Morning Links

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
  • Hungary’s Fidesz party makes a bid for permanent rule. This could get interesting. And hey, I’ll be there next week!
  • Great post by my friend Tim Lee on the failure of economic indicators to reflect information-age standard of living improvements.
  • Good dissection of the TSA’s pointless liquids restrictions.
  • “A storybook for exhausted parents.”
  • Amazing how quickly somelose their democratic values once their own party is in power: “Despite many reasons for caution — the words George W. Bush foremost among them — I’m becoming more of a believer in an imperial presidency in domestic policy.”
  • Context for the royal wedding.
  • NRO writers credit governor’s call for prayer with bringing rain to Texas. Next up: Texas prayers bring an end cancer, turn all the state’s gay people straight.

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42 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Did that righthaven, or whoever it was, demand take-down of the M. Crooks post?

  2. #2 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Don’t miss this:

    Idiots in Broward County go to wrong house and attack a judge. Read the whole article, as it includes great quotes near the bottom from the judge telling of her conversation with one of the idiots who pointed a gun at her, and him telling her he did it because he was frightened.

  3. #3 |  Nick T. | 

    The Pollack quote is just unbelievable. How do people get to be so shortsighted in their views of *power* and how it should be dispersed?

  4. #4 |  Thom | 

    As to the airport security article, I’ve become more and more convinced that airport security is being used as a method to condition Americans to follow nonsensical rules simply because the government tells them to. I know this makes me paranoid, but I can’t see any other reason for it.

    As to the Earth in context to the Universe: those kinds of graphics always make me feel faint.

  5. #5 |  tariqata | 

    I too will be really interested to see what happens next in Hungary.

    I was in Budapest in late 2009, tagging along at a conference, and one of the local attendees spent a day showing several of us around the city. He told us he wasn’t particularly happy with the current government, but he also predicted that Fidesz would gain a lot in the upcoming elections and was really, really worried about where they would try to take the country. Anecdotal, maybe, but concerning nonetheless.

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “I’ve become more and more convinced that airport security is being used as a method to condition Americans to follow nonsensical rules simply because the government tells them to.”

    A peculiar development in a country that was designed to be
    uniquely self-governing and tyranny-proof, methinks.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    the Hungary situation looks like a template for how to use propaganda to take over a country- pretty scary looking, to me.

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    What happened to the post about the cop who arrested the Las Vegas guy for video taping him?

  9. #9 |  Aresen | 

    From the TSA restrictions article.

    This will continue, presumably, until disaster strikes, at which point the screams for accountability will be shrill and righteous and entirely too late.

    But the screaming will only produce more of the same, it will not produce any real change in behavior.

    At some point or other, a terrorist organization is going to mount a successful attack in the US. This is inevitable. Get used to the fact.

    The terrorist attack, while dramatic, will not significantly diminish the power of the US or increase the risk of dying for the average American. (Since 3,000 people died on 9/11, over 300,000 people have died in automobile accidents in the US, millions have died from cancer and heart disease.) Don’t get hysterical about what is a low probability event.

    The worst damage to the US from 9/11 was the Patriot Act and the creation of the DHS. If you want to preserve freedom, don’t throw away.

  10. #10 |  Aresen | 


    “..throw IT away.”

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    The best comment I saw on the Royal Wedding:

    “Parasites on Government Support get Lavish Wedding at Public Expense”

  12. #12 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ #4 Thom,

    It’s not paronia or conspiracy to believe government agencies are forcing people to be compliant without concern for basic freedom. It’s an observable fact much like evolution or gravity.

  13. #13 |  Marty | 

    great link, Michael- it’d be interesting for Judge Napolitino to have the judge in the article on his show and discuss this (and similar) incidents.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 

    #11- I’m stealing that!

  15. #15 |  Jesse | 

    Wow Mr. Pollack…….I guess the theme is, “give us all your money and then we’ll make all the decisions you ignorant unwashed mundane.”

    He is right about Congress micromanaging medicare though. What they need to do is macro-manage, for instance, by abolishing Medicare, Medicaid and any fedgov interference in the medical market.

  16. #16 |  Jesse | 

    Until we hear about anything else going on in the universe more important than the Royal Wedding, or, rather, that we hear about anything at all going on in the universe involving other living, intelligent beings, then this graphic just depicts a whole bunch of inanimate matter just floating there. Quite literally like watching paint dry.

