30 March 2010

The Annotated Brit

The inimitable John Inman:

22 March 2010

The Nice Schizophrenic Next Door

We're making plans for a family trip to Montreal next summer, to correspond with a conference I've got to go to. (Peter -- Are you going to be in the vicinity in early August?) One of the conference hotels is the Fairmont Le Reine √Člizabeth. There is something so deliciously Canadian about their insistence upon rendering the name of the Queen of England in French; it is just a constant delight.

15 March 2010

Irony Is A Dish Best Served Cold

Remember when it was treason to sell the UK-based manager of six US ports to a state-owned UAE company? You probably don't remember who ended up buying out the six US ports instead: AIG, which is obviously a much more trustworthy manager of our precious national assets.

13 March 2010

Are There People

... for whom it is good news when the world conforms to their expectations?

Remember The Uninsured?

Every once in a while, I have to forcibly remind myself that the long march to "Health Care Reform" started with the uninsured. It is wrong, we were told, to deny 15 20 30 40 million Americans healthcare. And who can argue?

So, the American people, coming off 8 exciting Bush years, when we had done pretty well but weren't really feeling that we had done much good (mistakenly, in my opinion, but that's neither here nor there), elected Barack Obama to do good -- including by getting health care to the uninsured.

But how to do that. One way, the traditional American way, is to provide health care insurance to the poor, the young and the old and simply let the uninsured show up when they need treatment. The other way is to get health insurance to everyone, which apparently requires spending trillions of dollars, mucking up everyone else's health care and losing sight of the uninsured along the way. The problem is that everyone who has insurance is pretty much happy with their health care, they just wanted to help their neighbors out.

Now, my neighbors are fine people and I'm more than willing to help them out, now and then. But there are limits and there's no point in my helping them out by giving up myself what they don't have. In other words, we might have reached the Robin Hood point, where the rich, having been robbed, are now the poor.

01 March 2010

Is It Just Me?

Or is Curious George at the Park Touch-and-Feel an unfortunately creepy name for a children's book?

Thought Experiment


Except in time of war, the federal government shall have no power to tax but shall pay for all of its expenditures through borrowing, save only for fees charged to participants that cover the cost of their participation in enumerated voluntary activities.