URLs du Jour

2006-07-10

Sorry for the light posting over the past few days.

And sorry for the previous sentence, which arrogantly presumes that you've been disappointed with the light posting over the past few days.

  • One of the Chicago Boyz, Lexington Green, has a good post containing the quiet gem:
    The Americans took Lord Coke's ghost out for a joy ride, with no end yet in sight.
    Doesn't that make you kind of wonder what the rest is about? Check it out, as a belated Independence Day treat.

  • I still read Andrew Sullivan's blog, but his reaction to the Pete Hoekstra story over the weekend is yet another thumb on the "why do I bother" side of the scale. Taking Representative Hoekstra's complaint (made in a leaked letter) about alleged lack of information provided by the administration to his Congressional oversight committee, Andrew pens:
    Eventually, even the most loyal Republicans will discover that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal treats them all with contempt, the same contempt they have for limited government, the constitution, and the rule of law. Hoekstra asks a salient question, however. What else don't we know about what these pseudo-monarchs are up to?
    In other words, he's mainly echoing the New York Times/Washington Post thrust of the story, adding in the usual overdose of hyperbolic vitriol and witless name-calling. (Continued here, by the way.)

    Compare and contrast the Minuteman (here and here), from whom you can actually learn some things about the story that were omitted and misstated by the Times and the Post, and flew right over Andrew Sullivan's head.

  • Instapundit once pinpointed the time of death of Reason "as a libertarian magazine" at 1:17pm Pacific Time on December 31, 2004. As a sad reminder of that death, today the corpse's website publishes the essay "Imagine No Gasoline" by Jonathan Rauch. It is in the form of an open letter to President Bush:
    Here is the idea: Propose an international treaty whose signatories would agree to eliminate gasoline from their transportation systems by a date certain—say, in 30 years. Seek initial support from Europe and Japan, but open the treaty to any country that cares to join. Specify only that the treaty should allow signatories to reach the goal in any fashion they please and that it should allow for tradable credits against whatever interim targets it sets. That way, countries can act at different speeds and in different styles. Then let the negotiations begin.
    Notice the reference to "their transportation systems"? The obvious unstated assumption is that a "transportation system" is something to be owned and operated by the big Central Planner, tweakable and settable on demand. This is not the sort of thing a magazine once dedicated to "free minds and free markets" should take seriously enough to publish. The Soviets had their dismal Five Year Plans; Rauch proposes a Thirty Year Plan.

    Now, Rauch is not an idiot. Well, that could be an overstatement. He's not a total idiot. It's not hard to identify many well-known problems with dependence on an oil supply that comes from countries with illiberal regimes, and he does so.

    But there's no indication that his prohibitionist "solution" is any more well thought out than, well, Prohibition.

    Andrew Sullivan, making his second appearance in this blog today, maintains his current streak of muddle-headedness by deeming Rauch's scheme "[s]ane, market-oriented, empirically sound policy." Sure, as "market-oriented" as any other policy that would mandate countless regulations, economic disruption, bans, and (almost certainly) price controls.

  • And our international correspondent, Salad Daughter, happened to be in Ascoli Piceno, Italy when the Italians won some sort of soccer match yesterday. In the kind of hard-hitting, insightful journalism you have come to expect from this blog, she reports that after witnessing the celebration, she's going to wait awhile before drinking from those piazza fountains again.


Last Modified 2008-09-12 6:17 AM EST