Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will 11/30/08

Same Old New Deal?

My take on George Will's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Barack Obama is poised to apply the New Deal thinking of the 1930's to this 21st. century economy. Guess what? The New Deal wasn't so great even when it was new.


By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s.

- Russell Roberts, George Mason University

My Views: Yes, George, New Deal history has been lost in the mythology of the left. The biggest industrial crash occured not in 1929 but 8 years later in 1937. The New Deal was 5 years old. By 1938 the economy was down by every significant measurement from the time FDR took office. This is a point of the highest significance.

Now, Obama wants to step into the FDR myth and rerun the New Deal. This is what all this stimulus spending amounts to. The most serious questions about the overall strategy exist.

George Will almost didn't make it as a syndicated columnist. His style was considered too erudite for a general audience.

Whatever one thinks of his views, read his work for use of language and for how he marshals facts and uses logic.

Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is at the right.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Get Smart: The Movie

This is the trailer from the movie. I watched it on DVD today. This is an improvement on the series and the movie that Don Adams (the original Maxwell Smart) made.

The Get Smart TV series was a spoof on James Bond and the other spy thrillers of the 1960's. It was funny then; it is still funny now; this movie is even better.

And Ann Hathaway version of Agent 99 is an enormous improvement over the original. They just didn't give the original 99 much to do. The movie fleshed out the characters all around.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Steyn 11/28/08

World Terrorism Drives Local Terrorism

My take on Mark Steyn's latest. His column was published in the Orange County Register

Summary: The attacks in India were ostensibly against Westerners. However, Indian hotels, not Western hotels were attacked. These terror attacks are a part of a larger struggle and until we realize that and treat it realistically, human suffering will be more than it should.

The AP summarized the facts of the India attack.


This isn't law enforcement but an ideological assault – and we're fighting the symptoms not the cause. Islamic imperialists want an Islamic society, not just in Palestine and Kashmir but in the Netherlands and Britain, too. Their chances of getting it will be determined by the ideology's advance among the general Muslim population, and the general Muslim population's demographic advance among everybody else.

My Views: The terror thing is not just a George Bush thing. It never was. In fact, GWB won't even be President anymore. I don't understand why Muslims can demand and get special religeous privilidges while Christians can't. Prayer rooms in the workplace, prayer times, things like that.

So many people seem blind to the dangers that face 21st. century society. Not all Muslims are terrorists but most all terrorists are Muslims. Pretty much. We ought not be anti-Muslim; we should be realistic about what is happening in the world about us.

The very best thing would be for the responsible Muslim leaders to lend a hand and speak out more against the terrorists. Since so very much of world terrorism is from Muslims, the onus is really on them. They're in the best position to do the most good.

Mark Steyn is a syndicated columnist from Canada. Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is on the right. This is the book that got several Human Rights Commissions in Canada hot and bothered. With free speech under unprecidented attack, Mark Steyn managed to pull out a badly needed victory. This was the first time a Canadian Human Rights Commission found a defendent innocent.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 08 - Hockey Game

This is from the big night's game: The Gwinnett Gladiators vs. the Augusta Lynx. Gwinett is the farm team for the NHL's Chicago Wolverines; Augusta is the farm team for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. Gwinett is NE of Atlanta.

My host for the game was Hank Harvey, a 26 year veteran of the game; a former semi-pro player and head coach. You can see my ignorance and his impatience with it. Anybody know this "Montreal Drill" he was talking about?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Coulter 11/26/08

What Do We Do With the Terrorists We Captured?

My take on Ann Coulter's latest. Her essay was published on her website.

Summary: A terrorist was released from GW Bush's prison at Guantanamo after receiving from the Americans an artificial leg. Upon release, he immediately went back to Pakistan and back to killing. The world press reported on his exceptional devotion in continuing the fight against America even though he had only one leg. No one reported where he got his prosthetic leg.

So has America been cruel to the prisoners at Guantanamo or has America been humane? Ann wants in on this guys HMO plan.


I thought the rest of the world was going to love us if we elected B. Hussein Obama! Somebody better tell the Indian Muslims.

My Views: America as torturer has been one of the most regretable developments of recent years. Even such a hawk as John McCain has been against the torture. There is another side, however, to the detainee story. These people are terrorists. When they are released, they kill people. They kill people no matter how kind the Americans have been.

I think that the torture stories have been exagerated. The European courts have released a large number of terrorist defendants. The problem of convictions is enormous. Society has to face up to the practical consequences of letting the terrorists go.

Anybody who is as hated as Ann Coulter is must be doing something right. She is very right-wing but every left-wing blogger would love to write like her. I hate rants; opinion pieces must argue from the facts. Pay attention to how she uses facts and draws politically incorrect connections among them. People would do well to think and not just be outraged.

Here's her Wiki bio. Her latest book is at the right.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Age of Geology, 4.6 BYA - 600 MYA

For 4 billion years, the most advanced form of life on Earth was single celled organisms. From the standpoint of life, this seems like a boring period but the planet was undergoing massive changes. The outer crust was settling; the atmosphere was forming; meteors (maybe even whole planets) crashed down from the sky. Mountains formed. Weather changed.

The greatest ice age in the planet's history occured. Ice and snow covered the entire planet. Then the climate warmed.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.
-Genesis 1:20

MYA = Million Years Ago
BYA = Billion Years Ago

Previous AgeMaster ListNext Age

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Age of Cosmology, 20 BYA - 4.6 BYA

Cosmology is the study of the origins of the universe. General opinion is that the universe started with a big bang. 100 years from now, who knows what general opinion will be then. As for when it, happened 20 billion years ago, 12 billion years ago or maybe some other time. We really need to be humble here.

Other stars began billions of years before the cosmic gasses in our neighborhood coalesced into our solar system. This period closes with the formation of planet Earth.

MYA = Million Years Ago
BYA = Billion Years Ago

Master List.Next Age

Friday, November 7, 2008

Krauthammer 11/7/08

The Campaign Autopsy

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: It was the economy that did the Republicans in. Palin was a mistake, too.


In my previous life, I witnessed far more difficult postmortems. This one is easy. The patient was fatally stricken on Sept. 15 -- caught in the rubble when the roof fell in (at Lehman Brothers, according to the police report) -- although he did linger until his final, rather quiet demise on Nov. 4.

My Views:I agree that it was a crash that spelt doom for the R's this year. Nine consecutive months of job losses. On election day, the market was down by the greatest number of points since 1937. This was a fall of a high magnitude. And it was unprecedented. Never has there been a crash just before an election. Even Reagan couldn't have pulled this one out.

But wait! What's all this about Sarah Palin? Mr. K says that her nomination undercut the R's case against Barak Obama's lack of experience. The campaign became about her inexperience instead of Obama's. Okay, I'll agree with that.

But it wasn't the nomination that was wrong; it was the follow through. There could have been more interviews. She could not have blown two big ones. The R's could have compared her resume to Obama's. There did not have to be the staff back-stabbing. And what was with the $150,000 shopping spree?

At the time of the nomination, all this lay in the future. And all of this was not preordained. They could have made other choices.

The thing is that on the day of the crash, McCain was actually ahead!! This is what did him in.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.

He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. He used to be an MD and a psychiatrist.

Here's his Wiki bio.

His latest book is at the right.