Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Republicans are a disgrace"
So say Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren about the GOP's efforts to "fix" America's energy problems. The Republicans are abondoning their free-market roots in order to propose central-planning "solutions" based on bad information. Please read the whole thing. A taste:
Here's what they got: a pitch to have the feds establish a goal of reducing oil consumption by 20 percent by 2025. To get there, Kingston proposes to compel auto manufacturers to make flexibly fueled vehicles, to further expand the subsidies provided to those who buy hybrid-powered cars, and to unleash another avalanche of subsidies on exotic energy technologies far and wide. If we adopt this bill, Kingston believes that America will be energy independent by 2015.

Let's dwell on this for a moment. Government pronouncements that the economy produce x amount of this or consume y amount of that are the characteristics for which Soviet five-year plans were famous. Unfortunately, such dictates are all the rage in Washington today. One might expect free-market Republicans to be leery of such ham-handed intervention. But one would be wrong.
Learn to count
And learn to funk with this classic 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 pinball action. One of my favorite Seseme Street memories, though I don't recall the shoutout of numbers changing at random like that. As I recall, they'd pick a number and stick with it throughout.

Tip to Signal vs. Noise.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Folly and profit
Over at NRO, Deroy Murdock considers the silliness of taxing oil companies for supposedly making too much profit. If anything is clear from this, it is that they are all statists, Republican and Democrat.

The discussion club to which I belong is meeting this Friday with immigration being the scheduled topic. An important subject, to be sure, but I'd rather talk about the bigger problem: there are no (significant, reliable) representatives of free-market, Liberty-loving ideas in the Federal government. Let's acknowledge it and do something about it.
Some advice to Jack Bauer
The writers seem to be going out of their way this season to make Jack look like an idiot. I realize that the show would have to change its name to 3 if Jack did these things, but there have to be more clever ways to keep the show going without dumbing Jack down:
  • Next time you get a recording, especially an easily-duplicated digital one, make a stinkin' copy.
  • Ask the bad-guy-turned-mole what his plan is so you don't come busting in and mess it up.
  • Instead of hijacking a plane, consider asking the air marshal for help instead.
  • Let Audrey go - she makes you compromise.
  • Go ahead and, er, get all Jack-Bauer on the evil IT guy. He's asking for it, and he'd be unable to do any more damage.

By the way, if Aaron the secret service guy ends up dead, I will be very put out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Over-used phrases
There's a law in discourse that as a political discussion progresses, the odds of someone being compared to Hitler approach 1. The corollary is that the one who makes said comparison automatically loses the argument.

I'd like to propose something similar. It goes something like this:
Any use of some form of the phrase "drinking the [insert evil name here] Kool-Aid" is boring. The invoker of said phrase automatically loses the argument for lack of creativity.
We need a new yet similar phrase, something that makes no sense and borrows from popular culture. And here it is: "toading the [insert evil name here] sprocket". An example of usage:
Bill, if this is "no-spin zone" then you should stop toading the Republican sprocket.
You are welcome.