"Think of Greece as California: Every year an irresponsible and corrupt bureaucracy awards itself higher pay and better benefits paid for by an ever-shrinking wealth-generating class. And think of Germany as one of the less profligate, still-just-about-functioning corners of America such as my own state of New Hampshire: Responsibility doesn’t pay. You’ll wind up bailing out anyway. The problem is there are never enough of “the rich” to fund the entitlement state, because in the end it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate. In Greece, they’ve run out Greeks, so they’ll stick it to the Germans, like French farmers do. In Germany, the Germans have only been able to afford to subsidize French farming because they stick their defense tab to the Americans. And in America, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are saying we need to paddle faster to catch up with the Greeks and Germans. What could go wrong?"
Friday, February 26, 2010
Writing at NRO: "It reminded me of that old Monty Python skit where British soldiers are equipped with the world’s funniest joke, a joke so funny that even to hear it guarantees you’ll die laughing. The British army translates the gag into German (different translators for each word so as to prevent their own deaths) and has its troops read the German version as they march through Ardennes forest. Suddenly, Nazi soldiers start falling dead from the trees.
Substitute “boring” for “funny” and you’ll get a vague sense of how dull this summit was.
Substitute “boring” for “funny” and you’ll get a vague sense of how dull this summit was.
At Big Government: "Now imagine that you and your spouse give birth to a child in this brave, new America, in a hospital linked by law to the federal citizens database. Immediately upon your child’s birth, a hospital clerk assigns your newborn with a “Unique Health Identifier” (UHI), a specially coded number, which is then put into a national electronic database, along with your newborn’s fingerprints and any other identifiers the bureaucrats in D.C. have demanded.
Sex. Weight. Length. Race. Apgar score. Health appraisal at birth, including any disfigurements or handicaps, identifying traits or birthmarks, and DNA markers. Information about the child’s parents, such as names, age, race, number of prior pregnancies, number of prior births, number of prior abortions, education attained, occupations, finger prints and criminal records, if any, are also stored. Almost anything can be included in the database for future government needs, whatever those might be."
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.
Comments and other links at The Corner.
From Reason: "The basic bargain about public-sector work, hammered out decades ago in a very different world, is supposed to be: You give up status, upward possibility, and compensation now for job security and payoffs later in retirement. That has never really been true and is certainly less so now. Yes, public-sector jobs ofer more security than their private-sector counterparts, but compensation is also higher on average and the benefits, especially in retirement are gold-plated to the nines. That bargain, which is unsustainable economically, is going to hit the rocks. The only question is: Who is going to pay? Taxpayers or the public-sector workers?"
UK: "So the Government, as the Daily Mail has revealed, is trying to get rid of £1billion-worth of unwanted swine flu vaccine - because the deadly epidemic they were promising us all last year never materialised."
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Israel Air Force on Sunday introduced a fleet of large unmanned planes it claims can fly as far as Iran.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
"“Each year since 1988 the gap between boys’ and girls’ reading skills has widened a bit more,” Whitmire writes. Boys aren’t wired for early verbal skills — and teachers aren’t trained in “boy-friendly” techniques to help them catch up."
Per ABC: The body behind journalism's most prestigious award conceded Thursday that the self-proclaimed tabloid can compete with mainstream news outlets for its prizes. Because it broke the story about former presidential candidate John Edwards's mistress and love child, the Enquirer's staff is eligible for the Pulitzer in two categories: "Investigative Reporting" and "National News Reporting."
Friday, February 19, 2010
Presidential use of the Antiquities Act is highly controversial because the White House, with the stroke of a pen, can lock up thousands of square miles of federal lands used for timber, ranching, mining and energy development without local input or congressional approval. The Act is generally interpreted to commemorate or protect a specific historical landmark, not prohibit development or deprive local communities of jobs and tax revenues.
"Any federal action that could lead to limited access should be done in an open and public manner using extraordinary caution," said Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., upon seeing the leaked report. "The fact that this administration is already circulating internal memos to bypass Congress and the public process is troubling."
