The Actual Words In The Actual Bill Don’t Matter
October 31, 2009, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It occurs to me that regardless of the details of whatever “healthcare” bill passes, the majority of lefties (none of whom will read it) will assume it incorporates universal health care.

They wanted universal health care, they elected Obama, Obama says the word “healthcare” a lot, a bill’s (probably?) gonna pass, so voila, automatically it must be universal health care. Whatever’s actually in it.

It also occurs to me that regardless of the details of the bill, it’s going to empower a zillion and one busybody bureaucrats into doing a bunch of stuff related to health care – because they’re the ones who will have to implement whatever the hell Congress is about to pass. Indeed many/most of these people will be the very same ones who long for universal health care and will assume the bill (whatever’s in it) is universal health care.

So, they’ll just go ahead and implement universal health care, at every possibility.

Regardless of what’s in the bill.

My point being that what’s actually in such an ideological bill doesn’t matter. It could be nothing but 8000 pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” for all you or I or anybody knows. Makes no difference. The actual words in the actual bill don’t matter.

Stuff White People Like
October 29, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

If you’re a “progressive”, chances are there are certain cities you find extremely desirable and which embody the best in how you think cities should be. You might even make or at least read and approve of Lists Of The Best Cities To Live In, lists that (coincidentally, of course) highly correlate with how “progressive” those cities are.

Chances also are that those cities are extremely white.

In my view this pattern also seems to scale up to the country level (think Sweden and the other standardly Good Socialist Scandinavian Countries – no “progressive” praises, say, some mid-African socialist country in quite the same way) and down to the neighborhood level (“progressives” may like San Francisco but are there lots of e.g. black people where in the particular parts of San Francisco where all the “progressives” actually want to live? do “progressives” want to live in the neighborhoods e.g. 1-2 miles south of China Basin/PacBell Park? Similarly for New York, which “progressives” also like: but are they talking about Harlem? would they even ever go to Harlem in a million years?).

Culturally as well: Do tons of black people watch PBS or listen to NPR? Do “progressives” watch Tyler Perry movies or George Lopez on TV? Are black people as a rule generally highly concerned with “walkable neighborhoods”, high-speed rail, bicycling, recycling? Do “progressives” tend to spend every weekend at family picnics with loud stereos in public parks? How many Hispanics are, like, totally into Radiohead and Coldplay?

I’m starting to wonder: doesn’t “progressive” basically just mean “white”?

HT Steve Sailer.

Waiting For The Crime
October 29, 2009, 9:56 am
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My take on the health care debate at this point is that it’s not a matter of if, but when, my pocket is picked and whatever little drabs of money I may have, and any future cash flows I may have coming to me, are taken away from me and my family by progressive do-gooders who will no doubt pat themselves on the back for how caring they are about me (well, not about me, but about other people who Count More than I do. Like them, and their friends).

I basically lie in wait for crimes to be committed against me by progressive do-gooders. The only question is which crimes and when they will occur. That the crimes are coming is a given.

E. Age 2
October 26, 2009, 4:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So my brother, his uncle, comes to visit. “I like him” says E. “He’s like you!”

“But he has a different shirt. How did that happen?” Then he laughs, because it’s funny. So do I.

Link Dump
October 26, 2009, 3:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Because nothing says “I’m out of fresh ideas” like a link-dump.

  • Megan McArdle found a good article detailing how forcing a real filibuster is more difficult than you think.
  • Bookworm on Afghanistan, Democrats, and war:

    I don’t think the Democrats are capable of conceiving an outcome to a war that is tantamount to “victory.” To them, all wars are failures because they are . . . wars. This means that there are no strategic goals that the Democrats can contemplate that will justify continuing to fight a war. They will therefore approach war in a half-hearted way, waiting, not to win, but to withdraw.

  • What Arnold Kling said in a speech. Good summary of everything that’s wrong with conventional wisdom on the financial crisis. My own views on the subject are highly unoriginal: just read anything by Arnold Kling and you know what I think.
  • Kling, again: “the media are now honoring Paulson, Bernanke, and Geithner for transferring hundreds of billions of dollars from ordinary Americans to some of the richest people on earth.” Not only the media. Most ‘progressives’ applauded this transfer as well.
  • In Mala Fide on sex.
  • curi disproves induction, definitively in my view.
  • Dafydd ab Hugh reminds us that some other guy besides Harvey Milk was also killed by that Twinkie dude. He wasn’t gay or anything though so his murder wasn’t as interesting or tragic, and he will never, ever be portrayed by Sean Penn.
  • Default User, a useful primer on Extraverts vs Introverts. With diagrams!
  • Whiskey thinks Barack Obama wants to be America’s Vizier.
  • Letter to FT by Per Kurowski on risk weightings and financial regulations.
  • Johan Norberg asks how could overly enthusiastic homebuyers in the United States sink the global economy. Not how you think.
  • Would you think it’s “interesting” to learn that Hezbollah is trying to raise awareness of Global Warming? Don’t tell Michael Totten.
  • Kling yet again: “I also think that maybe the Obama Administration does not really care about the contents of the reform legislation. It’s their Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that will allow them enough leeway to do whatever they want.”
  • Seth Roberts makes a point more universally applicable:

