Friday, November 07, 2008

When circulation fails...

In people, when circulation fails bad stuff happens - gangrene, amputation, death. It's not too different in the newspaper world. We don't take the local paper (heck, we don't subscribe to any newspaper), but this morning we had a freebie in the driveway, and in the plastic sleeve was a note from our friendly local paper carrier. In big letters across the top it says "CARRIER'S SPECIAL," and below that is "I'm [name deleted to protect the innocent], your local carrier for the Northwest Florida Daily News. I NEED your business, and in an effort to earn it, I hope you enjoy this sample newspaper with my compliments." There's more, concerning a great deal on home delivery, but doesn't this sound just a touch, well, desperate (yes, the NEED is in caps in the original)? We're considering taking them up on the offer, actually - my wife's hooked on Sudoku, and she's been buying a copy of the paper each day, at 50 cents a pop. This "special offer" would be less on a per-copy basis, but then our address will be associated with this puppy-training fodder. The news content is nothing special, except for the local coverage, but still - I despise the idea of supporting this rag. Maybe we'll take the offer, but when I call, I'll make sure they know that it's for the puzzle

Monday, November 03, 2008

In the course of human events...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

This election season has brought me back to thinking about something I first considered some time ago. America has long been drifting toward becoming a nanny state, one where the government takes care of all of the peoples' needs. Or at least it tries to, usually with all the efficiency associated with large cumbersome bureaucracies. Not all of us, though, want the government doing so much. Every four years we get a choice of who can pander more to the "take care of me" crowd, and usually it's not a huge difference between the Democrat and the Republican candidates - a prescription drug program here, more-frequent free cheese distributions there - but this year is different. Obama's "spread the wealth" socialism should bring into stark relief the proposition that we are, fundamentally, two Americas. One is self-reliant, willing to work hard and risk failure for the chance at great reward, and the other eternally asking "Where's my check?" As Kevin Williamson points out:

At some point, it became obvious to these young people that the chief administrative officer of the federal government is ex officio responsible for loaning them grad-school money and overseeing their moms’ health-insurance plans. Jonah Goldberg didn’t call his book Liberal Fascism for nothing; they demand a totalitarian government because they suffer from totalitarian narcissism. Ask what your country can do for you? They’ve got a list worthy of Santa’s in-box.

I propose that we revisit the first words of the Declaration of Independence, and assess whether we have reached a point where the only thing we have in common with the "take care of me" voters is the "political bands" that connect us. I think a good argument could be made that today's Self-Reliants, who I think may tend toward the conservative or libertarian, have more in common with Self-Reliants in England, Norway, or Hong Kong than with the members of the city council of Berkeley. I think the people of Berkeley would shape a government that those of us in the gun 'n' Bible clinging territories would find distasteful, and vice-versa, so I think it is time we allow the nanny-staters to go their own way.

As a starting point, sometime after tomorrow let's look at the results of this election, county by county, and compare the map to, oh, 2004's. Those areas that have went blue in both elections can, I think, be considered as nanny-state strongholds. Let's allow them - no, let's be a little stronger about it - let's force them to form their own government. Consider them as exile city-states. The 2004 post-election map shows a far greater area that went red, so I think this is not an unreasonable proposition. The Self-Reliants will keep DC, on the idea that it's the seat of government for the current nation, and, since the nanny-staters are going to form their own government, they can choose where it will be based. There are a lot of details that still need to be worked out, but I think 5 Nov 2008 is a good day to start the revolution.

This may be an alternative for the folks who are considering "going John Galt" (how about we call that gojoga?) - instead of the Self-Reliant producers going on strike, reducing the GNP as they do, we kick out the parasites.

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