Sep 252010

It would be helpful if our country had some elder statesmen to provide a stabilizing influence for wet-behind-the-ears youngsters like Jimmy Carter and Warren Buffett. Carter said, “President Obama suffers from the most polarized situation in Washington that we have ever seen — even maybe than the time of Abraham Lincoln and the initiation of the war between the states.” Buffett wants taxpayers to get over their anger, according to numerous headlines, saying “…it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington.”

If those two were old enough to have been around during the Bush administration, they would not be talking like this.

Sep 232010

A few days ago I pulled a book that I had not read from our living room bookshelves: “The Great Wave : Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History” by David Hackett Fischer (1996).

Then I saw sticky notes in the first part of the book. Apparently I had once started to read it. But now, after re-reading the parts I had already read, I have to say that I remember nothing of it. The passages that were sticky-noted are relevant to my interests and don’t have much to do with the main thrust of the book.

How such an interesting book could have made absolutely no impression on me, I cannot explain. But it’s impressing me now.

One of the take-home lessons after reading the first part about the Medieval Price Revolution seems to be that periods of price revolution, i.e. price increase, are periods of growing inequality between rich and poor. So if that trend holds, it means the U.S. government’s recent stimulus programs will make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

That doesn’t surprise me one bit. But I don’t know yet how to reconcile this information with what we have been told in history books about how populists tend to favor inflation because it allows poor debtors to pay off their rich creditors with debased money.

Sep 212010

Once upon a time the President’s cabinet had a separate Navy Department and War Department. Two different departments. After World War II they were very sensibly combined into a single department, the Department of Defense.

So why is it that we have a separate Department of Labor and a Department of Education? Isn’t it time for them to be combined into a single entity, too?

Sep 212010

It’s as if Lisa Murkoski had been given an assignment to provide a definition of the term, use it in a sentence, and then act out an example. She gets good marks for parts 2 and 3, but part 1 is missing, so she gets an Incomplete.

…Ms. Murkowski … said over the weekend on CNN that Mr. Miller had only prevailed because of “lies and fabrications and mischaracterization.” She then denounced the “pretty radical things” that the Republican nominee supposedly supports, including “You know, we dump Social Security. No more Medicare. Let’s get rid of the Department of Education. Elimination of all earmarks. …


Sep 162010

Somebody needs to tell AP writers Stephen Ohlemacher and Kevin Freking that there is an economic crisis in this country. There are other things to worry besides “cost to the government.” Cost to the economy and cost to the people, for example.

Republicans support a full renewal of all tax cuts, regardless of income, despite a 10-year cost to the government of about $700 billion above Obama’s plan.


Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.


Sep 132010


Chance coincidence or coordinated conspiracy? You decide.

Earlier tonight the WSJ had these two items, side by side:

1: “Cuba Layoffs Show Ideological Shift: Cuba will lay off more than half a million state workers and try to create hundreds of thousands of private-sector jobs, a dramatic attempt to shift its nearly bankrupt economy toward a more market-oriented system”

2. New Medicare Chief Pledges to Cut Costs

What are the odds that the two countries would announce the same reforms on the same day if they didn’t plan it that way?

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the articles that these items link to.

Sep 122010

My comment in response to the WSJ article, “Sebelius Has a List : Political thuggery from HHS“:

Someone please explain me how Ms Sibelius’s attitude toward information she doesn’t like is different from that of someone who thinks the solution is to burn a pile of Korans. In both cases, people are trying to protect their version of the truth from competitors.

Sep 102010

A comment I posted in response to a comment on Michelle Malkin’s article, “The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage“:

We can oppose either of these actions without disallowing them by law. To be consistent, we should allow both of them but strongly oppose them. Problem for the leftDemMedia is they got themselves into a box by the way they criticized criticism of the mosque at ground zero. Now they have no basis for criticizing the burning of the Korans. They do it anyway, but they end up looking really bad for it.

Yes, yes, I know. In one sense, the mosque is not really “at” ground zero. But earlier this week James Taranto explained why it needs to be 1.3 miles away to qualify as not being at ground zero. I go with that.

Sep 092010

A comment I posted after reading Daniel Henninger’s WSJ article, “A President’s Class War : Where on the income scale does Mr. Obama divide the country between us and them?

There he goes again, talking about “special interests” as though special interests are bad. But all interests are special interests, including those of the President. Especially including those of the current President. There is no single, uniform, common interest. The government should promote the general welfare, but one doesn’t do that by denying the validity of special interests.

Cherish the diversity, Mr. President. It’ll do your outlook on life a world of good. Lose the bitterness, and you won’t have to cling to your failed government controls and regulations.