Assorted Links (11/29/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Lame Ducks Will Take the Plunge on Bush Tax Cuts

“A lame-duck Congress returns this week to decide the fate of the Bush tax cuts, the debt ceiling, and whether to extend unemployment insurance to millions.”

Just the Facts, Ma’am

“You might remember a bit of Monty Python nonsense from 1979, The Life of Brian. In one scene, we encounter the People’s Front of Judea, one of many tiny radical groups bent on the overthrow of the oppressor Romans…”

The Partisan Mind

“The body-scanner debate would have played out very differently if it had occurred during the Bush administration.”

Things Fall Apart

“As World War Two broke out in Poland, WH Auden wrote about the despair of watching “the clever hopes expire/of a low, dishonest decade.” We are not yet at that pass, but Auden’s poem bears re-reading by anybody trying to read the signs of our increasingly dark and troubled times.”

Dead Green Treaty Stinks Up The Room

“What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Great Green Delusion — that the United Nations process could deliver a treaty that would stop global warming dead in its tracks — was the hottest idea in town. Those who dissented were scorned and despised; the environmental movement and its army of press loyalists were the Great and the Good who knew how to solve the world’s problems.”

Facebook Accounts for 25% of All U.S. Pageviews

“Facebook’s putting up some big numbers in terms of U.S. web traffic. Right now, the site accounts for one out of every four pageviews in the United States — that’s 10% of all Internet visits.”

Charles Krauthammer – The irrelevance of START

“What difference does it make how many nukes Russia builds?”

How to Make Air Travel More Infuriating

“If you think TSA is dysfunctional and unpopular now, wait until it unionizes.”

The Weekend Interview with Dr. James Watson: ‘To Be a Good Leader, You Have to Ruffle Feathers’

“In The Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley interviews scientist James Watson. The discoverer of the DNA double-helix discusses his thoughts about how to win the war on cancer in the next few years, and the role played by the Food and Drug Administration in new treatments.”

Review & Outlook: Harbinger in Hamtramck

“The Wall Street Journal on the bankruptcy lesson from a Detroit suburb.”

Conspicuous Consumption, Arms Races and the Needy

Here’s yet another discussion/critique of the economics of a progressive consumption and income tax…

How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims | Hoover Institution

“When the Pilgrims landed in 1620, they established a system of communal property. Within three years they had scrapped it, instituting private property instead.” Hat tip to Scott Harrington (cf. for pointing this article out on his blog…

Giving thanks for the ‘invisible hand’ :: Jeff Jacoby

“GRATITUDE TO THE ALMIGHTY is the theme of Thanksgiving, and has been ever since the Pilgrims of Plymouth brought in their first good harvest. “Instead of famine, now God gave them plenty,” their leader, Governor William Bradford, later wrote, “and the face of things was changed to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.””

Apparently It’s Collectivism Only If It Is Pursued as a Means of Privation

“Liberal Curmudgeon blogger Stephen Budiansky ridicules Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and others for describing early Plymouth colony as a failed experiment in collectivism.”

Description Is Prescription

“One hundred years after Tolstoy’s death, measuring his lasting influence.”

The Special Assistant for Reality

“Obama needs to hear a voice from outside the presidential bubble, Peggy Noonan argues.”

Kimberley A. Strassel: The Lamest Duck, Ever –

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Potomac Watch columnist Kimberley A. Strassel writes that Harry Reid’s midterm strategy was a bust, and Democrats are now dealing with the consequences.”

W. Kurt Hauser: There’s No Escaping Hauser’s Law –

“In The Wall Street Journal, W. Kurt Hauser writes that tax revenues as a share of GDP have averaged just under 19%, whether tax rates are cut or raised. Better to cut rates and get 19% of a larger pie.”

Strangers, Saints and Indians

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column, John A. Murray recounts the story of the Pilgrims and Squanto who, according to Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, was sent of God.”

Thoughts on QE2

“A LOT has been written recently, pro and con, about the Fed’s new round of quantitative easing, dubbed QE2. But, frankly, much of the discussion on both sides lacks a coherent analytical framework for thinking about the key issues…”

Big Government Not Invited to Thanksgiving Feast: Caroline Baum

“It is the tradition of this column every year at this time to recount the story of Thanksgiving.  The history of the Pilgrims’ early struggles in their new land and triumph over obstacles resonates on many levels, from the personal to the political. The government’s actions in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 — some necessary, others not — and intrusion on the private sector have given the story renewed poignancy.”

Reflections on an Ailing Society

“Warren Buffet is once more calling for higher tax rates, in advising the Congress to revoke the Bush-era tax rates and apparently to return to those of the Clinton administration — reminiscent of the elder Gates touring the country stumping for a reinstatement of a substantial inheritance tax. Aside from the fact that the deficit is not due to falling revenues, but almost entirely a result of astronomical federal spending increases since 2000, this bromide is quite pathological, this peddling of elixirs that the sellers do not drink.”

Reforming Health Care Reform

“Ron Wyden and Scott Brown have a plan.”

Democrats and the Deficit

“Josh Barro writes on NRO: Over the last few years, Democrats have had a field day pointing out (accurately) that Republicans were being wildly fiscally irresponsible. In fact, Republicans were such bad stewards of the federal budget that it was easy not to notice that the Democrats didn’t really hav”

TSA Breast Milk Screening Harrassment Incident

Hat tip to Megan McArdle for posting the link to this YouTube video.  Like Ms. McArdle, I would also love to hear the TSA’s side of the story and be able to to view the full surveillance video, including the 30 minutes which were apparently edited out by TSA prior to complying with the aggrieved passenger’s request for a copy of the surveillance video of the incident shown here.