Mark Steyn: Cowed by udderly insane regulations
CASS SUNSTEIN IS HEAD OF SOMETHING CALLED THE "OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS." I've seen enough conspiracy thrillers to know that when someone has so obvious a blandly amorphous federal job description as that it means he's running some deeply sinister wet-work operation of illegal targeted assassinations in unfriendly nations that the government spooks want to keep off the books and far from prying eyes.
Oh, no, wait. Actually, Covert Operative Sunstein PASSES HIS DAY DOING MORE OR LESS WHAT THE SIGN ON THE DOOR SAYS: HE COLLECTS INFORMATION ABOUT REGULATORY AFFAIRS. More specifically, he is charged by the president with "an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations" in order to "improve or remove those that are out-of-date, unnecessary, excessively burdensome or in conflict with other rules."
How many has he got "removed" so far? Well, last week he took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to crow that DAIRY FARMERS WILL HENCEFORTH BE EXEMPTED FROM THE BURDENS OF A 1970S EPA-ERA DIRECTIVE CLASSIFYING MILK AS AN "OIL" AND SUBJECTING IT, AS PROFESSOR SUNSTEIN TYPED WITH A STRAIGHT FACE, "TO COSTLY RULES DESIGNED TO PREVENT OIL SPILLS." But Ol' MacDonald and his crack team of Red Adair-trained milkmaids can henceforth relax because now, writes Prof Sunstein, Washington is "giving new meaning to the phrase, 'Don't cry over spilled milk.'"....
This may just seem like more political stupidity, but Americans are being transferred remorselessly from the rule of law to rule by an unaccountable bureaucracy of micro-regulatory preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives that determine which of the multiple categories of Unequal-Before-The-Law Second-Class (or Third-Class, or Fourth-Class) Citizenship you happen to fall into.
Despite what the MSM tells you, veterans not enthralled by Obama
Thirty-seven percent of all active-duty military personnel and veterans surveyed approved of the job Obama is doing during the January 2010 to April 2011 time frame. That compares with 48% of nonveterans interviewed during the same period.
No surprise here, but certainly at odds with what you read or hear from the MSM.
Obama the genius?
In late October 2010, Harvard historian James T. Kloppenberg gave a standing room-only lecture at a New York City conference on intellectual history.
There, the New York Times reported, Kloppenberg shared the insights gleaned in researching his book, Reading Obama. As the good professor explained, Obama stood tall among that rare breed of philosopher presidents.
"There's John Adams, Thomas Jefferson," he told the crowd, "James Madison and John Quincy Adams, then Abraham Lincoln and in the 20th century just Woodrow Wilson." AND NOW OBAMA, A "TRUE INTELLECTUAL" AND A PHILOSOPHICAL "PRAGMATIST."
In his book, Kloppenberg would unblushingly describe the president as "gifted," a "genius," a man of "exceptional intelligence," one who writes "brilliantly and poignantly." Kloppenberg's colleagues shared his enthusiasm. According to the Times, they responded to his talk "with prolonged applause."
As I keep being reminded, THE OBAMA GENIUS MYTH WILL NOT EASILY YIELD TO EVIDENCE OR REASON. For the record, this myth derives largely from one source, Obama's celebrated 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father. On the basis of this book, British literati member JONATHAN RABAN ANOINTED OBAMA "THE BEST WRITER TO OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE SINCE LINCOLN," AND HIS IS THE CONSENSUS OPINION.
Many in academia are simply sheep for left wing politicians. We in fact have gotten to calling the President, Mr. Obamah ah ah ah, hardly the speech pattern of a genius.
Pentagon seeks mini-weapons for new age of warfare
In an effort to cut costs and avoid civilian casualties, manufacturers are developing small 'smart bombs,' drones that resemble model planes and microscopic crystals to tag enemy targets.
A new generation of weaponry is being readied in clandestine laboratories across the nation that puts a priority on pintsized technology that would be more precise in warfare and less likely to cause civilian casualties. Increasingly, the Pentagon is being forced to discard expensive, hulking, Cold War-era armaments that exact a heavy toll on property and human lives.
This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that it makes sense and fits the current economic times. The bad news is that it costs jobs.
The White working class and the Democrat Party
THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY THE WHITE WORKING CLASS IS UP FOR GRABS. IT IS THE "THE MOST PESSIMISTIC AND ALIENATED GROUP IN AMERICAN SOCIETY," according to Ronald Brownstein in the National Journal. That is no wonder, for "the average high-school-educated, middle-aged man earns almost 10 percent less than his counterpart did in 1980."….
