I don’t want to laugh at this, but I can’t help it
Via LGF:Clinically Depressed Poodle Mauls Former French President ChiracI laughed so hard my stomach hurt. The idea of a French politican being mauled by a poodle...I know it’s tragic; I know I shouldn’t find it so funny. Chirac’s in the hospital, and I fe
 
Miracle on the Hudson
His name?Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III.What did he do? Deadsticked an A320 Airbus into the Hudson River after he lost power in both engines due to birdstrikes and made a perfect landing.The crew then took charge and got the 150+ passengers out of the aircraft and onto rafts and then boats. Before the first media
 
Predictions for 2009
Well apparently I failed in my yearly duty to put up a post last year soliciting predictions from QandO commenters, so I have no results from readers to post and ridicule. Heh ...So, getting back to the QandO tradition, how about some predictions from the faithful, not so faithful and drive-by readers of the blog?What do you think will happen in 2009?Topics:Obama administration.Environment.
 
Does the 21st Century begin January 20?
E. J. Dionne Jr. at the WaPo thinks so. Or at least, that’s supposed to be the subject of his article. He doesn’t describe in any detail why Barack Obama will truly change things in a distinctively non-20th century way, but he does spend a lot of time trying to deny that the 21st century started on Bush’s watch.If I can salvage an argument from
 
The Perfection of Imperfection
Detroit Lions: 0-16So much for "on any given Sunday".There is one consolation for them, however. At least for one day, they didn’t stink as badly as the Dallas Cowboys. And how would you like to be the Pats? 11-5 and going home.
 
Stray Voltage
Bailout fever continues and it isn’t just private enterprises or sectors lining up for the handouts.Do all statements from Obama come with an expiration date?Goodbye to  
Bits and Pieces: 11-18-08
Russ Roberts:"Oh Please-President Bush has lost the right to say this."Also, he has a great Mea Culpa on why he missed this, and a discussion that fits right into my theme
 
The Morning After
Well it’s done.Now to sort out some final thoughts.- The polls were right. I mean dead right. I frankly didn’t expect them to be as close as they were. It certainly gives me a reason to trust them a little more given this performance.- While the election is certainly a decisive victory for Barack Obama, it is still unclear whether Dems will meet their expectations in the House and Senate. Norm Coleman leads Al Frank
 
Nonrandom Thoughts
A number of points on a related theme...Both McCain and Obama regale us with the huge differences in their tax plans. Obama’s a socialist, and McCain leads a parade of the selfish. According to the Tax Foundation, the difference between the two plans isn’t as big as you might think, at leas
 
Notes, thoughts and observations from the road
I had one of those long weeks on the road. Windshield time. And having covered this territory for about 30 years, unless I’m in a hurry to get somewhere, I have a tendency to avoid interstates for the more sedate back roads which, interestingly, seem to have very little traffic. It gives me a lot of time to observe, think and ruminate.A sign of the times in Destin, FL - a relator&rsquo
 
Random Thoughts
A smattering of things I’ve been thinking about recently.So, some guy in LA has a Sarah Palin manikin hanging from a noose. A lot of people on the Right have apparently been in a tizzy about that today.Meh.Hanging in effigy is an old tradition in this country. We haven’t seen a lot of it in the last generation or so, but, back in the day, it was considered fine
 
Dreamland lives up to its name
USA Today carries a story about one of the most iconic and best "college football joints" in the nation. And it’s arguably the best college football joint in the land. Indeed, doesn’t every college town have one place where fans gather religiously for food and fellowship, football talk and adult beverages? Yet few, if any, can touch Dream
 
From under the rubble
I’ll try and resume posting again this weekend now that I have dug out from under the worst hurricane Baton Rouge has ever experienced. What? You weren’t aware? Seems most people are not. I can’t say why, since we didn’t have power to see what the rest of the country saw. We were lucky to have a battery powered TV/Radio which at least gave us some local news coverage on one station, which was Gustav coverage 24 hours a day. So my perspective is a b
 
Some random thoughts on Sept 11
I’m on the road, will be getting a lot of windshield time today and really don’t feel like digging through the news and commentary right now. Instead a few random thoughts.1. First let me wish my brother Doug "happy birthday". 9/11 2001 forever changed his birthday as you might imagine. My bro is just that - my brother and my best friend. Happy birthday Doug (aka McQ2).2. Funny how, politically, we seem to be as polarized about
 
Quick Hits
Two thoughts this morning, before I head to work:Joe Biden said Sarah Palin is qualified to be VP. Oh my gawd, what does that say about his judgment? Is he going to be ready to lead? Why is it that the only major media outlet that managed to keep the same journalistic standards intact from the Edwards affair to Sarah Palin is the Nation
 
Red-Blooded Americans at the Republican Convention
Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin have an article at Politico about how Gustav is affecting the Republican National Convention. Obviously the schedule looks like it’s going to be affected, and it’s possible that some speakers may not be present, including President Bush (who has more important duties to attend to). But something caught my eye in the article:Republican officials
 
Interesting (update)
If the USSR was still in existence today, it would have won the total medal count in the Beijing Olympics by a whopping 61 medals.(HT: SJ)UPDATE: KyleN brings up an excellent point in the comment section. If the USSR had been participating, those who composed the national teams of their former s
 
Alexander Solzhenitsyn R.I.P.
The impact of this man on the world is not part of the memory of many today. I’ll be breaking out a few of his books this week in his memory. A true Giant has passed away. 
Bits and Pieces: Milton Friedman Edition: Video Link Fixed
Yesterday was Milton Friedman’s birthday! For all kinds of coverage, go to my Milton Friedman Memorial page. Scroll to the bottom and there is a huge collection of thoughts on his passing. Here is one of my favorite bits:
 
Bits and Pieces 7-31
The Government is ruining Arnold Klings day yet again:What he is referring to is a provision of the new housing bill that takes about $500 million a year from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to fund an "affordable-housing" program. Broder notes that since the FM’s are undercapitalized right now, the program will not take effect until 2010 (as if they will have enough capital by then)
 
Bits and Pieces 7-30
Jon Voight launches a scathing attack upon Barack Obama’s deification. Andrew Breitbart reflects on Hollywoods blacklists. Jonathan Wells seems to be a supporter of leftwing reparations:It’s been said in this town many times that the right has a debt to pay for the blacklisting of lefties in the ’50s, and that in all f
 
Bits and Pieces 7-27
Over at Byron 1776 a viable third party approach is proposed. Global Warming and an economic renaissance in Greenland. I like G
 
Bits and Pieces 7-25
Megan McCardle continues her discussion of why restricting futures traders will not work, and would be a bad thing if it did.Let’s talk taxes! Tax prof style. Here is a roundup of comparisons of the Obama-McCain tax plans. Each comparison is sure to get someone’s b
 
Bits and Pieces 7-24
The perfect cover to gain the confidence of a vicious third world "insurgency."Supporting allies? Not when you can pander to unions.Hey! Whats wrong with the  
When bean-counters run the world
You can get in some dicey and dangerous situations.US Air pilots have taken the rare step of going public about accusations that US Air is threatening "termination of their careers" if pilots fail to "reduce fuel levels" "to save money."Said one pilot:"Fuel is very critical to any mission. When you start varying the amount of fuel and
 
Tony Snow - dead at 53
My condolences to his family.I had the opportunity to listen in on a couple of blogger calls with Tony and ask him a few questions. Bloggers aren’t journalists steeped in the culture of nuance, and they can get pretty blunt. Tony was a gentleman who fielded every question and answered it without all the usual sidestepping spokesman do.He was what Scott McClel
 
Voting with their feet!?
OK, here’s the strange one for the day:Swedish police said they have found a human foot inside a shoe, which washed up on a beach near one of the country’s most popular tourist resorts.Ah,ah ... not yet. There’s more:In Canada, several running shoes containing human feet have been found on island shorelines along the Strait of Georgia. Canadian aut
 
Easy Riders
Well, I did it last year. Now, it looks like others are joining me.Long associated with counterculture, risk and rebellion, the motorcycle is being embraced by a growing contingent of Washington area drivers for, of all things, its practical benefits: high gas mileage and a speedier commute courtesy of the region’s HOV lanes.
 
Fetal Surgery
A slight change of pace from the political...Over the weekend, you may have seen the story of the "baby who was born twice", Macie Hope McCartney. If you haven’t, check it out and see what’s possible today. The surgeons removed the uterus from the mother’s body, and removed 80% of the child from the uterus, then put Macie and the uterus back inside her mother
 
Semi-coherent and random thoughts about the Billings trip
Just some thoughts kicking around in my head about the trip to Billings, MT.First - as with the Chevron people I met in Corpus Christi - the impression you get with the folks from the ConocoPhillips Billings refinery is that of caring professionals who have a real passion for what they do. And while what they do is complicated, fascinating and dangerous, what impressed me most was their love of and belief and pride in what they are doing. What is lost i
 
Billings, MT
I like this place.If you want small town America, come to Billings. I just completed my walking tour (and it didn’t take long) and saw most of downtown north of the railroad tracks. The tracks, btw, aren’t ancient reminders of a bygone era. They fire a train through the middle of downtown about every hour (hopefully, since the track is about a block away from the hotel, they’ll cease and desist tonight). But, as is obviou
 
Stray Voltage
You know you’re getting old when entertainers start dying that you used to watch as a kid. Last week Dick Martin died and today Harvey Korman has gone to his reward. While Korman was a talented comedian, what I remember most, and what I tuned i
 
Democrats for Voter Identification
Funny, the Progressives don’t seem so worked up when Barack Obama works his religion on the campaign trail. Race 4 2008 has an interesting Obama pamphlet being used in Kentucky. But what I find most amusing isn’t just the blatant religious stuff (NOTE: some enterprising blogger could probably have fun finding Obama-supporting progressives who went nuts over Huckabee’s cross or other Re
 
NYTimes: Government Subsidies for Mortgage Bubble
The New York Times Editorial Board seems to think the way to fight the housing bubble is to...subsidize demand? Earlier this year, Mr. Bush derided a modest plan to provide $4 billion to states and localities to buy foreclosed properties, saying that buying up empty homes helps only “the lenders or the speculators.” Actually, it protects entire neighborhoods and local economies from the effects
 
The inevitable begins to happen
Apparently this qualifies as news:Soaring gas prices have turned the steady migration by Americans to smaller cars into a stampede.Well duh!This is a cyclic thing with those of us old enough to have driven during the late ’70s and early ’80s remembering a similar rush to sm
 
Heritage Foundation Praises Paul Krugman
The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog quotes and praises Paul Krugman on a policy issue. Yes, really. Visiting Heritage scholar Wendell Cox has a new paper out titled “How Smart Growth Exacerbated the International Financial Crisis” in which he praises New York Times columnist Paul Krugma
 
History started in 1998
In his book The Argument, Matt Bai wrote that the "political consciousness of most of the bloggers seemed to begin sometime around impeachment, when they had first tuned in." Apparently, Open Left’s Chris Bowers tuned in after that...
 
Disperse, You Rebels!
Today is an important day in American history. It is not, oddly, a day we commemorate in any particular way. But April 19th, 1775, is the day American independence truly began. Because today is the day the country began fighting for it.In the evening of April 18th, General Thomas Gage ordered Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith to take command of 10 elite light infantry companies under Major John Pitcairn and 11 grenadier companies under Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bernard. Col. Smi
 
Olympic torch runner shows Tibetan flag during run
Good for her:A New Yorker bearing the Olympic torch staged a rogue anti-China protest Wednesday even as cops took extreme measures to thwart demonstrators in San Francisco.As she ran with the flame, Majora Carter, 41, a South Bronx environmental activist, whipped out a small Tibetan flag to condemn China’s human
 
More McArdle V. Greenwald
Left-of-Center blogger The Editors (Poorman) leaves a good comment at Unqualified Offerings...I used to admire Greewald’s work, and he still does some worthwhile stuff, but too often he’s just looking for an excuse to get into some windy blogfight, which is basically what he’s doing here. There are plenty of ways to disagree with McArdle and Drezner on the merits (as
 
It took all of this time to determine Diana was killed by her reckless driver?
CBS blasts out a "breaking story" email:A coroner’s jury has ruled that Princess Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed through the reckless actions of their driver and the paparazzi in 1997.Huh. Wonder how much that cost British taxpayers?I hate to admit it, but I figured that out in, well, 1997 as did most Brits I’m sure.
 
"Moses" gone to the Promised Land
Charlton Heston has died at age 84.Charlton Heston, who appeared in some 100 films in his 60-year acting career but who is remembered chiefly for his monumental, jut-jawed portrayals of Moses, Ben-Hur and Michelangelo, died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 84, according to
 
Absolut responds
Le affair Absolut sees the company respond in the wishy-washy way companies these days respond. They didn’t mean to, uh, well you read it:The In An Absolut World advertising campaign invites consumers to visualize a world that appeals to them — one they feel may be more idealized or one that may be a bit "fantastic." As such, the campaign will e
 
In an "Absolut World" (update)
P.H. Potfry takes the Absolut ad campaign to its "oh, so fun" logical conclusion. I’m sure the Swedes have no problem with either.<
 
You want "red and blue"?
Well here it is with a twist:Talk about an east/west difference. Let the migration begin.
 
Into the Abyss
Paranoid conspiracy theorist Glenn Greenwald proclaims the story of Barack Obama’s long-time pastor/personal advisor’s sometimes-racist and segregationist behavior to be the merely "manufactured Wright "controversy"". This same Glenn Greenwald was
 
Recommended Book(s)
I’ve been looking forward to a particular new book for a few years. It’s had more than a couple changes of title since I first heard of it, and although I didn’t always know the exact subject matter, I knew I had to have it. And why?Because it’s by Philip Bobbitt. Currently a constitutional law professor, he previously worked in government on issues of both strategy and law for decades. Having heard nothing about his work, I first found it completely by ch
 
What ABC doesn’t know about Living in Space
Geekpress points me to an ABC News article, What You Don’t Know About Living in Space, which contains the following claim...Pizza: NASA can put a man on the moon but there is no way to get pizza on a space station or space shuttle mission. It just doesn’t hold up.
 
Romney PAC
News that Mitt Romney is planning to "establish a new political action committee to help elect Republican candidates" has Matt Yglesias and Hot Air’s Allahpundit s
 
Ode to a Blackbird
Terrific post at Maggie’s Farm from an SR-71 Blackbird pilot:We trained for a year, flying out of Beale AFB in California, Kadena Airbase in Okinawa, and RAF Mildenhall in England. On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento, refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain high Mach over Colorado, turn right o
 
Finger-lickin’ good
PETA, as usual, is all up in arms over a Kentucky feel-good legislative measure to honor a home-grown business: Animals rights advocates are squawking at a measure that would make fried chicken Kentucky’s official picnic food.State Rep. Charles Siler is sponsoring legislation to assign the designation to KFC’s "fing
 
Hell’s Angels planned to off Mick Jagger?
It is always nice to have a bizarre little story with which to start your week. How about this one - the Hell’s Angels were so enraged with their treatment by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones after the Altamont concert in CA in 1969 (they were in charge of security and are believed to have killed an 18 year-old concert goer) that they hatched a plot to kill Jagger. Yup, the boys decided to kill him at his Long Island home in New York.And instead
 
President Von Munchausen
Jonathan Martin does some rapid fact-checking. Reporters should do more of this..."I once spoke to a million people in Ghana," Clinton recalled. (Actually, an account of his 1998 speech in Accra, the country’s capital, said the public square where he spoke had room for over 200,000 people — far less than one million).
 
William F. Buckley Jr.
Like Andrew Sullivan, I cannot say I was directly influenced a great deal by William F. Buckley Jr. - at least, not philosophically - but it is difficult to escape his contribution to the political landscape, which has surely helped shape us all. And I came to admire him a great deal, over time.
 
William F. Buckley Jr - RIP
The conservative world has lost one of its giants. Buckley died today at his home in Stamford, CT according to CBS News.
 
"Amber room" or Al Capone’s vault?
All we need is Geraldo Rivera on the scene to make it complete.
 
Plastic Surgery horror story
Check this out! If you ever wanted to dissuade someone from getting plastic surgery, this would be most useful. Maybe its just me, but I have to question the ethics of a doctor who would create such a monstrous look.
 
Superstitious Politicians
MyDD’s Todd Beeton thinks he has an angle of attack against John McCain. Noting McCain’s acknowledgment that he can be superstitious, Beeton writes...Does this strike anyone else as particularly creepy and actually a real liability for a presidential campaign? McCain is fond of mentioning his superstition on the trail and I welcome it, because the more he does so, the more
 
Hoist by their own Dogwhistle
For the past few months, Democrats have been throwing accusations of racism and sexism back and forth between the Hillary and Obama camps, with pundits eagerly jumping in to accuse their opponents of using code words and subtle signals to exploit the racism and misogyny of....well, I guess Democratic primary voters. The latest example is
 
The American Dream: still in reach
Geekpress has a fascinating post on an experiment conducted by Adam Shepard. After reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s "Nickel and Dimed", which told a story of the futility of trying to make it as a poor person, Shepard decided to find out just how possible it was to rise out of desperate poverty without using his
 
Zap! 11,000 volts of partially fried thief
Under the heading of stupid criminal tricks:Police in central England are hunting for a badly scorched would-be copper power cable thief after finding a hacksaw embedded in an 11,000 volt power cable Saturday night.The thief, who also left a lit blow torch at the scene, is expected to be badly charred, spiky haired and not exac
 
Ann Coulter at CPAC, sadly
For whatever reason, though hopefully due to her past rhetoric, CPAC declined to invite Ann Coulter to speak on the agenda this year. It was the right decision. Unfortunately, not everybody made that decision. [An event featuring Ann Co
 
What has value when copies are free?
In Nashville, we often talk about the problems faced by music labels and other content providers in an age when copies are effectively free. The music execs put off facing the inevitable for a long time, but they can’t do that any more. This article in The Economist recounted a typical example of why:IN 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some t
 
Miscellaneous
Today is surgery blogging as the significant other has some foot surgery. I’m sitting in the waiting room on the hospital’s WiFi network blogging for QandO - ain’t technology grand?In between my nursing duties tonight (no, not that kind of nursing, wise guy) I’ll be live-blogging the Super Tuesday results as I can.On a completely different topic, as you all know we get comment spam, which I take as a personal affront a
 
Random Superbowl Notes
This was probably the most exciting Superbowl finish in recent memory. Most of the game was a brutal defensive slugging match, but that 4th quarter, when the Pats finally just took to the air, and the Giants responded in kind, was a real nail-biter.Now, the least-talented Manning has The Ring. Of course, it now seems that being the least-talented Manning is kind of like being the ugliest Miss Universe. Incidentally, I don’t know why I keep referr
 
Superbowl inspiration
A great human interest story concerning a military vet and double amputee, the NY Giants and friendship over the years.Do yourself a favor and read it. It helps put what is going to happen this weekend in AZ in perspective.
 
