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...
Feminism as it exists today began as the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1968. Sometimes called “Second Wave” feminism (to distinguish it from the “First Wave,” circa 1850-1920), this movement arose from the radical New Left…To put it quite bluntly, at a time when the Cold War was raging, when the tyranny of Soviet imperialism threatened to conquer the world, and when U.S. troops were being killed by Communists in Vietnam, feminists were on the other side.
The Women’s Liberation Movement emerged from the extreme fringe of anti-American, pro-Communist radicalism. From its inception, this movement was hostile to men, marriage, motherhood, religion, capitalism and patriotism. Some people try to claim that there is a “mainstream” feminism that was “hijacked” by radical kooks, but in fact the kooks built the feminist plane, and any perception that feminism is “mainstream” is an illusion created by the movement’s dishonest publicity/media apparatus.
Related: They have to ruin everything?
The robber then took Jandebeur’s wallet out of his pocket and started to make his way in the direction towards the man’s wife on the other side of the truck. That would prove to be a near-fatal mistake.
…Of course, Liberals do not want a conversation, they want a soliloquy…
How can an idea be stupid? It can be prone to fail; it can be engaged without anyone bothering to define what it is supposed to do; it can be unlikely to do whatever that is, and then in some cases it can achieve the opposite.
Or It can be put together to achieve not one thing, but many. It can be loaded up silly with ulterior motives. Anything loaded up with ulterior motives labors under yet another motive, the motive to keep the ulterior motives hidden. It can achieve the opposite of what it is supposed to do, it can achieve the opposites of all the ulterior motives, and then it can fail in the mission of keeping the ulterior motives hidden.
That’s when I received a challenge to my contention that this might be the stupidest idea ever.
And the second thing is to not actually do anything about the problem. If Starbucks locations meticulously avoid, through either cause or by way of effect, locations that are economically and racially divided, then there is a geographic handicap against this plan ever having any chance of achieving what it’s supposed to achieve. It’s like starting a dialogue about mountain climbing on the bottom of the ocean.
And this is liberalism in a nutshell: This fondness of “conversations,” which are actually soliloquies, way-off-somewhere — “Those People” conversations. Conversations about the “root causes” of blight, illiteracy and crime, in elitist, overly-privileged, communities nestled deep inside protected enclaves, behind gates and guardhouses, in which there is not much chance for anyone to be bothered with any blight, illiteracy or crime. What guns shall we ban, what health care laws shall we pass, to get things right with Those People? What levers shall we pull, what knobs shall we twiddle.
One of the most dishonest things you’ll ever see is a liberal “starting up a conversation” about how to make people more alike. It’s always a monologue and not a dialogue, for one thing, and the other thing is, they don’t want everyone alike. People who make this sort of noise want special privileges and set-asides. They want social stratification. They want differences. They want one set of people doing things that have an effect on a different set of people; for everyone to be in the same boat, is the furthest thing away from what they really want. кто кого?
For the benefit of the females who are at the age of figuring out their couplings, and their parents, it does seem to me something should be said about immediate gratification as opposed to the delayed. The article, leading up to its key point, mentions that
You can be strong; you can have things going on in your life; you can learn to know when it’s time to keep your distance; you can be direct…And still be a great guy.
Trouble is, the dating-market could be completely saturated with “great guys” like that, and some girls would still be drawn to the dickheads. That’s because of yet another bullet point that didn’t make the list…
Some people get things done that are useful, help other people. Other people are fun to watch all of the time. Is there any overlap between those two camps? Not much has been observed, what has been observed is highly debatable, and whatever overlap could be proven to actually exist isn’t very important. In life, generally, if you want to get something done that’s of any use to anybody there is going to be some boredom involved. Some people just aren’t up for that.
A graphic that deftly illustrates the tenor of the times in which we live, captured by Kate at Small Dead Animals. Every so-called “plan” that manages to capture any attention at all, it seems, is an Underpants Gnome plan. When Step Three doesn’t happen, everyone’s shocked for a little while…then it’s time to come up with the next plan. With all the confidence and enthusiasm that was there before, at the same point on the last lap.
Life will get better for us when we break out of this orbit.
Item: We have in our extended family a very promising young man, currently under the stewardship of someone who craves conflict. Recently we have noticed his future has started to darken, as his skills have softened. With a few more visits, the picture to us has become sadly clear: He’s learning the wrong lessons about how to deal with challenges, how to side-step them. Minute One, he will have a tasking, a thing he is expected to do. Minute Two, he’ll languish a bit while other kids his age would’ve been diving in, getting the job halfway done already, and he’ll stir up some issues. Minute Three, everyone around him will be fighting about something and he won’t be doing the whatever-it-is. It’s sad to watch. We know exactly where he gets this.
The irony is, we also know exactly what fixes it: Competition. Competition is an exercise in conflict. When kids don’t get competition, they start to use conflict to avoid work. They lose sight of the timeless and plain truism that we all have names, identities that are attached to the work we manage to actually get done. Or, not get done. You can put a name by a handicap too, even if the handicap is a pure fabrication.
In many respects, anti-racism is the perfect topic for the Cultural Marxist. The pale penis people will always be with us so there is no “winning” or end game like we had with homosexual marriage. Since blacks will also always be with us, the disparities are a social constant.
The key to these modern movements is that the promised land must be just over the next hill. That way, the believers can feel their are getting closer so they get worked up in a frenzy at anything that is seen as an obstacle. As the Greeks learned in the Peloponnesian War, fanaticism comes easy when the enemy is evil.
Just scan through those comments. They are clawing each others eyes out to get to the top of the piety pole. They are rats hooked on coke banging at the little button to get their next fix. That does not go away without something filling the void.
Shades of GoodPerson Fever; I noticed it way back when. But, I was too asleep-at-the-switch to think of the “rats banging on the button” metaphor. That’s golden.
Item: This insightful comment about hockey…specifically, the refereeing of it…
With only one exception, all the guys who are always up in arms about the calls are the sneakiest, dirtiest such-and-sos out there. The guys playing hard who may pick up a call here and there generally just head to the box; if they were fouled and don’t get a call, they’ll ask but they won’t really get up in arms unless it’s a horrible miss.
Why are the complainers also the biggest rulebook jockeys?…They don’t want to take the trouble to learn what will and won’t get them whistled. They can’t change the rulebook itself, but they can try to influence how it’s called, so that now the other team isn’t just involved in a skill contest, but in a “skill AND lobby the refs and see if we can swing just one future call in a big spot” contest. And if they’re not bending your ear over the most arcane paragraphs in the book, they’re busy seeing if they can get over on a few of their tricks by doing everything in that grey area, daring you to call it all so they can [whine] more about how “it’s hockey and you gotta let us play” or else “call it both ways” and such.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, play a different game, the “This argument isn’t over until it’s over the way I like” game. And that’s the same thing going on, I think, with the rats-and-button with the little anti-racism game. Slam that juice into the main vein, and half an hour later you’ll want to do it again.
The discussion is about Architects and Medicators — the latter of whom I named because, well, I guess I just didn’t realize it at the time, but they’re constantly medicating. What I had in mind was that their highest priority is to regulate their own emotional state, and they put this above the state or status of anything else. But this isn’t the first time it’s been called to my attention: “medicate” fits in so many more ways. They act just like junkies. They crave something, they get it, a little while later they crave exactly the same thing all over again. You can almost see the belt or rubber tubing on their arms.
But then there is a subtly different kind of Medicator: The Cheesecake Nazi. You guys, stop talking about all that stuff! There’s cheesecake! Ah, but there was cheesecake thirty minutes ago, and it will keep for awhile. The “Stop arguing, there’s cheesecake” types have it in common with the “This argument’s not over until it’s over the way I like” people that they favor this agenda item: They don’t want it to go there. There are certain things both camps want left unsaid. Certain dark alleyways neither one wants illuminated.
If it’s a family thing — and it usually is — the dark alleyway tends to be some sort of co-dependent relationship. Seems every extended family has to have a “Bubba” somewhere, a “Nothing is ever his fault” guy. Or an Aunt Mabel, constantly at the center of a tempest that’s never her fault: Darn you, for saying that thing that made her fly off the handle like that!
