June 27, 2011

What can we learn from CafePress...

From Illinois Review...
If T-shirt and presidential product sales predict the future in American politics, 2012 will be a Palin vs. Obama race. CafePress writes:
The people have spoken and they want to see a Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama showdown in the 2012 election. Although Palin's Republican peers Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and now Jon Huntsman have officially declared their candidacy, the American public is throwing their support behind Mama Grizzly" for the 2012 Election -- on T-shirts that is.
It may be 503 days away, but politically-minded citizens have already designed over 500,000 presidential election products on CafePress, the go-to site for customizable merchandise (think "royal wedding crasher"� and "Weinergate" tees).
-- Sarah Palin has yet to declare her candidacy, but Palin-themed merchandise already makes up a whopping 66 percent of Obama challenger sales and 34 percent of all 2012 election product sales.
-- Mitt Romney made it official several weeks ago but his product sales make up a small percentage of Obama's challengers at 3 percent of election product sales.
-- Michele Bachmann is also in Palin's shadow, with products contributing to only 1 percent of election product sales.

I don't know much about Bachman, but it seems to me significant that I've yet to hear anything that would endear her to me, or make me trust her. Whereas it took me about 30 seconds to see that Sarah Palin was the vrai. And I've yet to see anything to make me change my mind. That's not meant to say she's perfect, just that she's "the real McCoy." She's genuinely herself, without calculation and reserve. (Her failure to profit from reading and pondering RJ is a lapse, but an understandable one.)

But wait a moment. Think back to Palin Day, August 28, 2008..... It also took the Lefty crowd about 30 seconds to ...turn venomously anti-Palin. The hatred was almost instantaneous. And has been "on" ever since. I'm guessing they saw just what I did.

One can partly judge people by the kind of enemies they have. Palin scores near 100% on that measure.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:35 AM

June 23, 2011

"Anti-gun zealots" WHY?

This stuff is just too crazy. Layer after onion-layer of crazy. You need a theorist to explain what's going on.

Wait, you have one! Me. I can explain it. In fact, I have, over and over... ["Mama, why is that odd man talking to himself?"] Most people don't think, and especially, liberals don't think. People respond to symbols. And most liberals today have no belief in anything, except themselves. Belief and meaning have drained away. To such nihilism, belief is an affront and an irritation. They hate it.

And firearms are symbols of belief. Why? Because they symbolize being willing to fight for something. Another way of expressing the nihilism of most liberals is that they don't think there's anything worth fighting for. This also explains why gun control efforts are always aimed at law-abiding citizens. They don't care if criminals have guns, since those only symbolize rapacity.

Michelle Malkin — Reminder: Another zealot waiting in ATF wings:

For 30 years, Chicago banned handguns. The crime rate skyrocketed. Murders soared. Gangs blossomed. Desperate city officials even considered calling the National Guard to combat the out-of-control violence that all the "community organizing" in the world couldn't curb. The Supreme Court struck down Chicago's individual firearms ownership prohibition last year, but the same anti-gun zealots who put Windy City citizens' lives at risk remain in power.

And now one of them may soon be in charge of the scandal-plagued Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Meet Andrew Traver. He's President Obama's nominee to head ATF. The Senate Judiciary Committee refused to act on the original nomination last fall. His name was sent up again earlier this year, and a hearing has yet to be scheduled. Obama's czar-happy habits should be a red flag on a possible recess appointment.

Traver has spent two decades in the Chicago ATF office bureaucracy. The White House touts his record as a Navy vet and crime-fighter. But it's his anti-gun advocacy that won him Chicago crony backing in the Beltway. Liberal Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and rabid leftist Sen. Dick Durbin both support their home state bureaucrat. Grassroots Second Amendment groups across the country (not to mention rank-and-file ATF agents) have raised their voices in opposition....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:44 PM

June 21, 2011

Shell games...

There's a new BBC story, World's oceans in 'shocking' decline. It seems scientists have discovered that we are on the edge of the abyss.

But are they really scientists?

