Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo!

Scariest first lady since Eleanor.

Update: OK, that's enough of that...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thomas Sowell on Medical Care

IBD:
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet has called him "our greatest contemporary philosopher," an opinion that British historian Paul Johnson shares in his book "A History of the American People."

Besides his weekly newspaper column, Sowell has written 43 books — 10 in the last five years — two monographs, 87 articles in periodicals and books, and 33 book reviews....

Dr. Sowell has granted IBD permission to run one of the chapters of Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One — The Economics of Medical Care — in its entirety.
Greg loaned me Black Rednecks and White Liberals last year. An excellent read. Thomas Sowell does not talk down to his audience. He makes complex economic ideas seem like plain common sense. Which, when you remove the jargon, they generally are.

Too bad Obama won't listen.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping Things In Perspective

Say Uncle has the Coolest thing you'll see today.

It's cool enough to link to from here.

Thanks, Unc!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Killed By Coyotes

The Globe and Mail:
Taylor Mitchell, a singer-songwriter from Toronto, was attacked by coyotes in Cape Breton and has died in hospital.

She was hiking alone on the Skyline trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Tuesday when she was attacked by two coyotes. Other hikers walking behind her heard her cries for help and called 911.

She was airlifted to hospital in Halifax, listed in critical condition, but she succumbed to her injuries early this morning.
Some commenters maintain that the coyotes in Cape Breton cross-breed with wolves. I'd never heard of Taylor Mitchell, but she looks to be about the age and size of my own daughter. Hiking alone. No match for wild dogs.

Via Taranto.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Embedded Pearls

Stephan Pastis, who writes Pearls Before Swine, also keeps a blog.
Got to fly in a Blackhawk helicopter over country X yesterday.

All was okay until the gunner on my left opened fire, followed by the gunner on my right.

This was unusual for me because on most of my prior commercial flights, no one has shot .50 caliber machine guns.

The good news is I did not cry like a little girl.

I did, however, scream like a little girl, which is much different.

Jeff Keane ("Family Circus") was also in the helicopter. I was significantly braver than he was.
Uh huh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sarah Palin Strikes Back

Melissa Clouthier in Pajamas Media.
With her decision to endorse Doug Hoffman, the conservative (not Republican) candidate, Sarah Palin sends the Republican Party a very clear message. She will be using her considerable fundraising ability to fund candidates who ideologically match what it used to mean to be a Republican. Since the Republican Party, from its toes to its nose, has difficulty identifying candidates with those credentials, she'll help them do it.

The Republican Party has a choice. They can continue to antagonize those who vote them into office or they can start paying attention. They mistakenly buy the D.C. bubble philosophy that moderation is the way to find good candidates. What they're seeing is a base willing to lose if the Republican Party doesn't change its ways.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Free, And Worth Every Penny

Greg Beato has a point.
Do you want to know the really bad news? Despite all the layoffs, buy-outs, and shutdowns that have afflicted the newspaper industry in the last year, there are still 46,700 newsroom employees working at the nation's 1,411 dailies, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors' 2009 census. That means we've still got years of alarmist op-ed pieces, Hail Mary revenue schemes, and Hail Congress calls for subsidies and rule changes before every last school board meeting in America goes unmonitored and we descend into chaos, corruption, and life without paid classified ads.
What's so bad about free classified ads?
Those ads used to be pithy and reliable, because it used to cost money to place one. If you had to fork over $20 to sell a couch, you wouldn't bother trying to sell some smelly, worn flea farm. Now, when it costs nothing to attempt to unload it, what have you got to lose except some potential buyer's valuable time? Thanks to Craigslist, the once-useful domain of classified ads has become a haven for junk peddlers, scam artists, poor spellers, and the long-winded.
Personally, I can put up with the spelling. It's the acres and acres of crap that I can't stand. The Nickel Ads are worth my time. Craigslist? Forget it.

Hat tip: Perfessor Reynolds.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Deserts

Professor Reynolds on the pay cuts.
The good news is, this will encourage companies to avoid getting into bed with the government in the future.
You lie down with dogs, you get up fleeced.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Devil Trails

No, not tattoos. Dust Devil Trails on Mars. Today's APOD.

