At least 75% of us still agree it's the greatest country EVAH! Optimism in U.S. Government is at a 36 Year Low. And for those of you who read my blog, optimism is the code word I use when I'm trying not to drop the H-Bomb (hope).
Just a reminder in case you forgot: The U.N. is completely useless. Iran and Saudi Arabia Considered for U.N.'s New Womens Agency Board.
Just a reminder in case you forgot: Mexico is now more dangerous than Iraq. Every Cop in Mexican Town's Police Force Resigns After Attack. Yikes... I'm glad I'm on an island far, far away from MS-13.
In the case of climate change, there is actual scientific knowledge about the properties of CO2, but advocates of emissions mitigation schemes constantly attempt to drape the mantle of science, or more broadly expert knowledge, around public policy positions that, as I have argued many times, do not follow even from the core technical reports produced by the asserted experts.
Bill Buckley famously said that he "would rather by governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the Harvard faculty." So would I. But I would rather fly in an airplane with wings designed by one competent aeronautical engineer than one with wings designed by a committee of the first 20,000 names of non-engineers in the Boston phonebook. The value of actual expertise in a technical field like wing design outweighs the advantages offered by incorporating multiple points of view.
The essential Progressive belief that Klein expresses in undiluted form is that crafting public policy through legislation is a topic for which, in simplified terms, the benefits of expertise outweigh the benefits of popular contention. Stated more cautiously, this would be the belief that the institutional rules of the game should be more heavily tilted toward expert opinion on many important topics than they are in the U.S. today.
This would be a lot more compelling if the elites didn't have such a terrible track record of producing social interventions that work.
An aeronautical engineer can predict reliably that "If you design a wing like this, then this plane will be airworthy, but if you design it like that, then it will never get in the air." If you were to build a bunch of airplanes according to each set of specifications, you would discover that he or she is almost always right. This is actual expertise. I've tried to point out many times that the vast majority of program interventions fail when subjected to replicated, randomized testing.
Our so-called experts in public policy talk a good game, but in the end are no experts at all. They build castles of words, and call it knowledge.
Elites are often missing crucial knowledge, and unaware of it. In some ways, that effect is more pronounced than it used to be, with more and more of the elites drawn from a narrow class of extremely well-educated people from a handful of metropolitan areas, few of whom have ever, say, been responsible for a profit and loss statement, or tried to bring a gas station into compliance with local and federal EPA regulations. In a world where your primary output is words, it is easy to imagine a smoothly operating process based on really smart rule-making.
Senator Babs Boxer is facing ethics complaints again. Who's Barbara Boxer, you ask? Why, she's the Chair of the Senate ETHICS Committee. What's she up against? Complaints that she didn't disclose a million dollar house she had in Oakland and complaints that she had solicited public school students to campaign for her. You'd think somebody on the Ethics Committee would know their right from wrong. And they wonder why we have so little... optimism in the system.
I love Jon Stewart, but I've always said that his upcoming march to restore sanity was basically a pro-democrat operation. I mean, it's bi-partisan as long as you agree with the liberal agenda, if you disagree, however, you're lacking in sanity! I've also always said that the Daily Show, while not claiming impartiality, will almost never make fun of Democrats or criticize them with one glaring exception. They will criticize and make fun of Democrats who aren't being Liberal enough. David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun has a more detailed post on that subject here. If you're interested in seeing how "moderate" his march is going to be, just take a quick look at this WaPo piece by Anne Applebaum. If you're too lazy to look, people are going to be bussed in by PETA and Arianna Huffington, hardly paragons of moderation.
And if you're really naive enough to think that this march is going to be moderate or bi-partisan, just check out Allah's summary report.
That’s one way to look at it, and the DNC is certainly trying to take full advantage. (Says a voting expert at American University, “For Stewart, sanity is a code word for Democratic.”) Another way to look at it is that the left is hot to top Glenn Beck’s rally in turnout and “prove” that they’re still the ones who Care The Most, notwithstanding the brutal beating they’re about to take next week. And a third way to look at it, I suppose, is as a reaction to what Shelby Steele identified today in his superb op-ed about the failure of Obama’s liberal Hopenchange redemption narrative. As George Carlin once said, inside every cynic is a disappointed idealist, and there an awful lot of disappointed idealists among the lefty base right now. Is it any surprise that they’d take comfort in a rally organized by two guys who’ve become superstars of cynicism, with a consoling chicken-soup theme of sanity and moderation and, heck, all-around niceness? (Plus, Sheryl Crow will be there!)
Oh, Sheryl Crow!!! Honestly, if I had the chance, I'd go to the rally because I enjoy Jon and Steven and find them hilarious.
The Frisky: Men are from Bacon, Women are from Cupcakes. Quite possibly the best piece on gender differences I've ever read. It's hilarious and spot on. I'm not one much for sweets, but I'm always down for a bleeding, unhealthily-rare steak with a side of bacon and slathered in baconnaise with bacon salt. Chocolate covered bacon for dessert? If I was kosher, would I be from Turkey Bacon? This article is insensitive to Joos, Islambs, and Hindoods.
That's just how far our culture has gone... chocolate covered bacon, baconnaise. Just look at what King Sized used to mean, back when our country was poor and starving or something. I always marvel at the drinks when I go to Wendy's. They have a price on the board (it's for small) but when you order the meal, they assume you want medium so you end up paying more. And medium is ginormous. I don't even like soda (see above, don't like sweets) very much, and now I've got 32 ounces of it. WTF mate?
Saudi Prince Wants NYC Mosque Moved? When you've lost the Saudi Princes...
I hope I ride on these beasts: New Navy Boat Powered by Seaweed. I'll just unwrap my Lion Roll and fill up my tank.
Johnny Dollar finds more hypocrisy at MSNBC... you don't say? They might as well give Alan Grayson a TV show where he can call everybody Monkey Hitler Talibans and Whores.