Monday, September 14, 2009


Mined this one from the Boston Globe online comments a few days back, gotta love it...

The market has created in a year what government housing policy has tried and failed at for decades: affordable housing for the masses.

I still wouldn't say housing is all that affordable these days, but the bit about government intervention sure is on the spot. In fact, through all these mortgage bailouts and bank rescues and other such ways of using our money to pander to idiots who lost theirs, the government is actually trying to prevent housing from becoming affordable nowadays. As usual, leave it to the government to screw something up even worse than we could have expected. Real champions of common sense and responsibility, them.


Monday, September 07, 2009

tribute to tyree

In keeping with the video embed theme, here's another worth watching. Most of us have already seen this one live and in replays a few times but it just never gets old. Tyree got cut this past weekend so a tribute of sorts seems appropriate right about now. Forget that he had been a mediocre receiver up to that point in his career and had caught only four balls all year. That one put him solidly in the history books. Every football fan alive in early 2008 knows his name.

Without a doubt that's one of the best plays in the history of football, not just for the catch but because Manning had to somehow stay on his feet in the same play. I figure that one will be my generation's version of the Immaculate Reception, that play that will be talked about in every "best plays" conversation for the rest of my life and will never need any explanation to anyone who saw it.

Simply incredible.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

pat condell on islam in the netherlands

Just found this Pat Condell video over at Jihad Watch (linked in this excellent article about hate crimes legislation), which also has a few quotes from his take. Condell is a British stand-up comedian, but on this bit he's showing a lot less humor and a lot more smarts than I'd expect from any comedian. So listen and be enlightened...

Although I disagree with it, I do like his conclusion. I wish I could share his optimism that Europeans and the rest of the West as we know it will eventually rise up and resist this tide of political correctness and appeasement that threatens to relegate Western-style cultures of "enlightened liberal values," in Mr. Condell's words, to the annals of history. But alas, my confidence in the masses is far lower than that. I don't see people waking up in any significant numbers until it's too late to save their own nations from the destruction that will have already been sown.

Some money quotes:

"If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I'd be arrested for hate speech."

"Nobody should be compelled to respect an ideology that doesn't respect them."

"Stupidity in action is always pretty funny."

"The truth is sometimes offensive. There's no doubt about that. But that doesn't make it any less true."

"You can't change people's hearts by force."

"Nobody should be compelled to respect an ideology that doesn't respect them."

Okay, so I repeated one. That was intentional because we need to read it twice, and keep reading it until we grasp its truth. That sums up a lot of the problems in our culture today, this commonality of people demanding rights and privileges that they aren't willing to confer equally upon those being demanded of. And as usual, the problem is due at least in part to an overconcentration of power in too few hands at the top. As Condell says, it seems none of the majority who view Islam with an ounce of suspicion are currently in power in Europe.

But why should we expect any different? If it weren't cowering to Islam and PC tripe then it'd be something else--extortion of massive amounts of money from small sectors of the population, criminalization of petty offenses, comical overreaction to complex issues in the name of "doing something," and on and on. I'm telling you, big government always, always fails. Always. That's one of the great takeaways here: if people had more power to determine their own ways and interactions within the Netherlands, Islam would be nowhere near the threat it is now.

May the Netherlands see the errors of its ways and stave off a march backwards in human rights, but if not then may other nations learn from its unfortunate example of how not to confront a threat to liberty.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

the erosion of property rights, nantucket style

Not much that happens 'round these parts can really get me worked up anymore. This whole state is a laughingstock when it comes to just about all civic and political issues. Is there any "progressive" or "populist" idea Hackachusetts is not battling California to lead the charge on? Anything from subsidized health care to handouts to identity politics to rapidly increasing taxes to other ideas we haven't even heard about yet, it's there. Accountability and restraint at the top is a completely foreign concept up here, in which there is very little hope of people ever caring to even challenge much less change the status quo of ever-oppressive government--after all, the masses here would have overwhelmingly voted that pompous hypocrite Teddy K back to the Senate for another 300 years if given the opportunity. A real inspiration for hope, that.

Anyway, now that the obligatory rant is out of the way, on to something from the "rich people quibbling with other rich people" files that is actually so absurdly wrong and against the ideal of freedom that it caught my attention even in Hackachusetts. As this article details, apparently the concept of "private property" doesn't apply if that property deeded to you happens to be a beach on Nantucket.

Some waterfront property owners on Nantucket don't want vehicles on their front yard (i.e. beach) and so have succeeded in getting them prohibited. Fair enough, right? Your property, your rights, your responsibility to protect and preserve, your call. In the same way that someone living near a stadium wouldn't want a fan driving up and parking on their front lawn to go to a football game, or a rural property owner wouldn't want ATVs crawling through his woods and fields, or a riverfront property owner wouldn't want unannounced crowds paddling in with all their junk and camping on his land (or driving across his land to get there either, come to think of it), these folks don't want cars driving up and parking--or worse--right smack in the middle of their beach. I fail to see a problem with the logic here; this seems cut and dry to me.

