76 Responses

  1. Frist (for once)

    Happy New Year…

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  2. It will continue to be interesting, by the look of things!

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    • Man, that goes on forever to say the obvious: intellectuals think they are best because they are the intellectuals, and don’t think capitalism provides them with adequate power and position, even though they are obviously the best and the brightest, just because they are so smart and thoughtful. Thus capitalism is obviously flawed.

      I think intellectuals are also against capitalism, those that are, because they naturally feel they can engineer a better, micro-managed system, and would could possibly go wrong with centralized control micromanaging every element of life and economy? Nothing, because they’re so smart!

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  3. Just a drive by to say hi to everyone and wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!!

    Hope the holidays were good to you and you’re ready for the big election year. Unfortunately I don’t have anyone to vote for this year……….booohoooo!!

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    • You wouldn’t vote for Bernie?

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      • Nope…..not a chance!!!!

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      • Whatchu not like about Bernie? Honestly curious. Something in his platform or you got a problem with bald guys? 🙂

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      • A couple of things Kevin, although ideologically I am a liberal, the only Democrat I’ve ever voted for was Obama. Until the 2008 election I always worked for and voted for third party candidates, primarily Independents.

        Obama won me over because I thought he was smart and not too much of a liberal. I thought he had a pragmatism about him that would help lead us out of the recession and also because I thought he had some good ideas regarding health insurance coverage which was a huge issue for me for personal reasons.

        Bernie Sanders is too far left for me and I refuse to vote for anyone older than I am anyway.

        I’m serious about that. As a very physically active 65 year old, with no health issues, I still know that my energy level is limited by my age to a certain extent and I think POTUS is a very trying and stressful responsibility that is best left to younger men and women.

        And then once again………….he’s way to the left of me.

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        • Well, well to the left of me, as well. 😉 Worried about who he puts in the VP slot? I find the similarities between him and Trump interesting. A lot of big ideas, but nothing about how they are going to be paid for, except by magic. Whatever kind of taxes he could impose on the super wealthy, if he could (which is doubtful) would be insufficient to pay for programs of that magnitude. In other words . . . it’s a trap!

          It’s interesting that you didn’t think Obama was too much of a liberal. I think we is center-right and practically neocon (except for the branding, but in terms of what actually happens, yes, although he’s very apologetic about America, where a rightwing neocon would not be) . . . but I did not think he was going to be. Out of Afghanistan, out of Iraq, closing Gitmo, etc.). I listened to a number of his pre-presidential run speeches and he sounded easily as far left as Bernie, if not more so, but does not really appear to me to be how he has governed. I didn’t vote for Obama either time, but the first time I didn’t vote for him was strictly because he seemed far too left for me. The second time was because I knew TN would swing Romney and I liked Gary Johnson, so . . . eh, why not? I didn’t care for Romney at all.

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  4. BTW, Lulu, I think I am getting relocated to San Diego… Back in Cali…

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  5. Are you happy about it or no???? I love San Diego for the weather but it is getting crowded down there and the traffic here has gotten really bad this last year and it was bad before that.

    I’m ready to retire and move to CO but Walter’s having none of that…..uggghhhh

    Congrats though if you’re happy about it!!!

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  6. Anyone know how I can change my email in the user profile. I closed out that account and have a new yahoo account but I’m not sure how to change it!!!

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    • Hi, Lulu!

      I had lunch with Sue over the holidays, and we were thinking about you. If your ears were burning, now you know why! 🙂

      I know I changed mine. . . let me give it a little thought and if I can remember what I did I’ll let you know.

      Happy New Year to you and Walter–good to hear from you!

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      • Oh how fun for the two of you to get together…………hope she’s feeling well!!! Give her my love.

        Let me know on the email if you get the chance and Happy New Year!!

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    • lms:

      Anyone know how I can change my email in the user profile.

      Good to hear from you.

      If you are in the dashboard, in the upper right hand corner you should see your gravatar. Hover over it and you will see a menu list. Choose “account settings” and you should then see a space for your e-mail. Change it there.

      Hope you stick around.

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      • Hah…..we’ll see if I stick around……I’m thinking about it because it’s an election year……..but I’m not impressed with either party so far soooooooo, what is there to really talk about???

        Also, both of our daughters are getting married this year, one in March and one in September so it’s crazy time here……!!!

