Monday, November 28, 2016

Houston Area Leadership Vacuum: But...but...he said some nice THINGS about us.

It's pathetic to the point of being embarrassing.

Tom Herman leaves for UT-Austin (understandable), has a press conference, says a few nice words about Houston, and the media here swoons.

Tom Herman Expresses LOVE for Houston in Statement After Taking Texas Job. Robby Kelland,

Has it gone that far?

Has Houston morphed into the Sally Fields of cities?  Barely literate, not all that bright and gushing "You LIKE me, you REALLY, REALLY LIKE me?"

Houston has always been a city whose inferiority complex (especially where other Texas cities are concerned) is about as big as its geographic area.  When magnified by a media who are diminutive themselves it becomes massive. Like, generates it's own gravitational field massive.

This has always struck me as odd for two reasons.

1. Houston, aside from a few notable items, is a pretty decent place to live. In fact, it would be a great place to live were it not for those who persist on making it a "world-class" city by incorporating the failed ideas of Richard Florida.

2. Most of Texas' major cities are in the same, rapidly sinking, fiscal boat.  So really, there's nothing to yearn for when you look to Dallas, Austin or *gag* Fort Worth because we're all running off a cliff together.

What Tom Herman has proven here is that whispering sweet nothings in the city's ear while running out the morning after a quickie is all it takes to mollify the media in this town.

Maybe Bud Adams should have tried that?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election 2016: The Decline of Traditional Media, the Rise of Social Media

Was it Facebook 'wot won it? Rory Cellen-Jones, BBC

In answer: Not entirely, but it played a role.

Since the days of the founders the American Media has always had an inflated opinion of itself.  In the early days newspapers were house organs for the political views of their founders, in later days the news barons took over and openly shaped the political discourse in the ways they desired.

Recently, the media has sought to hide behind the cloak of "Neutrality".  A cloak that was transparent in it's falsehood, but dishonest (at best) in it's inability to self-examine. In short, the unsigned editorial became a political statement without political consequence. Bad Newspapers, like say, the Houston Chronicle, could take editorial positions and use it to skew their hard media coverage without a hint of self-awareness that reporting of this type was not 'neutral' at all.

But media neutrality has always been a lie.

Walter Cronkite, the revered newsman, was progressive, he approached all of his reporting with the idea that the progressive ideals were the correct ideals. The same goes for Dan Rather, Peter Jennnings, and pretty much every other news-reader you can think of.  Bernard Goldberg's book "Bias" was the first time any insider showed America exactly what was going on behind the curtain of TV news.

And while we haven't had a "Bias" written for newspapers (one reason: few would care) it's becoming patently obvious that the problem within the fish-wraps is worse than it is on the television. As someone whose watched local and national media for a while now, I can name on one hand the number of local reporters in Houston who have a political world-view close to what you or I might consider "conservative". I will not name them here for their job-security.

The problem is most evident when viewing the editorial staffs of the dailies, where conservative thought is given short-shrift and progressive ideals are the norm. Sure, there will be times when an enterprising editor seeks to add a token conservative, but that will be the moderate-conservative hybrid who is certain to not say anything too controversial that will anger the predominantly liberal staff and groups of friends with which they spend the most time.

In Houston think Bill King. Nationally think Jennifer Rubin.

Fox News skewed the other way, they hired commentators and reporters who self-identified as conservative, opening up the door to the for-profit talk-radio gang whose sole purpose was selling old people on gold instead of actually, I don't know, advancing the conservative agenda.

Talking heads like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham aren't conservatives, they're shills. In many cases they are akin to Donald Trump, parodies of conservatives as imagined by progressive thinkers.  Coulter in particular is a beast of a human being, Hannity is a low-functioning idiot, Limbaugh is...well, special, and Ingraham reminds me of someone who's always trying to sit at the big kid's table, but can't follow the conversation closely enough to really fit in.

As such so-called "conservative" news has become a crap-fest full of shouting, fluid ideas that change with the tide and doomsday predictions whenever ratings start to sag. It's also served to dumb down the conservative movement, leading (in part) to the rise of Donald Trump.

