Sine Qua Non Pundit
And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ------ ------ ------ ------ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Bad Bush, Very Bad
As you read the criticism of President George W. Bush's economic stimulus plan, starting with the NY Times, just remember that the administration will be criticized for doing nothing, for implementing this plan, for spending twice as much, for spending half as much, for lowering taxes, for raising taxes, for making the economy grow too fast, for making the economy grow too slow, for raising inflation, for raising the spectre of deflation, for letting the states' profligacy be rewarded, for not rescuing the states' from their foolishness, but most of all -- for not being a Democrat.
Just imagine how loud the criticism might be if the media weren't controlled by the VRWC! Personally, I long for the day when everyone gets over the idea that the economy can be controlled by tweaking the knobs in Washington -- pun intended.
When challenged on the veracity of their claims, Clonaid ups the ante:
The group which claimed the first birth of a cloned human last week says a second such baby has now been born to a Dutch lesbian couple.
At this rate, clones will soon overrun the earth, although it's still doubtful anyone will have actually seen one.
Friday, January 03, 2003
Clement Clark No Moore
"Now, Daschle! now, Kerry! now, Gephardt and Sharpton!
On, Graham! on Edwards! but alas, Al Gore's gone!
The Professor quotes Virginia Postrel in advising Republicans not to react to strongly to Senator John Edwards because of his profession as a trial lawyer:
There's a reason successful trial lawyers are successful: They're good at persuading voters (a.k.a. jurors) to join their side.
He then adds:
Yes, there are a lot of people in conservative circles with a visceral dislike of trial lawyers. And it's shared by some voters. But it's not shared by all that many, and if you only read conservative publications it's easy to forget that. Think of trial lawyers as like constituent-service from an incumbent. Most voters know somebody who was helped by one. That establishes a certain reservoir of gratitude.
Having served on juries in the past, my personal experience with trial lawyers was that they wanted the least intelligent, or more correctly, the least educated jury possible to maximize their powers of persuasion. As I mentioned below, there are no preemptory challenges to the electorate, so Senator Edwards will have to do more than persuade a jury of my downselected peers to convince us to elect him. I think he will find this a little harder to do. I also think that the well of goodwill is much lower for trial lawyers than the Professor imagines. So long as the preeminent trial lawyers in the public eye are human slug trails like Peter Angelos and Johnnie Cochran, I don't think the handful of what can truly be called judicial lottery winners by virtue of having some misfortune (no matter how dreadful), a good trial lawyer, and a defendent with deep pockets is going to be sufficient to overcome the net loss of votes from those who no longer have access to physicians in Mississippi or West Virginia, those who must pay increased insurance rates for virtually everything, or all those who might be adversely affected by an shortage of smallpox vaccine because of thimerosal liability if the trial lawyers and their DNC beneficiaries get their way. The sheer greed displayed by the plaintiff's counsel in the tobacco lawsuits is astounding and needs to be better publicized as well.
And another thing from my hopeless perspective of idealism, shouldn't the job qualifications for president be about something more than the ability to persuade people of something, especially handpicked subsets of people? After all, Bill Clinton is credited with having this ability in spades, but if you're selling a bad idea, is it a virtue that you can sell it well? I'm not so naive as to believe that persuasion and communication skills aren't important, but the stark comparison of the attributes of President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton should serve as an exemplar that the last thing we need is another slick talking snake oil salesman.
Nice People They Have on NPR
While driving home from a doctor's appointment this afternoon, I heard a panel discussion on Talk of the Nation that included one Dr. Willett, who is chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Willett was pitching his new book Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy that features a new and inproved version of the classic USDA food pyramid that he claims will offer its adherents a longer, healthier life. When challenged on the veracity of this claim vice claims by the Adkins diet followers or the USDA food pyramid, Dr. Willett suggested that we put Democrats on his food pyramid diet and Republicans on the USDA food pyramid diet and see which there are more of in 30 years as a way to test it out. Now, assuming that Dr. Willett really believes in his approach, what an interesting proposal from the chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Like I said, nice people they have on NPR.
And You Thought Ents Were Just CGI
Animals, plants on the march as world heats up
Link courtesy James Taranto.
Thursday, January 02, 2003
Someone at Yahoo has a sense of humor putting these stories together:
Sen. John Edwards Announces Bid for 2004 Democratic Presidential Nomination
West Virginia Surgeons Protest Over High Cost of Malpractice Insurance
I'm a Proud Anti-Idiotarian Irregular
Senator John Edwards (D-SC) wants to be president so that he can be "a champion for regular people in the Oval Office every day."
Since I am not a "regular guy," i.e., a member of any DNC-certified Oppressed Group™, does that make me an irregular guy? Or an unregular guy, a disregular guy, a deregular guy, an aregular guy, an abregular guy, a nonregular guy, or just an anti-idiotarian? Hey John-boy, have you ever considered being president for all the people of the US -- the regular guys, the regular women (!), and even the coffee achievers that help make it all possible? I guess it sucks not being able to voir dire the electorate, though Al Gore will probably share his techniques for preemptory challenges to absentee military ballots.
