Jun 302008

When free markets fail to serve the poor, these people don’t like free markets. When free markets succeed in serving the poor, these people don’t like free markets. There seems to be a pattern here. If only I could figure out what it is.

Markets for the Poor in Mexico

Helping the poor may be virtuous, but when the poverty industry starts losing “clients” because the market is performing good works, watch out.

Compartamos Banco knows what it’s like to have a tarnished halo. The Mexican bank specializes in microfinancing for low-income entrepreneurs in a country that never used to have a financial industry serving the poor. Compartamos not only figured out how to meet the needs of this excluded population, but also how to make money at it.

Jun 272008

Ezra Levant has added a necessary word to our vocabulary: Grantrepreneur. So I’m adding him to my blogroll. How else am I going to keep up with the human rights violations of Canada’s Human Rights Commissions? Go to Google News and search for information on Ezra Levant or Steve Boissoin. You get absolutely nothing from those people who used to criticize George W. Bush for not paying any attention to what people in other countries think.

Jun 262008

Over at townhall.com there is an article by a Christopher Wills titled “Obama record shows a liberal open to compromise.”

And what are the examples of how Obama has ever been open to compromise and where he departed even a tiny bit from hardline left positions? There are none.

The only substantive examples show an unwillingness to compromise one iota, for example on abortion.

Towards the end of the article there is this statement: “While Obama could compromise on crime and gun control, he didn’t budge when it came to abortion.”

But examples of actual compromise on those issues are nowhere to be found. The article does tell us that Obama “worked with” the law enforcement community on some of their concerns. But what “concerns” those were is left unstated.

If you look at the actual record as described in that article, or anywhere else, you have a candidate who is uncompromising in his mission to grow the welfare-police state.

Jun 252008

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to use the word “but.”

In the July Smithsonian magazine’s “From the Editor” section, there are some words from Andrew Curry, who wrote the feature article in the issue:

People have this perception of Vikings as bloodthirsty barbarians, killing people and then hopping on their ships and sailing away. They could be brutal, but what that stereotype overlooks is the organization and the willpower they had.

Nonsense. It overlooks nothing of the sort.

Does Curry think that most bloodthirsty brutes are slackers? I wouldn’t be surprised if there are such people, but those aren’t the ones we hear about.

Hitler and the Nazis were brutal. Does anyone find this to contradict the fact that the Nazis were also well organized and that they celebrated “The Triumph of the Will.”

And what about gentle people? They can be willful and organized, or they can be lazy and disorganized.

There is no “but” to it.

I call Curry’s kind of talk one of my “but peeves.”

Jun 242008

Two Chicago Tribune reporters write about George Carlin, ending their article thusly:

“Our attitudes have changed a lot,” Luntz said of the country. “We’ve become more tolerant, but, more important, we’ve become less outraged.”

Still, Carlin’s “seven words” retain their power.

You certainly won’t see them in this newspaper.

That’s not the only thing you won’t see in their newspaper. You won’t find a word in the web edition of their paper about Mark Steyn and the “Human rights” commission in Canada, either. Or if they did tell about it, you won’t find it by using the search function on their web site.

I wonder if they have anything to say about speech codes on college campuses, or the “free speech” zones that some of them use to restrict free speech.

Don’t shoot the messenger, they like to tell us. Well, if the messenger fails to deliver an important message, maybe that’s precisely what should be done.

Jun 242008

George Carlin is dead, yet none of the news articles have pointed out the dramatic reversal. Carlin was arrested for talking about the Seven Words you cannot say on television. Liberals (back when there were such things) used to praise Carlin for daring to speak about topics that had been kept away from television.

And now, people like Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant are being hauled before so-called human rights tribunals for speaking on topics that are no longer allowed in Canada. The dispute is getting a lot of press in Canada, but what do those people in the U.S. who used to praise George Carlin have to say about it? Nothing.

Go to google news and search for the terms “George Carlin Mark Steyn.” Not a single one of the articles about Carlin mentions Steyn.


Jun 222008

The 17th century isn’t over yet. The Inquisition is still going strong.

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer. (URL)

Or is this instead an example of the scientific method?

Jun 192008

The Wall Street Journal reports on what fuel prices are doing to school transportation budgets. The yellow buses are taking money that would normally be spent on teachers, roofs, and “enrichment” programs.

Not a word is breathed about the possibility that it’s time to reverse the consolidation mania that has created these abominations. For example, the Gull Lake Community School District here in Michigan covers 100 square miles, but is not very compact in form. It has a long east-west axis and a not-so-long north-south one. There are about 2900 students. The elementary school that my youngest son attended, on the east end of the district, a blue-collar area, was recently shut down. The kids are now all transported to the more yuppity end of the district.

One improvement which would not only save transportation money but also improve educational quality would be to split the district into two. Re-open the elementary school, and perhaps even build a new, smaller high school on the east end of the district. The west end could pay reparations to help make it possible. There would then be closer ties between parents, taxpayers and schools, and kids would not so easily got lost in the cracks. And kids wouldn’t have to waste so much of their lives on those gas-guzzling, yellow monsters.

Jun 182008

In my post about Opiate of the People, Cl asked for more details about the adverse effects of socialized medicine. Well, here’s one.

The latest issue of The Weekly Standard has an ad from www.rehabcare.com with a photo of a nice old gentleman with a walker accompanied by a caring young female therapist. It reads:

Tell Congress to pass a sensible Medicare bill now.

On July 1, bureaucratic limits will go into effect that restrict access to necessary physical rehabilitation for millions of Americans. Unless Congress acts soon, arbitrary caps will be placed on the services that all therapists can provide their Medicare patients.

Stop senseless bureaucracy for Medicare beneficiaries and preserve patient access to the therapy they need.

There’s an interesting gimmick here. How do you appeal to the conservative readership of TWS to get them to lobby for more government spending on themselves? By pretending it’s not an issue of money but one of evil bureaucracy.

And usually the nationalized health care advocates blame those nasty insurance companies for not paying. Turn it all over to a governmental insurance system, and somehow we will no longer have those greedy capitalists holding back money for treatment, they imply. Except in this case, it’s the government that’s holding back money. How about that! And they want to turn all of health care over to that kind of provider.

It’s a foretaste of what will happen when health care is completely nationalized. Health care decisions will be based not on merit but according to whichever interest groups have the political clout to get money for their favorite disease or malady. And that means we’ll all have to corrupt ourselves to make the kinds of compromises and bargains necessary to get funding for what ails us.

And that sort of corruption has a multiplier effect.