Not the village constable. There are men of evil mind, who would make of everything a crime, and not because of passion, but just naturally. They condemn everybody, some for what they have done, and others for what they may do. ... Gracian #109
It was 13 years ago today that we moved into our current home. The evening before a light snow started falling and we went to bed worried about the two Japanese maples which frame our front entrance. As today, the trees had already leafed and we weren’t sure how much snow load their branches could stand. I got up early, looked out the window to see a much heavier snow falling. We both jumped out of bed, dressed, and rushed to our ‘new’ house over snow covered streets. We got there in time; the leafed branches of the specimen trees were full of snow and bent to the ground with a few already broken, but we did save the Japanese maples.
Foreign affairs analyst, Robert D. Kaplan (The Post-Imperial Moment, 2016) is the latest to recognize the sweep of ‘great divides’ across the globe as people demand space (lebensraum) to practice their own cultures and celebrate their own ethnicities within existing sovereign nation-states. Kaplan writes, “The upshot is a maelstrom of national and subnational groups in violent competition. And so, geopolitics – the battle for space and power – now occurs within states as well as between them.” These pages have been recording America’s progress toward a Great Divide as our progressive policies continue to call for the suppression of existing cultures and the celebration of arrived un-assimilating cultures.
Augmented reality and ‘layered manufacturing’ (3D printing) are galloping into the marketplace. I’ve described my own experiences in designing AR systems for equipment maintenance. Today with advanced materials and computing power, these two technologies are making game-changing inroads. And alas, as covered in these pages, the impact on our workforce will not be pretty. There is little in these advancements that enable the systemically unskilled (and the unskillable) to penetrate job markets. Check out the articles in the current (6may16) Economist here and here.
The world of Uber is discovering ‘youth on demand’ jobs as reported in the 2may16 WSJ. This appears to be an attempt to resurrect programs such as the California Youth Employment Agency of my youth. Then a teen-ager would register with the CYEA, state what kind of jobs he was willing to do, and then get a phone call in the morning telling him the address of his employer du jour. Home and small business owners would call the CYEA and tell them the work they needed done and what they were willing to pay. Having arrived from Indiana in June 1957, through the CYEA I was able to work every day and earn good money doing so. The CYEA acted as a clearing house that our state government of yore provided through its usual revenue sources, the young people and part-time employers paid nothing extra for the service. Due to regulations, child-protective laws, litigiousness, and a generally progressive dumbass view of the world, such solutions for youth employment are no longer available. Instead, we have a legion of dubious state sponsored ‘skills development programs’ for our unemployed young people. But today no one can get a rent-a-kid for some chores around the house or shop.
In their Relic (2016) social scientists William Howell and Terry Moe argue that “America needs a prime minister” in the form of a yet more powerful president who can submit bills directly to Congress for an up/down vote with no modifications allowed. This is required in the 21st century because “government is broken, and changing the type of people elected to Congress won’t make a difference. Amending the Constitution will.” Their real druthers are that Congress would elect a president similar to how European parliaments elect their countries’ prime ministers. Then there would be cohesion between the legislative and executive organs of government. Howell and Moe clearly discount our Founders’ desire to minimize the size and role of government in our lives when they gave us the constitutionally separated and often contending powers in government.
[update] Just got an email from our designated reader that the community’s low-life is now advising parents to be careful about their kids taking TechTest because I happen to be its author. Only the rabid left puts out such putrid politically inspired proscriptions. Those primitives cannot separate one issue from another, whether here on the local level, in academe, or commerce. If you don’t conform to their template of the perfect progressive, then you are also unqualified to perform any other function in society – everything you touch becomes tainted in their eyes. Given the growing record of dismissals from universities, business, and government, our leftwing radicals are just coming into their stride. In Red China, Cuba, Vietnam, and other totalitarian lands this kind of proscription has been successfully practiced for decades (and is currently enjoying a resurgence), which is why our socialists so fond of aping these policies. When you cannot compete in the arena of ideas, this has always been the inevitable alternative. And there are those who still say that it can’t happen in America.