Climate Resistance — A Deep Sea Mystery:

...Call me a cynic, but I no longer take claims about 'expert panel of scientists' at face value. Sadly, Richard Black of the BBC does.

Who are the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) anyway? A visit to their website barely gives any information about itself at all. It doesn't appear even to have an email address, let alone a postal address. There is no mention of who is running it, or what organisations are involved. Isn't that a bit odd, for 'an expert panel of scientists'.

Looking at the final report [PDF] produced by IPSO, there is similarly little mention of the organisation's relationship to the rest of the world, such that we can see for ourselves what kind of a panel of experts they really are. However, at the top of the report is the following text:
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) is�a coalition of over 60 organizations worldwide�promoting fisheries conservation and the�protection of biodiversity on the high seas.�The DSCC has been actively involved in the�international debate and negotiations�concerning the adverse impacts on deep-sea�biodiversity in areas beyond national�jurisdiction from bottom trawling and other�methods of bottom fishing on the high seas�since 2003/2004.
Ok. So who the hell are the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition?

Surprise, surprise...

There's more.

Just remember, this stuff has nothing to do with science. It's all Lefty politics. And Leftists lie. Always. They are working for the Father of Lies. Well, it's true! You can see this. All around you.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:38 PM

Rote titillation....

The Tired Old Game of Shocking the Middle Class - Light On Dark Water:

The point has been made very often by now, but this is a particularly good and compact instance, from the unsigned "Notes & Comments" column in the May issue of The New Criterion:
Épater la bourgeois: shocking the middle class�has been a cherished goal of the avant garde�since the birth of the movement in the nineteenth century. The fact that the middle class long ago enlisted themselves as co-collaborators in this project of rote titillation transformed the avant garde into a reactionary force in everything but posture and rhetoric. The amazing thing has been the longevity of this new incarnation of Salon art: year after year, decade after decade, "artists" and their eager if jaded public rehearse the tired old pantomime: the party of the first part recycles some bit of Dada while the party of the second pretends to be shocked or at least interested.
Posted by John Weidner at 9:03 AM

June 19, 2011

"bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser"

Carl Olson debunks once again the line that the God of the Old Testment is an ogre... Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog: One bad of a hell argument:

...One of the more memorable instances of this is the description by atheist Richard Dawkins in his best-selling book The God Delusion of the God of the Old Testament as "arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." As I wrote in one of my "Opening the Word" columns, "That remark indicates far more familiarity with the dictionary than with the Bible." To make this point, here's a quick quiz: which of the following statements is made by or about God in the OT and which were made by or about Jesus in the Gospels?

1. "But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire."

2. "But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."

3. "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell..."

4. "Light rises in the darkness for the upright; the LORD is gracious, merciful, and righteous."

5. "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell..."

6. "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness..."

7. "And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day."

8. "I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel which he has granted them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love."

9."There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out."

10. "Nevertheless in thy great mercies thou didst not make an end of them or forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God."

Yep, you guessed it: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are statements made by Jesus in the Gospels, and 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are statements by or about God found in the Old Testament. The basic point is that both the Old and New Testaments speak of judgment and mercy, punishment and love, communion with God and separation from God. And the word "hell" is just one way of describing or referring to eternal separation from the presence, life, and love of God, just as "heaven" is one of many ways to refer to everlasting communion with God....

There's lots more one could say on this subject. My post here might be interesting, on how the conquest of Caanan (Palestine) depicted in the OT was in fact far less violent than it is portrayed; that the slaughters were a sort of literary device that was applied to any take-over, even if it was really a peaceful change.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:38 PM

June 18, 2011

John Yoo, good sense once again...

Let the Fight over Libya Be Commander-in-Chief vs. the Purse - By John Yoo - The Corner - National Review Online:

I hate it when I agree with the editorial page of the New York Times, even half-way. The Libyan conflict falls within the terms of the War Powers Resolution, and both Democrats and Republicans are flipping the constitutional positions they held under the last administration. At least this time the NYT editorial writers have the diagnosis right. But they would administer the wrong medicine.

