Blake Snow

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Tagged U.S.

Where I stand on American politics

American politics are a turn off. So I don’t watch 24 hour news. But American politics are also important. Which is why I read candidate bios before casting my vote.

As an unaffiliated, independent, business-owning voter living in a conservative state, I typically vote 60% Republican and 40% Democrat in local, state, and federal elections.

To give you an idea of my presidential voting record, I didn’t vote in the 2000 election while living abroad and I didn’t vote in 2004, because I didn’t like either candidate.

President Obama was the first president I actually voted for. He did a good job, but since I like fresh blood and am pro business, I voted Romney in my next election, followed by Clinton as the lesser of two evils last time, and Jo Jorgensen this time (i.e. a vote for good is better than the lesser of two evils). So two no votes, two votes for democrats, one vote for republican, and one vote for libertarian at the federal level. My local and state election record skews slightly more Republican.

As the last fiscally conservative president that actually balanced the federal budget, I think Bill Clinton is the best president of my life time so far. I liked Reagan’s personality, but in hindsight I disliked his turning the former “conservative” party into a big spending, liberal one (i.e. I only like liberal parties so long as there is a conservative party to keep it in check, and vice versa). I didn’t have a strong opinion on the first President Bush. I thought the second President Bush was a well-meaning man surrounding by poor advisers, and I disliked his war on terror.

I like President Obama’s optimism and moderate approach to the presidency, but I disagreed with his signature policy of insuring people rather than improving their actual health. I liked that President Trump has saved me on taxes and how he renegotiated several international treaties. But I dislike his wall approach, his insulting attacks on people he disagrees with, and his total lack of diplomacy. I don’t believe a vote for Trump is a vote for a racist dictator that will ruin the world. But I don’t feel comfortable voting for him either.

As a federalist, I support the electoral college, even at the expense of the popular vote sometimes. I believe in checks and balances and would hate for any party to control both the presidency and both houses of congress. And I think ranked choice voting is the best way to improve the quality of politicians we elect.

Here’s where I stand on the biggest issues put forth by the country’s two largest parties: The Democrats and The Republicans: Continue reading…

Why face masks are encouraged in Asia but shunned in America

Courtesy Shutterstock

This is a fascinating report by Time on cultural truth, incomplete science, better than nothing protection, and the cost of social distancing. “People look at me funny because I don’t wear a mask,” Chan says. “But I think the only thing that’s laughable is everyone buying into this excessive fear. People are being led by emotion, not science.”

PS—I’m grateful for public health officials and infectious disease doctors. Like vaccines, I believe they have our best interests in mind. What I’m not comfortable with is a nuclear social distancing response in reaction to a serious but still not that deadly virus (aka the vast majority of those infected by coronavirus live). It’s unfair to trump out a “flatten the curve at all costs” approach to something that doesn’t deserve such a dramatic response. Just because we could “flatten the curve” of 61,000 flu deaths last year with nuclear social distancing doesn’t mean we should. That’s why people are upset, scared, and confused. We can’t agree on the price to pay!

10 largest American cities without a professional sports team

Long Beach, CA

I visited Austin and Tucson earlier this year and was surprised by their size and subsequent lack of professional sports, which hurts their notoriety and familiarity in an otherwise sports-crazed nation.

Meanwhile, Green Bay, Wisconsin—home of the well-known Packers—is the smallest city in America with a pro sports team (just 100,000 residents).

What other large cities might fly under the radar, then, due to a lack of professional sports?

This is what I found—the largest U.S. cities without a pro team: Continue reading…

Recent reading: The best things I’ve published elsewhere

Credit: MoDOG/Shutterstock

I’ve recently published a lot of interesting reports for commercial clients, but all were either ghostwritten or NDA’d, so I’m not at liberty to share them. I hope to share some upcoming public ones soon, however.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these—a couple stories for mainstream travel media and a couple involving my book.

Thanks for reading.

America exports a lot of planes, medicinal machines, computers, cars, and plastic

I’m a little late on this (gulp, nine months late), but I found it interesting. From the U.S. Census Bureau, via Suite 101:

  1. Civilian aircraft including parts … US$74.7 billion, up 1% from 2008 (7.1% of total US exports)
  2. Medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations … $46.1 billion, up 14.1% (4.4%)
  3. Semiconductors … $37.5 billion, down 26% (3.5%)
  4. Other industrial machines … $30.9 billion, down 19.1% (2.9%)
  5. Automotive parts and accessories … $30 billion, down 24.6% (2.8%)
  6. Telecommunications equipment … $28.7 billion, down 12.6% (2.7%)
  7. Passenger cars … $27.5 billion, down 44.5% (2.6%)
  8. Medicinal equipment … $26.9 billion, down 0.5% (2.5%)
  9. Electric apparatus … $26.1 billion, down 15.5% (2.5%)
  10. Plastic materials … $25.5 billion, down 19.3% (2.4%)
The biggest drop last year was in passenger cars, which went from being our third largest export in 2008 to our seventh. Ford is still awesome though.

See also: My new favorite commercial

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Regarding the U.S. financial crisis

I fear for the future value of my hard-earned dollar. I no longer trust the federal government with spending, nor do countries abroad. When that happens en masse, the dollar will crash.

Sadly, that’s the price we pay for electing big-government knuckleheads into office, and for letting the Federal Reserve buy 80 percent of AIG for $95 billion without a vote, even though U.S. taxpayers will have to pick up the tab.

Man, is our federal government broken (I trust state government so much more right now). When will they understand that “this insanity and the problems we face economically will only occur when we allow the economy to find its own equilibrium. We have to allow the market to endure a recession, we have to allow failure.” — Joe M.

For the sake of our country, at the least to make a statement, write in Ron Paul for president this November. It appears McBama will only continue the trend of frivolous spending and federal intervention.

See also: