Archive for the 'Book Notes' Category
Many former Obama supporters…especially the younger crowd…have lost considerable faith in Obama and the Democratic Party. Neo-Neocon notes that the political disillusionment encompasses both parties, and cautions that the “throw the bums out” mentality, however understandable, can be dangerous. She quotes from a book by Milton Mayer called They Thought They Were Free, which is an exploration of German attitudes from the 1920s through World War II. Interviews were conducted with 10 “typical” Germans, who Mayer refers to as “friends,” a couple of years after the war’s end. Excerpt:
National Socialism was a repulsion of my friends against parliamentary politics, parliamentary debate, parliamentary government—against all the higgling and the haggling of the parties and the splinter parties, their coalitions, their confusions, and their conniving. It was the final fruit of the common man’s repudiation of “the rascals.” Its motif was “throw them all out.” My friends, in the 1920′s, were like spectators at a wrestling match who suspect that beneath all the grunts and groans, the struggle and the sweat, the match is “fixed,” that the performers are only pretending to put on a fight. The scandals that rocked the country, as one party or cabal “exposed” another, dismayed and then disgusted my friends…
My friends wanted Germany purified. They wanted it purified of the politicians, of all the politicians. They wanted a representative leader in place of unrepresentative representatives. And Hitler, the pure man, the antipolitician, was the man, untainted by “politics,” which was only a cloak for corruption…Against “the whole pack,” “the whole kaboodle,” “the whole business,” against all the parliamentary parties, my friends evoked Hitlerism, and Hitlerism overthrew them all…
Indeed, revulsion against the dysfunctionalities of a parliamentary democracy can lead to something much, much worse. Weimar government and Weimar society had their problems, but they were infinitely preferable to what replaced them.
Also, most Germans in the 1920s and 1930s—like people in other European countries—keenly remembered the spirit of self-sacrificing idealism that had prevailed in 1914, and a considerable proportion of them believed that this idealism had, in one way or another, been exploited and betrayed. Idealism betrayed leads to cynicism, and cynicism can lead to new and twisted forms of idealism.
On May 5, 2013, Barack Obama warned Ohio State students about the dangers of political cynicsm. As it happened, this speech came only a few days before the public revelations about the Obama administration’s use of the IRS to target political opponents…which is, of course, only one of this administration’s many failures and violations of trust.
Erich Maria Remarque’s novel The Road Back is largely about the loss of idealism and social trust in the years following World War One…although it is set in Germany, the same factors were operative, if to a lesser degree, in the other European belligerent countries. One of the characters in the story is Ludwig Breyer–a serious aspiring intellectual as a student, a dedicated and responsible officer in wartime. A few years after the war’s end, he is shattered by the feeling that it was all for nothing:
They told us it was for the Fatherland, and they meant the schemes of annexation of a greedy industry.–They told us it was for honour, and meant the quarrels and the will to power of a handful of ambitious diplomats and princes..They stuffed the word Patriotism with all the twaddle of their fine phrases, with their desire for glory, their will to power, their false romanticism…And we thought they were sounding a bugle summoning us to a new, a more strenuous, a larger life. Can’t you see, man? But we were making war against ourselves without knowing it!…The youth of the world rose up in every land believing that it was fighting for freedom! And in every land they were duped and misused; in every land they have been shot down, they have exterminated each other.
One could do a present-day riff on this speech: “They told us it was for the environment, and they meant the handouts of taxpayer money to crony capitalists. They told us it was about improving education for the poor, and they meant protecting the privileges of incompetent administrators and teachers’ union…etc”
In the book, Ludwig Breyer’s despair drives him to suicide…and there were doubtless many real-life veterans who came to similar ends. Others, though…among veterans but also among those who had been too young or too old to fight..attempted to recapture the 1914 sense of idealism and unity through involvement in extremist politics of one band or another…and we know how that ended.
Good discussion thread at the Neo-Neocon post.
Daniel Hannan Speaking at the Heritage Foundation about his book Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World
Posted by Lexington Green on 4th December 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Mr. Hannan gave a superb speech at the Heritage Foundation on November 22, 2013.
