Tuesday, January 31, 2012


A trend from Investor's Business Daily.

Journalism: What's the difference between Republican and Democratic political operatives who end up on the wrong side of the law? In the "unbiased" press, only the Republicans' party ID and connections merit attention.

Monday, January 30, 2012


An argument that students should spend some time growing up after high school before they attend university.

Easy enough, you say, especially if you get into a decent school. But here’s the rub: Having access to an education is just the entry fee. To really learn something (as opposed to completing homework and navigating the occasional test), you have to be ready to receive that knowledge—to inhale it, with aggression, satisfaction, even glee.

To that end, I propose a theoretical pre-college regimen called “grownup training.” Specifically: six months spent working in a factory, six in a restaurant, six on a farm and six in the military or performing another public service such as building houses, teaching algebra or changing bedpans. (Of course, mandated military or civil service between high school and college is nothing new. Austria, Brazil, Finland, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam all require between six months and two years of service. Israel demands three years from its men and two from its women, after which many would-be undergrads take what the English call a “gap year” to travel the globe before heading off to college.)


I can't say I am big on Romney (or for that matter any other Republican candidate) or rich fat cats, but I think it is unfair for the media and Democrats to go after Romney on the wealth issue. As Victor Davis Hanson points out, there are many super-wealthy on the Democrat side, but no one seems bothered by their wealth. I am especially interested in watching what happens to John Corzine after all of his hedge fund's money seems to have gone poof.

This week we heard that consumer populist and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is, by both net worth and salary, part of the One Percent herself — as well as a past consultant to insurance companies seeking to avoid litigant claims. All three of Barack Obama’s chiefs of staff were Wall Streeters; all three made their Wall Street millions in very little time; two had some sort of association with Freddie and Fannie. Peter Orszag of both OMB and Citigroup is emblematic of the technocratic class’s revolving door between “public service” and ever more enhanced billets back on Wall Street. And, fairly or not, even good handlers cannot keep Michelle Obama’s taste for the aristocratic life of high fashion out of the press.

Most universities are far more unfair to their part-time teachers than Wal-Mart is to their greeters. Robert Redford does not seem concerned that at least a few of his fellow HuffPo writers are paid almost nothing for their work. Al Gore would never ask an out-of-work pipeline worker to hitch a ride on one of his private jet swings. Hollywood predicates much of its production on the basis of non-union locations.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


From Emmett Tyrell, the conservative editor of the American Spectator.

How long have I been saying it? At least for 15 years, but in private I have been aware of it longer. Newt Gingrich is conservatism’s Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit but he has all the charm of barbed wire.

Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping. It is not as egregious as Bill’s, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out.

From the WAPO, "Time to Bring Back Bill Clinton."

It is tit for tat all the way when it comes to those two. Still sick, after all these years, of Clinton and his melodrama? Who can say that with a straight face and not be equally tired of Gingrich? Still feeling queasy about the character questions surrounding the Arkansas traveler’s sexual behavior? How does that hurt him in a world where Pope Limbaugh pronounces that it was a “mark of character” for Newt to ask his second wife for permission while cheating on her. If nothing else, Clinton vs. Gingrich might banish from campaign rhetoric all pious baloney about sex. Not a word could be uttered about Clinton’s impeachment, not with the hindsight that the married Javert of the House was at the same time fooling around with an aide named Callista down at the agriculture committee.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


From the Wall Street Journal.

Now, suddenly, we have headlines about the president's "war on the Catholic Church." Mostly they stem from a Health and Human Services mandate that forces every employer to provide employees with health coverage that not only covers birth control and sterilization, but makes them free. Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.

The irony, of course, is that the ruling is being imposed by a Catholic Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, working in an administration with a Catholic vice president, Joe Biden. A few years back the voluble Mr. Biden famously threatened to "shove my rosary beads" down the throat of those who dared suggest that his party's positions on social issues put it at odds with people of faith. Does he now mean to include Mr. Winters, Cardinal Mahony and Father Jenkins?


From the New Yorker. The New Yorker is hardly a conservative magazine, yet Dr. Larry Summers' (Obama's economic advisor) memo reveals some very shadowy decisions. It reveals how misleading his agenda was as well as the hypocrisies of the whole program. Among other things they recognized that the deficits were dangerous. And the issue of smearing Clinton to get elected is raised. This is hardly a noble presidential campaign.

A shorter analysis in the Blaze.

And Mickey Kaus has some criticism of Obama just checking boxes on memos and apparently not asking more questions about what he is signing. The President’s decision-making method–at least as described in the piece–seems to consist mainly of checking boxes on memos his aides have written for him. …

Friday, January 13, 2012


From the American Interest.

But a long-suppressed government report finally released by the Obama administration report is shaking the foundations of Head Start, and the news isn’t coming from right wing conservatives but from Joe Klein at Time magazine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012



The pipes bring back a lot of memories. From "We Were Soldiers" soundtrack.

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

When they come a wull staun ma groon
Staun ma groon al nae be afraid

Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear
Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears

Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me

Nair mair shall a see the sun
For a fell tae a Germans gun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun


On this visit to Yad Vashem I was struck by a quote from Kurt Tucholsky, a German-Jewish journalist who died in Nazi Germany in 1935: "A country is not just what it does--it is also what it tolerates."


This time in visiting Yad Vashem I was struck by a quote by a German-Jewish journalist, Kurt Tucholsky: "A country is not just what it does--it is also what it tolerates."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


An interesting study on unemployment and income levels for college graduates in different fields.