-- F.A. Hayak
Friday, July 30, 2010
As for this administration -- what else is new?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
I like this guy, Kevin D. Wilson. In his article entitled "Do Not Trust Cornyn or McConnell on Spending Cuts", he really lays into the Republican leadership and gives 'em a good lickin'. Here's just a taste:
The Republicans say they want to extend [unemployment benefits] but pay for doing so by cutting other spending. Unfortunately, the "other spending" they plan to cut is stimulus funds that have been theoretically appropriated but not spent — i.e., they're "saving" money by not spending money we might not have been spending, anyway. It's like a broke guy saying: "Yeah, I was planning on buying a new Ferrari, but then I changed my mind. What should I do with the $250,000 I saved myself?"
As I said, I like this guy…
I do not buy the argument, usually advanced by conservatives, that extending unemployment benefits encourages unemployment – at least in the
If we were serious about addressing unemployment – in good times and bad – we might want to explore better systems for matching the unemployed with job opportunities.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I suggest that they've missed the point. The news is not that thugs like those of the New Black Panthers would intimidate voters. C'mon! The news is that the Justice department has adopted an ideologically-driven policy of law enforcement. Under the Obama administration, the Justice department determines who and what will be prosecuted based on ideology, not legality.
To this end, Steve Hayes writing for the Weekly Standard, has this to say
This is good news. Quoting from the Washington Post Ombudsman, Andrew Alexander wrote:
"…in this case, coverage is justified because it's a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights' investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If
The opening paragraph from the editors of the Wall Street Journal this morning is riviting and horrifying:
If an Iranian prosecutor has his way, a 43-year-old mother of two will soon be taken from her cell in
Welcome to Iranian justice…
Read the whole article and then reflect, not on the nature of the punishment – stoning – but on the justice the punishment seeks. For example, the method, stoning (as described vividly in the article), is inarguably torture and to be emphatically condemned. However, she was also judged to be complicit in the murder of her husband (along with the man with whom she had an affair). In the western mind, aculturated to a justice system that rightly bends over backwards to insure that those accused of capital crimes get every benefit of the doubt, we recoil, not only at the barbaric nature of this woman's punishment, but the manifest injustice of a system in which a woman's testimony is, well, worthless.
But, there is a teaching moment here: The WSJ editorial uses scare quotes as follows:
Ten other Iranians accused of adultery (seven women and three men) currently await the same medieval punishment for their "crime against God,"
And herein lies the teaching moment: If not against God, then against whom, were the crimes (adultery and murder) committed? If you argue that the crimes were against the husband (or the state), then you are in agreement with secular moralists. If you agree that the crime was committed against God, then you hold to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim moral principles.
Thus, the question before you is not whether this poor woman deserves capital punishment or even whether the charges against her constitute an injustice. Answers to such questions are urgent and important, but secondary to this post. Rather, the question I would ask you to answer is whether the justice sought in this case serves the purposes of men or the purposes of God. Secondarily, to which would you rather be subject – the whims of men or the justice of God?
Did President Obama develop his understanding of market economics in situ – which is to ask what real experience, not academic theory, informs the economic recovery programs he's worked so hard to put in place? The answer comes, I think, from Kevin D. Williamson writing for NRO. In his article, Obamaland Pension Meltdown Update, he captures the answer to the question of from where comes Obama's fiscal finesse with this delicious piece of prose:
Which is to say,
The article is a somewhat technical read, but the sentence above really, really captures what's going on. Sadly, the difficulties facing the state of
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Great Debate Continues, i.e., what is the most likely path to economic recovery -- government spending or private investment? Put in contemporary terms, can centralized government planning lift an economy or should we rely on Adam Smith's "hidden hand".
My own opinion can be expressed rhetorically: are we to believe economic theories that have been in existence and verified by 150+ years of research, observation, and practice (Friedrich A. Hayek); or do we believe an economic theory postulated by a political activist (John Maynard Keynes) who proposed his ideas during an economic recession to a less than disinterested audience (government) and that, when put into practice, failed in any empirical sense.
Keynes provided a convenient cover for expansion of government power, which was part in parcel with the then current theory of expanding government on a 'scientific basis.' It didn't matter that the science was wrong or absurd (c.f. eugenics), it only mattered that it sounded good and gave cover to expanding government control.
This debate is really absurd if only because Keynesian economic policies can not be judged. They are manifestly unfalsifiable. No matter how badly a government stimulus fails, Keynesians always have an answer: we didn't spend enough (ala Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning Keynesian economist). And how do we know when we've spent enough? When the economy revives!
The same logic can be used to prove that prayer is the solution to tragedy: either it works, or you didn't pray earnestly enough.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Blogging today at National Review Online, Kathyryn J. Lopez reports that the father and brother of the actress Afshan Azad, an actress in a number of Harry Potter movies, have been charged with threatening to kill Ms. Azad. In a related post, Phyllis Chesler reports that honor killings are on the rise. Interestingly, honor killings in Europe is on the rise and while other Eastern religion practice honor killing, 96% of all European honor killings have been Muslim.
(photo from Middle East Forum)
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame has this wonderful post (quoted in its entirety):
GAIA'S REVENGE: SUV hits an eco-friendly mass transit bus, careens into a greenhouse. And, of course, there's a huge heat wave in the Northeast. The Goddess is angry. Probably because of the Al Gore "sex poodle" incident. I guess we'd better push him into a volcano or something to appease her.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Our future is
political class refuses to pay the state's bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state's budget.
Read the report! They are in deep doodoo!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Here's my favorite line from Klavan's video. Reminding the young who voted for Obama Klavan speaks to them:
"The man's a rock star," you said, forgetting that a rock star is someone who stands on a stage screaming simplistic inanities while people too young to know better cheer in idiot ecstacy.
By the way, at 1:53 into the video, the picture of the sybaritic geezer with the Obama logo painted on his belly is particularly, er, laughable.
American commanders are losing this war with their absurd ROE (Rules of Engagement). To understand how the ROE are killing American soldiers and losing this war, Christian Lowe, describes a small firefight and then offers this concluding thought from Forward Operating Base Rushmore (
When the radios finally went silent, Soldiers here had time to reflect on the remote outpost in Yahya Khel and its reputation as a magnet for insurgent attacks. And like so many others like it over the last three months of Angel, 3-187's deployment, the enemy initiated an intense attack and slipped back under the cover of the civilian population.
"They just like to demonstrate to the population that they aren't secure -- that they can attack security forces anytime they want," Powers explained. "And they know that each time they inflict an American casualty, it becomes an international incident."
In other words, the Taliban accomplished its objectives and escaped to fight another day. Thus, does the Taliban win. As Lowe describes, our ROE essentially limits combat operations to a "show of force". We simply do not engage the enemy on our terms, but on his.
I speak from experience: This is truly Vietnam reprised.