THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 646 October 25 - 31, 2010
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October 25, 2010
Election Day is one week from tomorrow, but with the modern trend in absentee ballots cast early it may be decided by then. This election will be decided in large part by the ground game. Who can get voters to the polls. You may be certain that in nearly every election, state or local, there will be enough people to have changed the outcome who did not vote, but would have voted for the losing candidate had they bothered. That has been true in most US elections, and it will be true in this one.
Which means, simply, that this week -- all of it, not just next Tuesday -- is a time for maximum effort for the Tea Party. It is time to harvest the votes. It is time to find the local tea party people and volunteer. If every tea party enthusiast got just one more person who shares their sentiments to the polls, the result will be a landslide. One more vote per precinct will be important. This is a maximum effort election, and this week is maximum effort week.
What the tea party needs is a landslide, not just a win: the purpose is to put some iron in the spine of wavering Republicans, who will, shortly after the election, be subject to every seductive move in the liberal arsenal, including offers from the New York Times to praise them for their "growth" when they succumb to the blandishments of the "cross the aisle" arguments. If the tea party wins its close elections, the message will be clear; and it needs to be clear.
Any close election will be contested, with recount after recount until the result is what the ruling class wants. The only cure for this is a landslide.
One important thing Murray does not address in this important observation is just what is taught at Harvard and the other elite schools. His most important point is that the new elites are isolated from the rest of the nation.
This isolation is quite real. I grew up in the Old South, where there was legal segregation. I was convinced that the law ought to be colorblind and there should be racial equality, but after I got to high school I never met any blacks -- Negroes, as we were taught to say in my social class; others used different terminology. By the time I got to high school we had moved from the Capleville farm where I went to school with the children of farmers and small shop keepers and mechanics, and my best friend's father was a Watkins route door to door salesman; but when we moved back to Memphis and I went to high school, we were in a University neighborhood and Christian Brothers was the "smart kids" high school, and I didn't know many people who weren't college bound.
All that changed when I joined the Army, of course. We had conscription in those days, and Basic Training was not segregated. I met all kinds of people, from many parts of the country. The experience was enlightening. I think that doesn't happen any more.
Self government requires people willing to govern themselves.
A reader with more patience than I have listened to all of the ditzy MSNBC piece that concludes that Art Robinson isn't fit to be in Congress because he has his kids read the Henty books, and that's just unacceptable. Apparently someone at MSNBC found a Wikipedia article about Henty that includes elided text, including this about Negroes:
Note this is said by a character in a novel.
An irate fan once wrote a long tirade about the beliefs and actions of one of Larry Niven's characters. Larry, who has more patience than I do, wrote back:
Mark Twain might have written the same letter. As might Charles Dickens. If we restrict our reading to books in which all the characters are modern enlightened liberals -- which I suspect they do at our elite schools -- we will throw out all the great literature and all of our past.
Now the pundits are joyfully (with pretended sadness) reporting that Meg Whitman's son was accused of date rape at Princeton, but acquitted of the charges. One of the gleeful pretenders keeps saying things like this happened but it ought not matter, but it will.
When I was manager of Mayor Yorty's campaign for reelection, the daughter of his opponent was arrested for shoplifting. That was immediately reported to me by the police, and I told the Mayor. His instant response was "We're not going to use that!" To which I agreed, and we never mentioned it unless asked by reporters, in which case our comment was to express sympathy for the Councilman and point out the irrelevance of the question. Of course LA Time columnists couldn't leave it alone -- they tried to somehow make it the Mayor's fault that he was even told of the event! I fear my opinion of the integrity of reporters never recovered from this. Anything for a story! Glee!
Anyone in California who is aware of much would know to vote yes on proposition 23, which suspends the operation of a crazy "ultimate" carbon law in California. Apparently there is multiple advice on this in various places. Meanwhile, although the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, and Obama got the White House and supermajorities in both houses in 2008, it's still the Republicans' fault that he hasn't got his most left-wing proposals like amnesty for undocumented Democrats. The Republican remnant wouldn't support his agenda.
Now he is angling to get the Republican leadership to work with him. Fortunately not many of them have so lost their minds as to believe that they will be inducted into the ruling class if only they cooperate with Obama.
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|This week:||Tuesday, October
I have a lot of work to get done today, and the news is all election, pretty ephemeral. I have done some mail, and I'll try to do more with comments, but I am going to take the afternoon off after lunch and work on Anvil. There doesn't seem to be anything that won't wait for a day.
I've been asked for comments on the Elizabeth Moon affair. If you don't know what that is, it's not likely to be worth your time finding out: it's a matter of concern to science fiction fans and professionals, but I don't see its importance to many others except as an illustration of ideology in action. Anyway, my comments are over in mail.
October 27, 2010
I commented on this article by Charles Murray yesterday in Mail. Not everyone reads the Mail every day, which is understandable. This probably ought to have been in View in the first place. The implications reach far into the future and have profound implications for the future of the Republic.
I got some work done on Anvil yesterday, and I hope to get more done this afternoon. I'll put up a bunch of mail first, but it's lunch time.
Global Warming Believers are everywhere. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101022/full/news.2010.558.html
October 28, 2010
I could not agree more. As to subscriptions, I have about a five year subscription to Scientific American, a residual of the days when I too eagerly awaited it and read it cover to cover. I probably won't bother to renew when my subscription runs out. There just isn't enough meaningful content, and I weary of its policy opinions since they seem impervious not only to refutation but to the notion that they could possibly be refuted. I do that with a serious sense of loss. I loved that magazine back in the days of Martin Gardiner and Phil Morrison. I didn't agree with Phil, but I respected his abilities as one of the great lecturers -- and his ability to keep his views and his physical science presentations if not separate then identifiable for what they were. I really miss the old SciAm before it succumbed to "consensus".
