Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php:512) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 114

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php:512) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 114

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp_base in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class.php on line 56

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class_sockets.php on line 8

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/functions.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::include_all() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 20

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::include_all() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 21

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Options::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::register_scripts() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/header.php on line 6
2007 September Archive at Three Roads Blog
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::output_header_css() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Archive for September, 2007

The White GOP

In the past 50 years, how many non-white candidates have vied for Republican presidential nomination?

Presidential politics is a pale affair on both sides of the aisle, but it’s particularly pasty on the right side. And since the 1960s, the Grand Old Party seems to be getting whiter and whiter, in all areas of electoral politics.

The current crop of Republicans running for the nomination couldn’t even be bothered to debate at Morgan State University, a predominantly black school. The conventional wisdom says they were nervous about possible negative reactions from the audience.

Can anyone tell me of a non-white person who ran in the Republican primary? (And this isn’t simply a rhetorical question meant to make a point about the homogeneous nature of the Republican Party; I’m actually curious.)

Anyone? Bueller?

Here’s my second question: could a black candidate win the Republican nomination?

I wonder if it’s possible. In the current context of Republican presidential politics, I sort of doubt it. Why? Because so much of the party is controlled by the fringe, and that’s never more apparent than in the primary months.

In 2000, push polls and whisper campaigns about John McCain fathering an illegitimate black child helped George Bush win South Carolina’s primary.

The “illegitimate” part was immaterial. (At best, it was a cover for supposed family values voters.) It was the “black” part that mattered.

As recently as the 2006 midterms (the Tennessee senate race, specifically), Republicans in the south have played on racist attitudes toward inter-racial relationships. Although we’ve come a long way as a country, the Republican Party, once the party that freed the slaves, is still mired in prejudicial politics.

When philosophy trumps reality

The American conservative philosophy advocates more market and less government.

The reality is this: our health care system is broken, and it’s broken because of market failures. Private enterprise isn’t doing a good job delivering the goods, and people are suffering because of it.

Now, given this situation, what do you do?

If you’re George Bush, and there’s a bill heading to your desk that will provide government sponsored health care to kids who need it, you batten down your philosophical hatches and demand, despite the failure of the market, more market.

Essentially, people like George Bush are choosing to stay true to their philosophy (less government, more market) even if it means fewer children will have access to health insurance.

My philosophy of limited government, George is telling you, is more important than your kid, even when my philosophy doesn’t work out in real life.

Happiness gap between men and women grows

Are you a woman who feels slightly guilty for not wanting to spend more time with your parents? Apparently, it’s normal for women to not want to spend time with mom and dad. At least, that’s what new study out of Princeton says. According to the study, which recorded women’s feelings while doing certain activities, “women find time with their mom and dad to be slightly less pleasant than doing laundry.”

The reason: women’s time with parents resembles work, whereas men’s time with family resembles fun, like sitting on the couch and watching football.

According to a Times article, the study fits into to a larger pattern in which the gap between men’s and women’s happiness is growing.

This is probably a study that social conservatives will cling to. “See, looky what feminism did—it made women miserable. They ought to go back to the kitchen where they belong, where they’re happiest.”

But the real story is that women never left the home—even when they entered the workforce. The duties of homemaker have remained in tact. At the same time, since the 1960s, men have cut back even further on activities they don’t enjoy. So if women are less happy now, it’s because they’re juggling careers and the housework, while their lazy husbands chill in the family room and watch the game.

The employer-health insurance link should go

Last week, I posted (to my work blog) on the anachronistic employer-health insurance link.

[Lest any of my co-workers follow a Google Alert link to this blog and subsequently read my unvarnished opinions on sensitive topics like politics and religion, I've opted to omit a link to the post. If you want to read it, e-mail me and I'll send you the URL.]

A little over a year ago, I had no strong beliefs—and no clue—about the health care debate. Now, I know enough about the subject to talk more confidently than I probably should. (Isn’t that always how it goes?)

Anyway, in the post I make the case for separating health insurance from the workplace. The tie was established by accident in WWII during a labor shortage, and it is still around for no good reason other than we’re all used to it.

But more than just getting rid of the connection, I think we ought to have an individual mandate—meaning everyone should be required to get coverage, like people living in Massachusetts.

And on a partisan, somewhat-related note, I find it ridiculous that Mitt Romney, who as governor of Massachusetts signed into law the bill requiring people to get health insurance, would criticize Hillary Clinton’s recent health care proposal, which from my point of view looks an awful lot like the plan that got Romney’s signature.

Either I’m missing some key difference between the plans (very possible, I will admit) or politicians like Romney have no compunction about attacking the opposition even when the opposition has the same position (also very possible).

Blurred boundaries

For a long time it seemed there was a kind of truce between science and organized religion, wherein religion wouldn’t encroach on science’s turf and science wouldn’t encroach on religion’s. But that arrangement seems to be crumbling; intelligent designers are trying to weasel their way into evolutionary biology, and, recently, evolutionary biologists have been trying to explain morality.

TimesSelect is no more

Paul, Tom, Stanley, Maureen, David and others are now free from the TimesSelect prison!

Yay!

The allure of Atlas Shrugged

A Sept. 15 New York Times article on Atlas Shrugged is moving up the “most e-mailed” charts.

Although the book was panned by critics when it was released, in 1957, Ayn Rand’s 1200-page paean to capitalism has earned a permanent place in the libraries of CEOs and other capitalistic types–and anyone else who embraces the book’s “greed is good” philosophy. According to the article, bookstores sold 150,000 copies last year.

I don’t use “greed is good” as a disparaging description of the novel. The phrase is actually an objective way to describe Rand’s philosophy, which is unselfconsciously called Objectivism. She believed that selfishness was a moral imperative.

The Times understands the allure of Atlas Shrugged for business execs:

 

Some business leaders might be unsettled by the idea that the only thing members of the leadership class have in common is their success. James M. Kilts, who led turnarounds at Gillette, Nabisco and Kraft, said he encountered “Atlas” at “a time in college life when everybody was a nihilist, anti-establishment, and a collectivist.” He found her writing reassuring because it made success seem rational. [Emphasis added]

After reading The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb, I’m more inclined to believe that success is being able to capitalize on luck—being in the right place at the right time, having parents who value education and pay for tuition, etc.

CEOs would rather believe in their own brilliance, and Ayn Rand gave them a handy philosophy with which to do so. She didn’t believe in success by luck. In her world, those who weren’t successful were either lazy or incompetent or just plain evil. She believed in success by merit and hard work—a truly American (and simplistic) notion.

As it happens, Alan Greenspan, whose memoir is being released this week, was a huge Rand fan, and he wrote many articles for her newsletter, The Objectivist.

If you can get past the initial shock of how long Rand’s books are and actually start reading one, you’ll find that they are incredibly seductive. Her philosophy is half-baked, but her storytelling abilities are fully baked. And ultimately, that is probably why her ideas persist—they are wrapped in epic stories with heroic heroes and villainous villains. (In fact, Atlas Shrugged is so hyperbolic, I’m surprised it hasn’t been adapted into a comic book or graphic novel.)