Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Man Bites Dog, well not really

Sixty percent of the party of the working man voted to protect the perks of Wall Streeters.

The rich man's party voted to not take the money of working class Americans.

I could come to some conclusions, but let's just quote the words of Lily Tomlin, "No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up."

Monday, September 29, 2008

The World is Out to Lunch

In the movie, Men in Black, Tim Meadow's character, in a strac bemedaled uniform is asked why he is in a room taking a test he does not know the purpose of. Meadows pompously shouts in a drill field manner, "Because we're the best of the best of the best, Sir." Will Smith's starts uncontrollably giggling. Smith is asked why and reply's that Captain America "Has no clue why we're here."

So you've got Dan Kennedy, Medianation and The Guardian writing about about who thinks it was a tie and the comments of other pundits. Where Kennedy became Captain America was in the Guardian article title, "McCain's style undermines substance." Dan, there was no substance.

Full disclosure, I listened on the radio as long as I could take it. We don't have TV, so the next night, on youtube, I watched talking heads on Fox and CNN talking around everything. Colmes was much less goofy than Hannity, if only because it's impossible to be more. Hannity's McCain cheerleading was mentally aberrant.

Here's the take away; about the bailout, these guys don't have a clue. They can repeat a few facts and a few bullets someone wrote for them on how it will work out, but a real understanding, clueless. It's like my knowing, say the formula for gunpowder. I may be able to tell you the ingredients and maybe even a text book explanation of the process, but understand it, no. My brother-in-law, Professor Dave does, but he's drunk deep at the Pierian Spring with post docs in chemistry related subjects.

A hundred pages plus, the ecomomic version of the Patriot Act is about to be passed and for the same reason. They scared everybody.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We're too Humble to Claim We Called It

the voice of humility is too modest to claim to have called the meltdown over six years ago. In truth, it wasn't a prediction with precision. Rather a general pronouncement on the progression of government action,

The Iron Law of government: Everything eventually reduces to its absurd. If this is an actual law of physics that exists in nature is not known. In politics and government, it cannot be denied. Whereas in business a company can go bankrupt (unless it is publicly favored), in the realm of government, if (actually, when is more appropriate) a program attains absolute failure, it becomes a candidate for increased funding (e.g. DARE,).

This was first posted in our Short Dictionary of Politics in the old Spintech and reposted here.

Now there are some people who blame deregulation for all of our problems. Were there a few rules that were loosened so the high financiers could go to town? Possibly, if not probably. There were certainly rules like Community Reinvestment that denied reality. I knew when I heard ads for no doc mortgages that this could not end well, as the saying goes.

So what if a few regulations were let go. No one in our nation can say, "You know what, I'm getting scared we are in danger of a regulation shortage." If the current crisis doesn't get us, we've got a trillion dollar war, social security, medicaid, medicare. Sooner or later the denouement.

So I would take my chances and not support this bailout. You need other reasons?

1. Nobody can prove it will work.
2. It has all the flavor of a late night commercial,"Act now, before this valuable offer disappears forever!!!!!!"
3. The people who will most benefit are the people who screwed up.
4. Almost nobody in congress voting on it will understand what they are voting on.

Are those good reasons for opposing the bailout? Don't know. I am willing to change my mind if Messrs. Bernanke and Paulson are willing to bet all the assets they own against all I own that the plan will solve the problem for good.

Update: Commenter Gavin Andresen referenced an article by Tyler Cowen, Too Few Regulations? No, Just Ineffective Ones. As suspected, there was no dearth of regulations, but "with a growing loss of accountability and effectiveness."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

This Will Be My Last Sarah Palin Post, maybe

The convention is over, "But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot " just what is it I like about Sarah Palin?

I liked her speech, even though it was twaddle. I like her, sort of, even though I won't vote for her.

She starts becoming likeable due to her enemies. A local NPR (which now stands for National Palin Radio) station, WBUR, does the tag team thing on their mid day show, Here and Now. Hostess Robin Young and Ellen Goodman* try to work over a Republican woman. How open minded is Ellen Goodman? She equates not believing in Global Warming with Holocaust Denial. Now maybe Ellen understands climatology or maybe she has just chosen whom to believe. The fact that she won't allow for honest disagreement is maybe a tad, oh, naziish, if we are going to throw around the rhetoric.

At the end of the interrogation, Robin thanked the Republican woman and then gushed that Ellen would have to come back again for her valued thoughts. Surprise, surprise. Of course, we need the fairness doctrine, don't we?

Through the day, NPR and CNN (The lefty version of Fox) radio news are constant in their revelations that Sarah is the closest thing to the antichrist for unbelievers. Waking up the next morning when the dog nuzzles me to let him out, I turn on a radio set to WFCR in Amherst and guess who they're talking about?

