Category Archives: Optimism

NPR’s Ari Shapiro Finds America

Or at least rural Yadkin County, NC, which he visited and found the exact people who like Trump:

The people we met in Yadkin County — which is north of Charlotte, in a rural corner of the state not far from the Virginia border — take pride in being self-sufficient, paddling hard to stay afloat.

A lot of them said that over the past eight years, it feels like the government has been a weight dragging them down. After eight years under President Obama, they are hoping a different kind of change is on the way.

It’s funny that NPR would have to ‘send’ somebody to rural America to ‘find’ the kind of people who voted Trump. As if those folks are a part of a sociological study, and require examination. Shapiro mentioned that the county is overwhelmingly white — as if that statistic makes the opinions of the folks interviewed any less significant.

Shapiro does note that over the last few years, folks who could earn a living with one job are now working two jobs to make ends meet.

Link to the audio of the entire story here.

Quotes of the Day

As I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding — that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams. — Barack Obama

Note that the phrase contains nothing about effort. Deserve denotes a right, but there are no rights that come at the expense of others. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness. Pursuit, not happyness itself. Housing, food, water, work. Things people need to live aren’t enumerated. Why? Because the government can try to protect the first three without burdening others. It could be said that if people were perfectly honorable, it could protect them without cost. Rather, everything else requires the use of force, even if everyone behaved honorably. — onwyrdsdream at Mind Shoved Ajar

Onwyrdsdream deconstructs the president’s statement here. As usual, it takes more words of logic to illuminate just a few words of foolishness, but it’s worth it.  President Obama has had an interesting life, but he has not struggled and lost, or even struggled and won. Both build character and make for a quality leader.  

We can all be in favor of a country with equal opportunity, but when the only measures of success seem to relate to “equal outcomes,” then the argument falls apart.

I’m optimistic about 2017, in part because I’ve prepared for it in previous years, and not because the soon-to-be former president will be looking out for me.   


The Ukulele Award Goes to…

The Economist for agreeing with the Craft Blog on the subject of hate speech.  They reviewed what we discussed the other day, that politician Geert Wilders was convicted of hate speech by a Dutch court:

The Netherlands is far from the only democracy to criminalise “hate speech” that denigrates racial, religious or other groups. Such laws have widespread support, but they are misguided. Free speech is the oxygen of democracy—without it, all other political freedoms are diminished.

Here they really hit the nail on the head:

So the right to free expression should be almost absolute. Bans on child pornography and the leaking of military secrets are reasonable. So, too, are bans on the deliberate incitement of violence. But such prohibitions should be narrowly drawn.

Standing outside a mosque shouting, “Let’s kill the Muslims!” qualifies. [As an incitement to violence. — Dave] Complaining that your country has admitted too many migrants of a particular nationality does not.

I’ve said it before: I hate hate.  I hate censorship more. Can we please stop the drumbeat for additional government control over speech? 

Cat Bloggers

If my recent comments on some websites have been nonsensical — as in open requests for salmon treats or complaints about ‘not enough warm blankets around here,’ I apologize. Apparently our 17-year old pirate cat Sporty has been on the laptop.


Sporty needs some help off the table, and can’t jump up on the counter for food, but we’re adjusting.  He has one eye since he developed a tumor two years ago.  He uses the other to stare down chihuahuas, the neighbor’s rottweiler and an occasional car.