Saturday, January 22, 2011

State Nullification?

This would get some people's knickers twisted: "Maine, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming — are...mulling "nullification" bills, which contend states, not the U.S. Supreme Court, are the ultimate arbiter of when Congress and the president run amok." Idaho has already enacted such a law.
Back in 1799, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his "Kentucky Resolution,"...that "nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts... is the rightful remedy."

....If the U.S. president, Congress, and the Supreme Court get it wrong,...then Jefferson had it right back in 1799 when he wrote that states, as creators of the federal government, "being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction."
The Supreme Court would not be happy if the states told it to back off. Neither would the supposedly pro-federalism Republicans who applauded the Raich Decision. This might get interesting.

John Miller of the Associated Press has the story.

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Mazda Trilobite

Anyway, that's the way I read it in the Kam Swap Meet parking lot, but that was before my first cup of coffee.

It looked like a perfectly nice little SUV, and it seems the real name was the Mazda Tribute.

Maybe trilobites are on my brain, as I'm from Wisconsin, and the trilobite is the Wisconsin state fossil. I wonder if they tasted anything like lobster, to which they are apparently related. Of course, they are also related to spiders....

Wisconsin's legislators, having too little to do, have designated a lot of state symbols. Back in 1971 they made the Mourning Dove the state symbol of peace. Several years ago they also re-legalized hunting Mourning Doves so if we are so inclined, we can now gun down the state symbol of peace and eat it. Kind of refreshing, actually.


Friday, January 21, 2011

"a neat little swindle"

Charles Krauthammer:
Suppose someone - say, the president of United States - proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion.
Yep: That would decrease the deficit.
Most glaringly, the entitlement it creates - government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans - doesn't kick in until 2014. That was deliberately designed so any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures - while that same 10-year projection would capture 10 years of revenue. With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive - i.e., deficit-reducing - number. Surprise.
I'm so surprised.
Obamacare does not create just one new entitlement (health insurance for everyone); it actually creates a second - long-term care insurance. With an aging population, and with long-term care becoming extraordinarily expensive, this promises to be the biggest budget buster in the history of the welfare state.

And yet, in the CBO calculation, this new entitlement to long-term care reduces the deficit over the next 10 years. By $70 billion, no less. How is this possible? By collecting premiums now, and paying out no benefits for the first 10 years. Presto: a (temporary) surplus.
I am shocked, SHOCKED, that gambling is going on here. Politicians being dishonest? Isn't that their job description?

Charles Krauthammer has more in the Washington Post.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Every Now and Then This Guy Makes Sense

One of those radio radicals:
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner hosted a dinner for the guy holding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in prison, and the media does not get the irony of this at all. They're too busy running around chasing Sarah Palin and radio talk show hosts over "civility."....Jimmy Carter has won a Nobel Peace Prize as well, and Jimmy Carter also attended Hu's dinner.

So you had two American Nobel Peace Prize Winners effectively honoring the head of a country who's holding 2010's Peace Prize Winner in prison --
More here.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Ominous Addendum

Stephen Steinberg apparently doesn't like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1965 report on ‘The Negro Family.’
Moynihan offered no specific policy recommendations for accomplishing that end...but he also tacked on an ominous addendum:

After [the repair of the black family], how this group of Americans chooses to run its affairs, take advantage of its opportunities, or fail to do so, is none of the nation’s business.
How black people choose to run their affairs is none of the nation's business? Surely Moynihan spoke in jest! Otherwise....

In any case, Steinberg takes the position that culture does not cause poeverty. The whole thing is here.

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Wisconsin Battle Flags of the Civil War

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison has 180 flags from the Civil War. Meg Jones has a nice story about them in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since the battle flags were used to signal the location of specific groups of soldiers, the men holding those flags were primary targets for the other side:
If a man wanted to live, he didn't carry his Civil War unit's flag onto battlefields...

Every color bearer serving in the Iron Brigade, which included the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry, at the Battle of Gettysburg was killed or wounded.
As one flag bearer went down, another would take up the flag, until he, too, was shot too badly to hold on. And then another would take his place.

I've seen the two flag poles at the museum which were carried by the men of the Iron Brigade at the Battle of the Corn Field. They look like they were chewed by rats.

More here.

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HUD Isn't the Only One

Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe pass some more suggestions:
Other 10-year Cato spending cut estimates: Scrapping the departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development saves $550 billion; ending farm subsidies would produce nearly $290 billion. Cutting NASA spending by 50% would save $90 billion. Repealing Davis-Bacon labor rules produces $60 billion. Ending urban mass transit grants would save $52 billion. Privatizing air traffic control, as other nations have done, saves $38 billion. Privatize Amtrak and end rail subsidies and save $31 billion. Reform federal worker retirement, $18 billion. Retire Americorps, $10 billion. Shutter the Small Business Administration, $14 billion.
Those would make a decent start.

More here.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ed Koch Defends Sarah Palin & "Blood Libel"

Ed Koch, former Democratic mayor of New York City:
Today the phrase "blood libel" can be used to describe any monstrous defamation against any person, Jew or non-Jew....

...How dare Sarah Palin, cried the commentators, use that phrase to describe the criticism of her by those who blamed her for creating the atmosphere that set Loughner off in his murderous madness. Some took the position that it proved their ongoing charges that she is not an intelligent person and probably did not know what the phrase meant historically. In my opinion, she was right to denounce her critics and use blood libel to describe the unfair criticism that she had been subject to.

Why do I defend Palin in this case?....We should denounce unfair, false and wicked charges not only when they are made against ourselves, our friends or our political party but against those with whom we disagree.
Good for Ed Koch. I bet the Dems don't seat him next to Jimmy Carter at the next Presidential Nominating Convention.

The whole column is worth reading.

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Honpa Hongwanji Temple of Honolulu

Valerie, Kathy, and I trotted off to the Hongwanji Temple the other day for a short tour, and I grabbed a few pics.

Here is their big Buddha, a present from the main temple in Japan when the current temple here was finished in 1918. The Buddha is apparently rated at one level below a National Treasure, and is 800 years old or so.

Maybe someday I'll find one so nice at the swap meet. But then again, maybe not. Anyway, here it is:

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Here it is in place. The temple itself isn't particularly interesting, but the altar area is:

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TSA Incidents

At least one US Representitive is unhappy with TSA's performance. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.):
“We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else.”
Do tell.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

John Lott Jr Responds to the NYTimes


I'd have thought they would learn that it is now easy to refute them. But maybe their core audience, shrinking though it apparently is, no longer cares.

There are many sayings in academia, but one of them is: "Beware the single source."

Those who get all their news from the New York Times might be well off to think about that one.

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