Providence and Hope in Missouri

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Fate moves in mysterious ways.

Just days before State Auditor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich died, Eric Greitens announced an exploratory committee. Greitens wants to test the water of a possible run for Missouri Governor as a Republican.

Greitens would be, perhaps, the most remarkable human being ever to pursue the office of Governor of Missouri. Here’s a sampling of Greitens’s achievements:
* Humanitarian who’s worked in Rwanda, Croatia, Central America, India and other disaster zones—usually man-made disaster zones
* Boxer who won championships in England
* Rhodes Scholar who completed the program at Oxford
* Navy SEAL who earned the Bronze Star among other accolades in four tours in Iraq
* Founder of The Mission Continues to give wounded veterans a mission and a purpose in life
* Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world
* Forbes’ Magazine’s 50 greatest leaders in the world

Purpose Over Party

Greitens is no ideologue. He believes in a purpose-driven life. He sees lack of purpose and effortless living as dangerous to individuals and to society. From Bill McMorris of the Washington Free Beacon:

Greitens never brings up taxpayers, the “47 percent,” or redistribution when he talks about entitlements. He focuses solely on the recipients of government largesse because “we have to offer a hopeful alternative based on results, rather than good intentions.”

When he talks about government largesse, he’s not limiting the conversation to welfare. Programs that put wounded veterans on the sidelines of life are hurtful, too.

“They lure you into the system and people get stuck there. Even if you’re only 40 percent disabled, they’ll give you 100 percent disability in some cases,” he says. “You have to think about the incentives of government workers. Guys in the VA don’t get paid to help veterans lead productive lives. Their metrics are on how many people sign up for benefits.”

And he understands how destructive is the practice of inventorying human beings:

“These are motivated individuals who have the best training in the country. We entrusted them with protecting us, but when they come home we treat them like victims instead of leaders,” he says. “Life is richer if it is animated by purpose. I wanted to reinforce that sense of dignity.”

No one like Greitens has run for governor of Missouri in several lifetimes. He has done more good for the world in his 40-plus years than most career politicians could do in 80. He has turned down the chance to be super rich many times, choosing a higher purpose, instead.

If Greitens enter the race, Missouri’s Republican establishment will face a threat to its existence. Greitens can destroy the Wagner-Blunt-Hancock power bloc like no one else.

Boxer, SEAL, humanitarian, scholar, charity founder. The merchants of swill who helped drive Schweich to suicide will face an opponent in Greitens whose strength and character are stuff of Marvel comic books and Hollywood hero movies.

Sure, Hanaway’s minions will start whisper campaigns about Greitens. They’ll whisper about his divorce. They’ll wonder why he doesn’t loudly profess his faith. They’ll ask why he left active duty. They’ll find some veteran with an axe to grind and feed the source to their media puppets. They’ll quietly wonder if Greitens isn’t just using Missouri as a step-stone to the White House.

If none of that works, they’ll just lie and claim he’s a Democrat.

Hope Renewed

Before Schweich’s suicide, my political fire was little more than a smoldering ember. The circumstances surrounding Tom’s death was like gasoline. I was angry and resentful.

The idea of Governor Eric Greitens quells that anger and replaces it with hope. Hope for myself, for my family, for my state. Hope for the party I once called home and might again.

I am a skeptic about direct divine intervention. I can’t help but wonder, now, if someone saw Schweich’s undoing and moved Eric Greitens to give the story a happy ending.

Now, I have hope. I hope Greitens runs. I hope Missourians recognize the opportunity his candidacy would give our state, our country, and our souls.

I believe Missouri voters will prove smarter than the establishment gives us credit for. We recognize greatness when it walks into the room. How could we miss it in Eric Greitens?

California voters elected a governor who played super heroes in movies. Missouri voters could elect a super hero about whom movies are made.

Missouri needs hope. The state is in decline. Its largest metropolitan area is losing jobs, population, and reputation. One of its two major parties is in disarray, mired in the bogs of absolute corruption and cronyism.

