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 media solicits opinion from celebrities for a simple reason. Americans often confuse fame and wealth with knowledge and success.
There is an element of 'success' in celebrity, not denying it. But for the most part, celebrities are victims of extreme good luck or good fortune. Sometimes just good looks, too.
Not saying some aren't intelligent, some are. Most are not.
Getting back to the point, however, I will sometimes comment on the nature of celebrity. How capricious it is, how lucky someone was, how they might be pushing the limits of their position. Cue the fan, at which point it's not uncommon to hear from friends and acquaintances "well if it was so easy or so simple, why don't you do it? Clearly they are intelligent and hard-working enough to reach this level of success."
Hard-working? Sure, perhaps. Never said anything about that. Intelligent? We can discuss that, but I'll concede the point that Madonna or Lady Gaga are intelligent about how they market themselves (Madonna less so, lately). Beyond that, I'm not sure intelligence plays a role.
Yet it is for this reason alone - the assumption that one form of intelligence is equal to all others - that media seeks out celebrities.
It's bizarre, but it happens. Even if the celebrities give thoughtful, meaningful, responses (I'll point to some of Ashton Kutcher's recent speeches, which I think are profoundly meaningful, but will generate very small results or interest from the audiences he aimed them at), the fact is there's nothing special about them.
I like Jeffrey Tucker, and he's very quotable. He's also a deep thinker. But you won't see him on the news that often. Who wants to see a middle-aged, balding man in a bow-tie even if he is extremely well-spoken and intelligent?
Ashton Kutcher is young, pretty, and sometimes says intelligent things (usually not, though). So get him on the air!
Do you think Russell Simmons would say the same thing if This exact same program had been implemented by GW Bush? Simmons thought process never got past the fact that Obama is black so therefore he is all in for whatever Obama wants to do.
Bridges and all public works not only take longer then they should but they cost far more then they should. A good example here locally is the I-5 bridge across the Columbia River between Portland Or. and Vancouver Wa. The politicians in Oregon are committed to sucking as much money out of this to extend Portlands infamous light rail. Light rail sounds good but it is a money pit. They replace bus lines with light rail and the cost per commuter goes up by a factor of 20. The road traffic seems unaffected by removing those busses. So why light rail? The answer is money (and power). The unions build the light rail, they drive the trains after they are built and the unions control the bureaucracy that decides to build the light rail. If a private contractor built the light rail it would cost from 30% to 50% less. The light rail is constantly being extended against the wishes of the voters. A city or county votes it down and the city of Portland and "Metro" (the bigger bureaucracy) pushes it through anyway. But back to the bridge. The current I-5 bridge is old but adequate, 3 lanes in both directions and would probably be serviceable for another 25 years or more. But never the less lets assume it needs to be replaced. There are many versions of a replacement bridge and the lowest cost is a concrete bridge with 3 lanes in each direction for under a billion dollars. The one the politicians want includes light rail tracks and it costs just under $4 billion. The voters have voted down the more expensive bridge numerous times. But the politicians won't give up. In fact to cut the costs but still get their precious light rail (and the union support that goes with it) even suggested a smaller bridge with 2 lanes each direction and light rail of course for about $2 billion. The politicians cannot take their eye off the light rail that the voters don't want or the billions in tax money that the voters don't want to pay.
"As I’ve argued over the years, governments, including free and democratic governments, are not really friendly to freedom and democracy. They abhor any rule of law that limits their powers and penchant for social engineering.
A paper tiger to its enemies, a real tiger to its own subjects: this is the statist model...... Every removal of a legal safeguard is justified by the need-often valid- to protect society against the depredations of criminals and terrorists, but ends up as the protection of the state from its citizens."
And more on the CRC above, they had to pay for another environmental study, even though they are putting the bridge in the same place. Unfortunately, the design is just too low and the Army Corps of Engineers won't sign up for it. We thought it was dead, but the state attorney General gave Tri-met in Oregon permission to condemn property in WA state to build the light rail. I won't go through all the political nonsense we are having to deal with. We do not seem to be able to vote these asshats out of office.
There is an excellent book by Peter Kreeft about Lewis, Huxley, and Kennedy. Between Heaven And Hell is an imaginary conversation in the first hours after death between the three of them. At some points Kennedy and Huxley agree against Lewis, at others, Lewis and Huxley agree, etc. Short, simple, and provoking.
Assistant VIllage Idiot