The speech is based on Mr. Hannan’s book Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.
The Heritage site says this:
The core of his thesis is this: It is the English-speaking world, the “Anglosphere” (UK, Ireland, India, USA, Canada, Australia, … ) that somehow came to view the law as an ally of freedom rather than an instrument of state control. It is that very elevation of the individual over the state, in the law, that has brought us freedom and prosperity. In America and Britain, says Hannan, that principle has been taken for granted so long that now we risk losing it.
Starting around 49:00 Mr. Hannan describes a technologically advanced future which is clearly based on America 3.0, though he does not mention the book by name. Mr. Hannan gave America 3.0 a rave review, so we know he liked it!
Optimism: America’s Greatest Days Are Yet To Come, Mike Lotus Writing About America 3.0 on CommPRO.biz
Posted by Lexington Green on 3rd December 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Thanks to CommPRO.biz for publishing my recent piece on optimism.
The subtitle of America 3.0 which has provoked the strongest response is this:
America’s Greatest Days Are Yet To Come.
In the article I ask:
Do you agree? Or do you think America’s greatest days are long gone? But if America’s greatest days are yet to come, then our personal lives and our business careers take on a more hopeful cast.
In the USA today we have a shortage of optimism. For the first time, Americans say their children and grandchildren will have a worse life than they did. But despair about America’s future is a factual, historical and analytic error. We are not on an inevitable road to tyranny and poverty. Predictions of the end of American freedom and prosperity are deeply mistaken.
Optimism must be based on facts, or it is just wishful thinking. So, what is the foundation for optimism about our future?
You can get the short answer in the CommPRO.biz article, or get the full and complete answer by reading America 3.0!
This book is subtitled 1915 – Germany’s Secret War by Howard Blum. It is a fascinating and very readable account of a corner of American history not very well explored lately; what happened in the early years of WWI, when the assassination of an Austrian arch-duke set Western Europe on fire – and America remained tenuously neutral. Very soon it became apparent to those in highest authority in Germany that the war would not be a walk in the park; that it would be a long and bloody war of attrition. In those circumstances, the United States could not be easily dismissed – even if it was considered such a backwater by the German general staff that it was lumped together with Mexico, to the disgust of Captain Franz von Papen. He was then assigned as military attaché to the German embassy in New York in 1913 – but in 1915 he was tasked with recruiting spies and saboteurs to wreak havoc.
Technically, the United States was a neutral, although quite a fair number of the wealthy social elite as well as the political leadership of the time were inclined to favor the British, and maintained strong cultural ties with England. Business and financial ties also favored the Allies – and considerable agricultural and industrial bounty flowed freely to England, France and Russia, to the indignation of the German government. This was fiendishly one-sided neutrality, to their way of thinking. Von Papen and his fellows dove into a covert war with considerable relish, although there was the danger (a real one, as it turned out) that German efforts to hamper aid to the Allies might backfire, and alienate the U.S. out of neutrality and into open war against Germany.
Posted by Lexington Green on 2nd December 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Mr. Slen asked open-ended questions and gave the me the chance to speak at length about America 3.0 and what we are trying to get across. The entire show was about 45 minutes, which is a substantial amount of time, and a great opportunity.
(One thing I notice is I keep saying “we think.” D’oh. It is almost as bad as y’know. Good lesson for next time.)
Posted by Lexington Green on 29th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
In our book, America 3.0, and in Daniel Hannan’s new book, Inventing Freedom we talk about the importance of Magna Carta.
Mr. Hannan gave an excellent speech about Magna Carta, entitled “The Secular Miracle of the English-speaking Peoples,” which I commend to your attention.
Posted by Lexington Green on 27th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Join us for a luncheon lecture by author Michael J. Lotus about his new book, with co-author James C. Bennett, titled America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. As Mike will explain in Heartland’s library …
Our government is crushingly expensive, failing at its basic functions, and unable to keep its promises. It does not work and it cannot continue as it is. But the inevitable end of big government does not mean the end of America. It only means the end of one phase of American life.
