Category Archives: Social Commentary

Auto World

The anniversary of the folly.

Having moved away from Michigan a few years before, I never went, but it does seem ill conceived. As one commenter said, for a fraction of that amount of money, they could have put together the world’s best auto museum, with many classic cars, to rival or even exceed the Ford museum in Dearborn, and it might still be there. Government in action.

That’s No Lady

…it’s my Supreme Court nominee. Of all the things for the left to get its panties in a new wad about.

Though this does remind me of a pet peeve of my own, and a much more egregious one (I just heard it again yesterday morning on the local news). The female anchor (not to pick on her, men do it, too) was describing some sort of brutal crime, after which she said that the police were still looking for the “gentleman” who perpetrated it.

Apparently, many people are no longer familiar with the meaning of the words “lady” and “gentleman” (it just occurs to me that people in show business compliment their audiences by addressing them as “ladies and gentlemen” — do they say that at WWE events? Wishing to see such an exhibition doesn’t seem very ladylike…). They are not synonyms for (respectively) “woman” and “man.” They are describing a particular sort of woman or man. As far as I know, and from all I’ve heard about her public conduct (and ignoring rumors about her private life, about which I’m indifferent), Elena Kagan is a lady. And the guy the news reporter was describing was no gentleman.

A Facebook Problem

Jonah has one:

Is it bad form to “un-friend” folks I don’t know personally and send them to the fan page? It seems awfully rude. But I have actual longtime 3-Dimensional friends who can’t “friend” me because I hit the limit.

I don’t have that problem, not just because I’m not as popular and well-known (and debonair) as Jonah, but because I take Facebook friending almost (but not quite) as seriously as meatspace friending. I don’t Facebook friend people that I don’t know and have not interacted with (at least on line, if not in flesh and blood)– to do so would seem to make the term “friend” meaningless. The only exceptions are if we have a high number of mutual friends, or if someone takes the trouble to write a note with the friend request explaining who they are and why they want to be friends, which doesn’t happen very much (about three times, in my experience).

That said, it wouldn’t have to be rude if you explained why. I would think that most would understand. It might be nice to have a script that would be autogenerated when you did it to provide the explanation. It would be a pain to have to cut and paste it for each unfriending. And never having unfriended someone, I’m not even sure that such an explanation is an option, short of actually sending them a Facebook message, which would be a royal PITA. I don’t think you’re automatically alerted if you’re unfriended (it’s happened to me once, and I didn’t receive any notice of it — I just noticed one day that they were no longer my Facebook friend, or rather, I wasn’t theirs). So I guess if you unfriend a lot of people, some of them will notice, and some of those will ask for an explanation. I guess something else to do would be to put up a notice on your wall warning the general Facebook friendom that some of them were about to become unfriended, with an explanation why and a request not to take it personally.

A Letter

going around Wall Street:

We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?

I wish it was easier to undo legislation.

[Update a late afternoon]

Nicole Gelinas has some useful thoughts.

The Remains Of A California Day

Some depressing thoughts from long-time Democrat (who will be voting for Mickey Kaus in June) Victor Davis Hanson:

…how would we return to sanity in California, a state as naturally beautiful and endowed and developed by our ancestors as it has been sucked dry by our parasitic generation? The medicine would be harder than the malady, and I just cannot see it happening, as much as I love the state, admire many of its citizens, and see glimmers of hope in the most unlikely places every day.

After all, in no particular order, we would have to close the borders; adopt English immersion in our schools; give up on the salad bowl and return to the melting pot; assimilate, intermarry, and integrate legal immigrants; curb entitlements and use the money to fix infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, trains, etc.; build 4-5 new damns to store water in wet years; update the canal system; return to old policies barring public employee unions; redo pension contracts; cut about 50,000 from the public employee roles; lower income taxes from 10% to 5% to attract businesses back; cut sales taxes to 7%; curb regulations to allow firms to stay; override court orders now curbing cost-saving options in our prisons by systematic legislation; start creating material wealth from our forests; tap more oil, timber, natural gas, and minerals that we have in abundance; deliver water to the farmland we have; build 3-4 nuclear power plants on the coast; adopt a traditional curriculum in our schools; insist on merit pay for teachers; abolish tenure; encourage not oppose more charter schools, vouchers, and home schooling; give tax breaks to private trade and business schools; reinstitute admission requirements and selectivity at the state university system; take unregistered cars off the road; make UC professors teach a class or two more each year; abolish all racial quotas and preferences in reality rather than in name; build a new all weather east-west state freeway over the Sierra; and on and on.

In other words, we would have to seance someone born around 1900 and just ask them to float back for a day, walk around, and give us some advice.

It’s hard to see much hope, given how the looters in Sacramento have arranged things with their gerrymandered districts.

On that last recommendation, does he mean upgrading I-80, or a new freeway with a different (presumably more southerly) route? Perhaps just south of Yosemite, providing a quick route to the Mammoth ski area for the Bay Area? But where would it hook into another interstate? The only two options are I-80, way to the north, or I-15, far south. Ideally, I guess it would continue east all the way across Nevada to extend I-70 in Utah all the way to California. In any event, it’s a pipe dream given the current state of state finances.

[Update a while later]

I haven’t been up that way in a few years. Is 395 four lanes all the way to Mammoth through the Owens Valley now? That would be a natural place to hook in a new road.