Nov 212008

Interview with Robert Novak

He’s great, as always. Here is just one nugget out of many good ones: ”

A: I was very negative about the invasion of Iraq. That’s another subject I should have written more about, explained more. I thought the war was unjustified. But my stand led to a Novak-hates-his-country piece in the National Review, which caused me a lot of grief and cut me off at the White House. I should have explained more about why I took the position I did. I probably should have written more about foreign policy in general. If I told you I accomplished some huge feat, it wouldn’t be true. But I’m not ashamed of what I’ve written. I stand by it.

(I wish I had said more, too.)

Ezra Levant: “Anti-Christian bigot Lori Andreachuk quietly moved out of HRC

So in Canada, you can still get rewarded for human rights abuse. Just the same, I wish all of this was getting some coverage in the U.S. press. We’re supposed to be all excited in anticipation that the Obama presidency will make other countries like us again. But the same people who tell us to care more about what other countries think are paying zero attention to a huge free speech issue in Canada.

Stocks Could Stabilize After Election

A news item from November 3, in the “Happy Days Are Here Again” department.

Nov 202008

We knew it was unsustainable, but it’s good to see the era of Democrat-style re-regulation coming to an already. And I like that term, “bailout fatigue.” From the Washington Post:

Stung by the escalating costs of various Wall Street bailouts, lawmakers pressed the executives to say how they would spend $25 billion from the taxpayers.

“The American people have bailout fatigue,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.), the panel’s senior Republican.

Several lawmakers also berated the auto titans for traveling on private jets to ask for a government handout.

“There’s a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into D.C. and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands,” said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.). “It’s almost like seeing guys show up in the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo.”

Nov 182008

CAFE standards are an abomination. I’ve always known that. If we need to internalize the external costs of our fossil fuel addiction, the most direct, corruption-free way is the market-oriented approach: a fossil fuel tax or a carbon tax.

Leftists keep whining that they can’t get public support for such a thing. But they don’t try. They keep wanting to make it a net tax increase, which of course won’t fly. I wouldn’t be in favor of that, either.

But there could be countervailing cuts in other taxes. Consumption taxes are regressive, but a carbon tax could be balanced by a cut in one of our most regressive payroll taxes, the FICA tax, perhaps in combination with one of the few Obama proposals that I could get behind: abandoning the fiction that Social Security is a insurance system and taxing the wealthy in proportion to their income.

But back to CAFE. The kiddie leftists among us (some of them aged 50 and up) are wetting their pants in eager anticipation of re-regulation, as they call it. Well, let’s look at how their type of regulation works.

Holman Jenkins, Jr. at the WSJ explains. General Motors is going to be allowed to claim that the Chevy Volt is a 100 mpg car. It wasn’t Yankee ingenuity, sophisticated engineering, entrepreneurial energy, or environmental consciousness that produced a 100 mpg car. It was instead a matter of using political clout to lobby the regulators to rig the rules. The Big Three car makers have been given special political favors as far back as Carter and Reagan, and those companies are still better at manufacturing political influence than fine automobiles. By classifying the Volt as a 100mpg car and selling it at a loss, GM is going to be able to sell more gas hogs to other customers, on which it might make money.

But it won’t cure our addiction to oil.

So much for the age of re-regulation. Even if the EPA backs away from some of this attempt at manipulation this is not a process by which such decisions are going to be made on the basis of cost/benefit to the environment. This is a process by which decisions will be made on the basis of political clout.

P.S. I’ve learned over the years to value the WSJ’s reporting on such regulatory issues very highly, but to not trust it to always report everything that needs to be reported. So here’s a recent NY Times article on the subject, which contains additional information that shows how this corrupt regulatory system works.

Nov 162008

When I did my first long-distance bicycle rides in Amish country 12-13 years ago, it brought back memories of my childhood. Kids were outside playing in their yards. Since then I’ve had Amish kids race me out on the road, pony vs bicycle, or bicycle vs bicycle. I like it. You seldom see kids enjoying the outdoors any more. I chalked up the change to video games and television. Now I’d add the Internet.

But I just now learned about another possibility that I must confess I hadn’t thought of: Parents are afraid to let their children play outside. I learned about this phenomenon from Lenore Skenazy, a columnist and reporter for the New York Sun.

She got into the topic when she let her kid go riding the New York City subway alone, for which she was greatly reviled by the safety-obsessed among us.

For her action, I hereby give her a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award.

She won’t bring down the welfare-police state all by herself. For all I know, she may have voted for Obama. But such behaviors are a threat to those who want to define freedom as security. (She did choose not to be one of the Obama groupies in the MSM. I haven’t heard whether the others avoid socializing with her because of her lack of fervor.)

She has a blog: Free Range Kids. The subtitle: Let’s give our children the freedom we had!

Nov 082008

People who think Sarah Palin isn’t very bright ought to take a look at Representative Ellen Tauscher of California. From

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) dismissed recent comments by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev about redeploying missiles as primarily for his country’s “domestic consumption.”

Of course Medvedev’s remarks were meant for domestic consumption. Remember when the left was complaining (rightfully) that George Bush was taking us to war without having the country behind him? Every head of state throughout history, good or bad, has understood that you need to have the country behind you when you go up against an enemy. Abraham Lincoln understood it. Joseph Stalin understood it. But George Bush thought he knew better.

So of course Putin/Medvedev make their comments for public consumption. That doesn’t mean those comments aren’t a message to us, too.

The election of Barack Obama was recognized around the world as a positive step, said Tauscher, who leads the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee. “The only person who didn’t get the memo was President Medvedev. It was an unfortunate tenor and an unfortunate speech. But it is something we can work with.”

