Finally! Facts.

FoundItIn case you had been wondering what the facts are to support those fevered accusations against Harper: running from debates, dictator, “active promotion of ignorance”, here they are.

Plus a couple of scraps of detail on Duffy.

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Persuasion and the Value Proposition

Dilbert author, Scott Adams says Trump is a clown genius.

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Found on the Bottom of the Memory Hole

A few reminders about the Iraq war:

  • deep_holeIt was not primarily about WMDs
  • Bush didn’t lie about WMDs
  • Democrat pre-war rhetoric was at least as aggressive as Republican
  • Iraq circa 2008 (especially 2012) was a won war
  • Bush did not perform acts of war w/o authorization. Obama did.
  • Iraq c2002 did have WMDs and almost certainly had stockpiles. They were found exactly where conservatives said: in Syria.*

*The most emphatic references no longer online

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Upside-Down Economics

The welfare trap is deeper than I ever imagined. The welfare trap occurs when a person goes on welfare and finds herself stuck: where working harder provides no benefit, or actually costs money. Repeat: the welfare system makes it so people can lose money by working more, enjoy less benefits by getting a raise.
“That’s no trap,” you say, “that’s Utopia.”
I say no. When you do no work you gain no skills and so have no future prospects. Your social interactions decline. Your attitudes become entitled. Your self-esteem shrivels. Worst of all, there is no reason to believe your situation will improve.
Those are just the costs to the recipient who, you’ll recall, is the supposed beneficiary. Imagine what is lost on the donor side. How many men forfeit family and community to pay for that trap? How many women sacrifice family and home life for that trap? What would our communities be like if that time, money and energy were available?
An old Quebecois folk singer coined a phrase that aboriginal reformers have taken up:

“The best way to kill a man is to pay him for doing nothing”

WelfareState1

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Clean, Fresh Clarity

American politics laid out plainly in rollicking hyperbolic caricature — PJ O’Rourke at his best:

They Hate Your Guts.

Parting wisdom: stay away from politics and vote for less of it.

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The Death of Intellectual Life

I remember in university asking questions like, why are feminists so angry at the US and Canada? Surely there are higher priorities. Gender roles do not seem to have been the priority of Shakespeare or Kipling or Chesterton (or Jesus for that matter). Why do they spend so much time reading them this way? Why so uninterested in the plight of women in the USSR, or China, let alone Iran?

A broader question, why was academia so uninterested in anything useful? Did history, literature and philosophy have nothing worthwhile to offer? I already had some inkling that philosophers had had interesting thoughts. It’s just a shame they spent so much time on the useless stuff.

The historical record shows this was not just some weird coincidence. There was a conscious choice. They called it critical theory. Others call it cultural Marxism. It was a boon to middling academics who needed a novel thesis , wanted to be part of the movement and lacked the traditional intellectual drive of the liberal arts (which was the pursuit of the good.)

A Big Conspiracy? No a small conspiracy, a big group of unreflective followers and a massive, shrinking group of unwillful unawares.

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The Cost of Regulation

U2 were sticking it to the man:

The rich stay healthy
The sick stay poor -God Part II, 1988

The point is true that wealth makes health. People with money can afford healthy habits and avoid risks. What is the connection to regulation? It makes regulation counterproductive: rules meant to improve life take it instead.

Regulations that take people’s time, resources and wealth make people poorer and thus cost lives, not to mention quality of life. In the third world, people can die for want of couple of thousand dollars or less. In the first world life isn’t so cheap but it still has a cost. It is estimated that, in wealthy nations, people die for want of $7-10 million dollars. It is called statistical murder.

It is poor people who feel the most harm from regulations. People with a more comfortable income are more likely to find that the regulations just told them to do what they would have done anyway. Bottom line: look to the end to find how many lives are taken each year by the EPA alone.

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