What does “American-Made” mean?

The Big Three schlep back up on Capitol Hill, hats in hand, massaging the road sores they got from actually driving from Detroit to D.C., where they will beg for bucks once again. They are in hopes that their performance will be a lot more convincing – not to mention, vastly less tone-deaf – than their last appearence. In the meantime, we’re treated to a parade of concerned Senators and Representatives who wail that, without an immediate bailout, The American Automobile Industry Will Come To An End As We Know It.™

Hogwash.

In order to understand why, you have to grok that there are really TWO American automobile industries – the traditional one in Detroit, and the one that exists everywhere else. Continue reading What does “American-Made” mean?

Living in the Age of Tivo

When I was a kid, there were three channels where I lived – CBS, ABC, and NBC. Because our entertainment options were limited, everybody in my “social circle” watched the same programs at the same time. God help you if you missed The Green Hornet or The Time Tunnel the next day at school…you’d have nothing to talk about.

Today, things are a lot different. Our satellite system delivers hundreds of channels. (Sadly, there’s still nothing on TV really worth watching.) Even better, my digital video recorder makes it possible for me to watch the shows I like when I want to watch them – and skip over the commercial breaks.

That rocks.

Still, even with a system I would have given an arm, a leg, and probably several other appendages for when I was a kit, there are still problems. For instance, if a station or network decides to delay the start of a program due to some event running over it’s allotted time, you’ll record only a portion of your program, and miss at least the last few minutes. This has happened to me more than once. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. It’s aggravating. Still, if this is my biggest problem in life, I think I can learn how to Cowboy up. Besides…I can always go watch the episode online if I miss something…

The Paradox Effect.

This perception versus reality thing is rearing it’s ugly head again in regards to the Presidency. Just about every conservative pundit and blogger out there (myself included) looked at Obama’s record in the Illinois legislature and U.S. Senate (what record there was) and assumed that he would immediately make good on his campaign promise to bring our troops home from Iraq immediately. He promised to be a different kind of politician, putting together an administration that did not represent Washington insiders, but outsiders, with new, fresh, progressive ideas. 

I don’t know that I’ve ever been more comforted to discover that Obama is the same old kind of mendacious, obfuscating, say-anything-to-get-elected-and-then-do-what-you-have-to-no-matter-what-you-promised brand of politician. In short, Obama lied. He gave every indication that he was going to tilt our defense and homeland security hard to the left. In fact, if we can judge future performance by his cabinet nominees, he’s going straight to the center, bypassing a main course of “dove” with a healthy serving of “hawk.”

Thank God. Continue reading The Paradox Effect.