Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pajamas Media

Media Hacks Sandbag the Teabaggers:
"It’s the Alinsky way. Or as Ron Burgundy might say, “You stay classy, Anderson Cooper!”"

Finally, some clear thinking about Columbine and children...

The High Cost of Coddling:
"It is, of course, the responsibility of the state to provide some sort of education to all its children under the age of 18, and so for a host of legal, moral and economic reasons we end up with an ugly truth about our nation's schools: By design, they contain within them -- right alongside the good kids who are getting an education and running the yearbook and student government -- kids whose criminal rehabilitation is supposedly being conducted simultaneously with their academic instruction.

As someone who taught school for a decade and who has now been a mother for about as long, I can tell you that -- when it comes to children -- the rigid exercise of 'due process' in matters of correction and discipline makes for high comedy at best and shared tragedy at worst. Someone needs to stand apart from children and decide what is best for them and for those around them. When it comes to matters of state-ordered punishment, someone needs to stand apart from their parents, too, and make the necessary decisions. It's a complete bummer; I will grant you that.

Who would possibly be willing to side not with the students of an institution -- those fun-loving creatures of the now -- but with the institution itself, a place ostensibly devoted, above all else, to the well-being of its population? I'll tell you who: adults. Remember"

Quote of the Day...

“This people, small as it is, surrounded as it is by enemies, has decided to live. And if we have to pay the price for living, we have to pay it. This is not a people that can give in.” (Golda Meir)

Let's see what Bama Boy does about it....

Iran Sentences American Journalist to 8 Years in Prison
Iran has sentenced an Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, to eight years in prison after convicting her of spying for the United States, her lawyer said Saturday.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was “deeply disappointed” by what the State Department has called baseless charges against Ms. Saberi, and demanded her release.

“We will continue to vigorously raise our concerns to the Iranian government,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement released Saturday.

I'll take the "under".... he's to chicken to ruffle their feathers.

A matter of style...

The Volokh Conspiracy:
"It has finally happened. With yesterday's naming of Border Czar Alan Bersin, the Obama administration has by any reasonable reckoning passed the Romanov Dynasty in the production of czars. The Romanovs ruled Russia from 1613 with the ascension of Michael I through the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in 1917. During that time, they produced 18 czars. While it is harder to exactly count the number of Obama administration czars, with yesterday's appointment it seems fair to say it is now certainly in excess of 18."

Live Tea or Die! Are Americans subjects or citizens?

Mark Steyn:
"Asked about the tea parties, President Obama responded that he was not aware of them. As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them drink Lapsang Souchong.” His Imperial Majesty at Barackingham Palace having declined to acknowledge the tea parties, his courtiers at the Globe and elsewhere fell into line. Talk-show host Michael Graham spoke to one attendee at the 2009 Boston Tea Party who remarked of the press embargo: “If Obama had been the King of England, the Globe wouldn’t have covered the American revolution.”"

Maybe he should have bent over and kissed his ass...

Obama, Chavez Shake Hands at Summit of the Americas

Gay Patriot agrees..... and then some.

Patterico: Our Useful Idiot President
Q. What’s the difference between Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez?
A. One is grinning as he shakes the hand of a socialist. The other one is Barack Obama.

Ah! To be Liberal and Progressive....

Campus Leftists Don't Believe in Free Speech
I don't know of a single leftist speaker among the thousands who visit campuses every term who has been obstructed or attacked by conservative students, who are too decent and too tolerant to do that. The entire evening in Texas reminded me of the late Orianna Fallaci's observation that what we are facing in the post-9/11 world is not a "clash of civilizations," but a clash of civilization versus barbarism.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I have no doubts...

Extremist: 'I Question the Timing!'
Glenn Beck was called a kook for saying that the Obama administration was threatening civil liberties. Now John Ziegler gets handcuffed for the crime of journalism and Team Obama is turning Homeland Security loose against dometic political opponents. Who's the kook now?

Quote of the Day...

David Brooks:
"Israel’s enemies claim the country is an outpost of Western colonialism. That’s not true. Israel is, in large measure, a Middle Eastern country, and the Israeli-Arab dispute is in part an intra-Mideast conflict."

Does "excessive" mean actually finding real risks in our own Congress?

Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law:
"And in one previously undisclosed episode, the N.S.A. tried to wiretap a member of Congress without a warrant, an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The agency believed that the congressman, whose identity could not be determined, was in contact — as part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East in 2005 or 2006 — with an extremist who had possible terrorist ties and was already under surveillance, the official said. The agency then sought to eavesdrop on the congressman’s conversations, the official said.

The official said the plan was ultimately blocked because of concerns from some intelligence officials about using the N.S.A., without court oversight, to spy on a member of Congress."

You can always count on Obama's buddy Al to say the right thing....

Somebody's got to clean up the mess....

After the Bank Failure Comes the Debt Collector

As he points out, it isn’t his fault that Mr. Shoulders overextended himself by borrowing $10 million to add the spa, a preschool, tennis courts and other amenities to his once-modest health club. And by moving aggressively to collect on loans like these, Mr. Williamson says, he is playing a crucial role in helping clean up the bad debts that are clogging the economy.

“If you want to fix what is ailing this country, you need to destroy the worthless debt out there,” he said, adding with characteristic candor, “You have to shut down the zombies, liquidate their assets.”

Actually, it's called facism...

Capital Gains and Games:
"People complain that the word 'socialist' is being inappropriately used to demonize attempts at restoring economic growth. That may be true in many cases, but how is the label not valid here? Government officials are making decisions about how to direct the means of production. And they are doing so without prior authorization or agreement and with the goal of sustaining employment in undproductive pursuits. What else would you call it? Some days it seems like the only things missing from this picture of collectivism are the the guns pointed at the citizens and the widespread starvation. But I suppose we are still at the beginning of this process."

Yeah, we're not going to have an economy, just a Federal budget...

Jerrty Pournelle:
"The way things are headed now, the best career is a government job. Use the time you have to put in to learn how to do something you want to do, then use your retirement time to do it. It's not spectacular, and having the best and the brightest become government time servers won't do much for the economy, but you won't have to work very hard and you can retire without having to scrabble for your next meal. At my age that seems far more attractive than it did thirty years ago. Given the economy and the war on business and success ushered in by the last election -- and the steps now being taken to make the new trend toward Europeanization of America permanent and irreversible -- young people ought to think hard about where they will be in twenty or thirty years. Live long and prosper. But do not take the government as an example. Save, be thrifty, and do all your paperwork. Your real life will begin when you retire."

Gee, but Obama says they are just plain nice folks....

Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?:
"There are undoubtedly people who have a more vivid memory of Will Farrell’s 'Saturday Night Live' version of the 'Axis of Evil' — the one in which Farrell, as President George W. Bush, denounced Iran, Iraq and 'one of those Koreas' — than of the real thing from Bush's 2002 State of the Union address. A lot of comedians made a lot of fun of the 'Axis of Evil' concept. But now, more than seven years later, it's looking pretty solid."

Kids today just don't know how good they have it....

Hit & Run:

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove reminds us that it has been 15 years since Americans experienced a tax hike:

In 2008, voters were less worried about taxes than they had been in previous elections. Why? Because the 15 years between President Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike and Barack Obama’s increase in cigarette taxes in February was the longest stretch in U.S. history without a federal income tax increase.

Just to put the dates in perspective, those 15 years span essentially the entirety of my life as a politically aware person (I was born in 1980). Those 15 years also roughly coincided with much ballyhooed, now defunct “end of history”—the period where many people believed that the great ideological questions were settled. Capitalism had triumphed over communism and socialism, liberalism over totalitarianism, and every one was settling in happily to lives where much of the public discourse centered around blow jobs. This year’s college freshmen were born in 1990. The Berlin Wall was already down when they were born, the great battles of the 21st century over. And, as Rove reminds us, they’ve never been even vaguely aware of a federal tax increase.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

But don't they love us now?

Why Sarkozy can't cope with Obama:
"Nicolas Sarkozy has no such excuse. He's not some backroom operative, he's a head of state. He's meant to run a country. That has not stopped the arrival of a new - taller, more handsome and popular - president on the scene from turning him into the kind of bitchy little princess that would make Graham Norton gasp.

Barack Obama? “Not up to standard on decision-making and efficiency,” President Sarkozy whispers. “Never even ran a ministry.” It would be funny if it weren't so pathetically obvious. Mr Sarkozy is out to strip the new boy of his shine."

The President of Apologies, the President of Nothing....

