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...
I was going to duplicate the headline from the original piece, but I found out that that headline has been in a state of flux:
Editor’s note: This article was originally titled “We Can’t All Just Get Along” in the print version of the magazine. The title was then changed, without the author’s knowledge or approval, to “It’s Okay to Hate Republicans.” The author rejects the online title as not representative of the piece or its main points. Her preferred title has been restored. We have also removed from the “Comments” section all threats to the author’s life and personal safety.
At this point I’m doing an eyeball roll anytime anyone says they’ve received death threats due to their public remarks, regardless of their ideology or position. I doubt like hell I’m the only one. Double-eyeball-roll if the evidence has been scrubbed. But, back to the change of headline: “Not representative of the piece or its main points”? Let’s just skip forward to her strong finish…
According to researchers, the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality. These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance. The need for certainty, the need to manage fear of social change, lead to black-and-white thinking and an embrace of stereotypes. Which could certainly lead to a desire to deride those not like you — whether people of color, LGBT people or Democrats. And, especially since the early 1990s, Republican politicians and pundits have been feeding these needs with a single-minded, uncomplicated, good-vs.-evil worldview that vilifies Democrats.
So now we hate them back. And for good reason. Which is too bad. I miss the Fred Lippitts of yore and the civilized discourse and political accomplishments they made possible. And so do millions of totally fed-up Americans.
Well gee, I’m not quite seeing how “It’s Okay to Hate Republicans” is an unfair summary. I think most people of all ideological persuasions, reading this piece casually, would make that their main take-away.
Let’s see how she starts it, up-top:
I hate Republicans. I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal “personhood.”
This loathing is a relatively recent phenomenon. Back in the 1970s, I worked for a Republican, Fred Lippitt, the senate minority leader in Rhode Island, and I loved him. He was a brand of Republican now extinct — a “moderate” who was fiscally conservative but progressive about women’s rights, racial justice and environmental preservation. Had he been closer to my age, I could have contemplated marrying someone like Fred. Today, marrying a Republican is unimaginable to me. And I’m not alone. Back in 1960, only 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said they’d be “displeased” if their child married someone from the opposite party. Today? Forty-nine percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats would be pissed.
According to a recent study by Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar and Princeton researcher Sean Westwood, such polarization has increased dramatically in recent years. What’s noteworthy is how entrenched this mutual animus is. It’s fine for me to use the word “hate” when referring to Republicans and for them to use the same word about me, but you would never use the word “hate” when referring to people of color, or women, or gays and lesbians.
And now party identification and hatred shape a whole host of non-political decisions. Iyengar and Westwood asked participants in their study to review the resumes of graduating high school seniors to decide which ones should receive scholarships. Some resumes had cues about party affiliation and some about racial identity. Race mattered, but not nearly as much as partisanship. An overwhelming 80 percent of partisans chose the student of their own party. And this held true even if the candidate from the opposite party had better credentials.
How did we come to this pass? Obviously, my tendency is to blame the Republicans more than the Democrats, which may seem biased. But history and psychological research bear me out.
Let’s start with the history. This isn’t like a fight between siblings, where the parent says, “It doesn’t matter who started it.” Yes, it does.
A brief review of Republican rhetoric and strategies since the 1980s shows an escalation of determined vilification (which has been amplified relentlessly on Fox News since 1996). From Spiro Agnew’s attack on intellectuals as an “effete corps of impudent snobs”; to Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech; to the GOP’s endless campaign to smear the Clintons over Whitewater, then bludgeon Bill over Monica Lewinsky; to the ceaseless denigration of President Obama, the Republicans have crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all.
I think I can see why some well-intentioned editor put a headline on her story that wasn’t in concert with her “main points”: She hasn’t supported them. The Republicans are more to blame than the democrats, because some Republicans had some bad things to say about democrats? To establish a relative superiority in the blame department, you would have to compare. You would have to at least look at the bad things democrats have had to say about Republicans. The Republican-hating lady didn’t even bother.
She’d better brush up on her main-point-making skills before she goes someplace where they’re going to be tested, like for example, college! Oh…uh…wait…
Susan J. Douglas is a professor of communications at the University of Michigan and an In These Times columnist. Her latest book is Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work is Done (2010).
Well now. I would hope people of all political persuasions would be inclined to agree — that is a problem. A “professor of communications” has to go running around, getting the last word in on her arguments, enforcing how people interpret her messages, persuading one editor to overrule the other editor to get the headlines “right.” This doesn’t impress me as a stellar job of communicating, nor does it impress me as professorial work. Well, nowadays, maybe it is. The University has weighed in:
On Thursday, university released a statement saying that the “views expressed are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan.”
“Faculty freedom of expression, including in the public sphere, is one of the core values of our institution,” university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said, according to M-Live. “At the same time, the university must and will work vigilantly to ensure students can express diverse ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment and without fear of reprisal. The university values viewpoint diversity and encourages a wide range of opinions.”
So if I’m a Republican student in her class, I know I can rest assured I’ll be all, you know, graded fairly and everything.
Actually, I’m less concerned about that than I am about the irony-immunity involved in saying things like “complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all” — in context of the rest of her remarks. That isn’t just failing to support a point, or lunging to alter a point after it’s gotten a little bit too much publicity in the wrong places. That last one, there, borders on a mental feebleness. And it’s not just Susan J. Douglas who suffers from this problem.
What’s really going on here though is the black-and-white thing. I’m not talking about race, I’m talking about the “need for certainty…lead[s] to black-and-white thinking.” We, here on this blog, have been dragged into that thing about black-and-white thinking. Yes, there is something going on here and it does have to do with the differences in the way liberals and conservatives see opposites. Affirmative action is a good example, although there are many, many others. You have equal treatment, without regard to race, sex, creed, nationality, sexual preference, et al. Then you have unequal treatment. Libs will make the point, unequal treatment is really equal treatment; conservatives will respond, correctly, no those two things are opposites. The lib, reliable as a sunrise, will observe that the opposition is engaging in this “black-and-white thinking” which is supposed to be somehow erroneous…
Uh, problem. Opposites are opposites. When things are opposites, they are not the same.
On Planet Liberal, I’ve noticed, it is seen as a proper rebuttal to find some increment between the extremes. In other words, they don’t seem to understand relativity. East. West. Ah ha, but here is a point that is East of some things, West of some other things! This shows how your black-and-white thinking fails! Er…actually, when you find an increment between two extremes, that doesn’t prove the two extremes are the same. They still remain opposites. If anything, finding an increment between two extremes proves, or at least provides support for the idea, that the opposite extremes are indeed opposite extremes.
Proggies do that an awful lot, I notice. They support arguments that rely on things being the same, when those things are really different, like the equal/unequal-treatment thing with affirmative action. Just as often, they support arguments that rely on things being different, when they’re actually — for all practical purposes — the same. And they do an awful lot of what Professor Douglas did here, accuse the other side of having some sort of monopoly on exclusionary or negative feelings about the opposition, and then within a few short sentences go on to prove that it isn’t so. They seem genuinely ignorant of the irony.
I’m not sure why there’s so much fuss…Barack Obama is doing the picking, so you knew we weren’t going to get a “Top Doctor” who would be concerned about, you know, doctoring…
The idea that members of the President’s Cabinet work for the Congress, acting as their agents in concert with the President, was briefly popular during the Reconstruction era. It’s been given a fair shot, and it doesn’t work. They’re not reflecting the will of the Senate, certainly not of the House — they work for their boss. He hires them. He fires them.
From IJ Review:
Vivek’s confirmation is the result of the nuclear option, that allowed the Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority vote. This option ruled out any possibility of a GOP filibuster from senators in opposition to Murthy’s confirmation.
If this is an example of why we should have kept the Senate filibuster for confirmations, it isn’t a very good one. Surgeon General? I’m still not following why we have one.
