A few thoughts on the Republican primaries/caucuses.
I think Democrats have had a lot of fun imagining Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum as the Republican nominee for president. Sort of like visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. They should have their fun while they can, because it won't be long before Romney settles in and the Anybody But Obama campaign begins in earnest.
I think a fair number of Republicans have been acting like hysterical twits as they have imagined Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, or Ron Paul getting the nomination. A fair number have also been acting like hysterical twits as they imagined Mitt Romney getting the nomination. Stop acting like twits. Barack Obama must be defeated, and now that everyone has had their chance it is clear that Romney is the one who can, and will, do that.
I shouldn't have to remind people about this, but the mainstream press and pundits are fully in the tank for Obama. They've been doing everything in their power to make the process so far as dispiriting and ugly for Republicans as it could possibly be, not that some Republicans haven't done their fair share of that too. Conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans should all remember that the mainstream media are not your friends. Not through this process and not through the election process next year. Don't let them get you down.
For the record, Romney is not exactly my ideal candidate to oppose Obama, but then I don't think the country would elect my ideal candidiate right now. My ideal candidate has not emerged and done the hard work to make the intellectual case for a radically reduced role for the federal government. Much of what is not working or is corrupt right now is directly related to the federal government taking on things that would more wisely be left alone or up to the states to regulate. For example, we send billions of dollars to Washington DC only to turn around and lobby our Congressmen to send it back to us to pay for local projects. Why do we that? Why don't we just keep that money in our states in the first place?
Why is there more and more money in politics every year? It's simple really. Because the federal government imposes policies, regulations, and taxes on more and more of daily life in America. The more a politician can control, the more he can sell. If politicians can't control something then nobody is going to bribe them with campaign contributions to control it their way. You want to see less money influence in politics? Less corruption? Less ham-fisted policies that don't work? Try letting the states keep their money and do the things that are best done at the state level and not the federal level.
After mentioning the background of new leader Kim Jong Un and his education at a Swiss boarding school, Goldberg proclaimed, "...If you say that this is how our culture is and then you send your child to a Swiss boarding school. You know, this is what happens with communism. It's a great concept. On paper it makes perfect sense."
The comic added, "But once you put a human being in power, it shifts. We saw it in Russia, we've seen it all around the world."
I'm not a fan of Goldberg's politics, but I will give her credit for recognizing that communism doesn't work. Where she blows it then is with that "great concept" stuff, and I see that all the time.
Communism is not a great concept, it's a stupid concept. In fact, it's so stupid, so profoundly flawed, so devastating in its actual implementation, that I'm completely certain that it is also an evil concept. Why? Goldberg herself knows the answer:
"But once you put a human being in power..."
Well, who freakin' else is going to be in power? "You know, that communism thing would work if we just let the horses have all of the power." Good grief. A framework for governing humanity that would just work if humans didn't have to run it is a great concept?
The reasons I have nothing but scorn for communism go well beyond that. It denies or attempts to crush one of the basic truths of humanity among most other animals, and that is that behavior that is rewarded is repeated. The flip side to that is also true, that behavior that is punished, or results in pain, is discouraged. Communism degrades and eventually crushes the association between efforts and rewards. It is not exactly a shocker that eventually such a society falls into a desultory stagnation once people realize that they just need to do the minimum to get by.
Degrading and crushing the individual is also inherent to this "great concept." It has to be, since the collective good must take precedence over any individual wants or desires. You can't have people running around doing whatever they want or pretty soon some people will have more things than others and you're back to all sorts of chaos. No, things must be managed for the collective good and that means some things will be allowed and some things will be prohibited. Some people will object of course, but the police will just have to take them away. It's sad, but necessary. You know the rest.
No, communism does not make sense, in practice or on paper. The stupid, the ugly, the evil are all baked right in from the start. I think anyone who can't see that is ignorant, or a fool, or a sociopath.
Happy Boxing Day. I'm sure it will come as a total shock that I wouldn't be caught dead within a mile of a retailer today.
It's funny, the things that lurk just below our conscious mind just waiting for some trigger to let them out. When I was a kid, Saturday night was hamburger night and it was the one night we could chow down in the living room while watching TV. Mom would make Lipton burgers and "Get Smart" would be on the tube. Years later, if I see the opening to "Get Smart" I can taste and smell those hamburgers. A Christmas present triggered a similar, but not so benign response in me last night.
This winter has been warm, but exceptionally dry. One of the things I needed was a humidifier for my tiny little house. Mom came through for me and I set it up next to the central heat vent in my house. It works great and is amazingly quiet, so no problem, right?
Well, no problem until I sat down at my computer desk and got this incredible craving for a cigarette. I've had them before, but this was really intense. It wasn't until I caught myself reaching for a non-existent cigarette burning in a non-existent ashtray that I realized what was going on. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the water vapor from the humidifier curling into the air. It was just like when I used to have a smoke going in an ashtray off to the side of the keyboard and that was what was triggering the craving.
I put a chair between the humidifier and me and the craving passed fairly quickly, but how's that for freaky? Like I said, funny the things from the past that can pop back at you.
I hope this Christmas Eve finds you and yours safe, sound, and where you want to be.
We're having a brown Christmas here, which is not as rare as you might think in these parts. Our last was just five years ago. It doesn't bother me, except that usually the things I didn't get done outside before winter are mercifully covered with snow by now. Now they stare at me relentlessly. Haunting me. Rats.
The Vikings earned a rare win today on the road. The best part was listening to the radio afterward and hearing Vikings radio announcer Paul Allen note that the win puts an end to any hopes that the members of the '84 Vikings had of this year's team taking away their title of worst record in franchise history. The best they can hope for is this year's team sharing the honor at 3-13. Allen cracked me up when he said the '84 team could "Put the cork back into the bottle of Ripple." I know Rob will get it, but for those who don't it's a funny and slightly cruel play on the '72 Miami Dolphins tradition of cracking a bottle of champagne each season when the last undefeated team is beaten and their perfect record is safe again.
One of the reasons I could use a better camera is the poor shutter timing between the click and the image capture with my current camera, or my phone for that matter. It makes it tough to get a good photos of things that are moving, such as waves. A strong SW wind that's gusting into the upper 20s today has 6 to 7 foot waves coming onshore.
I could probably get a better perspective if I clambered down the rocky shore a little bit, but since the spray is freezing on the rocks I think that would be unwise today. That pic will have to do.
I was going to make some smartass comment about being out in the middle of nowhere by myself and watching episodes of Criminal Minds, but upon further review I decided it didn't work. The beers and bumps, and the nice fire in the background, are working just fine though.
I just watched Howie Long proclaim, in the course of making a wider point(I think), that Tim Tebow is not eligible to run for President of the United States because he was born in the Philippines while his US citizen parents were doing missionary work there.
I bet the deluge of angry calls, comments, and emails has already begun. Will they make it to half time before the correction?
The Saints are clearly the better team and playing for possible post-season advantage behind Green Bay. The Vikes have struggled all year and at 2-11 just finishing the season out with whatever pride they can muster. The season has been a disaster in more ways than I have time to list out here.
The thing is though, the Vikes aren't really that bad a team. Yes, they were blown out in a couple of games, but if you look at their 11 loses, eight of those were by 7 points or less. They have enough talent to win if they can take care of the ball and keep stupid penalties to a minimum. Like my friend Rob often says about the Saints, if they take care of the ball, they'll take care of (fill in the opponent).
The Saints could run away with it, but if the Vikes can keep it close I think it goes to the team that takes care of the ball. Here's to a good game.