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All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that it all happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. if you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
-- Ernest Hemingway



Blog Posts for October 2008

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The Replacements

 

There is such a lack of leadership in Washington that today I wish the whole lot would be replaced. Every one of them. Watching people play petty politics, watching the media play PR consultancy for the Dems... there's no accountability, no reckoning. There's no fear of us, the people.

A while back I wrote a post entitled Cruel Parents for which I got villified because I suggested that parents who support big government don't care about the futures of their kids. As we're about to be stuck with the huge bailout bill and as we're apparently going to elect a president who wants massive new government programs and wants to tax businesses and the successful in life when our economc future is uncertain, only one thing is certain: our kids will be stuck with the bill, just as we're being stuck today with the bill for government actions taken long ago. Who would willingly do that?

In this election, I'm pretty close to voting for the replacements. I might just write in Mitt Romney. McCain, for all his good will toward America, is proving, as he proved in the primaries, that he doesn't have a sense of charisma, timing, or attractiveness. If it wasn't for Sarah Palin, he'd be 15 points down in every poll. He can't seem to beat a domestic-terrorist-befriending, critic-silencing, graft-taking, corrupt, smooth-talking politician. How weak is that? And how dumb are we, that collective America has bought into this sham called Hope?

Here's a challenge: think of five politicians you admire and esteem. Heck, I'll even spot you two. Name three. I can't.

They should all be given their walking papers.

ETC: I had a thought about this, and it's an unfortunate thought. But consider:

John McCain is a hero. No doubt about that, unless you're NBC. People partially equate his rightly-deserved heroism with his years of torture while in service to America.

Thankfully, that time for him in Hanoi is over. I would have thought that having lived through that, he would not hesitate to fight communism and tyranny with everything he has in him so that no one else has to endure what he endured.

But it's not in him. He won't do it. He sees the threat of Putin, but not of Obama. He's too worried about being a gentleman Senator.

My definition of a hero: someone with the stones to say and do what needs to be said to help others, within the confines of the truth and the law.

McCain isn't doing that. He is, currently, allowing the media to beat up him and his running mate. The Senate tonight will pass a bill that takes up for those who brought us to this financial mess. And this crisis was brought to us in large part by Democrats, who fought against tighter accounting and regulation that Republicans proposed.

McCain is not fighting for us as he ought. It appears that he's passively letting us get fleeced and snowed by the Obama media machine.

So my enthusiam, higher a few weeks back, is greatly diminished.

I don't want cutesy, clever ads from McCain. I want the truth. Straight talk. In ads where he's talking to us and spilling it. I want the media brought to task. I want Obama's vetting.

Actions, not words.

MORE ETC: Tamara reminds me that this is not just McCain's fight, but ours. I agree.

I have a post cookin' about that one of these days.

 

4 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/1/2008 8:53:13 AM
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Nighttime

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/1/2008 8:29:04 PM
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Basket

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

Drawn on Blake's Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/3/2008 12:24:04 AM
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Once Again

 

If McCain pulls it out, tonight was the turnaround. The media, sneering at the Alaska bumpkin who was heavily edited to support their meme, got one-upped big-time by the unedited, smiling, freedom-loving governor from Alaska in a debate where she eagerly outshone an eternal Washingtonian.

Truth? Katie Couric wouldn't recognize it if it pinched her formerly perky cheeks.

Oh, one other thing - my odds of an attempt to replace Biden with Hillary: 3 to 1. But... after this, because you know that she and Bill watched this, you know that Hillary doesn't want to go up against Palin.

Last point: Palin will run the campaign from here forward. Her and the First Dude. Because when she is front and center and talking to us (step aside Ms. Ifill), things happen. McCain's leadership shows once again that he's not afraid to hire someone better than himself. Hopefully, she rubs off on her running mate. And hopefully, Obama finds it necessary to distractedly go after Palin. He's gonna have to, because she's gonna go after him.

As PR says it, beware the 'Cuda!

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/3/2008 12:58:34 AM
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Yes, Absolutely

 

I didn't know who James Pethoukis was, but Glenn Reynolds links to him today with this:

My bottom line: The McCain campaign is underestimating how absolutely furious conservatives are that free markets, and by extension Reaganomics and the last 25 years of American economic policy, are getting the blame for the housing and credit crisis. A real morale killer, they tell me. Over and over. Every day.
I'll get back to what I said a couple of days ago: McCain doesn't have the stones to do this. Here's why:
  • "For business, Senator McCain is a candidate of contradictions. He initially opposed President Bush's tax cuts, but now supports making them permanent. He has crusaded against the influence of corporate lobbyists, yet has more K Street fixers raising money for his campaign than any other Presidential candidate. And he says he's a full-bore, free-enterprise capitalist even as he admits that he hasn't understood economics as well as he should."
  • During the primaries, this: "McCain sideswiped Romney's credentials as a successful business leader while answering a question about who would best run the nation."
  • While Senator McCain’s economic record contains a number of pro-growth positions, such as his support for school choice and free trade, and his steadfast opposition to wasteful government spending, his overall record is tainted by a marked antipathy towards the free market and individual freedom. The Bush tax cuts were a driving force behind the economic prosperity of the last couple of years and a cornerstone of a pro-growth philosophy. Not only did Senator McCain oppose these cuts, he aligned himself with the likes of Ted Kennedy in his rhetorical attacks in 2001 and 2003. Four years later, American taxpayers still have not heard the Senator disavow his misguided statements and votes.
McCain, if he has any hope of winning, needs to get behind what grows any economy and he needs to enthusiastically come out swinging for business.