All we're asking is 72 hours...

Rep. Greg Walden on Big Government.
H. Res. 554 has been bottled up in committee for months and the majority has no plans to bring it to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

That means the only way we can force a vote on it and bring some transparency to the peoples' house is through a discharge petition.

Here's how it works: to force an up-or-down vote, we need 218 signatures from members of Congress on the petition. As of this writing, we have 182 bipartisan signatures. That leaves us 36 signatures short of bringing real change to how the House conducts its business.

You can follow the progress here. Find out if your representative has signed the discharge petition.

All we're asking for is 72 hours to actually figure out what's in these important bills before a vote. The waiting period isn't solely an exercise for members of Congress. The public and press have a right to know what's buried in these bills too. Under H. Res. 554, all bills would be required to be posted in a searchable format online.
Click the link to find out if your rep. has signed.

I don't have to click. My Rep. is Greg Walden, and right now I'm pretty proud of him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mission To Moscow

Jonah spotted this one.
On Christmas Eve, 1942, screenwriter Howard Koch was packing for a trip to New York when he received an urgent summons to meet with his bosses, Warner Bros. founders Harry and Jack Warner.

After thanking Koch for his contributions to "Casablanca," which had opened a month earlier, the moguls ordered a reluctant Koch, as his patriotic duty, to whip out a script for an unusual pro-Soviet propaganda epic to be directed by "Casablanca" helmer Michael Curtiz.

"Mission to Moscow," which arrives on DVD Tuesday (at warnerarchive.com) after decades in obscurity, turned out to be Warner Bros.' most notorious production, an eye-catching jaw-dropper labeled by a critic as a "$2 million love letter" to dictator Joseph Stalin, now best remembered as the No. 2 mass murderer of the 20th century.
(After Chairman Mao, favorite philosopher of the Obama administration. Hitler was a distant third.)
"Mr. Stalin, history will remember you as a great leader," Davies tells a grandfatherly, benevolent Stalin, played by Manart Kippen, one of an army of character actors chosen for their resemblance to real-life figures.
Yes indeed. Read all about it at the New York Post (a trashy tabloid that is now the paper of record in Gotham).

Mission to Moscow is available on DVD or digital download directly from Warner Bros. Not yet on Amazon.

As Jonah says, get yours today!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's No Joke

Thomas Lipscomb asks What If Ayers' 'Joke' About Writing Dreams Is On the Press?
The various speculations by "wingnuts" in the blogosphere were no danger to Ayers/Obama. MSM reporter Andersen blowing it in a surprise question by an interviewer who actually had read his book (a rarity in itself) was a nightmare...
Andersen told a tale out of school, says Lipscomb, and so it was up to Ayers to walk it back, which he did by "teasing" bloggers with claims that he really did write it — gambling that they won't believe him.
The ultimate Ayers joke would be telling the truth and having the media think he was just yanking chains....

The case is still open on Ayers and any responsible news organization should press on.
Thomas Lifson concurs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sarah Palin's Notes

On Facebook.
Here's a novel idea. Instead of working contrary to the free market, let's embrace the free market. Instead of going to war with certain private sector companies, let's embrace real private-sector competition and allow consumers to purchase plans across state lines. Instead of taxing the so-called "Cadillac" plans that people get through their employers, let's give individuals who purchase their own health care the same tax benefits we currently give employer-provided health care recipients....
It's so crazy it just might work.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twenty-Two Years Ago Today

Leslie and Gordon drove off into the sunset, headed for their honeymoon on the Oregon coast.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Farm Country

As Lileks says, not sure what you'd lubricate with this...

Also: The Sears 1934 Catalog. Don't miss it.

Sheik Yerboobies

Mark Steyn (naturally enough) spotted this in the Daily Mail.
A hardline Islamist group in Somalia has begun publicly whipping women for wearing bras that they claim violate Islam as they are 'deceptive'.