On the Left things are worse (if you can believe that). It's telling that the only major newspaper that endorsed the Bronzed Ego was owned and operated by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The remaining boards were incapable of even understanding why a significant portion of the population appealed to the Republican nominee.

And that's a problem.

Because when conservatives and liberals draw away from forums where they're forced to interact they are inexorably drawn to echo chambers where they're not. The alt-right, instead of being out there, in the open, letting everyone know exactly where they were and what they were thinking retreated to the relative safety of 4Chan, 8Chan etc. The Left retreated to the bizarro world of the Democratic Underground and both sides stopped listening.

This led to the new Right declaring everything with which they didn't agree unAmerican and it led to the rise of the Social Justice Warriors on the left. When you looked at it neither side had an appreciation or understanding of the motivations of the other and the media and politicians didn't really get it either.

Except for, Obama and (now) Trump, who utilized social media hidey-holes such as Twitter and Facebook to cause the distrust to fester, and to build support. They succeeded to a point that the members of the media "can't understand" why the right's revulsion toward Obama and the Left's revulsion toward Trump spring from the exact same place.

Of course, it would help if members of the media had a basic understanding of the American political system, but that's probably asking a little bit too much of them right now, in their depressed state.

Election 2016: What we're seeing now is the new normal.

It is quite possible that we've become a nation of spoiled brats.

Where political wins and losses used to be something absorbed with resolve they are now flayed open in a wave of National spleen venting. "Not My President" has become the new, less poetic "Hell no, We won't go" as thousands of young Americans get slapped in the face with the ugly realization that they do not, in fact, get a participation trophy as adults when their side loses.

The media, when they're not suffering from apparent nervous breakdowns (in an honest moment, I hope Ms. Grieder is OK) choose to fan the flame in the name of ratings and page-clicks because someone, somewhere, decided there's piles of money to be made off of the "two Americas" meme.

That's simplistic, of course, and wildly inaccurate which, given the performance of the media during this election cycle, should hardly be a surprise. In fact, we still have ONE America which has residing in its borders Millions of little ideological bubbles, some larger than others, some very small.

For over two centuries now these little bubbles have become more diverse, have expanded in their difference from one another, and are losing that sense of community that once bound them together as tightly as any non-forced unity can be bound. And it's not just our politics that are playing a role in separating us, but our culture and entertainment as well.

Yes, politicians, and political "activists" hold a large part of the blame. The American people have elected (on both sides) a steady procession of snake-oil hustlers, miscreants and just plain awful people into elected office, at all levels of public "service". We gave Anthony Weiner a microphone for goodness' sake.

Harry Reid, possibly one of the worst people to ever be elected to the Senate, did not get there by accident. He was elected by Millions of Nevadans, and then re-elected several times, even after they understood what a dishonest, spiteful individual he was. The US Senate is now possibly the worst collection of characters since Tammany Hall. That is not an exaggeration.

In Texas we've elected Dan Patrick, a man who's ego is so big he titled his book "the Second Most Important Book You'll Ever Read" and he wasn't saying this tongue in cheek. This is a man who thinks he not only communicates with God, but whose thoughts are God's divine word here on Earth.

With these people in charge is there any wonder that the campaigns are horrible, and people are starting to believe that The Anointed One was somehow cheated out of her divine inheritance. We don't view the Presidency as a job any more, we view it as a throne.

And that's the problem.

More than bad politicians, more than the bad media, more than a bad citizenry, the problem is that we've allowed politicians to elevate their roles and importance to us to levels which are improbable considering the level of skill they all possess, and the stubborn little fact called the Constitution.

President Obama was never "our daddy" as Chris Rock famously intoned. Nor did he possess the moral authority to make that claim. Because the President is NOT, as believed, the supreme, unchallenged, ruler of America.

Instead the office of the President is the head of the executive branch of Government. He is also the commander and chief of the military. His job is to ensure that the machinery of the executive branch functions, that the military stands ready to protect the country, and to sign laws and greet visiting dignitaries.

The President is a Store Manager, who often doubles as a Wal-Mart greeter.

Maybe if we visualized Trump in that role, instead of the all-powerful boogey-man we've imagined the Presidency to be, we wouldn't need to freak out like we're currently doing and we could get on with more important things?

