Archive | September, 2011

Repent Soothsayer, Said the Tick Tock Man

Madame Kovarian: Year One

Madame Kovarian: Year One

To see two preview clips from tomorrow’s Doctor Who finale, click here and scroll down to “The Wedding of River Song: Previews: Reveal” – not to be confused with “The Wedding of River Song: Introductory Videos: Reveal.” (There’s other cool stuff there too.)

To say that these previews involve SPOILERS would be an understatement. In fact the mere still images displayed before the clips start playing contain spoilers, which is why I haven’t embedded them here.

Later tonight I plan to offer some speculation in the comments section here, so for those who find mere speculation spoileriffic, stay away from the comments section.

In the meantime, check this out if you dare. Its content isn’t spoileriffic (as it’s about 1970s Who), but my linking to it in this context might be.


– I’ve fought vampires before.
– These vampires are different.
– What’s different about them?
– They have … they have fangs coming out of their nostrils!

[montage of attacks by vampires with fangs coming out of their nostrils]

Nostrilvania: they have fangs coming out of their nostrils!

Cordial and Sanguine, Part 18

My BHL post on Ron Paul’s healthcare answer is receiving favourable comment from both Andrew Sullivan and the National Review, and less favourable comment from Matt Yglesias. (CHT Matt Zwolinski.) I posted the following comment at Yglesias’s blog:

This response is pretty drastically missing my point. Suppose there are two possible ways of helping a patient, one much more effective than the other. The better way, A, is forbidden by law; the question is then asked whether the inferior way should be mandated by law. The libertarian (or at least the good libertarian) says: “no, don’t mandate B; instead, stop forbidding A.” That hardly counts as saying the patient should die; on the contrary, the libertarian thinks (rightly or wrongly) that the patient is less likely to die if the government stops forbidding A.

Shock Treatment

Now what the conservative generally says is “don’t mandate B, but don’t stop forbidding A either.” So I think it would be fair to charge the conservative with being willing to let people die. But that’s just a different position.

Part of the problem here is that non-libertarians tend to treat “let’s do something about X” and “let’s have a government program for X” as equivalent, and so tend to hear anyone who rejects the latter as rejecting the former. By contrast, libertarians generally think of governmental solutions as the least effective ones, and so for them treating “let’s do something about X” as equivalent to “let’s have a government program for X” would be like treating “let’s do something about X” as equivalent to “let’s sacrifice some babies to the moon god in order to address X.”

Sarah Wants an ALL Button (But She’s Not Getting One From Me)

I confess that these are ideas I was not expecting to hear from Sarah Palin:

Sarah Palin with an ALL button

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private). …

The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money. …

[I]n contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs. …

“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”

Well, I certainly like that more than most of what I generally hear from Palin. (Though notice her careful avoidance of any mention of the military-industrial complex.) But it’s not her usual tune; so where’s this coming from, and why now?

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