Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Best of Lee: All I Packed Was A Toothbrush

We completely forgot about it here on the blog, but last week would have been Lee’s 40th birthday.  I realized it because I suddenly though about this post from Lee in China, which was one of his best.  It’s very hard to read now, knowing that he’d be taken from us in less than a year.  I imagine it will bring tears to the eyes of those that knew him.  But it’s great writing.

Any dickhead can go to Ikea and buy a piece of furniture.  But look what what my wardrobe has lived through—two revolutions, two World Wars, the installation of a communist government, the Cultural Revolution, and the eventual opening of China to the rest of the world.  My wardrobe, at its basest element, is nothing more than a wooden box.  So what is this wooden box, something to be treasured, or just a wooden box?  Because if you can answer that question, you can answer the secret to my life

Be sure to read his comments, as well.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/09/10 at 03:44 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

We are gonna control the flow of information no matter what.

Seems the collectivists in DC were not too happy with the SCOTUS telling them the FCC did not have the authority to regulate the internet, and so they have decided that since the internet is destroying their monopoly on what’s news and what isn’t, ruining their control of the narrative, and actually giving voice to other people that point out how evil they are, that the best recourse is to ignore the SCOTUS and go around their decision:

A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to regulate the Internet. No worries, mate. This week the Obama Administration chose to “reclassify” the Internet so it can regulate the Web anyway. This crowd is nothing if not legally creative.

For the past decade, broadband has been classified as an “information service” and thus more lightly regulated than traditional telephone services. This has led to an explosion of new investment and Web innovation, but it hasn’t sat well with Democrats who want more control over the telecom business, as well as with some Web companies (Google) that want more leverage over Internet service providers like Time Warner or Verizon.

So these collectivist crooks are changing the rules of the game to help out their corporate buddies and increase their own power and regulation. Funny that huh? But people still pretend the “evil corporations” and Wall Street are the bad guys. Again, we have the left rigging the game in their and their friends favor. There is a reason big businesses give the largest amount of money to demcorats: they are all for sale.

We should be worried…

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/09/10 at 07:14 AM in Left Wing Idiocy   Life & Culture   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, May 07, 2010

The World Huh? Organization

Jaw.  Floor.

North Korea’s health system would be the envy of many developing countries because of the abundance of medical staff that it has available, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, speaking a day after returning from a 2-1/2 day visit to the reclusive country, said malnutrition was a problem in North Korea but she had not seen any obvious signs of it in the capital Pyongyang.

North Korea—which does not allow its citizens to leave the country—has no shortage of doctors and nurses, in contrast to other developing countries where skilled healthcare workers often emigrate, she said.

This allows North Korea to provide comprehensive healthcare, with one “household doctor” looking after every 130 families, said the head of the United Nations health agency, praising North Korea’s immunization coverage and mother and child care.

Yes.  Doctors tend not to emigrate when that might involve getting shot in the head.  She also noted the refreshing lack of obesity.  That tends to happen when your country is so poor that a 1990’s famine literally decimated the nation.

Left out?  North Korea’s infant mortality rate is 51.34 per 1,000, over eight times the rate in the US, over 12 times the rate in South Korea and ranked 176th in the world.  Life expectancy is 67.3, 125th in the world and ten years less than their southern neighbor.

Now, to be fair to the WHO, they’re not all this stupid.  Chan’s predecessor correctly described the Nork healthcare system as being on the brink of collapse.  The NK system is benefiting from some serious help from the South.  But still—praising a starving nation for its lack of obesity?  It doesn’t get much stupider than that.

Speaking of stupidity and healthcare system, another deep secret of Obamacare has come to light.  You remember that, after it was passed, several big companies noted huge costs that were going on their balance sheets.  Congress screamed, demanded hearings, then quietly cancelled the hearings.  We now know why those hearings were cancelled.  It wasn’t just because they would have featured Congressman demanding to know why companies obeyed SEC law.  It’s because this would have come out:

Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill’s critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

That’s right.  Rather than pay more for insurance, the companies will cancel their plans and set workers out on their own.  It’s that old Unintended Consequences thing.  Once again, liberal plans run aground on the real world.

