"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Monday, August 31, 2009

If That Ain't Country

Will Changes in Japan Force Changes in Washington?

Daniel Larison says yes.

Quote of the Day: Strong Drink

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss. - Robert Heinlein

Sunday, August 30, 2009

No More Crown Vics

Ford says it will stop selling the popular police cars in 2011.

Quote of the Day: Giving Thanks

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. - Will Rogers

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why I'm Not a Conservative, Part III

This week is the 54th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who was tortured, mutilated and then killed by white men after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi. Two men, who later admitted to the killing, were acquitted by an all-white jury.

There's a discussion of this over at FreeRepublic.com. Most there seem to think he had it coming.

Elder Crime Wave Strikes Japan

Senior citizens prey on society.

Quote of the Day: Ted Kennedy

Teddy was the Shemp of the Kennedys. - Sam Kinison

HT: Jonathan Rowe

More from The Onion.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby

Brian Doherty reminds us today would have been the King's 92nd birthday and points us to some great collections of his work.

Hey, Joe - Bluegrass Style

Competition and Health Care

John Stossel explains why real competition depends on profit and loss. Economist Steve Howritz, an old grad school colleague of mine, has more on competition as a discovery process.

Quote of the Day: Sex

Don't have sex, man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to start talking to them. - Steve Martin

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Unglamourous Kennedy

Virginia Postrel on Ted.

Moderate Drinking Late in Life Can Prevent Dementia

It's never too late.

What Bankrupted California?

Daniel Griswold says it wasn't immigrants.

Quote of the Day: Democracy

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. - H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Authentic Japanese Cuisine

This looks delicious.

Ted Kennedy and Airline Deregulation

David Henderson recalls what maybe Kennedy's only positive contribution to America.

Jessica Biel Is the Web's Most Dangerous Search

Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and Tom Brady also make the list. Tom Brady?

Quote of the Day: Corruption

The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates. – Tacitus

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cher, Kate Smith and Tina Turner Sing the Beatles

I miss the 1970s.

He's No Christopher Walken

But Twiter was made for this guy.

Quote of the Day: Government Benefits

Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. - Ayn Rand

Monday, August 24, 2009

Basketball Game Sparks Riot in Alabama Town

Some people take sports just a little too seriously.

Health Care vs. Health Insurance

Economist Don Bourdreaux explains why we shouldn't confuse one with the other.

Quote of the Day: Feeling Good

Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there. P.J. O'Rourke

Sunday, August 23, 2009

As Japan Sails Into the Sunset

Fabius Maximus has a roundup of recent articles on the Japanese economy and other matters.

70 Years Ago Today

Ilya Somin and Robert Higgs look back at the Nazi-Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

The Fed Didn't Save the U.S. Economy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks to George Selgin, one of my former grad school professors.

Anderson Silva Impesonates Other MMA Fighters

Quote of the Day: Power

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it. - Milton Friedman

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why I'm Not a Conservative, Part II

According to this story police are investigating the videotaped beating of a mentally man by a karate student.

The video was posted several days ago on YouTube and quickly made its way to a number of martial arts and sports message boards as well as some military discussion boards (the student and his instructor are both reportedly former Marines).

The discussion on almost every board I've seen has been pretty much unanimous on these points:

1. It was a criminal assualt on a delusional but harmless man who clearly stated he did not want to fight and tried to stop the fight several times.

2. The stomps to the head delivered by the instructor after the man was knocked unconcious would, as the police chief said the the story, have left him with severe brain damage if he survived them at all.

3. Taping and posting, years later, the beating made it even more sick.

Well, there was one board where the discussion followed a different path.

The folks at Freerepublic.com seem to believe

1. The beating wasn't that bad.

2. They guy deserved it.

3. That's the way things are on the street.

What universe do modern conservatives live in?

You can find the video pretty easily on the Web if you want to.

