Items of interest:
1) Charles Griswold, blogging for The Stone “On Forgiveness”:
We are in a season traditionally devoted to good will among people and to the renewal of hope in the face of hard times. As we seek to realize these lofty ideals, one of our greatest challenges is overcoming bitterness and divisiveness. We all struggle with the wrongs others have done to us as well as those we have done to others, and we recoil at the vast extent of injury humankind seems determined to inflict on itself. How to keep hope alive? Without a constructive answer to toxic anger, addictive cycles of revenge, and immobilizing guilt, we seem doomed to despair about chances for renewal. One answer to this despair lies in forgiveness.
2) Kent Bottles’s 3-part series for The Health Care Blog about the limitations of scientific knowledge and how understanding those limitations should inform our decisions about health care. Very instructive for those unacquainted with the philosophy of science:
“The mind leans over backward to transform a mad world into a sensible one, and the process is so natural and easy we hardly notice that it is taking place.” Jeremy Campbell
On the same day in November, headlines from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported on the same story about a federal panel’s recommendations on consumer intake of vitamin D.
“Triple That Vitamin D Intake, Panel Prescribes” read the WSJ story;
“Extra Vitamin D and Calcium Aren’t Necessary, Report Says” stated the New York Times.
3) I don’t doubt that those lusting for power understand the Constitution’s limits on government, they just think they can keep getting away with ignoring them. They’re happy with dictatorship, as long as they’re the dictators. Tyranny of the majority? They love it, too–as long as they control the majority through the media and the tax code. W. James Antle III writes for The Spectator about Constitutional basics that every American needs to understand:
The U.S. Constitution is essentially a list of things the three branches of the federal government are permitted to do, with a few activities specifically prohibited. The entire American system of government is premised on the idea that the people delegated defined, specific powers to Washington. That doesn’t mean there are no problems of interpretation. But the doctrine of enumerated powers is basic.
Now you can edit Legal Affairs and write for the New Republic, the New Yorker, U.S. News and World Report, and the New York Times while guided by the apparent belief that these basics are incoherent mumbo-jumbo.
4) Merrill Matthews blogging for Forbes about “Obama’s New “Unreasonable” Standard”:
Last week we saw a troubling new pattern: The Obama administration is embracing an “unreasonable” standard — pun not necessarily intended, but it fits — for deciding if it likes what private sector companies are doing.
The unreasonable standard is being applied to both private sector health insurers and companies that provide Internet service. But expect the White House to impose the standard on a lot more industries as the Obama blob continues to absorb every aspect of the economy.
What it means is that we are abandoning the rule of law for the rule by bureaucrats. Unelected officials have been given the power to fundamentally remake industries based on their political and value judgments.
5) James Antle, writing “In Defense of the Do-Nothing Congress” for Real Clear Politics:
Love it or hate it, the just-concluded 111th Congress was one of the most productive legislative sessions in recent memory. Departing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Senate sidekick Harry Reid enacted an $800 billion stimulus package, created a new national health care program, imposed new regulations on Wall Street, and repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays serving openly in the military.
President Barack Obama isn’t likely to get nearly as much of his domestic agenda passed in the next Congress. Republicans will control the House and the Democrats will be far removed from their old filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. When gridlock inevitably ensues, Obama will no doubt run for reelection by campaigning against the “Do Nothing” Congress” — it worked for Harry Truman.
That Do-Nothing Congress has gotten a bad name. The Republican-controlled 80th Congress of 1947-48 was very productive in its own right. But instead of creating new government programs, it abolished them. Rather than boosting the federal budget, which had grown exponentially during the New Deal and World War II, this Congress cut spending.