The lesson ultimately seems to be that on the bell-curve of conflict, the Medicator lives on both of the extreme ends, with some of ‘em generating the conflict to avoid having to live up to some standard, and others sidestepping the conflict entirely: Don’t know what you’re arguing about there, don’t wanna know, just leave me to my tunes. The Architect is in the middle, not avoiding the conflict but not worshiping it either, instead trying to use it to accomplish some other aim that the Medicator can’t, or won’t, understand. To the Medicator, I’m sure it looks like the Architect must thrive on conflict. They very often say exactly that. It’s easiest to understand the conundrum when one thinks about real Architects: Here & there, now & then, they get into a “block” when confronted by two proofs that the next line should be drawn in two different places, and have to stop everything while they resolve which one is errant. Sure, the Architect will bring a passion to this struggle while those perceiving the exercise from the outside will fail to understand how or why there is any problem at all. But that doesn’t show that the Architect actually thrives on the conflict. He’s certainly not going to be the happier for having spent the entire day on it. He’d prefer it be over & done in the space of five minutes, two or one would be better. But if after ten or twenty or thirty the problem is still unsolved, then that will remain the priority until it’s solved.
But to the Medicator, it’s all about how it makes you feel. Everything keeps coming back to that. Where’s my next fix?
I agree with it all except for the last sentence about “Everyone needs to be more responsible.”
That is not how you achieve behavioral change. Those who have misbehaved should be singled-out, targeted, shamed. There’s no excuse.
Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.
The two halves of humanity don’t belong together. “Deserve” has nothing to do with it. They’re like poles of a battery, when they make contact everything that follows is destruction, chaos, and good things that might’ve happened that can never happen.
The miscreant appears in front of a magistrate, because he got drunk in public when he should have been working to pay child support on his four whelps he has by three different sluts. What we have there is not a conflict between “follow the law,” represented by the magistrate, and “don’t follow it” represented by the lout — that’s the wrong way to think of it. That confrontation is actually the contact point between two sets of laws, established and maintained by two entirely different societies. In one society, you work to pay for what you consume and you make sure the former is equal to or greater than the latter, or at least, will be at some point in the future; in the other one, you just sort of, like, whatever man. That’s how it really is, that’s the accurate snapshot.
Similarly, has there ever been a thief who really thought of himself as a thief? Get the thief’s side of the story sometime. You’ll invariably find it isn’t “I wanted to steal something” or “I want to break the law”; far more often than not, you’ll discover some rationalization that makes the object of theft his. You may find the rationalization very silly, and maybe you’re right, but it will usually be there and the person toiling away under it will take it as seriously as you take your next heart attack.
The drive to think by way of reason, as opposed to emotion, is the only means by which we can consciously tell order apart from chaos. And a good-sized chunk of us, perhaps a lot more than half, would prefer to think by way of emotion because they’ve never had reason to think the other way. They live to eat and drink, and why should they think themselves “worthless” if they outnumber those other suckers who eat and drink only to live? In their world, that’s the real crime. In their world, it is the magistrate who has broken the “law,” by wasting the time of the other guy who could be spending the afternoon enjoying life, doing his whatever.
Another way to think of this: Instant gratification versus delayed gratification. However, that paradigm places undue weight on the concept of time. It’s not a time thing. It isn’t a pleasure or “gratification” thing, either. Am I really having a better time, slaving away all week long for my mortgage, putting off the partying until Friday night when I get to watch a live play followed by maybe thirty minutes of teevee with Mrs. Freeberg before we slink off to bed? Compared to the riff raff partying away at alcohol-fueled poolside events until the wee hours of the morning, the entire time?
We can get into which relationships are more fulfilling, but that misses the point: The riff raff are having their fun. And they’re living according to their own set of “laws.” The difference between the two sides is the same as the difference between humans and animals: The ability to recognize, and anticipate, states within objects. My mortgage is an object. It has a state of being either current, or not-current. This affects everything, it translates into every single disagreement that is on anybody’s radar, anywhere. For example, Architects want a President of the United States who will defend the nation, Medicators want a President who will entertain it.
Related: Twenty-one years since Steven Goddard shot his teevee set. Perhaps I read too much into it, it’s very possible, but I’m thinking that means there is no Mrs. Goddard. Chicks like their teevee.
Not that I can get on my “high horse” about it, either, since during my bachelorhood spells…let me see, there was 2004-2006, before that there was 1995-1997, and before that there was 1988-1989…I didn’t have teevee. Male bachelors have no reason to have teevee, there’s no upside for them, teevee is a chick thing. In fact, it’s evolved to become a chick thing. Why would a bachelor have teevee? I recall learning of the invasion of Panama on the teevee when I was a bachelor, that must have been before I figured out this lack-of-upside-for-males thing. Or, after I figured it out, but I was in my on-again-off-again thing with the first Mrs. Freeberg, I might have had a subscription because she wanted it. My subsequent bachelorhood-spells were teevee-free. Let’s face it, it costs like a sonofabitch no matter how you get it nowadays, but even if I paid for it the nothing my parents paid for it, I still wouldn’t want it.
I think the producers of some of the shows would be crushed if they saw how the current Mrs. Freeberg uses teevee. How could they not be? She does chores, and uses the programs as background noise. And if it’s a six-hour chore, the live teevee feed doesn’t even figure into it, she just puts on the Star Wars trilogy — you know, the good one not the new one.
Some people envy Hollywood, you know. Not me. It’s a purely Medicator-driven existence. From what I can see, you have to seriously start looking at plastic surgery if you ever want to work again after age 32, and regardless, the entire thing is utterly devoid of any sense of useful purpose, and should be. It must be an awful existence. I pity those poor wretches.
Kids haven’t changed much over the past 150 years; our society has. So while my son still needs movement, still craves real-world learning, physical labor and ways to contribute to his family and his world, he’s expected to spend most of his time in a desk, in a classroom, with 20-some other kids his age. He’s not allowed to go outside at school when it’s too cold or wet; he’s expected to sit quietly in the library or auditorium during recess time. He’s allowed few opportunities for “real” work; today, when you hand an 8-year-old a saw or allow him to start a fire, people look at you askance.
One hundred and fifty years ago, my son would have been considered a model boy. Today, more often than not, he’s considered a troublemaker due to his failure (or inability?) to conform to the expectations of the modern educational system.
I understand that society today is much different than society in the 1800s. Most of that change is good; I applaud antibiotics and equality. I’m a big fan of the internet and indoor plumbing. But at the same time, I think our current approach to education fails to honor the needs of children, especially the needs of our boys.
There is another distinction here that too often goes unnoticed, the one that takes place in the mind, not the body. “Think this thing because I told you to think it” — versus — “Think this thing, because last time you passed this way you thought that other thing, and your foot went through the damn floor.”
Software engineering isn’t at all like forging a tool at a blacksmith’s shop, or mending a fence. But it does have it in common that that particular distinction becomes relevant in the vocation, whether people notice the relevance or not. It starts in the early stages; the correct answer to “Why can’t I get my code to compile?” is, you need to spend some more time with that code, and the language, before you understand how to write code the compiler can process (after which the real fun begins, of course, with run-time scenarios and testing methodologies). But the answer that comes back, all to often, is “You can’t have that there, move your cursor to that character and press the delete key five times.”
Build a software development team put together entirely from people who have been taught this way, and you may discover that team ritualistically failing deadlines even if some of the members are highly accomplished. Even with our “antibiotics and equality,” sooner or later you need to engage in cause-and-effect thinking, think-on-your-feet thinking.
How to grab the fire extinguisher, as opposed to dialing 911.
