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In response to:

Owning Ideas

Matt in N.C. Wrote: Jan 28, 2015 9:28 AM
A useful column and interesting comments. What better way to start the morning? Obviously the system needs an overhaul if Chinese government companies can flood the American market with knockoffs of everything from DVDs to drugs, but a waiter can be sued for singing "Happy Birthday" at a customer's request. The chilling effect of predatory legal action and absurd rulings on present and future creativity is obvious. The unexamined crime is against our cultural patrimony. At least one district here in the Tar Heel State decided against naming a school after the Wright brothers because of threatened litigation by distant relatives who weren't alive when the first flight occurred. Why on earth would anyone ever consider naming anything else in their honor? Who will sing "Happy Birthday" or quote the "I have a dream" speech at the expense of exorbitant royalties or ruinous lawsuits? And if no one dares to utter forbidden words, who in succeeding generations will remember them or what they represent?
Governors used to write their own speeches, internal memoranda, external correspondence, pardons, proclamations, and proposed legislation in longhand. Anyone who had publicly suggested that a governor—never mind a department head or a mayor or a local school board—needed a spokesman or a public-relations staff or a news agency would've been committed to the nearest insane asylum. Government was smaller and simpler then, and that's exactly the point. It has grown so big and complex that officials no longer try to manage programs or employees. Instead they manage information about programs and employees and mainly about themselves. Government has become so greedy and entrenched, so full of careerists, so full of itself that officials have stopped even pretending to serve the public. They serve themselves. They manage the public. Probably one-quarter of the total crushing cost of government comes from officials' telling us how wonderful they are or manipulating us to do this or that. Mike Pence has had his moments, but this isn't one of them. The voters of Indiana should expel him from office so that he might pursue his real vocation, advertising.
. . . asteroid IMPACT . . . Sorry. It's early.
The discourse of leftists, especially environmentalists, is full of such hateful outbursts. Humanity is a virus infecting the body of Mother Earth. People should perish before they destroy everything. What the world needs is another good war, plague, or asteroid impace to wipe the slate clean. Don't consume. Don't reproduce. Abort early and often. Don't use technology more recent than the paleolithic. Yada, yada, yada. Some of these fools are sincere, though not sincere enough simply to shut up and commit suicide. Others, probably a large majority, really mean that they and their peer group should survive and enjoy the benefits of modern life, but everyone else should either subsist at a preindustrial level while serving them or just vanish. It's no wonder that a mile-wide streak of mystical environmentalism runs down the middle of Nazism and that the Khmer Rouge were, at least in part, a back-to-the-land movement. The people spitting this venom are almost right. In fact, they are viruses infecting humanity.
Indeed. Debt, unfunded obligations, dependence on foreign oil, and other long-term problems are extremely daunting, but getting back on course could be accomplished fairly quickly by a few good people willing to withstand extreme heat.
Good morning, sir. You could make a good case for Coolidge, though he mostly maintained the policies of Harding, the audacious idea man. In an economic depression that no one ever heard of, Harding and Coolidge campaigned on a platform of reducing government voracity/generosity. Somehow they actually made good on their promise by cutting the federal budget in half and in so doing ended the depression and ushered in the Roaring '20s. They also undid the worst of Wilson's damage to the Bill of Rights and pushed for anti-lynching legislation.
Reagan entered office with five main goals: revive the American spirit, revive the American economy, revive American defenses, destroy the Soviet Empire, and reduce the burden of government. He achieved four, and for that he deserves recognition as the greatest president of the 20th century. Letting government grow in size, greed, and meddlesomeness was the price of his historic accomplishment, however; and in just 20 years the government that he failed to rein in has undone nearly all he did. Now we need another Reagan to do it all again. I fear that none will be found in time.
In response to:

The Abortive Renee Ellmers

Matt in N.C. Wrote: Jan 24, 2015 5:29 AM
I contributed to her 2010 campaign against the odious Democrat Bob Etheridge, and I still believe that she was vastly preferable. But her time has passed, she needs to go, and there are plenty of solid conservatives who could take her place.
MSDNC is a sick, migraine-inducing embarrassment. It stopped even pretending to report news years ago. All it offers is opinion, and it presents that so ineptly that it makes a dull four-year-old throwing a tantrum look like Alistair Cooke. Everyone associated with the outlet is mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Still we must pay some attention to it because a few thousand people who vote take it seriously and because we should know what the enemy is up to.
I never suggested that Boehner link arms with Merkel; but I am disappointed, though not astonished, that they didn't go and march in the rank and file. You're right in that it is the president's job to show the flag at big events. He didn't do his job. It's the job of the opposition leadership not to act like a collection of potted plants. It hasn't done its job in years. You're right, too, in that this is about perception. The cops who killed the Paris terrorists did more to protect Western civilization than all 3.7 million marchers combined. So did Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi when he strode into the leading Sunni Islamic university in the world and told clerics to get their heads out of their butts and their hearts out of the 7th century. The march was symbolic. But the absence of high-profile Americans creates the perception that nobody running this country cares much about jihad. That perception, unfortunately, is correct.
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