        Hey, Scott, with 3 daughters………welcome to my world….LOL

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  7. I think it will be good. My wife went to high school in SD and I lived there for several years in the late 80s/ early 90s, so it isn’t unfamiliar for either of us. I am in a good place where I am however so it is somewhat bittersweet. Though that will probably change with the first real snowstorm..

    My son loves the beaches.. I think it will be ok…

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    • I’m sure it will be a great change from the winters where you are now. I know we love the beaches here too and San Diego has some great ones. I love CA and will probably never leave but I have to admit that the traffic has gotten to me this past year.

      Good luck with the relocation!!!

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    • Good luck with the move. I tell everybody that I think San Diego has the best year-round climate in the country.

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      • I haven’t been there year round (only for a week) . . . but even the day it rained the weather was awesome. It is a beautiful city, and I’d love to go back (and was hoping to, once, but alas the stupid school system merger eliminated any hope of every doing another an Diego trip for the FileMaker DevCon). So I may never go back . . . but I loved the week I spent there, and I saw like 2% of the city. Yet I still miss the weather. Man, is that place gorgeous.

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  8. Lulu:

    Try this: open the My Site menu by hovering on it, and select People –> Add
    All Users
    Click “Edit” on your profile

    I can’t remember if that’s what I did (WordPress has changed a bit since I changed my e-mail) but it looks like that will work. If that doesn’t, and Scott or Kevin don’t know an easier way to do it, just send me an e-mail and I’ll send you an invite.

    Welcome back!

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    • Oh my lord that’s so wrong in so many ways. Not sure where to begin, but one place I can begin is that school administrators don’t prepare curriculum, that would be the curriculum administrators. Who are mostly doing the difficult work of figuring out the details of the curriculum being handed down by the state department of education. And 50% of the public school staff is not administrative, much (if not most) of that staff is support staff. I’m not saying all that staff is necessary or productive (some of it is counter productive, but most of the counter productive staff comes from a misguided effort to improve employee performance and improve teacher performance).

      Also, the idea that not giving kids a firm, common grounding in basic skills such as reading, writing, and math is a good idea is highly destructive. Also, the idea that “common core” is more “student centered” and dynamic and allows students more self-direction is just nonsense.

      Also, the idea just giving kids computers and letting them go would be the same in 1st world countries and 3rd world countries is highly questionable.

      And I could go on. Not to say some of the ideas aren’t good, and that the bureaucracy meant to assess teacher performance should not be dismantled, but still . . .

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  9. Congrats, NoVA (if you’re back yet)!

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  11. Hey McWing and Scott……….crazy times here………..

    BTW, who’s on your radar list for P in 2016…………who do you think, at this point in time, that you’re voting for???

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    • lms:

      BTW, who’s on your radar list for P in 2016…………who do you think, at this point in time, that you’re voting for???

      I will be voting for whoever is not a Democrat. I hope like hell that person is also not a Trump. I think I have mentioned it before, but in federal elections my vote is almost always a negative vote, i.e. against one candidate rather than for the other.

      BTW, you probably missed my book recommendation from a few weeks ago, but I think it is one you would like. The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. I think Mark is also reading it.

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      • Thanks……….I’ll check that out. I received two books for Christmas that I haven’t started yet but maybe I’ll read your recommendation first.

        Yes, I remember you vote that way…………I do too sometimes or sometimes I make a protest vote. Obama was the first time I was excited about voting for President since I voted for a couple of Independent candidates years ago.

        I won’t be voting for Hillary…………..

        ps Your directions for changing my email worked…..thanks

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      • Just saw your comment re: Trump, I missed that before…..LOL. I can’t figure out why he’s so popular, it’s a little scary TBH…..

        Put the book on my phone btw……..

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      • Trump is popular because he’s decidedly un-PC in his speech, and because of who his enemies are. The political and pundit classes, both right and left, who have anointed themselves the kingmakers have vastly over-estimated their popularity with the hoi poloi.

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      • re: Haidt – Lulu, the book is terrific. He has also done three Ted’s talks and the first one is somewhat like an intro to the book. I could email the book to you, or you can download it for free. I see that you have it! I find reading on my computer slower than book reading, so I am reading in small doses. Further, incessant company took most of my time the last two weeks. Nevertheless, I have read enough to be entertained, moved, and largely persuaded.

        Scott, I have been very interested to connect Haidt’s formulations to developments in American legal philosophy. After I think I have digested the book, I will share some thoughts.

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    • In all sincerity I am writing myself in as POTUS.

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      • I sometimes write in “none of the above”……but I don’t think they’ll let me do that anymore with the machines.

        There isn’t a Republican you like?

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      • Concur. There is no Republican I like. Of all of them, I like about 50% of Rand Paul and about 77% of Trump because he’s crazy and doesn’t care who he pisses off, which I enjoy. He would also be a very interesting, Huey-Long-from-the-right kind of president. It would be fascinating to watch. He’s also despised by the GOP establishment, which makes me like him, as well. Beyond that . . . eh. I like Carly Fiorinna in some respects but in others not so much. That’s the problem. Most of them are all excited about WWIII and I’m really not. There isn’t much discussion of relieving the tax burden on the middle class or coming up with a tax code that will put more money in the domestic economy. I’m expecting that, when I vote, I will vote for some 3rd party whose name I don’t recognize.

        I kinda like the idea of a Bernie Sanders vs. Trump showdown, as that would put a True Believer against a True Non-Believer. That would be fascinating.

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  12. Sounds like none of us (other than Kevin) like any of the candidates!

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    • That’s cause we’re all so smart…………..and Kevin is too, he’s just looking for some entertainment!

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      • Entertainment, and I think a Trump presidency would be fascinating and instructive.

        I am hopeful but doubtful that he could make good things happen . . . but he might. To do that, he would have to do practical things re: immigration and terrorism that would have to be carefully rebranded to not come off as complete disavowal of his campaign promises, as he cannot possibly deport 11 million illegal immigrants directly (i.e., by rounding them up). Putting together some mechanism to enforce e-Verify might accomplish something, but his promises for a wall that Mexico will pay for? Seems impossible, and a huge waste of time, if he spends time focusing on such a thing.

        Yet Trump, in his youth, came into projects and completely turned them around. That is a real skill, and one he actually demonstrated. He was excellent at managing complex projects. Whether or not he still is . . . eh, some artists are brilliant in their youth. I feel it’s like rather than Star Wars or American Graffiti, we’ll get Howard the Duck or The Phantom Menace.

        While opponents whine about his bankruptcies, he seemed to approach them from a very functional way: here are the tools, I will use them. These aren’t bad things. He clearly has no problem telling people what they want to hear, which . . . well, if he becomes president, that will be interesting.

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        • KW – I couldn’t vote for Trump.

          I believe we have reached this place in history by our national dismissal of participation in local government. That is, in rural America until late in my childhood, and even in small town America, and possibly even in the cities, large numbers of folks were active in local politics and decision making. They engaged each other at the practical levels – sanitation, schools, roads, libraries, parks, zoning, utilities, etc. the local engagement meant that ideas were formed based on actual experiences with costing, taxing, organizing, effectiveness, and the like.

          Now no one votes in local elections. We entrust even our local government to people we do not know and we never attend town meetings. We just want it to work without being bothered. The political crop we raise in this environment is going to be different than, say, Bob Dole, or Jimmy Carter, for that matter. Not only do congresspersons have to fundraise most of the time, they probably would not know how to conduct actual committee meetings if they wanted to, not having come up through city council, county commission, etc.

          I think we are collectively sowing what we have reaped. I would bet many Americans think the POTUS is in charge of their sewer system.

          The result of no congressional committee meetings and a public which thinks POTUS is a King is the grasping of power by every President in my lifetime.

          The result of having a public unschooled in basic civics by never having actually participated at any level is people who accept claptrap about walls with MX or medicare for everyone, so that Trump and Sanders can keep spouting and not lose followers.

          For representative government to actually work, the voters have to actually be involved at the lowest levels, much of the time. Then, over time, better governance and better candidates will appear at the more distant levels of government.

          I am convinced that in my lifetime few will take the time to do anything but vote once in a while.

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        • Mark:

          I think we are collectively sowing what we have reaped.

          While it is certainly true that individuals own responsibility for their own votes (or non-votes), I believe the situation you describe is the result largely of a deliberate effort by certain ideological forces to make it so. The intellectual left has very consciously and deliberately tried to elevate the role of the federal government, and thereby diminish the role played by more local governments, since at least Woodrow Wilson. And it has been very effective in doing so. I don’t think it makes sense to blame the lack of participation in local politics, and succumbing to creeping federal encroachment, on those who correctly recognize that the ability of local politicians to influence daily events is so limited.

