Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday lunch tab dump 

In Dallas, cooling my heels at DFW without a creative spark in my body. But there is always time for a tab dump! Here's what I've got:

From the Politico, "7 Stories Obama Doesn't Want Told." Nothing scandalous, just a list of memes that might go south if the legacy media falls out of love.

Claudia Rosett, who has long campaigned for transparency within the United Nations (a pipe dream if there ever was one), wants to see the rest of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's emails. They will never see the light of day, of course, because it is the U.N., but the world should ignore what the IPCC says if -- when -- it refuses to be transparent.

Richard Lindzen, the professor of meteorology at MIT who is one of the most academically accomplished climate change "skeptics," writes about unsettled climate science. The issue is feedbacks, and the whole game turns on whether they are primarily positive or primarily negative. Read the whole thing.

Charles Johnson, the personification of Little Green Footballs, explains why he is parting ways with the right. If I agreed with his characterization of the people he cites, I would agree with him. And there is no question that there are righty blog commenters, especially, who write some hideous things (a sad fact I relearn whenever I reveal my fairly dovish views on immigration, for example). But I think that, in the main, Charles is defining "racism," for example, very broadly, and sees it where other reasonable people do not.

A very interesting take on the velocity of American marriage.

Americans get married more, get divorced more, and have more live-in partners than people in any other Western nation, according to Cherlin. Some 90 percent of Americans are projected to marry in their lifetimes, yet about half of these marriages will end in divorce. (One-fifth of American marriages will end in divorce within five years.) Our marriages are weaker than others' live-in relationships. (American children of married parents are more likely to experience a parental breakup than Swedish children of cohabitating parents.) And when we live together without marrying, our unions are more fragile than those in other countries. One out of 12 American children experiences three or more maternal co-residential partnerships by the age of 15—that's three times higher than in any other Western country.

If you are divorced or separated and also have kids, it is well worth your time. Suffice it to say that we are not a patient people.

Is housing back?
Pending home sales picked up for the ninth month running in October and climbed to the highest level since 2006, as the US housing market continues to stabilise.

Let's hope so, not because high housing prices are good -- they are not, and the last thing we need is for people to return to the bad idea that homes are a good way to save for retirement -- but because we need a second wave of defaults like a hole in the head.

It is easy to mock newspapers for losing money, blaming it on their lame content, but then why are people pirating so much of it?
Stories from US newspapers are being copied without permission on the internet on average 4.4 times, rising to as much as 15 times for the largest national publishers, according to a study that forms the basis of an industry push to get paid more for online content.

It is a conceit on the right and in the blogosphere generally that newspapers are failing because their content sucks or they do not "get it." In fact, nobody has found a way both to promote digital content and capture a high percentage of its economic value. See, e.g., the music industry.

Health care savings under proposed "reform" legislation: trivial.
Democratic party proposals to reform the US health insurance market would lead to a slight drop in insurance premiums for most Americans, according to an analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office on Monday.

The much-awaited analysis, published the same day that the Senate began debating a controversial bill that provides for a government-run health insurance system, is likely to disappoint those who back reform as a way to lower healthcare costs.

The non-partisan CBO said that people with health insurance provided by their employers – five out of six Americans – would hardly see any change in their premiums by 2016.

The “large group market”, where companies provide insurance to more than 50 employees, would see an average reduction in premium per person of up to 3 per cent, but perhaps no change at all. The “small group market” – fewer than 50 employees – might see only a 2 per cent cut but could see a 1 per cent rise.

But then, we knew that, didn't we? Some things are so obvious you do not need a study to prove them.


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Tue Dec 01, 02:07:00 PM:

Charles Johnson paints with a very broad brush. I wonder if he will ever post on "Why I Parted Ways With the Left." Much of which he attributes to the Right he will also find on the Left, albeit often in a different form. I grew up in a liberal environment, and found many reasons for leaving the left.I see no reason to revert back, even after reading Charles's posting.

