Friday, August 28, 2009

A Tocqueville Conservative

I have often described myself as a classical liberal, to tweak and confuse both my liberal and my conservative friends. (Yes, I have friends on both sides.) In a recent post, my brother waxed eloquent on the weaknesses of American democracy and coined the apt phrase "Tocqueville conservative"—at least I've never heard anyone else use it before.

The entire blog entry is worth a read, but here's a short preview:
The opposite of the classical liberal, the modern liberal believes that if a thing is good, then government should find a way to provide or mandate it.... The Tocqueville conservative, who is akin to the classical liberal, believes not only that freedom (liberty) is good and that unrestrained government is its natural antagonist, but also that there are ways to provide effectively for the needs and wants of a people through voluntary associations.

RIP Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion

I was somewhat surprised and saddened to hear that Senator Kennedy had passed away. He was one of the first politicians that I noticed once I became aware of politics. This was all but inevitable given his larger-than-life presence as the de facto leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. I credit him for fighting tirelessly for what he believed, which generally was in direct opposition with my political views. But such consistency and dedication demands respect, and I gladly give him that, even though I oppose most of what he tried to accomplish. I also give him credit (which Senator Kennedy probably wouldn't want to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spending "Too Much" on Health Care?

Foremost in most arguments in favor of health care reform is the assertion that Americans are spending too much on health care and that they should spend less. In Washington-speak, this is called "bend[ing] the health care cost growth curve down." In America, individuals or some groups may or may not be spending too much on health care, but to make such a claim on behalf of entire United States is presumptuous and logically flawed.

For elected federal officials (e.g., President Obama and certain members of Congress) to make this assertion is particularly arrogant because they apparently assume that the federal government (1) should intervene

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Correction: "NOPE"

How embarrassing . . . a glaring mistake on my first "substantive" post.

Today, my colleague, who shall remain unnamed and smug, took some satisfaction in pointing out that I had identified the wrong anti-Obama button. I couldn't find the same button on the Web, but her button looks more like the one to the left, except that "Keep the Change" is printed twice in arcs around the edge, above and below "NOPE."

I plead editor's block.

Change and Hope in Union Station

Last week, a colleague walked into my office excited about a NoBama button (similar to this one) [See correction in the next post.] that she'd just bought at a kiosk in Union Station. What's remarkable is not that she was excited or had bought an anti-Obama button, but that she could buy it in Union Station. Since well before the inauguration, Union Station has offered a wide variety of Obama paraphernalia, with anything that might offend the Obama faithful banished from sight. The Obama worship climaxed during inauguration with numerous kiosks selling a nauseating assortment of Obama t-shirts, buttons, key chains, and other merchandise.

In recent months, most of the Obama kiosks have disappeared, but an Obama store/shrine opened just outside one of the main entrances to the Metro (subway) system—presumably one of the prime retail spots in Union Station. Fortunately, this is not the entrance that I frequent.

My colleague's NoBama button sparked my curiosity, so I took a break and walked over to Union Station to see what other subversive material was available. Much to my surprise, almost half of the items at a kiosk near the front entrance were now anti-Obama, including two of the four t-shirts prominently displayed: “NoBama. Keep the Change” and "Don't Blame Me. I Voted for McCain-Palin." Until recently, this kiosk had sold only pro-Obama items, so I have tried to ignore it when walking by.

I asked the attendant about the anti-Obama items, and she said that they had been carrying them for about a month and helpfully added that they had sparked a lot of interest and had been selling rather well. The next day, armed with my camera, I tried to take a picture of the kiosk, but the attendant (a different one) told me I couldn’t take a picture. I doubt she could have made it stick legally--it is a public area--but I didn’t want to make a scene so I complied. Instead, I took a picture of the Obama shrine (see above), where the attendants were less vigilant. Perhaps they thought I was one of the faithful.

If nothing else, this is a return to normalcy with opposition viewpoints again displayed in Union Station. (The opposition was always well represented during the Bush Administration.) Apparently, the anti-Obama forces have strengthened to the point that at least one merchant dared to break the monopoly of Obama paraphernalia to make an honest dollar--a small victory for capitalism in the nation's capital and a sign of hope.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blog Reset

About a year ago, I started this blog with two mundane entries. I added a third several months later. Looking back today, I decided to "reset" things in honor of Secretary of State Clinton. The entries were not that interesting, and this blog will be better without them. (I hope.)

My original purpose--to write on things that catch my interest--is still the same, just a little more focused. While the previous entries didn't quite fit, but they were useful practice. So since I'm making the rules here, they're gone and I'm starting with a clean slate, which is more than I can say for U.S.-Russian relations despite the Obama Administration's wishes.

My first substantive entry will be tomorrow. I've already written it, but I'm letting bit age a bit before I post it. More will follow on a semi-regular basis. Once I post them, though, I'll leave them up unchanged, except for minor corrections of typos. I will make substantive corrections and additions as needed, but clearly indicate what I've changed from the original post.

blogger templates | Make Money Online