President of the World:
"At present the world is watching, probing, and digesting the Obama presidency. But it has already concluded that Obama is nourished by applause and will work to maintain it — not merely for personal gratification, but because he realizes that loud public endorsement is essential to his perpetual candidacy, given its absence of experience and sagacity.

Those abroad are also reassured that the American media, so heavily invested in hope and change, will do almost anything to transmogrify American embarrassments into Obama successes. Meanwhile, the contours of the new world order are clear. Iraq’s democrats are snubbed; Iran’s cutthroats are courted. A Saudi royal receives a bow; the British queen, a presumptuous squeeze — while her prime minister receives unplayable DVDs."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good enough for government work....

There are times when a unionized employee has been aggrieved and it is appropriate to exercise one’s contractual rights. Then there is James Kauchis, an accounting clerk at Broome County, New York’s Department of Social Services. Kauchis recently filed for compensation for his missed lunch hour on April 3. Far be it from me to deny a man his contractually required lunch hour but he was stuck in his office because the building was on lockdown by the police following the Binghamton citizenship exam massacre. The DSS even got permission to have pizza delivered to the staff. It is hard to contemplate the sheer size and density of the balls this man must have.

It's not really hypothetical....

Megan McArdle:
"If your mother or your daughter or your sister or your wife is dying of breast cancer, it doesn't matter to you how much the treatment costs relative to the benefit. And indeed, the political battle over health care is infused with the belief that you shouldn't have to think about cost--that it is immoral to deny anyone a treatment that might help them.

Unless we're willing to let health care expenses grow unchecked, someone is going to have to think about costs. But so far in America, I see no means to develop a culture which will allow bureaucrats to deny potentially life-saving treatments simply because they're costly--either in the free market or in a single payer system. Thus, I predict, costs will continue to grow."

Hell, we used to bitch about this when we were in college....

Why Faculty Are Like AIG Executives:
"Faculty embrace the value system of their employers as much as the executives of AIG’s Financial Products Division used to. Similarly, their bosses in the cabinets of their institutions seem to have lost focus on their core missions as much as the management committee of AIG had during the derivatives bubble. The coming lean years will show how much of the branches that support our higher ed institutions have been cut away in the past by a compensation system that incentivizes failure not only of students, but maybe also of entire institutions."

Oh, what a tangled web.....

Megan McArdle:
"I've been thinking a lot lately about the political theory of an independent central bank. A lot of the libertarians I know have deep issues with the activities of the Fed, which have been largely unaccountable to elected officials."

This is what happens when you put someone in charge who never actually did anything for a living....

Like economics, but backwards:
"Obamanomics: Progressive, but not progress."

Damned if you do...

Megan McArdle:
"Governor Paterson of New York, who stepped in to fill Spitzer's shoes, is now about as popular as a summer cold. In part, this is because he was never meant for prime-time; he's a ticket rounder without much political charisma. But he's also been handed a really lousy hand. All states are suffering in this downturn, but New York has spent twenty years getting used to the lavish spending that taxes on financial salaries enabled. If you try to take it away, they feel that their civil rights are being violated--and they take their righteous rage out on the nearest politician to hand."

It's called Doublespeak.....

Obama's New War Terminology Has Started a Trend:
"Yet, if the intention of the Obama administration is to tone down the confrontational rhetoric being used by our enemies, the effort is already reaping results. This week, in a pronounced shift from its usual theatrical style, the Taliban announced that it will no longer refer to its favorite method of murder as 'beheadings,' but will henceforth employ the expression 'cephalic attrition.' 'Flayings' -- a barbarously exotic style of execution that has been popular in this part of the world since before the time of Alexander -- will now be described as 'unsolicited epidermal reconfigurations.' In a similar vein, lopping off captives' arms will now be referred to as 'appendage furloughing,' while public floggings of teenaged girls will from here on out be spoken of as 'metajudicial interfacing.'

A Taliban spokesman reached in Pakistan said that the new phrasing was being implemented as a way of eliminating the negative associations triggered by more graphic terminology. 'The term 'beheading' has a quasi-medieval undertone that we're trying to get away from,' he explained. 'The term 'cephalic attrition' brings the Taliban into the 21st century. It's not that we disapprove of beheadings; it's just that the word no longer meshes with the zeitgeist of the era. This is the same reason we have replaced"