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Tag: Hope

Obama Administration so very different from Bush

Posted by – 2/12/10

From CNET:

[T]he Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their–or at least their cell phones’–whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that “a customer’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records” that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.

Hope! Change!

Obama takes unprecedented powers, still doesn't understand markets

Posted by – 3/30/09

Many of my friends had major problems with W., and reasonably so. He may have claimed the label of Conservative, but he was certainly not a President with a respect for constitutional limits or free markets. But rather than a positive change, Obama is turning out to be more of the same. If Bush was driving blind, Obama is driving blind down a mountain pass with the clutch wide open screaming, “At least I’m doing something!”

Today we learned that Rick Wagoner is resigning as CEO from G.M. at the request of the Obama Administration. A new precedent of companies acting in response to Government desires rather the desire of the consumer has been set, and it is worrisome.

The auto industry is dying in the U.S. quite simply because the car buying market is not interested in buying enough cars at their current price-point to keep the big auto-makers afloat. So far, the “Big Three” have either been unwilling or unable to adapt. Apparently Obama thinks the problem is that the auto industry just isn’t churning out enough “green” cars. Either that, or he must think that he can both revive the auto industry and force a radical makeover of their product line at the same time, requiring them to flood the market with a product that only a niche market seems to desire. Obama apparently knows nothing of early adopters, those consumers willing to take a hit on price and reliability in exchange for being the first to try a new technology. But why would he know anything about that? He’s never run a successful business. (Or any business, for that matter.)

Require an industry to churn out something that neither the market demanded nor the resources supplied and watch the impending disaster. Government should be in the business of government, not in the business of business. Government cannot intelligently and consistently make the right market decisions. That whole ethanol thing seemed to work out real well for us, didn’t it? Just ask the a few of the 100 million people new to poverty thanks to rising food costs.

The very thing that is so impressive about market forces is that we do not need to have great amounts of Hope that one person or a few small groups of people take a risk and get it right. The market is a vast sea, full of business-owners, managers, and start-ups taking all sorts of risks. The best ideas are rewarded because a sufficient number of people desire the offering, and the worst ideas fail for the opposite reason. That’s the invisible hand Adam Smith wrote about. If it’s all up to the elite in Washington to make the right decisions, I’m worried for our future. I just can’t let them reserve the right to be the risk-taker in this economy. That really would be Too Big to Fail.

The auto industry is simply not in the business of applying the President’s wish-list to its assembly lines. Their compliance will bring us the long-awaited dissolution of those great giants, of course. They already fail to compete in the marketplace race. Now Obama’s broken their legs and wants them to run the race with these brand spankin’ new prosthetics. But it’s promising technology! 

If only we’d ignored the politics of fear, they could’ve reached their demise sooner, cheaper, and, some might even argue, cleaner. Jeffrey A. Miron called for bankruptcy instead of bailout back in September (regarding the banks, but the principle applies), explaining:

Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

Friends on the Left, why do you let the leader of your own party run unencumbered with a banner you never would have even let the opposition party’s leader carry? Trust? Do you trust one and not the other? Trust neither! It is our duty as citizens, not to demand the most from Government, but to ensure its constraint! Regardless of our ideological situation, we should all be students of history. And if history shows us a simply remarkable inefficiency in an institution, by a degree proportional to its size, should we not strive against its growth? And if that institution is named Government — an institution which, to be sure, always retains the ugly potential of tyranny and oppression — should the true patriot not then struggle against the very bloat that will lock his children in chains?

Posted by – 1/10/09

And oh, oh– Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before… But it was no good trying to throttle this hope. It might–really, really it just might be true. So many odd things had happened already.

- The Magician’s Nephew, p. 92

Perhaps this is some change I can believe in…

Posted by – 11/6/08

Take a look at this: Change.gov

No, that’s not a joke. Jokesters can’t get ahold of the .gov top level domain name.

It’s very well-designed, easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing. And this is for the President-elect, not a candidate. Could it be that an Obama Administration will do away with the embarrassingly horrible websites currently representing our national government? Please!?

(For an example of the innerwebs blasphemy, check out the ironically-named Usability.gov)

UPDATE: Hmm. I can only hope this page is simply a placeholder. The coming administration doesn’t honestly think there are not service opportunities, do they?

False Hope in a False Idol

Posted by – 11/2/08

From Canada’s National Post:

Anti-Americanism didn’t begin with George Bush and it won’t end with an Obama presidency. With rare exceptions, America has always inspired hatred and contempt, and for reasons that aren’t about to go away. Those who expect America’s haters to convert on November 4 need to get out more.

Many, many scholars have examined the phenomenon of anti-Americanism, some likening it to a kind of secular religion that explains all the world’s evils, from poverty and injustice to wars and environmental destruction. My explanation is less complicated: America is an unparalleled success, and with success comes envy and resentment, especially of those who don’t have it. 

America is loathed because its brand of free-market capitalism remains ascendant, having outperformed European-style socialism and utterly defeated Communism, ideologies that attract many if not most of the world’s intellectuals. More than two centuries since its founding, the U.S. shows no sign of losing either its economic or military supremacy.

Solomon notes the various world intellectuals who have been for centuries celebrating the perceived failings or coming demise of the US.

And I thought this part was interesting:

Their backpacks could be counted on to display the Canadian flag, the better to avoid unpleasantries (German youths, reviled for their country’s Nazi past, sported backpacks with Swiss flags).

Last year when I was in Europe, I remember an Aussie telling me that I should work up a good Australian accent since, as opposed to their sometimes behavior to Americans, the Europeans didn’t mind Aussies or Kiwis all that much.

It’s a worthwhile read, I’d recommend it to anyone affected by Pollyanna Obamaism.

Letter from a Cuban American

Posted by – 10/20/08

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America’s. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence. 

On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I’ve thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said “Praise the Lord.” And when the young leader said, “I will be for change and I’ll bring you change,” everyone yelled, “Viva Fidel!”

But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner’s guns went silent the people’s guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I’m back to the beginning of my story.

Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?

Would we?

Manuel Alvarez Jr. Sandy Hook.

Letter to the Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch on July 7, 2008

And a derivative work: the Youtube video.

Camp Obama

Posted by – 10/5/08

Keep telling yourself this man isn’t a socialist agitator. At Investors’ Business Daily, this column details an invitation thousands across the country are now finding in their email inbox.

The unsolicited pitch goes like this: “Camp Obama attendees will receive real world organizing experience that will have a direct impact on this election. Graduates of Camp Obama will go on to become Deputy Field Organizers who will lead this campaign to victory in crucial battleground states around the country.”

The letter continues, “By participating in Camp Obama you’ll get the kind of experience that Barack got as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he learned that real change happens from the bottom up.”

While the letter neglects to identify the source of that “experience,” a slide on a camp blog linked to the Obama Web site offers a clue. Underneath a “Welcome to Camp Obama” banner, a trainer at Obama headquarters in Chicago is seen speaking next to a wipe board with the words “Saul Alinsky” scrawled across it.

More…

Posted by – 6/6/08

And oh, oh– Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before… But it was no good trying to throttle this hope. It might–really, really it just might be true. So many odd things had happened already.

- The Magician’s Nephew, p. 92