The treatment isn't to force everyone to obey an unconstitutional law, the War Powers Resolution, that is both untrue to the Framers' original understanding and unsuited to the exigencies of modern war. The New York Times's solution is the equivalent of using leeches on a patient with the common cold. The right constitutional answer (as I explain in this morning's Wall Street Journal) is to toss the empty symbolism of the Resolution and meaningless lawsuits aside and let them fight it out using their own powers — commander-in-chief versus the purse — in the political process.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:43 PM

June 14, 2011

Yet another possible explanation of why they hate her...

Hugh Hewitt : Talking with Mamet:

Hugh Hewitt: In the book, in the middle, you write that a play is basically an exercise in raising, lowering and altering of expectations. So are interviews. And so I kind of want to start by raising the expectation of the audience as to how clear you are in this by talking about Sarah Palin. On Page 137, you write, "Part of the left's savage animus against Sarah Palin is attributable to her status not as a woman, neither as a conservative, but as a Worker." That is, I think, 100% correct. Would you explain that to people?

David Mamet: Yeah, the left of today is not the left of my father's day when it was made up of workers and factory workers and housewives, and veterans of World War II, and people who fix the lawnmowers, and the Republicans were the guys in the plaid pants who didn't let the Jews in. The left of today is, it's very much the cheese and white wine guy sitting around and talking about the greed, how greedy the world is, and how the dumb Americans have ruined this beautiful, beautiful world. And it's kind of Malthusian. It's saying don't those people realize there are just too many folks on the highway, in the national forest, and they're getting in my way? That would be, now tell me the question again. I got carried away with my own rhetoric.

Hugh Hewitt: Sarah Palin, how Sarah Palin fits into that.

David Mamet: Oh, sure. So Sarah Palin is a threat for several reasons. One is she's a woman, and as I wrote an article in Misogyny, the left, if you look at it, really doesn't like women. How do I know? Well, let's look at Monica Lewinsky and Broadbent, and Mary Jo Kopechne, and all of these people who were in various ways vastly abused, and in one place, killed by liberal men and the left said nothing about it. They never mentioned it.

Hugh Hewitt: Right.

David Mamet: �because they weren't, because as much as they're "feminists," it was more important to be a member of�is attacked as a woman, as attacked as an attractive woman, freed succubus, and attacked because she's an actual worker, and because her story is part of the American myth.

Hugh Hewitt:Yeah, she was a commercial fisherman, and like Harry Truman, actually knew of which she speaks when she talks about hard work.

David Mamet: Sure, and also it's part of our myth of Hollywood, you know, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, or The Farmer's Daughter, The Candidate, Bulworth, The Contender. The myth is played out over and over and over again, Dave, the normal person who says well heck, I can do that, and in effect, can do it and rises to the highest office in the land. So when the left sees that in real life, of someone who is not on their side but on the other side, someone who has not been indoctrinated, someone who expresses herself well and is unusual and attractive and funny, it scares the hell out of them. So they say oh, you know, she's stupid. I say I don't get the joke. I don't see what she's stupid about. She seems to have succeeded wildly at everything that she ever did. All right, she's just the governor of Alaska. Well hell, I'm not the governor of Alaska, and you aren't. I doubt that either of us could be starting from zero. Well, it's a small state. It just has a few people, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But the left knows not why it hates Sarah Palin, but they're still talking about her.

Hugh Hewitt: Yeah.

David Mamet: I mean, even before it became clear that she's probably going to run for president, when they were still bitching about George Bush, and they're still kvetching about Sarah Palin. They got scared so bad that they can't stop complaining about her. ...


Posted by John Weidner at 6:15 PM

June 12, 2011

It's time to sample some Irish whiskeys...

Fed Up With Scotch Boycotts of Israel? Boycott Their Whiskey. — Commentary Magazine:

In the last few weeks, the Scottish municipalities of Dunbar and West Dunbartonshire were in the news because of their official boycotts of Israel. In a gesture of support for the Palestinians, Dunbar has sought to boycott all products made in Israel while West Dunbartonshire has banned books by Israeli authors from being acquired by their public libraries. But some pro-Israel activists are not taking this lying down. They say two can play at this game and are now promoting a counter-boycott of the most famous product of the region where Israeli books may no longer be read: Scotch whiskey.

