Random Thoughts

I have a few ideas that cross my mind that are good, but don’t materialize into full-fledged posts and/or aren’t exactly related to Georgia politics, so I’ll just post them as random thoughts:

  • Seems to me like a lot of men of my generation want to play dress-up and look like our fathers and grandfathers, but my generation doesn’t want to put forth the work of our fathers and grandfathers.  We hate big corporations, profit, and everything that corporate America stands for.  In fact, we will express our feelings by posting on Twitter and Facebook from our various Apple products.
  • We should have a national standard for education.  Not a checklist of things to implement dictated from the federal Department of Education, but just a guideline (a broad guidline) of what sort of body of knowledge the average student (and I mean average…think bell curve C student) should know once he graduates.  Leave implementation up to the local school systems, teachers, and, most importantly, parents.  High school graduates should be able to read and comprehend ideas, write, and do basic math.
  • Why haven’t we gone back to the moon since the ’70s?  I was watching a documentary recently that mentioned that the average age for the Apollo 11 program was 26.  Folks my age designed and built both rockets and computer systems that got us to the moon within a decade.  Incredible.
  • Drudge has been getting worked up over the NSA deal…which I’m not trying to diminish, but these “revelations” are surprising?  The NSA has been doing this for years.  Also, I’m not all that surprised that we’re spying on our really close allies.  They, more than likely, do the same thing to us.  Of course, I’m not expert in international espionage.  It’s just a guess.  Don’t take my lack of shock and surprise as approval of the programs.  It’s not.
  • Net neutrality rules dictated by the FCC were overturned in federal court last week.  I still believe it’s a regulatory solution in want of a problem.  Giving government the “opportunity” to dictate how Internet traffic flows through your cables and routers spells trouble to me.  This article on ZDNet gives a pretty good argument on why net neutrality should stay dead.  (Warning: technical jargon is used.)
  • Don’t count out Governor Chris Christie.  Both the media and fellow Republicans are getting in a frenzy over the bridge lane closure “fiasco”.  Never mind that the Governor held a two-hour press conference, took responsibility for the actions, and fired those aides within days.  Now Democrats are trying to pile on.  Why?  Well, Christie has a pretty good shot against Hillary Clinton in 2016, so no doubt the Democrats are trying to torpedo him now.  Of course, 2016 is a good ways away and things can change.  Thomas Sowell has a pretty good opinion article about Governor Christie and how Republicans should look to him as an example to communicate ideas.  Here’s a key take away from Sowell’s article:

“When it comes to policies, I might prefer some other Republican as a 2016 presidential candidate. But the bottom line in politics is that you have to get elected, in order to have the power to accomplish anything. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are, if you can’t be bothered to articulate them in a way that the voting public can understand.


  1. Charlie says:

    Your second random thought about having a national standard for Education is exactly what Common Core is. Except it has been stolen by the Agenda 21 Crowd and now many other misguided folks who have no idea what they’re fighting. Common Core is a set standard. The curriculum designed to teach those standards are left to states, local school boards, and teachers. And yet, when the anti-common core crowd speaks up, they now use the term “Common Core aligned curriculum”.

    Notice the slight of hand there. They are railing against the national standard as a federal takeover. The tool they use to criticize it is often what was decided at the local or classroom level. It’s misdirection at it’s finest.

    • Ghost of William F. Buckley says:

      Thank you, Charlie. And it will lead to confusion at the ballot box, especially among the most reliable voters – our senior citizens.

      We are the the midst of a full blown war of misinformation and the GOP will lose handily if we cannot call out those who choose rhetoric and emotion over facts and passion.

      The oddest part of the whole Tea Party, other than I actually coined the phrase as my handle in 2005, is that most Conservatives cannot disagree with their platform – Stop Washington spending. Thus, we have the obstreperous tactics of local Tea Parties playing to the advantage of the opposition Party. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YFza_7arj4U/UDd6fOS9WpI/AAAAAAAAC3E/UbBv9702bSs/s1600/Shoot+My+Foot.jpg

      I find it amazing that the ‘sustainability’ crowd cannot call this out as unsustainable…

  2. Charlie says:

    As for NASA, in my former life one of my main clients was at NASA’s Huntsville operations. At their annual dinners (Space Prom), there were often a lot of the original rocket scientists and some of the astronauts. They still walk among us, but they aren’t spring chickens anymore.