“Guns are a health issue.” So, a silly person with silly ideas got parked in a silly place. Where does the grave damage happen? Now if Murthy is nominated for the Supreme Freakin’ Court, that’s a different conversation. But, again, constitutionality. Can it be reasonably said that “advice and consent” have not been forthcoming, when the Senate can manage 51 out of a 100 votes in favor, but not sixty?
Attack the problem at the source. The electorate has some responsibilities. If we have fifty-one senators in favor, there are much bigger problems that need fixing.
And then there’s this:
However, now that the nuclear option is within control of the GOP, it will certainly be interesting to see their response.
“Their” who? In context, seems like it’s gun control supporters, but it could be the White House. Doesn’t matter much, I guess, it’ll be interesting to see responses all-around.
Especially with a Republican President doing the choosing and a Republican Senate doing the confirmations, with 51 votes.
Back to Murthy: This is an asterisk by his name, is it not? What is there for the Surgeon General to do, other than appear on television and speak with the air of gravitas, as in “Nobody knows medicine better than this guy because he’s the country’s top doc”? Which hasn’t actually been confirmed, is never tested, and ultimately the bureaucrat ends up being just another gasbag, another high profile clown. The gig doesn’t add prestige, it ultimately diminishes what the individual has brought. But when the whole point of the job is, the Senate says this guy is the top doc, that’s about the only way the 51-against-60 thing matters. And it isn’t in a good way.
And there’s another thing: If guns are a health issue, what all else is a health issue? How about public debt and bloated government? We could start quite a list…I might start such a list with, “People affecting the public policies affecting guns, when they don’t know anything about guns.” Followed by the destructive effect the welfare state has on families in America. And then go from there.
Brevity has its advantages.
I was actually leaning toward the baker-lady’s side, in the beginning. It started off in the same situation as the guy who was bullying the Chick Fil A cashier just because she was showing up for work and doing her job. But, then she lied about being that person. Said he needed to speak to someone else, then insisted she was standing up for HER beliefs, trying to have it both ways. Then she started swearing a blue streak at the guy.
Ultimately, the point is made. The “You should be forced to accommodate customers against your beliefs” thing fails. It is the successful saturation of our society with this viewpoint, ironically, that reveals how the viewpoint doesn’t work; if it doesn’t apply to everyone, it shouldn’t apply to anyone. And it obviously goes only one way.
So if we’re really about “equality,” we’ll jettison it right away. Let’s sit back and see if that happens.
If the Left were stupid or insane, they would sometimes, by sheer statistical random chance, sometimes voice real outrage over a real injustice, or dismiss as unreal a complaint that actually was, for once, unreal. But they are always silent over real outrages and injustices, except when (“Little Eichmanns”) they applaud them, and always outraged over imaginary outrages.
The only way to get a nearly perfect score of absolute unreality and absolute injustice in each and every stance voiced by countless people over countless years is if three things are true:
1. They all share, openly or tacitly, the same assumption
2. That assumption influences, informs, or controls each and every stance
3. That assumption, either directly or indirectly, substitutes justice for injustice in their thinking, reality for unreality.
If this were true, then the Left would have for unreality the same longing, adoration, loyalty, and hunger for truth which philosophers, scientists, reporters, engineers, and all men of good will by rights should have, and the same longing, adoration, loyalty, and hunger for justice which both victims and those lawmen and law-abiding citizen eager to avenge them by rights should have.
I submit that the one assumption all Leftists share in order to be Leftists is that life is unfair, and the unfairness is manmade, springing from the laws and customs, institutions and habits of mankind, which exploited a unsuccessful victim to the benefit of the successful victor; ergo any man, church or nation who is successful won its success under the crooked rules and corrupt practices of these same unfair laws and practices; ergo the successful are in the wrong, and the more successful they are, the more wrong; ergo again the only way their victims can be made right is for the successful to give away the ill-gotten fruits of success to the victims, and the laws and practices of man shall and must change to prevent the unfairness from happening again.
That assumption controls their every stance…
Any man who does not blame his fellow man for the injustices of nature is not a Leftist. He lacks the proper level of resentment to qualify.
Leftism is politicized envy.
You see, the Left are losers. They are stupid people who want to be thought smart; people with no taste who want to be thought cultured and artistic; selfish cowards who want the palm leaf of martyrdom and the gold medal of heroism; but who, in no case, can actually perform.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, give a bunch of fancy speeches to offer the superficial impression that they’ve done something. And start a political movement to find fault with others who have done.
CNN Reports. And I sense something…something I have not felt since…
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein aggressively defended her decision to release a controversial Senate torture report Tuesday, despite assertions from the CIA that interrogation techniques detailed in the report were effective in thwarting attack plans, capturing terrorists and saving American lives.
In a testy interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Feinstein said she wasn’t going to get into whether CIA Director John Brennan was lying about the torture techniques’ effectiveness, but that “there’s a big difference of opinion.”
Yes — there it is again. Someone “winning the argument” by refusing to discuss something.
Someone female. A female person no sane straight male person would ever want to take to bed & see naked…never, ever, ever ever ever. Which doesn’t matter, of course, except for one thing: Jumping Jehosephat, we certainly have been seeing a lot of this, haven’t we? Every place there is an idea being practiced, or proposed, that is execrable and cannot be defended. If you can’t win by accusing your opponent of racism, you go for the “yard duty teacher” approach, with I’m-not-gonna-do-this. Do the “bitch pitch.” I refuse to discuss this! I’m not gonna go there! I’m not going to get into that! Me, me, me, it’s all about me…anything to avoid discussing that which should not be discussed.
What a poor fit that is for her sales job. Here’s a report! Thought you should know! We need to discuss this some more! Okay, let’s discuss it. Oh, whoa, hey I’m not gonna get into that…
I remember ten years ago, I was seeing at least some persuasive thoughts delivered on both sides of this “torture debate.” It took some mulling-over for some people to realize, duh, hey waitaminnit: If this is wrong only because we would not want to have it done to us, and that’s all it takes to call something “torture” and therefore to intone with an air of finality that it ought not be done to anybody else, then that should apply to everything we do to these people (who want to kill us) that we wouldn’t want to have done to us. We’d have to turn them loose. If it doesn’t work that way, then why? What’s the difference?
No one’s come up with one.
Now, with the passage of a decade, we see people have started to noodle out the obvious. No longer are we seeing strong, persuasive points presented on both sides of the torture debate, points that make you think. What we’re seeing now is just a big turd. A turd being left by a lame-duck Congress.
What’s the upside? There isn’t one, except if you’re a democrat, or someone who wants to see democrats win. By 2006 this was working for them: We’d put them in power, and our government would stop dripping water on the heads of people who want to kill us…which would somehow make us all more morally elevated in some way, or something. We gave it a fair shot. It didn’t work, democrats did very little to elevate our moral standing, they did much more to elevate our debt, along with the cost of living. Which is what happens whenever they’re put in charge.
So we fired them, and now they want to make the discussion cyclical, so we can all revisit the parts of it that produced electoral results more to their liking. But it isn’t working, because in the interim, everybody’s been doing some learning. Well, maybe not everybody. But enough of us.
It isn’t that I doubt anyone will find out anything new from the release of the report. The surprise will be in who will do the learning, and what exactly it is that will be learned. I don’t think these are going to be in sync with the expectations of those who made the decision to release. Yeah, DiFi, I don’t think I’d want to get into that either.
Trounced by race-based protesters, a college president found out that all lives don’t matter and only some lives matter when she accidentally sent out a message that said “All Lives Matter” instead of saying “Black Lives Matter.”
Smith College President Kathleen McCartney sent out an email to students and administrators in which she inadvertently said “all lives matter.” Her message provoked the ire of racebaiters who don’t want the phrase “black lives matter” to become a message of inclusion.
