Catching up *UPDATED*

I’ve spent the morning putting out fires.  They are all extinguished now, so I can get down to the fun stuff.  I read a ton of articles I think you might find interesting.  In no particular order:

The Washington Post looks at myths regarding the current flu season.  There were a couple of surprises for me.  I’ve long known that Bill Maher is an idiot, but I didn’t know that his idiocy includes advising people against flu vaccinations.  I guess I really shouldn’t be that surprised.  After all, stupid is as stupid does.  The other surprise was the praise the articles heaps on George Bush’s administration for flu preparedness, and the implicit criticism against the Obama administration for a lack of same.  Hmmm.

Bjørn Lomborg, who believes in climate change, but doesn’t believe in hysteria, takes the media to task for ignorance, falsehoods, and fear-mongering. I love it.

Charles Krauthammer says to conservatives:  Stop panicking.  You’re not falling apart at the ideological seams.  The problem facing conservatives now isn’t core issues, it’s how to deal with a president whose full-time job seems to be to try to sow disarray against the minority party in this year’s election cycle.  With magisterial calm, Krauthhammer proposes some practical solutions, which basically boil down to this:  “The general rule is: From a single house of Congress you can resist but you cannot impose.”

Matthew Cooper offers another “don’t panic” article, this one focusing on current and developing situations that play in favor of conservatives.

Of course, conservatives shouldn’t fool themselves.  Obama is a transformative president, just as surely as Reagan was.  He is the un-Reagan Revolution.  Despite his lack of actual administrative experience before taking office, Obama has had no problem leading America down the Big Government path.

Speaking of Obama, Mona Charen is appropriately disgusted with Obama’s charge that Benjamin Netanyahu, who daily deals with the existential threats facing his country, is a “coward.”  I’m not surprised at this flagrant nastiness.  One of the hallmarks of Obama’s reelection is that he’s really letting the mask slip.  Now that he’s secured a second term, he doesn’t have to pretend to be nice any more — and he really isn’t nice. (WSJ article is behind a pay wall.)  You and I always knew this, but he’s becoming so blatant now that others may start figuring it out.  He manages to share Richard Nixon’s temperament and ethics, without having his intelligence about political ideology.

Regarding guns, John Lott again reminds us that past gun control laws have been useless; and Daniel Foster tries to educate liberals about the AR-15’s utility.

In his latest column, Jonah Goldberg describes — and scolds — the “socially liberal fiscal conservatives,” who were “compelled” to vote for Obama because Republicans are “so extreme.”  I’ve heard that line from a lot of people in Marin.  Jonah’s column is a good reminder that, in this day and age, you can no longer straddle that line.  It’s kind of like being a Jew for Jesus — neither fish nor fowl, and not very appealing to anyone other than your fellow true-believers.

And lastly, Ed Driscoll looks at the Lance Armstrong confession and says everything that needs to be said about both Armstrong and about the media that lies about star athletes in order to keep access.

If there’s something you’d like to throw into the pot, feel free to use the comments section.

UPDATE: A few more points about the President and the media: the hagiography begins with even greater fervor than last time.

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  • JKB

    I just read this over at Marginal Revolution marginalrevolution…facts-about-cities.html  
    Seems a new book out shows that urban density in the US has been in decline since 1910, about 2%/yr.  Although, recently a few cities have shown a density increase.  Of course, what got started after 1910, not public transportation but the automobile which freed people from distance constraints and the restraints of living (non-wealthy) in the urban core.  It also shows the urbanista desire for dense urban living is a battle against the natural inclinations of the American people.
    And an aside, it also corresponds with the end of the first wave of Progressivism in the US:
    Thus began that revolt of the American conscience which was to be the dominant phenomenon in American affairs until about 1915, when it was submerged in the oncoming tides of World War I, and which finally petered out about 1920 – leaving behind it,  however, influences and patterns of thinking that were to continue to this day[1950].

  • Charles Martel

    Something that has always interested me as a native Los Angeleno is the huge misperceptions about the density of the region I grew up in. Supposedly, metro Los Angeles is a flat landscape of single-story houses, vacant lots, and parking structures extending miles in every direction, punctuated by isolated clumps of highrises.
    The truth is astonishingly different. Urbanologists will tell you that Los Angeles is the most densely populated metro area in the country, much more so than the New York or Chicago metro areas. How it works is simple: While New York City and Chicago are massively dense at their cores (Manhattan has 65,000+ persons per square mile), you only have to go 20 to 25 miles outside them to reach semi-rural or even rural areas. Their density is immense at the center, but peters out rather quickly once you move not so far away.
    In contrast, metro LA just goes on, and on, and on. If you’re flying in from the east, you start seeing dense settlement patterns as early as Palm Springs–more than 100 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Once past the mountains that separate Palm Springs from greater Los Angeles, the lights of the metro area cities extend 80 solid miles to the Pacific. There are occasional dark spots created by parks and preserves, but the expanse of light extends much further than anything you’d see in the East or Midwest.
    Here’s the irony: For decades progressives and social engineers have sneered at LA as “20 suburbs in search of a city” or “endless sprawl.” It did not occur to them that their love of density–all of us living colorfully and affectionately atop one another in communal bliss–has been far better manifested in Los Angeles than anywhere else, thanks to the hated automobile. Cars freed Angelenos from slow, overloaded, smelly, inconvenient urban railroads. So, LA doesn’t have and can never have Manhattan-style density. But it doesn’t need it to be a powerful city because its density is one that can extend much further than 19th-century density patterns can. It doesn’t depend on rail transportation bureaucrats or reactionary academics for approval (or understanding).
    Viva the internal combustion engine!

