Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making One's Way in the World

Despite all the legitimately negative news that accosts us every day, there are still current examples of what historically made America great.  Here's one of them.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Glee of the Bureaucrat

A sad tale, made worse by the facts that we're paying for these people and that their numbers and proportions are growing inexorably.  I'm less and less hopeful that enough people will find the words and the courage to speak out to turn this tide...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Washington Monument Strategy

I didn't realize this had a name, but it explains why every story about government cuts talks about police and firemen.  It's part of the obfuscation that an informed voter has to be able to see through.

(And on the subject of the sequester, voters should also realize that even with the "draconian" cuts it will cause, overall government spending will still go up!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The "French Way"

This letter from the CEO of Titan International to the French Industry minister sounds about right to me:

"The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.
"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!"
And his last line is almost out of Atlas:
"Sir, your letter states that you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are?" he wrote. "Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ayn Rand was Pro-Government

It's a little surprising that this even needs saying, but sadly today it does, and Don Watkins does a very good job of it in this blog post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Atlas Shrugged Book Club

I've been meaning to re-read Atlas Shrugged for a while now (and indeed am hoping to run a reading group in the not too distant future too), so if time permits I'm going to try to follow along with the Atlantic's new book club.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Tribute to Lars Hedegaard

This is a very worthwhile tribute from Mark Steyn.  Among other important observations:
As most of you know, Lars was charged, acquitted, re-charged, convicted, fined 5,000 kroner and forced to appeal to the Supreme Court – for the crime of expressing his opinion about Islam. He won, but he lost. He lost three years of his life. The point of these new heresy trials is that the verdict is ultimately irrelevant – the process is the punishment. After I saw off the Islamic enforcers in my own country, their frontman crowed to The Canadian Arab News that, even though the Canadian Islamic Congress had struck out in three separate jurisdictions in their attempt to criminalize my writing, the lawsuits had cost my magazine (he boasted) two million dollars, and thereby "attained our strategic objective—to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material."
I should perhaps mention too, as with most things I post, I don't agree with the opinions carte-blanche.  For example I don't think that Europeans cater to Muslims in order to get their vote, the cause is much deeper and worse, it's the lack of self-esteem (or even actual self-loathing) that many Europeans feel which makes them incapable of standing up for any Western principles.  Muslims just happen to be the barbarians at the gates, if it's not them it will be a self-grown dictator of Hitler/Stalin stripes who will collect their souls.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A Good Question

I think Tom Bowden raises a good point in this blog post where he examines the (non-)reporting of a disallowed corporate merger.

But here’s what interested me most about the articles. Normally, I would expect reporters to ask how a newsworthy event affects their readership’s values. I expect reporters to ask the questions their readership would want answers to. So, for example, if the big story is a ruptured oil pipeline, I would expect news reports to discuss the expected impact on prices at the pump, or the possibility of supply shortages—problems that would have practical impact on their readers.
Here we have, in effect, a ruptured merger. Is it too much to ask that reporters dig into the facts about what, if anything, was lost when the deal died? Most readers of prominent news outlets have some kind of practical stake in shipping, either as businessmen who need parts and products delivered, or as private individuals who send and receive packages. On behalf of such readers, I would expect reporters to care about whether the merged companies could have provided lower prices, faster deliveries, a wider service area, new ideas in logistics—or, if not, what else explains the efforts behind the aborted acquisition.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Appreciating the Rule of Law

I often think that living under the rule of law, even when the laws aren't perfect, is vastly under-appreciated.  My biggest example is the Roman Empire, where historically 100 million people lived the best lives ever until the 1700's or so.  This story of some Mexican towns "going vigilante"  reminds me again how difficult it is to secure the rule of law (i.e. of how many ways decent people could go wrong in trying to establish an objective system of law) and thus makes me appreciate it from that perspective too.