Imagine no possessions.”
— John Lennon, 1971
Five years after those words were sung, a couple of college dropouts named Steve hooked up and started making computers. They called their little company Apple Computer.
Computers don’t build themselves. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs had to buy the parts and pay designers and manufacturers. After exhausting their paltry money, they persuaded an investor to kick in a few hundred thousand dollars for part of their new company.
The company grew and they needed more money. Several other individuals and then venture capital firms invested millions in return for sizable chunks of the company.
The company continued to grow. In 1980, Continue reading
The Democrats’ punch-drunk base has demanded that President Donald Trump be impeached ever since the 2016 election when they suffered a knock-out in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and then went down again in the recounts.
Then they couldn’t turn the Electoral College rogue, and failed with something called the Emoluments Clause, and botched their smears of Trump’s judges and couldn’t convince anyone that the new first lady is last and the last first lady is first.
Of course, they attempted all that not for the purpose of succeeding, but for the purpose of making them feel virtuous. That’s what they do.
Former President Barack Obama brilliantly capitalized on this mindset. Instead of arguing that proposals with which he disagreed would not work, he simply condemned them as unvirtuous. He declared at least 46 times, “That’s not who we are.”
Saying, “That’s not who we are” is who Obama is. It worked with his Dems, because their discourse isn’t about problem solving; it’s a revival meeting.
Not all the Dems have been drinking the virtue Kool-Aid, however. Continue reading
Their first migration was great not for its goodness but for its enormity. It was of course the capture, enslavement and diaspora of black Africans. They were stacked like cargo aboard slave ships bound for America and elsewhere and then auctioned and owned like cattle.
Slavery was common throughout the world and had been for thousands of years, but American slavery was notable for its sheer scale. By the mid-1800s, between 30% and nearly 60% of the population of southern states were slaves.
In abolishing slavery, colonials should have led the world, not lagged it. They were destined to found a nation, said Abraham Lincoln years later, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Slavery was beneath them.
And many of them knew it. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson — a slave owner but a brilliant visionary — foreshadowed the years of reckoning ahead.
The product of that reckoning was the next great black migration, when they left the southern plantations after the Civil War. It took 80-some years, but Lincoln started to make good on Jefferson’s promise.
It was costly. Continue reading
Denver’s goose is cooked, and now the needy need more.
According to Denver officials, “Geese poop in our parks is one of the biggest complaints we have. It had gotten to the point where the parks were being almost unenjoyable for a lot of people — that is why we moved forward with this plan.”
OK so far, but I’m curious. Why just “almost”? And “a lot of people” suggests a number less than “all.” Are there some people who don’t find goose poop unenjoyable?\
I have a friend who thinks goose poop is unenjoyable even on the golf course. Because when he accidentally drops his cigar and goes to pick it up, he sometimes mistakes a goose poop for it, and the goose poop — though no worse for his health and no worse smelling and tasting than a cigar — is really hard to keep lit. Sort of like smoked salmon, but more so.
On to Denver’s plan. Continue reading
Remember those predictions that polar bears and snow would soon be extinct?
Well, here in Aspen and throughout the Colorado mountains, snowpack this spring is nearly 500% of normal. That’s not a typo. It’s almost five times normal.
The ski mountain at Aspen has reopened for skiing every weekend in June, including this weekend. Even the locals — a pretty discerning bunch — say we had a season beyond epic.
None of the growing polar bear population has been sighted in Aspen, yet, but the black bears often seen in town must be getting nervous.
Does this mean that global warming, or whatever is the nom du jour, is a hoax? Continue reading
We are all Keynesians now.” — attributed to President Richard Nixon
In the depths of the Great Depression, economist John Maynard Keynes theorized that the government could control business cycles through monetary and fiscal policies.
Keynes was right to some extent. Lower taxes, higher government spending and lower interest rates stimulate the economy, at least for a while. Even Nixon came to believe in it.
The phrase “We are all Keynesians” caught on. Economics is the dismal science after all.
A Newsweek cover story in 2009 took the catchphrase a step further in proclaiming on its cover that “We are all socialists now” as they celebrated President Barack Obama’s promise to fundamentally transform America.
Maybe Newsweek didn’t really think socialism would save the world, but just hoped it would save Newsweek. Within a few years Continue reading
Until Aspen’s mob shouted it down it, valet parking service was planned this winter at the base of the Aspen Mountain gondola. No longer.
Local politicos saw an opportunity to bash business, which they always find profitable, and to accumulate some political capital — which is apparently the only kind of capital that is permissible to accumulate these days.
Take our mayor, a former tennis instructor. He whined: “I question the equitability and ethic of” the valet parking service.
Others politicians jumped in. With an analysis equaling her syntax, one councilwoman complained, “It had a huge insulting factor to locals. It was like separating the rich from the poor, and here you are going skiing and those rich people have something they can afford that you can’t.”
Well, we certainly want to avoid a “huge insulting factor to locals” especially if “here you are going skiing.” And it’s the government’s job to do that, whatever “that” is.
Emotions like envy being so useful to politicians, another councilwoman who was not armed with a pitchfork but could have been, grumbled, Continue reading