Welcome to Sunny and Warm Georgia
Uh, hello out there - this is Georgia. We get, maybe, one snowfall a year, you know, just to remind us that it exists? We had that earlier this week. So what’s this?Hey, if it snowed in Baghdad, I guess GA can have two. Damn global warming!
 
Stray Voltage
Random stuff that caught my attention.First let’s dispense with the Diebold theories.Then we need an explanation of the dismal performance of the polls as they pertain to Clinton and Obama.MoDo asks if Clinton  
RWN: 6th Annual 20 most annoying liberals
John Hawkins of RightWingNews has issued his 6th annual "20 Most Annoying Liberals list. See if you agree.
 
Follow up - Lakota secession
Well they have a map now. For those of you unfamiliar with the subject of this follow up, a group of indian activists have repudiated all treaties with the United States and have declared their "nation" to exist.According to their latest press release:Lakota Oyate represents
 
How sad is the BCS?
How sad? Did you watch the Sugar and Rose Bowls yesterday?Total mismatches. No other word for it. I live in GA and love the Bulldogs, but at the end of last night’s Sugar Bowl, I actually felt sorry for Hawaii (however I got damn tired of Tom Breneman’s whining - GA had its subs in and were still scoring on Hawaii - what, were they supposed to just quit?).Hawaii didn’t belong on the same field as GA (and if that
 
A’hole of the year?
Possibly for both 2007 and 2008. Check out this story at Blackfive. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
 
Happy New Year!
May you and your family enjoy a happy and prosperous New Year from the QandO guys!
 
2007 prediction review
Well, it’s that time again. As we did in 2006, it’s time to review those predictions we received last year about this time and see who did the best with their predictive powers. Here’s what you everyone was asked to address last year:Foreign Affairs: Iraq - Direction? Iran - Become nuke power? Will sancti
 
A Christmas Lesson: XMas
My Christmas Gift to those who need it is a small lesson, a push back against culturally inherited grievances and mythology: XMas is neither disrespectful nor sacrilegious. Growing up, I sometimes heard - in church and from various religious scolds - that XMas was a secular attempt to "take Christ out of Christmas", rather than, say, an attempt to save valuable space on signs. From Snopes.
 
O Helga Natt
Wishing all a joyful holiday, here’s something to listen to this Christmas Eve night. This is "O Holy Night," sung in a perfect tenor in Swedish, by Jussi Björling."O Helga Natt" 
Stealth Beast
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift and have an extra 1.4 million laying around?This may be for you. Basem Wasef of Popular Mechanics draws the tough assignment of test driving the Lamborghini Reventon. Watch the vid.
 
Remember Pearl Harbor
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech (full audio):Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitat
 
Joe Klein and the Leftosphere
The Leftosphere is very upset at Joe Klein for a column he wrote inaccurately describing the FISA bill. For c
 
My "inner European"
Hey, at least it came out right:Your Inner European is Irish! 
The death penalty as a deterrent
Via Tim Blair, I saw this article in the New York Times about new research on the death penalty, which says:According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented. The effect is most pronounced, acco
 
Michael Yon does a "Consumer Reports"
Yon talks about his choice of cameras for combat photography. In this dispatch he talks about his Nikon D70 (FYI he is now using a Canon MkII). My favorite chuckle line:I’m legendary for being the first on the ground. I never hesitated to jump on the D70. That little camera deserves a medal for continuing to work after all the beatings it too
 
Live TV - nothing quite like it
Heh ... here’s a little grape stomping story from a local morning show here in Atlanta in which the lesson "cheaters never win" is reinforced for the kiddies.<
 
More on the MSU YAF Chapter
Yesterday, I noticed that the YAF people at MSU were still running the fake news story about MEChA starting the southern California fires.I sent in a comment to notify them that they were running this story as if it were true.No response.Apparently, the narrative is more important to them than the truth.
 
Thought
It’s often said of abortion that our policy should be to make it safe, legal and rare. That also seems to be our policy towards adoption.
 
Young Americans for Freedom?
I don’t know much about the Young Americans for Freedom. I know they’ve been around for a while, although, judging from their national website’s home page, they don’t make a strenuous effort to keep up with current events. In any event, I always assumed they were a national organization for youths of a conservative bent.So, It struck me as kind of odd to learn that the Michigan State
 
Theory versus Reality
The New York Times editorial board:Politicians on the right have continuously paraded the specter of statism to rally voters’ support for tax cuts, mainly for the rich. But the meager tax take leaves the United States ill prepared to compete. From universal health insurance to decent unemployment insurance, other rich nations provide their citizens benefits that the United States govern
 
Practicing for a ’growing’ world
The Army has a motto which says "train as you fight, fight as you train" which says we should make the training as difficult as the real thing so there are no surprises and soldiers know exactly what to expect and how to react.It appears fire and rescue are doing something along that line now in the UK:A 28-stone training dummy has been created to help e
 
Wow, What a surprise
Not.Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.Al Gore now joins the likes of Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat as a "Nobel Peace Prize" winner. Unlike the o
 
Senate offices and bloggers
Following up on the SCHIP drama, we’ve also got significant portions of the  
SCHIP histrionics
I’m not really sure what to make of the recent uproar surrounding SCHIP and the 12 year old Graeme Frost who read a message for the Democratic Party. I certainly haven’t followed every twist, but I see Ezra Klein condemnning the Right for "travel[ling] to their home, insinuat[ing] that the family is engaged in large-sca
 
Proto-Python
Ace makes a nice find:Before Python, Cleese and Chapman worked with Marty Feldman and some guy who would go on to to "The Goodies" (remember them?) in "At Last the 1948 Show." They did the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch there, which would later be seen in The Secret Policeman’s Ball and various Monty Python live shows.Below is that "Four Yourkshiremen" sketch from the "At Last
 
Reviewing Paul Krugman
Greg Mankiw directs me to this Ed Glaeser review of Paul Krugman’s new book. Summary...Mr. Krugman has written a sweeping political history of the past 135 years from a stridently liberal Democratic viewpoint. In Krugman’s worldview, noble Democratic progressives have long battled a conspiracy of Republican knaves who are themsel
 
Look for the Union Label
Union picketing just isn’t what it used to be in the good old days apparently. Here’s a first hand description of the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) picketing a grocery chain called Farmer Joe’s in California:I have to give the whole UFCW local 5 theatrical scene yesterday a two thumbs down. First, they started late. The union’s
 
Nazis at leisure at Auschwitz
The NY Times has a flash presentation of some previously unseen photos which show the Nazi cadre of Auschwitz "at play". No nothing gross except to see these monsters at their leisure. Sing alongs, a little beer drinking, you know, the normal, everyday activ
 
5 books I’m reading
Yeah, I’m one of those. I have a tendency to get bored with a subject if I try to commit myself to a long reading, and then lose focus. Not good with books in which every sentence is one to think about and ponder. So I tend to read a chapter or two at a time in a number of books to keep that from happening. Consequently I have a number of books going at the same time.I say 5 books I’m reading, but in reality I finished one last night. It
 
Luciano Pavarotti, dead at 71
I don’t know what type music you may like or whether you ever had the opportunity to listen to Luciano Pavarotti, but in my estimation, the world lost one of its all time great voices today:Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian tenor whose clarion lyric voice and performances from concert houses to outdoor stadiums made him a pop icon and the most famous
 
Democracy
This post by Thoreau touches on a pet peeve. I used to make the "republic, not a democracy!" argument, too...but I was in grade school. I’ve since grasped the fact that ’democracy’, in geopolitical and philosophical usage, doesn’t mean what I once thought it did...I notice that a Hit and Run thread has g
 
This and that
Heading into a long labor day weekend, first let me wish you a safe and happy holiday. I thought I’d throw a few things up here that have caught my eye or are being discussed but really don’t move me to put together one of my patented dissertations. Just some stuff to talk about amongst ourselves.Larry Craig. Hush for heaven sake. I frankly don’t care one way or the other if you’re gay. And I don’t care one way or the ot
 
PhD material for some gender studies graduate student
Women in a Kenyan village are experiencing sexual harassment from monkeys.In addition to stealing their crops, the monkeys also make sexually explicit gestures at the women, they claim. "The monkeys grab their breasts, and gesture at us while pointing at their private parts. We are afraid that they will sexually harass us," said Mrs Njeri.OK, OK, I know it’s not funny to them. Thei
 
Never bring a knife to a gun fight
Instead, bring a baseball bat:
 
Meet Nat Adams of the "greatest generation"
That generation is beginning to go to their reward very rapidly. Nat Adams is fairly typical of them. Read his story, I think you’ll enjoy it. And I also think you’ll agree that his story is pretty representative of that generation.
 
Transference
In order... Brad DeLong is asked if the Fed "intervening directly in the mortgage-backed securities market" is as "unusual as I think it is". DeLong says "Yes."  
Barry Bonds *
Hit number 756[Yawn]Says the real home run king:“I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball’s career home run leader,” [Hank]Aaron said. “It is a great accomplishment which requires skill, longevity and determination.Hank has too much class to add the last reason - s
 
When partisans attack...
Atrios calls people "The Stupids" for, as Media Matters explains, arguing that we should maintain the option of military action, but avoid talking about it publicly...Shorter Rudy, Mitt, and the media:Of course we might strike at targets
 
Life, luck and fate
They’re sometimes amazingly and tragically intertwined. When you go on a fishing trip, you don’t expect anyone to die:A police officer shooting at a snake apparently killed a 5-year-old boy who was fishing at a nearby pond, officials said.Austin Haley was fishing with his grandfather, Jack Tracy, when Tracy said he heard a sho
 
Aging infrastructure?
I rarely watch TV news but as I was thumbing through the channels to watch the Braves (and their new trade acquisitions play for the first time) I happened across the I-35W bridge collapse just as it happened. Amazing, appalling, tragic. Amazing in how it collapsed. Straight down. Especially that span in the middle of the river where you could see people standing around their
 
Dogblogging
It is the inherent grace and dignity of the Boxer that makes it such a beloved pet.Yes, I’m proud to say that this magnificent creature is my dog.
 
President Cheney
In case you hadn’t heard, the President will be undergoing a routine colonoscopy tomorrow. During the 2.5 hours the procedure will take, The president will, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, formally declare his incapacity for that time, making Dick Cheney the Acting President of the United States, with all the formal powers associated with that office.I think it would be hilarious—but terribly, terribly wrong, of cour
 
How to make the Nobel Peace Prize even more meaningless, if that’s possible ...
Said Nobel peace laureate Betty Williams in 2006 in Australia:""Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." "Betty Williams yesterday in Dallas""Right now, I could kill George Bu
 
US Airways
This US Airways story from a co-worker is why I avoid flying whenever possible. On the bright side, if she stays on hold so long that they never fix the problem...then they won’t be able to lose her luggage. That would probably be an improvement for  
Identity Politics
Yikes. Imagine this being said by a Republican...The questions for you [John Edwards], if you really want to pay the price to make the changes you say you want to make, are: can you “hit” a woman? Can you beat up, politically, on a black man and not feel guilty about it?If not, please, stop wasting people’s time and money. One might dream that the Democrats would campai
 
They start ’em young in India
Two unrelated stories in the realm of the unusual caught my eye:The 15-year-old son of two doctors successfully performed a filmed Caesarean section birth under his parents’ watch in southern India in an apparent attempt to set a record as the youngest surgeon, officials said Thursday.Instead, the boy’s father could be stripped of his licens
 
Bill Clinton gives speeches, makes money
Let’s dispense with this...FORMS REVEAL: Bill Clinton commemorated the 5th anniversary of 9/11 with a paid $100,000 speech [via satellite] to group of investors in Hong Kong attending forum about personal wealth... MORE... There are two appropriate responses to this: So what? <
 
Kos’ Primary Challenge: consistency
Primary challenges? Huzzah, said Kos, go to it and "exercise democracy!"[passage of time]...unless it poses a problem for the candidate he likes. In which case, shut up and sit down.
 
First Ride: BRP Can-Am Spyder
Today was a good day. It was a good day, because I got to spend it driving this:This is the 2008 BRP Can Am Spyder. Bombardier is sending out Spyders to various dealers to drum up some interest this new street trike, which will be available in October. The Spyder pictured above is the one I drove for the demo.The demo, by the way, was very cool. All you
 
I’m a sucker for cute baby pics
And this one fills the bill:Heh ...(HT: Lucianne.com)
 
Driving in Bolivia
You think there are bad roads here to negotiate, take a gander at this beauty in Bolivia: It&
 
Ezra Klein jumps the moral relativisim shark
Wow.For the most part I like to read Ezra, but this is hopefully an outlier and the result of some bad mushrooms or something:To get back to the burning building, though: Size matters. Say what you will about [Hugo] Chavez, but the worst he’s doing is harming a small country’s economy. Bush is playing on a larger field. Given the scale, if Bush is
 
Hanging out in DC
Ok, not really "hanging out", not yet anyway, but I have made it to DC after 8 hr drive. And it was tolerable to boot. Guess, traffic-wise I got here at the right time. And, as a bonus my niece is here from California doing a play so I’ll see her this afternoon after her rehearsal. Jon’s going to give us a tour of the Capitol and then we’re headed to dinner with Michael Wade of A Second Hand Conjecture. We&rsquo
 
The great highway collapse conspiracy
Some people just have too much time on their hands.(HT: Joe)UPDATE: It appears it’s pretty well been established that the site is a parody site (it took a while to finally decide), but hit the links there an visit some of the other places as well.
 
For the "Truthers", a demonstration
For those who still question the effect of intense heat generated by petroleum on steel, a demonstration in Oakland:Huge leaping flames from an exploding gasoline tanker melted the steel underbelly of a highway overpass in the East Bay’s MacArthur Maze early this morning, causing it to collapse onto the roadway below and virtually ensu
 
Well this ought to kill any crediblity "Loose Change" had, if any
Yes more of our of our friends the loony glitterati are buying into the "Loose Change" nonsense:Some celebrities don’t know when to keep their traps shut - like Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell, who are throwing their weight behind the twisted theory that the United States government was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.[...]
 
Is nothing sacred?
What!! Bad news from the Emerald Isle:But the cliche of the Irish pub filled with Guinness drinkers is giving way to a different picture as new wealth, new opportunities and immigration transform tastes and drinking habits in one of Europe’s fastest growing economies.Alongside the decline of Guinness is an increasing appetite for w
 
The Hagia Sophia
The Washington Post has a presentation on candidates for the newest Seven Wonders of the world. It’s nice and all, I guess, but you gotta wonder how this got through all those famed layers of editors on frame 18:The sun sets over Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a church that was first built in 537 B.C. as a Mosque when the city fell to the Ott
 
Some book reviews
With McQ possibly still suffering a bit of blogging ennui, I’ll fill the gap with a few book reviews of things I’ve read in the last few months. First, you need to understand my rating scheme. It’s similar to Amazon’s, but I try to give more definitive advice embedded in it.***** (five stars) – This book is so good, you should buy it and read it even if you only have a passing interest in the subject*
 
OK I’m just having a heck of time today
For whatever reason, I just am not interested in writing about most of what I see going on today.I’m tired of Libby, Wilson and Plame. Wilson’s a liar, Plame wasn’t covert and as far as I’m concerned the whole thing is overblown.I can’t bring myself to analyze the Democrats latest version of capitulation in Iraq (after being "too busy" to meet with  
Thank goodness
CNN (link):A Florida court rejects an appeal by Anna Nicole Smith’s mother to overturn a ruling that allows her daughter to be buried in the Bahamas.I mean I’ve been losing sleep worrying about this. [/snark]Would you put the poor woman in the ground already?!
 
Never mess with a Marine ... even a retired one.
Joe Tobacco over at Cadillac Tight did this story a few days ago, but I never got around to it for some reason. But it is a pretty interesting story about a bunch of senior citizens on tour in Costa Rica of which a a bunch of armed young thugs thought they could take advan
 
The Daytona 500 – A Primer for Non-Race-Fans
The Daytona 500 is the first race of the NASCAR season, and it will be run this afternoon. For many, it’s the only NASCAR race they’ll see all year. So I’ve put together a handy-dandy set of essential facts and concepts, so you can fit right in with the serious NASCAR fans if you go to a Daytona 500 party.Despite the fact that I grew up in the South, I didn’t pay any attention to NASCAR. Then I married into a NASCAR family, and picked up the essentials through osmosis. That semi-outs
 
On a wing and a prayer
Astonishing story:A German champion paraglider says she survived being lifted higher than Mount Everest by a thunderstorm that killed a Chinese paraglider in eastern Australia.Paragliding 2005 World Cup winner Ewa Wisnierska, 35, says she was lifted 32,612 feet above sea level by a storm Wednesday near Manilla in New South Wales state while preparing f
 
Keep your hair by zapping it with a laser
One of my high school friends lost most of his hair in his late thirties and forties. Mine’s gone totally gray (one comedian called me "The Man From Glad" during his comedy show), but it’s not too thin yet. My friend is never very sympathetic when I complain about it going gray. From his viewpoint, gray hair beats no hair. I’d always hoped that science might have a nice solution to thinning hair before I had to worry too much about it.  
Cheetas acting like Cheetas. Go figure.
It is thinking like this (or really, the lack thereof) that absolutely drives me nuts:An animal lover was mauled to death by cheetahs after entering their cage at a zoo in northern Belgium, authorities and zoo officials said Monday.Karen Aerts, 37, of Antwerp, was found dead in the cage, Olmense Zoo spokesman Jan Libot said. Police said they ruled out any foul play.<
 
Award-Winning Portrait
When I saw this photo, I hardly knew what to think. I had to learn the story behind that photo, if possible.I found the story.
 