          If the situation you describe is to ever be fixed, we must first recognize what the problem is, and it is not a problem of the lack of participation in local politics. That is merely a consequence of the problem. The real problem is an ideological problem, and the problem is an ideology that desires for power to be vested at higher and higher levels, and desires the elimination of individual/local influence over politics because, at root, it demands conformity, and cannot abide diversity of thoughts and values.

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      • You’re making me sad Mark. I have to agree to at least a certain extent. I’ve been involved in local politics for a long time here until about a year and a half ago. I found the corruption and cronyism more than I could continue to bear and short of running for office and losing, which was a foregone conclusion, I gave up.

        I know that’s not exactly the same thing as never participating, but I do feel a little guilty about it sometimes, even if some of my concerns have proven correct and a few people may be in trouble here in Horsetown USA……their problem though, not mine anymore.

        Between what happened here in my community and the national dialogue I’ve pretty much given up on politics. Perhaps the book you and Scott are reading, and I just purchased, will give me a new perspective.

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      • Why bother to get involved in local politics, compromise, etc. when you can just get a federal judge to rule in your favor?

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      • I think you guys are giving way too much credit to people involved in local politics to be able to steer their issues to the federal government. Maybe at the the state level, but locally it’s not a topic of interest…………I’ve been to enough council meetings and sat in on enough local commission meetings to know that much.

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        • lms:

          I think you guys are giving way too much credit to people involved in local politics to be able to steer their issues to the federal government.

          To me the problem isn’t local/state politicians steering their issue to the federal government. It is federal politicians usurping what should be local/state power. I don’t think state/local politicians sit around trying to figure out how to get the federal government involved in their pet political cause. I do, however, think federal politicians (and perhaps more importantly political activists) sit around trying to figure out how to turn their pet political cause into a federal issue.

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      • Scott

        It is federal politicians usurping what should be local/state power. I don’t think state/local politicians sit around trying to figure out how to get the federal government involved in their pet political cause.

        Okay, that makes more sense but it doesn’t explain the lack of civic responsibility or participation at the local level which was Mark’s point I think. Most of the council meetings I attended were pretty sparsely attended unless it was a really hot button issue and those were generally less important than some of the day to day running of the city issues.

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        • lms:

          Okay, that makes more sense but it doesn’t explain the lack of civic responsibility or participation at the local level which was Mark’s point I think.

          I think it does. Why should I bother engaging locally or at the state level when all of the really important things seem to be (or in fact actually are) controlled by federal forces well beyond my influence? Mark points to this as a cause of malaise at the federal level. I think it is actually the consequence of malaise at the federal level.

          Mark laments the fact that lots of people are so disengaged that they probably even think that their local sewers are controlled by POTUS. I look at the vast power of the EPA and federal regulations like those governing how a toilet flushes and wonder who exactly is to blame for them thinking that the POTUS controls their local sewers. In fact, to whatever extent POTUS doesn’t control their local sewer system, it is largely only because he hasn’t yet really tried.

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        • Lulu, exactly that.

          Scott, you and I will have to agree to disagree on which came first, the chicken or the egg. The fact is that people who will not get involved in the nuts and bolts of their local issues, which are 90% of what they face every day, are pretty much sitting ducks for a national campaign that either promises to restore a utopian past or move them into a utopian future. People buy into the federal government solving all problems because they want SOMEONE to solve all problems. They don’t stop to even consider that the stupid zoning rules that kept them from enclosing their carports was local. They just get pissed off.

          We both see the same evolution toward centralization and we both decry it [you more than I, and on more subjects, but we both don’t like the direction]. I don’t think the answer is to “make” liberals not be liberal or to make Big Guv conservatives like John Connally and W. into small guv conservatives. Most people do not consider themselves ideologues. I think the answer is to make voters realize they can take charge of almost all of their local situations locally – although I think that has no better chance of happening than changing leadership ideologies, per se. In fact, I don’t know how to do either.