McCartney was told in no uncertain terms that she isn’t allowed to say “all lives matter,” because only black lives matter to these activists.
In the original email, obtained by Campus Reform, Kathleen McCartney used “all lives matter” in the email detailing the “struggle” and “hurt” the Smith community was experiencing following the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
“We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest; yet we wake again to news of violence that reminds us, painfully, of the stark reality of racial injustice,” McCartney wrote.
McCartney also announced the college’s plan to institute a new Chief Diversity Officer to support programs and conversations to advance social justice.
However, it was the subject line that had Smith students up in arms. Students took to social media to chastise McCartney, blaming her skin color for her lack of understanding.
“No, Kathy. Please do not send out an email saying ‘All lives matter.’ This isn’t about everyone, this is about black lives,” Sophia Buchanan, a Smith student, said on Twitter.
McCartney soon sent out a second email apologizing for daring to think that everyone’s life is important.
McCartney is not an opponent of the protests. As Allahpundit pointed out at Hot Air:
Some critics of the protests had been answering the “black lives matter” slogan with the phrase “all lives matter.” McCartney, who was palpably not being critical — she announced a vigil for Garner and Brown in her first e-mail and refers to herself in the second as a “white ally” — unwittingly used the same phrase to make the protesters’ point, i.e. that Garner’s and Brown’s lives shouldn’t matter less because they’re black. Her sympathy couldn’t have been clearer. She got flamed anyway.
On the one hand, she “got flamed” by just one or two special snowflakes on the campus; is this really that important? On the other hand though, she was compelled to apologize, which suggests that if the one or two snowflakes had been ignored, there would be more and more special snowflakes taking the college president to task; and, it isn’t just them, nor is it just here. There’s been a hubbub about this for at least a few weeks now:
Race brings on individual issues for each minority group. Saying “all lives matter” causes erasure of the differing disparities each group faces. Saying “all lives matter” is nothing more than you centering and inserting yourself within a very emotional and personal situation without any empathy or respect. Saying “all lives matter” is unnecessary…
That last one is a fascinating and telling remark. How can it be unnecessary to say something, and simultaneously, necessary to stir up a controversy about someone saying it?
What sort of a victory has been won when that person is forced to walk it back? Obviously, there is one.
What we have here is an apt illustration of the true difference between conservatives and liberals in the United States, of a difference that has endured across centuries when not too many other identified differences have. On these pages, we have occasionally grappled with this idea that “liberals” must have changed party labels sometime in the ten decades following the end of the Civil War, since at the beginning of it they were called “Republicans” and trying to abolish slavery and ratify the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments; in the 1960′s, it must have been the same people trying to pass “Civil Rights,” with affirmative action, with quotas, and so forth. The logic, as I have noted, falls apart when one considers other things, including other issues. Abortion, for example. It is our liberals who say “I would respect the rights of the person who is not yet born, if indeed that were a person, but I do not acknowledge such a thing, and because I do not acknowledge it, your ‘person’ remains nothing more than ’tissue.’” Replace the world “tissue” with “property” and you have the white Southern slaveowner’s answer to the abolitionist movement, in a nutshell. So it is logically implausible to argue the same position is “right” in one century and “left” in another one.
We’re seeing the answer to the quandary now. The “left” does not — never did — smile upon the proposition that “all lives matter.” And this has been consistent throughout the generations.
I would further submit that this explains why some among them hate Christianity so much. It holds that we are all descended from Noah, each and every single one of us, therefore we’re all worth saving. All lives. If you have a pulse, you have value; all that remains is for you to acknowledge it. Also, we’re all descended from Adam. We’re all flawed.
These thoughts are just too big for them. But some of them do have very big brains, and aren’t afraid to talk about them. So maybe there is something else going on: Ironically, such thoughts are way too liberating. Either way, they can’t hack it. Over on Planet Lefty, there never is anything happening to “everyone,” there never is any status, up or down, enjoyed by or encumbering “all.” Humanity is always on a seesaw, with some of it up, some of it down. It’s always some coveted sub-group’s turn to enjoy the time in the limelight.
They’re usually afraid to admit it. So this is an occasion worthy of notice, when they’re willing to come out and say they have a beef with the notion that everyone is worthy and that “all lives matter.” It’s a refreshing outburst of honesty, that they shun the value inherent to all human life, and will always heap scorn on anyone who points this out, chastise & deride until they get the apology they want.
Now if we could just get them to stop using that word “equality.” They don’t believe in it. When they do support it, what they’re supporting turns out to be something else entirely, masquerading under the label.
By way of Fox.
This clip didn’t make it on to SNL this weekend…it was, as they say, “cut for time“.
I have noticed this is going on a lot lately, both within & outside of politics. “I shall win this argument, I shall insist on that outcome and no other, and in order to achieve that I am telling you: I don’t care.”
My disposition is not soothed when I realize that the reason I’m seeing it over and over again, is the same reason I see any argument-winning or election-winning tactic I see over and over again: This shit works. People really are winning arguments by declaring that they “don’t care.” So this would have to be criticism against the rest of us as well, we must be letting it happen. Hannity is showing the first logical response. Incredulity. The second one would be a sense of dismissal: Alright, come back after you’ve read the evidence, and until you have, leave the room the adults are going to figure out what to do about this. Ironically, that’s exactly what the “not-care” people bring, I notice: Begone with you evidence-reading proles, leave the chambers, we High Priests of Apathy are going to make the decisions in your absence. We’re above all that “fact” stuff, or something.
I can see Ms. Norton’s point, there is an issue here that merits greater discussion than it’s been receiving and this is an opportunity to have that discussion. Point is, on that last part, she’s just wrong. If the justice system says the cop is innocent in this case, and the evidence says the cop is innocent in this case, and the eyewitness accounts — once you get rid of the “witnesses” who weren’t there to witness anything — provide testimony that strongly suggests the cop’s innocence…the link is deteriorated, if not severed altogether. What we then have here, at the very best, is an issue that requires more attention, an incident that’s captured widespread attention that some wish could have been directed toward that issue, and nothing to connect the two. At all.
That’s at best. I’m not sure the issue of distrust between cops and the “black community” is something that needs more attention. It’s impossible to deny there is a problem, but again, evidence. It suggests rather strongly that the increased attention has a lot to do with the problem. Across the decades, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving, and during that time we have the spectacle of race-baiting demagogues like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Eleanor Holmes Norton making careers and personal fortunes out of “fixing” it. So…no results to show, and she herself says she doesn’t know or care about what’s going on. How long would you keep a handyman around your house who was spending decades fixing something, getting rich off it, with the problem not getting fixed, then he says he doesn’t care what the problem is?
Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, has a line in her book that states “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.” As you have probably heard by now, her Lean In organization and the Girl Scouts of America have teamed up with various celebrities and some other well-known female figures to urge us to ban the use of the word bossy.
As part of their “public service” campaign they have released a short ad featuring these women lecturing us about how they were called bossy and other names as children and therefore we should “ban bossy.” The “Ban Bossy – I’m Not Bossy. I’m the Boss” video has gone viral while stirring up some controversy along the way. It has now been viewed over 2,250,000 times on Youtube.
In the Ban Bossy video Beyonce tells us that “Girls are less interested in leadership than boys,” while Lynch adds, “and that’s because they worry about being called bossy.”
Really, that’s why? Are you really telling me that the fear of being called bossy has somehow stymied generations of women? How come I’m not buying that? And so what if a somewhat smaller percentage of “girls are less interested in leadership than boys.” Is that the end of the world? Are we really to believe that there must be some sort of contest and competition between the genders when it comes to the percentages of each in perceived leadership positions. Or is this really perhaps just another attempt to fuel the fires of conflict and tension between them by those who don’t really care much for the male gender to begin with? These are questions worth pondering.