  • Mike Devx

    The Matthew Cooper “don’t panic” article seems to me to be just another attack by one conservative against those conservative positions he doesn’t like.  It’s nothing more than yet another “Here’s the direction the GOP needs to go to win again… and, oh my Lord, isn’t that AMAZING, the direction the GOP needs to go is exactly and precisely ALL THE THINGS I myself believe in!”
    How AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING indeed.  Sheesh.  Public philosophical masturbation.  Isn’t that fun?
    It’s probably related: I’m getting damned tired of Governor Christie.  Perhaps he should just declare himself a Democrat.
    – Christie will criticize the NRA for the use of children in their ads but will not criticize Obama for even worse propaganda use of children.
    – Christie will hug and provide cover and support for Obama during Obama’s bomber-jacket propaganda BS effort during the hurricane Sandy aftermath, and at no point criticize Obama nor his administration, nor local Democrats, for totally dropping the ball.  Other criticisms of Republicans also followed, if I remember.
    If Christie wants to be consistently more supportive of Obama and his fellow Democrats, than of fellow conservatives, that tells me all I personally need to know.  I won’t call him and people like him RINOs.  There are a number of principled RINOs who do not stab their fellow conservatives in the back with a knife.  Christie stabs fellow conservatives in the back with a knife.  There should be a word for THESE bastards, different from RINO.  It applies to those campaign operatives in the McCain campaign who tried to assassinate, and continue to try to assassinate, their own VP candidate, Sarah Palin.  I have no use, at this point, for them nor for Christie.

  • Bookworm

    I’m disappointed that Christie is proving to be nothing more than an East Coast RINO.  He had one fight in him, i.e., the teacher’s union, and he fought it splendidly.  Now he’s done, and he is positioning himself to make nice with the powers in Washington for the next four years.  Feh!

  • Ymarsakar

    Chris doesn’t seem to quite realize the extent of the LEftist alliance’s power base in this nation and just how evil and vile it truly is. He thinks that by working with the powers that be, that they will get his own state and constituents what they desire. If he realized that slavery was all that was in store for his voters, he might think otherwise. But then again, if Americans had the same inspired realization, they wouldn’t be in this damn hole to begin with. One has leaders that one deserves, more or less, because they are only ever a reflection of our own problems. The Left came to power because the rot in the US had already bloomed across the width and height of the nation.

  • Ron19

    Since Christie’s state is next to the ocean, how about using that for inspiration for a new name:
    BRINO: Ba***rd Republican In Name Only.
    Colin Powell is from nearby, so they can be the leaders of their new political party.  A politically correct party, women will also be admitted as BRINO’s.

  • Ymarsakar

    Having read some of Chris’s response to the NRA ad, I must say that he must be either silly or emotionally out of control to think the NRA ad was designed to remove protections from the children. Even if Obama’s decision to become President wasn’t the children’s decision, it was definitely Obama’s decision to put those kids into private education, while at the same time denying vouchers and private schools to those living in violence filled ghettoes. Those peeps don’t get much police protection all in all, whereas private education departments tend to have armed guards. Since the NRA is calling for equal treatment of said schools vis a vis armed guards, Chris must truly think the schools of Chicago doesn’t need em, whereas DC private and his own state’s private schools do.
    White elite slave ownership perhaps knows no bounds, nor skin color.
    Chris, like most other Republicans, can play the political game of shunting money and funds to his own voters if he wishes. But sooner or later, people will realize that there are far more serious stakes at large in this nation. And perhaps they will only realize it when we kill off 50% of the corrupt bureaucrats in this nation, and then stake up and crucify the rest.
    Perhaps then, they will realize things were a bit more serious than politics + children + stupidity combined, or in the sum of their parts.

  • Mike Devx

    Book says: In his latest column, Jonah Goldberg describes — and scolds — the “socially liberal fiscal conservatives,” who were “compelled” to vote for Obama because Republicans are “so extreme.”
    Book, I think you forgot to link to Jonah Goldberg’s column.  I think you’re referring to this one.  And yes, I agree, it is a very good read.  It warms *my* cantankerous little ol’ heart!