Thursday, October 29, 2009
David Proudfoot, 31, of Ellicott City will be running for a Howard County Board of Education seat. From my own research, it appears he has been revving up a campaign for quite some time.
I think the Board elections are going to be quite politicized this year. There are rumblings in the GOP Club ranks that the curriculum is "brain-washing" our children, and they have been recruiting candidates. I really hope those concerns stay rumblings and don't develop into a misguided candidate running on a political platform for an independent position. It would be a black eye for the other candidates and probably cause some unwanted attention without bringing any change in result.
I'll tell ya this much, David has already put together the most developed campaign Facebook page out of all the candidates for County races. It looks SHARP.
Monday, October 26, 2009
So here's what I'm looking into. First, I would like to do a weekly podcast. I think all I'll need is a microphone to hook to my computer. Second, I'm going to go try and get word out about the blog by posting on some other blogs to see if I can attract some attention.
So wish me luck. I don't know when the podcast will start, but I'm hoping in the next two weeks. Otherwise, there are these buttons at the bottom of every post that were incredibly difficult to code into blogger. One of them allows you to post blog posts onto Facebook. If you see something you like, post it.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It helps me to see that other people are as frustrated as I am. I'm not even saying we need Republicans to win, but I don't know if we want to further the expansive-minded government policies that seem to be the practice of the Dems. Yes, Republicans have this in them as well, but at least with the GOP they are hypocrites and not fulfilling planks of their party.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Jeff Robinson, Delegate District 13. This is another hard working campaign with a lot of good people volunteering on staff. He has had multiple events and seems to be snowballing supporters. He's going up against some fairly established names in the county (Guzzone, Pendergrass), but he is a legitimate challenger. If you go to his site, be sure to check out the "About Jeff" page. He's certainly had an interesting life.
Kyle Lorton, State Senate District 13. This is a candidate that is getting a reputation for introducing himself as "Do you live in my district?" He is running against former County Exec James Robey, which should be quite a challenge. I can't say much either way on Kyle other than the fact that he makes it out to most of the Howard County GOP events. It will be interesting to see how he communicates himself to voters going forward. A preliminary tip would be to turn on the lights next time he films a campaign video clip.
I promise to take a much more critical eye as these campaigns move forward, but it is unfair to criticize/promote before these candidates have the opportunity to establish themselves.
Update: I can't make heads or tails of Kyle's blog either. I think he may be the definition of a "dark horse" in every meaning of the term.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Fiscally conservative. That basically means the government doesn't spend liberally. Couldn't that also mean that they tax the dickens out of everyone? They wouldn't spend money they don't have. I think what it really means at the end of the day is small government, but people don't like saying that because then they feel like they're Ron Paul...and whatever the merit of that man's ideas, he sounds like the farmer who just had a UFO land in his back yard. Fiscally conservative means, don't spend more money than you have to, which means don't tax more than you have to, which means stay as large as you have to, which means...well there's your black hole and why "fiscally conservative" doesn't mean a darn thing. Are you in Sean Hannity's camp, thinking that the federal government should provide for Defense and little else? Well I hope you don't take I-95 to work. Are you with Rachel Maddow and you think that the government should provide a baseline of living expenses for all citizens (or even non-citizens)?
I'm going to guess you're in the middle, which at the end of the day means "cut the fat." Run an efficient government, cutting wherever necessary, but providing the services that are currently expected. Don't expand and quit it with the pork.
Now socially liberal, that's easy. That means "let people do what they want to do." Gay marriage - as long as I'm invited. Abortion - (not touching it). Drugs - smoke 'em if you got 'em. Financial Scams - if you can trick us, you keep it.
You're like "wait a second, I didn't say that Nigerian Prince can get my bank account number and get away with it." Or "if we liberalize drugs, then I'm not paying for the druggies." So again, there is a line that needs to be drawn, but where? Frankly I find scam artists more forgivable than drug dealers, all the scam artists take is money. And if we "liberalize," who gets to decide which ills we allow? Aren't we always going to be gate-keepers? Murder is a social construct that we have disallowed. Are social liberals open in to loosening up those rules?
This simple four word phrase is keeping us all from real discussion. "Oh well that guy Ryan over there, he's fiscally conservative and socially liberal just like me. We are on the same page when it comes to politics." Uh, probably not. You both have probably never had your views challenged. Sooooooo, next time someone serves you that load of ___, smile knowingly and say "yeah, murder should totally be legal and we should restrict our spending to aircraft carriers."
Thursday, October 15, 2009
In Columbia, we already have a budding crime problem that is getting worse by the day. A county that less than 5 years ago had 5-10 homicides a year is edging closer to the 50 mark. Why does the council see fit to bulldoze themselves into new problems while the existing one's fester? I think the reason is that they are mostly oblivious. You will not see a council-person making statements about how the "details are where a lot of the discussion will go in the future" about the drug rings using our county as home base or the prostitution along Route 1 ("I have seen some improvement"...really?). If Towson is the model, please just look up the Beltway and tell me things are going well for them.
