Brain Dump

My name is Haven and it has been about a month since I last wrote anything. It is not that I can’t think of anything, it is that I have thought of too many things. Hence today’s brain dump.

From start to finish, it takes about four hours to produce a story. Start means I have thought of the idea. Then I have to write the story, pick the picture, think of a key search word, put it in the title, be sure it appears in the first paragraph, read it aloud a few times, read it to my wife to see that the dramatic leaps from one idea to the next are not too extreme, post it on the website, Tweet it, post it to two places on Facebook, post it on Medium and post it on Linked In.

If I do all of that for one idea, a bunch of others don’t get written about. What if those ones feel left out? What if the one I wrote about wasn’t the best one? Then there is the endless blogger problem of audience building. There are too many of us and too few of you. We bloggers have a tough time reeling in readers.

Today’s brain dump will pare down my “LibertyPell Stories” to-do list, which is totally splendid because those little check marks are life itself even if I then throw the piece of paper away.

Titles will help you skip the ones you don’t care about.

Bob Mueller

My five-decade friend, Jim Schutze, posted a nice vignette on Facebook about Special Counsel, Bob Mueller, and the spin to discredit his efforts. The White House attempt to portray Mueller as a partisan hack will only work with the stupidest of zealots and they should not work with anyone. Bobby, as we called him at school, is the real deal and he should be left to his work. He is one of very few in Washington with actual integrity so people are rightly scared of him. Too bad. Don’t put yourself in the position where a Special Counsel might be needed. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10212442255442772&set=a.10201104707531160.1073741825.1573104930&type=3&theater

Colin Kaepernick

While we are on people and spin, let’s put this one to rest. Colin does not like standing for the national anthem, which is fine, but perhaps a bit less handy when you are a professional quarterback. There are 32 potential employers, each of which owns a $billion + franchise. The reason they are $billion + franchises is that lots of people like to watch the teams play. Some might favor sitting down for the national anthem and others might not. The 32 franchises seem to have decided that they will lose more from making people angry if they hire Colin than they will gain from those who agree with him. Owners of $billion + franchises do not actually need to collude with each other to come to this conclusion. Colin, you are not being discriminated against for exercising your first amendment rights, you are not getting offers because you risk being a pain in the ass and the risk outweighs the benefit of your skills. It was your choice and you made it. Now live with it.

Kim Jong Un / North Korea / President Trump / The Civilized World

True, we are not supposed to do appearance shaming but, if you would like to be an international pariah, best not to look like Kim Jong Un. To be fair, it might be best not to look like President Trump either. There are three groups of people on earth: group one is very large and is composed of those who haven’t the slightest idea there is a North Korea missile problem; group two is the armchair experts who focus on North Korea only when the little fat kid with the bad haircut goes off his meds and launches rockets; and group three consists of those who are deeply engaged in assuring that national leaders with bad haircuts who go off their meds (there are two in this story) do not end humanity. We don’t need to pay any attention to group one because they have nothing to say. I am paying little attention to group two because they try to attract viewers by saying “there is no good answer” and wringing their well-informed hands. I am thinking group three has an answer, which – entirely properly in my view – is not being widely shared with either fake or real media. Keep up the good work group three, I hope. P.S. I don’t think President Trump is in group three.

Russia / Putin

Did Russia try to interfere with our elections? I certainly assume so. That’s what enemies do. Did they play both sides? I assume so; it was not that hard. Did they care who won? Maybe a little, but disruption was the larger objective. The return on their investment seems to have been pretty good. We do it all the time. President Obama did his best to get rid of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Nobody seems to care when it is their preferred team doing the meddling. By the way, the word “our” must never be juxtaposed with the word “democracy” unless the person doing so wishes to be forever thought of as a whimpering hand wringer. Write the words “our democracy” even one time without openly mocking them and I will teach Google to list you first in the whimpering hand wringer search.

Polarization

I can’t imagine this is a good thing. It might be just fine for political fund raising but it pretty much sucks for doing anything useful. You know, like fixing a law that is headed over a cliff.

Healthcare

It might be best not to name it “affordable” when three of the biggest offenders – drug companies, hospitals and health insurers – were permitted or even encouraged to buy their way out of trouble by bribing elected officials. First the Democrats gobbled up the slops now it is the turn of the Republicans to gobble up the slops. Healthcare is most unlikely to be affordable with all of that slop gobbling.

The so-called “right to health care” is another poll tested lie because nobody ever says what health care we’d have a right to. Emergency rooms? Probably. Latest clinical trials? Not likely. The right to health care will necessarily have a public health component and, no, your 97-year-old alcoholic uncle will not be getting a liver transplant.

