The Decline and Fall of the New York Times (Cont’d)

I often think the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto is too hard on the people he targets for criticism — an occupational hazard for someone who brandishes a poison pen as well as he does.

Not today.  Not when his target is the New York Times. Attaboy, James.

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On Not Speaking Ill of the Dead

When famous people die, it seems to me increasingly common to read commentary in the blogosphere that begins something like this:

I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but in Smith’s case, I can’t believe everyone is making him out to be such a great guy when he was obviously a lousy bastard! Let me set the record straight . . .

This pattern of acknowledging a social taboo and then violating it is often the first sign that the social taboo is on the way out. So it may be with this one. But before we wave it goodbye, I thought it might be useful to see what we might say to restore some appreciation for, or at least observance of, this longstanding rule of civility.

Read the rest of this entry »

Barack Obama Broke My Blog (and other excuses for not writing)

After an absence of four solid months (except for one trip to the Poetry Corner), there are at least two strong temptations that I’m trying to resist.

The first is just to let it all go; to stop.  That would undoubtedly be good for the other pursuits that occupy my time, like family, work, and hobbies.  But I can’t do it.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jon Stewart with Jim Cramer

How is it that Jon Stewart, whose job is to be funny, can consistently ask tougher questions than the people who are supposed to ask tough questions?  Ron Paul, in his book “The Revolution,” complimented Stewart’s Greenspan interview.  This one with Jim Cramer is in the same league.

The Chicago Tea Party

The folks at CNBC are often accused of cheerleading regardless of the evidence — with some justice, though no disparagement of Erin Burnett will be permitted on this blog.

Rick Santelli was not cheerleading today.  Watch the video.  CNBC’s online poll is showing substantial support for Santelli’s sentiments.

Rival Histories of the Great Depression

Whatever one thinks about history repeating itself generally, the case for repetition is pretty strong in economics because economic activity is by its nature cyclical.  Yes, times change, and no two business cycles are ever exactly alike, but there are certainly recurring patterns and it makes great sense to try to understand what worked and what didn’t in past cycles.

Ever since late September, it has been difficult to discuss the economy in much depth without encountering simmering controversies about what did an did not work during the Great Depression.  But there is a problem.  Read the rest of this entry »

One Final Shoe Drops: Redistributive Justice

Well, we really are living in the Age of the Blogosphere, because some jamoke found an absolute screaming bombshell of a radio interview.  It’s up on Drudge (www.drudgereport.com) and it’s an interview with Obama from Sept. 6 of 2001.  If there were any thoughts that the Joe the Plumber comment on “sharing the wealth” was an unfortunate choice of words in the heat of the moment, it is time to cast those thoughts aside.

Obama is a socialist.  Plain and simple.  He wants to do economic justice via confiscation and redistribution.  He thinks it would be fine if the courts did it, but isn’t sanguine about that route — legislation, in his opinion, is the more reliable route.

It is a legitimate position, a defensible theory of government.  The jury is still out on whether it can produce a just and viable society.  Until recently, it felt like something closer to capitalism was winning the day, but with what’s going on in the financial markets, the argument over the proper “amount of government” has certainly gotten more heated.

It is okay to agree with Obama on this, and ok to vote for him because of it.  But let’s stop pretending he’s something other than a socialist.  That is FLAT OUT what he is.