Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
The test doesn’t seem to be working properly. From the comments:
I’m laughing so hard because I got conservative when I am in fact quite liberal.
I got liberal and I’m definitely conservative haha
This is hilarious because it’s the most false thing I’ve read all day.
Me? I got…
You got: Liberal
You are all about progress and reform. You appreciate respect when it comes to matters of personal beliefs and actions. Above all you are about liberty, and you feel it should be both nurtured and protected.
The correct answer would have been, of course, “absolutely, positively middle-of-the-road.”
That is, unless we’re going to use the word “conservative” to describe ideas that are middle of the road. Which we do. So to reconcile that, we go back to what I had to say about the modern usage of these terms, which is the most sensible thing anybody’s had to say about them anywhere…
What exactly does conservatism seek to conserve? Civilization, the blessings that come from having it, and the definitions that make civilization possible. From what does liberalism seek to liberate us? Those things — starting with the definitions.
Where did the test go wrong? Why is it so inaccurate? Again, to the comments…
Libtards set this thing up.
Yeah, that’s probably it. They let liberals design the test, when the right thing to do would’ve been to purge any liberals from the ranks of the designers before the designing started. I had something to say about that, too, lately…
Liberals have a habit of defining liberalism according to what their opponents believe, and if there is any brand of ignorance on the planet more pervasive and eminent than any other, it is the ignorance liberals have about what motivates their opposition. They don’t have a clue as to what motivates conservatives. And they’re proud of not having a clue. So we shouldn’t believe what liberals have to say about what liberalism is. They don’t know a great deal about that either.
They don’t decide well, and that’s why they don’t govern well. They can’t govern at all, really. When you put them in the position of governing, what you get is Detroit. That’s what this test seems to have become, a little-Detroit.
Going to try to be more helpful to Mrs. Freeberg in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, doing my research…
Did you notice the knife block?
Soon it will be time for us to gather, and collectively meditate on the gifts we have, both material and non. And, to set aside some provisions for those less well off, through no doing of their own.
And then there are douchenozzles like this guy…
Patton Chambers may be the only college student who actively blogs about his underwear and ingrown toenails—all the while being homeless.
A senior at Auburn University, Chambers decided to forgo living in his apartment in order to experience the “homeless” lifestyle for the remainder of his college career. According to the 23-year-old, without the stress of working, homelessness has been the best decision he could have made.
“What could I do that would eliminate having to work, would open up big opportunities, and be a really fun, interesting experience for me?” Chambers asked Campus Reform in an interview last week. The physical education major had just finished a run at the campus recreation center and was headed to class.
For Chambers, the decision to become homeless wasn’t necessarily a financial one — although he says he appreciates no longer being burdened by rent — but more of a personal experiment. When Chambers lived in his apartment, he rarely left. He says he is too “awkward” for college parties and didn’t do much dating before he gave up his permanent residency.
So Chambers wanted to “start fresh.” He wanted to leave his comfort zone and do things he’s never done before. And he also wanted to quit his job in the fast food industry.
“One of the reasons [to become homeless] was to get out of working,” Chambers told Campus Reform. “It was just stressful night after stressful night, and anytime I’m getting any kind of unnecessary stress put upon me, it’s total bull crap, and I don’t feel the need to put myself through that because it’s not necessary because if I don’t need stress, why am I having stress?”
“And that’s the big thing,” he said. “All I was really working for was money to pay for rent. Honestly, I would rather be homeless and not have to work. That would be a better life.”
Via Young Conservatives, which happens to mention:
Chambers isn’t truly homeless like the folks who have lost everything. He has health insurance, an iPhone, an inheritance from his now deceased grandfather, and money left over from his previous job.
He isn’t choosing to live this way in order to draw attention to some great and noble cause, but simply because work was too stressful for him. But there’s no need to worry, because the out of touch with reality college student doesn’t believe in welfare and refuses hand outs. At least he has that going for him, right?
To put the icing on the cake, Chambers is not only allergic to work, he’s also terribly misinformed about politics and current events and doesn’t vote. As if this country needed another one of “those” people.
Ah, but you can’t say he’s completely disengaged, can you. He certainly does have something to say. It’s the saddest single statement in this entire little story, isn’t it? “And that’s the big thing”: Avoiding the “stress” of actually doing stuff.
Give him credit. He’s got a lot of company here. And there is some value in one from among them doing the “experiment,” and blogging away, about how it leads to…
It definitely wasn’t the setup I was expecting, it was a little too revealing to the drive thru cars and it was only one tiny dumpster that didn’t have too much trash in it. I dug around and actually found a lot of cups and fry boxes that hadn’t had the pieces peeled off yet, but I didn’t get one free food game piece which sucked. You can see all the pieces that I laid across the dumpster, but if they ain’t free food I don’t want them. I’ll be back tonight probably to search for more, but so far it’s been a huge bust.
Your parents must be so proud.
So I can see some productive conversations coming of this, hopefully around the Thanksgiving table. Like: Why do those of us who took time out of our days, and put the food on the table, do such a thing when it can offer us a little bit of unnecessary stress at times? Why bother? We aren’t going to get credit for it, in the end. We’re certainly not expecting it, we don’t think of ourselves that way. Actually, those of us who do not say grace at meals, will allow ourselves a holiday exception in order to properly observe the spirit of the occasion: Without God’s help, it would not have been possible. Oh, some do not believe? Well then, the thought for the day would be one of, sometimes fortune is good and sometimes it isn’t, let us appreciate it when it is. The point to it all is that our nourishment, materially and spiritually, begins at the confluence of the good fortune and the hard work, but we should appreciate the good fortune, although entirely under our control, is but the first step in the journey toward the prize. It isn’t enough all by itself.
But then there’s this: We do not want our entire lives, and any purpose behind those lives, to boil down to something like “I didn’t get one free food game piece which sucked…if they ain’t free food I don’t want them…so far it’s been a huge bust.” Young Master Chambers has time to reform his thinking, and I have faith it will happen, because sooner or later we start to think about what we want carved on our tombstones. I doubt anyone wants that carved on their tombstone. “Here lies Patton Chambers. He’ll be back tonight probably to search for more, but so far it’s been a huge bust.”
I look at people like him, and I have a tough time seeing someone who’s really that different. I see a sort of kinship with them. Our common ground is our exposure to the tragedy of futility: We all try and try, sometimes we find out our best isn’t good enough. The difference is the response. Aesop is said to have written a fable about a fox and sour grapes. With Patton Chambers, and others like him, I think that’s what’s happening: I tried and tried, I got nothing for it but a bunch of stress, so my new mission in life is to stop doing that because any goal beyond that must not have been worth it. What should have happened, what would have happened with normal people, would have to begin with an acknowledgment that there is something worthwhile outside of the current experience. To attain the goal, it has become necessary for us to embiggen the periphery of what we have experienced to date.
That is the thought that initiates all learning; it is impossible to get the learning done — events of whack-upside-the-head serendipity notwithstanding — without having such a thought. Which raises a question: What is Patton Chambers, who is evidently lacking the ability to form this foundational thought for whatever reason, doing in college?
Gerard’s post made me do some thinking. This is why he’s happier than I am; things that bring him glee, furrow my brow and get me thinking hard. And yet at the end of it, between the two of us he’s the one who’s gained more insight and figured out more stuff. Somewhere in there lies a lesson.
Anyway, I was trying to recall what the timeline was between Election Day and this Gruber video, the one where the architect of ObamaCare brags about having sold it to a bunch of stupid American voters…
4) Who keeps finding all these clips?
