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Weekly Opeds 11

by Christopher Chantrill

Obama's Freeloader Economy

If you want to understand the deep political philosophy underneath the Obama administration’s random-walk economic policy, it is this. Freeloading.

When you really try to cudgel your brain in a good-faith effort to understand liberals, and try to understand the talk about “inequality” and “exploitation,”

|  more  |  12/27/11

"Liberal History" from Osawatomie Bam

It is still a couple of months until Groundhog Day but in Kansas, Osawatomie Bam recently popped up to take a look at the economic weather. Folks say that if he sees his shadow, it means another two years of economic headwinds.

But the Bamster didn’t look for his shadow. He just gave the assembled students a professorial lesson in

|  more  |  12/27/11

Andy Stern: Authoritarian

You have to wonder what kind of cheese the Wall Street Journal used to bait the mousetrap for Andy Stern, late head of the Service Employees International Union and friend of Obama.

We need to abandon our fundamentalist capitalist ways, wrote the

|  more  |  12/27/11

Occupy: History Repeats as Reality Show

Marx famously wrote that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. He was pointing up the difference between Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and scourge of Europe, defeated at the battle of Waterloo, and his less impressive nephew, Louis Napoleon, also emperor,

|  more  |  12/26/11

Liberals and "Austerity"

When I was a lad in 1950s Britain, the adults used to talk about “austerity.” This, I learned, was the period right after World War II. But what did it mean? I could never quite grasp what was so austere about those years. There was food rationing, of course, and that meant that my parents kept chickens in the back garden. It

|  more  |  12/26/11

Whither the White Working Class

There's plenty of fight left in the white working class. In Ohio last week it decisively defeated the Republican plan to curb government union power. Pity it doesn't make any difference. Pity the policemen and the firemen and the teachers and the social workers and the pension fund bondholders; they are screwed anyway, because there is no

|  more  |  11/19/11

The Great Recession is now the Great Restructuring

It's no longer just the Great Recession. Now the experts are talking about the "Great Restructuring" of the economy. Here's how the narrative goes.

Back in the Great Depression, the big problem was not just the depression; it was a Great Transition over a twenty-year period from 1930 to 1950.

|  more  |  11/19/11

Capitalism in Crisis? Surely You Jest!

British conservative Charles Moore visited the Occupy chaps at St. Paul's Cathedral in London and came away a bit bemused.

The protesters seem to imagine that, without their tented witness

|  more  |  11/19/11

Carry On Borking, Say Libs

What do our liberal friends really think about the infamous nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, that went down 58 to 42 in the United States Senate 24 years ago on October 23, 1987? If you have ever wondered, wonder no more. Joe Nocera just published

|  more  |  11/19/11

Subsidies Have Consequences

The trouble with the ruling class is that it doesn't have a clue about business. To an Obami like Jay Carney, White House press secretary, the failure of corporate crony Solyndra is “just the way business works.” You win some, you lose some.

Only, of course, the way business works is that when you lose it's supposed to be

|  more  |  10/20/11

If Conservatives Occupied Wall Street

Just about everyone right of center has been sniggering at the rather sorry products of our education system currently “occupying” Wall Street. It confirms why Nancy Pelosi could be so confident that the Tea Party was “astroturf.” Everything that comes out on the left is astroturf, so Pelosi naturally assumed that the

|  more  |  10/20/11

All Politics is Resentment

We've all been having a grand old time in the last couple of weeks railing at President Obama and his new class warfare campaign. We happily drag out his post-partisan speeches from 2008 and 2004, and beat him upside the head with his old TelePrompter scripts.

When we get sick of that we can sniggerabout his race war campaign: how he

|  more  |  10/09/11

All Politics is Resentment

We've all been having a grand old time in the last couple of weeks railing at President Obama and his new class warfare campaign. We happily drag out his post-partisan speeches from 2008 and 2004, and beat him upside the head with his old TelePrompter scripts.

When we get sick of that we can sniggerabout his race war campaign: how he

|  more  |  10/09/11

What are the Democrats Thinking?

At this moment in the political cycle Republicans are wondering if they are about to demolish the Democrats. And the Democrats are waking up to the possibility that President Obama might be leading them off a cliff.

So what are Democrats thinking at this critical moment? Let's take a look at a couple of recent efforts as both Jared

|  more  |  10/03/11

Is America Ready for a Christian President?

Leave it to a RINO. Now Gov. Mitt Romney is doing the Democrats’ work for them by worrying that Rick Perry is too extreme to be electable.

That’s not the way that Democrats talk about their candidates.

|  more  |  09/26/11

What Third Rail?

