Thursday Linkorama

  • Heh.
  • Old trees in danger.
  • In praise of frozen veggies.
  • Our long nightmare is finally over.
  • Hotel death ray!
  • Political Links:

  • Great news. The Maryland cyclist who recorded a cop has been vindicated. Photography is not a crime.
  • Once again, Neal Boortz proves he can’t do the math on the Fair Tax. If wages go up, so do prices, Neal. And that is the most likely outcome of implementing the Fair Tax.
  • You’re Full of Shit Watch: Dahlia Lithwick. This one particularly gets my goat because all branches of government are supposed to defend our rights. Congress can not pass, the President can not execute and the Courts must not convict on laws that violate the Constitution. Pretty simple, no? No? I guess not.
  • More on Elizabeth Warren’s research. Just to be clear: I don’t think her studies are deliberately misleading; I just think they’re flawed. But that doesn’t matter because she’s very popular among Democrats. And her research reinforces their views.
  • Weekend Linkorama

    Non-political links (sort of):

  • I love the idea of Dan Savage’s it gets better project to encourage gay teens to survive their teenage years. But I agree with McArdle; this should be a universal meme. Teenage years are tough for everyone (although obviously worse for gay teens in oppressive environments). They should all be told it gets better. I was about as miserable as a well-off white kid can get as a teenager. But I’m happy now.
  • I’ve been sitting on this for a while, trying to think of something profound to say. But there really isn’t anything to add. By any standard, the last decade was the best in human history. But no one can believe this because we have a media and a populace always focused on the negative.
  • A wonderful review of the iphone … from a blind man.
  • Political Links:

  • Great. Dim-bulb legislators in my state want to ban research on synthetic cannaboids. Nice. Better dead than high, I guess.
  • I’m not going to mince words: Richard Blumenthal is scum. His record is that of an attention-grabbing attorney who sees no limit to the power of the state and has tried to leverage his legal career into a political one. Earlier this year, like most moral crusaders, he was caught lying about his past. Now he has managed to bully Craiglist into sending adult services back underground beneath the reach of the law. Thanks goodness the Village Voice won’t be bullied. I never thought I’d be pulling for one of the founders of WWF to win an election; but that’s what I’m doing. This man can not be given any more power.
  • Thursday Linkorama

    Non-political link:

  • I’ve stayed in places like this.
  • Political links:

  • Oh, Jesus, another notrovery. Obama misquotes the Declaration of Independence. I guess he’s a secret atheist in addition to being a secret Muslim. Update: the quote was apparently ad-libbed. So much for American Thinker’s body language analysis about how seeing “their creator” on the teleprompter made Obama uncomfortable.
  • The FBI did spy on war protest groups. Does anyone care?
  • Congress, having not even bothered to pass a budget, gives itself extra vacation time to campaign.
  • I think the most distressing thing about the DC mayoral election is that Obama basically let one of his strongest supporters twist in the wind.
  • Banks? Really?

    TMQ is on a tear this week about movie depictions of bank robberies, specifically the new hit The Town. Typical bank robberies don’t even involved weapons, apparently.

    TMQ is right, but here is my question: who robs a bank, anyway? Bank robbing is so 1930’s. Banks don’t have any money — as we just found out with the bailout — except for exploding dye tablets. If you really want to make money as a crook, get involved with high finance or government.

    But then again, that rarely involves shoot-outs.

    Update: More here. Affleck says they interviewed real bank robbers to make the story more realistic. I wonder if it they understood that the criminal might be exaggerating their own exploits?

    Weekend All-Politics Linkorama

  • Glenn Beck, passionate voice of reason. What?!
  • Breyer has since backed off his comments that Koran burning is not covered by free speech. But no one should be surprised. The flag burning decision split the Court across ideological lines. Scalia voted for freedom; Stevens voted against.
  • Dalmia destroys D’Souza on the whole “Obama is a secret Kenyan anti-colonialist” bullshit. It’s an awesome read.
  • Probably the most depressing electoral result this week was not the victory of Christine O’Donnell, but the defeat of Adrian Fenty and the likely strangling of Michelle Rhee’s attempts to fix the worst set of schools in the country. Meanwhile, signs of hope are found in Oakland.
  • The Obama Administration has revived the “disparate impact” approach to civil rights. One of the many bad results — you can’t refuse to hire convicted criminals.
  • Putting Obama on the Couch

    I take an extremely dim view of attempts to psycho-analyze politicians. It’s tough enough opposing their policies. It’s a massive waste of time to sit back and try to figure out what motivates them.

    Which brings me to the latest “conservative” stupidity. Dinesh D’Souza, who I used to like, has issued his latest ignorant screed trying to argue that Obama’s worldview comes from the father he barely knew. That’s he’s a secret Keynan marxist anti-colonialist who hates America. I’m not making this up. That’s pretty much what he says.

    Ignore for the moment that D’Souza viewpoint is formed based on extremely selective reporting of various nontroversies about Obama. For example, he cites the speech — as many do — in which Obama said he believed in American exceptionalism just as Greeks and Brits believed in their exceptionalism. The Right Wing mouth foaming over this is not only weird, but stupid. They always elide the following lines where Obama vigorously trumpets American exceptionalism.

    He also sites the nontroversy of Obama wanting NASA to forge international collaborations with Islamic countries, which turned out to be another overblown story. And then he turns to some selective quoting of Obama’s book to prove his point.

    Even if you ignore the shitty reporting, the basic premise is garbage. Here’s Reason:

    Sometimes things seem incredible because they are. Dreams From My Father is in fact a narrative of Obama’s non-relationship with his father. The whole point of the book is that the author’s paternal heritage is delivered in fragments during brief and usually troubled encounters. While Obama goes on about his father’s misfortunes — many of them clearly self-inflicted — in Kenya, there is no evidence for the claim that the elder Obama bequeathed his son a coherent or even a partial political philosophy.