Rich Weinstein, a forty-something investment advisor whose insurance policy was canceled under Obamacare, has surfaced the last three videos. Dave Weigel has written a great profile of him, including this part where Weinstein describes how he got started:
“When Obama said ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period’-frankly, I believed him,” says Weinstein. “He very often speaks with qualifiers. When he said ‘period,’ there were no qualifiers. You can understand that when I lost my own plan, and the replacement cost twice as much, I wasn’t happy.”
So Weinstein, new plan in hand, started watching the news. “These people were showing up on the shows, calling themselves architects of the law,” he recalls. “I saw David Cutler, Zeke Emanuel, Jonathan Gruber, people like that. I wondered if these guys had some type of paper trail. So I looked into what Dr. Cutler had said and written, and it was generally all about cost control. After I finished with Cutler, I went to Dr. Gruber. I assume I went through every video, every radio interview, every podcast. Every everything.”
Half a question answered, a whole new one created. Because in the meantime, I also went here where I came to be aware of something Congressman Trey Gowdy said, that sounded like something I might have said: “Comprehensive” is Latin for — based on our recent past experiences — “full of bad stuff.”
Yeah, don’t take that too seriously, it’s a joke. As well as an observation. On the way to that, though, he mentioned something else that got me thinking, because this is a point that has not too often been explored: Prof. Jonathan Gruber, and friends, really didn’t fool anybody. Unless you count democrat voters, which must have been the stupid people to whom the professor was referring in the infamous video clip. Republicans didn’t vote for this boondoggle.
And yet — this is the point I’d like to stress, it’s eluded our notice for far too long — Gruber & crew feel pretty doggone good about themselves. It’s as if they decided ahead of time they’re going to fool everybody because they’re really smart and stuff, awarded themselves the “really smart and stuff” trophy, and neglected to hang around long enough to see if they really fooled anyone. It’s not just him, and it’s not just them. You see it all around. Why, as recently as yesterday some liberals commented at this blog right here (which nobody reads, anyway),
You seem to be responding to our previous comment, and seem to be largely in agreement. The “Greatest Generation” accomplished great things, including defeating fascism in Europe and Asia.
My own opinion is that yes, Rich Fader does seem to be responding to their previous comment. But, not wanting to speak for him, but I’d characterize it as premature to conclude he’s in agreement. With…
The Greatest Generation was largely liberal. They stuck together after the debacle of the 1929 market crash, persevered and rebuilt the U.S. economy during the Great Depression, defeated fascism in Europe and Asia, constructed the superhighway system, reformed civil rights, and landed a man on the moon. But each of these accomplishments had the seed of its own destruction. Each generation has to remake the world afresh.
What is liberalism, anyway? The question has been debated and debated around here, and other places too. No, you can’t just go look it up in a dictionary and believe the “experts.” It’s an impossible question to answer until such time as one establishes the level at which one is attempting to define the word. Are we talking about achievement, or effort? Are we talking about political ideology, value systems, or just base human impulses?
If we do consult the experts, are we going to be careful to purge their ranks of any liberals before we put our faith in them? We should. Liberals have a habit of defining liberalism according to what their opponents believe, and if there is any brand of ignorance on the planet more pervasive and eminent than any other, it is the ignorance liberals have about what motivates their opposition. They don’t have a clue as to what motivates conservatives. And they’re proud of not having a clue. So we shouldn’t believe what liberals have to say about what liberalism is. They don’t know a great deal about that either.
Liberalism, as we know it today, is the culmination of many evolutionary phases. The most recent significant one is the Bush v. Gore election, in which they feel their guy got unfairly trounced, and this made them bitter and determined to get their revenge. They’ve been getting it ever since. The next most recent one before that was the aftermath of the Red Scare, in which they successfully rewrote history to make it look like the whole thing was all-about-nothing, the United States didn’t have any genuine enemies, and the only thing that happened of note was that Sen. Joseph McCarthy “ruined lives.” In fact, what happened was that the liberal left got back a result on its test — liberals think a lot like conservatives when they’re trying to recruit, and to win elections, it seems those are the only times they require tests — and verified that it was within their power to write mythology about recent events, and sell the mythology as if it were true. You see up above with this business about liberals landing a man on the moon, a good example of that.
That concluded a very long and tortured chapter in American history, in which the “Progressives” tried to sell the country on the Eugenics Movement. With the history scrub that’s gone on since then, you may not have heard about it. After the whole business with World War II was over, it became clear to everyone that this wasn’t going to sell well because the public was too aware of Hitler’s Final Solution; the public knew too much. They understood the connection between the noble intentions, and the ultimate ugly consequences they’d just seen.
The Eugenics movement, itself, was a natural consequence of the industrial age. It inspired all this wishful thinking in people who like to think wishfully, more than they like to work: Levers, on a control panel, controlling big, mighty things, things too large for a man to move without such a lever. What if we could make all men, and women and children too for that matter, into the big mighty thing, and control it with a lever? George F. Will touched on this a few years ago with that piece I linked, “Why Liberals Love Trains”:
Forever seeking Archimedean levers for prying the world in directions they prefer, progressives say they embrace high-speed rail for many reasons—to improve the climate, increase competitiveness, enhance national security, reduce congestion, and rationalize land use. The length of the list of reasons, and the flimsiness of each, points to this conclusion: the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.
Here we see what liberalism truly is: It is a desire to control the work, as opposed to doing the work. Jonathan Gruber, the wreckage he has heaped upon our health care system and our economy aside, is only an emblem of it. But he’s a very good emblem of it. He fancies himself to be so smart that it’s his place to say how we should do our work, and to buy the health care services and products that we need. But he has no way of proving, even to himself, that he really is that smart. This doesn’t seem to bother him in the slightest, so one must conclude that he has no wish to do the proving. He just skips right past the proof stage, and is ready to pop the cork on the champagne and celebrate how smart he is. Again, he’s not alone; it isn’t just him.
And we know how endearing this is to everybody else, by the shellacking the democrats just took two weeks ago before the “stupidity of the American voter” video came out. One has to wonder how bad it would have been if the video came to light, let’s say, a month or two weeks earlier.
Before the Eugenics movement, I’d say, the next most recent evolutionary phase — and I could be missing something here, there’s more than a century — would be the storming of the Bastille in France, and the Red Scare that followed. That, from my reading of history, was the final reaction to a gradual acceleration of communication. There had been “revolutions” before that, but not of the same form or possessing the same characteristics. The French Revolution was the birth of a new age, just as the American Revolution was.
Before that, liberalism was nothing but a base human impulse: Envy. With the primitive communication of a purely agricultural society, lacking effect means of mass communication, the envy was localized and not centralized. A father might be envious of his son for being able to do something he couldn’t do; mothers might have envied their daughters-in-law, brothers might have been envious of brothers. Once people could communicate with each other on a large scale, and fuse the envy together with sloth, that was the birth of liberalism as we know it today. That was the first evolutionary stage, when people who like to monologue instead of doing things to help other people, realized the monologuing might actually win.
Who falls for this stuff? Not everybody; but, people have, and people still do. I have no time to find the relevant post right now, but one of my friends on the Hello Kitty of Blogging suggested a name for the suckers: “Grubes.”
So, this is going around, although perhaps not as much as I’d like.
As one who has actually dealt with regulators, as their regulations made contact with what was being regulated, I’ve wondered about this Weltanschauung. Very, very often. Those who labor under it and put their faith in it, seem to think regulators possess some sort of monopoly on either integrity, mental acuity, or knowledge of the subject matter. I’m not sure which. All three are highly questionable and never seem to be actually tested.
A great question for Mr. Axelrod, who seems to be trapped in fourth grade when it comes to dealing with uncomfortable situations on the recess playground.
As one who worked hard to make ACA and its benefits clear, let me say: if you looked up "stupid" in dictionary, you'd find Gruber's picture.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 16, 2014
Why was @davidaxelrod inviting the definition of stupid to meet with Obama on healthcare?