  17. #17 |  Toonhead | 

    Regarding the Texas gov’s call for prayer for rain, God missed a rather large swath of the state.

  18. #18 |  Cyto | 

    Hey, if the 700 club could deflect a hurricane with prayer, surely the whole state of Texas could conjure up a little rain!

    Of course, it does appear that they screwed up the request and wound up dumping a bunch of extra rain on Missouri… whatever.. it was close enough…

  19. #19 |  Mario | 

    Regarding Lee’s article on the contribution of technological innovations to the nation’s wealth and the inability of the GDP reflect this fact (and, sometimes even reflect the opposite), this is an issue well-known to anyone with some familiarity with the work of Austrian economists. Prices reflect the relationship among a set of goods specific to a particular time and place. As we get further and further from that time, and especially as we introduce new goods, this historical information has less and less practical value.

    Prices allow entrepreneurs to take a guess at how to direct the resources under their control. That’s all they do. You can use all the fancy math you want, but the “data” doesn’t tell you what most people think it does. We can’t say we’re twice as rich or ten times as rich as we were 20 or 30 years ago, because prices don’t work that way: they are not a unit of measurement in the way that the inch or the decibel or a degree of Celsius is.

  20. #20 |  Chuchundra | 

    How can you seriously link to an editorial that has this much crazy in the first sentence.

    I’ve been meaning to write about how ObamaCare’s unelected rationing board — innocuously titled the Independent Payment Advisory Board — is yet another example of the Left leading America down the road to serfdom.

    Because, as we all know, an independent board of medical professionals using scientific and statistical methods to evaluate the value and cost-effectiveness of various treatment methodologies and then using that data to decide how to allocate limited government funds for Medicare is clearly a step down the road to Stalinism.

    By the way, the original piece that Cannon is complaining about is here. It’s actually a pretty well-written and thoughtful piece, although it does go off the rails a bit at the end.

  21. #21 |  phreemason1 | 

    “NRO writers credit governor’s call for prayer with bringing rain to Texas. Next up: Texas prayers bring an end cancer, turn all the state’s gay people straight.”

    Why be a dick about it? If they want to pray for rain, let them pray for rain. Speaking of, why don’t you ever poke fun of Islam?

  22. #22 |  Chris Rhodes | 

    What happened to the post about the cop who arrested the Las Vegas guy for video taping him?

    Did that righthaven, or whoever it was, demand take-down of the M. Crooks post?

    Also wondering this.

  23. #23 |  Aresen | 

    NRO writers credit governor’s call for prayer with bringing rain to Texas.

    @ Toonhead

    Obviously, the people in the parts of Texas that didn’t get rain:
    1) Didn’t pray the right way, or
    2) Weren’t “True Believers”, or
    3) Aren’t among “The Elect.”

  24. #24 |  Toonhead | 


    The reasons God chose not to favor parts of Texas with rain:

    1) The illegals
    2) The mayor of Houston’s sexual orientation
    3) God hates the Aggies

  25. #25 |  edmund dantes | 

    Actually the Royal family in England is not a parasite on the British government. They gave up rights to a lot of property and other income sources in exchange for getting money from the government.

  26. #26 |  Bill | 

    For #23 and #24, Matthew 5:45b–
    “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

    Just sayin’.

  27. #27 |  Marty | 

    #25 please explain. I was under the impression the royal family’s wealth was obtained from the taxes and resources of the people…

  28. #28 |  johnl | 

    The Easter Constitution sounds like something written up at GMU. It requires broad consensus to pass a budget, strictly limit debt, and, better still, lacks provisions for amendments. Because it’s with amendments our constitution was lost, especially 16, 17, 18, and 19. How can we arrange a Fidesz takeover of the USA?

  29. #29 |  omar | 

    The planet/star comparison gets the distances pretty well, but drastically overstates the size of the planets and sun. That’s because at that level of zoom, the planets would be invisibly small. You can show proper size or proper distance, but not both. For some perspective on the size of space things, check out this video.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 


    I believe edmund dantes is correct as there were some lands which belonged to ‘the crown’ – meaning the Monarch of the day – which provided income for the Monarch at the time when the kings and queens actually ruled. These incomes were used to fund general government expense. At some point, the Royal Family turned those assets over to the government in return for a perpetual allowance.

    Even so, I think the tourist revenue that the Royal Family generates from all the “Royalty Fans” who come to the UK to gawk at them more than covers the expense.

  31. #31 |  omar | 

    Why be a dick about it?

    Because critical thinking is an often-ignored valuable life skill.

    If they want to pray for rain, let them pray for rain

    Radley didn’t stop them. Again though, critical thinking. Praying for rain is mental masturbation, a self-referential exercise with no effect on the world. A better use of the governor’s time would be to help folks find ways to conserve water. If you think God will give you rain because you ask for it, follow the logical rabbit-hole down for a while. Why doesn’t God give you money when you ask for it? And why did God flood Missouri to give rain to Texas? A few people died from the storms. Did God think it horrific deaths to end a rain shortfall? Is Texas rain in God’s plan? What if we wish harder for it? The answer to all of these questions is “stupid questions”. “God did

    Speaking of, why don’t you ever poke fun of Islam

    Did Radley single out another religion in to make fun of? You are projecting your insecurities onto the statements of other people.

  32. #32 |  Alien | 

    I live in Texas and I know people had significant damage such as hail damage or even tornado damage from last night’s storms. Hopefully, they will sue Rick Perry and then we will find out in court filings if he would attribute the storms to the prayers he called for!

  33. #33 |  Stop NationalDebt | 

    “POLL REVEALS: Americans Are Still In Deep Denial About The Deficit” If they realized how bad it is politicians would need to act. Non politics-junkies tune out numbers in the $trillions so we need to rephrase the issue:
    The federal government will need >$1 million per household to pay its IOUs!
    > $116 trillion =”official” debt plus money  short for future social security, medicare, etc
    Even its “official debt” of $14.2 trillion  is $123,754 per household!
    Details at with links to contact congress & complain.
    Be among the first to join the new Facebook cause “Stop National Debt” :
    since if you don’t spread the word, who will?

  34. #34 |  mcmillan | 

    Because it’s with amendments our constitution was lost, especially 16, 17, 18, and 19.

    Definitely on board with 18, and can understand 16 and 17, though I think 17 fixed one problem (putting senators under control of the easy to influence state legislatures) by creating a new one (making senators pander to the general public). But you want to try to explain what’s so horrible about “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” ?

  35. #35 |  James J.B. | 


    How exactly is it that the king owned that land? When did he buy it? Or was it from thuggery? If I give you stolen land, I give you nothing- because a thief never has good title.

    As far as those limey parasites go – if the limeys want to bow down to a bunch of inbred freaks w/ bad teeth – so be it – glad we fought the revolution though.

  36. #36 |  Marty | 

    #30- that’s interesting… I’m still not sure I buy it, though. Prince Charles has over 100 personal employees- ranging from drivers to some dork who puts toothpaste on his toothbrush in the morning. This is a huge black hole of money falling in. It seems like the people should’ve just confiscated the lands from the royals…

  37. #37 |  Black Market | 

    I thought that the use of snakeoil salesmen who would attempt to control nature through dubious means ended with the Enlightenment.

    It’s great to see that the leader of the state of Texas still believes in Middle Ages techniques to bring joy to his people.

  38. #38 |  Aresen | 

    @ Marty | April 27th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I agree with you, I was just going over the logic of the “Royal Allowances”.

    TBS, while I don’t understand why people want to gawk at inbred twits*, a great many people get pleasure out of it. The simple fact is that the Royal Family brings billions of tourist dollars (or pounds, if you prefer) to the UK. Looking at in ROI terms, the British Government is getting a lot of bang for its buck.

    *OTOH, if the English Monarchy had practiced selective breeding for the last 1000 years instead of simply taking the first born and mating them with the offspring of other related lines, they’d probably still have real power. (Chucky, I think, would probably have been put in a burlap sack and dumped in the Thames once it became apparent how dim he is.)

  39. #39 |  Chuchundra | 

    I’m pretty sure that the British royals have a much better moral claim to the property they own than any of us do to any land we might own here in the USA. That is, unless you’re directly descended from American aboriginals and are on your original, tribal lands.

  40. #40 |  BamBam | 

    @4, it’s called conditioning, and it has been happening since humans existed. The sexual assaults at airports are to belittle you so much that you feel you don’t even own your most intimate body parts, something that reduces most people to slaves and more easily controlled. The Nazis practiced this and so do rapists.

  41. #41 |  Thom | 

    @39 Nice try, but I’m pretty sure the British royals aren’t descendents of the British aboriginals either.

  42. #42 |  JOR | 

    The British royal family is at least two (probably more) migration waves removed from the original inhabitants of the island.