Why does Tauscher think Medvedev isn’t aware that Obama was elected? Why does she think other countries wanted him elected, if it wasn’t for their own self-interest. And what better time than now for Putin/Medvedev to test our administration to see if it can be bullied. We’ve got an outgoing, lame-duck administration, a hostile Congress, and a naive rookie coming in with very little experience of the real world. That’s the perfect time to make a move.

If the leader of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee says she can work with that, that’s valuable information for people like Putin and Medvedev to have.

Nov 072008

The government of Finland says “Little House on the Prairie” shouldn’t be shown publicly to children.

That would be a show of good judgment if it had been based on the content of the program. I’ve long said that if we’re going to have censorship of television, that should be the first program to go. The producers took good literature and ruined it. Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose had given us some interestingly drawn characters in their books. In the TV series they were turned into typical Hollywood ninnies.

But, alas, it’s only that the government hasn’t reviewed the series. Universal Studies decided not to ask for the Nihil Obstat or the Imprimatur

Nov 072008


“Office of the President-Elect.” Barak Obama seems to be in a big hurry to have the pomp and glory of his new job. Does that mean he takes responsibility for the way the stock market tanked this week?

It’s the biggest post-election drop ever on a percentage basis, bigger even than the loss in value when Franklin Roosevelt was elected. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the subsequent decades the leftmediaestablishment spun the 1930s as “Happy Days are Here Again” to impressionable young people like myself whom they hoped wouldn’t know any better.


From the web site: “President Elect Obama Meets with Economic Advisers, Calls for ‘Swift Action’ on the Economy.”

Barack Obama today held his first press conference as President-Elect to call for “swift action” to fix the nation’s economy.

“Immediately after I become president I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity,” President-Elect Obama said.

In other words, he still doesn’t have a clue what to do.

Yeah, that’s how to get swift action, all right. Spout a bunch of tired cliches to inspire the troops.

In other news, Scott Orr at Scrappleface says Barak Obama is his president:

After George W. Bush defeated Al Gore, and later John Kerry, for the presidency, countless Democrat-owned cars bore bumper stickers with clever phrases like ‘Not My President’ or ‘Don’t Blame Me I Voted for Kerry’.

As a conservative evangelical Christian who voted for McCain-Palin, and for every other Republican on the ballot yesterday, let me say for the record: Barack Obama is my president.

Orr talks as though the election is over. But Obama knows it isn’t, which is why he’s still campaigning. The days when an election settled the issue of legitimate succession are long gone, and he knows it. But there are Republicans who are still stuck in the old days.

Nov 052008

I didn’t think the day after the election would reveal this: There really ARE a lot of people out there who think of the election of Barak Obama in terms of race. There are conservatives who ought to be concentrating on Obama’s fascist proposals; instead they think of him as a black man. And there are liberals who think their vote was somehow an expiation of white guilt.

These are nice people, the ones who probably won’t take part in the pogroms. They are people I link to in my blogs.

I hate it when people live up to the stereotypes.

I don’t even want to analyze what’s going on. It’s too embarrassing.

Nov 052008

It’s 1:33 a.m. and I now have the results for the presidential election. I credit Ezra Levant with supplying me not only with the news, but some commentary on what happens next:

But enough about the past: what now?

I saw an unintentionally hilarious pundit on CNN who said that, in foreign affairs, the rest of the world will now lose a key criticism of America — that it’s racist — and thus will deal with America more favourably. I think this is what psychologists call projection.

Liberal political pundits regard America as racist, but the rest of the world obviously does not, for every shade of race streams towards America as fast as they can, trying to immigrate both legally and illegally. America is one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Foreign dictators may hate America, but grassroots foreigners want to move to America.

But that’s not the hilarious part. The hilarious part was that the pundit thinks that those who challenge America — and the rest of the West — today will substitute “good feelings” for their national interest, when it comes to foreign relations.

Perhaps Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB boss, will find that, like the Grinch, his heart grew two sizes when Obama was elected. He’ll no longer have ambitions for Georgia and the rest of the former Soviet Union.

Perhaps Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will discover that he’s actually part Jewish, on his mother’s side, and abandon his nuclear-fueled hatred for Israel.

Maybe Hugo Chavez will recognize President Obama as a sort of fellow aboriginal, and turn from a strategic enemy to ally.

This is how the world works according to the MSM — the same folks who tutted at Sarah Palin’s naivete.

So even though Ezra Levant helped me prove that the MSM are not necessary when it comes to disseminating news, we’d be hard pressed to find a replacement for such an easy source of laughs if they were gone.

Nov 042008

It’s now almost 11pm on election day. In an effort to prove that we don’t need the traditional radio and TV news, I haven’t listened to a stitch of either all day. I got home from my Russian class a half hour ago, and didn’t turn on the radio the entire way there or back. (It’s a drive of about 1.25 hours each way.) I figure that when there are any results, some blogger will let me know. So I’m keeping half an eye on my RSS feeds.

If I thought the pogroms might begin already tonight, I’d want to know right away. But I find it hard to believe that they will begin before inauguration day. So it should be safe to take a little nap before checking back.

P.S. Somebody might ask, “Where do the bloggers get their news. Don’t they need the traditional media in order to have something to report?” The answer is no, we don’t need to think about that. Politicians now think of wealth as something that just exists to be confiscated and distributed. If they don’t need to worry about where it comes from, neither do we need to concern ourselves with where bloggers get the news they disseminate. It’s a non-issue.