The insurgent group Al Shabaab has sent gunmen into the streets of Mogadishu to round up any women who appear to have a firm bust, residents claimed yesterday.

The women are then inspected to see if the firmness is natural, or if it is the result of wearing a bra. If they are found wearing a bra, they are ordered to remove it and shake their breasts, residents said...
(The post title refers to an album released by Frank Zappa during the Carter administration.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Greatest Movie Line Ever


I found this over on Blatherings. (One of my sidebar links.)

Disaster Relief in American Samoa

Marilia Duffles in The American Spectator.
At a moment's notice all available hands were called into action. Enthusiastic discipline prevailed. First, the aircraft schedule was shuffled to provide a plane. Check. Second, the situation at ground-zero was assessed to ensure the plane could land on the runway and that the fuel for the return flight had not been contaminated by the tsunami. Check. The FAA and TSA were contacted to ensure all systems go. Check.

With that, volunteers were urgently sought and over 100 quickly came forward to fill just 34 spots. Relief supplies were assessed and instantly purchased with a phone call to Wal-Mart's regional headquarters. Some 40,000 pounds of water, food, medical supplies and more were sorted, loaded and delivered to the awaiting aircraft. Logistics for smooth distribution upon landing were planned in great detail.

Communications experts and equipment -- satellite phones, computers, IT cables -- were quickly procured and brought onboard. A call went out that the unoccupied seats would be made available for any medical or government personnel and even the media. A medical disaster team, FEMA, the Coast Guard, two newspapers, and three television stations eagerly accepted the offer of transportation. Volunteers packed sheets and pillows with the full expectation of sleeping rough for a night or two.

September 30th, 4:00 p.m. PDT. A mere eighteen hours after the initial decision, the plane took off precisely at this pre-established time. A government operation? A launch from a military base?

No, it was a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767. I was one of the volunteers...
Read it all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Goodists

Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal.
The peace Nobel is a much misunderstood prize. With the exception of a few really grotesque picks (Le Duc Tho, Rigoberta Menchú, Yasser Arafat), a few inspired ones (Carl von Ossietzky, Norman Borlaug, Andrei Sakharov, Mother Teresa, Lech Walesa, Aung San Suu Kyi) and some worthy if obvious ones (Martin Luther King, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk), most of the prize winners draw from the obscure ranks of the sorts of people the late Oriana Fallaci liked to call "the Goodists."

Who are the Goodists? They are the people who believe all conflict stems from avoidable misunderstanding. Who think that the world's evils spring from technologies, systems, complexes (as in "military-industrial") and everything else except from the hearts of men, where love abides. Who mistake wishes for possibilities. Who put a higher premium on their own moral intentions than on the efficacy of their actions. Who champion education as the solution, whatever the problem. Above all, the Goodists are the people who like to be seen to be good.
Read it all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Reason for Gold

The Wall Street Journal finds Ludwig von Mises to be Notable & Quotable this morning.
The reason for using a commodity money is precisely to prevent political influence from affecting directly the value of the monetary unit. Gold is not the standard money solely on account of its brilliance or its physical and chemical characteristics. Gold is the standard money primarily because an increase or decrease in the available quantity is independent of the orders issued by political authorities.
I quote but the heart of it; there's more at the link.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

U-Turn on Global Warming

Damian Thompson of The Telegraph.
I think the BBC wanted to slip this one out quietly, but a Matt Drudge link put paid to that. The climate change correspondent of BBC News has admitted that global warming stopped in 1998 — and he reports that leading scientists believe that the earth's cooling-off may last for decades.
Heh. Drudge.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

In The Mail This Week

I think it was Monday.

Blogging will be light while I contemplate the end of civilization as we knew it.

Afterwards, who knows? If there's any point in continuing, I will.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Admitted Liar Tells Truth

Blogger Anne Leary chatted with Bill Ayers in Reagan National.
Then, unprompted he said--I wrote Dreams From My Father. I said, oh, so you admit it. He said--Michelle asked me to. I looked at him. He seemed eager. He's about my height, short. He went on to say--and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties. So I said, stop pulling my leg. Horrible thought. But he came again--I really wrote it, the wording was similar. I said I believe you probably heavily edited it. He said--I wrote it. I said--why would I believe you, you're a liar.
He's right. We can't prove it.