Sunday afternoon, All Things Considered or is it Weekend Edition, we've got a woman historian talking about whether and how Palin fits into feminism. An historian of feminism, somehow, I don't expect she will be as read as Herodotus.

I've mentioned Dan Kennedy's Medianation before. Great man for the Boston media scene, but obsessed with herself and not in a healthy way. His blog is all Palin all the time. Of course he has put Obama under the microscope for Rezko in the same manner. Surrrre.

The drumbeat is delicious because the smarmy who live a life of white privilege are scared. Charisma is okay when it's the post racial guy inspiring middle class ivies to chant the politically correct version of sieg heil. When it's babe from lumpen whitey state, well, such heresy cannot be allowed. The effect of the ad nauseum attacks makes her even more attractive in comparison.

So at the end of it all, I think one can put one's finger on it. Would you rather be stuck hanging out with Sarah Palin or discussing gender theory with someone from Smith.

*A quote from Ellen, "You can teach someone who cares to write columns, but you can’t teach someone who writes columns to care." Is this woman profound or what?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


With our vast social knowledge of the American People that we are properly humble about, the voice of humility predicts that nine months hence, maternity wards and birthing center will report a large upswing in the number of babies named Bristol.

The phenomenon will not appear in all Socio Economic Groups in the same numbers (hint, there will be less among NYT readers and more in the People Mag demographic).

Heck, if we were having another kid, I'd name her that just to annoy my lace curtain relatives.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Does Biden Palin Comparison?

Gee, it’s only been a few days and I know almost as much about Sarah Palin as I do my own wife. Well, I know what some might call the dodgy stuff about the Guv because an army of snoops want to discover it. So far, they haven’t laid a glove on her. There are legions of voters out there in Third Millennium America who have had to deal with similar stuff and think no less of the lass for the revelations.

But, enough of that. Most of America has to think about one party’s veep choice versus the other side’s. Pas moi. I live in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts. Everyone here knows who is going to win the state. Even if George Wallace was wrong and it’s a quarter or even a fifty cent piece, the difference is not enough to drive me to the polls for the major parties. As we have a foregone conclusion, it is the obligation of every intelligent citizen in the Commonwealth to vote third party. Generally, all three of us do.

Still, to the point, I’m here to help. What can one say in favor of Biden. There, assume I’ve said it. On a drive home from New York State yesterday, some talker said he “connected” with the man because of how kind he was to his mom. I grant that a fellow who savagely beat mother might not be vice presidential timber, but kindness to the old lady doesn’t speak to governance.

Joe is a goof ball. From the Kinnock theft to walking around with hair plugs for years, he’s a space cadet. He voted to go to war with Iraq and for bills that are unreadable. If doing the wrong thing and doing the wrong thing and then doing it again is “experience,” then the quality is overrated.

I wish to announce, I have enough experience to be POTUS or VPOTUS. You do too. Well, let’s give a caveat, assuming you’ve lived long enough making your way in the world. Everyone gains experience, some do not profit from it. Right off the bat, we can agree, the sixty year old in front of you in the convenience store line trying to make a choice among scratch tickets has not gained from his life’s lessons. Look closely at him for a hair transplant. You never know who you’re behind.

Let me confess, I’m not impressed with La Palin’s choice of hairdressers. Other than that, I’m not finding it easy to prove her goofier than Biden. Granted, that’s a task. The question has caused me to think about women as heads of state.

In most of history, head of state has meant king, and on occasion, queen. Queenie was rare, but the lasses that made it were often spectacularly successful. Why. Maybe it was the winnowing process. The girls who couldn’t handle it ended up in the convent or the nut house or worse. Those who made it, had proven at least an ability for political fancy footwork.

When they came into their own, the survivors had skills. Arguably, the most important is the hallmark of a truly intelligent woman, the ability to choose among men. Catherine of Russia was no slouch, and she chose for many different abilities. Elizabeth I was a women who knew her men, even if she never knew a man.

Do we extrapolate a successful reign in the event of Sarah I. I would hire her for an important job before Joey, but predicting the future is not possible. I wouldn’t have hired Liz based on her experience. Mrs. Palin seems to be able to handle the Alaskan guys with some ability, turfing out a few of them. That state trooper thingy shows some ruthlessness

The Palin choice is a shot in the dark. Biden, looks bad even if you get the lighting right. Forced to choose, I’ll fall back on women leaders of big countries in the last century. You don’t get much tougher cookies than Thatcher and Ghandi. Even if Thatcher’s hair was weirder than Joe’s.