Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
The liberals are truly going nuts, and it’s beautiful. They recently resurrected Nancy Pelosi for another glorious term winnowing away the House Democrat caucus. Pretty soon it’s just going to be her and some guy representing Berkeley who they recruited while he was shouting “Workers of the world unite!” at bored coeds on Telegraph Avenue. You know, if you want to reach out to the kind of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, normal Americans who voted for the black guy then allegedly refused to vote for the woman because they are racist, you totally want an ancient, rich, snooty, San Francisco leftist and Botox after-picture like the Nanster.
Did you know that the president-elect has to get China’s permission to take calls from the heads of other countries? Me neither, but the liberals seem to think so. I’m really confused. We’re supposed to hate the Russians – apparently not because they invaded Ukraine or Syria but because their hacking revealed Democrat corruption – yet we’re supposed to do the organ grinder monkey dance for the commie tyrants in Beijing?
I’m hearing we should put aside party differences and concentrate on the future of the country. That seems to make good sense, but it presumes the two parties share a common vision about this country-future. I’m not sure about this.
Maybe that is what we need to be discussing. Now and then I hear liberals and democrats express concern about the skill level of the next generation of Americans, but that’s usually in terms of calling for more immigration because, heck, native-born Americans aren’t up to the challenge of demanding, technical work…better give up on ’em.
They snort at the idea that they want America’s economy to be made more & more anemic…okay, that’s understandable I guess, if that was my vision I wouldn’t want anybody catching on to it either. Would both sides agree, then, that democrats have an interest in social services being put in greater demand? See, most people don’t want that. Most people want their fellow citizens to be filthy stinking rich. Easier to get jobs that way.
The democrats don’t want that. So why make peace with them? Kick ’em when they’re down, they got it coming.
Yeah, the liberals are going nuts everywhere. In Hollywood, they are continuing their bizarre and inexplicable campaign to foist left-leaning fuglies upon American audiences. The sexy supernova that was Lena Dunham has somehow petered out, American men apparently possessing eyes and, equally importantly, ears. I’m required to be shallow since I live in LA, but there really is this thing called “inner beauty.” One can mock the utter cluelessness that possesses this dumpy strumpet to flaunt her figure as if she was Cindy Crawford, Jr., but what actually makes her ugly is the fact that she is just a horrible person – entitled, abusive, dishonest, narcissistic, snobbish and amazingly dumb.
Ah, not nice. But then again, Ms. Dunham is repeatedly putting herself in the public eye. And she’s being approached to do this…by, someone. This is a big part of the reason why liberals eventually lost. When they want to make themselves stronger, they put things in front of us to show why they should be put back in power, and the things they put in front of us consistently show they should not be. They cannot tell beauty apart from ugliness. It’s as if they think these two are interchangeable.
From here. There is an old joke within conservative circles that when democrats say “working families” it is 100% untrue, since they’re not really talking about people who are working, and they are not talking about actual families; they mean non-working non-families. Even the staunchest democrat would concede that this class-designation can certainly include persons and groups who don’t qualify in the strictest semantic sense.
Which would have to mean, when House Minority Leader Pelosi says the party is maintaining its “values” and that is what the values are, she’s describing nothing. She says people don’t want a new direction, which is to be expected of an old-guard dignitary, but you would also expect a stronger statement of what the old direction is.
Or would you?
Liberals are, and have been, as I’ve pointed out — undefiners. And, unproducers. Their appeal has been to the young, and they know it. If there’s little new learning over the previous four to eight years, and lots of new young voters making it to the polls, they win. If there is a lot of learning and fewer new voters, it goes more like 2016. This is common knowledge and not difficult to explain. Eventually, as one lives life, the intelligent voter is exposed to enough government inefficiency that putting more aspects of life under public-sector control loses its appeal, but this life-lesson takes a lot of time. Until the lesson sinks in, “I ran out of ice cream last night, we need a Federal Department of Ice Cream” seems to make sense.
Obviously, the democrat party is about promoting leftism. Leftism is destructive by nature, because it isn’t about improving or reforming the existence system so that it “serves the interests of everyone” as they say. It’s about tearing existing civilization apart, and starting over again. Yes, the Federal Department of Ice Cream is part of that, even if some of its supporters don’t consciously realize it. It’s about destroying the present system by overloading it. It’s called Cloward-Piven and there are those who say that if you’re not up on what this is, how it came to be & what it means, you shouldn’t be voting. They may be right.
Another thing we do as we get older is we learn to create new things that weren’t there before; and we learn that in order to do this, we have to manage details. You don’t need to manage details when you wreck things. Creation — and preservation – require attention to detail, and a commitment to delayed gratification. Because of that, the “I want it now” mentality is always going to gravitate toward destructive efforts, because it has nowhere else to go. Breaking things is fun. And you get to see results right away.
We therefore should not have been too surprised to see Whoopi Goldberg refusing to allow anyone to infer that flag-burners hate the country. There’s nothing too remarkable about such a statement, it is merely the cresting of a mountain of un-definition that has been building up for awhile. We have seen, for decades, liberals lecturing us about other liberals — “Just because he [blank] don’t go jumping to the conclusion that he thinks [blank].”
WHOOPI: The military is not the flag. The flag represents a lot of different things to different people.
WHOOPI: And so you have to keep that in mind because, in fact, that’s what the first amendment is about.
WHOOPI: The flag does not always represent all of its people. All of its people were not taken care of under our flag, so folks know that —
FARIS: I get it.
WHOOPI: People are angry. They sometimes get angry and they burn the flag. Sometimes they burn the neighborhood, you know.
Goldberg seems entirely unaware that if this were to be taken seriously by someone with real influence, it would entirely defeat the “free speech” argument. Here you are burning a flag, and I’m not allowed to infer you hate the USA because “sometimes [people] get angry” and that’s what they do. What, then, is being said? There’s no longer any coherent answer. Whoopi Goldberg says it’s just something people do when they’re mad, like pounding the table I suppose…well then, what are we to think of a law, or ordinance, against pounding tables? Would that be null & void because it would intrude unconstitutionally on the right to free speech? I think we can all agree it would not. People would be compelled to keep their arms by their sides, or gesture with them but don’t touch anything, and state their position coherently. Free speech would survive just fine at the end of the day.
These are connections you can make only when you begin to think like an adult, after you understand the virtues of defining things, managing details, stating ideas coherently, making decisions by way of reason & not by emotion, and recognizing the most probable effects to emerge from prior cause. Also, of delayed gratification preferred over the immediate. The Left, through the democrat party, maintains an opposition to all these things and not merely because they make it harder to elect democrats. Although they certainly do. Within the Obama era, they successfully kept any sustained discussions about these differences from emerging into the mainstream, kept them confined to kooky right-wing blogs, like this one…which nobody reads anyway. “Obama wants it, so just give it to Him or else we’ll call you a racist” would have been the bumper-sticker slogan of the era. Also, with all meaningful discussions truncated, it was about putting unproductive people in charge of the producers, telling them when to produce, how, and how much.
From PJ Media.
Nothing to add. Except one thing, the obvious thing…
…seems we have a lot of people walking around among us, expressing very emphatic opinions about what’s going on and/or what will happen, because being emphatic is about all they know how to do. Even people who have been in the public eye for years and decades. They want to argue, they want to be persuasive, they want to make their points persuasively, but they don’t know how. So they feign absolute, and beyond-absolute, certainty.
There’s got to be a way for me to make some big money off this. Until I figure that out, it’s back to the ol’ grind…
Headlines are hard. Adequate headlines are hard enough, but excellent headlines are beyond my skill level. I’ve written, literally, thousands of them and occasionally one finds the mark, but that’s purely an achievement of good fortune and not method or skill on my part.
Headlines have rules. They have to accurately reflect the subject of what appears below. They have to grab and hold the audience’s attention. And they MUST be brief…or…must they? Brevity, while desirable, is merely a method. The actual objectives are confined to those other two things. You can break established rules and still achieve established objectives…sometimes, even, achieving results superior to what was achieved by those who followed the established rules.
A point which is aptly demonstrated by this:
Yes, Climate Change Is Real — and Skepticism about Its Magnitude is Good Science
Although there is much more to it, our argument can be summed up thus:
• On average, the computer climate models on which alarmists like [Paul] Douglas and [Mitch] Hescox rely predict 2 to 3 times the warming actually observed over the relevant period.
• Over 95% of the models predict more warming than observed, implying that their errors are not random but driven by some kind of bias written into all the models, whether honest mistake or dishonest.
• None of the models predicted the absence of statistically significant increase in global average temperature from early 1997 to late 2015.
This headline caught and held my attention, which is merely the mark of a good headline. Apart from accurately reflecting the subject matter, better than something like “this headline sucks.” What is remarkable is that it did it by breaking all the rules, and spelling out the entire argument, or at least the point where the argument achieves practical complexity by way of its apparent paradox.
I’m biased toward this, of course, because this apparent paradox is something I’ve been pointing out for awhile. I don’t claim to know the tiniest details of climate science, but I can follow arguments, and it’s dishonest to frame the discussion the way the casual observer has become accustomed to seeing it framed. Which is something like: Is climate static, or is it changing? If it’s changing then it must be all our fault and we should tax the bejeezus out of ourselves and give extraordinary new regulatory power to strangers who sit on national and international commissions.
Much more accurate to say: Yes, the climate changes and yes, this change is an effect of…many, many things. Anything that comes in contact with the climate. That’s how physics works. Objects that come in contact with other objects have effects on those objects’ states. And, to what order of magnitude the climate is affected by human activity, is an open question — the whole question. What does the evidence say? Well…that’s where the charlatans start taking over the conversation.
As the article goes on to say,
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman famously said that the “key to science” is comparing predictions based on your theory with experimental and real-world observations. If the theory disagrees with observation, it’s wrong. The contradiction between observations and model predictions invalidates the models, which means they provide no rational basis for any predictions of future temperature or any policies predicated on them.
As we see with so many other non-disciplines of pop science, you have only to recall the most rudimentary and undemanding criteria of scientific work, to notice that the “science” enthusiasts demanding attention most urgently and obtrusively are operating entirely outside of the method.
The theory we really need to validate, or falsify, is something like this: Yes human activity has an effect on the climate, and the magnitude of this effect is somewhere around the proportion of a hamster fart in a hurricane. Therefore, insofar as shaping public policies to willfully direct what the climate is going to do (to us) over the near future, this is functionally meaningless. Okay, go test that.
A lot of people would like to falsify it. Okay. Construct an experiment that would falsify it, and falsify away.
Libs better be careful with those witty invented-pejoratives…
Now that it’s over, and we’re all done thinking about cooking turkeys and we haven’t yet started on Christmas shopping…this might be an opportune time to define what the Obama Era was. We can get started on that by figuring out what it was not.
It was not a way to heal divisions, certainly not racial divisions. These are yawning chasms, bigger and deeper than they’ve ever been in my lifetime, and let’s face it: If the exercise were repeated a hundred more times, it would come out that way a hundred more times. It is not the Obama way to talk out differences of opinion with the opposition, it is the Obama way to alienate and marginalize the opposition. And that’s what happens when you do that.
It was not a way get the economy humming along, and get all the uninsured people covered. If it was that, in either achievement or in intent, then there would be a “recipe” of sorts validated by experience to have produced these desirable results. The value of such a recipe would be extremely high. Liberals, along with everybody else, would sing its praises, discuss at great length and in great detail how it all works. I’m not seeing any of that at all and you probably aren’t either.
My take on it is that it was about elitism. It was about the few dictating the tastes, selections, values and lifestyles of the many. It was about the premature truncation of reasonable discussions by way of expunging the other side from any discussion, from any circle of influence. Obama said so Himself, right?
Also, about choosing for this elitist influence, those among us who don’t produce anything. It was about the unproductive telling the producers how to do their producing. I do not mean, by “unproductive” — broke. Some of the people who got to wield more influence in the Obama era are, indeed, everlastingly broke. Others make a whole lot of money every day, and have been doing this for a long time. You can’t fault them for not having jobs; they have very impressive jobs. But I notice, when they’re called out to my attention, it is a static situation that these influential people are unproductive. None of the people enjoying this Obama-era heavier influence, would have been interviewed by Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs.