If there is a “right” to some level of health care, surely there is also a “responsibility.” Eat badly, drink excessively, do drugs, don’t exercise, smoke and your premium rises for each. To be fair, late-in-life bicycle riding should probably cost me too.

There will be no solution to health care until slop gobbling is ended and

R A T I O N I N G

is accepted as part of the deal. Universal health care and single-payer will inevitably be rationed. Get used to it.

Harvard / Virtue Signaling

Harvard is so embarrassing, as is pretty much all virtue signaling (the conspicuous expression of moral values done primarily with the intent of enhancing standing within a social group quite often by hating things).

Harvard prides itself in producing bright graduates whose intelligence it then insults with breath-takingly stupid arguments. President Drew Faust and Dean Rakesh Khurana are on a jihad to end a small group of well-known boys clubs that have existed for centuries. In the process, they plan to toss out girls clubs that have appeared more recently and even coed clubs that are selective in their admission process. Along with these undergraduate groups, Harvard plans to toss out the Constitutional right to free association.

Why? Because it thinks it can as the resident bully in undergraduate lives and because it does not already feel good enough about itself after 381 years of doing a pretty good job. Of course, most of those years were before Harvard began thinking of itself as a brand rather than a university. The first 30 of the 31 Harvard presidents got along just fine without a branded affinity credit card, but not Drew Faust.

Here is a good story on it. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/08/harvard-final-clubs-fraternities-end

If You Have Made It This Far You Must be a Fan

LibertyPell is digital media. It could also be other things like printed books (both traditionally and self published), electronic books (more likely self published), YouTube videos, podcasts, and email newsletters that don’t try to lure readers back to the website. It could even be live appearances, conferences, seminars or dinner conversations. I am talking with a couple of people about turning some of the crazier ideas into a satirical TV series.

During my month-long diaspora, I drove to Southampton Long Island to meet with my Harvard NROTC classmate, Phil Keith, who seems willing to help with the same problem I have with stories – which medium to pursue and how to promote it.

After years of being told to, I am at least listening to podcasts if not yet creating them. If you have not done so, they are terrific. Here is a link to one of my faves, Revolution_the Podcast, with John LeBoutillier and Arlene Bynon.

I welcome suggestions about which you’d favor and, especially, anyone you might suggest who could help with audience building.

The priority is a larger audience preferably without costing too much. Any earnings would likely be plowed back into the overall effort.

Feel free to post your suggestion as a comment or contact me directly if you prefer to remain anonymous.

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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  • This recent set of brain droppings triggered a few of my own – first, the old economic framing of guns and butter, and the even older “a house divided against itself cannot stand” reminder from the Bible and honest Abe. Consider this 2003 excerpt from the Washington Times:
    “Economic textbooks use the choice between guns and butter to illustrate “the production possibility curve.” If we assume (pretend) the economy only produces those two goods, that it is at full employment and productivity gains are impossible, the only way to produce more guns would be to lure labor and capital out of the butter industry. Just look at North Korea, where the gang of thugs in charge would rather starve everyone than cut back on weapons. Yet notice that balancing the North Korean budget would be entirely irrelevant to their cruel choice of guns over butter. The people would still starve.”

    And the above Pew research makes me think, ok, if the kid with the bad haircut doesn’t do us in, we’ll do it to ourselves. Whether we’ll have a hospital bill unpaid at the time becomes a moot point, you know?

    And what the heck was happening in 2009 where the graph converges? Anxiously awaiting your Harvard educated analysis on that one, dear Haven.

    • Wow, Suzette, you suggest a really interesting idea. Why not bombard North Korea with endless western consumerism and let the population choose butter over guns. Just let the North Koreans know that the Kardashians exist and the little fat kid will be airborne on the tip of one of his rockets. That idea puts me solidly in group two because it takes no account of censorship and the likely absence of equipment with which to receive transmissions. Your 2009 question made me pause for a bit. Obama’s inauguration would likely have been divisive rather than uniting. So, my guess is that the convergence resulted from the mortgage meltdown causing everyone to agree that we were headed down the potty. A crisis causes unanimity that something must be done. This observation gives rise to the idea that if we are polarized there is nothing important to worry about.

  • Well now let’s not go all Kardashian. Being French, I do prefer butter over guns, with the possible exception of sporting clays at Lake Delaware Farm with a certain Gerrymandering buddy. Wikipedia says a whole lot was happening in 2009 so who can tell. I do think this divisiveness being fueled by a caliber 45 gun is not helping anyone.

  • Gosh so glad my message of last night never got
    through. I hope . It was all too deep for me. Liked the brain drain comments though I see no exit solutions from our present predicament.