August 28, 2005

Quotes of the Evening (082805)

There is a bumper crop of quotes tonight. Maybe I should spread them out so I can do less original blogging (comments and e-mails agreeing with that sentiment are not welcome).

(Click “more” to read the delicious collection of prosaic punditry assembled for you)

Rich Karlgaard, in his Forbes column aptly named “Dunce Glut,” comes up with three.

On Chicken Little economists:

Dunces yelp too much about budget deficits. They rightly point out that the Reagan Administration added $1.7 trillion in federal debt. But they don’t add the bit about U.S. assets growing by ten times that amount during Reagan’s tenure. In the real world a CEO would be a world-class dunce not to issue a dollar of debt in order to snatch ten dollars’ worth of assets. For most Americans a comparable “irresponsible” act of debt is called buying a house, for which they then work hard and creatively to pay the mortgage. But Lapham, Krugman and Peterson are worried sick over this.

On the dangers of Chicken Little economics:

We live in a precarious time, when, as in the 1930s, dumb economics could smash the world to bits.

On a chronic GM-Ford-Chrysler problem that has nothing to do with an aging workforce, but plenty to do with how much making a car costs:

20% of workers at some of Michigan’s unionized auto plants fail to show up on any given day. This matters greatly: For every 1% rise in absenteeism, General Motors loses $125 million, Ford $100 million. Meanwhile, at the nonunionized Toyota plant in Georgetown, Ky. and the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., the absentee rate is half or less than what it is in Detroit.

A reader on the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam (probably requires registration; HT Cartago Delenda Est, with referrers too numerous to mention):

Iraq is just like Vietnam except: We occupy Hanoi. We’ve captured Ho Chi Minh. The North Vietnamese have just held a free and democratic election. The North Vietnamese are working on a new constitution. Yes, Iraq is just like Vietnam.

And you won’t find Jane Fonda riding shotgun (so to speak) on a suicide bomber’s car.

From the RightWing Nuthouse (“Where Are All The Protesters?), which from this vantage point appears to be one of the sanest places on earth. The site’s sole proprietor, Rick Moran, appears to have done more real investigative reporting on CindyMania than all the hundreds of other media people assembled in Crawford for the festivities combined (HT LGF):

It took a little digging, but I was able to discover that there are less than 200 people camping out with Mother Sheehan in Crawford with perhaps another 1,500 people in and around the town on any given day. While the number of campers is kept low due to space limitations, that 1,500 number appears to be pretty solid. And not all of those people are there for the protest. Many are connected with the so-called “Crawford Peace House” whose anti-semitic activities have been well documented elsewhere.

The other night, folk singer and legendary anti-war activist Joan Baez drew around 200 people to a free concert near the camp site. Also, this blogger took the trouble to add up names from three Guest Books which had been placed around Camp Casey and discovered 750 signatures – not from one day but from more than 2 weeks of protests.

It’s like this “mass movement” exists only on a Hollywood sound stage. When the cameras are turned off, it disappears like smoke from a fog machine wafting up into the rafters. It’s bogus. It’s a lie. It’s one gigantic photo-op staged for the benefit of the press whose seeming indifference to some of the truly kooky things Sheehan has said (not to mention the nauseating anti-semitic rants of Mother Sheehan and her supporters) is almost beyond comprehension.

Finally, the incomparable Mark Steyn gets a twofer. It’s really unfair to excerpt Steyn; read the whole thing.

First, on the imminent Iraqi constitution’s treatment of women:

Iraqi women were better off under Saddam, we were told by various types, though the wags at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a David Horsey cartoon showing Condi assuring Bush “they won’t get stoned to death as long as they keep their burqas on tight.”

Ha-ha. So what do we find in Article 151 of the Iraqi constitution?

“No less than 25 percent of Council of Deputies seats go to women.”

I’m not a great fan of quotas but for purposes of comparison, after two-and-a-quarter centuries, in the United States Senate, 14 percent of the seats are held by women.

The only burqa on too tight here is the one David Horsey’s pulled over his head with the eye-slit round the back.

Then, on Iraq’s slow-but-sure return to civilization:

In Iraq right now the glass is around two-thirds full, and those two thirds will not be drained down to Sunni Triangle levels of despair. There are 1 million new cars on the road since 2003, a statistic that no doubt just lost us warhawks that Sierra Club endorsement but which doesn’t sound like a nation mired in hopelessness. A new international airport has been opened in the north to cope with the Kurdish tourist and economic boom. Faruk Mustafa Rasool is building a 28-story five-star hotel with a revolving restaurant and a cable-car link to downtown Sulaimaniya.

Betcha didn’t know all that. How could you when the MSM “reporters” in Iraq seldom leave the cozy confines of their hotels?



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