In the spirit of consensus, we should all agree that being bossy is not synonymous with true leadership and that it really shouldn’t be. And that being ambitious is not the same as being bossy, stubborn, or pushy either as is implied in the ad campaign. No one really and truly likes a bossy person, whether they be a woman or a man. [bold emphasis mine]
Synonyms offered for “bossy” include “highhanded,” “officious,” “overbearing” and “abrasive.” So yes, being overbearing and abrasive doesn’t make you a good leader, any more than it makes you a qualified engineer.
Oh yeah, engineering. We need to reform the culture there, too, to make life tolerable for these poor fragile women.
It is truly frightening that we have all these people running around, on the loose — not only that, but seeking greater influence, and then getting it! — who seem to have never made any sort of study into brilliant, accomplished, famous people who gravitated to some sort of vocation and then demonstrated that that’s where they belonged. Did anyone have to surround dead-white-guy George Washington with a protective bubble, within which he would never have to listen to anyone tell him he wasn’t a good leader? How about his successor, Barack Obama. If you buy into the idea that what Obama is doing with the presidency is what’s supposed to be done with it, it seems a stretch to say He had to be soothed and coddled into the position, or into the role. No one had to protect the young Obama from anyone who might have lectured Him about “You’re just not good at giving speeches.” Some of us don’t like what He does, but there can’t be any credible doubts that He’s awfully good at doing it.
And you can go right on down through the list. Inventors. Doctors. Sculptors. Painters. There haven’t been too many people finding success in these fields, by way of shouting down or excluding any critics who might have doubted they would be successful. Oh, a lot of successful people did have critics. Most of them did, I would guess. But the truly successful ones didn’t waste time arguing with the critics about whether success should rightfully be theirs; they simply went about proving it.
That may be the most famous quote out of the whole book, right there, and there’s a reason for that. People who have excelled at something, and gotten criticized in spite of their ability to excel — or perhaps because of it — know that that’s how it works. That’s the dynamic.
Controlling the narrative, on the other hand, becomes important when you’re selling a bad idea. If making a girl into a “boss” requires controlling a narrative, that’s a sign, perhaps the first of many, that this is not what she should be doing. It’s a terrible, terrible disservice this “ban bossy” campaign is doing to the next generation, especially to the next generation of women who may be casually flirting with the “boss” role, perhaps allowing their knowledge of the subject matter to languish, longing to — as I’ve said before about the perverse desires of men & women alike — “Skip to the really fun part, you know, where I tell people what to do and then they go do it.” If these boss-first-practitioner-second waifs happen to be on the receiving end of some criticism that the boss role is not the right one for them, there is a possibility that that’s exactly what they need. After all, if it isn’t true in their case, subsequent events should prove that naturally, without any guided narratives from social-media “campaigns.” But with the campaign, which fails to tease out the complexities of the stories behind each individual — it seeks, instead, to generalize, that’s what a “ban” is — how much time are the boss-first-practitioner-second girls going to waste on a role that isn’t right for them?
How much annoyance are these bossy girls going to cause their “underlings,” who may or may not have any matching desire to be the boss, but who have taken the time to understand & become effective at the work that has to be done?
The thing that really hurts the rest of us, though, is the composition of this newer and reconstituted layer of “bosses,” male and female. We can’t really afford to have too many people there who don’t belong there, who lack vision, just want to give orders. The first thing we should have been noticing that they tend to do, in fact that we should have expected them to do, is to pull emergency-stop cords. It’s far easier to stop things than it is to make things go, especially when your role as the “boss” requires an ability to form & act on a vision, and you happen to be missing this. Stopping something doesn’t usually require a vision. But if you can make it happen, it creates the appearance that you’re a strong and effective boss, in tune with what’s going on around you. It isn’t necessarily so.
And this last is not a female thing. We’ve had lots of occasion to see weak-to-mediocre, pretty-boy, speechifying, suit-wearing dudes elevated to positions of power way above their levels of competence. Coasting on old glories of looking like they know what they’re doing, eager to keep the mirage alive, when they wouldn’t even know how to work an ordinary kitchen blender. First thing they do, reliable as rain, is stop things.
We need more girls to join in on the charade? Fewer things going, more things stopped, more phony leadership from people who wouldn’t know how to sweep a sidewalk, with a side order of “strong” female caterwauling and finger-waggling and preening? And pantsuits too, I suppose…what a perfect recipe of what we don’t need, and haven’t needed for a very long time.
Well, if Facebook had any thoughts about interviewing me, guess I just blew that.
“My generation of boys is f**ked,” says Rupert, a young German video game enthusiast I’ve been getting to know over the past few months. “Marriage is dead. Divorce means you’re screwed for life. Women have given up on monogamy, which makes them uninteresting to us for any serious relationship or raising a family. That’s just the way it is…In school, boys are screwed over time and again. Schools are engineered for women. In the US, they force-feed boys Ritalin like Skittles to shut them up. And while girls are favoured to fulfil quotas, men are slipping into distant second place.”
“Nobody in my generation believes they’re going to get a meaningful retirement. We have a third or a quarter of the wealth previous generations had, and everyone’s fleeing to higher education to stave off unemployment and poverty because there are no jobs.”
“All that wouldn’t be so bad if we could at least dull the pain with girls. But we’re treated like paedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest.”
The sexodus didn’t arrive out of nowhere, and the same pressures that have forced so many millennials out of society exert pressure on their parent’s generation, too. One professional researcher in his late thirties, about whom I have been conversing on this topic for some months, puts it spicily: “For the past, at least, 25 years, I’ve been told to do more and more to keep a woman. But nobody’s told me what they’re doing to keep me.
“I can tell you as a heterosexual married male in management, who didn’t drop out of society, the message from the chicks is: ‘It’s not just preferable that you should fuck off, but imperative. You must pay for everything and make everything work; but you yourself and your preferences and needs can fuck off and die.’”
It seems to me like a maturity problem. Checking out of society is not the answer, but there has to be an answer somewhere, and that answer has to have something to do with checking out of something. That’s where the power is. Others can say what they are offering you, but they can’t say you’re going to accept it. The young guys need to learn to aim.
Feminists have to do some growing-up too. You can see by the ones who are pushing seventy, yelling like nine-year-olds, that a lot of them aren’t good at the whole maturity thing. And they can’t aim either. These are the ones famous for printing up & shouting slogans about “all men [being] potential rapists” and so forth.
Regarding the thing about “pay for everything and make everything work, but fuck off and die,” yes, that is American politics over the last half century right there. Every self-important faction has a designated, loathed, class that they’re ready to define, isolate, de-personalize, make into a target. And, the message from the faction to the class is always the same: Get the fuck out so the rest of us can make the big decisions; leave your billfold behind. Feminists say it to men, “greens” say it to “corporations,” “blacktivists” say it to anybody who’s white, gays say it to straights, lefties say it about the “Tea Party,” “Occupy” people say it to anybody who bothers to make a living. Off you go, leave your wallet behind.
The irony is, that’s the answer. Reduce the influence of those who have no solution to their own several problems, save for targeting & reducing the influence of others, this shit stops cold. Who knows, maybe everyday life starts getting a whole lot cheaper. Maybe.
Washington Free Beacon talks about the NEW STAR WARS TRAILER!!!111!11!!ELEVENTY!!1! And makes a point. This is brilliant:
Of course, this being the Internet Age, where Everything Is TerribleTM, soon people were talking about the “black stormtrooper controversy.” And then, all of a sudden, there were a series of denunciations of all the “racist” Star Wars fans who freaked out because a black dude was wearing a Stormtrooper costume. This Mashable post is representative of the genre. But there’s something odd about this so-called controversy. All of the people writing about it just kind of take for granted that there’s some hardcore contingent of Star Wars fans who are writing that the series is ruined because a black dude is playing a stormtrooper. It’s just assumed that this is true.