Site Update Again
OK. I really didn’t like the old format of the US Military Ribbons presentation. There was a lot of repetition. So, I re-did it. The new presentation is done in a different format, and I’ve added the common ribbon devices, as well as a sample display for wearing ribbons.I also updated the US Rank Insignia prese
 
Site Update
I have finished a revision to the US Military Ribbons presentation in the "Resources" section on the sidebar. The old presentation had some colors wrong on a few of the ribbons. More importantly, it was missing some ribbons, since the services have introduced a few new ones since the original presentation was done. The new presentation includes all the new medals, including all of the r
 
Superbowl Prediction
Colts 28Bears 24Don’t ask me to support it. Call it intuition. Of course with my previous predictive abilities it’s probably the kiss of death for the Colts.
 
Live, From Harvard ....
What Harvard grad had this to say in 1976?He recalled writing a skit called "Seamen on Broadway" that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show "by some preppie so they could take some other preppie’s skit." Xxxxxxx started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. "It’s not preppies, cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I wa
 
The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and...France?
Jon emailed this little tidbit to me earlier today, saying he really didn’t know what to make of it.Frankly, neither do I.Britain and France talked about a "union" in the 1950s, even discussing the possibility of the Queen becoming the French head of state, it was reported today.On September 10 1956, Guy Mollet, the then French prime mini
 
Trish Rules
Watch who the real "stud" is in this celebrity tasing for "Armed and Famous" for CBS.I have to admit I was impressed.
 
Stock up
It’s enough to make a grown man cry:There’s another commodity in short supply and going up price — the hops. Several breweries are already raising their prices. Anheuser-Busch plans a price increase early this year. Brewing insiders say hops, one of the grains used to make beer, has gone in up in price nearly 25 percent in a year. And production is down
 
Sometimes I love college football
Last night was one of those times. After a raft of mediocre to fairly good bowl games it was Fiesta Bowl time. I almost said "screw it" because on paper it was such a mismatch.But as it turns out, Oklahoma, the prohibitive favorite against Boise State, lost what was probably one of the most entertaining and exciting college football games I’ve ever watched. The final score in OT was 43-42.And it wasn’t a fluke by which Boise St
 
Babylon 5, Again
Just for you Babylon 5 fans out there, I give you the EarthForce Rank Insignia page.
 
A year ending thought
Robert Heinlein once said:"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."Unfortunately those in favor of wanting to control people seem to be gaining ground if not winning outright. For example: Politicians in India, takin
 
Value, worth and poverty: 3 points to ponder
Three excellent points to ponder all from Thomas Sowell:One of the hardest things for anyone to be informed about is the value of someone else’s productivity. Yet there are cries from all directions that some people are being paid "too much" and others "too little."Who can possibly be better informed about the value of what so
 
Why is government still in the flood insurance business?
Ah yes, another day, another government boondoggle financed by your taxes:The federal flood insurance program may be going broke after incurring $20 billion in debt from recent storms, such as Hurricane Katrina. Still, politicians want to extend the taxpayer-subsidized coverage for some of the riskiest —- and potentially most valuable —- proper
 
Pimping poverty
Four paragraphs in a Christy Hardin Smith piece at Firedoglake about John Edward’s presidential announcement and his poverty plank caught my attention. They are in order but I’m going to address each one separately as we go:You think you can hide out in your happy little gated community and that the messy issues of poverty and despair won
 
Freedoms continue to die in Venezuala
Freedom of the Press? Not in "democratic" Venezuela:Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he will not renew the license for the country’s second largest TV channel which he says expires in March 2007.In an address to troops, Mr Chavez said he would not tolerate media outlets working towards a coup against him.Any opposition is now conflated
 
Hunting more popular than ever in UK
Sometimes I absolutely love the Brits. You can take a lot of things from them, but apparently one thing that they’re not going to let go of easily is the hunt:Record numbers of hunt supporters gathered at Boxing Day events across the country in defiance of Labour’s ban on hunting with hounds.Organisers c
 
Gerry Ford, R.I.P.
Former President Gerald Ford has passed away.One Gerald Ford quote that we should all remember: "A government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."
 
Babylon 5 is Alive
I don’t watch TV much. Most of it is complete crap. There are a few exceptions, of course. I think the new Battlestar Galactica is one of the best shows on TV. It’s often uneven, and it’s very dark, but it can also be very entertaining, and often explores complex moral issues. I watch NCIS, mainly because I like Mark Harmon. And, despite the fact that it can become a transparent mouthpiece for whatever liberal pieties are cur
 
Another Big Government "Conservative"
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) thinks he has a fantastic idea for fixing social security. As he explains it:Under legislation I will be introducing in the next Congress, an individual personal retirement account — called a PLUS Account (for Portable, Lifelong Universal Savings Accounts) — would be established for every American at birth
 
2007 Predictions: How the world will turn - we think
*** Bumped to the top to give our commenters one more chance to add their predictions to the mix. More recent content below this post***OK prognosticators. No time like the present to begin with the 2007 predictions. You can see a review of this year’s predictions below (and Pogue’s bellyaching in the comment section). This year lots of topics and issues, but don’t feel compelled to leave a predict
 
2006 Prediction Review
2006 has certainly been an interesting year. As some may recall, last year I solicited predictions for 2006, and I thought it might be fun to review a few (yeah, I know, you guys thought (maybe hoped in some cases) I’d forget about these didn’t you?).The topics were: * Iraq * The War on Terror<
 
Uncle Ted
Good ol’ Ted Rall, breaking out the ’eliminationist rhetoric’...A reader...has sent me a persuasive case for banning the Republican Party. As in making it illegal for the GOP to hold meetings or run for office. Forever.It’s not as wild as you might thing. Political parties are banned all over the earth. For instance, the Communist Party i
 
Not a creature was stirring ...
... not even a blogger.Merry Christmas from QandO.Image thoughtfully provided by our favorite bee keeper (thanks Pogue) who symbolically represents the gathering place QandO has become for rogues, rapscallions, reprobates and popinjays, er, commenters, with the two wreaths and bees.Enjoy the day and again, Merry Christmas.
 
Quips, Quotes and Questions
Acrobatics in a helicopter?Check out this video.Saw my first "Stop Global Warming" advertisement on TV the other day. Definitely doomsday material. Followed by? A KIA commercial, of course.
 
Seeking a legacy for "Compassionate Conservatism"
James Pinkerton sees signs that George W. Bush is getting ready to cave in on tax increases. Because of Pinkerton’s past service with Bush 41, he says he recognizes the warning signs:President Bush is willing to raise taxes. That reality was a big surprise to me 16 years ago, in 1990, when I was working in the W
 
Let’s fire it up a little
In New Jersey:New Jersey’s governor signed legislation Thursday giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage allowed under state law _ but not the title.When the law goes into effect Feb. 19, New Jersey will become the third state offering civil unions to gay couples and the fifth allowing gay couples some version of marriag
 
Helping the poor
The road to hell is paved with good intentions and ignorance:During the campaign, [James] Webb often spoke about the growing divide between the rich and the poor, a divide he said risks tearing American society apart. He said Tuesday he hopes to begin addressing the problem through measures such as increasing the minimum wage and examining the fairness of corporate
 
Tony Blair: El Nuevo Caudillo
Oliver Kamm, writing in The Times of London, charges Tony Blair with turning Britain into another banana republic. And he’s got a good argument.The Serious Fraud Office has been investigating claims that a defense deal to sell Eurofighter jets to Saudi Arabia by BAE was deeply corrupt. The allegations were that Saudi princes were paid hefty kickbacks for the deal. The Saudis, of
 
Libertarian PAC
Bruce Bartlett voices what many of us who abandon it years ago have known - the Libertarian Party is useless and, at many times, embarrassing. Actually, it’s more than useless and embarrassing. It is damaging to the advancement of libertarian ideas in general. His characterization strikes me as pretty much how I’ve come to view that group and I&r
 
Big enough to take it away from you...
Barbara O’Brien seems to have grokked limited government and libertarianism correctly, though she has exactly the wrong reaction to it:I still say that libertarianism and “limited government” ideology is essentially anti-democratic. It deprives We, the People of the ability to use government in our own interests. Certainly the powers of government must be limited — the power t
 
Gauging Democratic seriousness about fiscal responsibility
Coming up soon in the new 110th Congress will be a bill which for many small government types typifies everything that is wrong today with governmental intrusion in the market (and spending). The Farm Bill is back for passage (once every 6 years), and with it comes the probability of billions of dollars in pork, earmarks and subsidies. However, it has to get through a Democratic Congress this time which has promised, as one of it’s major themes, to be more fi
 
Quotable
Julian Sanchez: "[L]ots of us seem content to understand the views of people we disagree with primarily through caricature. Apparently, my political ideology is just an epiphenomenon of my desire to avoid paying sales tax on the Thai stick at my local whites-only hash bar. Who knew?"
 
Meet the new boss (part 2)
Same as the old boss:Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who has pledged to stop ``dead-of-night legislating,’’ did a little of his own in the final hours of this year’s congressional session.Reid slipped two home state projects into the last major bill Congress passed last week: a transfer of federal land in Nevada to state and private control that&rs
 
Quotes, Quips and Questions
Coming as no real surprise:Incoming Democratic committee chairmen say they will hold a series of hearings and investigations early next year to build the case for their call for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and for possible action against defense contractors found to have wasted billions in federal funds.The emerging
 
Giving cover to anti-semitism
I’m sure many of you were aware of the recently concluded conference in Iran in which Holocaust denial was front and center with a more insidious argument which gave the meeting a veneer of respectability and credibility: freedom of speech.David Duke:I believe, sir, that the only way we can know whether there was a Holocaust or the nature of it is f
 
Wiretaps and all of that
And not a terrorist is sight:American intelligence agencies were bugging Princess Diana’s telephone over her relationship with a US billionaire, the Mail’s sister paper has learned.Evening Standard reports that she was even forced to abandon a planned holiday with her sons in the US with tycoon Teddy Fo
 
The Democratic Senate agenda
Harry Reid in a friendly interview with Bob Geiger:We’re going to have Congress the way it ran for more than 200 years. We’re going to have committee hearings, we’re going to look and see what the White House is doing. We have a Republican president, but it doesn’t matter — Republican or Democratic president, Congress ha
 
The fat is in the fire
I’ve talked about the NYC trans fat ban, Jon has talked about the trans fat ban and now Paul Silver at the excellent The Moderate Voice (OK, not as excellent as QandO,  
Union has a right to teacher’s money on free-speech grounds?
Oy vey.One of the supposed foundational principles of the labor union movement, back when it took off, was the protection of the interests of the laborer in all areas including financial. Unions existed to provide workers with the same protections and benefits the managers and bosses had. That was then, this is now:Teachers unions are supposed to promote the financial interests of, well, teachers—but not in Washington state
 
About those ’libertarian’ Democrats
The always-coming, never-arriving libertarian/liberal (alt: libertarian/Democratic) alliance is making the rounds again. Beyond short-term efforts to punish wayward Republicans, I don’t think there’s really room for a serious alliance for reasons I’ve described in the past:I think we’re in more danger from the loss of economic liberty, than we are from the loss
 
4th Amendment T-Shirts
Radley Balko endorses some 4th Amendment t-shirts. I like the shirts.
 
Having to work to be offended
One good thing about San Francisco (other than being a beautiful city), is it provides us more to talk about than just about any other city given some of the stories that come out of that place:A marketing campaign to promote milk by outfitting San Francisco bus shelters with cookie-scented cardboard strips has crumbled. City officials ordered CBS Outdoor, the company that holds the advertising contract for its bus shelters, to remove the adhesive strips
 
Pork Reduction
As they move toward minority status, the Republican Congress is taking some steps to limit fiscal damage:Already, the Republican leadership has moved to saddle the new Democratic majority with responsibility for resolving $463 billion in spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. [...] The unstated goal is to disrupt th
 
Another call for libertarian/liberal fusion
During the recent run up to the election there was quite a bit of discussion of why libertarians were not at all happy with the GOP and were looking elsewhere (or staying home). Brink Lindsey, of CATO writing in The New Republic sums the problem up (CATO link here) fairly well:Libertarian disaffection sho
 
Is Mikhail Bakunin smiling?
Some interesting news from Europe concerning regulatory road signs. It seems that if you remove them traffic is safer and flows better. At least that’s the case in a few smaller cities who’ve tried it. The concept?European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free a
 
Explaining the Social Security Problem
Social Security Reform is in the news again, with The Economist suggesting that "Washington is full of rumours that 2007 will bring a Grand Bargain on social security reform." Liberal bloggers are taking shots at the idea.  
"Dangerous" free speech
Why is it institutions which should be the greatest protectors of free speech as well as diverse and unpopular ideas have become centers where only certain speech and ideas are tolerated while others are suppressed?Violence erupted at a Michigan law school Thursday when protestors tried to block a speech by Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo.Police were called after protestors pull
 
You may find yourself...
George Will points out that, for all their criticism of ’divisive’ politics and partisan warfare, the Democrats are retaking Congress with a chainsaw...Many Democrats are eager to pay Republicans back for their overbearing behavior when they were in the majority—behavior that Republicans say was retribution for Democrats’ behavior before 1994.
 
Kill Whitey!
An idea whose time has come.We’ll never run out of whack-jobs, apparently.
 
Gumming up the Federal money shredder
Like crack addicts who always need a bigger hit, politicians (etc) and pundits are lining up to whine about being forced to live on the same budget they had in 2006. The Republican majority, writes  
Forced "national service"? Not only no but hell no!
Paul Wagner entitles his Houston Chronicle article "Rangel is right about the need for national service". He sub-heads it, "Democrats shouldn’t be so hasty to dismiss draft."Now let me be careful to separate a couple of thoughts here before they become all mixed together when they shouldn’t be.Do I think "national service" in whi
 
Feeding the Machine
I’m not sure there’s really anything unusual about the current Pelosi/Harman/Hastings (or Pelosi/Murtha/Hoyer) soap opera — power struggles, ethics problems and personal animus seems to be DC standard operating procedure — but it’s certainly interesting to see pundits and analysts reading far more or less into this than they’ve read into previous power struggles. Is Pelosi’s Machine Politics new or unusual? Of course not.
 
The upcoming ethics fight in Congress
One of the things I think will become evident with the new Democratic Congress is that it isn’t only Republicans who oppose ethics reform (or aren’t particularly keen on it) it is Democrats as well.The reasons are many. For one, they’ve been out of power for 12 years and now feel a sense of entitlement to some ’politic
 
Taking taxpayers for a ride on the Pork Railroad
You’ve heard of Regulatory capture; less publicized, but equally problematic is Legislative capture. Illustrating this is Porker of the Month John Thune:Citizens Against Governmen
 
Usurping "Choice"
I don’t know if you’ve been watching this little kerfuffle out in San Francisco about the school board voting out JROTC as an elective, but it is quite instructive, and Debra Sanders hits on why with a quote from, get ready, Jerry Brown (now mayor of Oakland):Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, a JROTC alum, was appalled at the board’s decision. As
 
Bring back the Draft —
This comes as no real surprise:Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars."There’s no question
 
John McCain: "We are a nation that limits government so that government cannot limit us"
In 2000, I voted for John McCain in the Republican Primary. In the years since, I’ve often said he would be a far better President than George W. Bush. I still believe that. Primarily due to McCain-Feingold, though, I’ve become more wary of him. However, he’s saying exactly the right things right now, and I applaud that.U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today highl
 
The Bums Rush (a vote)
Many rightwing and right-leaning bloggers have been discussing the upcoming Republican leadership races and participating in conference calls with the candidates. It is to the credit of each and every candidate that they are willing to be interviewed by the bloggers. If nothing else, it is at least a sign that Republicans are recognizing the importance of the new media in shaping grassroots opinion and the goals of the Party.We’re not done with the conference calls yet, but
 
My favorite airplanes
Don’t ask me why, but I was looking through a catalogue I got today called "Historic Aviation" which is chock full of neat stuff about mostly military aircraft, and it got me thinking about my favorite airplanes. Go figure.One of my favs is a DC-3. That’s the first aircraft I ever flew in as a lad of 6 or 7. I flew from Taichung to Taipei on Taiwan. Had to go to the dentist and as a military dependent they let us take space-available on an
 
(UPDATED) Rumsfeld stepping down and Tester declared winner in MT
That’s what just came over the radio (12:49). I’m checking it out.Mary Katherine Ham is saying AP is reporting Rumsfeld stepping down.AP story here. Bush press conference in a few minutes.Right now the entire AP story is:
 
Ending Governmental Accounting Tricks
For years and years we’ve had one side warning us that Social Security is in trouble and Medicare was going to break us and the other side saying it was all unicorns and rainbows, not to worry and it would all work out in the end. No need to identify them since any astute person already knows which side is which.Well a fairly new little cog in the federal bureaucracy called the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASAB), established in the &rsquo
 
"Common Good" does not promise less spending and smaller government
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s editorial understands that the catchphrase "common good" now being peddled by Democrats is anything but good. And just what is the "common good"? Specifics are about as murky as Bush’s compassionate conservatism was in 2000 — which now is known to be a blank credit card slip for reckless spending and en
 
(Updated) Passenger Safety? Screw that! There’s money to be made!
Many people often think that libertarians assume that whatever corporations do, since they aren’t government organizations, is perfectly OK. To me, this is a mistaken assumption about libertarianism. Yes, libertarians distrust government, because of its power, and its monopoly on the use of force, but that’s only a partial understanding of libertarianism.More generally, libertarianism opposes aggregations of power, whether that aggr
 
Senator X and the Soviets
This has begun making the rounds of the right blogosphere. But I want to change it up a bit, or modify it instead, so we can have a discussion. You can go to the link to see what it is all about if you don’t already know:In his book, which came out this week, Kengor focuses on a KGB letter written at the height of the Cold War that shows
 
Think about it
Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, reflects on some lessons which should be taken from the tragic shootings in the Nickel Mines Amish community. As he writes, they pointedly remind us of what we used to be, and how what they are was considered to be a strength of our national character.The Amish res
 
The Conversation Continues: Three reactions to my last Libertarian Democrat Post
A few days ago I put my reaction to the latest Kos piece about “Libertarian Democrats” at Cato Unbound up. It generated some reaction from three other bloggers and I’d like to address them one at a time.As I explained then the difference, as I see it, between Democrat
 
More From Kos on Libertarian Democrats
Markos Moultisas is back at it at Cato Unbound. Apparently he took exception to my (and others) claiming that he was pandering for libertarian votes.My piece wasn’t a play for the libertarian vote. Rather, it was a formulation for a new breed of Democrat that is finding success in the Mountain West and other parts of the country and
 
You Stay Classy, Democrats
Via Brendan Nyhan, Democratic GOTV Stick-it Notes from the Democracy For America organization started by Howard Dean.I know, I know, both sides do it. Still, it’s rarely th
 
I say "let him teach"
The lead paragraph:A University of Wisconsin-Madison instructor who has come under scrutiny for saying that the U.S. government orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks compares President Bush to Adolf Hitler in an essay that his students are being required to buy.Oooo. Add outrage and stir.Apparently part-time instructor Kevin Barrett is activ
 
(UPDATED) Balko gets it completely wrong
I’m not sure how, but Radley Balko gets it completely wrong concerning my point about not supporting Democrats written on Saturday (although when you read his post - below in its entirety - you’ll most likely figure out how it happened):McQ over at QandO cites Galt’s post as the reason why he’ll be voting for the Republicans, despite h
 
More on "libertarian democrats" and an appeal to NOTA
Jane Galt announces she will be voting for Democrats during the midterms, but not because she feels any libertarian kinship with them. Instead it is to punish Republicans for whom she also feels no kinship at the moment. The problem is, that’s a double edged sword as all of us who are advocating mixed-government understand (and why most of us who do so only want them to take one part of C
 
This is odd...
Anybody have any clue to what’s up with Billy Beck’s web site?
 
