June 30, 2004
Speaking of McCain...
GOP convention-al wisdom: Conservatives are still the crazy aunt in the attic
June 29, 2004
Buckley surrenders the helm, but not the battle
Conservatives in this country -- at least those who have not made their peace with the New Deal, and there is a serious question of whether there are others -- are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is a dangerous business in a Liberal world, as every editor of this magazine can readily show by pointing to his scars. Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality of [sic] never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.
June 26, 2004
Reforming Christian fiction
June 25, 2004
John Kerry seeks to increase unemployment among unskilled workers, Part Deux
John Kerry says he wants to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour from $5.15, and his proposal has us thinking: Why stop there? Why not $10 an hour, or $20, or for that matter whatever a U.S. Senator makes? If Mr. Kerry thinks government is obliged to guarantee Americans a certain level of income, why not simply elevate everyone at least into the middle class?
The debate is over how many poor people Mr. Kerry would throw out of work.
Clinton: Et tu, Monica?
June 24, 2004
Christopher Hitchens slaps Michael Moore silly
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of c--- would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
June 23, 2004
Property rights: When the protector becomes the abuser
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort;
as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as
that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end
of government, that alone is a just government which impartially
secures to every man whatever is his own.
-- James Madison
In my town, I've seen otherwise-conservative politicians on the city council grossly abuse the power of eminent domain in the name of neighborhood 'renewal'. This outrageous practice (which is also used to replace low-tax-revenue homes and businesses with high-tax-revenue ones) can be found just about everywhere, as the Castle Coalition documents.
(Quote courtesy of The Federalist's "Founders Quote Daily")
Dan Rather, an army of one
June 20, 2004
"Behold the magical comma"
Those who know me know that I'm a stickler for proper spelling and grammar, but my track record on punctuation is a bit more shaky...except for my lonely crusade to banish the use of the apostrophe when making a word plural. This cartoon illustrates the frustration that I feel at times when I see otherwise rational people write something like: "I have two car's." Shudder.
June 19, 2004
John Kerry seeks to increase unemployment among unskilled workers
June 17, 2004
"Rather Biased" -- it's more than just a slogan
"I liked it more than I thought I would," he said, "more than I was prepared to like it. Who knew that Bill Clinton could write this well?"
"As Presidential memoirs go," he added, "on a five-star scale, I give it five."
Liberals in the media keep complaining that conservatives keep complaining about liberals in the media, but who can blame us when we step in the evidence every which way we turn?
Things that make you say 'RRRRRRRRR'!
-- Certify in the end credits that no one was paid anything or received anything of value for including cigarette smoking scenes in the movie;
-- require strong, independent anti-smoking advertising before films depicting smoking by actors, and
-- do not identify any cigarette brand in a movie.
I suppose that it's admirable to seek to eliminate smoking from our culture by going after the "pushers" -- and Hollywood is certainly among them. But the AMA is setting its sights too low. Smoking is far from the only public health menace being promoted in the movies. Why not demand an 'R' rating on movies depicting consumption of Coca-Cola, coffee, buttered popcorn, Chinese food, fettucine alfredo and Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
And while we're in Full Nanny Mode, let's nail movies in which major characters fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom. What kind of example are we setting for our kids? Oh, and movies in which a character "shoots up" must carry a disclaimer assuring our youth that only clean needles were used.
What with the moral sewage that Hollywood has been pumping out, one might be forgiven for not even noticing the cigarettes.
June 16, 2004
CBO: Social Security may survive until 2052 (albeit in persistent vegetative state)
Klan, Nazis, Garfield...whatever
"Anyone notice that Garfield has black stripes, but his owner is white?" asks a reader called setht_1. "Makes you think." When another reader asks for elaboration, setht_1 replies: "The stripes are black, the owner of the cat is white. It doesn't take a genius to see the implications."
Abusing the dead
As Republicans try to cloak President Bush in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, their biggest obstacle may be Mr. Reagan's own family.
Ronald Reagan's clearly- and publicly-stated positions on abortion and other Life issues leave the reasonable person beyond a reasonable doubt that Reagan would have opposed embryonic stem cell research, even if it held forth a possible cure for his own disease. However, Ron Jr., Patti and Nancy all support such research, and therefore George W. Bush is a horrible Reagan-hating cretin for opposing it.
The Manchurian Senator
"Meryl has the Hillary hand gestures totally down pat," my insider tells me. "I don't know whether this is something she picked up subconsciously or an idea Jonathan gave her, but she's totally dead on. You feel like you're watching Hillary Clinton conspire to take over the world. The Republican Hillary-haters should totally eat this up."
June 14, 2004
Nutty judge blocks deportation of pregnant woman
"Isn't that child an American citizen?" he asked, according to the Kansas City Star. "If this child is an American citizen, we can't send his mother back until he is born."
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
In rejecting the federal government's request to lift a temporary stay granted Mrs. Dick in April, Judge Wright pointed to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which grants unborn children equal protection under the law if their mothers are targets of criminal violence.
June 11, 2004
June 10, 2004
A Time for Choosing: then and now
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."
This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments. ...
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. But we can not have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
June 9, 2004
Promoting abortion in Reagan's name
June 6, 2004
Ronald W. Reagan, 1911-2004
June 4, 2004
Birthday pencils: Higer in fiber, not nearly as tasty
Another dishonest wage gap study
Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, said the disparity is in part due to women who interrupt their careers to have kids at a time while men continue to climb the salary ladder. When these mothers return to work, they often can't make up the loss in earnings, she said.