Like teaching our children how to be good losers for instance.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Election 2016: That giant Houston Area Sucking Sound. #HALV

Yes, election night was horrible for the Democrats on a National level.  Not only did they lose the White House, but they couldn't wrest control of either the House or, more surprisingly, the Senate, from GOP hands.

It also wasn't that good in Statewide contests across the country, with increasing amounts of State governments shifting to GOP control, including the legislature in Kentucky, meaning the entirety of the South is Republican led, including a growing number of governors as well.

The current Democratic strength is limited to a few solidly blue states, including California which is talking about seceding in a manner that would cripple them financially due to no access to water or energy, New York (which, to be honest, doesn't count for much any more politically), Illinois (where machines still rumble and the dead still vote), New England (where, uh, the leaves are pretty in the Fall), several financially declining cities and their surrounding areas.

This includes the 4th largest metropolitan area in America, Houston. My home town, as well as Harris County which surrounds and makes up most of it.

It was an ugly day for the Harris County Republican Party.

Not only did they lose the high-profile race for Harris County District Attorney, but they also lost (or will face a run-off for) several other elected positions including but not limited to:

Harris County Attorney
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector
Harris County Sheriff

And every District Judge seat that I could find online, not to mention the Civil Court seats as well as the Criminal District Court seat that was on the ballot.

The only highlights for the HCGOP?

They kept their two seats on the needs-to-be-mothballed Harris County School Authority, Steve Radack won his seat as Commissioner of Precinct 3 and a smattering of constables and Justices of the Peace held their seats.

In short, it was a disaster, largely fueled it seems by two things:

1. Straight ticket voting by Democrats.

Yes, Democrats, who have historically argued against the option but will probably perform some political gymnastics and come out in favor of it now that they think they have an advantage there.  Regardless of your opinion on the outcome the straight-ticket voting option was a bad idea when Republicans were winning and it's a bad idea now that the Democrats are.  The thing about it however is that the parties in power often have very little incentive to make any kind of change to the process, until they're out of power and the new folks don't want to see the change then either.

2. Bad Republicans (for the local market) in high-profile races.

Yes, Trump is the obvious choice, and though he did OK with Hispanics nationwide (actually drawing a higher percentage than Romney) he wasn't able to do so apparently in Harris County, where a LOT of the Hispanic population has Mexican roots. He also apparently didn't do as well here with black voters, and we all know that the White vote in Houston is trending more and more liberal every year, as displaced Californians and other blue state evacuees come here looking for jobs and affordable living options that they cannot find in their home states.

Then there was Devon Anderson. A DA candidate who was so bad she couldn't even consolidate Republican support in what was, at one time, a majority Republican county.  Among people who pay attention to local politics, and who are less likely to vote straight party, I think the Anderson ticket was a definite drag. There were several local high-profile Republicans who urged voters to vote for her Democratic opponent. And while I believe that they themselves probably pushed the button for down-ballot Republicans, I'm almost certain, looking at the numbers, that many of their readers did not.

Add all of this up and you have a mess. A total collapse of a County Republican Party in a State where the GOP kept hold on every major Statewide office (although by diminished margins, which probably has most to do with Trump)

While it's going to be easy for the Texas GOP to look at these results and local Republicans to take a look at Harris Country Returns and blame the party, a bigger problem at play here is the GOP's utter refusal to contest urban elections and address urban issues. Believe it or not, I think there are conservative alternatives to the "tax and spend and then tax some more" policies of big city Democrats, including issues such as infrastructure, public pensions, public transportation and urban quality of life issues that don't involve just saying "no".

Unfortunately, the Harris County GOP seems bound and determined to ignore all of them and allow the Democrats to suck up all of the oxygen.  This is a problem that I don't see going away any time soon, and bringing back Jared Woodfill or the old leadership isn't going to solve it either.  Might I suggest listening to some new voices on urban issues?  Couldn't hurt.

Election 2016: R-E-L-A-X The Country is not going to crumble.

Throughout this entire election process I've found myself dismayed with America's current choices, but I have not ever, nor am I now, really all that concerned with the eventual fate of the Republic itself.

