URLs du Jour


  • Hurricane Sandy _Staten Island I responded to a letter from one Wayne H. Merrit in my local paper yesterday, concentrating on his strawman decontextualization of a line from Ronald Reagan's 1981 Inaugural Address. But Wayne (more generally) meant to deliver a paean to Big Government. One of his datapoints:

    Government, with qualified and just leaders, is entrusted with the important role of laying down the foundation for the private. Good government, as evidenced frequently in recent times under the Obama Administration (see Hurricane Sandy), […]

    All the more ironic, then, that today Shikha Dalmia should detail Big Government's actual post-Sandy performance. Among other things:

    It didn't set up its first relief center until four days after Sandy hit -- only to run out of drinking water on the same day. It couldn't put sufficient boots on the ground to protect Queens residents from roving looters. The Red Cross -- on whom FEMA depends for delivering basic goods -- left Staten Island stranded for nearly a week, prompting borough President Jim Molinaro to fume that America was not a Third World country. But FEMA's most egregious gaffe was that it arranged for 24 million gallons of free gas for Sandy's victims, but most of them couldn't lay their hands on it.

    Ah, but at least it allowed President Obama to briefly appear as if he was Competently Doing Something. That was the only thing that mattered to our dear MSM, and people like Wayne H. Merrit at least pretended to be impressed.

    Ms Dalmia establishes that FEMA has become yet another example of Robert Higgs' thesis in Crisis and Leviathan: for statists, crises are invariably used as an excuse for permanent expanson of government. Actually helping the needy… not so much.

  • Ilya Shapiro's headline says it all: "Court Finds That Outlawing Racial Preferences Violates Constitutional Provision That Outlaws Racial Preferences".

    The Sixth Circuit's sharply split decision reads like something out of Orwell (or The Onion): Michiganders. decision to amend their state constitution to outlaw racial preferences in college admissions somehow violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. As Dave Barry would say, I'm not making this up: The court voted 8-7 that making people more equal under the law violates the constitutional provision that requires people to be treated equally under the law!

    Ilya is optimistic that the Supremes will reverse this decision.

  • I'm a pretty regular reader of Cracked; their recent article "6 Iconic Movie Scenes That Happened by Accident" is well above their excellent average. Every scene they mention really is iconic by my yardstick. (Which is: I remember them.) And there's an interesting yarn attached to every one.