Eric Greitens’s candidacy would give Missouri hope. His leadership could erase the stains left by Ferguson and Hancock. The possibility of Greitens’s candidacy rejuvenated my spirits. I pulled down an angry post to make room for this one, so he’s already making a difference in my life.

Providence and Eric Greitens

Providence seems to be turning the tables on the cowards behind the infamous Barney Fife ads meant to help Catherine Hanaway by emotionally injuring Tom Schweich. Those ads combined with a cynical whisper campaign that Schweich was Jewish and a team of trackers who relentlessly video taped Schweich everywhere but inside his home achieved their objective: Schweich is gone.

In his place, may come a hero. An honest to God, true-to-life hero.

And the thing that makes Eric Greitens the most fascinating twist in this sordid story?

Eric Greitens is Jewish. No need to whisper.

Continuing Your Mission

Read The Great Jewish Hope by Bill McMorris: http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-great-jewish-hope/. Read Eric Greitens’s remarkable story in his best-seller, The Heart and the Fist. Read Eric Greitens’s latest book of letters to wounded warriors, Resilience.

When Eric Greitens decides to run, won’t you join your mission to his?

Image Source: news.streetroots.org

Missouri Deserves Better

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Hancock, who is a political consultant, said he held meetings last fall with prospective donors for a project to register Catholic voters. Hancock said that if he had mentioned that Schweich was Jewish, it would have been in the context that Hanaway was Catholic but that was no indication of how Catholics were likely to vote.

Those circling the wagons around John Hancock: woe betide you. God forgive you. Your days are numbered.

The Lesson

It’s so much easier for cowards like me now that Senator Danforth has said it. Words can kill.

Words can kill.

And they do.

That quote above comes from this article by AP reporter David Lieb. Lieb’s story exposes a sad episode that preceded Auditor Tom Schweich’s death.

Before his death, Schweich contacted Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and David Lieb of the Associated Press. Schweich planned to hold a press conference in the afternoon to expose anti-Semitic fundraising tactics of Missouri Republican Chairman John Hancock.

While Hancock denies being anti-Semitic, he does not deny using Schweich’s Jewish heritage in conversations about getting Catholics to register. Based on the Lieb paragraph above, it’s clear Hancock hoped that Catholics–or potential donors to projects intended to register Catholics to vote–would support the Catholic Hanaway over Schweich. Hancock admits that, at the time, he incorrectly believed Tom Schweich was Jewish.

Hancock insists he is not anti-Semitic. For the record, I believe him. I don’t think John Hancock is an anti-Semite. But John Hancock clearly used other people’s anti-Semitism to raise money for a Catholic candidate. How cynical.

Again for the record, I think it’s a good idea to register Catholics to vote. I also think it’s good and noble to remind Catholics their faith should instruct their votes, and their faith should derive from the teachings of the church. But it’s one thing to say “You should vote because you’re Catholic,” and another thing to say, “You should vote because you’re Catholic and the other guy’s a Jew.”

John Hancock and his defenders have earned our righteous contempt. Hancock’s defender–Danforth’s attackers–deserve the scorn we reserve for the lowest detritus of humanity.

I think we all know that John Hancock believes he used Tom Schweich’s Jewish ancestry as a fundraising point. For that reason I call on John Hancock to resign as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party immediately. I call on KMOX to remove him from the air. And I expect all decent people of Missouri to shun John Hancock until he repents.

I understand that Hancock’s cronies are saying “we can’t give in to the press.” Well, Hancock’s cronies are wretched, weak, cowardly people who hide behind anonymous organizations and evil, money-grubbing consultants. They lie and smear good people because they can’t win an argument on the merits.

Missouri deserves better. Missouri should listen to Jack Danforth.

Allman in the Mourning

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I hear that Jamie Allman ripped into Senator John Danforth yesterday.

Allman called Danforth a failure and a thug. According to Allman, Danforth’s sin was defending a friend against lies, defending a people against centuries-old hate.