Kelly said something on the site a couple of days ago in the comments:

I have a niece who's in her first year of journalism at college. She's out to save the world, not report the news. A recent conversation on taxes went something like this (she thinks the "rich" should be taxed more):

Me: Have you ever been hired for a job by a poor person?

Her: No.

Me: So, wouldn't it seem reasonable to conclude if the people creating jobs were taxed more they would have less money to work with and create jobs?

Her: (basically a shrug)

Amen. It's conversations like these that happen on a person-to-person level that challenge and eventually change misperceptions.

I'm no Obama supporter. I'm a reluctant McCain supporter. James Pethoukis is right: McCain's resistance to fight for the free market and business and low taxes to promote our economic health gives me pause in doing anything for McCain to help him get elected. And McCain won't come around because it's not in him - he doesn't believe it, just as I don't expect that McCain will actually do anything to protect America's borders.

Neither Obama or McCain ever started a business. I'm starting to think that presidential candidates need to be former entrepreneurs or have significant experience with the needs of entrepreneurs so that their policies don't jeopardize the ability of small business owners - true America heroes, in my opinion - to create jobs and make our country prosper.

ETC: I read that McCain has decided to come out swinging.

Lead the way, warrior. I'll follow you, if you're committed to the fight.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/3/2008 8:43:37 PM
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Best Friend

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

Drawn on Blake's Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/3/2008 8:45:26 PM
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Tropical Bar

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/5/2008 12:35:03 AM
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Images from Day 16,041

 

Regarding the last picture, consider this:

As a result of those actions, gas prices have come down because the perception of increased supply has taken root. I fully expect gas to stay in the range of $2.XX for some time. But give credit where credit is due: Bush and the Republicans were right, and the Obama and the Democrats were wrong. Because they don't understand economics.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/5/2008 10:45:54 PM
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Forest

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/5/2008 10:48:26 PM
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Summer Cottage

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/6/2008 10:25:29 PM
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Professional

 

I have a bank of about 600 quotes that randomly spawn at the top of my blog. I just saw this one from Richard Bach:

A professional writer is an amateur that doesn't quit.
Frankly, we're all amateurs. It's the measure of practice we put into our craft (or hobby) that shows how seriously we invest ourselves to where it becomes our "profession" - that for which we feel called and avowed. Consider that a doctor has a medical "practice..." How much time has a doctor devoted to their profession?

So, where do we spend our time? What do we talk about? What do we habitually profess?

Where, in life, won't we quit?

Therein lies profession.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/6/2008 11:15:54 PM
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Ramble

 

As I've been messing with my LG Dare, doodling around and trying to keep up with something creative each day, I've found myself getting hungry for actual, you know, painting. For me it's the color restriction. I long for real color. Or at least the ability to massage it into the shades I crave.

I've also been working pretty heavily on 247Toolset. Localsgive.com is going through some modifications. The purpose is to create an ideal hub for finding and donating to non-profits. I feel good about that...

Today, I'm kind of emotional. Life is rich.

So I think what I'll do is try to accomplish daily art - whatever medium that might be - and that'll be what I send out to the little group that receives my LG Dare stuff every morning.

There's a notion on the web of "pocket paintings." I stumbled into the concept myself in June 2007, saying:

They're small. And fun, actually. I'm surprised by the satisfaction I get in painting these rough thumbnails of what is to be a larger work.
These things are small, maybe 2" x 2", which is only a little bigger than what I'm doing now with the Dare.

I've also taken to sending picture messages to Tamara, like someone would send a card, but via my phone. Like this:

And the text of the message might be: "You're my best friend..."

If people had access to a bank of pictures to send little phone cards to each other... I mean, hey, we're enjoying it. Me, I'll think of every creative way I can to romance my beautiful wife. So maybe my pocket art sized for the phone can be made available to others. I dunno, but what if a phone company offered the bank of images for free? More people might sign up for unlimited text/picture messaging if they could send little phone cards to each other.

I'm having fun... :)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2008 1:00:02 AM
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Tonight

 

Tonight is McCain's night to bring the Right to this fight on his behalf. Palin has done that already and continues to do that. Tonight, it's McCain.

Can he do it?

It's not hard to win polls when pollsters give you a double-digit lead in the sample of your supporters over your opponent.

I've been beating up on McCain, and rightly so. He deserved it. I heard some of what he said today. He's putting on his war paint. Cool.

On decK? Mr. Fragility, The One himself. I'm aiming squarely at his prominent glass jaw.

ETC: Tamara and I watched the full debate. I don't like McCain personally, but he's far more substantive than Obama.

Obama's a much better speaker, but half of his answers are so full of crap that it's obvious he's making it up.

For example, his bit about how the current crisis and its remedies will impact the young guy who asked the question. Obama said, "If employers can't get loans to make payroll, then you won't have paychecks."

I've never known any employer who takes out a loan to make payroll.

What he might have meant, but missed it by a mile, is that employers - small business owners and larger - work on vendor credit usually for inventory. If the vendor dries that up, then the goods don't get made or sold.

It's revenue (receivables) that pay for payroll.

He doesn't understand business. Or economics. He doesn't know what he would cut. He has no plans to cut anything, and this after his answer to the woman where he told her that if your family doesn't have the money, then you don't spend it. Then he talked about solutions that would be - spending.

I really hope the American people are smart enough to see through this sham.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2008 7:31:23 PM
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Follow Obama's Legislation

 

Read up on the legislation Obama wrote here.

Want to know the candidate? Know how he wants to shape government.

 

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Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2008 8:49:04 PM
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Empty Nest

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/7/2008 11:28:34 PM
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The Relevance of a Town Hall Debate

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/8/2008 12:52:59 AM
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Brilliant Debate Analysis

 

From Ann Althouse:

McCain offered no defense of his party, only assertions that he had tried to get regulations passed. So, there he was, embedded in failure. He didn't stand by the principles of conservatism. Here's the transcript. The word "conservative" appears exactly once, when McCain said (about Social Security):
We know what the problems are, my friends, and we know what the fixes are. We've got to sit down together across the table. It's been done before.

