I am a social libertarian and a small government fiscal conservative. That means that both parties scare the heck out of me. And I know I'm not alone. Yet both parties are stuck in a 20th Century model driven by fringe extremists. It's like the myopic old guard CEO who refuses to listen to the demographic realities of what his team is telling him. The result? The loss of market/mind share to a competitor. To me, the poster child for this is Karl Rove. I've never met Mr. Rove but I'm fairly confident I would never hire him (http://news.yahoo.com/republican-strategist-karl-roves-very-bad-night-002109469.html
What's the solution here for the Republican Party (more on the Democrats later)? To begin with, it is eschewing conventional wisdoms and preconceived notions with new leadership. Armed with open minds and ears, it's also embracing real objective data-mining (i.e., not wonkish, Rove-driven data-mining). This might actually lead them to more compelling conversations among a broader audience, which then should result in a more diverse base (and political class) that has the energy, innovation, and money (not just the latter). The Tea Party is the most glaring example of this desire for change -- if the Republicans do their jobs right, the Tea Party will be an historical head-fake en route to a more inclusive, thoughtful, base.
This is not a new exercise. Somewhere along the way Lincoln's party gave way to the current one through forces of reinvention.
On a related note, here is interesting article on the Democrat's data-driven machinery: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/tech/web/obama-campaign-tech-team/index.html
Seriously? Not a word from Facebook nor any progress getting that blasted archiving feature to work.
Before I was annoyed. Now I'm, well, really annoyed.
No progress on archiving; however, I found a middle solution -- deactivation (http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=214376678584711
At o'dark hundred yesterday, the family was rousted for the first family fishing trip of the year. Armed with our Old Town 16'9" canoe atop my truck, updated lines/gear, and a Minn Kota trolling motor* we left for a nearby lake. When we arrived, we dispatched the entire operation like a well-orchestrated campaign. As we got ready to shove off and set course for a point off the middle of the lake, I noticed my trolling motor was acting the opposite of what I expected -- reverse for forward, forward for reverse. Was this some sort of secret fisherman handshake about how trolling motors really worked? Never mind, the sun was rising, so reverse (to go forward) we went. Five hours later, the boys caught five beautiful (and now delicious) trout and lost nearly that many. Me, I got skunked, which caused the additional loss of my paternal platform for mountain man pontification. Sure, I was proud but I felt a bit hollow too at the cruel justice of fishing: it favors no man and bites the arrogant. Which reminds me; the reason the motor acted that way was because I had the cables backwards on the battery.
*A majority of the participants registered complaints about multi-mile paddling.
AP Photo/Binod Joshi
There was another "traffic jam" en route
to Everest's summit. How can this be? Well, Nepal does not limit - let alone qualify - the number of climbers. So if you have the right paperwork and money, the attempt can be yours too. To make matters worse, there is little-to-no coordination between the various camps/throngs of climbers as they make their mad dash up.
Even after reading Krakauer's Into Thin Air
, I had the distant (albeit selfish) dream of scaling Everest someday. And I revered all who had. Today, I'm utterly annoyed and disillusioned by the whole affair. While there are many whom deserve deep respect of having climbed, there are an indistinguishable number of others whom have been dragged there and back (or part way) by their dutiful Sherpa. They may be spirited and tough in their own right, but they do so in a complete betrayal of the sport and at the lethal risk of others.
If you want an excellent view of the real business of Everest, please watch Discovey Channel's Everest: Beyond the Limit
. For me, it all came home in season four with the story of mountaineer David Tait's attempt at a double-traverse.
More on this week's Everest fiasco from MyWay:Days after deaths, another crowd attempts Everest. By Binjaj Gurubacharya KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Scores of climbers were headed for the summit of Mount Everest on Friday in what is expected to another busy weekend on the top of the world.
Last weekend, four climbers died on their way down from the summit amid a traffic jam of more than 200 people scrambling to conquer the world's highest peak as the weather worsened. A similar crowd is expected this weekend, but there have been no reports of climbers in trouble and the weather is good.
Gyanendra Shrestha, an official with Nepal's Tourism Ministry, said he had reports that 82 climbers reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit on Friday morning.
Shrestha, who is at the base camp, said 120 climbers started the last phase of the climb on Thursday night but not all of them reached the summit. He said it was normal for some of the climbers to quit at the last treacherous part of
the climb for various reasons.
There were still more climbers expected to try to reach the summit on Saturday - probably the last day of this climbing season.