We can't prove it. He could.

“Little Bears On Crack”

Two From Jonah Goldberg

The first, in USA Today, In Defense of Glenn Beck.
The left detests him, and some conservatives say he's undermining the cause. The truth is, he must be doing something right.
The second, in The Corner, a reply to his critics of the first: Gallicization of the Eggheads, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Right.
...putting aside the argument about populism, what I don't completely understand is why conservative intellectuals are having such a self-esteem crisis.
Both worth reading in their entirety.

Simple and Cheap

Jennifer Rubin says Jeffrey Anderson has come up with a one-page health reform plan. She condensed it further.
Here's the short version of the already short version of conservative health-care reform suggested by Anderson:
  1. Leave employer-provided insurance as it is and give individuals a $2,500 tax credit to equalize tax treatment for individuals who buy their own insurance.
  2. Allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines.
  3. Extend COBRA for up to 30 months, allowing people to keep their insurance if they leave a job.
  4. Remove government regulations limiting insurers from offering premium breaks for healthy lifestyle choices.
  5. Enact real malpractice reform (limit punitive damages to $250,000 and all noneconomic damages to $750,000).
  6. Provide help to encourage insurance pools for the hard to insure.
That's it.
I'd go even further. Five and six are optional. Three is probably unnecessary. Two and Four are the heart of it: deregulate. Undo the bad laws that caused this crisis in the first place.

But what are the odds that Congress will ever repeal or deregulate? Slim to none, I'd say.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Liberty Trashed

At Oregon State University.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Oregon State University officials on behalf of the OSU Students Alliance, a recognized student organization that publishes an independent student paper. The paper, The Liberty, had its distribution bins — containing copies of the latest issue of the paper — confiscated without notice and thrown next to a dumpster by university officials, who claim they did so as part of an effort to beautify the campus. The numerous distribution bins of the other student newspaper, The Daily Barometer, were left untouched.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Good Totalitarianism

Mark Steyn on Hugh Hewitt.
...because communism, for some reason, remains the good totalitarianism. If you were to stand up and say that you used to be a member of the Nazi Party, but it's okay now, you're running for Congress in North Dakota, you would be finished. You would be done. But if you're a communist like Van Jones, you can be sitting two doors away from the president in the White House. It's the tyranny, it's the totalitarianism that no matter how high the pile of corpses grows, you never have to apologize for. It's truly shameful.
Which reminds me of something John Derbyshire said.
My daughter, a high-school junior, has a classmate whose parents are attracted to Buddhism. This classmate and her family accordingly went off to some Buddhist countries for their summer vacation. One of those countries was Cambodia. The classmate came back and told Nellie about the trip, then Nellie told me: ""She said it was so poor, she couldn't believe it. People begging everywhere..."

Well, I said, in view of what happened there in the 1970s, it''s not surprising they're still poor.

"Why?" asked Nellie, puzzled. "What happened there?"
Oh nothing, much, really.

Palin's Revenge

C. Edmund Wright in American Thinker.
What is the real story here is that given a set of singularly difficult circumstances, Governor Palin made a counter-intuitive and gutsy decision that has already proven right for all parties involved. We call that brilliance. We call that effective leadership....

It has worked for the state of Alaska, where their small government is no longer burdened by over the top media scrutiny and an endless string of nuisance legal actions. Alaska can get back to being Alaska, and the state is governed by a man who shares Palin's vision for the state without having one of the biggest media targets in the history of the country painted on his back.

What? You don't know his name? Good. Alaskans probably like it that way.
Pssst... Some no-name has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
The United States is now facing a decision on how to meet its future energy needs. In the coming months, the U.S. Department of the Interior will weigh whether to allow oil and gas exploration on Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to be expanded. Such exploration could set the country on a clear and sustainable energy path for decades to come.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reinforcements?