Don't believe me?  Read this.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Back?  Good.

And while I don't think that America is going to be in for days of wine, roses and stuffed peacock, I do think that, ultimately, the Republic will endure.

I think that because the United States of America is a bigger thing than one man in one office at any one time.  We survived Jackson, Buchanan, Harding, the scandals of Grant, the ineptitude of Carter, the god-king delusions of Roosevelt, the paranoia of Nixon, the hedonism of Clinton and the fecklessness of Obama.

In short, America will emerge from this all right.  Maybe not as strong as we were before, maybe with less influence on the global stage, maybe a little bit poorer, but if there's one thing that history has taught us it is that the machinery of the Republic moves on. Yes, we might have just made a modern day Caligula the President-Elect, but the Holy Roman Emperor didn't have any checks and balances on his power, the Bronzed Ego will.

He'll also have a partially functional Congress to have to do business with and a newly motivated minority in the Senate. He'll have States who have enumerated powers seeking to keep those powers and (hopefully) a rather conservative Supreme Court that (hopefully) rediscovers its skepticism toward executive power.

He'll also have a mid-term election to face in a couple of years. And a citizenry to satisfy who has shown a willingness to flip the legislative branch opposite the political leanings of the executive branch in order to curb excess. Like Obama before him, Trump and the GOP are going to find they have a very short window for enacting change.

Granted, the map for Democrats in 2018 does not look promising, and they'll have to find the will and activism to do something they traditionally haven't. In short, they're going to have to turnout for mid-term elections. That they're likely going to be doing with with Sens Elizabeth "high cheekbones" Warren and "Angry" Bernie Sanders as their standard bearers should give them a moment's pause.

The temptation will be there for the GOP to overreach, here's hoping what remains of the Democrats will not let them. I'd appeal to their good sense but the GOP has shown to have little of that remaining.

Most importantly though, the power of the USA lies not in her political class but in the machinery of the people. This morning around 300 Million people are going to wake up and continue going about their daily lives. They will do this tomorrow, and the next day, and the ones after that. They will continue to go to jobs, participate in leisure activities and (hopefully) nurture families that will generate the next generation of leaders.  Leaders who, have a pretty low bar to clear to best the levels of accomplishment attained by the Baby Boomers.

No doubt there will be struggle. There will be disagreement and there will be stumbles along the way. Radical Islamic terror is still a thing, China is still looking to expand her footprint in Asia and Russia will now become very emboldened. Our allies in Europe are still trying to figure out where they went so wrong and Africa is a powder-keg waiting to explode in a fury of Ebola and poverty.

The climate is still going to change (as it has for Millennia) and the United Nations is still going to try and stop it rather than figuring out what in the word we can do to deal with it. Energy demand will continue to increase while supply lines are threatened, and there's still the issue of what to do with a under-educated workforce that's slipping further and further behind because of an education system that's totally in shambles.

The unions will still want more money to maintain their outdated business models and there will still be progressives running around clamoring for economy-killing things and pining for the day that their hand-picked "experts" get their hands back on the tiller.

Crony Capitalism is just as prevalent in GOP administrations as it is in DEM ones, and Sheldon Adelson has spend tons of money making sure that his interests will be brought to the front. In short, there are a long list of distractions that the new Trump-led GOP will have to overcome to meet their campaign promises and try to attempt to open back up an economy that almost 75 years of progressive policy has strangled.

Here's hoping they succeed.

Election 2016: No, the Trump-Led GOP will not welcome the #NeverTrump movement back. (Nor should they)

I have stated all along during this election process that I am a member of the #NeverTrump movement. It had less to do with what the left is decrying as his "racist, sexist and other -ist" followers (I have frequently been termed all of the above by progressives in the past) and more with the complete and utter moral and conservative failings of the man himself.

In short, beating Hillary Clinton was less important to me than keeping my head held high.

I also understood that, for many in the GOP, beating Ms. Clinton was the most important thing of all. It "trumped" ethics concerns or the fact that the Bronzed Ego had several positions that were decidedly not conservative. That winning and (ostensibly) gaining control of the SCOTUS and ending the Affordable Care Act and repudiating Obama were of primary concern.