This matters. Having an opinion is easy. Sticking around to watch that opinion brush up against reality, and objectively determine how that all went, that’s something else. You have to be willing to let go of the narrative that said you knew exactly what to do, if it turns out reality doesn’t smile upon that. And the Obama Era was all about sticking to narratives. That’s a luxury in life; one that is afforded, uniquely, to unproductive people whose bumptious opinions never have to come in contact with reality. Or, if they do, and a conflict ensues, since they’re unproductive people they can afford to demand that reality should yield. People who produce things can’t afford to demand such a thing. They have to be willing to see their preconceived notions defeated, while reality triumphs, if reality determines that’s what should happen.
What’s the one thing I’d like future generations to remember? That liberal democrats campaign for the exact opposite of this — “greater liberty,” and a “system that works for everyone.” The nation is now experienced, and hopefully wise. We know that when liberals get what they want, it turns out to be unproductive people deciding for everybody else, how to buy their health insurance…where their money should go if they don’t…what lunches their kids should be eating…and who else should be allowed to pop into their bathrooms while they’re using them. Remember this.
Obama, and His supporters, had eight years to show us their way. And that’s what it was. That’s what it will be, next time. Choose that, by all means, if that’s really what you want. Choose something else if it isn’t what you want. Don’t forget.
My brother found something funny and fitting.
And, some satire of the whole situation I found to be side-splittingly funny. I quite literally “LOL’d,” and the wife had to come running over to find out what was on the screen.
A lot of my buddies have similar situations in their families, and they’re always asking me for advice on how to put up with this left-wing propaganda. Well, I’ll give you a taste. He’s gonna be all like “you’re just giving ISIS what they want.” I’ll come back at him with something like: “You know, you raise an interesting point there, Brayden. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you invite one of your ISIS pals around the house and we’ll see how much he likes it when I slash his guts out with the turkey knife. You think that’s what he wants?…Am I othering you right now? Did I carpet bomb your safe space? Maybe, just maybe, what ISIS really wants is a world with fewer people like me, who’ve looked evil in the eye and given a few titty-twisters in our day, and more people like the skinny jean cycle jockeys you pal around with at Yale, with your ska music and your websites and ‘fantasy’ sports…”
Put another log on the fire. Pass the cranberries.
By way of Crowder.
I’m late to the party on this thing. I guess that’s the price to be paid for moving on to turkey and cranberries. But having to do it over again, I’d do it that way even more.
Naughty language warning.
“Pokemon Go To The Polls.” Uggghnn…
Just dang. Don’t know what I ate that night, but I dreamed this, vividly, eight years ago…must have made an impression on me because I actually blogged it.
And now, SNL is thinking about it too. Replicating the idea, the warped thinking behind it, some of the snide comments even. I am…just…mind, blown.
Be very careful when ostracizing people. The difference between a fortress and a prison is merely a matter of where you’d prefer to be, and that is something that changes over time…
Update: The earliest example in movie history of the “push a button and make [blank] disappear” thought exercise, to the best of my knowledge, was in How To Murder Your Wife:
The SNL bubble-skit inspires me to wonder, about putting such a “make conservatives disappear” button under the thumbs of liberals to see what they’d do. We should simultaneously wonder about conservatives pushing a make-liberals-disappear button. Although there wouldn’t be much wondering involved in the latter…what’s the downside? “Without liberals, who will raise my taxes, make it harder for me to grow my business, more expensive to open new outlets and hire more people?”
Liberals manufacture: Complaints. Social unrest. New regulations that don’t accomplish what they’re supposed to do, higher taxes just for the sake of higher taxes. New words that don’t make any sense, like “appropriation,” “triggered” and “mansplaining.” Conservatives create machines that actually work, and food. So yes, the liberals would love to be seen making a beeline for the button, especially by other liberals. But you have to wonder if they’d really push it.
If they were inclined to go without the fruits of the work of others, and figure out how to do it themselves…they wouldn’t be liberals, right?
Maybe they’d make a mock-button. Flood the social media with “selfies” of themselves pushing the mock-button. Hey! Why aren’t the conservatives disappearing? We’re all pushing the button!
Related somewhat to the previous.
My wish, that our cacophonous year of “Trump!! Clinton!! Trump!! Clinton!!” get wrapped up here-n-now, and we move on to turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and later Santa Claus, is tempered by my recollection of prior years. Like many of those who understand what a good thing it was that Hillary lost, I’m bone-weary of watching the electorate fall for liberalism’s siren song again and again. It’s like having a buddy whose girlfriend repeatedly cheats on him, runs up his credit cards, wrecks his car, and watching him just keep taking her back over and over again. Hard to maintain a friendship under those circumstances. After awhile, one comes to realize the drama loop has shrunk down to the size of a Cheerio. Doesn’t matter whether or not this is understood to those still running laps within it.
You reach a point where you’re confronted by a choice: Take your friend’s life-drama seriously, or take your life seriously. Pick one.
It’s sad. Best case scenario is, you choose to take your life seriously, and remain friends with this cuckold who’s been diminished to some sort of a sad clown…you can do that. But the friendship isn’t what it was before. It remains, but has been skeletonized by the exigencies of maturity. Kids can be friends because kids are simple. Grown-ups are more complicated. Their friendships are more complicated, less pure, burdened by problems…particularly if some of the “grown-ups” involved in those friendships, never actually grew up at all. So, question: How does this work when one of these contaminated friendships, involves not a person, but a country? What does the patriot do when his country has spent years and years enduring abuse, and just keeps lapping it up and begging for more?
This is the problem that has confronted American conservatives. The situation is the same: People who take life seriously, need to keep the people who don’t take life seriously, at arm’s length. The origin of the problem is a bit different. It’s a matter of outnumbering. We’ve got these mental midgets that have outnumbered the grown-ups at election time…there are many ways to define them, the way I did it in the post linked above was by observing their need to work from hard, finalized scripts. They can’t tolerate decision-points in the script, can’t put up with any questions. Everything has to be known. It’s easy to pick them out when these “knowns” fail to materialize, as was the case with “Barack Obama is going to fix the economy and heal racial division” and “Hillary Clinton is going to win the election.” Through their failure to admit the script didn’t work and needs revising, the mental midgets not only stick out like glow-bugs, they actually look borderline insane.
Another way to pick them out is after they become fully-indoctrinated liberals, nourishing their own emotional investment in the left-wing agenda. They start to think in terms of outcome. The example we are currently experiencing, while I am nourishing my own emotional investment in dinner rolls, turkey, mashed potatoes and yams, is: If elections were determined by popular vote, Hillary would-a won. That is a child talking. We do not let children sign contracts, rent moving vans, enlist in the military, etc….we confine activities like this, to adults, because adults should be able to treat other adults with respect. “If X and Y and Z, THEN I can get, or coulda-got, my way.” To which real adults say something like: Yeah, and if a frog had wings he wouldn’t have to bump his ass on the ground all the time. So?
So I’m very sick of this. But I’m hoping like the dickens they keep doing it. See, liberals weren’t saying anything at all about the evils of the Electoral College, before the election. Back then, Hillary was going to flatten Donald Trump. It was a done-deal. It was in the script! Now that it’s over, they want to change the rules with their child’s game of “if such-and-such then I could get my way.” It looks petty, juvenile and borderline insane. I hope they keep doing it.
I don’t mind at all admitting it: My hope is that everyone is inconvenienced by this except me.
I’m tired of watching my buddy take his cheating girlfriend back, tired of watching him suffer more abuse. I’m already hip to the problem. Don’t need to learn more. I understand liberals are in a state of developmental arrest, can’t follow rules when the rules adjudicate against their agenda-driven interests. Like the retarded little cousin cheating at Monopoly, making up rules on the fly about when you can’t pass Go and collect $200…they just want to win. Well you know, that just means a person, for whatever reason, can’t be trusted. Stop playing Monopoly with that person. Stop living with, screwing, and lending your car to that cheating ogress. Stop electing liberals to run things.
You have established expert doctrine, majority opinion, and the law. The game that liberals have been running, as they seek to persuade others across the years, has not been particularly complicated or well-concealed. It is subtle only to those who think on it occasionally, observing it in snapshot fashion, failing to note patterns. Just tune in for a bit, keep watching, it becomes obvious: They shift from one to the other. The template they keep in place amounts to something like “this one particular thing out of the three should enjoy infinite influence and count for everything, the other two shouldn’t count for anything.” And then they use a lot of mockery against anyone with a different opinion, to buttress this…but which one of the three takes precedence, that part is not consistent. It is whichever one, under current circumstances, is most friendly to their agenda.
The example that has lately remained unmoved for an impressive amount of time, is “Barack Obama is your President. Get over it.” That’s the law…just like, it’s also the law that next year Donald Trump will be their President, and they should get over it. We can see right now they’re not going to stick that that course, that there’s a shift in the making, one that everyone else should’ve already anticipated. Liberals are making a huge thing out of the fact that Hillary won the popular vote, but it isn’t hard to see that if she lost that too, they’d be shifting to something else. If I’ve done a quality, exhaustive job listing the three, then I guess that would leave expert opinion. Experts would loftily intone to us that entrenched sexism is the reason Hillary lost…
Point is, you can argue anything this way, advocate for opinions both good & bad. It’s all about this thing over here, oh no wait that’s not working in my favor anymore, so now we have to go by that other thing over there. They’ve been doing it to us for a long time. In fact, if you list the six combinations of “[blank] is highly overrated, we should really be deciding this according to [blank]”…those six would capture everything we’ve been hearing from that side. Minus the mockery.
Lately, it’s obvious, and I’m happy that they’re looking like what they really are.
They are, quite plain and simply, cheaters. Straight up. They are golfers who should be kicked out of the club forever, card players who should be bum-rushed out of the casino. You can’t play an honest game with someone who’s constantly chirping up with “Let’s make a new rule that says…” just so they can win. Doesn’t matter what the game is. Without some adult behavior from all sides, it can’t proceed.
What liberals are, is the first guy who would’ve been shot playing poker back in the Wild West. They can’t play it straight. Ever. Because they know they’d lose.
Phil came up with an idea — somewhere — about what to do with this unexpected and bizarre election result, and the idea happens to find harmony with my own idea about leaving the election in the dust and thinking about turkey & cranberries. He said…get this…forget about it for now, but keep an eye on our new President, wait for him to do something wrong and then call him out on it. Meanwhile, if he isn’t doing anything wrong (yet), go back to worrying about the other stuff that really matters.
I know, just crazy talk. Right??
Crazy maybe, but not isolated. Actor Tom Hanks said pretty much the same thing a few days back…
“We are going to be all right. America has been in worse places than we are at right now,” Hanks said. “In my own lifetime our streets were in chaos, our generations were fighting each other tooth and nail, and every dinner table ended up being as close to a fist fight as human families will allow.
“We have been in a place where we have looked at our leaders and wondered what the hell they were thinking of. We’ve had moments with the administrations and politicians and senators and governors in which we have we’ve asked ourselves ‘Are they lying to us or do they really believe in this?’ That’s all right.
“We will take everything that has been handed to us as Americans and we will turn our nation and we will turn the future and we will turn all the work that we have in before us into some grand thing of beauty,” Hanks said, to a standing ovation.
Alright, that’s not quite exactly the same thing. Phil calls on us to do something that takes some maturity, more maturity than is required for simply clinging to optimism. He calls on us to make a plan with some forks-in-the-road, some decision points. A plan with the word “if” in it. Scary stuff!
I found my thoughts gravitating back to this while shutting out politics & elections for a bit — yes, I do that. I was making an effort to read about tech, and in an effort to maintain some professional humility…yes I do that too, or at least I occasionally make the effort…I was perusing this.
What skills do self-taught programmers commonly lack?
Or, to put it another way: what should a self-taught programmer study to get up to speed with his/her formally-educated peers?
I think I’ve got a pretty good bead on the typical Quora respondent. In sum, these are young college-grads who feel like they’re in a class by themselves because they use the metric system. By which I mean, they want to become elitist snobs but they’re not entirely sure how yet, because they’re still prioritizing process over outcome. I can tell this by the questions as well as the answers. I see these questions scroll up like “how many monitors would a good programmer be using?” and, applying perhaps a bit more old-fashioned common sense than would be expected by the person posing the question, I come up with my own counter-question: How come you haven’t already figured it out for yourself? Try one, try two, try three, see what works…
It gets back to the plan that is scary because of what it leaves unplanned. How come everything’s got to be scripted? I can’t relate to this.
