Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quickies: the You Didn't Build That edition


A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Iowahawk has recently unearthed a Genesis-like manuscript describing the beginnings of a planet in an alternate yet all-too-familiar universe.

1 In the beginning Govt created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the economy was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the ATMs, and the Spirit of Govt was hovering over the land.

3 And Govt said, “Let there be spending,” and there was spending. 4 Govt saw that the spending was good, and that it separated the light from the darkness. 5 Govt called the spending Investments, and this he did in the first day.

6 Then Govt said, “Let there be roads and bridges across the waters, and let dams divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus Govt made the infrastructure and the patronage jobs for eternity under the firmament from the Potomac which was above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And Govt called the firmament Washington. This Govt did on the second day.

9 Then Govt said, “Let the regulations and the guidlines under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the Bureaus appear”; and it was so. 10 And Govt called the Bureaus demigovts, and the gathering together of them He called AFSCME. And Govt saw that it was good.

Read the rest here.

The President's water-carriers and surrogates keep trying to explain away or otherwise rationalize his comment but they were ultimately instructive because that is precisely his world view - it's who he is.

Here's Charles Krauthammer:

To say all individuals are embedded in and the product of society is banal. Obama rises above banality by means of fallacy: equating society with government, the collectivity with the state.

Of course we are shaped by our milieu. But the most formative, most important influence on the individual is not government. It is civil society, those elements of the collectivity that lie outside government: family, neighborhood, church, Rotary club, PTA, the voluntary associations that Tocqueville understood to be the genius of America and source of its energy and freedom.

Moreover, the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective. Obama compounds the fallacy by declaring the state to be the font of entrepreneurial success. How so? It created the infrastructure — roads, bridges, schools, Internet — off which we all thrive.

Absurd. We don’t credit the Swiss postal service with the Special Theory of Relativity because it transmitted Einstein’s manuscript to the Annalen der Physik. Everyone drives the roads, goes to school, uses the mail. So did Steve Jobs. Yet only he conceived and built the Mac and the iPad.

The rationalizing is about the most shovel-ready job this administration has produced.

The 2012 Olympic games open this Friday evening in London, England. To ensure we are all in the proper international spirit, we are proud to provide our readers with the stylings of Michelle Jenneke, Australia's 110 meter hurdler.

Alas, Jenneke did not qualify for the London Games. You're welcome, none the less.

And is the IOC caving to international pressure by not honoring a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies on the 40 year anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the hands of Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games?

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge won't budge: There will be no minute's silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

Rogge rejected the latest calls Saturday for a special observance to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games.

"We feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident," Rogge said.

The IOC has come under pressure from politicians in the United States, Israel and Germany to pay tribute to the slain Israelis during Friday's ceremony.

Gee, if still-somewhat reasonable outposts of sanity like the U.S., Germany and Israel are for it, one can only imagine the un-named cast of characters who have been lining up behind the scenes to oppose this.

Rogge's contention that the massacre will be honored in other forums at other times is weak soup. The most horrific event in the history of the Olympics needs to be remembered on the biggest stage. Anything other than the opening ceremonies is an absolute cop-out.

And not to be too flippant about it, this debate involves Ms. Jenneke as well. Cave on this, what else will you cave on?

James Taranto takes ABC News and "investigative" reporter (air quotes fully earned and warranted) Brian Ross to task for jumping to the conclusion that the Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes was a James Holmes who was involved with the tea party there in Aurora.

On ABC's apology:

This strikes us as insufficient. Simply as a matter of journalistic craft, the report was appallingly shoddy. Ross pointed the finger at an innocent man based on nothing but the coincidence of a common name and the man's residence in the same city of 325,000 where the crime took place.

Let us amend that. There was one other factor, and this is what makes the ABC error not just amateurish but sinister: the innocent Jim Holmes's involvement with the Tea Party. For more than three years liberal journalists have falsely portrayed the Tea Party as racist and potentially violent. After the January 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., speculation immediately began that the suspect was a Tea Partier. Even after it was proved that he was not, the New York Times published a despicable editorial blaming conservatives anyway.

Ross and ABC were out on this limb alone. Either other journalists learned their lesson from Tucson, or it didn't occur to them to look for a political motive this time (it was a more plausible hypothesis in a shooting that targeted a politician).

It is reasonable to interpret Ross's hasty unsubstantiated report as an expression of hostility--bigotry--toward the Tea Party and those who share its values, which are traditional American ones. ABC's carelessness here is in sharp contrast with the way the mainstream media treat criminal suspects who are black or Muslim. In those cases they take great pains not to perpetuate stereotypes, sometimes at the cost of withholding or obscuring relevant facts such as the physical description of a suspect who is still at large or the ideological motive for a crime.

Oikophobia is no less invidious than other forms of bigotry. ABC and Ross have apologized for their irresponsible reporting, but they have something more to answer for here. Their careless and inadvertent falsehood was in the service of a big lie.

Taranto is right. For over 3 years, the legacy media has been fully vested in chasing a false and bigoted narrative. They so badly want for it to be true, they will sacrifice what ever shred of credibility they have left and endanger an innocent man's life while doing so. In a sense, it is the journalistic equivalent of SWAT-ting.

B-Daddy of The Liberator Today contends that the Obama administration is doubling-down on Nixonian thuggery:

Richard Nixon was rightly excoriated for keeping an enemies list. Barack Obama seems to have gone Nixon one better, keeping a kill list, of enemies, some of them U.S. citizens, that he can have whacked. However, because keeping an enemies list is just too much fun, Obama appears to have one of those as well.

Read more here.

Leslie at Temple of Mut has a great run-down of California ballot initiatives we will be asked to consider in November, here.

Here's David Harsanyi on the President's hostile-to-American-individualism comments:

Employing Obama's logic, one could argue that nearly everything the president uses in his everyday life exists only because of so-called profit-mongering and selfishness -- most often in spite of government. The Internet languished for years in obscurity because government is rarely sensitive to the needs of consumers. And does anyone believe that individuals working together voluntarily (maybe with the help of some fat cat private equity firms) would not have come up with similar technology -- or that they would be unable to build bridges or roads themselves?

Obama has it all backward. It is the charity of a prosperous free society that allows people to become community organizers or attain "free" health care. Washington rarely helps the free market prosper, but a prosperous private sector is what allows Washington to throw billions of dollars into unproductive but morally pleasing environmental projects and dependency programs favored by the president. Society needs the rule of law to function, not another parent.

Of course, Obama is not the first class warrior in politics. But has there ever been a major presidential campaign focused almost exclusively on ginning up class envy and fear (Teddy Roosevelt's third-party run excluded)? The attack on Romney also, almost exclusively, entails calling out the guy for being rich and then relying on the assumption that you can only get that wealthy by being corrupt.

It just struck us that the two people most responsible for whatever success we have had in life, our parents, weren't provided to us by the U.S. interstate highway system, the postal service or the Social Security Administration. Amazing. All that love and selfless devotion came from the heart and not a government program.

#They built that.

OK, gang. That's it for today. We'll see you all tomorrow.


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