— S.M (@redsteeze) November 16, 2014
Sarah Palin was quoted, somewhat less than accurately, here. Nevertheless: That’s a good term.
The great Sarah Palin once noted that there are two types of feminist. There are the “Annie Oakley feminists” who are accomplished, skilled, and strong and there are the “faculty lounge feminists” who have nothing better to do but to whine and complain about imagined slights. “#Shirtstorm” proves that there are not enough of the former and far too many of the latter.
What she actually said was:
For too long, when people heard the word “feminist,” they thought of the faculty lounge at some East Coast women’s college, right. And no offense to them: They have their opinions and their voice, and God bless them. That’s great. But that’s not the only voice of women in America.
I’d like to remind people of another feminist tradition — kind of a Western feminism…It’s influenced by the pioneering spirit of our foremothers who went in wagon trains across the wilderness and they settled in homesteads. And these were tough, independent pioneering mothers whose work was as valuable as any man’s on the frontier. And it’s no surprise that our Western states that gave women the vote, the right to vote, way before their East Coast sisters in a more genteel city, perhaps, got it right.
Faculty lounges are, when you get right down to it, ivory towers; and people in ivory towers tend not to be obsessed with uplifting people outside the ivory towers, making them equals. History offers some exceptions to that, but very few, and the tendency that emerges is that equal treatment is something that has to be seized, deliberately and stridently, by those who depend on getting it and aren’t getting it.
Faculty-loungers just aren’t in this crowd. They’re like “leaf blowers” of social change, moving the detritus from one location to another, and then back again. They get offended and butt-hurt, complain a bunch, get someone to apologize or delete something, and then go back and do it again. As we can see now, that’s about it.
The never-ending fight for equality. Which means we’re all equal, each and every one of us…the more equal, the better…
…it’s just that some of us should have the power to decide what words have & haven’t outlived their usefulness, and to cram those opinions down the throats of everybody else…and others of us shouldn’t decide any such thing. For equality!
Via American Digest.
And yes, for those of you wondering, you’re still not allowed to use that other word. Your betters have forbidden you from doing so, for your own good. For equality.
By way of Instapundit.
Yeah, I’m really not a fan of the whole “Get a load of how X dealt with Y, boy he really handed him his own butt cheeks on a plate” thing. To me, once you’re cheering on one side of a debate, you’re demonstrating there was a need to do that cheering for that side of the debate. Which is a tacit confession that maybe that side isn’t winning at all, so it’s kind of self-defeating.
Brad, I apologize in advance that I’m about to use bad words on your page, but I simply don’t have the time, nor the patience to deal with this fucking troglodyte imbecile in an amicable fashion.
Instead I’m going to mock him, berate him, insult him and his fundamental philosophy, maybe call him some more names, rejoice in my giant majority, maybe add a few more insults, then go to bed, in my giant house in the mountains with my hot athletic wife. I won’t bother to wait for Forest’s response, because it will consist of some poorly thought out sound bytes regurgitated from Mother Jones and a series of links, and I’d rather suck start a 12 gauge than listen to one more fucking doofus tonight.
First off, why won’t anybody answer his question about the gender gap?
Well, Forest, that would be because it is a stupid fucking question.
You’re like that crazy hobo on the subway demanding everyone justify the moon ferrets. But moon ferrets aren’t real, so why waste a bunch of time explaining that to a stinky hobo. But I’ll try, because I’m a retired accountant, and when people like you try to use stats it is like watching a monkey humping a football. So amusing, but kind of sad.
If you mean the pay gap that exists between women, anybody with an ounce of statistical sense knows that it is insignificant when it comes to actual equivalent jobs with equivalent requirements. Once you factor in that women are statistically more likely to take time away from their careers for child rearing and factor that in, the pay difference is statistically insignificant. Unless you work in the Obama White House, because fuck you is why.
Men also tend to work more in dangerous or physically demanding jobs by choice, which also pay better. Nobody forces them to go into those fields. Men also get more STEM degrees and women get more LAS degrees. STEM pays better. Nobody is forcing these men to do math, but men and women are different. If you don’t understand why my accounting degree is more valuable that your gender studies degree, you don’t understand basic econ 101 and supply and demand. So yes, I would like fries with that.
If you mean the gender gap in voting between the parties, just about every psychological study ever conducted by somebody not huffing paint understands that women tend to make decisions more emotionally and men tend to make them more logically. I see you reaching for you Sexist Card, but I said tend. This is not always the case, it is simply a trend. If you don’t like it or find that sexist, you can fuck off and die. Men and women are different. Most of us happen to like that. Some men think more emotionally (like pajama boy metrosexual hipster douchebags for example), and some women think more logically (like hot republican warrior babes), but a trend is a trend.
Now, the DNC being a bunch of sleazy shitwads, do manage to have some people working there who are excellent at stats and marketing. I’m assuming they hire evil republican capitalists for these positions because they show some basic competence. Regardless, these clever people understand the whole emotional reaction thing, and when your platform is mostly bullshit, they aim their marketing at a bunch of heart string tugging, sob story, feel good but do nothing, nonsense that appeals to the big hearted and mushy headed voter. Why yes, I don’t want old people to starve and free health care for everyone! Yay!
As for what have conservatives done for women?
Deal with it, motherfucker.
You are pathetic at debating. At some point in time you discovered that if you just post enough bullshit, non-stop, you will win by attrition because most people simply do not give a fuck enough to waste their time debating what is basically a fleshy spambot. You’re so bad at this that you even annoy the shit out of the people you might have convinced. If you had an iota of likability, you might have swayed somebody, but you’re so incredibly shitty at this that even the moderates would rather hang out with Harry Reid, and they’re pretty sure he’s a pedophile.
You do not realize that arguing on the internet is a spectator sport. Nobody ever sways the decided, you fool! The goal is to convince the undecided. And on that count, Amy the Sign Language Gorilla makes a better spokesman than you.
You are basically a Speak and Spell, and instead of when pulling the string you get “THE COW GOES MOO” you get “LINK TO HUFFPO” or “WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER MY QUESTION”. Only the Speak and Spell has a use. Children need to learn which animal says moo versus which one barks. You on the other hand, are completely fucking useless, and when it comes to entertainment, my money is on Fisher Price.
When you ask a question, and people answer it, a smart person would then use logic to pick that post apart for the edification of the onlookers and observers. But not you, you just pretend the question wasn’t answered, and keep asking it over and over again. That is the Damien Walter method of arguing, and usually occurs right before somebody with half a brain clubs you like a helpless baby seal.
Don’t feel bad. Compared to Damien, I’m letting you off easy.
I know these things. I’ve seen your kind, and know your methods, which is why rather than debate you, I simply insult you. Then everyone laughs at you. I’m amused. They are amused. We go about our fulfilling lives. You go home, yell at your five cats, then masturbate furiously into your shame pillow while watching episodes of Girls on HBO, before passing out in a puddle of Thunderbird.
Which is why I’m awesome, popular, and rich, and you are a loser with 2 followers. Because you suck, and everyone hates you.
So, at the end of the day, please continue with your link storms, and your tired, boring, hashed out Salon bullshit about the war on women. One of the reason the republicans now have 250 seats in congress is because morons like you have helped to annoy the living shit out of the average American to the point that if a man wearing a HOPE/CHANGE shirt was to step into the intersection in front of their car, they would literally mash the accelerator to the floor, just in the hopes that it was you.
Our many new republican senators thank you.
Now fuck off.
This does inspire a serious question about progressivism: If it is the way forward, and forward is where we are going, where we are destined to go, then how come we don’t just…go? Why is it that every few years the electorate figures out that it’s a cul de sac and we have no choice to retreat from it?