But…is it? I mean, sure, I bet someone somewhere on the Internet is ranting about minorities taking the jobs of, um, Maori clones, because the Internet is a large and terrible place filled with any number of terrible (and probably large) people. That being said, if you search Twitter for “black stormtrooper,” you’ll find 1,291,074* tweets decrying the super duper racist people who are super duper butthurt about a black stormtrooper, and roughly zero** tweets from people are actually upset about the fact that a black dude was in a stormtrooper costume.*** Go back and read that Mashable post. You know what’s fascinating about it? There’re exactly zero pieces of evidence backing up the belief that there’s any “black stormtrooper criticism.”
What we have here is a prime example of a fascinating Internet phenomenon: the preemptive denunciation of a controversy that doesn’t exist. People live to be outraged, and they’re so excited for things to be outraged about that they’ll more or less invent an outrage to get their dander up. We can see another example of this phenomenon here, in which a blogger denounces a raft of columns questioning the character of a football player who walked off the field before the game was over before a single column of that variety had even been written. The preemptive denunciation is a form of moral posturing, an effort to show that you’re a serious person who believes all the right things, unlike other, bad people who believe all the wrong things.
It’s also dumb. Stop being dumb, Internet people. Just enjoy nice things when we’re given them and calm down. Yeesh.
***There are probably a few people raising continuity questions, given that the prequels made it rather clear that the Stormtroopers are clones of Jango Fett. That seems dumb since we have no idea if he’s actually a stormtrooper and who knows how things have changed in the 30 years since the end of Return of the Jedi. But arguing over continuity isn’t, you know, racism. It’s just being a nerd. That’s what nerds do. That’s ALL nerds do.
Real or fake? Bizpac Review:
In an op-ed for The Hoya, the school newspaper, Georgetown University student Oliver Friedfeld wrote that he and his roommate deserved to be robbed at gunpoint because of their race.
“Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as ‘thugs?’” he wrote. “It’s precisely this kind of ‘otherization’ that fuels the problem.”
Friedfeld said he didn’t think of the assailants as “bad people.”
“I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me,” he wrote. “In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.”
According to this dimwit, the crime of being white should be punished by muggings and break-ins and America ought to get used to it.
“We should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins,” Friedfeld wrote. “I can hardly blame them.”
Young people who willingly or unwillingly go down this road have been dealt a bad hand. While speaking with a D.C. police officer after the incident, he explained that he too had come from difficult circumstances, and yet had made the decision not to get involved in crime. This is a very fair point — we all make decisions. Yet I’ve never had to decide whether or not to steal from people. We’re all capable of good and bad, but it’s a whole lot easier for me to choose good than it may be for them to.
If we ever want opportunistic crime to end, we should look at ourselves first. Simply amplifying police presence will not solve the issue. Police protect us by keeping those “bad people” out of our neighborhood, and I’m grateful for it. And yet, I realize it’s self-serving and doesn’t actually fix anything.
When we play along with a system that fuels this kind of desperation, we can’t be surprised when we’re touched by it. Maybe these two kids are caught, and this recent crime wave dies down, but it will return because the demand is still there, and the supply is still here. We have a lot, and plenty of opportunities to make even more. They have very little, and few opportunities to make ends meet.
The millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world, and thus we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past. As young people, we need to devote real energy to solving what are collective challenges. Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins. I can hardly blame them. The cards are all in our hands, and we’re not playing them.
Kid self-identifies as a “millennial.” That is interesting, given the wonderful job he’s done of illustrating the stereotype. He’s droned on at length depicting his viewpoint of what we’ve done that has not fixed & will not fix the problem, lectured away about how we need to do something different. But he doesn’t say what that is.
Poor little snowflake. It’s sad seeing an entire generation slouch from crib to crypt with these proggie scales over their eyes; we’re almost finished with allowing it to happen to the Baby Boomers. As their huge and tightly concentrated generation wandered through our cultural timestream, like an antelope meandering down the alimentary canal of a python, we really didn’t get much out of it. Miniskirts and big hair, corny movies, Disco. Along with a huge spike in violent crime as our justice system acquiesced to their “enlightened youth” demands for leniency and “greater equality.” That’s the real story here. If Friedfeld represents a majority viewpoint, we’re letting it happen again. Hope not too many people get hurt.
Across America, families are still enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers and gearing up for the Christmas shopping season. Except one family that, due to abuse, exploitation, and a dash of religious intolerance, didn’t get a Thanksgiving dinner at all, and have little to be thankful for.
At least, that’s the tone of the “Psycho Kid Ruins Thanksgiving” video you might have seen floating around your news feeds. In it, an “angry gamer” loses his patience with his father who insists his atheist/agnostic son say “grace.” Things reach their inevitable fever pitch when the gamer angrily stands and flips over the dinner table (and all of the food).
The “psycho kid” and his father throw plates and food at each other, and everyone’s Thanksgiving is pretty much effed.
The film school grad is the producer of another video that drew our notice, which is also fake.
Dan-Rather-fake, anyway. “Fake but accurate.”
The kid in the video is Jesse Ridgway, known on his YouTube channel as “McJuggerNuggets.” A Philly local and recent Rowan University grad, Ridgway enjoys a following of over 100,000 subscribers, and various videos from his “Psycho” series have raked in hundreds of thousands of views each.
Do not bother rebuilding. Your customers do not want you. They tore up your stores — twice. And after one of them robbed a store. These are not protests. They are pogroms aimed at the middle class. Take the insurance money and run.
Police officers, too, should leave. Why risk a criminal trial or worse for doing your job?
Homeowners, too. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic — it does not matter. You are middle class. They do not want you. Leave.
Backed by looters and violent people, liberals are telling the American middle class they do not want you. They want an America where you are either a billionaire knocking down tax subsidies, or jobless and on federal assistance. This is why Obama is importing 5 million more poverty cases illegally from Mexico and points south.
Obama is a courtesan of the very rich…The riots serve his greater purpose to cleanse the nation of the middle class…
To which, Instapundit adds, “It does seem like you need to either be a New Oligarch or a member of the dependent classes to get any attention from these folks.”
Surber links to Forbes:
MITT ROMNEY GETS a lot of heat for his billionaire donors, but President Obama has his fair share of support from the country’s richest, too. FORBES counted well over a hundred billionaires who’ve been invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since Obama’s inauguration, some of whom have thrown parties to fundraise for the President and given big to both his campaign and super PACs supporting him.
The looters won, thanks to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Governor Jay Nixon — Democrats all — who ignored the truth and the facts of the case to fan the flames of violence, across the country. People have begun calling these the Obama Riots. Expect more.
My advice to businesses, residents and officials of Ferguson is to move. Become ex-Fergusonians and maybe, ex-Missourians. And then vote straight Republican tickets after that. They may not be much but at least they will not encourage people to rob you and then burn down everything you own.
Conventional wisdom says the democrats are the party of the middle class. This is less an item of eternal timeless wisdom, than a perishable commodity with a limited shelf life. And we’re well past it.
Related: John Hawkins tallies up the seven things we’ve learned from the tragedies involving Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown:
1. The initial story you hear is probably a lie.
2. The Left has zero interest in discussing why black Americans are really more likely to be shot by police officers.
3. It’s time for cops to start wearing body cameras.
4. You better arm yourself because you can’t count on the police to protect you.
5. The mainstream media is more interested in promoting the idea that America is a racist country than the truth.
6. Most people on the “Left” care more about the narrative than the truth.
7. “Black Leaders” are looking to ratchet up the tension, not ease it.
If Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton show up somewhere claiming that a wonderful black kid who was going to college was shot for no reason and nobody is doing anything about it because of racism, you can safely assume you’re being taken for a ride. The police do make mistakes. The Akai Gurley case is a great example of that. There are also bad cops out there. The cops who tortured Abner Louima in New York City fit that description. But, it’s better to let a court sort through the details under oath to get the facts rather than relying on rumors and people who see dollar signs in their eyes every time someone yells “racism.”
