March 13 roundup

  • “Are Courts Dragging Out the Housing Crisis?” [Mark Calabria, Cato] “Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid” [Bloomberg News via Bader, CEI] Community organizing groups expect to cash in on state AGs’ robosigning settlement [Neil Munro, Daily Caller, earlier] As does NAAG itself [Daniel Fisher] More: Kevin Funnell.
  • “Non-standard explanation offered for bugging wife’s bedroom” [Lowering the Bar]
  • Chris DeMuth on James Q. Wilson [Weekly Standard, earlier] I wrote about Wilson’s work on at least two occasions: the Baltimore Sun had me review a book of his on “abuse excuses” and other difficulties of psychiatric testimony in court, a good book if a mere foothill in the mountain range of his overall scholarship; on another occasion in Reason I challenged his uncharacteristic backing of a “family policy” proposal ripe with potential for unintended consequences;
  • Boston city councilor: make valet kid at restaurant responsible if patron drives off drunk [NPR via Alkon]
  • “Texas is being stiff armed by the EPA at every turn” [Munro/DC quoting Texas attorney general Greg Abbott] NYT’s “modest” offshore drilling restrictions: “I hate to think what immodest restrictions would look like” [John Steele Gordon]
  • “The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Now Writing About Pickup Artists as Hate Groups” [Mike Riggs]
  • SFO rental car garage offers a whiff of Prop 65 absurdity [Stoll]


  • Annoying as the courts are, the housing crisis has enough people to be blamed that there’s no need to point a finger at the courts in particular — although they could be a doing a better job. Between the banks which are not anxious to recognize losses to the FHA which is still busy with its “No crisis to look at here” attitude to the politicians looking to curry votes among the poor people who took out negative amortization balloon loans from predatory lenders (“Take this money or I’ll kill your dog”), there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    Even if we were to go through a Resolution Trust sort of solution, the sort that cleared up the S&L crisis of the 1980s, well, that took about half a decade. There’s just so d***ed much of it.


  • The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group.

  • By their own standards, yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center qualifies as a hate group. Their own hate is directed at America’s traditional majority: white, Christian, heterosexual, conservative.

    The problem is that the system doesn’t see it this way: they take at face value the claim that they’re an unbiased, non-partisan ‘civil rights’ group, bravely crusading against the Klansmen and pot-bellied Southern sheriffs who really control America. Journalists from the New York Times on down repeat their findings verbatim and without questioning. NPR features their spokesfigures (Heidi Beirich, Mark Potok) on an almost weekly basis. Disturbingly, they have the ear of law enforcement, and boy does it have an effect: police report forms across the country have the “bias/hate crime” box right at the top — check yes or no. It’s because of groups like the SPLC that a local police chief might actually be heard to say that a white advocacy flyer is “being investigated” as a potential crime. But that when whites are the victims of possible hate crimes, it’s ignored or swept under the rug.

    The SPLC should be dismissed as a joke, but unfortunately, they do too much damage to lives, reputations and the overall goal of a just society for me to laugh.

  • “Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid”

    What an outrage! I don’t ask the Government to bail me out of my wacky-investment schemes.