Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Bets Are Down. The Bears Come to The Ring.

The Iraqi people are hoping for the government to stand up. Our two most high value targets have gone to the region for meetings with leaders there and left, Cheney to Saudi Arabia. Muqtada al Sadr has threatened to leave the government if Maliki met with Bush. In my experience in markets when ennui has destroyed hope or fear, persistence is its own rule, things change. Our leaders went there on business. The bears are Maliki and al Sadr. It will be decided between them. We have our bet down. It is now in the contest.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Becker-Posner blog has a nice discussion about the idea of raising the minimum wage and, below that, a friendly but insightful view of Milton Friedman. Becker and Posner simulblog if you will, sometimes in the manner of a debate.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Not Funny?"

I heard Michael Richards' apology today. Pretty good stream of consciousness. He is in checkmate. PC and Seinfeld won't let him go right, and he's dead left. But my schadenfreude finds this liberal dish a piquant flavor. The seriousness with which this is greeted! He is at a Comedy Club and some people aren't listening to him, upstaging him by talking and he does a send up/ role of a hypothetical, historical reaction. I shouldn't even try to compare this to the serious stuff which is accepted as normal: Tony Blair saying that the problem in Iraq is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is like the Swiss Guards coming at you with a knife a few hundred years ago and telling you that the problem with the Vatican choir is that there aren't enough high voices. You know how that is going to work out. The Reverend can have a spoon at 20 degrees off vertical in the potatoes on his plate and be posed with hands folded for Thanksgiving grace, and in his complaints say New York didn't fold; so "Hymie town." Cool. But get into a riff when the hood is dissing you in a Comedy Club. Now "This is not Funny." Attention Must Be Paid.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Truly shocked about Lebanon

The U.N. has totally failed in it's assigned mission to keep Lebanon from being a rocket base against Israel. The U.N. should apologize to Israel and withdraw. I understand Michael Totten has a new post from Lebanon; I'll have to look for it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

America moves forward as from Westmoreland to Abrahms

Asia Times has a couple of optimistic links on the possibility of Mr. Gates contributing to success in Iraq (and Iran). Alcibiades, at Keshertalk, expresses concern and Rumsfeld is missed. Woodward's recent book suggests that, as the saying goes, if Rumsfeld wanted your opinion he'd give it to you. He is a good man, a bright man, but that is a limitation. Regarding Gates, Fritz Ermanth says, 'he understands big agencies, big programs, lots of people and lots of money - from being the director of central intelligence, being in the national-security business all these years and running a big university.' Virginia Postrel finds that that running the university was harder perhaps than getting the football team to win, but Mr. Gates did it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Theoretical reflections on the Election, the U.S.

Ran into an abolutely brilliant economics and political theory blog. Had drilled though a link, "Reihan Salam at the American Scene ponders the possibility that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens may retire," on the Wall Street Journal's freely available Opinion Journal.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Got Catholicism

The Church is really into the alpha and omega of life and sexual identification, e.g. the Virgin Birth, 'Blessed Mary ever virgin,' the priests being celibate like the Vestal Virgins of antiquity. S. Freud in Totem and Taboo said that religion, and he was originally raised by a Catholic nanny, was a recreation of a primal banding of the brothers against the father to kill him and have sex with.. Christ would pay for this sin against the primal Father in this supposition. Even the reaction of some raised Catholic women, e.g. The Liberal Chicks, to prioritize their votes over abortion rights might be seen as a rebellion against a Catholic imperative. It might be viewed as a fertility cult with everybody having their role to give us an eternal spring of 'good Catholics.' Jewish women are enjoined to have sexual relations with their spouse on the Sabbath, a view more toward the pleasures of sexuality perhaps. Pope Benedict views the eastern Rite Church as carrying forward original Catholicism. Priestly celibacy used to be a clear inspiration to bear the frustrations of child rearing by accepting a pain or penalty related to sexuality. That is not so obviously understood in the modern age and I think the Pope would change the rule to that of the Eastern Rite and will have priests allowed to marry.