Guy’s Opinion On “The Princess Complex”

File this under “nothing hotter than a woman putting fire and steel on target”.

Men do not want to be princes. Princes are born into success, men make their own. We want women who share that same ethic, however it is success is defined. It’s just not sexy to date a helpless princess with an aversion to peas and a bluebird fetish. Give us Sarah Connor in a black cocktail dress pumping a shotgun any day.

via Guy’s Opinion On The Princess Complex | The Frisky.

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

“This system is insane. It is fragmented to the point of incoherence. Record-keeping is stuck in the 1960s. Communication is stuck in the 1980s. None of the systems talks to the others. Everyone reinvents the wheel at every stage of the process. There is no pricing transparency.

“In a sane, modern system, I wouldn't have to arrange each leg of my flight myself. I wouldn't have to fax documents around, find and juggle multiple providers, fill out again and again what are essentially the same forms every time I use a provider.

“In a sane system, I would call an airline and it would give me a price for the whole trip, not just for one part of it. It would sell me a safe round-trip journey, instead a series of separate procedures. It would have back-office personnel using modern IT systems to coordinate my journey behind the scenes. The systems and personnel would talk to each other automatically. At the press of a button, once I entered a password, they would be able to look up my travel history. We'd do most of this stuff online.

via National Journal Magazine – If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care.

Al Franken Reads the 4th Amendment to Justice Department Official

I am no fan of Franken, but credit where credit is due:

Noting that he received a copy of the Constitution when he was sworn in as a senator, he proceeded to read it to Kris, emphasizing this part: “no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

“That’s pretty explicit language,” noted Franken, asking Kris how the “roving wiretap” provision of the Patriot Act can meet that requirement if it doesn’t require the government to name its target.

Kris looked flustered and mumbled that “this is surreal,” apparently referring to having to respond to Franken’s question. “I would defer to the other branch of government,” he said, referring to the courts, prompting Franken to interject: “I know what that is.”

Kris explained that the courts have held that the law’s requirements that the person be described, though not named, is sufficient to meet the demands of the Constitution. That did not appear to completely satisfy Franken’s concerns.

via The Washington Independent » Al Franken Reads the 4th Amendment to Justice Department Official.

America’s “Pravda” ?

Nothing says “a free Republic” like State-sponsored media:

Obama open to newspaper bailout bill

The president said he is “happy to look at” bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

“I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.

And nothing says “liberty and freedom” like State-directed art:

EXPLOSIVE NEW AUDIO Reveals White House Using NEA to Push Partisan Agenda

On August 10th, the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the Corporation for National and Community Service hosted a conference call with a handpicked arts group. This arts group played a key role in Obama’s arts effort during his election campaign, as declared by the organizers of the call, and many on the call played a role in the now famous Obama Hope poster.

Much of the talk on the conference call was a build up to what the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was specifically asking of this group. In the following segment, Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, clearly identifies this arts group as a pro-Obama collective and warns them of some “specific asks” that will be delivered later in the meeting.

Before Ayn Rand, there was Isabel Paterson

Paterson grew up in poverty on the Western frontier. She had only two years of formal schooling. But she learned from her own experience, as well as her encyclopedic knowledge of history, that economic success results from individual initiative, not federal management. As an author, she also knew what makes a plausible story and could see that there could not possibly be a happy ending to the government’s efforts to fix everything that was broken in the 1930s.

Both Roosevelt and his hapless predecessor, Herbert Hoover, tried to inspire confidence by keeping unsuccessful enterprises afloat at the expense of successful ones. Strangely, prudent investors declined to be stimulated, no matter how fervently they were exhorted to trust the government’s programs. For Paterson, that result was tediously predictable. She told readers she was “tired of being told that ‘credit depends on confidence.’ Fudge. Credit depends on real assets, sound money and a clean record. … When any one asks us to have confidence we are glad to inform him that the request of itself would shatter any remaining confidence in our mind.”

Then there was the issue of government planning. To Paterson, the notion that federal experts can plan to ensure the people’s welfare was a ridiculous projection of childish fantasies—“a mother’s boy economic program with a kind maternal government taking care of everybody out of an inexhaustible income drawn from mysterious sources.” Perfect planning requires perfect foresight—and who possesses that?

via The American Conservative — Finding Atlas.

Let’s Try Hawley-Smoot Again!

Because it worked so well last time.

To wit, what does it mean for the world economy if America now has its first protectionist President since Herbert Hoover?

The smell of trade war is suddenly in the air. Mr. Obama slapped a 35% tariff on Chinese tires Friday night, and China responded on the weekend by threatening to retaliate against U.S. chickens and auto parts. That followed French President Nicolas Sarkozy's demand on Thursday that Europe impose a carbon tariff on imports from countries that don't follow its cap-and-trade diktats. “We need to impose a carbon tax at [Europe's] border. I will lead that battle,” he said.

[Protectionist]

Mr. Sarkozy was following U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who has endorsed a carbon tax on imports, and the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed a carbon tariff as part of its cap-and-tax bill. This in turn followed the “Buy American” provisions of the stimulus, which has incensed much of Canada; Congress's bill to ban Mexican trucks from U.S. roads in direct violation of Nafta, prompting Mexico to retaliate against U.S. farm and kitchen goods; and the must-make-cars-in-America provisions of the auto bailouts. Meanwhile, U.S. trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea languish in Congress.

Through all of this Mr. Obama has either said nothing or objected so feebly that Congress has assumed he doesn't mean it. Despite his pro-forma demurrals, Mr. Obama's actions and nonactions are telling the world that the U.S. is abandoning the global leadership on trade that Presidents of both parties have worked to maintain since the 1930s. His advisers whisper that their man is merely playing a little tactical domestic politics, but he is playing with fire, as the last 80 years of trade history should tell him.

via A Protectionist President – WSJ.com.

Obama Gets One Right

Credit where credit is due, folks.

Well I’d like to take this moment to congratulate the President for making a decision to put the safety of our nation first, instead of internationalism. Just as when he ordered the engagement of the Somali pirate kidnappers in April, Mr. Obama has again sent our special operations teams into action to protect our nation. Earlier today the best of the best, our US Navy SEALs, successfully concluded operation Celestial Balance; an operation tasked to capture/kill Saleh Ali Nabhan. Ten days ago President Obama signed off on the operation to take Nabhan, who was involved in many attacks on us and our allies since 1998 as well as residing on the FBI’s most wanted list since 2006.

via Congratulations Mr. President on a job well done. « POWIP.

US Life Expectancy: Best In World?

Apparently “yes”, when you control for car crashes and homicides.

One big reason our life expectancy lags is that Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks.

In their 2006 book, The Business of Health, economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.

via The Agitator » Blog Archive » Life Expectancy.

Not sure what this says about US rates of homicide and auto fatalities, but I’m pretty sure it says that the “Americans spend more on health care but don’t live as long” trope is misleading at best.