The Jerusalem Post reports today that the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs (FJMC) has called for Jews to boycott whiskeys produced in the West Dunbartonshire region. The FJMC is an umbrella group for men's clubs affiliated with the Conservative movement of Judaism has brought to its members attention that three well known producers of spirits, Morrison Bowmore, Loch Lamond and Chivas Brothers are products of that region of Scotland. Chivas, which also produces the Glenlivet and Ballantine brands, is a popular staple of Sabbath "Kiddush clubs" which follow services at some synagogues....

Divrei Torah over Chivas? Who knew? Try it with a single malt...

Alas, there's nothing Scottish I use, and thus can boycott, except Scotch. If I find some time and energy (Ha!) I'll send e-mails to Scotch distillers, telling them I'm drinking gin now, because of this sick and disgusting business.

* Update: To any stranger who Googles this piece up, I'm not Jewish. But all SANE Americans support Israel! Why?

As I wrote here...

Israel is us. Israel and the United States are the only two countries that are ideas. Anyone who "gets" America's idea, as expressed in the founding documents, is an American. As much so as someone whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower. If I say someone is "un-American," you would not imagine that I'm criticizing their skin color, or accent, or lack of long residence in our country.

It's much the same with Israel. Jews from obscure corners of the world, with all sorts of languages and skin colors can make Aliyah and become Israelis.

Both countries have been refuges for the oppressed. And both have been founded by those who fled the control of their "betters" in the European elites. Fled and used only their own strength and courage to build a country from nothing. Both countries were toughened by fighting against savages, and by taming a harsh landscape.

Both countries are hated by Leftists, because Leftism is about taming people, and putting them under control of self-styled elites...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:35 AM

June 11, 2011

"Silent, like the rapids of a river, before the rocks intercept it..."

From Newman's The Prophetical Office of the Church - Lecture 1 (I'm probably the only one here who's interested in this, but here are some important points presented with clarity.)

...If we ask, why it is that these professed Traditions were not reduced to writing, it is answered, that the Christian doctrine, as it has proceeded from the mouth of the Apostles, is too varied and too minute in its details to allow of it. No one you fall in with on the highway, can tell you all his mind at once; much less could the Apostles, possessed as they were of great and supernatural truths, and busied in the propagation of the Church, digest in one Epistle or Treatise a systematic view of the Revelation made to them. And so much at all events we may grant, that they did not do so; there being confessedly little of system or completeness in any portion of the New Testament.

If again it be objected that, upon the notion of an unwritten transmission of doctrine, there is nothing to show that the faith of today was the faith of yesterday, nothing to connect this age and the Apostolic, the theologians of Rome maintain, on the contrary, that over and above the corroborative though indirect testimony of ecclesiastical writers, no error could have arisen in the Church without its being protested against and put down on its first appearance; that from all parts of the Church a cry would have been raised against the novelty, and a declaration put forth, as we know in fact was the practice of the early Church, denouncing it. And thus they would account for the indeterminateness on the one hand, yet on the other the accuracy and availableness of their existing Tradition or unwritten Creed.

It is latent, but it lives. It is silent, like the rapids of a river, before the rocks intercept it. It is the Church's unconscious habit of opinion and sentiment; which she reflects upon, masters, and expresses, according to the emergency. We see then the mistake of asking for a complete collection of the Roman Traditions; as well might we ask for a full catalogue of a man's tastes and thoughts on a given subject. Tradition in its fulness is necessarily unwritten; it is the mode in which a society has felt or acted during a certain period, and it cannot be circumscribed any more than a man's countenance and manner can be conveyed to strangers in any set of propositions.

Such are the Traditions to which the Roman Catholics appeal, whether viewed as latent in the Church's teaching, or as passing into writing and being fixed in the decrees of the Councils or amid the works of the ancient Fathers....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:24 PM

June 10, 2011

Boxes of paper? Hand trucks? I've been saying that government's stuck in the Industrial Age, but... Wow.

