Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beware Liberals speaking with VAT tongue

GEORGE WILL
When liberals advocate a value-added tax, conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it -- after the 16th Amendment is repealed.

A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The mastermind of punk has died

He certainly shook things up when he unleashed the Sex Pistols upon the world of rock music!

Malcolm McLaren dies at the age of 64

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A traditional Italian Easter! Buona Pasqua from East Boston!

Here's my mother's pizza chena, a regular at our Easter table.


Sorry you couldn't  make it.  The rice pie was just as good.

Easter Sunday, by Patti Smith

Always worth a listen on Easter Sunday from my favorite odd-ball, Patti Smith.
Easter Sunday, we were walking.
Easter Sunday, we were talking.
Isabel, my little one, take my hand. Time has come.
Isabella, all is glowing.
Isabella, all is knowing.
And my heart, Isabella.
And my head, Isabella.
Frederick and Vitalie, savior dwells inside of thee.
Oh, the path leads to the sun. Brother, sister, time has come.
Isabella, all is glowing.
Isabella, all is knowing.
Isabella, we are dying.
Isabella, we are rising.
I am the spring, the holy ground,
the endless seed of mystery,
the thorn, the veil, the face of grace,
the brazen image, the thief of sleep,
the ambassador of dreams, the prince of peace.
I am the sword, the wound, the stain.
Scorned transfigured child of Cain.
I rend, I end, I return.
Again I am the salt, the bitter laugh.
I am the gas in a womb of light, the evening star,
the ball of sight that leads that sheds the tears of Christ
dying and drying as I rise tonight.
Isabella, we are rising.
Isabella, we are rising . .

A little Hayekian lesson

Glenn Harlan Reynolds:
The United States Code -- containing federal statutory law -- is more than 50,000 pages long and comprises 40 volumes. The Code of Federal Regulations, which indexes administrative rules, is 161,117pages long and composes226volumes.

No one on Earth understands them all, and the potential interaction among all the different rules would choke a supercomputer. This means, of course, that when Congress changes the law, it not only can't be aware of all the real-world complications it's producing, it can't even understand the legal and regulatory implications of what it's doing.

There's good news and bad news in that. The bad news is obvious: We're governed not just by people who do screw up constantly, but by people who can't help but screw up constantly. So long as the government is this large and overweening, no amount of effort at securing smarter people or "better" rules will do any good: Incompetence is built into the system.

The good news is less obvious, but just as important: While we rightly fear a too-powerful government, this regulatory knowledge problem will ensure plenty of public stumbles and embarrassments, helping to remind people that those who seek to rule us really don't know what they're doing.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bravo Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan spells it out wonderfully
John Paul the Great, about whom I wrote an admiring book which recounts some of the scandals—I spent a grim 2003 going through the depositions of Massachusetts clergy—one fact seems to me pre-eminent. For Pope John Paul II, the scandals would have been unimaginable—literally not imaginable. He had come of age in an era and place (Poland in the 1930s, '40s and '50s) of heroic priests. They were great men; they suffered. He had seen how the Nazis and later the communists had attempted to undermine the church and tear people away from it, sometimes through slander. They did this because the great force arrayed against them was the Catholic Church. John Paul, his mind, psyche and soul having been forged in that world, might well have seen the church's recent accusers as spreaders of slander. Because priests don't act like that, it's not imaginable. And he'd seen it before, only now it wasn't Nazism or communism attempting to kill the church with lies, but modernity and its soulless media.

Only they weren't lies.

There are three great groups of victims in this story. The first and most obvious, the children who were abused, who trusted, were preyed upon and bear the burden through life. The second group is the good priests and good nuns, the great leaders of the church in the day to day, who save the poor, teach the immigrant, and, literally, save lives. They have been stigmatized when they deserve to be lionized. And the third group is the Catholics in the pews—the heroic Catholics of America and now Europe, the hardy souls who in spite of what has been done to their church are still there, still making parish life possible, who hold high the flag, their faith unshaken. No one thanks those Catholics, sees their heroism, respects their patience and fidelity. The world thinks they're stupid. They are not stupid, and with their prayers they keep the world going, and the old church too.

Read the entire article.