Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain

Daniel Eran Dilger
While Microsoft and the John McCain presidential campaign might not share many political views, there are striking similarities on how both advertise and promote their respective products. Here’s ten parallels between the two that demand attention.

1) Trying to trick unsatisfied buyers by promoting the exact same thing under a new name.

Microsoft’s Mojave Experiment attempted to trick users unsatisfied with Windows Vista by showing them a brief demo of a “new operating system” that was in fact, Vista in a brown box labeled Windows Mojave. Microsoft carefully avoided drawing any attention to the real problems in Vista that users are actually complaining about.

The McCain “change” campaign insists it will shake up Washington by promoting new wars, doing nothing to protect American jobs, and only lowering taxes on the ultra rich. That’s what Bush did, resulting in massive debt related to an unnecessary war, corporate loopholes that encourage businesses to take jobs outside of the US, and economic crisis for the majority of working and middle class Americans.

Microsoft’s Mojave Attempts to Wet Vista’s Desert


2) Claiming to compete well against itself.

Microsoft promoted Windows XP as being safe and reliable, despite its security malware crisis. Windows Vista was introduced as being much more safe and reliable than Windows XP, which Microsoft now describes as having serious problems. The company is now beginning to promote Windows 7, due around 2010, as being the solution to serious problems in Vista. Each is described as a “major rewrite.”

In 2000, Bush campaigned on a morality platform. In 2004, Bush campaigned on a platform of keeping the US safe after starting a war on false premise and failing to track down and capture 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. Now, in 2008, McCain is campaigning to start new wars and solve serious problems that involve a “major rewrite” of Washington politics, without articulating how doing the same things will solve past problems or change anything.

Microsoft’s Zune, Vista, and Windows Mobile 7 Strategy vs the iPhone
Windows Vista, 7, and Singularity: The New Copland, Gershwin Taligent


3) Presenting a media darling that can’t do more than recite “me too” promises.

After Microsoft’s PlaysForSure was badly humiliated by the iPod, Microsoft pulled out a copycat device and assured pundits that the new device would challenge Apple’s market share. However, while the new product gained a disproportional amount of media attention because it came from Microsoft, it fell short on specifics and users weren’t told about its actual features until it started shipping. Disappointed users were assured it would improve, but it really never did, and tanked in the market.

After McCain’s campaign was badly humiliated by Barack Obama, McCain pulled out a copycat device and assured pundits that his pick for Vice President would challenge Obama’s popularity. However, while Sarah Palin gained a disproportional amount of media attention, she has fell short on specifics and citizens haven’t been told about her actual positions. They are assured she will improve, but there’s really no reason for thinking she won’t tank, as a candidate, a potential vice president, or in the role of president of the US.

Zune Sales Still In the Toilet
Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage


4) Pretending to play the role of an underdog outsider while actually being an authority with monopoly control

While Microsoft exercises monopoly control over the PC market and has so little effective competition that it can charge whatever it wants for its software, it portrays itself as a scrappy underdog in markets it still trying to monopolize, including video games, music DRM, mobile phones, and audio players. Both PlaysForSure and its new solo MP3 player were marketed as “alternative choice” products that did their own thing, despite really being more of the same failed Microsoft Windows Media DRM.

While the Republicans exercise enough control over the three branches of US Government and have so little effective competition that they can change whatever they want, McCain portrays his party’s campaign as a scrappy underdog in a race to hold onto executive power. Both Bush and the new McCain have been marketed as “alternative choice” candidates who do their own thing despite pushing more of the same failed strategies for a government that only serves foreign interests and the ultra rich.

5) Childishly pretending to be offended by the truth …

Microsoft’s executives have come unglued in phony outrage about Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaigns, which accurately portray Vista as having issues related to hardware and software compatibility, malware problems, and poor performance.

McCain’s campaign has come unglued in phony outrage about Obama’s comment that McCain’s policies amounted to “lipstick on a pig” or “old fish in a piece of paper called change,” claiming that Obama was referencing his running mate, who had earlier referred to herself as a pitbull wearing lipstick. McCain used the same expression in criticizing Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan.

Gates, Seinfeld and the $300 Million Ad to Nowhere

6) … while shamelessly advertising misinformation and outright lies.

Microsoft has frequently cited false comparisons of Mac OS X Leopard’s vulnerability statistics with numbers for Windows Vista, while being fully aware that those numbers do not reflect reality and do not even serve to compare similar code. Microsoft’s executives have also flat out lied about the company’s market share, with CEO Steve Ballmer casually citing 20% to 25% of the market for its failed MP3 player, a product that really grabbed less than 5% of the market.

McCain has frequently cited false comparisons of Obama’s policies, implying his opponent wants to teach explicit sex to kindergarten classes. McCain flat out lied in misrepresenting Obama’s tax proposals as raising taxes, when in fact they would lower taxes for the majority of Americans, and only increase taxes for those making more than a quarter million annually. Obama would actually lower more taxes for more Americans more significantly than McCain.


Paul Thurrott calls Apple “the Bad Guys” of Microsoft’s $300 Ads

7) Appeals to uninformed audiences who don’t even realize that what they’re celebrating is not in their own best interests.

Microsoft promotes its products to the enterprise and tech enthusiasts, the very people who suffer the most from picking a platform saturated in security flaws and indifferent to their needs. Yet these victims of Microsoft’s monopoly control wholeheartedly support the company and willfully submit to a tech monoculture because they are duped by a company who does not share their interests.

McCain promotes his campaign to soccer moms and rural audiences, the very people who will suffer the most from picking a platform that really only represents the needs of the ultra rich. McCain says he will lower taxes, but in reality, “the McCain plan would predominantly benefit the most fortunate taxpayers, offering two new massive tax cuts for corporations and delivering 58 percent of its benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. The Bush tax cuts provide 31 percent of their benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers.”

8) Calls opponents “elitist and expensive,” while being far more elitist and expensive.

Microsoft says Macs are expensive without pointing out that Macs save users wasted time cleaning up problems and money spent on anti-malware cleanup. Ballmer described the iPhone as being the most expensive phone ever, despite the far more expensive Windows Mobile models. And the company calls Linux expensive in total cost of ownership and a socialist “cancer” that hurts businesses, despite the fact that Linux actually helps get the most expensive spending under control by pulling expensive software licensing out of the server room.

McCain says Obama will raise taxes without pointing out that Obama will actually cut takes for most Americans apart from the most wealthy. McCain refers to liberals as big spenders, despite the vast spending of his own party that has sent the nation into massive debt, and the trail of massive debt that his running mate left behind as small town mayor. He says Obama’s plans will be expensive and McCain’s supporters describe them as a socialist cancer that hurts business, but Obama will actually help get the most expensive spending under control by pulling the military out of occupation of Iraq, a nation with a huge cash surplus to defend itself.

Microsoft’s Unwinnable War on Linux and Open Source
Soviet Microsoft: How Resistance to Free Markets and Open Ideas Will Unravel the Software Superpower

9) Can’t function on the web.

Microsoft’s efforts on desktop email and web have been plagued with security problems, and it has been unable to deliver usable mobile web and email products. In just a few months, Apple’s new iPhone surpassed the entire installed base of a half decade of Windows Mobile devices in actual web browser use.

McCain’s efforts with desktop email and web have been plagued with a lack of interest in learning how to use modern communication and information tools. His campaign was surpassed by Obama, who raised grassroots support for his campaign from individuals, rather than corporate sources who will demand favors in return.

Canalys, Symbian: Apple iPhone Already Leads Windows Mobile in US

10) Writing off an individual who wants to change the world as being a “celebrity…”


…then attempting to become a celebrity without changing anything.


Microsoft and McCain: More of the Same.

Note that this compairson is not meant to suggest Microsoft agrees with McCain in political issues. Microsoft has actually pulled its funding from the Republicans it has been primarily courting since 2000, and has recently been putting its cash almost exclusively behind Democrats, no doubt because it sees Obama winning.

It also shouldn’t be taken to suggest approval of Microsoft by McCain’s campaign, nor disapproval of Linux or Apple products by McCain. In fact, readers have forwarded in evidence that McCain’s campaign uses Macs and Apple’s Keynote software to publish its presentations.

The only real commonality is that neither Microsoft nor McCain is served by telling the truth, because they really have nothing to offer. And so they desperately try to copy those who are successful, downplay reality with distractions, and outright attack the truth with blatant lies.

They can only get away with it if Americans keep buying it.

Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech
What You Expected, What You Got

This is now:

That was then:

Don’t let it happen again.

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1 earth2kelly { 09.15.08 at 1:02 am }

Good for you Dan.

2 theskeptic { 09.15.08 at 1:18 am }

You diminish your work by using blatantly one-sided political attacks.

3 mshettles { 09.15.08 at 1:38 am }

This article is just sad, and yet you cast stones at other one sided “writers”.

Too bad Obama is going to lose, it’s painfully obvious to anyone with a brain that the Democrats will mess it up despite 8 horrible years, they’ve already begun their downward spiral.

4 danieleran { 09.15.08 at 1:41 am }

@ theskeptic: If our world were facing a potentially fatal collision with an asteroid , I would not take equal time to think of good things to say about the asteroid. Or those choosing to ignore the problem.

That having been said, if you’d like to refute any of the facts or issues I raised, I’d be happy to hear your clearly articulated comments.

5 furball { 09.15.08 at 1:54 am }

Dan. In particular, thanks for the Youtube link to Bush’s representation before getting into power; that was breath-taking and I’m far from naive.

Thanks also for your very insightful analysis on the Mac world over a period of many years.

I see great parallels in your revelation of truth regarding things Mac and things Republican (as the party currently stands).

And great reply to “theskeptic”. I look forward to seeing any reply from them that outlines facts and rational argument !

Godspeed for a rapid recovery, post-op.

6 august { 09.15.08 at 2:01 am }

The surgery seems to have increased your writing output, Daniel. Guess not being able to open your jaw is a blessing in disguise.

7 TexasAg03 { 09.15.08 at 2:01 am }

I will say that I am disappointed in the political turn the site has taken recently. I have enjoyed your articles concerning computers and technology in general and even the occasional political jab. However, I get my political comments from political blogs and don’t want to see the tech-oriented blogs I read go down that path – no matter what side they take.

Please go back to chronicling the adventures of Apple and the misadventures of Microsoft. You do so well in those arenas…[Note Microsoft in the title and throughout the article]

8 Fulcanelli { 09.15.08 at 2:06 am }

Hey Dan, Stick to writing about tech issues. This is contrived and off the mark. It puts you in the in Rob Enderle category of journalism. [citation needed]

9 lysander { 09.15.08 at 2:08 am }

OMG. Seriously, you think Obama wants to change things? He’s just another leftist politician who wants to buy votes by raising taxes. McCain ain’t great, but its really kinda silly how hypocritical leftists are with their attacks on McCain.
[Of course, this isn't a comparison of Obama and McCain, its a comparison of Microsoft and McCain. If Obama is running a campaign dripping with false advertising, then please provide references and I can do an article on that too. I don't think that is happening though ]
I’ll take Palin any day over the warmongering, drug-war-escalating, assetforfieture broadening, fascist that is Biden.
[When you say "warmongering, drug-war-escalating, assetforfieture broadening, fascist," are you referencing Palin or Biden? If the race were between them, (and thankfully it is not!) I'd still prefer to be represented by somebody who has actual experience outside of catty 'desperate housewife' style manipulation. The other difference is that Biden isn't running behind a 72 year old man with serious cancer problems. As skeptical as I am of Biden's history, at least he has one. Palin is just a religious nut, emphasis on the nut. ]
And Obama hasn’t really distanced himself.
[from Biden? He's his running mate! I hope I misunderstood you]
What’s the change with obama? End the drug war? Nope, all for it. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? OF course not. End the punative tax rates that are impoverishing people, restrain government spending to let the economy grow, and cut regulation? You gotta be kidding.
[Obama isn't running on a platform to stop the War on Drugs, but that's because he hopes to get elected. However, while I hold out some hope for Obama to change that, I see no glimmer of hope in McCain/Palin doing anything positive to rein in the War on Drugs. ]
Think Obama supports privacy or opposes the PATRIOT act? Think again.
[Everyone voted for the Patriot Act, sadly. But again, replacing the potential for change with Absolutely No F-ing Chance of Positive Change is not a solution.]
Where’s the change?

