Angry New Yorker
Semi-Daily Rants from New York City's Angry Man
"As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man, upon easier terms than I was formerly."
- Dr. Samuel Johnson, Boswell, Life of Johnson, Sept. 1783
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Saturday, January 08, 2011
It's rather stunning that we're already one week finished with 2011, leaving only 51 in which to fight the unholy troika juggernaut of ennui, inertia and politicians' inclination to spend more as an "investment" in the future. 2010 was, I'll be blunt, the worst year, personally, since 2001 - and that's actually really saying something.
But in 2011 I'm somewhat (that's a tentative and qualified 'somewhat') hopeful, because I think more and more people are waking up to the collective cataclysmic dangers facing us. The flipside, however, is whether this awakening is challenged into focused productive action or merely becomes a fatalistic impulse to stir up a new martini, pull up a deck chair and listen to the band run through its final chorus of Near, My God, To Thee, before the deck tilts, the stern rises and the waters ultimately close again.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Bloomberg Beclowns Himself
I've long thought that the only reason anyone voted for Michael Bloomberg is that the alternatives were so much worse. Time again he's proven to be a big-spending, nanny statist with virtually no understanding of how the average family lives in the non-Manhattan boros of NYC.
Yesterday he highlighted his clownish, yet again, stating without any evidence, without any factual basis, and without any knowledge that the Time Square failed bomber was likely “Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something.”
Doesn't like the health care bill??!? Surely, if these were the Mayor's top three and best guesses of NYC's mayor he has beclowned himself on an entirely different level than he has before.
Why do so many politicians feel the need to spout on topics that they have literally no knowledge of?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
What to say about the debacle upstate in the 23rd Congressional district. Suffice to say, Mr. Hoffman has our nod, for what little it's worth. Newt Gingrich is blowing a hole below the waterline in his ship of self with his endorsement of Dede Scozzafava. As Richard Brookhiser notes, the "contest in NY 23 is what the New York Conservative Party was made for."
As Mark Steyn quips, Dede Scozzafava "isn't RINO but DIABLO - Democrat In All But Label Only. It's not one of those "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" bi-swinger deals — not when you're pro-'stimulus', pro-cash-for-clunkers."
Enough is enough.
A Must Read:
No shortage of bad and expensive ideas. Our country is in the best of hands. I can tell you this is they try to impose this where we live civil disobedience shall be the order of the day:
Feds to Convince DC Area Taxpayers to Embrace $4.8 Billion Mileage Tax
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
What next? Stalin's Birthday?
Has the moral decay set in this deeply? We would have thought it impossible, but alas we are often chagrined at our naivite when it comes to the depths. From National Review Online:
You can drop a comment to the people owning/running the Empire State Building here - http://www.empirestatebuilding.com
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
We should be ruled like China. At least according to Tom Friedman. I get royally tired of beating the Tom Friedman piniata but the guy demonstrates cultural and historical blind spots the size of a red giant star. I'd be embarrassed to showcase such blinding ignorance. Yet, he no doubt considers himself rational, reasoned and supremely educated. He is none of these, and is in fact, wait for it, a "liberal fascist" who deserves no audience for his fervid mutterings larger than that of his own wide-eyed visage in the bathroom mirror each morning. I've said it before, but I have to remind myself of it constantly:
Be extremely wary of those who want to "save" something, or do putatively "good" things for one group or another unless they either have a direct and immediate dog in the fight or are following their well-understood & established religious tenets because otherwise there is always a hidden agenda at work. But in some cases there is no longer even an attempt to hide the subcurrent agenda.To whit today's firestorm regarding Friedman's column, One-Party Democracy, in today's NY Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/opinion/09friedman.html?_r=1
While our current system is substantially broken (repealing the 17th Amendment and getting rid of partisan gerrymandering would go a long way toward fixing our federal systemic woes), no less a luminary than founder and 4th president James Madison, often called "the father of the Constitution", wrote in Federalist 10: “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” Or, in more up-to-date terms ala Churchill, "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other ones that have been tried."
Friedman's column yearns for snuffing out of "factions" - that is interest groups - in the interest of furthering his goals. But if tried it would, as Madison noted, extinguish liberty. We should all be very wary of Tom Friedman and like-minded minions.
The Firm Hand of the Benign Strongman [Mark Steyn]
The New York Times's Thomas Friedman finally gets to where he's been wanting to go all these years. Everything would be so much better if we could just submit to the benign rule of an enlightened elite:
Thomas Friedman is a Liberal Fascist [Jonah Goldberg]
So there you have it. If only America could drop its inefficient and antiquated system, designed in the age before globalization and modernity and, most damning of all, before the lantern of Thomas Friedman's intellect illuminated the land. If only enlightened experts could do the hard and necessary things that the new age requires, if only we could rely on these planners to set the ship of state right. Now, of course, there are "drawbacks" to such a system: crushing of dissidents with tanks, state control of reproduction, government control of the press and the internet. Omelets and broken eggs, as they say. More to the point, Friedman insists, these "drawbacks" pale in comparison to the system we have today here in America.
I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.
I have no idea why I still have the capacity to be shocked by such things. A few years ago, during the worst part of the Iraq war, I wrote a column saying that Iraq needed a Pinochet type to bring order to Iraq and help develop democratic and liberal institutions. To this day, I get vicious hate mail from liberal and leftist readers for my "pro-dictator" stance. Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman, golden boy of the NYT op-ed page, is writing love-letters to dictatorships because they have the foresight to invest in electric batteries and waterless toilets or something. It looks like there's reason to hope I was wrong about Iraq (I certainly hope I was). But at least I favored a dictatorship of sorts — for another country! — because I thought it would lead to a liberal democracy. Here, Friedman lives in a liberal democracy but has his nose pressed up against the candy store window of a cruel, undemocratic, regime and all he can do is drool over the prospect of having the same power here. It's disgusting.
Update: A friend IM's:
More on Friedman's Enlightened Despots [Jonah Goldberg]
Dan Blumenthal at the EB:
This reminds me. I'm not a great student of what's going on in China, and I don't have its enlightened rulers on speed dial the way Friedman does. But I just find the idea that China is a great environmental steward absurd beyond ken (or barbie). China chokes the planet with more industrial smog than we do. Whole cities exist in perpetual dusk. China's factories are constantly sneaking lead and other poisons into their — and our — food and toys. The country is turning into a desert at a terrifying pace because of their land and water policies. Lord knows what horrors the Chinese are keeping off the books. I simply do not believe Tom Friedman et al when they say that China is beating us on the environment. No totalitarian regime has ever been a better steward of the environment than an advanced industrialized democratic regime. I have a hard time believing the Chinese are an exception to that rule.
Update: Kenneth Anderson via Volokh.com calls Friedman's column "monstrous". (h/t NRO)
Kenneth Anderson at Volokh:
Update: More from Will Collier.