I saw it done with our -- our wonderful Ronald Reagan, a conservative from California, and the liberal Democrat Tip O'Neill from Massachusetts. That's what we need more of, and that's what I've done in Washington.

I don't believe we really understand the problems or "the fixes," and I certainly don't believe that reaching across the aisle works magic. That's not a basis for solving a problem, but a technique that works to some extent when you have a solution.

Look at how McCain failed to promote conservatism. McCain brought up Ronald Reagan 3 times: once to say he opposed him about sending troops to Lebanon and the other 2 times to say it was wonderful the way he worked with the liberal Tip O'Neill.

McCain never presented the conservative alternative to Obama. He never even called himself a conservative last night. He was wandering all over that red carpet, microphone in hand, and I have the feeling, in retrospect, that he was truly bewildered, mouthing old phrases, trying to slip by. But one old phrase that was missing was "I'm a proud conservative." Remember when he used to say that?

Or did he? Remember this?

See? That was always the problem. And now, it's really showing. McCain has lost definition. He's stumbling along to the finish line, hoping to achieve his lifelong ambition, to seize the crown at last. But why? To show he can get along with Democrats? I worry about what awful innovations the new President will concoct in league with the Democratic Congress, but at this point, I'm more worried about McCain than Obama.

Brilliant.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/8/2008 1:57:01 PM
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Who's the Boss?

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/9/2008 12:09:35 AM
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Morning Row

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/9/2008 8:26:24 AM
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GuvSux

 

Two of my passions are art and politics. Seems like a no-brainer that I might mix the two together in poltical cartoons.

The nice thing about art is that it can communicate volumes, instantaneously and memorably. And humor gets the point across in a more attractive way than 8 paragraphs of rant.

Toward that end, I've started drawing cartoons. I've come up with a title that appropriately shows how I feel about it all:

GuvSux

My goal is to lampoon anyone who thinks that government is a ready solution for anything, and to skewer the consistent idiocy of our political class. Obama is my big easy target of the moment.

I've registered the domain guvsux.com. I'll point it to a place here on my web site where I'll collect the content.

I'm a decent painter, but I think I have a way to go in cartooning well. Like anything I do, it's the journey that matters, so here we go!

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/9/2008 10:24:40 AM
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Arrested Development

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/9/2008 8:53:44 PM
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Fireplace

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/10/2008 7:06:14 AM
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Open and Shut

 

Obama: No 401K

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/10/2008 4:53:00 PM
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Fishing

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/10/2008 10:43:09 PM
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2 + 2 = ?

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/10/2008 11:00:45 PM
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Green Jobs or Snow Job?

 

Barack Obama makes the oft-repeated claim that he will create 5 million jobs via pursuit of green technology. He elaborated in the town hall debate that this is parallel to the Internet and how it and the personal computer created the boom of the 90's.

I know that "green technology" and "information technology" both have the word "technology" in them, but the similarity stops there.

Prior to the personal computer, people worked with pencil and paper.

Prior to the Internet, people shared information via the phone and postal mail.

It's really easy to see why the computer and the Internet propelled the economy - they increased productivity. These technologies allowed us to be faster, smarter, more connected.

How does green technology increase productivity? Will you be faster? Smarter? More connected to others?

The electricity you get today will be no different than the electricity you get from, say, nuclear or wind or whatever... green technology doesn't boost anyone's productivity. If anything, it might be more expensive just as some green products and organic foods are more expensive.

Here's a clear example of how his silly assertion has no foundation: Citibank won't hire an army of green technologists like they hire an army of information technologists.

So what jobs does he think this will create in a way that will parallel the 90's tech boom?

Obama is an economic simpleton who is going to throw the government at every problem he faces, which will decline productivity and reduce our economy.

And because he makes excuses left and right, everything will either be the fault of business or Bush or the Republicans. Or us, the people, because we're not doing what he wants us to do.

I really hope America sees through the sham that is hopenchange.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/11/2008 8:45:56 AM
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Coming Soon to a Reality Near You

 

What is reality?

Simply defined, facts are facts, objectively absolute and verifiable, and independent of a person's feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears. Reality is composed of facts.

Ever heard the idea that perception is reality? That's actually a clever word game, and it's not true. I'm guilty of having said it, but no more. The perceptions of others are something we have to assess and consider, but perceptions - certainly false perceptions - are not reality. That I have perceptions is fact, but my perceptions are not necessarily factual.

Perception is not reality.

And while my feelings may be real, my feelings are not reality.

If I'm given ample platform, I could broadcast my unrealistic perceptions and my wishful thinking and feelings to others. Some do that today. They're called journalists. They're supposed to report facts and provide as complete a picture as they can. That's supposed to be what they went to college to learn to do. It's why society considers journalism a profession. The gross failure of journalists to do anything that looks like fact-based reporting to provide as complete a picture as possible is why so many shun the product of journalists today and look for other sources.

If I could define journalism in a sentence, it would be this:

Put all the facts on the table as concisely as possible.
On my web site here, I'm not a journalist. beatcanvas.com is not an act of journalism. I'm not a professional, nor am I acting as one.

The same is true of the rest of the blogosphere - mostly. There are some blogs that work to be efforts in journalism. Just as there are some TV stations and newspapers and magazines that work to be efforts in journalism. But I'd say the percentage is about equal.