I get that, and I don't begrudge those people their moment of joy.

You won, congratulations. Enjoy the party, this is now your show, do what you will.

This is how it works in a representative democracy.  Far from having a "mandate" however, the GOP does have controlling interest in the executive branch, the legislative branch, and most of the same at the State level.  It should not be overlooked how powerful their position is.  In fact, Democrats right now are in a worse position than were the GOP eight years ago, because even then the GOP had a fairly dominating presence in the States, which the DEM's lack.

They have the filibuster in the Federal Senate, and a few State's that are very blue, with little GOP opposition. In short, for the next two years (at least, because the 2018 map is not friendly to them) they are going to find themselves scrambling, trying desperately to forge a message that's bigger than "we hate you America" which is where they're likely to go under the lead of Sens Warren and Sanders.

It will not be a nice time to be a Democrat as the progressives will start to turn inward and eat their own.

The coming Democratic fissure is potentially the greatest underrated story of the current election. Suppressed by the bigger, and more public reality of the GOP split.

Except now, I'd call it a GOP take-over, because the win by Trump, and the vitriol that is already springing from it is only going to get worse over time. The Trumpets who said to NeverTrump members "we don't need you" were right.

And we were wrong. Our idea that the GOP was still, at heart, a conservative party was mistaken. The so-called "conservative wave" that always appeared to be just over the horizon was a mirage, as was the libertarian revolution that was destroyed in vitro when the the Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson and liberal Bill Weld.

Instead, the GOP of today is a much more populist place, inviting big-government to sit down at the table when it suits their needs and the Libertarian Party is in disarray. Meanwhile, those of us who formed the core of the NeverTrump movement find ourselves on the outs, without a political home and unlikely to find one soon.

Evan McMullin, the independent conservative who ran a long-shot campaign in Utah hoping some electoral votes is correct when he states that Conservatives are out of the GOP but he's wrong in saying that we should abandon it.  We have been forcefully evicted.  And there's no reason for the GOP to let us back in any time soon. The election results have shown that we're not needed. They will go about ostensibly acting like conservative principles matter, but they will govern as they always have.

And that there is no longer a conservative party in America.

Not my circus, Not my monkeys.  Which, all things considered, is probably for the best.

Election 2016: A Tale of Two Parties

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

But congratulations to the GOP for pulling out what appears to be a pretty big win at most levels of government last night, and commiserations to the Democrats who appear to have not.

As I stated last night on Twitter there's going to be a LOT written on this election outcome over the next few days.  Much of it, especially what's coming from the progressive left, is going to be 100% incorrect.

The left is going to tell you that America is now a racist, sexist place and that racist, sexist mouth-breathers on the right voted in a modern-day version of Hitler to office. Trumps brown-shirt proclivities aside (which, to be fair, we really don't know whether or not they even exist at this point) there are data points aplenty showing the 'racist/sexist' meme to be false.

For one, David Duke, titular head of the KKK and running for office in Louisiana, received a mere three percent of the vote in a district, and State that Trump carried.  Second, the same so-called sexist voters who carried Trump also made it a very good night for female Republicans down ballot.

But these are facts, and the people such as Krugman, Blow, Bouie and countless others that are spouting the 'racist/sexist' line are literally too stupid to be confronted with facts. To quote the Hangover "you are literally too stupid to insult."  As such, they are best ignored.

What really happened, what drove new voters to the polls in massive numbers, and what led to a deficiency in Democratic enthusiasm is two-fold.

First, the Democrats nominated as their standard-bearer the most unlikable, scandal-ridden, rent-seeking, self-serving public figure in the last 20 years. In short, there was nothing for Hillary supporters to be FOR. They were all against something else. And unless you have a rallying cry that's more than "beat the other side" history has shown us that you're in a heap of trouble if the other side does.

And they did.  Because in addition to the 'stop Hillary' crowd (which was sizable) Trump also had the "Trumpets" or people who were fired up about what Trump was telling them.  The overlooked and marginalized, the people who had fallen behind and who have spent the last eight years being lectured by Democrats, progressive and social justice warriors on just how stupid they all are. Combine those angry people with the 'anyone but Hillary' crowd and you had a coalition that had the ability to pull out the win.