America is poised to enter a new era of freedom and prosperity. The cultural roots of the American people go back at least 15 centuries, and make us individualistic, enterprising, and liberty-loving. The Founding generation of the United States lived in a world of family farms and small businesses, America 1.0.
This world faded away and was replaced by an industrialized world of big cities, big business, big labor unions and big government, America 2.0. Now America 2.0 is outdated and crumbling, while America 3.0 is struggling to be born. This new world will bring immense productivity, rapid technological progress, greater scope for individual and family-scale autonomy, and a leaner and strictly limited government.
This transition to America 3.0 will surprise many Americans, and astonish the world!
Don’t miss this discussion of a bright view of America’s future with a dynamic and intellectually stimulating speaker. For a preview of what you’ll hear, listen to Mike’s recent discussion about his book on the Heartland Daily Podcast: Part 1, and Part 2.
I am immensely pleased to announce this upcoming event. It is a real privilege to speak at the Heartland Institute.
Book Review – “Unintimidated – A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge” by Governor Scott Walker
Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge by Scott Walker
I just received Scott Walker’s new book and went to it right away. It is an interesting look at the time in and around the Wisconsin “protests” (I use quotation marks around the word ‘protest’ intentionally).
I expected more of an autobiography of Walker, and that is really the story that I wanted. It is always interesting to me to see how the formative years of people affect how they make decisions and treat others later in life. That is not what this book is about.
What this book is about is still an interesting topic. Walker goes in depth to explain just how bad former Governor Jim Doyle had left the State of Wisconsin’s finances due to accounting tricks and other gimmicks.
More importantly, Walker takes a deep dive to explain the scam that the unions were running with their automatic withdrawals of dues, monopolistic health insurance practices, overtime abuse, and other things – and how he was going to fix it.
Walker then goes in depth to explain what it was like during the “protests” and what was going on behind the scenes. He used the term “theater of the absurd” and that really hit home. Most (all?) of the “protests” were absolutely absurd.
As I was reading the book, I had to admit that I wasn’t really learning much of anything as far as the nuts and bolts of the legislation, “protests”, senators fleeing, and all the rest were concerned. I was actually at the capitol for much of the protests and have been following all of these things daily and I knew about all of the litigation and all the rest. But what was of interest to me were the personal stories of abuse that Walker and the Republican legislators were subjected to, including their families. Also of interest was Walker’s strength that he found in God and that he never wanted to go back or apologize to anyone for anything. He was doing what he thought was right, and decided to do his best and let the chips fall.
Walker also explains in detail the campaign during his recall and that this ad turned the tide:
Walker also takes a jab at Obama for not showing up to support Barrett in the recall election.
Toward the end, Walker seems genuinely angry at the Romney campaign for bungling, well, everything and goes into detail about what he did wrong, and how these things can be corrected moving forward.
I recommend the book so you can get an inside view of what the “protests” were like here in Wisconsin a few years ago, and to understand how Walker implemented his reforms to swing the state from an enormous deficit to a surplus today. His faith is featured throughout the book and he makes no apologies for what he has done.
It is an easy to read book that won’t take you long to plow through, especially if you find the subject matter interesting as I do. I hope to see a full autobiography on him in the future. Hopefully when he is sitting in the White House.
Cross posted at LITGM.
Posted by Lexington Green on 26th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
This conversation is available as a podcast on YouTube here. The same podcast is available in two parts on the Heartland site, part 1 is here, and part 2 is here.
Heartland’s summary of part I:
Many people on the right believe America is on a downward slope into who-knows-where. They see no signs of improvement and think the future is dire. But not Michael Lotus!
He and co-author James C. Bennett wrote a book titled, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century. The book explores the possibility of a new era in America. The new era — they call it America 3.0 — is one that is less centralized ( less “top down”), and where we operate on more of an individual scale and become ever more productive.
In this podcast, Lotus discusses the previous two American eras — 1.0 and 2.0. America 1.0 is the time from the founding of the nation until just before the Industrial Revolution, which then takes us into America 2.0. Lotus says we are now at the tail-end of 2.0, in a kind of stagnant “transitional period.”