Me, in the e-mails:
Consensus is an evolutionary process. If a consensus is proposed and it is somewhat reasonable, only 20 out of a hundred [experts] have to be converted or ostracized to complete the consensus-manufacturing, the next thing that will happen is a new consensus. Then 16 out of the remaining 80 will have to be converted or ostracized, at the end of which you have a consensus that is only sufficiently reasonable that 64% of the original group found it agreeable. By the third stage, with similar ostracizing events and measuring the [reasonableness-versus-] risibility of the consensus-content this way, you’d be down to 51.2%, then at the next stage it goes to 41%. Keep in mind, all this time the ostracized members will be replaced by newcomers, but the newcomers won’t have a vote in the prior stages of this evolving consensus. And of course, when an opinion becomes obligatory, but it’s only sufficiently reasonable that barely 40% of reasonable free-thinkers would align themselves with it, it can be a very silly opinion — even if it IS obligatory.
This is how older bureaucracies make worse decisions, and bigger mistakes, and make them faster and with greater confidence.
Since writing that, it has dawned on me that this doesn’t quite capture how a bureaucracy works. They tend to optimize their efficiency over time in this business of manufacturing “complete” consensus by way of ostracizing whoever doesn’t get on board, to lunge across greater distances in fewer steps toward more risible conclusions.
So if we “measure the reasonableness-versus-risibility” of consensus content by way of this quotient of reasonable free-thinkers who would agree without undue pressure, it’s more like: The first conclusion is 80% reasonable, with twenty out of a hundred either converted or shown the door. With that phony-consensus thus achieved, the second evolutionary stage may achieve 70% consent, thereby being only 56% agreeable to the original membership, if the assembly was still dealing with that original membership, which of course it is not. This way, you’re down in the low-forties, or even thirties, by the time you get to the third stage.
And that does seem to mirror the way it actually works.
For decades, as most readers should now know, public health authorities condemned delicious, fatty foods on that plausible argument (all magic must be made “plausible” to convince) about clogging the arteries. Now they have quietly taken it back, without owning to the misery spread by their lies through several generations. They mounted collateral attacks on beer, wine, and liquors, which likewise proved false; and their continuing campaigns against tobacco depend on the same methodology.
What they have done is far more evil than this, however: for they have been exploiting the human propensity to guilt, which serves an irreplaceable purpose in the moral order. Compunction about sin and wrongdoing is distracted to meaningless dietary issues. The success of the nannying public health authorities has helped the principalities and powers to accomplish a complete moral inversion — in which abstinence and fasting to a spiritual end is now dismissed as silly, yet dieting for health is done with insufferably morbid gravity. We have, as a consequence, a society of obsessive dieters, deluded fitness fanatics, and low-calorie muffin eaters, who are utterly shameless in committing crimes contra naturam: that Culture of Death which Saint John-Paul identified with such harrowing accuracy.
It should also be noted, for the benefit of credulous materialists, that the time and money invested in gathering and analyzing inconsequential health statistics subtracts from serious medical research into suspected causes of disease — including the hard and focused epidemiology that can usefully assist. Resources for such work are always finite, yet almost everything I see flagged in the media is an example of resources bled away.
A deeper note needs to be sounded, however, against the consistent tendency of all this “pop,” or more precisely, “crap science.” The target will ever be some innocent human pleasure; genuinely sinful ones with direct and potentially grave health consequences (sexual promiscuity, for instance, or sodomy), are shied away from, for fear of the politically correct. Class is evident in each choice of target: typically some consolation, some little delight that makes life more endurable for the poor. (Smoking is a primary example.)
What is happening? What is changing? It is clear now that in the past several decades it is science that has been changing, with this vacillating “Let’s see if we can get away with saying it” two-steps-forward three-steps-back dance routine, partnered up cheek-to-cheek with a fawning and complicit media.
But that is effect, and not cause. What’s the cause? Could it be that, in these days of waning influence from the consumer on the nature of the transactions, when we uncover the motives of the suppliers we’ve found the root cause? Is the consumer that estranged? Somehow, I doubt it. I think the “crap science” holds an appeal it didn’t have before.
Being a child of the seventies, I’m not in any position to know that for sure. The seventies were pockmarked silly with trendy, coffee-table-paperback crap-science. If the decade of my childhood was anything relative to this, it was a high watermark. So this predates me, but from my reading of history I still have the impression this is a modern trend, and people do want it. Not the real science. Just the crap.
The 5 Stupidest Ways People Try to Look Smart
I like #5 a lot. But #1 is the best of the best:
#1. Refuse to Argue
The world has no shortage of foolish loudmouths vomiting forth their opinions in desperate attempts to seem wise, but I don’t need to tell you that. And I won’t. Instead, I’d like to focus on a different bunch of game-playing imbeciles who are just as omnipresent, but somehow escape condemnation: people who refuse to argue. Sure, some people aren’t worth arguing with, and some things aren’t open to debate, but employing silence or a simple world-weary dismissive phrase to shut down conversations is also a trick used by the intellectually feeble who are attempting to look smart.
Most opinions that can’t be debated aren’t worth having. If beliefs don’t stand up to cross-examination, all the raised eyebrows and silent eye rolling won’t suddenly make them legitimate. Eighty percent of the people who will not engage in an argument or go toe-to-toe with dissenting voices are not wiser, more mature or more sophisticated. Most are just incapable of explaining their own beliefs. Outclassed in the marketplace of ideas, they hope that silent indifference will be mistaken for quiet reflection.
And when they say, “Well, I’ll debate with the people whose opinions matter,” nine times out of ten all that means is “I’ll debate with my closest friends, who likely already agree with me.” Previously, I’d described a refusal to argue as a sign of arrogance, and it can surely be that, but just as often it’s a mask worn by someone incapable of defending their views who would rather be mistaken for arrogant than exposed as simplistic.
Theory: What is lately in ascension, and reaching a cresting point, is a fondness for winning arguments, paired up with a loathing for dealing with tiresome but necessary details. In short, looking at life as a chess match, people want to move ahead to the check-mate without dealing with all that junk about which-piece-moves-which-way.
Which fits in well with the “crap science” that has just come along, the solution in search of a problem.
Quoting myself, ONCE again…
Our “civilization”…is embroiled in a cold civil war…between people who refuse to define things, and people who MUST see to it that things are strongly defined before they can do what they do.
It’s just that simple. I think. It’s the simplest explanation, so far, anyway.
Related (3/8/15): This has been in my stack for a few days, it occurs to me that the best place to stick it in is right here…
When a researcher gets proved wrong, that means the scientific method is working. Scientists make progress by re-doing each other’s experiments—replicating them to see if they can get the same result. More often than not, they can’t. “Failure to reproduce is a good thing,” says Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retraction Watch. “It happens a lot more than we know about.”
The problem is not that science reverses course now & then. The problem is the media-hype that occurs beforehand.
Seems to be a funding issue, as much as anything else. “More research is needed,” say the researchers, and the best way to ensure that happens is to make the public aware of what sort of new truths the researchers might have uncovered. It is outside of our collective ways of knowing about things that maybe the statement should be taken absolutely literally, and it’s way too soon to say why the initial tests came out the way they did.
…in Morse Code:
On Verizon’s policy blog Thursday, the company posted a statement it titled “FCC’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ move imposes 1930s rules on the Internet.”
Here’s the full statement in all its old-timey glory:
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Verizon also translated for the non-Morse-code-reading public:
Aw, who needs that? C’mon, don’t make everyone else do your work for you. Put your back into it.
Alright, maybe that process would go on a bit slowly. So we’ll continue:
“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors. Over the past two decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age consumers now enjoy.
“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis, full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history will judge today’s actions as misguided.
“The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary. The FCC had targeted tools available to preserve an open Internet, but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300- plus pages of broad and open- ended regulatory arcana that will have unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the Internet ecosystem for years to come.
“What has been and will remain constant before, during and after the existence of any regulations is Verizon’s commitment to an open Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and Internet access when, where, and how they want.”
People who genuinely love freedom, don’t bundle up a great big bushel of power and drop it in the laps of their overlords to “prevent” future problems that might happen.
Back in 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) told parents to stop feeding peanuts and peanut products to their children until they reached the age of three. Despite this, prevalency rates of peanut allergies continued to rise, and by 2008, the AAP had retracted its recommendation for lack of proof. At the same time, correlative studies were starting to show that allergy rates were higher among populations practicing early food-avoidance compared to those who were not. What’s more, some studies showed that early introduction of egg and milk could be associated with a decrease in related allergies.
