Archive for the ‘WSJ’ Category

Princeton University is already paying taxes

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

As you may know, I’m running for Princeton Municipal Council.

The Wall Street Journal had an op-ed article by James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley: Why Shouldn’t Princeton Pay Taxes?
Money-making ‘nonprofit’ universities don’t pay a fair share of the costs of local public
. I did a post on the real issue affecting Princeton residents, i.e., fiscal responsibility doesn’t grow from more revenues – you must recognize that the taxpayer is not an open checkbook.

The Princeton Patch did an article on my post, Should Princeton University Pay Property Taxes?

Please read my update, Princeton University is already paying taxes (cross-posted at the Princeton Patch). Contrary to what Piereson & Riley assert, PU is already paying taxes.

The best non-fiction of 2012

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Selected by the WSJ’s editors:


The Astaires
By Kathleen Riley (Oxford)

Fred Astaire was our most elegant film star. But he danced in the shadow of a partner, his glamorous sister, Adele, until she retired from the stage in 1932 and he headed off to Hollywood. Kathleen Riley chronicles this sibling non- rivalry and gives us a broad portrait of a very American art form, the Broadway and Hollywood musical. “A salute to an America at ease with itself,” our reviewer called it. This is cultural biography at its best.

The Signal and the Noise
By Nate Silver (Penguin Press)

Numbers don’t, in fact, speak for themselves. Much has been made of Nate Silver’s electoral predictions. But his impressive book explores the principles of prognostication in fields from sports and politics to Wall Street and the weather. His “breezy style makes even the most difficult statistical material accessible,” our reviewer said, as Mr. Silver gently reveals how too often we color data with our hopes and biases.

All of them are available on Kindle, too.

Favorite headline of the morning:

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

The Cranes in Spain Point Mainly to a Strain

Sing it!

Heck, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

The ‘Fact Checking’ Fad

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Taranto writes about The ‘Fact Checking’ Fad It’s opinion journalism thinly disguised as straight reporting.

A look at the original AP “fact check” shows that it is based on numbers from . . . the Associated Press! The AP admits that “tracking civilian deaths is a difficult task,” but it takes its own numbers as definitive, although it apparently makes no effort to deal with the questions we raised in the preceding paragraph.

In any case, the AP’s dubious numbers are hardly relevant to the truth of the McCain ad’s assertion about what Obama said. And why is it necessary for USA Today to have an opinion on the latter point anyway? Why not just report what the McCain ad said, report what Obama said, and let the reader make up his own mind?

Somehow these reportorial “checks” almost always seem to come out in Obama’s favor. Is that because he is the more honest candidate, or because he is the candidate reporters find more attractive? Here’s an example that strongly suggests the latter, again from the Associated Press:

Corsi’s book claims the Illinois senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for president and includes innuendoes and false rumors–that he was raised a Muslim and attended a radical black church.

Obama is a Christian who attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and his campaign picks apart the book’s claims on the Web site FightTheSmears.com.

It is a “false rumor” that Trinity United is a “radical black church”? It’s hard to see how anyone could believe this even as a matter of opinion, but for the AP to present it as fact makes a mockery of journalism.

Associated Press can’t seem to realize that a pastor who rails against the “US of KKK” and hollers out, “G-d damn America” is indeed a radical. Just as they don’t bother to list Biden’s big lie, and his 22 other lies.

While we’re on the subject of Jeremiah Wright, it comes down again to character:
Last April Noam Scheiber answered the question, “Why’d Obama Join Trinity in the First Place?”

Obama’s decision to join Trinity was probably the opposite of cynical. Trinity was the place where, despite the potential pitfalls–and he must have noticed them early on–Obama felt most true to himself.

Is that who America wants in the White House?

But back to the subject of fact-checking, Gerard VanderLeun writes about fact-checking and the worst president the US had had. Carter surely must fervently hope Obama wins, since an Obama administration will make us look back fondly at the Carter years.