Why are Lotus and Bennett so hopeful? Well, they think that technology develops autonomously, regardless of the government obstacles in place (which cause it to slow down, but never cease improving). Furthermore, Lotus says that we have underlying cultural foundations that are unique — such as the nuclear family — that make us more resistant to the institution of socialism.
Even the host, Jim Lakely — Director of Communications at The Heartland Institute — began to transform his pessimistic attitude by the end of his conversation with Lotus!
Heartland’s summary of part II:
With all of the government debt, and the looming liabilities like Social Security, how is it possible that in thirty-some years America will be getting better?
Michael Lotus offers up his answer in Part II of the Heartland Daily Podcast about his new book titled, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century.
Lotus is confident that as technology develops, it will provide ways for us to lower the cost of living and liberate the economy. What if we could use a 3D printer to print and assemble a house in four days?
Everything is transforming right before our eyes; the geopolitical landscape, education, and societal values, among others.
Jim Lakely, Director of Communication at The Heartland Institute, asks Lotus about the geopolitical future of the United States. They discuss the fact that our founders meant for the U.S. to be much less centralized than it is, and how — in such a large country — it’s important for different parts of the country to live as they please, with smaller units of government.
Lakely and Lotus also discuss education. Lotus believes that government is the “boulder” holding us back and he says if we move that boulder, the world would “drop its jaw” at what we could accomplish. It seems that in this part, Lotus has lifted Lakely’s pessimism … at least for now.
Big thanks to Jim Lakely for this podcast!
My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas
A few days ago Ann Althouse linked this wonderful interview with Clarence Thomas. I encourage you to watch it if you have a few spare minutes:
While watching it, I was reminded that I had his book sitting around somewhere. I got it years ago.
Remembering that I had made myself a vow that I was not going to buy anymore books until I had gotten through my current stack (with the notable exception of the Scott Walker book) I decided to pick up “My Grandfather’s Son” and get to it.
I am really glad I did.
Clarence Thomas came from the most poverty stricken circumstances you can imagine, and fought a lot of demons along his path to Supreme Court Associate Justice.
As a boy he grew up in rural Georgia but it seemed that he enjoyed his childhood. Until he had to move to Savannah. Here he was faced with grinding poverty and the hunger and cold that comes with being poor in the city. It was interesting for me to hear how Thomas was happier and better fed when he was living in rural Georgia. There, at least, he could fend for himself on the land and keep the hunger pangs away, while in Savannah he was basically stuck.
His father was never really in the picture, so he was being raised by his mother. One day she told Thomas and his brother to pack their stuff (such as it was) and head down the street to his grandfather’s house. He would be living there.
While this was heartbreaking for Thomas, the new place was a palace compared to what they were living in. The brothers were taken care of and were introduced to the Catholic church. The grandfather ran his house with an iron fist, but in a good way. The boys now had schooling, structure, and someone to answer to if they were fooling around. I would like to add here that it is my firm belief that many of the woes of black society in the inner cities, and many of the woes of society in general, can be squarely blamed on broken families, and children not having structure in their lives in their formative years. But this is certainly grist for another post.
Thomas looked back upon these times in his formative years fondly. Sure, he would have wanted to played in the streets, but Thomas’ grandfather was determined to make Thomas and his brother see the value of studying and hard work.
Eventually, Thomas graduated high school and found his way to Holy Cross, then to Yale. All along the way he experienced racism, both overt and covert. I found it interesting that he respected the whites in and around Savannah more for their openness about how they thought blacks inferior versus the covert racism deployed by urban liberals.
Thomas held a succession of jobs, working for Monsanto, the EEOC, the DC Court of Appeals, and eventually the Supreme Court. He describes in detail the bruising confirmation hearings and how awful the politics were.
More interesting to me was how he described his problems with his personal life, with alcohol (he no longer drinks) and the problems he eventually has with his family relationships. I will leave the details out because I want you to read the book, but it was refreshing to hear someone of a stature like Thomas to describe how he had to fight a lot of demons along his path.
