Advertising & Asphalt

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The Dome reports today that Fred "The Asphalt King" is burning some money on advertising in Charlotte to create the impression that he's got all the momentum on his side.

The charge from our region to Raleigh is just getting started as Fred Smith, supported by an impressive assortment of local Republican leaders, is committed to providing innovative solutions to transportation, education, immigration and taxation problems in North Carolina," it reads.

That's really quite a remarkable claim. Because if you go to Fredly's website, you'll be hard pressed to find innovative solutions to anything. Mr. Smith has one vision for North Carolina and one vision only: more roads. More roads will heal the environment and clean our air. More roads will get us right with god. More roads will make it easier to round up illegal immigrants and bus them back to Mexico.

Editorials on parade

A smattering of opinion from hither and yon . . .

The Old Reliable has not much of interest to say:

This old world has had a tough year, from the war in Iraq to natural disasters to assassinations to continued tensions in a hundred or so of what the experts call "hot spots." Somehow, and they deserve credit, people in those hot spots manage to find a few joys and a few hopes here and there to keep them going, because they do carry on. And the world keeps spinning. Perhaps that's why, after so many challenges, so many really dire things facing this planet, we trust that it, and we, will endure -- because we have.


We'll endure because . . . we have? Tell it to the dinosaurs, Steve.

Welcome to BlueNC

Happy New Year and welcome to BlueNC. Those of you who have been here a while will notice some changes we're implementing. You should still be able to do everything you were able to do before. We are still using Drupal, but we've added a new look and a few new features. There are some changes we will continue to work on and we will certainly take any suggestions under advisement. Be nice. I'm new at this and I'm tired! :)

The first thing we will fix is the new comment layout. I'm embarrassed to say that when I was trying this layout on for size, I did it at my site and never once checked to see what the comments would look like. I should have that fixed by later today.

Thinking ahead

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The master's thesis I wrote in 1980 explored how children learn about time. Against the backdrop of Piaget's theories of cognitive development, I hypothesized that television plays havoc with traditional conceptions of time. In particular, I believed that heavy use of television could cause children to become less patient by distorting their understanding of how long things take in real life. Using survey research and experimental design, my hypotheses were found to be correct.

Fast-forward 27 years to the Age of the Intertubes and the elasticity of time is even more apparent. Between high-speed multi-tasking, complex conversations that can happen anytime and anywhere, time shifting of media, and our bizarre ability to gain and lose hours simply by passing laws, there can be no doubt that time is indeed relative.

Nowhere is that relativity more apparent to me than in the world of politics. The past seven years have seemed like seventy, a kind of catastrophic train wreck unfolding in slow-motion to those trapped inside the cars. It has been interesting, to say the least, to watch different political camps respond.

Canvassing in the Snow

We're on our second snow "event" since I arrived but don't worry. It's barely over freezing so we're having all the fun and none of the discomfort. Tomorrow's snowball fight might change that.

We're having the time of our lives up here, y'all. There's still time to come up and join us, you know. The campaign is providing housing and I've never met a more amazing group of volunteers.

Going to Iowa or coming to New Hampshire (or phonebanking) is the only way for you to influence the presidential race. Even if your vote doesn't count in your home state, you can easily persuade 10 or even 20 people a day by your very presence at their door or on their phone. Every contacted voter learns what you believe without your even saying a word, by the very contribution of your vacation time and travel dollar.

Email me through the website if you'd like to come up here and talk to the people of New Hampshire face to face. You won't regret it.

Promoted for the pictures alone...the wonderful narrative is simply a bonus. B

False idols

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Today's New York Times contains a well-written piece that dissects the fantasies of free-market extremists quite handily. The author is Peter Goodman, one of my favorite reporters at the Times.

As we move into the year ahead, the tension between proponents of the so-called "invisible hand" and those of us who prefer to deal with reality will escalate, and the divisions will sharpen, especially around health care issues, where the "invisible hand" mostly picks taxpayers' pockets so the money can be transferred to the corporate elite.

But now the invisible hand is being asked to account for what it has wrought. In this country, many economic complaints — from the widening gap between rich and poor to the expense of higher education — are being dusted for its fingerprints.

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