Every four years it sickens me to watch partisans lambast the opposing party while ignoring the fact that their own part is guilty of the same politics as usual.
[I'm not a partisan. But I am obviously seeing more value in Obama than in McCain, and in the very disappointing Democrats over the bind/torture/kill Republicans. Politics is a bit like engineering. You can wish for perfection, but when i comes down to the achievable, you have to pick the best you can do, not throw up your hands and allow the nation to slide back into the 1850s.]
One thing I can say about McCain, though, is that McCain-Feingold (which was very popular among democrats) has effectively excluded non “major party” advertising in the elections– ensuring that incumbants, and the two major parties keep things from ever changing.

That’s their “Democracy” for you. And of course, nothings going to change as long as people keep voting for these guys.
[That's what they said in 2000 and in 2004, and looking back, it's pretty non-controversial that Gore and even Kerry would have made far better presidents than the Bush/Cheney regime. I don't expect Nirvana in 2009, I just want to be able to travel overseas without being embarrassed to have a blue passport.]

10 jerome_from_munich { 09.15.08 at 2:08 am }

Personally, I see no problem with these political articles, because they are clearly labelled as such. Anyone is free not to read them and keep themselves to the technical articles.

This being said, they have little interest for me, because I am not american. But the whole campaign forgets a very disturbing economical fact: the world reached peaked oil production (meaning oil production will slowly decrease in the next 30-40 years) and the US is the country which will find it the most difficult to adapt. Any candidate who does not state this fact is blatantly lying. You will have to halve your energy consumption in the coming ten years, each of you (and so will I).

11 TonyR { 09.15.08 at 2:12 am }

Bravo Daniel, for exercising your right to free speech on your blog.

12 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 2:19 am }

Sorry, I clipped off part of the NY Times quote:

“Mr. Obama’s hands have not always been clean in this regard. He was called out earlier for saying, incorrectly, that Mr. McCain supported a “hundred-year war” in Iraq after Mr. McCain said in January that he would be fine with a hypothetical 100-year American presence in Iraq, as long as Americans were not being injured or killed there.”

13 Chas { 09.15.08 at 2:28 am }

Dan – great article and insightful, as always. Yours is one of the few blogs I read on a regular basis.

As to theskeptic, I’m tempted to enquire as whether s/he’s using the family braincell this week.

Although a Brit myself, my father was American – he would be horrified at the state of his beloved country, even though he was a Republican. I don’t think the old boy fought his way across half of Europe just to see his homeland run by a bunch of morons like Bush, McCain et al.

The word is “asteroid” :-)

Good luck on your recovery!


14 antiorario { 09.15.08 at 2:36 am }

I wonder if lysander knows what a fascist is.

15 harrywolf { 09.15.08 at 3:12 am }

Funny how so many have this weird idea that ‘politics’ is separate from ‘real life’.
Politics is real life, and if Daniel wants to give his opinions on his OWN website, I say ‘Bravo Dan’.

If you dont like it, I am sure that there are other more fluffy websites to read about Mac stuff.

Dan tells the truth, as he sees it. Thats more than good enough for me.

EXCELLENT article, Daniel Eran Dilger!

16 Marc W { 09.15.08 at 3:15 am }

#1, #2, #4, #7, #8, and #10 are also more or less true of Obama, if not more so depending on the specific issue. Obama at least has an air of honesty and integrity about him, but policy wise they are different sides of the same coin. There’s very few fundamental policy differences between the two.

Who is questioning the interventionist foreign policy? Both candidates are pushing it further, they only differ on their preferred speed. Intervention begets intervention.

Who is questioning the fiscal and monetary policy, and reigning in the national debt? Both candidates are pushing policies that will significantly add debt. This at a time when we’re having to bail out massive financial companies (a number of whom were receiving taxpayer’s funds to give them an unfair advantage in the market) so that the foreign countries holding our debt don’t make a run on the dollar. Once the dollar is weak enough, they will likely look for investments with better returns, such as US companies. Which can very quickly turn into a national security issue. What magic wand do we wave then?

And the list goes on.

17 lysander { 09.15.08 at 3:26 am }

Yes, Fascism is the common term for nationalist socialism which is a socialism which presents a facade of being capitalism but whereby the corporations operate at the pleasure or direction of the government, and the people are highly regulated in their lives. This is quite different from communist style socialism.

While biden is a democrat and the democrats tend to be more communist in their style of socialism (while republicans tend to be more fascist) biden is one of the worst democrats out there.

I don’t know how the term is considered in modern italy, and am more familiar with nazi germany than I am fascist italy.

I think responding to someone is more effective if you do it as another post in the blog, rather than inline in their posts during moderation. It kinda inhibits ones ability to make a point to have it interrupted with someone arguing against it.

Palin is an unknown, I don’t see her as any more crazy than Obama or Biden (or McCain) but we KNOW Biden is evil.

Obamas advertising is just about as negative as McCain and of course since the palin announcement you haven’t been able to click two links on the internet without finding some democrat bashing her. Its really like there are a thousand liberal rush limbaughs out there spreading lies.

It may be non-controversial to say that Gore or Kerry would have been better than Bush in San Francisco, but that’s the left coast. I am not at all a fan of Bush, but I don’t see Gore (especially after he went crazy with his global warming religion) or Kerry as providing a significantly better alternative. I would say that the clinton regime was better than the bush regime– clinton actually shrunk government and wasn’t too bad with the taxes and regulation.

But really these elections are just bread and circuses for people– nothing is going to change because the choice between McCain and Obama is the choice between natioanlist socialism and communalist socialism— either way we get socialism.

I disagree with you, but I bear you no ill will, and I do appreciate your blog. In that spirit, I invite you to take a little time and read two works– first being “The New Libertarian Manifesto” from SEK3, which you can find on the net… .and the second being “No Treason: The constitution of no authority” by Lysander Spooner. Also out there on the net. I think you’ll find both of them thought provoking and well worth the time– I don’t think they will persuade you to see things the way I do, but I think its probably a safe bet that you’ll see some new ideas there you hadn’t considered…..

18 lehenbauer { 09.15.08 at 3:28 am }

I am concerned that if McCain is as disabled as has been reported in the counterspin to Obama’s attack about his lack of computer literacy, he is not physically fit enough to be president.

Gotta align with Café Hayek here and say the less government the better — they are both making all sorts of promises they can’t possible fulfill, and promote an absurd idea that it’s really government’s function to heal ills and make things better when, as Milton Friedman used to say, everything the government tries to do has the opposite effect.

19 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 3:32 am }

Test- sorry- I posted, but don’t see my post with the “awaiting moderation” message- was my post too long?

20 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 3:33 am }

Part 1:

QUOTE: “6) … while shamelessly advertising misinformation and outright lies.”

Are you willing to look at your own candidate as well, Daniel?

* The Obama campaign claimed that McCain supported a 100-year war in Iraq — an egregious distortion of McCain’s comment that a long-term American presence in Iraq would be acceptable IF it were like present-day Japan or Germany, where our forces are not at war or in danger.

* The Obama campaign claims he bucked the system & demonstrated political courage opposing the war in 2002, when in fact that was the default position for Illinois Democrats- and especially in his home district of Hyde Park. Democratic war opponents in Illinois included Dick Durbin, Carol Mosely Brown, and 80% (!) of the congressional delegation. Also, 90% of the Congressional Black Caucus.

* The Obama campaign quotes McCain in a commercial as saying “I know a lot less about economics… I still need to be educated,” when the full quote is, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” McCain spent decades working directly in military and foreign policy, so this is to be expected. The Obama campaign takes a moment of candor and purposely distorts McCain with a misleading excerpt.

[Your supposed examples of "Obama lies" are silly.

I've heard McCain talk about 100 years in Iraq, and he hasn't denied saying that. He clearly supports a long term occupation. Suggesting that that can be done without forces "at war or in danger" is absurd. Iraq is now far more dangerous than before the war, and large portions are held by warlords and clerics that are far more dangerous than Hussein was. This is not Japan or Germany. Obama did not lie about McCain's position, and there's nothing here to even quibble about.

Your second lie is that Obama "didn't buck the system" because he was acting in concert with two others in congress and supporting the will of the people who sent him there? How ridiculously absurd. Obama was against a goosestepping, cross-partisan jingo mentality.

Citing that McCain knows little about the economy isn't a lie. It's also critically important information when the most pressing issue to most Americans is the economy.

Compare you're quibbles with outright lies McCain has pushed forward. There's no comparison. McCain is being dragged through the media as a dishonest liar running a shameful campaign. Obama is if anything acting too meekly in pointing this out.]

21 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 3:34 am }

Part 2:

And even the NY Times is (apparently unlike you) willing to concede that Obama has also distorted the record:

“Mr. Obama’s hands have not always been clean in this regard. He was called out earlier for saying, incorrectly, that Mr. McCain supported a “hundred-year war” in Iraq after Mr. McCain said in January that he would be fine with a hypothetical 100-year American presence in Iraq, as long as Americans were not being injured or killed there.”

“More recently, Mr. Obama distorted Mr. McCain’s record on schools financing and incorrectly accused him of not supporting loan guarantees for the auto industry — a hot topic in Michigan. He has also taken Mr. McCain’s repeated comments that American economy is “fundamentally sound” out of context…”


Rocks, glass houses, etc. etc…

22 danviento { 09.15.08 at 3:59 am }

An article like this deserves a point-by-point response.

1) Perhaps people from the Left coast missed the boat, but the majority of Americans appreciate what eurotrash and hard core lefties fling around as hated Bush policies. That’s right. We *appreciate* the fact that even now, 8 years after the fact, there has not been one attack on Americans on our home soil. We have a grasp of economics further than ourselves that understands that the more you tax corporations and “the wealthy” (aka the people that employ the rest of us) the less spending you’ll see overall and the more jobs you’ll see shipped overseas.

[What evidence do you have that invading Iraq, rather than actually capturing the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden, had any impact on preventing an attack on American soil? How many attacks on American soil did the US suffer under Clinton? And who do you expect to take you seriously after saying that failing to tax the wealthy will drive jobs overseas, when both are happening simultaneously under Bush? ]

No, I wouldn’t mind more of the same in this regard. And now we may even see some reform on pork spending if the two candidates lambasted in this article live up to half of their propositions.

[McCain and Palin have such as extablished track record for bold faced lying that anyone waiting around to see if they live up to half their propositions would have to be a moron. Did you not watch Palin chant to her audience to pray for her "God Will" pipeline and war, only to tell Charles Gibson that she would never assume to know the will of God? And if you haven't seen the newspaper reports of McCain's lies, including even Karl Rove saying that McCain has taken things too far in telling lies, well, then, shit, you must love being lied to. What a schmuck. ]

2) Little men fail to examine beyond the public face. Let me applaud your initial skepticism, but sneer at your ready acceptance of the profoundly leftist media networks and their obvious, self-professed agenda. We could get into a whole discussion about the so-called “false-premises” and the “bush lied, people died” mantra, but it will suffice to say that should we have to into Iraq to unseat a dictator and faction fueling the terrorist groups that attacked us? Hell yes. Should we have lured fractured terrorist groups into an arena where our large, organized military forces can make them play our game (as opposed to the terrain of Afghanistan). Um, duh. Has the surge tactic and change under General Patreus been wildly successful and help promote democracy and peace in an area of the world that needs such work and an ally? How can you say no?

[Are you seriously that ignorant to say that Iraq was responsible for 9/11? ]

Maybe your a fan of the pacifist Carter and Clinton agendas. I can see your argument there (obviously), but an adherence to such a delusional way towards peace only invites more predators. You come across as a great scholar of modern technological development, but don’t seem to grasp the nature of American history. More on this later.

3) I don’t think you could be more wrong one Sarah Palin being more specific on her platform. After watching numerous interviews and reading transcripts and punditry of both political stripes, she’s done a very good job of making her position damn clear. Here’s a few specifics if you haven’t been paying attention yet: First, a widely highlighted stance- Her take on abortion is quite plain: only in the case to save the mother’s life; not even in cases of rape or incest. Another, on taxation and government involvement: she’s got a rich history of cutting wasteful city and state spending, staring down and kicking out politicians (of her own party, even) taking kickbacks, and fostering businesses to compete for contracts with the state instead of taking sweetheart deals. She’s a strict constitutionalist (there’s a definite must) and understands that it’s the states responsibility to merely protect the people’s rights guaranteed within that document and defend against those who would take them away; not social programs, not charity, and not regulation of every possible facet of business it can get it’s tentacles into.

Pre-Palin, McCain wasn’t doing so hot because he came across as wish-washy, a moderate that couldn’t resonate with the majority of our country. Palin came across as a strong Reagan-Conservative with a spine of steel that can stand up to the myriad of lies, exorbitant lies, and half-truths being flung at her and still take a bite out of the competition with some stinging truths. That fired up the base and the presidential candidate so that now momentum is swinging the other way in this race.