The mainstream media helped create the angst over Trayvon Martin and the riots in Ferguson. NBC falsely claimed George Zimmerman used a racial slur and edited his call to the police to make him sound bad while the whole media used an old picture of Trayvon Martin that made people think he was 12. On the eve of the Grand Jury verdict in the Michael Brown case, the New York Times published THE STREET Darren Wilson lives on with his new wife. Beyond those egregious offenses, the mainstream media helped create many of the initial myths about both cases, was slow to correct the facts and habitually slanted its news coverage to portray Zimmerman and Wilson as guilty, even when it didn’t fit the facts. Everyone knows the mainstream media is biased, but when its coverage plays a role in getting people’s businesses burned to the ground, it has gone too far.
It’s extremely ironic that most of the businesses that burned in Ferguson were minority-owned because black leaders like Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, the New Black Panthers and, yes, Eric Holder and Barack Obama helped make it happen. Yes, they gave bloodless, CYA condemnations of violence, and then went back to hyping people up instead of calming them down. See, when people get mad, they give donations. Peace doesn’t make money. Peace doesn’t get your name in the newspaper. Peace doesn’t get anyone on TV. [bold emphasis mine]
It is time that higher education paid the same corporate income taxes that every other industry in America pays. I would force Harvard to liquidate that $35 billion Harvard sits on in endowment funds. And I would tax donations to every college in the United States. These are not charities. They are huge corporations run by six-figure corporate executives.
Nor are these institutions exempt from civil rights law. I want to see someone punished for passing off Ward Churchill and Elizabeth Warren as Indians to meet some affirmative action quota. Perhaps the next president can RICO the Ivy League and even do a thorough antitrust investigation of higher education.
Discrimination is discrimination. Throw away the affirmative action crutches and watch academics rise in the United States.
Surber links to Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a.k.a. Instapundit, who explains,
Decades ago, the Ivy League colleges thought they had a problem: too many Jews. These recent immigrants, from a culture that prized education and academic achievement, had an unfortunate characteristic: They worked harder, studied longer and cared more about school. In short, they had all the attributes required for success in the Ivy League.
Problem was, the Ivy League didn’t really want them. Being first-generation students, these applicants didn’t have rich alumni parents who would be likely to donate big bucks. Being from an ethnicity not associated with America’s governing class, they didn’t help the Ivy League with its biggest selling point — that going to college there provides an opportunity to rub shoulders with America’s governing class. And they were seen as boring grinds who studied too hard and weren’t much fun.
The result was a change in admissions criteria to reward “leadership,” and “well-rounded” candidates — a thin disguise for “WASPs” — and, following closely on, actual quotas for Jewish students, so that no matter how many applied, their numbers on campus would stay just about the same. After several decades, this came to be seen as racist and unfair, and the quotas were dropped. (Though by then, conveniently enough, the Ivy League was able to find Jewish applicants with plenty of money, polish and governing-class connections without too much trouble).
But while the quotas for Jews are gone, the Ivy League now, by all accounts, has quotas for Asian students. They are seen as people who study too hard, boring grinds who aren’t much fun — and, of course, their parents aren’t as rich and connected. And though the numbers of highly qualified Asian applicants have grown dramatically, the number of Asians admitted stays pretty much the same every year.
Now the Asian students are suing. In a lawsuit against Harvard, they are claiming that Harvard demands higher qualifications from Asian students than from others, and that it uses “racial classifications to engage in the same brand of invidious discrimination against Asian Americans that it formerly used to limit the number of Jewish students in its student body.”
These claims are almost certainly correct. Discrimination against Asian students — and not just by Harvard, but throughout higher education — has been an open secret for years. Asian students, we’re told, face a “bamboo ceiling” as a result.
Where today’s discrimination is different from the Ivy League’s old quotas against Jews is that those old quotas were removed as part of efforts to fight racism. The Ivy League’s new quotas, meanwhile, are often defended on the same grounds — or, at least, as a means of attaining “diversity.”
Quotas, applied for the sake of achieving “diversity,” are a tacit admission that unequal treatment is required in order to achieve the diversity. They are insulting, in addition to purveying exactly the sort of “discrimination” to which they are supposed to be opposed.
This applies generally. No net good can come from a plan that requires recognition of some elemental thing as the opposite of what it really is. One day, we will learn, and the dark age will end. In the meantime, it will persist.
Me, on the Hello Kitty of Blogging:
Seriously, it just makes sense that a whole calendar page ought to be flipped, between sitting down with friends & relatives to offer thanks for all the wonderful things you have, and trampling strangers under your feet in a mad dash to get more stuff.
“Black Friday” should not be in November at ALL. People may argue about whether commercialization has completely consumed Christmas, but nobody can deny there is a problem. Nor can anybody question, seriously, that a lunatic mad-mob-crowd shopping season that leads up to a holiday in December, ought to start in December. The month of November should be set aside for the more humble sentiments, for the gratitude.
I console myself by thinking about females. Shopping is for females. Females bear the hard work of clearing off the dining room table, bagging the leftovers, washing the dishes, etc. while the men snooze. So in that sense, it is a little bit fair. But then I think, if I was a female and I’d just busied myself with an hour of clean-up detail, would I want to be among the hairbrains kicking off the Christmas shopping season that evening?
And then, I realize, the overlap is not complete. The people shopping on “Black Friday Eve” are not the ones who cleaned up the kitchen. Maybe they’re the daughters, or step-daughters, or some such. It isn’t my place to know, I don’t live in those households. But, I realize civilization is dying a little bit with this lunacy, and I die a little bit inside too, realizing this.
We should stop. We don’t even need a blogger guy to point it out. We all know it. Every single one of us. We’re just not acting on it.
Sometimes-commenter Robert Mitchell posts over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging, somewhere…
The real difference between conservatives and liberals, today:
Liberal: Someone should take care of this! Or, We need a program to take care of this!
Conservative: ++sigh++ It looks like it’s up to me to take care of this…
From Cute Puppy Love.
From Geeks Are Sexy.
The Left has a storied history of transforming legitimate disagreement into mental illness…
How is one to debate whether Rudy Giuliani says what he does merely because he is a white supremacist? “But I am not a white supremacist!” he might object — which is, of course, what all white supremacists say! And when [NY Times Columnist Charles] Blow claims that the president’s opponents are desperately clinging to power, how is such an opponent to respond? After all, doctor knows best.
To psychologize the question at issue in a debate is to remove it from the realm of debate altogether. That is why liberals are eager to explain their opponents’ positions as the work of psychological “mechanisms,” operating subconsciously or unconsciously, of which the opponent is unaware. Were he fully apprised of these mechanisms, he could be a constructive interlocutor. But oblivious to so much subliminal influence, debating him is just not fair; it would be taking advantage. He is, one might say, not in his “right mind.” Where the Soviets encouraged sulfozin, the American Left encourages Howard Zinn — but the difference between the two is, at root, not so large.
It is to be expected. What else are you to do when the evidence says your opinion is wrong, logic and common sense say your opinion is wrong, history says your opinion is wrong, the “science” behind your opinion doesn’t produce predictable or repeatable results — but you have this emotional need to swagger off the field of conflict as the unquestioned victor? It’s all too easy. You announce that you have found yourself in a battle of wits with an unarmed man, then take the high road.
I have to disagree with the closing thoughts:
Obviously conservatives could employ this same practice. [Michael Eric] Dyson’s obsession with racial injustices they could blame on “querulous paranoia.” Blow’s concern about conservative “fear” they could explain as “persecutory delusions.”
But to do so would, besides being obviously false, serve no purpose. Ideas, proposals, platforms — the material of political progress — are refined in the clash. Reduced to expressions of hidden cognitive processes, ideas vanish.
