Saturday, February 09, 2008

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

As I commence reading, I'm continually reminded of an old Star Trek episode called Patterns of Force in which some kind of Federation scholar named Gill uses Hitlerian Fascism to turn around some impoverished planet.

From Wiki:

Gill is barely coherent, but explains that he never meant for any of this to get out of control. He instituted Hitler's Natinal [sic] Socialism upon the lawless Ekosians because he believed that it is the most efficient system of government ever devised [emph. mine]. He explains he only wanted to bring order to the people of Ekos, and it worked until Melakon gained control, and took it one step further to rid the planet of Zeons as Hitler tried to annihilate the Jews. Kirk tells Gill that he must recall the invasion fleet headed to Zeon.

"Zeon," subtle. I checked the index but did not see a Star Trek reference. Given the author's (and my) proclivities, I was disappointed.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I love Wal-Mart

Ok, I'm a lawyer who makes decent money. On the other hand, I was raised by a mom who always espoused the "Scots" theory of watching one's pennies (at least she didn't say Jewish). As a result, I love Wal-Mart and buy most of my necessities there (t-shirts, DVDs, and the like...ok, maybe they're not all necessities).

I'm always intrigued by this: when I'm there, I'm shocked by the apparent "poverty" of those there. They are buying HD TVs, are significantly overweight, and almost always talking on a cell phone.

I'm always also amused by the waiting lists for potential employees whenever a new store opens. If they treat their employees so badly, why do so many line up?

VDH on a somewhat similar theme:

Likewise I try to go a Wal-Mart or mall once a week just to survey crowds. Yesterday I saw a nasty fight between two 40-something obese people over the last mechanized cart available. By rough calculus, I would wager that 40% of the shoppers were clearly overweight. Vegetables and fruit are still cheap by world standards, and the notion of widespread hunger is simply not true. The plague that is killing the lower middle-class is obesity. In the Dr.’s office two weeks ago, every single male patient (I went to the urologist for kidney stones) was 40 lbs. overweight—or more.

Fayyad in Austin at his Alma Mater

Who knew the Palestinian Prime Minister was a Longhorn?

He was in town causing major traffic jams today. I wonder if he's a Vince Young fan. I can get him going to UT, but St. Ed's, the junior Notre Dame?

From the Wiki article:

Dr Salam Fayyad (b. 1952) is a Palestinian politician, who on June 15, 2007, was appointed the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. His appointment, justified by President Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", has not been confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the parliament of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Until that date, Fayyad had been the Finance Minister of the Palestinian National Authority in the Fatah interim government from 2002.

Fayyad is an internationally respected economist and politician. Salam Fayyad received his MBA from St. Edwards University in 1980. Dr. Fayyad has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of William A. Barnett and where he did early research on the American Divisia Monetary Aggregates, which he continued on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Star Trek 2008

Trailer. Minimalist, I like that.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mr. Romney

May I have my money back please?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reagan's Birthday

I can't take credit for this. It was from the Texas Rainmaker.

I wish I had been ten years older during the Reagan presidency. I gave it lip service but did not fully appreciate what was happening. Too wed to ABC at the time, I suppose. Sam was chatting from the left and George from the right.

What really kills me: so many of the lines he is so famous for, "My opponent's youth and inexperience..." and Peter Robinson's "...tear down this wall" were either really ill-delivered or almost flubbed.

Only Peggy Noonan's line about "touching the face of God" was truly perfectly delivered.

I know this is only personal, but I realize that I'm so affected by the video because of my Dad's recent death. Dad was handsome in the same way Reagan was...dark hair until the very end (I know, I know, Reagan cheated), tall, a crooked smile and conservative in absolute philosophy, borne of the Depression and WWII. (When I took Mom to "view" Dad, she called him "Hollywood Handsome" even in death.) Dad was a Marine in the same war that Reagan couldn't qualify for because of his eyesight (so he made movies extolling the virtues or US participation in WWII).

At least Dad lived the Reagan presidency and got to see it while he could truly appreciate it. End of the Cold War and the beginning of 25+ years of unprecedented prosperity (can we recall that the fax machine was just coming into being in the middle of his presidency?). The reason we have had so much productivity is because we taxed less and got out of the way.

It is so clear.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When I get depressed about the primary, I have to remember that...

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Monday, February 04, 2008

McCain and Romney

VDH on my holding my nose in November:

McCain’s Case rested

I’m neither a political scientist nor working for any particular candidate. Instead, as a historian I simply look at the Republican race empirically, as an observer who came to an understandable conclusion that (1) McCain is not that much more liberal than his Republican rivals or the actual record of recent Republican presidents such as Gerald Ford, the two Bushes, and Ronald Reagan. Note that if one uses conservative indices like the American Conservative Union’s, or those of the liberal counterparts like the Americans for Democratic Action, McCain scores in the 80s on the conservative side, Obama and Clinton below 10; on liberal scorecards the reverse is true. (2) Given the recent drift leftward, and the opening given by the Clinton drive-by attack on Obama, McCain has some chance to capture enough independents and moderates turned off by the Clinton roguery to squeak by.

That said, the race is not over, and Romney supporters should continue to promote his cause until the delegate count is decided. I understand that the base is angry not just because of McCain’s immigration or tax cut heresies, but mostly one of attitude and past pride in opposing conservatives. The complaint then is often that ["]McCain snubbed us once in an unnecessary condescending manner, but kisses up now since he can’t win without us”. Perhaps all that is true. But I would prefer to look to conservatives’ own self-interest—and it is not with Hillary or [Obama].

Ouch, Steyn on my man Rudy

From JWR:

Yet Sen. Edwards can't even claim the consolation prize of Most Inept Candidate of 2008. The Rudy Giuliani campaign went from national front-runner to total collapse so spectacularly that they'll be teaching it in Candidate School as a cautionary tale for decades to come. As each state's date with destiny loomed, Giuliani retreated, declining to compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina. "America's Mayor" turned out to be Hizzoner of a phantom jurisdiction — a national front-runner but a single-digit asterisk in any state where any actual voters were actually voting.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Ok, Giants just had what I think was their first punt after a terrible series about halfway into the second. I'm still pulling for the Giants.

Only commercial I've liked so far, Rocky Clydesdale commercial.