How come 1980? Why 1994? Why 2004, 2010, 2014?
The answer is in this, I think: “As for what have conservatives done for women? Built America. Deal with it, motherfucker.” Proggies haven’t built anything at all except occasional electoral victories, the Obama administration is proof of that. After getting elected, they are builders of what exactly? ObamaCare. Which they & their supporters are going to insist has been a success…there really isn’t anything more that needs to be said after that.
The details for those who really care about STEM…
We landed on a comet!
Well, we, being the European Space Agency, landed a small probe on comet 67P/Churyumox-Gerasimenko, seen on the right.
Wednesday, Nov. 12, was a history-making day for humans in space, and the culmination of a 10-year project that has already taught us much about our solar system.
Ten years ago, the European Space Agency launched the Rosetta spacecraft to intercept a comet named 67P/Churyumox-Gerasimenko. For the last decade it has approached, orbited, smelled, and studied the comet, taking thousands of mind-blowing images along the way.
During all this time it’s been carrying some very precious cargo.
On Nov. 12, Rosetta deployed that cargo — the Philae lander — on humanity’s mission to make physical contact with a comet for the first time ever.
The lander was scheduled to touch down on the comet at 10:35 am EST on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The landing was successful.
While we couldn’t see Philae land from Earth, live broadcasts of the control room were provided by ESA, NASA, and Slooh.
It took Philae 7 hours to descend to the comet’s surface — one of the most difficult maneuvers we’ve ever tried in space. For the scientists at the ESA and NASA — it was 7 hours of terror.
Philae’s 7-hour descent started at 9:03 GMT (4:03 am EST) until the end, when Philae landed, at around 16:00 GMT. These events actually took place about 27 minutes before we heard about them on Earth because comet 67P/Churyumox-Gerasimenko is roughly 300 million miles from us. ESA and Slooh have live broadcasts at different points during the event.
And for those who want to chase after silly side-issues — those who can, do, those who can’t, preen — there is a #shirtstorm about scientist Matt Taylor’s shirt. Yes that is a real hashtag, #shirtstorm. I was going to hold off on mentioning it until I could figure out who these women were on the shirt. I’ve given up on that for now.
Where can I get one like it?
All of humanity made history today by landing a spacecraft on a comet.
Unfortunately, many of the women following that development — and a few men, too — were made to feel pretty unwelcome in the space exploration sphere when one of the people leading the mission decided to show up to talk about it wearing a shirt covered in dozens of half-naked women.
Let me rephrase previous tweet: Sent a probe to a comet, millions are watching. Only a douchbag would wear this shirt pic.twitter.com/ObYBqTopgY
— Henry Legg (@PhysicsHenry) November 12, 2014
After Rosetta Project Scientist Matt Taylor wore the shirt while talking to reporters during a global livestream of the comet landing, people watching took to Twitter in frustration…
Interestingly, Taylor recently participated in a live online chat with the Wall Street Journal in which he was asked how he gained acceptance in such a respected field while sporting sleeve-length tattoos.
He responded, “The people I work with don’t judge me by my looks but only by the work I have done and can do. Simple.”
If only women could hope to someday be judged that way too.
Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of…if only Matt Taylor responded to the shirt-questions the way he responded to the tattoo question. It is, after all, a good response.
But when finally confronted on the #shirtstorm, he went exactly the other way. Even broke down crying. What a shame.
Mr. Taylor then made the bad situation worse. Instead of telling these progressive puritans to go pound silicon dioxide, he issued a sobbing public confession straight out of a Maoist show trial. This guy just dropped a dishwasher on an ice cube 300 million miles from home and he’s groveling to a coven of D-list bloggers?
Well, I’m not going to lower the beatdown on the guy for responding in a way that isn’t to my agenda-driven liking. That would be lowering myself to the level of the people beating up on him. Let them do that.
But at the same time: Getting in a good cry on television is about as bad a way to handle it as can possibly be imagined. The tattoo-answer was really the right one. People need to be asking, what can this guy do? He just landed a spacecraft on a freakin’ comet. That is where the attention should be directed, and if someone wants to direct it somewhere else then that says more about them than it does about the shirt.
In fact, an even better response would be something like: “Go land a spacecraft on a comet then come back to talk to me about my shirt.” That has the advantage of brevity. It has the disadvantage of providing some support for those who call the guy a douchebag…so…maybe not.
But it seems a lot of people are missing out on the point here. We have been culturally bludgeoned into thinking of this as: This guy just accomplished something amazing, but, he doesn’t have political correctness on his mind. The reality is: This guy just accomplished something amazing. He isn’t thinking about political correctness. That’s what it takes. Political correctness is for losers, that’s the lesson. It’s for people who find achievement just too boring, and want all the attention and adulation that comes with it without doing any of the work. It’s for people who just want to criticize, who see criticism as being on par with advancing mankind. It’s for people with deep issues. Who aren’t to be trusted with anything.
The best response of all, that really cuts to the heart of the matter, would not enjoy the advantage of brevity. It would explore the hypothetical of a female scientist wearing a shirt emblazoned with the images of half-naked men, and how controversial would we find that to be? Answer: Not at all. And why is there so much concern about wearing shirts that would welcome more women into STEM fields rather than driving them away? Because there’s a lot of history with men doing all the inventions and discoveries. Feminism has made it clear why we are supposed to think that is: Something to do with something unfair. Discrimination, old-boy’s-club, societal expectations, the burden of child rearing and housekeeping, etc.
But you know — maybe it’s because when you’re a man, seeking to distinguish yourself in a positive way and prove your worth, you don’t have the option open to you to throw a big hissy fit over someone’s else’s messaging or iconography. Oh sure there are chestless males who call themselves “feminists” and are joining the chorus to try and make something out of this. But, that doesn’t disturb the pattern, it rather reinforces it. They’re seeking to fit in, which isn’t the same as distinguishing themselves, it’s more like an opposite. There may be a phobia against actually doing something significant and influential, that’s behind all this. So there is a difference there. The men have been discovering and accomplishing, for centuries upon centuries, as this has been the only way they could distinguish themselves. They’ve been burdened with great expectations, as women have not been; and they’ve been unacquainted with these distractions. A female co-worker has a calendar in her work cubicle full of firemen and construction workers — who the hell cares? You get back to work. The women have been, and still are, burdened with the distractions, rather than with the expectations.
So my point is, the intended beneficiaries are not being helped. Think about the real epicenter of this latest little tempest: What is the subject of the complaint? It is the unguarded behavior of some rare specimen lately, someone who actually accomplished something, something that’s historically significant. Turns out, in these unguarded moments he doesn’t think about political correctness. At all. Well now…I guess we’re supposed to wait for someone to come along who can do something similar to that, but is more appropriately obsessed with the new protocols? How long of a wait is that? Maybe such a person will never come along; maybe it isn’t possible. And now you know the real reason why there’s a #shirtstorm: The purveyors of political correctness can’t afford for the lesson to get out, that people who actually accomplish things don’t think about political correctness.
A man proves his worth as a man by getting some stuff done. That is not to say there aren’t women who follow the same route. But they’re not the ones bitching about shirts.
Like I said. Those who can, do, and those who can’t, preen. About other people not being as good as they are. But they’re not the ones who land spacecrafts on comets.
And I think they know that, and that’s the real reason why they’re all bent out of shape about nothing.
Don’t bring it up around them. Or they’ll scold you. They haven’t got anything else going for them.
Also: Answering the question in the title of this post, you can go here. That particular item is no longer available, but there are others to be had. Thanks to “Matt” for the tip, in an off-line.
Geez, where’s the time go?
