Daily Archives: January 23, 2010

First they came for the cars but I remained silent

Find them! Schnell!

Following up yesterday’s announcement that GHS will be bringing police dogs on campus, the administration now wants to hit class skippers. I’d have never made it out of that school alive in 1971.

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Smaller houses on the way?

Nationally, yes. Of course here in Greenwich a “modest” home is still something like twice the average size of houses in the rest of the country, so any shrinkage in size may not be noticeable. I wouldn’t want to own a 15,000 square foot house right now, though.

House Must-Haves

Builders, attempting to respond to those consumer demands as well as hold the line on prices, told the NAHB surveyors that they were most likely to include these features as standard in their houses this year:

  • Walk-in closets in the master bedroom.
  • Laundry rooms.
  • Insulated front doors.
  • Great rooms.
  • Energy-efficient windows.
  • Linen closets.
  • Programmable thermostats.
  • Energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
  • Separate shower and tub in master bathrooms.
  • Nine-foot ceilings on the first floor.

Among the things that builders said they were least likely to add to houses in 2010:

  • Outdoor kitchens.
  • Outdoor fireplaces.
  • Sunrooms.
  • Butler’s pantries.
  • Media rooms.
  • Desks in kitchens.
  • Two-story foyers.
  • Eight foot ceilings on the first floor.
  • Multiple shower heads in the master bath.
  • Smaller kitchens.

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I misjudged Hollywood celebrities, apparently and I’m glad I did

The usual suspects got together for a Haitian relief telethon and according to this review in the New York Times, the stars were deliberately low-keyed, modest and kept the focus on Haiti, not themselves. Good for them; I didn’t know that they were capable of that.

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Good idea, poorly executed

England: Holiday Inn introduces human bed warmers for guest’s chilly bedrooms. That’s okay by me, but management needs a little help here.

This

Not this

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Why collectivists hate the middle class

A terrific essay from Doctor Zero.

The middle class is the great enemy of collectivist politics, under any of its names: progressivism, communism, fascism, or “liberalism.” As far back as Karl Marx, the apostles of collectivism have understood that they must subjugate the middle class before they can claim total victory.

The upper class isn’t a big problem – they don’t have the votes to block a collectivist agenda in a democracy, and they generally find ways to maintain, or increase, their power and wealth under a total State. The power of the State can be extremely valuable to them, for manipulating markets and thwarting upstart competitors. Many of them are willing to trade a little wealth for power, or find moral nourishment in supporting a collective agenda.

The members of the lower class are generally seen as the clients of a collectivist movement, the recipients of the social benefits it promises. Their desperation and anger become fuel for the movement, providing both righteousness and voting power. The collectivist only needs to conceal any hope of finding prosperity beyond the generosity of the State, and keep the lower class convinced that government is the only moral actor in the economy. Review the speeches of Barack Obama, and search for anything that suggests the poor should lookanywhere beyond the government and its social programs for salvation.

It’s clear that the middle class is the great enemy of collectivism. Only they have the combination of voting power, money, and economic self-interest to see the growth of government as undesirable, and provide effective resistance. They generally view their interactions with government in a negative light – they’ve all spent time in the Department of Motor Vehicles mausoleum, spent hours wrestling with tax forms, or been slapped with a traffic citation they don’t think they deserved. They understand the inefficiency and emotional instability of government, and instinctively resent its intrusion into their lives. A health-care takeover is the best chance collectivists will ever have of persuading the middle class to vote itself into chains… but for the better part of a century, they’ve been able to hear the hammers of the State ringing on the metal of those chains, in the forges of taxation and regulation.

The middle class is a vast group in a capitalist society, which is one of the things collectivists really hate about capitalism. Its upper reaches include the entrepreneurs and small business owners that bring economic vitality. Virtually every aspect of Obama’s agenda is designed to injure or burden small businessmen, and this is no accident. Despite their angry rhetoric about giant corporations, leftists have little trouble controlling them. They often do business directly with the government, as vendors… and, through lobbyists, as customers. They generally employ members of labor unions, which serve as a de facto arm of Big Government, injecting the agenda of the State directly into the corporate bloodstream. It’s the small business owners and self-employed, along with those who aspire to join their ranks, who are the most difficult to control, and the most likely to muster effective electoral resistance to the statist agenda. The middle class is filled with people who pay attention to the second page of their paycheck stubs.

I realize all of the above sounds terribly sinister… and perhaps you find that appropriate, having reviewed the works of Saul Alinsky and the Cloward-Piven strategy of manufactured crisis. I believe it is crucial to understand that it doesn’t matter if the people engineering a collectivist state have sinister motives or not. In fact, the belief that their intentions make a difference is incredibly dangerous. It’s related to the catechism of the faculty-lounge Marxist, which holds that communism and fascism only failed because bad people were in charge of them. In his interview last night, the President gave this as his reason for pushing so forcefully for his health-care takeover plan:

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Before they unleash dogs on them, our high school administrators should insist all students watch this

Why you should never, under any circumstances, speak to the police

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