Sep 062010

There he goes again. President Obama is willing to give tax breaks to business but he can’t make himself cut tax rates. The poor guy (and those close to him) are like the old Soviet nomenkultura, as described by Michael Voslensky. They just had to have a “monopoly of decision making…on all important (and many unimportant) questions throughout the country.” (I just finished reading the book.)

Sep 042010

It’s good to learn that people are again thinking about term limits for Congress. (Fox News Poll: 78 Percent Favor Term Limits On Congress) Without that, there is zero chance of cleaning up our economic and political mess.

But there is disturbing news hidden inside this Fox poll: One voter in five gives Congress a thumbs up.

Think about it. You walk down the street, thinking you are safe as long as you keep your wits about you, but lurking about you are people who approve of the job Congress is doing. How can you defend yourself against those numbers?

If it was only one person in a hundred, it wouldn’t be so surprising. Some of these members of Congress have mothers who are going to give approval ratings to their own offspring, no matter what. And these Congresspeople have friends and neighbors who will be loyal to a fault. The same goes for the hordes of staffers who work in their offices, and their mothers and close acquaintances. But that doesn’t account for a whopping twenty-two percent of the population, does it?

So where do these people come from? What can we do to identify them? Is there some sort of registry where we can look up on-line before blundering our way into an environment where they may be waiting in ambush? Are there distinguishing features we can use to tell them apart from the population as a whole? What sort of precautions do we need to take?

Sep 032010

A couple of items in today’s news show that the love of learning has not completely disappeared in today’s society:

1. Vladimir Putin’s police conducted a raid on the offices of the New Times, an opposition magazine in Moscow. It’s part of what are called “investigative actions.” This desire to investigate could inspire a higher degree of intellectual curiosity than has been shown thus far by Barak Obama’s administration, which has been content to do no more than badmouth and marginalize its opposition news organizations.

2. Diana West reports on how back in 2003, Allen West, who is running for Congress in Florida’s 22nd District, fired a pistol near the head of an uncooperative Iraqi in order to get him to share his knowledge about assassination plots and ambushes directed against U.S. troops. He apparently realized that you can’t create an intellectually stimulating environment where you don’t have a free and open exchange of ideas.