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Old 12-01-2011, 05:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: 15 Minutes with StorminNorman!

If you are admittedly so disheartened and cynical by politics and the government (which I think we all are,) why choose to "join the establishment"..?

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:32 PM   #27
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Default Re: 15 Minutes with StorminNorman!

What is your favorite landmark in DC and why?

Where is your favorite place to eat in DC?

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #28
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The greatest president of the 20th century?
The best of all time?
The worst of the 20th?
The worst of all time?

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #29
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Little of it is schtick. I will occasionally argue a point to an end to play devil advocate (this is a very rare occasion). I don't love attention, but I do love discourse and debate. It is nothing about ego, but the art of the argument. I maintain that Hype debate has sharpened my intellect more than the entirety of class work.

I never claimed Ron Paul would be the next President. I think the closest I have said was that a win in Iowa would change the landscape. I may have once said he had a chance (which I would stick to, though this would require the perception that he has a chance - which Iowa could provide - and for him to improve his ability to message - which I find far less likely). I did say that I thought Gary Johnson had a shot, but that was before Paul entered the race. I believe that Gary Johnson, though less attractive in Iowa, would have had a much better shot nationally (especially in Florida and New Hampshire) over Ron Paul. His campaign, however, is competely incompatable with a Paul presence. If Paul had not entered, at least half of Paul's 8-12% would have gone to him, which would have qualified him for debates and forced the media to at least acknowledge him. I think his record of experience is better than Paul's, and I think being a new face would have helped with the media. He does have far less charisma in debates, however, than he does speaking to a small audience, so that was an unexpected weakness.

But again, no, "current Norm" is not a schtick - it is the product of intellectual growth. In 2008 my chief interest was winning and losing elections. Watching 9/11 in 7th grade, my chief policy interest, when I decided to look at the issues, was foreign policy - with my views changing as the true nature of war and military adverturism played out in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan. I think you will see very little difference in my opinion on war, immigration, the Patriot Act, etc. (I am still slightly more hawkish than Paul in this area, as I am not morally opposed to waterbording a known Al Qaeda agent - but intellectually opposed due to its ineffectiveness. I am similarily not morally offended by the assassination of Al-Awlaki - though acknowledging the need for checks and balances I would have a chief military officer go through a military trial using the defense that Awlaki was an enemy combatant).

This changed, however, when the economy fell apart and no one in the mainstream had answers.

I have been accused of arrogance but it was actually an acknowledgement of my intellectual limits in the subject of economics that really changed my course. I had not, for years, felt remotely outgunned by anyone in the Political Forum on issues in my wheel house - but it was clear Paradoxium was leagues beyond me in economics. So I asked him for help. He pointed me to Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lessonwhich eventually moved me to Austrian Economics. The rest is history.

Now as far as the soap box and "fight the man bull****", it is what I genuinely believe. I think the world is heading towards crisis. And I don't mean 2008 crisis, but one of an unprecedented scale. I think both parties are dominated by faulty economic thinking (Keynesianism, Monetarism or, more typically, economic agnostisism). No one in Congress cares about Monetary Policy (Literally. My Committee deals with monetary policy and we are lucky if four members show up for a hearing on the subject.) Meanwhile Monetary Policy is driving the economy. We have the Fed waging a currency war against the world (causing inflation in China, while we have the gaul of accusing them for currency manipulation, and rising food prices across the world - resulting in Arab Spring). We have Geithner demonstrate a complete lack of tact in trying to dictate to other countries. It's all ****. Best yet? Both Obama's and Romney's economic advisers are Keynesians (google Greg Mankiw for Romney) while Newt has had so many positions that it is impossible to tell what he stands for. So we have no real chance of substantive change on that position.

And my position does not come from an Austrian cocoon. Outside of Paul's hearings, none of the economic experts that testify before my committee are Austrian (and my position requires me to attend every one). I have read books by Krugman and other non-Austrians. I daily read blogs from across the pantheon of economic perspective. My conclusions remain, and increasingly confirmed.

