Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Devil and Obama Webster

Jack Cafferty asks at CNN.Com if Obama should go negative.

Not if he wants to win. He needs to get his supporters to quit being shrill.

Explain this, Jack: if he claims that his rival believes his followers are delusional, what does it mean when he claims her support is all blue-collar and undereducated, or in short form, stupid?

Obama is running out of speeches fast. If he continues to repeat himself, he begins to sound like a caged parrot. If he squawks too loudly and shrilly, he is a cooked goose. That is the fatal flaw of populism: it is based on the popularity of an idea, not the execution of a plan.

Maybe common sense is prevailing at last. People who understand that their government is actually NOT a vast right wing closed conspiracy, but a representative democracy (say Republic) in need of competent executive leadership are voting for Hillary Clinton. They understand that we don't have to overturn the government; we need to fix the mess left by the current administration. This isn't 'old school' thinking; it is common sense patriotism. It is belief we have a good system; we need better leaders.

She governs best who governs least, isn't that the conservative mantra, Jack? We want a change of leadership, not a swift boat to hell.

Technologists With Obamamania

Declan McCullagh writes an article at C-Net on the topic "In a technological upset, Obama bests Clinton". Someone writes in that Obama has a grand plan of opening up the corrupt closed insider system in Washington DC to the people.

Sounds good. Answer these questions before we start spending the money:

  • How many hours of C-Span do you watch a week?

  • How many letters do you write to your Congressman?

  • When your local council has meetings, do you attend?

  • Do you read the local political news and review the published bills?

  • There is an abundance of information and opportunities. There are few users or takers. The US government is not a large closed conspiracy (Bush I and II being exceptional). It is a large bureaucratic form of representative democracy (say Republic).


    What Obama is saying sounds good, but that is it. Neither he nor those programs will change the culture or the goals of our government. Once elected, all those neat sounding ideas vanish into budgets and hearings and costs and taxes and finally into a low dull snore.

    Technologists like the sound because they can sell more technology and they can *feel* empowered but this won't change Washington in the least. Competent persistent knowledgeable executive leadership can. When you vote, you are not voting for machinery but a machine. Be very very sure the machine you are voting for has your best interests at heart because once in, they have the power for four years, and the agenda they set determines the cultural changes possible within the limits of that power (and the limits are considerable).

    The most telling aspect of Obamamania is that it sells hope but is driven by deep seated paranoia. That is why the shrillness in that camp when debating. It isn't that they are delusional but that they believe everyone else is stupid (citing the blue collar vote for Hillary Clinton). Technology cannot fix the government. In fact nothing can. The system we have is the one we passed legally, is in the Constitution, and is not in need of radical overhaul.

    It is in need of competent executive leadership.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    The Hand On The Tiller

    What is behind that face?"

    In his own words, anything you care to put there. Caveat emptor.

    "... overturn the machine"

    Do that without a new one ready to roll and you walk home. Caveat vendor.

    I don't take the bloggers that seriously. The Nixon generation didn't take us that seriously. It is easy to campaign and put enough spin there, and you can win. But to govern, you have to have the people in place who have the knowledge because no single man, woman or President will change a government of laws. For Larry Lessig, the answer has always been, ignore the laws and do what feels best for you. As a result of that, I can go to YouTube and find one of my songs taken without permission or acknowledgement and used in a video. There is another web site selling that song, also without permission and without sharing the profits.

    Boy howdy, what a deal for me.

    However you slice it, that's theft, and worse, theft of goods that I have shared graciously when asked and credited. But Lessig and now Obama keep promoting an idea among the young that whatever they want they can take without any preconditions because They Are The Internet Generation. In fact, they are a mob organizing for a generational war.

    It will fail but with a price. Perhaps they are a generation that history and power should by-pass because they have failed to learn the lessons of history, and have not earned the power.

    Security is a boat in a storm where the captain keeps a light hand on the tiller. The tiller is technology. You need it but it is just stuff. The hand requires experience. You can't steal that.

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