I guess Jamie Allman and his handlers like lies and hate.

I’d hate to be Jamie Allman on judgement day.

Just sayin’.

Mourning for Jamie’s soul.

 

 

Doing

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Ben Evans worked hard to host a joint event with St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Heritage Foundation a couple years ago.

Because of Ben’s hard work, we met Dottie.

Then the trouble in Ferguson happened last August. Fearless Dottie joined our band of BUYcotters who went to Ferguson to shop while the city still smoldered.

We met Dellena.

Dottie cultivated a relationship with Dellena.

Saturday, February 28, Dellena hosted Level One training in Self-Governance at her 911 Beauty Salon on W. Florissant at Canfield in Ferguson.

Level One teaching centers on understanding political power: its source, its control, and its uses. Also, how the corrupt bastardize language to steal your power for themselves.

This is profound work. These are profound ideas that transcend the busy work assigned to us by the political parties. The parties want us working on their elections and fighting against our neighbors. But Self-Governance training helps us get beyond party and faction.

Yesterday, a handful of people took a giant step toward learning they have all the power they need to own their own lives. The veil was lifted thanks to Dottie, Ben, Mark Herr, Dellena, and many others.

 

What Is Success?

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Could I ask you to answer a couple of questions. You can do this offline or in the comments of this post.

  1. Name 3 people you consider wildly successful.
  2. For each person you named, what is the number one criterion for establishing his or her success?

Please do that before continuing.

Done?

Okay. I’m going to guess that, when all the answers are tabulated, wealth and income will be the top criteria for success. The people will be mostly famous and rich with a smattering of Mother Teresas and Martin Luther Kings.

The problem with measuring success with money is that we might admire horrible people. Adolf Hitler ruled Nazi Germany by decree and acquired access to any luxury he desired. By that measure, Hitler was one of the most successful people of the 20th century.

Another way to measure success is whether you leave the place better than you found it. Or do people get better or worse because of exposure to you. On those measures, Hitler was, perhaps, the greatest failure of the 20th century.

I’ve heard my whole life that politics is “rough and tumble,” “dog eat dog,” and “winner take all.” So the only thing that makes a politician successful is winning an election. The only thing that makes a political consultant successful is the consultant’s wealth.

If those are our criteria for success in politics, then people need to stop whining about corruption, crony capitalism, decaying values, deteriorating schools, and declining civility. Working to make our communities and our country better interfere with financial success in this dog-eat-dog, winner-take-all world.

Zahlungsmittel über alles!

Some Thoughts on Tom Schweich

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Excerpts from past posts on Hennessy’s View about Tom Schweich

“Integrity” is the first word I think of when trying to describe Tom Schweich.

Rock n Roll Lunch

We met for lunch on a hot day in April 2010. I expected a typical GOP establishment hack: smooth, overly friendly, defensive, and forgettable. I expected the man others told me to expect. But I met someone very different.

How different? That lunch ended listening to his band’s recording of their original rock song. We were sitting in Tom’s car in the parking lot at Lamp and Lantern Village. The car was suffocating, but the music was great.

“Reminds me of the Rolling Stones,” I said.

“I love the Rolling Stones,” Tom shot back. Beamed back. “They’re a big influence.”

Of all the many politicians I met in 2009 and 2010, none stood as distinctly as Tom Schweich. Most of my friends adamantly opposed him, of course, preferring his competitor Allen Icet. While Icet garnered the full support of the tea party movement in Missouri, Schweich’s support–financial support in particular–came from Sam Fox, John Danforth, and others in the intellectual Republican world.

Schweich addressed his donors head-on and before I asked. “I am one-hundred percent completely pro-life,” he told me. “I disagree with my donors on many issues, including pro-life, and they don’t expect me to change my position. Because I won’t.”

Lincoln Days

I kept in touch with Auditor Schweich after he became auditor. We meet occasionally for lunch. Our conversations usually touch on politics, but only briefly. Literature, business, and music consume most of our talks.