As for whether or not she’ll “tank,” she seems to be doing better up against the other side’s candidate for *president* not to mention vice in terms of experience, view point, and general acclamation. True, there are opportunities for gaffes, especially when they won’t be glossed over by the cheerleaders heading up the newsrooms on major networks, but they haven’t got her yet, and that’s saying something considering the sheer scope and magnitude of attacks and trickery tried so far.

[Apart from a fiery religious rhetoric, Palin does not even understand what the Bush Doctrine is, and couldn't articulate whether she supported it or not. She thinks being able to see the eastern edge of Russia is useful to understanding Moscow. You are only making yourself look ridiculous. Were it not so serious, I would just laugh at your expense. ]

4) Once again, you seem to be drinking the media kool-aid on this point. McCain has definitely proved his mettle on sticking to his guns when it accounts. This can be highlighted by positive points such as his time undergoing torture as a POW and voicing the need for a new strategy for the Iraq war a la Patreus, and also on not so positive points like pushing the amnesty bill that most Americans can understand as a disaster in the making. He even espouses the global warming pap that 60% go on record as doubting, though those same people ladling out your kool-aid back it anyway.

[Now you're losing me. 60% of morons don't believe in global warming? Because even McCain has stated he understands climate change is being caused by human efforts. You are clearly such a nut you've driven past McCain. ]

Palin has shown her resolve time and again. She got change in the PTA. Then cleaned up in the mayor’s office, leading onto getting establishment legislation like the bridge to nowhere and systems of bribes axed. She got went against the usual sweetheart deals when trying to get the oil companies to put in that natural gas pipeline and made the compete, saving the state money. She cut her own and her staffs paychecks, sold the state plane on eBay and returned increasing oil-revenues to the Alaskan state residents. That’s the kind of change and opposition that made Alaskans love her, and has the rest of normal American’s cheering for a campaign that would previously make them sigh in disappointment.

[Republicans want to elect a fucking ignorant PTA beauty queen? That says too much about your party right there. Shame on you for passing off such bullshit as an enlightened position. And plenty of Alaska hates Palin. The state is swimming in oil money and everything is subsidized. Palin didn't find Alaska's oil, she only spent her town into debt and then demanded more Federal millions to burn on top of it.]

No, if you want to look for usual partisan hackery, look no further than the competition. We have Barack, a man who was raised on socialist and sometimes communist pap (just look at the people he heralds in his TWO autobiographies) and affirmative action BS who, while doing a good job at saying nothing for a while, has been slipping so frequently (thanks to lack of teleprompter aid) and giving away his political leanings that he is currently having to play to the center, professing things that wouldn’t sound odd coming from Bush himself. Then we also have Biden, a man who is DECADES in the Washington loop on the senate, and is noted right alongside Obama as the most liberal senator on record, but also knows how to follow the polls. For these obvious reasons, this particular point couldn’t be further from the truth.

5) As for this current bit of hoopla, the Obama response sounds like a bad standup comic. His timing was off, the logic was painfully forced, and his response came off more as whiny more than stinging. Palin’s previous comments in her speeches seem to have hit a nerve in the Obama campaign, especially when they elicit as vague a response as this. But then again, being vague on the details has been his tactic from the start.

6) Your ideas in this point fail to realize the idea of trickle-down economics. Before you throw the whole notion our the window, note that the table does not include taxes on energy, healthcare (funding programs), the death tax, marriage tax, death tax, estate tax, and a myriad of other sidelines that many people have to pay. These totals skew Obama as the ads have accurately portrayed. If you’re going to ask why all of these aren’t in a 30 second add, you may want a dose of common sense or a class in marketing.

[If you want to argue a point, you'll actually have to make it. Suggesting a premise and failing to deliver it is not the same thing as presenting an actual argument. ]

7) Here is yet another point illustrating you can be drunk on kool-aid. Did we forget that these evil corporations and rich people employ the rest of us and pay us our salaries? Or what about higher taxes being a main proponent of moving HQs and production lines over seas? Two decades ago America was the place to do business because we were a far cry from Europe. It seems the elitists’ desire to be more like the “refined” uncle across the pond have temporarily buried these markets and wounded our competitiveness. I can see no reason for your desire to “soak the rich” than shear jealousy. As I move up from one tax bracket to the next, it’s not a great feeling to know my next raise or my wife’s raise will end up netting us LESS. If you truly want to foster ingenuity and personal improvement, then you don’t punish success. Trickle-down economics has proven itself time and again…

[You talk a lot about KoolAid, but that expression comes from Jonestown (and it was FlavorAid), a wacko religious cult that isn't very far from Palin's own church. She is a roll on the floor fanatic nut, which is fine on her own time, but she clearly wants to rape the US and then deny the country family planning, child care, and sex education. And what a bang up job she's done at home.

Trickle-down economics has not proven anything. The longest peace time expansion in US history was under Clinton, not Reagan or Bush. The market also does better under Democrats. ]

8) -addressed the same as seven since they’re basically the same point.

9) Ah, one of the fallacy-laden approaches to a measure of leadership. If we’re going to require McCain to have these first-hand skills, then why don’t we scrutinize Obama himself? We haven’t seen any direct mention of his web design skills, or online networking proficiency. In reality, the staff takes care of this, while the leader usually approves outlines and talking points. This kind of point is as valid as “McCain is sooooo old, and Obama is a fresh new face.” You’d be surprised how often old school trumps new school when it comes to getting the job done. When it comes to the decisions of leadership and information, as long as someone has ready access (and believe me, a president can have all the web articles add reports printed out at the flick of a finger), then the exact method isn’t all that pertinent. At best, this point can work towards identity politics, a point that the entire Obama campaign is built on. Good luck with that.


10) The purpose of the “celebrity” ads was to highlight certain points. At the time Obama was famous for being famous. There was no definitely stance or methods of implementing this loudly-voiced “change” that the whole campaign was riding on. The unspecific message was meant to let people fill in their own hopes and desires for what exactly the hope and change campaign was referring to. It forced them to get at least a *little* more specific outright, and Obama had a few slips when it came to off-prompter time. Now the celebrity is starting to wear off, so the add is becoming less relevant as we march towards November.

[An easier word: hypocrisy. Palin is hailed for her "celebrity" after you tried to castigate Obama for reaching crowds. Again, hard to take you seriously. Impossible actually]

Most of this dealt with your problems at the punch bowl. If I had to guess, I’d imagine your main source of news comes from CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and a few other major news networks. If all you see are the cheerleaders, and you live in a place where their crowd is predominant, then I guess I can see how you opinion could be coached to where it is today.

If you read up on the specifics of these campaign programs, look the overall and the specifics, and have a real grasp of what American liberty was intended to be, then you might be persuaded into more skepticism and more not-so-common sensibility.

From a guy with the same namesake, I applaud your usual depth in tech-industry commentary. You voice a historically-informed opinion that often adds a depth to your arguments rarely seen elsewhere. It’s your expertise.

However, there seems to be a lack of expertise and information in this and other recent political comparison pieces. They mainly come off as cherry-picking mass-media talking points and forcibly trying to marry them with preferred computing camps. Good writers often use intriguing parallels, so I understand the effectiveness of using analogies to explain abstract concepts. These haven’t done so well. Here’s a good one you may like to examine to brush up on your compositional skills, whatever your political leanings:

Again, try to hammer out some more specific details if you want to be convincing. I normally have no problem considering positions I disagree with, but when it comes across as press kool-aid, it’s just annoying.

[And when your argument is nothing more than talking points, jingoism, and ironic references to "koolaid," it's hard to take your perspective seriously at all. I would hope people who view things different that I could express at least a reasonable alternative position. All I ever see from frothy NeoCons is self delusional rhetoric short of any specifics, dodging the point, and stirring up irrelevant digs that can't be taken seriously. The desire of half the nation to wallow in and relish and celebrate ignorance is frightening. ]

23 Pila { 09.15.08 at 4:21 am }

Brilliant article, I love your blog , always to the point.
As a non-American, I just cannot believe that anyone
will vote for a party which has effed up so much in the last 8 years.

24 Dan V. P. Christiansen { 09.15.08 at 4:25 am }

This article is notably better than your Soviet Microsoft article. However, that article was exceptionally poor – the worst of yours I’ve read, ever – and a voluntary declaration of either rhetorical inadequacies or lack of insight. Microsoft cannot reasonably be compared to any regime whose leaders were responsible for tens of millions of deaths, if not more. At least you’re staying within the things you know this time. The upside is that it makes your argument harder to summarily reject. The downside is that it makes it harder to realise that it should be rejected.

The article reads as one long [i]ad hominen[/I] attack on both the Republican leadership and the Microsoft corporation. The former is a group of persons, the latter is a abstract legal entity. One is suitable for attributing human values and properties, the other isn’t. The more I think of it, the more I wonder what your point with this article is. If you intend to argue that Microsoft and McCain are equally “bad” or “evil”, then I’d say it’s a silly, irrelevant point not worth made, even if made well.

The article fails in its premises by considering Microsoft and McCain/Palin generally comparable entities. In this sense, it is similar to the Soviet series.

(For the record, I’m not educated in either philosophy or rhetoric, and I don’t live in the US.)

25 danieleran { 09.15.08 at 4:27 am }

@ lysander “Palin is an unknown, I don’t see her as any more crazy than Obama or Biden (or McCain) but we KNOW Biden is evil.”

Evil is a big word. Can you provide some qualification? Palin is a small town busy body who wants to turn the Federal government into an evangelical force for burning books and dialing back science into the dark ages. If you’re not afraid of Palin, you are grossly ignorant and need to scratch the surface a bit. Seriously, demonstrate more curiosity than Palin herself does.

“Clinton actually shrunk government and wasn’t too bad with the taxes and regulation”

And Gore served as Clinton’s VP. It is hysterically ridiculous to suggest that any Democrat in the US is dangerously liberal. Democrats have been in control of congress for years and no socialist uprising has occurred. I’d sure rather return to the growth of the 90s than experience more of the tragic, embarrassing history. McCain makes Bush look moderate. I thought McCain would be the best Republican candidate outside of long shot Ron Paul, but he has converted himself from 2000-era reformer into an exaggeration of Bush.

“the choice between McCain and Obama is the choice between natioanlist socialism and communalist socialism— either way we get socialism”

Sorry, this is bullshit. McCain’s sword rattling with Syria, Iran, Georgia/Russia, and too many other countries and his poor scholarship have a lot in common with a certain famous national socialist, but Obama is not even close to supporting communism. When you subject the truth to such torture, you don’t have any truth left.

26 Jon T { 09.15.08 at 4:49 am }

Please look at the example of Great Britain today. In 1997 we got Tony Blair as Prime Minister – very much the shining star in the same way as Obama today, and with most of the same “love everyone” politics.

Blair’s Labour government has taxed the country in so many underhanded ways that it has left it today as the ONLY major country certain to enter recession in 2008. It’s wasteful spending, its dubious double speak and unutterable promotion of celebrity and fame has made for the most shameful period of British politics in a lifetime, almost certainly leading to the near destruction of the Labout Party at the next election, and in any event likely to keep them out of government for a generation.

I’m sorry we don’t share the same politics, but my fear is that Obama would leave the USA in much the same position as Britain finds itself in today.

[I donno, I think the world is more complicated than liberal:conservative. Obama is a centrist. His tax plan cuts taxes for most of the US, and he isn't outlining massive new spending. The US is already sold down the river to China to finance the trillions of the Iraq war. Simply stopping that will do more to rescue the US than any spending/tax plan could. Blair might be the Labor Party, but LHR is an airport; they're both f-ed up. That doesn't mean the right wing and failing to fly are the only options. ]

27 de-villiers { 09.15.08 at 4:51 am }

Far be it from me, as a Frenchman, to interfere in the American election. But perhaps I may respond to your article – in the spirit of a friendly discussion and a kind temper.

I understand your main point as being that of old wine in new bottles. Nothing of change, nothing of honesty, nothing of integrity.

McCain is on the centre-right. So he is likely to follow right-weighted policies. As much as Obama is on the centre-left. But within wings on each side, there is debate. Your criticism is from your political prism. No-one, including McCain, wants to see jobs leave America. In France, this is called délocalisation. But on the centre-right, that is seen as a consequence of free-trade.

The principle is no different to the argument that in the 1800s, English factory owners should not have used machinery because it “exported jobs”. Manual spinners lost their posts to other employees who made the machinery. In the 1990s, coal miners lost their jobs to foreign producers of natural gas.

