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November 30, 2015

A Discouraging Word

Fairness dictates that I -- the autonomous car fanboy -- share this week's EconTalk podcast. MIT's David Mindell, author of Our Robots, Ourselves, questions the progress of autonomous machines.

Quote of the Day

This is insane on both sides. Anti-abortion people who have accused Black Lives Matter of inciting violence against cops (tragically a lot of overlap with these two groups because most people decide their politics based on partisanship, not principles) should consider how they feel being blamed for a murder because of the rhetoric they deploy about an issue they deeply care about and whether that kind of blame makes any more sense when they're on the accusatory and not receiving end of it.

Similarly, people sympathetic to Black Lives Matter who have spent this weekend blaming all pro-lifers, or all Christians, or whatever broader cohort, for inciting violence against Planned Parenthood (also, tragically, a lot of overlap) should consider how substantively similar their arguments and attempts to blame an entire political movement for the actions of one murderer are to the arguments anti-Black Lives Matter people use to blame that entire movement for the actions of one murderer. -- Ed Krayewski @ Reason

Honorable mention:
On the other hand, Colorado Springs isn’t the first time the left has blamed a terroristic act on a video. -- James Taranto

Carly for 'Servant Leader'

Very good article here from David Begley, who harks from Omaha and describes himself two ways;

Back when I was a Democrat I was elected to a minor political office in Nebraska. More importantly, I worked at the same law firm as Ben Nelson when he ran for Governor. [2] I have had the unique opportunity and pleasure to see in person nearly all of the candidates for president so I write with some authority on this topic.
His estimation of the situation
I submit that foreign affairs are at the most dangerous point ever in the history of the world. Russia is resurgent. The Chinese are restless. Religious zealots in Iran and Syria have the money and means to get nuclear weapons. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan never had such weapons. Surprisingly the appeasing architect of these failed policies thinks she can fix it.
In my view we need a servant leader and doer with solid conservative principles who is also an outsider. Carly frequently uses the phrase “servant leader.” The cynic might say it is poll tested and the cynic might be right. I, on the other hand, take her use of the phrase to be authentic, genuine and direct from her heart.

It's a good read, and he's currently a GOP cheerleader:
Bobby Jindal was a Rhodes Scholar. Ted Cruz was one of the smartest students at Harvard Law and argued cases before the Supreme Court. The GOP field is exceptionally talented, but I would rank Carly as the smartest and I don’t make that claim lightly.

I"m still in for Carly (somewhere between Cruz and Rubio as my 2nd pick - Cruz more intelligent, but not as "likable"), and her ads are now running on iHeart & local radio.

November 25, 2015

All Hail Me Some Taranto!


Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all

But johngalt thinks:

I am conflicted. I would love to see Woodrow Wilson discredited, but to do it on the altar of race victimhood revisionism is a dangerous threshold to cross.

"After they came for the white progressives, there was nobody left to speak for me."

I guess we're all Wilsonians now.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2015 3:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm not conflicted at all. I'm happy to laugh at the NYTimes's hypocritical preening.

But no, I would not deny President Wilson any honorarium or remove his anem or visage from any memorial. Why, my speech should I be given a slot is going to include some kind words about John C. Calhoun.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2015 4:58 PM

A BC, not a SIC


Pew center has a new 23 question Political Typology quiz. I'm ranked a Business Conservative, which is fifth on scale where six is "Steadfast Conservative" and zero is "Solidly Liberal."

Interesting things:
- the only place "Faith" is listed by Pew is on the Left (1 out of 6 on this scale they've created).
- Young "Outsiders" slightly outnumber the NG Left.
- the silent middle are referred to as "Hard Pressed"
- if you look here, you'll see that Pew's respondents (66% white) are mostly isolationist!

But jk thinks:

BC as well (Prosperitarian, anybody?) I left quite a few blank. I can usually get into the spirit and pick one even if I am not totally on board. This one seemed to have several that were both bad.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2015 1:24 PM

November 24, 2015

ThreeSources Holiday Bash!

My check from the Koch Brothers is late, so our caviar and champagne soiree is off.

But we could all crash Liberty on the Rocks--Flatirons's party

Whoever said politics and booze don't go together has obviously never been to Liberty on the Rocks, because we've been combining the two with great success for over half a decade!

Traditionally, LotR has had one main speaker at each bi-monthly Happy Hour, but our friends at Liberty Toastmasters came up with a great idea--why not let everyone participate? And why not give away prizes to the best speakers?

You see, even in our circle of like-minded friends, there is still a good variety of thought. We might all have the same goals--liberty--but the way we promote that idea is unique.

So, we at LotR would like to open up the floor to everyone. Come tell us what you believe in, and why. Tell us what you're doing to promote your values. This is an opportunity for learning and for growth, and also for a PARTY!

So, mark your calendars for December 7th and plan on joining us for something completely different--a Speech Contest and Holiday Party at Miller's Grille in Lafayette!

The speaking opportunities will be limited to about 3 minutes to accommodate as many as possible, but there will also be a few slots open for speeches of about 8 minutes. If you know you want to address a large crowd of your peers, then please contact Mike L Shelton or send a message to this page.

We'll kick things off at 6pm, like always, with special appetizers and drinks; then we'll begin the main program at 7pm. There will be no better place to be than with us, so we hope to see you there!:

I'll be speaking on "The triumvirate, Calhoun's toast, and the modern message of forbearance."

But nanobrewer thinks:

OK, I'm now following; now, I just need to go to FB regularly (and have a Monday sitter....).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 30, 2015 11:36 AM

Must Read

Trust me just once: this is a funny and true essay. Referenced in Russ Roberts's 500th Econtalk podcast. (The podcast is good, too).

I wish I had the gumption to share it with my cousin.