The book is very easy to read and I couldn’t put it down. Thomas is a great American and has a great American story to share. I recommend that you read it someday.
Cross posted at LITGM.
Posted by Lexington Green on 25th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
The long awaited book by Daniel Hannan, entitled Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.
My copy arrived last week, and I am more than eager to read it.
The blurb for the book says:
British politician Daniel Hannan’s Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.
According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.
By the tenth century, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival.
Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. Inventing Freedom is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.
Mr. Hannan’s argument sounds terribly convincing! In fact, it is much the same argument that we make in America 3.0.
We previously post about the wonderful review of America 3.0 which Mr. Hannan wrote. As he noted, we draw on many of the same sources:
Here is a powerful and persuasive book. I confess to using the phrase “powerful and persuasive” in the sense that most bloggers do, to mean “agrees with me”. The authors have drawn on the same sources that I most frequently turn to: the brilliant Cambridge historian and anthropologist Alan Macfarlane; Oxford’s James Campbell, the supreme authority on late Anglo-Saxon England; David Hackett Fischer and Kevin Phillips, whose histories of the United States contextualise the great republic within the Anglosphere continuum. They have returned, too, to the foremost Victorians, notably Stubbs, Freeman and Maitland, who fell out of fashion during the twentieth century, but whose truths will endure when more recent interpretations have been found wanting. I think I also detect Macaulay’s elegant spoor, though he isn’t cited directly. And, of course, they pay due reverence to America’s founders, above all Jefferson – whose words were unfailingly wise, even if his deeds didn’t always match them.
One further influence on Mr. Hannan, cited in his book, is my coauthor James C. Bennett. Jim popularized the term “Anglosphere,” which first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel The Diamond Age.
Jim’s 2004 book The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century is essential reading.
Posted by Lexington Green on 24th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
I am up to 138/377 in Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World. It is very good, and covers much of the same history, and relies on many of the same sources, as America 3.0.
It is nice to see Jim Bennett cited at the beginning, and the word “Anglosphere” used throughout.
I will have more to say once I have finished it.
Get Dan’s book and read it once you have finished reading America 3.0!
Just re-read Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native (outstanding) and watched the 1994 movie (pretty good.) The book, like much Victorian literature, was originally serialized in a magazine, in this case Belgravia: a Magazine of Fashion and Amusement.
I found the original illustrations that accompanied the serialization here. Inclusion of illustrations was apparently quite expensive in comparison with straight text, even after the efficiency improvements that went with higher print volumes, so they tended to be fairly scarce–only 12 of them for the whole serialized novel, in this case.
More about the book and the economics of Victorian publishing here…it is interesting that the high cost of book encouraged lending libraries to insist that books be published broken into multiple volumes, so that reader access to the book could be “timeshared,” resulting in a higher ratio of revenue to cost.
Hardy and the artist who did the illustrations (Arthur Hopkins) were able to collaborate only by mail, and Hardy was not thrilled with the first image of his main female protagonist, Eustacia…he was happier with the later versions of this character.
Posted by Lexington Green on 19th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
I will be my great privilege to speak about America 3.0, as part of the Heartland Institute Author Series Thursday, December 12, 2013, at The Heartland Institute library, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago. Lunch will be served. $10.00 for the event, or $30 for the event and a copy of the book. Additonal books can be purchased onsite for $20.00 each.
I hope to see many of you there. Here is your chance to get the book and get it autographed!
Tyler Cowen, in his recent book Average Is Over, argues that computer technology is creating a sharp economic and class distinction between people who know how to effectively use these “genius machines” (a term he uses over and over) and those who don’t, and is also increasing inequality in other ways. Isegoria recently excerpted some of his Tyler’s comments on this thesis from a recent New Yorker article.
I read the book a couple of months ago, and although it’s worth reading and is occasionally thought-provoking, I think much of what Tyler has to say is wrong-headed. In the New Yorker article, for example, he says:
The first (reason why increased inequality is here to stay) is just measurement of worker value. We’re doing a lot to measure what workers are contributing to businesses, and, when you do that, very often you end up paying some people less and other people more.
