Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Children

In this book, the magnificent Dutch historian and linguist shows that play is not merely an element in human societies, but essential to them; that human cultures are themselves largely products of many forms of play. "Civilization is, in its earliest phases, played. It does not come from play like a babe detaching itself from the womb: it arises in and as play, and never leaves it."
As Christmas approaches, we have been taught to think of the poor and the disabled, the old who are shut in, the dying in our hospitals, the prisoners in our jails -- and at our best we visit them.

But we must remember that the largest disadvantaged group in our society -- often deprived alike of love and of their freedom -- is our children. Christmas means nothing if it is not for them.

The Welfare Of Ponzi

And the same bailout principle designed to save Detroit's unions by bankrolling management might be applied in this case. Just bail out Mr. Madoff's Ponzi scheme until the economy improves, and it becomes self-funding again.

Why not? For decades, every government in the Western world has been using current revenues to pay health, unemployment, old-age, and every other kind of "insurance" and "pension" entitlement. This is the core financial principle of the welfare state. It is a Ponzi scheme on a scale vastly beyond even Bernard Madoff's imaginings. But instead of having the people who conceived and executed this scheme arrested, we have honoured them as great humanitarians and "progressives."

The authors of what is actually the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world have needed a constantly growing population, earning constantly more dollars per head, being constantly inflated (both the dollars and the heads), to keep their scheme running.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sugarplum Gumdrops


WASHINGTON - Flanked by officials from the United Elf Toytinkerers union, SantaCorp CEO Kris Kringle today told the House Ways and Means Committee that without immediate government financial help, his firm would be forced to declare bankruptcy, lay off thousands of elves and reindeer, and potentially cancel its annual worldwide Christmas Eve toy delivery.

"These are grim economic times for everyone, but even more so for non-profit toy manufacturers in the Snow Belt," said Kringle. "Our accountants have indicated that we are on track to exhaust our reserves of cash and magical pixie fairydust by December 23. Oh deary me."

Kringle and UET union president Binky McGiggles presented a draft emergency bailout plan to the committee calling for US $18 trillion in federal grants, loan guarantees, and sugarplum gumdrops that they said would keep the company solvent through December 26.


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Does being spectacularly wrong about a major issue in your field of expertise hurt your chances of becoming the presidential science advisor? Apparently not, judging by reports from DotEarth and ScienceInsider that Barack Obama will name John P. Holdren as his science advisor on Saturday.

Dr. Holdren, now a physicist at Harvard, was one of the experts in natural resources whom Paul Ehrlich enlisted in his famous bet against the economist Julian Simon during the “energy crisis” of the 1980s.

In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990

Next: Paul Wolfowitz for head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just A Guy In My Neighborhood Under The Bus (Part 82364)

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One good thing for Republicans: Obama is a moronic liar. Clinton was a good liar (much to our annoyance). This cat is a retarded one. That will be helpful.

So why did he tell such a ridiculous lie? I have to imagine it was to head off the next round of questions. Like what exactly did Rahm Emanuel propose as a counter-offer for Blago's pay-for-play requests? How much did he entertain the idea of playing ball one more time? At what point, if any, did Emanuel say "This is illegal and improper and these discussions are now ended?"

Or did he continue trying to "work with" Blago?

I assume Emanuel wasn't offering money for the seat. (Ass-ume.) But did he offer to have Obama campaign for Blago? Fundraise for him?

You can just see the Obama pattern unfolding with the Senate seat fixing scandal.

1. I don't know him
2. I know him a little
3. I know him but I thought he'd gone to rehab
4. I'm giving a major speech condemning everything he stands for

Monday, December 15, 2008

Deja Failure

In his paper of 1985, Cardinal Ratzinger simply went the extra step, to tell us what that regime is. He reminds us that "Western Civ" created free markets, and not vice versa; and inevitably, that the Roman Catholic Church created Western Civ. Like every other component of a high civilization, the market economy is, in itself, a mixed blessing, therefore a dangerous idol.

All my adult life, it seems, I have been explaining to libertarians that this is the difference between us: that we're both in favour of free markets, but only one of us is also in favour of civilization. I am not a social liberal, like most of them, but rather an intense social conservative. Moreover, I hold that all civilizations remain "socially conservative" until such time as they begin to collapse: as true of Confucian China as of the Christian West.

The rebuilding we need begins with church and family.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No, Sorry -- An F

The AG also does not address the existence of the alternative legislative
impeachment process, other than to say that it might take too long. The failure
to address this alternative other than in passing requires at least a full grade
level deduction. If a criminal or ethical taint were sufficient to constitute a
"disability," then there would be no need for a constitutional impeachment
provision in the Illinois Constitution, which gives the sole power of
impeachment to the House of Representatives, with trial in the Senate, presided
over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The AG again construes the
Constitution in such a way as to render one of its provisions

What is most shocking about the AG's papers is that I
expected so much more. Some case authority. Something other than strained
arguments based on the dictionary. Something more highbrow than quoting Barack
Obama and Harry Reid. The AG may end up winning this case, but not on the
strength of her papers. C-
And this woman was on Obambi's short list to replace him. [bad language deleted]

Out Of The Memory Hole

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"Winning Glory"

So the safeguard against the AG's abuse of power is that the court will have the role of deciding? How can it be the court's role to make the final call about things that belong in the realm of impeachment? Why do constitutions put impeachment trials in legislatures? Because courts are ill-suited to such decision-making.
AND: Keep in mind that the legislative impeachment process is something under the control of Madigan's own father. The court asked her Madigan was asked "Do you know why your father has been appearing to be somewhat reticent on the -- (off mike)?" She told them to "ask him," which, the transcript notes, provoked laughter. Do you think that's funny?
The speculation is that the speaker is sitting back on this so Lisa can take the lead and get ownership on the issue," said one House member who favors impeachment but requested anonymity.
What a misguided notion of how to win glory!