"This is the last chance for climbers to attempt to reach the summit. If they can't, then there is not going to be another opportunity this season," another official Mohan Krishna Sapkota said.
Several climbers began their trek from the last camp at the South Col, located at 8,000 meters (26,240 feet), on Thursday night and climbed all night, reaching the summit in the morning.
The deaths last weekend raised concerns about overcrowding above the highest trail on the mountain. The area above the South Col is nicknamed the "death zone" because of the steep, icy slope, treacherous conditions and low oxygen
Officials said that last weekend, climbers were heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m., even though 11 a.m. is the latest start time recommended. That meant climbers were staying too long at high altitudes and exhausting their
oxygen supplies because they didn't anticipate having to wait.
More than 3,000 people have climbed Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to do so in 1953. Some 225 climbers have died attempting it.
The deadliest day was May 10, 1996, when eight people were killed. The main reason was said to be that climbers who started their ascent late in the day were caught in a snowstorm in the afternoon and lost their way.
The climbing season normally runs from late March to the first week in June, but this year the season's first clear.
It's unclear to me why for the past week I've been unable to archive my Facebook data. Unlike this guy's problem (http://allfacebook.com/facebookalarcon-data_b81021
), my uneducated hunch is that Facebook is throttling down this feature in the wake of their trouble-ridden IPO. But given that it may be a bug, I worked through the site to find a place to interact with customer service. Five minutes, and about 10 clicks later, I found a submission form. It will be interesting to see if I get a response and how long it takes.
Photo by EPA
Without political union, monetary union is impossible. It is axiomatic.
The Greek tragedy that's about to ensue will be a hard to watch. Especially in the short-term and as the most simple things allude their progress (e.g., the lack of an operational printing press for the currency or a functional Treasury to stamp coins). But it will not be a disaster forever. If the Greek populace is strong enough to purge and reset, and pick bold leaders that install confidence (esp that tourism is once again safe), capital inflow and jobs will follow. Like so many historical events, one generation will suffer to the benefit of future ones to come.
More on this story at the WSJ:In Europe, Time for Plan B, Only There’s No Plan, and No Time. By Paul Vigna
Something concrete finally came out of a eurocrat summit. The Germans said no.
The news that’s shaking markets this morning isn’t necessarily Greece, though it is inextricably linked, it’s that the Germans stood firm in their stance against offering eurobonds as a solution to the sovereign-debt crisis. Eurobonds, backed by the euro zone, would allow countries to raise money at reduced prices.
This news didn’t sit well with markets. The euro fell to nearly a two-year low, safe-havens like government bonds out of Germany, the U.S., the U.K., Finland, and the Netherlands all rallied, and stocks fell across the board. Dow futures are down 60 points after earlier falling 100; S&P 500 futures are down 6 points.
Hey, give the Germans credit for showing some backbone. The problem is, though, this leaves Europe at another crossroads; only there’s no road on the other side.
There have been two main responses to the crisis: austerity, and kicking cans down roads. Austerity, in case you haven’t noticed, is so last year. It’s out. Which means that unless something else is found, some other comprehensive plan, the other main response, can kicking, is going to run outof road.
Just about everybody backed the idea of eurobonds, except for the Germans, and since they’re the ones with all the money, they’re kind of the only ones whose vote counts anyway. So, it’s time to go to plan B. Only there’s no Plan B, and there’s no time, either.
Yesterday, markets were stirred by a Dow Jones interview with former Greek PM Lucas Papademos, in which he said the Greeks were making contingency plans for a euro exit (there is a cutesy nickname going around that combines “Greek” with “exit.” We’re not going there.)
Reuters reported this morning that the superfluously named eurogroup working group was working on contingency plans for a Greek exit. France’s new president, Francois Hollande, denied there are any plans, or at least any that he knows of.
Hollande has become the champion of growth, and that’s not a terrible idea. Like the eurobonds, though, it has one fatal flaw: it’ll take too long to implement. The other big problem with “growth” as a strategy is that the nations most in trouble, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, are too far gone, need too much “growth,” for the size of their problems.
This crisis was ultimately going to resolve itself in one of two ways: the Continent was either going to form a United States of Europe, or the euro experiment was going to fail. It appears to be going in the latter direction.
We’re finally coming to the moment of truth, the end game, the final countdown, if you will. After three years of incessant babbling and delay, it’s a nice, if scary, change.