But the right-wing has the bigots and racists
Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom.I’ve got to tell you, the left gets more and more twisted every day. First you have Jane "black-face Joe" Hamsher at FDL and then this clown. But I’m sure they’ll tell you how much they respect blacks (and want their votes for Democrats).
 
1st Amendment right? What 1st Amendment right?
I made the claim, earlier in the week, that speech codes on college campuses had been something for which the left was primarily responsible and that the codes were instrumental in fostering a climate which stifled free speech.I’ve also been lectured in the past about how dissent is also a right - to which I agree with the caveat that there is responsible/appropriate dissent and irresponsible/inappropriate dissent.Yesterday "campus group
 
Civil War?
And not in the place most expect it:Tensions between supporters of the nationalist Palestinian Fatah and the Islamic Hamas erupted into bloody clashes in which 12 people were killed and as many as 150 were wounded in the past three days.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas tried to ca
 
(UPDATED) Libertarian Democrat: Part I – Initial reaction
[If Cato’s plan is to stimulate debate, this no doubt will do the trick. This post is based only on my initial reaction and fairly general in nature. I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks and cover other areas in more detail. This is written in some haste in order to get it up and get the discussion going.]I got an email from a very good friend alerting me to a  
The Libertarian Failures of the Republican Congress
I guess today is politics day.Today’s Wall Street Journal editorial discusses the 109th Congress and what it has and hasn’t accomplished. Most of it we’re very aware of and have talked about at some length here and Q and O. But there are a couple of points I’d like to highlight where opportunities were missed which were very unfortunate - at least in terms of how a libertarian might view the failures
 
This just isn’t respectful
An ex-Marine is marketing a product that’s sure to cause trouble.A ceramic bobblehead doll of the Prophet Muhammed - created to resemble the infamous caricature published by a Danish newspaper - is being hawked online for $22.99 a pop by an ex-Marine.The unapologetic creator, Timothy Ames, 28, said the bobblehead is similar to "dashboard Jesus" figu
 
Where was Afghanistan in the NIE?
I’ve been raising that question among the comments threads for a couple of days. All I get in reply is the contention that most Muslims felt Afghanistan was justified after 9/11 so our invasion there didn’t act as a stimulus or cause for jihadi recruitment.That doesn’t make any sense to me. Afghanistan was just as much an invasion of a Muslim country as was Iraq. And in the case of Afghanistan, it was a Muslim country being run precise
 
Government is your friend - NYC style
Being the quivering, ox-like creatures with no self-control that we all are, the benevolent government of New York City, through it’s Ministry of Enlightenment Board of Health has decide it will ensure, at least while you’re dining in an NYC restaurants, that you have a safe level of trans fats:New York is set to become the first city in the US
 
The Inability to Satirize
I found it fascinating that my post yesterday on Lance’s tongue-in-cheek blog entry was taken so seriously. The most interesting thing about it was that it highlights the difficulty of even attempting to satirize the actual views of the "progressive Left". What does it say about the political environment when satire is indistinguishable from the actual views of a significant po
 
"Tokyo Rose" - RIP
The Japanese-American woman who was identified as the infamous "Tokyo Rose" died yesterday at age 90.Of course those who know the history of WWII in the Pacific know that "Tokyo Rose" was a generic name given by GIs to the English speaking Japanese women who broadcast Japanese propaganda directed at US troops during the war.But the Tokyo Rose we eventually arrested wasn’t one of these women, although at the time, apparently, that didn&rs
 
Absolutely gutless: Self-censorship in Berlin
Self-censorship is capitulation to tyranny:Four canceled performances of a Mozart opera have reignited an anxious and heated debate in Europe over free speech, self-censorship and Islam.By canning its production of "Idomeneo," fearful of security threats because of a scene that might offend Muslims, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper
 
The National Intelligence Estimate
Now that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been declassified and made public, all that is left to do is spin the story. We begin with the Washington Post:In announcing yesterday that he would release the key judgments of a controv
 
(UPDATED) More on the NIE
Spook 86 at In From the Cold is an old intel guy who maintains some contacts in the intel field. Given the bruhaha surrounding the latest NIE and what it says, Spook apparently contacted some of his old playmates and turns out a very different picture than that being disseminated in the MSM:Yesterday, we noted that the MSM (along with their
 
What does the NIE really mean?
Maybe it’s just me, but while this report from the New York Times on the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) sounds ominous and negative, it also seems contextless:Democratic lawmakers, responding to an intelligence report that found that the Iraq war has invigorated Islamic radic
 
The end of an era
Certainly the end of an incredible streak:Braves manager Bobby Cox will have to find something else to do now when the postseason starts. Atlanta’s streak of 14 straight postseason appearances ended with a 9-8 loss Sunday to the Colorado Rockies, who got a grand slam from Matt Holliday.Atlanta had wo
 
Defending Clinton on Somolia and Bush in Iraq
Glenn Greenwald steps up to do defend Clinton.The main argument revolves around "cutting and running" after the Blackhawk down incident. The right is arguing that he did just that and because he did so, Osama bin Laden used that as an example to bolster his argument that the US was a paper-tiger who would leave a situation at the first set-back or when it suffered significant ca
 
Turkey and Europe: Two peas in a pod
Turkey is putting an author on trial for "insulting Turkishness" (whatever that means):Turkish novelist Elif Shafak faces trial here Thursday on charges of “insulting Turkishness” through comments made by a fictional character in her latest novel, The Bastard of Istanbul.Shafak, 34, who teaches Middle Eastern studies at the University of Arizo
 
The "Bravery" of Keith Olbermann, et al.
You know, I don’t mind it when people say outrageous things. I don’t really mind when people engage in a little overstatement for polemic effect. But it strikes me as a little stupid when people make outrageous statements in which they clearly don’t believe. McQ’s Olbermann post got me to thinking about this a little bit. For instance, there are people on the le
 
The Mind of Howard Zinn
Dennis Prager recently interviewed iconic lefty professor Howard Zinn on his radio show. Now, he presents a transcript (Part 1, Part 2) of that conversation, so that you can see what Prof. Zinn and his acolytes beli
 
Those Darn Germans
The German broadcast network Deutsche Welle is reporting that Germans are increasingly unhappy. Indeed, based on a survey taken by the prestigious German economics magazine, Wirtshaftwoche (Economics Week), they’re quite a pessimistic and dissatisfied lot. They’re unhappy with the economy. They’re unhappy with the direction Germany is taken.
 
Oriana Fallaci
If this doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about a remarkable woman, I don’t know what would:Forced to wear a chador while interviewing the Ayotollah Khomeini, Fallaci asked an ... insolent question: “How do you swim in a chador?” Khomeini snapped, “Our customs are none of your business. If you do not like Islamic dress you are
 
Pegging the Irony Meter
In a shocking development, Muslims all over the world are incensed at Pope Benedict. They’re just seething at the unfairness of his remarks."Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence," [Pakistani] Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.Sadly, she’s quite correct.
 
A discussion which needs to take place
Frankly I’m glad to see this happening:Instead of drawing contrasts with Democrats, the president’s call for creating military tribunals to try terror suspects — a key substantive and political component of his fall agenda — has erupted into a remarkably intense clash pitting some of the best-known warriors in the Republica
 
Conspiracy theories
Jonah Goldberg addresses the growing cottage industry of conspiracy theories:Here’s a question: How is a president willing - and able! - to bring down the World Trade Center, murdering nearly 3,000 Americans without inspiring a single whistle-blower or attracting a solitary eyewitness, somehow morally or logistically incapable of planting some exculpa
 
Activist Government
Brad Plumer, over at The New Republic addresses pork spending in Washington.[W]hile it’s easy to see why small-government conservatives and knee-jerk deficit hawks dislike earmarks, there’s a liberal case for supporting pork. It’s not because pork projects are defensible on the merits, although they sometimes can be. It’s not because they c
 
It was another world...
How long ago was 1914? Not just in years, but in cultural values? By way of a partial answer, I give you the following example from Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea. This example concern
 
Peddling fear is a bipartisan effort
Peddling fear is often characterized as the exclusive territory of the Republicans and the right. But in reality, even in today’s polarized political atmosphere, peddling fear is a bipartisan effort. A little pop quiz:Who do you suppose said this?Five years later, Sept. 11 still is etched in our minds. The terrorist threat it revealed is a
 
9/11/06: Are we safer today than 5 years ago?
Ihave to agree with John Mueller of CATO Unbound, I’m not sure what that means. Mueller puts forward 6 questions of his own in order to explore the question.1. Is the likelihood that an individual American will be killed by international terrorists higher or lower than before 9/11?Good question. Says Mueller:Although polls
 
Book Review: Castles of Steel
Very little attention is given, nowadays to the Great War of 1914-1918. Indeed, in the last forty years, only two truly significant books about World War I have been written: Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and John Ke
 
Book Review: Ivan’s War
We know quite a lot about the American, British, and even French efforts in World War II. We’ve seen miniseries detailing every step of Major Dick Winters’ company from training to the end of the War in Band of Brothers. We know, almost to the minute, what happened to Lt. Col. Frost’s battalion
 
ABC Backs Down
The 9/11 docu-drama from ABC has been revised to lessen the impact of the ahistorcial scene that caused so much heartburn with the Clintonistas.ABC toned down a scene that involved Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, declining to give the order to kill bin Laden, acco
 
Intentional misunderstanding, or just generalized misanthropy?
I don’t usually comment much about what goes on at other blogs. Oh, sure, I can be provoked into doing so on rare occasions, but, generally, it’s not worth the bother.Billy Beck has joined that list of exceptions, however. My purpose is not start a blogwar with Billy, who is a genuinely smart guy, and with whom I generally agree. In many ways, I admire Billy, and wish we could have friendlier relations.Alas, that is, apparently,
 
Fake but Accurate Isn’t Good Enough
A lot of people on the conservative side of the political spectrum who have seen the upcoming 9/11 documentary have crowed about it. Former members of the Clinton administration are not so happy with some of the portrayals.In one scene, CIA operatives working with Ahmed Shah Masud, the charismatic Afghan mujahedin leader who fought al-Qaida and their Taliban spons
 
The "Mommy" party
If ever there was a doubt this should help lay it to rest.Read the endorsements. Then check out the sample pages.(HT: McQ2)
 
On Labor Day, more of the minimum wage arguments
According to Bureau of Labor stats, the number of people working in the US (16 or older) is 151,000,000. And the number who earn or are paid minimum wage?520,000 .Yup. .003 of the work force earns minimum wage.<
 
The Case for Divided Government
The Cato Institute’s Steven Slivinsky explains why many libertarians—both "L" and "l" types—are arguing that having the Democrats take over one house of Congress would be a good thing.When the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, government swallowed 20.7 percent of gross domestic product. When Clinton left office, f
 
Juan Williams: "Enough"
I’ve never been much of a Juan Williams fan, but I have to say I may be changing my mind. He’s written a book, "Enough" which addresses the problems of blacks in America. In fact, his subtitle is "The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America - and What We Can Do About It".It’s the "what we can do about it" which intrigues me.  
Our over-reliance on government
Tony Blankley wonders about the decline of leadership ability throughout the world, but especially here in the US: When did Americans forget how to fix things? From the Big Dig in Boston, to the Katrina aftermath (where the Corps. of Engineers announced this week that a year later the "repaired" levees couldn’t hold back a Category Three hurri
 
FEC kills free speech proposal
The Federal Election Commission voted on a proposal today that would have eased the ban on political advertising maning specific candidates for office less than 60 days prior to an election. The result?Federal election regulators refused to ease limits on political advertising Tuesday, blocking an effort to let interest groups run radio and television ads mentioni
 
Stop the war!
Officials in King’s County, Washington, at the urging of the local Bar Association, have been showing some sense in de-escalating the War on Drugs.King County is sending minor street drug users and sellers through drug courts instead of incarcerating them; its average daily jail count is down from 2,800 to 2,000. The Washington Legislature was persua
 
Nincompoops abound on both sides of the Wal-Mart issue
Now it’s the right’s turn:After months of criticism from union-backed groups over its employee pay and health care practices, Wal-Mart now faces a potential "rollback" of support from conservatives because of the retail giant’s partnership with a homosexual business coalition."I don’t think this is something
 
A Dawning reality in Gaza: It may be our fault says Palestinian
Reading an article by a Hamas official, this line struck me as pretty pointed:"We have all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity," he remarked. "We have lost our sense of direction and we don’t know where we’re headed."The writer is Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority gove
 
Re-evaluating Jimmy Carter
It’s often said — and widely accepted — that Jimmy Carter was an absolute disaster as a President, but has recovered to become "the best former President". I’m not at all sure this is right — at least, as it pertains to domestic politics. In fact, an approximate reverse — tolerable dom
 
Mark Steyn: through a dark glass, cleverly
Glenn Greenwald, on Mark Steyn (about whom, I have mixed feelings)Mark Steyn is a hero to neoconservatives. They consider him a true foreign policy genius and run around drooling with praise, like John Hinderaker in the presence of George W. Bush, every time he releases a new column about the Epic Global War of Civilizations We Must Wage.
 
Short and sweet
Concerning Plan B:Women can buy the morning-after pill without a prescription, the government declared Thursday, a major step that nevertheless failed to quell the politically charged debate over access to emergency contraception.As to the first point, that’s as it should be (it enhances liberty). As to the latter point, what’s new? Thankfully,
 
Is globalism’s price Islamic terror?
From a speech given by Iranian President Ahmadinejad on August 15, 2006 on Iranian News Channel:Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: When they talk about a "New Middle East," they mean a Middle East that is held captive by America, England, and the Zionist regime. When they talk about a "New Middle East," they do not mean progress, development, independence, or freedom for the countries [of the region]
 
The Culture of Corruption
Democrats have used every opportunity to criticize the Republicans "culture of corruption", and virtually everybody is aware of the unethical actions of Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney and others. Many people are also aware of the Democratic Parties own ethical problems, which include Congressional Democrats like William Jefferson, Alan Mollohan, Cynthia McKinn
 
Gunter Grass of the Waffen SS
So Gunter Grass was in the Waffen SS?Grass has always admitted to being in the German army during WWII. That’s never been a secret. But apparently he’s never been specific about what unit he was with. So now, with this revelation, he’s become a persona non grata to many where before he was
 
Purging the Ranks
As dependable as sunrise, there always arises in any movement some who think they are more pure than others and, of course, then hope to use their purity as a means of ostracizing others within that movement who don’t reflect the same purity. We see them in religion as well as politics (ideology) and philosophy. In religion we call them fundamentalists. A lot of them are the newly converted and there is no greater fervor than that of  
But this time, it’s different!
Jennifer, guest-posting at High Clearing, makes a bold claim...if you do a survey of people who support strict gun-control measures, over 90 percent of them will tell you they can’t stand the Bush/Cheney administration. Don’t trust it one bit. Deplore what our current leaders have done to America both domestically and in the eyes of the wor
 
Blog Notes
The Inactivist Blog is still in its infant stages, with a great deal of community tools and resources left to develop — unfortunately, slowly — but there is quite a bit of new material there. D.A. Ridgely has posts on Language and Politics,  
Free Speech is Not Corruption
David Keating is executive director of the Club for Growth, and Carl Pope is president of the Sierra Club. Not exactly the best of friends, politically, one might think. But politics, as it is said, makes strange bedfellows. So, in an op/ed they’ve written for The Hill, the newspaper of Congress, they are both getting quite snuggly under the covers in  
American Impatience and its impact on global politics
OK, pop psychology time.I’ve argued, as have many, that we’ve become a nation which demands instant gratification. We market our products to promise that. We find ourselves most pleased with events and situations which deliver that. Generations of TV and movie goers have been raised on screen epics which clearly deliniate good guys and bad guys and have a resolution to the complex problems of the world in an hour or two. We have
 
Inactivist Blog
The Inactivist Blog is still in its infant stages, with a great deal of community tools and resources left to develop — unfortunately, slowly — but there is quite a bit of new material there. Go. Read. Link, bookmark, blogroll, sign up and participate. And be patient — or, if you like, helpful — while we develop our tools.
 
