Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Apologize to Afghanistan? - Andrew C. McCarthy

Read the whole thing:


> The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

> If our government believes the Taliban and other factions are our enemies, allied with al-Qaeda to kill Americans, then we should unleash our military to destroy them. This should not be an endless counterinsurgency experiment that prioritizes the protection of Afghan civilians and the construction of Afghan civil society; it should be a war that our vast might enables us to win rapidly and decisively.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mark Steyn: Governments Become Financially Insolvent When They Become Demographically Insolvent


> For purposes of comparison, by 1788 Louis XVI's government in France was spending a mere 60% of revenues on debt service, and we know how that worked out for His Majesty shortly thereafter.
>> Not to worry, says Barry Antoinette. Let them eat condoms.
>> This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. "Birth control" is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable, one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
> Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, distills the current hysteria thus: "It's as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying 'What's wrong with bacon? You're trying to ban bacon!!!!'"

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Obama’s Cynicism for Me, Not for Thee - Jonah Goldberg


> Now Obama’s defenders, starting with the man himself, insist this isn’t his fault. He’s actually super persuasive and bipartisan, he just suffers from the fact that the Republicans are the most unreasonable politicians ever, so he can’t be blamed for utterly failing to work with them. It’s like the guy who insists that he’s a real ladies’ man but can’t get a phone number because all of the hot women in the bar just happen to be gay.
>> Actually, it’s worse than that. Everywhere the president goes, he explains that he’s failed to get anything done either because the system is broken or because his opponents lack the honor and decency to work with him. Such arguments define cynicism.

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Andrew C. McCarthy on Free Contraception


The Bill of Rights, however, protects individual liberty from abusive government action. The First Amendment does not merely protect the religious liberty of groups of people who formally organize as a religious enterprise. It protects the individual believer, who has as much right as the Archdiocese of New York to resist government compulsion that violates his conscience. Under the Left’s First Amendment, we’re supposed to be deferential to every Saudi alien Islamic supremacist whack-job who wants to replace the Constitution with sharia, but an American citizen who personally objects to abortifacients should pipe down and pay up unless he’s the CEO of Catholic Charities? I don’t think so. 

There is no denial of birth control: Birth control will be readily accessible at cheap prices for anyone who wants it, and the issue is not religious organizations but individual liberty — a matter on which there can be no compromise consistent with the Constitution. When it comes to “constitutional” rights that progressive judges have invented out of whole cloth, Leftists never compromise. Why should we be goaded into a compromise regarding rights that are expressly, undeniably part of the social compact? 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fliers griping over Obama ‘grope hike’


Reynolds, a gun rights advocate, said that with a reported $32 billion total package of proposed airport fees and cuts, “for that kind of money, they could give every frequent flier a gun, which would do more to stop hijackings than the TSA clown show.”

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Monday, February 13, 2012

Do Medical School Acceptance Rates Reflect Preferences for Preferred Minority Groups?


1. For those students applying to medical school with average GPAs (3.40 to 3.59) and average MCAT scores (27-29), black applicants were almost three times more likely to be admitted than their Asian counterparts (85.9% vs. 30%), and 2.4 times more likely than their white counterparts (85.9% vs. 35.9%).  Likewise, Hispanic students with average GPAs and average MCAT scores were about twice as likely to be accepted as white applicants (68.7% vs. 35.9%), and more than twice as likely as Asian applicants (68.7% vs. 30%).  

2. For students applying to medical school with slightly below average GPAs of 3.20-3.39 and slightly below average MCAT scores of 24-26 (first column in the table), black applicants were more than 8 times as likely to be admitted as Asians (67.3% vs. 7.7%), and more than 5 times as likely as whites. 

If a racial bias saves the self-esteem of one child, it's worth it.  Diversity of intelligence is our greatest asset in medical school.  Grades are over-rated for doctors.  I want my medical care providers to reflect America, not just the smart kids.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Rick Santorum Is Right: Gas Prices Caused the Great Recession


In 2009, economist James Hamilton published a paper that retroactively forecast what an oil shock, like the one we experienced in 2007-08, would do to GDP. And guess what? His model accurately predicated much of the collapse in GDP that resulted from the Great Recession -- as if there had been no housing bubble or financial crisis! The oil spike was that bad.

Still, there was a housing bubble. And there was a financial crisis. How do we account for them and still hold onto the gas story? Here's a one-paragraph theory of the Great Recession that begins with gasoline. Cheap gas ruled in the 1990s. This encouraged families to settle down farther from the cities where they worked. In the 2000s, super-low interest rates, declining lending standards, and an appetite for mortgages on Wall Street (among other factors) further encouraged sprawl and residential development in the 'burbs. As the price of gas went up, families stopped buying homes 30 minutes from the city. For folks shacking up in the exurbs, higher gas bills ate into mortgage money. For companies, higher energy bills shocked productivity. Classic oil-shock + housing development arrested + financial crisis = Great Recession.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Alternative Futures for a Fractured American Culture - Charles Murray

Video of the talk is available at the link:


> In his April 2011 Bradley Lecture at AEI, Charles Murray presented data documenting America’s divergence into classes that are different from anything our nation has ever known. In this companion lecture, Murray will discuss how this divergence is affecting American life and what we can expect in the future. He will present two scenarios--one that ends with America as a European social democracy and another in which America experiences a "civic great awakening"--and assess the forces that work in favor of each.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Getting Nowhere, Very Fast - Thomas Sowell


> The only reason for even thinking about building a high-speed-rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield is just to get the project underway with federal money, making it politically more difficult to stop the larger project for a similar rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
>> In other words, they are going to start wasting money out in the valley, so that they will be able to waste more money later on, along the coast. This may not make any sense economically, but it can make sense politically for Jerry Brown and Barack Obama.>

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