Don’tcha Wish Romney Had Been the Nominee?

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on November 18, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

Tough love for Detroit from one of its sons.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. … That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it. Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars. But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end. This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits. But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”

The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salaries and perks. At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to factories to talk to workers directly. Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms — all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.

No bailout. Figure it out, UAW. Figure it out, management. It’s very simple economics–you know it’s simple because I can understand it. Do not come crying to the taxpayer, auto workers, when you want execs to bear the full burden of pay & benefits cuts and surprise! they won’t want to any more than you would want to. Figure it out and someday I might actually buy an American car.

Romney’s business sense could be a real asset in the White House after four years of–potentially–socialist-leaning economic policies.

Via Hot Air.

Repeal the Bailout

Filed under:Good Grief,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on November 17, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

I am sick and tired of reading the ever-changing scenarios under which the government or its component part Treasury will spend the $700 billion of bailout money. Do not buy up bad mortgages. Do not inject government capital into either private or public businesses. Let the banks either foreclose or renegotiate with the mortgaged holders themselves, which is not as far-fetched an idea as you’d think (note to Ed Morissey: Exactly why, if lenders do this, should the taxpayer take the risk instead of the bank investor?). People are already bitching and complaining about their 401Ks tanking in the stock market. The market tanking a bit farther won’t kill them. Either pull your money out and thus help it tank, or leave it in and wait for it to go back up as it always does. Do not bail out the automakers. The word “bailout” should be anathema in a capitalist society. Forget curbing CEO salaries and golden parachutes–just wake up, America, and quit investing your money in the stocks of companies who are willing to hire losers with failures like this on their track records. Let the market punish the guilty–by which I mean YOU, American investors. Stop assuming the stock market works the same way as your corner bank and that it’s some kind of travesty if you can’t get the same amount of money back out that you put in. Realize the risk that it is and take it with your eyes open and take far less of it, if you ask me. Stop this madness before extends to industries all but killed by the autoworkers’ unions and unrealistic ideas of what you can regulate people into doing. Kill it. Repeal the bailout.

Veterans Day

Filed under:Priorities — posted by Anwyn on November 11, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

Thank you.

Dear Alan Colmes

Filed under:Language Barrier,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on October 3, 2008 @ 8:14 am

The middle class doesn’t make minimum wage. You’re tipping your hand rather obviously, which is that, of course, you want to use government mandates to magically transform the poor into the middle. Too bad you don’t have the economic sense to understand there would no longer be a middle if that happened. Then what class would you talk about? C’mon, you’re shooting yourself in the foot here.



Filed under:Heh,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on August 15, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

At the rec center.

Young teenage boy: “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Older teenage boy: “No, I don’t need one, man. It’s summer.”

Reasons Never, Never to Move to California Piling Up

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on August 14, 2008 @ 10:13 am

Not that I needed any more.

Yeah, But If We Did This, We Couldn’t BS Our Way Through Life Nearly As Much

Filed under:Miscellaneous,Need a Good Editor?,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on August 13, 2008 @ 8:33 am

A plan for widespread certification rather than four-year degrees. It makes a lot of sense. I had a conversation not too long ago with an architect who went to a technical school rather than a university, and he talked about how the young college grads in his office struggle to keep their heads above water because their university courses hadn’t taught them about the building codes and laws they need to know to be licensed in their state.

No technical barriers stand in the way of evolving toward a system where certification tests would replace the BA. Hundreds of certification tests already exist, for everything from building code inspectors to advanced medical specialties. The problem is a shortage of tests that are nationally accepted, like the CPA exam.

It makes a lot of sense for editors. Though I doubt individual employers would stop testing individual candidates on their skills as they do now, at least they would know going in what skills those candidates are supposed to have, if they’re certified as having passed tests on the various style manuals, and could stop wasting their time testing everybody with a degree who thought editing looked easy enough for them to do.