Castro: Good Riddance?
Simon Heffer mirrors my confusion to the reaction of some on the Left upon hearing that Fidel Castro is not well.It is the most enormous paradox that Western liberals should have this reverence for Castro, for he hates so many of the things they say they lo
 
Quotes, Quips and Questions
What a weird group of links I have this week. First we visit the Senate where there is an emerging problem which appears to be disturbing our elected officials:“I hesitate to say that it’s a big problem,” said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, shaking his head gravely. “There is terrific crowding.”Yes fo
 
RightRoots
Being one of those indy, libertarian blogger types, I’m very hesitant to actually endorse a candidate. I’m not opposed to it, mind you; if I found the right campaign—George Allen, Mark Sanford, Mike Pence, John Shadegg—or the right Activism project, I’d be willing to go to work for them. In the meantime, though, I prefer to observe and comment, rather than ’buy in’. I’ve been asked to ’endorse&rsqu
 
Speaking of Unacceptable Public Behavior...
For the first time in more than a decade, the San Diego Gay Pride Festival was marked by violent attacks on attendees.Three assailants, bearing baseball bats and a knife, fell upon three attendees of the event in separate attacks, injuring them all, and leaving one man with severe head injuries, which, fortunately, he is expected to survive.It sho
 
Responses to my Gay Pride Criticisms
As a matter of passing interest, I note that all of the disagreements to my post on the San Diego Gay Pride Festival sounded as if they were written by people writing off the same sheet of talking points. This comment is typical:It is obvious that you missed great other parts of the festivities, namely the interfaith pavilion, the Center’s rock climb, and other family centered areas and activities. You have focused solely on the parts that are not "conve
 
Quotes, Quips and Questions
If you can’t win them over to your side, buy them:The Taliban has found a way to recruit fighters that is less about winning hearts and minds and more about the enduring appeal of cold hard cash.They are paying fighters up to $12 a day to fight the fledgling Afghan National Army
 
Live in a FEMA trailer park, lose your Constitutional rights
While reading a story about why a FEMA built trailer park which was almost completely empty (1 family, 197 empty trailers) in Morgan City, LA, I ran across this in the article:And FEMA rules make it hard for reporters to talk freely to the few park residents about life there. During an interview in one trailer, a security guard knocked on the door, ordered the reporter out
 
Free Trade: the best foreign policy tool we have
For a variety of reasons, the importance of a story does not always bear a strong correlation with the attention given it. In that vein, Jane Galt refers to The Economist for an under-remarked but very important bit of bad news. The Doha Round of trade talks has collapsed. This is a tragedy, especially for t
 
What ever happened to grace? What ever happened to gratefulness?
I’m sure, by now, you’re all familiar with the tale of the complaining evacuees from Lebanon. I have to be honest, after watching a couple of CNN interviews I figured it was an American thing. I have to admit being stunned by the pettiness of the complaints and the whiny nature of them, but I figured the "all-about-me" crowd had struck again and, of course, leave it to TV journalists to find the complainers in the crowd (and yes, thank you, I know they
 
Inactivist
We’re far from complete — the Community Blog doesn’t work yet, some template work needs to be done, and there are still tools to be built — but we’ve debuted Inactivist: "An unpolitical demonstration by deeply uncommitted inactivists".Inactivist is an ecumenical, liberty-oriented group blog, dedicated to the practical, political defense of liberty. With Inactivist, I
 
Putting the "Chicken hawk" argument away for good
Jeff Jacoby does it admirably in his Boston Globe piece today:``Chicken hawk" isn’t an argument. It is a slur — a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishonest because those who invoke it don’t really mean what they imply — that only those with combat exper
 
Blog Note
Readers, please note: Join The Blogosphere, an email discussion group for bloggers and blog readers to discuss the blogosphere, items in the news, politics, etc. Subscribe by sending an email to: Blogosphere-subscribe@yahoogroups.comThe QandO Chat Room is usually occupied during the day by myself and a fe
 
Stem Cell Funding
I’m not happy he took so long to veto a bill, but I’m not actually unhappy that Bush has vetoed the stem cell research bill. Our reasons differ — Bush is opposed to using embryonic stem cells, I’m opposed to using federal money to pay for what could and should be privately funded research — but the result is the same. Stem cell research is still perfectly legal, and anybody who would like to fund it is perfectly welcome to do so. And  
Sometimes you just can’t win: Ask Bill Clinton
Clinton purposely moved his post-presidential offices to Harlem and NYC to make a statement and show support for African-Americans in general, and Harlem specifically. Well that was then and this is now:The Harlem Tenants Council hosted the protest at 125th Street between Lenox and Park avenues that was attended by about 40 mostly elderly, African-American residents of the area. A HTC co-fou
 
Bush Quashes NSA Wiretapping Investigation
According to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Bush personally blocked security clearances to Justice Department officials who were tasks with the job of investigating the legality of the Administration’s NSA wiretapping program.President Bush in effect blocked a Justice Departme
 
Baby steps to libertarian results
It’s a relatively small step but it’s still, as From the Heartland writes, "an outstanding idea!" "It" is the Coburn/Obama amendment that would "create a database where taxpayers, using popular search engines from home PCs, can easily find which
 
The One (Party) Ring
While some supporters are trying to play the ’we’re down to a $300 billion deficit’ for applause, John Merline at TCS Daily points out that there’s a very clear explanation of our current fiscal situation. That 2001 CBO analysis that "predicted that the federal government woul
 
NAACP: No more "victim thinking"
What a breath of fresh air this guy could be:Black Americans should end "victim-like thinking" and seize opportunities to help close gaps between the nation’s rich and poor, NAACP president Bruce S. Gordon said Monday."We may not have all the power that we want, but we have all the power that we need," Gordon said. "All we have to do is believe it and use
 
Who cares about Glenn Greenwald?
Jon tried to short-circuit some anti-Greenwald comments from his post immediately below by adding, as the first comment:Note: if I cite Greenwald often, it’s because his stuff sparks my interest. Just clearing that up before the latest "him again?" eruption.Well, sorry, but I guess my response is still, "Him again?" I mean, I really have no idea who Glenn Greenwald is, and even less of an idea why I should care about anything he says. Maybe
 
The Minimum Wage: restraining progress
At the Democratic Party Blog, Tracy Russo observes that "a worker paid $5.15 an hour would earn $10,700 a year" and yet "the Republican-led Senate can’t find the will to do something about it."Funny, I always thought "doing something about it" should be the responsibility of the person who no longer wants to make $10,700 a year.
 
Quotes, Quips and Questions
Sorry about missing last Saturday but as regular readers know, I attended a military reunion which took me away from the old computer for a couple of days.While hanging out in Vail, CO, Bill Clinton had this to say about the war in Iraq:“Once you break the eggs, you have the re
 
Plumbing the depths of frivolous subjects
Yes its frivolous. Yes it is one man’s opinion. But let’s face it, it is perfect blog fodder because it gives everyone a chance to give their opinion (or condemn another’s) or tell us all how irrelevant this is or not. And sometimes you need a break from all the seriousness out there. Anyway, with the world in flames, I give you
 
The Pro Choice Party is not
Firedoglake condemns Joe Lieberman’s position on respect for religious beliefs, linking to Connecticut Choice Voice’s "Five Reasons We Cannot Support Senator Lieberman"...#2 Rape Victims’ Access to Emergency ContraceptionJoe Lieberman is on record as opposing the proposed legislation
 
Reparations: From fringe to mainstream?
For the life of me I simply can’t understand thinking which sees this as a valid idea:Advocates who say black Americans should be compensated for slavery and its Jim Crow aftermath are quietly chalking up victories and gaining momentum.Fueled by the work of scholars and lawyers, their campaign has morphed in recent years from a fringe-group ral
 
Defining Conservatism Downward
Republican President, circa 1974...I urge you to join me ... by voting to set a target spending limit—let me emphasize it-a target spending limit of $300 billion for the Federal fiscal budget of 1975.Republican President, circa 2006...<
 
Supporting the troops, not supporting the war ... again
Commenter Tom Scott sent me a link to which I had a visceral reaction (Fess up Tom, you knew it would). So I sat on it for a day. Cooling off periods are good. And besides, it’s a letter to the editor.I also realized that the guy writing the letter pretty much answered the question I’d asked of some for quite some t
 
Democrats slightly less "bigoted and outdated" than Republicans!
Following the NY and GA gay marriage court cases, Eugene Volokh amusingly notes that the Democratic Party’s press release urges "the coming legislative debate ’proceed without the rancor and divisiveness that too often surrounds this issue’" shortly after calling the decision "outdated and bigoted"
 
I’m a loser
I participated in the contest for an imac sponsored by 92.3 Free FM in NYC, to create a production spot of 30 seconds or less for the Opie and Anthony Show. My production piece sucked so bad, it didn’t even get an honorable mention, much less a free iMac.If you’re interested, though, here it is.
 
Coca Cola: Thanks Pepsi
A fascinating story out of Atlanta concerning industrial spying, the FBI, a sting operation and a rival with integrity.The target? The giant Coca Cola company. The secrets were of a new product and an employee of Coca Cola contacted rival Pepsi Cola in an attempt to sell the formula and a sample of the secret new product to Pepsi.You can rea
 
Thoughts on Independence Day
As we’ll hear today, there will be numerous tributes to this nation on its birthday. And that is as it should be. Whether satisfied or not with how the country today is a reflection of the Founder’s intent, the nation we all live in is still a modern miracle, in relative terms, of freedom and liberty.But before we celebrate the holiday with the traditional fireworks displays, picnics and family gatherings, it might be helpful to revisit the words of our
 
Disingenuous Jimmy Carter
Itry like the devil to give Jimmy Carter the benefit of the doubt when he writes something (and as QandO’s resident Georgian, I’ve been relegated that duty by fiat) but then, as usual, I end up running right smack into disingenuousness in his arguments. Today he’s moaning about FOIA, secrecy and how, while nations suc
 
The Revanchist Left: taking back the low ground
On Thursday, I criticized Digby at Hullabaloo for insinuating that Rush Limbaugh was a pedophile. At the time, I thought this should be a fairly uncontroversial criticism. We all agree that criticism is acceptable; we may disagree on the merits of various insults, but who thinks it’s acceptable to accuse your political opponents of pedophilia? Well, apparently, the answer is: more people than I’d previously thought, including
 
Oliver Willis and the Victorian era
The big O reacts to a post Jon did in which he noted the left’s outrage at things Ann Coulter recently said, but seemed to have no problem with similar things said by a leftist about Rush Limbaugh. Namely this by Digby at Hullabaloo (no link love, sorry):I know that a good
 
Quotes, Quips and Questions
Conservative columnist James Pinkerton in reaction to Ellen Ratner’s applauding the Supreme Court ruling, advocating significantly expanded due process for the detainees at Gitmo on Fox and Friends."It’s not like we have access to evidence. What are we going to do - go to Afghanistan and find witnesses and stuff and find out if they’re guilty or not?"[...]
 
Stereotypes ’R Us
All I can figure is this guy must have lived somewhere in the North all his life, because he sure hasn’t been in the South in the last 40 years.
 
Rush Limbaugh and the War on Drugs
Via Hit and Run, Taylor Buley has a good article in the Baltimore Sun on the quagmire that is our War on Drugs...Local, state and federal governments directly spend more than $40 billion a year on what’s typically called the war on
 
National Health Service floats euthanasia trial balloon
When government controls and rations your health care it certainly isn’t beyond the pale that this sort of discussion would take place, is it?Terminally ill patients could have their lives ended in a cash-strapped NHS if legislation is introduced to legalise euthanasia, campaigners warned yesterday.The British Medical Association was told it faced a revolt over its e
 
Stampede for the Gutter
Every time I get fed up with the Right for putting up with the rhetorical poison of Ann Coulter, et al, I come across people on the Left writing things like this...I know that a good establishment liberal would refrain from even discussing the fact that Rush Limbaugh likes to go to one of the underage sex capitals of the world with a bottle of Viagra
 
Ideologically conservative, operationally liberal
Ezra Klein "find[s] this argument from Jon Chait pretty compelling"... [my own emphasis added; alt link here] [in 1964,] social psychologists Lloyd A. Free and Hadley Ca
 
Katrina’s lesson is one we should have learned before
In our desire to help, in our race to respond, in our belief that throwing money at something will help and our seemingly unshakable trust in government’s ability to do the job, we are now seeing how all of those reasons conspired to perpetrate one of the worst cases of inefficiency and fraud in our nation’s history.I’m speaking of our  
Quotes, Quips and Questions
Does anyone take a single thing this man has to say seriously?"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy."[...]"Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of
 
No Enemies On The Left
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. —- Friedrich NietzscheI’m not particularly concerned about the recent Kos/Armstrong allegations, if only because (1) I fully expect the new wave of political power-players to engage in power-brokering, and (2) I’m not at all convinced that some of the acti
 
Atrios’ Coulter Moment
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the depravity of pundits like Ann Coulter — much of that talk coming from prominent leftosphere pundits like Atrios...Still, Mickey [Kaus] at least aims for respectability and presumably is generally against the concept of "murdering journalists" so it’s puzzling that he’s good pals with the woman [Ann Coulter] who onc
 
The Left: Gearing up for battle
One of the consistent complaints one will run across when scanning the left side of the blogosphere is the insistance that the right has, over the last 50 years, better organized itself to appeal to the people through various means. Those means by which it supposedly dominates debate through a compliant MSM, various think tanks, publications and talk radio. Of course the answer is "do the same thing". Talk radio for the left still appears to be a bust,
 
On Glenn Reynolds
Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) has been the subject of two very odd attacks in recent days. In The New Republic, Christine Rosen makes two particular criticisms, neither of which make much sense. First, she writes that Reynolds’ "enthusiasm for the future possibilities presented by technology is wildly optimistic". As a contrast, she presents a parallel from history...
 
An Emily Litella Moment
Last week, I blogged about the Palestinian accusation that Israeli counterbattery fire againt rocket launch sites in Gaza had killed some innocent Palestinian civilians on a nearby beach.Human Rights Watch, which initially criticized the IDF for those killings, is apparently backing down from thos
 
Your "feel good" story of the day
The America I’ve always known and loved is alive and well. Read and enjoy.
 
Quotes, quips and questions
From various sources.Paul McNellis:Whether it takes a shoehorn or a crowbar, the Mainstream Media have decided that all Iraq reporting must be squeezed into the Vietnam template. 
...An Especially Tricky People
Man, those Chinese are moving full-speed ahead into the modern world.The country that executed more than four times as many convicts as the rest of the world combined last year is slowly phasing out public executions by firing squad in favor of lethal injections. Unlike the United States and Singapore, the only two other countries where death is admi
 
William Jefferson: I Have a Dreamsicle!
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. — Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963Civil Rights crusades ain’t what they used to be...
 
Deficit reduction: means test the safety net
Jeffrey Miron has an excellent TCS Daily article on areas for spending cuts in which there ought to be agreement...I offer here a list that Democratic economists should embrace. The numbers after each item are the approximate annual savings in 2006 dollars. Agricultural Subsidies: Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, and for good reason. These subsidies are a handout
 
Ward Churchill: Tune up the fat lady
A recommendation has been made:Ward Churchill, the professor who called some of the World Trade Center victims “little Eichmanns,” should be fired because of “repeated and deliberate” infractions of scholarship rules, a University of Colorado committee said today.The recommendation, from the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct in a 6-3 vote, now goes to university officials
 
More reasons not to trust Democrats
Tristero, over at Hullabaloo, a left-wing blog, answers Mona’s post of yesterday with what one can only be characterized as less than reassuring for libertarians. In this post, Tristero makes an amazing number of assumptions that I can only charitably call uninformed. For instance, libertarians and basic human rights:"Basic h
 
Responding to "Mona"
First, let me cover an administrative note. We run QandO as a co-equal blog. That is to say, that we don’t ask permission from any of the other bloggers to post pretty much anything we want to post. I occasionally see criticisms of something on the blog that say "the QandO guys believe" or some similar formulation, and it irks me. When you read something by any one of us, unless it specifically says that it is a group post, where we are speaking mutatis mutan
 
2006 Election Poll
We’ve occassionally discussed the merits — the potential up- and down-sides — of divided government. I’m curious to know what the readers think would be the optimal post-’06 outcome, whether Republicans retain control, or divide control in some way with the Democrats. Vote once, and feel free to leave your reasoning in the comments.
 
Tobacco wars Part II: The Fat Tax
It ain’t tobacco, but the template is the same.Doctors will this week declare war on America’s soft drinks industry by calling for a ’fat tax’ to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic.Delegates at the powerful American Medical Association’s annual conference will d
 
Michael Schiavo’s Evolution into a Republican Kos Kid: Harbinger for Libertarians?
GUEST POST by Mona They [the “Save Terri!” movement] asserted that Schiavo’s coma may have been caused by abuse from her husband, Michael. With their cries of "medical terrorism" and their comparisons to Nazi Germany, these so-called champions of life created an atmosphere in which some of their supporters m
 
A creeping dawn in Canada
A few days ago I wrote about the effect of multiculturalism and political correctness has on our war against terror. In the post I cited Melanie Phillips who’s made that point about Britian and Caroline Glick who applys it to Canada and the 17 recently arrested there for terroristic activities. Apparently m
 
The Libertarian Case for Gay Marriage
On the heels of the recent Republican attempt to grandstand on the Constitution — i.e., the anti-gay marriage amendment — Rick Sincere notes that a couple libertarian Republican groups (the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Liberty Committee) have staunchly opposed such an amendment, and various other Republicans have spoken out against it
 
Europe continues to live off "old capital"
Steven Pearlstein writes an interesting analysis of Europe. In it he talks primarily about a pernicious cultural problem of relatively recent vintage which many might see as either an economic or political problem.The harsh truth about Western Europe is that it has been living off old capital for years. Yes, it has a skilled workforce, great in
 
Rent Control
John Tierney has a wonderful column in today’s New York Times on the subject of rent control. I’m fairly certain that, somewhere in New York, some "To the Rent-Controlled Apartment Born" progressive had their breakfast ruined by this. The whole thing is good, but here are the key ’grafs......I did live in regulated apartments for 17 years, and I’m still am
 
"Anthropogenic" is a Funny Word
I don’t have any point to make. I’m just saying.
 
