The Conversation

Hipsters

Get Hip

Feb 4, 2013 3:17 PM PT

Earlier today I tweeted that "conservatism needs more fixie bike Portland hipsters who own boutique cupcake food trucks, and fewer Karl Roves." I wasn't being ironic (or meta-ironic).

Tweak their pretensions all you want, but nobody has a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, hard work, and the regulatory hurdles facing a small business owner like a Park Slope hair stylist. Or an Wicker Park tattoo artist. Or a San Francisco pedicab operator. Ignore the Obama sticker on their shop window, this is someone painfully familiar with day-to-day muggings inflicted by City Hall and the IRS. You might be surprised at how receptive they are to a message of smaller government - and just wait until they get their first Obamacare invoice.

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General

This Guy, Myself, Really Impressed Me with My Thoughts

Feb 4, 2013 2:46 PM PT

In response to myself, in Psychoanalyzing the Left:

 I thought this article I wrote was just great.  I began reading what I wrote as a skeptic but by the end I had me utterly convinced.  I fully exceeded my own high expectations of myself.  Just when I thought I couldn't get any better, I did.  I just completely took myself by surprise -- no easy accomplishment, either, as I'm a keen student of my own work with a nigh-encyclopedic knowledge about myself.

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Entertainment

The Democratization of Music Videos

Feb 4, 2013 2:19 PM PT

We can all stop making jokes about MTV not playing music videos anymore.

As my colleagues John Nolte and Christian Toto have been pointing out for a long time now, Internet streaming is eroding the corrupt business model of cable subscriptions, slowly but surely, when it comes to teleplay and film distribution. The same has been happening with music videos.

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Culture

Twitter Unmuzzles Terror Group

Feb 4, 2013 1:44 PM PT

In its ongoing effort (not) to keep its platform a safe and respectable forum, free from threats of violence, Twitter today allowed back Al Qaeda terror group al Shabaab.  The previous HSM Press account was suspended last week after posting tweets threatening to kill a French hostage, then later tweeting about having carried out that threat.

ABC News pointed out that the account's previous tweets clearly violated Twitter's published rules.

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Culture

New America vs. Old America at the Super Bowl

Feb 4, 2013 1:43 PM PT

Leave aside the theatrics of gyrating prostitute-lookalikes during halftime. The real contrast in American culture was in the commercials. It pitted an ad featuring Paul Harvey talking about American farmers against a Coke ad featuring glorification of leftists tagging private property.

The contrast is stunning. In one, we hear about the greatness of Americans -- the value of hard work and compassion, the value of commerce, of providing goods Americans need. In the other, we see the most superficial depiction of peaceful values -- graffiti on presumably privately-owned property. The old school commercial demonstrates why America was great; the new school demonstrates why America may not be great for long.

Politics

How to Train Your Candidate

Feb 4, 2013 12:22 PM PT

Over at The Daily Caller Matt Lewis writes:

So here’s my proposal: What if — in addition to insisting candidates sign pledges and pass other litmus tests — outside groups also mandated that before receiving financial support, a candidate must also attend campaign training?

This can make a huge difference. Candidates running for Congress in 1994 were greatly aided by training tapes and manuals sent out by Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC in the early 1990s. For four years, I worked at Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, which trains conservatives how to be more effective in the public policy process. They do tremendous work. They even have a TV studio where conservatives can practice debating and answering tough questions before going on TV.

To be sure, not every candidate will be open to this. Some don’t realize that political technology is philosophically neutral. Some mistakenly view selling conservative ideas as selling out. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Still, instead of making Republican primary campaigns more divisive and expensive, Rove and his team should first attempt to go this route. They should try to enlist other conservative outside groups to join in the effort. And even if these groups won’t join in on the effort, before targeting conservative candidates for defeat, the Conservative Victory Project should offer these candidates a chance to attend a training seminar.

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Politics

Anonymous Strikes Again, But Are Things Always as they Seem?

Feb 4, 2013 12:12 PM PT

The hacker collective Anonymous is in the news again today for leaking the credentials of 4,000 US bank executives.  Hackers claim that the leak, part of an ongoing operation they've dubbed "Operation Last Resort," is in retaliation for "overzealous prosecution" in the case of late internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz.

As ZDNet reports:

"A spreadsheet has been published on a .gov website allegedly containing login information and credentials, IP addresses, and contact information of American bank executives."

"If true, it could be that Anonymous has released banker information that could be connected to Federal Reserve computers, including contact information and cell phone numbers for U.S. bank Presidents, Vice Presidents, COO's Branch Managers, VP's and more."

"The website used in this attack belongs to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC). The page extension URL is titled, "oops-we-did-it-again.""

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