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Shallow Sunday items

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Mark Steyn takes on the shallow children in Congress:

Last Thursday, Nancy Pelosi, as is the fashion, used the phrase “the children” like some twitchy verbal tic, a kind of Democrat Tourette’s syndrome: “This is a discussion about America’s children … We could establish ourselves as the children’s Congress … Come forward on behalf of the children … I tried to do that when I was sworn in as speaker surrounded by children. It was a spontaneous moment, but it was one that was clear in its message: we are gaveling this House to order on behalf of the children.”

Etc. So what is the best thing America could do “for the children”? Well, it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the Western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a system of unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme.

Blue Crab Boulevard:

That is the real danger of the “for the children” mantra. It really is “sticking it to the children.”

Update, Monday 22 October: Betsy has more

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The beautiful RightWingSparkle shares some Shallow Political Thoughts

Update 8PM: The Republican debate started. It looks like Mitt listened to Kathleen.
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Via Beth,
Shallow Man’s Guide to the 2008 Republican Presidential Candidates
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Panty power!
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David Kennedy critiques a shallow book.
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Not shallow but a lot of fun, this week’s Carnival of the Insanities

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This week’s shoes, via The Manolo, who, for a change featured a pair of shoes under $100:

The Manolo shows them in black, I prefer them in red.
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Amazon is now carrying Rolex:

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Last but not least, this week’s WSJ’s Five Best, picked by Brian Williams,

The tall story

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Yesterday Taranto (scroll down to Political Tall Tales h/t Larwyn) posted on the AP anti-American propaganda story that asserts,

just as it has in so many other arenas, America’s predominance in height has faded.

Like Taranto, I wondered,

What are the “so many other areas” in which “America’s predominance . . . has faded”? AP reporter Matt Crenson never gets around to telling us.

However, as Americans born and raised in Puerto Rico, my siblings and I have been doing our part towards “America’s predominance in height”: my brother is 6′, his daughters are 5’8′ and 5’9″, my sister and I are 5’10″, her husband (also born and raised in PR) is 6’4, their son is 6’6″, and their daughters are 5’7″ and 5’10″. The Husband and our son, born and raised in the continental US, are also over 6′.

Not only are we working towards continuing “America’s prominence in height”, we’re doing our share towards supporting all sorts of related industries, such as longer mattresses, cars with more leg room and head room, and longer skirts, trousers and shirts.

And when my siblings and I were growing up in PR, we didn’t have health insurance, either.

We are, however, fortunate to have been born from a long line of tall ancestors.

Crenson goes on to say,

Tall people are healthier, wealthier and live longer than short people.

I forget who it was that asked, If Michael Bloomberg was taller, would he be mayor of a better city?

On the other hand, the Indians (the ones from India, not the ones from Cleveland) are finding out that

Six feet is still a good height, it is still a respectable height, but it is no longer a commanding presence.

But I digress. As Taranto points out, Crenson’s ideology shines through and through.

The AP story ends in yet more propaganda:

“In some ways it gets to the fundamentals of the American society, namely what is the ideology of the American society and what are the shortcomings of that ideology,” Komlos said. “I would argue that to take good care of its children is not part of that ideology.”

Whether that’s true is debatable; the height gap doesn’t measure how much Americans love their children. But at a minimum it does indicate – in raw feet and inches – whether the nation is giving its youngsters what they need to reach their full biological potential, or selling them short.

What it doesn’t say is how tall is Matt Crenson, its author.

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This weekend’s WSJ picks, on time for Father’s Day

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

On time for Father’s Day shopping, the WSJ has a great list of books and gifts this weekend:

Alan Murray wants an outdoor propane grill:

In the book aisle,
Theodore Dalrymple, who wrote

picks his five favorite books on the criminal mind:

The WSJ book section also has reviews on

On the DVD aisle, there’s an article by Peggy Noonan on The Sopranos. Here are seasons 1-6

Tom Selleck selects his favorite performances by leading men:

I would add to the shopping list The Illusionist: a romantic movie men will like.

On the CD aisle,

More Father’s Day items here:

A poor choice of words

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Larwyn emailed about this,

Un Goofo Grande
Mitt Romney committed a paso falso the other day when he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans in Miami:
When he mistakenly associated Fidel Castro’s trademark speech-ending slogan–Patria o muerte, venceremos!–with a free Cuba, listeners didn’t laugh. They winced.