Here's where the rubber meets the road: I have no expectation of journalists to pay me for reporting my perceptions. beatcanvas.com is not my profession nor my trade. I don't make my living here. But journalists anticipate that I will pay them for reporting their perceptions. It is their profession and their trade, and they want to be paid for it to make their living. But if I perceive that journalists' perceptions to be not based in reality, I won't pay them, and they won't make a living.

People get mad when their expectations are dashed. Which is why we get people who suggest that journalism should be subsidized by taxpayers. Given the trend, will journalism seek its bailout?

I bet so, and with Democrats itching for government-mandated mechanisms, like the Fairness Doctrine, I bet that Michael Barone is right.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/11/2008 12:19:02 PM
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Charles' First Cup

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/11/2008 11:42:50 PM
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Vegas

 

Tamara and I are going to Las Vegas for a few days. During that time, I'll post my little LG Dare drawings daily, but that'll be it. If any of you want to chime in on things political in my absence, feel free. Just add your thoughts to the gated playground.

I'll be taking my drawing pad with me to work on my cartooning skills. I want to get to the point where I can pencil it out any cartoon in less than 20 minutes - about the time I might take to write a detailed post.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/12/2008 10:23:28 AM
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Bouquet

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/13/2008 8:30:20 AM
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Pizza

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/14/2008 9:18:27 AM
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Voting?

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/14/2008 12:09:29 PM
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Collage - Month Two

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/16/2008 10:41:38 AM
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Sharing

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/17/2008 8:54:13 AM
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Endorsement

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/18/2008 1:21:08 PM
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Judgment

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/19/2008 12:13:57 PM
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Fight Socialism

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/19/2008 3:07:55 PM
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The Vegas Trip, Part I

 

When my folks and Tamara and I went to Vegas, we had the most wonderful time. Truly unforgettable. The kind of trip you remember to your grave.

We flew out and took Midwest Airlines, where they serve chocolate chip cookies - warm! - in flight. The best airlines I've been on in some time. The seats were comfy, even for me who is a big guy.

Check out this cutest of kids a couple of rows ahead of us...

We stayed at the MGM Signature, on the 29th floor, where we enjoyed an amazing view and privacy.

Prior to this trip, I'd never stepped foot in a casino - and I learned that I didn't care for them. Noisy, stinky, non-social. I don't get the appeal.

But we did do a lot of walking, ate at some amazing places... (here's Mom and Tamara at a low-lighted dinner)

And we enjoyed some astounding art and decor. This, from the Bellagio:

Tamara and I also went up into the Stratosphere. I'll have more pics from that tomorrow, as all of these were taken with my Dare, and tomorrow's pics will be from my Sony Cybershot.

We saw Bette Midler's show, which had beautiful art direction, and had funny moments, but she was totally trumped the following night when we saw Terry Fator, the guy who won America's Got Talent. The best way i can say this is: I wouldn't take my friends to Bette's show, where they about strip-searched us for cameras and the show was, of course, raunchy but funny and, in spots, odd. But I would bring everyone I know to Terry Fator's show and pay their way in. We laughed the entire show. I could bring my kids to see him. And he is immensely talented. He's also humble and human, and encouraged us to use our cameras...

But because of our experience the prior evening at Bette's show, we didn't bring our cameras, which was too bad, because I became part of the act. I was Terry's puppet, dressed as Cher.

Here's a bit of video from it:

A woman named Carol forwarded this to us (thank you!) whose email address we obtained after the show. My parents and Tamara were howling while I was up there.

It was a lot of fun :)

Tomorrow, more... and another video.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/19/2008 11:39:59 PM
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Hammock

 

An acrylic sketch I did a while back, reformatted for cell phone wallpaper:

As mentioned a few days ago, I'll be doing more actual art and less work on the Dare drawing pad, like I have been. I'll leave the medium open, but remain committed to creating art daily. Besides, I like changing my cell phone wallpaper every day.

And here's the poster that I've created as a suggestion to promote the creative capabilities of the LG Dare.

(You can sign up to have new wallpaper sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/20/2008 12:35:26 AM
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Indulgent: My To-Do List

 

Okay, I know - this has nothing to do with anything, but here is my current to-do list:

  • Finish contribution edit page for LocalsGive. (Done)
  • Incorporate changes in business card graphic for LocalsGive. (Done)
  • Do "Joe the Plumber" video and upload.
  • Complete advanced Dare drawing video and upload.
  • Write letter to Verizon and LG and send in posters that arrived today to their respective marketing departments. (Done)
  • Import the Iowa non-profits list into a database and send to Sherry.
  • Create Las Vegas Part II post, after pulling video and pics from my camera. (Done)
  • Draw Obama's economic greenhouse cartoon.
  • Paint a sketch.
Why am I putting this online? As a way to whip my butt into getting this stuff done in, um, relatively short order.

Related pics:

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/20/2008 10:08:54 PM
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Some Pics from Hoover Dam

 

This last picture is art from a guy named John Rush. Great use of color in his artwork...

YouTube is down tonight, so I'll upload video from Vegas tomorrow.

And here's a bonus picture of autumn in Iowa.

ETC: And here's the video:

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 10/21/2008 3:30:57 AM
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What Will You Do?

 

Hey, you libertarian, right-leaning, hard-working soul... I have some questions for you:

  • Since the media has proved itself utterly unprofessional, will you keep watching it? Listening to it? Because your patronage helps them pay their bills...
  • If not the media you can't stand, what? What are you willing to do?
  • With whom do you locally meet regularly to support local politicians as you might support?
We're independent souls, us libertarians. Group action isn't really our thing...

But it needs to be if we're gonna fight the liberal onslaught coming our way. The media won't help us. Republicans, a clueless lot, won't help us. And individually, since we're not Rush Limbaugh-like in our impact, we're not likely to have much impact.