Debbie Schlussel, Classy as Always

Her hatchet job on Robert Novak is pretty typical of her work.

Cap and Tax

Robert Bradley explains why many environmentalists are unhappy with the Democrats' climate control bill.

Quote of the Day: The Enemy

As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government. - Dave Barry

Here's a story about that quote.

Will Healthcare Reform Endanger Second Amendment Rights?


Obama Admits Critics Were Right

After lowballing their deficit projectsions for months, the administration finally concedes their spending plans will cause a deficit of more than $9 trillion.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Robert Novak: The Right-Wing Hunter S. Thompson?

I always thought Thompson was the right-wing Hunter S. Thompson. Still, this is a fine tribute to Novak from a man of the left.

Immigrants and Violence

Former police officer and sociologist Peter Moskos points to the latest issue of the journal Homicide, where a number of studies indicate that places with lots of immigrants actually have less violence than those with fewer immigrants.

Quote of the Day: War

The State thrives on war - unless, of course, it is defeated and crushed - expands on it, glories in it. - Murray Rothbard

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roman Naval Battle Rocks New York

Yes, what I said.

Human Action

Ludwig von Mises' great work was published 60 years ago. The Freeman has an appreciation.

Executing Innoncent Men Is Cool

I expected this from Antonin Scalia. But I expected better from Clarence Thomas.

Racist Violence on the Left

Damon Root looks at progressive thugs.

The UFC and Fedor

Good column from Slate which raises the question Is what is in the best interest of a sport necessarily in the best interest of the individual athletes and vice versa?

Chuck Liddell Will Be on Dancing with the Stars

The Iceman will bust a move on the next season.

Cash for Clunkers Destroys Wealth

Economist David Henderson explains how.

Quote of the Day: Civilization

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. - Ayn Rand

MMA Fighter Anderson Silva Imitates Bruce Lee

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Feds Can't Even Waste Money Efficiently

Dealers have been paid for just 2% of the cash for clunkers cars they have accepted.

Warren Oates

Bill Kauffman looks back at the actor and self-descrived constitutional anarchist.

Have Seniors Paid for Their Medicare?


Quote of the Day: Extremism

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. - Barry Goldwater

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

RIP Rose Friedman

Milton Friedman's wife and writing partner passed away at the age of 98. Their book "Free to Choose" remains one of the best introductions to the economic way of thinking out there.

Why Newspapers Are Failing

There are five reasons, according to this long but interesting article.

Quote of the Day: Liberals and Conservatives

The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories—with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington. The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe—but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread. - Ayn Rand

Monday, August 17, 2009

Time to Leave Iraq

Doug Bandow writes:

The original neoconservative plan for Iraq–as an advanced military post for Washington to use in imposing its will throughout the Middle East–always was a fantasy. Whether Iraq can create a reasonably peaceful, stable, and democratic society remains very much up in the air. But its success will depend on its own efforts. It is time for the U.S. military to depart.

Quote of the Day: War

War is just one more big government program. – Joseph Sobran

Sunday, August 16, 2009

U.S. Residents Look to Mexico for Health Care

The latest in medical tourism.

Canray Fontenont and Bois Sec Ardoin

Quote of the Day: Foreign Policy

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She well knows that by enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom. – John Quincy Adams

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Neocon Urges No Surge for Afghanistan

Wow, for eight years Diana West has been one of the most bellicose and bloodthirsty columnists around. But it appears even she has had enough of not only Iraq but Afghanistan.

Quote of the Day: Government

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. – George Washington

Friday, August 14, 2009

It Turns Out We ar the Inscrutable Ones

Research shows that Westerners read faces better than East Asians That seems to be because East Asians focus on the eyes while Westerners take in the entire face.

Quote of the Day: Government

Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure. - Robert Lefevre

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For IBD: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Investor's Business Daily justly earned ridicule on two continents when it claimed that physicist Stephen Hawking would not survive under the United Kingdom's National Health Service. In fact, Hawking has survived more than 30 years of ALS as a British resident, including the first several years when he was did not enjoy the fame or acclaim he does today.