Economist re-adjustment is part of the world of continual change. We do not live in frozen time. To stop jobs going abroad is to arrest economist development and new industry. It would result in each country jealously guarding each job of its own. There could be little international trade and movement. Or development.

Insofar as Obama promises change, it is correct. There is always change. But “Change we can believe in” [or should this be “change in which we can believe”?] is an empty promise. To say that we want “change” is to say that we all want to go on a car journey without first deciding the destination.

In France, in the UK, we have heard the endless promises of change. The English King Charles II promised “change” after the execution of Charles I. The French Kings Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis Phillippe – they all promised change and a new beginning. They all lost their thrones.

More recently, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, they all promised change. In the UK, the Conservative party now promises “change”. It was Oscar Wilde who stated that, “Youth! Youth! There is nothing in the world but youth!” Perhaps in politics, one could replace that which “change”.

The complaint that McCain promises no change is inaccurate. It is better to say that McCain will try to deliver change within the boundaries of centre-right policy. Your complaint is that he will fail, unlike Obama as you consider, to deliver change within the boundaries of centre-left policy.

Arguments about being the underdog and truth and lies is no more than normal politics. The right in France criticised Segolène Royal, the Presidential candidate on the left, for misrepresenting the policies of the now President Sarkozy. The newspapers criticised Tony Blair for falsely claiming that the policy of the Conservative party to spend money more slowly than Labour amounted to actual spending “cuts”. This is nothing new or surprising. It is expected from both sides.

Perhaps I may suggest, with respect to yourself, that your political writing above is simply that. It is a skilful piece of weighted, political publicité. One could attack it with the same tools that you seek to deploy within it. And it suggests your complaint is not with McCain per se; instead, the criticism appears to fall on the American political system itself and the entirety of the centre-right.

Jacques de Villiers

28 Jon T { 09.15.08 at 5:11 am }

Dan, I’m in a very different time zone to you! Do you sleep?!

And when we are considering deception, have you read about the stunt pulled on McCain by Jill Greenberg? Now THAT’S deception!


29 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 5:19 am }

QUOTE: “Palin is a small town busy body who wants to turn the Federal government into an evangelical force for burning books and dialing back science into the dark ages. If you’re not afraid of Palin, you are grossly ignorant…”

Actually, Daniel, I’d be just a bit more careful with accusations of ignorance. If you still believe that Palin tried to ban books, read this:


According to Newsweek, Palin:

* Did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library
* Did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska
* Was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party
* Never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president
* Did not push for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools

I’m a big Mac advocate who has always enjoyed your forceful Mac advocacy, so it pains me all the more to say:

You’re completely misrepresenting your opinions as fact.

[You are citing the McCain campaign as a source to deny fact. Your "facts" are disingenuous at best.

The McCain campaign says Palin didn't demand books be banned, but Palin was representing her religious group in an effort to get books out of the library, and even fired the librarian who stood up to her. The librarian was reinstated after public out roar. So is Palin not a censoring busybody who hates science and differing opinions, or is it just that she was stymied to do a task as mayor that she will have Cheney like powers to accomplish as VP?

She cut efforts to raise special ed funding, why may be why God gave her a disabled child in retribution.

Never a member of the Alaska Secessionist party? Her husband was, and she attended meetings. Recently, she even supported them publicly. Does she need a membership card to prove she supports deserting the US? Secession is a complex subject, but someone who is associated with a secessionist group should not be running as Federal VP.

Pat Bucannan? She supported Obama up until McCain called her to be VP.

Did not push for teaching creationism? She said she thinks she's seen dinosaur fossils have human footprints in them. She very clearly wants to convert America into a knuckle dragging 1850's backward society. And of course McCain is denying it.

There's a big difference between carefully wording a claim that you didn't actually do something specific and not being who you actually are well documented to be.]

30 Jon T { 09.15.08 at 5:25 am }

But, where would we be without some fun – I regard this post as more fun than serious – and in that vein this is a fun sketch worth watching, (but thank heaven the Clinton’s aren’t going near the White House again): http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/palin-hillary-open/656281/

31 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 5:28 am }

Oh- and by the way- I noticed that you ignored my posts about Obama’s own “misinformation and outright lies”…

32 Jon T { 09.15.08 at 5:41 am }

Carumba! – the comments on that Newsweek link are something.

Wonder if anyone else notices the commonality of the bad language, slander and insult of the MS Windows and Dem advocates?

Just a thought.

33 rosko { 09.15.08 at 5:57 am }

I find the responses to these “political topics in a not-usually-political blog” amusing. Dan is clearly on the democratic side. There seem to be 3 types of responses to his pro-Obama comments:

1. The people whose comments consist of “Dan, stick to tech articles” or “Dan, leave your political opinions out”. I wonder are the majority of these people republican or democrat?? Hmmm… that’s a tough one. If Dan wrote praises of McCain and attacks on Obama would these same people write these same comments? Hardly. These are the sort of people who need to get a life. Dan has every right to write what the hell he wants – you are not paying him to write. At least share your own arguments or opinions like some of your fellow commenters do. Also, step back and take a look at yourself – you are probably the most susceptible type of person to political propaganda – I hope you have formed your own opinion on who you are going to vote for in November rather than having had it formed for you.

2. The people who launch step-by-step arguments to counter Dan’s points. Good for you. Nice to see some debate. Just keep it above belt (which most of you do). The one amusing thing about these responses (and Dan’s article, in fact) is apologist nature of some of the comments. Obviously there is no such thing as a perfect candidate – Obama has flaws, McCain has flaws. I’m not saying everybody must give 100% disclosure and reveal the negative aspects of their chosen candidate, but some (by no means the majority) of the comments made are clearly half-truths or glorified opinions made solely to counter these evident deficiencies, or to build an attack upon. I suppose it’s human nature really, everybody does it. I’m sure there wouldn’t be much of a debate going on without such comments!

3. The people who cheer on Dan with one-line comments. Again, I wonder are you democrat or republican?? Oh wait, I think I can figure that out. I suppose the comments you make are fine, but it would be also nice to see you join the debate and personally argue the points in other comments which contest Dan’s article instead of just hear- hearing. Also, as for (1) above, I hope you guys have formed your own opinions, and are not just following the lead of and/or getting excited about Dan’s well written measures!

It will be interesting to see what happens in November.

34 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 5:58 am }

Daniel- can you respond to my challenges- or not?

35 jdoc { 09.15.08 at 6:31 am }

Obama has virtually no voting record. McCain has a LONG voting record of reform in Washington, and has been a loud voice of change over the years, many times against the Bush administration. Look the record up for yourself, instead of regurgitating Obama talking points.

The GDP grew 3.3% last quarter (more than the 0.7% it was projected to grow) despite the many untoward events that have brought the economy to its knees lately (mortgage crisis, war, etc). The GDP compiled 20% more revenue under Bush than under Clinton, inflation-adjusted. And although the unemployment rate is at 6.1%, that is historically low, and still lower than a couple of years under clinton (6.5%+). It’s a cycle, and will improve.

Politics are politics- the lipstick comment was a bad choice of a metaphor by Obama at that time. I don’t think that he meant to insult Palin (that would have been really stupid), but I don’t know that for sure. But did you see the crowds reaction? Raucous cheers over a political metaphor? No, they definitely thought that Obama was referring to Palin, and if his Liberal crowd was cheery about that, you can bet that the conservative crowd was equally as upset.

The Democrats took over congress 2 years ago, and have since garnered the worst approval ratings in US history. The Republicans controlled congress since 1994.

Palin has a great history of reform in Alaska- you should look it up. Obama only has the most liberal voting record in the Senate- you can also look that up.

Currently, 43% of Americans DO NOT pay taxes (data from the IRS). Under the Obama plan, this will go up to 50% and more- do the math. The wealthiest in America already foot the majority of the bill.

Bill Clinton had nothing at all to spend money on, yet tanked the GDP and sent us into a recession. He gave us a deficit surplus for one year, yet the national debt climbed over 22%. His national debt to GDP ratio was still higher than any time under the Bush administration, even now.

Daniel, it’s disappointing that you would resort to being an Obama pigeon instead of having some facts and reasoned argument to back up your views. McCain has a long record of bucking the Washington trend, making correct choices about the Iraq war and others, and reform. Please view his voting record before you spew some of this information. I appreciate the tech ties though!

36 Ludor { 09.15.08 at 7:17 am }

All Americans I’ve met were very, very nice people. I fear for them now. As far as I understand, the Bush administration has almost driven the US to the point of financial collapse, and either way, that will continue to cause unnecessary suffering for the rest of the globe for a long time. I can almost understand the republican fear of socialism or whatever, but seriously, if you continue down this path, you’re starting to look less like patriots and more like a suicide cult.

37 kent { 09.15.08 at 7:41 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and John Wayne Gacy

38 kent { 09.15.08 at 7:43 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and the Messiah

39 kent { 09.15.08 at 7:45 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and Segway

40 kent { 09.15.08 at 7:47 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and The Chicago Daley Machine

41 kent { 09.15.08 at 7:48 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and Mao

42 qka { 09.15.08 at 7:58 am }

O’Cain, McBama.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Both were one thing during the primaries, both have regressed to their respective party’s mean for the general election.
The great thing about the American system is that it will survive, regardless of who is elected, just as it has survived the long line of n’er do wells who have occupied the office previously.

43 CW { 09.15.08 at 7:58 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Barack Obama and Saul Ailinsky.

I reject the socialistic mindset of Barack Obama. For example, his “tax plan” is to take, yes, TAKE money from the top 5% income earners (i.e. small business) and GIVE it to the other 95% in the form of a check. Yes, a check (stimulus), not lower taxes. He’s not going to LOWER taxes, so while he gives you someone else’s money (redistribution of wealth) he will RAISE takes.

As for the lip stick on a pig. That doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that he choses his words wisely; but unfortunately for him, Palin (VP mind you) seems to make Obama stutter and think before he actually speaks. Speaking of VP, where is Plugs?

Earmarks, earmarks, earmarks. How much did Obama ask for. Oh, that’s right. Roughly $1 BILLION in earmarks.

There’s your change agent – less change in your pockets and more of the same.

So, all this “McCain is the same,” “Bush’s 3rd term,” is what’s needed to fill the void of Barack Obama. You loons picked a terrible candidate and he’s already proved to make terrible decisions.



44 kent { 09.15.08 at 8:00 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Liberals and Sexist Racists Fascist Comuninist Littering No Bathing Urugula Eating Whole Foods Shopping Eco Hypocrite Latte Drinking Lying Smear Merchant Hate Mongers

45 kent { 09.15.08 at 8:03 am }

Ten Striking Parallels Between Daniel Eran Dilger and A Doofus

46 kent { 09.15.08 at 8:19 am }

What’s The Main Difference Between This Post of Daniel’s and A Bag of Excrement?

(the bag)

[It took you 20 minutes to come up with those three posts? Well done Kent, you have articulated my position that McCain's lack of honor and honesty is indefensible.]

47 antiorario { 09.15.08 at 8:24 am }

Now that’s mature.

48 ANTIfusion { 09.15.08 at 8:31 am }

I read roughly draft to hear about Apple, not politics
If I want a Biased review on some presidential candidate I will go to FOX news, or CNN
You lost me man
Last time I read your magazine.

Dude not smart

49 kent { 09.15.08 at 8:32 am }

Daniel inspired me. When he talks politics, I can’t help but be moved. It’s like going to NASCAR and watching for the pileups.

50 kent { 09.15.08 at 8:38 am }

Guess – Which Political Party actually has “voter fraud” as a core strategy?

(Hint – from little ACORNS do mighty oaks grown.

Hint 2 – which party is aware of the Daley Machine, the Rendell Machine, etc.)

51 Free Thinker { 09.15.08 at 8:42 am }


Enlisting non-sensical logic and easily refutable “facts” does a disservice to you and other liberals. Yet, I see your faulty logic being overly used by the far left these days. I’m gradually coming to the belief that liberalism is a “personality disorder” (you can look up the definition in the DSMR IV) that can’t be reasoned with.

For the record, I understand the issue that has brought you to blindly support the Democrats. But that issue shouldn’t preclude you allowing for other schools of thought nor should it preclude introspect on your part.

Here’s a couple of things for you to ponder. Regarding liberalism; history has proven that socialism ultimately leads to totalitarionism. Regarding the war on terror and fundamental Islam; in the late 1930′s, Churchill felt that England was in “the locust years” (Google it), and despite his country’s Chamberlain-ing bent, he was ultimately proven very correct.

I love your blog (sans your crazy ass political views), and, in all sincerity, wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery.