Well, enter the sensibilities of throngs of beachgoers. Unhappy that their cars and trucks and SUVs are no longer welcome on property that isn't theirs, the masses have resorted to an all-too-familiar approach: cry to the government--via eminent domain in this case--to strong-arm those you disagree with into submitting to your concept of "fair." Never mind that the vacationer types still have reasonable access* to the beach and can still bring all of their beach party necessities, even pets, with them. No cars doesn't mean no people or no access, after all. They can still swim, picnic, bury themselves in sand, and do all those other fun summer things that come with being at a beach. They just can't drive right up on the sand to avoid walking more than 10 feet to get there. If you ask me, the property owners are being plenty reasonable in still allowing more or less open use of their property. And they're being reasonable in expecting that those using it respect and preserve it as well.

Moreover, the property owners are even accepting some risk and giving some ground (no pun intended) here. More people means more crowds, more noise, more trash, more disturbance of the natural environment, etc. These owners can't limit who treads on their sand so they just have to accept the disrespectful folks with the decent ones. But it's not hard to understand their desire to limit the wild parties vehicles help to enable, or the damage to the beach by the vehicle's mere crossing of it, or the leftover debris from a bonfire party, or the other things that a few drivers would no doubt bring with them. Go landowners!

Now forget about the property rights angle for a sec. A lot can be said here about the nature and shiftlessness of people who would drive right up to their beach spot. Come on, people, is it too much to ask that if you want to get to a beach then you take off your shoes, get off your arse, and walk a little? If you want to get to your favorite fishing hole, how about just parking and walking with your pole and box to where you want to be? You know, people were fishing and sunbathing and swimming and picnicing and frolicking about all along the beach well before the advent of the automobile. Do you bums think they got there by just flying or teleporting in? No, they walked. Heck, I bet they even carried stuff with their hands and arms too! They did have to get off their horses every now and then, you know. Those poor souls! The lazy, spoiled nature of some people is just pitiful.** Three cheers for that celebrated aspect of American culture.

So, not only are people lazy and unwilling to put themselves through some minimal physical exertion to get to their reward, but they also think it's just swell for the government to step in and enforce what they would get busted for doing on their own. I don't know which is worse, the masses that clamor for such bullying and theft of rights or the public officials that go along with it. The stupidity of the government is merely a reflection of the stupidity of those electing and supporting it.


* Even this kind of access would bother me were I a homeowner there. I don't know the ins and outs but I get the impression that people basically can't be prohibited from hanging out on your beach. So in what way can a homeowner even attempt to control the crowds on his beach? I guess that's something you have to understand going in if you buy a house there. But that in itself is a problem I'll certainly never have to deal with, so I'm more concerned with the repercussions it could have in the world of us common folk.

** It's worth noting that it takes an especially large excess of laziness for someone as lazy as me to be able to poke fun at it. I'm not some marathoner or anything. But heck, even I'm willing to get up and walk for a little every now and then, especially on vacation. The more I think about their sloth the more these spoiled beachgoer types really make me sick.


Thursday, September 03, 2009


From John Adams, with my emphasis added:

Democracy...while it lasts, is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

And the U.S. won't be the first. The enemies and freedom-haters abroad aren't the ones we should be concerned about. It's those within our own borders who will be this country's undoing.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

wise beyond his years

With all the immaturity already in the NBA and the huge money being thrown around at kids barely out of high school, some youngsters are still able to realize that sometimes becoming a multimillionaire superstar as a teenager isn't the best way to transition into adulthood. Enter Ricky Rubio, the point guard phenom in Spain who turned down a lucrative offer from the Timberwolves and all the glitz and glory with it to remain in his homeland for a couple more years.

This strikes me as a win for all sides: former team DKV Joventut gets mega cash out of the deal, new team FC Barcelona brings in a star who's sure to attract lots of fans and attention to the club for the next two years, Minnesota still gets a shot at him in the near future and can still watch him and build a relationship in the meantime, and Rubio gets to spend two years in his home country honing his skills on and off the court. Very wise move by the kid, if you ask me.

What 18-year-old, especially these days, is ready to take off to a foreign country and be showered with millions of dollars and become a focal point of the national sports media? I understand the demand from fans and franchise alike for a quick ROI and all, but I'm still a little surprised the T-wolves tried so hard to make a deal happen. Sure, it might work, but you're relying on that kid keeping his head together despite all that madness and hype that surrounds a draft pick of his stature. And that doesn't even account for the other upheaval he'd be going through or just the typical challenges of becoming an adult. Seems a risky proposition to me; if I were the Wolves I'd have wanted him to spend a year or two in a D-league somewhere anyway, just to make the adjustment slower and prove to the franchise he was ready for the responsibility of being a big-time player. After all, if you've got a high draft pick and a lot of team planning invested into a young player, you want to do everything you can to make sure that player develops well and becomes a boon to your team--even if it takes a few years.

I suspect the player and the team will both be better off for it in the long run. It's a shame more young guys don't show the same kind of patience.