Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Links

The year in review. (Long but laugh-out-loud hilarious from Dave Barry)

The year in perspective. (Illuminating thoughts from Rich Lowry)

The year ahead. (Shameless self-linkage)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Headlines 12/15/08

Iraqi journalist throws shoes at Bush
Under Saddam he would have been shot, beheaded, and fed into a plastic shredder -- not necessarily in that order.

Britain to withdraw most troops from Iraq by June
Iran's will stay.

Police say Indian helped smuggle Pakistani gunmen
Apparently terrorists can cross porous borders.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bailout Blues

The "no bailout?!" hysteria is about to hit a fever pitch, but I don't think it's the calamity many are declaring.

First, the Big 3 bailout question has been framed in terms of "we can't let them fail!" But bailout and bust are not the only two options. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It exists to help companies get their act together.

But some don't want them to file bankruptcy. Who and why not? Well, that should be obvious. Big labor knows that if the automakers go into chapter 11, all labor contracts are on the table for renegotiation. That's not good for the unions. The evidence for this is that the unions jumped up to offer concessions to keep them out of bankruptcy (e.g., suspending the "jobs bank). If they have to go back to the bargaining table in this climate, they're going to lose big, and they don't want that to happen.

You can't blame the labor unions for wanting to keep the deals they've gotten. Their job is to get the best deals they can for their people. The problem is that those deals are a big part of what's killing the domestic car companies.

Second, even if one of them does close its doors, it's not the end of the world. I understand the whole domino effect, and it would certainly be a hit to our limping economy, but we would survive.

What we may not survive is further strengthening the notions that the federal government holds the solution to all of our problems and that the American taxpayer is supposed to rescue poorly run companies.

We live in an increasingly consequence averse society. We don't like to let anyone fail -- be it students, little league teams, or poorly run businesses. Well, failure is a part of life, and it is frequently an important instructor. If one (or more) of the Big 3 has to close up shop, that will provide many important lessons for all the other car makers, "foreign" and domestic, and every other industry.

Most of all it well tell our society that failure is still an option in this country.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Obama Not Liberal Enough?

Many liberals are starting to question if Barack Obama will be the liberal change agent they believed he would be.

It could very well be that he's a closet moderate who's only appeared to be liberal for the last 10 years or so.

It could also be that he knows the best way to get a liberal agenda enacted is to go slow, appear more moderate than he is, and slip far left policies in quietly after most of the country has stopped paying attention.

I'd love to be wrong, but I suspect we'll see a stronger move the left in time. We've seen that Mr. Obama is a master at political maneuvering. I think this is just more of the same.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Headlines 12/5/08

U.S. job losses worst since 1974...
...but not 1935, just for a little perspective.

Democrats want a more assertive Obama
Why not? They've been pretending he's the president for 6 months now.

With photos, it's all about timing

Perfect Timing Photos
I don't know if these are manufactured or candid, but they're pretty cool.

Obama's Citizenship

When the question of whether Barack Obama was really a US citizen came up months ago, I assurred my wife that this was all nothing because there was no way someone would be able to get as far as he had without proving his bona fides.

Apparently I was wrong. (Don't tell her.)

Whether or not the Supreme Court ultimately decides to hear the Donofrio case on this question, one thing has been made perfectly clear:

No one asks for proof of citizenship when you file to run for federal office.

How is this possible? As ridiculous as it sounds, if this were not the case, the question of Mr. Obama's citizenship would not have lasted this long.

Frankly, I don't think the Supreme Court will take this case for one simple reason: What will happen if they find out he's not a citizen? More to the point, what would happen if we had to say he could not be president (and I'm not just talking about a Biden presidency).

At the same time, can we have this hanging out there for the next 4-8 years?

Congress, please fix this. This can't happen again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Headlines 12/2/08

Cleaning out my archive...

Does Europe Believe in International Law?
Apparently only when it's convenient. Can you say "hypocrits?" I knew you could.

Kyoto: Not For All The Coal In China
Further evidence Kyoto was a bad deal for ... well, everyone but China and India.

Environmentalism is the New Religion
"Environmentalists are just like creationists." Nuff said.

American teens lie, steal, cheat at 'alarming' rates: study
A wonderful look at the future of America.

Teens who watch Sex in the City more likely to get pregnant
Is anyone really surprised?

Monday, December 1, 2008

2nd Amendment an Anti-Terror Tool

As Americans began to celebrate God’s blessings on our lives, people on the other side of the world were being killed like targets in a shooting gallery. Many Americans, being Americans, have responded by wondering how best to kill anyone who tries the same thing here.

Many states already permit citizens to carry concealed firearms; is it time for a national call to arm the citizenry? The states have shown it can be handled responsibly. People who have been properly screened, trained, and tested can be a citizen militia. The police cannot be everywhere, even less the army, but if people everywhere are capable of dealing with mad gunmen, incidents here like what occurred in India last week would not have the same loss of life – if they even occurred (who, after all, wants to attack people who are armed?).

In the days of post-9/11 airport security, I have found myself thinking that the problem that day wasn’t that the terrorists had box cutters but that everyone else didn’t. When everyone is unarmed, the guy who sneaks in a steak knife wins the fight. When everyone has a knife, the guy who sneaks in gun will probably win – but the folks with knives will have a much better chance than those without one.

Which leads me to the obvious objection – guns and knives are no use against bombs or falling airplanes. That is absolutely true and absolutely beside the point. There is no way to prepare yourself for every possible scenario, but that shouldn’t prevent you from preparing for all you can.

And if Hamas-style bombings were to be attempted here, there is at least hope that armed citizens might be able to identify and neutralize these people before they are able to detonate a bomb in a mall, school, or church.

Do Christians dare take a life to defend their own? That’s a topic for another time.
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