Time to get serious. Time to get involved.

Could be a lot of fun, working together.

Or we can all sit around and yell at the TV while we pay more taxes.

Viva choice!

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/21/2008 9:11:21 PM
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Advanced Drawing with the Verizon LG Dare

 

I completed my video...

Time for sleep!

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/22/2008 4:11:53 AM
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Brushes

 

I haven't painted in, well, over a year. Last night, while waiting for my completed video to compile, I took up the brushes and painted for about 15 minutes.

It was awful. Dreadful, even.

So tonight I gave it another whack. Better...

...but I have a few more practice rounds to go before I'll be back in shape for it.

There's a really critical difference between drawing and painting.

When drawing, the foreground objects need to be drawn first. Then drawing the other objects behind them gives the artwork fullness and depth.

When painting, the background is painted first, to give the painting fullness and depth.

I painted a few things before I should have, which is part of my problem.

Now, back to cartooning...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/22/2008 9:13:58 PM
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Oregon Forest

 

A watercolor I did a couple of years ago:

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/23/2008 9:59:09 AM
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Fun and Games

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/24/2008 1:24:34 AM
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Me, as Joe the Plumber

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/24/2008 2:34:20 AM
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Naivete

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/24/2008 8:50:30 PM
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Cartooning

 

A few weeks back, I made the decision to start blending my politics with my art, which resulted in guvsux.com. Because, well, government sucks.

I've always doodled, but never really tried cartooning. There's a difference. Doodling has no point... it's just goofing around with a pencil. Cartooning propels a confident point. It has purpose. It seeks to communicate.

My work on faces has strengthened. Where drawing someone's face used to involve a lot of erasing for me, now my lines are strong and I rarely erase. Like the Nancy Pelosi I drew yesterday...

But all of my faces are straight-on, for the most part. Mostly bust shots. Little or no background.

Part of the problem is that I'm not great at turning the head of a person in my mind. And most of the examples I can find on the Internet are facial portraits, and since I'm limited to drawing what I see, I can't manipulate the angle much - yet.

The same with full-body shots. Clothing folds, hands, things like that, they remain tough for me. Just not enough experience and practice.

And then the background. I think I get so tickled that a picture I drew actually looks like the subject that I don't want to mess it up with a background.

But with time, I'll get bolder.

My storytelling... I need to remember that in a few panels, I don't have much room to set the scene and convey the point/punchline. Yesterday's toon with Pelosi and Harry Reid would have been better, for example, if I had opened it as a Pelosi / Reid presser. Or put her into the second panel instead of jumping - without warning - to Reid. (Where'd he come from!) But I got so excited that the sketch of him had strength that I lost track of my need to convey my intent in the most efficient way.

In a nutshell, I'm learning. So forgive my awkward steps.

Thanks for the encouragement from all of you. I'm having fun with it, and I hope you are too...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/25/2008 12:48:11 PM
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Sarah Rocks Des Moines Iowa, Part I

 

Sarah Palin came to Des Moines, and Tamara and I attended. I'll have video later, but a couple of points:

  • The biggest applause line was about Joe the Plumber. People are deeply fired up about Joe, and conversely worried about what an Obama presidency would mean to jobs and businesses.
  • I went around recording people about why they're supporting John McCain. Of the answers I got, two were simply this: I'm not. I'm supporting Sarah Palin. Anyone who tries to say that McCain's choice of Sarah Palin hurt the ticket is blind to the facts that she has strong support and brought a bunch of people to McCain (count me among them).
  • Senator Brownback reminded us before Sarah spoke that Zogby polls in 2004 showed Bush down five points to John Kerry, and Bush carried the state. This ain't over, which is why McCain / Palin are here in Iowa now. In fact, over the socialism issue, I bet that the right is far more pumped about McCain now than Obama's supporters are pumped about Obama. I saw fierce determination today in the eyes of a lot of people. And fear... Obama is now in people's wallets and purses, and that thief can take a walk.
  • Sarah made mention of the ACORN scandals, but not of the security loopholes in Obama's campaign web site. I don't think it's on their radar yet. How do we get it there?
  • Finally, there were over 8,000 people there. I know friends and family of mine who would have attended, but couldn't. 8,000 is a strong number, but support is much bigger than that number.
Off to ready the video...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/25/2008 6:10:56 PM
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Sarah Palin Rocks the Rally in Des Moines, Iowa

 

One thing about the video itself: I held my hand above my head to get the video from above the crowd and the signs. Toward the end, my arm gets a bit tired...

Also, she makes a point that I didn't catch at the time about tax credits. Therein lies socialism...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/25/2008 9:22:41 PM
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Word

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/26/2008 11:17:24 PM
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The Coming Culture War

 

There is a coming culture war in the US that is about to take place. It's gonna be huge and ugly. And unavoidable.

Whether Obama is elected or not, the left is closer to moving our country to a socialist state of redistributed wealth, replete with mandated handouts of private property. As Obama himself said:

The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
The fact that an avowed and blatant socialist is currently ahead in the polls is frightening. More frightening, the press covers for this guy. How many people know of this audio transcript? What else that he has said is out there that we have yet to discover? The public is uninformed, and that's scary in this connected age with a media that within 24 hours can learn of a plumber's small tax liens, but can't report on Obama's consistent words in almost 2 years of presidential campaigning.

So yes, there is a culture war brewing. In a minor way, it used to brew here on beatcanvas when Bella still commented. "Economic justice" would have appealed to her, as I'm sure it appeals to others like her. But the majority of Americans don't like the notion of wealth redistribution. They'd rather see more opportunity created. That was the way here in America: earn your keep. Make your own opportunity. But due to a deep desire by the media to propel Obama forward, his agenda and his words were hidden and instead he was given the most flattering and tilted press coverage ever.

