Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Free Education

I don't mean do be all aimai all the time, but she makes this comment over at Balloon Juice:

We’ve known for a long time that people who listen to Rush,and to Beck, think they are getting a free education on stuff that the elites and the liberals want to keep hidden from them. Think of the radio shows like a kind of free “university of the air” for the rubes.

She's made similar comments before and I think it's very perceptive. I've seen confirming evidence of this, like Victoria Jackson's paean to Beck about how much he's taught everyone. Plus, the books and chalk talks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act

Much has been made of Rand Paul's non-support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, aimai comes closest to what I was thinking. My comments there were:

These people don't start in a vacuum, discover a political philosophy and then realize their philosophy doesn't allow them to support the Civil Rights Act. They already have their biases and prejudices and then discover a philosophy that justifies them. I don't think libertarians and tenthers are unique that way. But having a philosophy like that is sort of a get of jail free card. If I support a progressive initiative, I have to defend it on the merits. A "constitutionalist" can say they oppose it on philosophical grounds and not have to get dirty arguing about policy and the implications of that policy. Maybe Rand Paul is so committed to libertarianism that he regretfully can't support civil rights laws. Maybe Sam Ervin was so committed to the sanctity of the constitution that he couldn't support them either. It certainly never prevented him from being reelected senator.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Scottish Connection Update

Update for my earlier post The Scottish Connection.

David Cameron

The UK's new Prime Minister was born, educated and lives in England. His constituency is Witney in Oxfordshire. Cameron is of course a Scottish clan name and his father was indeed born in Scotland. He's descended from William IV through Elizabeth FitzClarence, Countess of Erroll. I labeled Harold Macmillan an Englishman despite the Scottish name and Scottish grandfather. I think I'm going to have to call Cameron half Scotsman.

Gordon Brown

The acension of Brown was the genesis of the article that inspired my previous post. Let's see: born in Scotland, went to University of Edinburgh, sat for Dunfermline East and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. He even sounds like a Scotsman.

The Proto Teapartiers

I saw this post (via Ygelesias) which is about Rand Paul's (now successful) senate campaign in Kentucky. Josh Green finds that some Paul voters are frustrated with both the Republican and Democratic parties. This made me recall a conversation I overheard almost two years ago. We were waiting to get off a plane at Raleigh/Durham. The two men in the seat in front of me where sort of talking economics and politics. This was May of 2008, so the economy hadn't gone in the crapper yet and the major economic issue was that gas prices were well over $3 a gallon. The two men seemed to agree that:
  • Oil companies conspire to keep prices just under the even dollar mark so we'll get used to it and then it won't be as much of a shock when they jack it up over the dollar mark.
  • We should trade "our" grain for their oil.
  • If no one voted in November it would really show both parties.
Conspiracy theory. Economic ignorace. Political ignorance. It's all there.

Me and BP

Even thought I think the company should be destroyed and its fields sown with salt, etc, I've always had a soft spot for BP. When I was a kid I had and extensive Matchbox car collection. This was late 60's/early 70's back when they said "Made in England" on the bottom. It was still pretty much a British oriented company and many of the models were unique to Britain. The tow trucks and tankers were labeled with what you'd see in Britain: Esso and BP. Living in California at the time these were foreign to me. This was pre-Exxon, so we had Enco stations that for some obscure reason (to me) looked sort of like Esso, but I knew BP was British Petroleum and that was in Britain. Traveling in New England one year, I was surprised, and pleased, to actually see the green and yellow shield in front of a gas station. They changed their logo in the past 10 years or so, and I've lost any sentimentality I ever had for them.

Here's what I'm talking about (it is a Dodge truck, though):

(Photo by Flickr user Danny McL: Used under a Creative Commons license)