May 31, 2001
Soon-to-be ex Majority Leader, Sen.
Soon-to-be ex Majority Leader, Sen. Trent Lott has had a bad week. But he thinks he can be a good Minority Leader. Paul Gigot writes, "And he'll need to be, because, for all of his current silver-lining search, his own fate hangs on his performance in the next 17 months. If he can unite his troops and stymie Mr. Daschle, Republicans have a chance to regain Senate control in 2002. And Mr. Lott will keep his job.
"Life In the Minority"
Bruce Benson comments on recent
Bruce Benson comments on recent government police failures and considers free market solutions:
This doesn't mean that government should completely get out of law enforcement. Benson may be arguing along the same lines as those to back school choice. Competition from outside government can bring about needed reforms inside government.
"The Countervailing Trend to FBI Failure: A Return to Privatized Police Services"
Uber-DJ Paul Oakenfold is having
Uber-DJ Paul Oakenfold is having a marvelous year. His first foray into music scoring with the Swordfish soundtrack will arrive to the public in a few days. He's remixed Madonna's latest single. He will be touring with Moby as part of the Area One festival (think of it as Lollapalooza for the 21st Century). And he is the first DJ ever inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If you're curious about Paul's musical talent, I recommend his Global Underground: New York mix.
"Oakenfold's Perfecto World"
May 30, 2001
I'm always looking for new,
I'm always looking for new, interesting books. Powells.com makes finding them easier by offering a new book review daily from various online sources. Now, all I need is more hours in the day to get through my book pile.
May 29, 2001
The Supreme Court ruled that
The Supreme Court ruled that Casey Martin could use a cart on the PGA tour. Libertarian Party national director Steve Dasbach provided a good response:
The court is also displaying an inconsistency. This court allowed the Boy Scouts to determine who can be scout leaders and barred a gay man from participating, but it took away the PGA's ability to determine its own rules. In one case, an organization can make its own rules, while in another it can't.
Did President Bush I and Bob Dole, both big ADA supporters, expect a ruling like this to come from their efforts to help the disabled?
"Libertarians Criticize High Court Ruling In Casey Martin Case"
May 28, 2001
As of 5.22.01, here is
As of 5.22.01, here is the latest on Krispy Kreme coming to Wisconsin:
My mouth is watering right now.
May 26, 2001
Rich Galen points out that
Rich Galen points out that one-time Democrat Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) has more class than Sen. Jeffords (I-VT) when he switched parties.
Jeffords instead ran (and won) as a Republican and took lots of campaign cash from the GOP.
Galen also offers the interesting spin that Jeffords was the aggressor and that the Bush administration "will not be held hostage by a single Senator." Nice attempt, but something went wrong when the news came out of the blue that Jeffords was leaving the GOP. Jeffords' 2001 version of Pearl Harbor is a political loss for President Bush, but it's not crippling. Bush already has a major victory with the tax package that will soon be sent to his desk. Also, with the Democrats in control of the Senate any inaction can be blamed on Democratic obstruction.
"Mutt and Jeffords"
May 25, 2001
I noticed this from National
I noticed this from National Review on the Jeffords defection:
"After He’s Gone"
What an outrageous abuse of
What an outrageous abuse of authority! Washington, D.C. students were strip-searched during a jail tour to show them what would happen if they got arrested.
Who the hell do these teachers think they are and why did jailers go along with this?
"D.C. Students Underwent Strip-Search On Jail Tour"
A vote in the House
A vote in the House of Representatives signaled the end of school choice at the federal level. The House rejected President Bush's minor school choice proposal and also rejected a $50 million school choice test project. This issue is dead in D.C. because many Republicans voted against these tepid measures, and the GOP is the school choice party.
This does return the issue where it belongs--the states. (On a sidenote, I'm still searching through my copy of the Constitution trying to find the justification for federal involvement in education. If you know where it is, e-mail me.) This setback doesn't stop states like Wisconsin from expanding their own school choice programs. But since the feds waste billions, a smattering toward a free market in education would have been nice.
