[star]The American Mind[star]

February 28, 2001

As if you didn't know,

As if you didn't know, President Bush addressed Congress last night. I worked late and so I didn't catch it live or hear any of the post-speech spin. So this little piece of analysis is purely derived from the inner workings of my brain.

Bush stuck to his campaign mantra of education, defense, tax cuts, and reforming medicare and social security. Instead of just mentioning his priorities if elected President, he put flesh on those policy bones. He proposed lots of money for a federal reading program; student testing to see if they're learning and to hold schools accountable; and parental options to save children from failing public schools. Bush wants a pay increase for soldiers and a complete review of our armed forces to see how they can best defend the U.S. in a post-Cold War world. Creation of savings accounts for younger workers (i.e. me) within social security was also mentioned.

As a political economist, I was most interested in Bush's tax cut plan. He stood firm in it's size ($1.6 trillion) and reiterated his point that "Everyone who pays income taxes will get relief." That's his method of attack against the class warfare, soak-the-rich pablum thrown out by the Democrats. Bush even raised up the ghost of a tax-cutting Democratic President, John F. Kennedy and tossed him into the same sentence with a tax-cutting Republican President, Ronald Reagan.

Then there were points I had to politely disagree. Giving oodles of cash to the Department of Education may be politically popular, but it isn't constitutional. I'm also worried that Bush's insistence on testing students will open up local schools to heavier regulation from Washington. This may not happen during Bush's term in office, but future Presidents could claim this power.

Let me conclude by saying that Bush didn't offer any surprises. He's been consistently on message since last year's campaign. He's a disciplined politician who is getting comfortable with the grandure of the Presidency. Assuming he can get much of his proposals through Congress he could have one hell of a first term.

Address of the President to the Joint Session of Congress

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

Angus is as excited as

Angus is as excited as I am about a new Battlestar Galatica series. I've been catching up on the episodes as they appear on the Sci-Fi Channel via Tivo. The story lines aren't as cheesy as you'd think, Athena's hot, and I can swear like Star Buck. (FRACK!) I need more!

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Clinton says, "I want

Bill Clinton says, "I want to get out of the news," but don't believe him. This man craves attention. He feeds off the attention (both good and bad) of people around him. Clinton went on to say, "I am trying to go home and have a life." But his life for over 20 years has been in the public limelight. He's gotten used to the celebrity drug.

Believe me, I want him to disappear. I want the media focused on President Bush's budget and his tax cut.

"Clinton Wants to Shun Headlines, 'Have a Life'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2001

I've been meaning to post

I've been meaning to post this for a few days, but I got distracted with putting the finishing touches on the new site. Kevin Whited's weblog has seemingly come out of no where to being a great source for high quality, though-provoking links. He's also RIGHT politically. I've added it to the TAM weblog family. If I ever get off my lazy duff and fire up my text editor, maybe I'll add it to the new portal I must work on.

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:39 AM | Comments (0)

Robert Bartley's a fan of

Robert Bartley's a fan of Calvin Coolidge:

President Reagan also cited the Coolidge (actually Coolidge-Mellon) tax cuts, which helped fuel the boom of the 1920s and increased rather than decreased government revenues. Succeeding with the death of Harding in 1923, Coolidge also cleaned up the Teapot Dome scandal by appointing a special counsel (actually two, a prominent lawyer and a former Democratic senator). In the process, he demanded the resignation of his attorney general. Handily elected in his own right in 1924, he presided over a extraordinary period of economic progress.

Bartley isn't a fan of JFK:

My own view of President Kennedy is much more direct: His callowness and amorality got us into Vietnam. Or to be more precise, his blunders turned a limited commitment into an open-ended one.

"Viewing Reflected Images"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:32 AM | Comments (0)

Jennifer Braceras followed the work

Jennifer Braceras followed the work of the United States Commission on Civil Rights as it investigated charges of minority voter disenfranchisement in Florida. They didn't find anything of any substance, but that didn't stop Chairman Mary Frances Berry from saying, "Most of what happened to people was not even being able to get to the polls or being able to vote." This only fuels the conspiracy mongers in the Democratic Party and liberal minority political groups who continue to think Al Gore won the election when we know he didn't.

"Uncivil Commission"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:15 AM | Comments (0)

The women on Rep. Tom

The women on Rep. Tom DeLay's congressional staff have been dubbed by the Washington Post as the "Whip Chicks."

I'd love to read the letters to the editor from the male-hating NOW gang over the catchy name.

""Business Groups Eager to Ornament Tax Cut"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2001

What do sci-fi geeks do

What do sci-fi geeks do when they're not at their day jobs? They dig up tiny nuggets of movie news and complain that Spider-Man won't have mechanical web shooters.

Why James Cameron thinks spider webs shooting out of Peter Parker's wrists are so important in the up coming movie, I don't know. Although it is interesting how the Internet allows die-hard fans to voice their opinions and actually have them acted on.

"Web Shooting may be partly mechanical after all for Spider-Man."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome to the new digs!

Welcome to the new digs!

After over a year of serious blogging, I decided that I needed some breathing room (thanks Dreamhost). A big long address on Angelfire wasn't as geeky as having my very own domain name (thanks Dotster) and I wanted to find out what all the fun was about with Blogger. After observing the soap opera at Pyra, I'm wondering what I got myself into.