I’ve long talked about the need to sever the tie between health insurance and employment.  The Wyden-Bennet bill might have done that.  But this severs it while (a) extracting tons of money from the employers; (b) not giving employees the tax break their employers enjoy; (c) sending millions of people scrambling for health insurance.  So it’s a win-win for the liberals.  More money for government, more people clamoring for national healthcare and lots of big corporations to blame for it.

Maybe that wasn’t an Unintended Consequence.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/07/10 at 12:20 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Hung Parliament

It looks like the election in Britain, while giving a clear plurality to the Tories, is not going to give them the majority they need to take control of parliament.

I haven’t commented on the UK election but I’ve been following it closely.  My sympathies, naturally, are with the Tories and I’m glad to see Labour get their asses handed to them.  What has struck me, even today, is how arrogant Gordon Brown is.  Even after getting hammered last night, he’s babbling about forming a coalition with the LIb Dems to maintain his spectacularly incompetent rule.  That’s his privilege as sitting PM but I’m hoping the Liberal Democrats are not quite that stupid.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/07/10 at 06:27 AM in Elections   Election 2010   Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Perfect Storm
by

I don’t think I’ve ever done a “If Bush Was President When This Happened” post, but this is one of those rare times when a confluence of events occur which compels such an observation.

Within the span of two weeks, we’ve had:

an environmental catastrophe on the Gulf Coast;

protests for civil liberties combined with ethnic tribalism in response to Arizona’s new illegal immigration law, in conjunction with a proposal for a national biometric ID card;

massive flooding in Tennessee that’s left at least 29 people dead;

a car-bombing attempt in Times Square that only failed because the terrorist was too incompetent to wire the explosives correctly;

a potential global financial meltdown in the making;

the stock market boomerang 600 points and back in the span of 30 minutes;

and the death of a bill to audit the Fed in the Senate.

Now just imagine that Bush was President if these things happened all at once.  I think it’s beyond dispute that Kos, Matthew Yglesias, John Cole, Paul Krugman, and every other leftist hack would be calling for impeachment, investigations, and frog-marches of everyone and anyone connected with the administration if all these things happened at once (and Republican shills would be finding endless excuses for all these things, too).  The media would be wall-to-wall with stories asking “why doesn’t the President DO SOMETHING about this?”

Does anyone honestly believe that if Obama was a Republican, he wouldn’t be getting hammered about all this, even in the situations that are largely beyond his control?  For god’s sake, the US just participated in the bailout of Greece through its 17% stake in the IMF--what would Senator Obama have said in a situation where the American taxpayer became partially responsible for bailing out foreign banks?

Yes, that last question is rhetorical.

There’s little point in having a federal government structure in place that isn’t safeguarding the interests of its citizens or taking responsibilty for the powers granted it by the Constitution.  Obama said during his inauguration speech that government needs to work better for its people, but he’s shown during his time in office that he is largely incapable of showing the kind of leadership people expect when the shit hits the fan. 

The truly pathetic aspect of all this?  The Stupid Party doesn’t really have anyone that could do appreciably better.  This is the end game that the offal of the post-WW2 generations has produced for us.

Posted by on 05/06/10 at 07:38 PM in Decline of Western Civilization   Europe and the UK   Politics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Greece On the Brink

Greece seems to determined to bite the hand that is feeding them.  The rest of the EU is tightening their belts to try to keep Greece from completely collapsing under their debt.  The condition on this bailout is that they have to, you know, get their fucking house in order.  The results has been an explosion of protests and violence that have now left three dead on the eve of the austerity vote.  More protests are planned for today.

I have no idea of the macroeconomic implications.  But if I were a resident of Germany of France, I’d be very tempted to just cut Greece lose.  Let them spiral down into debt and inflation if that’s what they want.  It’s quite clear that decades of generous government benefits have spoiled her people rotten and given them the illusion that money grows on trees.  If this austerity package is rejected, then let them eat baklava.