So think of it from my position, I am a 22 year old kid who is kept up all night with visions of a catastrophic collapse in civilization's economic structure who doesn't just think the government doesn't understand the problem but has first hand knowledge that they don't. And instead of discussing the real subjects that matter, the Political Forum is more concerned about rolling their eyes at a Rush Limbaugh quote or similar partisan dribble. Similarly I am working in DC, where anyone who is remotely associated with Ron Paul is laughed at behind their back (which is peculiar since I have many people come to me with economic questions...), so I have few places (outside of Ron Paul's staff) to vent to.

I have never denied being an *******, though I will deny the validity of several specific fractions. But my actions are the result of frustrations and a need to vent. They are genuine, not schtick.

But I also recognize that my behavior has served to deprive me of one source of venting, so I am trying to work on that. I hope I will eventually be readmitted to the Political Forum and hope to avoid infractions for a while after that. Hopefully that aspect of "current Norm" is temporary. But we shall see. I think if people look at my past posts, they will notice that my style hasn't really changed - simply the substance has.
Thank you for the honest and well stated answer.

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Raidan
What do you think about the Detroit Lions this year?
I think the Lions are as talented as I thought they were, but less discipline than I believed. I hate to say it, but Matt may have been right on that regard. Suh has demonstrated to not be nearly as mature as I believed him to be and that sets the team back. You need your biggest players to be leaders in the locker room. I think we are dangerous if we make the playoffs, but we have to tighten up and rally.
Do you think any of this falls at Jim Schwartz's feet? I read an interesting article (I think it was on Bleacher Report) after the stomping that basically said that a coach sets the culture of a team and when you have a coach cursing at refs, taunting opposing players from the sidelines, and picking fights with other coaches after the game, you set a culture that harbors and even indirectly encourages Suh's behavior. Do you agree with this?

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #30
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If you are admittedly so disheartened and cynical by politics and the government (which I think we all are,) why choose to "join the establishment"..?
Because I'm an optimist by nature.

My father is my hero and inspiration. The greatest gift he ever game me was the knowledge that he quite literally changed the world - demonstrating that it can be done. He was a major political force within the GOP. He was a leading archetict of the Southern Strategy (which was not race driven, as this article does a wonderful job of highlighting).

Though it can be easily forgotten with the rise of Geroge W. Bush neoconservativism, the Republican Party did adopt much of Goldwater's ideology after 1964. Goldwater did not win, and the next GOP President was the progressive Nixon, but Goldwater did produce an entire generation of Republican operatives that transformed the party, culimating in the election of Ronald Reagan. Now I am not going to defend Reagan as the beacon of small governance, but he was by far the least progressive President since Cooledge.

So I know politics can change. Revolution can happen. And, in America at least, revolution has historically happened by ballot. Further, economic crises, like the one I think we are going to face, has been the most frequent cause of political revolution (for better, like the Jeffersonian Revolution, or worse, like the Nazi take over of Germany).

The candidate today that enjoys the most enthusiastic support of people our age is Ron Paul. That fact alone gives me tremendous hope.

Further, my position allows me to interact with staffers. While most of them are beyond hope, there are a few I have pushed increasingly more libertarian, or at least Austrian. I have people coming to me for economic advise.

I also have a wonderful opportunity to do some wonderful things. Because of my position, I am friends with Ron Paul's staff. I have watched debates in drinking beer in Ron Paul's personal office. I have talked with Dr. Paul on several occasions. I am able to watch Ben Bernanke live. I have brushed shoudlers with Tim Geithner. I am able to sit in on meetings where Fed officials explain to Congressional staffers what they are doing. A couple of months ago I was in an actual blogger battle with a Treasury official on the consequences of economic regulation. I really don't mean to brag, but it is really cool stuff. I am extremely blessed.

The system is broken, but you don't fix it by pretending it doesn't exist. You fix it by rolling up your sleaves and doing the work. I plan on doing that.

And I will succeed.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:46 PM   #31
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Thank you for the honest and well stated answer.


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Do you think any of this falls at Jim Schwartz's feet? I read an interesting article (I think it was on Bleacher Report) after the stomping that basically said that a coach sets the culture of a team and when you have a coach cursing at refs, taunting opposing players from the sidelines, and picking fights with other coaches after the game, you set a culture that harbors and even indirectly encourages Suh's behavior. Do you agree with this?
I can't say he is blameless, and I think there is a lot of truth in that sentiment (I don't know if I read the same article, but I have heard similar arguments). I have been forced to think more and more about your saying that the team needs Jeff Fisher long before this was an issue. I think Detroit, today, would be a better team if he was the HC.