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        • Mark:

          The fact is that people who will not get involved in the nuts and bolts of their local issues, which are 90% of what they face every day…

          I think we disagree on this, too. Of all the things that involve some kind of government involvement in the daily lives of individuals, I would venture to guess that at least two-thirds of it involves the federal government in some way or another. At least two thirds.

          They don’t stop to even consider that the stupid zoning rules that kept them from enclosing their carports was local.

          I wonder how true that really is. I would bet that most people who have some kind of zoning issue know exactly who it is that controls their fate. If anything I would bet that most people are actually unaware of just how ubiquitous federal control really is. How many people know that how their toilet flushes is controlled by the feds? Or when they call to get their air conditioner fixed and are told that they have to buy a new one because the refrigerant for the old one is no longer allowed, how many know that it is federal regulations that have outlawed their old AC? Of when they go to the store to buy lightbulbs, that they can’t get the ones they used to because of federal regulations? I could go on – and on and on and on – but you get the picture.

          People buy into the federal government solving all problems because they want SOMEONE to solve all problems.

          I think people buy into the federal government solving all problems because they have certain politicians promising them exactly that. A lot of naive people are susceptible to snake oil sales pitches or get-rich-quick schemes, but their naiveté and susceptibility doesn’t absolve the snake oil salesmen or ponzi scheme organizers from blame when things go wrong. We need to identify the problem, and the problem is not the nature of humans to want their problems to be solved any more than the problem of snake oil is the nature of humans to want to be healthy, or the problem of ponzi schemes is the nature of humans to want to be wealthy. The problem is the people who prey on the human desire in order to increase their power. All politicians are guilty of this to some degree, but liberal politicians are especially guilty.

          I don’t think the answer is to “make” liberals not be liberal or to make Big Guv conservatives like John Connally and W. into small guv conservatives.

          I don’t think that is the answer either. I think the answer is for non-liberals to avoid voting for liberals at the federal level in order to prevent their ideology from doing more damage than it already has done to the nation’s politics and culture.

          Most people do not consider themselves ideologues.

          Probably not, although almost everyone does, in fact, act on some kind of ideological impulse, whether they recognize it as such or not. I realize that being labeled ideological is often seen as a bad thing, and that many people avoid it like the plague, calling themselves “moderate” or “pragmatic” in order to avoid an ideological identification, but an ideology is simply a way of viewing and trying to understand the world in some coherent, systematized way. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why that is a bad thing, or why anyone would consciously avoid it. The trick is finding one that actually does make sense of the world.

          Do you agree that there is in fact substance to various common, identifiable ideologies (progressive, conservative, libertarian), and substantive differences between them? If so, then isn’t it possible that the application of one ideology or another can have certain effects, both on government and culture, that other ideologies do not or would not have? And if you grant that this is possible, isn’t it therefore possible that some of those effects have consequences that you lament?

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        • Yes, yes, and yes.

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        • Mark:

          Yes, yes, and yes.

          Ok. So would you agree that, within our constitutional structure, progressivism is more ideologically inclined to seek/push for federal solutions to perceived problems than is either conservatism or libertarianism?

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        • @Scott: Yes.

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        • MarK;

          Yes.

          Would you also agree that the left has been quite successful at doing so, starting as far back as Woodrow Wilson, and particularly ramping up under FDR? And if so, do you think that this success has had a significant impact on the nation’s political culture, in particular a change in the way that ordinary citizens view the relationship between themselves and the federal government?

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        • Again, Scott, yes, and yes, with the reservation that I do not think WW had much effect on public perceptions of DC, not nearly as much as TR. FDR and the Depression and WW2 had a great effect, however, and I will say that two programs had greater effect than any other peacetime ideas from the FDR Admin: rural electrification and Social Security.

          Then I would say that from HST’s time the GI Bill had the greatest peace time lasting effect on public perceptions.

          As an aside, the Cold War was an enormous boon for centralization and federal contractors – the biggest ever. Just look at how RWR affected the National Debt in his first four years to get the image of Cold War DC.

          I would have supported the GI Bill for sure, if I had been an adult then, and understanding the rural electrification as use of public land/inland water I probably would have liked it as well. But the fact that I liked some aspects of federal policy would not have sold me on the Wickard v. Filburn version of the commerce clause. It would not have made me think that local school policy should be made from DC. I think the willingness to give up something that literally close to home, even if admittedly fed by liberalism, is only sustained by laziness and the concept of “let George do it”.