Oh wait, except that’s how I got into editing myself. Well, no, not really–I focused on editing as what I really wanted to do, as opposed to what I studied in college, and I passed with flying colors the test my hiring manager gave me. But still, would my employer have looked twice at me under a certification system that I had not entered yet? A widespread system of certification would make it more difficult to change careers in that way, would make it much harder to apply for a new batch of jobs and see what shook out, but then editing is somewhat unique among professions in that it doesn’t necessarily require a specific degree or certification (like passing the bar, for example) but it does test you at the door. Perhaps it is one of very few professions that you can currently switch to relatively easily, as I did, and maybe for people wanting to switch to other professions, a certification system would actually make it easier, in potentially not having to go back to college before being able to switch.

At any rate, the point is well made about cutting through a lot of BS in the four-year system … and in life, as well, including BS like this:

Here’s the reality: Everyone in every occupation starts as an apprentice. Those who are good enough become journeymen. The best become master craftsmen. This is as true of business executives and history professors as of chefs and welders.

I wish that were true, but think back to college, think of that professor whose class you knew was bogus or lightweight. What’s he or she doing there? The dual-pronged BS of the college system: It confers degrees on people who might actually be ready for not much and promotes teachers who lead to the same result. A certification system would certainly require colleges to be more competitive outside the zone. That would be a good thing.

Via Hot Air headlines.

They Do Well for a Reason

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 9, 2008 @ 5:54 am

…and it ain’t public service.

Study after study shows that students who serve do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and more likely to maintain that service as adults. So when I’m President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you’ll have done 17 weeks of service.

Somebody please explain to Barack that pesky “correlation is not causation” thing. Students who do service on their own volition or at the urging of their parents or teachers, rather than under compulsion, and who also do well in school and go to college … hmmm … I’m trying hard to think of a reason … could it be they’re more highly motivated to begin with? Oh well, I’m too lazy to look for A Study proving that. When Obama’s education program has been running a few years, however, I’m sure the Studies will be overflowing with the puzzling, basically flat numbers of those who go to college and “maintain that service as adults.” Also the startling rise in the number of private schools that don’t take any federal funds at all.

Via Instapundit.

Happy Fourth

Filed under:Cool,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 4, 2008 @ 9:31 am

Thank you, soldiers, marines, air force pilots and personnel, sailors. Thank you.

A Spark of Hope

Filed under:History,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on July 3, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

(The good stuff, not that crap Barry O. is selling.)

I got this link at Hot Air, about bachelorhood. It starts out on how bachelors are likely to accomplish more and greater things in their lives than married men, and frankly, as a devotee of Dorothy L. Sayers and her commentary on that very truth as it applies to women, I was glad to read somebody’s approach to it for men. But still, as I read Christopher Orlet’s (what a great name, no?) list of the “architects of Western Civilization” who were single, I could only think one thing:

“But not Bach. Not Bach.”

Nor, in addition, any of the founders of our own American system of civilization, though of course they were working on and fleshing out premises that had been laid down by many in the list.

I have no trouble believing, generally, that accomplished single people will accomplish more than accomplished married people. But Bach. Bach is the spark of hope that it’s not all one way or the other.

I’ll see if I need to update after reading what is sure to be a twist on Orlet’s theme.

Update: The moral seems to be that this single formula works only if you are a highly accomplished person indeed. I can buy that too. Also, Mr. Orlet needs a competent copy editor or at the very least a good proofreader. Howling typos like “border” for “boarder” and “precidence” compete for attention with a notable lack of commas. Exactly the kind of thing a smart, sharp-eyed wife would prevent. (With apologies to Mr. Orlet’s wife if he has one.)

Hell(er) Yeah

Filed under:Cool,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on June 26, 2008 @ 8:18 am

Or, Is Justice Stevens Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?

Supreme Court overturns D.C.’s handgun ban 5-4.

Rachel Lucas points to a snotty, annoying, and oh yeah, completely off-rocker piece of rhetoric by Justice Stevens:

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.”

He said such evidence “is nowhere to be found.”

No evidence that the Framers would much rather have limited, and did limit, the actions of our elected officials rather than limit the actions of free, innocent citizens?

