Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Example of Partisan Force

Hmmm, in a prime example of partisan extremism, Bill Clinton gave an extremely partisan speech with the central theme of accusing his opponents of partisan extremism.

Projection is one of the most successful tools of the left.

I tried listening to Hillary's speech on the radio yesterday. Except annoying announcers kept breaking in to the speech.

Bill Clinton was probably the single most fortunate president in history. The US was the center of both a computer and internet boom that can happen only once in history. The boom was crowned by an artificial Y2K problem that poured bucket loads of cash into the economy.

Bill Clinton ignored the rise of the Taliban, he turned his back on the people of Rwanda, and on the secod rise of Saddam Hussein.

He is correct that single pary rule under Bush was a fiasco.

The rational style, however, is not determined by the President. The rational style is set by the schools, press and other institutions that are dominated by the left.

Real analysis of the failures of the Bush presidency is valuable. The increased volume of the partisanship was the result the of the left and not Bush.

The wank right after Clinton (Evan Bayh?) just said the most ludicrous thing I had heard in a long time. He praised Obama for supporting a timed withdrawl of American troops when Al Qaeda was winning the war and the Iraq Democracy was at its most tenuous. He then attacked Bush for starting negotiation a time table for withdrawl when it looks like the Iraq Democracy made it through its darkest hour.

For those of you who are into definitions. Withdrawing your forces when you are losing is called "surrender." Withdrawing forces after winning is called "victory."

I opposed the war. However, the way one ends a war is far more important than the way it was started. I applauded Bush's stand that we should not negotiate a timed withdrawl until there was good chance that a democracy would survive in the region.

That means we needed to find a way to draw down during a upswing.

The ending of the war is more important than its beginning. We ended Desert Storm poorly because we left Saddam in power and simply ignored Hussein's atrocities during the Clinton years.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homes as Slot Machines

Honestly, I tried to listen to the DNC. I went to the TV, there was a idiot named Warner lamenting about how, because of the Great Satan George W. Bush, Americans no longer see their home as a safe investment.

First of all, seeing anything as a safe investment is stupid. Investment entails risk.

Anyway, the people who understand what an investment is and who invested in their home are sitting pretty in homes that have been and will continue to be a good investment.

The problem is with the myriad of people who see their home as a slot machine. People who see their home as a slot machine have artificially driven up prices. Just like the chattle that pulls the levers of the one-armed-bandits in Vegas, people who see their home as a slot machine tend to lose.

The Warner-bot then spouted a bunch of rhetoric about failure. "Failure" appears to be one of the Democrat's favorite words. They love accusing people of failure.

Speaking of failure, I was wondering why Warner failed to lay any blame for the housing problem on the public schools. Public schools systematically fail to teach students the simple financial knowledge they need to be able to own and keep a home.

Of course the formula of the left is simple. You denounce something as a failure. You pass tax and spend laws to solve the failure and feast on the income redistribution.

Anyway, I tried listening to the DNC. Most of it is just people trying to find ways to drive wedges in our society on their rise to power.

Conventions aren't a format where people authetically discuss and resolve issues. It is a place where central authorities issue talking points and test the effectiveness of their rhetoric.

I think I will spend the evening doing something else.

Convention Insanity

I was reading local blog posts talking about how much they wish they were in Denver at the moment. I thought the posts funny because I had decided to put off

If I had been able to pull off my plans. I would be in Denver at the moment.

Much as I want to get to the other side of the Zion Curtain, I decided to put off going to Denver for six months.

I am interested in things that build local communities. Coronation ceremonies don't build community. If the convention was about people exchanging ideas with the leadership of the party, then I think I would be there. But conventions are orchestrated media events where the anointed work to deliver a message honed for the maximum effect.

This applies to both D and R conventions. Political conventions are, by definition, a partisan event. As a partisan event, they don't build community. There is a tiny change that I could have scored an inbound link or two this blog and elevated it from the lowest possible technorati score of 1. I think I would have just been miserable.

I did watch Michelle Obama's speech on the tube. The message of change is that we should give up on the American Experiment that created a government that was well suited for the way life is, and change to a shiny new government designed for the way life ought to be.

The message was interesting in that I have been trying to figure out how to say just the opposite.

The Ancients through the Dark Ages held the ideal that happiness would come through the perfection of the centralized government ... The Empire. People fell for the line that the king (and the ruling class) lived as servants to the people. Serfs did horrible things to one another in the belief that the centralized government would take care of them when the emperor was strong.

The Renaissance and Enlightenment were defined by new intellectual efforts to apply reasoning to define the way life is, and to find the best way of governing a world the way that it is.

This effort came to fruition with the development of a slightly freer market, the protection of human rights and a limited government with democratically elected leaders. The system works. It is a shame that the people meeting in Denver want to end it.

The other thing I noticed about Michelle's speech. She spent the lion-share of the speech talking about the struggles of the working class. She spoke about people working themselves ragged to pay for health care and consumer goods. She lamented the people working two shifts to make ends meet and spoke about how it is nigh impossible for a person who is in the habit of living from pay check to pay check to pay for health care expenses.

Nowhere in the speech did she mention small business or ownership.

The paycheck to paycheck trap is untenable. There are two ways out of it. The first is for people to accept the world as it is, and for individual people to save in times of health to prepare for times of hardship. The second is to return to imperial dream where we have a massive centralized feudal system, and people hold to the delusion that the king is a servant to the people, as it ought to be.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Linking Bridges

Bridge MoverI've been doing silly things. I took a few shots of the 3300 South bridge moving. I can link these pictures to the ones I took of the 4500 South and 1300 South bridges.