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        • Mark:

          I think the willingness to give up something that literally close to home, even if admittedly fed by liberalism, is only sustained by laziness and the concept of “let George do it”.

          Two questions on this. First, as McWing asked the other day, do we really know it is true that this “laziness” is more prevalent today than in the past? That is, what evidence (beyond personal, anecdotal experience) is there that participation in local government has in fact decreased in the way that you say?

          Second, assuming that it is true, what do you think has caused it, if it isn’t the perception (and in many respects reality) that the federal government has become the primary arena in which to solve political issues?

          Personally I suspect that most people in general have always had a “let George do it” mentality, but in the distant past “George” meant someone else in town or in the state. Now “George” increasingly means someone else in DC, and I think that is primarily due to the transformation of the federal government into the all-encompassing problem solver that progressive ideology desires it to be. But whether it is the attitude itself that has changed, or just the focus of who “George” is that has changed, if it is not the consequence of progressive/liberal ideological victories, what, in your view, is the cause?

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        • Scott, I don’t know if is more prevalent but I think it is. And I would pose three reasons for this.

          First, the vote has been extended to large numbers of people who never would have given a moment’s notice to politics as such and who barely have time to look up. I am OK with the broadened electorate, despite this possible consequence.

          Second, everything post-TV seems different than everything pre-TV; places we thought of as far away are immediately available, e.g., local crime stories are argued about 3000 miles away. D.C does not seem distant to most people.

          Third, the lengthy experience of the Cold War and massive military expenditures and American forces straddling the globe led to an underlying belief in the unlimited power of the federal government that is misplaced, and that continues to rear its ugly head when hawks argue to intervene in the Middle East, and when liberals argue for a massive governmental health care enterprise, and when conservatives yell “exceptionalism” and when liberals argue that we are the richest nation so we can do MORE for poor people.

          Without the conditioning of the 45 year Cold War and its imposition of a sense of powerful massiveness, more people than the TEA party would be afraid of our huge National Debt. Without that conditioning we would not have had the space program or the interstate highway system. Without that conditioning I do not think we could have sold a War on Poverty, a War on Drugs, or a War on Terror. Before the Cold War, the word war had not become a euphemism.

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        • Mark:

          I agree with your point about the effects of TV. I agree with you somewhat on the effects of a broadened electorate, specifically in the case of blacks, in that it was the federal government, through the Civil Rights Act, that protected the right to vote, and so probably made that demographic philosophically amenable to federal action more generally.

          I disagree very much that the Cold War was the cause. The Cold War was just an extension of exactly what the Federal government had traditionally existed to do – defend the nation from foreign threats. You say that without the conditioning of the Cold War, we wouldn’t have had either the interstate highway system or the space program. I think you are wrong about the former (the Cold War had barely begun when Ike proposed the Interstate Highway system, a proposal that came out of his experience in Germany during WWII), but even if not it was always linked to and marketed as a defense program.

          And while the space program definitely grew out of the Cold War, I don’t see how support for a massive Cold War defense program – again a traditional responsibility of the federal government – naturally leads to support for federal intrusion into areas that it had never had responsibility for ever before. What is probably true is that it helped facilitate the types of arguments that liberals made and which you highlight, ie if we can spend so much on a space program, surely we can spend more on helping poor people. But I think that just bolsters my point, ie that it was progressive ideology and their political victories that led people to accept increasing federal interference where it hadn’t ever occurred before.

          In the context of the growth of federal power, I don’t think it makes sense to draw an equivalence between hawks arguing for an increased presence in the ME and liberals arguing for increased spending on poverty programs. There has never been any dispute about whether the federal government should be involved in protecting the nation from foreign threats, so the question of whether to have a presence in the ME is/was always a strategic one, and does not involve choosing to increase the role/power that the feds already possess. The question of whether the federal government should spend redistribute more money trying to alleviate poverty, on the other hand, is first and foremost a question of whether doing so is the proper role of the federal government, and to choose to do so is to choose to increase the power of the feds. It doesn’t make sense to me to say that they each grew out of the same change in attitude towards the role of the federal government.

