Bobby Jindal

Not a great speaker, but the boat story hits home. No matter how great a leader President Obama is, he can’t get us anywhere if impersonal bureaucrats are the ones making our decisions.

Bobby is taking a position. I don’t think this speech will move many people tonight. But in three or four years it will be a standard he can return to. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but if the Republicans don’t get creative they could be swamped again by the Obamomentum.

If they don’t get creative on health care, we’re doomed. If they don’t privatize education and open up the schools, it’s already too late.

Mainly, Jindal is oversimplifying the government vs. the people argument. We’re in trouble now because of our government, of course. But we’re also in trouble because of private decision makers who had too much influence. The trouble is not only government; it’s rampant bureaucracy in both the public and the private sector. It’s the depersonalized impact of our worship of numbers and giantism.

It reminds me of Burke’s words on the French Revolution.

The age of chivalry has passed. The age of sophists, oeconomists, and accountants has come.


President Obama on the military, Ty’Sheoma Bethea, and his conclusion

I’m grateful to hear him say that we do “not torture.”

A new era of engagement has begun. We can’t be alone and the world needs us. We need to engage in negotiation with confidence and candor.

The world depends on us having a strong economy as we depend on the strength of the worlds. Deep implications to that. Not something to enter into without a lot of judgment.

The world is watching us. We hear that a lot. “In our hands lies the ability to shape our world; for good or for ill.”

“Hope comes from the dreams and aspirations of ordinary Americans who are anything but ordinary.”

He does a great job connecting to the audience. Good story teller.

The young girl from South Carolina, Ty’Sheoma Bethea, was very effective. Nevertheless, in my opinion, he sort of stumbled. He should have hit a grand slam, but he only hit a double. But that’s on rhetoric. The point was beautiful. “We aren’t quitters.” The girl inspired me and that’s what a great leader ensures.

We need to remember that 2% of the population is one out of every 50 people. Sure they all live in New York, but that’s a lot of people, over 6,000,000.

He’s a true leader. I hope he leads us in the right direction.

One last comment. He wants us to send everybody to college. I hope he has in mind something different from the typical contempoary college. If that many people go to this kind of college we’ll be wiped out by venereal diseases and people who can’t keep their commitments to their spouses and children. College might help people get jobs (though it’s vastly over valued in that regard), but it has a tendency to ruin a lot of other things.

Let me conclude by saying that President Obama has my prayers and my best wishes. We need great wisdom.

I may have some closer analysis tomorrow, but probably not. I’m heading off again so I’ll just point out that Obama’s “inherited deficit” comments are interesting and demand a close review.

President Obama on the deficit

A note on the economic portion:

Bad move: “I know we can get some consensus in here.”

“With the deficit we inherited.”

He can’t back hand like that if he doesn’t want to offend and alienate people. The first line was great. The second was too easily perceived by Republicans as spiteful.

I look forward to the waste, fraud, and abuse being rooted out. I wonder what morally upstanding bureaucracy will do that. I also want to see the details on that tax cut for 95% of working families.

He is most certainly a leader: decisive, adequately detailed for the forum (though I have to wonder what the details will be), and inspiring. He clearly is attentive to the needs of common people.


President Obama on Education

President Obama wants everybody to get educated, but will he stand in the way of those who have proven to be effective, or will he only allow the public schools to get educated.

He’s asking us all to commit to at least a year of education. I like that he included apprenticeship.

Good to hear him challenge the high school dropouts: “It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country.”

“By 2020 America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

If you volunteer, we’ll make sure you can afford a higher education. Hatch/Kennedy: that’s a document I’d like to see reviewed by honorable and eye open people.

“It is up to us to ensure they walk through [the doors.]”

Thank you for the call to parents. Responsibility for education must begin at home. I would argue it should end there too.

How to Be Perfect

Let us, in fine, observe that this harmony or surprising agreement, which naturally occurs between the ideas of just, honest, and useful, constitutes the whole beauty of virtue, and informs us at the same time in what the perfection of man consists.

… Moralists are divided with regard to this latter point. Some place the perfection of man in such a use of his faculties as is agreeable to the nature of his being. Others in the use of our faculties and the intention of our creator. Some, in fine, pretend that man is perfect, only as his manner of thinking and acting is proper to conduct him to the end he aims at, namely, his happiness.

Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, The Principles of Natural Law, Pt. II, ch. 8, 6

So which is it? In which of the three is ‘man’s perfection”?