I hadn’t seen Tom for a few months before Lincoln Days in St. Louis in 2013. On opening night, Auditor Schweich gave a speech that several of my friends found disturbing. Schweich urge all center-right people to look for common ground we could take together. He asked the Republicans assembled to give their fellow conservatives the benefit of the doubt and a little slack.

Again, work kept me from the Friday night opening events, but arrived early on Saturday. I made a point to say “hello” to the Auditor, but he saw me before I saw him. He was on me in a second.

“Listen, Bill, I might have some things last night that you might not like. I wanted to tell you about it myself.”

Different. Other politicians who’ve said things I might not like simply dodged me. Not Tom. As with the Danforth thing, he addressed this issue head on and directly with me. If his words had disappointed me, his courage and straight talk immediately won me back. I’d rather deal with a politician who honestly and openly disagrees with me than with a politician who says one thing and does another.

Auditor Schweich’s Municipal Courts Project

In November, State Auditor Tom Schweich announced the Municipal Courts Project. The Auditor will audit 10 municipalities suspected of violating state limits on fines from traffic tickets. Missouri law requires cities to forfeit to the state revenues from traffic tickets that exceed 30 percent of total revenue.

On to November [2010]

Tom Schweich took a lot of heat during the primary, but no one challenged his credentials for Missouri Auditor.  I was personally skeptical of Tom before I met him.  His only public service involved foreign service, working for the State Department at the UN and in Afghanistan. When we met for lunch, my doubts about his fitness for Auditor quickly disappeared. In fact, I got the sense that it was all Tom could do to restrain himself from running over to the bar and balancing the cash drawer. He has a lifetime of experience overseeing various kinds of corporate audits and criminal financial investigations.

Today

                  
Rest in peace, good and faithful servant.

What the hell got me involved in politics to begin with?

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Paul Hamby asked a question last month.

I was only one of the many he asked, and, being the rude bastard I am sometimes, I took a month to reply. And being lazy, I figured I should get a blog post out of it.

So here’s my answer to the question “who inspired you to get involved in politics?”

In the Summer of 74, I was between 3rd and 4th grade (I think). I’d swim all morning, then come in and watch Green Acres at 11:30. Then the Watergate hearings would air from noon till 3 or 4, and I’d watch every minute of those hearings that summer, even though I didn’t understand half of it.
So Sam Ervin (nickname “Eyebrows”) might be the person who got me into politics. (Look it up)

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Senator Sam Ervin.

Or was it Nixon?
Or Agnew? When did Agnew resign?
Because the day he resigned, I was home sick from school. I wasn’t actually sick. I faked sick to stay home. Being healthy, young, and male, a spurt of energy hit me about 10 a.m. So I decided to start a newspaper. I’d discovered the miracle of carbon paper recently, and I gather four or five oft-used sheets of the miraculous stuff, plus five or six sheets of that really expensive 25% cotton typing paper that only people over 45 remember.
I slid the 5-part carbon pack behind the platen of our Smith-Corona portable and started typing. The TV was on in the background. As I made shit up (and my blog readers can appreciate my skill in that endeavor), I heard breaking news interrupt “Days of our Lives” or some damn thing on TV.
“Vice President Sprio Agnew resigns,” or words to that effect.
So I wrote that story. As best I could, I typed out what Walter Cronkite or Morton Dean was saying. Then I created some fake ads, added a few more made-up stories, and rolled the carbon pack out of the Smith-Corona. For affect, I glued on some pictures cut from magazines, so each copy of the paper was unique. Then I rolled up each sheet, tied it with some red yarn, and stuck a copy on four neighbors’ doors.
A few hours later, Mrs. Hume from across the street knocked on the door. She wanted to congratulate me on the originality of my fiction, but she scolded me for making up something as ridiculous as the Veep resigning.
“He did,” my mom told Viola Hume. “He resigned this afternoon.”
I had a scoop!
That sort of hooked me on the whole blogging thing. If you make up stuff long enough, you’re bound to be right once or twice.
Dad. He was a cop, too.