Already though, the progressive left, too insipid to see where they're wrong, is doubling down. Already there are cries and gnashing of teeth on social media, in online outlets, print journalism etc. The blame game is in full gear, and they're blaming the great unwashed, the same majority that just beat them into an electoral pulp nationwide.

As long as the Democrats continue to do this, as long as they target anyone who is not wealthy, Caucasian, progressive or somehow dependent on them as a lower class they will continue to not experience the electoral success they think they are entitled to.

Trump didn't win because people are racist/sexist/ whatever -ist, he won because he gave people who have been besmirched as such for years now by Democrats, and ignored by Republicans an outlet for their anger. Trump won because he was FOR something, no matter wrong-headed it may seem.

Again, congratulations to him and the GOP for a huge win, across the board.

Don't squander it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day: Some Good Reads Before you Head to the Polls. (If You're Heading to the Polls)

A Vote's Consequences and a Voters Conscious. Matthew J. Franck. Public Discourse

A Republic, Not a Dairy. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review

As you know by now, I'm sitting this election out.

I understand that most don't agree with that decision (You should write-in for President but vote down ballot! they say) but it's a decision I've come to soberly, mostly, and am quite comfortable with.

For those of you who are still choosing, or have chosen, to partake in America's Democracy dance please be sure to do so with a modicum of thought. Don't vote "straight party" because you feel you have to, vote that way if, and only if, you WANT to.

Neither the crumbling GOP or the fracturing Democrats own, or have any right to, your vote, and it's not some sense of "pragmatism" that should cause you to vote for one over the other.

When I vote it's for a candidate who will not cause me to regret the vote the next morning. In this race there are none that provide me with that certainty.  Even the Texas Republican Party has been overran by candidates such as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, (my)State Senator Paul Bettancourt and others for whom pulling the lever would give me pause.

You might feel differently, and that's OK. As a matter of fact, it's a good thing, because if we all thought the same way this would be a boring old world. despite what the progressive arm of our political discourse would have you believe.

Above all else, vote for liberty.  And free markets and unobtrusive government and a severe reduction of the regulatory state.  Strong private property rights are a plus, as is a fealty to the Bill of Rights and (yes) the Constitution. Because without those items America is just a bigger, more bloated banana republic, something that's going to be all to evident in either a Bronzed Ego or Anointed One Presidency and which we've seen for the last 24 plus years, at least since the end of the Reagan Administration, but really probably not since before WWII to be totally honest.

See you on the other side.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

News Link: 4 Years. Of This.

Hacked e-mails show Clinton Campaign Communicated with State (Department). Matthew Daly & Stephen Braun.

It's become a badge of honor among columnists for the media to pen something that characterizes a Trump Presidency as "the worst thing ever" in terms of world security, economic well-being and the continuation of victim politics disguised as "rights".

I'm not suggesting that any of that is incorrect.  I believe that a Trump Presidency will be a disaster for the US of A. I believe that the Bronzed Ego will not only damage us at home, but abroad as well, tipping the balance of power away from the US and toward Russia and the Chinese, in a manner that could take decades to unwind.

I believe that a Trump Presidency will be awful for civil rights, and for rights themselves. He's already come out against free speech, has supported torture and the killing of Americans, silencing those who are critical of him and has demonstrated some worrying tendencies in the area of foreign policy. His economic ideas are jingoistic, and dangerous.  I will not be voting for him.

But I won't be heading to the ballot box and casting a vote for Hillary Clinton either, because I believe the Anointed One will be just as bad, if not worse, just in a different way.

Throughout their political careers the Clinton's have demonstrated no qualms about casting aside the rule of law and accepted rules of behavior in order to use the Federal Government as their personal tools for graft, patronage and revenge. They have also used it to circumvent the laws, with no fear of repercussion because they, or someone with a favorable attitude toward them, have appointed the very people who would conduct such an investigation.

Forget Monica Lewinsky (if nothing else, for her sake, leave the lady alone) pay more attention to the dirty business deals and shoddy foreign policy deals that Bill Clinton as President, and then Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, green-lighted. This is a couple that is so corrupt they break the bounds of corruption.