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Starting with the town hall meetings on health care, "This blossomed into a more comprehensive rejection of the entire direction our government is taking, along with a mature understanding that Barack Obama didn’t so much change our course, as radically increase our velocity. The madness of a bankrupt government itching to spend even more money, and incompetent central planners unveiling even more complex and doomed designs, has produced an energetic and determined resistance."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"Iran's perceived attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, though, is not Israel's problem as such; the problem is that Israel is the ally of a superpower that does not want to be a superpower, headed by a president with a profound emotional attachment to a nostalgic image of the Third World. If America were in fact acting like a superpower, the problem would not have arisen in the first place, for the United States would use its considerably greater resources to destroy Iran's nuclear program."
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.
Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything. Also, Japanese Scientists Create Elastic Water.
Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound.
Compare Aerial Images of World War II Destruction With Today in Google Earth. Somewhat related: Viking frogmen vs the Google streetmobile.
Pakistani President Zardari sacrifices goats to 'ward off evil'.
A short history of the search for perpetual motion.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Update: More links, via Instapundit.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Claims on behalf of authorities that naked body scanner images are immediately destroyed after passengers pass through new x-ray backscatter devices have been proven fraudulent after it was revealed that naked images of Indian film star Shahrukh Khan were printed out and circulated by airport staff at Heathrow in London.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
NOAA, part of the Department of Commerce, is going to be providing information to individuals and decision-makers through a new NOAA Climate Service office. “More and more, Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards, including sea-level rise, longer growing seasons, changes in river flows, increases in heavy downpours, earlier snowmelt and extended ice-free seasons in our waters. People are searching for relevant and timely information about these changes to inform decision-making about virtually all aspects of their lives,” the release says.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
"Socialism fails because it’s a static solution imposed on a dynamic society. People respond to incentives, chasing carrots and avoiding sticks. The initial proposition of the New Deal was to provide for the needs of the desperate, by collecting taxes from the wealthy. Unsurprisingly, the system devolved into the vote-buying and corruption we live with today, becoming a heavy wagon hitched to a struggling middle class, which provides far more of the funding than those “fat cats” socialists love to use as whipping boys. Politicians respond to incentives too, and the machinery of the centralized state excels at sucking in tax dollars and spitting out votes. The ugly gears of that machinery are well-hidden behind an illusion of moral authority and seductive promises, alluring enough to compel the faithful support of nearly half the population, even as its unsustainable failures become painfully obvious.
The system was doomed to crash because its vast array of taxes, spending, and regulation destroy the very wealth that sustains it. It ran out of fat long ago, and began feeding on muscle… and now it has worked its way down to the bone. Wealth is a product of choice, and every action taken by a collectivist government destroys wealth by reducing the options available to its citizens"
The State Department has refused to answer basic questions about an accident that took place in Washington on Wednesday night, in which a U.S. Diplomatic Security Service vehicle struck Daily Caller employee Sean Medlock as he was crossing the street.
An agent in the vehicle, Mike McGuinn, did not identify himself to Medlock at the scene, or apologize for running him down. Indeed, Washington, D.C., police drove to a local emergency room to serve Medlock with a jaywalking citation as he lay prostrate in a hospital bed, while a man who identified himself as “special agent” stood by watching and taking notes.
Sean Medlock is Treacher's real name (Jim Treacher is his nom de blog).
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
If Cannlemas day be lound and fair,
yaw hawf o't winter's to come and mair;
if Cannlemas day be murk an' foul
haw hawf o't winter geean at Yule.
~ Folk proverb from Whitby in Yorkshire
Punxsutawney Phil did, of course, see his shadow today, signaling six more weeks of winter. For centuries, the day has been closely associated with weather proverbs, of which one is quoted above. It has long been believed that a fair Candlemas (a Catholic holy day that celebrates both the purification of the Virgin, forty days after the birth of Christ, and the presentation of the young Jesus in the Temple) portends a prolongation of cold weather, and it is certainly no coincidence that today is Groundhog Day in the United States, on which Phil is closely observed as he emerges from his burrow.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.
CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.
The premier's office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.
Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday morning.
She's expected to provide more details about Williams's condition, as well as how the provincial government will function during his absence.
CBC reporter David Cochrane said Williams appeared to be in good health recently. He described the premier as "fairly active," playing pick-up hockey at least once a week when work permits.