Dad. He was a cop, too.

There’s also my mom and dad who never shielded us from politics and from real life. I still remember (going back to pre-school days) the evening news showing footage of a fire-fight in Viet Nam. And my dad sitting in his chair with a newspaper folded on his lap, sometimes crying. He was a WWII and Korea vet. Only in my imagination do I understand what he was crying about. But seeing your dad cry sticks with you. It makes you want to do something.

And my grandma, a life-long Republican in a Republican family who called for a van to take her to the polls in 1972 to vote for McGovern because she “wouldn’t trust Nixon to walk my dog.”
And my Uncle Pat who talked about politics and ‘civics’ with me as if I were his

Uncle Pat in the Pacific, World War II

Uncle Pat in the Pacific, World War II

equal even when I was nine and he was a battalion chief on the St. Louis Fire Department. He took me to meet Ronald Reagan in 1984, just a couple days before I went into the Navy. I dedicated my first book to Pat, and I named my youngest son after him.

Mostly, though, I have to credit William F. Buckley Jr. He made politics intellectual, cool, snotty, and, somehow, sexy. The day Buckley died, I knew America was in for hard times. Not because he was dead, but because the next generation was so weak in comparison. I love PJ O’Rourke and the other Boomer conservatives. But neither the Boomers nor my Gen Xers has a Buckley, Reagan, Goldwater, or Taft among us. Or a Patrick Mahon or Jack Hennessy (my dad, not my son) for that matter. Millennials—maybe. (My son Jack’s a millennial, and he’s the Navy now.)
Because of that, I am so glad Paul Hamby included over 130 people on his email. That list of addressees—I’m humbled to be included.  Maybe together with you, dear ready–together we can touch Buckley’s cuff.
William F. Buckley clipped from http://granitegrok.com/blog/2013/07/notable-quote-william-f-buckley

William F. Buckley, clipped from http://granitegrok.com/blog/2013/07/notable-quote-william-f-buckley

This Seems Like a Really Big Win

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I am so embarrassed.

I didn’t even know that Fred Sauer, Gretchen Logue, and Anne Gassel were suing Missouri over Common Core.

Did you know that?

(I probably knew it and forgot. Sorry.)

But here’s the thing: THEY WON!!!!

Wait. YOU won. You won because Fred, Gretchen, and Anne stuck their necks out for you. And for me.

So Thank You! to Fred, Gretchen, and Anne. And this case seems really, really big. Like headed to the US Supreme Court big.

Since I don’t remember the case and know nothing about it, I’ll quote heavily from Fred Sauer’s email:

Jefferson City, Missouri.  On February 24, 2015, the Circuit Court for Cole County, Missouri ruled in favor of Missouri taxpayer plaintiffs Fred N. Sauer, Anne Gassel, and Gretchen Logue in their constitutional challenge to one of two interstate entities charged with implementing Common Core.

The Court blocked the payment of $4.3 million of Missouri taxpayer funds as membership fees to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, an interstate organization that is implementing tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”).

The Court’s Judgment states: “The Court finds that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium . . . is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law.”

Plaintiff Fred N. Sauer stated: “The Court’s judgment recognizes the reality that the interstate ‘consortia’ charged with writing and implementing the tests aligned with Common Core are, and have always been, unconstitutional interstate compacts.  Missouri should not be a member of such an illegal entity.”

The Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that “No State shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with any other State.”  In their lawsuit, Sauer, Gassel, and Logue contended that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is an unconstitutional compact because (1) it undermines the authority of the U.S. Congress, which has passed numerous federal statutes forbidding the establishment of a national curriculum; (2) it threatens the sovereignty of member States by forcing them to cede some of their control over educational policy within their borders to an interstate entity; and (3) it threatens the sovereignty of non-member States by seeking to create an educational “cartel” aligned with Common Core.

There’s a joke in there, somewhere, about how many doctorate educators it takes to read the Constitution. But let’s not be petty.

