Meanwhile back in Jersey,
Jim ponders whether McGreevey’s making a comeback. Surprise, surprise. Jim’s also been posting on lipograms, which reminded me of the book Eunoia by Christian Bok. Bok, who’s not from NJ, spent 7 years writing it, and each of the 5 chapters is dedicated to a vowel, using only the words with the letter “a” in chapter 1, “e” for chapter 2, etc. You get the impression you’re reading Dr. Seuss for adults (definitely NOT a kiddie read!). I speculate that Bok had a lot of time on his hands.
Roberto‘s posting on Whitman, and on the supposed “tax reform”,
any plan that doesn’t fix the “thorough and efficient” language in the NJ constitution is doomed to failure. And any plan that doesn’t address spending in addition to taxing will be a useless excercise.
The state income tax and the state lottery were all introduced as a way to reduce NJ property taxes. Well, we’ve got ever increasing income taxes, a hundred different lottery games and still the highest property taxes in the country.
Dan‘s got the goods on an upcoming Katy Couric interview. Mary‘s rating the UN’s “Coordinating the assessment of room service”, while Jack‘s been looking at some tsunami-related lunacy. While on the subject of disaster relief, Patrick encourages all to donate, and Mike linked to a Mark Steyn article, On tsunami’s shore, where Steyn says,
Yet, even though Mr. Egeland’s office has a permanent bureaucracy dedicated solely to humanitarian relief work, a week after the disaster it didn’t seem to have actually done anything other than fly in some experts to assess the situation. Reporters on the ground have noted the lack of activity in Colombo and Sumatra. But the U.S. government already had ships and troops and water and medicine on the way.
That’s what you need: an operational infrastructure for long-distance emergencies — or, in a word, a military. If you don’t have a functioning military, it doesn’t matter how caring you profess to be. Take my own country, Canada. We have this thing called DART — the Disaster Assistance Response Team, a 200-man military unit created precisely for such situations. By all accounts, they’re very good, highly trained professionals.
But Ottawa has no way to get them to the Indian Ocean. Indeed, it’s doubtful if it could get them to the remoter parts of Canada. The reality is you require a big modern well-equipped military, not just for invasions and dropping bombs on foreigners but for all the touchy-feely peacekeeping stuff, too.
Canada talks the talk — incessantly — but it can’t walk the walk. And, despite its smug preening as a multilateralist in good standing, Ottawa spends 0.28 percent of GDP on overseas aid — or about half what it spent 30 years ago. (for more on the subject, see the next post)
Jane posts on whether empowered Iraqi Shiites may have a moderating influence on Iran.