So how did the newspaper correct the error? Basically, it didn't.

Ezra Klein justly laughs at their latest efforts.

Quote for the Day: Public vs. Private

The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and the 'public sector' is, in fact, the coercive sector. - Henry Hazlitt.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Ayn Rand Biography

It sounds like it will be interesting.

I Figured There Are Maybe a Few Hundred Talk Show Hosts Out There

At most, I thought there might be a thousand. Who knew they are a a large segment of America.


Conservatives claim to be reading the works of community organizing guru Saul Alinsky. Rick Casey says they may be reading Alinsky but they don't really understand him.

Jesse Walker says the same is true of Democrats.

Quote of the Day: Politics

Politics itself is nothing but an attempt to achieve power and prestige without merit. - P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Did Investors Business Daily Really Say That?

Yes, an IBD editorial really said Stephen Hawking "wouldn't have a chance" under the the United Kingdom's government health service.

Hawking is a lifelong resident of the United Kingdom and one of the longest-lived ALS patients on record. What sort of idiot picks him out to demonstrate the failures of British health care?

Hispanic Assimilation

Fascinating essay from National Review that contains ammo for both sides in the immigration debate.

Quote of the Day: Sacrifice

It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master. - Ayn Rand

If Health Care Reform Passes, Protests Will Increase

Peter Suderman looks at France's health care system, and notes that as more health decisions are made by the political process, the greater the amount of protests.

Hell Ride

In finally caught this "Quentin Tarantino Presents" movies over the weekend. If ever a film tries so hard to be cool that is isn't, this one is it. Still, this tale of outlaw bikers seeking revenge does feature some of the most attractive women I've seen in any one film in a long time.

Why I'm Not a Conservative

Unlike Rush Limbaugh, I don't beoieve the caduceus is a Nazi symbol.

Monday, August 10, 2009

George Strait: El Rey

Give Malkin Credit

i'm not a big fan of Michelle Malkin's work, to put it mildly. But I think she scores some hits with this piece on "astroturf" protests.

Big Trouble in China's Choclolate City

Tensions are growing between Chinese and African immigrants.

Bank of Japan: Sex Shops and Brothels

How doe the Japanese gauge the health of the economy? They survey brothels.

Quote of the Day: Economics

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. - Henry Hazlitt.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Can Murdoch Charge for the Web?

Tyler Cowen says maybe.

Quote of the Day: The State

The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. - Frederic Bastiat

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Childhood Mortality

Bryan Caplan looks at the numbers and finds its much safer to be a child in the United States today than it was in 1950.

Afghanistan: This Is the Best They've Got

Several days ago, Col. Andrew Bacevich called for the United States to leave Afghanistan. Abu Muqawama points to this as the best rebuttal to Bacevich.

Kirk and Spock

HT: Andrew Sullivan

Atticus Finch and the Limits of Southern Liberalism

Malcolm Gladwell's latest article has been getting a lot of buzz. The again, it seems that everything he writes generates a lot of discussion.

The part that focuses on "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Southern rape trials is very interesting and makes some telling points. But one could almost read this as confirmation of the old Southern apologist line that things were getting better in the South until those evil civil rights activists and Yankees got involved, which I'm sure Gladwell doesn't mean to argue.

Quote of the Day: Big Business and Libertarians

Our quote of the day comes from Murray Rothbard:

For some time I have come to the conclusion that the grave deficiency in the current output and thinking of our libertarians and “classical liberals” is an enormous blind spot when it comes to big business. There is a tendency to worship Big Business per se … and a corollary tendency to fail to realize that while big business would indeed merit praise if they won that bigness on the purely free market, that in the contemporary world of total neo-mercantilism and what is essentially a neo-fascist “corporate state,” bigness is a priori highly suspect, because Big Business most likely got that way through an intricate and decisive network of subsidies, privileges, and direct and indirect grants of monopoly protection.

