Archive for June, 2009

xerox and the demise of the soviet

June 9, 2009

Ronald Reagan and Jackson Democrats gave the push that ultimately toppled a USSR hobbled by the weight of rampant paranoia that stifled innovation needed to keep up with the United States.  The Russian Communist Party kept close watch on all forms of communication fearing that users of something as simple as the xerox machine would be up to no good.  Scientists and entrepreneurs could not operate effectively in this climate of suspicion.  Repeated decades of stunted growth finally caught up to the Communist Party, who by the late 1970s found that they did not posses the economic base and intellectual capital to keep up with the West.  Efforts by Gorbachev to reform and open up the economy through perestroika were too late.  The Soviet system gasped its last breath in 1991. In clamping down on the free exchange of ideas via the Internet by requiring all computers to include web-filters, strangely enough, we find the Peoples’ Republic of China repeating the paranoia of the old Soviet, inviting the same consequences born by the Communist Russia onto itself.   Will these communists never learn?

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mon dieu! foie gras!

June 8, 2009

Mon dieu!  Le President ate foie gras while in Paris.  San Franciscans would not be pleased.

identity politics and sotomayor

June 1, 2009

How we see the world is intimately tied to who we are.  The lens through which we see the world is made from the raw materials of personal history and background.  Those who have always known privilege will tend, more or less, to see and order the world from that framework.  Likewise, someone who has not experienced privilege will tend to order her or his world accordingly.  Therefore, identity politics should and must factor when considering appointees to high positions along with a host of other important factors.  Thus, I am okay with Obama’s emphasis on empathy in selecting Supreme Court appointee-Sotomayor.