Anarcho-Sartorialism

Category: Uncategorized

Farewell

While running this blog I have encountered many different obstacles. Some self-perpetuated: my very limiting initial blog topic, my limited time and access to interesting news. And others caused from external factors: I can’t write about what Congress is doing if they never get anything done.

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The tools I have used have all seemed, to me, convoluted and gimmicky. If it weren’t for the restrictions and requirements of the course assignment I wouldn’t force a slideshow or a featured tweet section into a blog that doesn’t necessarily benefit from either. But I do understand why these requirements exist.

In the future the experience of running this blog will benefit me; that I am sure of. I have learned that twitter for self-promotion can get ultra annoying/desperate very quickly. Facebook on the other hand lends itself to a more personal method of outreach. I’ve learned that absolutely no one reads the “About” page and it is always easier to write your opinion first and find sources to back it up after.

 

Very soon I will begin writing for a new similar blog with a couple friends. It should be good so stick around.

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Remembering Nelson Mandela

nelson-mandela

I’ve compiled a few excerpts sourced from some prominent voices to speak about the many perceptions individuals have had of Mandela during and after his life. My favorite (oddly enough) is the yahoo news article. Who knew the all-knowing infallible U.S. government could ever make such a mistake?

False Advertising

Political ads are awful. Even the good ones would never sell the product they advertise. I am not alone in this opinion. In highschool I was given an assignment to create a political ad by a teacher who sought to prove this point to the class. This is the product of that assignment:

Enough Dignity to go Around

Sometime between when my father was my age and the modern day, someone made the decision to take away the working man’s dignity. Perhaps, in a world thriving on automation the idea of a person doing a job that a machine could potentially do better became shameful.

Delivery people, custodians, and degreeless blue collar workers became the subject of the political parties’ appeal to victims. These individuals, regardless of how they felt about their career and lifestyle, were told that they had been dealt a bad hand. That, surely in the land of equal opportunity, they should have risen to higher positions in society. Anyone given a public education and a 40 hour work week ought to be able to reach a dignified position.

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The barber who has cut hair under 7 presidents, 3 wars, and endless technological change is told that the craft to which he has dedicated his life is of little importance because he does not make a certain amount of money. He does not meet the criteria of success specified by a government that equates a lack  of formal education to a lack of intelligence. He is a victim to be considered in need because a 4-year degree is not required in his field. The way he has lived his life defies the understanding of politicians passing legislation so that no one will have to live as he has –on such small pay, such little education, and maintain such a modest lifestyle. His shop employs a single mother, a teenager who aspires to do hair for the movies, and a veteran. He has raised 3 children, all of whom have attended college and started families of their own, and yet he has led a life not worth mentioning as an example of success.

Restore dignity to those who are content with their lives, regardless of superficial metrics, and individuals will create careers and occupations never considered worthwhile instead of committing their life to careers they will not excel at due to their lack of innate passion for it. Refuse to homogenize the notion of an ideal life and allow the individual to expose those who are actually in need. Dismiss the projection of your own views as to what is best for others and identify their goals and how you can help them reach those goals. Listen to all of those who need help and find the individuals that you have the ability to help.

The world has enough victims. Do not create more out of ignorance.

What I’m reading about today: The Power of Love

It’s Complicated…

Interventionism is a very dirty word for some. Whether it be in the market or overseas, intervening in conflict or creating conflict seems to be what governments are best at. Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Before WW1, the U.S. government’s involvement in both the market and foreign affairs was looked down upon by the American people. The war changed everything.

FDR New Deal

First came the war boards, responsible for setting prices and rates of production, and eventually the precedent of government intervention in the economy was created. First Hoover, running partially due to his popularity as head of the U.S. food administration during the war, created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation as a means of easing the effects of the Great Depression, then came the game-changing New Deal from FDR.

Hoover and King Tut

Regardless of whether you believe these measures were beneficial or not, they ultimately created a more complicated situation in both foreign relations and the economy. No longer was it a matter of intervening in foreign politics only when American interests were at stake. A crusade had launched, driven mostly by FDR’s rhetoric, to establish a global policy of “self-determination” which loosely translated to America determining that all new countries would be “democratic” and their leaders would be hand chosen by U.S. politicians or “elected”. The economy transformed and grew in complication as well. The SEC was established, ensuring infinite prosperity so long as a firm obeyed their policies. Though I have been half-hearted in my explanations, these new interventionist policies that were now being embraced by the state led to complications. Complications can lead to things becoming both better or worse, but usually both.

Complication often leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding often leads to mistakes and undoubtedly mistakes result in unhappiness. But Rome wasn’t built in a day! (Very loose reference) Just because something is hard does not mean it isn’t worth doing. But then again, something isn’t worth doing just because it’s hard.

The importance lies in the goal that the intervention and subsequent complication is supposed to achieve. If the goal is to end war, there is more than one way to suggest reaching that goal. Some goals are easier to meet due to their relation to mathematics and science. If I want to save 100$ and I get a job that pays 10$ per hour, in 10 hours I will have met my goal.

Other goals are much more difficult due to their abstract nature. I want people in my community to eat healthier. Though there are a multitude of ways to  meet this goal, some are more complicated than others. When I commit to achieving this goal on an individual basis, that is without the use of the state, I have far less power to reach my entire community, but the individuals that I do reach can be assisted according to their specific needs. Some may not know what foods are healthiest for their specific body chemistry, others may be trying to eat healthy and just need an accountability partner. Some people may not want to eat healthy at all. I can either choose to be persistent in trying to make them eat healthy or let them face the consequences of their choice. Possibly the most effective attribute of this method versus a state run method is my ability as an individual to recognize who in my community needs my help the most. In my community, I may have individuals in perfect fitness as well as individuals who need to improve their health. I can prioritize my efforts so that the individuals who need the most help receive the most help.

On the other hand I can use possibly more effective, in regard to population, but definitely more complicated measures in my attempt to intervene via the state. I can create a tax on all foods containing ingredient x. The tax will affect everyone in the community equally, regardless of whether it achieves its goal equally among all individuals. Some may benefit from this tax due to their decreased intake of ingredient x. Others may not benefit at all, as their health is unaffected by ingredient x. And still, some will continue to buy the same amount of products containing ingredient x despite the tax. Even still, there is a possibility that some individuals, dependent on products containing ingredient x, will not be able to afford these products after the tax increase and will subsequently become less healthy due directly to the tax. The complications, or unintended consequences, make evaluating the effectiveness of the tax extremely difficult. The tax sets a precedent of inequality of benefits or results, unless, of course, you reimbursed those who benefited least from the tax by giving them the tax money of those who benefited most from the tax. But in that scenario it may seem more beneficial to an individual who received the health benefits to have the monetary benefit of the tax instead creating unhappiness. Furthermore, the presence or absence of ingredient x in one’s diet is a single factor among many that contribute to one’s overall health. Rather than having a smaller amount of willing individuals, voluntarily trying to better their health, the tax marginally affects, much less improves, the over all health of the community.

While both set out to achieve the same goal, some methods result in more complication than others. The variables associated with complication and, by association, state endorsed methods often result in less quantifiable outcomes. The question becomes: On whom should the emphasis be –the individual of definite need and willingness, or the collective of varying degrees of need and willingness?

What I’m reading about today: Paternal Legislation

Changes

Expect a few changes in the coming weeks. I have teamed up with two other amateur writers to produce content for a new project focused on non-partisan politics. Invigorating stuff!

But, as it stands, I must continue to write here to fulfill requirements for my university course. So in the mean time I will still be posting here. I’m currently working on a post about first-ladies, as my girlfriend pointed out that I have neglected the most important demographic.

pumpkin-obama

What I’m reading about today: Halloween Politics

Obama’s Shades

Obama sunglasses 6Sunglasses came to prominence in American fashion through their use by Hollywood’s earliest stars. (Or so says Wikipedia.) Shortly after film’s golden age the accessory became a staple among the masses as easily as the youth mimicked the stars they desperately wanted to emulate. And while they come in many shapes and colors, sunglasses, at their foundation, serve a practical purpose: to protect one’s eyes from the sun –or others.

Obama sunglasses 4

For as long as they have been used for protection from the sun, sunglasses have served the purpose of hiding the emotions one conveys through their eyes. In popular culture sunglasses have even been used to conceal someone’s identity entirely. And more recently sunglasses have been used to “block out the hater-rays”.

So when I see the President wearing sunglasses I must ask: why is he wearing sunglasses? And no, this isn’t some conspiracy that Obama wears sunglasses to hide his true identity as a Kenyan-born infidel who deceived the most powerful country in the world simply by producing a fake birth certificate… of course not. Right?

Obama sunglasses 5

I ask because this past week, as I read about his proverbial poker match with Putin, I wondered what his true intention was. As a bold and acclaimed speaker, his speech Tuesday was uncharacteristically shallow and seemed to fall on deaf ears, giving no unifying direction to our nation’s goal in the Syrian conflict. I ask myself why the recipient of a Nobel Peace-Prize must negotiate with a former KGB officer to carry out military intervention in a foreign country? I then realize that I’ve forgotten to ask why a Nobel-Peace prize recipient is using military force as a punishment for a country for using military force.

Then I realize Obama wears shades for more than one reason. At times like this, Obama needs to deflect all the hater-rays he can. He also uses his sunglasses’ ability to hide  a master-plan that seems to bewilder even his most loyal followers and conversely attract those previously critical of his policy. This must be why. In a time when party-platforms seem to be degrading to the point where they resemble their opposition, who wouldn’t want to hide? And when the most powerful man in the world has a plan that appears to be failing in every regard (though I’m sure it isn’t) who wouldn’t want to distort the vision of the future so that it may resemble something easier to witness?

With sunglasses, that which is too damaging to the naked eye becomes visible. One can bear to see things better left unseen by those without protection. Obama has his shades on. What is he looking at?

Obama sunglasses

 

 

What I’m reading about today: Unemployment

The Part Hair Plays

I am not the first to write about the importance of the hair part. I’m not even the first to write about its significance in politics. There are examples here and here of others who recognize the importance of the hair part. But I believe I am the first to apply it’s theory to the first president who literally cannot part his hair.

I realize that this blog has been very micro-oriented so far which is surprising, as I consider myself a big-picture person. But do not get lost in the details on which this post is focused. It all contributes to the larger realm of everyday politics.

According to “research”, it has been determined that politicians are perceived as better leaders when they part their hair on the left side.  The theory also works in the opposite fashion –weaker leaders part their hair on the right side. (Someone tell that to the Reaganites.) The theory also suggests that the side of the part conveys a dominance in that hemisphere of the brain.

Carter is the primary example used by most to describe the hair part theory.

Carter

During the first half of his presidency, Carter parted his hair on the right side or the “weak” side. His first major public appearance with his hair parted on the strong side came in his “Malaise” speech. Though it is and was extremely hard to find inspiration in any part of his time in office, this speech, or more likely his hair part, temporarily increased his approval rating significantly. Two days later he would fire his entire cabinet and lose all of the ground he had gained through his hair part.

In the past, there has been extensive writing on the way a certain political figure parts their hair, most notably the sitting President. This leads to a unique question: if we are to assume that, according to research, those who part their hair on the right side are right-brain oriented and those who part their hair on the left side are left-brain dominant, what are we to assume about those who cannot part their hair at all? (I’m looking at you, Barack.) It doesn’t stop there. Plenty of Presidents didn’t part their hair due to the fact that it wasn’t fashionable in their time.

Martin Van Buren and Eisenhower were bald, Taft and Teddy parted their hair down the middle, and the first six presidents primarily wore wigs.

Van Buren

Though this entire blog may be one elaborate red herring to pull the focus of politics from the issues toward the unessential, I write this to emphasize that politicians ought not to be judged by the part of their hair but by the content of their character. I’m sure MLK is rolling in his grave after that one.

There is a time and place for everything, including fashion oriented political commentary. Learning to distinguish the appropriate time and place to discuss the true issues of politics and knowing when to make fun of Ron Paul’s shoes is essential to coming of age in today’s political atmosphere without being bogged down by its banality and corruption.

What I am reading about today: The Business Cycle