Who Is Morally Obliged to Pay to Level the Playing Field?

Asked to pony up to make things fair? Look out.

A sure sign that someone is making an argument for a policy that will unjustly pick the pockets of consumers in order to artificially and unjustly inflate the revenues of some producers is that person’s use of the term “level playing field.” This phrase is almost always a smiley-face mask for a plea for special privileges for certain producers. (I say “almost always,” although I honestly cannot recall a single instance of the phrase “level playing field” being used in any way other than the way I describe here. I could easily and truthfully drop the “almost.”)

My best example of that is, while quizzing possible school board candidates some years ago, hearing one man, a successful marketing entrepreneur with good instincts about how to deal with people, say uneven results ipso facto called for “leveling the playing field.” It had been leveled, but not enough, not until we got leveled or at least better results!

Pope Francis exposed . . .

. . . as a shrewd and focused opponent of a very bad curia:

The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church. He is determined to pull it off — but he’s 77 and has part of a lung missing. When he looks at his watch during long Masses in St Peter’s, it’s not just because elaborate services bore him. He knows he may not have much time. ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell.

That’s from an all-out detailed, informative, original rundown on Pope Francis by the prolific Damian Thompson in the (UK) Spectator, where he is associate editor.

Some especially good stuff:

Jorge Bergoglio has little in common with Joseph Ratzinger apart from an intense, orthodox Catholic faith and a love of classical music. Like many Jesuits, Francis isn’t interested in liturgy. This is actually good news for traditionalists, because it means he won’t clamp down on the Latin Mass (with one baffling exception: the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a new order whose use of the Old Missal has been brutally restricted). [Italics added]

And:

The Pope has declared a spiritual culture war on the bureaucrats who forced the resignation of his predecessor, the most intellectually gifted pontiff for 200 years. Cardinal Ratzinger was once known as ‘the Rottweiler’. How ludicrous that nickname seems in the light of his eight years as Pope, during which he allowed curial officials — including his incompetent secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — to plunge the church deeper into financial and sexual scandal while they fought their own factional battles. Benedict was too old and too kind to knock heads together.

And more more more where that’s from . . .

Look out, Europe; big blow coming out of Iceland again

Iceland’s pesky volcanoes. Again.

Uber’s Most Important Innovation Isn’t A Car Service: It’s the Pricing Algor ithm

Price-gouging? Makes sense sometimes and is commoner than you think. The Uber case.

I will not be returning to Ferguson

Jim Bowman:

Mainstreamers run amok . . .

Originally posted on Ryan L. Schuessler:

I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America** cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.

**A clarification edit: I am not a full-time employee of any Al Jazeera branch or network. I am a freelance journalist who contributes to several media platforms. 

Things I’ve seen:

-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras

-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents

-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned

-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson…

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“ISIS beheading children systematically”

A plea for prayers from Crisis Relief International via e-blast:

“We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are
> beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling
> food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10
> minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city
> of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is
> unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”

Wow.

Michael Brown “not perfect” straw man shot down

Lawyer for Michael Brown family in Ferguson MO, says family never said he was a “perfect kid.” Oh? Who did? Lawyer sighted straw man, sank same. Dishonestly.

 On the contrary, based on the video of their robbery of the convenience store, he’s a punk, a bully, a thief, and who knows what else?

 And arrogant. He and his companion, caught in a bit of broken-windows policing, told to get out of middle of the street, mouthed off. A don’t-tread-on-me stance is bound to get you in trouble, which in this case it did.

 Not relevant to his getting shot? Why not?

The Audacity to Be Authentic: Hillary Clinton’s Risky Hedge Against Obama – NationalJournal.com

On the way to his main point, risks she is taking as candidate, a rather well said characterization of the lady:

The rap against Hillary Clinton is that she’s a cynical and conniving public figure who hardly takes a breath without calculating the political advantage of a sigh. That caricature fueled coverage of Clinton’s public break from President Obama on global affairs. “The benefits to Clinton are clear,” wrote Juliet Eilperin, channeling convention wisdom for The Washington Post.

Etc.

Our man in the White House

Presidential paralysis analysis:

The President suffers from two fundamental flaws. The first is that he is unwilling to make decisions. He much prefers to play the role of a disinterested observer who comments on a set of adverse events that he regards himself as powerless to shape, of which Assad’s carnage in Syria is the prime example. The second is that he fundamentally misunderstands the use of force in international affairs. He handicaps himself fatally by imposing unwise limitations on the use of American force, such as his repeated declarations that he will not send ground troops back into Iraq

Woe.

What’s The Matter With Libs Today?

Jim Bowman:

Good stuff here

Originally posted on Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead:

Lizzie Warren Took An AxeElizabeth Warren, the latest left-wing Yankee egghead turned Democratic politician,is so wowing the yeasty-headed crowds out in Prog-Land that they want her to run for President in 2016 — as if the last six years of Marxist mischief-making wasn’t enough. Alas, Lizzie’s is a constituency that won’t be happy until we’re all standing in government breadlines in the rain waiting for our meager rations of moldy socialist cheese:

In a speech today to the Nutroots Nation, held befittingly in dystopic liberal paradise of downtown Detroit, non-candidate  and American Indian princess Elizabeth Warren brought down the house. The theme of her speech were the economic issues that Democrats should run on in 2016.(Fauxcahontas and the eleven commandments of progressivism)

Lizzie, of course, is another product of Harvard, the Patrice Lumumba University of America, in particular of Harvard Law, that august department which trains our country’s supposed best and…

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