The second is automation — especially in terms of smart software. Today’s workplaces are often more complicated than, say, a factory for General Motors was in 1962. They require higher skills. People who have those skills are very often doing extremely well, but a lot of people don’t have them, and that increases inequality.
And the third point is globalization. There’s a lot more unskilled labor in the world, and that creates downward pressure on unskilled labor in the United States. On the global level, inequality is down dramatically — we shouldn’t forget that. But within each country, or almost every country, inequality is up.
Taking the first point: Businesses and other organizations have been measuring “what workers are contributing” for a long, long time. Consider piecework. Sales commissions. Criteria-based bonuses for regional and division executives. All of these things are very old hat. Indeed, quite a few manufacturers have decided that it is unwise to take the quantitative measurement of performance down to an individual level, in cases where the work is being done by a closely-coupled team.
It is true that advancing computer technology makes it feasible to measure more dimensions of an individual’s work, but so what? Does the fact that I can measure (say) a call-center operator on 33 different criteria really tell me anything about what he is contributing the the business?
Anyone with real-life business experience will tell you that it is very, very difficult to create measurement and incentive plans that actually work in ways that are truly beneficial to the business. This is true in sales commission plans, it is true in manufacturing (I talked with one factory manager who said he dropped piecework because it was encouraging workers to risk injury in order to maximize their payoffs), and it is true in executive compensation. Our blogfriend Bill Waddell has frequently written about the ways in which accounting systems can distort decision-making in ultimately unprofitable ways. The design of worthwhile measurement and incentive plans has very little to do with the understanding of computer technology; it has a great deal to do with understanding of human nature and of the deep economic structure of the business.
Posted by Lexington Green on 18th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
I will be speaking about America 3.0 on November 20, 2013 at a meeting of the Chicago Tea Party.
The meeting is at the Ugly Step Sister Art Gallery, 1750 S. Union Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60616 at 7:00 p.m.
The Chicago Tea Party announcement reads as follows:
Our second speaker will be long-time Chicago Tea Party member Mike Lotus. Mike will speak about his new book, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. America 3.0 explains why the post-industrial, networked, decentralized society we are going to build does not need Big Government anymore. America 3.0 explains that the current crisis we are going through is not the end of America, but a transition period. What is ending is the 20th Century welfare state. America 3.0 explains why technology and our underlying culture are going to help us make a successful transition to a free and prosperous future. Mike will speak about the critical importance of the Tea Party in the fundamental political changes that we are going to have to make. These are indeed revolutionary times. Whether we like it or not, we are part of a new founding generation. Be strong, it’s going to be hard. Be happy, it’s going to be great.
I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to my friends in the Chicago Tea Party.
Remember the three Tea Party principles: Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, Free Markets.
That’s what it’s all about.
Our distinguished FIRST speaker will be Doug Truax:
Doug Truax is a candidate for United States Senate, running in the Republican Primary in March 2014 and then taking on Dick Durbin in November 2014. He’s 43, he’s been married to Nicole for 21 years, they have three teen-agers, and live in Downers Grove in Dupage County.
Doug went to West Point, was active duty Army for six years, he attended Ranger and Airborne school, was a platoon leader and aide to a general, and then left the Army as a Captain.
He then went on to executive management at one of the country’s largest commercial insurance brokerage and consulting firms. After over 10 years in Corporate America, Doug went out on his own. He co-founded and is Managing Partner of a very successful employee benefit brokerage and consulting firm that helps companies control their medical insurance costs.
He knows and understands Obamacare and knows what we need to do to fix the Healthcare System in this country.
He’s been Chairman of the Board of Almost Home Kids in Naperville and Chicago and is Vice Chairman of the Board at CareNet of Dupage, a crisis pregnancy center.
I look forward to hearing Doug speak about his plans to capture the nomination, defeat Dick Durbin then take on the monster on the Potomac!