52 sticktotech { 09.15.08 at 8:54 am }

I agree with some of the previous comments, that you should stick to tech. The more you comment on politics, the less I want to read.

53 kisasi { 09.15.08 at 9:40 am }

Dan, I love these articles and it should be understood that this is your blog and you have the right to voice your opinion on any topic you choose at any time. Period.

It’s a shame that with so much at stake that so many Americans are still stuck in these polar opposite labels (left/right, democrat/republican, etc…), we as a whole need to focus on the issues and the facts and collectively pressure our elected officials to do what is right for all of us and not treat politics like a beauty pageant or football game. We are ultimately the winners or losers if we choose to take our focus off of the issues regardless of where the misinformation is coming from. Keep up the GREAT WORK Dan and speedy recovery!

54 GoodBye { 09.15.08 at 10:47 am }


It’s been fun, interesting and informative reading your blog until lately.

I think it’s time to remove roughlydrafted from the ol’ bookmarks bar until a couple weeks after the November 2008 elections, when you’ve had time to gloat over the “correct” results, or rant about the “wrong” results.

By then, maybe you’ll get out of “Poli-Techs” and back into Tech, realizing that no matter who is elected, the U.S. will survive and probably continue to prosper and offer the best quality of life for another 4 years.

We survived Clinton. We survived Bush.

New blood in Washington will be good for all of us.

God Speed on your recovery.

55 MikeInSyracuse { 09.15.08 at 10:53 am }

Yeoman’s work on the lefty propaganda, Dan, except for one thing: you forgot Fox News! Tell us again how bad they are.

56 isserley { 09.15.08 at 11:01 am }

“We *appreciate* the fact that even now, 8 years after the fact, there has not been one attack on Americans on our home soil. ”
–> cool, I guess the iraqis think so as well. – As they gave you no reason whatsoever for attack. – And it´s only 200,000 iraqis dead, so who cares.

“3) I don’t think you could be more wrong one Sarah Palin being more specific on her platform. After watching numerous interviews”
–> numerous interviews?!? of whom, sarah palin? – She only did 1 (one !!!) yet, since being nominated.

“she’s got a rich history of cutting wasteful city and state spending,”
- um, no, she left Wasilla with a deficit (budget was balanced beforehand)
- she asked for and got lots of earmarks
- she was for the bridge to nowhere, pocketed the earmarks, and when Fed made it clear that AK had to pay most of the bridge she said no thanks and KEPT the earmarks for other projects


57 isserley { 09.15.08 at 11:02 am }

“Blair’s Labour government has taxed the country in so many underhanded ways that it has left it today as the ONLY major country certain to enter recession in 2008. ”
–> Nope: Spain is already in, Germany´s not far behind, and it doesn´t take much guessing that France and Italy will follow suit. – So much for that argument.


58 isserley { 09.15.08 at 11:04 am }

@jdoc (No. 34)
“Bill Clinton had nothing at all to spend money on, yet tanked the GDP and sent us into a recession. He gave us a deficit surplus for one year, yet the national debt climbed over 22%. His national debt to GDP ratio was still higher than any time under the Bush administration, even now.”

can you tell how I have to mangle the numbers in order to get to your conclusion? – Cause I still think I have a way with numbers, but no way do I get to your conclusion looking at




according to these data sources, BillG augmented GDP by 34% during his two terms whereas GWB will get to 20% at best (assuming GDP for 2008 grows at 2%, which is optimistic)

that other page specifies national debt changes for BillG to some $220 trillion more debt at the end of his two terms (3 surplusses in ´98, ´99 and 2000. He even left a 91 trillion surplus in 2001 for GWB, which he turned arround to a swift 230 trillion deficit in 2002, and ammassing, at the end of his two terms approximately 2,000 trillion in new debt….

How the hell can one argue that GWB debt to GDP ratio is better at any point than BillGs is beyond me…

Please enlighten me

59 danielmramos { 09.15.08 at 11:16 am }

Microsoft & McCain? Do we really have to get into the political commentary game? There are plenty of other sites for that kind of thing. For me roughlydrafted is about intelligent commentary on the tech world not the political world. Bummer!

60 r2242 { 09.15.08 at 11:23 am }

Daniel, this article disappoints me. You have a gift of logic and insight. The way you consistently cut through all the BS is enjoyable and appreciated. However, this article falls short of your usual work.

While you raise valid points of discussion, I’m left with the feeling you’re not seeing equal, and I believe greater, parallels between MS and the other candidate. Come to think of it, a much better parallel with MS would be with government in general. Although, 50 years of utopian promises, built on perverting incentive, coupled with mandatory involvement, would end up making MS look like a saint.

I’m surprised to hear you, Mr. Logic, espousing mind-numbingly shallow talking points like “tax cuts for the rich.” All tax brackets were lowered, were they not? How exactly does that disproportionately benefit someone who paid more than others, both before and after bracket change? If nothing else, it illustrates what a disaster progressive tax rates are. Unfair fro the get-go, and class warfare ammunition. In fact, could it not be said that “fair share” societal obligations are not being met by non-rich people like myself — who have paid considerably less in taxes than the “rich”? Only the naive, or socialist/communists could successfully ignore the glaring contradictions in logic. If nothing else, if I believed such things, I would alarmed to realize I was in agreement with Stalin.

[If you could articulate a view with facts and logic, that would be helpful. I find it hard to follow your string of name calling and broad, false generalizations. You are seriously calling Obama a communist? You might as well say he's from Jupiter and can't be trusted.]

Garbage in, garbage out… Perhaps spending a little less time in SF would be of benefit.

61 ericdano { 09.15.08 at 11:31 am }

Please stick with topics you know about Daniel. This “article” could easily be applied to Obama.

And to think I might have actually donated to your writing efforts. NOT!

[You fundamentalist-America supporter keep threatening to "not support my efforts," but as far as I know, none of you ever have in years, so this isn't a very effective strategy. Neither is making broad, unsupported generalizations.

People who criticize my political comments are nearly indistinguishable from those who screech about my comments on the Zune. Were I actually wrong, it shouldn't take much to point it out. ]

62 TexasAg03 { 09.15.08 at 11:33 am }

Did you not watch Palin chant to her audience to pray for her “God Will” pipeline and war, only to tell Charles Gibson that she would never assume to know the will of God?
Here is her quote on the pipeline:

“I do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline; about a 30 billion dollar project that’s going to create a lot of jobs for Alaskans because it will have a lot of energy flowing through here. And pray about that also. I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies, so pray for that. ”

Here is her quote on the war:

“Pray for our military. He’s [her son] going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God; that is what we have to make sure that we are praying for.”

She thinks God’s will should be done and that people should pray that the decisions were the will of God. Therefore, she is right in saying she would never assume to know the will of God.

[Do you really think Palin does not plan to use her position to decree Sharia-style religious law upon America? I see the McCain camp trying to spin her book burning, Will of God pipeline, and her mandate to force all Americans into her vision of being saved via a cellphone, but to try and misrepresent her as being anything other than a lying hypocrite at the intersection of politics and religion is disingenuous at best.]

63 stefn { 09.15.08 at 11:46 am }

@ de-villiers
Good comment. Both parties scream change endlessly and mindlessly. The only real change that I count on is the symbolic significance of electing a black president in the US. Republicans might claim the same kind of symbolic importance, but I find McCain’s choice of VP, especially given his age, to be astonishingly irresponsible.

64 glenngrafton { 09.15.08 at 12:10 pm }

Daniel, please, please please keep your articles focused on Macs and technology.

If you don’t I for one will stop reading your posts and advise all in my users group to do the same. You need to understand that we read your articles for your insights on Macs – not your personal views on politics. As others have said there are plenty of sites for political views.

[Try actually articulating your argument. I would appreciate it, thanks. Threatening to spite me by cutting off your brain is not very effective. ]

Having said that let me offer a rebutal:

1) Trying to trick unsatisfied buyers by promoting the exact same thing under a new name.

Obama’s policies are nothing more than the same old liberal views dressed up by being presented by an articulate, some think handsome guy. It of course does not hurt that he’s black.

[What are these "same old liberal views"? Clinton-era prosperity? Exposing that you are also racist does not really further your argument. We haven't suffered under 8 years of "liberalism," and honestly, we haven't been suffering under 8 years of "conservatism." Really, we've been suffering under 8 years of lobbyist-run hate politics, big spending on unnecessary wars, and Federal expansion. That's not conservative values. Also, McCain cheated on his car accident-crippled wife and dumped her for a younger woman. Palin's kids demonstrate she has no conservative values either, apart from some fundamentalist views about how she wants to set up Sharia-like religious law in the US. So the McCain/Palin ticket isn't traditionally conservative, its just more of the same.

Trying to portray McCain as a true conservative and Obama as a wildly liberal joke is just silly and makes it clear you are uninformed and just partisan. I have respect for conservative values, and understand that different approaches work for different parts of the country. Dressing up a liar being guided along by lobbyist insiders as "a maverick conservative" is wildly delusional. Educate yourself.]

2) Claiming to compete well against itself.

His answers appear to be new and fresh in reality they are the same old mantra that the liberal side has offered – raise taxes and increase government spending, without making people responsible for their lifestyle choices.

[But you are wrong. Obama plans to lower taxes for 85% of Americans and retain the Bush tax cuts. He will cut the most egregious spending. As for "making people responsible for their lifestyle choices," are you talking about oil dependance and global warming? Because he'll address that too.]

3) Presenting a media darling that can’t do more than recite “me too” promises.

Obama is of course the poster child of promises. His greatest accomplishment is that he’s gives a great speach, Let’s all stop and ask the question; what has Obama actually accomplished.

The silence is deafening….

What has he run?

More silence……

Obama is all about promises. He is the poster child of focus groups and telling people what they want to hear. He’s not going to raise YOUR taxes, but he’s going to increase the federal deficit much more than McCaing will.

[Try actually articulating your argument, and using facts. I would appreciate it, thanks.]

Of course by now you all know that Sarah Palin stole the show at the RDC. She seems to made of the same DNA as Ronald Reagan. She’s not an insider. She lives what she believes. Besides she is actually:

Running something – the state of Alaska
Has accomplished something.

[Palin repeatedly lied to the RDC ('no thanks to the bridge to nowhere'?). Regan was an actor. Is that the parallel you are drawing? The state of Alaska is awash with oil money. Yet Palin has demanded millions in Federal dollars for projects that make no sense. This is wasteful and absurd politically. Shame on you for misrepresenting this as "experience." You know as well as I do that she is a bullshitting glassy-eyed fanatic who shouldn't ever leave her little town.]

4) Pretending to play the role of an underdog outsider while actually being an authority with monopoly control

Obama has only served something like 160 some days since being elected and before running for president. I suppose he is an outsider – an inexperienced outsider.

Is that a good thing.

[Yes. Do you disagree?]

5) Childishly pretending to be offended by the truth …

Rev. Wright – Obama being a member of a radically racially divisive church with a pastor spewing forth weekly messages about how the US started Aids, etc. All a surprise by Obama.

[Obama has publicly addressed criticism of Wright's wild views and distanced himself from them. Palin is still active with with a "cell phone religious experience" church that plans to use her to take over the US and install a Sharia-like theocracy. She has not only never distanced herself from that, but was on the stage just months ago asking people to pray for the will of God pipeline she awarded to Canada. ]

6) … while shamelessly advertising misinformation and outright lies.

YOUR taxes won’t be raised, he’ll fix government – no pain for you – just for the rich “folk”. Of course you raise taxes on the rich and they’ll retire to Sanibel Island instead of building that new plant. I’ve seen it.

[It's not the the rich will pay all the taxes. However, they benefit more from Federal services than the working classes, so they should pay, as Jesus said about the contributing widow, "All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Are there any limits to your overreaching greed?]

7) Appeals to uninformed audiences who don’t even realize that what they’re celebrating is not in their own best interests.

YOUR taxes won’t be raised, he’ll fix government – no pain for you – just for the rich “folk”. Reminds me of the credit report fixing companies proclaiming that, “It’s not your fault”. that you have such high credit card balances.

[Do you share the same coach as Palin?]

8) Calls opponents “elitist and expensive,” while being far more elitist and expensive.

Lets see Obama graduated from where? He turned down a position to work on where?

Sarah Palin graduated from where? Her background is what?

McCain served in the military and was a prisoner of war – refusing to be released when he could have.