This county will develop and has developed over the past 20 years, but it has developed to meet a steadily rising demand. The county is looking to create a glut of housing (because that worked out before) and then prop up new businesses to meet the expected market. Funny thing is that I don't see any economists weighing in on this little plan. Just developers...and council-members.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"I went to see Capitalism: A Love Story yesterday. It did keep my
attention, though little new information was provided. The entertainment value
was most clear when Michael Moore visited the bailed out banks & AGI in an
attempt to make a citizen’s arrest and lock up their CEOs for thievery. Loved
Good: Glad to see the balance, however delayed, between
Democrats and Republicans. We’re all spiraling south until we vote out those
Bad: Moore missed a fantastic oppty to market this film by
focusing on the bailouts – people are mad, really mad about this. I saw a poll
today that said Maryland voters want big changes in campaign finance reform. But
also, the subject could have been better delivered by showing the early benes of
Capitalism and then hit more squarely and thematically on the undermining of
Democracy that morphed Capitalism into the beast we have today. It’s not that
Cap is evil, but the people exploiting Cap have changed it. You can’t even call
what we have today Capitalism, it’s simply control of our gov’t by those with
massive amounts of money. That is not Capitalism.
Learned: Wow. The part
about one-income families paying off mortgages in 5-6 years during the 1950-60’s
really brought home how far we’ve fallen. Now it takes 2 income families 30-40
years to pay off the roof over their heads. My father paid off our family home
in 6 years but the contrast didn’t occur to me until I heard it stated this way.
Over-the-top: Realizing this is Michael Moore’s style, making fun of
Bush was a bit much considering the gravity of the subject. But maybe that’s
what it took to keep my 17 yo son interested. And he was."
I have not seen the movie, but I did listen to an interesting interview on the radio over the weekend. The guest was suggesting that part of the reason we have such horrifying stories of people being churned in the grinder of a harsh market is the end result of continuously telling the consumer that "everything will be ok" and that their government will take care of them. My father grew up in an age where you never trusted someone that offered you something for nothing and if it looked too good to be true, it was. You saved more than you spent and you went out to eat only on special occassions. Now everyone believes that they are entitled to what their neighbor has. When I worked in the government, we revoked security clearances for people with bad credit who were spending beyond their means. The one constant was that they never thought they were spending extravagantly. One man I remember vividly took his entire family on a cruise because "we had worked hard and deserved it" despite being over $100,000 in debt with credit cards.
But here's the thing about both markets (such as the market Michael Moore is playing to) and democracies: The Ayes Have It. We are a decision maker by plurality, not correctness. Therefore blaming the masses serves no purpose. Obama realized this. McCain didn't. Hell, Barney Frank has made a career out of always changing his position so as to always be on the side of the plurality.
Thank you Anonymous. I know this is an issue that you and I don't see eye to eye on, but your review was fair and, dare I say, balanced? Ha ha.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I've heard plenty of people say "what did he do" and my answer is "he won the Nobel peace prize." This award is meant more to give the President additional authority than it is to reward him for a job well done. As far as I am aware, the President's only international agreement has been a "Prom Promise" type document saying that we promise not to screw up the economy again. Most could look at it as a general censure on America for being such a dominant force in the economy.
But at the end of the day, the award says something more. When Obama's approval rating has gone way into the red domestically, he is being encouraged by his overseas electorate...you know...those people he visited DURING the Presidential campaign. In an age when our ears are being filled with "the world is flat" dogma, a President will seek out international favor even when it is pissing off the people at home. Nonetheless, the Olympics are in Rio, Iran is building a bomb, and Russia is about to have a gulag party in the Ukraine. Nice job.
So for now, congrats Mr. President. I'm sure your acceptance speech will be pretty. But unfortunately you ran for office here. Get back to work.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here is an example. We've got politicos on the right and left insisting that the Afghanistan war is either the Vietnam war or the Iraqi war, and that the lessons learned from those engagements can be boxed up, shipped through time, reopened, and used to address the current problem. Meanwhile, we have Generals on the ground with real ideas about how to obtain some level of stability and progress. "But, can you at least make it sound like there is some historical parallel? The further back in history the better. It was much more fun to use the Alexander the Great Afghanistan comparison than the Russian invasion."
History has a place, its just not the only level of analysis we should be considering.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This is a damn shame.
1) China is one of the supposed countries. China has the largest reserve of US dollars outside of the United States. The US is also their biggest trading partner. Their financial position is prefaced on the strength of the dollar. Dumping the dollar would hurt the US the most, but hurt China the second most.
2) China manipulates the Arab countries on a daily basis. I don't believe much when I hear that there is a rumor of an agreement between China and Arab countries. China will string them along and then turn around saying "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Monday, October 5, 2009
I love Health Spending Account, high deductible insurance. It makes sense. Nothing else I've heard does.