Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘steyn’

In Florida, shear regulatory madness

Posted by Richard on September 19, 2014

Since the militarization of police forces began, there have been many instances of outrageous police overreach, and Mark Steyn has documented a number of them. His latest example may have you tearing your hair out.

I often joke with my hairdresser Amanda about the number of state permits she requires for the privilege of cutting my hair. As I point out on page 49 of After America (personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available, etc):

In the Fifties, one in twenty members of the workforce needed government permission in order to do his job. Today, it’s one in three.

That’s tyrannous – which is bad enough, albeit not unique to America: The entire developed world has massively expanded the hyper-regulatory state. But only in America does the Department of Paperwork command lethal force:

Go and read the whole unbelievable story.

Angry crowds should have descended upon the offices of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation with protest signs. Or tar and feathers. What will it take for a significant portion of the population to rise up and shout, “Enough! This is tyranny!”?

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Dems want fundamental change at any price

Posted by Richard on March 8, 2010

A few days ago, I saw Bob Beckel argue that if the Republicans really believed that passing ObamaCare will be a disaster for the Democratic Party, they'd lay off a bit and let it pass to assure themselves of success in November. Beckel is a political hack, not a man of ideas. His argument is based on the assumption (itself no doubt based on projection) that people like John Kyl, Steve Shadegg, and Paul Ryan would put their party's success ahead of the nation's future.

The people in power in the Democratic Party aren't like Beckel. They're hard-core ideologues, and they're willing to sacrifice their strong majorities in Congress and even a second Obama term in order to fundamentally transform America. The inimitable Mark Steyn understands what's at stake: 

I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally "conservative" parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let's not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a "conservative").

The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.

Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic. … The Democrats understand that politics is not just about Tuesday evenings every other November, but about everything else, too.

Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever-expanding number of government jobs will be statists – sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, but always statists. The short history of the post-war welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect "conservatives," as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the Left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who, for tuppence-ha'penny or some such, would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.

Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A bigtime GOP consultant [ed.: the Republican equivalent of Bob Beckel] was on TV, crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass Obamacare because it's so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.

OK, then what? You'll roll it back – like you've rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago? Like you've undone the federal Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel'n'dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter? Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus:

"Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?"

A commenter at Big Journalism put it well: 

A lot of conservatives seem to grasp the idea of Islamic extremists who proclaim "we love death more than you love life", but don't allow for the possibilty that extreme leftists may cherish "the fundamental transformation of America" more than a reelection.

Don't sit back and say, "Just wait until November." And don't tolerate anyone who does. Our values, our liberty, our way of life — all the things that make the United States better than the sclerotic Eurosocialist states are at stake in this battle. ObamaCare must be stopped!

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Even more Obama speeches

Posted by Richard on January 25, 2010

Mark Steyn believes that exactly no one is waiting for Obama's 412th speech and 159th interview of his presidency:

So what went wrong? According to Barack Obama, the problem is he overestimated you dumb rubes’ ability to appreciate what he’s been doing for you. “That I do think is a mistake of mine,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we’re making a good rational decision here, then people will get it.”

But you schlubs aren’t that smart. You didn’t get it. And Barack Obama is determined to see that you do. So the president has decided that he needs to start “speaking directly to the American people.”

Wait, wait! Come back! Don’t all stampede for the hills! He only gave (according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller) 158 interviews and 411 speeches in his first year. That’s more than any previous president — and maybe more than all of them put together. But there may still be some show out there that didn’t get its exclusive Obama interview — I believe the top-rated Grain & Livestock Prices Report 4 a.m. Update with Herb Torpormeister on WZZZ-AM Dead Buzzard Gulch Junction’s Newstalk Leader is still waiting to hear back from the White House.

But what will the president be saying in all these extra interviews? In that interview about how he hadn’t given enough interviews, he also explained to George Stephanopoulos what that wacky Massachusetts election was all about:

“The same thing that swept Scott into office swept me into office,” said Obama. “People are angry and they’re frustrated, not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they’re voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts. Boy, I can’t wait for that 159th interview.

Presumably, the president isn’t stupid enough actually to believe what he said. But it’s dispiriting to discover he’s stupid enough to think we’re stupid enough to believe it.

Read the whole, hilarious thing.

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Canada’s sperm shortage and related matters

Posted by Richard on September 3, 2009

Mark Steyn was the "undocumented guest host" today on the Rush Limbaugh Show. I listened to a bit of it at lunch, and he totally cracked me up. It seems that Canada is suffering from a sperm shortage. The entire nation of 30 million people has only 33 sperm donors.

I figured Steyn had probably written a funny column about that. But before I got around to looking for it, a friend had sent me the link. It's quintessential Steyn — brilliant writing, wicked humor, and groan-inducing word play sprinkled with enough serious truths to make it more than an amusing trifle. Canada's sperm shortage, you see, was created by the government:

… Apparently, the 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act makes it illegal to pay donors for sperm. I mean, it wasn’t even the usual Canadian Wheat Board-type racket whereby you’d only be able to sell your seed to the Canadian Sperm Board at a price agreed upon by representatives of the federal-provincial Semen Commissions. Instead, they just nixed the whole deal, and, once Johnny Canuck found out he wasn’t going to be remunerated, virtually the entire supply dried up.

As a result, this once proud Dominion now has to import sperm. According to CTV, 80 per cent of Canadian women who conceive through donor sperm are getting it from the United States, mainly from men in Georgia and northern Florida. Canada’s future is now in American hands.

You know how it is: you wait ages for a good sperm story and then they all come at once. It seems there’s also a shortage of the stuff in Sweden. But, in contrast to Canada, this is caused not by government intervention in supply but by a surge in demand, from Swedish lesbian couples anxious to conceive. Inga and Britta had been trying for a child for ages but nothing seemed to work. Then it occurred to them this might be because they’re both women. So they headed off to the sperm clinic, whereupon the Sapphic demand ran into the problem of male inability to satisfy it. There appear to be higher than usual levels of non-functioning sperm.

Don’t worry, I’m not being Swedophobic in mocking the watery emissions of Nordic manhood. It’s a widespread problem: “Concern As Sperm Count Falls By A Third In UK Men” (the Daily Mail, 2004). … Still, even for a demographic doom-monger such as myself, you could hardly ask for a more poignant fin de civilisation image than a stampede of broody lesbians stymied only by defective semen, like some strange dystopian collaboration between Robert Heinlein and Russ Meyer set in a world divided into muff divers and duff donors.

 Read the whole thing . Then delve deep into the 490+ comments — really, it's worth it. Some are unintentionally funny, and others are intentionally funny (a call for a "cash for spunkers" program). Some add useful information and insights (another cause of Canada's problem: their courts have held sperm donors liable for child support!). And some are just good comments:

george: I'm shocked that anyone alive today is still able to write like this.

Kevin: The idea that sexual freedom is the only freedom left is met by an immediate cry to censor. Who said Irony was dead?

reliapundit: liberty without natural law isn't libertarianism; it's libertinage.

the postmodern left has rejected natural law and embraced moral and cultural relativism.

these people want a paternal state in which the parent supplies food, shelter, clothing an allowance but also let's them stay out all night uses drugs sleepo with anybody and anything and not be required contribute a penny to household expenses or work doing any hopusehold chores.

iow: postmodern lefists are the functional equivalents of teenagers.

I think reliapundit is onto something. In my experience, we are simply awash in mature adults who are the functional equivalents of teenagers. And the vast majority of them are leftists.

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