"House Rejects Bush Plan for School Choice"
May 24, 2001
Always the contrarian, Andrew Sullivan
Always the contrarian, Andrew Sullivan isn't worried about Sen. Petty's--I mean Jeffords'--version of Pearl Harbor. He's happy the tax cut will pass, and it can play into Bush's hands because Senate Democrats can be blamed for any inaction due to gridlock on the Hill. In fact, Sullivan actually applaudes Jeffords defection because Republicans like him can undermine the party. Sullivan writes,
May 23, 2001
The biggest RINO (Republican In
The biggest RINO (Republican In Name Only--but I prefer to call them "squishes") in the U.S. Senate is expected to leave his party tomorrow. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont isn't taking the expected hardball politics from the Bush administration very well and will hand over control of the Senate to Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and the Democrats. When Jeffords voted against Bush's tax-cutting plan and complained that the government didn't spend enough on education, did he actually think he would be treated with kid-gloves?
It shouldn't be a surprise that Jeffords is leaving the GOP. What should be surprising is how long he's stayed a Republican. Mark Levin points out that Jeffords has a history of not voting like a conservative, let alone a Republican.
When Jeffords announces he's leaving one positive result will be the end of the Strom Thrumon Death Watch. The Democrats won't care about Strom's demise if they already have control of the Senate.
May 22, 2001
The most backward nation on
The most backward nation on earth is starting to resemble Nazi Germany. Non-Muslims have to wear badges in public. It's like the yellow stars-of-David the Nazis forced Jews to wear for differentiation. What's next, segregating the non-Muslim population to protect the purity of Islamic Afghanistan?
"Afghan Taliban Orders Non-Muslims to Wear Badge"
Rachel, thanks for the link.
Rachel, thanks for the link. Here's one right back at you! You should be fine at George Washington University. You already know the Left is obsessed with social and human reconstruction.
Ah, to be young again. I'm not really old (only 26), but I miss the days of ranting and raving with wacked out Liberals at college.
Verbal Bitchsmack Blog
The late Edith Efron knew
The late Edith Efron knew that pure idealism in an imperfect world leads to cultism. People who look for simple answers to complex problems can become, in her words, "robots." But Efron has some solutions: "The prescribed regimen is six months of steady reading of specialized journals and books in a half-dozen fields;" and "he must look for fellow travelers."
May 21, 2001
The solution to the U.S.'s
The solution to the U.S.'s energy problems is increased electrical generation. The Bush administration is wise to support nuclear power as an effective method. Vice President Dick Cheney said it right when he said, "If we're serious about environmental protection, then we must seriously question the wisdom of backing away from what is, as a matter of record, a safe, clean and very plentiful energy source." No American has ever died from a nuclear power plant accident. The worst part is the nuclear waste, but with the development of new breeder reactors, it can be minimized.
"Bush Puts Energy Into Nukes"
May 20, 2001
John Podhoretz rips West Wing
John Podhoretz rips West Wing overlord, Aaron Sorkin with as biting a quote as I've read in a long time:
While Podhoretz correctly blasts Sorkin for his liberal snobbery, I have to say that I like the show more than John. I accept the fact that it's filled with liberals spouting off on their brand of Democratic soft-socialism, but I expect that because it is from Hollywood. Regardless of the ideological bent, The West Wing is exciting with interesting characters and real world situations. The writing is intelligent. The dialogue is fast-paced but still substantial. The viewer can envision themselves in the characters' shoes and wonder if they could make the tough decisions or play hardball as well as the people on screen.
May 19, 2001
Florida Democrats must be having
Florida Democrats must be having problems in finding candidates for governor if they've talked Janet Reno into considering running. The worst Attorney General in U.S. history has way too much baggage to win the highest office in the Sunshine State. Here are her major weaknesses: She was a shill for Bill Clinton for eight years. She allowed all those people to die in the Waco fire. She must bear some responsibility for the fiascos at the FBI. As head of the Justice Department, she should have looked into the management failures of Louis Freeh. She also has Parkinson's Disease. Lots of people freaked out over Vice President Cheney's chest pains. What about a serious neurological disease? Then there's the whole issue of allowing an innocent child to be sent back to the totalitarian prison island that is Cuba. The Cuban community would do their damnest to stop Reno from becoming governor. Their battle cry would simply be, "Remember Elian!" and the picture would be on every independent ad spent against her. Even a weakened Jeb Bush could trouce her "shaky" candidacy.
"Reno Considering Run for Fla. Governor"
May 18, 2001
The summer movie season will
The summer movie season will soon be in full swing with big guns "Pearl Harbor," "Angel Eyes," and "Shrek" opening soon. Out of all three, I most interested in "Shrek." The animation looks gorgeous, and the story seems to be the most entertaining. The spoofs on fairy tales reminds me of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
I'm worried about "Pearl Harbor." I can understand tacking on a love story; it can't all be about Japan kicking major American ass. But I worry that Michael Bay will alter the events and fail to give it the historical accuracy the event deserves. Will it be another "Saving Private Ryan"? I doubt it.