Anyway, much more on that later. Someone made a great point to help keep self-taughts like me in check:
It is not skills per se that self-educated programmers lack, but a sense of perspective for the field as a whole. Computer science is large; one lifetime is too short to learn all of it. Autodidacts rarely see this humbling reality as plainly as CS majors. Most CS majors have been crushed by an introductory course in some topic that seemed approachable at the beginning: theory, AI, graphics, operating systems, compilers, databases, etc. The self-taught more frequently live in an unpopped bubble of big-fish-in-a-small-pond self-esteem. Even those rare autodidacts who fully see that CS is bigger than them are at a disadvantage when reaching past the borders of their expertise.
When confronted with a new (to me) problem, the most valuable information I can gather is: Has this problem already been solved? If so, by whom, and how? If not, why? Is it uninteresting? Or so monumentally hard that its solution is a life’s calling? The ability to answer these questions is a primary product of a CS education… [bold emphasis in original]
To which, someone else added…
Self-taught programmers commonly lack humility.
In his years of writing, Mark Twain often crossed paths with self-taught writers. He was disgusted with their lack of humility, and concluded:
“The self-taught man seldom knows anything accurately, and he does not know a tenth as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers; and, besides, he brags, and is the means of fooling other thoughtless people into going and doing as he himself had done.”
A third one condenses it to coffee-mug-slogan size:
There’s no shame in being proud of the fact that you taught yourself, but you should be aware of the limitations of your teacher.
Well…there is a problem here. (And to be fair, the second respondent goes onto address this somewhat.) There is a crude correlation being imposed that attempts to fasten “having a teacher” to embiggened concept-command. This is not entirely invalid. I’ve often made the observation that programmers are “frosting spreaders” for the most part, possessing only surface-level understanding of some of these concepts, but demonstrating at least some familiarity with a vast array of subjects outside my own periphery; and then there are the “icepick stabbers” like myself. We simply don’t believe in the surface-level understanding. We don’t have confidence in it. We figure we “know” about a subject after we have built something that actually works, which can be very time-intensive. And I know it works this way because I’ve seen the eclectic mix of advantages & disadvantages one would expect to see, given the premise. People who can do things I can’t do, tend to be broad where I’m not. When I can do things they can’t do, I’m deep where they aren’t. It’s two different learning styles, and perhaps it comes from this self-taught-versus-teacher business.
Anyway: The correlation is far from perfect. It isn’t entirely flawed, either. To be dragged across the surface of all the computer science concepts by another, like the head of a mop at the end of a handle, can certainly provide a lot of value. But as an “icepick,” I must point out icepicks can provide value too; I’ve seen it. Particularly when it comes time to diagnose why something isn’t working. Then again, my learning process has not been quick. I’ve been at this awhile. Obviously, we’re looking at two different styles of learning. One says “Follow these instructions, and after awhile we’ll circle back and you can learn why things work the way thy work, and why your instructions had you do that.” The other is more old-school, frontier-style. It says “You can’t pass this point, ever, until you get this working.” Both have value.
There are two sides to the coin. “You taught yourself, so be aware of the limitations of your teacher” is clever, and there is truth in this. You know what else is clever and has some truth to it? “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Which one is the final word? Neither.
My point is that it is a mistake to toss one over the side and decree that entire generations should be taught the other way. That is a recipe for a glut of instruction-followers and frosting-spreaders.
It leads to an imbalance. An imbalance I unwittingly described awhile back:
Given the choice between a sound knowledge base of verifiable & verified factual information, and the ability to think logically, I would choose the latter.
I expounded on it thusly…
If I have a good understanding of how to figure out what a fact means, but my head is crammed chock full of silly “factoids” that aren’t really true even though they may be repeated by others verbatim, I should be able to ultimately determine some of these conflict irreconcilably with others. From there, I should be able to figure out which ones are suspect and, eventually, which ones should be questioned, and then reconsidered.
If I have a good solid repository of verified fact, but I don’t know how to figure out what these facts are really telling me, I might as well have nothing.
I note, with interest, that a great many of the people who disagree with this adhere to the Quora mindset — they “fucking love science,” as Severian likes to put it. Irony is, the scientific method is pretty much exactly what I’m describing here: Believe in the metaphysical reality, refine your theories and your experiments in a responsible and diligent way, you should approach this reality as time passes. Yes, as a self-taught programmer you will now & then be caught solving problems that have been solved already. I’m guilty of this. But there, we get into the field of economics; who wants to pay a self-taught programmer to use the scientific method on a problem that’s been solved already? Nobody. But, we all participate in economics whether we realize it or not. This is how the self-taught deals with that problem. It’s by self-teaching some more, and some more. No one wants to pay the programmer to solve a problem that’s already been solved, sure, but nobody wants to be the programmer who’s getting told no one wants to pay him anymore. Like anything else economic in nature, the problem self-corrects over time. Just like a flawed theory subjected to scientific practice.
But that brings us right back to the original subject: Plans that are scary, because they aren’t fully solidified, necessarily containing decision-points. My fear, with this Quora-mindset of “self taught isn’t taught at all,” seemingly determined to flood the civilized world with “programmers” numbering in the millions who follow good scripts but haven’t been taught to diagnose an unexpected result, is this: We are pandering to a generational handicap. Johnny Can’t Reason. The deficiency is in making, and following, plans with those scary question marks in ’em. Grappling with the fork in the road. The “if.” By catering to the handicap, I believe we may be asking for a lot more of it; that’s the way enabling works. Hopefully I’m wrong about this. If I’m right, the implications are dire, because the ability to form an opinion from a fact is a rudimentary ability. Much in the realm of what we call “thought” is closed off to you, if you can’t do that much. But everything I see lately suggests, and strongly so, that I’m right as rain. It’s a problem of atrophy. The kids must have scripts to follow, and if the scripts turn out to be wrong, they don’t know what to do. Also, if you bring it to their attention that there is uncertainty about future events going the way they expect, they see no point to pondering it. Why consider this? It isn’t what the script says. Again, it’s a problem of atrophy.
WHICH BRINGS ME….back to this Trump business. Seems Ann Coulter is noticing what I’ve been noticing. The kids can’t grok to an unexpected result, in computer programming or in anything else.
Until the nationwide protests of the last few days, I had no idea how bad the problem was, but our nation is drowning in drama queenery.
The immediate reaction of most celebrities to Trump’s victory was: “THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR MY TAKE ON THE ELECTION!”
Aaron Sorkin and David Remnick, in matching pink housecoats and fuzzy slippers, wrote hysterical jeremiads about the cataclysm of Trump’s election.
Sorkin was especially irked that Trump was supported by white men who don’t appreciate rap music. As proof that the end was near, he triumphantly reported: “The Dow futures dropped 700 points overnight.” After a brief drop, the Dow surged to historic highs, recording its biggest weekly gain in five years.
But I can’t wait to read the letters these guys wrote to their children about Bill Clinton! Don’t leave us hanging guys — post those, too, please.
You tell ’em, Annie! Yes there are people who despise Ms. Coulter, but she speaks for me in spades here. I am most definitely not waiting for your take on the election…or Ann Coulter’s…or even my own. Piss on all that, I’m waiting on sweet potatoes, turkey, duck and bacon.
But still the snowflakes wallow, as loudly as they can. It’s annoying, even to #NeverTrump ers…well, some of them anyway.
You’re upset about Trump winning? Well, guess what? Conservatives were upset about Obama winning twice. Welcome to the party, pal.
Oh, but liberals are special snowflakes whose feelings are more important than those of regular people. They need safe spaces, blankies and pacifiers to cope with trauma and they’re getting them at colleges across America. Therapy dogs were offered to traumatized students at the University of Kansas. Virginia Tech’s HokiePRIDE group posted national suicide hotline numbers. Liberal students are demanding “separate but equal” facilities for black students at the University of Michigan….yes, seriously. So, we have liberals DEMANDING SEGREGATION, but they’re still calling everyone else racist.
It’s odd that all this fuss was made over “Donald Trump will refuse to accept the results when, er I mean if, he loses…” and now it’s gone the other way, the shoe’s on the other foot.
A Washington Post–ABC News poll found that 18% of voters — 33% of Clinton supporters and 1% of Trump supporters — think Trump was not the legitimate winner of the election. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has called on Congress to investigate the Russian cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee and the election.
Makes total sense. All of that chatter — all those scripts — relentlessly telling us and re-telling us that Hillary was going to smash Donald Trump like a cockroach. It couldn’t have been wrong, it shouldn’t have been wrong. How could it be wrong??
Well there’s an easy answer for that…she was an awful candidate who ran a terrible campaign.
Now the Clinton supporters have to learn to deal with it. All these demands for audits, violent riots, “peaceful” protests that turn out on closer inspection to be violent riots, grief counseling, safe spaces, safety pins, lying about hate crimes…they all amount to one big failure to do exactly that. I just don’t understand perfessor, I ran the tutorial and the computer isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. The kids are lost.
Kurt Schlichter hit the nail on the head with this…
The Democrats Won’t Autopsy Their Own Corpse
The Democrats already know the cause of their utter electoral humiliation: all those flyover people who had voted for Obama last time were actually racists who demonstrated their racism by not voting for the tired old white lady too.
Far be it for me to help out you terrible Democrat clowns by suggesting that your terrible party has a terrible problem and you might want to figure out how to fix it. Sure, Hillary did get a lot of votes. Maybe even a majority of votes. And, considering we are not a democracy but a constitutional republic, of equal relevance is the fact that I own a hat.
You lost. And it’s because you suck.
Now, you and rest of the unshaven she-beasts and spindly femboys could take this opportunity for reflection and introspection following the election instead of retreating to your campus safe spaces for vegan cookies and awkward hugs. You could try to figure out where you went wrong losing so many voters who you used to have sewn up. The idea is to figure out how you might be able to prevent similar results in the future. Some call it a “post-event analysis.” In the Army – for the goatee n’ scarf gang, that’s the one that fights on the ground – we call it an “after action review.” Coroners call it an “autopsy.”
And you’ll never, ever do it. Why? Because you are liberals and you already have your answers.
Everyone is racist.
Everyone is sexist.
Everyone is stupid.
Everyone but you, that is…
The kids have been going to school; the “higher” education, they’ve been told. And, they have been made to feel like they’ve been learning things. As I pointed out above, learning isn’t really effective if it’s just popping open the cranium and pouring in some “facts,” even if the facts are good, verified, correct facts. This just doesn’t work, at least, not as a go-to method, a monopoly. As we’ve just learned, a lot of the time in life the scripts are wrong. That’s why professors of higher ed have gotten in the habit of repeating the mantra “We don’t teach them what to think, we’re here to teach them how to think.” What a pity that so few of them actually meant it.
For a textbook example of the problem, look no further than America’s First Holy Lame Duck Himself…
Speaking in Greece on his valedictory trip to Europe as president, Barack Obama struck a familiar theme: “(W)e are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude form of nationalism, or ethnic identity, or tribalism that is built around an ‘us’ and a ‘them’ …
“(T)he future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common, as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict.”
That the world’s great celebrant of “diversity” envisions an even more multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial America and Europe is not news. This dream has animated his presidency.
But in this day of Brexit and president-elect Donald Trump new questions arise. Is Obama’s vision a utopian myth? Have leaders like him and Angela Merkel lost touch with reality? Are not they the ones who belong to yesterday, not tomorrow?
He does this with a variety of different issues. Nationalism, health care, how the election was going to turn out, the economy…
President Obama, in Greece, said world leaders should learn from the U.S. presidential election and pay attention to the public’s fears and frustration about the economy. Why? He never has.
How can a man living in such a fantasy world presume to tell other people how to perceive others and react to problems as if he’s been an innocent bystander witnessing these horrors for years?
Scratch that. He doesn’t think we’ve experienced horrors. He thinks the U.S. economy has been wonderful under his watch. Listening to him characterize his eight-year record is to witness willful blindness on a scale my willing suspension of disbelief is incapable of processing.
The American economy, said Obama, was contracting faster than it did during the Great Depression. “We had to fight back from the worst recession since the Great Depression. … But we were able to intervene, apply lessons learned and stabilize and then begin growth again.” He tastelessly bragged, in front of his Greek audience, that his economy recovered better and faster than most of Europe’s. Then he began critiquing Greece’s economy, as if he is a wizard of economics.
No American politician — and certainly no president — in my lifetime has caused such destruction and suffered so little personal accountability for it. It was ridiculous when he still blamed George W. Bush for his own lackluster economy and unconscionable deficits in the latter half of his first term. It was amazing that he kept making this argument with a straight face through the 2012 presidential election.
But why not? It worked. When you’ve got a liberal media covering your tracks and slanting everything in your favor, you can apparently fool millions.
But when that’s your advantage, there’s a real danger you start to believe in your own bullshit. This is what’s particularly cruel about the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s “signature legislation” achievement. The results could be metaphorically captured in an assembly of three people: One has medical coverage whereas before, he didn’t; the other has coverage at two or three times the cost of what he had before, because the ACA required his old company to cancel the policy; the third one has no coverage at all and must now pay a huge fine. President Obama’s supporters, working from their “perfessor told me to do this” scripts, believing in narrative but not in fact, cruelly counsel all within earshot to ignore the last two guys. Only the first one actually exists, because he’s the only one who helps the narrative.
This is, in my mind, the most unkind thing Obamamania has done for us across all eight years. If the “change” helped you, that’s wonderful, but if it hurt you then please kindly vanish. Because you don’t help our narrative, and you don’t exist in our world anyway.
What happened earlier this month was that the incurious dimbulbs, ultimately, just hurt themselves. It’s their phobia against plans that contain question marks, their phobia against the decision points, the forks-in-the-road. This idea that the plan can never contain the word “if” — everything has to be scripted. Hillary’s going to say this, she’s going to provoke Trump into saying that, these people will vote this way, those people will vote that way, and then she’ll squash him like a bug. And THEN…oh. Well, how’d that work?
Now they’re all in a tizzy.
They won’t take responsibility for their own actions, even.
It’s easy for the holidays to lose their luster when you can’t even finish your sweet potato casserole without wanting to chuck your plate at your uncle.
The poor dears! They’re being provoked into throwing plates of food across the room.
Well, I hope I’ve seen the last of it. I’ve put up with my share of the goading, pre-election…one occasion comes to mind from the fifth…
P.S. Long time no hear. You just figured out Trump’s not likely to win?
Eww. Well, there’s a thought that has aged about as gracefully as Dorian Gray.
We were just talking about humility, scientific method, being ready for forks in the road, for the lessons that emerge when real life arises to confront cherished narratives. That one, for the author of the jab, must have been particularly jarring. No? You’d think. But you’d think wrong…
For here he is, just this past Wednesday, every bit as certain of events taking place next year, as he’d be if they occurred in the past. That’s a modern American liberal for you, seldom correct but never in doubt. Well, now with this latest rimshot he could very well be right! This time. This very first time. To this, I say exactly the same thing I said to all the wrong stuff that came before:
And there, with those two words, is our cultural divide. This is the problem. Ann Coulter laments that “our nation is drowning in drama queenery.” The real problem is bigger than that, I say. The real problem is this phobia against plans that are real, grown-up, adult plans, containing decision points. Plans that are not plans for children, plans that are not scripts. Too many people “know” way too much, because they MUST know everything — it all has to be scripted for them.
“Let’s see” is powerful. It gives you the tools to think like an adult. But it takes balls. We, as a country, have been losing this. But — and I say this as something of a Trump detractor as well, my first choice was somebody else — the events from earlier this month go a long way toward our maybe, maybe, getting it back again.
And on that note, I circle back around to the very beginning. I think we would all do very well to follow Phil’s advice, wait and see what happens, and respond appropriately. Leave the fortune-telling to the gypsy girls…oh sorry, was that racist of me? Did I wrongfully appropriate a culture just now? Whatever. Pass the gravy. We’re done here.
Well, the election is over and I’m ready to think about turkey. There are some people who disagree with me about this, wanting to hash out the election some more, march in “peaceful protests” about it, shouting slogans like “Love Trumps Hate” and so on. Which somehow involves a lot of necessary fighting and vandalism. I have no way of knowing how many people are in that camp, especially as a proportion to everyone else; I only know that they’re very loud. But even if we can somehow afford the luxury of leaving the election in the dust for the time being, the thorny issue arises to confront us: Dealing with other people. There seems to be a quickening in the air. I noticed it before others had mentioned it in my presence. I think it’s the upcoming holidays.
High drama people and low drama people, all mixed up together, having to share oxygen. And, in a week, a dining room table. A week! Wow. What happened. Some people have it bad. We’ve already made one “contingency plan” invitation, something we never do, to someone at work who really needed it. The idea of things going sour somewhere, and as a result some couple has to spend Thanksgiving dinner at a Chinese restaurant…awful. Couldn’t let that go.
I’m thinking of what I’ve learned over fifty years about how people get along with each other…especially what I learned lately, as I watched half of a nation wax lyrically of the evils of “not accepting the result of an election” — and then, after the election went the way they didn’t think it would go, proceed to demonstrate for the other half, without a trace of irony, exactly what that looks like…along with some other recent lessons I’ve had that I’ll leave unmentioned here. And I’m reminded of something I wrote years ago about how different types of people get along, not with other people, but with things.
3. Because Architects see all things as an assembly of other things, when a complex device is not working properly they want to break it down, find out which component is faulty, and fix or replace it. Then they want to put it all back together again and watch it begin a second functional life.
Medicators evaluate complex mechanisms in bulk. If the entire assembly does not work as it should, they infer that each piece of it must be contaminated by whatever flaw is inside, and their tendency is to counsel toward replacing all of it. If this does not happen, they get frustrated.
With all these issues in circulation in the lead-up to the election, I have often been compelled to make reference to Chesterton’s Fence. What we’re seeing here, is a little bit like that.
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
With the Obama era coming to an end, we can look back and see the great part of the damage America’s First Holy Emperor has done to His country, has been not legislative but cultural. He has managed to normalize this practice of going gaily up to fences and pushing reformation plans involving their removal — motivated by admitted ignorance of how & why the fences were built in the first place. It wasn’t racism or sexism that persuaded people to vote this to an end, it was simple fatigue. It was recognition of what is destructive.
But…you can’t vote immaturity out of existence. If I may borrow from Chesterton’s entertaining and insightful thinking model, human relationships can be likened, for sake of simplicity, to the estate of a recently deceased eccentric. Let us say the little old man had made a practice for decades of getting his hands on lamps and extension cords, taking them home, tying them in knots — no two knots in the entire bunch, it seems, are the same — and, going out to acquire more lamps and extension cords. Why did he do this? Who knows. All that’s known is that there is now a little old house packed basement to brim with lamps and extension cords tied up in knots. Worth, perhaps, some great amount of money. But what a raging pain in the ass.
Now as his heirs think about the problem, it is quite predictable we’re going to see the emergence of these two personalities. Some will invest the time in untying the knots. Some will wish they had the time, finding the project captivating. A few will even marvel at the discovery of some knots they didn’t know existed. A lot of us fancy ourselves the practical type, and we might think of ourselves as making the most intelligent decision about each item on a case by case basis. Older, cheaper items with bare wire exposed, are obvious throw-away items; the newer, expensive, construction-grade exterior cords tied in simple overhand and square knots, are keepers. But a great many, perhaps more than half of those assembled, will take the “aw, fuck it” approach to the entire house. It won’t matter to them that they may be throwing away a good chunk of money, perhaps the better half of a million dollars. What fascinates me about the whole thing is, if you were to follow around the aw-fuck-it people minute to minute in their everyday lives, you’ll see they do that with everything. Something — someone — gives them some trouble, they say aw, fuck it. They’ll do something destructive, pursue some other endeavor, get into a jam, and repeat the exercise.
That’s what these Trump protests are. Hillary, as their champion, said it herself: “Half,” which is the one word out of the statement she regretted saying, so maybe less than half, or maybe she meant more — of her opponent’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables.” That’s merely the “bulldoze the house full of knotted lamps” mindset, on steroids. If people don’t agree with you about everything, deplore them, which means don’t try to get along with them, alienate them.
It’s a lazy mindset. It’s why she lost. She made the mistake of looking like what she really is. We have these very destructive “peaceful protests” right now, because the Hillary supporters would like to practice their aw-fuck-it modus operandi on the rest of us, but they can’t. They don’t have the votes.
A few of them will go through the motions of being thankful for what they have, while following Hillary’s lead and deploring everybody who doesn’t say aw-fuck-it at every houseful of knotted lamp-cords that comes along. Some of them will practice this holiday paradox in front of children. I find that exquisitely sad.
Dashboard is showing 8,172 posts, that’s like what…680 a year or something? That would come to 55, 56 a month. Seems wrong. Or at least, misleading…these days it’s more like single-digits a month.
The presidential election this year is partially responsible for that, it’s been a particularly stupid one. “Trump didn’t actually say that” “The media are lying to you and so is Hillary”…how many times can you write that. Also, the career has been taking off and there are homeowner responsibilities that didn’t exist for us 2 or 3 years ago.
The 26,436 number by “comments” is a more impressive figure. I wonder what that is. “Doesn’t seem like something George Washington would have said” or some such? Perhaps there is a Pareto Principle with the comments…in fact, I’m sure of it. Eighty percent of the total intelligence & insight wrapped up in twenty percent of the comments.
Well, the clarity we manage to harvest from the crop of arguing, I guess it’s always like that isn’t it. It’s messy, but it’s necessary. People tend to accomplish the least when they spend lots of effort avoiding conflict, I notice. This leads to keeping secrets, which leads to idleness…failure to achieve the mission…and, ironically, failure to avoid conflict.
Looking very much forward to the arguing that will be happening next year. Trump Republicanism in the White House, Republican-Republicanism in both houses of Congress. That would actually be a bad thing if those were all the same. But, they’re not. The resulting conflict is likely to reveal some things that should have been revealed, or at least elevated to discussion, a long time ago. It’ll be interesting to see.
My ONLY reservation about what happened is, the way things usually go, it is my preference to stay away from the troublesome question about whether liberals are bad people. Those waters are just too choppy, and besides I happen to know for a fact that some liberals are good people. They deserve acknowledgement, or at least, not to be slandered on a blog nobody reads anyway…
But, with the observation that Trump has done what McCain and Romney could not do — which is important, for it sets us free — I can’t avoid it. We’ve had it shoved in our faces for the better part of a year that Hillary Clinton is a woman. Okay, alright, so some people were voting for Hillary because she’s a woman and didn’t give a rat’s rear end about Rousseau, Robespierre, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Fidel Castro, Robert Taft, Saul Alinsky, Ronald Reagan, Michael Moore, etc. etc. etc….
But not a single one of them stood up for Sarah Palin. Ever. Not one. People called her a cunt. Reporters dug through her trash. One rented the house next door so he could peek in her windows and spy on her kids. They said nothing about it. I like to presume the best in the opposition, but I can’t stand frauds, fakes & phonies.
And that means, for each one of the liberals swooning over Hillary’s alleged lady parts, there are exactly two possibilities, no more and no less. One, they’re part of the scam, using “Hooray, He’s a black guy!” and “Yippee, she’s a woman!” to sell a bunch of hardcore lefty swill that otherwise could never be sold; or two, they are burdened with a canine simple-mindedness that makes it possible for others to tell them when to be excited, depressed, thrilled, morose…essentially, they’re emotionally-charged puppets on strings.
I’d like to know which one it is, but as far as figuring out whether they’re worthy of my respect it doesn’t matter. Also, the movement itself was a fraud. This was never about shattering a glass ceiling. Hillary was never a champion of anybody else’s freedom, nor was she a figurehead inspiring more civil behavior in anyone…not from the very first day.
Now that it’s over though, I see that it was about political correctness. Maybe The Donald was that freedom-champion, in ways even he doesn’t consciously understand.
We should spare a thought for the ruined careers of all the mostly-innocent people who were made examples for political correctness. And, certainly, rejoice that the monster can no longer terrify anybody…not unless they wish it. Which means it really isn’t a monster at all. Twenty-four hours ago, that wasn’t true. I’m glad yer dead.
No matter who is elected President tonight, something is terribly wrong. There are far too many among our fellow citizens participating in elections, and all these lively exchanges of ideas, who are supposed to have ideas about how to make things better but simply don’t believe in it. They don’t believe in solving problems.
Oh, they wouldn’t characterize themselves that way. They do see themselves engaged in some kind of “fight,” a word they use frequently as both a verb and a noun. And they deploy this word for the purpose of describing some activity in which they come across something that is in some situation, toil away at it for awhile, and leave it in some better state. That seems like problem-solving. But, all the dominoes start falling when you start belaboring definitions — something someone who’s actually solving problems, should be able to do. What’s the situation? What’s the better state? And what’s “awhile”? They can’t define these things, but they can certainly define: Who the enemy is, what that enemy did, what we said to really let that enemy have it, really make ’em see how much they suck, etc. etc. etc…as for the question about time, well, it’s just like the dog chasing the car. No limit.
One woman at work offers me some residual hope for tonight, although she is not an example of this. She believes in actually solving problems. Things between her and the male sex are a bit frosty at this chapter in her life, and she’s none too pleased with Trump over that bus recording. But, like all the other women in the office, she can’t stand Hillary Clinton. The subject at lunchtime had somehow meandered to breast implants and she made the remark that women who undergo the procedure “set the clock back fifty years for women.” The subject veered off into something else before I could say anything and that’s probably a good thing.
A special clock that is tethered somehow to the situation involving women, would imply that there’s something happening with women over fifty years or more. A situation that is changing and heading in a single direction, a desirable direction, at a more-or-less uniform pace. Right? I have to wonder, simply, what that could be. Can anyone answer? It is not a trivial question. Of the very few Hillary supporters from whom I’ve heard, managing to eke out something positive about the ramifications of a Hillary victory tonight, this is the primary concern. Keep that clock ticking, forward and not backward.
The answer most friendly to the premise and the emotions surrounding it, would be something like “the progress made in persuading straight men to stop wanting to look at womens’ tits.” Nobody actually says that, word-for-word, but that’s the sentiment. And nobody actually says it because it is a spectacularly wrong idea…which, sadly, doesn’t seem to stop anyone from thinking it. It is the single most erroneous aspect of modern feminism, which is saying a lot. In fact, I think it’s not overstating the situation to say it may be the single most flawed idea popularized during my lifetime, which happens to be the above-stated fifty years. Perhaps the second-most flawed idea out of the last hundred. “Let’s purify the human race by getting rid of the Jews” manages to edge it out by a healthy margin.
No social or political movement is going to discourage straight men from looking at womens’ tits. Ever. Can we get that one thing straight? If Hillary Clinton manages to snag two terms out of this, I expect in 2024 I’m still going to like looking at womens’ tits. If Donald Trump can somehow pull off two consecutive victories and be our President for eight years…ditto. The same is true of all straight men. You can’t elect a certain person President and in so doing make us stop appreciating the sight of a beautiful woman.
You can do something else, though, unfortunately. If Hillary Clinton wins, and is still our President in 2024, I expect male/female relations to be about as warm and cuddly as white/black relations are now. That’s what I should be expecting, right? There’s no reason for any of us not to expect this; no reason for us to expect anything else. Hillary Clinton, after all, doesn’t make any different use of the existing uneasiness in gender relations, than Barack Obama has been making of the existing uneasiness in race relations. She exploits these in exactly the same way. And yet, among her supporters, a great many see her elevation as some kind of victory.
Well, it’s a victory alright…against someone else. Some necessary, and fictionalized or at least embellished, overly-macho enemy. But a victory entirely invested in someone else’s defeat, be they real or imagined, hasn’t got any residual energy left for anything else and it won’t be advancing any sort of “clock” toward anything at all. Electoral victories are the most fleeting of all. What did the social justice warriors gain, that crisp November night in 2008, that will still be in place on January 20, 2017 at 12:01 p.m. EST? Name one thing. You can’t. Certainly nothing that can compare with what was lost, for now the nation has had its experience with the “First Black President,” and He turned out to be awful. Just a sales device, a garnish on the side of an entrée of hardcore left-wing swill that couldn’t have been sold otherwise. We were just talking about turning a clock back a few years? There’s a good example of doing it.
President Hillary, I’m afraid, will be another example. Perhaps, though, by 2024 the lesson will have finally been learned to stop looking for “firsts.” Can we say that yet? Probably not…could be construed as saying only straight white males need apply. People interested in winning arguments & not in solving problems, have to win a few more — things have to get worse. It’s sad, because we as a nation don’t have an excuse not to have grown wiser, at least incrementally. We’ve had our eight years. Racism has not been vanquished. If anything, it’s rebounded from the brink. Really, it has. In 2008, the best evidence we had that racism was still around, were some whispered rumors that America might not be ready for a black President; rumors which turned out to be false.
One #NeverTrump guy I know has a granddaughter he adores, who is now two. She’s a big part of the reason why his conscience will not allow him to support Trump, who is the one person who could stop Hillary. I’ve questioned the notion of whether “conscience” is what we’re really talking about, since whatever it is, it won’t allow him to stop Hillary — and seems remarkably serene and unmolested at the idea of a Hillary victory. But thinking about the granddaughter, I see we’re brought back again to this troubling business of Doing It For the Girls. Children absorb imprints — one time. The imprints make such huge impressions on them, and there is no do-over. Two years old today means ten years old in 2024; what impression does it make on a ten-year-old girl, growing up in Hillary’s America? No, this generation is not likely to be absorbing the news of Madam President traveling to Paris for the latest climate accords, or the Senate voting to override her veto…but, they’ll be living in the culture. Social-justice-warrior culture. We’ve seen what that’s like over the last eight years. It’s negative and not positive. What is this thing that compels us to presume otherwise?
Ah, well. It’s a good argument, but I don’t expect it to reach anybody. I thought it was pretty darn persuasive when parents just a little bit further along in parenthood than me, began complaining about having to explain “blow jobs” to their young children because of Bill Clinton’s shenanigans. That had very little effect either, surprisingly. We’re an odd species that way. Our politics affect our culture, we know this, and even while we’re in the midst of celebrating it, seems we’re generally tone-deaf to the less desirable consequences.
The broader picture is not so discouraging, it is about life. The drama vanishes when you step back and look at the forest as opposed to the trees. Life is simply going to teach us the same lesson, over and over again, until such time as we’ve learned it and then it will advance us to the next lesson. That’s really all we’re deciding tonight. Have we learned the difference between trouncing undesirable persons & classes, REALLY sticking it to ’em and showing ’em what-for — vs. actually solving problems and making things better? If we have not, there will be ample opportunity, and soon, to repeat the lesson; that is how life works. It will continue to beat us about the head & shoulders with the same lesson, over and over again, until we learn it.
Related: A Final Plea to Never-Trumpers, by/from Dennis Prager.
Most of you are simply too intelligent, too idealistic and too self-questioning not to have at least on occasion had second thoughts. If you understand — and I cannot believe that most of you don’t — how destructive another four years of any Democrat in the White House, let alone the truly corrupt Hillary Clinton, would be, it is inconceivable that you have never questioned your Never-Trump position. Never-Trump, after all, is not the same as Never-Question.
Trump, Clinton and the Culture of Deference, Shelby Steele, WSJ.
Deference has been codified in American life as political correctness. And political correctness functions like a despotic regime. It is an oppressiveness that spreads its edicts further and further into the crevices of everyday life. We resent it, yet for the most part we at least tolerate its demands. But it means that we live in a society that is ever willing to cast judgment on us, to shame us in the name of a politics we don’t really believe in. It means our decency requires a degree of self-betrayal.
In just 72 hours, we’ll know if #NeverTrump ers succeeded in allowing evil to prevail.
They worry me. Some of them, anyway. Not the ones who say “Never!!” and mean it, wear it proudly.
But, the ones who want to characterize “Trump fans” as unreasonable fanatics…this is cause for concern. The size of the big net they’re casting, for one thing. They aren’t referring to cult-worshipers who think Donald Trump is the next Messiah or something. Although they’d certainly like others to think that. They’re referring to anybody who might think about supporting, and/or voting for, Trump. In short, they’re referring to anybody who can legally vote, and is not a fellow #NeverTrump.
They’re arguing that they have a lock on reason, a monopoly on it. The truth is the opposite. They’re not reasoning, they’re not reasonable, they’re not discussing anything…do we really have to argue about this? It’s in the name…”never.”
This is not easy for me. I did not get to this point lightly. Rather, it has been a matter of intense examination of the candidates and party platforms, studying the Scriptures (particularly I Samuel 8-12; see below), and listening to many thoughtful voices in the debate.
Anyone who has been tracking my writing during the course of this campaign knows how deeply concerned I am about Mr. Trump — his lack of experience, flip-flopping on issues, and the unkind and at times even vulgar or vitriolic language he uses against his critics. I had hoped he would be defeated in the primaries. Or challenged by a plausible third party candidate. Or would drop out after the release of the deeply offensive video of him speaking with Billy Bush.
But this is where we are. Now, it is truly is a binary choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There’s no way around it, and the moment of decision has arrived.
True, I had previously stated that I could “never” vote for Mr. Trump. So I readily concede this is a reversal. I have no doubt I will disappoint some for changing my position. But this is where I am, and I want to explain how I got here.
The most important is this: Hillary Clinton must never be elected President under any circumstances. She must be stopped. As I have written, she would be an absolute catastrophe for America. Should she be elected and the Democratic Platform enacted, this dynamic would accelerate the country towards divine judgment and implosion.
Hillary and her advisors may have committed federal crimes. The decision by the Director of the FBI to reopen the criminal investigation put into sharp relief for me the gravity of the situation facing us.
Electing Hillary could very well lead to a constitutional crisis that could paralyze the federal government and make us vulnerable. These were points made this week by Doug Schoen, a senior Democrat pollster and strategist who once worked for President Bill Clinton. Schoen announced that he – a long-time Hillary supporter – could no longer in good conscience vote for her. This helped persuade me that I could no longer in good conscience avoid casting a vote to stop her.
Aside from criminality, Hillary is the most corrupt and flawed candidate ever to run on a major party ticket for President. Americans are exhausted by the culture of corruption and scandal that perennially surrounds the Clintons. Four more years would distract us from tackling the serious challenges facing the American people.
Hillary Clinton is the poster child for “politics as usual” at a time when we need change.
Finally, I have been studying I Samuel chapters 8 through 12 as I’ve been wrestling with the question, “Can I vote for a candidate for whom I have serious reservations?” In this fascinating passage, the Hebrew judge and prophet Samuel is grieved by the direction ancient Israel is going. He is grieved by Israel’s rebellion against the Lord. They want an earthly king, someone tall and strong and decisive — rather than the Lord — to govern them, lead them, protect them and solve their problems. Samuel goes to the Lord with great anguish to protest, but the Lord tells him three times to “listen to the voice of the people.” The Lord even directs Samuel to publicly anoint and bless a seriously flawed and woefully inexperienced man named Saul to be the king. The Lord does this even though He knows that Saul will fail the people and need to be replaced. But the Lord gives Samuel one further directive: Make sure the people understand what they are doing, and how urgently they need to turn back to the Lord – not to a man – to see their nation blessed and saved. “Now then, listen to their voice,” said the Lord. “However, you shall [also] solemnly warn them.” Did God tell Samuel to support a flawed man for the highest position of leadership in the nation even though it went directly against Samuel’s conscience? Yes, He did. But Samuel was never to stop calling the nation back to the Lord until the day he died. Now I am not Samuel, and Mr. Trump is not Saul. The details are different. But the principle is intriguing, and it has been helpful to me.
It’s going to be tough not to offer up this Bible verse to the #NeverTrump ers, many of whom I notice are ardent evangelicals. But I know from past experience I should not do that. People who are thumping the Bible, don’t take kindly to it when someone else can thump the Bible back at them, and things get ugly after that. Yes, there is shock value. But there is also a great deal offense to go with it, as if to say “How DARE you use MY BOOK to defend an idea I don’t like?”
Instead, I think the best solution is to just use honesty. #NeverTrump ers who envision Trump as the embodiment of evil, and refuse to reach the fifth stage before Tuesday, are playing a treacherous game of “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” They’re failing to take into account that a Hillary victory would say certain things. It would say America is not yet done with this generation’s destructive flirtation with modern liberalism. It would say America is getting tired of civilization, all this business of everyone, weak & strong, enjoying certain protections under the law. It would say America wants to get on with the revolution, the razing of existing civilization to the ground so a newer utopia can emerge from the ashes. It would be a blessing of brutality. Of, “If I’m bigger than you are and you have something I want, it’s mine already you just don’t know it.”
Some among them will respond with a protest that a Trump presidency would be just as bad. The rest of them might listen to reason. We should make sure they all have at least the opportunity to do that…and the ones that don’t, well, too bad. Maybe next time the occasion arises for us to confront and defeat evil, they’ll get up off the sidelines and do the right thing.
So this Austyn Crites character who caused an uproar by approaching Donald Trump with a “Republicans Against Trump” sign…
He had some interesting things to say.
He said he could not be sure but “it looked like” Trump was pointing at him, and may have been “instigating something”. Either way, the crowd piled on him, he said, kicking, punching, holding him on the ground and grabbing his testicles.
Initially, there was the expected reaction of people around him booing, he said. “And then all of a sudden people next to me are starting to get violent; they’re grabbing at my arm, trying to rip the sign out of my hand,” he said.
He said he was a wrestler in his youth and used his training to turn his head to the side to maintain an airway open as he was being choked by one man who had him in a headlock. “But there were people wrenching on my neck they could have strangled me to death,” he added.
Crites said when he was on the ground he heard someone yell “something about a gun” and he kept telling those on top of him that he had merely been holding a sign.
For his part, Crites said he felt relieved when police arrived and placed him in handcuffs, but said officers had to fend off Trump supporters who continued to attack him. “As I was taken from the room, people are just looking at me like I’m a demon,” he said.
Or…looking at you like you crashed their rally. Which you did.
Reports that Crites had a gun, at this time, appear to be completely unfounded. So why did the Secret Service freak out about a sign? Well it could have had something to do with a prior incident:
The No. 1 trending question related to Donald Trump on Google right now is “Who tried to shoot Trump?” Which means a lot of people don’t know the answer. Which is probably because the assassination attempt on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee hasn’t been covered as a major news story.
The answer, authorities say, is Michael Steven Sandford, a 20-year-old British citizen who was in the United States illegally after overstaying his visa. Sandford allegedly tried to pull a gun from the holster of a police officer at a Trump rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. He was arrested and later told the Secret Service that he had driven to the event from California and had been planning to kill the candidate for a year, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
Trump’s supporters are also feeling the wrath…
While the mainstream media has relentlessly promoted Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, it has largely ignored or downplayed these violent attacks against supporters of Donald Trump.
For example, the national media paid little attention to a Trump supporter being shot by a Trump detractor in Ohio.
In late July an unidentified 60-year-old man was shot in the leg at Winston’s Bar on Cleveland’s East Side. His assailant, Darnell Hall, 45, shot him after their discussion of presidential politics grew heated. The attacker “was enraged that anyone in the overwhelmingly African-American bar would support the GOP nominee,” the Plain Dealer reports. Hall later surrendered to police and was charged with felonious assault.
Two UCLA students told Sean Hannity on Oct. 25 they’ve seen a lot of anti-Trump violence on campus. Haley Nieves said protesters crashed one of their pro-Trump rallies. “They were stomping on the American flag during the event and even attempting to burn it afterward.” Dominique Blair said, “You face crazy leftist mobs that are not tolerant of your views whatsoever, and it turns into a lot of bad debates. Sometimes violent, sometimes hitting and fights. I’ve been all around it.” Blair added, “I am treated very poorly on my campus and other campuses. It’s very hard to be a conservative activist in Los Angeles.”
On Oct. 26 a man dressed as a construction worker took a sledgehammer and a pick-ax to Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Deadline Hollywood reports. The vandalism obliterated Trump’s name on the sidewalk. The man identified himself to a reporter as Jamie Otis. Trump’s star was dedicated in 2007 to recognize his work on the NBC TV show “The Apprentice.” Otis “said he originally intended to remove Trump’s star completely to auction it off next month in New York to raise funds for the women who have recently come forward to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting them over the decades.”
Afterwards, a homeless black woman guarded what was left of the star. The woman held a sign that reads, “20 Million Illegals and Americans Sleep on the Streets in Tents. Vote Trump.” Clinton supporters raided the woman’s shopping cart and hurled abuse at her.
As an angry mob tore up her signs, one man told her “You spewed hate and you got hate.” He added, “You got exactly what you were dishing out. I told you. I warned you.”
An unthinkable crime along the Sacramento River — only five days before the presidential election a random act of violence was aimed at a Donald Trump supporter.
Hao Lee had taken his 2-year-old son fishing on what seemed like a beautiful November afternoon. He parked his white Dodge Ram truck along Garden Highway near Elverta Road. The back bumper sporting a pair of Donald Trump stickers.
“About a couple hours into fishing I heard someone yelling out ‘F’ Trump,” recalled Lee.
Lee and his son were only about 50 yards from where his truck was parked, near the edge of the river.
Their peaceful fishing trip was about to take an abrupt and scary turn.
“After that I heard glass breaking, I called 911 and a couple of minutes later I saw smoke,” he said.
Lee’s first concern was the safety of his son. So he decided to stay put, near the water. When the voices and commotion were gone, Lee approached his truck. But it was too late. Flames were shooting out the windows. The truck was a complete loss.
We frequently hear some pablum about the passions involved in this particular election getting out-of-hand, with a subtle implication that there is symmetry: For every Trump fan bullied, threatened, injured, his property vandalized, there is a reverse-image correlation involving a Hillary fan suffering something identical from a vindictive Trump supporter. It’s one of those things people don’t say outright, but they want everyone within earshot and line-of-sight to go away thinking it. Well, I have my doubts. “Violence at Trump rallies” was the clarion call all throughout this past summer; and if you paid close attention, you realized the violence at the Trump rallies was being brought to the Trump rallies, by Hillary Clinton supporters. Exactly like this Crites character. And then Project Veritas came along and made it known to us that this was not only true, but far from spontaneous; it was engineered. And then, by way of Wikileaks, this claim found additional support.
The asymmetry, however, is not what interests me. The right, and the left, advocating for civilization’s preservation, or destruction, respectively. There’s nothing new about this. I’ve called it out a few times myself.
I’m interested in this attitude. “I came to crash this Trump rally, and the people there made me feel uncomfortable so that makes me the victim.” My hope is that it is completely fraudulent. This would indicate we’re up to our eyeballs lately in people who are dishonest…but, at least, sane. This is the true nature of bullying. Anyone who’s been bullied in school understands this. The bully takes perverse pleasure in convincing others that he’s the one being bullied, and the target of his bullying is the “real bully.” When we hear about “peaceful protesters,” that’s usually the real story I’ve noticed: The peaceful-protesters were actually rioters, crashing a rally. It’s all about the public-relations, so after the crashing is done the next chore is to make the public think of the bullies as the victims and the victims as the real-bullies. These are undefiners, intent on muddying the waters so that the public will respond with confusion, fatigue, an attitude of “I dunno whom to believe so I’ll just be glad when this is all over.” That’s how undefiners work.
I was thinking about this when I saw in my e-mail this morning that Quora wanted to know: “Is the Democratic party a ‘bully’ party?” Something in Quora’s algorithms sends the comments from the few moderate to rightward-leaning participants down to the bottom, with the smug lefty agitprop floating to the top. I don’t know why that is. It’s interesting. But anyway, it allows for an examination into this question of “Are they lying their asses off or are they batshit crazy?” The very first response provides some clues:
My former boss lives in Florida and has a Clinton bumper sticker on her car. This is her account of a recent encounter with a Trump supporter:
“Stopped at a light, a young nice-looking white guy in his 20s jumped out of his car which was right behind us, carrying a Trump Pence poster. He banged on our window, whereupon my husband rolled it down to see what he wanted. What he wanted was to let out a stream of expletives and ask why we weren’t asking whether he and his girlfriend were registered to vote and trying to register Spanish people and illegals instead. We had no idea what he was talking about and, fortunately, the light changed so we didn’t have to find out. I am thinking that he was unhappy with our Clinton/Kaine bumper sticker. He continued to follow us and, as he moved alongside us, he was mouthing ‘motherfucker’ and giving us the finger. As we turned, he continued to follow. When we had to stop for another light, he jumped out of his car again with his Trump poster in hand, and banged on our window, cursing apoplectically and screaming that people like us have ruined this country along with all the other traitors, Spanish and illegals, and Trump was going to get rid of them all. He then said that we looked like we were probably motherfucker Jew bastards and, well, you get the picture. It was a VERY LONG red light. His anger bordered on derangement, and I have no doubt that had he had a gun, he would have killed us. A black woman in a van next to his car, listening to his diatribe, did what few others in her situation would have – she got involved and tried to shout him down. I was so grateful, and she was my hero of the day. He then shifted his full attention to her, calling her a nigger and telling her to to hurry so she wouldn’t be late for her job at Steak ‘n Shake. Whatever that means. At this point, as his (poor) girlfriend started getting out of the car, he got back in, and that was that. Shocked and subdued by this unusual and unexpected encounter, my husband and I drove in silence for the next ten or so minutes, lost in our thoughts. He then commented quietly, ‘He was a deplorable.’ If this is part of the plan to make America great again, then I don’t want any part of it.”
A week after my husband and I moved to our home in a very red state, he was accosted by a woman—who identified herself as a nurse, of all things—who wanted to argue with him about Obama because our car had an I [heart] OBAMACARE bumper sticker. The only Clinton signs we have seen in this city have been in minority neighborhoods, and some of them have been stolen, according to the residents.
It wasn’t Hillary who talked about “Second Amendment people” reversing the results of the election. From where I sit, it’s Hillary supporters who have more to fear, not the other way around.
Let’s assume this is truthful. A question is raised: How come when it is the Trump fan who endures injury, there’s evidence; and when it’s the Hillary fan enduring injury it’s this friend-of-a-friend-said-so stuff? It is not a pattern we see disrupted often. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen it disrupted at all.
We should at least assume that the feelings are sincere: “From where I sit, it’s Hillary supporters who have more to fear, not the other way around.” The prelude “from where I sit” is a rather clever way of concealing the fact we’re dealing with feelings, not thoughts. Which is a problem. Since the disagreement is over whether to revolutionize — destroy — civilization, or preserve it, this naturally leads to a disagreement over feeling versus thinking. I’ve observed this, many times, as well. This leads to a conflict between obfuscating details, versus paying attention to them. The reason for all this alignment is actually pretty simple: Preserving details, and thinking as opposed to feeling, these things take some effort; maturity; work. They’re a pain in the ass. But, you can’t build or preserve anything without persevering, getting it done. Without that creation and preservation are impossible. But you can sure as fuck wreck a few things, and have fun doing it.
So I’m sure Mr. Crites felt threatened as he lay there, immobilized by others — for the sake of maintaining security and safety. The smug know-it-all on Quora who thinks Trump fans are posing all the danger, probably feels that way too. Maybe even the firebug on the Sacramento river feels threatened. Well yeah…that’s why civilization operates the way it does. There’s an implied social contract that we do our thinking by thinking, not by feeling.
That’s part of what the revolutionaries want to destroy. It’s too hard and stuff.
Civilization itself, when we look into it a bit deeper, is pretty much an antithesis of that. “I’m the bully, I’m stronger than you, you do what I say.” If civilization means anything at all, it means there are complications involved — no, you don’t get to take my stuff and firebomb my truck just because you’re bigger, quicker, stronger. Also, I get to think some thoughts I want to think, even if it makes powerful people angry. Can we have civilization, without having those things? I don’t think so.
I hope people don’t read this and think I’m trying to imply Trump fans are more civilized than Hillary fans. That would be a shame, for I do not mean to imply any such thing. I’m saying it outright.
Related: The Left’s Impulse to Bully Is Universal.
Wikipedia’s definition is decent and gets us part of the way there: “…clear, rational thinking involving critique.”
The “Critical Thinking Community” has a number of definitions, as one would expect. And I know maybe I’m not in much position to talk, but the clarity-to-word-count ratio runs a bit on the low side:
…the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
That makes people feel good when they belong in a Critical Thinking Community, I’m sure, but I’m inclined to believe that’s the primary point of coming up with this definition, which would tend to indicate it’s not helping us as we seek to DEFINE the term. It’s full of glurge which doesn’t define. It does not transform the subjective to the objective, which is one of the things definition is supposed to do. We would have to hunt down the author of it, with each specimen that may or may not be critical thinking, and ask him “Is this what you had in mind?” That means the job of defining remains undone.
Critical thinking must be critical. A good example of it would be: You’re at home and you receive a call, in the middle of the day, from very prestigious investment broker telling you about this amazing opportunity, they need the money right away if you want to go for it, be sure and keep it a secret because they only want a few people to have the opportunity…
Non critical thinking would be: They’re so prestigious! Who am I to doubt them? And: How could I get my hands on that amount of money before 5 p.m.? Critical thinking would be: If it’s such a great deal and you only want a few people to know about it, why do you need me? Why even tell me about it? Why not invest in it yourself? This meets the Wiki definition; it involves critique.
I would say it is making, or at least pursuing, a conclusive opinion based on the miscellany of available information left after one removes 1) observed evidence, 2) statements of fact & opinion from others and 3) personal biases. Within that residue, critical thinking consists of detecting apparent contradictions, and working to resolve them.
Saw in a comment under a blog post, of which I became aware over a year ago, a great generalized observation of critical thinking, and some of the problems we see with it…although this doesn’t actually use the term.
The fact that increasing sophistication of analysis often causes one to flip back and forth tells us that (1) we should be suspicious when our complicated tools allow us to return to what we wanted to believe anyways and (2) we should decrease our confidence in this process…since even at the highest levels of sophistication available we might expect yet higher levels to change our opinion.
Good advice, for a lot of people I’ve encountered who are a bit too sure of their opinions. You know the type: So much pre-canned data, and statistics, and ALL of it, every jot & tittle, enforces their own preconceived notions. Every speck, every smidgen. Now, this doesn’t apply just to liberals, they don’t have a monopoly on this problem, although doubtlessly they do have a lock on a sizable majority of the suffering from it.
To a liberal, critical thinking is nothing more than maintaining the feeling that that’s what one is doing.
Salt Test (n.)
A simple, logical test to be applied to any declared thing-to-be-done, involving the behavior of the advocates for its implementation: If they get everything they want, will it make them happy?
Tellingly, most efforts to diminish the size and scope of control of government, pass the test. “Just get the government out of [x] and let people decide for themselves.” The irony is that while this leaves the final outcome wide open, it is an advocacy for a testable state: If government does not exert control, it does not exert control. Seems like the very few times such a policy change is put into effect, the proponents of it go away “happy,” or at least, don’t come back pushing for something else. They wanted the government out of it, and the government is out of it, come what may.
Conversely, efforts to embiggen government very often fail the test. They fail the test so often, nobody even bothers to question it or think about it anymore. “Raise the minimum wage to [something] an hour!” “Recognize gay marriage!” “Pass ObamaCare!” “Close the gun show loophole!” “End bathroom discrimination!” “Equal pay for equal work[th]!” And the all time champion, “Make the rich pay their fair share!” A lot of these sound like demands for an objectively testable state, and some of them are. “Raise the minimum wage to” is typically proposed with some kind of a number. But, when & if these proponents are given what they want, they don’t go away happy.
Just like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, they derogate the all-important process of demand, as well as the fulfillment of the demand, to mere steps in some sort of endless dance. Just angular distinctions on a merry-go-round that doesn’t ever stop. Embarrassingly, we all have to acknowledge at some point that not only is this true, but we’re all aware of it even when we’re in the middle of giving them what they want…to make them shut up…which doesn’t work, and when it doesn’t work we’re not as surprised as we should be.
Rather like a hostage situation, in one of those weird old movies where the bad guys have the action hero racing from one pay phone to the next with just seconds to spare. We want each step to be the final one, but we’re so busy executing it that we’re distracted from pondering whether or not there will be more to come. And there always is.
Seven years ago, give or take, I was a bit weirded out after having heard Sarah Palin’s detractors demand, over and over again, that she “shut up and go away” — this was late 2009, after she had resigned the governorship of Alaska and essentially had done exactly that thing. Somehow…somehow…this opened the gate on the turbocharger mounted on the Palin-hatred engine. How come? You’ll have to ask them. They got exactly what they wanted, and boy were they ever pissed off about it. So I jotted down that, and a few other observations about people who hate Sarah Palin.
Well…we have much the same thing going on with Donald Trump. Don’t we? His fortune rises and falls, and it is when his defeat seems most certain that the Trump bashers are most piqued.
1. They get pretty darned upset if anyone dares to question their commitment to the conservative cause. Which is odd, because #NeverTrump means there is something more important than that. Right? That’s the meaning. They’ve sequenced their priorities in a way that makes the most sense to them, and defeating liberalism, supporting conservatism, these didn’t make the cut. Why then all the anger directed against whoever notices?
2. They do share a close kinship with liberals, as a matter of fact, in that they’re just so anxious to show what a supreme command they have over the subject matter under discussion. They fancy themselves to be authorities. They want to be thought of as authorities. It is their way of convincing, however, that interests me, much more than the fact that they want to do this convincing: Their method of persuasion is to demonstrate the extraordinarily high level of difficulty that is involved in telling them anything. The foundation of what they seek to argue, therefore, is that people know best after some extended period of time spent not learning anything.
3. They are putting a great volume of energy into bringing about a disaster, for which they will not take any ownership. Some of them are already getting ready to blame the opposition, the “Trump supporters,” for Hillary Clinton’s impending victory. This is unseemly, at best, and a sign of mental illness at worst.
4. They see themselves as independent thinkers. Independent thinkers, by definition, are hard to manipulate, if they can be manipulated at all. They demonstrate this, unfortunately, by being easily offended. That’s a problem, because it’s not hard to manipulate you if it’s easy to offend you.
5. They are very bothered by the lately emerging signs that character no longer matters, or is no longer valued. But they themselves care nothing about their bedfellows in the #NeverTrump orgy, what level of character they possess. Very rarely do I see a #NeverTrump protest that a statement injurious to Donald Trump, while tantalizing, is just too demonstrably untrue, too easily proven false, too craven, too low-balled. Nothing is too low for them. Anybody who shares this common enemy, with them, must be their friend. And then they wonder what happened to valuing character.
6. They maintain that the driving force behind their crusade, is an elevation of standard of human behavior, and/or an elevation of respect directed toward women. Donald Trump apologized for the locker room talk. I’m a big believer in the idea that apologies mean very little, in the sense that packaging is different from content. But packaging does have some value; white flags are flags, they’re supposed to be emblematic, and an apology is a white flag. This should have been the finish-line for them, if those were the goals. Things the way they are, though, #NeverTrump didn’t skip a beat. Didn’t lose momentum. Didn’t even experience a disruption of rhythm. I conclude this is about obliteration of something, it has nothing to do with improving anybody’s conduct.
7. If you remind them the next President is likely to appoint five Supreme Court justices, reliable as a sunrise they’ll come back with “Hillary is no worse than Trump.” This is one of those things people say loudly and often, because they know it is not true and they can’t really provide support for it. That’s why you probably won’t hear them say “Trump is, in fact, so very much worse.” That would fall in line with the sentiment they wish to spread around, but they’d have to support that; so they stop at simply questioning whether Hillary is any worse than Trump, implying that the two are equivalents. But it doesn’t invite additional exploration. It’s like the lyrics to a song, which is what they want. Just something they can repeat, that doesn’t invite inspection. Of course, their detractors certainly can support the idea that Hillary is much worse, but that’s only a problem if an actual exchange of ideas ensues.
8. When people point out the democrats don’t have a counterpart for #NeverTrump, and don’t call out the obvious character flaws in their own candidates, their rebuttal is something like “That’s what makes us the good guys.” Republicans and conservatives, supposedly, police their own. But, after their efforts find success and Hillary wins the election, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be crying in their beer about “How come the bad guys keep winning?”
9. They share that particular attribute with impatient children, angry people, social justice warriors, and other liberals: They fail the Salt Test. If it could somehow be worked that they get exactly what they say they want, they’re not happy. This gratification is the beginning of their problems and the beginning of their complaining, and not the conclusion of either one.
10. Most suspiciously: Their whole point is that now that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, and nobody has even a remote shot at being the next President other than him and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 election is a “wash.” I would expect responsible adults who actually think such a thing, to look forward to 2020. Or, to 2018. Or, look around…put some things on Facebook that are entirely unrelated to 2016-Trump-Hillary-Trump-hate-Trump. Something like, pictures of dinner. Kids. Cats. Stupid Star Wars theories about who Rey is and who Snoke is. Maybe some “Jesus won’t save this little girl’s life unless her picture gets a million likes,” something like that. But no. In this election they think is lost and not worth any effort from anybody in any direction, because it’s all SUCH a lost cause…it’s all Trump hate, all the time. For people who want Trump to win, to talk about it all the time, makes a lot of sense. For people who don’t want Trump to win because “it makes no difference,” that makes no sense at all. If you feel very strongly that something doesn’t make any difference, you do your talking about something else. Right? Life’s only so long, right?
Such very sad news. Words not enough. Treasured memories 💧
— Julie Dawn Cole (@realverucasalt) August 29, 2016
Rather puzzling, at first. You expect, if the actress who played Miss Salt is sad about this latest demise, there should be a temper tantrum or something, not gracious remarks. Well, actors and characters are different. If we can be made to forget this for an instant, or more, that’s the defining characteristic of good acting.
More from her here.
For those who haven’t seen the film, you’re really missing something. Especially if you’re studying, or coping with, spoiled rotten brats:
I’m sure I was a brat once in awhile. Weren’t we all? I seem to recall my parents mentioning it occasionally. In our household, bratty behavior aroused conflict, and the conflict would endure until the bratty behavior subsided. That’s probably all the qualification you need to call out a case of “child abuse” nowadays…the alternative is that bratty behavior does not arouse conflict, and the caricature of that is Veruca Salt’s home life. She gets everything she wants, and this just provokes more and more antisocial behavior, until such time as she learns some kind of a lesson. Which doesn’t happen until she has an experience on the outside…like, in the Chocolate Factory. Like all the other children meeting some deserved fate there, she’d have been much better off if she got her comeuppance earlier.
There is something else that impresses me about Veruca Salt, and other brats that belong to this particularly hardcore strain; something that sets them apart from more generic brats. They all have it in common that they want something. But with the more typical variety, if you give them what they want they at least stop complaining. That’s part of the appeal the starts the enabling process of this brat-vs.-parent codependent relationship: “Just give him what he wants, so that I don’t have to listen to it.” That’s the phrase you hear over and over again as you look into this. Some brats even develop the barest glimmerings of what might be called “maturity,” in that if they’re given exactly what they said they wanted, and discover it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, this triggers some sort of thought process of “Oh well, that’s my problem I guess, I learned something” and they stop complaining. In this way, they are what might be called “semi-brats.” Worse than some, not as bad as some others. They are, at the very least, learning how to honor some sort of contract, take responsibility for at least their share of something.
The Salt-Brat, on the other hand, is never gratified. Not even a tiny bit. If you had some sort of device that could measure happiness, you wouldn’t see even an incremental gain after they got what they wanted, as contrasted with before. EVER.
And in this election year, and in so many others, we should use this as an assessment against social advocacy groups that attach their identities to the wanting of something. They all want something; that’s what makes an advocacy group an advocacy group. But there is a crucial defining distinction to be made among them, a line to be drawn between the ones that will pipe down & go away happy if they’re given what they want — versus, the ones who just keep complaining, so that you end up wondering what the point ever was to listening to what they had to say, let alone giving them what they wanted.
You’re still mad? Still hate us? Shoot…we coulda had that for free.
Such a realization made by the targets of the bratty behavior, and/or the donors of the peace offering, of course does not soothe feelings. Doesn’t make conflict go away.
Every now & then liberals will launch a series of assaults, coordinated to what degree I’m not quite sure, that resemble each other to such an impressive extent that they just have to be directed from some central authority. Ever notice this? It became particularly embarrassing to watch about a dozen years ago, when they started insisting President Bush “lied about weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for going to war.” In the blink of an eye, we were up to our eyeballs in people chanting this slogan, or some derivative of it that didn’t vary by much — many of whom we’d known personally for years and years, and had never before used the word “pretext” or anything like it.
Well now that Trump’s the one to beat, conservatives have joined the attack. And there’s a whole tactic that’s been established, cookie-cutter style. I went through and lifted some excerpts from the second-most-recent debate, the one between the two veep candidates. See if you can figure out where I’m going with this…
And I can’t imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult- driven selfish “me first” style of Donald Trump.
I am interested to hear whether he’ll defend his running mate’s not releasing taxes and not paying taxes.
I can’t believe that you won’t defend your own voting record.
Well, I guess I can’t believe you are defending the position that there is no bias and it’s a topic we don’t even…
If you want to have a society where people are respected and respect laws, you can’t have somebody at the top who demeans every group that he talks about. And I just — again, I cannot believe that Governor Pence will defend the insult-driven campaign that Donald Trump has run.
