We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...the truth needed to make the world a better place is a "public good" that private markets cannot easily supply. Foundations have spent many millions of dollars financing private, market-oriented think tanks in an effort to compensate for the damage being done by academia. But while these think tanks have had an influence at the margins, the vast majority of college-educated Americans continue to rely on the information provided by elite universities and mainstream media rather than the think tanks that espouse classical liberal thought.
Can market forces provide the creative destruction needed to solve this problem?
With the RNC done with, my shrink take is this: Big man with small ego vs. Small man with Inflated ego. The corner office vs. Hollywood; serious stuff vs. fainting teens; competence vs. tingles; real jobs vs. styrofoam pillars; freedom vs. Euroland.
Admittedly, I am biased. I have never understood why so many in my field fall into the Leftist, statist side of politics rather than into the Libertarian. It makes no sense to me because our job is to have faith in individual people rather than seeing helpless, dependent masses.
It took a while to get here, but it's been a fun run. I enjoyed every minute of the debates, the primaries were quite interesting, as was pondering who would grab the VP slot. Now that the convention's over, it's time for the main event to get under way.
At this point, I like our chances. Along with gauging audience reactions, I also like gauging the overall feel of the comments on non-political sites. That is, if I'm on some site selling dog brushes, and someone mentions Obama in the site's forum and, the next thing ya know, there are regular, non-political people screeching about Obama & company all over the place, this is a good sign, and I see it all the time.
As for last night's show, the Reagan tribute was pretty cool:
On a local note, we have proof that Mitt Romney's son, Craig, reads Maggie's Farm. Hi, Craig! In my wrap-up yesterday, I suggested it would have been a smart move for Gov Martinez to talk to her fellow Hispanics en Español for an entire minute, just to show them that they really meant something.
So what did Craig Romney do tonight? Spoke in Spanish for an entire minute.
Thank you, thank you — I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
With public-sector unions fighting tooth and nail to preserve their cushy benefits and expensive pension plans, old style Dems like FDR, Harry Truman and Fiorello LaGuardia—all of whom thought that public sector unionism was a terrible idea—are looking smarter and smarter all the time.
I think he accomplished exactly what he wanted to accomplish with Independents and disappointed Obama voters: "I'm a nice guy, I'm a family guy, I'm an optimist, I'm not scary and I'm not negative or angry, I'm competent, experienced, and have done lots of things, I respect the basic American values, I understand how the real world works, I know you want a job instead of a freebie, I'm a solutions guy and not a rabid ideologue, a solid manager not a sex object - and you can easily imagine me as a calming, adult, and effective President."
He views himself as CEO, not as a messiah or as a celebrity and he is saying "Hire me", not "Love me.". There are two theories of the American Presidency: the Figurehead theory and the Executive theory. How do you think he did?
Also, best line from Rubio's speech, re Obama: “These are the ideas that people come to America to get away from.”
I think Obama is toast, whether re-elected or not. He is last week's People Magazine and is no longer taken seriously by anybody because he is a glib lightweight who has failed in his job.
Pic below via SDA. Amusing, but I know many Conservative young ladies. There are many women out there who do not wish to marry the federal government. Sandra, who wants me to pay for her birth control pills, happens to be a law student from a wealthy family. Ask Dad to pay for your pills, Sandra. Or your boyfriend.
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.
None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us. Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.
That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners."
You have a nation filled with people who are worried about money, and worried about their kids' futures. Thus the frequently-observed temptation for pols and the MSM to distract the voters. Is this election about race and gender?
Their race card is as big as America now. It is America. There is no longer an America for them, just a collection of race cards that they shuffle and deal and shuffle again, playing solitaire with themselves until the economy goes down. In their America it is always 1963 in Birmingham. It will always be Birmingham, 1963, even for those who have never been to Birmingham and who did not even exist on this planet in 1963.
Ultimately this division — clerisy and their clients versus yeomanry — will decide the election. The patricians and the unions will finance this battle on both sides, spreading a predictable thread of half-truths and outright lies. The Democrats enjoy a tactical advantage. All President Obama needs is to gain a rough split among the vast group making around or above the national median income. He can count on overwhelming backing by the largely government dependent poor as well as most ethnic minorities, even the most entrepreneurial and successful.
Romney’s imperative will be to rouse the yeomanry by suggesting the clerisy, both by their sheer costliness and increasingly intrusive agenda, are crippling their family’s prospects for a better life. In these times of weak economic growth and growing income disparity, the Republicans delude themselves by claiming to ignore class warfare. They need to learn how instead to make it politically profitable for themselves.
Ron Paul supporters, you have my sympathy. That video they showed was just pathetic. I thought the big guy, hisself, was going to speak, hopefully issuing a small tut-tut to the conventioneers to keep their collective eye on the fiscal ball, but no. All we got was a campaign commercial. Hmph.
Remember, by the end of the debates, a lot of people saw what I meant when I said at the beginning, "I completely agree with 75% of what he says. The other 25% scares me to death." In many, if not most ways, he really does have the right answer, but in the general election, every vote for Ron Paul is most likely a vote taken from Romney. That stuff's fine during the primaries, but we're trying to win the big one here. The best thing we can hope for is that the press (continues to) completely ignore him. The less press, the less votes. The less votes, the greater our chances.
Remember Ross Perot in '92? Result? A Clinton dynasty.
Say, I've got a good idea. How 'bout an Obama dynasty? Cool idea, huh?
It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind.