….We know why. TIME WAS THAT THE WHITE WORKING CLASS WAS THE DARLING OF THE LIBERALS. But then the liberals soured on them. In the 70s working-class whites were bigoted Archie Bunkers; in the 2000s, "bitter clingers." LIBERALS DECIDED THAT ALL ALONG THEY HAD REALLY LOVED WOMEN AND MINORITIES, AND THEY BECAME THE DARLINGS OF THE LIBERALS, extolled and boosted in the university, the halls of Congress, in stock photos, and on stage and screen…..
….When you are living in the Garden of Eden, the darlings of the liberals, life is peachy: good jobs, good wages, benefits, health care, pensions. But WHEN THE LIBERALS DECIDE TO CHANGE YOU OUT FOR A NEWER MODEL, THEN ITS BACK TO THE REAL WORLD, ONLY NOW THE UNIONS ARE WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARIES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY and the fraternal associations have withered away into irrelevance. But for the "pessimistic and alienated" in this fallen world, there is God and guns and Sarah Palin…..
The Democrats keep putting their money on the birth rate or immigration rate (both legal and illegal) of groups they favor to save them as their support among white working class voters plunges.
What Obama has wrought
We all know the metaphor for dangerous incrementalism: PUT A FROG IN A POT, SLOWLY RAISE THE TEMPERATURE, AND THE FROG WILL BOIL TO DEATH. For generations, LIBERALISM HAS CLEVERLY COORDINATED THE COUNTRY'S SLOW, INCREMENTAL PUSH LEFTWARD: exploiting sympathies for the poor and sick to expand all things government and hammering the benefits of social justice, diversity, and multiculturalism to expand government into a centralized behemoth. The 2008 financial crisis provided cover for further governmental expansion, ushering in the presidency of Obama. With a nation on the ropes and control of the White House and Congress, liberalism had a straight path to its inveterate goal: irreversible European-style socialism here in the U.S. FORTUNATELY, UNCHECKED HUBRIS TRIGGERED A REVERSAL THAT MAY WELL SAVE THIS NATION.
Following the frog pot metaphor, an arrogant Obama walked up to the stove unsure of why no one simply spun the dial to high and boiled away our remaining liberties and free-market prosperity. PERHAPS HE THOUGHT, AS HE HAS BEEN TOLD MUCH OF HIS LIFE, NOBODY BEFORE HIM WAS BRILLIANT ENOUGH TO SORT OUT THIS BOTHERSOME DELAY. It looked so easy. IN CAME OBAMA, UP WENT THE TEMPERATURE, AND OUT LEAPT THE TEA PARTY AND A PUBLIC AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT THAT OUTSIZED EVEN HIS UNPRECEDENTED HUBRIS. CHANCES ARE THAT SLOW-COOKING FROGS WILL NEVER BE EASY AGAIN.
A very apt metaphor for what Obama and the Democrats have done and the ultimate consequences. In fact this is probably the one redeeming aspect of Obama's presidency. He's ripped the disguise off the Democrats.
Environmental tax threatens green energy research in UK
World-class research into future sources of green energy is under threat in Britain from an environmental tax designed to boost energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions, scientists claim.
Some facilities must find hundreds of thousands of pounds to settle green tax bills, putting jobs and research at risk.
The unexpected impact of the government's carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme is so severe that scientists and research funders have lobbied ministers for an exemption to reduce the bills.
Among the worst hit is the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, a facility for research into almost limitless carbon-free energy. The lab faces an estimated £400,000 payment next year, raising the spectre of job losses and operational cuts. "Considering our research is aimed at producing zero-carbon energy, it seems ironic and perverse to clobber us with an extra bill," a senior scientist at the lab said. "We have to use electricity to run the machine and there is no way of getting around that."
Ironic isn’t it? Just a bit of do as I say, not as I do.
Teachers hostage to Success
The e-mail box runneth over with bad tidings. TEACHERS ARE REPORTING THAT CHEATING IS RAMPANT IN NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS -- AND THEY CLAIM PRINCIPALS ARE THE CULPRITS.
The reports are responding to my column that many schools ARE DENYING STUDENTS THE FREEDOM TO FAIL IN A MISGUIDED BID TO HELP THEM. To judge from the response, the problem is worse than I feared. Much worse.
First, a professional in a Manhattan high school wrote to say that teachers in her school are "encouraged" to pass 80 percent of students, no matter their grades or attendance. She offered student writing samples filled with glaring errors of spelling and grammar to prove that "social promotion is alive and well."
The system is broken. Is anyone listening?