I stopped reading Little Green Footballs a while back for at least two reasons. 1) Many of the comments were inane. 2) Change of emphasis in his postings, such as a vastly increased number of postings on creationism. At least that is my impressionistic take. I am not a fan of creationism, and tend to laugh at many of the adherents of creationism. In a listing of Top Fifty Dangers to America and the West, I would place adherents of creationism around #40. I do not understand LGF's fixation on creationism. We have bigger fish to fry.

TigerHawk: a comment on immigration. Here in TX, where illegal aliens inundate the place, the perspective on immigration might be different from that of an affluent suburb, such as the one where you live in New Jersey.(Humor)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 01, 03:28:00 PM:

New Jersey has no problem with immigrants but we have a problem with illegal aliens . Freehold NJ has become a favorite place for these lawbreakers. I resent those who classify immigrants and illegal aliens in the same category.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Dec 01, 04:57:00 PM:

I resent those who classify immigrants and illegal aliens in the same category.

Well, there is obviously a difference. It is, however, the rare person who views illegal immigration as a big problem (as opposed to a minor one, as I do) and who would solve the problem of the illegality by making it much easier for people to immigrate legally. If you fall in to that rarified group, then my hat is off to you.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Dec 01, 05:10:00 PM:

The most pissed off, angry rant I ever heard about illegal aliens came from a legal Irish immigrant to the US; I got quite the story contrasting her own experiences (fleeing an IRA-related blood feud in the 70s, finding a job within 48 hours of arriving in America, and going about building a new life here in her adopted home that she loved) with the locals (Mexicans who hopped across the border to drop their spawn in US hospitals so they have citizenship, don't bother to learn English, fly the Mexican flag, and hardly bother to conceal their hatred of the gringos). This was in California, in either Seaside or Salinas. I forget.

Personally, I agree with Boludo. It's one thing to live in a nice house in a quaint location in New Jersey and make measured observations about ideal immigration policies, and another to live in the midst of the very real problem. There are no-go areas for the police in the San Antonio barrio, because if they show up in less than full force the Mexican gangs will kill them, and no one will report it or serve as witnesses. Municipals works won't send anyone there to do repairs who isn't brown, because they will be robbed. The McAllen/Brownsville corridor is sometimes worse. The city of Salinas recently had to call in military advisers to help them clamp down on rampant Mexican gang warfare.

You probably see the barrio (insofar as you've ever 'seen' it) as an unfortunate ghetto of desperate, poor, but deserving and decent people. I had the misfortune of living there for a couple of years, long enough to learn how to check housing complexes for gang graffiti to know where to go and not go. I see the barrio as a foreign cesspool of drugs, (which were almost freely available) crime, (car was broken into three times, neighbors were arrested by SWAT for running a meth lab), and violence (I was warned almost immediately upon moving in by a friendly black neighbor not to let my pretty white girlfriend walk the dog in the evening, because she would end up not coming home) which ought to be demolished. Almost may as well live in Tijuana.

Making legal immigration easier for the deserving is a great idea. I'm related by marriage to some foreign-nationals who reside in the US, and they had to jump through freaking' absurd hoops and pay outrageous fees to get here legally. These are educated, multi-lingual people who actually want to be Americans; it shouldn't be that hard for them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 01, 05:38:00 PM:

I too stopped reading LGF as I noted Johnson's increasingly strident tone (and denial of commenting rights) to anyone who even mildly disagreed with him. In light of his admitted parting with the right, can Tigerhawk PLEASE delete him from the "Center-to-Right Blogs" roll?