For those of you who are into stats, we’re looking at somewhere over a million hits, anything out of Sitemeter is inaccurate lately and unreliable anyway now. But it says 1,584,somethingsomethingsomething page views.
Number of posts is 7,842, number of comments is 24,718. WordPress dashboard is reporting 5,469 of the user accounts, which looks to me more like a housecleaning chore than any expression of genuine audience interest.
But anyway, The Blog That Nobody Reads is still here. Cheers!
Megyn Kelly discusses the ObamaCare architect who refused to appear on her show.
It seems the video doesn’t have embed code, maybe there’s a puzzle there I could solve if I had the extra few minutes right now which I don’t. So I just went & grabbed this one over here.
So if you’re one of these crazy, extremist, right-wing, whack-job, pot-bellied, gun-cleaning, beer-drinking middle-age straight white male bloggers who’s been telling anyone who’ll listen what a sham this whole thing was…congratulations. We were right all along.
This might be my favorite out of all the “vet appreciation” graphics…
…says all that needs to be said.
You see, Obama doesn’t want to self-correct, because in his mind he’s not done a thing wrong. He’s not just saying it’s not his fault, he really believes it’s not his fault.
In fact, nothing bad is his fault. And everything good is to his credit.
We all are familiar with the word “narcissism.” It is a trait. But it also can be much more than that—a character disorder, a personality disorder. That doesn’t just mean there’s something wrong with a person’s character or personality, either. It means there is something more basic that’s out of whack. It means there’s a leitmotif that runs through the entire personality, something that is usually either unchangeable or very very difficult to change.
For Obama this theme is narcissism, which appears to permeate everything he does.
The mystery is that it would be a mystery to anyone at this point. And yet it appears to be. Hope dies hard, and the idea that Obama can change dies hard as well.
[NOTE: The narcissism problem was so severe with Obama that many people noticed it almost from the start. I was one of them; this post of mine, written in the summer of 2008, was already remarking on it. But I was hardly alone.]
No you’re right, you weren’t alone, I was in there too.
I think President-Elect Barack Obama might have OCPD. He’s fulfilled my one-bullet litmus test, anyhow: People come to him with complaints, and he responds by telling ‘em what to do. If he doesn’t have OCPD, he sure is a bossy little snot.
Not as good as the line about “nothing bad is His fault, everything good is to His credit.” That one’s got me thinking, He’s been in the public eye on the national stage for about eight years now. Are there any exceptions to either one of these? I can’t think of any.
In order to really understand what happened this last Tuesday, it is necessary to explore conservatism and liberalism in the United States: What those terms used to mean, what they mean now, what people understand these terms to mean, why they think that, what changed.
Quoting me, as I explored this previously:
What exactly does conservatism seek to conserve? Civilization, the blessings that come from having it, and the definitions that make civilization possible. From what does liberalism seek to liberate us? Those things — starting with the definitions.
This, I daresay, makes everything click into place. It has become an argument about definitions, with conservatives insisting on crisp, strong, clear definitions, and liberals resisting definitions. Strong definitions lead to good understanding, and good understanding — as we have just seen — leads to democrats losing elections.
A common misconception is that America’s conservatives are conservative, as in, unwilling to change; and that its liberals are liberals, as in, open to change. You don’t have to look at how self-professed conservatives and liberals really behave, to see the problem here. As Ludwig von Mises observed clear back in the 1940′s,
The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.
When’s the last time liberals had a truly new idea about how an economy should work? Been awhile, hasn’t it? Something about how, the system is rigged to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and we need a revolution to really turn things around? There’s a century of dust on that one. These aren’t literal “liberals,” these are people stuck in a time warp, in the vicinity of 1917.
What makes them liberal, and what makes conservatives conservative, is this act of defining things. There is defining things with precision, such that the definitions mean something and can be applied objectively, or else they don’t and cannot be; then, there is defining things strictly, conservatively, versus defining things over-broadly so that the very definition suffers and dissipates, as a battleground general would want an enemy to suffer and dissipate — liberally. Some of the most important words we use are words that can be defined conservatively, or liberally. “Marriage” can be defined conservatively or liberally, as we argue back and forth about whether these specimens around a periphery can or should qualify as legitimate representatives of the term. “Citizen” can be interpreted conservatively or liberally. Prosperity, constitutional, representation, entitled, right, governing, freedom, liberty…all these words, and many more, which are so important to these descriptions we have in mind of what our constitutional republic should be doing and how it should be functioning. They can be applied conservatively or liberally.
At the end of it, it is the conservatives — and Christians — who are moderate, sensible, middle-of-the-road people. Is it also the conservatives — and Christians — who place their faith in the human capacity for learning. Here’s how that works: Imagine a situation in which a human with verified & verifiable skill, applies his talents within a system. Outside the system, he knows that what he does works, but within it he encounters failure. He tries again, and again. After a few rounds of this it is clear there is a problem, and the problem has something to do with the contact between this particular individual and that particular system. There are three possibilities to be considered in explaining what’s going on.
And the first two of those three are: The person is good and the system is messed up; and, the system is working fine, it is the person who has all the problems. Those are extremist views, located at opposite endpoints of a spectrum. Which is not to say they are necessarily wrong. Both are possible. Liberals, being extremist by nature, favor one of these two depending on what the situation is. If the person is a minority or an illegal alien and the system is our economy, then the entire problem is due to the system being prejudiced against the person’s class. Of course if the person is Sarah Palin and the system is American politics, with its left-leaning journalists flying up to Alaska to move next door to her and spy on her, then the second possibility explains everything and she is the problem. The same explanation applies when a conservative college professor can’t get tenure, or a climate scientist is ostracized by his peers for his failure to support the global warming credo. The system is impeccable, its standards unquestionable, the individual is simply failing to meet them.
Along comes the Christian conservative, to point out: Humans, as capable as they may be of doing good, are fundamentally flawed. We are all sons of Adam, who ate of the apple. The performer is a flawed human, and the system is a construct created by flawed humans. When they come into contact with one another, we should expect failure as a result. It is the sensible default premise. And, we should expect it a few times.
But this doesn’t mean the failure is everlasting, because humans have intellect and they are capable of good. God commanded Noah to load the Ark with animals, who are innocent, and with humans who are not so innocent. He did not say “Load it up with the animals and then get your worthless ass out of there because you’re part of what’s being rebooted away.” That means there is hope. That also means there is the burden of expectation.
And, mistakes will be made. By us. But, we’ll learn. Not evolve to some state of perfection, in which we always get it right the first time. That ship has sailed, we ate of the apple. We’ll just try to get better, succeed sometimes, fail other times, and hopefully eventually learn something. We must be capable of doing this or else we would not be here.
So this bad-performer, eventually, will use his intellect and start performing within the system, better. The two flawed things will learn to get along — if they want to get along. That is the third, centrist, most reasonable and most likely explanation for this early frustration and early failure.
Of course, for that to happen, this skilled but bad-performer is going to have to pay attention to what does & does not work, and make sensible decisions about it. Liberals aren’t capable of doing this, at least, not with liberalism; not so long as they remain liberals. Remember, they’ve been practicing the same economic model since at least 1917. There have been many opportunities since 1917 for them to learn that it isn’t working. It’s not that they’re lacking the ability to learn, the problem is that they aren’t using it. If they were using it then they wouldn’t be believing what they do believe, and they wouldn’t be liberals.
Republicans ran this year on very little of substance. Their brand ID is still very underwater with the American public. There is no program right now that the American public is clamoring for the Republicans to undertake with one exception: they hate what President Obama is doing and they want Republicans to stop it. Exit poll after exit poll last night showed that the single most important thing in the minds of the voters this year was the looming shadow of death Obama cast on all his Democrat allies.
