Millennials’ Political Views

don’t make any sense:

Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They’re for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they’ve heard of. They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

Hardly surprising, considering that they were “educated” in a government-school system, and then went to colleges infested with mindless leftist professors. And I hate that the pollsters say they’re more “liberal” than older people. No, they’re more leftist.


I know what I’m going to get my college-age niece for Christmas.

Che Is A Douche Shirt

[Update a couple minutes later]

Fidel Castro dies, Justin Troudeau hardest hit:

And so, from far-off Antananarivo, Madagascar, where he was attending the 80-government gathering of La Francophonie, Trudeau’s lament for the last of the Cold War dictators ended up confirming every wicked caricature of his own vacuity and every lampoon of the Trudeau government’s foreign-policy lack of seriousness.

Twitter lit up with hilarious mockeries under the hashtag #trudeaueulogies. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wanted to know whether Trudeau’s statement came from a parody account. The impeccably liberal Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic magazine, called Trudeau’s praise of Castro “a sad statement for the leader of a democracy to make.”

Whether or not Trudeau saw any of this coming, he didn’t appear to notice that he was delivering a speech to La Francophonie delegates in Madagascar that emphasized justice for lesbian, gay and transgender people, while from the other side of his mouth he was praising the legacy of a caudillo who spent the first decade of his rule rounding up gay people for “re-education” in labour camps. Homosexuals were irredeemably bourgeois maricones and agents of imperialism, Castro once explained.

To be perfectly fair, Trudeau did allow that Castro was a “controversial figure,” and nothing in his remarks was as explicit as the minor classic in the genre of dictator-worship that his brother Alexandre composed for the Toronto Star 10 years ago. Alexandre described Castro as “something of a superman. . . an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion engines, on stock markets. On everything.” As for the Cuban people: “They do occasionally complain, often as an adolescent might complain about a too strict and demanding father.”

This kind of Disco Generation stupidity about Castro has been commonplace in establishment circles in Canada since Pierre’s time, and neither Alexandre’s gringo-splaining nor Justin’s aptitude for eulogy are sufficient to gloss over the many things Cubans have every right to complain about.

….For all the parochial Canadian susceptibility to the propaganda myth that pits a shabby-bearded rebel in olive fatigues against the imperialist American hegemon, by the time he died on Friday night Castro was one of the richest men in Latin America. Ten years ago, when he was handing the presidency to Raúl, Forbes magazine calculated that Fidel’s personal wealth was already nearly a billion dollars.

In his twilight years, Castro was enjoying himself at his gaudy 30-hectare Punto Cero estate in Havana’s suburban Jaimanitas district, or occasionally retreating to his private yacht, or to his beachside house in Cayo Piedra, or to his house at La Caleta del Rosario with its private marina, or to his duck-hunting chalet at La Deseada.

Fidel Castro was not merely the “controversial figure” of Justin Trudeau’s encomium. He was first and foremost a traitor to the Cuban revolution. On that count alone, Castro’s death should not be mourned. It should be celebrated, loudly and happily.

Indeed. I’ve found the Trudeau worship even more ridiculous than the adulation of the God Obama. I’d be profoundly embarrassed to be a Canadian.

Orbital ATK

This is interesting. The company is getting into the orbital assembly business:

Phase one of CIRAS began in September 2016 and will last a total of two years. During this period, Orbital ATK will lead the team in maturing technologies necessary for robotic assembly of large space structures, such as next-generation telescopes or solar-powered structures for transport or communications. These capabilities include methods to connect or disconnect joints on a structure and address precision measuring and alignment through a 15-meter robotic arm and a precision robot. The team will also develop the technology needed to conduct in-orbit modular assembly of structures, allowing parts to be brought to space as needed via multiple launches, which simplifies the design of spacecraft and reduces cost. [Emphasis mine]

They must realize that this increases the risk to SLS, and their SRB production. Have they decided that this new business focus is a better bet?

Fidel Castro

He’s dead.

Hardest hit: Colin Kaepernick.

OK, actually, in the wake of that, NFL is hardest hit.

More substantial thoughts tomorrow.

[Update a few minutes later]

If we can lose a few more tyrants, that wouldn’t be a bad way to end the year.

[Sunday update]

Castro, Chavez, and “bad luck.”

[Monday-morning update]

A dictator dies a failure:

Lee Kwan Yew, Augusto Pinochet, Francisco Franco, Chiang Kai Shek, Park Chung-he: all of these dictators and authoritarians can mock Fidel Castro. They left their countries better off than they found them, and while many of them committed terrible crimes, they can also point to great accomplishments. Fidel has only the crimes.