Posted by Lexington Green on 16th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Dr. Rebane’s post has several good links. The focus of his discussion is the prospect for job creation in the future, and the concern about what the America workforce will do when the economy we currently know is gone — and it is going away fast.
This is a topic that has repeatedly surfaced in discussions about the book. The question of what the future economy will look like, and what people will do once the existing world of “jobs” has gone away, is frightening. We predict that the productive power that is becoming available will collapse the cost of living and liberate people to work on projects and tasks of their own choice rather than driven by necessity to a degree that only known by the very wealthy today. So far, the elimination of older and less productive technology has had the effect of generally increasing wealth throughout society, though there are losers and winners in the transaction, and some people do better than others. Part of the problem is we are familiar with the world that is fading away and we find it hard to imagine something radically different. Think for a moment about what the American Founders would have thought if you told them that in two centuries less than five percent of the people would be engaged in growing food. They would have been astonished, and wondered what on earth everybody could be working on. Human beings are assets. They are creative. Adam Smith famously wrote: “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” We cannot imagine what the ingenuity of the American people will produce in the decades ahead, with the astonishing tools that will be available to them. Mostly, we need to get out of their way and let them start building the America 3.0 that is already starting.
One of the focal points in writing this History Friday column has been trying to answer the question “How would the American military have fought the Imperial Japanese in November 1945 had the A-bomb failed?” Today’s column is focusing on an almost unknown aircraft, the Curtis SC-1 Seahawk light patrol seaplane as one of many “reality lives in the detail” changes in material, training and doctrine that the US military was making for the invasion of Japan. Then placing the Seahawk in the wider context of the contrasting US versus Imperial Japanese fighting styles, of American “matériel battle” aka “Materialsclacht” versus Japanese “Samurai spirit.”
“While only intended to seat the pilot, a bunk was provided in the aft fuselage for rescue or personnel transfer. Two 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns were fitted in the wings, and two underwing hardpoints allowed carriage of 250 lb (113 kg) bombs or, on the right wing, surface-scan radar. The main float, designed to incorporate a bomb bay, suffered substantial leaks when used in that fashion, and was modified to carry an auxiliary fuel tank.
You can see a nice You Tube video titled “SC-1 SeaHawk Seaplane Fighters in Combat Operations!” at this link:
The Seahawk served the US Navy from 1944 through 1948 and was replaced by helicopters. It is at best a footnote in the most detailed histories of World War 2. It is also a perfect metaphor for the fighting that would have happened, but didn’t, thanks to the ultimate in WW2 Materialsclacht…the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
(Since The Quivera Trail is launching next weekend – at New Braunfels’ Weihnachtsmarkt, no less – I have begun research for the next historical adventure, that picaresque California Gold Rush adventure which I have always wanted to write. This research takes the form of reading every darned history and contemporary account that I have on my shelves, or can get my hands on. One of these books is The Shirley Letters from the California Mines 1851-1852, by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith ‘Dame Shirley’ Clappe.)
Louise Amelia – better known by her pen-name, Dame Shirley – was an irreproachably Victorian lady, possessing a lively intellect and observant eye, which the education typically given to girls at that time did nothing to impair. Conventional expectations for upper-class women of her day seem hardly to have made a dent in her either. She was born around 1819 in Elizabeth New Jersey and orphaned by the deaths of both parents before out of her teens. She had a talent for writing, encouraged by an unexpected mentor – Alexander H. Everett, then famed in a mild way as a diplomat, writer and public speaker. He was twice her age, and seems to have fallen at least a little but in love with her. She did not see him as a suitor, but they remained friends and devoted correspondents. Eventually she was courted by and consented to marry a young doctor, Fayette Clappe – who even before the ink was dry on the registry, caught the gold fever. Fayette and Louise Amelia were off on the months-long voyage around the Horn to fabled California. The gold rush was almost overwhelmingly a male enterprise – wives and sweethearts usually remained waiting at home, but not the indomitable Louise, who confessed in one of her letters to her sister Molly, “I fancy that nature intended me for an Arab or some other nomadic barbarian, and by mistake my soul got packed up in a Christianized set of bones and muscles.”