Palin E-mails Released ... 'Everyone Should Read Them' - Sarah Palin - Fox Nation:

...The 24,199 pages of emails from the first 21 months of Palin's term in office were released on schedule at 9 a.m. Juneau time (1 p.m. Eastern) on Friday.

Seventeen news organizations -- Alaskan, national and international -- are getting the boxes of documents. Each set reportedly comprises five 55-pound boxes, delivered on a hand truck that the reporters must return once they have unloaded it. Each organization paid $726 in copying costs for the trove....

Am I the only one who thinks this is hilarious? Could anything be more symbolic of the cratering of both government and "news" organizations? Imagine some bright young sweetie from the Columbia School of "Journalism," struggling with a hand-truck and heavy boxes of paper, when the whole thing could be put on a DVD for maybe 5 bucks? And paying $726?

* Update: Jonah Goldberg:

.I think this media frenzy over Palin's emails is an astounding embarrassment for the MSM. My favorite moment so far was the footage on Special Report that showed a radio engineer recording the sound of the hand truck transporting the boxes of the printed out Palin emails. I cannot wait to hear the NPR report capturing this vital drama.
Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 PM

We're the dinosaurs, they are the thecodonts!

It's pretty funny, all those lefty haters of the "press" recruiting chumpsky's to pour over Sarah's e-mails, and not finding anything flakey at all. You lose, you worthless slimeballs. Of course, discovering that she was a hard-working conscientious governor won't be "news." That discovery won't be publicized.

How sweet it is to see "journalism" dying, along with all the other leftover dinosaurs of the Industrial Age. Good riddance to whales rotting on the beach.

I just noticed this piece, by Pamela Geller...

I have written often of the irrational violent cauldron of vicious hate that Sarah Palin's goodness (and very existence) elicits from the forces of evil the left.

A new low (is that even possible?) was reached today when the elite media, the NY TImes and the Washington Post, begged readers to help them go through the soon-to-be released email messages to and from Sarah Palin during her time as Governor. Wow.

Think about that. Such naked hate is without equal. If America is paying attention, this could serve to be an aha moment. An indication of just how over the line and over the edge the left has gone to destroy anyone that poses a threat to their plan to dismantle this once great nation. That is what they are doing. The more righteous and patriotic the person, the more vile and debased the attacks.

The idea that we should stay away from Palin as a possible Presidential candidate because the enemy within (the left) hate her so much is the quintessence of defeatism and stupidity. That is playing into the claws of the enemy. If the right takes such a tact we are rewarding the vile politics of destruction. The left, smelling blood, will ramp up the violent language and smear campaigns against any effective leader on the right.

Why should the party of hate and destruction decide who our candidate is? They did it last election with McCain, they propped up that RINO only to make a knock out punch easy-peasy. The only thing that made the 2008 Presidential election competitive and interesting was Palin.

Ann Coulter said again today that Sarah should not run. She has joined a chorus of naysayers.  Coulter is wrong. The old guard and standard issues of the Weekly Standard are wrong. America loves Sarah. She is one of us. The moochers hate her. The looters hate her. The second handers hate her. The elites hate her. But the good, the decent and the fine love her.

There are times when I wonder if I'm being foolish, supporting Sarah so strongly. But there's no indicator of quality in a human being like having the right people hate you. So I once again think I'm on the right track.

Of course they hate her. We're the mammals, they are the dinosaurs. Hmm. That's an overused metaphor. It's late. How about, "We're the dinosaurs, they are the thecodonts!" Anyway, they are old and moldy and boring, and they know it. Including Ann Coulter.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:37 PM

What do you get for your secret stealth tax?

This is from Great Britain, but I'm sure things are similar here... Richard Littlejohn: The answer, my friend, ain't blowing' in the wind — Climate Realists:

Following the revelation that we're all paying a secret stealth tax to subsidise so-called renewable energy sources, it seems like a good time to check out exactly what we are getting for our money.

