Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It is a close call, but I'd say go where the life might be, use ice-penetrating radar to see if any shadowy forms are swimming around, and maybe invest some "stimulus" funds in an icepick.
UPDATE 2/24: Good.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The hellhounds are running.
The hellhounds are running
On Clinton Road.
A two-lane highway
Surrounded by parkland
And public utility land.
It is isolated,
That stories of ghosts
And witches abound.
There is a pond
Where the ghost of a boy
Will rise up to warn you
Not to drown
Like he did.
If a tree falls
In front of your car,
For another tree
Will soon fall
Behind to trap you.
An old iron smelter
Is a witch’s tower
And demonic rituals
Are performed in there.
Do powerful forces
Rule on this asphalt?
Or do bored local teenagers
Make up these stories?
The hellhounds are running.
The hellhounds are running
On Clinton Road.
Copyright © Kenneth Silber.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Interestingly, though, none of the above involves either (a) circumvention of reasonably well-established physical laws or (b) a scenario that humans would concoct because they desperately want it to be true. And so, it's arguable that some things people have been known to believe, including some religious beliefs, are even less plausible than the orbiting teapot.
-- Resorted to poor economic logic and crude scapegoating by criticizing executives for redecorating offices.
-- Signaled an obeisance to feel-good but likely ineffective arms-control vagaries in the matter of space weapons.
-- Moved to raise fuel-efficiency standards, allowing unfunded mandates rather than a straightforward pricing of carbon emissions to dominate policy.
Let's see which file grows faster.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Historically, though, there have also been times when pundits seem to have influenced government, as with Commentary in the late 1970s paving the way for much Reagan foreign policy, and supply siders at the WSJ doing the same for tax policy. It also may be that Eliot's thesis is particularly true in foreign policy, dependent as it is on confidential communications. Economic policy in recent months was evidently influenced, at least for a while, by academic economists saying put government money into the banks, rather than buy up their bad assets.
In the film Arguing the World, Irving Kristol said that a journal with a circulation of 100 people could change the world. As for the impact of little-read blogs, that remains to be seen.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I wonder how different the quality will be if he has one term or two.
While Mr Obama prepares for his first hours in office, staff at the Cooley Distillery in north Co Louth are already preparing for his last day in the White House.
Today an American wood cask has been filled with a special blend malt whiskey which will be put in storage to mature before being given to the US President-elect when he eventually leaves the White House.
Four months after persuading the City Council to name James Madison Park after local resident Tony Cerda, Edward Samaniego is taking aim at Alexander Hamilton Park.
Pomona has no business honoring the first secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795), Samaniego told the City Council on Monday.
"Alexander Hamilton was in that famous duel with Aaron Burr," Samaniego noted. "We certainly don't need any more examples of people shooting people as role models in Pomona!"
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The page you requested wasn't found at this location. The Obama Administration has created a brand new White House website, and it's possible that the page you were looking for has been moved.So, change has come.
Monday, January 19, 2009
As we start the Obama era tomorrow, Im looking forward to seeing how he implements the arts in the educational curriculum. The ridiculousness of cutting arts in the schools hopefully can be behind us, and the kids in the schools can partake in creative stuff, other than the usual, verbal minutia. Reading some articles about Obamas appreciation for the arts, gives me some hope.
It will take time of course. But according to this the white house may become an art house, unlike anything we have seen before.
As for how Obama has performed as president-elect, I give him a solid B+, which is considerably better than I expected. The fairly centrist tenor of his appointments and statements is a very welcome surprise, and something that I have a moderate amount of hope will carry forward into actual governing. A left-liberal friend of mine was recently delighted to hear me say I thought Obama's performance so far was "pretty good." What I should have added is that if I continue thinking Obama's pretty good, that has glum implications for how my friend will think of him.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
(Via Karol Sheinin, who's embarrassed for everyone involved.)
Something moved her to apologize to the black woman for slavery.
“For two strangers riding a train to Oakland to have that conversation about race, it wouldn’t have been possible if Obama hadn’t been elected,” she said. “I always felt open with my colleagues, but to say to a stranger on the train, ‘Hey, I’m sorry about slavery,’ that just doesn’t happen.”
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
On a related note, this could be interesting, and I'll try to be there: "Has the Right Hit Bottom Yet?"