We have a WIN!!! And it’s thanks to three people who give a crap about the country and its children.

I look forward to AG Chris Koster’s appeal. Nothing like a gubernatorial candidate breaking bad on three citizens who simply want their ultimate contract with Washington (and Jefferson City) enforced.

Humble thanks and congratulations to three wonderful people: Anne Gassel, Gretchen Logue, and Fred Sauer. I’m proud to know them, and I’m thrilled their on our side.

The New Russian Empire

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The last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency will see the rise of a new Russian empire.

This new empire will resemble the Soviet Union in shape, the Czars in style.

We looked at this subject over the summer (here and here). To summarize those blogs:

  • The US-led coup of Ukraine convinced Putin to reassert safer borders
  • Russia wants to build a buffer between itself and NATO

  • Putin wants to re-establish a Russian Empire to revitalize Russian pride and influence

  • Western debt and war-weariness make NATO impotent

  • Putin knows the next US president might be more of a man than Obama, even if its Hillary

  • Putin will want to complete his expansion by January 20, 2017

  • Ukraine is as good as done and Poland will fall under Russian influence

I still believe all of that. And today we learned that Ukraine has entered its death-spiral as an independent country. Hyperinflation–the thing Krugman says went extinct with the gold standard–has returned. As ZeroHedge points out, this is the end-game for Ukraine.

And here’s more, also via ZeroHedge:

So as the Ukraine government watches its country go down in flames, with the blessings of the US State Department of course, it decided to take action. According to Reuters, with the hryvnia in free fall (see above) the central bank tried to call a halt on Wednesday by banning banks from buying foreign currency on behalf of their clients for the rest of this week.

To summarize:

  • The US backed a coup of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president (because US foreign policy had been so successful backing coups in Bay of Pigs, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria)
  • Putin retaliated by seizing Crimea

  • Then Putin attacked Ukraine proper

  • Then the US and Saudi Arabia flooded the oil market to hurt Russia

  • Then Ukraine went into hyperinflation, which will end with capitulation to Russia

  • Then Poland will ask, “should we trust America’s promises or Russia’s threats?”

  • If you were Poland, how would you answer that question?

    The tangled web of net neutrality

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    A friend asked my thoughts on net neutrality.

    I hemmed and hawed and told her a story she probably didn’t want to hear. The best I could come up with was:

    • I don’t trust the FCC or the Obama Administration to do anything honest
    • I don’t trust the Republican establishment to do anything right

    First, the Obama Administration would love to get control of internet content. They can already read every message, every keystroke anyone types anywhere. The next step is to “protect” us from error. And the Gods of Washington believe only they can judge error. The internet is full of error, but it’s also the greatest source of truth-sharing in human history.

    Next, the Republican Congress. The GOP establishment does the bidding of huge corporations. If huge corporations have no position on an issue, the GOP will mostly agree with you and me. But on most issue, corporations have a position and the Republican establishment makes the corporate position their own. That means crony capitalism wins out over free markets. Incumbents get to dominate insurgents. Might makes right.

    On February 26, the FCC will make a decree. The internet will become a telephone line, subject to massive federal regulation. In Mark Cuban’s words, the FCC “will fuck everything up.”

    Here’s what you can expect:

    • All innovation that touches the internet will have be dumb enough for a political appointee to understand. That means the iPhone, the iPad, and most cat videos on YouTube are done evolving. What’s there now is all there ever will be.
  • The incumbents (ATT, Comcast, Verizon, etc) will get federal protection on pricing. The government will also protect the giants from innovation. The way it works is so New Deal. The government will force the incumbents to provide some level of service for some low price. In exchange, the incumbents will be granted monopoly status. So new inventions can’t be sold into existing markets. The incumbents might lose money for a few years, but they can eliminate R&D altogether. (Have you wondered why the big incumbents haven’t been jumping up and down over net neutrality? Who do you think is funding the “grass roots” movement?)

