Archive for April, 2010
Parents may want their girls to grow up to be astronauts and their boys to one day do their fair share of child care and housework duties, but a new study suggests certain stereotypical gender preferences take root even before most kids can crawl. Read the rest of this entry »
Penn Jillette has a great op-ed at the Wall Street Journal about the passing of the Hummer.
Hummers are stupid and wasteful and if they go away because no one wants to buy one, that’ll be just a little sad. It’s always a little sad to lose some stupid. I love people doing stupid things that I’d never do—different stupid things than all the stupid things I do. It reminds me that although all over the world we humans have so much in common, so much love, and need, and desire, and compassion and loneliness, some of us still want to do things that the rest of us think are bug-nutty. Some of us want to drive a Hummer, some of us want to eat sheep’s heart, liver and lungs simmered in an animal’s stomach for three hours, some us want to play poker with professionals and some of us want a Broadway musical based on the music of ABBA. I love people doing things I can’t understand. It’s heartbreaking to me when people stop doing things that I can’t see any reason for them to be doing in the first place. I like people watching curling while eating pork rinds.
But if any part of the Hummer going belly-up are those government rules we’re putting in on miles per gallon, or us taking over of GM, then I’m not just sad, I’m also angry. Lack of freedom can be measured directly by lack of stupid. Freedom means freedom to be stupid. We never need freedom to do the smart thing. You don’t need any freedom to go with majority opinion. There was no freedom required to drive a Prius before the recall. We don’t need freedom to recycle, reuse and reduce. We don’t need freedom to listen to classic rock, classic classical, classic anything or Terry Gross. We exercise our freedom to its fullest when we are at our stupidest.
The Federal government is now taking it upon itself to regulate how much salt you get in your food.
The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products. Read the rest of this entry »
Times editor Joe Klein has stated that opposing the Obama Administration is racist, and referring to the Administration as the “Obama Regime” (like the left did for 8 years with Bush) amounts to sedition. No, we’re not trying to stifle the free speech of our political opponents at all, are we, comrade?
David Boaz at the Cato Institute considers the rhetoric being put forth by the left that conservatives and libertarians are “anti-government,” and asks whether that is true:
The term “anti-government” is getting tossed around a lot these days, and used rather indiscriminately to describe libertarians, libertarian-ish Tea Partiers, hate groups, and violent individuals (not to mention opponents of specific leaders and regimes in countries around the world). That’s a pretty wide spectrum, and journalists and politicians ought to be more careful with their language. In the meantime, I’m republishing here a Cato Policy Report editorial that I published in 1998: Read the rest of this entry »
Henry Oliner at the American Thinker takes a look at leftist policies and the results thereof, and notices something that I’ve been seeing for a while: they’re encouraging the formation of a new left-wing aristocratic class.
While the social engineers decry the hardening and widening of discrepancies in income, this is true only if you look at the categories as static groups. As Thomas Sowell notes, when you look beyond the groups at individuals you find a fluid and mobile society. Few in the bottom tier stay there, and many in the upper tier drop out of that category.Focusing only on the income categories ignores the social mobility that characterizes America’s success. Unfortunately, the growth in government, taxes, and regulation damages that social mobility and hardens the social order. The wealthy will focus on retaining and protecting their wealth, reducing the capital that funds the opportunity for the poorer to acquire wealth. The efficient creation and allocation of capital that we call capitalism is the most effective, productive, unbiased, and sustainable instrument of redistribution in history. It was this new social order that toppled the aristocracy in Europe and made America the wealth creation engine that it is. It was this machine that attracted the poor from the rest of the work to create their own fortune.It is harshly ironic that this president who so openly preached redistribution will more likely hinder it. It is the young who will pay more for health care and get less, who will have to pay the interest on this record debt, and who will be penalized the most for reaching to the next income bracket.It is also noteworthy that this president’s policies will more likely help the large corporations that he demonizes than the small business that not only more effectively redistribute the wealth, but also create most of the new jobs we so desperately need. It is the large companies getting bailed out and the small businesses with higher variable costs that will suffer more from higher taxes and mandates. It is much easier to shut down a business with lower fixed costs, leaving less competition to the established companies.
Interesting historical note: the Republican Party was so named because its founders wanted to restore republican ideals, which the Democratic party was eroding in favor of creating a white, landed aristocracy. Oh, how history repeats …
David Gutmann at the American Spectator takes a look at the rhetoric coming from the right and compares it to the rhetoric that has come from the left, and concludes that the nastiest venom has consistently come from the left. Read the rest of this entry »
Vladimir at Red State brings us the story from the UK, where those skeptical of climate change, who called for Freedom of Information releases of climate data, are being investigated by counter-terrorism experts.
Individuals who made Freedom of Information inquiries of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit have come under police scrutiny, including interviews to determine their political beliefs, scientific qualifications, and details regarding computer usage, according to an article in The Financial Times. [Link requires registration.]
Even more troubling, local police are being aided in their investigation by members of the National Domestic Extremism Team, the unit set up to counter home-grown terrorists and radicals. The purported reason for their involvement is their skills in computer forensics and their experience dealing with environmental terrorists.
But it’s curious that, given the very real threat of terrorism, both in the U.K. and the U.S., precious resources are allocated to tracking down a culprit who would be glorified as a “whistleblower” if his politics were different.