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

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Sanders Campaign wins the Goebbels Prize for best propaganda

During the current pre-primary campaign season, we have been bombarded by the ads for the candidates who are fighting it out in our sister state to the north.  They bleed into each other.  Hilary and Jeb and Chris and Kasich and whatever, all the same.  They almost seem to suggest the Holy Father should be opening a case for canonization as the subjects are too good for earthly office.

If the pope sees them, of course, he will have to fight to stay awake.  The commercials are boring.

One ad has broken out and is inspiring or at least enjoyable.

I am old enough to remember when Simon and Garfunkel came on the scene.  Enjoyable enough and a bit more than elevator music.  their music has probably not crossed my mind in decades.  Simon, occasionally I'll think, "Hop on the bus Gus" but seldom is that.  His South African stuff, interesting but passé.

So another tv spot comes on.  The background music is America by S & G.  My first thought is what are they selling, Middle America.  No, they are selling Bernie to MA and they are doing it well.

If Goebbels could see this from hell, he'd be saying, "Perfect, Not the Horst Wessel Lied, but time and place, it works.  It got the jaded guy writing a blog to stir, at least a little.  They might not be yelling "Ein Reich, ein volk, ein Bernie" but it works."

And it does.

Don't get me wrong, Bernie is one of the better candidates even if I don't buy his socialism.  He is less likely than Christie or Hilary to start a war and he was and is right on the banks.

My problem is direct election of the president is the search for a führer   Actually, the would be führers are searching for a volk.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

As to Bowie, David was no Jim

The English writer, Theodore Dalrymple, has an article about the end of David Bowie that is excellent.  I urge you to read it.

Anyway, the man died and the encomia seemed unending, which leaves me at a loss.  From what i have gleaned, he wasn't a bad guy.

Like Dalrymple, I'm not a fan.  I've been aware of popular music for longer than most people alive today as I remember Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Eventually, I sort of moved on.  Every new band came along and at best I could say that's interesting and then would forget about it.  I wondered about myself.  My contemporaries were all obsessed with something and I didn't get it.

So along comes Bowie and he does not move the needle for me.  People I knew were excited and he was big and I yawned.

I am not sure when it was I heard Changes, but it was on the car radio.  I remember listening a few more times to make sure I got it and then forgot about it.

Ground Control to Major Tom may have been deep, but that voice was horrible, I hardly got through "Take your protein pills and put your helmet on."  Maybe I missed something profound and my life has been a desert and I don't know it.  So what.

I am stuck with the knowledge that either I am a buffoon who does not get it, or everyone I knew and grew up with is a dolt.  I'm not sure which I hope is true.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

No matter what FiveThirtyEight says, Pre-K is great, Just ask mom and dad

On January 5, Andrew Flowers posted Is Pre-K All It's Cracked Up To Be on the FiveThirtyEight quant website.Like any FiveThirtyEight article, it is well written and looks at both sides thoughtfully and does not get the big picture.  I mean the really big picture.

The best thing for mom and dad when considering education, is how much free time it gives them.  This does not mean they do not love their kids, it's that interacting with them is a lot of work.  Parents love the children.  They oft work long hours and move to boring places so the offspring will have a better chance.

No matter how much love they might have, the system works.  If it could be proved that the current system is harmful to the kids, and a regime of home instruction an hour a day would make them smarter, there would be no groundswell for closing the schools.

All that extra time spent with the juniors and juniorettes by the stay at home mom or dad, would not be welcome.  My parents loved me, but I drove my mom crazy.

The national mania for education is such that candidates have to talk about it, but they're not really talking about education.