Some thoughts on technological unemployment.
The politics of it.
As sins go, it’s pretty weak tea to me. And I think it’s actually good for your health, as long as you have a healthy attitude toward it. In fact, I think that it’s sinful and frankly stupid that people would deny sexual pleasure to those unable to find a willing partner. It certainly beats the hell out of rape.
Out: Gun control.
In. Government control.
[Update a while later]
Joe Scarborough is having second thoughts, too: “Gee, maybe background checks aren’t such a red-hot idea after all.”
I hope that this is the week that the American people finally wake up, after having stared into the abyss.
It’s not as simple as reported:
Put another way, this study says that liberals are a coalition of rich wimpy men and strong poor men. Bu contrast, conservatives are a coalition of rich strong men and poor weak men.
The study found that women are different from men: a woman’s upper body strength did not affect her politics.
Partisans would like to think that it is the smart people who support their side. In reality, though, that doesn’t work: both sides have their share of both smart people and dumb people.
Yes, the notion that smart people are naturally “progressive” is just one of their many conceits.
…of the Mainstream Media:
The big question now is how many of the liberal media will return to form as this process unfolds itself with more whistleblowers emerging, and with documents subpoenaed and witnesses put under oath over the coming months. To be sure some already have reverted to their default position of excuse-making support, floating rationalizations to minimize the damage: Obama is too remote and disconnected (even, it may even be intimated as a fallback concession, a bit lazy what with all that golf and partying) to have actively instigated these shocks.
This would be the face-saving option for both Obama and the journalists who wish to remain invested in his cause, albeit at lower intensity now that they have conceded incompetence and perhaps sloth. He has disappointed them a little, but any overestimation they may have engaged in was out of the best of motives.
But others will take a different tack. Having devoted five plus years to the narrative of Obama the good, they will be ready to follow a new story line now, because it has the ultimate virtue in the news business: it is new. If the special committees which will investigate the scandals do their job, there will many veins to mine in uncovering and telling the stories of wrongdoing. In the 1970s, nobody made a good career move defending the Nixon administration’s use of the IRS against its opponents, after all.
It will be fascinating to see how they respond.
[Update a couple minutes later]
Some in the media have apologized to the Tea Partiers for not taking their concerns seriously:
“One of the guys said, ‘I’m sitting here looking at what you sent me last year and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t cover,’ and I said ‘I understand, this is so surreal, we didn’t know what we were dealing with,’” Zawistowski said.
Well, he should be embarrassed. They all should be. And an apology is the very least they could do after all of the lies and calumny that have been raining down on people who just wanted to see a return to Constitutional government. If they want to apologize, the best way to do it would be to start doing their damned jobs and stop carrying water for these incompetent thugs.
And they should follow the advice of Bob Woodward (and apologize to him, too):
I would not dismiss Benghazi. It’s a very serious issue. As people keep saying, four people were killed. You look at the hydraulic pressure that was in the system to not tell the truth, and, you know, we use this term and the government uses this term, talking points. Talking points, as we know, are like legal briefs. They’re an argument on one side. What we need to get rid of talking point and they need to put out statements or papers that are truth documents.
Don’t expect that from this gang. The media needs to learn that when it comes to Obama and the Democrats, they should not trust, and and they have verify everything.
He’s not only the best gun salesman in history, but he’s apparently selling conservatism, too:
If these scandals are indeed affecting the ideological landscape, this is bad news for liberals. It’s not just that the opposite ideology is getting some help from government bunglers, but the media is exacerbating the problem. Liberals believe that there is a role for government to play in mediating market failures, and there are plenty of stories of areas where the safety net is thinning as a result of sequestration—from cancer treatments to Head Start to Meals-on-Wheels—where government should step in. But those stories get lost in the scandal coverage of an administration, making it look like conservatives fundamentally understand something that liberals do not.
You don’t say.
From Benghazi to Boston, the Obama administration ignores it:
Looking back, a cynic would say that for this administration there really was no other way to characterize what happened in Benghazi but as a spontaneous protest to an anti-Islam video. For the truth to be revealed in the middle of a competitive election would have too many disquieting resonances, too many unknown effects. The specter of jihad must be muted and diffused. These are the same people, remember, who replaced the concept of “terrorism” with the euphemism “man-caused disaster,” who labeled Nidal Hassan’s jihadist rampage in Ft. Hood, Texas, an incidence of “workplace violence.” Who could doubt they’d blame the stupid videotape.
These are the same people, the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz reports, who have instituted a cultural change at the FBI that seeks “to dissociate Islam from terrorism, a policy critics say fails to properly identify the nature of an enemy engaged in waging religiously inspired war and insurgency against the United States and its allies.” It was the same politically correct blindness that led so many in the media and government, in their absurd search for a “motive” in the Boston bombings, to downplay the religious dimension of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s plot against America, to willfully describe the bombers as “lone wolves” despite their ideological allegiances and familial ties to overseas militants. Gertz’s sources suggest political correctness even may have played a part in the inability of the U.S. counterterrorism establishment to heed warnings from the Russians about the older Tsarnaev, whose every action in the run-up to the attack screamed, “Call the police.”
This is dangerous to our security, and utterly lacking in feck.
Is he guilty of violating the 13th Amendment? Sure looks like it to me. Though I don’t know if there’s actually a stipulated federal penalty for being a slaveholder.
How government wrecked it:
I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.
It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.
At some point, in ways large and small, people will revolt.
We treat technological progress as though it were a natural process, and we speak of Moore’s law — computers’ processing power doubles every two years — as though it were one of the laws of thermodynamics. But it is not an inevitable, natural process. It is the outcome of a particular social order.
Which reminds me of the Heinlein quote:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
Kevin’s new book just came out this week.
A lot of people, including me, have accused the administration (and the Congress, when Democrats were in charge) of waging a war on business, but it’s really a war on small business and startups:
…what’s to blame for this change? A lot of things, probably. One reason, I suspect, for a job market that looks more like Europe is a regulatory and legal environment that looks more like Europe’s. High regulatory loads — the product of ObamaCare and numerous other laws — systematically harm small businesses, which can’t afford the personnel needed for compliance, to the benefit of large corporations, which can.
Likewise, higher taxes reduce the rewards for success, making people less likely to invest their money (or time) into new businesses. And local regulatory bodies, too, make starting new businesses harder.
But I wonder if the biggest problem isn’t cultural. Since 2008, this country hasn’t celebrated achievement or entrepreneurialism. Instead, we’ve heard talk about the evils of the “1%” ” about the rapaciousness of capitalism, and the importance of spreading the wealth around. We’ve even heard that work in the public sector is somehow nobler than work in the private sector.
Countries where those attitudes prevail tend not to produce as much entrepreneurialism, so it’s perhaps no surprise that as those attitudes have gained ascendance among America’s political class and media elite, we’ve seen less entrepreneurialism here.
It doesn’t bode well for the future.
You know it’s getting bad when people like Peter Beinart notice it.
I’ve lost all fear of the accusation, myself. I think it’s losing its political juice, because it’s hard to take it seriously any more, coming from these racist hypocrites.
The Founders would never have imagined such an expansion of federal police powers and crimes. Most of it is probably unconstitutional, under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Time to resurrect them.
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