But Schwartz is young and has far less experience than Fisher does. He is going to grow, like Suh will. I think Schwartz sees the Lions a lot like I do, so the current problems are going to force him to readdress the team (just like it has me). But I also know Schwartz is a brilliant coach and a good man. His coaching tree is impecible. I think he will turn it around and be one of the best in the league.

Again, the Lions are much less mature than I thought they were. But just wait til they get grow up. It is going to be dangerous.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:11 PM   #32
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Marx
What is your favorite landmark in DC and why?
Library of Congress. It is truly beautiful, both from within and without. I also get to walk by it every day

Where is your favorite place to eat in DC?
Good question. I think I may go with this

I have had better food in other places, but there is something special about Bullfeathers. It's a DC institution and where I typically gather with friends. We hold "Libertarian Happy Hour" there about once a month. My father used to say that he got more work done at Bullfeathers than he ever did in his office. Plus I can get $3 dollar Shock Tops, which is a bargain in DC lol.


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The greatest president of the 20th century?
Probably Cooledge, though Reagan has an argument (which is not a full endorsement of either).

The best of all time?
Washington or Cleveland. I agree more with Cleveland, but Washington is such a magnificent figure and one of the most important individuals in human history. There is also a lot to like with Adams.

The worst of the 20th?
FDR. He has had a devastating impact on Western Civilization that we are only now really being forced to reckon with. The fact this man, who is guilty of robbing Americans of their gold and locking up thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans, is held in such high esteem is a sad commentary on the state of American intellectualism.

The worst of all time?
FDR could qualify, but I will go with Lincoln. He returned Hamiltonianism to American government, really started the practice of crony capitalism in government policy, destroyed the necessary principles of nullification and succession and destroyed the Constitution. In my eyes he was an American Caesar.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:22 PM   #33
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I can't say he is blameless, and I think there is a lot of truth in that sentiment (I don't know if I read the same article, but I have heard similar arguments). I have been forced to think more and more about your saying that the team needs Jeff Fisher long before this was an issue. I think Detroit, today, would be a better team if he was the HC.

But Schwartz is young and has far less experience than Fisher does. He is going to grow, like Suh will. I think Schwartz sees the Lions a lot like I do, so the current problems are going to force him to readdress the team (just like it has me). But I also know Schwartz is a brilliant coach and a good man. His coaching tree is impecible. I think he will turn it around and be one of the best in the league.

Again, the Lions are much less mature than I thought they were. But just wait til they get grow up. It is going to be dangerous.
The thing is, I find that the longer a head coach is a head coach, their stronger qualities increase, but so do their more negative ones (look at Mike Shanahan). Plus, the whole notion of him growing maturity doesn't seem likely to me. This is a guy who spent ten years working as DC to one of the most disciplined coaches in the history of the game. Schwartz was basically his protege and number two. It's not like a Mike Tomlin who spent barely any time as a coordinator and was basically just thrown into the role. I can't see Schwartz gaining what he is missing.


I'm starting to think that Schwartz is a cautionary tale. Someone who could have been a really good head coach if he were more mature (like Josh McDaniels who also had an incredible pedigree). The Lions penalties have been beyond belief this season. The discipline on that team is next to none. I really think that if the Lions miss the playoffs/go one and done and a Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher is interested, they need to fire Schwartz and go with him. Would you agree?

On a side note, could you imagine how good this young team would be will Bill Cowher at the helm?

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:33 PM   #34
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The thing is, I find that the longer a head coach is a head coach, their stronger qualities increase, but so do their more negative ones (look at Mike Shanahan). Plus, the whole notion of him growing maturity doesn't seem likely to me. This is a guy who spent ten years working as DC to one of the most disciplined coaches in the history of the game. Schwartz was basically his protege and number two. It's not like a Mike Tomlin who spent barely any time as a coordinator and was basically just thrown into the role. I can't see Schwartz gaining what he is missing.

