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So many people have asked to me to comment on Aliza Marcus’ piece in the FP that I decided to go over it paragraph by paragraph to show how badly researched it was. Having done so, I am now forced to say that Aliza is flat-out delusional about Turkey due to her failure – deliberately […]

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No, it’s Not Necessary to Say the Obvious About the Portland Bomber: It’s Obvious

 

Well, just when I nearly had some of you convinced that yes, Moderate Islam exists, Dirka-Dirka-Triple-Muhammed-Jihad tries to blow up a bunch of kids and a Christmas tree in Portland, setting back my campaign for drawing these important distinctions by about a thousand years. 

The Internet chatter is registering vexation with news reports that fail to say the obvious–that the bomber-manqué is a Muslim–but this time, give the media a break. I yield to no one in my vexation with the world’s willingness to submit to a reign of euphemism, but when your story features the words “Allahu Akbar,” “jihad,” and a guy named “Mohamed Osman Mohamud,” it’s just superfluous to note that the the subject of the story is a Muslim. If I write, “After finishing his bagel and consulting the Talmud, Shmuel the rabbi applied himself to a kosher pickle,” it’s not so much political correctness as verbal economy that prevents me from adding, “Shmuel, by the way, is a Jew.”

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The MFAs, the insular New Yorkers, or neither? I’d tend to vote for the first of the three, as the traditional New York publishing world at least has the market discipline of the bottom line, however poorly the houses seem to understand it. Still, the insularity of both of these groups has got to have […]

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I’ve noticed that several members are, like me, afflicted with a legal career, so I reckon many of us are also members of the Federalist Society.  I’m considering a trip to next year’s Federalist Society lawyers’ convention in Washington (typically they are in November), and an idea crawled from my muddled brain – why not […]

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By now you’ve heard about Mohamed Mohamud, the Somali-born teenaged jihadist arrested for attempting mass murder last Friday night.  Mohamud thought he was detonating a van laden with explosives parked at a crowded Christmas tree-lighting event in downtown Portland, Oregon. Thankfully, the FBI had interposed itself between Mohamud and his overseas mentors, so the explosives […]

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Wikileaks Awakens Sleeping Giant and Fills Him with Terrible Resolve

 

Oh, yes–we’re really putting the fear of God into Julian Assange now. Obama has apparently carried out his terrible threat to release a polite letter asking Wikileaks not to publish our classified materials. And the world thought America was afraid to show its fangs. That will teach them. Oderint dum metuant, I say.

Let that be a lesson to you, Kim Jong-un: You could be next. 

Fiscal Trap?

 

In the current issue of The Weekly Standard, there is a sobering article by Lawrence B. Lindsey on the potential consequences of quantitative easing. Ben Bernanke fears deflation, wants to goose the economy, and professes not to mind if inflation returns to the recent norm. Lindsey explains in detail what that would mean with regard to our ability to service the national debt. On his reckoning – even if we assume that married couples making over $250,000 will be saddled with a significant tax increase next year, even if something modest is done to reduce federal spending – this means that, whereas we are paying $200 billion now in interest on the national debt, we will be paying $847 billion in 2015 and $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The increase in annual interest costs in 2015 alone—$557 billion—is nearly six times the additional revenue that is supposed to be collected by letting the higher end of the Bush tax cuts expire, the centerpiece of the current fiscal policy debate in Washington. The increase in interest costs in 2019—$795 billion—is two-and-a-half times the value of all the Bush income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 that are due to expire. On the spending side, just the extra interest cost from a quantitative easing “success” would swamp, say, the entire defense budget for the rest of the decade. No plausible increase in taxes or reduction in spending could fill a gap of that magnitude.

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It’s the last day of Thanksgiving break for the kids, the house is clean and all the relatives have gone home, so I’ve got time to express a mild protest about the wording at the top of the Member Feed page: The editors will promote exemplary Member posts to the Main Feed. Preview Open

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Blood for Oil?

 

In an interview that I read yesterday, Christopher Hitchens observed, “Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma, North Korea, anywhere that the concept of human rights doesn’t exist, it’s always the Chinese at backstop. And always for reasons that you could write down in three words: blood for oil.”

That last comment gave me a start, and I cannot get it out of my mind. To what extent is he right? And where it is in error, is the error merely technical? Could we simply substitute something else for oil?

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A few quick questions for Rico members who already own an iPad.  Do you like it?  Do you use it frequently?  What apps do you use most?  Is it worth asking for one for Christmas or would it be better to wait for version 2 to come out in 2011?  I’ve been itching to add an iPad […]

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I steadfastly believe that it is a myth that many people choose, for trips of greater than 5 hours by car, to drive rather than fly because of the hassles of air travel (as opposed to reasons including fear of flying, cost, etc.). And so I offer the following challenge – identify as many air travel hassles […]

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/26/AR2010112603490.html George Will has a wonderful history lesson today that Conservatives who deplore the coarsening of the culture need to be mindful of. No matter how much we deplore Rap music, video games or the attitudes of Hollywood, the Nanny State has no business regulating these things. I think I’ll go for a bike ride […]

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I’m amazed that I am apparently the first Ricochet member to post on this fact. It’s been over 24 hours since the DHS shut down 75 internet sites without due process of any kind. The Domain Name Servers (DNS) are now taken over at will by the DHS claiming copyright protection as their pretext, regardless […]

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What Does Madison Teach Us About Wealth Redistribution?

 

President Obama’s unapologetic redistributionist philosophy, which he informally unveiled with his comments to Joe the Plumber, has brought class warfare to a heightened level in this country. His other statist and anti-capitalist proclivities have generated, in a sense, a national debate about socialism – not that many people will openly defend it. But there do seem to be more open expressions of contempt these days for the inequitable distribution that inheres in a capitalist system. Obama appears to favor equality of outcomes over equality of opportunity. Liberals increasingly employ both taxing and spending policy to equalize outcomes.

I think the Obama Democrats’ flagrant advancement of socialism, and the explosion of national debt to which it has significantly contributed, have, more than any other factor, driven the Tea Party protests. On the other end of the political spectrum, we have seen a bit of a backlash from leftists who stubbornly cling to socialist ideas — to the point that they believe Obama has betrayed the cause.

Why Can’t We Lock Up Rapists on Indian Reservations?

 

I just came across this article about vigilante justice on American Indian reservations in Mother Jones. Yes, you read that right: Mother Jones. Before jumping to any conclusions, read the article, which strikes me as solid reporting, though I’m not in a position really to say; I don’t know enough about the subject.

In particular, I don’t fully understand the legal issues here. Perhaps someone on Ricochet can help me understand what, exactly, is going on:

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Theodore was an impressive man.  He once took a bullet and kept giving his speech.  Despite his rugged character he was the first president of the progressive era.  He helped make peace with Russia and Japan and won a Nobel prize for it.  The panama canal was built, but only after supporting a Panamanian revolution […]

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