Tuesday, January 31, 2006

SOTU highlight

"There is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success and defeatism that refuses to see anything but failure. Hindsight is not wisdom and second-guessing is not a strategy."

Ben Bernacke takes over

A very good profile of the new Federal Reserve Bank chairman from the Christian Science Monitor.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh yes what a tolerant people!

In the West we are supposed to take in the antics of the avante garde and others like Kayne West who come awfully close to mocking Jesus Christ and Christianity in general. Our sensibilities are fair game; this is the price of living in a free society.

But when the Prophet is ridiculed in a free press in a liberal society the world gets torn asunder. Even Bill Clinton at Davos calls into question recent Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed as a suicide bomber. We didn't hear much from Bill even when he was a moderate in the making in Arkansas when Piss Christ emerged circa 1987. But today President Bill is an enabler of the Islamic culture of complainers and neofascists.

When it comes to freedom, everyone wants an omlette but no one wants to crack the eggs.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Marty's minions try to rewrite history

Remember that Marty Meehan is the media darling when it comes to campaign finance reform regardless whether such reform (the kind that gave us Soros and assorted 527s) are worth the paper they are written upon. Marty's minions are a bit eager to rewrite history. Let's see what the solons of virtue say. In fine Massachusetts tradition, Marty was for term limits before he was against them.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Do environmentalists believe in stunting innovation?

This letter to the Undercover Economist betrays a total lack of economic literacy. But what do you expect from a mindset that believes everything including human imagination is limited.

Dear Economist,

Governments like to promote innovation. But ever greater innovation means ever greater use of resources, disposability of goods, consumer spending and (one surmises) social envy. Is there a case for suppressing innovation?

Marion Hancock,
by e-mail

Dear Marion,

There are two ways to raise purchasing power: investment or innovation. Investment means buying big machines so that each worker operates more equipment. It is hard to see how this is more environmentally friendly than innovation. It is also self-limiting: all the investment budget goes on replacing worn-out machines.

By contrast, innovative ideas consume no resources at all. They are particularly useful when there are many people on the planet, because everyone can benefit from a piece of software, a better design for the mousetrap or the theory of germs. Not everyone can benefit from my electric hand drill.

Nor do innovative products use more resources. Today?s expensive consumer products are tiny, or do not physically exist at all - for example, the 4,000 issues of The New Yorker that my wife gave me for Christmas are stored digitally.

It is true that if I was poor enough then I would have received no magazines, digital or otherwise. So perhaps you are not really in favour of suppressing innovation but of ending economic growth entirely. This has proved possible - for example, in Mao?s China or the dying days of the Soviet Union. Environmental Eden did not result.

At least an end to innovation might (you surmise) return us to the envy-free days when my great grandmother might have been your great grandfather?s scullery maid.

But I don?t wish to find out.

economist@ft.com
http://www.timharford.com/

Thursday, January 26, 2006

On Alito: The New York Times gets unhinged

Are the editorial writers at the New York Times f!@ck*g serious?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We can't say it any better: Kayne's a gelding


Glenn and Jonah say it best. Kayne's got no balls whatsoever. None. If he had round ones between his legs he'd take on another religious figure. And Rolling Stone? Well the mag is so past its prime its original readers are now collecting Social Security. Just another liberal rag. Yawn!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dick Morris will take note of Shelby Steele even if reticent Condi doesn't

Dick Morris is plugging for a Condi v. Hillary death match in 2008. Despite Laura Bush's plea Condi says she's not interested. Meanwhile Shelby Steele exposes the Hillary "plantation" remark for what it is: the standrad Democratic fare of patronizing African-Americans.

If Newt Gingrich also once used the plantation metaphor in reference to Congress, his goal was only an innocuous one: to be descriptive, not to pander. He was speaking to a reporter, not to a black audience, and he had the good taste to cast himself as a slave who would "lead the slave rebellion." Thus, he identified with the black struggle for freedom, not with the helplessness and humiliation of the plantation slave. If the plantation metaphor will always be inaccurate and hyperbolic where Congress is concerned, at least Mr. Gingrich's use of it carried no offense.

