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Showing posts from November, 2011

Politics Without Context

Someone sent me a link to this video today. It purports to show Mitt Romney as a wild flip-flopper. Watch for yourself.


Is Romney really incapable of holding a single position on these issues?.. maybe, probably; but this video provides zero real evidence, because all of the clips have obviously been sliced and diced, cherry picked, and presented without any relevant context.

This is what is so offensive about politics. The folks who made this video (apparently the Democratic National Committee, as it turns out) know that there are people who will actually be persuaded by it. To me, that says that they believe either a) people have already made up their minds and just want to make themselves feel good about their decision or b) people are not independently-minded enough to think beyond these carefully selected clips.

I don't care for Romney, but I'm also not persuaded by this sort of video. Sadly, it's going to continue, because enough people are. It looks like it's alread…

Seasonal Scarcity

Earlier in the month when I was traveling in Ohio, I got to drink some of the first Great Lakes Christmas Ale of the season. I've always been intrigued by its popularity. Even though it's a seasonal beer and only sells for two months of the year, it's the second highest selling beer in GLBC's entire portfolio.
For a beer that popular, it must be good, right? I've always thought so; but I recently looked it up on Beer Advocate, and found that the reviews are not nearly as overwhelmingly positive as I might have expected.
(from The Cleveland Kid on Flickr)
The primary complaint appears to be that it's overly spiced. Beer fanatics, it seems, don't like a lot of "stuff" in their beer. I get that. It's much like a coffee fanatic who doesn't want sweeteners, dairy or other flavors distracting from the taste of the drink.
Even so, I do think the seasonal scarcity is what makes a beer like Christmas Ale so good. You really can only drink the stuff in…

A Change of Heart on Homeownership

Emily Badger has a though-provoking article over at The Atlantic Cities about the desire, even in today's market, to buy a home, rather than to rent. If there's one topic that I've had a major change of opinion since I started writing this blog, this would be it.
(fromImages_of_Money on Flickr)
Nearly three years ago I sat down and wrote a four-post series about why I thought owning a home was a rotten deal. Today, I feel nearly the opposite. What's changed in the meantime is the place where I live. I believe that place, even at a subconscious level, is a major driver in opinion on this topic, all else equal.
To understand further, it's important to recognize the difference between the place I was living then (Cleveland) and the place that I'm living now (Washington DC). These are two wildly different housing markets, both on the rental and the sales side. Buying in one has benefits that don't exist in the other. Renting in one has benefits that don't exis…