I've noticed that I am pretty much the only person who links to my Community Directories; so, to create some inbound links, I decided to make a stock page. Companies that trade on the market must file quarterly reports. That means that following the local stock market is a great way to learn about the local community.

I've started making a page of stocks of importance to a community. Since big companies usually have their headquarters in big cities, I suspect that this project will only work for Salt Lake and Denver. I am intentionally going slow on this project. I will gradually add stocks over the next several months.

The reason I am going slow on the project is that Google seems to penalize web sites when they add a bunch of web pages in a massive update. Google seems to be kinder to web projects that role out over a period of time.

To test this hypothesis. I dropped a Golden Can integration on the site A Fountain of Bargains. My guess is that Google will balk at the appearance of a large database on the aFOB site but will treat the gradual appearance of data on the stock project as an organic process.

In other words, I think that search engines tend to be kinder to web sites that are designed as a long term process with a steady flow of updates than ones than to web sites that get updated in versions.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Less Guzzling

This is wonderful news, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that US consumers drove 12.2 billion miles fewer in June 2008 than in June 2007. This is a 4.7% decrease in consumption. The site claims a 400 million gallon drop in consumption of gas and 318 million fewer gallons of diesel.

Here's hoping that July will break the 5% mark.

I am so happy.

Americans are doing what needs to be done. We are re-assessing our gas guzzling ways. We are getting fuel efficient vehicles.

Consumers now want smaller, efficient cars. The market just accomplished one of the great aspirations of the political pundits. It is increasing the efficiency of the American fleet.

The downside for the DOT is that the dramatic drop in consumption of fuel means a dramatic drop in tax revenue. (The site fails to mention that fewer miles driven and lighter cars decrease the stress on the highway infrastructure, which should decrease their costs). Regardless, we probably need an increase in the gas tax to continue maintaining our roads.

Anyway, I applaud the conservation efforts of Americans. Learning to make the most efficient use of our resources makes us stronger as a people. Conservation, alternative energy and wise use of our energy resources is the path to prosperity.

Heating prices are likely to be wicked this upcoming winter. I hope that all Americans invest some of their ingenuity this Fall in coming up with ways to decrease their heating bills.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Potential of Aristotle

I finally finished the section on Aristotle. The article took a long time to write for two reasons. The first is that there are just too many directions that one can take from a mention of Aristotle. The second problem is that Aristotle, per se, is not a primary concern of mine.

Aristotle is important because he is associated with the innovation of logic.

There are several things that I wanted to emphasize in the article. The first, of course, is that respect for quality reasoning leads to prosperity.

Quality reasoning is different from effective rhetoric. Quality reasoning is a process where one goes through a detailed analysis of their reasoning process to see if the ideas are sound.

A second important point I wanted to make was that Aristotle positioned his work as an improvement on what came before. This is actually an important point. In the classical world, philosophers were seeking improvement on what came before. In the post Kantian world, philosophers started seeking radical change.

My observation is that people who are committed to sound rational thinking and who are seeking improvement occasionally come up with ideas that are revolutionary in nature. The structure of this type of thinking is more apt to result in changes for the better.

Conversely, people who are committed to radical change for the sake of radical change often end up creating regressive change.

The next key element I wanted to emphasize in Aristotle was his approach to moderation. People who are committed to sound reasoning are often labeled as dictatorial. The reason for this is that such people believe in clear statements.

Aristotle's observation was that virtues pushed to extremes created vices. The secret to a truly virtuous life was to find a mean between the absence of a virtue and the excess of the virtue.

The second key to balance was to avoid absolutes. One must accept that the edges to their definitions are always fuzzy.

Very important to my work was Aristotle's differentiation between the potential and actual infinity.

I wanted to keep this article short; so I avoided enumerating all of the things I don't like about Aristotle. For example Aristotle held the merchant class in contempt. His political theories and his theories on virtue were perverted to support centuries of rule by oppressive kings and emperors. (These same faults were true of Plato).

There are also many mistakes in the writings we attribute to Aristotle.

The challenge is finding a way to present Aristotle in a way that encourages a commitment to rationality without having to rehash all of the mistakes made in the Aristotelian tradition.

It is common to make mistakes in the process of discovery.

I think Aristotle is a very interesting historical figure, but I don't think that the works we have from Aristotle, in and of themselves, make a good foundation for leading quality reasoning. The writings we have are actually lecture notes. They are fractured and convoluted. What is important is the commitment to rationality.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tired of Politics

I am tired of all of the negativity in politics. For example, Obama said that people will vote for McCain because he looks more like the people on American currency than Obama.

It took me a moment to figure out what Obama was saying.

Then I realized that all of the people depicted on American currency were dead.

Judging from looks, McCain appears closer to being dead than Obama.

Anyway, I was shocked by Obama's blatant use of agism.

Speaking of negativity and naysayers ...

I had a plan to solve the energy crisis.

My plan was to turn zucchini into bio-diesel.

Zucchini seems to grow like a weed and seems to be able to grow in all sorts of different climates.

When I wrote up my proposal, the powers that be just said no. It seems that there are environmentalists who are ideologically opposed to zucclear energy.

They wouldn't even let me try my idea. Something about a zucclear test ban.

Others claimed my "bio-diesel from zucchini" plan was just a ruse in a fiendish plot to raise weapons grade zucchinis.

They pointed to the people who seem to plant a few zucchinis every year then dump bussels of zucchinis on the neighbors. They said that before anyone else plants zucchini, I had to solve the zucclear waste issue.

While politics gets more bitter, all of my good ideas get passed by.