Free Markets, Free People

Questions and Observations #4

For new readers, the title is what the shortened “QandO” stands for.

  • I thought one of the things the Obama administration was promising it wouldn’t do was use signing statements to ignore the law? Apparently not.
  • It would appear that a witch-hunt for “extremists” in the military is building. First we had the DHS warning claiming veterans might be recruited by right-wing extremist organizations. Then Alcee Hastings proposes law (a law already on the books, btw) to prohibit “extremists” from joining the military. Now the Southern Poverty Law Center is asking Congress to investigate the military based on a couple of postings it found on a suspect website.  The premise, of course, is because we now have a black Democratic president, there is more of a threat from such extremists who might be in the military.
  • Government’s attempt to regulate every aspect of your life takes another step in that direction, but in an unexpected area – licensing yoga teachers. Of course, government knows so much about yoga to begin with. In fact, all this will do is add cost and paperwork to something which is at the moment, self-regulated by the market.  What it will do for yoga is present an government imposed bar to entry.  And, of course, create another revenue stream where none previously existed.
  • Electric cars? The panacea? Not according to the Government Accounting Office which claims, at best, they’d reduce CO2 emissions by 4 – 5% but would see that negated by increased travel because users would drive more believing their use isn’t a threat to the environment. And then there’s the lithium problem.
  • David Brooks sat through an entire dinner with a Republican Senator’s hand on his inner thigh? Really? Why? And what does that say about David Brooks?
  • Corporations which have taken taxpayer money are on notice not to book meetings at fancy resorts. But government (which exists on nothing but taxpayer money)? No problem.
  • Mark Steyn wonders if the era of “soft despotism” has begun here? It’s a good description of what is going on I think.  For the record, Obama isn’t the initiator of it, he’s just an accelerant. The only problem with “soft despotism” is it usually turns to the garden-variety hard despotism after a while.
  • Timing is everything, isn’t it? In the midst of the recession, the federal minimum wage is scheduled to increase by 70 cents an hour to $7.25 on July 24th. That’ll certainly help the recovery and create jobs, won’t it?

I’ll add more as I find them – check back throughout the day.

~McQ

7 Responses to Questions and Observations #4

  • And what does that say about David Brooks?
    Some people will do anything for a cheap thrill.

  • fightthesmears.com is now a vague memory

  • Does it bother anyone else that Obama’s White House science adviser (John Holdren) has advocated forced abortions, involuntary sterilization, and government seizing the children of single mothers and giving them to couples to raise?  And then there’s Ruth Bader Ginzburg.
    David Brooks sat through an entire dinner with a Republican Senator’s hand on his inner thigh? Really? Why? And what does that say about David Brooks?

    I found these two adjacent items to be interesting contrast.

    Conventional wisdom on the left is that those on the right are mean-spirited baby-killers who are only interested in power. I’ve long thought that was simple projection. Examples such as Holdren and Ginzburg support that. And Brooks highlights the true nature of a lot of the right, particularly the collaborationist wing. They work too hard at being nice, believing their ideological foes to be basically good people who are just a bit misguided and perhaps brash on occasion.

    Obama is making naked power grabs quite respectable among today’s left, and bringing on people who embody the worst of the left’s historical power lust. This is showing us the true nature of how many of these people think. In all liklihood, this will end badly.

    In order for it *not* to end badly, those on the right are going to have to get tougher about pointing out the true nature of the left, unapologetically. I’m not overly fond of Limbaugh, but the reason the left hates him with so much passion is that he does that more effectively than anyone else on the popular stage. And I believe much of the left’s passionate hatred of Palin sprang from the same source – she says exactly what she thinks of them, without apology.

    And for the usual suspects around here, spare me all of your “The right does it too!” moral equivalence arguments. These were stale by the time I understood them in the late sixties, when the left used them to justfiy how the US was no better than the Soviet Union (speaking of which, when are the folks on the left going to admit just how wrong they got things from 1950-1990?).

    The right is philosophically far more centered on individual freedom and persuasion instead of coercion. They have regrettable lapses, often driven by religious zeal, but those don’t compare in scope to the long term overweening desire of the left to control just about everything there is to be controlled in people’s lives.

    Except, of course, in the sexual arena, which I find is about the only place I can agree with the left these days. (Obama et.al. don’t even support ending the drug war.) And I do wonder about the possibility that the left leaves that area open as a safety valve for their desire for total control of everything else, rather than respect for the right of the individual to choose for themselves the life they will lead.

  • David Brooks sat through an entire dinner with a Republican Senator’s hand on his inner thigh? Really? Why? And what does that say about David Brooks?

    Maybe he tapped his foot the wrong way?

  • Thanks for the link to the Steyn review.  That’s a book I’ll have to examine and perhaps purchase.
    I thought the Ft Bragg commenter, quoting Nietzche, made an apt point about stopping the advance but never rolling it back.

  • “These were stale by the time I understood them in the late sixties, when the left used them to justfiy how the US was no better than the Soviet Union (speaking of which, when are the folks on the left going to admit just how wrong they got things from 1950-1990?). ”

    LOL, 1950? It goes back to the 30s at least, probably to the Russian Revolution.

    • You’re right, of course, though I tend to excuse the early, idealistic support of the Soviets. The information published about them, due to “journalists” such as the odious Walter Duranty, didn’t tell the average citizen what was really going on in Soviet Russia.

      But after Stalin showed what a leftist Soviet dictatorship was really all about, I don’t see how anyone could fail to see the immorality and tragedy of the Soviets. Yet many on the left tolerated or even admired them. And many of those have still not come to terms with the magnitude of their errors in judgment.