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Posted by Lexington Green on 15th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Our friends Ed and Sushma were spotted recently in India, on elephant-back, reading a copy of America 3.0!
A close up will confirm the sighting:
We have not confirmed a rumor that America 3.0 is available at most of the top-quality elephant kiosks in India. We can only hope that the tentacles of Encounter Books‘ marketing operation reach so far.
Posted by Lexington Green on 14th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
BENNETT & LOTUS – We inherited language and law and political and economic ideas from England, as well as a culture that is capitalistic and individualistic. The foundation for that culture is a type of nuclear family structure which is almost unique in the world, and we still have it, and most people who have settled here have eventually adopted it.
SCHWAB – What is this unique family structure you are talking about?
BENNETT & LOTUS – A lot of things about American families sound normal to Americans, but they are actually very unusual in the world. American parents cannot pick their childrens’ spouses; they don’t have to give them equal inheritances; adult children are expected to marry and form their own homes away from their parents; and we have no extended families in the way they do in many foreign countries.
SCHWAB – Why does it matter that Americans have had this type of family?
BENNETT & LOTUS – It has shaped everything about us, especially by making us independent and enterprising. We are more alone in the world than other people, our parents don’t have to help us, we have no extended families to save us, we make our own marriage choices, our own career choices, we pick our own friends and colleagues, and we have to hustle to succeed.
SCHWAB – Does being individualistic mean that we have to live by the law of the jungle?
BENNETT & LOTUS – No. Part of the genius of America has been being individualistic but also willing and able to cooperate freely and a high degree of trust with others, to create businesses and other types of voluntary organizations. And there is a role for government, but it will have to be smaller, less intrusive, more efficient, and less centralized in the future. Government will adapt to America 3.0, just as we and our children will.
Thanks to the Examiner and to Dwight Schwab for the review and interview.
Posted by Lexington Green on 13th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
It was an enjoyable interview. Paul had clearly read our book, America 3.0, and he had good questions.
Thanks to WGN and to Paul Lisnek for the kind opportunity to appear on his excellent show.
Posted by Lexington Green on 12th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
We are grateful to Fox for running the piece and to Instapundit for linking to it, and quoting this passage:
Today’s political regime is like legacy software, built for an earlier world.
Institutions of the 20th Century welfare state that once looked permanent are crumbling. The old operating system has been kludged so many times it won’t work much longer. It has to be replaced.
The time-worn liberal-progressive wisdom is simple: See a problem, create a government program to fix it.
ObamaCare proves this approach no longer works. . . . The government shutdown, and the failures of ObamaCare, are dramatic symptoms of an old systems reaching its end.
But this is a time of transition, not decline.
In the Fox piece I offer some policy proposals for healthcare reform, which are consistent with our vision of where America should be heading.
I get most of the good ideas I may have about reforming healthcare, once Obamacare has been repealed and consigned to the trash heap of history, from my friend C. Steven Tucker. His blog is here, and you should make it a regular stop. Steve was predicting the catastrophic consequences of Obamacare YEARS ago. How could he do this? He is an insurance professional, understanding the law is his full time job. Steve read all 2,000+ pages of the law immediately after it was passed, and more than that, he understood it! He can truthfully say “I told you so!” But like everyone who is not blinded by partisanship, he would much rather that this ruinous law had never been passed in the first place.
President Obama and his Democrat allies have created a huge mess that is just going to get worse, and a lot of people are going to be hurt in the process. It is all tragic and unnecessary. Obamacare is, I hope, the final, massive failure of the 20th Century welfare state model, and that we will survive it, repeal it, transcend it, and replace it with something much better.
Posted by Lexington Green on 11th November 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
(Alan’s review appeared in several locations, including the website of the Heartland Institute. Thereby hangs a fortunate tale. Instapundit linked to the review. But the Heartland link was not working! An Instalanche squandered? Fate forfend! I called Jim Lakely at Heartland, and he fixed the link. While I was at it, I said, “hey, can I do a podcast with you guys?” And he agreed! I will link to the podcast in a later post.)