Month: March 2010

Wednesday

Dynamic DuoObama and the Frog

Drudge slayed me yesterday with this picture and the caption: “DYNAMIC DUO LEAD CHARGE ON IRAN.” . . . . Remember those health care upbeat stories I linked to last week, including the one about favorable polling figures? It looks like the polls have already gone back to pre-reform numbers: “Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.” Give NBC some time. They’ll come out with a favorable poll shortly. . . . The new middle-aged crisis outlet: Ironman contests. My brother-in-law did an ironman last year, and he frankly admitted it was a mid-life crisis of sorts. He told me, jokingly, “It’s either this or do something really stupid, like find a chick half my age or fly off to Tahiti. I figure this is far better for my wife and children.” I agree. I’m still waiting for my mid-life crisis. I’m 44 and the most-radical thing I’ve considered is giving up beer. . . . But that alcohol thing is off the table now. I think I have finally, after many false leads, found the source of my stomach problems: chronic dehydration. I simply haven’t been drinking enough water for the past few years. . . . Well, this will set us traditional conservatives back a little: “Dr Aubrey Levin, who in South Africa was known as Dr Shock for his use of electricity to ‘cure’ gay military conscripts, was arrested after a patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances.” Electric shock seems a little extreme, but hey, if I had the urge to [fill in the homo-erotic blank], they’d have my permission … Read the rest

Tuesday

streetsign.jpgStein to Suffrage

“How many Wall Streeters have been indicted? None. Well, you will say, what about the psycho Madoff? True, he’s a criminal. But he had nothing to do with the housing collapse. Compared with Goldman Sachs, he was a pickpocket. And Goldman Sachs is basically running the whole world. Is Obama doing anything about them besides empty words. No.” More anti-Semitism? Probably not. Those words are by Ben Stein, who’s as Jewish as Barbara Streisand, and he even hangs out in Jewish strongholds (Hollywood and Manhattan). These words of his are no doubt exaggerated a little, but not much. Scarcely a week goes by that the folks at Zero Hedge don’t point out some startling things about GS’s incredible power and reach. . . . If you’re not reading Zero Hedge, I don’t know why and I can’t blame you. Though often humorous, its prose gets a C-minus grade, at best. It’s a mix of subway graffiti and finance-speak. Neither make for easy reading, but still: it’s one of the few sites with insiders throwing darts at insiders. If it was able to afford a first-rate editor that could style for the engaged-but-non-specialist reader, the site would be dynamite. Right now, it’s just very, very good. . . . I mentioned last week that my son was attending Michigan’s Youth in Government program. He left Wednesday and got back early Sunday afternoon. The organizers kept the hundreds of youth delegates from around the state very busy. So busy, in fact, that none of them had time to go to church on Palm Sunday (or even the Saturday evening before). Whatta good sign for our future. . . . Top 400 universities in the world. Its relentless leftism frustrates me, but I’m still heartened to see my … Read the rest

Monday

LuciferStream of Consciousness . . . Kinda, Maybe

Man, brutal weekend, with a brutal week ahead. Today’s post will be half-SoC and half-normal. If I like it enough, it might become my normal.

First, a great passage from this review of a book by France’s Jean-Francois Revel (died 2006): “‘If you take away anti-Americanism there is nothing left of French political thought.’ He goes further. Totalitarianism is Europe’s great modern innovation, its gift to the world, and Europeans consciously or unconsciously resent that the United States has been preventing them from fully developing this great modern innovation of theirs.” . . . . Whenever I want to throw up my hands and leave my pitiful world of letters, cutting-but-entertaining prose like that keeps me going. Maybe, someday, I’ll write something that good. I lack the talent, of course, but it’s so much more pleasing to blame the harried nature of my family situation. . . . . That quote came out of National Review. I quit reading NR years ago because I thought it had become juvenile, but I picked up a few issues lately. They proved enjoyable. . . . . Maybe the world outside of letters is alright after all. Does one really want to end up like this? “During one night of carousing, Sarte propositioned Koestler’s soon-to-be second wife, Mamaine. Koestler scrambled up the stairs on all fours, still determined to tackle Sartre over Marmaine. When Camus tried to intervene, Koestler lashed out, giving Camus a black eye. Camus leaped at Koestler and had to be clawed off by the others, and Koestler disappeared into the night.” (American Spectator, March 2010). Buncha reprobates. And I like Camus, and thoroughly enjoyed Koestler’s The Sleepwalkers (one of the best refutations of the scientific humanists’ exaltation of … Read the rest

Something for Palm Sunday Morning

Palm Sunday“The story of each man is the story of God’s continual watchfulness over him. Each man is the object of the Lord’s special love. Jesus was ready to do everything for Jerusalem, but the city was not willing to open up her gates to his mercy. This is the deep mystery of human freedom which always retains that sad possibility of rejecting the grace of God.”

