Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
Just to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've been living out of suitcases for almost two weeks now as we worked our way north from our winter digs. We're in the U.P finally, on the last leg home. Should get there today and I'm hearing bad news about a snow mound that still needs digging out before we can get to our door. Should be interesting.
Our nephew plowed out our driveway but put his back out before he could shovel the walk. Don't know what we're going to do with him but rest assured he'll be punished for this.
Many conservatives - including a few Black accommodationists - are saying that Black people are being bamboozled into voting nearly exclusively for the Democratic Party. This is clearly a republican talking point, either that, or they believe that Black people are so stupid that they can be convinced to vote for people who have left no stone unturned to deprive them of their right to vote, and who repeatedly try to portray them as lazy criminals and dope fiends who are content to vote for anyone who will allow them to spend their lives on welfare. When placed in that context it makes one wonder, what could Black people possibly be thinking? How could they not want to vote for a group people who portray them in that way?
Six years ago today, in the early morning hours of April 5, I hit a patch of highway ice while driving to the airport in an unexpected snowstorm and spun out sideways. My car was totaled, with all of the damage to the driver's side door. I survived unscathed. I did not get whiplash. I did not miss my plane.
My car turned around 180 degrees so that I was looking back at an 18-wheel truck coming toward me out of the snow while I was sliding sideways into its lane. There was nothing I could do in that long moment but watch the headlights coming toward me. Either I would slide in front of those headlights, and that would be the end, or I would slide just slowly enough to miss the truck.
I've written about the Chained CPI here at Dag, oh... a lot of times. I also wrote about it when I had my column for The Daily and, as I've done a lot of research, I consider myself an informed Chained CPI dissenter as a matter of political and economic fairness. In short, I believe that its use of "the substitution effect," where consumers respond to the rising prices of some goods by buying others, can be used to mask changes in standards of living. [Read more]
The Supreme Court spent Holy Week (or, as Jesus would call it, Passover) debating gay marriage, which Chief Justice John Roberts clearly opposes. Religious opponents of gay marriage like to argue that the purpose of marriage is to beget children, so that only heterosexual marriages are "real," because only biological fertility makes a marriage "real." By this standard John Roberts's own marriage is not real, and neither is mine. I do not believe that, and neither should he.
The "values" wing of the Republican party decided, against the advice of their more libertarian brethren, to wage a social war against same sex marriage and, whatever the Supreme Court decides in its two big marriage cases, the "values" bloc has clearly lost the fight. Though your experience may vary by region, the country has evolved to at best a pro-same sex marriage consensus and at least a healthy "live and let live," attitude about it. [Read more]
Tom Friedman's column this morning is a compelling call for radical reforms in education and job training in order for Americans to succeed in the twenty-first century. But Friedman, intentionally or not, fails to address what I submit is the elephant in the room, namely what we need to do to procure the massive societal resources that will be necessary to properly sell and implement the radical reforms Friedman addresses today. Put another way, I think Friedman could use a little Krugman this morning.  [Read more]
You may not know it, but war is blazing away on the Internet. Perhaps you've experienced some streaming delays on Netflix or Youtube recently. You may have been caught in the crossfire.
One of the combatants is a Dutch web-hosting company called Cyberbunker. The company's home page cycles a picture of Julian Assange with the caption, "Freedom of speech...is in the eye of the beholder." But they're quick to assure potential clients that Cyberbunker is not some kind of idealistic anarchist commune. Like all good capitalists, Cyberbunker puts the customer first. [Read more]
Roger Waters, resting on his laurels from his career with Pink Floyd, has decided to take on the Palestinian issue as his personal crusade. He's encouraging other performers to boycott Israel, and recently claimed credit for having Stevie Wonder cancel a gig with or on behalf of the Israel Defense Forces.