"Weekend Movies: A Sneak Attack on J.Lo & 'Shrek'"
Eazel closed up shop. It
Eazel closed up shop. It happened a few days ago, and I just found out about it via Bill. I wonder if this will affect Red Hat including Nautilus in their next distribution of Linux. I'm really tempted to install Linux on my old, no-name, beige box. Nautilus is supposed to be an easy graphical interface for Linux newbies, so I was going to wait for Red Hat to back it.
May 16, 2001
Rich Galen, writer of Mullings,
Rich Galen, writer of Mullings, is off to India. He's writing a travelogue starting with pre-trip preparations. One of the many things Galen had to do was get shots against all the nasty bugs that don't like Westerners. While sitting in a clinic in northern Virginia, he makes this observations:
Then there's this bit about shopping at America's biggest retailer:
This stuff is hilarious, and he hasn't even gotten to India yet.
"Currying Favor: A Trip to India" Chapter 2
Blogger is working again. No,
Blogger is working again. No, I didn't disappear or go on some wild, unexpected vacation. Since Blogger was sick, I decided to take a little break from info saturation.
I was frustrated like many other Blogger users this weekend when blogs weren't being published. But unlike many who felt the need to scream about what a lousy service Blogger is, I understood that Ev is one man who can only do so much. Last weekend, he went to his grandfather's funeral while also trying to fix Blogger. He didn't have to do that. If I was one of those screamers on the Blogger help boards, I would be embarassed over my temper tantrum. A free service that's created oodles of goodwill with thousands of people should be able to withstand its owner's time in dealing with death. By the way, thanks Ev for keeping Blogger going and keeping it free. You've made personal publishing so much easier.
May 13, 2001
While Blogger and I don't
While Blogger and I don't get along, I hope you had a good Mother's Day. If you're a good mom, thanks for being the way you are. If you forgot to thank you mom for all the incredible things she's done for you, log off and phone her NOW! TAM will still be here when you get back.
May 12, 2001
Cathy Young comments on the
Cathy Young comments on the Supreme Court's disturbing ruling that arrests for warrantless minor offenses are not unconstitutional. She doesn't see a consistent defender of the Bill of Rights among the nine justices. Justice Thomas comes closest, but he backed the arrest ruling.
May 10, 2001
The House of Representatives voted
The House of Representatives voted to withhold some U.N. dues because the U.S. got booted off the human rights commission (and was replaced with Sudan!). For whatever reason, anytime Congress can stop the U.N. from getting money to waste on worthless, collectivist, anti-American programs, I consider it a victory.
That's not to say the U.N. shouldn't exist. A forum where nations can come together to resolve disputes and foster new ideas is beneficial. The U.N. should be a place to talk. It shouldn't be an entity empowered to send peace-keeping troops to the far corners of the earth or to interfere in the legitimate sovereignty of nations.
"House Votes to Withhold Some U.N. Dues"
May 09, 2001
Mallard Fillmore on the U.S.
Mallard Fillmore on the U.S. Postal Service. And these bozos want to raise rates on their monopoly service.
Paul Gigot observes that "The
Paul Gigot observes that "The bigger story here is that Democrats have decided to turn judicial selection into political blood-sport."
Political Centrists are just big
Political Centrists are just big spenders who don't want to appear to be big spenders. Here's a quote from a story on the budget bill:
I have a feeling they just pulled that number out of thin air. If you gave any of these "centrist" Senators $6 billion, they wouldn't have any idea what to do with it. Yet they want to empower a failed federal bureaucracy with even more cash. They don't know what that money will be wasted on, and they won't care either because as long as it's devoted "to the children" it meets political muster. Homeschooling sounds better all the time.
"Budget Vote May Hang on Education"
Today, President Bush announces his
Today, President Bush announces his first batch of federal court nominees. This first group of 11 includes three women, two blacks, and two hispanics. While these nominees appear moderate, they all believe in "judicial restraint."
One person not on the list was Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA). The conservative lawmaker is opposed by both of California's liberal Senators.