Castro has closed his speeches with the phrase–in English, ”Fatherland or death, we shall overcome”–for decades. . . .

Romney’s fumble demonstrates the potential snags for state and national politicians trying to navigate the Cuban-American community of South Florida.

Ever since Ronald Reagan enthralled exiles by crying, ”Cuba si, Castro no,” in a landmark 1983 visit to Little Havana, politicians have clamored, with mixed success, for the Spanish-speaking vote.

It’s not so different from the candidates who court Broward County’s heavily Jewish retirement condominiums, offering residents a free nosh and delivering their best schtick.

And if you do go to Broward, Gov. Romney, try to avoid the slogan “Arbeit macht frei.”

I mentioned to Larwyn that Taranto makes a very apt comparison, as the rallying cry of the Cuban revolution, the older generation of Cubans will tell you that Che would preside over executions in Cuba and yell out the “Patria o muerte, venceremos” as he was giving the order to fire the rifles.

Please, please, if you’re a political candidate, avoid the foreign language schtick altogether.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in today’s WSJ

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Don’t miss the WSJ’s interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Free Radical
Ayaan Hirsi Ali infuriates Muslims and discomfits liberals.

Many liberals loathe her for disrupting an imagined “diversity” consensus: It is absurd, she argues, to pretend that cultures are all equal, or all equally desirable. But conservatives, and others, might be reasonably unnerved by her dim view of religion. She does not believe that Islam has been “hijacked” by fanatics, but that fanaticism is intrinsic in Islam itself: “Islam, even Islam in its nonviolent form, is dangerous.”

The Muslim faith has many variations, but Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the unities are of greater significance. “Islam has a very consistent doctrine,” she says, “and I define Islam as I was taught to define it: submission to the will of Allah. His will is written in the Quran, and in the hadith and Sunna. What we are all taught is that when you want to make a distinction between right and wrong, you follow the prophet. Muhammad is the model guide for every Muslim through time, throughout history.”

This supposition justifies, in her view, a withering critique of Islam’s most holy human messenger. “You start by scrutinizing the morality of the prophet,” and then ask: “Are you prepared to follow the morality of the prophet in a society such as this one?” She draws a connection between Mohammed’s taking of child brides in the first century A.D. and modern sexual oppressions–what she calls “this imprisonment of women.” She decries the murder of adulteresses and rape victims, the wearing of the veil, arranged marriages, domestic violence, genital mutilation and other contraventions of “the most basic freedoms.”

About the culture war:

The most grievous failing of the West is self-congratulatory passivity: We face “an external enemy that to a degree has become an internal enemy, that has infiltrated the system and wants to destroy it.” She believes a more drastic reaction is required: “It’s easy,” she says, “to weigh liberties against the damage that can be done to society and decide to deny liberties. As it should be. A free society should be prepared to recognize the patterns in front of it, and do something about them.”

Go and read every word.

Cross-posted at MSN
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Hugh pounded him to a pulp

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Joe Rago gets his butt handed to him. Hugh Hewitt did the honors:

what is it about this vast collection of pensions, and time servers, and tenured editorialists, and beat reporters covering car crashes, that makes it better than the blogosphere?

JR: I’m sorry, I’m not following the question.

HH: What is journalism, in your eye, that blogosphere isn’t? What’s so great about the mainstream media?

You can listen to it here.

While Joe, who graduated college less than 2 years ago and is twenty-three years old (I have a pair of Ferragamos that are older than him), was clearly outclassed in every way, what I want to know is, why did the WSJ publish his ridiculous article on its op-ed page? This wet-behind-the-ears kid hasn’t even bothered to read the WSJ’s own Best of the Web, which showcases exactly that: the best of the web.

Maybe the WSJ wanted the bloggers to blog about it?
(h/t Larwyn)

Update: An exploration of the blogosphere by someone much more knowledgeable and experienced, The Blogosphere at War, and the information warriors.