HT: Rod Long

Friday, August 7, 2009

Only a Democrat Could Say Today's Jobs Report Was Good News

And only a very dense or very partisan one at that. Yet some are crowing about the fact that the jobless rate dropped by a tenth of a percent, largey because many people are no longer looking for a job.

More on how bad the numbers were fro the Washington Post, and more on how bad other economic numbers look from Mishs's Global Economic Analysis and tim Cavanaugh.

Quote of the Day: The Nature of Government

I made some changes to the blog, including adding at the top some remarks from H.L> Mencken that will serve as our first quote of the day:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

John Hughes Was Cool

I don't mean his movies. The man seemed to be pretty cool.

HT: Neal Boortz.

Headline of the Day

I knew judges think they are that powerful. I didn't know they were.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good Thing We Brought Democracy to Iraq

The parliament adopts more censorship.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has started censoring foreign books.

And in the Kurdish parts of Iran, Jalal Talabani is using lawsuis to squash the only newspaper in the region critical of him.

Fred Reed on the Hell That Is Mexico

He says it's even worse than you've heard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kane (Yeah, the Wrestler) vs. Barney Frank

There's no contest in this one.

More Transparency from Obama

The administration is withholding data on the cash for clunkers program.

Fear of a Foreign President

Jesse Walker tries to make sense of the birthers.

Maybe All Those Slash/Fic Writers Are on to Something

HT: Andrew Sullivan

Monday, August 3, 2009

So Did Cash for Clunkers Really Work?

No, it just compressed the normal level of sales into a shorter period.

Sheriff Joe Is at It Again

An investigation shows how he is using state funds for his jail on trips to Las Vegas and other vacation cities.

The Associated Press Claims Copyright to Thomas Jefferson's Words

The full story on how the AP wants to charges you to use a quote from Jefferson is here.

The American Conservative on the Birthers

Daniel McCarthy and Daniel Larison have a couple of good posts on those (such as Rush Limbaugh) who refuse to accept that Barack Obama was born in the United States. As Larison notes, polls show the birthers are very few in the rest of the county but they are majority in the South.

McCarthy writes

[P]seudo-conservatives already know, without the need for any birth certificate, that Obama isn’t a true American. For them, being an American is not only about being a legal citizen, but about a subscribing to certain beliefs. Knowing that Obama is a de facto un-American, it might make sense (for a paranoiac) to suspect that he’s not a de jure American either.

For the movement Right, being an American means 1.) that you support U.S. military actions, no matter how questionable their strategic, moral, or constitutional grounds; 2.) you support capitalism — that is, corporate capitalism as it exists in the U.S. (if you don’t endorse this kind of economics, you must be a socialist or Communist); and 3.) you’re suspicious of Mexicans, Muslims, and non-British Europeans, especially the French, who are socialists and military weaklings. There might be a fourth item on the list: you ought to drive the most fuel-inefficient vehicle possible.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

AMC to Remake "The Prisoner"

I'm not sure this needed to be done but I'll probably keep an eye out for it.

BB&T Wants Liberty, Not a Bailout

The New York Times profiles the company's former CEO John Allison.

An Author Without Borders

The New York Times writes about William Vollman and his new book on the Imperial Valley.

Sam Anderson's review of the book has gotten some buzz in the blogosphere.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maria Consuela Arroyo

Runaway Brides

It's a growing problem (and scam) in China.

$300,000 a Year?

How do I become a Japanese hostess?

Out of Iraq By Next Year

The New York Times hosts a debate on Col. Timothy Reese's call for most U.S. forces to leave the country quickly, which I linked to earlier.

The U.S. Should Get Out of Iraq ASAP

That's the perspective of at least one Army colonel.

Who Are the Entrepreneurs?

Interesting slide show from Business Week.