Nancy Pelosi has three words for the Democrats’ campaign in 2012: Medicare, Medicare, Medicare. We’ve already seen a sneak preview of this strategy in the delicately crafted YouTube video of Rep. Ryan trundling grannie off a cliff. Republicans are

|  more  |  09/14/11

Invisible Hand vs. Clenched Fist

The advance word on President Obama’s Thursday jobs speech is: nothing new. According to George Stephanopoulos it will contain tax cuts for corporations, an infrastructure bank and the usual pablum of job training for the unemployed.

|  more  |  09/10/11

Warren Buffett Shelters from Hurricane Obama

The hype over Hurricane Irene may have been overdone, but those few obedient souls that followed orders and sought shelter from the storm may have got a shock. For down there hunkering down from Hurricane Obama is none other than investor Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt is the

|  more  |  08/31/11

Remember "No New Taxes"?

It was interesting to watch Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talkin’ to the folks in Oakland last week. I found myself transfixed by her sophisticated blend of hand gestures, ranging from the one-finger point, the two-finger jab, and the full-hand

|  more  |  08/24/11

Riots and Civil Society

Peggy Noonon, as usual, asks the critical question in the aftermath of the London riots and the Philadelphia flash mobs.

When the riot begins or the flash mob arrives, the best the government can do is control the streets, enforce the

|  more  |  08/24/11

Obama as the Dying God

No doubt the White House is busy coming up with action plans for getting the president back on track for reelection. Hey, fellas, how about an infrastructure bank?

The staffers are just doing their job, keeping up morale after the debt-ceiling defeat and the debt-rating defeat. Not to mention that the improvement in unemployment rate

|  more  |  08/13/11

The Dirty Secret of Economics

Never mind about the debt ceiling. Here’s a more important question for you. How come after 235 years of modern economics we are stuck in a lackluster economic recovery from the worst business recession since the 1930s? On Friday the news came in that GDP growth was a mere 1.3 percent in the second quarter, and first quarter growth was

|  more  |  08/13/11

We're Not In 1995 Any More

The fear in the back of every Republican mind is that the American people will blame John Boehner and Republicans for shutting down the government. Just like they blamed Newt Gingrich in 1995 when President Clinton shut down the government in a budget battle with Newt and the first Republican Congress in 40 years.

Could the Republicans

|  more  |  07/29/11

Where Obamanomics Went Wrong

Suppose you are a liberal and you are wondering, after the truly dismal June jobs report, what went wrong. All right, you don’t wonder. If you are Jonathan Cohn, you merely parrot Paul Krugman about the insanity of trying to balance the budget right now and

|  more  |  07/20/11

Is Head-Smashed-In the Solution to Smash-Mouth Politics?

Let’s give the president and his base the benefit of the doubt. President Obama honestly thought that his smash-mouth press conference on Wednesday June 29th and his obsession over the Obama-Reid-Pelosi corporate jet stimulus tax credit was nothing more than good presidential leadership. No doubt the gay marriage advocates think that

|  more  |  07/09/11

Postmodernism's Take on "Flake" Journalism

In its feature piece on presidential candidate and Tea Party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), The Weekly Standard makes the obvious point: there is something about Bachmann and Sarah Palin that

|  more  |  07/09/11

Mixing up Mamet, Hayek, Hitchens, and Sowell

I was trotting along the other day, reading The Secret Knowledge by newly conservatized playwright David Mamet, when something pulled me up short. Mamet was explaining his “revelation upon reading Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.

|  more  |  06/25/11

Baby Economics

Economics is too hard. Who can tell from deficits and multipliers, after all? So it is time to dumb economics down, and make it simple enough for a baby to understand. “Economics for Babies.” This could be a publishing sensation to equal the Dummies phenomenon. Here is how it works.

Drill, Baby, Drill

|  more  |  06/20/11

The Twilight of the Educated Gods

It seems only yesterday that we saw our liberal masters, the educated gods, crossing their rainbow bridge into liberal Valhalla in part one of The Ring of the Obamalung. And very stirring it was. It’s a little shocking to wake up now and realize that we’ve run lickety

|  more  |  06/11/11

Palin and the White Working Class

Sunday May 29 and Rolling Thunder marked Sarah Palin’s first incursion into “enemy territory” since 2008, according to Politico’s Molly Ball. The US northeast is the region that’s “least friendly” to the

|  more  |  06/04/11

No Dog in that Fight, Mr. President?

Scott Johnson at Powerline, like many others, was unimpressed with President Obama’s May 29 Mideast speech. The

|  more  |  05/28/11

A Sluggish Recovery for President Obama

The mainstream media did a heroic job of making the mixed jobs numbers on Friday look good. Then the experts pointed out that the 244,000 new jobs in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey were mostly a statistical artifact.

If you look, as I do, at the BLS Household

|  more  |  05/12/11

Do the Math, Mr President

President Obama is currently touring the United States selling his FY12 Budget 2.0 that isn’t a budget that emerged from his April 13 speech. His budget isn’t really a budget because he hasn’t actually got any numbers to back up his rhetoric.