The new study, which appears in The New England Journal of Medicine, is now providing some concrete evidence. In a controlled trial, a group of 530 infants aged 4 to 11 months at high risk of developing peanut allergies were randomly assigned either to be fed food with peanuts (consumption group) or peanut-free foods (avoidance group). The children were fed at least six grams of peanut protein each week, about 24 peanuts’ worth.
This went on until they reached the age of five. Around 10% of the children were eventually excluded from the study for fear of severe reactions.
The results were striking: By age five, the overall prevalence of peanut allergy in the avoidance group was 17.2%. In the consumption group, it was 3.2%…
Yeah, I remember reading about that 13-year-old girl a couple years ago (video clip behind link auto-plays). Ate a peanut snack at a summer camp, died in her father’s arms. Last I heard, they were suing. Maybe it’s insensitive to say, but I have to confess the suit wouldn’t have much chance if I was on the jury, because kids generally just aren’t built that way. They’re born to deal with things; they’re resilient creatures. The newer study seems to support this.
There is disagreement here that is generational in nature. Like many crusty old farts, I think back to kids with allergies back in my day. Maybe one or two in the whole damn school had an allergy. And if they ate something they shouldn’t, it was mild discomfort, maybe breaking out in the face. Don’t think we ever got to find out for sure.
Eat the wrong thing and drop dead? It was unfathomable. Now we have a lawsuit…
Something is different. Something’s different about kids and their allergies, and with the studies. And with neurotic, study-overloaded parenting. Also, with long-term memory. Some of the neurotic-parents are just as old as I am, and could recall generally the same memories about four decades ago that I can recall — but it doesn’t trigger any skepticism about the latest neurotic-study. History always began this morning, don’t feed your kids this, don’t feed your kids that.
Now we have some real health concerns, vulnerabilities, and a few actual deaths. All of which would appear to be entirely avoidable. How sad.
Kill off religion and what do you have left? The answer can be seen in China. You’re left with materialism and family interests.. Cast off the shackles of the family for individualistic consumerism and you’re left with nothing except materialism as can be seen in any major Western city.
Modern urban man is much too “smart” for religion. At least his own. He wants to add an ethical dimension to life without having to believe in anything except the sense of fairness that he already has, but which he does not realize is not nearly as valid objectively as it is subjectively in his inner emotional reality.
And that is what the left is. It strips away everything except that egotistical sense that things should be run more fairly with predictably unfair results.
Liberalism, and the milder flavors of the left, provide a permission slip for materialism by elevating it through political activism. This is the philosophical purpose of environmentalism’s green label. It tells you that you are a good person for buying something and soothes the moral anxieties of an urban class with no coherent moral system except the need to impose an ethical order on the consumerism that defined their childhood, their adolescence and their adult life.
It’s worth repeating, yet again: “Our ‘civilization’…is embroiled in a cold civil war…between people who refuse to define things, and people who MUST see to it that things are strongly defined before they can do what they do.”
College campus idiots — and that includes faculty members and administrators — call for the celebration of and respect for all cultures. In their eyes, it’s racist Eurocentrism to think that Western values and culture are superior to others. But that’s the height of stupidity. Ask your campus multiculturalist who believes in cultural equivalency: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Sudan and Niger; is that a cultural equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits on women — such as prohibitions on driving, employment, voting and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. Some multiculturalists are members of campus LGBT groups. Ask them to what extent the Muslim culture would tolerate their lifestyle.
At the very heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Christianity. Much of that attack has its roots among hypocrites in the intellectual elite. For example, Duke University sponsored Muslim calls to prayer in the name of promoting “religious pluralism,” until external pressures forced it to cancel the practice. Earlier, Duke administrators removed Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor because of CEO Dan Cathy’s comments regarding his religious opposition to homosexual marriage. So much for religious pluralism, tolerance and free speech.
Some public school boards have attempted to ban songs containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus or religious Christmas symbols. One school district banned a teacher from using excerpts from historical documents in his classroom because they contained references to God and Christianity. The documents in question were the Declaration of Independence and “The Rights of the Colonists,” by Samuel Adams.
Hat tip to Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.
It is a usurpation, one that is as successful as it is only because it exists outside of our conventional understanding of what usurpation can be. There is no one single radical-Islamic group that has elected or planted 51 percent of the membership of a board of regents or directors anywhere; no corporate takeover, no sale of stock made this happen, no transfer of debt. And yet, a switch has been flipped. Just a few years ago, in our most heated presidential elections it was the left-of-center candidate, ultimately victorious, who declared that marriage was the union between a man and a woman. That President has been evolving and if He had been doing this evolution in isolation, there wouldn’t be anything scary about it at all, that would be the basis of independent thinking. But of course that’s not what’s happening; we have one guy who wakes up in the morning, mulls over whatever is in His noggin, God only knows how, then communicates the latest “evolution” down through the layers of the organizational hierarchy like the Captain of a ship who’s received new orders from the Admiralty.
And that is not the basis of independent thinking. It is directly contrary to it.
We don’t understand this sort of usurpation, because there is no one individual, organization or faction that is making it happen. The usurpation is one of ideas, or to be even more precise about it, characteristics of ideas. Quoting myself yet again,
Our “civilization” at the moment…is embroiled in a cold civil war…between people who refuse to define things, and people who MUST see to it that things are strongly defined before they can do what they do.
“This and that culture are morally equivalent” is a statement that shuns, not embraces, definitions — nevermind whether it is true or false, we can’t even make it that far because the statement lacks the characteristic of testability. Morally equivalent in what way? How do we replicate the experiment? You can’t, because there wasn’t one. The whole thought process is backward.
Institutions have changed their thinking because people have changed their thinking. It is not a desire for the enhancement or expansion of freedom for others that has motivated this new kind of thinking; it is a desire for the self to get along with large groups of others. And, there’s a little bit of “and fuck everybody else” mixed in there too. We might as well face it, if the primary motivator is good-standing membership in a crowd, that’s going to be rather meaningless if someone else isn’t excluded from the crowd.
But we’re left with, what is this crowd if there is no puppet master, no one single kingmaker or cabal working the controls, buying up majority shares of stock, encroaching on the membership of a board somewhere? What then is changing? It is a shift that comes from changing incentives. The evil itself is within us, has always been within us, it’s the different climate that is bringing it out of too many of us. So it’s rather like asking “how did the maggots get in the coffin if it’s sealed so tightly?” They were brought in, of course, with the cadaver. Embalmed or not, before and after the moment of demise, “he” always had them.
But let’s go for a metaphor that involves a little less “eww.” We’re rather like the statue in the town square that changes appearance as the shadows shift with the passing of the day. This part of the face is not changing, nor that part, face, arms, legs, et al; the rays of light that are acting on the object, are what’s changing. That’s how the thing about definitions becomes relevant. Just a few decades ago, people had to make life and death decisions based on definitions of things. We made a point of knowing what those decisions were, before we decided. Now, we don’t. We may still make the decisions, but all too often if you try to get something defined, the details are kept hidden from you. The most common outcome now is for the consumer to decide it’s just not worth the effort, and after one or two attempts to educate himself much more casually, roll the dice and hope for the best.
“Educate himself more casually” is typically something to do with asking advice from someone who’s made a similar decision. But that only works as well as the honesty of the other person, combined with how similar the two situations may be. Either way though, we’re not thriving on definitions to do our thing anymore; too many among us, the most vocal among us, do absolutely nothing that relies on them. Passing an exam in college is the closest they ever come, and passing exams is, boiled down to its raw essentials, reaching “success” in agreeing with someone unseen about the answers. Or at least most of them.
And there’s your problem; consensus is displacing correctness. A agrees with B, that means whatever it is must be correct. It looks and feels so much like real validation. But what if we go beyond B, and there are more people in the room — what if everyone agrees except one guy? You may look at that as an opportunity for an exchange of ideas. Or, you may look at that as one ostracism away from consensus, and if consensus equals truth, then it’s only obvious what has to happen next.
