Days of Change

The History of History

September 21, 2014
2 Comments

It’s kind of sad that people look at history like flashcards. They associate events as dates and sequences of events. We know when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but do we know he failed in his stated mission? Do we know about his subsequent voyages or how his Christian faith drove him? His given name, Cristoforo, means Christ-bearer.

Do we know what life was like 50 years ago that didn’t involve a Madison Avenue advertising agency? How about 100 or 200 years ago? A decade ago, PBS had a stable of reality shows exploiting the meager realities of living in the past. The participants had to deal with it for all of 10 weeks.

I find myself thinking about the past lately. In the quest to make things faster, thinner and smarter, we seem to have stopped looking for the meaning of life. In the past, life meant survival. It could mean more now, but it seems to mean less.


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Losing My Election

September 20, 2014
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I’ve decided that being optimistic  about an election (2012) didn’t work, so I’ve decided to be pessimistic. For all intents and purposes, getting 51 seats in the Senate isn’t much more effective for Republicans than having 41 seats. If a simple majority tried to pass legislation, the Democrats would filibuster, regardless of the last six years of them bitching about it. The only thing 51 would do is give Republicans the moral authority to block funding, something the House has had the Constitutional authority to do since 2010.

Close polls, early voting, weakly enforced voter ID laws and Democrats with an effective NSA-style get out the vote database make it likely that they can keep the GOP under 48 members in the Senate. The Republicans go their real victory this year, keeping out as many Tea Party challenges as possible and emptying their war chests in the process.

When GW Bush suffered losses in 2006, he changed the Iraq War strategy to one that was very effective. If the Republicans in Congress change their tactics because of a loss this year, we’ll be better off than the same old plans with a slim Senate majority.


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I Hate My Job

September 19, 2014
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This is my untraceable social media where I can write about things like the horrible company I work for that is getting worse by the day. There’s a certain amount of churn going on and I find myself with the potential for an extended career of drudgery and lack of advancement with the sympathy of my peers as the only consolation.

In almost a decade, I haven’t really hated my job, but the days I think that are becoming more frequent. This is, however, the first time I’ve really had a career crisis. It is entirely possible for me to put out resumes and get out of Dodge, with more money and possibly more respect.

The Obama era has created a new relationship between employees and work. Many people dropped out of the work force, finding ways to get Social Security or Disability early. Others have taken advantage of long-term unemployment insurance. Obamacare has encouraged an underclass of part-time employees who are considered “employed” by the labor department, but lack the 30 hours a week for their employer to pay for Obamacare taxes.

It’s probably for the best. My company is not going to hang around much longer the way they’re going.


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Whiskey Sour

September 18, 2014
1 Comment

The nation-wide vote for Scottish independence from the UK is over and the results are looking like they’ll be hanging around. A fairly desperate fear campaign was waged threatening everything from economic peril to the collapse of the whiskey industry.

I remember the Quebec Referendum of 1995. That vote was close, with just over 1% difference between No and Yes on secession. Being a social animal, people tend not to strike out on their own unless the situation is really dire. Frankly, the economic burdens the American colonies suffered under British rule would not have incited revolution in most countries. It’s one of the things that continue to make Americans unique.


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38%

September 17, 2014
3 Comments

Obama is down to 38% job approval according to Gallup. Democrats can’t run from him fast enough. Hopefully, the Republicans understand how they can use that to their advantage.


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The Battle of Microscopic Proportions

September 16, 2014
1 Comment

Sometime this summer, Barack Obama gave up. I don’t think he’s going to stop trying to remake the country. If he pissed off his international masters, he’d be found dead of a mystery illness. Instead, he’s decided that he’s just going to have fun by screwing with the American public, especially his detractors, by playing gold during beheadings, claim ISIS isn’t Islamic and send more military personnel into the African Ebola hot zone than are currently stationed in Iraq.

This may literally be the smallest small ball ever played. We know more or less how to treat Ebola, we certainly know how to contain it, but every time we send Americans into these places, they are as much at risk of infection as anyone else. Iraqi soldiers could have used more training and resources. Liberia could use that, too. But they will need to put resources long-term into Ebola containment because success means sitting around not controlling and outbreak for years at a time.

There’s an Election in about 6 weeks. Vote Republican, at least for the Senate. That’s what’s important now.


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Not Barack Obama

September 15, 2014
1 Comment

I saw this link to a commercial from Alison Lundergan Grimes running against Mitch McConnell. Even though she is a Democrat, she claims that she disagrees with Obama and punctuates the point by shooting off a rifle. It is telling that such an ad is necessary. Generally election voters who might give a Democrat a chance are now less likely to do so because of Obama. However, this is not a sign of things to come.

This race is high on the Democrat priority list. Mitch McConnell for all his bad actions toward the Tea Party, tried to hold the line against Democrats when the Senate minority’s filibuster ability was the only option left in 2009. Taking down the Minority Leader would be a coup and a little Obama ego bruising is acceptable. Not every Democrat would be allowed to do the same. McConnell has taken the lead back from Grimes and is just past the margin of error in polls. She could call Obama a sleeper ISIS agent who eats dogs if it won her this key Senate race.

Democrats want to maintain the Senate and if they have 50 seats after Election Day, they win. It won’t matter how Blue the dog was or how much they disagree with Obama, they will do the party’s bidding. Despite every reservation in the book, every Democrat voted for Obamacare when it counted. Every single one.

