Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Values Voters Vex Validity, Verity & Verisimilitude !

Attention Values Voters !

With the very best of intentions, you are often highly detrimental to your own causes. I don't like to say it. I wish it weren't true. But, it is true.

You don't have to read to the bottom to find my punch line. Here it is:

Your arguments will not convince
the voters in the middle
who determine the outcome of elections.

That doesn't mean you're wrong. Your arguments just won't convince the good folks in the middle; they just won't. If you want to win, you must find/embrace another point of view from which to espouse your convictions. That's it. That's all. Tell your tale from a different perspective.

Gatherings like the recent "Voters Value Summit 2009" are "feel good" events for attendees. They are profit-making events for promoters and participants. Everybody gets a chance to preach to the choir and everybody feels great.

None of this helps.

From the outside, it's scary.

That's right; it's frightening to see gatherings of people who are so sure they are right and where the speakers are so clearly tailoring their messages to tell people what they want to hear. It's scares me. It scares the conscientious, well-meaning people in the middle who will decide whether your side wins or loses. They begin to worry that the vats of drugged kool-aid are just behind the curtain. This behavior will not win the middle-ground.

I'm not giving the answer to this conundrum away for free, as I did the Nancy Reagan campaign yesterday. Someone will have to pay for this one. However, permit me to summarize:
  • You look like a bunch of rubes being swindled by itinerant preachers. You should know better. You should get smarter, fast.
  • The "leaders" who pander to you should become better and get smarter fast, too.
  • Ask yourselves if you think Bob Dole can beat Barack Obama in 2012? Neither can Mitt Romney; no matter how handsome and rich and smart he is, he can't win with his current point of view. Can't you see that something, someone, more is needed?

Nancy Reagan - a woman before her time !

I really, really try not to give this stuff away for free.

Sometimes, it just screams at me and, sometimes, I let it go:

Just say NO to ObamaCare !

NO to compulsory insurance.
NO to tax on uninsured, under-insured or over-insured.
NO to tax on medical innnovation.
NO to compulsory unionization of all American health-care.
NO to bureaucrats denying or approving treatment.

Come on! Grab the issue! Have the courage of your convictions and perceptions!

and then . . . NO to "Card Check"

and then . . . NO to Cap & Trade

and then . . . NO to the next power grab

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is American Politics REALLY Worse Than Ever ??? -- Part II

. . . and, if so,

Things are different than they have ever been and some things are worse than ever. These times are not the times of Eisenhower, Daddy Bush or even Bill.

  • Cheney's exploitation of Vice-Presidential power and prerogatives was a first - the product of a smart man with a life-time of experience in the web of bureaucracy (rather than - or in addition to - the jungle of politics). He played the administrative system as a virtuoso - placing his own team in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th echelon positions to accomplish both public and private objectives, beyond nearly all scrutiny and as he - personally - saw fit. >This link is just one example of many, many, many>link<.
  • Obama isn't respecting/using/playing the system. He doesn't even know the system. He never learned it and never acquired significant experience in it. He's just the outsider/foreigner/amateur doing what he thinks is best or what he wants without understanding or respect for the existence of any precedent, rule or system. He doesn't seem to know (or doesn't acknowledge) that systems, rules or precedents exist.
  • Obama's first year has seen a series of new laws of more than a thousand pages each suddenly appear - written by unknown/unaccountable outsiders and unread by the Congress that passed them. This is dereliction of duty by the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
  • First, Baby Bush and then - on a much larger scale - Obama have encouraged and enabled (through guarantees) debt on an unprecedented scale (as measured per capita or percent of GDP).
  • American Presidents' posturing in foreign affairs is nothing new. The Cold War constrained such posturing. Bill Clinton blew a massive once-in-a-millennium opportunity to make-over the Russian system in the chaos there after the Soviet system disintegrated. In the post-Soviet era, US hegemony has been used for little good and little evil. Now a new world order is upon us with a new nuclear proliferation and with extremely odd urgency (collapsing birthrates in Russian and Iran make power-plays a now-or-never proposition); it won't be fun and it won't be familiar {a separate post on this will be forthcoming}.

but . . .but . . .SO WHAT?

Most voters under 40 don't care.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Observations on Tea-Party Tax Protests of Sept. 12

Somewhere there are aerial photographs of the crowds on Saturday. They will surface. Of course, normal people assumed that there would be news coverage and will not make the same mistake again.
Meanwhile, rest assured that, just as the most sensitive nerve in the human body is the pocketbook nerve >link<, the only other sentient part of a politician's body is the re-election sensor. These often-vile persons may say nothing but they know how many people were there and they were impressed.

The damage done by denial of the dimensions of the demonstration devolve upon the demos - the rest of the voting public who may well devalue the protest because they are denied information about the size of the discontent.

But it was impressive and it made an impression, be assured.

You Won't Read Them Here ! ! !

The Magic Words about Bush/Cheney!

To explain why you won't read them here, permit me to use an illustration.

In 2002, I emailed Colin Powell. He was scheduled to address the State Legislature of Maryland on the subject of a proposed resolution on the Armenian “Genocide.”

I put “genocide” in quotation marks because these events took place in the 1920’s during the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, formation of the modern Turkish Republic and wars fought by both the old Ottoman government and the new Turkish Republic to defend the borders of Turkey. Today, those of Armenian descent claim that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman soldiers. The modern Turkish government, which was not in existence at the time, claims that this number is exaggerated and that an equal number of Turks were killed in the fighting. This is a very, very tender issue for both sides.

I suggested to Colin Powell that he say, “In a democracy, history is written by historians. History is not legislated.” Colin Powell used those words. The legislature tabled the resolution.

My suggested was never acknowledged and no thanks were offered.

Still full of hope and the milk of human kindness, I passed the same words on to Abdullah Gul, then Foreign Minister (now President) of Turkey. Mr. Gul has used those words frequently. With those words, he has made a diplomatic breakthrough with neighboring Armenia. Borders that have been closed and diplomatic relations that have been severed for generations have been opened with his efforts and those words – my words. >Link is here<

My suggestion has yet to be acknowledged and thanks are yet to be offered.

That’s all, folks.

My wisdom on matters of current import is no longer free; it is for sale. You may email me for further information.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ObamaWorld is Already Here: Tax on Medical Technology

TigerHawk reports: Senate Democrats are proposing to do so directly, by levying a "value added tax" on medical device companies according to their proportion of U.S. sales. This tax would be without regard to profitability, so it would amount to a capital tax on start-ups and a massive income tax surcharge on profitable companies, varying as net margins do. In the case of my own mid-sized company, the tax would be the equivalent of a roughly 20% surcharge on our net income (in all likelihood raising our economic tax rate well above 50%) or 50% of our research and development budget, depending on how you want to look at it.

Increase risk and decrease return on medical innovation. That's ObamaCare. It's straight out of Atlas Shrugged. Their nominal logic is that these innovations are the proximate cause of the increase in treatment costs, so taxing the innovations to pay for the treatments seems like putting the burden where it should be. Only in the minds of politicians could this be entertained as logical . . .and that is one good reason to keep these decisions out of the hands of politicians.

Who benefits from this sort of policy? Only the people in power benefit!

Get well soon.

Same Old Game

The Obama Friday Afternoon News Dump included tariffs on tires, as if the Chinese wouldn't notice. So now we have a trade-war. Does anyone remember Baby Bush's steel tariffs of 2002? He was forced to rescind them by the World Trade Organization.
Baby Bush's loyalties were a combination of the obscure and the blatant - oil, Daddy's Carlisle Investment Group, Cheney's Halliburton.

The Anointed Won's loyalties seem to be more consistently blatant - unions (teachers and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and Teamsters) and trial lawyers. ObamaCare, for example, mandates that all work performed under the new law be performed by union labor; I'm certain that this provision will reduce expenditures. The pro-ObamaCare demonstrators have been SEIU members. Here's a link to teachers' unions contributing more than $1.3 million to ACORN, everybody's favorite neighborhood organizers. If ObamaCare passes in almost any form, the political center of gravity in the United States will be shifted on a seismic scale.

Just because these tricks take place in plain sight does not mean that they are ethical.

Just because Bush did it, too, does not mean that it ought to be done.

This is the open corruption of American government. It isn't a new phenomenon, either. What is new and significant is that the expansion of government makes the expansion of this corruption more pervasive and more destructive than it has ever been. This alone is a sufficient argument for limited government.

The manner in which The Anointed Won has focused appropriations from

TARP and other emergency programs upon constituencies which have supported him is exceptional, both because the amount of these appropriations is extraordinary and because the limited focus constitutes punitive action against future democratic elections. Absent a clear and obvious surge of support for the Republican candidate in the 2012 election to give cover to Republicans, overt opposition to The Anointed Won will require an act of courage. Many individuals and organizations will fear to express opposition to this, The Chicago Way.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More of Journalism's Shining Fulfillment

I constantly remind myself of The Anointed Won rushing TARP through Congress in two days and then letting it sit on his desk for three days, while he took a long week-end off.

This is a guy who gets his way and
gets cocky . . .or he gets ugly.

To bring this back to Memetics, I regard
The Anointed Won
as someone who takes the world in big chunks -
- as "Mine!"

I'll leave others to pick names out of the DSM (American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), but this is an individual who gives Nancy Pelosi and unseen lobbyists the job of drafting laws; he has no interest in details. The Won likes winning. I'll bet he loses interest in something before he loses, so the conclusion of the ObamaCare ObamaShow may offer some humor and surprises.

I'll bet he characteristically loses interest in anything
where he perceives he is likely to lose.

Protests in Iran,
Democracy in Honduras,
War in Afghanistan.
Domestic economic recovery.

This is not the leader we need.

I will also wager than he compensates. His show in the Security Council next week will be interesting, even if disturbing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Journalism's Fulfillment and its Future

It is facile and fruitless to view the media's coverage of the 2008/2009 Obamanation as a failure of journalism. A profession doesn't fail in the manner of a bridge failing.

I prefer to think of The Anointed Won as occasioning The Fulfillment of American Journalism.

What did American Journalism think it was doing in 2008/2009? What was it thinking from 9/11/2001 onward? What sent that thrill up Chris Matthew's leg?

  • crass amateurism, ignorance and provincialism
  • self-importance
  • ideological adherence to predetermined narrative rather than fact
  • prophesies of left-leaning educations
  • ease, simplicity and laziness
  • panic - not knowing what to do, so they follow the pack
  • supporting the presumed interests of advertisers
The method of modern journalism is: Simplify . . .then exaggerate! Anything that happens in the world - and all of the above factors - are reported through the filter of Simplify . . .then exaggerate!

The above list contains nothing new. Obama - The Anointed Won - represents the fulfillment of modern American journalism. With Obama the failures of a generation of journalists have become ineluctable. Moreover, the internet and radio have eroded the monopoly of American print and network journalism. The profession of journalism will not have the ability or the opportunity to redeem itself.

What has happened to Post-Obamessianic journalism?
  • Factory Journalism - There has been immense growth in government and corporate media relations, i.e. force-feeding the paid news media. The Obama White House spends $500,000/week creating and focusing the news for the paid news media. Just like Perdue chickens, we now have Perdue journalism.
  • Corruption of journalists "switching sides," to government and corporate media relations.
  • The Obama Administration has tried to focus recipients of arts and other federal programs to support administration objectives. The is a peacetime first in the United States.
  • Accelerating loss of relevance and credibility by print and broadcast journalism.
What comes next?
  • The Won will try to keep winning - attempting to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine or use other means to maintain power and deny communications to "the enemy." There's a strange bill proposed to giving Obama power to close down the internet in a national emergency; surely, that will go nowhere.
  • Journalism may attempt to clean up its act, to protect its own interests - power, advertising, income.
  • Information fractionating - different groups getting their information from different sources and, very nearly, living in parallel universes. The Van Jones confrontation is an early example. This is the old Fox News controversy, now writ much larger.
So what?
  • Newspaper and print journalism will not recover their social and political dominance, no matter how professional or extraordinary they become. Internet and radio will continue to gain dominance.
  • Journalists, publishers and networks will do what they can to protect their empires and incomes. They cannot do much to retain audience and market-share, except to become more crass and outrageous.
  • Crass and outrageous is the only road left to government and corporate media to attempt to control internet and radio. The electorate on all sides - but especially the right - must be vigilant against attempt to limit news media.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A little thought experiment: How Would You - YOU, really, YOU - Reassure Investors, Businessmen and Consumers?