So the multi-culti nonsense, like so many other cancers being left largely unchecked, is an offshoot of this new-age thinking. The culprit is technology. It’s done wonderful things for us and we owe it a great deal, but it’s created generations of people who don’t actually know how to think. There hasn’t been any reason to. They don’t face tests in life, other than the test of “getting along” with others, and so they say risible, damaging things that are already being said by others. When these things turn out to be wrong and there are consequences, the people who repeated after each other to make it look like the correct thing when it wasn’t, aren’t around anywhere to deal with or bear those consequences.
From Chicks on the Right, which adds:
There’s no excuse. If you wear a Che shirt, you’re either ignorant or you’re an open supporter of evil. And neither of those is ok.
J.R. Dunn writes at American Thinker:
The country is enduring yet another bout of brutal cold courtesy of the North Pole Express, AKA the polar vortex.
Warmists dismiss this as “weather”, which only begs the question as to when “weather” becomes “climate”. There’s certainly no red line dividing one from the other, nor could there be, the two being so interrelated.
With this in mind, there’s one factor generally overlooked by warmists, and by skeptics as well: the fact that this arctic cold does have climatic effects, resulting directly from day after day of freezing temperatures across continental distances, and that these effects are well understood.
There follows a short description of this year’s greater coverage of ice and snow reflecting solar radiation back into the atmosphere, which causes a self-perpetuating cycle. Then this:
That’s one way that “weather” shifts into “climate”. And it’s happening right now. How long will this pattern continue? It’s impossible to say. But one thing for sure: whatever you want to call it, it ain’t warming. It does not fit into any warming model. Quite the contrary. And that’s something that the warmists — who happily broadcast every last element, no matter how trivial or doubtful, that supports their thesis — ought to be forced to explain repeatedly and often.
Don’t forget the comments. I found the thing about the flea and the locomotives to be entertaining.
And then there’s the thing about control:
Global warming is about redistribution and control. Government health care is about redistribution and control. Next is net neutrality for redistribution and control. Liberalism is about redistribution and control.
It never seems to truly matter what the problem is. The answer is always surrendering more money and more power to the betters in Washington, or else for Washington to surrender it to some internationalist cabal.
On FOX News’ The Kelly File on Thursday, host Megyn Kelly played an eerily prophetic, timely, and applicable video from George W. Bush in 2007 warning about the consequences of pulling out of Iraq too early.
Bush was roundly criticized for the comments at the time, but considering the horrific events in the Middle East e[s]calating while Obama works on lowering his golf handicap, Bush’s words have even deeper impact.
“As we track these new terror concerns at home and overseas, we are reminded of warnings we heard back in 2007,” Kelly stated.
“America was fighting the Iraq War; President Bush had just ordered U.S. troops to surge in Iraq, and critics were demanding that the U.S. withdraw the troops, when President Bush issued this frighteningly accurate, as it turns out, assessment of what would happen if we did that,” Kelly said introducing the short video clip.
Anyone who’s played a game of Risk for any length of time at all, has been forced to understand what escapes the anemic knowledge domain of those who criticize the use of force in Iraq because “they never attacked us.” The issue President Bush was trying to describe back then, that we can see all too well now, is turf. Turf is linked to control. And relinquishing control is all fine & good, as long as it isn’t being relinquished to bad people.
It’s Mr. Clarey so you know already there has to be a language warning. Thought exercise: What if everybody who isn’t a liberal, caved in all at the same time and gave the liberals what they wanted, across the board? Would they leave us alone and vamoose?
FUCK no. Because that would eventually involve them working for a living.
“They’re zombies, they’re just gonna keep going and going and going, and they will not stop…it will not end, that’s the whole point.”
Just curious, and I know this may not be the best place to ask, but is there anybody who thinks Congressman Squinty-Eyes did a great job presenting this point-of-view on the teevee?
I had earlier made the point about what is happening to our economy…
Today, we still have signaling. But the signaling is, too much of the time, from the suppliers to the those who demand, such that the demand ends up being nothing more than a reflection of whatever is in supply. The suppliers, in turn, then end up doing whatever they wanted to do. It’s then up to the consumer to find a way to make it fit.
The consumers have been losing their voice. We have quite a few transactions being closed, only for the benefit of the supplier, many of them without the consent of the consumer or only with consent from the consumer that has been somehow perverted. It’s either been regulated when the will is not there, or given freely but without due consideration, more as a conditioned response.
While that’s happening, we have a decline in masculinity, almost as if there was some orbiting radioactive source breaking down our stores of testosterone. Our culture is not what it was before. Too many women have a need to scold men, and because consumers are tailoring their orders around the whims of suppliers and learning to like it that way, too many men are manufacturing a need to be scolded.
Put it all together, and you have stuff like this:
As James Delingpole mentions as he writes at Brietbart, there is a contradiction here so obvious that you would have to expend good effort to avoid seeing it: Mother Nature doesn’t need us, we can’t do anything that has any effect on her, so send in your money right away. This is a hundred and eighty degrees reversed from the message you give to someone when you want their money, and they, whether gullible or not, can at least think rationally. In that situation it’s well-established what sort of story you want to tell: Here is the expected end-state if you do nothing, here is the more likely result if you do something, now see how far apart they are? You have influence, you can help.
Somehow, it made sense for someone to commission Julia Roberts to deliver the opposite message and tell us all how worthless we are.
The unavoidable conclusion one must reach is that, for one reason or another, this opens billfolds. I have to mull it over long & hard to consider it, let alone settle on it, even tentatively. But there it is. “Oh joy, I’m scum! Pretty-Woman-Mother-Nature says so! Where’s my checkbook?” If no one is ready to say that, there’d be no reason to put all this to video. Would there?
I guess that’s the big question. We certainly do have a lot of “producers” who act this way, putting together commodities that are built around this scolding ritual, usually involving aggressive females talking down to timid males. The commodities, once put together, do not seem to me to be languishing on shelves anywhere. Someone is buying them. Perhaps everyone buying is a female who wants to be more aggressive, who then tries to pass it off to the males she wants to dominate, with mixed success.
Or maybe we do have some masochist males lining up for slaughter. Exhibit A would be this story about Ray J and Princess Love:
Ray J’s girlfriend Princess Love was arrested in New Orleans after beating allegedly him up.
The singer told cops his girlfriend attacked him, which resulted in several cracked ribs, a busted lip and a torn ACL.
Someone allegedly heard her scream “I’m gonna kill you” at Ray J, but cops weren’t called until a hotel security guard saw the singer bleeding, according to TMZ.
Love was reportedly charged with domestic abuse and battery.
A source told TMZ that Ray J has since bailed his girlfriend out of jail and got her a lawyer.
Looks like the dude’s paying for his own hanging. Point made. Hat tip to Instapundit, who adds:
I blame today’s current climate of female privilege, which leads to a sense of entitlement and impunity. Also, note that despite hearing her say she was going to kill him, hotel security didn’t intervene until they saw him bleeding.
Over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging I made a comment about a guy at work who can’t drink at home because his wife is pregnant, and if she can’t drink he can’t drink. One of my former work associates from some twenty years ago said,
Check if he was raised by a single mom. I’m betting he had no ma[l]e role model.
Hmmm. Well there is certainly something that has changed in the last half-century or so, that could explain things. But, I doubt it in this case. It doesn’t fit with Ray J from what I can see. There’s something else going on here.
What’s with these men growing vaginas ????
It could be just a simple lack of awareness that there is an issue. I wasn’t raised by a single mom, and by the time I understood there were some trolleys coming off the track here I was, if memory recalls, somewhere in my mid-twenties with one divorce behind me already. Even then though, you have to be much more well-informed and conscious of what’s happening, to start to take a stand against it, or even just to resist it if you’re into the think-globally-act-locally thing. By the time we get to actually choosing a woman who’s willing to do the driving so you can have a drink or two at the restaurant, showing sufficient maturity to turn away from this “get even for everything” tit-for-tat stuff? Well by then, I was nearly forty.
And in my case that was some good progress, good enough to make all the difference between failure and success. She’s puttering around in the bathroom as I write this and we’re about to bump into each other and have our daily race to see who gets the shower first. She’s a gem, but I found her relatively late in life.
