Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Today's Wisdom from Thomas Sowell

Too many people who argue that there is a beneficial role for the government to play in the economy glide swiftly from that to the conclusion that the government will in fact confine itself to playing such a role.

In the light of history, this is a faith which passeth all understanding. Even in the case of the Great Depression of the 1930s, increasing numbers of economists and historians who have looked back at that era have concluded that, on net balance, government intervention prolonged the Great Depression.

Read the entire article.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Washington Post: Ten Republicans to Watch (Including Two Mormons)

Already the political horse pickers are zeroing in on the favorites for the coming election cycle. The Washington Post listed the early Republican contenders for the political season. And 20% of the ten listed are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

From the article:

Mitt Romney: Discount the former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate at your own peril. Romney has three big things going for him: he is, by almost anyone's account, an expert on the American economy; he is incredibly ambitious and will work harder than almost anyone to make sure his voice is heard; and he has immense personal wealth and a willingness to spend it. Do his flip-flops on social issues (and his Mormonism) still make social conservatives queasy? You bet. But Romney is in the mix and will aim to stay there.

Jon Huntsman Jr.: As The Fix was waiting to meet with Huntsman on Thursday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer was touting him as a rising star in Republican politics. Nice convergence. Huntsman won re-election earlier this month with 78 percent (granted it was in ruby red Utah) and has the looks and resume -- fluent in Chinese, progressive on the environment -- that could make him appealing for a party looking desperately for a different profile. Huntsman is a Mormon, however, and, as Mitt Romney demonstrated earlier this year, that could be a major problem if he decides to run for president.

Opposition in all things? Even as the loud public sentiment of a very vocal minority lashes out against members of the church, we see Latter-day Saints with a greater capacity for political change than ever before. How it plays out could make for a very interesting story.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Election Day Ignorance


Umm, the people I hang with are certainly more informed than the people in this video are. But if Zogby is to be believed, my peers are the exception, not the rule. From Zogby:
The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President–Elect Joe Biden. The telephone survey of 512 Obama voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The survey was commissioned by John Ziegler, author of The Death of Free Speech, producer of the recently released film "Blocking the Path to 9/11" and producer of the upcoming documentary film, Media Malpractice...How Obama Got Elected.
As Gilbert Gottfried once said, "I'm gonna have a heart attack and die from not-surprise." It's telling and ominous that modern elections are so much more about manipulating the public with style rather than making a case with substance.

Oh well. Time to go watch Dancing with the Stars.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Phoenix Lander: RIP

The Mars Phoenix Lander ended its brief but phenomenal life of exploration and investigation as it plunged deep into the frigid onslaught of the Martian winter. The sturdy lander outlasted its intended mission life by months.

The lander also embodied NASA's triumphant return to interplanetary "soft landings" enabled by jet thrusters rather than parachutes and balloons. Such touchdowns since the 1970s Viking missions have been failures.

What's next on the Martian horizon? Another rover--bigger and better than the recent Spirit and Opportunity, due to launch next year.

Learn all about the Phoenix Lander.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dr. Death for Congress

You've gotta hand it to Minnesota for having the craziest politics. They put a WWF wrestler in the governor's mansion. They almost gave lame comedian (excuse me--"satirist") Al Franken a senate seat. Al Franken! But Minnesota can't claim all the freakishness. In Michigan, no fewer than 8,928 people cast their ballot for Jack Kevorkian for House Representative. That's like doing a write-in candidate for Ted Kaczynski or OJ Simpson. I'd love to personally interview each of those voters and simply ask them, "What were you thinking?" Usually Michigan politics are just depressing. At least Dr. Death made it kinda funny this time around.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What's In A Logo?

On a recent trip to Nevada, I stumbled across a wonderful logo in a tourism brochure:

Sure, I like the rustic, cowboy-ish appeal of the font. But what I love is the breve above the a – telling us to use the short 'a' sound. Because if there's one thing that annoys Nevadans, it's some uppity East Coaster referring to their beloved wasteland as Ne-vah-da. Subtle, yet effective. At least to those who know what a breve is.

(I tried to find out who created the logo, but I couldn't get any further than the Nevada Commission on Tourism. Any tips?)

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