Links, 12/16/09

  • Mark Bauerlein, “The Phony Funding Crisis” – from the article: they [Guthrie and Peng] counter, “from one year to the next, schools almost always have more real revenue for each of their enrolled students. For the past hundred years, with rare and short exceptions and after controlling for inflation, public schools have had both more money and more employees per student in each succeeding year.”
  • This really needs to get more attention: LGF, “John Birch Society to Cosponsor CPAC 2010” – in case you don’t know what the John Birch Society is, they’re one of the most prominent conspiracy theory hatefests in American history. Their founder was dumb enough not just to believe but to publicly assert over and over again that President Eisenhower was a Communist agent. CPAC is not some small gathering, either: it’s always been a huge deal for the Right and what goes on there is fairly influential.
  • Megan McArdle, “Heroes of the Credit Markets, Third Class” – from the article: I’m surprised to find so many liberals equating what is legal with what is moral.  It is legal to let the bank take your house because you want to have all the upside, while the bank takes any downside.  But I am not much moved by the argument that it is okay, because after all, the bank lent the money under those legal conditions.  Like everyone else, the banker also lent the money under the social norms of our community–what I think of as the operating system for a functioning liberal democracy.  The bank extended credit in the belief that the overwhelming majority of people would do their very best to pay it back.
  • Michael Yon, Arghandab and The Battle for Kandahar – essential reading; Yon provides maps with discussion of where exactly in Afghanistan the fighting is taking place, history concerning the Soviets and their attempt to break the enemy in the same area, and also this: Soviet abuses enflamed the population and combat ranged from north to south—with much occurring in Kandahar Province, the capital of which is Kandahar City.  The Soviets fought in places like Bamian, where today Americans can literally go on vacation.  The Lithuanian Ambassador to Afghanistan told me he took some holidays in Bamian and loved it.  Last year, I drove about a thousand miles from Jalalabad to Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif and back, and other places, with no problems and no soldiers.  Most of the country is not at war.  Much of this is a result of our strict “Rules of Engagement” (ROE) which seems to be driving people crazy at home (and many soldiers, too).  Many soldiers hate these new ROE, and there is little doubt that we will lose troops due to restrictive ROE.

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