If voters really wanted people who would work closely with Obama and other Democrats to “get things done,” they would have just voted for more Democrats. After all, virtually every elected Democrat has “worked with” Obama (in the sense of doing exactly everything he asked) for the last six solid years. Say what you want about the information level of the average voter, but absolutely no one was confused into thinking that they were replacing a Democrat with a Republican in the hopes that the Republican would be more friendly to the Democrat agenda.
The American People deserve some means by which they can send in a “stop” signal, if that is the signal they want to send…
…and they just sent it.
Image swiped from American Digest.
I see democrats and their apparatchiks are hard at work spreading a meme of “the clear message from the American People is that both sides need to work together.” Such a silly thing to say. I suppose there’s difficulty in the psychological layer somewhere, interpreting a “clear message” that you suck and you have to get the hell off the stage.
Now can we start up some real investigations into what went on with Lois Lerner’s e-mails and the IRS’ treatment of the Tea Party groups? Just look at the pattern…
2008: Obama fever!
2010: The democrats get a shellacking because of disenchantment with Obama’s policies.
2012: ?????? Mystery force gets Obama re-elected ?????
2014: The democrats get a shellacking…again.
It looks a lot more like a natural learning process, than a back-and-forth shaking of something, like a Shake Weight or a can of spray paint. At least, it looks like that without the aberration of 2012. Putting 2012 back in, it looks more like the Shake Weight exercise — but, the electorate doesn’t move that way. It hasn’t. When has it? EVER?
Shenanigans were goin’ down. It is almost a certainty. And even if it is not the case, the priority should be to get this checked. The government taking control over the process by which it receives its “consent of the governed,” is a grave scenario indeed, probably the shortest path to tyranny and enslavement available to us.
What really got defeated last night, exactly? It wasn’t about party labels. Republicans will wear out their welcome, in two years, or four, or six. Maybe twenty. But, it’ll happen. For now, the public is clearly disenchanted with something, and it isn’t political parties whose names begin with the letter “D”. It isn’t presidents with dark skin.
I think they’re tired of seeing their so-called “leaders” completely lose their shit when someone outside the beltway happens to make a buck. I think what the public voted in, was the idea that when the economy is on the mend, we’ll know it when people, REAL people, outside the political class, start to do well. When THEY are the ones who find themselves with more options, more power, more liberty, more influence over their own lives.
The people who got thrown out live on a sort of Opposite Planet. They think an economy is doing better when it is more heavily taxed. Even though the verb “tax” means “to make onerous and rigorous demands on” and the adjective “taxing” means “onerous, wearing” and “requiring a lot of effort/energy.” They monologue away about people who trespass into our country “work[ing] hard and follow[ing] the law” — right after the trespassers got done trespassing. They think human activity is endangering the planet and therefore we need to curb that human activity to ensure our continuing survival; and the first step toward doing that is to make the government much, much bigger. They think we’re more “free” and upholding the values enshrined in the Constitution, when we busy ourselves with throwing people in jail for observing their own religious beliefs.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, writing in USA Today, looks more deeply into the race-relations implications of that silly video. “Silly” is a charitable description; the whole problem with it is that it becomes a dysfunctional mess the minute a well-intentioned observer asks the seemingly innocent question, “So what is to be done about this?”
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the history of controlling minority men’s intersexual behavior in this country is closely intertwined with the history of lynching. Those who choose to get involved in this field need to be aware of that history, lest they unintentionally make things worse.
Certainly, based on this video, the call by some feminists to make “street harassment” illegal would have the effect of subjecting more minority males — already over-represented in the criminal justice system — to arrests, and to a criminal record that might haunt them for years in the employment market, producing more of what criminologists call the “disconnected.” The victims of this effect, ironically, would include the minority women and children who often depend on these men for support. People are beginning to appreciate the pernicious role of the drug war in this regard; why add to the problem?
Why? Because white women are more deserving of the coveted mantle of oppressed-privileged-victim than blacks and Latinos.
Also, women are so weak that they just can’t survive unless they’re made separate and above-it-all. From the Prospect.Org link:
I’ve lived in many different neighborhoods in New York and now live in D.C., where I regularly run along city streets, and I’ve heard the full range of talk from men. The fact of it — and the fact that being shouted at by men is not a possibility but a certainty — is inherently hostile and all seems designed, unconsciously or not, to make me feel not as though these men want to talk to me but that they have a right to.
From watching the video, one becomes aware of an uneasy truth: Too many people who see something wrong with some of the behavior see something wrong with all of it. This creates a problem in the definitions: If everything qualifies, then nothing does. Yes, saying “Hello” does cross the line. The activists won’t stop short of a new taboo, criminally enforced, that a man may not address a woman until she speaks first.
That is practically the definition of a caste system. And that’s the real issue here. Leftists, far from being all about equality, are all about castes. They’re all about special social privileges for identified classes. The real story here is that we have a “lefties feeding on their own” moment because, once again, they’re in conflict with their own kind about which privileged class should enjoy the most exalted privileges.
Daniel Okrent, a former New York Times ombudsman, writes that [Paul] Krugman has “the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing, and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.”
When the inevitable blowback arrives, Krugman is ready.
In his blog, he has referred to his intellectual adversaries – many of whom hold honors as great or greater than his own – as a “mendacious idiot,” “knave,” “poseur,” “whiner,” “troll,” “dope,” “fool” or “cockroach.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will — who sparred regularly with Krugman on ABC’s This Week — once noted, “If certainty were oil, Paul would be Saudi Arabia.”
Krugman, of course, is a highly educated guy with a trophy room full of awards. But in his blog he talks down to those who challenge his views, insisting they are not just in error but “too knavish, stupid or sociopathic to understand.”
You might see a disturbing trend here…
I myself had a beatdown to deliver to the whole “science” of economics, particularly the economists like Krugman who find something beneficial in the stewardship of the current presidential administration, in the e-mails:
Economics could very well be the most-abused among all the sciences. One could credibly argue it isn’t a science at all, since scientific findings are supposed to be reproducible and with economics, there is always some dizzying array of tiny variables, the precise combination of which could never be duplicated.
What does economics study, if not results in the aftermath of some event? If you start with economics, and strip away the behavior of the market — behavior, as in the purely scientific terminology, response to stimulus — is there anything legitimate left?
Given that, how could it not be fair to approach each professional studying economics, and ask him straight up: “Do you like Obama?” And if the answer is in the affirmative — okay, alright, that’s it. You’re fired. No reason to listen to you.
Fair’s fair, I should make note of this. The woman who is allegedly still married to our 42nd President, and may very well become our 45th, attempted to promulgate a very silly thing a little while ago, and I paid some attention to that…
Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs…they always say that…Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs…
Cornered on this, and realizing there was no way to put lipstick on the proverbial pig, she sought to clarify her remarks:
Here’s what Mrs. Clinton said Friday: “Don’t let anybody tell you that, uh, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”
And here’s what she said yesterday: “Let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out—not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”
So Mrs. Clinton thinks “Don’t let anybody tell you X” is shorthand for “X.” And they used to say she was a good secretary.
Silly me, here I was taking what she said at face value. Obviously she meant the opposite. I should’ve known.
“They didn’t expect it to destroy everything else…”
…and ironically, the one part of it they are unable to handle, is the part after which they are supposed to have been named. That thing where we all get together and contribute our interests and our preferences, where we all take part in deciding, the “democracy.” Commentator Robert Mitchell opines over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging:
The Democrats are unable to handle Civilization. They are tribals, and as such, the answers must come from the Chief. You have come up with an answer, but are not the Chief, so you must be challenging him, and must be destroyed, for the safety of the tribe, or you must become the Chief…
Pack animals, in other words. Wild dogs. Rats, maybe.
