Friday, July 2, 2004
Bawer on Ameriphobia
Bruce Bawer has composed a lengthy article on European anti-Americanism for the Hudson Review. The article is notable because Bawer has been an American expat since 1998, and his reasons for leaving the country were entirely due to this country's laws (he is gay, and he wished to marry his partner). He points out many of the misconceptions and myths about America held by most Europeans, and explains how the European media and academia, aided by anti-American Americans, have exacerbated the situation.
(Link courtesy of Mike Silverman.)
posted at 02:34 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, July 1, 2004
Canadian Electoral Reform
As most know by now, Canada had an election on Monday. Four major parties received votes: The Liberal Party (roughly equivalent to our Democratic Party), Conservative Party (like out Republicans), New Democratic Party (a quasi-Socialist Party, with some Green ideals thrown in), and the Bloc Quebecois (A Quebec separatist group, unlike anything here in the US). The Conservative Party is a new entity, comprised of two older groups (The Progressive Conservative Party, which controlled the Canadian Parliament in the 80's and early 90's, and the Canadian Alliance, formerly known as the Canadian Reform Party). What I suspect most readers do not know is why the Reform Party came into existence. I had a vague idea, but was not aware of the details.
It all boils down to apportionment. Canada (and for that matter, Australia as well), do not reapportion under the same strict balances we do here in the US. As a result, one Canadian MP may represent as few as 34,935 people (in Prince Edward Island; the territories have fewer people, but only one rep; PEI has four), or as many as 113K+ (British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario). Since Ontario has more than one third of the entire Parliament, they are never shortchanged, but the two western provinces feel slighted.
Read this post at Chicago Boyz, and especially the comments, for a lot more information on the subject.
(Link courtesy of James R. Rummel.)
posted at 09:40 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Trial lawyers wonder why they are vilified and despised. They are upset that some doctors refuse to provide them with routine medical treatment, reserving treatment only for life-threatening emergencies. They don't understand that their behavior is the problem.
Alphecca reminds us why so many people have nothing but contempt for our legal system. The lawyer who accepted this case is despicable.
posted at 09:15 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Tom Daschle's cynical hypocrisy
While glancing through Talking Points Memo, an advertisement caught my eye. "A Lot of People Supporting Tom Daschle Committee" (who, coincidentally, have the same URL as Tom Daschle's offical campaign site) have started a campaign to block out-of-state groups from running ads in support or, or against, any candidate in the state. Daschle has signed the pledge, but Thune refuses to do so. It sounds like a simple case of Democratic piety and Republican perfidy, right?
Not so fast. I immediately wondered about finances in the campaign, so I went to Open Secrets, and took a look at fundraising activities. The results were interesting, to say the least.
I looked first at the total amounts raised by each candidate. Unsurprisingly, Daschle (as the incumbent, and as the Senate Minority Leader) had a significant advantage over his opponent. Daschle has raised three times as much money as Thune (as of 23 June 2004). However, the geographical breakdown is what amazed me. Despite the fact that Daschle has a 3:1 advantage in overall fundraising, Thune has a more than 3:1 advantage in actual dollars raised in the state. Note that: Actual dollars, not a percentage of funds raised. Proportionally, Thune's in-state fundraising is nine times that of Daschle. Two of Thune's top five metro areas are within South Dakota, whereas none of Daschle's top five are in the state. The disparity in zip codes is more stark; two of Daschle's are in-state, while only three of Thune's are from out-of-state. Even the top industries page is revealing; Daschle's top industry is Lawyers; Thune's is retirees.
Of course Daschle wants to ban out-of-state ads; he already has all of the out-of-state money he needs. By demogoguing the out-of-state ads issue, he is attempting to paint Thune as mean-spirited and desperate, while ignoring the larger picture, that the Democratic Party raises a greater proportion of its money from out-of-state, as evidenced by the 2000 congressional race, 2002 congressional race, the 2002 senate race, or the 2004 congressional race. Only in the 2000 congressional race did the Democratic candidate receive more than 50% of his or her funds from within the state, and in that election, the out-of-state percentage was more than three times that of the Republican.
UPDATE: Although I did the searching myself, I wasn't the first to blog about it. Quentin Riggins was there first, although I was not aware of his blog or his posts until after I posted this.
posted at 06:15 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Seattle Times catches up with blogger
Two weeks ago, Stefan Sharkansky noted that one of the Democratic candidates for Washington Attorney General, Deborah Senn, had a nasty secret about her previous state job, as insurance commissioner. He followed up with another piece last week, after the Seattle Times totally ignored her checkered past in a profile of the candidates. Now, the Times' Bruce Ramsey finally notices Senn's terrible track record in this column, which acts as a nice supplement to Stefan's previous pieces. Stefan points out about the loss of accreditation and the hemorrhaging of physicians to more hospitable locales, while Mr. Ramsey points out the exits of major insurance companies, and the resultant sharp rise in rates for those most in need of coverage, due to Senn's inability to understand economics.
Ramsey's piece also includes a subtle but pointed dig at Senn from Governor Gary Locke, who supports Senn's opponent in the Democratic primary. Check out the article; it's worth your time.
posted at 04:14 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, June 28, 2004
Harkin's partisan power play
This headline set me off:
Antidote to Limbaugh Sought on Army Radio
Upon reading it, however, the story is much more balanced than the outrageously biased headline.
Tom Harkin has his panties in a bunch because AFN plays ONE HOUR of Limbaugh's show, five days a week? (It's followed by 45 minutes of Doctor Laura, which probably also upsets the leftists.)
Harkin says that counterprogramming is needed. It already exists. NPR's Morning Edition, Talk of the Nattion, and All Things Considered occupy eight hours of the day Monday through Friday, and Weekend Edition runs on Saturday and Sunday. Despite arguments that they are non-partisan, anyone who listens to them for any length of time will realize that is not correct.
In addition, the spittle-flecked ravings of black racist and uber-leftist Tom Joyner are broadcast for two hours every evening, Monday-Friday. Joyner makes Michael Moore look impartial and rational.
Perhaps one of the Republican lawmakers will ask for an antidote to Joyner and NPR. If Harkin and his comrades want to play the ideological one-upmanship game, there are plenty of conservative radio personalities to choose from to provide balance.
Most of our armed forces in Europe have access to two radio stations, Power Network (AM, which broadcasts Rush, Dr. Laura, and NPR), and Z-FM (which broadcasts Joyner). Here is the schedule for those who are interested in seeing what is available to those serving overseas.
posted at 05:15 PM | permalink | Comments (0)