Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday's fish fry

NANNY STATE UPDATE--a small town in Indiana passes pretty much a total workplace/public places smoking ban, that even includes bars, and the rationale behind it is scary:
"Critics talk passionately about individual freedom and business concerns. But in the end, the most important issue to consider is public health, Murphy said."
Careful--why then can't we similarly justify banning the sale of soda pop, sugar cookies, or salty potato chips???? Can't one argue that banning them would aid "public health" too?

"HOPE AND CHANGE" AIN'T ALL ITS CRACKED UP TO BE UPDATE--the Obama administration holds on to yet another Bush-era policy, this time on the environment:
"The Obama administration will retain a Bush-era rule for polar bears, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday, in a move that angered activists who noted the rule limits what can be done to protect the species from global warming. The administration had faced a weekend deadline to decide whether it should allow government agencies to cite the federal Endangered Species Act, which protects the bear, to impose limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and automobiles even if the emissions occur thousands of miles from where the polar bear lives. "We must do all we can to help the polar bear recover, recognizing that the greatest threat to the polar bear is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change," Salazar said in a statement. "However, the Endangered Species Act is not the proper mechanism for controlling our nation’s carbon emissions."
Read the whole thing--note that environmentalists don't seem to care whether what they seek to have done falls under the scope of legislation, or not.

HOW CAN REPUBLICANS MAKE A COMEBACK? Victor Davis Hanson today hits on something really important:
"If the Republicans think they can outbid the Democrats for the support of feminists, gays, and growing numbers of minorities, then they will only add embarrassment and permanent failure to the present natural cycle of political correction. Instead, they must be ready to show that deficits of the present magnitude, when added to existing debt, are unsustainable and will sap the vitality of the entire American society. Most people dread going to the DMV; that such a state-run blueprint will now be superimposed on manufacturing, energy, health care, and banking should scare the landscaper and the roofer alike. Precisely by showing to gays, women, minorities, and the young that none of us gets an exemption from the iron laws of nature — you cannot spend what you don’t make; you can’t apologize to unsavory characters and end up respected and safe; you can’t expect government bureaucrats to make better decisions than private executives — conservatives can become inclusive. Conservatives should remind the electorate that the very wealthy, the Wall Street big money, and the elite in the universities and foundations are now consistently voting Democratic. It was the nexus between Wall Street financiers and lax liberal Democratic congressional overseers — the former wanting profits, the latter able to cloak lavish campaign contributions with populist rhetoric about caring for the poor — that got us into the financial mess."
Bingo. When all is said and done, Republicans and conservatives will never get anywhere by trying to look more like Democrats or co-opt their issues. Instead, they've got to show why their principles, especially of limited government, liberty, defeating our enemies, are principles that should appeal to all, be they rich, poor, white, minority, gay, or straight.

JOBLESS RATE UPDATE: The unemployment rate rose again today, but some in the media seek to mitigate the bad news:
The American economy lost another 539,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate leapt to 8.9 percent, the government reported Friday, yet the deterioration was slightly milder than expected, buoying hopes that better days are approaching."
Hmmm. Yes, I'm sure that's great consolation for those who've lost their jobs.
Hey, we all hope the bad times will soon be behind us. But would our friends in the news media be making these kinds of rationalizations if the Bush administration was still in power? Could it be that Obama's supporters in the news media--and we know there are tons of you out there--are trying to spin this in a way that will help him???

EDUCATION UPDATE: a charter school in Harlem produces amazing, hugely positive results for inner-city African-American children. How did it do it? By spending lots of money? By reducing class size? Nope:
"These results are powerful evidence in a long-running debate. Some experts, mostly surrounding the education establishment, argue that schools alone can’t produce big changes. The problems are in society, and you have to work on broader issues like economic inequality. Reformers, on the other hand, have argued that school-based approaches can produce big results. The Harlem Children’s Zone results suggest the reformers are right. The Promise Academy does provide health and psychological services, but it helps kids who aren’t even involved in the other programs the organization offers. To my mind, the results also vindicate an emerging model for low-income students. Over the past decade, dozens of charter and independent schools, like Promise Academy, have become no excuses schools. The basic theory is that middle-class kids enter adolescence with certain working models in their heads: what I can achieve; how to control impulses; how to work hard. Many kids from poorer, disorganized homes don’t have these internalized models. The schools create a disciplined, orderly and demanding counterculture to inculcate middle-class values."

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers got beat by the White Sox last night, 6-0. They just got shut down by a guy who's pitching real well right now, Mark Buehrle--he's 5-0 so far this year, and the White Sox have won every game he's started. He showed us why last night. Not much else to say...
The news was mixed elsewhere, too. The Rangers lost to the A's, 9-4. Brandon McCarthy pitched well for the Rangers for 3 innings, but then gave up his first hit in the 4th...and lost it, walking guys, then giving up a long grand-slam to Jack Cust. Just not the Rangers' day...but they're still 3-1 on their current road trip.
And the Cubs on again, beating Houston 8-6. Alfonso Soriano hit 2 homers, and Ted Lilly gave the Cubs 6 decent innings of starting pitching. The Cubs have now won 6 of 7, and seem to be coming together...

FAVORITE TEAMS UPDATE: the Detroit Red Wings regained the momentum last night in their series with Anaheim, winning on the road 6-3. The series is now tied 2-2, with game 5 in Detroit on Sunday. Key for the Wings was getting their big scorers, guys like Johann Franzen and Marian Hossa, going. The Wings set themselves up a lot of good chances, and this time they converted. Now they have to keep it going at home. Ah, the ebb and flow of a tough playoff series like this one--both teams now have won on the other's ice. That's the sign of a real grueling battle...