And because people are tired of politics, they'll tune this new information out. Which is unfortunate. I don't think ill of people who remain uninformed, but they'll likely be some of the ones whining the loudest when Obama's socialist agenda gets going, whether from the White House or from the Senate. The Left won't stop pushing this. And the media won't give it coverage.

Which leaves the fight to just us citizens.

I used to want to be polite about this. But the veneer of civilization is very thin, as Margaret Thatcher once said. When other people believe that they have a right to the property I've earned, that's theft. And I'll call a thief a thief and use my words and actions appropriately to fight any thief who threatens my family. I want my kids to grow up in an America full of opportunity with no ceiling to inhibit their talents and effort, not an America that mandates wealth management for its people.

Yesterday, someone subtly tried to let me know that he's tired of my politics. Okay - then ignore me, because I'm just getting warmed up and I'm trying to expand my influence. (I have a hunch that he voted for the socialist... which is disappointing, if true.)

So that's the culture war brewing: freedom and opportunity versus redistribution and ceilings. Which side are you on? And what are you going to do about it?

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/27/2008 10:28:44 AM
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Pumpkin

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/27/2008 10:35:19 AM
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Looking for Racism

 

The weirdest thing has happened to me. Yesterday, I started getting email saying that racists attended Sarah Palin's rally here in Des Moines. I attended that rally. I recorded it. Racism? Not a hint. Not a whisper.

So I deleted a comment left on my YouTube video of the rally, and answered the commenter saying that it was a ridiculous assertion.

I get more email today, and one says this:

Just saw your good video of the rally. Unlike some other videos you were further back. Partway during the rally, as she was talking economics some claim a woman yelled out in a rather quiet moment "he's a ("n" word"). I doubt that is what was said unless it was staged. Just wondering if you had anything to add.
I wrote back, saying:
I was there, recorded the whole thing, listened to it several times while splicing the video.

I yelled, "Communism!" at one point, which is the closest phonetic equivalent of what you suggest. That's plain in the audio of my video. It was about when she remarked how the media and Dems were tearing into Joe the Plumber, which is exactly what China and Russia do to dissidents. Obama clearly hates free speech.

Otherwise, if you know exactly where something racist was shouted, point me to the video and the and the minute:second and I'll compare it to my own. But I guarantee - had anyone there said it, the crowd would have beat the crap out of the bigot who uttered it.

So the person responds:
It's about 3:23 seconds after your video ends based on the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF8ZGo_DBeQ

The comment is yelled in this video at about the 6:32 mark.

So I watched the video, and someone in the crowd yells something, though it's a bit unintelligible. Off I go to my recording of the event.

Now check this out, because this is how hard you have to work to be The Left these days, searching for racism in everything like some hardcore Christians used to spend hours spinning records backwards to find satanic and subliminal lyrics that weren't there at all. But they would tell you they heard it!

I found the segment in my recording, amplified the woman's voice at the appropriate place, and then posted the video on YouTube. My splice/highlight is all of 19 seconds long. I'm not going to embed the video on beatcanvas.

From a Kos Kid's transcription of the event:

Palin: Obama...Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes. The lessons I believe we have taught our kids would start to erode. Those lessons about work ethic, hard work being rewarded and productivity being rewarded...

Women yelling off camera in audience: And he's a n-----!

Palin: And...and......lessons about, um, the virtues of freedom and independence while being generous and compassionate with others.

Let's imagine, for a moment, that someone actually yelled that. That doesn't even flow with the speech. To yell that is completely a non sequitur. Sarah's speaking about how we teach our kids a strong work ethic and the reward of hard work. What would that have to do with anything?

I asked my son, Aaron, who was neither at the event, nor knew of what I did while I worked at our main computer, to decipher for me what the woman shouted.

"A sinner?"

I clearly heard "inner" as well. In context, I think it's clear that the woman was going along with Sarah and said "Be a winner!" Which makes much more sense.

Try it now with that in the transcription:

Palin: Obama...Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes. The lessons I believe we have taught our kids would start to erode. Those lessons about work ethic, hard work being rewarded and productivity being rewarded...

Women yelling off camera in audience: To be a winner!

Palin: And...and......lessons about, um, the virtues of freedom and independence while being generous and compassionate with others.

Makes a lot more sense...

Here's the link to my 19-second, amplified splice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9QK_Np-rYg

Listen with the sound turned down somewhat. I crank it up in the spot where the woman yells. There's no "gg" there.

But here's the point of this ugly post: it is not those of us voting for McCain / Palin who keep bringing up race. Or slurs. Or anything remotely close to it. It's Obama's supporters.

If there is an aspect of this election that has a tie to race, it is unfortunately that the person who might be the first black president will also be a socialist. It's a deeply regrettable association, and the necessary and ongoing fight against Obama, should he win, will no doubt bring more accusations of racism.

Which is ridiculous, because it has nothing to do with his skin, but with his mind. It's how he thinks and what he believes that is offensive. And so race relations will be set back quite a bit for charges of bigotry being used as a strawman in the argument against his redistributionist agenda.

It's too bad that the Kos Kids and the rest of the Left can't actually hear what Palin is saying, because she's right: Due to socialism, "the lessons I believe we have taught our kids would start to erode. Those lessons about work ethic, hard work being rewarded and productivity being rewarded, and lessons about the virtues of freedom and independence while being generous and compassionate with others."

Lesson: Productivity and abundance brings generosity (unless you're Joe Biden), and socialism will negate that.

That's a lesson that the Left will miss because they can't hear her for the manufactured racism they want to hear. Like the wacko Christians who used to s

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/27/2008 8:25:59 PM
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Awesome!

 

Perfect news: the ultimately corrupt Republican Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, is going to jail. I love that.

1 down, 534 to go...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/27/2008 8:41:58 PM
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Reuse

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/28/2008 2:55:08 AM
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Botanical Center

 

Drawn on my Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

I get a phone call while at work today from Steve Karlin, a reporter from a local news station, KCCI. He wanted to do a story on my cell phone art.

While at the botanical center, I drew the picture shown above, and he interviewed me. How very cool of him and his camera guy to do this. I guess I'll be on the 6 o'clock news later... I'll try to get the video up on YouTube.

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/28/2008 3:48:33 PM
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The Bottom-Up Economy, as Repurposed by the Thief-in-Chief

 

Bottom up, citizen. That's right... bend over.

I'm gonna share some of my personal history here. A real-life example...

In 1990, I got out of the Army with a 30% disability. Feeling sorry for myself, I walked around with a cane and didn't work. I took food stamps and housing aid. I started college about 4 months later. But during this time, I lived off the government. I figured I was owed. Call it my own personal reparations.

I was also a devout liberal at this time. I wrote editorials to the Des Moines Register protesting the Gulf War and President Bush. They were published, and I felt like I had a voice.

I was just killing time until school started. I didn't mow my grass (I have a cane! My foot hurts!) and my neighbors thought ill of me. The guy next door flew a flag every day right outside his front door. I was a disgrace to him. He was a World War II vet. He would ask me why I didn't have a job and why I wouldn't mow my yard. I would explain my Army injury and he would shake his head. "You're not that hurt," he would grumble and return back inside his house.

I moved, started college, and there I found a lot of like-minded folk - professors and students. I was an English major. I was married and had three kids. Every month was tough and we were barely scraping by.

My foot was slowly getting better and the idea that I could not support my own family without government assistance began to grate on me. I could still hear that old man ask me what was so wrong with me that I couldn't work. I knew he was right. I started working for minimum wage at the college bookstore.

Prior to joining the Army, I had washed windows, and so I found that if I walked a certain way, I could manage a ladder without hurting my foot. As I had done in the past, I went door-to-door, asking if people wanted an estimate for getting their windows cleaned. I made extra money that way, and our financial situation improved a bit.

Here's the great question to ask: did the government assistance help me? Honestly, no, it hurt me. I rationalized the assistance, convinced myself that it was deserved, and propped myself pitifully and unbeckoned on the backs of others, expecting them to carry me and my family.

It wasn't until I took my situation in my own hands and worked to earn my own way that I gained in self-esteem and confidence. I realized that it was easier to be lazy and rationalize my dependence. Too easy. But I couldn't trade away my sense of self for it. My self-respect was on the line, and the disgusted words of an old vet woke me up.

While I received money from the government, I didn't create any jobs. I was a net drain on the economy. I made all of you pay my way. I'm sorry for that...

It wasn't until I determined to take responsibility for myself that a job was created - when I went around creating my own work through window washing. Which later led to many late nights and all-nighters teaching myself how to work on computers. The government didn't do that. That was me again taking responsibility for myself.

What's more, as people with money who created companies wanted to grow their money, they hired people like me who had expertise in skills that they needed. I went from working a minimum wage job in 1992 to making $75,000 in 1997. I had dropped out of college, so it wasn't the government or college that sparked my rise in income. It was me spending many late nights improving myself and rich people willing to hire me for my skills that increased my income.

The term for this is called "trickle-down economics." The formula is: I made myself productive and attractive to people with money, and then they hired me to help them make more money. In the process, I made more money. Substantially more. Minimum wage sucks, and the government didn't help me out of that. Nor did a degree from college.

Obama's using the phrase "bottom-up economics" these days. Former Clinton treasury secretary Robert Reich wrote about this recently:

The long-term answer is for America to invest in the productivity of our working people - enabling families to afford health insurance and have access to good schools and higher education, while also rebuilding our infrastructure and investing in the clean-energy technologies of the future. We must also adopt progressive taxes at the federal, state and local levels.

Call it bottom-up economics.

The article he wrote is longer than that, obviously, but what's missing is a common sense accounting of where the money for all this comes from. He talks about investing in the productivity of our working people, and then lists buying health insurance for people, rebuilding infrastructure, and clean-energy technologies. What does any of that have to do with productivity? It's spending - spending from some magic bag of money. Oh yeah - greater progressive taxation, at all levels. There's the magic bag. That equals productivity? How does any of that lead to greater income for anyone? They're all busy reaching into the magic bag of money...

Now here's the rub... the idea of a bottom-up economy was discussed before, but in a very different fashion:

This new style of business, birthed by the Internet, is ignored at any company's peril. In an excellent new book, "The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers," authors C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy describe the consumer's new role: "from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active."

In the bottom-up economy, presuming you know what the customer wants is the ultimate error. Prahalad and Ramaswamy instead call for "co-creation of value": The successful products and services from now on will be those developed jointly -- company and customer working hand in hand.

These are very different concepts, but they could look similar to someone who wanted them to appear that way.
  • A bottom-up economy, progressive taxation-style: non-consented, co-owned wealth and property.
  • A bottom-up economy, business/customer-style: consented, co-created value of products and services.
The first wants to even out wealth and reduce competition through compulsory participation. The latter wants to seek out competitive advantage by broadening volunteered consumer engagement.

But they're called the same thing, unfortunately. Which is what happens when you want to change society: you begin by changing the meaning of its words.

If elected, I'm sure that the Obama will work, as Hugo Chavez has worked, to re-educate us in his re-engineered words and phrases. Hence my cartoon yesterday, showing him searching for a phrase that can be turned into something more palatable than "spreading the wealth" and "patriotism" through higher taxation.