The election draws near. Today we have the story of 2600 ballots delivered by the Cook County Democratic Party HQ to local Illinois prisons and being distributed to "voters" who under the Illinois Constitution cannot vote, and who never requested the ballots to begin with. Hardly news. Par for the course in Cook County which elected John F. Kennedy to the presidency. (Nixon wanted to contest the election, but Eisenhower thought that would be an intolerable strain on the Republic in those dangerous days of the Cold War). There will be many other such stories.
The remedy for this is a landslide against the Democrats.
Time enough to start exhorting the Republican leadership on strategies after the election. This is not the time for strategy, this is a time for getting out the vote. Maximum Effort. The ground game will be crucial in this election.
October 29, 2010
If you want to see the Clinton Democrat response to the Tea Party, Robert Reich, Clinton's Secretary of Labor and one of the house intellectuals of the Clinton wing, has published "Why Business Should Fear the Tea Party" in today's Wall Street Journal. (Link) If you're not interested in studying the kind of strained logic that liberal intellectuals have to go through to put theoretical stuffing behind their prejudices, you needn't bother. I don't know if Reich actually followed up any of his out of context quotes from others, or if he relied on lazy graduate students to do the job, but the effect is the same. He lends a bit of scholarliness to his flotation of La Calumnia. For those not opera fans, see Don Basilio's aria on how he will use calumny to destroy Don Bartolo's rival. Of course Reich's remedy is predictable:
Or, in other words, support Democrats. That will be good for business. See how well the Democrats have treated business so far?
Well, the "We Rule" game on iPad was fun for a while, but apparently it has become too popular: their servers are overloaded, and everything takes too long. For a while it took about a minute to check things and make moves. Now that uses up quite a bit more time, most spent waiting for something to happen. Ah well. Another illustration that the demand for a free good is infinite. Of course when there's enough demand it isn't free any longer. There isn't enough of the good, so it is rationed. Customers wait. That costs time. For more illustrations look at distribution in the old USSR, or most single-payer national health schemes, and, very likely, ObamaCare when it surfaces and we can see what it is.
I recall that when TSA was first proposed, Rush Limbaugh predicted that it couldn't last: the Bush administration would never impose such a ridiculous thing on the American people.
I thought it a perfect example of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
The Iron Law can be got around: we did abolish the Interstate Commerce Commission after a hundred years. It can be done. The Tea Party is on the right vector for that.
The election Tuesday is one of the most important in a century. The size of the Republican victory is going to be critical. Even one vote per precinct can be important. It is important not only that the current regime loses, but loses big. Maximum Effort.
I have no idea what is going on. I don't really believe in time travel, but certainty eludes me.
There is a variety of mail today. And this comment just in:
I have already said that any business that is too big to be allowed to fail is too big and ought not exist. I would break the Big Five banks into a "not so big" fifty, and I would make it far more difficult for companies to "grow" by buying up the competition. The natural tendencies of capitalism are to monopoly with government protecting the monopoly. Marx was absolutely correct in that analysis. And the tendency of the stock market is to reward "growth" rather than good management and steady profit. There are few "blue chips" any longer -- well managed companies that bring in 7 to 10% return on investment year after year. Those do not fare well in today's market which is all about "growth", which is most often achieved by buying your competition out, not by providing better products at lower costs.
After Gingrich the Republicans were dominated by CREEPS. The Democrats became NUTS when the Clintons lost control. There are few New Democrats, and without the Tea Party the Republicans would be back on the road to creepiness.
And eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
October 30, 2010
The Eve of All Hallow's Eve
.This will be brief. If you use open wireless networks, say at coffee shops or in some malls, where you just automatically connect to the Internet with no user name or password needed, don't. There is now a Firefox add-on called Firesheep that will exploit that situation and let the user see everything going on on that net; not only that, but be automatically logged in to whatever a user on that net is logged to, like Facebook. You can send false Tweets that are indistinguishable from legitimate ones provided only that someone in that cafe is logged to a Twitter account. I presume that you can manipulate PayPal accounts and transfer money if someone on the local net you have crashed into is logged into a PayPal account.
More details here. The important thing is, do not use open wireless networks. And if ever you do, remove all cookies from your system, and hope that's good enough.
I have a lot of work to do today, and Niven's Halloween party is tonight.
I was looking for something else, and ran across this which I had forgotten. It's worth remembering. Not all stories are entirely what they seem, and not all evidence points unambiguously, although over time it may appear to.
While you are looking that up, you might find this interesting. I've said all that other times, of course. But it is well to be aware that libertarians and conservatives are allies, not equivalents. After next Tuesday this will become both apparent and important.
Marvelous. Not quite what Tchaikovsky envisioned, but marvelous. Note that this is not the Chinese Ballet Company. If their circus dancers are this good---
A note: in traditional Chinese theater, a stage manager, not in costume, sometimes appears in order to do set dressing or even to provide special effects; he is conventionally supposed to be invisible.
Roland Dobbins notes that the time traveler with the cell phone is fairly obviously using an ear trumpet and talking to herself; and that if it were a cell phone, there must be two stranded travelers else how would they talk to each others. Leading to speculation about the lack of cell towers, and noting that the immediate conclusion was "cell phone" not walkie-talkie -- although a walkie talkie was just as impossible at the time.
And if all that isn't enough to read, here is a reprint of something I wrote that's still relevant. That's a followon to his collection of some of my other sayings.
I believe we have some readers in Orange County. Of course there are close races all over the country. The ground game will be decisive, and all close elections will be recounted and recounted and recounted until they are Frankenized.
October 31, 2010
All Hallow's Eve
.I took the day off. I'll have something about Niven's party, and our Halloween, next week.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 5,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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