If that was all Mr. Waters had done, I might disagree with his views, and I might question the propriety of focusing on Israel and only Israel for a global boycott. But I wouldn't and couldn't call Mr. Waters an anti-semite on that basis alone. Heck, I wouldn't even call Mr. Waters a has-been. [Read more]
I've been debating about writing about Wal-Mart for a while now for one very good reason: If I write as a knowledgeable shopper, people will know I shop at Wal-Mart. Chicken of me, I know, but some of my best friends, relatives and acquaintances refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, and they don't like to be reminded that I'm not one of them.
I am in the middle of The West Wing series again on Netflix. For some reason the stream quit after the first three years and out of the blue, the rest of the episodes appeared, magically last week.
Anyway I have Adult Deficit Multipersonality whatever and I watch golf and read blogs at the same time I 'view' my stream.
Well, we now have PCTV.
No not politically correct TV which will always be with us.
We have for sometime seen the likes of bigger blog sites like Huffpo and Beast and Salon providing video interviews.
So I run into a 61 minute HUFFPO special interviewing Phil Donahue of all people.
And what HUFFPO was getting into involves our ten year venture into Halliburton's War. [Read more]
I posted a blog here a couple of months ago during the election campaign about how I had come to the point where I was totally engaged by these political debates I was having on Facebook with people from just about every phase and crevice of my lifetime. And when I read that blog again just recently I concluded that it
may have seemed probably sounded silly to readers, as if I was simply reminiscing with the campaign as background-- I guess like that guy who does that for two hours straight at the college reunion or whatever. [Read more]
It could be that with all that's going on in the world you might have missed what's happening closer to home, in the sovereign state of Michigan. In just over two years, since businessman and venture capitalist Rick Snyder became governor, bringing along with him a Republican majority in the legislature and in most courts (including the Supreme one), with a push from the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, our beautiful state has suffered under the country's first duly elected dictatorship.
The decision to bring "democracy" to Iraq displayed a deep and obvious contempt for democracy itself. George W. Bush considered the decision to begin a war his personal prerogative, and both the political establishment and the media establishment treated it that way. The war was inevitable; the decision had already been made. Not supporting the war was treated as foolish (because futile) and unpatriotic (because patriotism was defined as supporting the President's decisions). [Read more]
One of the things that most irks me about Thomas Friedman, aside from the fact that he's a terrible writer who has somehow won a huge audience, is that he is so willing to blame Americans for their own problems. This morning, for example, he cites Adam Garfinkle:
“We’re the most self-indulgent generation in American history,” argues Garfinkle, always demanding more services than we’re ready to pay for. “Too many of us want to be unbound by broader social obligations, but the network of those obligations creates the moral ballast that makes good governance possible.” [Read more]
On Thursday, the American Association of University Professors, a national faculty union, released its report on last summer's debacle at the University of Virginia, where, if you recall, the Board of Visitors fired the UVa's President, Teresa A. Sullivan, only two years into Sullivan's term, without even holding a meeting about the firing first. [Read more]
Every year around this time Republicans get to let their hair down and show the world that no matter what we've heard otherwise, they do have a silly side.
Doom and gloom and global warming is our problem, not theirs. Enough about the poor, the pregnant, and the pressures put on them by the peons. Get those party hats on! [Read more]
A judge has overruled Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban, calling it "arbitrary and capricious." So New York City's ban on large sugary beverages, meaning more than 16 oz. servings, is basically dead. This is a big win for Big Gulp Libertarianism, which derided the government soda ban as Nanny State tyranny, taking away individual's freedom to make their own rational choices. But you know what else is arbitrary, capricious, and erodes individual freedom of choice? Marketing. Every food package you will ever encounter was designed to limit the exercise of your free will. Selling someone else a 64-ounce cola may be a rational individual decision. [Read more]
Libertarians tend to be very interested in the government's monopoly on legitimate violence. It's true. It's a major issue. I think I get where Rand Paul was coming from last week and I even support it. The government can take your life, your property and your freedom.
But, you know, it usually doesn't. You are unlikely, my friends, to ever find yourself in combat with government agents. That's a good thing. The government will largely not restrict your freedoms. The government largely doesn't care. [Read more]