At midday yesterday, wind power was contributing just 2.2 per cent of all the electricity in the National Grid. You might think that's a pretty poor return on the billions of pounds spent already on Britain's standing army of windmills.

But it's actually a significant improvement on the last time I checked the wholesale electricity industry's official website. At the turn of the year, the figure was 1.6 per cent. During the cold snap the turbines had to be heated to stop them freezing and were actually consuming more electricity than they generated.

Even on a good day, they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be turned off altogether to prevent damage. Britain's 3,426 wind turbines produce no more electricity than a single, medium-sized gas-fired power station.

Any sane individual would conclude that wind generation is hopelessly inefficient and horribly expensive and stop throwing good money after bad.

But when did sanity ever have anything to do with government policy?...
Posted by John Weidner at 9:18 AM

June 9, 2011

sloppy thinking, unexamined assumptions...

The Rise of Benefit Corporations — The Nation:

When America began, the states chartered corporations for public purposes, like building bridges. They could earn profits, but their legitimacy flowed from their delegated mission. [I don't know the history behind that, but it sounds fishy. And wait a minute. When we build a bridge now, who does the work? Corporations, n'est pas?]

Today, corporations are chartered without any public purposes at all. They are legally bound to pursue a single private purpose: profit maximization. [This is a bogus complaint for various reasons. For instance, who owns our corporations? Who gets the profits? Millionaires who light their cigars with $20 bills? NO, the majority of shares are owned by pension funds and mutual funds, which are the investments of workers and the middle class. So the public in fact gets the profits. If The Nation has a retirement fund for its employees, what does it invest in? I'd guess, profitable corporations.] Thus, far from advancing the common good, many for-profit corporations have come to defy the law, corrupt the officials charged with enforcing it and inflict harm on the public with impunity. The consequences are visible in the wreckage left by BP, Massey Energy, Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Blackwater and Exxon Mobil, to name a few recent wrongdoers. Profits rule; anything goes. [For every one of those, there are thousands which don't break the law. Who simply provide the products people need.]

We need a new business model inspired by the old one. Corporations should again come to bolster democratic purposes, not thwart them. [Democratic? Oh, that means the public gets to VOTE on what these purposes might be? No? I'm so surprised.] To be sure, there will be no return to the legislative short leash, especially now that the Supreme Court has invited corporations to spend treasury funds electing pliant and obsequious lawmakers. [The business model of the public employee unions.] But socially minded businesses should at least have the right to operate outside the straitjacket legal requirements of Delaware Code profit maximization. [Actually, straightjackets are good. No organization can operate efficiently unless it is forced to pursue a single clear measurable objective. It is certain that these "B" thingies will use resources unwisely, and probably ask for government assistance.]

Thankfully, a promising alternative is emerging: an entity called the Benefit Corporation, which has been written into law in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Vermont, and is moving quickly in other states too. The new laws permit companies to join the profit motive with the purpose of making a "positive impact on society and the environment." [Positive?] In their articles of incorporation, Benefit Corporations declare their public missions—things like bringing a local river back to life, providing affordable housing, facilitating animal adoptions or promoting adult literacy. Under the law they must go regularly before a third-party validator like B Lab, the visionary Philadelphia-based alliance of more than 400 so-called B Corps across the country, [So the B-Corp "alliance" gets to measure the B Corps. I'm SO surprised. But of course they will be objective and fair, because they are "visionary."] to prove that they are not only meeting their goals but treating their employees, customers, communities and local environments with the same respect as their shareholders. Benefit Corporations can lose their B Corp title and their legal status for not doing right by these standards. [Standards? How do you define "treating the community with the same respect as shareholders?" What IS that? Who decides? By what standards? ] ...

This is such a bunch of malarky. The "standards" will inevitable be the current lefty fads, proclaimed by "activists" and politicians seeking another sneaky way to get power. And they will probably be the worst things possible.