"I believe in you," is seemingly at the heart of both definitions of a bottom-up economy. But Obama would act as the Thief-in-Chief in the progressive model - a model that lacks universal freedom of choice, as the second model does. It is truly, therefore, theft. Which is why it has to be stopped. Theft can never grow an economy, bottom-up or otherwise.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/29/2008 2:10:44 AM
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Japan

 

Drawn on Hoss' Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

Since I started doing art on my phone and putting a couple of videos out there, I've had a few of people send me their LG Dare artwork.

Hoss is a guy I've never met, who has told me that he doesn't know much about art, but likes doodling on his phone. When he finishes something he likes, he sends it to me.

For a guy who "doesn't know much" about art, his water in the picture above beats any water I've done on my phone. Kudos to him for an excellent job. And the sky is pretty amazing as well.

It just goes to show that it's not the destination, but the journey. I'd say Hoss is well on his way :)

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/30/2008 12:08:53 AM
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Bluff

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/30/2008 2:58:30 AM
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How We Get Our Country Back

 

The title of this post applies whether Obama or McCain gets elected. America has moved a long way from its independent roots, and its health is planted in self-reliant individualism, not mutually dependent collectivism. Neither McCain nor Obama will move far from a collectivist government. The only difference is that McCain wants to spend less on it.

Institutions, such as TV, newspapers, colleges and universities, and government, all lean pretty substantially toward collectivism and these institutions promote any material or person that supports their point of view.

Late night TV criticizes Republicans more than Democrats by a 7-1 ratio. The Daily Show? Colbert? Lampooning the right as much as possible. The ratio there is likely even more lopsided.

Libertarians, conservatives, and any other non-liberal/non-progressive types won't get hired into those domains to make any dent in this institutional thrust to the left. The one area where libertarians and conservatives do have a dominance is radio, and the Democrats want to revive the Fairness Doctrine, a mandate that would require radio stations to give equal time to the right and the left on the air. Except that the left won't apply this same standard to TV, newspapers, colleges and universities, or the hiring of government employees.

It's a narrow space these days to have a freedom-loving voice.

In the election cycle, Republicans employed brute-force marketing. Robocalls, door-to-door visits, mail, email, TV commercials, radio spots, and sound bite debates that don't inform at all. Is that the way to do this? Does it help? I'd say no, that a smooth-talking, inexperienced, anti-American-friendly candidate stands a good chance of beating a guy who is uber-qualified to be president. Republicans suck really bad at marketing and communication.

So how to do it better?

Let me ask it a different way... would you want any of the following done to you:

  • Robocalls?
  • Someone coming to your door to talk about the election?
  • Incessant mailers?
  • Email?
  • Non-stop TV commercials with menacing tones?
  • Radio spots with menacing tones?
  • Watching sound bite debates that don't inform anyone?
Isn't the goal of an election to attract people to the candidate? So what's attractive in the list above? Who would sign up to receive any of that?

That right there ought to be the standard for any communication. That's Marketing 101.

So what is attractive?

  • Humor
  • Entertainment
  • Amazing feats
Forget trying to get the news networks to grant an interview like they would give the other guy. Ain't gonna happen.

Instead create things that attract people to them, that can be enjoyed at a time convenient to them, that they want to show their friends and family. It's why I've started doing cartoons. I'm not saying I'm good at it, but I am applying myself to it. A cartoon can be absorbed in 10 seconds, and if it's funny or entertaining or amazing, it can be forwarded instantly via email to others. Remember the popularity of JibJab in the 2004 election? How about YouTube in this election? The MyObama blog network was good for Obama.

I don't think Americans are stupid. I do think Republicans are stupid at marketing. When you think of a marketer, is he or she a Democrat or a Republican? You guessed correctly - thanks for playing.

Let's be attractive and educate an attracted audience. Rush and Glen Beck do it every day. I listen to them because they're funny and entertaining and they're educational. I don't listen to Hannity because he's nothing but a big negative ad that repeats the same five phrases over and over. I don't learn anything except how to shut off my radio.

Glenn Reynolds is an expert editor, highlighting just enough of others' work to make it interesting yet he's informative enough to help you decide whether to click through for more detail. And he's headed in the right direction with PJTV online.

So what if we had a creative bank of people to help attract an audience? Video, cartoons, art, photos... and what if we made it all accessible, easily shared and forwarded?

What if there was a -gasp- cultural community among the right?

There's an old saying in retail: the longer they're in the store, the more likely they are to buy. It's why I have a number of different things to do here on beatcanvas. You can create and send an e-card, browse the gallery, browse and participate in the blog, play a word game, see how many days you've been alive...

To help interest people, we need to be more interesting. At their speed, not ours. Not lectures, but discovery. And we need to let them participate once they come in.

How does the right organize a community that attracts others to it? Because frankly, we can laugh at a community organizer - until what he's accomplished isn't funny any more. Time to get serious about the game of attraction. Casually aloof doesn't help get our country back.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/30/2008 3:11:10 PM
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Me on TV

 

I was on TV recently. Steve Karlin and Mike Sims did an amazing job assembling this video... absolutely top-notch.

You can view the video here.

Pretty cool.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/31/2008 12:41:01 AM
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It Takes a Village

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/31/2008 1:40:00 AM
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Face in the Woods

 

Drawn on Hoss' Verizon LG Dare Drawing Pad:

Once again, Hoss kicks out an awesome bit of art on his LG Dare. This one has been my cell phone's wallpaper all day.

(You can sign up to have a new drawing sent to you daily by picture message.)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 10/31/2008 8:24:23 PM
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