Crawl Across the Ocean

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Long March (no penguins)

I always find the stretch from New Years to Easter to be a bit of a struggle. In fact, I think this is the first year in my life I've ever made it (assuming nothing untoward happens between now and end of day Thursday) through the whole stretch without missing time (school or work) for some reason or another. On the plus side, March is a lot more tolerable with cherry blossoms instead of sand-stained snowbanks, but on the down side, despite the purported / vaunted laid-back West Coast lifestyle, I've effectively been working 6 days a week which hasn't made things much easier and will likely keep blogging pretty light around here for the next few months or so.

Anyway, with the slow posting, the blogging part of my brain feels like it's suffering through the equivalent of a garbage-strike, so here is a link dump to clear the air/neurons.

First of all, Greg at Democratic Space is right, proposing a closed list Mixed Member Proportional system in Ontario needlessly gives opponents of electoral reform an open line of attack against change. Reform would have a better chance of success with open lists.

This, from Robert is old now, but interesting enough to link to all the same, a chart showing the record of average annual spending increases by various governments. Maybe I was being unfair to Chretien and Flaherty was more like Martin than anyone else when it comes to spending.

B.C. putting up some money to protect low-cost housing in Vancouver is a step in the right direction. It would have been smarter to buy at the bottom of the market, but it's a lot better than no action at all.

I've been enjoying the work of the Red Tory lately, but the best line of recent times came from one of his commenters:

Edger’s Law of Conservative Political Discourse
It states: The Conservatives that accuse non-Conservatives of fearmongering when they mention the possibility of a Conservative hidden agenda, will console themselves every time Harper sells out his base by reminding each other that Harper has a hidden agenda.

Meanwhile, via Andrew Sullivan, it takes a creative mind to plot historical home prices as a virtual roller coaster ride. Time to get your hands in the air, I guess.

Another comment from Andrew Sullivan,
"Any person who has been involved in a cause, and pity the person who has not, knows the pressures that political ardor puts on intellectual honesty. When one’s universe is separated into sides, and one has chosen among the sides, the surest signs of intellectual honesty are expressions of sympathy for one’s other and antipathy for one's own," - Leon Wieseltier, New York Times

Which leads us to this post by Andrew Coyne, titled, "Welcome Tory Partisans," in which he basically dared his right-wing commenters to defend Harper's attack ad which basically called Dion a traitor to his people. Sure enough, they didn't let him down, filling over a 100 comments with variously weaselly and laughably weak arguments, many of which amounted to saying that the evil Liberal media conspiracy made them do it. Coyne is obviously a principled Conservative, but you have to wonder if the followers he attracts ever makes him questions the wisdom of his opinions.

And just so we don't forget that Andrew Sullivan is loony in many ways, here he is approvingly linking to an argument, relayed by Greg Mankiw, for cutting taxes on the rich that has so many glaring holes it would better serve as an exam question for a course in examining flawed rhetoric and inaccurate analogies than as an actual argument. Both Sullivan and Mankiw should know better. One does wonder just how extreme inequality would have to get in the U.S. before the wealthy there acknowledge that it is hurting the country rather than helping as they seem to think.

Anyway, that was pretty scattered. Maybe the next post will be a little less lifeless. It is April now, after all.


  • Declan, calling Mankiw's comments about the wealthy folks "not showing up anymore" an argument is extremely charitable.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 3:45 PM  

  • True, that's why I also threw in the words 'loony', 'glaring holes', 'flawed rhetoric' and 'inaccurate analogies' :)

    By Blogger Declan, at 6:47 PM  

  • With Leo Strauss as mentor, who could not suspect Harper and Co of a secret agenda. By the box within a box reasoning of that thinker it is vital to hide the truth from the people who are too weak and stupid to handle it. The wise ones (Harper and pals in this case) will handle it all. And the plan is to steer the people into support of the lying and contemptuous wise ones by grand lies, wars, and political bullying. The remarkable thing is how closely Harper seems to be hewing to this self destructive idiocy, but you really can't fault people for suspecting that he is doing what he is doing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 AM  

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