course, you work in those places.

But, no... Mr. Krugman sees it otherwise. Methinks because he (like so many others) believes that from behind his cushy little desk at his well-endowed school, he can run your life so much better than you can. You see, he won a medal.....

Update: At least I'm not the only one who's a sceptic.....

Is this "re-gifting"?

The UAW Reneges:
"The government gave the Big Three a $17.3 billion bailout based on the idea that both management and the unions would make concessions. Now the UAW says no thanks. Can we have our money back?"

Scary stuff with a 10 year old vegetarian....

All’s Fair in the Middle School Scramble
"In the quest to find the perfect middle school for her 10-year-old daughter, Aimée Margolis has zig-zagged across Manhattan for 11 school visits, grilled pre-teenagers at a school fair on music classes and the preferred attire at dances, and compiled a dog-eared folder full of notes.
Then there is the bathroom test."

Althouse weighs in, too.

Oh, how we bought into that BS....

The "Insights" of Paul Ehrlich
It is, I suppose, possible to find a "key insight" about population growth in Ehrlich's book that's anodyne enough to qualify as "elementary" and irrefutable. But there's a pretty good reason that the book is remembered primarily for its mix of hysteria and moral idiocy: When you kick off your argument by predicting that "the battle to feed all of humanity is over," and that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now," and then proceed to argue for mass sterilization programs, the quarantine and abandonment of countries too overpopulated to save from total collapse, and various other "triage" methods (honestly, The Population Bomb has to be read to be believed), you pretty much forfeit the right to be praised for your prescience forty years down the line.

And, of course, there's no way we could be repeating that same hysteria now, is there? We just luuuv to use the latest scientific fads combined with our self-loathing to come up with recipes for curing our sick, sick society of all its ills. Is there really any difference between the followers of Erlich, the Al Gore sycophants, and the apocalyptic religious fanatics (see the movie "The Seventh Sign") who think that we need to be punished for our collective sins?

Not really....... so just chill a bit, take a deep breath and then try and go live your life as best you can without trying to tell everyone else what they must do to be righteous, pure, and green, i.e. shut the fuck up! (Please...)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thank you, Megan...

Hypocrisy, or rationality?
"I have a theory of government which says that the government should make these kinds of interventions only where they benefit society as a whole, not when they almost exclusively benefit the interests to whom the money is given. (I make exceptions for those who are, temporarily or permanently, unable to care for themselves. But that doesn't describe the autoworkers, except insofar as I think they should get unemployment insurance and relocation help. And anyway, I digress.)

Now, I may be wrong about my judgement that the collapse of the financial industry will destroy the economy in a way that the collapse of Detroit will not. But it's not some belief that I just cooked up yesterday to justify giving outrageous amounts of money to my friends on Wall Street while sticking it to the UAW--indeed, a year ago any left-wing development economist could have happily and easily enumerated all the countries where a financial crisis had far, far worse results than, say, the collapse of the national automaker."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Little Green Footballs:

Our headline of the day: Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety.

Can you imagine what the Democrats would say if this was an inquiry into either Bush or Cheny?

Nothing is ever as it originally seems...

All of Hoover’s Men:
"When Ronald Reagan pardoned Felt, Nixon apparently sent him a bottle of champagne. But ironies aside, the entire episode illustrates the ways in which subsequent information changes our understanding of history. The sheep and the goats change places, not once but several times as new data becomes available. What will Woodward and Bernstein be remembered by posterity for? Will it be for unmasking All the President’s Men or facilitating Jimmy Carter’s rise to power?"

The most interesting piece I have read in a while. Read the WHOLE THING, and then wonder about history and its judgments.

Science vs. Science

Science Adviser’s Unsustainable Bet :
"But the predicted famines and resource shortages never arrived. Instead, the amount of food consumed per capita around the world increased over the following decades, and the prices of food and natural resources continued their long-term downward trend. Even though poor countries rejected the coercive population-control policies advocated by Dr. Ehrlich, even though population boomed, even though the store of minerals in the Earth was finite, people adapted and ended up better off. Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Holdren would have lost their bet whether they’d picked food or energy or other natural resources."

"Change" you could have predicted with an old fashioned 8-ball...

Welcome to 'Nepotism Nation':
'...They want someone else on the ballot with that star power who can raise the money.'

Would someone please draw a dark line of distinction between what we call a scandal in Illinois and business as usual in New York? Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell a vacant Senate seat, while New York Gov. Paterson is expected to give a Senate seat to the woman whose family can raise lots of money for his benefit."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

History, schmistory....

Another Great Depression?
"If Barack Obama wants political success, following in the footsteps of FDR looks like the way to go. But people who are concerned about the economy need to take a closer look at history. We deserve something better than repeating the 1930s disasters.

There is yet another factor that provides a parallel to what happened during the Great Depression. No matter how much worse things got after government intervention under Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, the party line was that he had to “do something” to get us out of the disaster created by the failure of the unregulated market and Hoover’s “do nothing” policies.

Today, increasing numbers of scholars recognize that FDR’s own policies were a further extension of interventions begun under Hoover. Moreover, the temporary rise in unemployment after the stock market crash was nowhere near the massive and long-lasting unemployment after government interventions."

Grandma Government...


The Op-Ed the New York Times Wouldn’t Run:
"I must conclude by acknowledging that in one respect Bill is probably being absolutely truthful. When he says that “I never killed or injured anyone,” he is most likely being totally honest. Bill, like Charles Manson, never exposed himself to any kind of danger. He always gave orders and then left it to his then-girlfriend, Diane Oughton, and others to implement his plan. If you listen closely you can even hear the similarities in the arguments Manson and Billy use today to justify what they did: the 60s made me do it."

Monday, December 22, 2008

You can eat what you kill....

Washington Is Killing Silicon Valley
"From the beginning of this decade, the process of new company creation has been under assault by legislators and regulators. They treat it as if it is a natural phenomenon that can be manipulated and exploited, rather than the fragile creation of several generations of hard work, risk-taking and inventiveness. In the name of 'fairness,' preventing future Enrons, and increased oversight, Congress, the SEC and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have piled burdens onto the economy that put entrepreneurship at risk.

The new laws and regulations have neither prevented frauds nor instituted fairness. But they have managed to kill the creation of new public companies in the U.S., cripple the venture capital business, and damage entrepreneurship. According to the National Venture Capital Association, in all of 2008 there have been just six companies that have gone public. Compare that with 269 IPOs in 1999, 272 in 1996, and 365 in 1986."

And it is only going to get worse, my friends. The "share the wealth" crowd that has taken over/hijacked the government will make sure of it to make sure that the commonfolk remain completely dependent upon them to live......

Quote of the Day:

History, however, teaches that it is difficult for Congress to be only intermittently invertebrate.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We done fucked-up!

Can You Still See the USA in Your Chevrolet?
"General Motors now has a market valuation about a third of Bed, Bath And Beyond, and no one says your Swash 700 Elongated Biscuit Toilet Seat Bidet is too big to fail. GM has a market capitalization of just over two billion dollars. For purposes of comparison, Toyota’s market cap is one hundred billion and change (the change being bigger than the whole of GM). General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a vast retirement home with a small loss-making auto subsidiary. The UAW is the AARP in an Edsel: It has three times as many retirees and widows as “workers” (I use the term loosely). GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people."