It’s Ryan. On the road with 3G; and a Sunday note

View 736 Saturday, August 11, 2012


My son Commander Phillip Pournelle is on his way home with his wife and my granddaughter, leaving us at the Beach House for a couple of days while friends take care of the house and look after Sable. That gave me time to get some work done, and I discovered that I can’t really work when connected with dialup. Mail contains links, my memory keeps slipping and I find I have to look something up that I ought to know, and generally I find I am more dependent on the cloud that I really want to be. That is going to take some thinking about. Meanwhile, there is a solution to the problem when you find you are somewhere without high speed connection and no Wifi. Of course that’s fairly rare. Hotels and airports and even coffee shops have Wifi. I have an old low cost t-mobile account (one I can renew but could never get again, alas) because at one time most airports had t-mobile. But sometimes it happens, and my beach house is one of the places that simply doesn’t have Internet or Wifi connectivity. Fortunately there’s a solution to that, called AT&T 3G, and it works. Of course that means you have to deal with AT&T, and, alas, it’s still The Phone Company, so a story goes with this. I’ll tell it later. Meanwhile I am on at medium speed by means of 3G.


It’s Paul Ryan. Roberta woke me up this morning to tell me. He was her favorite for VP. He has strong credentials – trained under Jack Kemp, conservative wing of the Republican Party, elected 7 times from a not Republican district, gets along well enough with the Republican Establishment that he has become Chairman of the Budget Committee, but not at all closely associated with the Country Club Republicans.

And as Roberta observes, he’s not pretentious. He’s articulate (clean and articulate) and he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, witness that he was polite but not obsequious to the President in their much publicized meetings despite the President’s obvious disdain. And, Roberta says, besides, all his heroes are your heroes. All true, and Newt says the same thing. Newt Gingrich was quick to cheer the selection.

Ryan clearly scares some Democrats, who have rushed out to say Ryan is who they wanted because he will make this an ideological election, and they want to run on ideology. Odd, because Ryan will say he is running against liberals and liberalism, and what will the Democrats do: ere the cock crows twice they will deny liberalism thrice? I would have thought that an ideological campaign is precisely what they do not want, since they have to defend the liberal agenda, and that is not all that popular in the polls.

Of course they will use scare tactics. Pushing grandma over the cliff in her wheel chair. They will surely accuse Ryan of wanting to end Medicare, when it is Obamacare that is ending it: when Mr. Obama said that if you like your health care plan now you will get to keep it under Obamacare, and that is simply not true. Part of the financing for Obmamacare has been cut out of Medicare. And the Democrats haven’t been able to pass a budget in over a year, even in the Senate. I do not think that Romney and Ryan have much to fear in debating health care either as ideology or as plans, particularly since it’s not at all clear that Mr. Obama understands the details either intellectually or technically. Ryan does.

Another criticism I have heard of the new ticket is that it has little experience in foreign policy. Leaving out that anyone including Elmer Fudd has more experience in foreign affairs than the current President had on taking office, it’s easy enough to describe Ryan’s foreign policy: we are the friends of liberty everywhere but we are guardians only of our own; and if you would have peace, be prepared for war, which is to say you can trim details and needless spending but the US needs a strong military, and particularly a Navy, but we should not be using it to mind other people’s business. I think I could write a good foreign policy paper for Romney/Ryan, and I could put together a pretty good group to draft and critique it. Not that I’m volunteering. I did that in 1980 for the incoming Reagan administration, but that was thirty years ago. It’s someone else’s turn. But “inexperience in foreign policy” is dangerous ground for Mr. Obama and his people to wander into.


I will have more to say about using 3G later this evening. Here’s what happened last time…


The 3G story will have to wait until tomorrow or Monday. AT&T has some interesting policies. It’s still The Phone Company.

Note that I put this up as G3, demonstrating a distinct absence of mind. Peter Glaskowsky reminds me that it’s 3G as in Third Generation. I fixed it, and discovered that Windows Live Writer has a “find” but no find and replace. I thought I had downloaded and installed a “plug in” but it hasn’t done anything for me. Apparently you need to use Office to do any real editing, and Live Writer is a poor relation that Microsoft isn’t terribly interested in fixing. I thought there was a search and replace function in Live Writer, but I find there is not.

I’m working on the 3G 900 story. As I noted in the AT&T USB 900 actually works pretty well, but you still have to deal with AT&T and in many ways they are still The Phone Company. It took me over an hour at the AT&T Store over on Rosecrans in San Diego to get mine running again, even though I have used it for a year. The problem is that I hadn’t used it in 180 days, and AT&T doesn’t like that. Eventually I got it straightened out. I’ll try to write that tonight.

And I heard good speeches from Ryan and Romney today. They are firing up the campaign. I’ll have some words on that shortly. Those who believe that making this a campaign on the real central issues is a gift to the Democrats – I have a bunch of mail from people who believe that – may be right, but in that case, government by rational discussion is doomed as is the whole notion of the United States as proposed in the Convention of 1787. We’ll need a brand new Constitution if we can’t discuss issues for fear of losing the election. Perhaps that is true, in which case we have sown the wind indeed, indeed. But I don’t think that’s the case. I do not think we have become that degenerate.

More later. I’m watching 60 Minutes on it now.




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