I'm not sure someone so unhandy, so to speak, would be assigned the task of handling the bomb.Lesson: Don't show up at a battle of wits half-armed.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Even girlfriend Helen asked me recently whether the possibility of a foe buying all the land around me to starve me constitutes coercion, if I’m for strict property rights, and I pooh-poohed the likelihood of the hypothetical — but the next day, as it happens, I heard the boss’s assistant where I work loudly freaking out at workmen in the hall who, with the permission of our building owners, were planning (in effect) to trap us inside the ACSH office for an hour while they spread super-strong glue all over the corridor — without advance warning — for construction purposes.His principles remain mostly intact, however.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
The stock boom continued in 1999, with a particular frenzy developing around Internet startups. “Dot-coms” snapped up investment dollars, with little regard to the plausibility of their business plans. Indeed, worrying about a company’s lack of profits — or even revenues — seemed old-fashioned amid the focus on “eyeballs” and “mouse clicks.”
New companies sprang up in every imaginable Internet niche. Pets.com, seller of kitty litter and such, became famous for its sock-puppet mascot. Kozmo.com offered free delivery of small goods, like pints of ice cream. Whoopi Goldberg became spokeswoman for Flooz.com, provider of e-currency. Lou Dobbs quit as CNN financial anchor to start celestial Web site Space.com (and this writer joined him there on the “launch team”).
The euphoric excesses were symbolized that summer when Stephan Paternot, co-founder of social networking site theGlobe.com, was filmed by CNN dancing with his model girlfriend on a table in a Manhattan club, wearing plastic pants. “Got the girl. Got the money. Now I’m ready to live a disgusting, frivolous life,” he said, disgustingly.
But the dot-com boom was not all waste and delusion. From the perspective of almost a decade later, it is clear that companies such as eBay and Google have made lasting contributions, in wealth, jobs and beneficial technologies. As the nineties drew to a close, a mix of genuine innovation and errant overreaching brought stocks to new highs.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Whole thing here.
Democrats lost both houses in the 1994 electoral spanking, and soon House Speaker Newt Gingrich bestrode the Capitol like a Colossus. Republicans got various items of their Contract with America enacted, such as child tax credits and tort reform. But the Republican Revolution, as it was called, would start fizzling by the end of 1995, when a budget clash with Clinton resulted in an unpopular shutdown of parts of the government.
Equity prices, having treaded water in 1994, began an ascent that would reach unprecedented heights in subsequent years. Both political parties would seek some credit for this before too long. Democrats would note the huge gains in share prices that occurred in the Clinton era, and Republicans would point out that the early Clinton years had seen only modest rises, with the real gains starting after the 1994 election.
It may well be that divided government, combining a free-market Congress with a deficit-cutting administration, helped improve the investment climate. If so, both parties could be right in claiming a part in the stock gains of the 1990s. But a great deal of that boom was manufactured in Silicon Valley, and other places far from Washington. Technology drove the market and the economy to places few expected they could go.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
A particular theme of Schneider’s is that conservatives after World War II embraced populism and mass democracy, contrary to the Old Right’s cloistered elitism and deep pessimism. I’m not one to praise everything about modern conservatism (particularly its talk-radio populism) but a modernization away from America First and Albert Jay’s Nock’s “remnant” was much needed.
The second book is Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan, by Kim Phillips-Fein, a historian at NYU. This focuses on business support for conservatism, and Phillips-Fein is a basically unsympathetic observer of business conservatives such as DuPont’s Jasper Crane and GE’s Lemuel Boulware. But these free-market ideologues seem like a breath of fresh air compared to today’s corporate leaders, often found lining up for government bailouts.
Phillips-Fein notes that conservatives in the 1970s were instrumental in getting companies to be more politically active, but it would have been interesting to point out (which she doesn’t) that much subsequent lobbying was put to non-free-market ends. Still, her view of conservatism at least is not conspiracist (as the title might suggest) or dismissive (many left-liberals don’t seem to have read, let alone written, a book about conservatism).
Both books are worthwhile. Schneider’s deepens one’s appreciation that conservatives have been through tough times and internal divisions before, emerging with new ideas and energy. Phillips-Fein’s reminds one that some very talented people worked against the odds to make conservatism successful over past decades, even if she is not among their admirers.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The film does an excellent job of telling the story. I understand some details have been changed (as far as I know, Hitler did not slam the tabletop thus causing the briefcase to topple and then be moved), but many of the details correlate well with history. The film doesn't entirely capture Stauffenberg's eclectic personality (he was, unusual for a Wehrmacht officer, a poetry afficionado). Still, it shows what an extraordinarily courageous and charismatic individual he was.