That’s why I’m not in a big hurry to get snotty with the current work-colleague guy. We’re all susceptible to this. In fact I would say most of our present society, sorted by nose-count or by mass, is engaging in this ritual in some way. It’s as if we’ve figured out, or begun to labor under the delusion, that this is some sort of magic rocket-fuel that makes everything go: Tell some masculine figure he’s just a bunch of refuse and is not wanted. Somehow, all objectives worth achieving, are achieved through that, through the scolding ritual.
I’ve got a current-friend-and-former-colleague who’s openly wondering on the Hello Kitty of Blogging how anyone can “in good conscience argue” against President Obama’s plans to get money out of politics. I went ahead and fielded it by giving the picture from my perspective, although I’m sure the conversation will become very confusing since he’s got so many friends and relatives who’ve blocked me in both directions.
See that’s what is confusing. He doesn’t block, and neither do I, because we’re, like, y’know, grown-ups & so forth.
On another front, I find myself embroiled yet again in conflict with someone regarding a personal matter, who believes very strongly in preserving poverty. There’s no advantage involved in going into details, but it has become clear she’s not alone in idolizing weakness, I’m not alone in aspiring toward strength, and I’m very far from alone in having this sort of conflict with people who treat weakness as if it’s strength. (And ya know, the way our social safety nets are set up these days, with handicaps fast becoming the preferred coin of the realm, people like that do kinda have a point.) Also, I can say it’s not my first time, and it really leaves a mark on you. Which may go a long way toward answering my friend’s question.
We do have an ideological split along those lines. And it isn’t too clear that there’s any redistribution of power necessary to give the “weakness is strength” people an adequate voice in our elections. We’re managing to get plenty enough politicians elected who haven’t built anything or done anything to actually help anybody, who believe in equalizing misery. In fact, come to think of it, they can somehow bring plenty enough “big money” of their own into politics, they show no signs of stopping, even with their repeated efforts to “keep big money out of politics.”
These days you really have to live in a cave, or something, in order not to see it. The conflict isn’t between right-wingers and left-wingers arguing about how they should sit in the French Parliament relative to King Louis XVI. The argument is, and has been for awhile, about who should have a greater influence on the direction in which the country is taken: Those who believe next year should yield more bountiful rewards than this year did, or those who don’t believe in that and want everything “equal,” which really means, miserable.
I guess my counter-question would have to be something like: How can anyone pay attention these days, and not see all this?
Speak softly and carry a big…heart?
“Mister President, You need to get serious about what’s going on in the Middle East.”
From Fox News.
Happy Presidents Day!
Very thought-provoking piece in The Atlantic, which takes awhile to point out the obvious:
The people who are most knowledgeable about politics — and therefore, the ones who understand the most political jokes — also tend to be the most ideologically extreme. So it makes sense that political satire shows, like conservative talk radio and its Fox News spinoffs, are ideologically skewed: Their viewers are the kinds of people who know the latest news stories and what their fellow ideologues are saying about them.
Before writer Oliver Morrison gets to that though, there is an interesting story:
Political humor, in particular, might have an inherently liberal bias. Alison Dagnes spent years looking into this question for her 2012 book A Conservative Walks Into a Bar. She spoke to dozens of working comedians who self-identified as liberals, and as many who identified as conservatives as she could find. One of the reasons she posits for a lack of conservative satire is that the genre has always been aimed at taking down the powerful, from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam and 9/11. “Conservatism supports institutions and satire aims to knock these institutions down a peg,” she wrote.
Peter McGraw, an associate professor at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, has argued for what he calls the “benign-violation theory” of humor. McGraw believes that humor results from violating social norms or by violating a particular person or group. But it only becomes funny when it’s placed in a second context that clearly signals the violation is harmless or benign. In other words, if someone falls down the stairs, it will only be really funny if that person doesn’t get hurt.
Earlier this year the journalist Joel Warner published The Humor Code, describing his efforts to test McGraw’s theory. Accompanied by McGraw himself, he visited improv artists in New York and stand-up comics in L.A. The two men talked to the world’s foremost researchers on humor and explored the vast joke collections of humor anthropologists. They even traveled to Japan to see if the benign-violation theory held up in a culture renowned for its (by Western standards) weird sense of humor. In each case, Warner and McGraw were able to use their theory to explain the various kinds of humor they encountered. But when they tried to put the theory into practice, by having McGraw perform standup — first at a bar in Denver and then at the Just for Laughs Festival in Toronto — it didn’t work very well. McGraw did manage to get some laughs eventually, but only after months of immersion and practice.
This attempt to provide an overarching theory of humor suggests that academic explanations aren’t much help to the professionals who are trying to be funny. Humor is a creative art that responds to a specific culture at a particular moment in its history. This response can take many forms: TV sit-coms, internet parody, late-night variety shows, cartoons, stand-up, sketch, improv. But in each case, the jokes only work if they’re perfectly timed and aimed at the right audience. [bold emphasis mine]
That makes perfect sense to me. It’s like the tumblers behind the knob on a safe. If the delivery and the timing are right, if the forum is compatible with the message that is being delivered, and if the audience is ready to here it, you get a click. If you only have two out of those three then nothing happens…which I imagine to a stand-up comedian must be painfully embarrassing. That would be what in the industry they call “dyin’ up there.”
This struggle to thrive in a particular genre isn’t exclusive to conservatives and satire. At the end of the 1990s, when Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show, conservatives dominated one form of entertainment media: talk radio. Liberals have never managed to equal conservatives’ success in that arena. The Air America network — whose talent included Rachel Maddow, as well as Saturday Night Live alumnus and future Senator Al Franken — filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of 2010. Even MSNBC has never been able to attract as large an audience as Fox News, the televised version of conservative talk radio.
Could it be that American political satire is biased toward liberals in the same way that American political talk radio is biased toward conservatives? Dannagal Young, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Delaware, was looking into the lack of conservative comedians when she noticed studies that found liberals and conservatives seemed to have different aesthetic tastes. Conservatives seemed to prefer stories with clear-cut endings. Liberals, on the other hand, had more tolerance for a story like public radio’s Serial, which ends with some uncertainty and ambiguity.
Young began to wonder whether this might explain why liberals were attracted in greater numbers to TV shows that employ irony. Stephen Colbert, for example, may say that he’s looking forward to the sunny weather that global warming will bring, and the audience members know this isn’t what he really means. But they have to wonder: Is he making fun of the kind of conservative who would say something so egregious? Or is he making fun of arrogant liberals who think that conservatives hold such extreme views?
As Young noticed, this is a kind of ambiguity that liberals tend to find more satisfying and culturally familiar than conservatives do. In fact, a study out of Ohio State University found that a surprising number of conservatives who were shown Colbert clips were oblivious to the fact that he was joking.
In contrast, conservative talk radio humor tends to rely less on irony than straightforward indignation and hyperbole. When Rush Limbaugh took down Georgetown student and birth-control activist Sandra Fluke in 2012, he called her a “slut” in order to drive home his point about state-mandated birth control. After the liberal blogosphere erupted with derision, Limbaugh responded with more jokes, asking that Fluke post videos of her sex online so taxpayers could see what they were paying for.
These are excellent examples, made all the more relevant by a common theme reverberating in recent years from Planet Liberal, that there is something innately inferior about the conservative mind for this failure to pick up on irony. That’s an understatement, by the way. Try arguing with a liberal sometime, preferably in one of the faceless forums known for unleashing incendiary rage by loosening inhibitions, like a comment thread in a blog. “Don’t you understand irony?” will come the retort, a few exchanges after the conversation gets a bit heated. It’s one of their Go-To’s. And yeah, turns out, it is possible to snarl at someone on a web page, if you really want to do it.
Left unexplained is, exactly what crime is committed when one fails to get irony. Liberals, today, have a lot more rage for this than they have for robbing a liquor store in Ferguson, MO. And nobody anywhere can coherently explain why that is. There is a bit of hypocrisy in the snarling, too, as the Limbaugh/Fluke example reveals: Limbaugh was doing a lot of joking over that, and in the midst of their hyperventilating the outraged proggies failed to pick up on it.
