Mark Steyn laughs to keep from crying:
Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side . . .
Well, I mean, I assume he was laughing when he wrote that.
Update: Really? Really?
Crooks and Liars explains the "10 Immediate Benefits of (Health Care Reform)." Here's the first: "Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday."
Kill yourselves. Seriously. Just kill yourselves, you miserable parasites.
And, by the way, that C&L post lists only nine benefits... well, 10 if you're especially naive. I assume that's federal math.
Robinson Jeffers (1941)
George Will is dripping with contempt for Barack Obama's "successes" in Copenhagen and with health care "reform" in his Tuesday column: "It was serendipitous to have almost simultaneous climaxes in Copenhagen and Congress. The former's accomplishment was indiscernible, the latter's was unsightly."
And that's just the lede!
The fainting couches are getting quite a workout lately at the Media Matters offices. Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday opined -- possibly facetiously, but I can't say for sure -- that a New York Times writer who blogged about the environmental benefits of contraception should go the extra green mile and kill himself. Earnest liberals were purple with indignation.
So overtaken with the vapors are Limbaugh's foes that they missed the obvious reference.
Life's short and hard like a body-building elf
So save the planet and kill yourself
If you're feelin' down-and-out with what your life is all about
Lift your head up high and blow your brains out
Evidently, Andrew Revkin is not a Bloodhound Gang fan, either.
As another philosopher once asked: How will I laugh tomorrow when I can't even smile today?
He lost his aunt, he went through a divorce. He had two f---in kids.
His husband turned out to be a user, a cheater, and now he's going through a custody battle. All you people care about is….. blog traffic and making money off of him.
HE’S A HUMAN! What you don’t realize is that Bill is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about him.
LEAVE HIM ALONE! You are lucky he even gave talking points to you BASTARDS! LEAVE BILL ALONE!…
That would have been my sub-headline for this piece at The New Republic: "After Souter: Will Obama Move the Court?" (The headline on the RealClearPolitics link was "Will Obama Move The Court Leftward?")
The answer author Tom Goldstein offers is "Who knows?" I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "Yes." I have no better or worse reasons than Goldstein has. And he doesn't really answer the question. Matter of fact, don't even bother clicking on the link. Forget I mentioned it.
Iain Murray observes the scene in Washington D.C.:
It turns out the the Park Service wasn't very happy about a million suspicious teabags being taken into Lafayette Square, and so forbade the organizers of the D.C. Tea Party from doing so. I overheard a reporter tut-tutting about how badly organized this was. Yes, it's such a shame when amateurs attempt to organize a protest, isn't it? This sort of thing should be left to the professionals at MoveOn . . .
So these are the dangerous right-wingers rallying against "the price we pay for civilization," eh? They can't even defend their right to keep and bear tea!
...that federal prosecutors couldn't figure out how to put a corrupt politician in jail.
(Obama's) remarks came in a “60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by an incredulous Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.
“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asks at one point.
“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft says.
“No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama says, with a laugh.
It's hard out there to be a president trying to fix the worst economy since
1992 1982 1968 1932 1890 forever. But don't worry. The Obamas will be just fine.
When it comes right down to it, tax revenues will ultimately trump moral objections. (Caveat: Drug legalization runs afoul of other economic and government interests -- the benefits of the former would not trump the interests of the latter.) So I couldn't help but chuckle at this story in Time magazine: "Will the Recession Doom the Last Sunday Blue Laws?"
Of course it will! Why? Quite simply, because "an extra day of sales could give (states') foundering budgets a much-needed shot of revenue" for social services, health care, education and other pricey perks of the 21st century welfare state. Opponents say selling booze on Sunday "undermines safety and tears apart families," but isn't that what 911, the emergency room, and Child Protective Services are for?
As a matter of fact, California just raised its liquor tax (among a slew of other tax increases) to close a $42 billion budget gap in a $145 billion budget. California, like France, has great wine and a massive welfare system ever in need of revenues to support it.
Times like these are enough to drive a man to drink. And times like these require states to repeal antiquated laws. So you'd better make it a double. It's for the public good.
"'Vic Tayback is dead.' For those of you who don’t know, those four words are right wing code for, Barack Obama is a Muslim — pass it on…"
Americans realize, I hope, that government does not control the weather. Government can barely function in the sunshine, much less in a hurricane. All the fretting and fussing over the hurricane that's reportedly headed for New Orleans should instead remind people about the precise limits of government. As a wise man once wrote:
The average man, whatever his errors otherwise, at least sees clearly that government is something lying outside him and outside the generality of his fellow-men -- that it is a separate, independent and often hostile power, only partly under his control, and capable of doing him great harm. In his romantic moments, he may think of it as a benevolent father of even as a sort of jinn or god, but he never thinks of it as part of himself. In time of trouble he looks to it to perform miracles for his benefit; at other times he sees it as an enemy with which he must do constant battle. Is it a fact of no significance that robbing the government is everywhere regarded as a crime of less magnitude than robbing an individual, or even a corporation? In the United States today it carries a smaller penalty and infinitely less odium than acts that are intrinsically trivial -- for example , marrying two wives, both willing.
What lies behind all this, I believe, is a deep sense of the fundamental antagonism between the government and the people it governs. It is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population for the benefit of its own members. Robbing it is thus an act almost devoid of infamy -- an exploit rather resembling those of Robin Hood and the eminent pirates of tradition.
When a private citizen is robbed a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before. The notion that they have earned that money is never entertained; to most sensible men it would seem ludicrous. They are simply rascals who, by accidents of law, have a somewhat dubious right to a share in the earnings of their fellow men. When that share is diminished by private enterprise the business is, on the whole, far more laudable than not.
