Libertarianism

What it isn’t:

…journalists cover complex things they don’t know about all the time, and this is usually okay because they research and talk to people who do know about it.

Unless, of course, they’re writing about libertarians.

Not only do you not have to know the first thing about libertarianism to cover it for major news outlets, it is perfectly fine to a) decline to ask anybody who does know, b) make up your own version of what it is, and then c) lament the terribleness of this terrible philosophy or people you have just created. Cases in point: approximately every 10th article published by Salon, this piece by Damon Linker at The Week.

A lot of people seem to have difficulty with the concept of liberty.

If You Oppose Administration Policies

…you just might be racist.

My response:

[Update Tuesday morning]

The nation’s chief law-enforcement officer is trying to spark racial hatred:

For most, this is a joke. The meme that the bipartisan notion of “taking the country back” is somehow racist was long ago debunked. As the brief history lesson above demonstrates, however, no one is listening to this nonsense beyond the cult of true believers. Those for who racism is a religion – ubiquitous and unfalsifiable – nod in agreement at Holder’s self-aggrandizement. All others roll their eyes.

It is natural and right to be incensed over the attorney general’s statement here, but a 30,000 foot view suggests there is even more reason to take heart in his remarks. Only those liberals [sic] Democrats the party desperately needs to turn out in the fall are inspired by this rhetoric; that desperate need is met with increasingly desperate tactics. A glance at the polls suggests it will not be successful.

Let’s hope.

[Update a few minutes later]

The real problem isn’t racial animus, but Eric Holder’s animus toward his critics.

[Bumped]

The Border Tsunami

Have the Republicans forgotten how to play offense?

The first step to leading is understanding what you are up against. This border crisis isn’t incompetence. It isn’t bungling.

It is a calculated effort to crash the immigration system and fundamentally transform the nation. It is an effort to accelerate demographic trends and forever alter the nation’s culture. Until the GOP comprehends the full measure of Obama’s purpose, the GOP will be trapped in a prevent defense, never moving past complaints about Obama’s incompetence.

To the Obama administration and open borders groups, the tidal wave across the border is not an accident, and it is not a crisis. It is not even limited to unaccompanied children.

To be fair, they haven’t forgotten — they’ve never known how to go on offense.

[Update a couple minutes later]

The lie at the heart of immigration “reform” is exposed:

…does anyone think the people attending Obama’s White House meeting will accept any other new security measures that might actually succeed in blocking their co-ethnics from moving to El Norte – even as part of a “comprehensive” reform bill? They won’t. Once today’s illegals get their immediate “provisional” (i.e. permanent) legal status, security measures like E-verify (computerized checks of new hires), the border fence, and exit-entry visa controls will be subject to the same sort of counterattack as Obama’s request for more deportation “flexibility.”

Overcoming those attacks will only get more difficult as the Latino population grows — and it will grow even faster once a reform bill legalizes millions more eventual voters. It’s not hard to imagine that we’re at a tipping point: Implement border security measures now, or else they will never be implemented.

And the only way to implement them is to require they be done first, before any legalization — before the activists are free to attack them with full force (lest they jeopardize the eventual amnesty prize). The other way around, the McCain-Schumer-Obama way — ‘Legalization First, Security Later’ — is a swindle in the classic tradition. Just give us our amnesty. We’ll be there for you when it’s time to appropriate for the border fence. Really we will. You can trust us! You just have to wire the money to the Nigerian prince give us what we want first.

If we didn’t spot the fraud before, we do now.

Well, some of us do, anyway. Let’s hope it’s enough.

SpaceX And Orbcomm

This morning’s flight seems to have been a complete mission primary success. No word, though, on recovering the stage. No status updates on relighting engines, entry, etc. Reports of Elon’s and other plane circling the recovery zone. Sea state seems to be good, less than three-foot waves.

[Update a few minutes later]

My response:

More IRS Smidgens Show Up

It gets more implausible by the day:

Who knows how many of her colleagues and allies are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning that their e-mails to Lerner were destroyed and their instant messages not recorded? I think Lerner must have a sizable silent cheering section in Washington; people who are rooting for her to hang tough in pleading the Fifth and hoping that she does not go wobbly on them. I’ll bet her government retirement check is one check that never gets lost in the mail or delayed.

It gets even better. In another disclosure, Lerner’s attorney said that previous emphatic statements he had made declaring that Lerner did not print hard copies of her e-mails were not lies, just a “misunderstanding.” In this case, it is obvious what happened. When Team Lerner discovered that not keeping hard copies of some e-mails – which are considered government records – would in itself violate the law, it changed its story. It’s as simple as that.

The coordination among the Democrats and Lerner is remarkably brazen, even by today’s standards. While she lies low taking the Fifth, her mouthpieces in the Democratic caucus recite talking points that only she could approve. For example, during House oversight hearings on the scandal, Democrats seem to recite with great precision what Lerner did or did not do, what she knew and when she knew it. So while she hides the truth, protects her gang and stays clear of a perjury charge or worse, elected members of the Democratic party declare her innocence and tell her self-serving story.

Good thing there’s no one like that around here.