And even Mrs. Clinton's "offense" would have amounted to very little had it come from nothing more than an awkward metaphor. But, in fact, it came from a corruption in post-'60s liberalism and Democratic politics that profoundly insults blacks. Mrs. Clinton came to Al Sharpton's MLK celebration looking for an easy harvest of black votes. And she knew the drill--white liberals and Dems whistle for the black vote by pandering to the black sense of grievance. Once positioned as the white champions of this grievance, they actually turn black resentment into white liberal power. Today, Democrats cannot be competitive without this alchemy. So Mrs. Clinton's real insult to blacks--one far uglier than her plantation metaphor--is to value them only for their sense of grievance.
Read the whole article.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Roger Ailes's top five books

The author of "You are the Message," and current Fox czar Roger Ailes lists his five top books on the media.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sympathy for the character assassins

Maybe Ted Kennedy was putting on an act last week when he bombed during the Alito hearings. Mark Steyn blames the ever-fouled mouth Daily Kos and the liberal blogosphere

The poor fellows had no choice but to sacrifice themselves on national TV at the ehest of NOW and Daily Kos and the kookier parts of the base. It was said of the British Tommies in the trenches of the Great War that they were lions led by donkeys. In the Democratic Party, the old lions are now led by the grassroots donkeys, and, like some moth-eaten circus act, Ted and Pat Leahy and Dianne Feinstein are obliged to jump through ever more ludicrous hoops for the gratification of the base.
Here's a second thought the "Alioto" Democrats (Kennedy's malaprop) not serious about the fight leaving the MSM to put a shine on the sneaker.

As I understand it, with the Jack Abramoff dirty-money stuff, lobby groups give big bucks to politicians to advocate various things which, pre-check-cashing, the politicians may or may not have believed in. But this last week of Senate hearings has been so absurd it may bring the whole system into disrepute: Big-time Democrats are out there dancing for dollars in a cause so obviously non-viable that their media buddies feel obliged to signal that it's merely a charade. Does that satisfy anybody? If you were one of the elderly feminists at NOW, would you take kindly to hearing that the Democrat bigshots don't believe any of this shtick, it's just a routine they have to go through to keep the little ladies happy?

Gordie Howe v. Wayne Gretsky

Who really has a better claim to Mr. Hockey? Liberty Corner weighs in.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

WBZ and WEEI rule the Boston airwaves

The latest ratings book for Boston radio is out; BostonRadioWatch has the details.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In this life

My horoscope for the day!

Aquarius
Whether or
not you believe in reincarnation doesn't matter. We've all had the experience of feeling like we've known someone forever, even though it's only been a few months. Or weeks. Or even moments. You, of course, have learned to pay careful attention to that sort of thing, so when you cross paths now with someone who seems familiar, you won't hesitate to mention that, and to ask them where they've been all your life. This lifetime, that is.

Fripp goes elephantine! Audio Shills for the Dark Side

Robert Fripp, musician and theorist, once railed against large-scale enterprises. He once believed in small, independently mobile music ensembles such that he once toured as a soloist with two analog tape recorders. Thus "Frippertronics" was born. How this fits in with the paradigm that is intergalatically big Microsoft is beyond me. I thought he'd pretty much be a Linux guy. Anyway here's the video from the Redmont campus. His music is being considered for the next version of Microsoft's big OS, Vista.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

File under "Live by regulation, die or injure by regulation"

Hey this guy is just trying to make formaggio his own way.


In just a few minutes, [Micahel Miller, a retired newspaper editor and farmer] siphoned off 200 gallons of raw milk, the key ingredient he says makes his Berkshire Blue cheese so remarkable.

"You taste the cow in there," he says. "I want you to taste the barnyard."

