Quote of the Day – Déjà vu Edition

When I was young I was taught through soft, humorous suggestions — nobody really stating it word-for-word — that blathering away about the communists taking over, was a sign of dementia.

It must be true. The older I get, the more signs I see that they are, and have been for awhile.

— mkfreeberg, House of Eratosthenes, U.S. Mulls “Black Box”

I said pretty much exactly this on the latest edition of Vicious Circle.

Al Gore, Pied Piper of the Unconstrained Vision

I know I’m slow and behind on this, but – from Gore’s Feb. 27 New York Times op-ed We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change (h/t Borepatch):

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.

Human redemption. Through the instrument of rule of law.

Human redemption.

re·demp·tion – [ri-demp-shuhn] – noun

1. an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.

From Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions:

It is hardly surprising that the reasons why government exercises power in the economy also differ between the two visions. In the unconstrained vision, it is a matter of intentions while in the constrained vision it is a matter of incentives. The government’s intention to protect the public interest forces it to intervene in the economy to undo the harm done by private economic power, according to the unconstrained vision.

You will never see a clearer example of what Thomas Sowell was talking about in 1987 that Al Gore’s statement above. Al Gore sees the job of government – through the rule of law – to redeem humanity. His is the “unconstrained vision” at its purest.

And he is the kind of person that James Lileks is talking about when he said:

Personally, I’m interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process.

Al Gore would be today’s Robespierre.

I am also reminded of something Jonah Goldberg said in Liberal Fascism:

Progressivism, liberalism, or whatever you want to call it has become an ideology of power. So long as liberals hold it, principles don’t matter. It also highlights the real fascist legacy of World War I and the New Deal: the notion that government action in the name of “good things” under the direction of “our people” is always and everywhere justified. Dissent by the right people is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent by the wrong people is troubling evidence of incipient fascism. The anti-dogmatism that progressives and fascists alike inherited from Pragmatism made the motives of the activist the only criteria for judging the legitimacy of action.

He also said this:

All public policy issues ultimately boil down to one thing: Locke versus Rousseau. The individual comes first, the government is merely an association protecting your interests, and it’s transactional, versus the general will, the collective, the group is more important than the individual. Everything boils down to that eventually. And the problem with “compassionate conservatism” is the same problem with social gospelism, with Progressivism and all the rest: it works on the assumption that the government can love you. The government can’t love you. The government is not your mommy and it’s not your daddy, and any system that is based on those assumptions will eventually lead to folly.

And government is most certainly not our savior.

Well, CRAP

The “H” on my HVAC roof unit quit last night. Called out a service guy to see what the deal is. Here’s a picture:

If you look closely, you can see that the heat exchangers are cracked. This means that carbon monoxide poisoning would have happened had the safety system not shut off the burners.

This unit is ten years old, and it’s been pretty much a piece of crap since the day it went in. I’m replacing it with a Trane.

I guess the credit card’s going to carry a balance for a little while.


Now for Something Completely Different – and COOL!

Tom Wright of San Diego has created something definitely very, very cool: street-legal bumper cars.

Yes, bumper cars – those things you used to ride around in at the County Fair and run into your best friends in at about 2.2 MPH.

But Tom’s are powered by 500 or 750cc motorcycle engines with six-speed sequential transmissions, and are capable of speeds up to 100 MPH. And they look BAD:

You can read more about these here.

I love America.

It’s Not Just Federal Workers

Last Friday I posted If You Want More of Something, Subsidize It about a report that stated that most federal government employees make more than their private-sector counterparts, not including the average fourfold higher benefit package that federal workers receive. Now a report has come out that state and local government employees are generally better off than private sector workers:

Govt. workers feel no economic pain

The recession and the ongoing jobless recovery devastated much of the private-sector work force last year, sending unemployment soaring, but government workers emerged essentially unscathed, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, the compensation for state and local government employees continued to easily outdistance the wages and benefits for workers in private business, a separate Labor Department report showed.

Private-industry employers spent an average of $27.42 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December, while total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $39.60 per hour.

The average government wage and salary per hour of $26.11 was 35 percent higher than the average wage and salary of $19.41 per hour in the private sector. But the percentage difference in benefits was much higher. Benefits for state and local workers averaged $13.49 per hour, nearly 70 percent higher than the $8 per hour in benefits paid by private businesses.

RTWT, particularly where the topic of retirement benefits are concerned. Many state, county, and municipal governments are in deep trouble because of the retirement benefits they’ve promised their workers, and the fact that the money to pay those benefits just doesn’t exist.