    …use of the term scientific is a sign that the writer or writers don’t know what they’re talking about. Calling this or that “scientific” amounts to calling something else “unscientific” — which isn’t an argument, it’s abuse. The term scientific is often just a way to sneer at other people.

Really Nothing
October 23, 2009, 5:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was dismayed by the controversy/talking-points last week that had Obama’s spokesmen running around taking aim at Fox News and calling it “not really a news organization”. But not because I’m a huge fan of Fox News or anything. Rather, because I don’t want this silly romantic myth perpetuated that there’s such a thing as “real news”, some sort of objective Platonic ideal of news reporting that is supposedly trained into people in places called Journalism Schools. Journalism = people writing about stuff that happened. TV journalism = people talking about stuff that happened. And people have opinions and this affects their writing and talking. The only thing Fox News really does differently is to hide it less.

A while back, the blog Fire Megan McArdle started criticizing Megan McArdle on the basis that she’s “not really an econo-blogger”. I wasted more time than I care to admit trying to get them to see that this is a toothless criticism (because for one thing, there’s no such thing as an “econo-blogger”, it’s a made-up word). Equally dumb thing they’re doing here.

Speaking of criticisms, I had an SNL skit pointed out to me that involved parodying Obama on the basis that he hasn’t done anything. This is a pattern I identified two weeks into his Presidency. Do I get royalty rights? Of course, I guess it wouldn’t have been as funny then. Comedy is all about timing, or so I hear.

Very Smart Arguments
October 17, 2009, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Long, long ago, the left loved to decry our “unilateralism”. I was instructed by approximately 1.5 zillion Very Smart Lefties that our unilateralism was preventing “our allies” from helping us do things, such as fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(“Our allies”, according to this Very Smart Argument, denoted a handful of Western European countries (mostly France and Germany) who don’t like us and don’t want to help us do things. Those are “our allies”, according to Very Smart Lefties: countries who don’t like what we’re doing and don’t want to help us.)

Anyway, the argument continued, the fact that “our allies” weren’t helping us do things they didn’t want to be done was a problem that needed solving. The cause of this problem was that our government (having been led by President Bush) wasn’t left-wing enough. The solution was that our government needed to be more left-wing. In particular, it needed to have a guy with a (D) after his name in charge rather than an (R). And that man was John Kerry. If we just elected John Kerry, you see, then “our allies” would suddenly want to help us accomplish things that they didn’t want to accomplish. Purely because of the (D) after the guy’s name. This was actually 80% of John Kerry’s 2004 campaign pitch: that because of who he was, he would “get” “our allies” to help us to bring about all these things they didn’t want to occur (and which Kerry didn’t want to actually do anyway).

Well, inexplicably, that brilliant argument didn’t work out so well for Kerry, but four years later, we did elect a (D) and (I assume) this must mean that “our allies” now suddenly really want to help us do these things that they don’t want to happen. Okay, yeah, how’s that working out for us then?

Yeah, not so well:

France will not send any more troops to Afghanistan and wants instead to see an enlarged Afghan army, President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a newspaper interview released on Thursday.

The United States is considering sending up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and has urged its NATO allies to bolster their forces to tackle the Taliban.

Britain announced this week that it was ready to send 500 more troops but Sarkozy told Le Figaro daily that he was sticking to a long-standing pledge not to send more forces.

“Is it necessary to stay in Afghanistan? I say ‘yes’. And to stay to win. If we leave, Pakistan, a nuclear power, will be threatened. But France will not send one more soldier,” Sarkozy said.

How strange. Didn’t anyone tell Sarkozy that we have a President with a (D) after his name, and who is nice and multilateral, and so (therefore) France should suddenly want to send thousands and thousands of their young men to die in our wars that they didn’t want to see fought in the first place? That, after all, was the Very Smart Lefty Argument put forth by Very Smarty Lefties (like, even, professors and such!). So you know it was correct. Someone needs to tell Sarkozy.


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