Has he ever read the Constitution? I Am Not a Lawyer (as everybody reading here has had plenty of evidence to show), but even I can parse this: Whatever the available tools may be, Justice Stevens, they do not include infringement. That word means exactly what everybody thinks it means, no matter how hard you and others of your ilk try to convince us otherwise. There are only four lights.

Even in our public schools, at least back when I was attending them, which was since D.C.’s gun ban was enacted, thanks, it was made perfectly clear from the moment we started studying the American Revolution that the Framers had every intention of limiting most widely the actions of our officials rather than the rights of citizens. Stevens still sucks.

Speak Up, Pro-Life Atheists. Shut Up, Peace-at-All-Costs Christians.

Filed under:Abortion,Politics,Priorities,Religion — posted by Anwyn on June 24, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

One of my favorite atheist/agnostics points out that Obama chose poorly in using abortion to make the argument that those who have religion need to recognize that “because God says so” is not a sound basis for public policy.

Right on, he did, but it’s not surprising that he felt safe in doing so. The anti-abortion position is in no way limited to Christians, but any Christian who bases the anti-abortion argument on God is simply begging for marginalization. The argument must be predicated on the continual-line humanity of a person from conception to death in a nursing home for it to have legs in the battle against the pro-abortion position. The obvious relationship is that it is because humans are human no matter in what format or age that Christians are so well convinced that God views abortion as baby killing. The God part should be derivative, not foundational.

It seems by observation that another consequence of the self-marginalization that goes along with predicating the argument on the wrong keystone is that atheist/agnostics are hesitant to express outright pro-life positions because they find it difficult to formulate justification outside religion (and, as I was reminded after writing the post, because they fear being 1) lumped in with extremists; 2) lumped in with the religious who justify their positions on religion alone). Another of my favorite atheist/agnostics is not willing to see abortion banned but does admit she couldn’t do it herself and piles on a healthy dose of rage for those stupid enough to get themselves into positions where they think they have to.

Each of those times, even if the idea I might be pregnant only lasted for five minutes, I contemplated the possibility that there was a real live tiny human being inside my body, and I knew beyond any doubt that if it really were there, I could not kill it.

She goes right up to the idea that a human baby is a human baby from the very beginning but then backs off in the post to the point that every woman must decide for herself. I am in no way picking on Rachel here; I really liked that post as I like most of what she has to say. I’m just pointing to an example of a person who believes without religious foundation that a conceived fetus is a human baby and yet who will not go on to apply that as an objective standard. I think there’s a lot of that going around, and I think the marginalization of the pro-life as a religious position hastens others stopping short of applying that objective standard.

So Obama believes positions with religious origin or relationship must be shaped into cogent arguments not based on God or they have no place in public policy. As a Christian, guess what? I completely agree with that standard. Go tell it to the people who think “love your neighbor as yourself” and “turn the other cheek” are recipes for government instead of a standard of personal conduct–or rather, those Christians and non-Christians alike who use those passages as clubs against Christians who don’t believe that war is the greatest evil.

Out. Out. Out.

Filed under:Mothering,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on June 19, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

The more I read about public school systems and incidents that occur the more convinced I am that my son will never see the inside of one. Private schools may have as many dopey ideas, but at least if I remove him from one of them they will shrug their shoulders at the lost tuition and not bother me again.

** Out of their minds: Birth control without the consent of parents is wanted … because girls deliberately set out to get pregnant. So obviously, the problem was they couldn’t get birth control because of their parents!

** Out of money, they perpetually complain: Yet offering free meals to anybody under eighteen all summer long, no registration, no proving that your parents don’t feed you enough, no problem.

** Out of accountability and humanity: Parents, who sends their three-year-old child away on a bus? And then is left baffled when the child comes home with marks and bruises? My heart goes out to the child and may they find and punish the culprit, but parents, hello? Three years old! Can’t reliably tell where they’ve been, can’t clearly state who might have abused them, can’t fend for themselves in any way. Keep them out of places where parents don’t have direct supervision or control.

Get out, public schools. Get out of early childhood. Get out of the parenting business. Not needed, not wanted, not welcome.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace