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How to dismantle a capitalist society

As we reflect on health care? reform?, let us recall how we got here:

  • Government creates an obstacle (wage controls);
  • Private industry works around it (by offering first-party health “insurance”);
  • Government responds by deeming the circumvention unfair (while subsidizing it) and sets up programs to give everyone “access” to what its own regulations inspired (Medicare, Social Security, and coverage mandates);
  • Prices go up, quality goes down, and government blames private industry (for having the audacity to make a profit selling what government can barely give away);
  • And finally, government uses the rising prices as a pretext for taking over the industry.

You didn’t exactly hear it here first. But then how do we explain that the inevitable may unfold notwithstanding our objections?

Randomly Viewed: RB at the movies

I had no idea Dances with Wolves II could be worse than the first. I would have expected something more than cool special effects and a climax scene that scarcely distracted the audience from this movie’s otherwise tired attempt at a plot.

Score, supporting cast, and character (or should I say char-avatar) development were appalling considering this movie was as hyped as Gladiator.

Suppose you can put aside the not-so-subtle left-wing ideology in this movie’s tired themes:

  • Rapacious white man vs. spiritual natives—guess who wins?
  • The “organic” forest should not be sacrificed for unobtainium—surprise, surprise, we never find out what cures or unprecedented wealth unobtainium might bring.
  • Brutish militiamen hired by shareholders for profit too obtuse to consider enlightened, “scientific” claims—contain your gasps of outrage as you will never learn who appointed these fringe kooks philosopher-kings of the island.

Let’s just say if you want a nuanced plot, you would be better off watching Titanic again. (As a bonus, it felt shorter.) Timid boy meets confident daughter of the ruling clan—would I spoil it to tell you he gets the girl? At least James Cameron’s last “great” movie develops its themes rather than relying on stereotype and faux drama.

Two stars for glowing jellyfish gods and robotic war machines copied from Iron Man.

Lenten reconciliation

Unbelievable. Deadline after deadline after deadline has passed yet the Dems are still chasing their tails. Perhaps, like sinners in confession, they really, truly resolve not to fail this time?

Our objective is to pass both before the Easter break. Is that going to be difficult? Yes. Is it a deadline? No. Everybody understands that it’s an objective, not a deadline. If we can, we can. If we can’t, we can’t. We will continue to pursue both items.

Huh, I guess not. Reconciliation be damned—the American health care industry be saved!

“The newsweeklies”

The following arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Newsweek cover: The Case for Killing Granny National Review cover: The Creeping Culture of Euthanasia

Query which is the newsweekly and which is the journal of opinion?

The demise of the former news oligopolist has been largely overlooked, though not by those in the know. News flash: You can’t be a “thought leader” with such drivel on your front page.

And trading off the decades of “goodwill” from consumers whose only option was to switch to Time probably isn’t a winning business strategy.

Whatever the case, I see no indication that Newsweek has acknowledged its unenviable position in the pecking order of left-wing bias, save for the prominent MSNBC link on its website.

Yes, Charlie, the day will come when respectable journalists will sneer about leaving it to “the newsweeklies.” Except they’ll be right.

IBHST.S01.E03: Past his time

I cannot leave this one unremarked:

Obama blows name of favorite team’s home stadium.

Of course, I am sure someone can explain to me why his relentless campaign for quote-unquote universal health care caused him to draw a blank. Because I am sure he spent his childhood memorizing stats and players and fields.

Seriously, just say a few kind words about our national pastime and be done with it.

And please, please do not throw another first pitch.

Linguistic agitprop takes two ongoing assaults on his way of life quite seriously: eroding grammatical standards and creeping anti-Americanism. So when these threats marry in an unholy matrimony of linguistic agitprop, Orwell rolls over in his grave—and returns fire.

Since when has the Queen’s English permitted such abominations as You voted for Obama, yes? and Che was a revolutionary, no?

We have many ways to ask leading questions in the mother tongue of Shakespeare, Milton, and Buckley. A lawyer can’t question a witness without the indispensible interrogatories Isn’t it true and Didn’t you? A salesman can’t sell a widget without the sleazily suggestive Wouldn’t you like . . .

But the betraying conceit of all who employ the offending constructions—so familiar to speakers of continental European languages—is the refusal to adopt the simplest, truest, most absolute of all, right?

I need a hit

Among the joys of working at BigLaw are the weekly visits to my “drug dealer,” whom I will call Derek. My entire relationship with Derek revolves around one thing—getting me what I need.

Derek and I follow all the protocols of professional narcotics distributors:

  • using established, secure channels of communication;
  • repeating a regimented script where Derek assigns, and I complete, assignments, then later I confirm I have completed them;
  • exhibiting antilinguistic traits characteristic to such distributors, including crass, pink-elephant-in-the-corner smalltalk and task-relevant overlexicalization.

Fortunately for BigLaw, Derek deals in batches, not 8-balls; lists, not lines; documents, not drugs.

Unfortunately for my career, I’m a lowlife junkie hooked on the smack. Hit me up again, Derek!

IBHST.S01.E02: Buffet’s protege

Evidently our omniscient president also dabbles in the stock market. In a desperate effort to obfuscate the double-digit-percentage declines since his inauguration, President Obama provided this gem of advice:

[P]rofit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it.

What a hedge—starting to get to the point where they’re a potentially good deal as long as you have a long-term perspective?

Quick, somebody put this guy in charge of the untold trillions going into the already-bankrupt special-purpose entity known as Social Security.

If Bush had said that…

IBHST.S01.E01: 867-5309

In the premiere episode of a new feature, honors “Nobody Messes with Joe” Biden. Speaking about the administration’s plans to post porkulus spending on the Internet, the VP had this to say:

[CBS Host] By the way, do you know the website? [NMW Joe] No, I’m embarrassed. [Looking stage right] Do you know the website number? I should have it in front of me, and I don’t.

If Bush had said that…

Did I hear that right?

The bold new ideas we have to take the country into the next century are to spend more on energy, health care, and education?

UPDATE: And we will find $2 trillion in farm subsidies, defense spending, and corporate tax breaks?

SECOND UPDATE: And we will put the nonexistent war on terror on the balance sheet, but leave the already-bankrupt special-purpose entity known as Social Security off the balance sheet?


RIP. A year ago today, I drove home from BigLaw in a funk, shed more than a few tears, and then reactivated my subscription to National Review.

UPDATE: Yes, I know, I was a few days ahead of the news cycle.

Faith-based workouts

Soon these won’t simply be for born-again meatheads. We can expect this to cost another $100 billion with the president’s assurance it will “save” four million jobs—a conveniently empirical, yet non-confirmable, proposition.

Evidently the rightful place for social science is the imagination.