These examples formed the kernel of Young’s theory that liberals and conservatives look for and see different kinds of humor. Connover, the producer of The Flipside, has already voiced skepticism about Young’s hypothesis. “That’s another way of saying that liberals are smarter,” Connover said. “And clearly that’s not the case. Liberals are some of the dumbest people to walk the earth.” Young insists that hypothesis is not about intelligence; it’s about a preferred structure of jokes. She maintains that there’s nothing inherently better about liking ironic jokes over exaggerated ones.
I would say they’re not quite so much dumb, but let us say, blithely unconcerned with clarity. The passage excerpted ends with a graphic of Stephen Colbert, underneath which an editor has seen fit to append a caption that reads in part, “Stephen Colbert’s humor can leave his audiences wondering whether he’s making fun of conservatives, [or] the way liberals see conservatives…” It goes without saying that this comedian in particular is popular among the left, so this provides additional support for the notion that conservatives and liberals see ambiguity differently. It goes back to my previous observation that
Our “civilization” at the moment…is embroiled in a cold civil war…between people who refuse to define things, and people who MUST see to it that things are strongly defined before they can do what they do.
It is the “do what they do” thing that is the deal-breaker. There are liberals, here & there, who actually do work for a living, in fact there are entire industries that have been fairly saturated with liberals, taken over by them. Just as there are industries that have been taken-over by conservatives. Could anyone with some decent knowledge of contemporary politics, credibly envision a near-future event in which one or more of these industries switches sides? Conservatives give up tobacco farming, truck engine manufacturing, roof inspection, bridge design, in exchange for the industries they’ll take from the liberals — Hollywood, psychiatry, tort law, social work.
It’s pretty safe to say that isn’t going to happen. There are characteristics involved in these professions. The biggest attribute I notice is change-of-states. The crop is not yet farmed, the job is done, and then the crop is farmed. Psychiatry doesn’t work that way, of course. You stretch out on the couch, you pay your money, after awhile the therapist says “Mmmm, okay that’s very interesting, but at this point I’m afraid we’re all out of time. See you next week. We’re making fantastic progress!” But there’s no way to assess any sort of progress without anything changing states. Just like with the social work and the tort law and the making A-list blockbuster movies. Twelve months on, money will have shifted hands here & there, but all the situations will be unchanged. So that’s the big difference I’ve noticed, and in my opinion it’s a difference that essentially locks all the industries into whichever half in which we find them ensconced today.
And I connect that back to the ambiguity-thing. Conservatives don’t look at ambiguity the same way. It’s not a punchline, it can potentially be a killer. If you’re going to go walking out on a bridge your company just designed and built, you’re going to look at the measurements that went into building that bridge, a whole lot differently. So this Colbert-confusion is not going to be that titillating to the conservative mind, because that’s an evening show, and the conservative is going to look at the brain-teaser as not quite so much a punchline, as a piece of unfinished work. And hey, he just clocked out of work. If there’s more work to do, then fine, we call that “overtime” and who’s writing the check for that?
Liberals may see that as greedy or selfish. But the truth is that it’s just one of many transformations involved in reaching adulthood.
Earlier this week the United States and other western powers evacuated Yemen, citing concerns about security in the rapidly deteriorating country. On the way out of the country, U.S. Marines were instructed to destroy their weapons and U.S. vehicles were taken over by Houthi rebels.
Now, without a presence there, the State Department is arguing rebel Houthis can be trusted to keep their word and to respect the U.S. embassy until it can be reoccupied. Houthis have been seen on video calling for “death to America,” just brought down the U.S. backed Yemeni government and have ties to terrorism.
At Pat Dollard, a fascinating video clip of the press conference:
Asking for it back again, pretty-please. What a fascinating diplomatic maneuver.
But fear not, our head guy is on the job or something.
Someone somewhere…is going to isolate some part of this [new video] as perfectly encapsulating How Obama is Diminishing the Presidency…
But which is the Most Diminishing Moment? We have done our best to rank them, from least to most diminishing, below.
I’m in favor of #7 myself:
This is a controversial decision, but we can defend it: How many pundits know how deeply embarrassing selfie sticks are? We propose: Not many. This would however be the most damaging clip for an attack ad — if Obama could run again.
But my all-time favorite comment about this from the thread beneath:
This is an excellent example of how republicans and democrats see the presidency differently. Republicans expect the president to defend the country. Democrats expect the president to entertain them.
Yeah. Bulls-eye. Not your daddy’s democrat party, by a far stretch. No longer is it the “party of the working man,” more like the party of…party. Little boys wearing their fathers’ business suits. Babies who’ve been handed blowtorches. They don’t know what they’re doing, and are not sufficiently mature to develop the curiosity to go figuring it out. They mutter away in solemn tones about “everyone” being able to get “access” to “the health care they need,” but it isn’t sincere. Everything is just one big joke to them.
Here’s something we’ve been wondering: How do superheroes have babies? Thanks to hours upon hours of analyzing fan-made diagrams on the Internet, we fully understand the ins and outs of superheroes making babies, but the birthing part is a little unclear to us. Mainly because most superheroines have so comically narrow torsos, you could barely fit a foot of intestines in there, to say nothing of forming an entire tiny human.
We realize that times and beauty standards have changed significantly and that we probably won’t see a plus-size female hero in a mainstream comic anytime soon. But, we would be equally happy with regular-size female heroes — or pretty much anyone who isn’t capable of taking cover behind a stop sign.
Of course, it’s nothing new to point out the unrealistic proportions of comic book characters — most male superheroes are already so muscular you’d swear they were smuggling steroid-infused watermelons under their skin, so who cares if comics exaggerate a few feminine traits here and there? Well, see, the thing is that giant muscles are primarily a male fantasy, while waists barely wider than your ankle are primarily … a male fantasy.
Yeah…ya know? I actually don’t think so. I’ve met just a couple of guys, ever, who wanted girlfriends who could “see her own toes without bending over,” which to me means, if I’m interpreting it right, no tits. Most guys don’t want that and don’t like that. Guys like curves and tits. I realize it’s February and that’s “argue about the depiction/selection of the female body, everywhere and all-the-time” month, but do we really have to argue about that? Guys liking curves and tits?
I really don’t think straight-guys started this trend, or if they did, it wasn’t out of a lustful fantasy. I think superheroines who are “capable of taking cover behind a stop sign” are just easier to draw. It is the lazy cartoonist’s version of the lazy scriptwriter’s “I’m getting way too old for this” or “I’m coming with you!” or “You’ve got to stop blaming yourself for what happened.”
It’s a vicious cycle. Cartoonists draw all females the same way, feminists (who would never dream of buying the comic book anyway) get extra ticked off about it, especially in February, so they shriek. The shrieking leads to pressure, and the pressure leads, just like pressure on a lump of coal making it into a diamond, to a tighter viewing frustum in which the female form can be safely depicted. Which leads to all the females being drawn the same way. Some more.
It’s a transformation that takes place slowly over time, like water wearing away at a rock. You doubt me? A quick look through history:
That’s from the seventies, when feminism was flexing its muscle and it was still okay to call it “Women’s Lib.” At least I think. Sometime around there. Note, there is room in her torso for some intestines, liver, kidneys, and maybe a womb. Healthy looking, if simplistic.
By the eighties, cartoonists had started to veer away from drawing women and men as formless blobs and developed a healthy curiosity about actual appearances of human bodies: Where are those muscles, which direction do they go, which ones stick out, how, and when? And Wonder Woman looked like this:
Again, room for a stomach, liver, lungs, all that good stuff.
With a few more years of feminist caterwauling, and the arrival of a new generation of cartoonists who evidently haven’t seen too many women naked, look what we have. She can now take cover behind that stop sign like all the rest of them. She’s got it all, except the guts or the room for them:
So yeah, all the female superheroes are drawn pretty much the same way now. Big round boobs that don’t resemble the real-life ones, born or bought, and a mop handle for all the rest of it.
