Quick Roundup 143

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fond of Founders

Nick Provenzo has just visited Founders College and likes what he sees.

Over the weekend I visited Berry Hill, the antebellum plantation which will serve as the future home for Founders College. I do not think enough has been said about just how tremendous a location this is for this school; it is simply a place without many equals in higher education today. I have visited most of great homes of Virginia in the past, and the Berry Hill manor house alone easily ranks among them, while the richness of larger grounds serve to amplify the beauty of the property in ways that are absolutely breathtaking. [redundant link dropped]
In a followup post in the near future, he plans to discuss how Founders plans to provide a solid education for its students, based on what he has learned from one of its newly-hired faculty members.

The State of the Sacrifice

Myrhaf has posted a lengthy critique of President Bush's recent State of the Union Address, something I had no desire to go through. No surprises there. This pretty much essentializes it:
On health care, [Bush] says, "When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children and we will meet those responsibilities."

Now, how can Republicans be horrified by the Democrats' socialized medicine schemes but ignore this? If the government takes care of the elderly, the disabled and poor children, then the principle of free market health care is gone and the road is paved for socialized medicine. Once you expand the state to cover the weakest, then the next to weakest look like they deserve it too and sooner or later America's health care looks like Canada's. The Republicans will get us to Hillarycare, just not as fast as Hillary would have done it. [slight reformatting, my bold]
A commenter by the name of "Madmax" also adds the following astute appraisal of the Republicans' idea of warfare:
I got the impression that many Conservatives liked this SOTU because Bush refused to back down on Iraq. It really is a no-win [scenario] in that Conservatives cling to our current Iraq policy because they see [withdrawal] as a victory for the Dems. But Conservatives will not consider total war as a legitimate option (there might be some rare exceptions to this). There just is no awareness on the part of the Conservatives for an egoistic approach to war. So it looks like quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan are all we are going to get.
This would also, by the way, pretty well sum up what is wrong with Hugh Hewitt's grassroots effort (HT: Glenn Reynolds and Varifrank) to threaten withdrawal of support for any Republican who helps pass any, "resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged" [bold added].

What of the notion of criticizing this "surge" for the right reason, as I recently did?
In any war, including the one of which the conflict in Iraq is but a part, the two basic options are to fight or to surrender. In the context of Iraq, where we find ourselves now whether one agrees or disagrees we should have gone there in the first place, there are several viable options that would constitute continuing to fight the broader war -- even including a withdrawal from all or parts of Iraq premised on the notion that our forces could be better used elsewhere.
Were a group of Republican senators to object to the surge on similar grounds, would Hugh Hewitt withdraw his support from them? If one of the virtues of representative government is that it allows public debate over the best course of action, then Hugh Hewitt clearly fails to grasp or appreciate that fact.

As Alex Epstein recently put it,
One does not support our troops by sending them to fight wars of self-sacrifice and then thanking their corpses. The conservatives' call to "stay the course" in Iraq -- or to add 20,000 troops to that course -- is harmful to America and its troops because the mission has been conceived and conducted in defiance of American interests.


One does not support our troops by keeping them home when their and our freedom requires military action. Our soldiers did not join the military to sit on their hands while Iran prepares for nuclear jihad.
Does Hewitt want to prevent someone from his own party stating this truth so plainly? If so, he has "learned the wrong lesson" on the war worse than I ever imagined any Republican could. At one point, I had supported the Republicans because I feared that a Democrat victory would cause them to think America favored surrender. That would be bad enough, but this is worse!

The Republicans lost in part because Bush's course is so flawed that unless it changes, it will prove worse than not fighting at all. (It will fail to defeat Islamofascism and it will discredit the idea of waging war in the process. For more on how we ought to fight, see John Lewis's comparison of this war with World War II.) The last thing we need to do is to discourage open debate among the Republicans over how we ought to fight this war!

Myrhaf also provides a good answer to another commenter who supports President Bush's foolish desire for the government to prop up the alternative fuels industry.

Speaking of which, ...

Alternative Fuels as Alternatives to Prosperity

Galileo goes into somewhat morbid detail about how government encouragement of the alternative fuel industry can harm the economy.

The "Canada of Operating Systems"

Isaac Schrodinger points to this unsurprising assessment of Microsoft Windows Vista, which includes the following gem: "Vista sound less like a 'wow moment' than a passable bore -- the Canada of operating systems."

I'd call Linux the "Israel of Operating Systems": Small (in terms of number of users and disk space requirements) and powerful -- but crippled by leftism.

Martin's Back

Martin Lindeskog has been blogging a bit more often lately, so do stop by to catch up if you haven't visited Ego in awhile. In his latest post, he announces the arrival of space tourism to Sweden.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Regular reader and rare commenter I just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

No, Gus, Vista is not a bore. It may not have a single 'killer' feature, but everything (from using all your RAM via Superfetch, to integrated search) adds up.

Gus Van Horn said...

Hmmm. Not boring, but a resource hog? I plan on remaining blissfully ignorant -- unless someone starts paying me to use it, of course!

I fired Bill Gates years ago and nothing I have heard since makes me want his services back.

Anonymous said...

anon here. I really don't think it is a resource hog either. It's faster than XP, simply because of the excellent caching.

Sure, you may use Linux (I've tried various distros several times over the years, but haven't really got the hang of it, and don't like the philosophy of Ubuntu-like distros shoved down my throat), but Vista is quite simply the best OS Microsoft has ever produced.

Gus, I'm surprised that you, of all people, will associate an entire OS/company with one person. I usually leave that for the Slashdot folks, with their Borg image.

Gus Van Horn said...


You're bordering on putting words into my mouth now. I have said here -- indirectly in this very post, in fact -- that I also dislike the leftism that infects the OSS movement (and which Ubuntu does shove down the throats of all comers).

Why I dislike Windows would take too long to elaborate upon here, but it certainly isn't because I do not think software vendors should make money. When I say I "fired Bill Gates", it is in the same vein that I might use the CEO (or maybe the founder) of any other company I have decided not to do business with.

Bill Gates as I have said here before is, in fact, due to his great productivity, one of the top three men responsible for the very fact that personal computers are so widespread that there even IS an OSS movement (as I have pointed out here before).

I would hope that Vista is the "best OS Microsoft has ever produced". But so were Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 98 and 95 when they were released. It's going to take more than an incremental improvement to win me over.

In short: I am a dissatisfied former customer, not a socialist. I am surprised that anyone would assume the latter just becuase I don't like the products of one company.

For another example from a different industry: Ray Kroc was also a giant of industry, but I don't jump to conclusions abou someone's personal philosophy when I hear that somebody else like Burger King better than McDonald's.