Blogger friend Phil contributed the following excerpt from the current issue of Imprimus, commentary from William Voegeli, Sr. Editor of Claremont Review of Books:
All conservatives are painfully aware that liberal activists and publicists have successfully weaponized compassion. “I am a liberal,” public radio host Garrison Keillor wrote in 2004, “and liberalism is the politics of kindness.” Last year President Obama said, “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. When I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, that captures it just about as much as anything. Kindness; empathy—that sense that I have a stake in your success; that I’m going to make sure, just because [my daughters] are doing well, that’s not enough — I want your kids to do well also.” Empathetic kindness is “what binds us together, and…how we’ve always moved forward, based on the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success.”
Well, if liberalism is the politics of kindness, it follows that its adversary, conservatism, is the politics of cruelty, greed, and callousness. Liberals have never been reluctant to connect those dots. In 1936 Franklin Roosevelt said, “Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” In 1984 the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, “Tip” O’Neill, called President Reagan an “evil” man “who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and the future generations…He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.” A 2013 Paul Krugman column accused conservatives of taking “positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.” They were, he wrote, “infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness…If you’re an American, and you’re down on your luck, these people don’t want to help; they want to give you an extra kick.”
Small-d democratic politics is Darwinian: Arguments and rhetoric that work — that impress voters and intimidate opponents—are used again and again. Those that prove ineffective are discarded. If conservatives had ever come up with a devastating, or even effective rebuttal to the accusation that they are heartless and mean-spirited: a) anyone could recite it by now; and, b) more importantly, liberals would have long ago stopped using rhetoric about liberal kindness versus conservative cruelty, for fear that the political risks of such language far outweighed any potential benefits. The fact that liberals are, if anything, increasingly disposed to frame the basic political choice before the nation in these terms suggests that conservatives have not presented an adequate response.
Can’t agree with that last part. I’ve seen too many liberals, as they watch their own arguments utterly and ultimately dismantled and ground into dust under the hard boot-heel of reality, double-down as opposed to retreating. Whether the refudiation fits on a bumper sticker or not, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it at all. Anyone can recite, by now, “no global warming in eighteen years.”
The problem is, I think, discussing a group of people as if it’s an individual. The criticism of conservatives therefore becomes a tautology; it’s always true, no matter what, and so it proves nothing but it can’t be credibly opposed either. Somewhere there’s a conservative who’s cold-hearted and cruel, isn’t there? At least just one?
“A democrat is a fella who’s so nice he’ll give you the shirt off someone else’s back.” Anyone can recite that, too. People did, once. And, this realization did keep democrats out of the halls of power. At least the Senate and the White House, about half the time. The difference between then and now is not that people have forgotten this, but that for the last few years the feeling has set in that there’s something right about this, that if the other guy has a shirt in the first place, he must have swiped it from some fourth party.
So where do we go from here? Voegeli continues:
Given that liberals are people who: 1) have built a welfare state that is now the biggest thing government does in America; and 2) want to regard themselves and be regarded by others as compassionate empathizers determined to alleviate suffering, it should follow that nothing would preoccupy them more than making sure the welfare state machine is functioning at maximum efficiency. When it isn’t, after all, the sacred mission of alleviating preventable suffering is inevitably degraded.
In fact, however, liberals do not seem all that concerned about whether the machine they’ve built, and want to keep expanding, is running well. For inflation-adjusted, per capita federal welfare state spending to increase by 254 percent from 1977 to 2013, without a correspondingly dramatic reduction in poverty, and for liberals to react to this phenomenon by taking the position that our welfare state’s only real defect is that it is insufficiently generous, rather than insufficiently effective, suggests a basic problem.
The basic problem is that liberals, far from representing the feelings of human compassion when the basics of life become rare luxuries, actually represent the opposite: The Weltanschauung that enshrouds humanity as a natural consequence of abundance. The feeling that the cupboards are going to be full for awhile, there are no natural predators, and a functional tethering to reality has become optional.
The thing that therefore has to be done is for each individual to demonstrate to the collective, his worthiness for receiving his due allocation from the common store. Don’t ostracize me; ostracize that other guy instead.
In this way and so many others, whether they’re consciously aware of it or not, they are the opposite of what they claim to be. As Ludwig Von Mises put it,
The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.
I saw a connection with the Maine nurse who’s defying the quarantine order, as I was listening to yet another anecdote of some small-em mom conspiring to score lots and lots of money, right before loading up a car with all the whelps and moving off somewhere. The litany has lost most or all of its shock value, along with its scare-factor and luster of tragedy; we’ve entered an era in which it has become tedious. “I do what I want, and you can’t tell me what to do.” It isn’t just the chicks, it’s dudes too. We’ve got a lot of people walking around among us who seem to have perceived there is some sort of Great Separation coming, a wedge about to be driven through & amongst us all, dividing those who are immune from being told what to do, from those who can & must constantly be told what to do. And they want to make sure they’re on the immune side of the wedge.
They’re causing a lot of damage, but they’re also causing a lot of conflict which they appear to be genuinely and sincerely convinced is the fault of someone else. And yet with their Weltanschauung in place, conflict with others is quite unavoidable: They wish to carry influence, well beyond the perimeter of their own affairs, but are upset over the prospect of being told what they can or cannot do; indeed, in many cases are spoiling for a fight over exactly this. What they seek is an impossible imbalance. They insist on power, up to and past the boundary at which they can screw up what someone else is trying to do. And yet they chafe at anything that feels like a limit, or accountability.
It is the imbalance that brings about the conflict. Either one of the wishes, by itself, is eminently reasonable. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone — that is the very essence of reason, the very keystone of civilization. Or power, but with checks and balances — our republic was founded on exactly that. It is the pairing that bridges the positive with the negative, with zero ohms of resistance, overloading the circuitry and without any fuses.
Then, they want to blame it on whoever is nearby. I’m sure that must look reasonable from their vantage point: If nobody was around to complain, everything would have been all wonderful and there would not have been any problems.
Update: Thinking about this some more, with regard to the political class, which (as noted above) seems to be going through the same “growing pains” as the commoner class. Except, of course, they’re capable of doing much more damage at one time. I suppose it is good that the commoner errors are connected with the elite errors: It shows that elections do have an effect, after all, they just aren’t filtering our imperfections out of the process. But then again, whoever said they were supposed to do that?
The crisis with the “You can’t tell me what to do” elites is that there’s very little appetite right now for judiciary review. I’m not talking about the Supreme Court sitting in judgment of the constitutionality of some executive or legislative action. That’s just a formality that applies the principle. I’m writing, more broadly, of someone speaking about whether or not someone else did what they were supposed to do. The crisis is that the implementers feel entitled to be the adjudicators.
It isn’t just the Executive Branch — although they are certainly a part of it, in fact, a great example of it. Is ObamaCare good? The implementers of ObamaCare want the final word. Is it constitutional? The judiciary got the final word, but only because it sided with the implementers, in a maneuver that was something of a throwback to the West Coast Hotel v. Parrish decision of 1937. Had they gone the other way, there would have been turmoil, just as there would have been three quarters of a century previous. In both cases, SCOTUS acted to avoid the turmoil, and in so doing both manifested and sustained the movement society is making.
It takes a certain testicular fortitude to perform under the eye of some adjudicating authority who is deciding on your performance according to a process kept truly independent from your desires. What seems to be happening at all echelons right now, high & low, is that we are losing that fortitude. Which is unfortunate. But then, our society is re-forming itself to accommodate that shortage in testicular fortitude, which is even more unfortunate: The adjudicators are gelding themselves to match the gelded state of the implementers. The implementers are demanding a monopoly on the ability to adjudicate themselves, and we/they are getting exactly that, no questions asked. Performance, as a direct consequence of this, is taking on the trajectory of a lawn dart, and at all levels.
