URLs du Jour

2009-03-08

Many people out there are linking to the following, but if you haven't seen 'em yet:

  • When Rahm Emanuel was named Obama's chief of staff, many people pointed out his quote:

    You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. […] This is an opportunity. What used to be long-term problems -- be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area -- things that we had postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate and must be dealt with. And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before.

    At the time, some bright people pointed to that remark as an indication that we were in for another confirmation of Robert Higgs' thesis in Crisis and Leviathan: a temporary "crisis" used as an excuse for the panic-stricken imposition of large and permanent increases in government control over the economy and our everyday lives.

    I thought that was kind of a cheap shot. More fool I; it may have been cheap, but the shot was precisely on target. Recently, Hillary Clinton showed that she was on board too:

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience Friday "never waste a good crisis," and highlighted the opportunity of rebuilding economies in a greener, less energy-intensive way.

    Economies "rebuild" themselves all the time, of course; it's the natural free-market course of things. What this administration doesn't want to "waste" is the opportunity to take that rebuilding out of private hands, instead putting it under control of politicians.

    And the One also chimed in over the weekend:

    Overseeing a dispirited nation, President Barack Obama on Saturday sought to assure people that bleak times will give way to better days, calling the mounting economic crisis a time to discover America's next "great opportunity."

    "Opportunity" for what? For enacting his leftwing to-do list, of course. Charles Krauthammer addressed this crisis-mongering in his Friday column, first by looking at Obama's argument for his schemes:

    The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

    "Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

    Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

    He could also add: increased regulation, and tax increases both overt and sneaky.

    Krauthammer then goes on to describe the disconnect from reality:

    Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

    There is no evidence that Obama's "cures" have anything to do with the actual problems bedeviling the economy.

    Why the urgency then? Ask Rahm, Hill, and Barack.

  • Via Michelle comes word that New Hampshire's own Portsmouth Tea Company is planning on donating 70 pounds of tea to the folks planning the "tea party" protests for April 15.

    I drive by the Portsmouth Tea Company's retail outlet at least a couple times every week. Superficially, I passed it off as a pinky-in-the-air place, and if I had to guess at its politics, I would have guessed it would be in New England's Ben & Jerry's/Stonyfield Farms pinko tradition.

    But now I'll stop in.

  • On a related note: mad Google Sketchup skillz are used to picture one trillion dollars.

  • On an unrelated note, the New Yorker has put up an essay about the tragic final years of genius author David Foster Wallace.

    It's good, but if you would also/instead like to follow Shawn Macomber's excellent advice and read something by Wallace instead of about him, they've also put up "Wiggle Room", an excerpt from his unfinished novel The Pale King. The first paragraph runs (by my trusty computer's count) 2609 words. Here are the first couple sentences:

    Lane Dean, Jr., with his green rubber pinkie finger, sat at his Tingle table in his chalk's row in the rotes group's wiggle room and did two more returns, then another one, then flexed his buttocks and held to a count of ten and imagined a warm pretty beach with mellow surf, as instructed in orientation the previous month. Then he did two more returns, checked the clock real quick, then two more, then bore down and did three in a row, then flexed and visualized and bore way down and did four without looking up once, except to put the completed files and memos in the two Out trays side by side up in the top tier of trays, where the cart boys could get them when they came by.

    Wallace's publisher will be putting out The Pale King next year.


Last Modified 2012-10-08 12:58 PM EST