But johngalt thinks:
The fact that markets create dependencies without subjugation means that I am served well for the benefit of the server; other market participants are prevented from treating me badly not by their good character but by their desire for profits.

Proposition: Rather than struggling mightily to reduce the SIZE of government, perhaps we should find a way to require government to always earn a PROFIT?

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 4:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Finished reading to the end. Adorable!

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 4:29 PM
But dagny thinks:

JG is now working on how to similarly embarrass his daughters.

Posted by: dagny at November 24, 2015 5:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- I settle for boring my lovely bride. I may have mentioned the tortilla thing once or twice...

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 6:00 PM


This is, it seems to me, the hallmark of what it is to be American - ambition. Those who lack it typically use a different term - greed. Take Canada's Linda McQuaig, for example:

It's no accident that the United States claims the most billionaires -- but suffers among the highest rates of infant mortality and crime, the shortest life expectancy, as well as the lowest rates of social mobility and electoral political participation in the developed world.

Yeah, it's the billionaires' fault! Seriously? No, I don't think many take such suggestions seriously. But it is plainly evident that billionaires, at least some of them, are really, really, ambitious. I give you here, Exhibit A:

Jeff Bezos finally one-upped Elon Musk in space. On Tuesday Bezos' company, Blue Origin, announced its New Shepard space vehicle had ascended to 100.5km and returned successfully to the ground near its West Texas launch site.


Go ahead, billionaires, one-up each other. "Waste" your "ill-gotten" and "unequal" concentrated wealth on "extravagances" like reusable rocket ships. I, for one, approve. But next time give it a better name - like "The C.S.* Linda McQuaig."

* "capitalist ship"

But jk thinks:

And the Senate passes a bill facilitating asteroid mining. Homo sapiens had a pretty good November.

I went to post that sentiment on Facebook but cowered against an imagined onslaught of reminders about ISIS and refugees and shootings and a (NATO ally) Turkish fighter downing a Russian plane. I canceled, but I still believe it.

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 3:44 PM

ACA Horror Story of the Day

President Obama was hammered last week for his failure on ISIS. But there's at least one bright spot for him in that criticism: At least it deflected the spotlight from the unfolding catastrophe that is ObamaCare. -- Shikha Dalmia
And then it gets better.

November 23, 2015


I love this. (On the minus side, one of my favorite cousins may never speak to me again). This photo is from LIFE magazine in 1939:


Now this is going around Pinterest with the following explanation;

1939. Kansas Wheat. When they realized women were using their sacks to make clothes for their children, the mills started using flowered fabric for their sacks so the kids would have pretty clothes. Pure kindness. The label would wash out.

Pure kindness. Said cuz shares on Facebook and asks "How do we get back to more of this?"

She is a wonderful person, stunningly bright, and was employed many years in advertising. Why she accepted this as kindness and not "brilliant marketing ploy," only Jonathan Haidt can explain.

My favorite speech that I give to myself (who knows, I may do it in public at the Holiday Liberty on the Rocks if my infield fly rule history cannot be trimmed to the allocated time slot) is the celebration of the Ziploc™ closure on tortilla bags and cheese.. Tortilla bags being a synecdoche for innovative packaging. I can beam myself into the meeting, having attended a meeting or two myself. where the idea is first proposed.

Pedro (ACME Tortilla Floor Operations Manager): See, we can build the device right into our bag. Customers can close it up and keep the product fresher. It'll be terrific

Donald Trump, Star of Celebrity Apprentice: Terrific, huh? Won't this cost more?

Pedro: Well, yes, a couple of cents...

Donald: Times 20,000 bags is a lot of money. Can we charge three cents extra?

Pedro: Probably not.

Donald: Will our existing machinery handle it? Don't we have existing stock? What about returns and obsoleting old inventory?

Pedro: Well...

Donald: You're Fired.

It's a tough sell. They probably sell more because they go bad in the old packaging. But somebody hired Pedro and now every manufacturer uses them and the packaging is spreading to other items.

So, I say it is pure kindness to print flowers on wheat sacks and put Ziplocs on tortilla bags. That kind of pure kindness that free market capitalism brings out in people. Pure kindness toward our customers.

And that's the spirit of Christmas.

But nanobrewer thinks:

It's an unintentional kindness; of the sort that naturally grows out of the respect people grant each other when conducting mutually-beneficial transactions of the type that either [a] confound the regulators and beltway admistrata, [b] cut K-street out of the loop.

Simply part and parcel of the massive PR campaign driven by the liberal desire to ensure that 'you can do whatever you want, so long as it's mandatory.'

Personally, I like this quote from Churchill, tho' it would not help one wit with the low-information, FB crowd:

Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow
they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.
If people are allowed to own the wagon, they'll make it pretty, useful, helpful even and nice.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 24, 2015 9:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Describe a Democrat/progressive/redistributionist voter in two words: "Big heart."

Now describe a Republican/libertarian/keep what you earn voter: "Big brain."

Why wouldn't she speak to you? Did you accuse her of having a tiny brain? Or did you answer her question with the same long winded, but otherwise excellent, response posted here?

Why not just answer "How do we get back to more of this" with the answer "by telling government to let businesses run themselves again?" Then you will have so much comity and good will together that you can ask her why she doesn't make her own clothes from flour sacks!

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 1:02 PM
But jk thinks:

We're speaking and will continue so to do. Everything is fine but I my spidey sense interprets a brief silence as "OMG do you have to make everything political?"

For the record, my exact response (again, she was in the industry) was:

John Kranz: Umm, it's called brilliant marketing and innovative packaging, is it not? Meeting customer needs and establishing a consistent brand?"

Posted by: jk at November 24, 2015 3:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"No, I don't make everything 'political' I make it about LOVE!"

Posted by: johngalt at November 24, 2015 5:05 PM

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