Examining "Cultural Federalism"
As you can imagine, given the term, I’m not at all a big fan of what Ryan Sager describes in his article:Next week, in what is fast becoming an election-time ritual, the Senate will take up debate of a constitutional amendment to define marriage in the United States as between one man and one woman (no dogs allowed). And, just as predicta
 
Republicans: Just when you thought they couldn’t be much dumber
The Royal Republican Congress has apparently decided that while legal searches are fine for you proles, for them it is just something from which they should be exempt:US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that he intends to draft legislation that would shield congressional docu
 
Third Party and Third Way Politics
My Dad emailed me a link to this Vox Day column which outlines our political dissatisfaction and suggests it ought to be channeled into a 3rd Party approach. Though it’s a bit naive in places — a 3rd Party! Why hasn’t anybody else thought of that!?!? — I’m sympathetic to parts of his argument...It is now impossible to argue R
 
Jesse MacBeth’s - REAL- DD214
Perhaps this will finally put this sad chapter to bed once and for all. I, through some old connections, have managed to come up with the unaltered DD214 of Jesse MacBeth. This isn’t a joke or some funny little photoshop gig. It is the actual, real DD214 of one Jesse Adam Macbeth. I have taken out the SSAN and NOK information for privacy reasons. As should be obvious after reading this, th
 
More MacBeth
Seems, per HotAir that Jesse has produced a DD214 on his MySpace site.If you’re not familiar with it a DD214 is a military discharge form which all services use. It lists your record of service, your awards and decorations, your primary specialty and your mi
 
Memorial Day: Honor and Remember them by having the courage to live free
Without comment (I can think of nothing I could add) but with profound thanks:The first rule of war is that young men and women die. The second rule of war is that surgeo
 
ABC News on the Hastert story
ABC News is giving more details on their Hastert investigation story. While noting that the DoJ "issued two separate denials of our report that officials had told us Speaker Hastert was "in the mix" of the investigation into Congress", they add "here is what ABC News knows"... "That the FBI interrogation of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff included specific and repeated questions abou
 
Comment Fisking
I rarely write a post about a comment, but one from my "End of the Republican Majority" post deserves a more prominent fisking. Reader "MKUltra" wrote...Anyway, the only evidence libertarians ever cite about the left being anti-libertarian is McCain/Feingold. This is, of course, patently untrue. Libertarians cite far more than McCain-Feingold as evidence of the Left’s anti-liberty views — the
 
Apparently Jesse MacBeth was a SEAL too
Here we find young Jesse MacBeth hanging out in a, get ready for it, poetry forum. And yeah, it’s him. The email address and "shadowheart" are the same here and on his MySpace page.First the intro screen. Note the occupation.Then a  
The End of the Republican Majority
Jonah Goldberg once made the case that conservatives could be divided into two branches: "conservatives who are ’anti-left’ versus those who are ’anti-state’." At the time, Dale Franks argued that "while those of us on the libertarian side are firmly anti-state, much of the R
 
Grassley: Immigration Bill loaded with loopholes
Sen Chuck Grassley isn’t very pleased with the Senate’s version of Immigration reform:“I was burned once in 1986 when I voted for amnesty believing that it would solve our problems. Now, we have a 12 million illegal immigrant problem. I’m not getting burned again,” Grassley said. “Not only do we have a glide path to citizenship, but it’s a glide path with plenty of loopholes that don’t meet the common sense test.”You can find h
 
Hastert: Ah, that explains it, or maybe not
Anyone left wondering why Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was so upset about the FBI raid on Rep. Jefferson’s office need wonder no more:The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing
 
Jesse MacBeth’s sister leaves a comment
Real or "MacBeth"?I am Jesse’s older sister. Let me tell you...I am finally glad someone has finally discovered he is a fraud. My brother went to army boot camp but got kicked out after four weeks for an inability to adapt to military life and was sent to a mental hospital in Georgia.We grew up in the Arizona foster care system. Our mother is schizophrenic, a drug addict, and very abusive.
 
Commentary
On the Blogosphere email list, I try to send out daily link round-ups, with topics varying from amusing videos to important news. Feel free to join — send an email to: Blogosphere-subscribe@yahoogroups.com — read and send interesting links of your own. Here are various links from today’s email.Divider
 
Raiding a congressional office: was the FBI wrong?
That seems to be the thrust of what is coming out about the FBI raid on Congressman William Jefferson’s office. It got Denny Hastert off his duff to complain directly to President Bush and even the House Majority Leader looked askance at the event:Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Hou
 
The Martyrdom of the Smear Artist
Every now and then I’m overcome by a wave of despair at the sheer intellectual dishonesty of some pundits. Case in point, Atrios’ coarse attempts to simultaneously smear his political enemies and to proclaim the martyrdom of the Left when the same is done to them. Today’s martyrdom comes from Atrios:Comparing Gore to Goebbels
 
Jesse MacBeth: an interesting case study
We’re watching the Jesse (or Jessie) MacBeth thing unfold and unravel. Actually it is an interesting case study. Apparently, until this video was released, MacBeth had a nice little side career going for him under the radar of national attention. A darling of
 
Frankly, My Dear ...
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Barry Bonds has hit his 714th home run, tying Babe Ruth for second place on baseball’s career list. ... I don’t give a damn.
 
Stray voltage
Oh boy:Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country’s Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims."This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wi
 
Values Voters: May their Chains Rest Lightly...
Amy Sullivan in The New Republic argues that there is a burgeoning religious liberal vote... Rove is also reportedly worried about another group of evangelicals: the nearly 40 percent who identify themselves as politically moderate and who are just as likely to get energized about aids in Africa or melting ice caps as partial-birth abortion and lesbian couples in Massachusetts. On the on
 
Equal Opportunity: EEOC not really interested in the truth
Roger Clegg (president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Va.) relates a bizarre story about an invitation to testify before the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee which was withdrawn when the committee was made aware of the gist of Clegg’s testimony. Or maybe it really isn’t bizarre, but more routine than we imagine.What had he plann
 
Commentary
If you think video of a plane hitting the Pentagon will make 9/11 conspiracy theorists re-think their conspiracy theories. . .well, you don’t know conspiracy theorists. 
An Army of J. Edgar Hoover’s
At the risk of offending the "it could never happen here" crowd, this strikes me as a hideous bit of police state surveillance...A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources."It’s time fo
 
Libertarians and the eternal questions
Ryan Sager asks them:But, of course, no one ever said that libertarians were organized — or that, when it comes to politics, they have much in the way of brains.But what if they did? How powerful a voting bloc could they be?Let’s go with the second question first:[S]omewhere between 9 percent and 20 percent
 
Hot, Lonely British Women
Dr. Shackleford is visiting my old stomping grounds in London, and writes:Pictures of nude women line the inside of all the phone booths here. Friendly too, since it seems each and every one of them is lonely and/or looking for a good time.But, he says it like it’s a bad thing.
 
McCain Speaks
A portion of John McCain’s speech at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University:When I was a young man, I was quite infatuated with self-expression, and rightly so because, if memory conveniently serves, I was so much more eloquent, well-informed, and wiser than anyone else I knew. It seemed I understood the world and the purpose of life so much more profoundly than most people. I believed that to b
 
Neolibertarian Network
In the course of settting up mu new laptop, transferring data from the old machine, etc., some NN blog submissions fell through the cracks. I recovered a few of them today, but I have no idea if I got the entirety of them. If you’ve been waiting for a NN reply, please drop me a line, and let me know.
 
NSA: More legal gray areas and Hayden may be toast
Apparently, if what I’ve been reading is true, it isn’t at all as cut and dried as some might like to make it concerning the legality of the data mining in which NSA has been engaged.On the one side:NSA spokesman Don Weber said that given the nature of the agency’s work, it would be "irresponsible to comment on actual or alleged op
 
On a related note: Inquiry into NSA warrentless eavesdropping dropped
Yes, that’s right. The government (Justice Department) and ended its inquiry into the legality of the government (Executive branch) ordering warrentless wiretaps because the government (NSA) has refused to grant the government (back to the Justice Department) the necessary security clearances to examine government (NSA) records.The government has abruptly ended an inquiry int
 
NSA Phone call database: It just gets better and better
Let’s review:In defending the previously disclosed program, Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international calls. "In other words," Bush explained, "one end of the communication must be outside the United States."As a result, domestic call records — those of calls that originate and terminate within U.S. borders — were believed to
 
The Republican Marginal Revolution
I’m late to this discussion, but this month’s Cato Unbound topic — "The GOP and Limited Government: Do They Have a Future Together?" — provides a lot of food for thought. I’ll eventually have more to say about some good follow-ups by  
The Republican Kleptocracy
Kleptocracy: "a government so corrupt that no pretense of honesty remains. In a kleptocracy the mechanisms of government are [partly devoted to keeping] said rulers in power."Fortunately, corrupt regimes that use the mechanisms of government to punish those who do not support them are the kind of thing that happens in third world countries, and not in the  
Unilateral disarmament in the economic war for oil
Oil is the fuel for the engine of our economy, whether we like that or not. Recently, oil has become an increasingly sought after commodity for the over-heated economies of China and India. That has led to scarcity and price increases.And the US? We seem to remain in denial. We still seem to believe that conservation and the pursuit of alternative fuels are the answer to any oil crisis. We seem unable to understand that the rising prices are a result
 
Bits and Bytes won’t break his bones ...
But Richard Cohen says he’s seen this all before in another form and it worries him.The "this" he’s talking about is the burning hate from the left. He calls this form a "digital lynch mob" which has been "egged on to write me by various blogs." He cites two recent articles in which he’s been treated to upwards of 4,000 emails. As he d
 
Political Fallacies of Composition
I’d like to see if I can square the ideological circle that Glenn Greenwald has been drawing these past few days. (along with me, Jonah Goldberg,  
Porter Goss resigns
From the Washington Post:CIA Director Porter Goss has resigned, President Bush said Friday.Bush called Goss’ tenure one of transition."He has led ably," Bush said from the Oval Office. "He has a five-year plan to increase the analysts and operatives."Bush said that Goss, a former member of Congress, has "helped make t
 
Disoriented, staggering and voting
By now you’re probably familiar with the Patrick Kennedy kerfuffle, with police complaining they were prevented by their superiors from properly investigating the accident in which Kennedy appeared intoxicated. Kennedy claims he wasn’t drinking. A waitress at a bar says he was. Kennedy claims his disorientation and staggering were a result of perscription drugs. The police believe it was a result of drinking. Blah, blah, blah.But here&rsq
 
Documenting the hypocrisies
Atrios, 05/04/06: "It isn’t liberal bloggers who regularly compare their political opponents to traitors and terrorists." TRAITORS: Atrios (07/14/05) cites AmericaBlog, where  
George Allen and the Confederate Flag
Ryan Lizza has been stirring the pot at The New Republic, trying to dig up a scandal from Senator George Allen’s past. He starts by questioning Allen’s "authenticity", which I suppose is fine for people who care about such things. Frankly, I’m not sure why I should care whether Allen deserves to wear his cowboy boots, nor why Allen shouldn’t ha
 
Social Security and Medicare: It’s all good
Today the trustees of both Social Security and Medicare again sound the same warning with an ever shorter timeframe:Medicare’s trust fund will be exhausted in 12 years, two years sooner than an earlier forecast projected; and Social Security’s trust fund will dry up in 34 years, one year sooner than projected, trustees for the pro
 
Chickenhawk II
Well apparently "Neil the ethical werewolf" blogging at Ezra Klein finds it neccesary to defend a whiny Amanda Marcott and others using the "chickenhawk" meme.Neil says:In all the US military activities I’ve supported — Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan — there were good reasons for me not to go. We had plenty of trained personnel for the
 
Chickenhawks on the Left
As I’ve noted before, they don’t actually believe what they write, but they’re
 
Generalizations and Stereotypes
Glenn Greenwald makes, I think, a fairly illiberal error in this attempt at justifying generalizations...Whenever I write a post about the tactics and behaviors of Bush defenders, some pro-Bush bloggers invariably write responses accusing me of unfairly generalizing, trafficking in stereotypes and prejudices, and exhibiting anti-Bush fanticism. [...] It is impossible to avoid
 
Dumping FEMA
According to the NY Times, the Senate is recommending FEMA be abolished:The Federal Emergency Management Agency was so fundamentally dysfunctional during Hurricane Katrina that Congress should abolish it and create a new disaster response agency from scratch, according to a draft of bipartisan recommendations proposed by a Senate committee.T
 
Illegal immigrants enjoy the help of complicit national agencies
I’m sure there are those who will view this story as nothing more than bureaucratic ineptness. I’m sure that has some measure of truth to it. However, there is more to it than that. This is an example of government agencies ignoring the law of the land and, in doing so, being complicit in protecting those who, in many cases, are openly flaunting the law.Knight Ridder repo
 
Fired CIA official: where did she get the info?
I ask that because I stumbled across Larry Johnson’s blog "No Quarter". Johnson, formerly with the CIA, worked for a short time for Mary McCarthy, the CIA employee who was fired. He’s no friend of hers and, in fact, says he really didn’t enjoy working for her.However he has some questions about how McCarthy got the info she’s s
 
Entitlement Programs: "models of bureaucratic efficiency"
Tom Elia at The New Editor doesn’t think our welfare and entitlement programs are exactly models of efficiency... "Our country’s entitlement programs are models of bureaucratic efficiency." [Ezra Klein, i
 
Quick Hits
Sometimes QandO commenter Mona (aka "Hypatia") — together with Pete Guither from Drug War Rants — has written an excellent post at Glenn Greenwald’s blog on just how much "wars" (e.g., the War on Drugs) allow the
 
Special Interests, Institutionalized
Dog bites man, water is wet, politician helps contributors...[S]ince Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the Senate in 2000, Corning and its mainly Republican executives have become one of her largest sources of campaign contributions. And in that time, Mrs. Clinton has become one of the company&rs
 
France’s Legislators
Peter Brown notes the interesting difference between the last week’s protests in France, and the protests in the United States, and the opposite outcomes of each. As he puts it:In France, they apparently are able to make law in the streets.Here in the United States, it’s still done in the halls of Congress.
 
Massachusetts "health care" prelude to government takeover?
Sally Pipes discusses the Massachusetts "health care plans" and finds it doomed to fail and be taken over by government.Individual health insurance is not always a good deal in Massachusetts, thanks to state-imposed community rating regulations that require companies to charge the sick and healthy the same rates. The result: Some people elect not to p
 
"Protestus Interruptus"
Or "this ain’t Vietnam, Fred".The "Fred" in question is "Christian" whackjob Fred "God hates fags" Phleps and his merry band. Not content with picketing soldier’s funerals with their brand of hate, Fred and company decided Walter Reed hospital (home to many wounded Soldiers and Marines from Iraq) was a proper venue to spread their tw
 
Making Kelo Defunct
Some cities rejoiced at the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. In one fell swoop, it seemed like the Supreme Court had given them a practically free hand to ignore those inconvenient property rights. Other cities, however, like the city of Anaheim, California, chose a different path.Anaheim’s old downtown was obliterated in the 1970s through past uses of eminent d
 
"Credible Public Figures"
You know, just because you’re a famous and successful actor, that doesn’t mean you know jack about, well, anything else. I know I’m a little late getting to this, but, case in point: Charlie Sheen. In fact, I don’t know who is worse, Mr. Sheen, or the whack-jobs like Alex Jones who breathlessly relate Mr. Sheen’s idiocy with such credulity.
 
Political Guilt by Association
Democrats seem to be turning the Association Fallacy into a campaign plank. First, referring to a House bill to "make it a crime to be in the United States illegally or to offer aid to illegal immigrants" — a bill not supported by the White House, and, as Brendan Nyhan notes, "Bush is taking major flak within his party for not supporting a punitive, enforcement-only approach" —  
The Liberal Noise Machine
I think the Left side of the blogosphere needs to spend less time cranking the noise machine. The New York Times does a news story on the impact of the internet on politics, in the course of which Adam Nagourney writes that bloggers have "been openly critical of such moderate Democrats as Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut". In response,
 
Battle of the intellectual titans
This must have been a real treat. Apparently Sean Hannity and Mark Levin amubshed Alec Baldwin on another host’s radio talk show yesterday: HANNITY: Are you the guy that said of our vice president, while we’re at war, while we’re leading troops in harm’s way – are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said that Dick Cheney is a terrorist? Are yo
 
Commentary
I plan to discuss it in greater detail later, but for now I strongly encourage you to read Matt McIntosh’s perceptive, Realist, and sometimes counter-intuitive, 3-part series on the Iran problem... Part 1: The so-far mostly bad US Policy towards Iran. 
Transparency: sunlight is the best limitation
This Jane Galt commentary is good...I am bewildered by those who profess to be idealists, interested in the public good, rather than power. If your conception of the public good is served by, for example, hiding the economic cost of your program from the majority of American voters by making it a (lousy, inefficient) tax credit, instead of paying for it out of tax revenue, then in what way is your idea of th
 
How Would a Patriot Act?
Back around the ’04 election, I wrote that if Bush was re-elected, it would be the job of those on the Right to "hold his feet to the fire". The administration (any administration, really) would be unlikely to react well to a permanently-peeved, hysterical opposition...and the hysterical opposition makes it hard to respond well to more thoughtful opposition. So, I like
 
I Dont Get It...
And I don’t much like it either: This whole "Crunchy Conservative" deal that some people at NRO are getting all gooey over.I haven’t read Rod Dreher’s book, but the more of his comments I see on that blog, the less interested I am in doing so. For instance, Mr. Dreher apparently thinks we need to have more communitarian sensibility. When people have front por
 
Worst President Ever
Some conjecture in the "reality based community". In this case from Matt Yglesias:Sam Rosenfeld’s already snarked a bit on this, but seriously, what’s with Harry Reid saying George W. Bush is "the worst president this country has ever had" or Hillary Clinton’s similar claim that he’s "one of the worst" in American history? On domestic policy, he’s certainly been a
 
What the Democrats Don’t Believe...
This annoys me..The Democrat party on national defense....Don’t go after our enemies.Don’t listen to terrorists’ phone calls. (1) Don’t go after our enemies — The Bush administration is not attacking North Korea, Syria or Pakistan (the likely home of Al Qaed
 
Scientology, Again
I should probably let sleeping dogs lie, here. In the larger scheme of things, scientology doesn’t really interest me, except in passing. But, like a little kid who sees something curious and strange, I really can’t stop myself from poking it with a stick at least once. And scientology is both curious and strange.So, I wanna poke some more.You know, within minutes of Jon’s and my post of yesterday, scientologists were popp
 
Tom Cruise and the Wacky Cult of Scientology
I don’t normally do pop culture blogging. In fact, I can’t name more than a handful of movies or hit songs from this year, professional athletes, or who, exactly, won this past years Super Bowl/WorldSeries/NBA Championship...and I like it that way. But this Tom Cruise Scientology thing irks me, so let’s rant. Via Andrew Sullivan, I see Tom Cruise is even  
Clooney Tunes
This is for my buddy Pogue Mahone, a frequent commenter on QandO who lives for my posts about Howard Dean and George Clooney. Yes Pogue, I saw it, I read it, but let’s face it, when someone writes something like this ...The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to th
 
Radical egalitarianism, social justice and the Democrats
During yesterday’s podcast we were lamenting that few outlets exist for libertarian thought ... no libertarian tv shows or movies, only a few relatively libertarian magazines, and certainly no major newspapers which are, at least predominantly, libertarian.But there are local exceptions apparently, one to be found, in of all places, Las Vegas. The Review-Journal publis
 
The Netherlands: discovering multiculturalism has limits
Apparently the Dutch have decided that they’re no longer interested in allowing migrants into their country which have difficulties with the Dutch culture and its mores.Two men kissing in a park and a topless female bather are featured in a film that will be shown to would-be immigrants to The Netherlands.The reactions of ap
 
Atlas Quoted
Great lines by Wulf at Atlas Blogged...I just had a great idea for a T-shirt: Boycott ’em all, let God sort them out. The libertarian offensive: Militant Consumerism! And this...If it can’t fit on a T-shirt, it’s not a
 
Jay Bennish
I’m sometimes a bit embarrassed when the Right gets excised about the hysterical rhetoric of some obscure teacher and mounts a campaign far outsized to their actual importance. Jay Bennish — "the [Colorado] high school geography teacher who was suspended from his classroom for comparing the policies of President Bush to those of Adolph Hitler" — is the latest example.
 
