Friday, January 05, 2007
GOP flunks first post-election tests.
From the looks of things, it would appear that the Republicans do not realize that they lost Congress at least in large part because they welched on their professed support for small government. Although Nancy Pelosi had the limelight yesterday as she touted her jihad against sound economics for the sake of "the children", she was not alone. California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger decided to join her act.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose that all Californian children, including those in the state illegally, be guaranteed medical insurance as part of the health-care overhaul he intends to unveil next week, according to officials familiar with the plan.$400 million a year? Some overhaul. Vehr's a hobby kniiife vehn you need von?
If enacted by the Legislature, his proposal would affect about 763,000 children who now lack insurance. Although the administration has not revealed details of how it would pay for such a program, officials estimate that extending insurance to all children could cost the state as much as $400 million a year.
This man emigrated from Austria to America to escape from socialism. And so he's going to bring it to his adopted country "for the children" instead. How thoughtful.
Watch for Dick Morris to advise Bush to do this exact same thing nationwide in an effort to "triangulate", not that Mr. "Prescription Drug Benefit" will really need to be told.
I am sure that when he finishes caving on global warming, he'll get to that.
I am the buzz saw!
I am glad that Nick Provenzo enjoyed my little tete-a-tete with Jana Shockley the other day so much. His account also made a nice article for Capitalism Magazine.
From a writer's standpoint, it would have been impossible for me to write that article. I was involved in the drama -- if watching a bewildered socialist walk straight into a buzz saw counts as drama -- and so was too busy to fully appreciate the humor. Interesting.
Hugh Hewitt contributor doesn't "get it".
Dean Barnett, writing at the web site of conservative water-boy Hugh Hewitt, on what the GOP ought to do about the war:
7) What will the Republicans do about the war?Left unmentioned are two interrelated things: (1) actually fighting the war and (2) why we should fight it. (Hint: It isn't "sacrifice".) What Bush is doing now is sacrifice, and that is not a good thing.
I wish I knew. The Republican in Congress are, intellectually speaking, running on empty. The administration appears ready to surge in Iraq, but it remains to be seen what its rationale for the surge will be other than to mollify its right wing base. [Good so far. --ed]
8) But you're part of that right wing base. Will you not be mollified by a surge?
I will be mollified when the Administration offers a comprehensive rationale for what it's going to do in Iraq and how it affects the bigger picture vis a vis Radical Islam. The administration has to make a tough sell. The Democrats are going to be selling peace, the Administration war. Generally speaking, the American people prefer peace. And the administration's sales skills are, to put it charitably, suspect. [Mostly good, except that "peace" and "surrender" are not the same thing. --ed]
10) So what should the Administration do?
The Administration should appeal to American pride. Americans don't shrink from a fight. Americans don't accept defeat. But this will only work if the Administration makes the case that the Battle for Iraq is but one front in the war against Radical Islam.
11) Is this doable?
I think it is. But I'm worried that the new magic bullet from the administration will be "sacrifice." This is thin gruel. Not only are we five years late in explaining the need for sacrifice, more importantly we're five years late in explaining why sacrifice is necessary. The American public has come to see the Iraq war in a vacuum and has little idea that it's a piece of a much bigger puzzle.
Actually defending American lives is anything but a "sacrifice". To the contrary, allowing the Islamists to kill more Americans and/or helping them by sending soldiers to fight limited wars -- while hamstringing them with inane rules of engagement-- is sacrifice. Human sacrifice.
The administration should point out that not fighting will not lead to "peace". How else did those two big building fall down into smoldering heaps in Manhattan over five years ago? And then it should take decisive action against Iran, which is causing much of what's wrong in Iraq and is getting ready to build nukes. Fight the war like we did in World War II. The results will speak for themselves, making Bush's inarticulateness immaterial.
But then, if the Republicans knew that, we wouldn't be having this conversation now, would we?
All the American people need to be "mollified" is, in fact, an end to policies that place us on the sacrificial altar during a time of war. To wit: Do not appease the enemy and use our blood and treasure wisely.
Government Funding vs. Science
From Put Your Science to Work, by Peter Fiske:
A failure to understand the value of time is a second "business skill" that is critical in the real world but remains an utterly alien concept in graduate school. Most of this stems from the fact that academia is an environment steeped in penury. Not only are most graduate students paid little more than minimum wage, but PIs are often forced to pinch pennies to ridiculous degrees. In this environment, it can seem sensible to spend a week of a grad student's time to build or repair a device that would cost only a few hundred dollars to replace. (15)There is no shortage of cheap labor -- I mean graduate students -- in science because the government (until slowing down a little very recently) has constantly harped on the "need" for more American PhD's and has funded their education and living expenses. And we haven't even gotten around to what kind of job market one faces as a newly-minted PhD. We'll just say that "newly-minted" takes on a whole new meaning in such an inflationary context....
And so it is that your money is confiscated to pay some of our most talented young people to waste time -- an irreplaceable resource -- during their prime in order to "save" a little grant money. Penny wise and pound foolish doesn't even begin to describe this folly.
Fellow fans of Issac Schrodinger will be delighted and relieved to learn that his application for Canadian Convention refugee status has been successful!
Today: (1) Added update on Isaac Schrodinger. (2) Corrected title. 134. Four. As in the four hours of sleep I got last night!
1-9-07: (1) Added a hypertext anchor. (2) Added a page number to cited paragraph.