Berkshire Blue has won medals from the World Cheese Awards and the American Cheese Society. It has been featured at feasts showcasing the culinary arts, like the International Slow Foods Festival in Italy, the James Beard Dinner in New York City and Boston's Spinazzola Dinner.

But those honors are tainted by controversy. In March, testers from the federal Food and Drug Administration found traces of listeria in Berkshire Blue, prompting Miller to recall 13 wheels of his cheese and discard more that he had in stock.

He says the amount of bacteria was so minute it wouldn't do any harm, and believes he was the target of an agency intent on banning all food made with unpasteurized milk -- an assault, he says, on Americans' taste buds.

"If this were Paris," he says, "I'd have a line of French chefs out the door. Here, I have the FDA."


Read the whole article. Then ask, "Where does he go to get his reputation back?

Sir Geldolf is right

Geldof makes a lot of sense when it comes to wasteful agricultural subsidies known in Europe as CAP.

The CAP is a protection racket Al Capone would look at in admiration and be proud of. Why do Europe's farmers need protection? Farmers are being paid to look after fields - they are just gardeners. Some are growing stuff through subsidy that we don't even need - then we are paying more taxes to store the stuff we don't need and more taxes to destroy the stuff we don't need. The CAP was responsible for the butter mountains and the wine lakes. These surpluses are also being shipped out to Africa and destroying local markets and economies. It is not giving people a chance to get back on their feet. The CAP should be scrapped and farmers should be open to competition. We're not a free market. There is no free trade. The CAP is anti-free trade."
You can say that again. There is no free trade and the French are partly to blame.

Thanks to Marginal Revolution and the Adam Smith Institute for the tip.

Oh my Lord it's up to an Italian court

I'm not a bible-thumper but I don't think atheists are very tolerant people, particularly those who use the power of the state to diminish freedom of religion. The law (and the supposed plaintiff) is an ass. According to Reuters:

Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.

The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.

The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.

"I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters.

Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is "Sostituzione di Persona", or impersonation.

"The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," Cascioli claimed, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army.

A court in Viterbo will hear from Righi, who has yet to be indicted, at a January 27 preliminary hearing meant to determine whether the case has enough merit to go forward.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pat Robertson! The Moonbat of the Religious Right

Pat Robertson erupts again this time saying that God is bringing down his wrath on Isreali Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for giving away pieces of sacred real estate for peace. God almighty doesn't think Sharon is a good real estate agent says Robertson. The comatose Sharon is clinging to life in a hospital suffering his second stroke. No time for the Rev to be charitable to a man who wants to secure Israel for the 21st century.

It's clear that Rev. Robertson is an embarrassment for conservatives. Where's Barry Goldwater when you need him? The self-appointment man of the cloth needs a swift kick in the ass, a move that might set his brain right.

Meanwhile, Mark Steyn takes Robertson to task, he's a pretty good stand-in for the Arizonan.

Pat Robertson sounds as nutty as these Imams, who say it's the will of God. I don't subscribe to this equivalence between, you know, Wahabi Imams and Christian fundamentalists. But I'm prepared to make an exception for Pat Robertson.

I think the media only keep him on TV because he basically embarrasses Evangelical Christianity in this country, and that happens to suit them. There's no reason to have him on.

Indeed.

Out there on the edge? A dangerous idea pops up!

Ponder if you will, and ponder they will. The Big Minds try on Big, maybe Bad, ideas. There are a lot of smart people at the Edge.org and they have a lot to say. Wow!

But stay away from Richard Dawkins's edgy idea. Having abolished God, the well-known Darwinist of our time, now wants to abolish Man, his responsibilities and ethics. We're just machines in need of a tune-up when things go awry says Darwin. That ax murderer, quite a specimen! Let's not preach values, let's see what makes bad man tick, fix him up and throw him back at civilization.

What else would you expect from a reductionist?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006