 


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A Worthy Adversary

September 14, 2014
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I have found that talking to someone with opposing views can be an instructive experience. This is impossible with virtual or online interaction. It is also becoming impossible for people who collect their talking points from websites, like the ones literally named Talking Points Memo. In the case of blogging, I like to take someone who has a fairly well thought out idea and refute it point by point. So, when the Obama-loving website Vox interviews a libertarian leaning economist on open borders, I have something to write for the day.

  1. Why discriminate job hiring on the basis of citizenship?
    We don’t. All laws flow from citizenship. We discriminate against people who committed crimes, but we still let them have jobs if they notify their employer, provided they served their time. If a non-citizen is right with the law, they can also get a job.
  2.  We should let in skilled people. Plus, everyone has a skill (like farming)
    This is just absurd. Industrial agriculture is more effective than soil tending, so foreign farmers have little skill to offer. Transplanting a guy from Haiti to Miami will increase his wage. Sending a Miami resident to Haiti may damn well kill him. If human labor were that valuable, people wouldn’t be unemployed. Even when it was important, FDR created jobs out of thin air to give everyone a paid hobby.
  3. Non-English speakers entering the country would make English a valuable skill.
    I haven’t seen that happen. As Miami and Los Angeles have become Spanish-speaking in neighborhoods, the few English-speaking supervisors know less Spanish than the Mexican illegals know English. Spanish speakers are left on their own with tools that now all have safety warnings in two languages. Americans are still out of work.
  4. Cultural assimilation is boring.
    This is the main argument against illegal (because he makes no distinction) immigrants overpopulating cities. That is a totally elitist attitude. Immigrant populations ignore the law, fear the police and rely on organized crime, but at least the tacos are authentic.
  5. Only 5-10% of the lowest-skilled workers would do worse under open borders.
    What about the 15% or more who are not finding work now? Is that in addition or do we think that information economy jobs will increase with low-skilled labor? Welfare and disability rolls exploded under Obama already
  6. We could enact fines or compensation to prevent financial drains to the system.
    Total BS. That hasn’t happened while immigrants had less protection under the law. Now that they have more protection, such financial provisions are lies to trick voters into allowing open borders. The economist says as much by claiming he doesn’t think such payments would be necessary.
  7. Brain drain of talented foreigners wouldn’t be a problem because they keep family ties.
    The idea that foreign laborers would send money back home kind of negates the booming economy argument. Instead, immigrants either ruin homes by turning them into over-capacity flophouses or start new families. The reality is that employers are preferring immigrants for their lack of intellectual resources and they perception that American workers are too expensive. The one thing the economist never deals with is the current decline in real wages and how open borders is a race to the bottom.

It was nice arguing with a web page.


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Revolutionary

September 13, 2014
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I’ve started watching “10 Things You Don’t Know About…” on H2, the History Channel spin-off. Tonight was about the Revolutionary War and I really didn’t know most of what they had to tell me. One thing I found interesting was the first fact, which was about the Boston Tea Party.

It turns out that the Sons of Liberty were about as popular with the establishment as the Tea Party is with the mainstream media. Dumping tea in the harbor was a criminal act and a massive destruction of property. Further, it made the colonists fearful of British reprisal. The British responded with even harsher laws that eventually turned the colonists against King George more than the Tea Party perpetrators. With history as a guide, the Tea Party may yet be known as the defenders of the Constitution.


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Declare Victory, Not War

September 12, 2014
2 Comments

The United States could well declare unilaterally … that we have ‘won’ in the sense that our armed forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is in a position to establish its authority over South Vietnam,” and that such a declaration “would herald the resumption of political warfare as the dominant theme in Vietnam.

-Senator George Aiken (VT)

George Aiken was indicative of the progressive Republicans of the early 20th century, supporting the concepts of foods stamps and increases in the minimum wage. As governor of Vermont, he also fought Parts of FDR’s New Deal that took control away from his state. He was more liberal than what we would call a RINO now.

While few people know who he is, when someone suggests we “claim victory and go home,” they are paraphrasing Aiken. What he suggested was what President Bush started to do at the end of his term, arguing for a continued military presence and a Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed the United States military to stay on as advisers without the Iraqi government putting them on trial for war crimes.

Obama acted as our first Cliff’s Notes president. He literally sent all of the United States military home and gave speech after speech about winning in Iraq. He declared victory and left. The result was predictable. With a decimated military and an unstable government, Iraq was vulnerable to the kind of tribal invasion that has plagued the region for centuries. The Islamic State graduation from being AL-Qaeda in Iraq to being the de facto government of Iraq.

Only an idiot would simply declare victory and go home, assuming that victory would stick. When Nixon pulled the troops out of Vietnam, he didn’t make speeches about how the Commies were on the run. Obama wanted to have his cake and eat it, too, so he claimed the enemy was defeated because it had changed names. Now that ISIL has much of Iraq, he wants to claim that a small group of radicals did what hundreds of thousands of US military couldn’t, control the whole country. There are a lot more ISIS members than the administration wants you to think.

We didn’t lose this war, the White House gave up. Now, they won’t even call fighting ISIS a war. That’s Newspeak worthy of Big Brother.


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