Links, 11/7/09

  • “What the Voters Told Us Last Night,” Jay Cost – lots of thoughtful reflection on what elections may mean. fta: As the great political scientist, E.E. Schattschneider, once famously said (and I’m paraphrasing here): the voters are a sovereign with a vocabulary of just two words, yes and no; moreover, they can only speak when spoken to. Reflecting on this insight over the years, I have found it to be one of the most profound lessons for understanding American elections. The nature of our electoral system is such that voters are given a very limited role in the process of governance. With the exception of ballot initiatives, they do not get to sound off on specific issues. And, when it comes to elections for office, they only get to register their preferences for a candidate. They do not get to indicate what they liked about their candidate, what issues motivated them, what problems are worrying them, and so on.
  • “Great Britain Loses one of its Finest,” Michael Yon – from the BBC: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Thomson, commanding officer of 2 Rifles Battle Group, said: “Staff Sgt Oz Schmid was simply the bravest and most courageous man I have ever met.” “No matter how difficult or lethal the task which lay in front of us, he was the man who only saw solutions.” “He saved lives in 2 Rifles time after time and for that he will retain a very special place in every heart of every rifleman in our extraordinary battle group.”
  • “Why Middle Class Tax Hikes are Coming,” Josh Barro – fta: When we last ran such large deficits on a prolonged basis (from the early 1980s to the early 1990s) our finances were bailed out by the end of the Cold War, which enabled drastic cuts in military spending. It’s not easy to envision a similar resolution for the deficits projected for the next decade.
  • Martha Argerich, Chopin Sonata No. 2 1st Movement – looking for the other movements on Youtube by her. If the Chopin is too dramatic for you, try Mitsuko Uchida, Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 3rd Movement

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