Friday, January 17, 2003
Who knew?I was reading Joanne Jacobs today and noticed this line: "The Post also reports that Bush quickly rejected the suggestion that he duck the Michigan case to appease black voters. The story makes him sound like a serious man. Who knew?"
I couldn't resist posting a comment:
Who knew? Well, some of us have known for a long time.I'm going to be rash and make a prediction. By the time George W. Bush ends his term as President, in 2008, it will be common in many parts of the United States for parents to choose which schools to send their children to. State and local governments will pay, but if schools want to have students they will have to attract them with high-quality education. The result will be stunning improvements all around.
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from The Federalist Newsletter ...
And a footnote on all the Leftist class-warfare effluent being spewed by the Demos, we thought you might be interested to know who the "classiest" guys are in the Senate. The wealthiest Democrat could buy and sell the richest GOP senator more than 13 times. Drum roll please.... First place goes to John "Ketchup King" Kerry (D-MA) $675 million (more than half a billion inherited); In 2nd place is bad-boy Jon Corzine (D-NJ), $400 million; 3rd place goes to Herb Kohl (D-WS) $300 million; In 4th place, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), $200 million; 5th place goes to Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) $50 million. Finally a Republican, Lincoln Chafee, shows up in 6th position. (Oops, did we say "Republican." Let's not make that this week's editing error!) Hold the phone, there is a Republican majority in the Senate, but the richest guys are all Democrats, you know, the "Party of the People." Shouldn't there be some "affirmative action" plan to raise up more rich Republicans?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Historical note ...I recently encountered this quote:
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. --George WashingtonIn fact, Washington was indulging in a bit of wishful thinking. Most Americans in Washington's time thought of themselves as Georgians or Virginians or New Hampshiremen... Robert E. Lee, when he had to choose which side to fight with in the Civil War, said, "I cannot fight against my country." By which he meant Virginia!
The Civil War itself was the great transforming event that changed this. After it, we stopped saying these United States, and began to say The United States.
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Thursday, January 16, 2003
No doubt it's just coincidence,but I was listening to ABC News on the radio today, and they mentioned the Jewish Astronaut now up in the Shuttle...and the very next item was about a rabbi who has been sent to prison for murdering his wife...
Also, the astronaut, Colonel Ramon, is one of the pilots who destroyed Saddam's Osirak reactor in June of 1981. We owe Israel a lot for that one. Here's a good book on that event
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Natalie Solent...just posted a splendid defense of "the (yes) immutable law of the market...
...Another short answer, the one that Ms Toynbee has heard and didn't like when she asked those who gave it "how they can justify paying £203.70 a week for work such as this?" is that a great many people can do the job. A care worker needs a kind heart, patience, common sense, the ability to stick to procedures and maintain standards, a certain amount of physical strength and the ability to overcome physical distaste. The qualities needed by a care worker are admirable but not rare. Her wording implies that confronted with her "how can you justify..." everyone falls silent in shame. I don't see why. Rarity does influence price. Polly Toynbee gets a high salary as a Guardian correspondent because the skills needed (of writing to time and theme, research, eloquence and self-promotion) are comparatively rare. If she thinks that is so outrageous, will she voluntarily reduce her pay to that of a care worker?...Reminds me of book I read, wherein the author lamented that we no longer make the elaborate ornamental woodwork of past ages. She said it was because we no longer are willing to pay enough. But that's exactly backwards. We pay too much. The carpenter of, say, 1880 was what we would call poor. He would live in a cold-water flat, have no insurance or pension, and his children would be unlikely to even go to high school. So it was economically feasible to have him work for months detailing some rich guy's billiard room.
...I haven’t even covered the question of state control versus the market in deciding whether old people go into care homes at all – and how long they stay at one home. Many, perhaps most old people, would have preferred to grow old at home. There could have been scope for literally millions of people to be employed as carers for them. The terrors and indignities of old age would be softened by a personal relationship and familiar surroundings. There is evidence that the onset of senility is actually delayed for those old people who live in their own homes. Of course a raft of government regulations make this impossible. So we send ‘em to care homes, and even then, the government can’t keep its paws off. Many, many private care homes have been closed down in recent years when the cost of complying with absurd “safety” regulations and “standards” became too much. So the old people are shoved into the hospitals at the age of eighty-five and die, disoriented and miserable, by the thousands. Some safety. Some standards. But why wave their shrouds in front of Ms Toynbee’s face, what's she got to do with that? Because it was brought about by people of exactly her cast of mind; well-meaning, passionately caring people who wanted the best standards for our old people. They decided that the (yes) immutable law of the market that if you make running something one long hassle and expense then people won’t do it anymore could be overridden by mere act of benevolent will..._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Up on the wall...I just had to show this off:
This is the Hasui print that Charlene gave me for Christmas. I just finished the frame, and now I can call her at the office and tell her there's something she might find interesting on my weblog...
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...So here we are, in 2003, being challenged by some veterans of Clinton’s administration – and some Bush critics in the media – to be “consistent” in our policy. If we credulously trusted North Korea’s lies back in 1994, we must now (as a matter of simple fairness!) credulously trust Iraq’s lies in 2003. If international inspectors failed miserably in North Korea, they must now be given their full opportunity to fail miserably in Iraq as well. Instead of learning from the mistakes of the past, Bush’s critics say, we must repeat them, as if the supreme accolade for a nation’s foreign policy were to be able say, “it is consistent” – even if that means being consistently stupid...
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Interesting thoughts on NK...from Orson Scott Card...
... Most people don’t understand what President Bush means when he says that we will pursue a “diplomatic solution.”_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Thinking outside the box...From Blaster's Blog, via Wes Dabney:
... I haven't changed my mind on removing our troops from South Korea. But for those who argue that this would be a destabilizing disengagement from the region, we replace those troops with something else._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Monday, January 13, 2003
Seen on Sharkblog:
...Meanwhile, another group of Useful Idiots held a pro-Saddam singing vigil in Berkeley recently.
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Wake up! Look around! We are privileged to be alive in these days...This post from Baltic Blog (no perma-links, dated 12.1.03) made me think of Dave Trowbridge and his splendid Schutzhund, Oka.
Estonia contributes to the war on terrorActually, what really thrills me from my head down to my toes is that, for most of my life, the Baltic states were but a dim legend. The hardly existed. They had been swallowed by Stalin (who would be a progressive in today's terminology) and I assumed they had been digested totally, including the bones. And now here they are helping other countries to fight for freedom! What an age of wonders we live in...
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Those racist Republicans...I was driving around this morning and caught these statistics from Rush. Since 1994, the Texas Republican Party has elected 5 minority candidates to important statewide offices. [And what else happened in Texas in 1994? hmm?]
The Texas Democratic party has elected . . . . 4 . . . . . since . . . . . . . . . . 1872.
Sunday, January 12, 2003
sluggish dayMy brain-switch is stuck on the off position, at least for writing or talking. So I'm doing non-verbal things, including making a cool picture-frame for the print Charlene gave me for Christmas. Also, I've added a Favicon to my blog. That's the little icon that many (but not all) browsers now display with favorites or in the history list. (If mine doesn't show for you, you may have to clear your cache.) I think I'm way ahead of the blogging crowd ...