Monthly Archives: September 2005

Politics in the style of Runyon

From the Belmont Club, channeling Damon Runyon

The Gaza withdrawal may turn out to be far more dangerous to the Palestinian Authority than to Israel because it unleashed powerful forces which Abbas has been unable to control. It now threaten to drag him like a man whose foot has been caught in the traces of runaway horses. The sad trainwreck unfolds. Hamas blows up its own parade through stupidity. Unable to lose face, Hamas rockets Israel from Gaza. Sharon, loathe to concede the Gaza withdrawal may have endangered Israel, will kill a score of terrorist leaders and hit the Palestinians in the pocketbook to show he’s tough. That will get the ‘militants’ all jumping up and down, while the PA teeters like a house of cards in a Category 4 hurricane and the peace movement hums an inspirational hymn indistinguishable from the shrieking of the wind.

Everything’s bigger in Texas

I was just watching MSNBC‘s storm coverage. They sent all 5 foot 4 inches of Rita Cosby to Galveston to be buffered by the wind, eerily resembling a Saturday Night Live skit.

They later cut to a local affiliate who also had sent people to Galveston. Texas newscasters, at least the hurricane covering variety, were around 230 pounds each and barely moved. It was a weird contrast.

Friday rapid fire

  • Assess your risks! – this is the first time I’ve said this, but there is a very good series over at the Daily Kos about disaster preparedness
  • Pay for blog pay rates
  • Texas Emergency Management blog – oddly enough I’ve heard of this guy before. Good stuff, he quotes Clausewitz with

    Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult. These difficulties accumulate and produce a friction, which no man can imagine exactly who has not seen war…

    Friction is the only conception which, in a general way, corresponds to that which distinguishes real war from war on paper. The military machine, the army and all belonging to it, is in fact simple; and appears, on this account, easy to manage. But let us reflect that no part of it is in one piece, that it is composed entirely of individuals, each of which keeps up its own friction in all directions…

    This enormous friction, which is not concentrated, as in mechanics, at a few points, is therefore everywhere brought into contact with chance, and thus facts take place upon which it was impossible to calculate, their chief origin being chance, As an instance of one such chance, take the weather…

    Which is a quote well worthy of reflection.

  • GreenPeace vs Kennedys – about time.
  • An oldie but a goodie by one of my favorite lefties, David Corn, about the infrastructure of the modern anti-war movement.
  • Federalism RIP – mandatory evacuations of pets? debated in the US Senate.
  • In this rather ordinary column by Steven Moore in Opinion Journal, he does the math and finds that the current numbers currently slated to be spent on Katrina work out to $400,000 to every family displaced by Katrina.
  • The AJC on school “Resegregation” – Education central planners are a plague upon our society, a quote

    Typically in New York, they’ll go to a high school in which there are 4,000 kids, all black and Latino except for maybe 10 whites and 15 Asian kids, and they’ll say, “This is a diverse population, with many minorities.” Diverse has come to be a euphemism for segregated. And when they say many minorities, it’s very deceptive to readers, as if these were Albanians. No, these are apartheid schools. But if you won’t name reality, you can’t change it.

    Why does anyone take these people seriously, let alone regard them as humanitarians? They want to micromanage society in ways that Mussolini only dreamed about, but they precede it with 5 fuzzy adjectives and they’re heroes.

  • Kaus has a nice post about the serious and long-term effects of the Davis-Bacon Act
  • Chris Nolan has an incoherent post in favor of (as near as I can tell) inertia and the status quo. The criticism she replies to does seem to be very valid though.

Hehe. I do a spell check and the spell checker wants to replace Micromanage with “necromancer”.

Oddly enough

I decide to check and see exactly where in Texas my upstream web host is located and I see

Many of VIP-Hosting’s customers have been requesting information regarding our data center operations during hurricane Rita. The VIP-Hosting data center is in a reinforced building and is equipped with a generator that will come online within ten seconds of a power outage. All servers are on UPS backups that will sustain power for the few seconds it will take for the generator to come online.

The voice communication system in the Houston area is experiencing heavy traffic so we ask that any non priority support issues and other requests be submitted through the integrated ticket system during this time.

Which is a good sign. It would seem that Texas is much more prepared than Louisiana for one of these things.

Go Dell!

To my great surprise I received my new laptop today. I hadn’t even received a notice that it had shipped! Actually they said it would ship this coming Monday.

My first impression is quite impressed. The machine is tiny and light, and from what I can tell quite fast. The keyboard is going to take some getting used to, but I think this will work out quite well. And as it turns out I have 2 unsecured wireless access points within range (though I’m currently using my wired network as I type this blog post on the new machine).

Any suggestions as to what a laptop needs?

Get riled up with the AJC!

Naturally I was drawn to Cynthia Tucker and her column “So . . . illegals can work but can’t learn?”

Since 2000, Georgia’s colleges have employed a sensible policy that recognizes the academic potential of some illegal immigrants without swamping the state treasury. The Board of Regents voted to allow public colleges and universities to admit them if they pay out-of-state tuition rates. But the regents also gave each college president the latitude to waive that higher tuition for a limited number of students. That policy has worked well.

When I took a public finance class (around 1995 or so) at UGA I remember hearing that tuition covered about 20% of the actual cost of college for the average student. Out of state tuition was about two and a half times that of in-state tuition, so even if illegals are paying the out of state rate taxpayers are still picking up part of the bill. They are also displacing legal students who would otherwise be accepted. Also note how government acceptance of illegal activity doesn’t faze her at all.

She closes with

But Johnson has described employers who hire undocumented workers as only “part of the problem. If they [illegal immigrants] are here working and not using taxpayer funds, that’s not as much of a burden.” So, he said, he and his colleagues will take a close look at any proposal to crack down on hiring practices, making sure new laws don’t “impose an undue burden” on employers. After all, business executives are a reliable GOP constituency, and they fight any move to curb their access to cheap labor.

Apparently, Georgia’s official policy is this: We like illegal immigrants just fine, as long as they work for dirt and stay out of sight. They’re welcome to pay state income tax and local sales taxes, but that’s where the welcome ends.

Well, yes. You try to maximize the benefits while minimizing the price. How revolutionary. One thing to note, is that the current situation is entirely dependent upon the voluntary behavior of the illegal immigrants. Under the reign of cruel business they still don’t have to come here.

About 9 years ago I attended a Future of Freedom Foundation seminar on illegal immigration led by Jacob Hornberger (who, if memory serves was a really nice guy and a class act in general) who suggested that we let them come over to work but deny them all health, social and educational benefits. His prediction was that our kids would work for their kids.

I think that’s worth a shot. It’s certainly better than the look the other way policy we have now. It would also keep the self selection going in the right direction.