Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cruising the Web

A lot of people are upset about Russia's anti-gay law in the context of what this means for the Olympics. It is an odious law. But it's ironic that it takes this law for people to be upset about Russia's hosting the Winter Olympics. Violations of human rights didn't stop the Soviet Union hosting the Olympics in 1980. The existence of gulags for those the state determined to be a problem wasn't enough for people to be angry about their hosting the Olympics. It took the invasion of Afghanistan for us to boycott the Olympics and that turned out to be a total fiasco. China hosted the Olympics besides the slave camps they have been documented to have or the horrors of forced abortions. Russia today violates civil rights locking up those whom Putin considers his opponents. None of this stopped the IOC from choosing these countries to host the Olympics. So why anyone should expect any backbone from the IOC a half-year before the Winter Olympics is beyond me. The IOC is a paper tiger that has demonstrated their lack of interest in human rights unless it's a small state like South Africa that can't make any problems for the Olympics. Kill millions of your own people and you can still attend or even host the Olympics. So don't hold your breath for the IOC to get tough with Russia today.

We shouldn't elect presidents "to make history." Hasn't Obama's presidency proved what a fallacy that is?

Not only do our public employees in the federal government earn way more than workers with similar jobs and backgrounds in the private sector; they also earn a lot more than similar employees in 18 other developed countries.

Steven Hayward is re-reading Bernard Bailyn's excellent history of the beliefs and principles of the revolutionary generation, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, and is struck by the idea that blogs are our modern-day equivalent of the pamphlets that Americans were reading in the period leading up to the Revolution. I have long held a somewhat related belief - I think blogs are the modern equivalent of the committees of correspondence which revolutionary leaders used to communicate with those in other colonies about what the British were doing and to coordinate action.

So the guy who admitted that he lied misled Congress about the NSA is the guy that Obama chose to lead the review of what the NSA was doing. I guess the next move will be to appoint Anthony Weiner to lead a review of the perils of sexting. O.J. Simpson will get out of prison and lead a review of relations between divorced couples. A-Rod will investigate the use of PED's in sports.

A couple of high-level IRS workers live in Texas but commute to D.C. by plane. And guess who gets to pay for that?

Kim Kardashian's mom slams Obama for his hypocrisy in criticizing Kim and Kanye's conspicuous consumption.

Jim Geraghty reminds us of the "wild hype-to-accomplishment ratio" of Cory Booker. And how did such a master of public relations get himself in such a "dumb money mess" with his internet startup and with not reporting the payouts from his former law firms?

Bret Stephens has some fun with the idea that Britain should give back Gibraltar. Why stop there? Practically every nation has land that they could be giving back to some other country or peoples. No one's borders should be sacrosanct. Given that this year is the 400-year anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht that gave Gibraltar to Britain, which country's borders would be able to withstand scrutiny for the past 400 years?

As James Taranto writes, Oprah Winfrey is not Rosa Parks.

John Hawkins presents 11 liberal rules for racism in America. These are very accurate.

It's not good when a writer from The Atlantic says that the President spoke to us as if we were "precocious children."

So Jane Austen is going to replace Charles Darwin on the 10-pound note. I'm not sure why it has to be one or the other. But the real scandal is that they quote Miss Bingley on the note. That's just not right no matter what the quote is.

Here's what seems like a true win:win - a restaurant bans tipping and the waiters are happier and the service improves.