[Obama and Biden are JD (like a PhD in law) from top schools. McCain graduated at the bottom of his class, and Palin hopped around between minor schools and finally got a BA in Journalism. How much education one works to get when they are in their 20s says a lot about how they view responsibility and a desire to achieve something. Obama is working to extend the opportunity of education to more people, where McCain/Palin would like to keep the rich educated and poorer Americans "soccer moms" and uncompetitive with the world labor force.

This isn't an election about conservative vs liberal. It's about educated/intelligent vs lazy and stupid.]

9) Can’t function on the web.

Granted McCain is no computer whiz. Does the job require it? No
Each job requires a level of experience for the job.

Do I care if a surgeon operating on me can’t do email? Not really if he’s the most qualified person in the area with the most proven track record of surgeries of that type. I don’t really care if he does face book, uses AIM or has a web page. What I want to know is his experience – how many surgeries of this type does he do per year and what his success rate is.

Should we not focus on the same thing for the commander in chief?

[Being an effective communicator and able to handle technology are prime qualifications for the leader of the free world. Your argument just makes you look ridiculous. The president isn't elected to drink beer and be good with his hands.]

10) Writing off an individual who wants to change the world as being a “celebrity……then attempting to become a celebrity without changing anything.

Hmmm, I’ve read an awfull lot of negative things said about Sarah Palin. The democrats are scared of her because despite seeming to be a nobody she’s risen to celebrity status.

[Palin has no real celebrity; she's scary, not because she is popular for doing something remarkable, but because she is incompetent and the Republicans are willing to put her behind a 72 year old man with cancer as the next president. If you are not scared by that, you are willfully ignorant. Have you heard of FEMA? If your house was under water, would you even want Palin running FEMA? Holy balls, your credibility is so paper thin. How can you live with yourself?]

65 polybius { 09.15.08 at 12:24 pm }

Daniel, you are the smartest and most articulate commentator on tech out there. And I agree with you politically. I am sick with worry about eight more years of Republican rule.

But I also think mixing politics and tech reduces your effectiveness. This particular essay in a way is not so bad, because the whole thing is clearly devoted to politics. But maybe you should consider two blogs, one for tech and one for politics. I doubt it anyone would hold it against your technical judgements that you had a political blog also. But mixing the two together gives your enemies a excuse to dismiss you.

People have said, this is Dan’s blog and he’s free to do what he wants to with it. Obviously. But you are so unique that you are also a treasure to the community. The world—at least the technical world—would be greatly diminished without you.

Just my opinion.

Speedy recovery from your surgery.

66 PerGrenerfors { 09.15.08 at 12:29 pm }

If you’re trying to prove you’re not a troll then you’re not doing a very good job I’m afraid.

I can’t wait for the election to be over. I really hope Obama wins other wise I won’t be able to open a newspaper for a month without seeing lengthy lamentations from the left and the right. The election is a huge deal all over the world and I’m just sooooo sick of it.

67 jkundert { 09.15.08 at 1:32 pm }

Thanks Daniel. I have come to the “sad realization” that the American populace, at large, is so stupid that all you have to do is act unethically enough (a la Carl Rove) to lie bald-faced to them over and over and they’ll buy it as truth…. Someone somewhere has to stand up to this–I’m glad you’re doing your small part!

68 Berend Schotanus { 09.15.08 at 1:46 pm }

I think it’s courageous to give political comment in this heated time of election, when truth is not so easy to be found.

Do you really believe in job protection? We have job protection on this side of the ocean (lots of it) and it tends to send society in a state of apathy.

What to me would be the most striking parallel between McCain and Microsoft is the target group. Both appear to be targeting people who find it difficult to follow the pace of change in society and feel kind of left-out.

69 Janus { 09.15.08 at 1:50 pm }

Daniel, baby, I love you. I really do. But why must you do this to yourself when you are one of the very few people knowledgeable and credible people in the tech world and just one of a million armchair pundits waxing political?

I for one think 72 years are going to be more revealing of one’s character than 18 months of pandering. Granted, I probably will be voting Obama-Biden instead of McCain-Tits McGee, but your arguments are of such lower quality when compared to your brilliant and tireless efforts of exposing the lies of Soviet Microsoft.

(remember the real Soviet Union? Actual enemy of America. John McCain? Not so much)

You know what else would have been described as a “shockingly irresponsible VP pick” if today’s wretched media were transplanted to another, more noble era?

When FDR picked that country bumpkin Harry Truman. So inexperienced! and he hadn’t even gone to college!

70 jdoc { 09.15.08 at 1:51 pm }


National debt 9/1993= 4.4 trillion
National debt 12/1999= 5.7 trillion

easy to look up and find. Don’t confuse National Debt with deficit.

On to national debt as a percentage of GDP:

1993: debt/GDP= 48%
1999: debt/GDP= 40%
2000-2007: consistently 38%, and as low as 32% 2001-2003.


Now considering the national debt has doubled over the past 7 years, just using simple math will tell you that, in order to maintain the same debt/GDP ratio, the GDP must have skyrocketed. Thank you tax cuts and supply-side economics!

The problem, which is a bipartisan one, is spending. The government spends way too much money.

71 bvangen { 09.15.08 at 2:06 pm }

This is garbage, really. I bet you wish you could take it back. It must be the pain medication.

[Try actually articulating your argument. I would appreciate it, thanks.]

72 Electrocat { 09.15.08 at 2:28 pm }

I for one loved the article. Dan, you might make cracks at anything Microsoft, but you do have a lot of valid points.

What saddens me is that so many people whom claim to be Americans and “Stand for American Values” are so quick to bash you and your views. To me it is American to listen to another persons views on the world, politics or computers. It is not American to tell someone that their views are wrong, and not offer a counter argument based on facts and issues that the commenter disagrees with.

I enjoyed the work and effort that you put forward in this article and thank you for sharing your views. I agree with you that Barack Obama should be the next president as I think that the republicans have proven to me and many others that they do not know how to run a government, educate our children nor protect our future.

73 javsst70 { 09.15.08 at 3:58 pm }

If you really think Obama will change things any more than McCain will, you haven’t looked behind the curtain yet. All you need to look at is his closest advisors, and you’ll see they are the same old bunch that have been running the Democrats in Washington for years. On top of that, you add in the Chicago Democratic Machine, which has never been known as an example of good government.
Face it, the Senate is basically a rich guys club. Check out opensecrets.org and see how much money all the Senators involved in this race have. Next go look at the list of donors to the campaigns by industry. Both candidates have huge donations to their campaigns from the financial & real estate industries. Obama gets a lot of money from lawyers and lobbyists as well. Look up how much money Obama got from troubled companies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers – a lot more than McCain. Do you really think any of his “change” is going to affect the people who are donating money to him?
Obama’s top supporters include Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Al Gore – not exactly a group that would be changing too much around Washington. They might do a few things different, but overall they will keep their supporters happy. None of their policies would do any harm to their wallets, but they will take the money out of yours in a heartbeat.
Most of Obama’s other advisors are basically the same old Washington hacks. Many of them are former Clinton advisors , as well as former advisors to the Gore, Kerry & Hillary campaigns. Not really any change there either.
Please don’t overlook the Chicago aspect of this. As the former director of the Chicago FBI office said, “I never cease to be amazed at the level of corruption in this city.” Obama is a product of the Chicago Democrats and knows how to play their games, not exactly a recipe for change.

74 isserley { 09.15.08 at 4:13 pm }

ah, yes, didn´t see right away (too uch work, three little kids, not enough sleep ;)

here you go:

• DEFINITION: Nominal GDP values the production of goods and services at current prices.
• DEFINITION: Real GDP values the production of goods and services at constant prices.

• In other words Real GDP adjusts the dollar valuation of goods and services for inflation.
• An accurate view of the economy requires adjusting nominal to real GDP by using the GDP deflator.
• To understand how things are going for our country, we need to know if we are producing more goods and services for our people.
• We have to measure the amount of goods and services we produce in dollar terms. So we need to adjust those dollar terms for inflation.
• That means converting from nominal to real GDP.
• The GDP deflator lets us convert from nominal to real GDP.

in other words, GWB & Alan Greenspan let the presses rotate at extra high speed in order to pay off debt with freshly printed dollar notes, therefore bringing inflation to new heights and destroying the welath of millions of americans.

did I get that correctly?
do you have a chart fo debt vs real gdp, cause that seems to tell the real story ….

75 isserley { 09.15.08 at 4:34 pm }


thanks for making me google:
here you are, don´t thank me, it was a pleasure helping you…



76 gothgod { 09.15.08 at 4:54 pm }

First, I think these are the most interesting of your posts. Why do you even bring in microsoft into this? You have good points about McCain, aren’t they enough? (the comparison thing don’t work very well, just as with the Soviet thing). I would love if you would do a 100% political post in the future (just see how mush motion you induce).

I disagree with all of you posters here but I am only going to take up one standpoint to keep this answer as short as possible:

People here (and I guess in the US in general) are thinking of the democrats and the republicans as two sides of the middle. They really are on the right and the further right of the middle. Both likes what’s happening in palestine, the medical system (which should have caused a revolution by now), the decline of democracy, torture, the capital punishment and the worst crime known to man: warfare (to name a few). To be on the left of the middle you have to disagree on all of these. And yes, you must like the idea of re-distribution of wealth, which neither candidate does. I think re-distribution of wealth is one of the most natural things in the world. Taking money from the rich to give to the poor, how insane isn’t that? Well, economically it actually costs close to nothing, since the poor consumes 100% of their assets, so everything given to them goes back into the system. Otherwise it is actually doing good (you know, eating is a good thing). I am rich, my government takes 30% of my salary and that is all right to me. We have free dental care for all children up to age 19, that’s true wealth!

Also, please point me to a political standpoint that differs Obama from McCain, and then not just a couple of dollars in taxes (the interesting numbers are the income after taxes, when it is clear how that which the taxes pays for are affecting the salary, how do those numbers look like?) and yes, I know Obama claims to be somewhat against the war in Iraq. (Let us see how that turns out).

(@de-villiers: from wikipedia: “He’s a pro-life supporter who opposes abortion including in case of rape or incest” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_de_Villiers). Can this be a coincidence?)

77 gothgod { 09.15.08 at 5:14 pm }

@isserley: Haha! Fun and true.

78 jdoc { 09.15.08 at 5:46 pm }

Nice try isserly, but wrong on a few accounts.
1. We’re talking relative values (ie percentages and ratios), not absolute values. So calculating nominal and real GDP wouldn’t make a difference as long as you’re comparing the same markers- they would both indicate the same percentage values.

2. The rate of inflation has been, on average, the same and low over the past 2 decades (http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/HistoricalInflation.aspx). This would bode well for Bush considering the administration and the Fed have been able to keep inflation in check in these trying economic times- yet another indicator that the foundation of the economy is strong.

Don’t get all hyped up over a deficit surplus under Clinton. This is what happens when you increase taxes on the top 15 million people in the US (read his 1996 convention speech)- government revenue increases, and is thusly wasted; GDP tanks; and the debt still rises. Let’s see if history repeats itself once again if Obama gets into office.

You clearly don’t understand supply-side economics, but just keep googling and you’ll see that during the Reagan administration and again during the Bush administration, GDP advanced well above what the Carter and Clinton administrations gave us. The problem, once again, is spending.

79 alansky { 09.15.08 at 6:02 pm }

Similarities between the head of Microsoft and John McCain:

1. Both really ugly.
2. Both prone to temper tantrums.
3. Both lie whenever they move their lips.
4. Both selling sow’s ears (i.e. Sarah Palin and the Zune) as if they were
silk purses.
5. Both outflanked (we hope) by superior competitors.

80 RobA { 09.15.08 at 8:35 pm }


I am disappointed in the political commentary in the column. Of course, you have the right to do what you want. But turning a tech site into a political site will bring about changes in readership (which maybe you desire or don’t care about). I, for one, will likely not be a repeat visitor if this continues. I love reading political articles, but not from someone so obviously biased (on either side). I also get the “humor” intended but, again, I don’t appreciate the one-sided approach. If you want to get into political commentary, start another site — you can heavily promote it on this one, but make it a choice for the readers.


81 r2242 { 09.15.08 at 8:40 pm }

r2242 { 09.15.08 at 11:23 am }
Daniel, this article disappoints me. You have a gift of logic and insight. The way you consistently cut through all the BS is enjoyable and appreciated. However, this article falls short of your usual work.

While you raise valid points of discussion, I’m left with the feeling you’re not seeing equal, and I believe greater, parallels between MS and the other candidate. Come to think of it, a much better parallel with MS would be with government in general. Although, 50 years of utopian promises, built on perverting incentive, coupled with mandatory involvement, would end up making MS look like a saint.