  • About every 10 years, the incumbents will release some marginal improvement to the existing internet. Like when the phone company introduced telephones with dials so you didn’t have to ask an operator to patch you through. Or, later, when they introduced the push-button phone (with awesome marketing name “touch-tone”) so you didn’t have to dial. Maybe Ma Bell will give us an iPhone you have to dial. Wouldn’t that be dandy?

  • People my age will go to their graves cursing the day that innovation stopped. Younger folks will be less concerned. They won’t have the innovation history to compare. They don’t remember going from no computers to Apple IIe to Windows 95 to iPhone to . . . whatever. The incremental upgrades of Mountain Lion to Yosemite will seem like the way it’s always been.

  • The biggest hit will happen to innovation centers. St. Louis has been trying to become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest (just like every other city in the Midwest). Missouri’s slave-like non-compete employment laws thwarted St. Louis’s dream for years. Now, net neutrality will kill it for good. But for those who like pain spread evenly, the Silicon Valley of Silicon Valley will die a painful death, too.

    The good news: 40 years from now, you’ll still be able to buy replacement parts for the very device you’re reading this on right now. Because nothing will change ever, ever again.

    Perhaps after Obama’s gone, Congress can reclassify the internet as an information service, not a phone line. Until then, sell your tech stocks.

    I Might Abandon the GOP in 2016

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    Why have conservatives and right-leaning libertarians made so little progress since 2009?

    Consider that the GOP was written off for dead following the 2008 election. Republicans disappeared from the press. When a Republican popped up on a Sunday talk show, he was talking about compromise and getting along.

    Then the Tea Party happened, and all of a sudden the GOP’s testes descended. But after two off-year wave elections that gave the GOP their largest majorities since Hoover, the GOP seems poised to double down on the crony capitalist, elitist policies and candidates that got them tossed out of Washington in 2006 and 2008.

    If conservatives and right-leaning libertarians gave the GOP its spine, why isn’t the GOP using it?

    Simple. Republican party leaders work to increase their own personal power. They want to take power from you and me and use it for their personal benefit.

    I can’t say I blame. I mean, that’s precisely what we want to do, isn’t it? We want to wrestle power away from Washington and use it ourselves. We echo William F. Buckley who wrote in Up From Liberalism:

    I will not cede more power to the state. I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power as I see fit.

    Our problem with the modern Republican Party is that its candidates pretend they’re on our side in the battle of personal power. But they’re not. They’re on their own side. This isn’t a two-way war between us and Washington; it’s a guerre a trois between us, Washington, and the GOP.

    The reason we’re losing ground is our weak tactics. When the shooting starts every two years, we take bullets for the Republicans. When they win, they leave on the battlefield to bleed out.

    The alternative is to make the game more interesting. Here’s how.

    Even if all the principled conservatives and right-leaning libertarians banded together, we could not elect third party candidate. But we could deny Republicans the win.

    The only way for that to work is to make a strong early commitment and stick to it. Which is what I am doing in this post. I am declaring that I will not cast a Republican vote in any race in 2016 if the GOP nominates Jeb Bush as it’s candidate for President.

    Some will urge me to vote Republican for office like governor. Nope. None.

    If the GOP nominates Bush, I’m pulling a Libertarian ballot in the primary and voting straight Libertarian or Constitution Party ballot in November.

    The down-ticket candidates provide a lot of support and cover to the party’s up-ticket candidates. Jeb Bush would look a lot less tolerable to Tom Schweich and John Hancock if his nomination meant another Democrat governor and losses in the Missouri General Assembly.

    If enough voters committed to voting third party (or staying home) were Bush nominated, state parties throughout the country would distance themselves from Bush.

    Bush has all the money locked up.The only way to stop his nomination is to make that nomination a sure defeat for the GOP nationally and in the states. It’s a recognition that we’re in a three-way war for power. it’s telling the establishment that we’re crazy enough to point our weapons at the side most likely to surrender to us.

    So there’s my plan. If the candidate’s Bush, I walk. And I’ll work against ever Republican on my ballot.