Because Hillary would also be awful for civil rights and for rights themselves. She's already come out against free speech, has supported imprisoning (or limiting the ability to make a living) of those who do not subscribe to the politically correct norms of her donor class, she has supported the torture and killing of Americans, silencing those who are critical of her, and demonstrated some worrying tendencies in the area of foreign policy. Her economic ideas are jingoistic, and dangerous. I will not be voting for her.

The bad news is this:  America is staring down the deep, dark hole of it's Caligula moment, and the only thing we're being asked in this Presidential Election is which gender we would prefer our Caligula to be?  There IS no good choice in this 2016 version of "would you rather?" third party nonsense to the contrary.

This election is so bad that it has effectively brought an end to the modern Libertarian Party.  Even the Greens couldn't step up and nominate someone who's not at least ranked at 90% on the bat-shittery scale.

As I've stated for a while now, I'm sitting this one out. My vote is my own and is not pledged blindly to any political party. Neither party has done anything to deserve either my time, effort or support, and they will not be getting any of them.

At 8:30 last night I received a telephone call. It was from the Harris County Republican Party and it went something like this:

"Hello this is the Harris County Republican Party, we just wanted to check in and make sure that you're voting early and that you're planning to vote straight Republican"

Me: "I'm not voting, nor do I owe my vote to any party"


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Future Imperfect: The One Thing You Should Read Today. #HALV #LVLV

Knowledge is Power: The Future of Energy. Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Politics

This is, arguably, the best article I've read to date on energy and climate change.  And, while I don't agree with everything in this (I think Tracinski doesn't dwell enough on how to DEAL with climate change instead of how to STOP it like we currently are), at least the author is thinking logically and not falling pray to the Faux-Scientific ramblings of the Climate Change profiteers who are Chicken Littling us to death under a wave of economy killing regulation and proposed laws.

As the author points out, IF the enviro-movement really wanted to move to a zero-emissions future they would have embraced nuclear fission as a primary power supply.  That they didn't should show you that all they really want are two things:

1. To increase the wealth of their political patronage, all of whom have significant financial dealings with renewable schemes (Al Gore stood to make a personal fortune off of so-called "carbon exchanges" a fact that is lightly reported)

2. To decrease the mobility, wealth and independence of everyone else. Including, and especially, those who donate to the "other" side. (Oil companies make political donations primarily to conservatives who are *gasp* friendly to their cause)

The personal automobile, increased, cheap air travel and other fuel-based mobility tools are signs of personal freedom. Freedom of movement makes a citizenry both harder to track and more difficult to suppress. If you can flee, you are harder to control after all.

The one huge error that the GOP made for years is totally dismissing the idea of climate change all-together.  OF COURSE the climate of the Earth is changing, it has been for around a few Million Mellinnia. To think that suddenly human activity is capable of changing that fact is the height of hubris.  What the GOP always should have focused on is allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn a healthy profit on allowing humanity to DEAL with the change, not lose freedoms and opportunity trying to imitate King Canute.

Part of "getting better" at this whole conservation thing (be a conservationist, NOT an environmentalist) is understanding that the best parts of a free market will ALWAYS act to protect the market. Regulation should be targeted at the bad actors, not designed to sweep everyone up in the same net (I'm looking at YOU federal government).

Whatever comes after the GOP needs to understand this.  Public opinion on climate change has been corrupted, as it has been in most areas, by a government and media who are active partners in developing a great lie. They all clamor to reduce the financial, travel and wealth options of the serfs while flying private planes and dining on nothing but roast peacock and Champagne themselves.

In short, talk about a BETTER way.

Start be reading the above. Finish by engaging locally.  In Houston challenging the trope of groups like Houston Tomorrow (who continue spouting the now all but discredited theories of Richard Florida) with ideas from thinkers like Joel Kotkin is a good idea. In Las Vegas challenging the wisdom behind throwing Billions behind a light rail system that's destined to fail is one way as well.

One thing is clear however, in both my home town and my adopted home town right-thinking people are going to be the key going forward.  Getting them in a position to succeed is going to mean forcing out a lot of the current power structure.

This will not be easily accomplished.