I’m surprised to hear you, Mr. Logic, espousing mind-numbingly shallow talking points like “tax cuts for the rich.” All tax brackets were lowered, were they not? How exactly does that disproportionately benefit someone who paid more than others, both before and after bracket change? If nothing else, it illustrates what a disaster progressive tax rates are. Unfair fro the get-go, and class warfare ammunition. In fact, could it not be said that “fair share” societal obligations are not being met by non-rich people like myself — who have paid considerably less in taxes than the “rich”? Only the naive, or socialist/communists could successfully ignore the glaring contradictions in logic. If nothing else, if I believed such things, I would alarmed to realize I was in agreement with Stalin.

[If you could articulate a view with facts and logic, that would be helpful. I find it hard to follow your string of name calling and broad, false generalizations. You are seriously calling Obama a communist? You might as well say he's from Jupiter and can't be trusted.]

Garbage in, garbage out… Perhaps spending a little less time in SF would be of benefit.
You sure stirred up a beehive here! :-)

I make no claim of articulating as we all you. But I guess you were able to follow along well enough to concluded my comments were false. ;-)

I didn’t intend to imply Obama is a communist. However, his stated plans of nationalizing this, and taxing that, are MUCH more in line with socialist Europe, than with the individual liberty and free-market origins of this country. “Fundamentally change this country” is not what I want to hear from a presidential candidate.

In trying to keep it short, I’ll just say this…

Government has an insatiable appetite for the money of others. No matter how much we sacrifice our labors to feed it, the problems and appetite remain. If feeding the beast actually solved problems, spending significant chunks of our finite lifetimes in sustaining it might be a reasoned expenditure. Alas, there is no free lunch. Looking to bureaucracy for easy solutions is as reasonable as paying $10 for a $5 lunch.

Perhaps you’d enjoy this:
A Window on Spontaneous Order

82 theskeptic { 09.15.08 at 9:54 pm }


1. I am not a Yank – and have no interest in defending the status quo.
2. I agree that the Republicans have done a cr*p job, and see no reason for this to change if they are re-elected. “Small government”. What a joke! Freedom …. to be wiretapped without a warrant. Wow.
3. The Democrats are exactly the same. They claim to represent change, but the policies of both are all about consolidating power in Washington. Checkout http://www.factcheck.org – and see how both sides lie, spin and mislead. Yawn.
4. This article diminishes you because (normally) your attacks are reasoned and well though through. The reality is that (by advocating for one of the major parties), you are choosing more of the same. The face is different, but the policies are actually a choice between dumb and dumber.
5. You tell us – what makes the Democrats a true voice for change?
6. Where is the truly different candidate? One who knows that the best results come out when people are given freedom to make their own choices, without the nanny state looking over their shoulder. That’s what made America great.
7. I think you are a bit harsh on Palin, Compared to Quayle… (and you guys elected him!).
8. Your analogy self-destructs when you consider the fact that Microsoft actually stole or copied Apple’s ideas and designs (and then implemented them badly). If that is the comparison, then you are saying that the Republicans are just a bad copy of the Democrats…
9. Get well! When I read about your health care system… it makes me grateful to be Australian….

Finally – “Chas.”.. I don’t think the Poms are in any position to claim superior wisdom! Where was your (Labor) government in 2003? The best thing to come out of the UK were the convicts (and “Top Gear”).

83 Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain | LaRive { 09.15.08 at 9:58 pm }

[...] long, but he got some points. →Link ⊕ Related [...]

84 Tod { 09.15.08 at 10:34 pm }

Daniel: I have enlisted about five or six friends to read your blog. I am going to contribute. I am not going to stop reading your posts. Phooey on those so small-minded that they think that canceling their subscription to your blog will have any affect on anything except how well they stew in their own poisonous juices. Who cares if they leave or stay? It’s still a free country (let’s keep it that way).

I’ve just seen my hard-earned (over 50 years in the making) retirement account go down the toilet today because of the tanking economy. While I’m not so jaded to think that Obama has any solution for this, I do believe that this country needs a good shakeup to straighten out our finances. What publicly-traded firm would allow its CEO to spend and spend and spend on worthless products when there’s no income to pay for them? (Think the disastrous Iraq war and who’s paying for it – Beijing!)

Keep it up – both on the Mac front as well as the political commentary.

85 Tod { 09.15.08 at 10:36 pm }

Edit: “…worthless products…” to read “…worthless projects…”

86 StatJim { 09.15.08 at 10:43 pm }

I support your views on Obama Daniel, but my issues are:
1. Oil and natural gas depletion (peak oil)
2. Global warming (yes Sarah it is real)
3. The loss of freedom under a conservative Supreme Court

It is my economic interest to vote for McCain (yes I get a larger tax cut under McCain than the vast majority because I make a lot), but I will vote for Obama nonetheless. I guess I will share something in common with those who make under $150,000 who will vote for McCain against their own economic interest.

My first two items above will increasingly become factors which will greatly affect the global economy, including our own. Alternative fuels will help a little, i.e., they will only reduce the blow.

Obama has a better grip on the first two issues and he will be much less likely to appoint justices who will restrict my freedoms. We lost 8 years with Bush and losing 4 or 8 more could be decisive. We are in for a “long emergency,” but we have some hope to avoid the chaos of peak oil with Obama.

I hope I am wrong about peak oil, but I doubt it. Oil is finite and we have reached or will soon reach peak oil globally. More US drilling will extend our supply a few months—big deal. Think about the economic and social consequences. If you have a way out, I’m all ears, but justify your solution. An electric car grid—this will help a little, but not enough. Wind power, ditto. Natural gas has already peaked in the US. Coal liquification—the delta is too small. Nuclear will help, but it is not enough. I could go on with all other alternatives.

We are in a mess and not just financially although Phil Gramm’s 2000 deregulation of the financial giants has now bitten them (Lehman, et al.). As John McCain’s (past?) economic advisor, I guess we “whiners” need to find scapegoats for the financial mess rather than the real culprits.

Back to peak oil: If you doubt my warning, then give me a buzz in ten or fifteen years so we can compare predictions.

87 sgw { 09.15.08 at 10:59 pm }

I’ve alway thought that injecting politics into articles such as this is asinine especially since a same argument can be made that McCain/Palin parallels Apple and Obama/Biden parallels Microsoft. Both side distort the truth an to say one does and the other doesn’t is just a flat out lie.

So we can ask ourselves, who will bring change (McCain/Palin or Obama/Biden) just like we can say who will bring innovation (Apple or Microsoft). How do we decide. Well we look at the record.
Apple has a long record of delivering innovation as I am sure we agree. Microsoft has a record empty rhetoric. Both claim to deliver a great mobile phone. Apple has with the iPhone, Microsoft has not with Windows Mobile. Microsoft claims to deliver great features to their OS. Apple has delivered.

So how do we decide between McCain and Obama? There are many aspects to look at but lets look at the first test, the VP choice.

Did Obama pick a woman? Did he pick one of many exciting, new and upcoming democratic governors? Did he pick someone with a record of reform or someone who challenges the status quo? No. He pick an old white guy who has been a Washington insider since 1973.

Now look at McCain, he pick someone who has actually changed politics in her state in her short time in office. She has taken on Republican corruption. She forced the resignation of Randy Ruedrich , Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner and chair of state Republican Party. She forced the resignation of Gregg Renkes , former Republican Alaskan state Attorney General. She pushed through bipartisan ethics reform. She used veto power to cut spending. She has both challenged and worked with the oil companies. Oh, and she happens to be a woman. She actually has more executive experience than McCain, Obama and Biden combined.

Republicans lost Congress in 2006 because they forgot why people put them in office. One reason people became delusional with Bush and Congress because he has turned out to be fiscally liberal. They tried to out Democrat Democrats, in other, they spent records amount of money. In Palin, or as you call her “fucking ignorant PTA beauty queen”, people have someone with a record as a reformer whose das challenged the corruption in her own party instead of more empty rhetoric covered up with fireworks and fancy sets.

So when people look at Apple and Microsoft, both claim innovation but only one has delivered. And when both sides claim change, only one side has a record of change and no amount of insults and attacks can change that.

88 RobertR { 09.15.08 at 11:05 pm }

Daniel Eran: “Compare you’re quibbles with outright lies McCain has pushed forward. There’s no comparison.”

Umm, Daniel, even the NY Times is making the comparison.

Daniel Eran: “Obama was against a goosestepping, cross-partisan jingo mentality”

I trust you’re familiar with Godwin’s Law.

Daniel Eran: “Your second lie…”

So you’re *arguing*, but I’m *lying*. You stay classy, Daniel!

Look, I thought that McCain’s commercial about Kindergarten & Sex Ed was over the line, but so is some of the Obama campaign stuff. The difference between me & you, Daniel, is that I’m at least able to see flaws on both sides, and I’m able to debate without calling you a liar.

Peggy Noonan had a good take on the anti-Palin madness:

“…the catastrophe of the Democratic and media response to [Palin]… Books will be written about this, but because it’s so recent, and so known, we’re almost not absorbing how huge it was, and is. Here was the central liberal mistake: They used the atom bomb just a few days in. They used it so brutally, and yet so ineptly, in a way so oblivious to the true contours of the field, that the radiation blew back over their own lines … They just went boom. And it boomeranged.”

That’s you, Daniel…

Keep it up!

89 de-villiers { 09.16.08 at 2:51 am }

To gothgod: I’m am from a different aristocratic/royal line. And I do not support the political party “Mouvement pour la France”.

90 Joel { 09.16.08 at 4:59 am }

“Nobody supported WebObjects just because, or even just becuse it was technically superior at the time, particularly not Dell after Apple bought NeXT.”

I’d suspect that WebObjects wasn’t a great success outside of Apple because when it was launched the market for app servers wasn’t that large. Now the that the marketplace has expanded there are either open-source alternatives, or app servers that aren’t tied to one set of hardware.

91 Joel { 09.16.08 at 5:00 am }

Darn. (or words to the effect) wrong tab…

92 DeltaNick { 09.16.08 at 5:56 am }

Stick to computers. You know the subject and are logical.

Politics? Not so much.

93 Jon T { 09.16.08 at 6:08 am }

@ matt, what tosh you speak. The OECD and the EU have both predicted that the UK is the ONLY developed country expected to see recession in 2008:


Germany, Spain zero growth but not recession. Check the meaning of recession…

94 isserley { 09.16.08 at 7:48 am }

thanks, the textbook says it´s two consecutive quarters negative growth, and Spain is closer than ever to it. The housing crisis in Spain is almost as bad in the US, but we´re about 1 year behind (I´a german, living in Spain). – The really ugly time is about 6 months off. – Let´s opare notes then)

0.2% growth for 2009 – and that was before the Lehman / Merrill Lynch / AIG shakeup…
Hmmm, lets give it 12 months (it´s election time in germany then, so you´ll see a lame duck Merkel not being able too move much), talk to you then…


a) 0.2% growth in one year can mean two consecutive negative quarters, before rebounding, right?
b) France is about to adjust growth projection to below 1% in 2009 – let´s see if they can keep it up …

95 albertop9 { 09.16.08 at 11:27 am }


harrywolf (#15) said it for me.

It’s also funny how all those posters despising your political articles turn them into your most successful ones – if only per number of comments. Ha!

Get well soon and keep your fight up!


96 marley { 09.16.08 at 3:25 pm }

Great. One more tech blogger blogging about politics. Just what I needed.

Of course, Daniel, it’s your site and you’re free to blog what you will. However, I’d prefer you stick to what you do best … and politics isn’t it.

97 rbarrow { 09.16.08 at 4:15 pm }

[i]“They can only get away with it if Americans keep buying it.”[/i]

Maybe you should have written : “they can only get away with it if they keep rigging the e-voting machines.” Remember 2000 ? Remember 2004 ?


98 RobertR { 09.16.08 at 7:13 pm }

Of course, if you want to look at *actual* vote fraud, as opposed to conspiracy theories — you’ll find the Democrat-friendly group Obama has worked with: ACORN.

Detroit Free Press:

“Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families … the group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now … “There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications,” said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. “And it appears to be widespread.”

Or check out these actual 2006 indictments of ACORN workers for voter fraud:

KMBC TV – Kansas City:

Or try this Google search:

[Is the best you can do to associate Obama with ACORN complaints from two years ago and suggest a relationship? Because we know that the Republicans defrauded voters in 2000 and 2004, and that they are working to prevent people who have lost their home due to foreclosure from being able to vote due to home address rules. Guess why the Republicans don't want middle class americans who lost their home from being able to vote? ]

99 keyboard55 { 09.16.08 at 8:08 pm }

I used to have similar leanings when I was younger. There’s a saying sometimes attributed to Churchill, but not definitively from him that contains a lot of wisdom: “If you’re not a conservative when young you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative when mature, you have no brain.”