But it is worse than unsatisfactory performance. This is unsatisfactory performance being cloaked as satisfactory, and it’s cloaked by an epidemic hallucination. The natural course of things would be, as I have written for years now, that if we unfasten ourselves from reality, we will start to lose opportunity AND security, and as our discomfort increases we will receive an incentive to reaffirm our deteriorated connection to reality. There could be a delay in that if we have become addicted to the deteriorated connection to reality in some way — and, this is one way in which we could become addicted, if nobody has the balls to perform and then ask someone sitting in judgment, “How did I do?”
So when’s the last time we saw someone do that, who wasn’t on some mind-numbing “reality” show like this? When is the last time we saw someone do that, whose “performance” had a real effect on somebody else? I can think of one thing: Restaurants. Really, really good restaurants. Maybe some good hotels. Even in those industries, though, the testicular fortitude is on the wane. It is a vanishing commodity, and you have to pay a premium price to make a claim on the minuscule and residual quantities that remain. That’s private sector; in the public sector, there’s none of it. It isn’t supposed to be that way.
A nice-looking lady with big boobs walking the streets of New York City…
Donate! Because this must be a real drag or something.
How much shock value should this really have, though. A densely-packed metropolitan area governed by liberals, has some loutish people in it. My goodness, I’m so surprised. Some of the behavior is over the top, like the guy walking briskly alongside for five minutes. Other guys are in hot water for merely acknowledging her presence.
Which raises two questions about the clip, here. First, what is the goal? I tend to wonder that, anyway, when someone asks me to donate. The tendency is heightened when the requester for donations calls it out as a problem that men are (politely) acknowledging a woman’s presence. What is this, “don’t speak to her unless she speaks to you”? Two classes of people? I’m not the first to wonder this about modern militant feminism and I won’t be the last.
The other question is about the thing the video is supposed to answer: What were the ten hours like? As the commentary on Hot Air put it,
To get two minutes of guys catcalling, they had to shoot ten hours of walking. It’s not likely that the other 9 hours 58 minutes contained a lot of really objectionable behavior since some of what made it into the video was fairly benign.
Hi, Feminists. If you are upset by misogyny, and women being used, take on the Democratic Party. But you won't.
— Free Ebolacare (@lheal) October 30, 2014
++snort++ No…they won’t. It isn’t about protecting women, it’s about electing, protecting, empowering and emboldening democrats. Bill Clinton proved that.
“In 2008 and 2012, we showed that Dr. Martin Luther King had it right,” Udall began, “which is that in America, at our best, we judge people by the content of their color…” he began, before acknowledging that he had messed up, and correcting it.
I’ll go way out on a limb and assume “2008 and 2012″ is referring to Our First Holy Emperor President Barack Obama. Which makes this doubly embarrassing, since the entire country saw His supporters judging Him, approvingly, solely because the content of His color and not because of the content of His character.
I’m not the first to say so and I shall not be the last: Chalk it up to Freudian Slip.
For much of the summer, large numbers of Americans insisted that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was one kind of story. It was a tale of institutional racism in which the police are the villains and young African-American men the innocent victims. This was the storyline many in the media wanted, and it was one they were determined to get.
Now, as a grand jury goes about prying fact from fiction, the story is falling apart as a matter of legal reality. But you can be sure the story will live on for decades to come. That’s in no small part because many decent Americans have locked themselves into the belief that the heroic chapter of the civil rights movement can never end. The story must go on so they can continue to cast themselves as the heroes.
Modern-day environmentalism is full of talk about data and “settled science.” But science is never settled, because science is the craft of unsettling what we know at any given moment. If science could settle, man would never learn to fly or read by electric light. Meanwhile, inconvenient data is left on the cutting-room floor as an ancient story is retold in modern terms.
“If you look carefully,” Michael Crichton once observed, “you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.”
I understand that the difference between narratives and ideas can be a subtle one. But if you keep the distinction in mind, the arguments tearing apart America become more comprehensible. It is a conflict of visions driven by adherents of two versions of the story of America. And whichever side wins, the victors will determine the story taught to the next generation.
I’m way behind on my e-mails, yet again. It’s part of a curve with a very large arc to it, as we slowly stagger back toward sanity following this wild, crazy summer with the house and so forth.
During these wild spates of sorting dozens and dozens of pages of e-mail, as I question whether I’m going about it the most efficient way, I’m also noticing things I otherwise would not notice. Great volumes of news articles, opinion columns, blog comments, marketing communiques, et al, flow past me, days’ or weeks’ worth in a matter of minutes, and I start to see trends.
My observation is that when liberals disagree with everybody else, I perceive that the liberals, and everybody else, are talking past each other. They live in a different world. That’s not news, of course; my observation lately is how that world of theirs is separated from everybody else’s.
This mystifies people, myself included, especially when liberals take positions on things that are so readily refuted by easily observed facts. Like Michael Moore’s famous “There is no terrorist threat,” for example. Here on Planet Earth, real people like you and me hear that, and we interpret it to mean:
“I’m putting my credibility on the line here, there is no terrorist threat.” Or, “I can support the position, with facts and logic, that there is no terrorist threat.”
That is not what liberals mean to say at all. What they mean to say, in this instance, is: “We wish to promulgate the notion that there is no terrorist threat.” Or, “It benefits our political objectives to promulgate the notion that there is no terrorist threat.”
This is what Reagan was observing, although perhaps he didn’t consciously realize it, when he said: “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” (Yes, really.) It’s got to do with this bit about “knowing.” It doesn’t mean the same thing to liberals that it means to normal people. What they “know,” is what they wish for others, as many other people as possible, to also “know.”
But as to whether or not it “is so”? They couldn’t possibly care less. That goes for things like:
The border is secure.
We are more free, when we start throwing people in jail for refusing to officiate gay weddings.
There is no need for voter ID because there is no such thing as voter fraud.
That doesn’t sound like something George Washington would have said.
ObamaCare is working great.
Muslims, as an identifiable religious sect, are no more dangerous than Christians.
Global warming, on the other hand, will kill us all.
…whereas, a global warming tax of some kind will surely save the planet.
Iraq was never a threat to us.
With things like this, proggies live on a sort of “Promulgation Planet” — they do not live on Earth, with the rest of us, because when they say “X” they don’t mean to say “We stake our reputation and our credibility on X.” What they’re doing is showing us the moves to a sort of dance. Put your left foot here, put your right foot there, ObamaCare is working great, the Washington quote is spurious, the border is secure. It is the message itself, not the content of it or the support for it, that matters.
It is the kind of warped thinking that arises, in a naturally consequential way, from valuing consensus as proof. The next step in the fallacious thinking is to try to shape reality by shaping the consensus.
Update 10/28/14: I’m sure I could add to those examples all day, but it’s hard to see how I could have missed this (via Hot Air): “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs…they always say that…Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs”.
Clinton’s comment will likely be used frequently to attack her as another big-government Democrat as she begins her widely assumed presidential bid.
Gee, ya think? How unfair that would be, like, golly.
What makes more sense: “I’m putting my credibility on the line, we have the proof that businesses do not create jobs.” Or — “It benefits our political objectives to promulgate the notion that it isn’t businesses that create the jobs.” You go on down through the daisy-chain of risible lefty statements, and each one may at first sound like it’s supposed to be an expression of defensible and verifiable truth. Many of the promulgators certainly do seem to feel that way about it.
But, in each case, you’ll find it makes a great deal more sense to evaluate the expression as a set of instructions, to be exercised and then relayed to more who will likewise relay and exercise: How to minimize the damage to a failed political ideology that does not, and cannot, deliver on its promises.