And if you think American politics is unhealthy now…
But it is! We have elitists accusing non-elitists of elitism, sexists calling non-sexists sexists and racists calling non-racists racists. How do you fix that? Not with a bunch of “don’t lower yourself to their level.” That’s just a bunch of not-doing-anything. And it’s been tried already.
Since when are “persecutory delusions” among liberals false anyway? Beside being Thanksgiving, this is Ferguson High Drama Week #2. We’ve been listening to persecutory delusions among our friends the leftists, the entire time, all day every day.
Now if you want to set me straight that it’s a mistake to argue with them, you’ll find you haven’t got a lot of convincing to do. But it’s still an educational exercise, of sorts. I have noticed among the lefties who aren’t so eager to “diagnose” their opposition, the next popular tactics all have something to do with perceiving some lack of understanding. The fabric of conservative thinking is all wrong, it fails to note legitimate “shades of gray” in some spectrum, or the conservative fails to see how the plan is supposed to work. Something requires an explanation. It seems to be a sincere misunderstanding on the liberals’ part. But it also comes off looking like monologuing-away about how single-payer health care will fix all our problems, or a bigger stimulus will fix the economy, is what’s really needed. Like the monologuing is a tonic. Or an anesthetic.
Because when the conservative provides a rebuttal of the form “Yeah we already tried that, and these were the results” — the counter-rebuttal is…yup…more monologuing about the same stuff. “See when the government spends the stimulus, it creates jobs, which blah blah blah.” It gets embarrassing. The endless-loop shrinks down to the size of a Cheerio, and the “debate” dissolves into just one side belaboring discredited theory, and the other side annoyingly articulating the results of practice.
In fact, this is a rather simple, indeed tedious, misconception crying out for a correction long overdue. Liberals are allowed to think the disagreement results from conservatives’ ignorance about the future. When in actuality it comes from the liberals’ ignorance about the past. It turns out that when you form domestic policy around the premise that it’s wrong for people to get rich, and overseas policy around the premise that it is wrong to confront evil, what you get out of that is more poverty and more evil.
Like, you know, duh.
At one point [host Don] Lemon interrupted Jackson saying, “Reverend, with all due respect, if people need jobs in the community, why would you burn down a store or a place where you could possibly get work?”
“Sometimes pain can lead to a rational conclusion.” Oh okay, so we haven’t misunderstood. Burning down the store is somehow supposed to make it all moar-better and what-not.
Liberalism is destructive, and inherently so. We should be thankful the entire nation has the opportunity to see this.
To coin a phrase, it isn’t part of the solution it’s part of the problem.
From the comments:
Only in America can an otherwise illiterate man make a six figure income fanning the flames of anger, bigotry, hate and victimization; while interviewed on prime time by a major network. The race cabal of Chi-Town turned the plight and cause of Martin Luther King Jr. into a de facto cottage industry worth millions. Other than shamefully peddle their faded and empty rhetoric, what else have these bunch done for the those that they allegedly represent? What [a] scam.
…and what they really mean, ten of them. Including,
8. No War for Oil
Chanted by Liberals to imply that the Iraq war was actually, only about oil. There no real shortage of oil, it’s just expensive. Had we used the money we spent freeing Iraq, buying oil instead, we would have had ten times as much oil. Instead, we caused (temporarily, until Obama screwed it up) a stability in the world’s oil production which in turn weakened those oil producing nations (Saudi Arabia, Venezuela) who were funding terrorism and Communism. The goal was international stability which would have resulted in the reduction of violence world wide. That is until some moron named Obama yanked our troops out of Iraq, and set everything back two decades.
What’s really dishonest about that one is that it appeals to the cliché-driven mindset, and against the grain of reality. In so doing, it reveals that the speaker thinks in clichés. The “neocon” Republican, who is on the payroll of some big oily corporation and at some obscene confiscatory salary rate, with bonuses, probably wears boots and a cowboy hat, has some cunning master plan to siphon the oil in Iraq into some big tanker or warehouse or truck somewhere. After which, he intends to sell it to the highest bidder and this somehow forces the rest of us to pay ten dollars a gallon for gas.
When the real conflict is, liberals want everything to be expensive for those of us who are stupid enough to continue paying for the things we use without relying on the government. So that as life continues to get more and more difficult year by year, we’ll be given an incentive to become wards of the state. Versus the conservative outlook that says no, let’s just let Cloward-Piven die the death it deserves, and if there’s no reason for gas to cost more than $2.50 a gallon then let’s get it down there so people can drive to work, and if there’s no reason for more than 10% of our households to be on public assistance then let’s drive that rate down too.
And then there’s the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with any of this. I recall somewhere on Quora someone decided to get an echo started, and I decided the time came to stop the echo because Quora is abused enough already. Actually, I think I agreed with the person who asked the question, who was pointing out the hypocrisy of democrats voting in favor of the use of military force and then hitting the campaign stumps with the “no war for oil” thing. But still, Quora is for questions. The lefties were rewarding the soapboxing with contrary soapboxing, not much answering-of-questions was happening that I could see. So I stepped in with some truth.
And the truth is, the point where liberals got all pissy about the invasion of Iraq was this: A problem had existed for awhile, and someone was using executive authority to confront the problem, arrive at a strategy, direct resources, and engage action against the problem in such a way that these things might have an actual effect on the outcome. “War for oil,” body counts, making-new-terrorists, “they hate us now,” blah blah blah blah blah — none of that actually had anything to do with it either. On Planet Liberal, when a problem drags on and on across the decades, what you’re supposed to do about it is give a lot of speeches and use them to get democrats elected. Period. You aren’t supposed to do anything to actually change the situation. As we saw a decade ago, when you do that, it offends them a lot, and in a very special way they can’t (afford to) explain.
It’s just like getting hired into a union shop, and then working your balls off so the other guys who’ve been there awhile start looking bad, that makes you the center of negative attention and widespread enmity in exactly the same way, and for the same reasons. Everything was good and everything looked fine to the bosses, until that new guy came on the scene. So let’s “help” him make it home some night, show him the proper use of an axe handle through his teeth.
Anyway. Back to the subject at hand.
6. Violence Never Solved Anything
Cute, pithy, feel-good but still utter nonsense. Interesting that the same Liberals that cry, “Violence never solved anything,” have no problem arming local police departments like soldiers going to war. Interesting that they also have no problem when their president sends troops with guns into another country to make it do what we say. Interesting that so many of the wealthier and more powerful ones have no problem hiring armed guards to keep them safe.
Quite. For liberalism to make sense — just to start making sense — you have to presume nobody is going to use force to try to hurt you or take your stuff, but at the same time, that community-wide starvation is imminent due to dwindling resources, and we need to coordinate the allocation of those resources. The challenge in selling it is that within those segments of our society in which muggings and burglaries are unlikely, the standard of living is comfortable, and by the time you get there starvation ceases to remain any sort of issue. But that really isn’t much of a problem, it’s natural for humans to worry about depleted resources. Especially here in the U.S., it’s become rather easy for us to forget how good we have it.
One of the many reasons liberalism, as we know it today, doesn’t make any sense is while liberal detest violence, they sure do appreciate force an awful lot. Force of law, force of executive order, force of “majority” rule, force of phony-science, force of academia. They just love concluding arguments with some variant of “and so it’s decided, you’ll just have to go along with it.” And yet they know their rules are only for those who choose to abide by rules. They’re like the cowardly vice-Principal who breaks up the fight on the school playground, and then arranges detention only for the “good” kid who isn’t supposed to get in trouble.
I once saw a high school teacher lead a simple, powerful exercise to teach his class about privilege and social mobility. He started by giving each student a scrap piece of paper and asked them to crumple it up.
Then he moved the recycling bin to the front of the room.
He said, “The game is simple — you all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become wealthy and move into the upper class.”
“To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.”