Obama is a Marxist!

[Obama is a centrist. The Clintons were centrist and Obama is on the right of them. Certainly conservative politics appeals to older people who have more money and less idealism, but if you think McCain represents conservative principles (small government, limited spending, isolationism), well there's a bridge in Alaska I'll sell you. McCain is a NeoCon, which is a liberal spender with no heart nor conscience, who uses fantasy to keep the little middle class people in line, barefoot and naked, and keep the ultra rich so very privileged. The short word for that is "fascist."]

100 GwMac { 09.16.08 at 9:33 pm }

I have no party affiliation and tend to vote on which candidate not only best espouses my policies, but also include other factors such as do I trust them, their intelligence, experience, honesty, etc..

Quire frankly, in this election it is more of a choice between the lesser of two evils. Bob Barr would probably be a better president than either of them. Too bad he can’t even join in the debates. One other thing that angers me about all the attacks on Palin concerning her lack of experience is that they completely ignore the fact that Obama has little more experience that a city councilman. State senators are about as low as you can go in the sate political totem pole. As far as his U.S. senate experience, exactly how many days did he actually serve before announced? Not much more than a year and as soon as he announced he was out on the campaign trail running for office, so I really don’t credit him with 3 years experience. Compare that to Kennedy who served many years in the House and Senate before he ran for president. Why was Obama in such a rush to run this time around? Although I can’t put my finger on it, there is just something about Obama that makes me reluctant to vote for him. I will wait until after the debates to decide, but I am leaning towards Mccain even though I supported Hillary.

Dan certainly has the right to write whatever he likes on his blogs. However, he lost a lot of respect in my eyes. I would wager that the percentage of Mac users who are Republican or Democrat is about the same as the general population. His article reminds me of other left coast liberals that write condescendingly about anyone that dare disagree with them. I also find that his Kool-aid a bit harder to swallow concerning anything Apple. No matter how egregiously or arrogantly Apple behaves, Dan is the first to step to their defense. At this point I wonder if he is even capable of writing an article criticizing Apple on their mistakes or his suggestions.

[Lack of experience in the entrenched trash politics of both parties is an asset, but Obama's lack of "washington experience" is combined with is JD (basically a PhD in Law), and his efforts at building things as a "community organizer." Palin has a BA in Journalism that she spend a lot of years getting here and there, her lack of "washington experience" is only assisted by her small town political squabbling, firing librarians who won't ban books for her, hiring friends in place of competent people, and having her oil man husband draft Alaska's budget rather that working with legislators. So yes, there is some difference here. Both McCain and Biden are career politicians.

Anyone who suggests they were leaning toward Hillary and are now voting for McCain is a joke. Do you vote on hair styles? That's like liking a football team because it has the most white players. Reeks of bs propaganda.

You conveniently group me "left coast liberals that write condescendingly about anyone that dare disagree with them," but the only arrogance I'm seeing in comments comes from people who are emotionally offended that I express a viewpoint they disagree with, and then condescendingly tell me I'm not allowed to write it.

As for disagreeing with Apple: I don't have a 50/50 word quota to fill on good Apple/ bad Apple stories, so I have the freedom to write about whatever I care about. I frequently write unflattering portrayals of Apple when realism calls for it, I just don't try to cater to the Diggtard crowd in baiting people with overblown nonsense. Given Apple's track record, anyone who does not primarily write favorably about the company when talking about its accomplishments and products is clearly biased against it. Even Thurrott and Joe Cox (?) and the rest of the Apple haters can't think of much bad to say about the company without looking silly, and its their job.

If you want to continue to try to make broad generalizations about what you think are my political views and biases, maybe you can start up your own hater blog like John Welch and go nuts in your own vacuum rather than making me waste my time answering your predictable comments about how little respect you have for me. ]

101 balrob { 09.16.08 at 11:14 pm }

I like the Mac commentary, and thanks for it Dan- since the topic of today is politics, here’s my 2c.

I am not American and will not be voting, but I do live in America – and watch and listen to the debates with interest.

As someone who has had the privilege of living and working in 4 countries, I can say that the above political debate could easily be mistaken for one from many other countries – especially comments about tax, and socialism, and lying, and government spending etc etc. These are universal themes.

However, I haven’t seen Creationism in political debate in other countries. It seems ironic that although the constitution separates church from state (which was wise ahead of it’s time) the US political process is filled with references to God (and God’s will, and God bless America, and in God we trust etc) and praying and creationism etc. You would think that there would be a way to insist that members of government be elected based on their stated goals & policies (tempered by past behaviors of course) and that any reference to God should rule them out of contention – since if one candidate mentions God, then they will all feel they have to otherwise religious groups might not vote for them – and then there is no longer a separation between church & state … just a thought.
If there is a God – would it not be the same God for all people on earth. Why would God bless you in particular and not everyone else ? Don’t worry – many countries have fallen into this trap with their “God bless [insert your country here]” requests. It seems to me that unless you are saying “God bless all men”, you are effectively asking for God to prefer you to everyone else …

“Socialism” seems to brought up quite a bit too – everywhere in the world. Many, mostly liberal/democratic/labour governments are accused of it. Pure Socialism seems to be the name for the extreme form of a philosophy – which I dare say that only a few nut jobs would espouse. However, less extreme forms exist in every government – it’s just a matter of degree. Even the US is “socialist” to a certain degree (and most people are happy with it, it seems to me). Example: State governments provide free education up to the age of about 18. They collect taxes, and use it to build schools, hire teachers, create a curriculum etc. Is this not a form socialism ? Private schools exist too – but Public Schools ensure that basic education is guaranteed to all (well, that’s the theory) – is this not good (especially given that you always have the choice of private)?. What about roading, water supply & sewerage – once again paid for and owned by “everyone”. Medicare & Medicaid – are social back stops, so another piece of socialsim. It’s funny that no one says Socialist schooling, they say Public Schools – where-as any suggestion that the Govt get involved in providing healthcare is called Socialism.
So, it seems to me that if the degree of socialism is put on a scale from 1 to 10, and the US is (for example) a 4 – then the political debate is about whether it will move between 3.5 and 4.5. Collecting a bit more, or a bit less tax is the debate of every election but doesn’t result in significantly more socialism.

Change is neither good or bad, but it is essential … and inevitable. Making it a campaign slogan is kind of reflective of the how politicians are forced to address the lowest common denominator. It says nothing, but people scream and clap. How sad.

102 GwMac { 09.17.08 at 2:39 am }


Just a few points in rebuttal. First a J.D. is far from a PhD in law, I should know since I have a law degree. A PhD. requires many additional years of classes as well as a dissertation. A law degree is more like a Masters degree regardless of the “Doctor” in the degree. That is irrelevant however since you are comparing Palin’s (VP candidate ) educational credentials against Obama’s (presidential candidate). Whether you despise McCain or not, surely you would agree he is at least qualified regardless of what you think about Gov. Palin.

Biden is certainly far from perfect. Over the past 20 years, MBNA has been Biden’s single largest contributor. Biden’s son Hunter was hired out of law school by MBNA and later worked as a lobbyist for the company. He also supported he 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy. Bank lobbyist is even have a expression, “Never leave Washington without him”

Why was my leaning towards Hillary a joke? I was only a very reluctant supporter because she was the least of the worst. Much like the decision I am left with between McCain and Obama. And your white football player analogy was really uncalled for as it would appear you are bringing racism into my decision. In any case, as I said before I will reserve my decision until after the debates, or did you miss that part?

I also never said you are not allowed to write your political views. In fact I clearly stated you are allowed to write whatever the muses inspire you to pen. I simply said that it was probably not a wise move since there is a good chance that you offended around 50% of your Mac readership that might support McCain. You are clearly a very intelligent person and I respect your right to express your views. I was just pointing out a likely repercussion of venturing into political discourse on a Mac blog.

In terms of my Apple comments, I just meant that I don’t think I have ever read an article where you disagreed with Apple. Granted I have not read all your articles, but you are certainly one of the very few that thought the crippled Apple TV was revolutionary. I also strongly disagree with your position on the podcast application as do most of your readers judging from the comments. The only reason I even said that is because like you I strongly support Apple and want them to succeed. Were you to focus your keen insight on their shortcomings, someone in Cupertino might even take notice. That is all I meant, it was not intended as a slight.

Although we all live in a vacuum to a certain degree, I like to think I am pretty open minded. But this article I am afraid was about as good an idea as Michael Jordan’s decision to try baseball after he retired.

103 RobertR { 09.17.08 at 4:26 am }

Daniel, I know this is your forum, but it’s your integrity, too — so why don’t you demonstrate some by not re-editing my post to strike out points you disagree with. Can your arguments stand on their own merits, or do you have to go back and edit mine?

Daniel: “Is the best you can do to associate Obama with ACORN complaints from two years ago…”

Ummm, my first link is from Sunday. And you want to go back eight years to 2000.

Daniel: “Guess why the Republicans don’t want middle class americans who lost their home from being able to vote?”

You’re showing your naiveté again. You associate Republicans with money and so you automatically blame them for banking problems. But the reality is quite a bit more complex. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac engaged in massive lobbying, and who do you think took more of their money — Republicans or Democrats? Obama or McCain?

Answer: Democrats collected 33% more at the trough than Republicans, and in under four years, Obama helped himself to SIX TIMES MORE questionable $$$ than John McCain did in 19 years.


If you’re wondering why Obama doesn’t rail against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — well, now you know.

Hope this helped…

104 glenngrafton { 09.19.08 at 2:56 pm }

With Daniel’s recent political bent – leaving the comfort and security of what he does so well with technology I came to think of a situation in our own family.

Every year we have a family reunion at a small Pennsylvania amusement park in central PA. I have gone to them since I was a kid. My dad started our company and is the poster child for what an entrepreneur is – mortgaged the house with 2 kids to start a business and is now financially secure after over 44 years of 6 day work weeks.

Anyway at these family reunions we would always end up talking with a cousin. He is a guy who studied art. He rose through academia and went on to be a college professor. I recall as a teenager my dad talking with my cousin at the reunions. They were on opposite polls both politically and philosophically. My dad the conservative, my cousin the typical liberal college professor with a Phd.

The interesting thing that happened was that my cousin decided to leave teaching . His artistic abilities had some serious commercial demand. He did illustrations for National Geographic, designed books, fabrics and his work was bringing top dollar.

My point is this (Daniel). Once he left the comfort of a tenured university position and went into business for himself I noticed a drastic change.

My cousin was starting to agree with my dad. He complained about the high tax rates. He complained about how much the government intruded into him trying to make a living.

The difference was that my cousin exchanged the idealistic viewpoints of what he could hold as a professor with the reality of what needed to be done to run a business and make a profit.

What does that have to do with this article? My point is that there is often a dis-connect with politicians, the media and academia with the difference between idealistic viewpoints and reality.

Case in point. A friend of mine from high school was working at the local weekly newspaper doing the layouts for the paper. He came to our weekly Mac user group meetings. His dad died. The ownership of the paper was divided between his dad and a couple other relatives.

In order to pay the estate taxes the newspaper was sold to a larger publisher. The paper I get every Wed. now is not the same. My friend now has moved on to a new job several years ago as a pilot for a news choper.

The family owned paper is done. The flavor of the news has changed and a local newspaper that had been in operation for over 100 years is being run from a store front next to a pizza parlor – much of the news from other areas.

Why is that? These folks paid their payroll taxes, the state sales taxes, the corporate income taxes and their own taxes. At the end of the day when my friends dad died our Federal Government was there with their hand held out wanting a portion of the value of the company my friends dad owned.

That my friend is the reality of the death tax. You pay taxes your whole life on everything you buy and earn. Once you die the Federal government wants to still take a portion of it.

McCain is in favor of minimiaing that – O’Bama is not.

It’s not as clear cut as you might think when you get down to the family and community level as outlined above where lives and long standing companies are forced to change and close.

You the one reading this and Danile may think you are unaffected by this. If at some point you start a business, are married and have kids and at the later stages of your life the reality hits that the Federal Government wants to get an additional “cut” of the value of what you spent your life creating you very well may have a different opnion.

I realize that a single person sitting in an apartment in the Bay Area can have an entirely different view point on things since they are not affected. Get married, have some kids, start a business, spend 30-40 years of your life creating a business and then talk to me about why the estate taxes are fine the way the democrats want to roll them back/

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