Archive for the ‘mark steyn’ tag
You know how it is when youâ€™re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and youâ€™re not sure where itâ€™s going but itâ€™s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. Youâ€™re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, thereâ€™s always the awareness-raising rock concert: itâ€™s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but letâ€™s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics. The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.
[South Park creators Matt] Stone and [Trey] Parker get what was at stake in the Danish-cartoons crisis and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the free world is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedomâ€™s enemies. So the South Park episode is an important cultural pushback.
Theyâ€™re so edgy theyâ€™re curled up in the fetal position, whimpering at the guy with the cutting edge, â€œPlease. Behead me last. And donâ€™t use the rusty scimitar where you have to saw away for 20 minutes to find the spinal columnÂ .Â .Â .Â â€
Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side . . .
And from Ace of Spades:
He also aims to make Republicans partners in the destruction of America, by making us endorse his cataclysmic irresponsibility — when we take back Congress, we will be faced with two vicious choices: Raise taxes ruinously, or allow the country to repudiate its debt and go bankrupt. Because the best option — repealing the bill — will be impossible until a real President is installed and next-to-impossible thereafter.
Barack Obama, a man who not so long ago had time to jet across the world to make dreary Olympics-losing speeches about how his kind of town Chicago is, has now postponed his presidential visits to Indonesia and Australia in order to make sure “health care” passes this week â€“ or, at any rate, is “deemed” to have passed, which is apparently the way a quarter-millennium-old constitutional republic does things.
In Australia, the Labor government, eager to flaunt its green credentials, instituted a nationwide environmentally-friendly roof-insulation program, using energy-efficient foil insulation. It certainly reduces the carbon footprint of many Aussiesâ€™ homes: At the time of writing, 172 of them have burned down. It reduces your personal carbon footprint, too: Four installers of the foil have been fatally electrocuted. As the Sydney Daily Telegraphâ€™s Tim Blair noted, the foil-insulation program has a higher fatality rate than Oz forces in Afghanistan. And, if the electrician survives long enough to get the installation completed, the good news is that, unlike the electric Zamboni, the electric attic always has plenty of juice: Colin Brierley had the foil insulation put into his Gold Coast home and was electrocuted a week later. The environmentally friendly electric shock entered through his knees, exited from his head, and led to a nice stay in hospital in an induced coma.
At Copenhagen, Europe attempted to do to the developed worldâ€™s entire economy what Peter Garrettâ€™s foil insulation did to poor old Colin Brierley of Windaroo in the Gold Coast. They were prevented from doing so only by Brazil, China and India, three countries with more conventional (ie, non-suicidal) concepts of national interest.
Whatâ€™s happening in the developed world today isnâ€™t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, theyâ€™ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: Ten grandparents have six kids have four grandkids — ie, the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 â€œlowest-lowâ€ fertility — the point from which no society has ever recovered. And, compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.
So you canâ€™t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you donâ€™t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?
He speaks extemporaneously almost as wonderfully as he writes. Briefly:
The great thing about multiculturalism is it absolves you of knowing anything.
The president tells us, with a straight face, that his grossly irresponsible profligate wastrel of a predecessor took the federal budget on an eight-year joyride, so the only way his sober, fiscally prudent successor can get things under control is to grab the throttle and crank it up to what Mel Brooks in Spaceballs (which seems the appropriate comparison) called â€œLudicrous Speed.â€
Don’t anybody tell Obama about Plaid Speed.