Update: Michael Moynihan draws the obvious comparison.  Violent and deadly protests in Greece are regarded as more legitimate than peaceful protests here.  Moynihan clearly does not understand the morality in play.  Anything is acceptable when you’re protesting in favor of more government; nothing is acceptable when you’re protesting against it.

Update: Read this article about just how bad things are.  Hairdressers in Greece can retire at 50.  Because their job is “hazardous”.  Also check out the infographic on the left.  See how many countries have obligations that are anywhere from 3 to 15 times their GDP.

There’s a generational war coming.  And I feel like the Baby Boomers are going to screw us all.  Again.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/06/10 at 06:06 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Face of the War on Drugs

Via Radley Balko comes this video of a drug raid in MIssouri.  Warning: it’s a bit disturbing. The cops break in and almost instantly gun down the family dogs, including a corgi.  Yes, they felt endangered by dogs so harmless the Queen of England is capable of controlling a pack of them.

The result of this raid? Misdemeanor pot possession.  Oh, and child endangerement.  For, you know, having a little pot around.

What strikes me about the video is how unnecessarily dangerous this was.  A midnight raid on a family home?  That’s a recipe for confusion and chaos.  We’re lucky that more people don’t end up face down as a result of this.  Raids like this, according to Balko, happen 100-150 times a day in this country.  It’s easy to blame the cops, but they’re being pushed into a dangerous situation by a political decision to “get tough” on drug crimes.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/05/10 at 07:22 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The BP Stain

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on the BP oil spill that is now spreading over the ocean and threatening to destroys tens of billions of dollars in fishing.  It’s one of those many occasions when I wish that Lee was still with us as he had some background knowledge of the industry.

In the end, I keep circling back to the same thought: this is the risk we have chosen to take.

That’s the thing that is missing from the discussion.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  We will never find a source of energy that does not have drawbacks and dangers.  Critics of fossil fuels think we can live in a world where our magnificent civilization is powered by rainbows and their own sense of smugness.  But every energy technology, from solar power to hydrogen cells, comes with risks and drawbacks.  Nuclear power produces radioactive waste; solar cells blight deserts; hydro power kills fish.  As National Review points out, offshore drilling, even including this spill, does pretty well by comparison to the alternatives.

Consider the cost of cap-and-trade legislation, for instance. It’s hard to know what the economic damages of this spill will be, but even if they exceed the estimated $7 billion that it cost to clean up the Exxon Valdez spill, that would still be a far cry from the estimated $161 billion annual hit to GDP that would result from enactment of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. On the environmental side of the ledger, will the damages from this spill outweigh the thousands of birds killed in wind turbines each year? Possibly. How about the slashing and burning of thousands of acres of rain forest that come as a result of ethanol subsidies? We doubt it.

...

But it is not one that should not reorder our thinking when it comes to energy production. “Drill, baby, drill,” has lost whatever usefulness it may have had as a slogan, but offshore drilling remains a crucial source of energy — and clearing obstacles to future exploration is still part of the right policy mix.

We are going to have to get ourselves off of fossil fuels one day.  But you have to spend energy to make energy.  Innovation and research are driven by economic expansion.  And, for now, the lifeblood of economic expansion is oil.  Without it, we enter technological stagnation as our innovation turns more toward getting the most of a limited resource instead of finding new resources.  And there is simply no way to pump liquids out of the ground and transport them long distances without some risk.

Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change up some policies in response to this.  The Feds should lift the liability cap on oil spills.  The big oil companies don’t pay us dividends when gas is at $4 a gallon.  So I no reason why we should pick up the tab when they befoul the coast.  I’m also not opposed to mandating the half-million dollar remote shut-off switch that might have been able to contain this.  If we’re going to expand offshore drilling, we need to keep up with the technological safeguards.

But to act all shocked and surprised that an oil spill has occurred is naive.  These things are going to happen.  If you don’t want them to happen, then set the economy on warp speed and let’s find something to replace oil.

(Amusing side story: BP was apparently a finalist for an award for rig safety.)

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/04/10 at 08:09 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Lefties suffers another letdown.

This morning I woke up to find out that the all those lefties that were already excited about, and predicting that the would-be-bomber that left the SUV filled with explosives that fizzled this past weekend in NYC would end up being a right wing extremist racist, pissed off at Obamacare or some such like NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, amongst the many that said the same, did, are going to yet again have their hopes dashed. As most of us that do know where the threat is coming from suspected and believed, it turns out this was not the work of a McVeigh disciple, Tea Partiers, or anyone angry at the collectivists destroying the country, but, according to this WaPo article, an Islamic terrorist.

Looks like all the drivel from the left about the domestic terrorism threat was right, only they got the real threat wrong yet again. This guy they grabbed at the last minute, as he tried to leave the country on a flight to Dubai , goes by the name of Faisal Shahzad. From the details the media is releasing, to their chagrin I bet, is sure doesn’t sound that, other than the fact that he is a naturalized citizen that was born in Pakistan and thus can be labeled home grown, he is going to turn out to be a right winger as they hoped he would be. Even worse, now it has become quite obvious that since the messiah took over, despite their promises that things would get better, it looks like we are getting more and more terror attack attempts from the people that should have now hated us less. And so far they have not succeeded in killing us simply because of pure dumb luck and ineptitude. I doubt we will hear much about that from the MSM or the WH though. At least Holder finally gets a real in the flesh domestic terrorist he can now stage a show trial in NYC for.

And another thing that caught my attention was that we got this fellow because of NSA probes of a disposable cell phone that led authorities to the would-be terrorists. Can you imagine the cries of woe and accusations of Orwellian or Nazi like government intrusion if this happened while Bush was president? I bet this isn’t even going to come up as a big deal now that the guy in the WH has a (D) next to his name.

Seems like the mythical redneck racist terrorist, like Sasquatch or the Loch Ness monster, continues to elude the left, dashing their hopes for a good excuse to delegitimize the causes of, and facilitate their crack down on, these moronic peasants that aren’t smart enough o understand their betters are in charge and that they should be happy about it. In the mean time terrorists and leftists all over the place continue to commit or try to commit acts of violence, but there isn’t any story there to report.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/04/10 at 07:25 AM in Deep Thoughts   Left Wing Idiocy   The Press Machine   War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, May 03, 2010

Imagine All the Hypocrites

This piece has been circulating on the internets drawing massive praise.  It’s clever, but so full of garbage and misinformation that only a liberal could love it.

Hand me my fisking trowel, Bart.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/03/10 at 03:51 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Iran: Defender of Women

No joke, guys:

Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.”

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women,” according to its website.

Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of “vacancies in subsidiary bodies,” was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was “elected by acclamation,” meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States. FOXNews.com learned of the press release only after being alerted to it by Anne Bayefsky director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.

The usual suspects are screaming that Obama didn’t scream about this.  But that’s been our policy for a long time on UN bullshit, no matter who they appoint to what and no matter who is in the White House.  This merely continues the American policy of regarding the UN—correctly, in my opinion—as inconsequential.  It’s not like the UN was going to do anything about women’s right anyway.  Carter got shouted down when he suggested women’s rights be prioritized in the General Council.

Still.  Something else to throw in the face of the Left whenever the wax rhapsodic about internationalism.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/01/10 at 03:43 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

New Deal -2.0

Earlier this week, HuffPo ran this article, talking about deficit myths.  I assumed, naively, that it might talk about the myths that we can balance the budget by cutting “waste”.  But no.  Apparently, there are a few economists out there, besotted by monetary theory, who can write a massive piece of misinformation on debt. To be honest, some of there points are technically accurate.  But the overall gist—deficits don’t matter—is garbage.  Any one of these points is valid at a particular moment in time.  But it’s the accumulation of sustained debt that is the problem.

Now why would I go to such lengths to attack something written, apparently, by people with far more economic credentials than I?  It comes from the website New Deal 2.0 (link), which traffics in Keynsian economics on steroids.  There are a number of influential people there, including Goodwin Liu, Obama’s new nominee for the 9th Circus.  So these ideas are circulating.  And they’re dangerous ones.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/01/10 at 02:30 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
Page 3 of 3 pages « First  <  1 2 3