Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Thanksgiving Roundup

It took me way too long, but I finally got some appointments for next week. This week was awful for actually having appointments though. I only had one this week. Granted I don't realistically have Thursday or Friday to work with, but I feel like I should have been able to get at least two for this week. Anyway, that is behind me. I'm working on Friday and maybe the guilt somepeople will feel when they hear my messages on Monday and realize I was working while they were home goofing off will get to them enough that they won't be pains about scheduling appointments for the next few weeks. I tend to get stuff set up in clusters anyway. I will get a month's worth of appointments set up in two days but not be able to get anything else until all of those have been eaten away. It is bizarre.

Okay, I have to get out of the office soon as snow is said to be on the way and I don't particulary want to crash having not really driven in the snow in 8 years now. I do want to quickly cover a few things though.

First, this story from the economist is very interesting. The title, "The Fear Myth," says it all. The article points out how the Republicans have managed to make themselves the party of hope not fear.

"The election certainly took place against a background of fear (Islamic fanatics are, after all, bent on killing as many Americans as they can). And the Republicans certainly played the fear card with gusto (as indeed did the Democrats: remember all the talk about reintroducing conscription). But if they are going to extract any useful lessons from their humiliation, the Democrats need to realise that the Republicans didn't just beat them on fear. They clobbered them on hope."

Further down: "Mr Bush's optimistic message gave him a commanding advantage in pro-growth America. Joel Kotkin, a Los Angeles-based writer who knows as much about the grassroots economy as anyone, points to the close relationship between growth, both demographic and economic, and a propensity to vote Republican. Most of Mr Kerry's base was in stagnant America. Democratic strongholds such as Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Mr Kerry's Boston have been losing people and jobs.
Mr Bush's America, for the most part, is booming. This is not just because the red states that voted for Mr Bush are growing faster than the blue states that voted for Mr Kerry. It is also because Mr Bush did well in the fast-growing suburbs and “exurbs” in both red and blue states. Mr Bush's triumph in greater Phoenix, greater Houston and greater Atlanta was perhaps predictable. But Mr Kotkin points out that he also triumphed in what he calls the “third California”: the vast inland region that is producing the bulk of the state's growth at the moment."

My favorite part of the article is the statistic that should tell you that the idea that the Republicans are the party of the wealthy is just nonsense, 59% of people worth 10million dollars or more voted for Kerry.

In other news, Alex over at Marginal Revolution has this excellent post where he points to laser eye surgery as an example of how free markets in the medical arena can better our lives and decrease costs. Does anyone think it a bit strange that I sometimes have the overwhelming desire to kiss Alex? If you do then you obviously haven't been reading his blog.

While I'm on the subject he has this Free Market Thanksgiving Tribute.

Via Newmark's Door there is this op-ed piece about Iraq. Applebaum talks about how the most peaceful transition in history, the unification of Germany, is even today viewed by many East Germans as a disaster. The lesson?

"The lesson of the East German transition after 15 years should, in other words, be phrased as a warning: Even if it is possible to get every political and economic element right, even if it is possible to avoid violence entirely, the psychological transition to liberal democracy from a regime ruled by fear is one that takes at least one generation, if not two. Few people are able to walk from a closed society into an open one without self-doubt and discomfort. Few people find it easy to readjust their thinking overnight, even if they want to. Few people are able to look at themselves in the mirror, tell themselves that the first few decades of their lives were all a bad mistake, and go out and start living new lives according to new rules. It was no accident, a wise teacher once told me, that God made the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years before bringing them to the promised land: That was how long it would take them to unlearn the mental habits of Egyptian slavery."

This story a possible reality show in Israel to pick an ambassador of sorts is vaguely interesting.
"Mindful of Israel's poor international image, a television station has come up with a unique idea for a reality show -- get 14 contestants to represent the country before hostile foreign audiences and choose the best to spread pro-Israel messages throughout the world. "

Spongebob kidnapped...don't tell your kids.

Okay...I think this post is way long enough. Thanksgiving is almost here though so I should at least say this. My life is really pretty good. With the exception of my love life (why won't you marry me Emily?) I really don't have anything to complain about. I'm still depressed, but those are my hangups, they aren't because of any objective assessment of my life. I think that is the point that gets missed on Thanksgiving most. You shouldn't think of the things you are thankful for on Thanksgiving, you should think of all the things that others would be thankful for if they had them. That's my sappy ending for the day. Night.

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