          BTW, I think the “war on X” rhetoric grew directly out of World War II (not the Cold War) and the left’s attempt to market its desire to alter the role of the federal government by associating its policies with a more traditional (and successful) role of the federal government. “If we can marshal our national assets to defeat the Nazis, we can do the same to defeat poverty!” If I am not mistaken, the first use of the “war on” formulation was LBJ’s War on Poverty, which is instructive.

          I also think the use of the formulation in the War on Terror is quite different from the use of the formulation in the War on Poverty or the War on Drugs. In the WoT, it really was a literal war (albeit with an ill-defined enemy), while in the other two it was used strictly as a metaphor.

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      • “I think people buy into the federal government solving all problems because they have certain politicians promising them exactly that. ”

        No, it’s because the Federal government can trump the others if the SCOTUS is unwilling to throw out things based on Federalism claims.

        It’s been a long time coming, but the path was set into motion as far back as Wickard.

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        • jnc:

          No, it’s because the Federal government can trump the others if the SCOTUS is unwilling to throw out things based on Federalism claims.

          That explains why political activists and politicians might go the federal route. I don’t think it explains why the average Joe votes for Federal representative who promise to fix their problems. The amount of time spent by the average Joe considering how SCOTUS views Federalism claims is, I suspect, close to zero.

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    • I like Trump for reasons other than his policies and platform, which seems largely incoherent. I think he would be a fascinating president and has about as much chance of turning out to be a good president as any of the rest of them. But Trump is likely to lose a lot of the Tea Party crowd, if he gets the presidency, because I expect him to cut deals and potentially nominate judges to SCOTUS and elsewhere than the Tea Party and many conservatives generally would not be happy with.

      And I also like Bernie Sanders as a candidate, although I could not bring myself to vote for him, I don’t think. But I like his strategy, his thinking out of the box, and how he handles himself generally. If any socialist could become president, I think it would be him, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. But Trump and Sanders are probably my two favorites in the race, followed by Fiorinna and Rand Paul (although Paul sometimes veers into appeasing the GOP establishment in ways that seem oddly chosen). Not impressed by Rubio or O’Malley or Cruz. Sees like there’s something queer about our political process that in a nation of hundreds of millions, these are our options.

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      • I’d love someone to explain why Trump would be manifestly worse that any other elected POTUS we’ve had.

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        • George –

          He is a con artist. He lies like a rug. He is personally obnoxious and insults everyone with whom he disagrees. He has no actual party affiliation to permit him to work with the leadership in either party. He, like Sanders in this respect, is only preying on individual grievances to stir emotions.

          I cannot imagine that he would be better than any POTUS we ever had. Not better than Buchanan is as low as it gets, probably.

          I may vote for Kevin this time if he gets off his Trump love. I don’t want the job, myself. But I can write in someone. I might vote for Christie. Or for HRC. In the end, I don’t want to rock the boat very much, and I know you do. I really do think I would have voted for LG in the primary, even ‘though as KW says he seemed bent on WW3 at times. Now, assuming there is no pressing local reason to vote in the D primary locally, I will vote for Christie or Kasich if they are around.

          BTW, Kasich, b/c he has done good remedial work in governing OH, fits my old school notion of nuts-and-bolts-and make-sense-of-it-all. So does Brown, in CA, but he is older than I am and never running for anything else. Christie has not done anything in NJ to warrant my enthusiasm, but he always sounds sane.

          Let the motherfucker burn is not a promising platform to me.

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        • With our debt-to-gdp ratio, burning is an inevitability.

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        • Mark:

          He is a con artist.

          Yes he is. So, BTW, is Hillary. The primary difference is that Trump is actually good at it.

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      • He’d be worse than Reagan because he’s not Ronald Reagan. He’d also be worse than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, because he’s not either of those guys. That’s about all I got on that topic.

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      • I suspect that he’d either be the consummate non-ideological deal maker, or impeached within six months.

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      • I like Trump for reasons other than his policies and platform, which seems largely incoherent.

        Oh. Dear. God.

        Trump as President would simply be the second coming of Jesse Ventura. Minnesota survived him, so I presume the U.S. could survive. DT.

        BB

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    • @markinaustin: “KW – I couldn’t vote for Trump.”

      I could vote for Trump as much as I could vote for any of them. They’re a homogenous brew of lies and bad ideas. But that’s just my opinion, and you know what those are like.

      Like

  13. Happy New Year everyone! I’m still around, but busy with work and traveling. I’ll try to check in more often.

    Like

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