    The book does track a foggy course through Obama’s political growth, toward one inescapable goal: Obama’s formation came through and in reaction to his mother, a New Deal leftist whose social views were slightly more advanced than those of her cohort. There’s no need to go to Kenya for the kind of indoctrination into Frantz Fanon and socialism D’Souza describes: It was widely available at Occidental and Columbia. In fact, the book’s literary interest — and possibly its biggest political misdirection — rests in Obama’s putative skepticism about the leftish consensus of the sixties.

    This sort of crap is damaging. Frum, on Newt Gingrich’s disgusting repetition of D’Souza’s crap:

    Rush Limbaugh has been claiming for almost 2 years that President Obama is bent upon “redistribution” and “reparations.” Following D’Souza, Gingrich has now stepped up to suggest that this redistribution is motivated by anti-white racial revenge. If Obama wants to expand health coverage, tighten bank regulation, and create government make-work projects it’s not because he shares the same general outlook on the world as Walter Mondale or Ted Kennedy or so many other liberals, living and dead, all of them white and northern European. No, Obama wants to do what he does because he thinks like an African, and not just any kind of African but (in D’Souza’s phrase) “a Luo tribesman.”

    It is to vindicate this African tribal dream that Obama wishes to raise the taxes of upper-income taxpayers and redistribute money away from these meritorious individuals. D’Souza contends that Obama is acting to vindicate his father’s supposed dream of overthrowing the global order and ending the global domination of the white race over other peoples.

    Obama’s ideas are consistent with those espoused by a long line of leftists from McGovern down. What is the point in dragging in the dad he barely knew to assert that his worldview is based on some pan-African Marxism?

    It’s to make him sound sinister. Because “liberal Democrat” or “New Deal democrat” or “Illinois liberal” don’t sound nearly as sinister. In short, it’s to play the racial angle.

    It’s bad enough that the Left constantly accuses Obama’s critics of being racist. Do we have to hand them this kind of ammunition to make their accusations stick?

    The Greek Solution

    Michael Lewis has an amazing look at what went on in Europe’s newest failed state. It’s a tale of corruption, influence-peddling, tax-evasion and populace spoiled rotten by a welfare state. Reading it, I can’t see any hope for Greece’s future.

    Reading it, I’m also once again grateful that I live in this country. Greece is not unusual, it’s the norm of human history. Contempt for the rule of law, business through corruption and bribery have defined more countries than anything else. As bad a politics gets in this country, the corruption and influence peddling is small potatoes compared to what hit Greece. The Democrats may be selling us out to Big Labor and the Republicans may no clue about fiscal responsibility. But at least their honest about it.

    Weekend Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • Oh, men lie about pants size. I totally misread the topic of that article.
  • A funny video about “hysteria” in the 19th century.
  • Angry Man is right. Death to the penny!
  • Political Links:

  • Lovely stuff from the anti-vaccine movement. Also, read the end-note, in which the resurgence of whooping cough has killed six babies in California.
  • Some good words on the Iranian situation from … holy shit, Fidel Castro? That can’t be right.
  • Ooh! Ooh. Koran Burning Men went to high school with Rush Limbaugh, which means … means … something?
  • What is it with this Administration that they simply can not tolerate crticism?
  • Ah, rent control. Is their no wealthy demographic it doesn’t benefit?
  • Defensive medicine apparently costs $46 billion. I think that estimate may be low. Still, it’s something to reduce, not the primary driver of healthcare costs.
  • Question: are the Keynesians ever right? I mean, ever?
  • Andrew Sullivan lets fly on the Obama Administration’s increasingly dispiriting approach to civil liberties and fundamental rights.
  • Labor Day Linkorama

  • Now this study must be 100% accurate.
  • While this is about politics, I mainly link to it for the inspiring story of Sam Meas, running for Congress three decades after his family was butcher by the Khmer Rouge.
  • Political Links:

  • Why do I like Anne Applebaum, apart from her amazing book Gulag? Because she’s admitting she was wrong on Iraq. I think half the problems in this country would go away if people could admit when they’re wrong.
  • You’re Full Of It Watch: Joe Biden.
  • Daily Kos has a fit because the deficit commission is likely to recommend “cuts” to Social Security (see previous postings on the nature of these “cuts”). The idea, here, however, is supposed to be compromise. If we get spending cuts, I’ll acquiesce to tax hikes.
  • How can illegal immigration be going down? Obama is turning this place into a welfare state and not enforcing the border, right? Shouldn’t that be drawing more of them in, complete with anchor babies?
  • more on the ridiculous CPSIA.
  • A double whammy from Lenore Skenazy. A horror story of Zero Tolerance stupidity; and why these measures are stupid to being with.
  • The dim bulb legislature in California condemns the FTA that would open markets to their products.
  • Russ Roberts tackles the myth that WW2 ended the Depression.
  • Midweek Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • Anne Frank’s tree dies.
  • I wonder if the people who hate big time CEO’s will go after big time law firms.
  • In defense of dating coaches. I could have used one back in college.
  • This is why I sometimes think Neal Boortz has a point: that every year, we should execute at least one HOA board.
  • America’s Got Talent is not as good as the British version. But holy crap!
  • Political links:

  • Whoda thunk it? Politicians don’t like being called out on their lies. Case in point? The stimulus.
  • So is the Right Wing going to go after this Ground Zero hate-monger?
  • The Democratic Congress forces us to include FM tech on our phones so that the NAB can make a few hundred million. And people wonder why our economy is stalled. It’s a thousand thing just like this.