My belief is that the most important factor in the 2009-2010 recovery of the US and world economies is a sense of stability. If the Anointed Won would just stop talking about regulatory changes and new taxes for the next three years, the world would be magically transformed.

But . . .but . . .but . . .that would make the 2012 election a referendum on new taxes and new regulations. Sh-t! No one can sell that!

But, wasn't the 2008 election about new taxes and regulations? No! Last year's election was about Change. It was about magical thinking.

So, the 2008-2012 presidency is about the transition from magical thinking to reality.
  • Who gains from such a transition? How do they gain?
  • Who loses from such a transition? How do they endeavor to prevent those losses?
Now you have the scenario for the next three years.
  • No one on the Left will change his/her mind about the rightness of The Won.
  • No one on the Right will change his/her mind about the folly of The Won.
  • The game is in the middle for those whose reality is conflicted by The Won.
Those in the middle can be convinced by reality, reason, experience and empathy. Rigidity and righteousness are not what is called for. The road to reclaim the government from The Won is wide open.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet the Mob Who Manage the Message for Barack Obama - No, seriously!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Total White House Staff: 6,550 + 500 volunteers + 100 interns ===> 7,150
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Total White House Staff working directly on communications/media ===> 129

{traditional press, internet management, new media, supermarket media}

Office of Communications: 50 staff
Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs: 29 staff
Press Secretary: 20 staff
Presidential Speechwriter and assistants: 15 staff
Office of Political Affairs: 10 staff
David Axelrod: 4 staff
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There was a published article within the last few weeks (I can't find it now) that put White House media expenditures at $500,000/week (= $26 million/year) .

It isn't normal to have this kind of effort expended on pre-digesting the news for the press. It has always been the job of the press to do this work for itself. In fact, this is very undemocratic and "Brave New World."

Please, realize that this isn't what the television and newspapers spend on salaries and expenses. This is what O's White House is spending to manage O's message to journalism professionals who are paid to "cover" the White House.

That's a lot of money being spent:
  • on a lot of people
  • to tell us that what they want to tell us
  • and pretend that it is what we want to hear.

Under these circumstances, no one should have uncritical confidence in what is reported - not what, not how, not when.

It should also be noted that our post-racial President has a Director of African-American media and a Director of Hispanic Media.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This Post Began as Just For Fun, But Colin Powell Just Rankles

Initially, I thought about making a caption contest.

I searched for photographs of Colin Powell with similar gestures and could not find any.

And, then, the more I thought about Colin Powell . . .well, I have a very special opinion of Colin Powell. {link here} At least since he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he pursued his own agenda. Why it was tolerated by Daddy Bush and by Baby Bush, I have no idea. That Colin Powell waited until the last minute and then endorsed Barrack Obama is no surprise at all. The question is how he was tolerated at the upper reaches of power for so long. Even his promotion to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was peculiar, as he was #273 (out of 300) in seniority for the position of Army Chief when he was chosen and then, very shortly afterward, was made Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He was National Security Advisor for Reagan and promoted by H.W. from Lieutenant General to General to Chairman. There's a long, strange story here that has yet to be told.

Blogging's been light

because I've put a great deal of time into proposals that are sitting on desks all around the world.

Only one person (Karl Rove) has been courteous enough to send a reply. From the rest there has been non-resonant silence, as though the world had lost the capacity to harmonize or even echo.

If the people in politics have any remnant capacity for shame, they have lost the sense of when to use it.