President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, "I haven't communicated enough." He said his job is to "tell a story to the American people"- as if that's the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?
Arguably, a little bit of Toryism in the White House would be less profoundly devastating and destructive than the long reign of Tory blight was for the UK. America is bigger, brasher, less governable than Britain. In Britain the establishment can aspire, and sometimes succeed, to enfold the whole country in a dim and dismal environment of stale, smug consensus. This trick is much harder to pull off in the United States. One could make a cogent argument that the kind of Toryism that largely stifled modern Britain could be less damaging and more helpful over here.
I use my credit card for almost everything, and every time the salesclerk hands me the chit to sign I ask him or her, "How do you spell Barack Obama?" Without fail, the salesclerk laughs, and usually asks why. I reply, "Obama wants all my money, so he should pay my bills." Sometimes the repartee extends to, "I know, I know, he'll just bill it back to me...and add a fee on top of that!" It's all fun, me keeping a smile on my face and speaking with a chuckle, and the salesclerk's eyes often widen at realization, especially if one of those who paid $100,000 for a college degree and not being able to find a job above the level of high school dropout.
There is a slow, deliberate change taking place on the internet. Not all that long ago, most digital publishers offered 'free' content, focusing on the sale of ads. This model is not a good revenue generator for the majority of websites. Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal switched to a paid model, and the New York Times also has a pay wall, one which is somewhat porous. Many of the digerati feel all content on the internet can, or should be, 'free'.
The Economist is a publishing outfit which has spent much time analyzing this market and how to approach it. I have read The Economist for years and I respect their views and analysis. They recently moved to the subscriber model, as well.
Technically, most publishers are not 'free', since they use advertising to cover their costs of business. But there's a cost to you, the reader, with advertising. It's a subtle cost, one which impacts the amount of readable material and sometimes even the editorial content. The alternative, a subscriber model, is something internet users rarely encounter. For some reason, people are comfortable subscribing to magazines, newspapers, and even cable TV. Radio remains one of the few 'free' media, and even that is changing as XM/Sirius slowly becomes popular (it was included as a 'free' trial for a year with our new car). However, on the internet, it's not uncommon to hear people ask for 'free' access.
Should news and information remain 'free', and, if not, why would anyone be upset if it isn't? Many of my friends who work in the media industry have lamented the move to subscriber models. I point out a simple fact. If they were willing to pay for the paper or magazine, why wouldn't they be willing to pay for the online version? Is there some difference in the delivery system that eliminated costs?
Day one of the convention went pretty much as I expected it to go. A whole bunch of boring speeches, albeit with a few exceptions, ending with two fabulous speeches performances by Ann Romney and Chris Christie. If you missed them, the links are below.
The one big 'disgrace' — to pick a word — was the delegates casting votes for Ron Paul. I'm not sure what kind of kooky message they were trying to deliver, but 'unity of the party' certainly wasn't on their agenda. Michigan cast the majority of its votes for Ron Paul.
Delegates are ethically but not legally compelled to cast their ballots based on the results of primaries and caucuses conducted in their state.
Well, sure. That makes sense. There's certainly no reason to pay any attention to those pesky primaries if just a handful of people can make the decision. Thank goodness for abbreviated democracy!
On the up side, the person at the podium was only repeating the votes for Romney, so when the Michigan rep said, "Thirty-three votes for Ron Paul (wild, maniacal screaming from the 127 Paulbots in the audience), six votes for Mitt Romney, one vote for Rick Santorum", all the person at the podium said was, "Mitt Romney, six votes". Big statement to the world you made there, Michigan.
A lesser disgrace was the six states that had their vote number reduced because the morons governing the state races decided to hold their primaries before the date the RNC had allowed. My home state of Florida, which, being the 4th-largest state in the union, should have had near as many votes as California's 172, was allotted a paltry 50. Hmph.
One other small disgrace were the 'abstention' votes. Nevada had five. Please tell me how a person can become a Republican delegate and find none of the candidates acceptable — on a write-in ballot!
Pics, links, and more unabashed blather below the fold.
The really troublesome thing about all this is that many academic writers, even in the humanities, have legitimate and important insights to convey. Yet they genuinely believe, whether for one of the aforementioned reasons or for some other, that it doesn’t serve their interests to write straightforward English sentences.
My theory is that, if you couch your observations in academese, it makes you sound smarter. In ordinary English, most deep insights end up sounding pretty ordinary.
The essential 21st Century conflict is between the rationers and the producers. This is not a class conflict, that is the fallacy that the left has fallen into for over a century. It is a conflict between a system of bureaucratic collectivism and a society of individuals. It is not a conflict between the rich and the poor, the majority of the rationers are either rich or close enough to it. Their charges may be poor, but the representatives of their victim groups invariably become rich. The rationer camp is funded by some of the wealthiest men and companies in America who agree with its premise that we need to ration everything from children to jobs to food to carbon emissions.
For those of you without a TV, YouTube is doing a constant streamcast of the convention here.
It's been on for an hour or so and it appears to mostly be short speeches by various local dignitaries and the occasional live band. The real action begins tonight at 7. Two schedules to check are here and here.
I suppose the highlight of the evening will be Governor Chris Christie's speech at 10. After all the feisty videos we've seen of him at some small-town function, it'll be interesting to see him in a 'formal' setting. I imagine he'll try to keep his natural boisterousness toned down, but his charismatic personality will still shine through.
I also look forward to seeing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He was my original choice for the VP slot when the primaries got under way.