For instance, "treating workers with respect" will surely involve making it harder for lay-off or fire them. But that's the opposite of what is good for workers. When it's easy to get rid of workers, then companies are happy to hire them in great numbers, because they are confident that they won't be stuck if sales go down. Those countries that make it hard to fire workers always have very high unemployment rates.

I could go on for many more paragraphs, but what really really bugs me about this sort of thing (most people won't even care, but it's important) is the assumption that "the good" is obvious. In truth it is hard bordering on impossible to know what the good is. Often in hindsight we see that the common assumptions of some particular time were all wrong. If they had B Corps 200 years ago, "indian killer" would have been considered a "positive impact on society and the environment."

Lefties at Yearly Kos

Posted by John Weidner at 7:06 PM

Just stating obvious truths well...

An Entirely Predictable Economic Dip:

...After that, it's useful to get back to the basics. An economy is not a living, breathing blob, rather it's a collection of individuals acting in their individual self interest. In that case, to stimulate ours or any economy, it's really quite simple. Remove the roadblocks to economic activity which are taxes, regulation, barriers to trade, and cheap, unstable money.

Right now Washington is violating all four basics, thus making our limp economic outlook a present and future inevitability. Government spending is rising and it's a tax like any other for every dollar consumed by government one less dollar meant to fund real productivity. Tax rates, though not historically high in the 20th century sense, are uncertain, and with them uncertain, the economy's vital few must produce with the future possibility that the fruits of their efforts will be penalized at much higher rates. Beyond that, regulations are increasing at a horrifying pace, trade agreements that would foster the work specialization necessary for economic advancement are on hold, and the dollar, as mentioned, continues to decline.

The answer to all of this is a very simple one. An economy is once again just a collection of individuals, and when the barriers to production are removed, the individuals that drive our advancement will start producing again. Of course until the aforementioned roadblocks to growth are reduced, productive activity will decline, and what we call an economy will continue to crawl.
Posted by John Weidner at 2:03 PM

June 5, 2011

Reactionary liberalism

From a good piece by George Weigel, inspired by an attack by some "Catholic" academics on House Majority Leader Boehner... Reactionary liberalism and Catholic social doctrine:

...The 2012 election seems likely to be defined by a major national debate on the welfare state, government spending, and social responsibility. If libertarian minimalism of the sort espoused by Ron Paul sits poorly with the rich and complex tradition of Catholic social doctrine, so does reactionary liberalism of the sort espoused by the anti-Boehner pedagogues.

So perhaps a review of the basics is in order, to put the forthcoming argument on a more secure footing.

(1) The Church's concern for the poor does not imply a "preferential option" for Big Government. The social doctrine teaches that the problem of poverty is best addressed by empowerment: enabling poor people to enter the circle of productivity and exchange in society.

The responsibility for that empowerment falls on everyone: individuals, through charitable giving and service work; voluntary organizations, including the Church; businesses and trade unions.

Government at all levels can play a role in this process of empowerment, but it is a serious distortion of the social doctrine to suggest that government has exclusive responsibility here.

On the contrary: in the 1991 social encyclical, "Centesimus Annus," Blessed John Paul II condemned the "Social Assistance State" because it saps welfare-recipients of their dignity and their creativity while making them wards of the government....

Worth reading, especially if you happen to be embedded within a somewhat liberal Catholic milieu, as I am. M, I keeps my mouth shut, but personally I think the long-standing Catholic teaching of Subsidiarity is substantially embodied in the Tea parties..


Posted by John Weidner at 8:48 PM

June 1, 2011

I've never even seen a pear-citron vodkatini...

Andrea on, as she puts it, that species of internet persona known as the PUA, or "pick-up-artist."..:

... However, I have one little bone to pick with them: almost every time they talk about how difficult and bitchy American women are, yadda yadda, it turns out that their favorite places to go and pick out women are always bars. Sure, these places are high-end, fancy places where the upper income brackets like to go to order pear-citron vodkatinis, and as such they have more bright lights and shiny surfaces than the traditional watering hole, but they are still bars, and you know what kind of woman hangs out in a bar? Yep.