Senate Democrats are upset. They may claim that they haven't been consulted enough, but it's all a ruze to delay these confirmations. Call it the Strom Thurmon Death Watch. The Senate is split 50-50. On any tie votes, Vice President Dick Cheney breaks the tie. If Sen. Thurmon (R-SC) were to move on to a better place (ie. die), the Democratic governor would probably appoint a Democrat to fill the post giving Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) control. A Democratic controlled Senate could then dictate what nominees would be approved. So, while people like Daschle and Sen. Leahy (D-VT) preen about not being adequately consulted, remember that this is one part of a bigger plan to stall judicial confirmations as long a possible. It sounds demented, but that's power politics in D.C. It's not pretty, but it's reality.
"Bush Set to Offer First Group of Judicial Picks"
"Bush Judicial Nominations Avoid Controversial Picks"
"Texan Likely Among Appellate Nominees"
May 08, 2001
Parents, don't fret anymore. A
Parents, don't fret anymore. A bunch of shrinks said it's ok to read Harry Potter.
I tried to finish the first book, but got bored 3/4 of the way through. I didn't find anything bad about the story or the characters. It just felt like I was reading a children's book (which I was). It's great seeing kids getting so enthralled by the stories. It's also reassuring that the Harry Potter books aren't filled with angst-ridden nihlists who see little good in the world. They are stories of good versus evil with good winning and Harry growing up in the process.
"Harry Potter and the Shrinks"
The U.S. won't violate the
The U.S. won't violate the ABM treaty if it builds a missile defense system. All President Bush has to do is tell Russia that it will withdraw from the treaty. Six months later the U.S. would not be bound by it. Of course, that assumes that the ABM treaty is still in effect. One of the parties to it (U.S.S.R.) doesn't exist anymore.
"What Does "Abrogate" Mean?"
Words mean things. So Mike
Words mean things. So Mike Potemra reviewed The Dictionary of Dangerous Words.
"Danger Zone for Double-Talk"
May 06, 2001
This passage illustrates why I
This passage illustrates why I hate most literary criticism:
Well, much of the postmodern pap I've read is often "confused," which makes it seem more complicated than it actually is. Deconstructionsim is simply a way for some academics to justify their PhDs by draping papers and books in jargon-filled, unintelligible, Marxist babble.
"Marxist Literary Critics Are Following Me!"
North Korea will suffer another
North Korea will suffer another famine this year. This tragedy can be avoided, but that would require that totalitarian state to give up its power and acknowledge the God-given rights all North Koreans possess. A European Union (EU) delegation visiting the Communist state offered fertilizer and ag equipment. They should have demanded privatization of agriculture. The profit motive would certainly do a better job of feeding those people than centralized planning.
Wisconsin Democrats in one house
Wisconsin Democrats in one house of the state legislature recently dumped their female leader. The Democrats have also never had a black or other minority as a legislative leader. Local radio yapper and columnists, Mark Belling, makes this observation:
That "company" is none other than the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Belling then concludes with this pithy remark:
"Democrats Preach Diversity but Practice as White Madison Males"
May 05, 2001
Pete Du Pont plainly describes
Pete Du Pont plainly describes the anti-trade protesters who pranced around Quebec City as socialists.
Those protesters don't believe in freedom and opportunity. They desire a false utopia where everyone is equal (in what way, I'm not sure), yet they fail to acknowledge that capitalism and free trade are what keeps them well fed, highly networked with their anti-trade friends, and allows them the time to protest.
"Quebec's Commanding Heights"
Lance is still alive!! Long
Lance is still alive!! Long live Lance!
Is Minnesota Nice dead? Drunken
Is Minnesota Nice dead? Drunken Twins fans threw stuff at ex-Twin Chuck Knoblauch. The story does go on to offer some explanations of increase fan rowdyness at games.
"Cheap-Seat Rowdyism is Sign of Troubling Trend"
May 04, 2001
Stephen Moore makes the unfortunate
Stephen Moore makes the unfortunate prediction that the federal budget may grow 7% this years--twice the rate under Bill Clinton. Moore also observes, "If Republicans allow the budget to grow at twice the rate it did under Clinton, many conservatives are going to start asking the legitimate question: what are Republicans good for?" That's why I consider myself a conservative first and a Republican second.