The students in the back of the room immediately piped up, “This is unfair!” They could see the rows of students in front of them had a much better chance.
Everyone took their shots, and — as expected — most of the students in the front made it (but not all) and only a few students in the back of the room made it.
He concluded by saying, “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like. Did you notice how the only ones who complained about fairness were in the back of the room?”
“By contrast, people in the front of the room were less likely to be aware of the privilege they were born into. All they can see is 10 feet between them and their goal.”
“Your job — as students who are receiving an education — is to be aware of your privilege. And use this particular privilege called ‘education’ to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.”
Mkay, some questions first though. After all, this is supposed to be “education,” so questions should be a good thing…
This “advocating for,” what is that exactly? Is that picking up the crumpled up pieces of paper off the floor, carrying them to the bin and dropping them into it? Because that would be cheating, am I right?
Or is it manufacturing & placing more bins? As one of my current Facebook friends & former work colleagues pointed out, that would be something like capitalism…
Centralized government views its job as reducing the number of bins and move the one constantly according to what the Principal tells the teacher the needs of the class are based on last quarters bin report. The US Constitution allows more people to make more bins without much interference or guidance.
In fact, once you get out of the communist classroom setting, you’ll find one of those bins under every desk.
Probably not what the “communist” teacher had in mind.
A second question. The original article reports “most of the students in the front made it (but not all) and only a few students in the back of the room made it.” We can deduce from this statement that some of the students who made it were sitting a lot farther away from the bin compared to some of the students who missed, which would prove this “privilege” doesn’t decide everything. The mission is supposed to be one of education, education relies on communication.
If “privilege” is a real thing, then — and I maintain that it is — could there not be an opportunity for the underachieving to learn some things from those who met the challenge? It has been established that the dividing line between privileged & underprivileged, is not the same as the dividing line between the hits and the misses.
Which leads to yet a third question. Since some among the underprivileged did meet the challenge, and some among the privileged did fail the challenge, could it not be strongly ascertained that the point of this exercise is to pay closer attention to those who failed, as opposed to those who are underprivileged? The ramifications are significant. An “education” that involves a shift of attention toward those who fail, is bound to ultimately result in more failure. This would be the opposite of what the casual observer might have inferred from it, that the problem identified is all these crumpled papers missing the basket and we’re laboring toward a more sophisticated social model in which more crumpled papers find the intended target. You can’t get more success out of “teaching” people to ignore success and fixate themselves on failure.
Conclusion: A good place to resume this “lesson” from where the instructor left it, might be to pair up these “privileged” misses with the “underprivileged” hits, see if something can be done to improve the technique. Of course, in order for it to reflect real life, with some sort of market-based economic system in place, there would have to be a reflection of productivity. So a new bin for any student who manages to sink, let’s say, five in a row.
At the end of it all, it may be found that some among these budding “founders” managed to cross a respectable distance. This would do nothing to defeat the exercise of “education”; quite to the contrary, it would vividly illustrate the practical side of why we bother with it.
What if the next President doesn’t feel like pursuing anti-trust law, or banking regulations, or EPA regulations? What if he can’t get Congress to change his least favorite law because – as is the case with immigration – the American people don’t agree with doing so? According to the precedent Obama is setting, the President has the authority to simply wave his hand and declare that those laws – or entire sections of law – will not be enforced.
So, during an interview on This Week, George Stephanopoulos decided to ask:
“How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in, wants lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it — he says I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax.”
Guess what. The President doesn’t think they have the right to do that. Why? Here’s his idiotic non-answer:
No word on whether He plans to change the force of gravity, the speed of light, or the freezing temperature of water within the two years He has left.
In fact, more and more I have some serious doubts that we’re done with this guy in 2017. I’ve always thought of Him as a tragedy in the making, someone whose fate is cast by our term limits, to lose all of His influence save for that as a somewhat famous private citizen — and whose psyche is simply unprepared for what He would surely see as a downfall. Oh sure, He’d shoot His mouth off a great deal more than ex-Presidents are supposed to, kinda like Jimmy Carter. But that is all He would be, another Jimmy Carter.
This clip makes me want to re-think that. I’m not so sure we’re done with Him. He thinks He’s doing the right thing here, but doesn’t want future presidents to follow suit. Just like the little kid who’s too young and too undisciplined to play Chess or Monopoly, making up new moves on the spot, coming up with new moves for the pieces, and new conditions whereby the opposition can’t build hotels or collect $200 for passing Go.
So why would He step down, just because the rules say so?
Asst. Fire Chief Steve Fair with the Ferguson Fire Department said they found structure fires along the corridor of Florissant, West Florissant, and Halls Ferry roads.
“We have been fighting approximately 25 structure fires tonight, along with a car dealership where we lost 10 cars that were burned up,” said Fair.
They had a map up at that site at one point…
We’re getting a lesson here about what civilization is, what it takes to make it happen, what it takes to keep it going. And what its problems are in this age of mass communication. Too many people want to be a part of it, insofar as they can collect benefits from being part of it. The part of their credo that doesn’t work goes something like “Alright, but keep in mind no decisions can be allowed to stand that we don’t happen to like. My smaller clique wants veto power over everything.”
I see over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, some of my friends have sympathy for the thug that got himself shot. They say their sympathies are not with the looters, but I’m not sure you can cut it that way.
I keep hearing about how “we need more accountability.” Huh. Well what about the news agencies that played up the drama angle on this story, to the hilt, in the days running up to the grand jury’s decision? ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. Misusing the miracle of mass communication to give the tension a higher, and higher, and higher profile.
This is how you kill civilization. We can certainly see this happening in smaller units, in families for example. In dysfunctional families, one common factor that runs through all of them is that attention is reserved for those who are constantly spoiling to start fights, therefore, big issues are made out of things that really are not so big. Some within the family can see what’s happening and don’t want to contribute to the problem, but their solution is to retreat to a safe distance, therefore to make themselves inconsequential. The bulk of the influence therefore goes to the co-dependents, to the dysfunctional individuals and their enablers.
That’s what happened here. I don’t wish to be insensitive about this, but the point of origin, really, was not so big. A thug rushed a cop who was, fortunately, armed. If you don’t want to get shot, don’t rush at cops with guns. If you don’t want your kids to get shot, don’t let them grow up to become thugs.
Had this one germinating in my cranium for awhile. SNews (n.): News that is produced for the benefit of the producer of the news, or some third-party who has entered into some transaction with the producer of the news, rather than for the benefit of the consumer of the news.
If you like, you can think of it as a portmanteau for “sponsored news.” It is meant to be a homonym of snooze. The litmus test is: Thinking of the “news” as an answer to a question, does the question it answers bear any resemblance to a question the audience would have been asking? If it doesn’t — and lately, I notice, it very rarely does — then it isn’t really “news,” is it?
My accumulation of mental kindling has been touched off by the ignition that is the “news” out of Ferguson. As we await a verdict, it is fair to say the questions foremost in the audience’s collective mind are easy to distill.
1. Are they going to indict him?
2. If so, on what charges?
3. If not, are the hoodlums going to wreck everything?
And the “news” that is coming out, ALL DAY — in fact, throughout all of last week — is not this. Rather, it is one boring speech after another from an assortment of local muckety-mucks. BLAH BLAH BLAH urge remain calm BLAH BLAH BLAH racially sensitive BLAH BLAH BLAH.
My beef with this is that things that are called “news,” whether they really are news or not, cost. They cost money. They cost time. Most of all, they cost bandwidth. You only have so many minutes in the day you can pay attention to the news. Everybody is hurt when we call things that aren’t news, “news,” and then treat those things as if they really are news, when they’re much more like sponsored messages from interested parties. Well-intentioned parties maybe, but still, seems to me they should be paying for the advertising. And let’s call it something like advertising if that’s what it is. Stop calling it news.
Update: This is what I have in mind: News.