So no wonder, guys, that your romantic lives have been so disappointing. If you want a faithful, loving, feminine woman, you need to 1) stop hanging out in bars, and 2) probably leave your large urban area altogether. Also stay away from universities and places with lots of lawyers, and you might have to settle — yes, I said settle — for a woman who isn't a perfect 10 and doesn't know all about your pop culture fads. She might even be — gasp — religious. And here is the major stumbling block for the lovelorn PUA (when he's finally through denying he's not lovelorn): most of these guys claim to be atheist, but atheist women tend to at least think they are smarter than other people and as such are high-maintenance so we're right back in the "bitch" area. But none of these guys will dare go to anything so unfashionable as a church for their wife material, so they're destined to be forever dissatisfied....

Listen to the woman, she speaks pearls. Go to church.

This reminds me of a peeve of mine from back in the 70's, maybe it was. There was this stock complaint at the time by women, that men don't "want to commit." And I had to listen to this guff, and I'm in fact the kind of guy who was eager to commit to the right woman! (And I'll be happily married 26 years this month.) And my two best friends likewise. I remember this one gal, gorgeous creature, that I knew in a business connection. And with me she was always friendly in a very business-like way--clearly nothing personal. (A PUA would know how to cut through that, but I didn't.) And I heard later that she had a baby on her own, because she couldn't find a man who would "commit."

So my guess is that those women were looking to the wrong guys. Maybe in bars! Because the thing is, the type of guy who "commits" to a woman is not hanging around in watering holes. They are already committed, to career, or hobby, or sport, or craft. They are Scout leaders, or bungee-jumpers, or are building the world's largest model railroad. And they are mostly not very "cool," and not especially good at whispering sweet nothings in a gal's ear. But they are solid. Dependable. Committed.

Therefore, they are not hanging around girlie places. Fern bars, they were called back then. I could have told certain females that they needed to go where the solid sensible guys are. Of course they would not have listened . But in the picture below of a Kenpo Karate school, you can see one gal who is definitely smarter than most, and did just that. The woman in the back with the biggest smile is Charlene. And I'm sitting in the front row, second from the right. The man in the white gi is our teacher and old friend, Sifu (now Grandmaster) Rick Alemany. Next to him is his similarly-smart wife Marge. This was about 1985.

Karate school picture, with John and Charlene
Posted by John Weidner at 8:45 PM

She's a whole 'nother smoke...

From a Rush Limbaugh transcript, Sarah Palin Toys with the Media:

...[soundbite by David] BROOKS: She can manage her brand, but running for president is not American Idol. And I -- I think people may agree with her, they may like her, but that doesn't mean they're gonna vote for her. She's just not a team player. This is a team sport. Just take one little thing she did this week. She's taking her bus up to New Hampshire. She doesn't call the Republican Party in New Hampshire and tell them where she's gonna appear, what she's gonna do. So you gotta play as part of the party, gotta play as part of the team. She's not a team player.
RUSH: Just... (laughing) She's just not doing anything the way she's supposed to, folks! Not doing anything according to the rules, not doing anything according to the way the ruling class elites say it should be done. She's not doing anything right. (interruption) Well, I don't know what he thinks would tick off the rank and file. I don't know whether she's running or not. I just find their reaction to her over the top. They are totally discombobulated. They can't stand it. They can't stand any of it. They can't stand the fact that she's happy, they can't stand the fact she's making money, they can't stand the fact she's got a bus and she's got the family on the bus. She's traveling around, and they can't stand the fact that she's not telling anybody where she's going.

They can't stand the fact she didn't call the Republican Party in New Hampshire. They can't stand the fact that she's not a team player. Of course, when she was on the team, where were they? They were doing everything they could... (interruption) They weren't stabbing her in the back, Snerdley. They were stabbing her in the front trying to get rid of her. ...

Man, you gotta love her. Even if she was a communist, I think I'd love Sarah, just for the way she makes all the pomposos of both parties take pratfalls.

Governor Palin with Alaska National Guard troops
Governor Palin with Alaska National Guard troops

Posted by John Weidner at 6:25 PM