Once again, the source is H.L. Mencken, from "Memoirs of a Subject of the United States," in Prejudices: Sixth Series, which was published by Knopf in 1927, just a couple of years before the crash and at least six years before FDR launched his New Deal and ruined us all.
A bit of wisdom, for whatever it's worth, in the midst of convention season generally and Obamamania in particular:
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
There is seldom, if ever, any evidence that the new government proposed would be any better than the old one. On the contrary, all the historical testimony runs the other way. Political revolutions do not often accomplish anything of genuine value; their one undoubted effect is simply to throw out one gang of thieves and put in another. After a revolution, of course, the successful revolutionists always try to convince the doubters that they have achieved great things, and usually they hang any man who denies it. But that surely doesn't prove their case....
The ideal government of all reflective men, for Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone -- one which barely escapes being no government at all. This ideal, I believe, will be realized in the world twenty or thirty centuries after I have passed from these scenes and taken up my public duties in Hell.
Courtesy of H.L. Mencken, in "Matters of the State," from the long out-of-print "Prejudices, Third Series," published by Alfred A. Knopf in the year of our Lord 1922. Suffice to say, Mencken was an optimist.
Damn, I can't believe I missed this. One of the greatest pianists (and not just jazz pianists) of the 20th century died Sunday. Oscar Peterson was 82. And although Peterson did not play especially well in his last years, the result of a stroke in 1993, his talent always managed to shine through. Leave it to Terry Teachout to write a most fitting tribute:
Peterson, who died on Sunday, was one of a handful of jazz musicians to have cultivated a virtuoso technique comparable to that of the greatest classical instrumentalists. In part for this reason, he never got along well with jazz critics, most of whom were (and are) too musically ignorant to appreciate the near-unique nature of his achievement. ... when he was good, no
Best Yuletide ever.
No links. Too lazy. (Read: Far gone on cheap wine.) Use your imaginations, why don't you?
And now, the airing of grievances: You monkeys are shiftless, lazy and smelly. You drink too much and post too little. Raising the traffic on this blog to more than a dozen a day would truly be a Festivus miracle.
Peggy Noonan questions the evangelical zeal of Republican primary voters:
I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough.
...this Kant character is a real scumbag. Vote
The latest issue of Imbibe magazine contains a feature on 50 gift ideas for the discriminating boozehound (my term, not theirs). In it, I made three happy discoveries. The first is a limited-edition whiskey-barrel bitters by Fee Brothers. The second, after a visit to Fee Brothers' website, is the addition of two new bitters -- grapefruit and lemon -- alongside the tried-and-true peach, orange, mint and old-fashioned flavors. Alas, Fee Brothers does not sell direct to the public. But the third discovery may be the best: a fine website called Kegworks, which sells Fee Brothers and Regan's Orange bitters as well as mixing supplies and, of course, keg equipment.
I personally guarantee that the Monkeys would sell way more than 242 books. Hell, I know at least a dozen straw... er, literary busboys and dishwashers who would run out and buy copies for themselves and their families on the very first day of publication!
Have your people contact our people. Let's make a deal.
Curious news from the UK: "Human race will 'split into two different species.'"
According the Daily Mail, evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics suggests, "the human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures."
Proof that even the beautiful people are not exempt from the laws of physics!
Well, son of a gun. The last of the Rat Pack is dead. Joey Bishop was an underrated talent, one of the last of a nearly extinct breed of comics raised on vaudeville and burlesque. Sinatra called him "the hub of the wheel."
Bishop dispelled much of the mythology that grew up around the group of loungemen and crooners. They were, at bottom, consummate professionals. "Are we remembered as being drunk and chasing broads?" he asked in a 1998 interview. "I never saw Frank, Dean, Sammy or Peter drunk during performances. That was only a gag. And do you believe these guys had to chase broads? They had to chase 'em away."
Raise a martini glass to Frank, Sam, Dean, Peter and Joey tonight.
...even if they don't know it.
At last, iTunes Music Store has added George Harrison's catalogue. After seven years, I can finally scratch All Things Must Pass off my wish list. But isn't it a pity -- isn't it a shame? -- that the actual Beatles catalogue still isn't available?
If what Dean Barnett writes today is true, then we have about eight readers. And since five of them are regular contributors, that means we're about as influential as the average newspaper editorial page. Congratulations, fellas!
But will he read this post? Maybe. There is no doubt that he will not link to it, however. Because that would drive traffic this way and that would be wrong.
Lileks wonders about the contemptable Larry David and smoke alarms: "[I]t was a hard-wired smoke alarm. Do they have batteries? I question the premise."
It's a good question. I can tell you, however, that it's possible for hard-wired smoke alarms to have batteries. I have them. They suck.
Of course, hard-wired smoke alarms need batteries. Why? Well, what if the power goes out and there's a fire? That's called the Apocalypse, in which case, you won't be home anyway. So what generally happens is, the batteries die. And the smoke alarm starts to beep. And beep. And beep. Loudly. And, invariably, you have high ceilings and you have to drag the big ladder in from the garage at 3 a.m. But what happens if you're all out of 9-volt batteries? Then what do you do?
Incredibly, the damned things continue to beep. Without the batteries, I mean. And after you rip them out of the ceiling that's 12 feet high. They still beep. They. Do. Not. Shut. Up.
So Larry David is right. When the hard-wired smoke alarms, you have no choice but to move. Evidently there's more to it than that, but I haven't watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in a number of years. But the premise is sound. Believe me. I know.