I'm starting to think that Schwartz is a cautionary tale. Someone who could have been a really good head coach if he were more mature (like Josh McDaniels who also had an incredible pedigree). The Lions penalties have been beyond belief this season. The discipline on that team is next to none. I really think that if the Lions miss the playoffs/go one and done and a Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher is interested, they need to fire Schwartz and go with him. Would you agree?
I don't. For one I don't think Schwartz himself is immature. I mean the Harbrawl wasn't his finest moment, but even Belicheck cusses out opposing players. Further I don't think the immaturity problem engulfs the entire line - just the defensive line. That has been the majority of the truly reckless penalties has come from. I blame that on the immaturity of Suh. He has to lead from his position.

We will know everything we need to know about Schwartz by how we end this season. The suspension of Suh and the way we lost the Packers is a critical moment. "Immaturity" has not cost us any game previously, it did on Thanksgiving. If the team responds and rallies to make the playoffs (or misses it just barely), I think Schwartz will retire with multiple rings.

If they don't, I don't think he is the future of this team.

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On a side note, could you imagine how good this young team would be will Bill Cowher at the helm?
It would be scary. The talent this team has is incredible.

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Old 12-01-2011, 11:04 PM   #35
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Have you or anyone you know been affected by the economic mess?

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Old 12-01-2011, 11:15 PM   #36
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While I understand that you dont have a crystal ball, in your estimation, when do you think that this potential economic collapse will hit its climax?

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:12 AM   #37
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Have you or anyone you know been affected by the economic mess?
It is interesting because I ended up living in two areas that were particularly impacted by the housing crisis in Panama City and Orlando. Panama City, for example, was listed by various sources as one of the hottest places for real estate in 2006-2007. I had friends whose parents became millionaires overnight by selling old beach property. Condos were being built without any real thought to tenants. There are still entire buildings empty. Even more projects were started but never completed.

As far as personal impact, I know several people that work in real estate that lost their jobs or had to take supplemental ones. I know a lot of people whose houses are now in foreclosure. My favorite teacher lost a ton of money in property. I know several people from high school that were the "rich kids" back in the day whose families are now not doing so well.

The BP spill actually was a huge boom for the Panama City area. We weren't terribly impacted by the oil, but tons and tons of people got tens of thousands of dollars for doing nothing but filing a claim. Of course most of the people spent it on cars and tvs and what not.

Then Orlando is a very interesting situation in itself. College education is in a bubble just like real estate is (student loans being unnaturally cheap and available due to government intervention into the market) and Orlando has one of the fastest growing school in the University of Central Florida. So you had two factors encouraging investment in housing. I had thought that the volume of housing needed to sustain a growing school had helped pad the Orlando area (or at least the area immediately around UCF), but while working for the Census I saw first hand that over half the houses I was assigned were vacant.

In 2009 I was living in a planned community which was designed to be a very nice family area, with parks and super markets and community events and all that. The community was built in 2006. It is now becoming an increasingly crime filled neighborhood as property values tanked.

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:27 AM   #38
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While I understand that you dont have a crystal ball, in your estimation, when do you think that this potential economic collapse will hit its climax?
It's difficult because there are things that can be done to kick the can down the road a bit (at the expense of making the bust all the more painful). An example would be if Germany allows the EU to print money.

There are a lot of different things in the air though. For example, China. They are in the middle of their own real estate bubble, they have been wrestling with inflation and their economy is slowing down. Most of their growth has not been from exports, but investment. Unfortunately their "investments" have been in the form of building cities that no one can afford to live in, or blowing up decent bridges just so they can hire people to build new ones. (Meanwhile their military spending has increased 500% over the past decade, which I would argue is more for jobs than a demonstration of their intentions to replace America as the World Police or preparing to be a military threat to the West.)

So you have Europe, whose banks are full of bad debt. The problem is only going to continue to spread, because all the countries have banks that own other countries debt. France will be the next great Eurozone nation that falls, but UK has it's own problems (outside of the Eurozone).



So you have chaos in Europe, who also happens to be China's purchaser of goods (which is one reason China has a vested interest in propping up the Euro). This would also set off warning in America. All of this serves to weaken Chinese exports which only further builds pressure on the Chinese economy.

And then there are other concerns, like Russia and China trying to knock off the US Dollar as global reserve currency.

Now time wise, it is difficult to predict. Is 5 years too broad a net? I think whoever wins the Presidency is going to regret it.

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #39
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If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:14 PM   #40
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If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
You? No.

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