Commentary
Job growth exceeds expectations this month...Nonfarm payroll employment grew by 243,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. I don’t think there can be much dispute that 4.8% represents Full Employment. Even with strong productivity driving the NAI
 
China calls US hypocritical
We’ve taken a bit of heat here at QandO (we’re big boys, we can take it) about our stand on torture, prisoner abuse and the alleged wiretapping. We’ve argued that it is important that we not compromise the principles which underpin the foundation of what it is to be America and Americans. And we’ve also made the point that expedience, which puts aside those principles, can be strategically damaging.  
Republican Study Committee Budget: Contract With America, Pt 2
Bumped to the top because this is important.Matt Yglesias argues that the line item veto is a "sign of the intellectual and political bankruptcy of contemporary conservatism" because Pork is not "a major component of federal spending" and cutting it would not "render GOP tax policies viable". First, it’s worth noting that he’s absolutely correct about the compositional value o
 
A Libertarian Society is unlikely because...
Max Borders, in TCS Daily...The late philosopher Robert Nozick pointed out that when people compare themselves to one another, they are disposed to feel one of two emotions — guilt or envy. Guilt when someone has a lower station than you; envy when someone has a higher station than you. I would add a third to this mix: indignation. That’s when you compare someone of a higher station to someone of a
 
Commentary
South Dakota is bringing the abortion debate to a head...Gov. Michael Rounds of South Dakota signed into law the nation’s most sweeping state abortion ban on Monday, an intentional provocation meant to set up a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision that m
 
Oscars: An interesting point
I don’t know if you bothered with the Academy Awards last night ... I watched a Poirot rerun. But the media was certainly full of the left coast backpatting event.Apparently ratings were low. Apparently, even recruiting Jon Stewart couldn’t save them.Peter Byrnes at "Liberty Files" notes the following:Anyone recall w
 
Republican Congressmen engage the blogosphere
First, House Majority Leader John Boehner sends an email to bloggers on the announcement that Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas "will retire at the end of the 109th Congress".... "I have great admiration and respect for Bill both personally and professionally. The work he has accomplished on behalf of the American people, whether to lower taxes, provide quality health care, or create new jobs, has quite frankly been extraordinary. He has been
 
Commentary
Penn + Teller = crazy genius...Leave it to Penn and Teller to have a (almost) SegaCD (amazingly bad system) game where you drive a bus across the Nevada desert for eight hours in real-time to score one point. Apparently, this excercise in tedium was created "for people who didn’t like violence or unrealistic games". You can’t even crash the
 
Stray Voltage
In case you missed it, AP "clarifies" (or in the case of our reader Pogue Mahone, "claryfies") it’s report on the video in which it claimed President Bush was warned about levee breaches prior to Katrina’s landfall:In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struc
 
Home schooling increasing significantly
Just as customers dissatisfied with a particular store or company will seek an alternative, so more and more parents are turning to home schooling because of dissatisfaction with public education:Nobody is quite sure exactly how many American children are being taught at home. The National Center for Education Statistics, in a 2003 survey, put the number that year at 1
 
Commentary
You know it’s a Slow News Day when the New York Times does a story on Judge Alito’s Thank You notes...In his first weeks on the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. sent a note to Dr. James C. Dobson, the influential Christian conservative, thanking him for his support and vowing that "as long as I serve on the S
 
Patriot Act: The process of protecting our liberties
Rep James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) uses USA Today to update us on the civil liberties violations to date pertaining to the Patriot Act and to take a shot at some of its critics:Zero. That’s the number of substantiated USA Patriot Act civil liberties violations. Extensive congressional oversight found no violations.Six reports by the Just
 
Bush warned of possible Levee breach?
In an apparent surprise to everyone, video of a presidential conference on the landfall of Katrina points out that the feds, while claiming to be prepared, weren’t:In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put l
 
New Toys
First of all, let me say that I would never, ever encourage anyone to carry concealed weapons in violation of state or Federal law. Legally, I am required to tell you to be a good little sheep and refuse to carry any sort of offensive or defensive weapon, unless you are licensed to do so by competent state authorities.On the off chance that you can legally carry a weapon, especially one that cannot be detected with a metal detector or similar de
 
Commentary
Saddam’s legal team offers a priceless defense...[Ramsey Clark] has submitted a motion recently claiming the judge "is not impartial and has a manifested bias against the defendant". [...] The defence says Abd al-Rahman is biased because he is a native of the Kurdish village of Halabja, the target of a 1988 chemical attack in which about 5000 p
 
Like Libya on the Human Rights Commission
That’s on par with Gov. Blagojevich of IL naming Claudette Marie Johnson to the governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. You see, Ms. Johnson goes by the name Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad when discharging her duties as Minister of Protocol for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.In case you’re not familiar with Farrakhan or the Nation o
 
Political Teams
Tom Maguire and Glenn Greenwald are having a little bloggers spat over exactly how to characterize the Right. In brief... Greenwald insists that "loyalty to George Bush the Leader takes precedence over allegiance to any recognizable political principles" within the Right nowadays — that the Right is engaging in a  
Book Review
I’ve just finished reading Michael Z. Williamson’s military sci-fi book, Freehold. While it has some of the usual first-novel rough edges, overall it’s an enjoyable and fascinating book, and I heartily recommend it. It reminds me very much of some of Robert Heinlein’s work, especially  
Record Supports Cheney
Papers to prove it...NBC News has obtained new documents regarding the shooting accident involving Vice President Dick Cheney.[...]In this case, all the accounts are similar and consistent with how Vice President Cheney has already described the incident. The statements say Cheney and his friend were about 30 yards apart when the vice president shot, aiming for a single bird. The statements all agree this wa
 
Clinton on Vouchers: You just can’t be trusted
Talk about jumping the shark. Ms. Clinton on why you should never be trusted with school vouchers:"First family that comes and says ’I want to send my daughter to St. Peter’s Roman Catholic School’ and you say ’Great, wonderful school, here’s your voucher,’" Clinton said. "Next parent that co
 
Indoctrination and intolerance win at Harvard
Thomas Sowell highlights the tragedy propagated by the resignation of Lawrence Summers from his position of president of Harvard. It is just another indicator of the problems faced by students in the academic world today: Despite incessant repetition of the word "diversity" in academe, the tragic fact is that the academic world is one of the most intolerant places
 
Commentary
They just can’t help themselves...Xenophobic conservatives have found allies with liberals on this [Dubai Ports deal] issue because liberals are a) looking for any opening to criticize Bush on national security; and, b) think they can do that by outflanking Bush to the right on this issue and therefore sound “tougher” and “stronger.” When
 
Help Wanted
That’s the sign that will soon be in the door of a Nebraska meat processing plant. The winners of the 365 million Powerball jackpot, all 8 of them, were coworkers at the plant and will share the prize.Good for them. They’ll now find out how many real friends they actually have as well as hearing from people who claim to be their friends and long lost r
 
Not all the heros are in Iraq
An amazing story of a mothers willingness to sacrifice herself for her child: Lydia Angyiou’s kids sure won’t be giving her much trouble any more, now that they’ve seen her wrestle a 700-pound polar bear.Angyiou lives in Ivujivik, a village of 300 people on the shore of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec.One Wednesday evening ear
 
Random Notes
Just a few jottings of things that occured to me today.Words of wisdom: Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies.My military ID card hasn’t been working. Actually, it never worked. My computer couldn’t even read the card. So, today, I had to go to the Personnel Support Detachment at
 
The weight of the state
You’ve got to read this story. And keep in mind that although it is one side of the story it’s still pretty scary. If true, it shows how easy it is for the state and it’s minions, with the power they hold, to ruin your life over what appears to be a grudge held by one officer.
 
Anarchy in Somalia!
This is the kind of paleolibertarian stuff that drives me up a wall...Somalia has done very well for itself in the 15 years since its government was eliminated. The future of peace and prosperity there depends in part on keeping one from forming. Author Yumi Kim then goes on to describe the many-splendored thing that is Somali anarchy, including Somalia’s realtively inexpensive telecommunications industry,
 
The Political Landscape: voters still like bread and circuses
In a previous post, a commenter wrote that, instead of thinking of the best way to levy taxes, we ought to "think about the best way to cut government down to a proper size". Now, I’m in favor of cutting the size of government, but I think libertarians need to be reminded of a practical problem with that ideal. Namely, that the public generally likes big government. Oh, sure, they may complain
 
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here?
Far be it for me to defend Holocaust deniers, but in the light of the recent European defense of free speech (however tepid it may have been) over the Danish cartoons, I have a lot of trouble with this:Right-wing British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after admitting to an Austrian court that he denied the Holocaust — a
 
There’ll be some gnashing of teeth and wailing in tinsletown now
Per the Starpulse News blog, Spike Lee has blown the cover off of Hollywood during an interview in Complex magazine:Spike Lee has attacked the Hollywood studios for not including African-Americans as executives. The director is appalled the major studios only recruit white men and women for executive positions.He tells
 
Ever wonder what you’d look like as a Simpson character
Go find out. Here’s as close as I could get:
 
Quick Hits
The ABC translation of the Saddam Tapes are being rebutted by former inspector Bill Tierney, who says that ABC mistranslated the tapes and that "[Saddam] was discussing his intent to use chemical weapons against the United States and use proxies so it could not be traced back to Iraq."Interesting? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Bill Tierney recently appeared on Coast to
 
Disrespecting a Medal of Honor winner
Each week I do an article called "Project Hero" to highlight the heros we have in our military service fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is my small way of bringing attention to our nation’s finest.In the pantheon of heros within our military, both past and present, those that have been awarded the Medal of Honor stand out as "superstars" if you were to use today’s
 
What year is this? 1906?
Under the category of "are you kidding me" the International Ski Federation has decided that ski jumping is too dangerous for women:The International Ski Federation has ruled that ski jumping is too dangerous for women, making it the only winter Olympic sport that has male competitors and no female counterparts."It’s like jumping down from, let’s
 
The myth of Republican fiscal conservancy
Brian Riedl gives us a pretty damning look at the Bush administration’s fiscal conservatism over the past 5 years.Despite all the breathless reporting about "deep cuts" and "slashed" spending, the numbers say no such thing. Reidl points to three myths and then the reality:Myth 1: Massive education cuts. From 2001 through 2006,
 
Earmarks: The Empire strikes back
After all the rhetoric about getting serious about earmarks specifically and pork in general, the primary resistance in the House to reforming earmarks is coming, unsurprisingly, from big-government Republicans: The push to end earmarks, which critics call pork-barrel spending, is bogged down in the House, thanks to a strong defense of the pr
 
Quick Hits
Red State gets former FEC Chairman Brad Smith to contribute...Unfortunately, leading Republicans Party strategists have decided that the GOP can gain the upper hand in elections by abandoning the principles of freedom and limited government, and trying to beat Democrats by silencing them through campaign finance regulation. Call it "527 Fever," a beltway disease that afflicts R
 
Scalia: Living Constitution? Bah!
Not one to particularly mince words, SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia disclaimed the concept of a "living Constitution:"People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn’t change with society are "idiots," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says.In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended
 
Why is education in the US failing?
John Stossel gives us a clue:Bosses, have I got an idea for you: Don’t pay your best employees more, don’t ease out your least productive workers, and for crying out loud, never fire anyone, not even for the most blatant misconduct on the job.It works for the public schools, doesn’t it?Actually, it doesn’t, but since t
 
Danish Cartoons: Islamic Chauvanism exposes hypocrisy
Probably the most interesting thing to come out of this cartoon controversy (which now increasingly seems to be a controversy contrived by Islamic radicals) is the Islamic chauvinism it has displayed for all to see. For the irony impaired, Joseph Tartakovsky gives us a good accounting of the phenomenon:Islamic chauvinism explains what would otherwise be a spectacul
 
China: Censorship is hard work
The discussion here and around the blogosphere about Google’s decision to self-censor its search engine at the behest of China’s government yielded some interesting discussion. Most felt Google made a mistake in doing so. But some, like most of us here, felt it was better to have something rather than nothing available to the Chinese public in terms of access to outside information. After all, we reasoned, the determined always find a way around an obs
 
Blast from the past: "As long as"
A February 2004 post on Q and O entitled "As Long As":Donald Sensing, while ruminating about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment and Kerry’s stance on it gets to the essence of “freedom”: One lady told me, "No one needs an AK-47 to hunt deer." Well, yes, that’s true, and in fact an AK-47 would be a rather miserable hunting gun. But freedom is not about what we "need," is about being able to do what we want. And if so
 
Quick Hits
Ok, this is the last attention I’ll give to the already over-remarked-upon Cheney Shooting, but this is getting sillier...I really have nothing against hunting, but Dick’s love of hunting pen-raised animals for fun is really actually quite sick. It’s not hunting, it’s just mass slaughter. Says Atrios — and
 
Liberty VS Security
The response to our recent posts on the National Journal story by Corine Hegland about the kangaroo trials and administration deception surrounding the Guantanamo Bay detainees has been extremely dispiriting. The "cry panic and let slip the exigencies of war" theme was sounded concisely by one DaveP. who wrote..That’s what you’re proposing, like it or not. I ask you now: Will you st
 
Warrantless Wiretaps: Inherent presidential power v. legislative power
Speaking of warrantless wiretaps: But in 1977, Mr. Carter and his attorney general, Griffin B. Bell, authorized warrantless electronic surveillance used in the conviction of two men for spying on behalf of Vietnam. The men, Truong Dinh Hung and Ronald Louis Humphrey, challenged their espionage convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,
 
Whistleblowing: the difference is in the procedure
Porter Goss is not a happy man. Judge Laurence Silberman, a chairman of President Bush’s commission on weapons of mass destruction, said he was "stunned" by the damage done to our critical intelligence assets by leaked information. The commission reported last March that in monetary terms, unauthorized disclosures have cost America hundreds of millions of dollars; in s
 
Q and O: the no-comfort zone
A reader ask, in the comments section of a post about the detainees in Guantanamo: What’s happened here at QandO? Add a little profanity and this post could have been written by Kos.Not really. Kos toes a particular party line, so something bucking that line wouldn’t show up on there. OK, that’s a generalization, but it leads me to a point. This blog isn’t here to enshrine or support anyone or anything except the
 
Earmarks: federal credit card fraud
NZ Bear reports that capitol hill staffers are trying to embarrass Congressmen who are pushing for public disclosure of earmarks...Staff of the House Appr
 
Blogs on the left and right fill different roles
Interesting article by Jim Geraghty in the Washington Times today. He entitles it, "The Growing Role of Bloggers", but it might also have been entitled, "The Differing Role of Bloggers on the Right and Left". He uses two example to support his "growing role" thesis. The Meirs nomination and the reaction of the right side of the blogosphere and the Alito nomination and t
 
Leadership and the Culture of corruption
Jeff Flake, , gives us a look at how the appropriations business is supposed to look, and how it has morphed into the House becoming, as Jack Abramoff described it, the "earmark favor factory":In Congress these days, you establish your priorities by getting money for them. When the carefully designed process of authorization, appropriation and oversight is ad
 
These cartoons...They look familiar...
Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey, an Arab libertarian in Cairo, now remembers why the "anti-Mohammed cartoons look so familiar to him. They were published in the Egyptian newspaper Al Fagr...back on October of 2005. During Ramadan.Freedom For Egypt
 
Republicans support Domestic Surveillance Investigation
The New York Times reports a little spine among House Republicans...A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program. Unmentioned in that story, b
 
Culture and Democracy
In the comments on a previous post, reader PogueMahone wrote something I think is worth thinking about in terms of the US policy of democratization...So, how does one come to the conclusion that an attempt to bring a Jeffersonian democracy to this “bad” culture is good foreign policy? [...] ...it puzzles me how one concludes that instilling a Western value on a “bad” culture will have favorable result
 
It’s a clash of cultures, not religions
The dominant meme emerging among those who would declare the cartoon flap to be all about religion. You can see an example of that meme being pushed right here at QandO in the comments section.Jonah Goldberg pretty much destroys the argument with one swipe of the pen:The quotation marks around the
 
Whatever happened to civility and good taste?
As one observer noted:Tom Perdue, a Georgia Republican political consultant, watched Tuesday’s funeral on television and said he was "ashamed of Jimmy Carter. I was ashamed for him. Today is not the day."It seems, given the Paul Welstone memorial, that it is now an accepted practice to politicize funerals for certain members of the left. To Bill Clinton’s c
 
Best Unintentionally Hilarious Quote
A protestor in Afghanistan:"They want to test our feelings," protester Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra told the BBC."They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers," he said. Gotcha, Mawli. Thanks for weighing in. You are the king of not getting it.
 