"The Grand Old Spending Party"
Colby, Colby, Colby! You lasted
Colby, Colby, Colby! You lasted until the end because you could win immunity at will, but your final strategy stunk. Why choose to boot Keith over Tina when you even knew you had a better shot to win the million bucks with Keith? Let's back up further. Why did you help get Jerri kicked off? It would have been smooth sailing to the cash when compared to Satan's love child. You were also a little too happy when the votes were tallied and you LOST. You were the happiest loser I've seen in a long time.
"Tina Takes 'Survivor 2'"
May 02, 2001
Ed Trudeau is a jerk.
Ed Trudeau is a jerk. Instead of finding another way of being competitive in the Burlington, WI gasoline business, he decided to cry to the government and complain that chain stations were charging too little. Yesterday, Trudeau was selling gas for $1.85 a gallon, but a competing station was selling gas for $1.69 a gallon. Cry Baby Ed is upset because $1.69 a gallon is below Wisconsin's minimum markup law. So, because of Cry Baby Ed's publicity stunt, people in Burlington are paying more for gas than what a station was willing to sell for. As with most predatory pricing laws, the minimum markup law doesn't help consumers, it helps businesses who don't have the ability to compete.
Cranky Ed should get out of the gas business. I recomend the balloon business; he's full of hot air.
"No Fueling: Rivals Spar Over Gas"
I fell for the myth
I fell for the myth that Thomas Jefferson sexually exploited one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Now, a group of scholars say the evidence is flimsy. This report won't receive anywhere near the same attention as the January 2000 one. That's because that one was used by Bill Clinton's sympathizers to defend an immoral man. If the mighty Thomas Jefferson could take advantage of a slave and still be considered a great man, how can we judge the "moral failings" of William Jefferson Clinton? The perfect response is that Jefferson never was accused of lying to a grand jury and giving the bird to the rule of law. An even better response is to deny Jefferson exploited Ms. Hemings in the first place. This new report does that.
May 01, 2001
Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush
Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush is rejecting the morally bankrupt argument that the only defense against nuclear war is mutually assured destruction. It's perfect that the first letters of that euphanism spell "MAD" becuase such a policy is mad.
A proper role of government is to protect its citizens from foreign invasion. Whether it's from a navy assault (i.e. Pearl Harbor) or a nuclear missile attack, the U.S. government has an obligation to develop the means for an adequate defense. Bush has the moral high ground by calling for a missile defense system.
Critics say that missile defense would violate the ABM treaty. However, Bush countered today by saying, "This treaty does not recognize the present or point us to the future. It enshrines the past. No treaty that prevents us from addressing today's threats, that prohibits us from pursuing promising technology to defend ourselves, our friends and our allies is in our interests or in the interests of world peace." The ABM treaty was signed in a day when Communist containment (rather than smart, moral confrontation a la Reagan) was the foundation of U.S. foreign policy. Now, the Cold War is over and only one member of that outdated treaty exists.
Critics also say that building a missile defense would create a new nuclear arms race. Nations would build more and more nukes to overwhelm any shield the U.S. would build. That may be a result, but that doesn't address the moral argument that the U.S. government should provide its citizens an adequate defense. Defense technology does not remain stagnant or it becomes obsolete. The U.S. army improves the fighting capabilites of its jets and tanks. Other nations respond by developing new weapons to penetrate improved tank armor and jets' steal capabilities. Only anti-miltary pacifists would object to improving military technology for fear of starting an arms race. With that thinking, why even bother moving past wooden clubs and stones?
Also, what's so bad about an arms race? The U.S. and the former Soviet Union ran one, and the good guys one. One nation is in the dustbin of history, while the other leads the free nations of the world. Anyone who thinks the U.S. couldn't win another arms race with China (or any other country) lacks any appreciation of U.S. economic dominance.
Mark this down as an important event in the George W. Bush Presidency.
"Bush Calls for Replacing ABM Treaty"
President Bush's remarks to the National Defense University
Anti-capitalistic feelings can't simply be
Anti-capitalistic feelings can't simply be swept under the rug. Today's protests world-wide demonstrate that many people think global capitalism is a threat. It isn't a threat, but with huge, complicated trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO, many will find loopholes and exceptions that benefit some while harming others.
Advocates of free markets and limited government must engage and counter the radical Leftist and anarchist collectivists who would love to see more "democratic" control over the means of production. It's no coincidence that these protests took place on May Day, an important Communist holiday. Pro-capitalist advocates (like myself) must make the case that capitalism is what allows millions of people to live more comfortable and productive lives. Capitalism is also the best chance for those gripped in dire poverty to rise out of their morass.