    What remains remarkable about them is that they did much of the work in their heads, and kept it there. One of the things my company did was a knowledge capture project. We had to interview them to get things they knew and taught by apprenticeship out of their heads and into documentation. Unfortunately, NASA realized this was a problem only after a lot of them began to die.

    They are heroes, and have done heroic things.

    • Nathan says:

      I’m still astounded that they did such an amazing engineering feat with slide rules and big, bulky computers that were expensive and slow. Robotic space exploration is (supposedly) more economical, but there’s something about human space exploration that is really amazing.

      I’m not knocking the accomplishments that NASA has done as of late. The landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars using the SkyCrane was pretty amazing.

  3. analogkid says:

    In defense of Net Neutrality, I offer a few rebuttals…

    1. As the author of the ZDNet piece fully admits, most people have at best one or two options for their internet service. Overturning NN essentially means giving control of the internet to a monopoly or duopoly. In both cases, ISPs have a powerful incentive to throttle your access to sites that don’t pay them to allow you, the user, preferred access. Which brings us to…

    2. The end user (that’s you) pays for a “pipe.” The size of said pipe is determined by the amount the user is willing to pay. What you use that pipe for (e.g., bit torrent, porn, peach pundit, etc.) is and should be entirely up to you. I have a difficult time understanding why the author of that piece thinks it’s appropriate to throttle bit torrent users, when they have paid for the access they were promised. If an ISP cannot provide the bandwidth that it advertises and sells, that is the ISP’s problem, not the user’s. The ISP should either raise prices or eat the cost of providing the service it promised.

    3. The GOP supports the user fee model. That is exactly what we have (or at least, had). The end user should and does pay the full cost of his or her access to the internet. Supporting the ISPs’ ability to charge both the end user and the content providers is absurd and bolsters the claim that the GOP only cares about big business (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Comcast), not the thousands upon thousands of small businesses that rely on your ability to access their sites without being throttled or them having to pay for preferential treatment.

    I’ve probably got more to say, but I’ll leave it there for now.

    • Harry says:

      Understand the GOP these days consists of two distinct groups, the establishment insiders and the tea party outsiders. I would imagine they are on different sides of net neutrality as many other issues.

  4. Jon Lester says:

    If Hillary and Christie are the nominees in 2016, then the democratic process will have failed the country at long last, because neither of those are particularly friendly to civil libertarian thought.

  5. notsplost says:

    In defense of “generation x” and below:

    This is not your fathers’ corporation. Your fathers corporation probably had a generous pension plan, lifetime employment as long as you produced, and took the long view on profitability.

    In today’s world, your pension plan is gone, replaced with a defined contribution plan subject to the whims of a bubble-prone stock market. Forget about lifetime employment – you’ll have to stay nimble and change jobs many times during your career. And if those quarterly numbers don’t “beat the street”, lookout. You might be next in the unemployment line.

    Not to mention if you start a family, you’re much more involved with parenting than either my Dad or certainly his father ever was. That has benefits but limits us too.

    Good luck carving out a career in that environment.

      • Ellynn says:

        It depends on the state. They just killed the longterm insurance plan (which the state did not pay for, just underwrote) in Wisconsin.

        • Harry says:

          How about federal government workers? Those guys are getting rich and fat on the backs of the rest of us. It’s ridiculous how much wealth is now concentrated in the suburbs of DC. The federal beast is on steroids.

    • Ellynn says:

      My Father was blue collar. He only dressed up for Church, weddings and funerals. Corpate America still screwed him, and his father over. My father died in April after working 44 years for the same company and his penion vanished before i even went to college. My Grandmother is 95 and the corporation my grandfather worked at for 41 years just passed a rule that no pensions will be paid beyond 30 years past the person’s year of retirement. My late grandfather worked until 67 and retired in 1979. As of January 1, she no longer has a pension. Why should we trust a corperation that says they will do one thing for there workers and then does another? If I can’t trust then to keep a pledge to a 95 year old women… just saying.

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