Cartoons & Looney Tunes
Thomas Lifson pronounces the whole Cartoon Crisis as a conspiracy. A put-up job by Muslim extremists.The cartoon crisis which has left embassies ablaze and sparked riots from Beirut to Bangkok and Jarkarta was a set-up job, planned and executed by a group of Muslim leaders from Denmark in concert with leading lights of the Islamic world. The conspirators used suprem
 
The cartoons highlight the disaster of multiculturalism
That’s James Pinkerton’s take:The lesson of the Muhammad cartoon controversy is: Multiculturalism between nations is inevitable, but multiculturalism within nations is disastrous.I’ve certainly come to the conclusion that the cultural relativism that is rampant in "muliticulturalism" certainly i
 
Alaska: Charter members, Pork Hall of Shame
NZ Bear has provided us with a page called the "Hall of Shame" aimed at increasing the visibility, and hopefully the shame, of those among elected officials who indulge themselves in pork projects. This is a grassroots project where you, the readers of blogs, are asked to participate. You know your local pols better than anyone and you also are more plugged
 
Libertarian Tech Bleg
At the Adam Smith Institute Blog, Dr. Butler writes...According to the Cato Institute’s David Boaz in the Wall Street Journal recently, Gallup polls show that around 20% of the US population are neither liberal nor conservative but libertarian – opposing the use of government either to "prom
 
Danish Cartoons
I’m not inclined to make sweeping conclusions from the emerging story of the Danish cartoons, the vehement, violent reaction of the Muslim world, and the alternately firm and feeble reactions from the Western world. Maybe this is a perfect metaphor for the coming culture clash, maybe it’s not. Maybe this is a tipping point, maybe it’s not.Still, in all the fuss, a few notes do ring awkwardly. For example,  
Friday Night Trivia
Which British comedy has the following line in its theme song:"I want to lie shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice..."No fair using Google. But after you guess and if you must know, the answer is here. One of my all time favorites. If you get it you are definitely a fan. In fact I’m presently on a beer break from a mini-marathon of the show. Br
 
Will anyone admit it is a clash of cultures now?
I’ve been watching this cartoon bruhaha bubble along for days now (you can find everything you wanted to know about it here). You know the one I’m talking about. A Danish newspaper published some cartoons that Muslims found offensive. Certain countries (Saudi Arabia I believe is one) banned Danish products and Danish Muslims demanded the Danish Prime Minister make the paper which
 
Quick Hits
18 megabytes of silence?Fitzgerald, who is fighting Libby’s request, said in a letter to Libby’s lawyers that many e-mails from Cheney’s office at the time of the Plame leak in 2003 have been deleted contrary to White House policy.Rose Mary’s Digital Stretch? I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that, befor
 
How Republicans Can Get Their Groove Back
I wrote this overview and analysis of the House Majority Leader Race just a couple days ago, hoping to get it placed where it might do some good. Unfortunately, with the vote today, it’s too late to get it placed. (though, Red State was kind enough to front-page it) Still, I don’t want it to go to waste, so if you’re looking for a comprehensive analysis of the HML Race, why it’s vital that the Republicans get i
 
The Heavy Hand of Censorship
Well, I’m sure this won’t make me Mr. popular (Heh. Like I care.), but recently, it seems the incidence of profanity in the blog comments has been on the rise. Now, I yield to no man in my enjoyment of salty language, but, as satisfying as it sometimes is, using it in a public forum is sometimes counterproductive. This is especially true for a blog like QandO, where many of readers like to check the blog from work.(In fact, I am one of thos
 
Good Ol’ Public Education
John Stossel casts a gimlet eye on public education. In doing so, he takes a look at the case of young Dorian Cain, a 12th-grader in South Carolina. Dorian, despite having gone through 12 years of school, can’t actually read on a first-grade level.His mom, Gena Cain, has been trying to get him help for years. If Dorian were in private school, or if South Caro
 
Equal opportunity ejectors
One of the various stories about the SOTU is the ejection by Capitol Police of Cindy Sheehan from the House gallery for wearing a t-shirt with an anti-war slogan. Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the s
 
Conference call with Sen Coburn: ending Porkapalooza
I just got off a conference call with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and a number of other bloggers in which he outlined the plan he and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are undertaking to reign in pork projects normally added as earmarks to various and sundry appropriations bills.As an example of the negative impact of such earmarks, he related the gist of a phone conversation he had with Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld told him that 9 billion dollars of earma
 
Anticlimactic
It’s over in the Senate and Samuel Alito is the nation’s 110 Justice of the Supreme Court:The largely party-line vote was 58-42 to replace the more moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with Alito, a federal appeals judge since 1990, came four months after the Sena
 
The strength of America still lives
Under the heading, "Ain’t America Great", we read about the planned gathering tonight of those who’s relevance and self-worth were defined by the 60s and 70s and their attempt to relive those heady days:Make noise, not war. Liberal activists — among them graying leftovers from the Vietnam-era antiwar movement &m
 
San Francisco: a military-free zone?
With the corner on the tin-foil concession in the US, this probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise:Everyone knows that San Francisco is a focal point for anti-war sentiment. Protests, civil disobedience and other acts designed to show opposition to the war in Iraq are standard fare in these parts. But now it seems that San Francisco anti-
 
Roy Blunt: Business as Usual
John Fund, in today’s Opinion Journal...Mr. Armey, a former economics professor, vividly recalls the House leadership meeting in late 2001 that prompted his decision to retire. Afterwards he returned to his office and wrote down his summary of how he saw the GOP Congress behaving: "We come to this town and we do things we ought not to be doing in order to stay in th
 
Sheehan for Senate
Mother Sheehan is speculating that she might like to run for the Senate against Dianne Feinstein. If she does, I hope she’ll remember to use this photo in her campaign:If she doesn’t, I’m sure Sen. Feinstein or her surrogates will.What is it about Lefties that make them so attracted to commie dic
 
Bank to land grabbers: "Get your money elsewhere"
Interesting. From North Carolina:One of the nation’s top banks plans to reject loans to developers who are involved in deals where land is seized through eminent domain.Officials from Winston-Salem-based BB&T made the announcement on Wednesday. The chief credit officer said the bank was obligated to take a stance on the issue.Eminent domain allows govern
 
Trying to have it both ways
Robert Kennedy Jr. is becoming a lot like his dear uncle Teddy ... a blatant hypocrite.We were subjected, recently, to a lecture by Ted Kennedy about how terrible a bigot US Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was because he belonged to an alumni group who supposedly banned women and minorities (even though the magazine of the group was edited by, you got it, a woman). We then learned that Mr. Kennedy was still a member of a men only Harvard social club.
 
Wal-Mart’s wages are too low
And, the stores hurt Mom and Pop businesses (of course that’s usually because Mom and Pop’s prices are too high and consumers vote with their dollars in favor of making their money go further with Wal-Mart than supporting Mom and Pop’s lifestyle).Or so goes the conventional wisdom among certain members of the ruling elite. If true, one has to wonder why things  
Property Rights v. Gun rights
Two points before I get into this. I am a proponent of the rights of a citizen to keep and bear arms. I am also a proponent of a citizen’s right to control his property without intrusive and undo interference from the state. Now those are both general statements, but they’ve come into conflict here in Georgia. I should probably make a third statement as well. The gentleman who’s  
"I don’t support the troops": words from an intellectually honest war protester
Seriously. Joel Stein makes a point I’ve been trying to make to the anti-war crowd who morally oppose the war and want to have it both ways (or said another way, to rhetorically cover their @ss):I DON’T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of
 
Cajun Pigs at the Trough
You recall Louisiana’s post-Katrina plea for federal subsidy, right? They submitted a bill "$250 billion in recovery funds for [Louisiana] alone" with "an estimated $180 billion" of that money in the form of "direct federal spending"; and all of that on top of the initial $62.3 billion spent on disaster relief.  
In defense of health savings accounts
Ezra Klein, in an effort to preemptively spin President Bush’s anticipated State of the Union health care subject, gives us a rather sloppy analysis of the Health Savings Accounts (HSA) :This is a rethink of the entire health care system: no more risk pooling; instead, you sock away cash in tax-advantaged accounts, spending it only when you get sick. So no (or ve
 
A culture with a long way to go
Sometimes a series of pictures can tell a lot about the culture they reflect. In this case the disturbing images of a child smoker, probably about 3 or 4, completely unsupervised and, as you’ll note, very proficient in lighting up. (Disclaimer: I’m assuming it’s China given the writing, the appearence of the child and the surroundings. Unfortunately I can’t read the characters surroundi
 
Ladette culture
Under the heading of learning something new every day, comes my new found knowledge about the "Ladette (or "laddette" as some spell it) culture". The best definition, or description if you will, is here:As for "ladette" (I prefer the single d spelling), ladettes emerged in the early to mid 90’s and were/are loud-mouthed, brash, pack-hunting yobbish beer-swilli
 
Government: the social contract market
Max Borders on "natural rights"....How is it that something that one piece of fibrous paper and another of the exact same shape, size and ink content can be worth $100 and $1 — respectively? Well, currency is a good example of socially constructed reality. Of course, in the days of the gold standard, we might be able to go into a bank and get gold in exchange for our bank notes. But then again gold is su
 
The trouble with Republicans
When we did our podcast yesterday (which I’m sure Dale will be posting sometime today) we talked about the fact that on a national level we line up much more to the right of center than we may at a state or local level (for various reasons). Some of the reasons we end up on the right of center have to do with fiscal concerns. Spending. Taxes. Budget. There’s also the issue of smaller and less intrusive government (but that also relates to spending) and
 
Stern to be censored on Sirius too?
It appears that while Sirius satellite radio is not required to follow FCC rules concerning speech on the radio, it isn’t about to give it’s newest star, Howard Stern, a free hand in what is and isn’t said on his show:Howard Stern may be coming down with a Sirius case of the bleeps. High-level executives of the satellite broadcaster are developing an internal st
 
Abramoff directed money to Republicans and Democrats
After taking a lot of abuse from Democrats who object to her characterization that Jack Abramoff "made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties", Deborah Howell responds with something I haven’t seen before; something quite damning...While Abramo
 
I guess this is what not having a hit in 40 years will do
Remember how grindingly tiresome those "right wingers" became as they continually attacked Bill Clinton over every little thing and eventually so alienated the majority of the public that they hurt their own effort?An example of the left wing version:Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Bush administration’s harshest critics
 
Go to the hospital to have a baby ...
And come home minus your arms and legs: A Sanford mother says she will never be able to hold her newborn because an Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and, she claims, the hospital refuses to explain why they left her as a multiple amputee.The woman filed a complaint against Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, she said, because they won’t tell her ex
 
Bin Laden joins the Murtha wing of the Democratic Party
I guess you could interpret his message in some other way, but I’m having difficulty in doing so.OBL:But I wanted to talk to you because of the lies that have been given to you by your President Bush when he commented on the results of the opinion polls in
 
Congressional Entitlement
The entitlement attitude of career Beltway politicians illustrated...Some lawmakers said they thought Congress was overreacting to the lobbying scandal with an excess of new rules and requirements."Now we’re going to say you can’t have a meal for more than 20 bucks," said Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Missi
 
Our Commenting Policy
Every blog, at some point, has to publicly clarify their commenting policy. Usually, this occurs, as it has today, with a commenter that offers nothing but trolling. As it happens, I decided to ban the commenter who uses the name "Book Adams" today, and deleted all of his comments.Commenting here is a privilege. We owe no one any obligation to allow them to post here, and all commenters do so at our sufferance. We pay the bills for this site, and that means we can run it in any
 
Rep. John Boehner Interview
We’ve completed the blogger conference call with House Majority leader candidate Representative John Boehner. Participating bloggers were...N.Z. Bear, T
 
Rep. John Shadegg Interview
This morning, House Majority leader candidate Representative John Shadegg participated in a blogger conference call with the following group...N.Z. Bear, The T
 
Democrats offer plan to address K Street and more
In a move atypical of the Democrats recently, instead of simply engaging in criticism, they’ve actually offered a plan of their own:Rather than limiting the value of a gift to $20, as House Republicans are considering, Democrats would prohibit all gifts from lobbyists. Democrats also take direct aim at some of the legislative practices tha
 
Legislating for dollars
Washington isn’t the only place where influence is peddled nor are Republicans the only targets of the peddlers. State legislatures, as well as local governments, are increasingly (or some might argue more visibly) under pressure to bring in more dollars in terms of tax revenues, but, with voters against tax increases, made to find unique ways to do so. Thus, as in Maryland, we see the alliance of Democrats and unions to target a specific business
 
Size Matters
The blogosphere is jumping into this Republican house leadership election in a big way. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody’s got a right to express their opinions. We signed onto N.Z. Bear’s petition, and I’ll be taking part in tomorrow’s conference calls with at least one of the people, John Shadegg, who’ve declared for the Majority Leader’s spot.But really, all this stuff about Congressional ethics (H
 
Phone Records For Sale
I’ve seen this story covered by various Lefties, but no Righties as of yet. It should get more coverage. John Aravosis of AmericaBlog reported that...Anyone can buy a list of your incoming and outgoing phone calls, cell or land-line, for $110 online[...]In a nutshell, the
 
Blog Notes
I like to put up an occassional reminder for our readers about the variety of things you don’t always see upon first glance at QandO... The QandO Chat Room is usually occupied during the day by myself and a few others trading interesting links, chatting about news or just lurking while we work. Join us. New articles will be up soon at The New L
 
Warrantless Domestic Wiretaps
Remember, the Bush Administration was only conducting surveillance of US Citizens talking to terrorists. You can trust them. Or not.In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requ
 
Where’s Pat Robertson when you need him?
Well it does prove one thing ... it’s not just a disease of the religious right: Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that "God is mad at America" and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting."Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane af
 
Al Gore Speech: libertarian wariness of "unchecked power"
I’ve disagreed with Al Gore long and hard in the past, and I’m sure I’ll do so again. Not today, though; not on the important stuff. In today’s Liberty Coalition-sponsored Al Gore speech at Constitution Hall — transcripts at Raw Story and Drudge — there’s a lot with which libertarians can agree. The
 
Martin Luther King, Jr: The Last Founding Father
It’s been 230 years since our Founding Fathers — a motley collection of intelligent, passionate and courageous men — signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. As noble a sentiment as that was, the Founders ultimately failed to foll
 
Are you a neocon?
Interesting quiz here. 10 questions. I came out as a realist which fits quite nicely with the concept of neolibertarianism.
 
Who?
Talk about living in a bubble:Movie star George Clooney is convinced he ruined John Kerry’s chances in the race for US president in 2004 - by snubbing an invitation and hurting his feelings.The Ocean’s Twelve actor was one of several screen stars invited to ride on Kerry’s election train, but it all went downhill for the De
 
House Republican Leadership: insurgent libertarians
We QandO bloggers have signed onto the NZ Bear, Glenn Reynolds and Hugh Hewitt led effort to warn the GOP that....The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street. Most importantly, I think, "we call fo
 
Rednecks and jingoism
Craig Aaron is concerned that country music, "the nation’s most popular genre—with nearly twice as many stations devoted to it than any other", is too red, and not as in "redneck":You can’t spell Grand Ole Opry without the G-O-P. But country hasn’t always been the official soundtrack of the Republican Party. Back in 1964—when Democrats still held 2
 
You do the math
USA Today reports that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is really going to crack down on illegals or other immigrants who’ve been ordered to be deported but haven’t followed those deportation orders.Deploying 52 fugitive-hunting teams (up from 17 last year) made up of 5 to 8 agents, they’re "cracking down". If I
 
Rescuing Limited Government
George Will seems to be growing increasingly libertarian...The national pastime is no longer baseball, it is rent-seeking — bending public power for private advantage. There are two reasons why rent-seeking has become so lurid, but those reasons for today’s dystopian politics are reasons why most suggested cures seem utopian.The first reason i
 
Iraq, propaganda and history
The supposed furor over what is described below still puzzles me:Once again we are confronted with stories about how the Pentagon and its ubiquitous private contractors are undermining free inquiry in Iraq. "Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda," reports the New York Times. Journalists, intellectuals or clerics taking money from Uncl
 
Abramoff Money: a Republican and/or Democratic Scandal
To McQ’s good point just prior, let me add a bit of an explanation of how politicians are playing gotcha around the edges of this scandal. First, let’s concede that this is primarily a Republican scandal. Since Republicans control the Legislative and Executive branches, it follows that lobbyists are buying Republican. The Democrats aren’t pure of heart. They just don’t have m
 
The Left Is Right About One Thing
Ah, the last few days, screwing with the easily inflamed Lefty-boys has been fun. Nothing like a little trolling to bring out the moonbats. But, you know, at the end of the day, they are right about one thing: Congress has, through the Authorization for the Use of Force (AUMF), given the Bush Administration, and, really, any administration that follows, too much of a wartime mandate. As Jonathon Rauch opi
 
Today’s curiosity
Books bound in human skin:Brown University’s library boasts an unusual anatomy book. Tanned and polished to a smooth golden brown, its cover looks and feels no different from any other fine leather.But here’s its secret: the book is bound in human skin.They’re not the only ones either:A number of prestigious libraries—i
 
Parade of Pessimism II
The boys over at the Left-wing "Sadly, No!" blog, are in a towering snit of angry moral superiority over my pessimism post. They are very very unhappy. So are their commenters.When Dale Franks expresses his barely-veiled hope that America wil
 
Gangs for Adults
Hypothesis: multiculturalism, "ethnic heritage" groups and nationalism is simply a sanitized, "adult" version the childhood tendency to form cliques and/or gangs. (or, for that matter, to join subcultures — e.g., "goth", punk, religious, etc)That is to say, people feel a need to create their own identity by joining a group whose identity they can glom onto. If true, this would paint ethnic/nationalist/cultural organizations in a much dimmer light
 
Parade of Pessimism
Gloom. That’s all I really have to offer today. I wish it were otherwise, but, there you go. The reason for the gloom is that I am increasingly skeptical, for a variety of reasons, that we will ultimately prevail in the War on Terror, or even in Iraq. Essentially, as it stands now, I am not confident that we, as a people, have the will—although we undeniably have the ability—to engage in a generational, or even moderately long struggle against I
 
From the front and aimed at the rear
Wow.Go and read LTC John M. Kanaley’s letter addressed to those members of Congress "to those opposed to the war." It’s brilliant.A tidbit or two:The American soldiers are not concerned about arguments that Saddam Hussein’s payments to terrorists did not contribute to September 11th. They do not want to hear that Hussein’s acquiescence to
 
Demented and wrong
Scott Shields at MyDD had this to say about the 13 coal miners trapped by an explosion in their West Virginia mine in a post entitled "How Bush failed the Sago 13":Undoubtedly, some will criticize me for placing blame on President Bush here. The defense will be that Bush didn’t cause the explosion that collapsed the mine. My response will be that he d
 
Eh, so? That’s the way the world works
Art, and the awful intrusions of the real world (don’t ask me why but I just found this interesting):Nellie McKay, a young singer-songwriter whose 2004 album, "Get Away From Me," was one of the most acclaimed pop debuts in recent years, says she has been dropped by Columbia Records just as her follow-up
 
Don’t forget to give us your predictions for 2006
Click here and leave them in the comment section. I’ll put a compendium together of the prognostications of QandO readers, post them and then we’ll sit back and see who has the best crystal ball.
 
Give us your 2006 predictions
For the absolute heck of it your predictions for 2006 are solicited in the following areas: Iraq The War on Terror The 2006 midterm elections Democratic leadership Republican leadership The Bush administration Politics in general Blogging The Main Stream Media The Anti-War moveme
 
Quick Hits
Paul Krugman makes a good point:Since the 1970’s, conservatives have used two theories to justify cutting taxes. One theory, supply-side economics, has always been hokum for the yokel