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Dec 01, 06:49:00 PM:

Dawnfire, I did live in Chicago during the 80s and 90s, when almost a quarter of the population was Mexican, including presumably many illegals. Tough to generalize, but the 800,000 Mexicans (of a population of around 3.5 million in the city, as I recall) struck me as not terribly dissimilar from the other "white ethnic" groups that had settled the city over the years. They started the small businesses and the little stores and filled up the many Catholic churches in that city. But perhaps Chicago's experience is difference because of its distance from the border (maybe the Mexicans there are more committed to staying) and its Catholicism (I wonder how much latent anti-Catholic sentiment, which has a long history in this country, informs some of the opposition to Mexicans in other parts of the country). Maybe I'm wrong, though.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Tue Dec 01, 08:07:00 PM:

My problem with immigration is that the newcomers vote overwhelmingly for the welfare state. And the welfare state means the end of freedom. I can't understand how a person who is for freedom, free markets and less government can welcome immigrants and not realize the immigrants will end their way of life. Just ask the Indians, err Native Americans, how unfettered immigration worked out for them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 02, 03:02:00 AM:

> But I think that, in the main,
> Charles is defining "racism,"
> for example, very broadly, and
> sees it where other reasonable
> people do not.

This is (one) issue where he lost me. While I agree with his attack on racists, but (unfortunately) there is another side. A sizable chunk of Europe's elite simply wants to make their people a minority in their own country, and some even brag about it.

The British Labour Party intentionally imported a lot of immigrants in order to create a multicultural society and to be able to call the Tories racists.

"... with the leading academic Multiculturalist in my country, Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen of the University in Oslo, ... He says point blank that in his view the most important thing to do right now is to "deconstruct the majority [population] so thoroughly that it can never be called the majority again." ... He is a career Multiculturalist and intellectual celebrity in his country, a frequent contributor to the public debate and lives, according to himself, in a boring, white monocultural part of the city, insulated from the effects of cultural diversity. Hylland Eriksen has proclaimed the death of (Western) nation states as if he derives pleasure from it, and has stated that the Nidaros Cathedral (Nidarosdomen), the most prominent church in the country, should no longer serve as a national symbol in our Multicultural society."

"Jens Orback, Democracy Minister in the Social Democratic Swedish government, ... said during a radio debate that: "We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.""

In older times, these people would simply have been charged with high treason and summarily shot. They are extremely lucky now that the European people are fairly docile, but the question is that how long this will last, and when it ends, how fast and drastic the change will be.

And there are countless more examples where the native people of Europe are simply not allowed to be themselves or are explicitly treated as a second class citizen in their own country when there is a conflict between them and their new overlords.

Another place where Charles lost me is that in two cases, he attacked the wrong people. Fjordman and Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal. While I do understand why Charles attacks the Vlaams Belang, but he should also keep in mind that AFAIK that they are the only relevant force in Belgium which fights against the Islamization of Belgium. (Hint: The US also fought together with Stalin to defeat the Nazis, and don't forget, that many people considered the admission of the southern states into the union when the US was founded a fatal mistake. Compromises, compromises).

I stopped reading his weblog around two weeks ago. I simply got to the point where I just skipped most of the posts, and simply there is not much common between his newfound identity and his old (and mine) one.

I feel sorry for this since his site was an invaluable source of information about Islamic terrorism.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 02, 08:57:00 AM:

The tenor of LGF posts is shrill, and they often make a relative centrist like me extremely uncomfortable. Johnson thinks it is critically important to root out all signs of creationism, racism and National Socialism from society, decry them at full voice and never let up. While I am glad there are those in this world who engage in that sort of thing I find the constant, even trivial, instances he takes up as if they were all happening on my very doorstep to be slightly insane.

Then, he paints any politician who associates with creationists as a nutcase. I know little of Tim Pawlenty, but he got the treatment last year from Charles, and I found the accusation bizarre.

The most annoying aspect of LGF is the frequent bannings of dissenting voices. People objecting to the craziness just began disappearing, often without having been a discernable problem (Disclosure: I rarely comment there and certainly am not banned).

Lastly, he coddles crazies. What was that movie called where Mel Gibson starred as the nutty cab driver with a conspiracy obsession...Oh, yeah: Conspiracy Theory (thank you Google). Charles Johnson and some of his posters have become "Jerry", the main character.

Other than those complaints, I love his music posts and stories of his past tours. I also frequently use his sidebar construct to try out new blogs.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Thu Dec 03, 03:17:00 PM:

"people with health insurance provided by their employers - five out of six Americans"

Are 5 out of 6 Americans employed? You must all work until you die.  

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