The Big Fat Surprise

Another review of the book:

The book’s subtitle is Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, which gave me the impression I was about to start reading a hefty science book. There’s plenty of science in The Big Fat Surprise, but it’s more of a history book. It’s the story of how lousy science conducted by arrogant scientists and adopted by equally arrogant policymakers led to lousy decisions that produced lousy consequences. I doubt any Fat Heads out there still believe nutrition science is conducted by impartial researchers who aren’t already wedded to an outcome, but if so, reading this book will disabuse you of that notion. It’s all laid out here in a richly detailed story that runs 340 pages … the egos, the arrogance, the obsession with pursuing and (ahem) proving a single hypothesis, the scientific bullying, the corruption, and of course the ham-handed interference by the 900-pound gorilla known as the federal government.

Gee, in what other field have we seen that sort of thing?

The Missing Light

It’s a mystery:

As one participating scientist points out, to miss the mark by so much means what we understand about the universe is fundamentally wrong. The universe continues to be exciting, a little scary, but mostly—a mystery.

And yet some have the hubris to tell us they can predict the temperature of the planet and level of the seas decades from now.

SLS Figures Of Merit

In response to this:

I tweeted this:

Lois Lerner

“Hey, if we do this in IM, can we hide it from Congress?”

“Sure”

“Great!”

[Thursday-afternoon update]

And finally, it’s off to the pokey for Lois:

Resolved, That the Speaker issue his warrant, directed to the Sergeant-at-Arms, or his deputy, commanding him to arrest and take into custody forthwith, wherever to be found, the body of Lois G. Lerner, and bring her to the bar of the House without delay to answer to the charge of contempt of its authority, breach of its privileges, and gross and wanton insult to the integrity of its proceedings, and in the meantime keep the body of Lerner in his custody in the common jail of the District of Columbia, subject to the further order of the House. While in custody, Lerner shall enjoy no special privileges beyond those extended to her fellow inmates, shall not access any computer or telephone, and shall not be visited by anyone other than her counsel, clergy, physician, or family.

Boo hoo. Should have happened months ago.

[Bumped]

[Friday-morning update]

“That was false…that was false…that was false…”

[Bumped]

[Update early afternoon]

A second judge has demanded that the IRS explain the “lost” emails. Maybe the persecuted groups and the judicial branch will get the goods on them.

The Crisis On The Border

Thoughts from Peggy Noonan:

The president of course has rushed to the scene—to go, as always, to fundraisers. This is at the moment a scandal, but why? Clever people say it’s an unforced error. He has to show he cares! He ought to journey to an overwhelmed border area, stand there and point to the middle distance as a local official in a hopefully picturesque hat briefs him. It’s almost touching how much the press wants to see this. But why? Why do they want to see the president enact a degree of alarm he clearly does not feel?

For a quarter-century I have been puzzled by the press’s emphasis on “optics,” their stupid word—actually it is a consultants’ word they’ve lamely adopted—for how things look as opposed to how they are. Their criticism comes down to a complaint they’re not being manipulated well enough. It is a strange complaint.

Give the president points for honesty. He doesn’t want to enact an “I care and am aware” photo-op. He will pay a political price, but it is clearly a price he is willing to pay. He never has to face a voter again.

…There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be “comprehensive,” meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?

Actually, I think it’s charitable to call these people “adults.”

I’ve always thought that the notion that it’s the president’s responsibility to show up at a disaster and feel peoples pain was stupid, and part of the infantilization of the nation. I think it started when the media bashed the first Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Andrew, then Bill Clinton showed up to feel our pain, when he wasn’t feeling up women. But this isn’t a natural disaster — it’s one of the president’s own making. Standing on the Rio Grande and announcing that all kids being sent in the future will be returned to their nation of birth would send a powerful message, but it’s not one that his base wants to hear, so it won’t happen.

By the way, has Peggy ever apologized for her own role in foisting this incompetent malignancy on us six years ago?

Services For Bill Gaubatz

I’ve received the following information:

Services for our dear friend Bill Gaubatz will be held Saturday, July 19 at 2 pm at St Peter’s by the Sea Presbyterian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. There will be a reception immediately following at the church.

The church address is:

6410 Palos Verdes Drive South
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

I’ll certainly be attending.

Videoing Police

Instapundit has a modest proposal:

When police trespass on your property to stop you videoing them, you should be allowed to kill them, put their heads on pikes as a warning to others, sell their organs to Chinese organleggers, and use the money to buy billboards mocking their superiors for lawlessness.

Having to sell the organs to the Chinese seems like kind of a hassle.

Rehabilitating Dan Rather

Really, Robert Redford? Really?

Here‘s what I had to say about the idiot Mary Mapes at the time:

…some of them (unlike you, apparently) were smart enough to call the fax number on the memo, and determine that it came from a Kinko’s in Texas. And though there was in fact analysis of what the documents actually said, which also helped torpedo them, it was in fact enough, Mary. It’s hard (perhaps impossible) to prove that a document is authentic, but it only takes one solid strike against its validity to show it to be inauthentic. And the fact that you still don’t understand that, or understand basic logic at all, is why you are now out of a job, and should never have had that job to begin with.

This isn’t merely “stuck on stupid.” This is turned all the way up to eleven on stupid.

It’s amazing that there are still fools who want to defend these people.

The Post-War World

Has it turned into a pre-war one?

History, perhaps unfortunately, can’t give us a clear answer to the question of whether we face anything like another Great War. Looking into the rear view mirror can only tell you so much about the conditions ahead. Our situation today is different enough from that of a century ago to make renewed great power war much less than a certainty, but there are enough troubling similarities that we can’t rule the prospect out.

It’s an interesting analysis.