Quick Roundup 483

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brothers, you asked for it!

Reader Dismuke emails a link detailing the fact that Venezuela's equivalent of Fox News is now the only media outlet that is reporting the widespread discontent of the supporters of its equivalent of Barack Obama upon experiencing its equivalent of "hope and change" on their own hides.

Extrapolating to how such a scenario would play out here, Dismuke comments rightly that:

[T]he discontent of such people [won't] do us much good. One, such people are discontented even when times are good. Two, they will just complain that "socialism is not being applied here" - (replacing the forbidden S-word with something along the lines of "fairness" or "change") in hopes that Obama himself might be watching and make the corrupt officials destroying his vision accountable. They are too stupid, of course, to know that socialism IS being applied and that that is the source of all their complaints. They will stand by Chavez and they will stand by Obama no matter what - because both are against "The Man."
Such is the nature of the dictator fantasy when a large proportion of the body politic is afflicted.
The government's postal service is also in upheaval. Workers carp that their rights are being trampled upon, saying that "socialism is not being applied here." Unions are being harassed and so they are sending a message to "Comrade Hugo Chávez" ... in case he's watching Globovisión. The union leader interviewed rues that all media has been invited, but only Globovisión came, bitterly singling out a State media that won't air their views.
News flash: If Chavez watches very much of this and doesn't understand the value of letting his idiot supporters blow off steam once in a while, Globovision gets shut down.

Nobody will save Venezuela from Hugo Chavez but the people of Venezuela.

Making a Virtue out of a Consequence

With sporadic food shortages already occurring due to his price controls and high inflation, it should come as no surprise that Hugo "Kip's Ma" Chavez is mobilizing his underlings for a national "battle of the bulge:"
Chavez suggested rice pasta instead of spaghetti made from wheat, and recommended drinking soy milk, saying soy products help fight aging.
Translation: The upcoming food shortages are for your own good.

For anyone who hasn't read Atlas Shrugged yet -- and so doesn't feel deja vu any time he follows the news or know who "Kip's Ma" is:
Emma Chalmers, better known as Kip's Ma, was an old sociologist who had hung about Washington for years, as other women of her age and type hang about barrooms. For some reason which nobody could define, the death of her son in the tunnel catastrophe had given her in Washington an aura of martyrdom, heightened by her recent conversion to Buddhism. "The soy-bean is a much more sturdy, nutritious and economical plant than all the extravagant foods which our wasteful, self-indulgent diet has conditioned us to expect," Kip's Ma had said over the radio; her voice always sounded as if it were falling in drops, not of water, but of mayonnaise. "Soybeans make an excellent substitute for bread, meat, cereals and coffee--and if all of us were compelled to adopt soybeans as our staple diet, it would solve the national food crisis and make it possible to feed more people. The greatest food for the greatest number--that's my slogan. At a time of desperate public need, it's our duty to sacrifice our luxurious tastes and eat our way back to prosperity by adapting ourselves to [this] simple, wholesome foodstuff..." (862)
Depending on my mood, I find such parallels somewhere between amusing and depressing. For comic relief, I can offer only the man-crush of long-time Chavez idol Fidel Castro on Barack Obama.

Then and Now

Scott Johnson of Power Line says just about all that needs saying about the following pair of photographs:

"Ashamed of his country but arrogant about himself--what a disgusting combination."

Who Watches the Watchers? (Part 5,084,631)

In response to several recent major accidents occurring on government-run transit systems, President Obama has reconsidered the idea that only government officials disinterested in personal gain can assure us of our safety and has decided to align the profit motive with passenger safety once and for all. Right?

Wrong again:
The federal government would police safety on subway and light-rail systems after a series of deaths and injuries in accidents, a Department of Transportation official said, citing an Obama administration plan.
He's concerned about my safety just like he's only a tall guy shaking hands with the Japanese Emperor above.

And a Message for Newt (and Sarah)

Just in case anyone doubts my recent reading of the electoral tea leaves, some new poll data from South Carolina backs it up:
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's public support is collapsing in South Carolina -- driven by a wholesale revolt among the GOP electorate and a steady erosion of his support amongst independents.
Jennifer Rubin adds:
This contradicts the favorite narrative of Democrats and their media handmaidens, namely that in order to stay relevant, Republicans must compromise with Obama, move leftward, and adopt policies at odds with conservative principles. It turns out that doing so alienates not only Republican voters but also independents, who themselves are not enamored of Obama's leftist agenda.
All I can add to the above is (1) to include "Newt Gingrich" with "Democrats and their media handmaidens," and (2) to note that Lindsey Graham is also a social conservative.

I guess (again) that this means that the public does not see theocracy as a desirable "alternative" to socialism, either.

An Interesting Startup

Although I have done pretty well adapting to a car-free life in the Northeast, an interesting startup may save me lots of time and money yet. I live across the street from a grocer, but still find that I occasionally have to hop on the T or check out a ZipCar for occasional purchases of household goods.

But then I read about an interesting startup called Alice while flying home from a surgery last week.
Consumer packaged goods like toothpaste, toilet paper, and trash bags are a $1 trillion industry, but less than 1 percent of it is online. After Microsoft purchased our last venture, Jellyfish, my partner Brian Wiegand and I started wondering how we could change that. That’s when we came up with Alice.
Aside from groceries, which it doesn't really make sense for me to order online, I've moved to buying almost everything else online. As soon as my household goods purchase list builds up just a little more, I'm giving Alice a try. If this works as well as it sounds, that's another three-hour chore or two per month I can kiss goodbye.

-- CAV


Rational Education said...

Politicians are rightly accused of short memories and hypocrisy that does not even register in their minds! I hooted with derision as I read this AP story about what Obama is saying to the Chinese:
"Politely but firmly pressing for greater freedoms on China's own turf, President Barack Obama spoke against censorship Monday, saying tough criticisms of political leaders should be allowed and the free flow of information on the Internet "should be encouraged." '


Burgess Laughlin said...

In reference to living without a car:

I am 65 and have never owned a car and never driven one since I was a teenager living at home. Because my income is now very low, I shop at the thriftiest grocery store nearby, about 1.5 miles away. By obtaining my own grocery cart, I can easily haul my own groceries and get excellent exercise in the process.

Like you, I too am moving toward online purchases, at least for some items, the ones that cut down the weight and bulk of grocery shopping locally. E.g., I was eating about 25 lbs. of potatoes per week. By ordering them online in dehydrated form (which is suitable for me but probably not for most people), I can reduce the difficulty and danger of rolling a cart down the local government's cracked sidewalks and potholed streets.

Online shopping requires a little upfront extra effort, but re-ordering is very simple, at least at the websites that are well set up.

Living without a car can be easy, with a little rethinking of standard approaches.

Gus Van Horn said...


So now, Obama's a big champion of freedom of the press!

I'll stop now before I start tossing my Anglo-Saxon words around like croutons.


I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition has been.

What's nice for me is that some of what I'm learning by having to re-think everything will still serve me well even if we leave Boston or move to a suburb where being without a car isn't quite as viable. Assuming Alice works well for me, it will be one of those things.