So let’s do the numbers for him. President Obama says that he wants the

|  more  |  05/07/11

Who Will Mediscare the Dems?

Some conservatives are getting squiffy about the polls on Medicare. Apparently about 80 percent of Americans are opposed to cuts in Medicare. Mona Charen, for one, is steeling herself for the inevitable Mediscare campaign from the Democrats.

|  more  |  04/28/11

The End of Medicare As We Know It

As usual, Mark Steyn has comically grasped the essence of the budget problem. Democrats are right, he admits, when they say that the Ryan Budget Plan means the end of Medicare as we know it. But let’s be honest about the

|  more  |  04/16/11

Unaccountable America

I’m often shocked by the children of liberal acquaintances. One has has a daughter with depression. Another has an ADHD son. Yet another has a bipolar son. All in their twenties.

Of course this is the season of the man-child, as in Kay S. Hymowitz’s Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys.

|  more  |  04/13/11

The Liberal Addiction to Bureaucracy

These days we do not judge people on the basis of good and evil. Instead of saying that something is evil, we say it is unhealthy. If someone is a drunk, we say he has an alcohol addiction. In the old days you purged the evil in your heart with confession and repentance. Modern addiction you treat with drugs and experts.


|  more  |  04/02/11

What Would Sherman Say?

I’m concerned that conservatives are expecting too much too soon from their Republican heroes. Radio hosts like Hugh Hewitt are flogging the House Republicans to stop ninnying around with continuing resolutions. People are starting to complain that

|  more  |  03/26/11

Social Security Isn't Broken

Columnist Charles Krauthammer is right , of course.  Social Security is a disgusting fraud.  Yet of all the entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, “Social Security is the most solvable.”  So

|  more  |  03/19/11

Deflating Those Liberal Myths

Our media chaps like to be first with the new cultural trend, the latest hot thing that young things are getting hot over. But they have another important role, and that is publicizing the Roadrunner moment—when Wile E. Coyote realizes that there’s nothing between him and the ground 2,000 feet below.

The Wall Street

|  more  |  03/09/11

The Liberal Culture of Compulsion

If you listen to your liberal friend she will tell, perhaps, of a wonderful program at the local community college that is helping in the fight for literacy in adult women. Probably she heard about it on NPR.

It is a wonderful thing to have adult literacy programs. Only, of course, there’s no way to tell if they do any good. And

|  more  |  03/05/11

Radical Suits and Their Suckers

Back in the 1970s my daughters used to say: “Let’s play princesses!” and a grand old time they had. I imagine that in progressive families, the cry was different. “Let’s play community organizers!” No doubt a grand old time was had by the baby radicals too.

The trouble is that some people don’t grow

|  more  |  02/24/11

Trillions and Trillions

President Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget trailed the FY12 federal budget for the media the day before the budget was sent up to Congress on February 14. Reported Reuters:

President Barack

|  more  |  02/24/11

Jobs and Revolution

Since I know nothing about Egypt beyond what I read in the papers, I won’t comment on the Egyptian revolution. All I can say is that I agree with the pundits. When you have an autocratic regime then you get rigidities in the economy and society that strain and stress it until something breaks. The only thing these thug dictators

|  more  |  02/13/11

"The Backs of our Mosts Vulnerable Citizens"

What do you reply when your liberal friend says: “No one should have to go without health care!” My reply, the other day, was the standard conservative line that “nobody in the US goes without health care.” Afterwards, I realized how unsatisfactory that reply is; it has the flavor of

|  more  |  02/13/11

Disdain for Palin

Now that the left’s McCarthyite attack on Sarah Palin has subsided, she merely has to suffer the disdain of the intellectual elite. Even James Taranto, admitted high-school dropout, damns her with faint praise.

This is nothing new. The

|  more  |  02/13/11

Mobs, Lynchings, and Psychos

You tell me: is the attempted killing of a member of Congress for the first time in 30 years a reflection on the violence of our political rhetoric, or a reminder of the remarkable peacefulness of modern life?

Our liberal friends like to think of the United States as uniquely violent, primarily because of its racist gun culture.

|  more  |  02/13/11

Liberals and Political Kitsch

The link at RealClearPolitics said “Eliminating Inequality is Good for the Soul.” But at the New York Times Nicholas Kristof’s article a week ago was more

|  more  |  01/12/11

Playing the "Violence" Card

Our lefty friends have just come off a pretty a good century playing the blame game on “violence.” Whether it was corporate goons whacking union organizers at the Battle of the Overpass, or racist southern cops turning the fire-hoses on civil-rights marchers, or

|  more  |  01/07/11

Ammo for the Battle of Ideas

Don’t get too excited about the extra congressional seats for red states, warns Jonah Goldberg. In red states like Texas, some of those new districts will end up as Democratic and Hispanic. In fact, he says, conservatives shouldn’t rely

|  more  |  01/04/11



What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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