Monday, March 30, 2009

RIP, General Motors

I've cringed listening to some defend Rick Wagoner today. I think that his leadership at GM was marked by desperate attempts to pull demand forward with unsustainable incentive schemes and desperate attempts to push losses back through accounting tricks. There is plenty of blame to go around for GM's current state, and he owns his fair share.

Just the same, today's the day GM died. It is now the government's car company, President Obama's car company. Technically, it is still alive, but the day the federal government shunted aside share owners to depose the head of the company and possibly the board of directors will be remembered as the day the company went brain dead. I don't think Wagoner deserved to remain as the head of that company, but that decision wasn't rightfully mine and it wasn't the government's. But this government feels that there are no limits on its power. Unless the American people come to their senses and pull back the reigns on this government, it is only going to get much, much worse.

If I Were Black... would really piss me off to hear so many white liberals complimenting Barack Obama for being articulate, as though that skill was a foreign concept.

But since I'm not, I'll just say that it would be a better compliment, regardless of race, to be called competent rather than articulate.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Weekend's Classic TV Intro

Everything is too depressing right now. Your 401K is crashing, you're worrying about your job, there is no hope on the horizon. In times like these, it is best to gravitate to warm memories of old. As such, I'm beginning "Classic TV Intro" here at Jiblog. Hopefully everyone will be able to bask in the warmth of a memory from their younger, happier days. Today's classic intro comes from my young 'un years, when I was blissfully unaware of "stagflation". I present the intro to CHiPs:

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why Not Just a Best Buy Gift Card, Barack?

This should be a national embarrassment:

As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment.

Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.


The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.

The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.
Meh. It's the thought that counts, right? I hear President Sarkozy in France is jacked for his first visit from President Obama because our state gift is expected to be sixteen slices of Kraft singles. (If you notice my sarcasm, it is because I'm laying it on pretty thick.)

D-list stars in Hollywood get better bling bags than the leader of the nation with which we've had the tightest relationship for years. Maybe I'm just too dumb to undestand dear leader's method of repairing those foreign relationships destroyed by Bush et al.

But maybe I'm too hard on the President. Perhaps after all of our recent spending, 25 DVD's is all we could afford to give.

A Stunning 45 Days

Stunning may not even do the first days of the Obama administration justice. Numbing might be an even more appropriate term. Certainly not in my lifetime has there been such a naked grab by the left for both socialism and power through dollars in this country. In the thirties, people feared that Roosevelt was tempted by the idea of dictatorship. Obama, via Rahm Emmanuel's policy of never letting a good crisis go to waste, has made a balls-out grab at total control. While we get poorer as private industry becomes more and more terrified, he and his party spend more and more money that doesn't exist. These are indeed frightening times, and Obama still has 55 days until the first 100 have passed. His campaign got the change part right, but they completely struck out on hope.

An Unpopular Thought

The Libertarian party is a great place for a person to land when they want to explore the intellectual concepts of theories without ever having to confront the punch in the face reality tends to give to theory. But then again, it is nice to take the high ground that comes with never having to defend policies in practice.

I think libertarians are a necessary part of the Republican party and a complimentary, inter-meshed partner to conservatism. But the condescension that comes from some Libertarians who never have to face the full frontal assault of the political system in this country is quite tiring at times. I'd love to see pure Libertarians try to govern while eschewing pragmatism if it wouldn't ultimately end up being such a mess.

(To understand this post is to understand the difference between Big-L and little-l libertarianism.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Breaking! NY Times: Obama Going Gray!

On the one hand, I'm sympathetic to arguments that we are all worse off without the reporting done by newspapers. Then I see what passes as a story at the Gray Lady: For Young President, Flecks of Gray. If I need to point out the absurdity of a story about a man in his 40's in a stressful job going gray, please just go back to the hard hitting journalism in the paper of record.

If the Times was writing stories about whose fingerprints were on the various stimulous/bailout/bankrupt ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren plans, then I'd mourn the death of papers more. Unfortunately, stories like this just go to show that the papers are doing it to themselves. They've long since abdicated their self-appointed role as the watchdogs of democracy.