Let me know what you think of the new design. Mucho thanks go to Mike for his comments, tips, suggestions, and for finding the proud eagle adorning the top of the page.

My portal is lousy, but it's my next project. A new feature you might like is the guestbook (thanks Dreambook). It needs someone to christen it.

Just because it's a new look at a new domain powered by some spiffy software, TAM will still provide links and commentary I hope will provoke thought, entertain, and enlighten. If none of that happens when you come here, then just look at that really handsome eagle.

If you really miss the old site, it's still at Angelfire.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:37 AM | Comments (0)

Scientists have pretty much ignored

Scientists have pretty much ignored metals as useful superconductors. They usually require really, really cold temperatures. Instead, they've been playing around with oxygen-based compounds. Now, scientists have discovered that a metal reaches superconductivity at a higher tempature.

"Superconductivity Finding Could Aid in Building High-speed Computers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:17 AM | Comments (0)

No more claims that President

No more claims that President Bush is illegitimate. Based on a ballot review of votes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Volusia Counties, Al Gore would have only gained 49 votes. And this review used very liberal standards like "counting every dimple, pinprick and hanging chad identified in the section for presidential votes on the ballots."

It's over! Al Gore lost, and George W. Bush is President. Live with it!

"Paper: Gore Gained Only 49 Votes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2001

University of California president Richard

University of California president Richard Atkinson decided this week to jetison the SAT for admission purposes. He said SAT results "can have devastating impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of young students," and that the test is "perceived as unfair." Instead, he wants a more "holistic" approach to finding UC freshmen.

Thomas Sowell sees this as "quotas through the back door." He writes, "In short, inconvenient academic criteria were being gotten rid of, so that group quotas could continue in new disguises. That is precisely what getting rid of standardized academic tests is all about."

With all its flaws, the SAT does inject some objective criteria into the admissions process. Without standardized tests admissions would be completely at the subjective discression of Leftist university administrations continuing their fight for "social justice" through racial discrimination.

"Back Door Quotas" [via Reductio]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2001

Reagan, In His Own Hand

Reagan, In His Own Hand is such an important book because it documents the real intellect of our 40th President. Let me quote Jay Nordlinger to back me up:

And that is a problem we Reagan champions have: always trying to prove that our man ó undeniably a politician and leader of great skill ó was an intellectual force as well. This has become an exhausting, sometimes pathetic mission. The strength of Reagan's mind has long been obvious to anyone who has given the man two seconds' thought; but, of course, many people ó many influential people ó are unwilling to put in a good two seconds. To them, Reagan will always be, if not quite a boob, a lightweight all the same ó a lucky innocent, who stumbled onto some success as president.

"Reagan in Full"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2001

Jack Kemp wants President Bush's

Jack Kemp wants President Bush's tax cut to be double the $1.6 trillion he has proposed. Kemp thinks surplus projections are underestimated and that Congress will be awash with money even after it pays off the national debt.

"We Can Afford a Much Bigger Tax Cut"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2001

I love this time of

I love this time of year. Sports Illustrated has their lovely ladies up on the web to warm up my cold Wisconsin winter.

Do take a look at my favorite, Amy Wesson.

CNN/Sports Illustrated's 2001 Swimsuit Edition

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2001

The Gipper is beloved by

The Gipper is beloved by the public. People like to look back on a leader who made them feel good about being Americans. They also remember that Reagan led the country out of economic hardship while also winning the Cold War.

"Reagan Tops the List of 'Greatest U.S. President,' Poll Says"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:07 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2001

Moma's workspheres exibition looks at

Moma's workspheres exibition looks at new innovative design perspectives due to the changing nature of work. Some of the exhibits are banal (1960s correction fluid), others are cutting-edge stylish but impracticle (the scooter desk), but all explore new ways of making work easier, more effective, more fun, and more comfortable.


Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2001

Technology has its pluses and

Technology has its pluses and minuses. Tough encryption lets shoppers protect their credit card numbers from theft, while it also allows truly private conversations (both e-mail and voice). Encryption also gives criminals and terrorists the means of keeping their nefarious plans secret.

Strong encryption shouldn't be outlawed; then only the criminals (who would ignore the laws anyway) would have the means of keeping electronic secrets. Law enforcement will just have to find new, constitutional methods of finding out illegal plans.

Terror Groups Hide Behind Web Encryption

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2001

Mike thought I should work

Mike thought I should work on my color choices. This reference from Webmonkey helps.

Color Codes

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2001

Ms. Houston is following in

Ms. Houston is following in the footsteps of her trouble-making husband. All she had to do was cough up a little cash and her marijuana charge would have vanished. Now, she faces 30 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If she goes to jail, she would be the sweetest sounding jail bird in world history.

"Whitney Houston's Marijuana Charges May Be Reinstated"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

Why, oh why is Nirvana's

Why, oh why is Nirvana's Nevermind number 2 on VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock 'N' Roll? I did think it was something fresh and new when it came out in 1991(?), but now Kurt Cobain's angst-ridden songs feel stale. Angry, hopeless music can only be entertaining for so long. Also, how can you put Nirvana at number 2 while leaving Led Zeppelin all the way back at 43 (their debut). Even worse, Guns 'n Roses' Appetite for Destruction ranks ahead of Zeppelin, and they certainly didn't out hard rock the masters.

VH1.com: 100 Greatest Albums of Rock 'N' Roll

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)