By the way, you can go to the show with the real Regular Guy here at 7:45 AM and 7:45 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Predictions for 2003
Bloggers and journalists everywhere will make predictions for 2003 (somewhat self-fulfilling).
The Raelian human clone will be revealed to be a hoax.
Saddam Hussein will not wait for the US to strike first. The US' ability to make war has grown substantially since the Gulf War. People are going to be astounded at how quickly the hot phase of the war is going to be over. The shocking success of the US is going to scare the usual suspects more than ever, and the US is going to find itself with a number of new friends as some of its old friends fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, US casualties are going to be higher than anticipated. The aftermath of each war is going to be messy. Not necessarily bloody, but definitely messy.
Kim Jong-il will not wait for the US to strike first. North Korea will sustain 100,000+ casualties before the officers revolt and surrender.
Antonin Scalia will become the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
Just when things seem to be moderately stable, post-war, somebody will pull off a spectacular attack on US soil. But, it may be spectacular more for who is involved than how many are hurt or killed.
There will be a new Pope.
Zimbabwe will be the next genocide in Africa.
Tony Blair calls new elections after Gordon Brown leads a revolt against his leadership and the UK's role in the Iraqi War.
Israel continues to suffer through a war of attrition with the Palestinians.
The Stock Market will finish lower for the fourth straight year, but climbing from a 2000+ drop in the DJIA.
The Cubs, Bears, and Bulls will all miss the playoffs. Sigh.
Happy New Year
It has been a good year -- certainly better than the last. None of us knows what the new year will bring, but I remain hopeful and positive that each year ahead of us will see a world where nations cherish freedom more than ever. A world where politicians do not confuse appeasement with peace. A world where people everywhere are burdened with less sorrow and are showered with more happiness and joy. Why? Because I have children.
A Reason to Live?
Apparently, I am not worthy. But I already knew that.
Oh, And Thanks NPR
While discussing the murder of three missionaries in Yemen ysterday, ATC referred to the Abu Sayyef as "militants." So apparently, NPR has adopted the old Interpol standard of pretending that robbery, kidnapping, and murder are alright so long as you claim a political motive for your acts. No criminals or terrorists here, nothing to see, move along please.
Because There Aren't Any?
May be the answer to the question of why haven't the wise old graybeards (or gray-haired women) of the Democratic Party stepped up and explained the situation the US faces in the world today to the knuckleheads leading their caucus now. Case in point, one Warren Christopher who writes in an op-ed in the NY Times (natch) that the US can't handle two crises at once:
In foreign affairs, Washington is chronically unable to deal with more than one crisis at a time. As deputy secretary of state in the Carter administration, I helped to negotiate the release of 52 Americans held hostage in the United States Embassy in Iran. I recall how this relatively confined crisis submerged all other issues for 14 months
Have you ever before witnessed someone presumed to be smart enough to be a Secretary of State of the United States (under Clinton) ever make the case against this presumption so forthrightly? As James Taranto and many others have noted, perhaps the inability to manage more than one crisis at a time is more of a reflection on the rather limited abilities of President Carter and Deputy Secretary Christopher, et al, than the US per se. Imagine for a moment how President Carter and his commiserable cabal of worrywarts would have dealt with WW II:
Christopher: "We're sorry, Mr. President. You'll just have to choose between abandoning Europe or the Pacific theater. The US cannot possibly consider fighting on both fronts at once. And within Europe, we are no longer sure that we can effectively deal with the policy issues presented by fighting the Germans and the Italians at the same time, to say nothing of the Vichy collaborators, the Romanians, and numerous other small ethnic groups who have sided with the Nazis."
Carter: "Now Warren, you know that it is not necessary to use such a derisive, loaded term as Nazi's when referring to our German brothers, who unfortunately find themselves at odds with us over some issues better dealt with through negotiations. Oh, and I had to move your tennis court time to 6:00 PM so that you could take another attempt to calm the rhetoric of Prime Minister Churchill. Really, you must get him to stop presenting his choices in such stark, non-negotiable terms."
This pathetic coward who would have wet himself if presented with a crisis that truly threatened our survival -- instead of fifty-two of our citizens -- is now afraid that a nation that fought two global overseas wars at the same time cannot now handle Iraq and North Korea concurrently? And some pundits wonder why the Democrats aren't trusted when it comes to national defense. Jeez!
I had wanted to wait a while before posting anything else while I sorted out some other affairs, but this detestable nonsense is almost treasonably stupid and must be held up to as broad an audience as possible for ridicule to bring as much shame as is possible on this architect of appeasement and all who think like him. If, on the other hand, Warren Christopher is right and Washington truly can no longer handle two crises at once, then who should we blame for this state of affairs? And what should we do about it?
Color me disgusted. Again.