Francis Fernandez

“Let us run to accompany him as he hastens towards his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish.”

St. Andrew of Crete… Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

No Luck of the Irish

Sounds like Ireland needs a bailout worse than Greece: “Against the backdrop of deep recession and unemployment, Ireland’s per capital alcohol consumption fell by 9.6 percent in 2009 and is now 21 percent below an all-time peak in 2001 when Ireland’s economy was booming. . . . Pubs have been closing at the rate of around one a day . . . and 15,000 jobs had been lost across the sector over the last 18 months.”

But Better in Dublin than Philly

Huh, I thought only Michigan had archaic and anti-business liquor laws. It sounds like Pennsylvania might be even worse:

Under Pennsylvania liquor law, manufacturers of malt or brewed beverages must pay a $75 annual fee to register each brand. About 2,800 beers are now registered in the state; manufacturers submit applications to the liquor board, showing the agreement they have with the wholesaler.

In the recent raids, a tipster contacted the state, said Sgt. William La Torre, commanding officer of the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, which enforces the liquor laws. Statewide, police say there are typically fewer than 10 complaints a year about unregistered beer.

Maida and her husband, Brendan Hartranft, don’t know who filed the complaint. They believe the problem largely results from archaic liquor laws and misunderstandings about formidable beer names that often get abbreviated.

The liquor code, they say, is no match for beers with names like Dogfish Head Raison d’etre and a dark ale called ‘t smisje BBBorgoundier. The rigid code also isn’t able to account for when they abbreviate Allagash White Beer to “Allagash Wit” on their menus.

At one bar, Maida had a beer listed as “de dolle Oebier gran reserva;” the beer itself was “de dolle oerbier,” but the

Read the rest

Wednesday

health care cures cancerAll Sunny in Media Land

“Let’s just get the law passed, then we’ll let the media take over.”

I think that was the game plan. From my local newspaper came this story yesterday morning: “Health care gains start soon.” That AP story by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar took different forms, but the headlines were all pretty similar. This remarkably-optimistic headline showed up dozens of time on a Yahoo! search: “Health care gains start soon — bigger ones later.” And of course, the markets did well yesterday, so that was the result of the health care bill, too: U.S. stocks surge on health-care certainty. And all those negative polling numbers from 72 hours ago? Well, they’ve disappeared! Opinions turn favorable on health care plan. I’m just waiting for news that the weather is sunny and impotence cured because of the health care legislation.

A Decent Piece by Dalrymple

“Americans would do well to ponder a recent admission by a former British minister in the Blair government. On March 2, the Guardian reported that the ex-minister, now Lord Warner, said that while spending on Britain’s National Health Service had increased by 60 percent under the Labour government, its output had decreased by 4 percent.” Link. … Read the rest

Tuesday

Lansing MichiganMy Son, the Duke

My son leaves for Lansing tomorrow. The reason? “Youth in Government.” He’s spending four days at the Michigan capital to learn how government works. I’m pretty excited about it. I told him to take it seriously because (and this is an exact quote), “Government is the only growth industry left in America.”

My wife chuckled at my jaded sarcasm. I didn’t crack much of a smile.

“I’m serious,” I said. “I’d like him to get into the growing sector. People in government take care of their own. They make more than private citizens. He’d be smart to get a government job.”

We talked a little more about it. She suggested other growth areas, like computer technology, but I explained, “None of it is growing as fast as government.” I think she eventually agreed, but protested that our son shouldn’t be part of the government that we’ve come to despise. My response: Better to be part of it than to be run over by it. We can pray that he stays pure, but either way, he’s going to get compromised in this increasingly-corrupt society. He might as well be in the ruling class while he does it.

Such is my sour outlook on our nation, but I’m fine with it. Other than thinking about those bastuds in government, I’m in a pretty good mood. People carried on happy lives while the carnage of Napoleon’s Revolutionary army rolled across Europe. I can carry on a happy life while the carnage of the Liberal Revolution ravages our economy. And with a little luck, so can my children. But as the government grows, they’re gonna need to be “inside” the machine instead of outside it.

This little trip to Lansing might be his first steps toward ruling class status. … Read the rest