Fidel never wanted “normalization” of economic relations with the United States. Normalization would mean the end of his dream. Without barriers, Cuban-Americans in Miami would buy back much of the island from its current owners, re-installing themselves as leaders in the society from which he hoped to banish them forever. Amrerican trade and American tourism would once more become the most important factors in Cuba’s economy, and American cultural and poltiical influence would flow unrestricted across the island on a tide of American media.

The openings Castro allowed, very limited in the Clinton years, wider in the Obama years, were forced on him by economic necessity. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s forced Castro to allow more remittances from Miami and to open up the island to more tourism to stave off a crisis at home. The collapse of Venezuela in the Obama years has once more driven Cuba to the wall. In the end, Fidel became what he hated most: a failed Latin caudillo, presiding over a corrupt and despairing society, propped up by the Catholic Church and the United States.

Nobody knew this better than Fidel Castro, and he must sometimes have cursed the fate that let him outlive not only the global socialist movement led by the Soviet Union but the regional socialist resurgence led by Venezuela. The failure of the Venezuelan revolution stripped the last shreds of credibility away from Fidel’s socialist dream. Not even a country awash in oil, facing no U.S. trade embargo, can make socialism work in Latin America. And it was the failure of Venezuela, and the loss of the economic subsidies that Chavez lavished on his mentor and inspirer Fidel Castro, that plunged Cuba back into its post-Soviet poverty and forced Fidel to remain silent as his brother Raul accepted the return of American tourists and an American ambassador to Havana.

Fidel leaves a shattered society and a desperately poor country behind him. Cuba is more divided today than it was when he conquered it; it is less able to shape its destiny than it was in 1959, and its future will likely be more closely linked to the United States after his death than before his seizure of power.

The good thing is, he died.

[Update a few minutes later]

Where’s the omelet?

As Heinlein once noted, a good cook can make a tasty meal from good ingredients, while an incompetent one can create an inedible mess from the same materials. Cuba had, and still has, great ingredients. As Will notes, Castro broke the eggs, but the meal never appeared.

[Tuesday-morning update]

Castro bet on the wrong horse, and died a failure.

Well, if you consider dying filthy rich by stealing from the people you oppressed and murdered a failure, I guess.


Trump Chooses A Physician

…to heal the health-care disaster the Democrats gave us:

While some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative, Mr. Price has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation. Many of his ideas are included in the “Better Way” agenda issued several months ago by House Republicans.

In debate on the Affordable Care Act in 2009, Mr. Price railed against “a stifling and oppressive federal government,” a theme that pervades his politics. His most frequent objection to the law is that it interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions — a concern he will surely take with him if he wins Senate confirmation.

“The practicing physician and the patient could not have a better friend in that office than Tom Price,” said Representative Michael C. Burgess, Republican of Texas, who is also a physician.

That’s “Dr. Price,” to you, New York Times.

I’m sure that the Dems will fight tooth and nail to prevent his confirmation, but Harry Reid screwed them with his nuclear option. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s how Trump’s HHS pick wants to replace Obamacare:

I wrote about the most recent version of Price’s plan in detail when it came out last year, but here’s how it would basically work.

It would repeal the text of Obamacare, and replace it with a system that would provide tax credits to individuals based on age. Though previous versions had varied the credits based on income, doing so by age is easier to administer (HHS won’t get into the problems it’s had with Obamacare in terms of verifying income for the purposes of the subsidies) and it also provides more money to those who have to pay more for insurance. In addition, there would be a one-time tax credit to put in a health savings account for routine medical expenses.

Unlike previous incarnations of GOP reform proposals, the plan only modestly meddles with the tax bias in favor of employer insurance, and also encourages small businesses to band together to purchase insurance through trade associations and allows for the sale of insurance across state lines. He also calls for providing grants to states to cover those with pre-existing conditions (one way Trump may square his promises to repeal Obamacare while offering something to those with such illnesses).

It’s got some problems, but it would be a huge improvement over the current Charlie Foxtrot. But then, almost anything would.

Flag-Burning Laws

Yes, Trump’s tweet (as are many of his tweets) was stupid, but most of his critics have no ground to stand on:

I mean, pretty much the entire Democratic party supports overturning Citizens United — a case in which a filmmaker faced punishment for criticizing Hillary Clinton — so what free speech principles are they invoking now?

If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have none at all.

[Update a few minutes later]

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!