But it isn’t because of male fantasies. Males have had fantasies for a good long time, for as long as humans have been reproducing. Also, fantasies lead to more creativity, not less of it, and what we’re seeing now is the death of creative energies. Not because of fantasies, but because of fear.
But, there are other items on the list that bolster this point. Like #1: “Every Female Character Sharing One Face.”
Yeeeeaaaaahhhh…I’ve been noticing this as well. And the example they provided is excellent, even eerie.
Who is this bitch anyway? There must be someone, somewhere, inspiring this, like CMSgt William Candy. The cartoonist’s mom? An ex-wife maybe? Or a soon-to-be-ex-wife?
Again, the question is what’s happening to creativity. If there’s a narrower range of products being developed, that’s an obvious decline, and not any kind of rise. Lustful fantasies, or any sort of fantasies, do not diminish creativity; they inspire it. Healthy or not, they stoke the flame. That is not what we’re seeing here at all.
From Chicks on the Right.
It really is true. Liberalism is a mental disorder.
Brian Williams is taking a temporary leave because of the “misremembering” thing. His Wikipedia page has probably the fairest and most complete recap of what happened here, but there’s a note above it that says the page includes too much. So it might do to pull that in here before the revision hits…
In February 2015 Williams recanted a story he had told about being aboard a helicopter hit by RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) fire and forced to land on March 24, 2003, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His initial and subsequent reportings of the incident indicated that a helicopter in front of his was hit by the RPG. However, in a 2013 interview and during the NBC Nightly News broadcast on January 30, 2015 Williams inaccurately recounted the incident, stating that it was the helicopter he was on that was “hit and crippled by enemy fire”. His story was soon criticized by Lance Reynolds, a flight engineer who was on board one of the three helicopters that had been attacked. Reynolds and other crew members said they were forced to make an emergency landing, and that it was a half hour to an hour later that Williams’ Chinook helicopter arrived on the scene. Williams investigated the damage and interviewed crew members about the attack.
On the February 4 broadcast of Nightly News, Williams apologized, stating that he “made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” and extended his respect and apology to the “brave men and women in the air crews who were also in the desert.”
NBC News President Deborah Turness announced on February 6 that there would be an internal investigation into Williams’ Iraq reporting. On February 7 Williams announced that he would step away from the Nightly News broadcast for “the next several days.”
On the same day, a 2007 videotaped interview surfaced in which Williams described the helicopter incident in another way that contradicts the recollections of its crewmen. Williams said in the interview, “…I looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us, and it hit the chopper in front of us.” Williams had already agreed in his February 4 apology that no RPG rounds had been fired at his aircraft, but the statement also collides with the recollection of military personnel that the helicopter that did sustain RPG damage was at least a half hour in front of Williams’ craft, making it impossible for Williams to “look down the tube” of the RPG that damaged the other helicopter.
I’m struggling to reconcile this with what I know about the lefty-leaning types, the left-wing cloth from which Williams is cut. I’m taking it as a given that this misremembering event is an effect, of which the leftiness is a cause. My reasoning should become clear after what follows. I haven’t got much new information about this because by now, most of the ones I know have unfriended me on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, either that or we’ve reached some accord in which we “agree to disagree” and all that rot. Most of the lefties I can see are on the news, like for example, President Platitude babbling His gibberish about “high horse” and the Crusades/Inquisition thing…
In [President Obama’s] speech on Thursday, he said:
Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
Pharaoh Three-Putt then went on to explain exactly what “terrible deeds” He had in mind. Oh no wait — no He didn’t! We’re left to figure this out for ourselves.
Once again, it could be fair to accuse me of making the problem with such ambiguity, since a lot of people won’t see it. And that would at first appear reasonable, too. Obama is speaking in the context of a man being burned to death while a crowd watches, well, the Inquisition sometimes involved burning at the stake, so the point is made. Right?
And the answer is no. Ambiguity involves a plurality of interpretations; a disagreement about whether ambiguity is present, cannot be settled by people who believe it’s not there just because they lack the ability to see what causes the confusion. Obama mentioned the Crusades. The evidence, and common sense, compel us to regard all those as one big defensive war. They were a response to the Muslim hordes’ centuries-long attempt to take over the entire civilized world, and of course anytime you’re trying to control people, the very first thing you must do is to stigmatize as a “terrible deed” any act of resistance. We’ve seen Obama’s people do that repeatedly. ObamaCare alone is an adequate example, although there are others. So, sorry, I’m really not sure if He’s comparing immolation to immolation or not. He could very well be talking about something else. Why didn’t He take the time to clarify? He says “let Me be clear” an awful lot, why doesn’t He take the few extra words to, you know, actually do it?
But back to the main subject. How does the idiotic “high horse” remark connect to the Brian Williams debacle? What they have in common is this: Narratives coming undone. People of all ideological stripes love to talk about how they “wait for the evidence to come in before reaching any conclusions,” but in human existence, that is mostly mythical. We like to compose narratives first, then watch truth unfold to validate them. We all do this. It’s impossible not to. Against any example offered to thwart that generalization, the ultimate test would be to monitor human behavior in the presence of some event that is known to repeat, like a drumbeat, a sunrise, or a shrewish soon-to-be-ex-wife yelling about something. People start to form expectations around what has not happened yet, but that they expect to see happen.
People in positions of authority are especially likely to do this, because when unfolding reality fits into a stated expectation like a cog’s tooth into the gap of another cog, it looks like the right people are in charge of things. It’s a cheap and easy trick. Of course, it works the other way too; you have new questions emerging about whether the right people are in charge when reality doesn’t unfold that way. But that’s why we have spin. That’s why speechwriters make money.
Here we come to a key difference in the way lefties do their “thinking,” that distinguishes them from normal people, ultimately separating them from normal people: They are extraordinarily outspoken in their narratives, and yet when the unfolding reality confounds those narratives, the experience doesn’t even faze them. They are Medicators, and as such, they exercise a “process of adjusting one’s emotional response to reality as a first priority, with recognizing that reality as a distinctly second-place priority.”
Are you starting to see the picture now? Brian Williams didn’t lie. He honestly vocalized what was in his head, the problem is that what was in his head was whatever made Brian Williams happy, because Brian Williams leans left and that’s what people do when they lean left. President Obama thinks His patently juvenile rebuttal of “Christianity was doing it too” is somehow relevant, for the same reason Brian Williams thinks his chopper was hit by a rocket, for the same reason Obama’s fans think He is a gifted speaker or that the high-horse comment was some sort of brilliant point to be made. And this is why they unfriend you on social media, or at the Thanksgiving dinner table. This is why they do not revise anticipations of things after previous anticipations were thwarted.
It makes them happy to think this stuff. As Medicators, it is all about that; it is all about regulating the emotional state.
For the same reason I spread fertilizer around on my lawn, that is why they spread it around in their minds: There is a “lawn” of sorts in there, and they want it lush and green. You can prove that your rebuttals are meritorious and correct, all day long and until you’re blue in the face, it doesn’t matter.
Being Medicators, leftists don’t give two hoots about whether a perceived fact is correct, or if a stated opinion is worthy, or whether a recollection is accurate. They care about whether these things are pleasing to them — therefore, whether such things “belong” in their heads — nothing else. That is the real cause of the conflict. It’s whether reality is something you assess, measure, perceive and recall, or whether reality is something you choose.
Fact is, if they kept right on “thinking” that way but didn’t seek to control other people, there wouldn’t be any conflict at all.
Update: Thought it would be good to bookmark this as an example of those who think President Obama was somehow right in what He said. Yeah that’s right: The President said “lest we get on our high horse,” and in the subsequent words immediately climbed up onto a rhetorical high horse — and, there are some hardcore adherents who think that’s just fine, in fact that the message was overdue.
If the article itself underwhelms as an example, get a load of the comments.
There are few things in our modern world sadder than the spectacle of those among us who are secularly inclined, indulging in their legendary bromides about the evils of one thinking oneself better than others simply because of the thoughts in his head — and then, from there, proceeding to provide their own illustrious examples of exactly that. Seemingly without realizing they’re doing this.