I cannot believe that Governor Pence would sit here and defend his running mate’s claim that we should create a deportation force to — so that they’ll all be gone.
When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists and criminals, Mexican immigrants, when Donald Trump says about your judge, a Hoosier judge, he said that Judge Curiel was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican, I can’t imagine how you could defend that.
Well, I’m going to see if you can defend any of it.
But can you defend Donald Trump’s claim that more nations should get nuclear weapons?
Six times tonight, I have said to Governor Pence I can’t imagine how you can defend your running mate’s position on one issue after the next. And in all six cases, he’s refused to defend his running mate.
And yet he is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend. And I just think that should be underlined.
More nations should get nuclear weapons. Try to defend that.
And I know you can’t defend.
I’ll run through the list of things where you won’t defend…
Can you defend it?
…this is not directed at this man, except to the extent that he can’t defend Donald Trump — Donald Trump has run a campaign that’s been about one insult after the next.
Now this is just one guy, Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine, so it’s not incriminating or surprising that it matches up with itself, especially given Sen. Kaine’s behavior overall. The man sat there just acting like some sort of rhetorical volcano, or maybe a talkie-toy with a busted cord, and with his hair-trigger outbursts and lack of creativity lost the debate decisively. But someone, somewhere, with influence, must have decided his tactic was a winning one. We’re starting to see it spread like pimples on social media. “Let’s see you defend this,” “Can you defend this,” “I can’t believe you’d defend it.”
The sloppy thinking…it’s just something to behold. You see it contradict itself, just up above. “I can’t believe you won’t defend,” “can’t believe you are defending.” Which is it? And what are we doing here, exchanging ideas or just expressing disbelief? Because one of those is worth ninety minutes, the other isn’t.
And defend against what? I’m seeing an awful lot of people, Sen. Kaine included, forget about this. How specific of a defense would they like to see? It’s not reasonable to demand a specific defense, if the attack is not specific. Right? And how serious? “ZOMG lookit that!” is not a serious attack. It isn’t any more worthy of a serious rebuttal than any other non-serious argument.
But there is a serious aspect to this. Last I checked, this was America; we discuss things here. In fact, we’re lectured pretty damn often lately about “that’s not who we are” over some issue, usually in the context of having national borders that actually mean something. “Having borders that actually mean something is not who we are” is an absurd idea that’s gotten way more repetition than it deserves, so here is an idea much more worthy: Dismissing ideas without any actual discussion, the way democrats want to do all the time…is not who we are. That is not to say all ideas are to be taken seriously. But it’s pretty easy to demonstrate, when an idea should not be taken seriously, why that is.
I’m very bothered, and I think all Americans should be bothered, by this recent trend of simply dismissing things, ideas, platforms, candidates, by way of saying “let’s see you defend it” when there’s no actual attack. The proper response is really “Alright, but first let’s see you attack it.” If that can’t be done, then of course no defense is needed.
Donald Trump does have a sinus condition.
They’re both under pressure to reduce the number of interruptions, which is good to see. Toward the end, I think they both faltered. Trump probably interrupted more.
Hillary does have “deplorable” judgment.
I’m not sure Russia wants Trump to win, but I’m sure Anderson Cooper doesn’t.
It’s okay for you to go over your allotted time if you’re a woman, and being a democrat doesn’t hurt at all.
Trump is the Republican nominee for a reason. Someone should be making the point that the democrats, when they’re in charge, have shown a consistent pattern of making America’s enemies strong. And, belligerent. I don’t like to see strength and belligerence in our enemies, it’s a bad combination. And Republicans should not be saddled with a long parade of candidates who are afraid to mention this is what happens when democrats are in charge, when it is.
They would both make mistakes. If it’s Trump who is President, my press will tell me ALL about it and the damage will be limited that way.
The democrats really don’t have the first idea what a Supreme Court justice is supposed to do.
The moderators are serving two masters and it isn’t working. They’re supposed to do a fair job moderating the debate, but they have their own constituencies, who don’t want them giving a platform to that purveyor of hate, Donald Trump. So they’re supposed to not-interrupt, and they’re also supposed to interrupt. So they resolve the contradiction by interrupting. The Republican candidate.
Hillary needed to convince people she’s not a compulsive liar. Trump needed to convince people he’s got some decency as a human being and isn’t insane. Trump won.
Wyatt Earp: What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?
Doc Holliday: A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.
Wyatt Earp: What does he need?
Doc Holliday: Revenge.
Wyatt Earp: For what?
Doc Holliday: Bein’ born.
I was just noticing a post I put up three weeks ago has fallen out of currency. At that time, you couldn’t go through a week without hearing half-a-dozen times that Hillary Clinton is the BEST QUALIFIED EVAR!! candidate for President…well, that was then. This is now. I haven’t heard that for awhile. Maybe her campaign got hold of what I wrote, and decided it made a lot of sense and they should change direction?
No. This is The Blog That Nobody Reads. And also, there was this thing that happened where she baited Mr. Trump, successfully, with this pudgy beauty contestant. So there are two things that could have changed this course: The media hubbub about Miss Piggy, and Trump’s reaction. To those, we could add a third possibility: Time. Wouldn’t surprise me even a smidgen, if there’s a “how to win an election” white paper out there, a cookbook of sorts, some piece of research that says: Make it about you until there is frost on the pumpkins, then criticize your opponent from that point forward, during the final weeks.
It would be even cleverer if there was no such research. I’ve noticed the #NeverTrump crowd has gotten desperate since Trump’s YUGE embarrassment this weekend, the “hot mic moment” from 2005 where he talked about grabbing pussies. You can see it in their blog postings, the comments they leave upon the blogs, their social media postings, their “tweets.” This is their moment to be right. Trump has to lose this thing, or they’re going to look like asses and they know it. It’s like the guy who decides not to get involved in a mugging, or to help a woman and her infants stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Or, not to fight a house fire. If it all turns out to be a lost cause, looks almost reasonable, but if someone happens along to stop the mugging, save the mom with the flat tire, extinguish the fire…there’s no way to look good if you’re the guy who took a pass. Can’t look cool doin’ that.
This, sadly, is what motivates the #NeverTrump crowd. It doesn’t matter if they’re willing to admit it. It’s just true. They’re feeling insecure…Hillary’s campaign, apparently, is playing them like violins. #NeverTrump is easily manipulated, because #NeverTrump is fake and phony. Provably so. Doing the work of God, making a stand for the dignity of women, declaring some sort of war on profanity (in private conversations, which would be manifestly absurd)…all these purposes would be served with Trump’s apology. All of them. Their purpose is not served with his apology, so their motivation has nothing to do with that. They’re the guy who decided not to rescue the mom with the flat tire, desperately trying not to look like an ass. If Trump loses, they get to crow away about “See, told you so! You shouldn’t have nominated that guy! Not my fault for not voting for him, it’s YOUR fault for nominating someone I don’t like!” Seems only fair to them. Mitt Romney’s detractors got to make the same argument four years ago.
You have to wonder who’ll screw it up in 2020, and what their lame excuse will be…
It’s funny, in a sad kind of way, because these people will readily admit their counterparts on the left don’t have the same qualms. Bill Clinton is credibly accused of rape, which is pretty bad…the excuses come out, the wagons are dutifully circled. Okay, it seems reasonable to establish some threshold of proof, and declare it has not been met. But — leftists like to accuse Donald Trump of things, too. They don’t need “hot mic” conversations that were recorded on tape. They speculate. Point is, if you want to catch them hiding behind a double standard, it isn’t hard. You don’t have to wait long. The leftists do not police their own, they let bad behavior slide. Because the political agenda is far too important to them. The #NeverTrump crowd is proud of this…they’re not like that! They’ve got all the faithfulness of an alley cat when it comes to politics. They’ll take their stand with the rest of us against liberalism, but drop it like a hot potato. They’re SO principled! This is what makes the political right the “good guys,” they say.
We-ell…it really isn’t, actually. After Election Day when Hillary is the President-Elect, right after they’re done crying in their beers about “Why do the bad guys win?” they’re going to be blaming someone else. Right? We needn’t speculate. They say so now. So they’re not really owning this decision that character/integrity/morals are more important than a political victory. There’s something awfully distasteful about getting an excuse ready to go, for a failure that’s about to happen and hasn’t happened yet. I’m left wondering when the character/integrity/morals are actually demonstrated. And I think, if that’s what we were seeing, Trump’s apology for his remarks from eleven years ago would’ve counted for something. We want to make correct moral decisions, first & foremost, to set a good example for others, right?
But again, I’m talking logically. These people decide everything emotionally. I lately had something in the e-mails to say about this…
You see it in our elections this year, with this widespread sentiment that Trump, in spite of all of Hillary’s many faults, is the candidate that should be bounced out of this thing, obliterated…make him drop the cartoon hole in the ground, reach up and pull it in after himself…because he’s profane and boorish. You understand what’s wrong with that, since after Trump loses the election and Hillary is President, Trump will continue to be profane and boorish, will still exist. And we’ll be left with a bad President, whom our press will not hold to account.
It doesn’t pass the laugh-test of elementary problem solving, let alone the problem-solving test of elementary problem solving. The problem is that Trump is profane and boorish. If that really is the number one priority and all other problems pale in comparison, and we MUST do something to solve that one…electing Hillary is not the solution. Right? In fact, it would be a much more effective to elect Trump. Put him someplace where he can’t be profane and boorish.
Well, that’s all very silly. GIGO, as we say…Garbage In, Garbage Out. The idea that one guy in the country is profane and boorish and this is some sort of pressing problem upon which we need to fixate — never made a lot of sense in the first place. This is not a thought process for logical thinking or strategy-building, it is put together to appeal to passions and mindless emotion. Vote Hillary, to show Trump how much he sucks! Put that look on his face, that the bad guys in action movies have right before the missile hits their helicopter. The slow-motion, “ZOMG I just realized how much I suck!” face. Again, we don’t need to wait for the patient to admit to his disease: He has given up, at least temporarily, on actually solving any problems, on making anything better. Whether he’s a #NeverTrump who thinks he’s dedicated to the conservative cause (by definition, though, they’re really not), or a liberal who just wants to see Hillary make it in there — they’re way too busy with the effort to show some certain guy how much he sucks, to sweat any small stuff like the economy, foreign relations, ISIS, national security, or the out-of-control public debt.
Trump has repeatedly gotten in trouble lately for being a heterosexual male who likes the look of beautiful women. It was in Hillary’s introduction of Ms. Machado (warning, video behind like auto-plays):
And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” [emphasis mine]
This fantasy that we can control how people around us look at women, by way of selecting certain people to be elevated to very high positions of authority, has been around a long time. As demonstrated above, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. I suppose everyone can’t think strategically about the problems that annoy them the most, and it’s unrealistic to think we should all “take what we like, and leave the rest” when it comes to the opinions of others. We’re always going to have some control freaks who want to control how the rest of us behave, and if they had the maturity to realize “Electing Hillary won’t fix that,” then they wouldn’t be control freaks in the first place.
But there is a real tragedy taking place here, which seems like it ought to be preventable. How that could be done, I don’t know. But it is decidedly negative energy, and not positive. Hasn’t Barack Obama’s reign been proof enough of that? If His being President ever had a chance of improving race relations in this country — which it didn’t, but let’s just pretend for the moment that at least the chance was there once — it wasn’t really going to be by way of inspiring hope, was it? It was supposed to be a campaign of intimidation. Can we admit that much? White racists would get all ready to do their white racist stuff, and suddenly stop and think “Waitaminnit, the President is a black man, I’d better cool my shit.” Now we can get into how it didn’t quite work that way, because it turns out not all racists are white…but that’s a side point. The main point is that Hillary, and those who support her, are planning much the same thing with women. And if she wins, the effect will be much the same; rather difficult to deny that male-female relations will be affected over the next four-to-eight years, the same way black-white relations have been affected up to now. Also, the main point covers that things are not made better this way, because the methodology is negative and not positive, applying fear and not hope.
But, some women don’t care about this. They’re super-enthused already, recognizing the signs that women are enjoying a certain influence on things, that has eluded them up until now.
Which brings us to an unsavory question. What kind of women are these?
These are absolutely, positively, not women who have a problem with profanity in private conversations among adult men. These are Amy Schumer types. There are those who suppose, and there is a certain credibility about this, that this hot-mic “scandal” will end up helping Trump and hurting Clinton, on balance, if for no other reason than because Americans despise hypocrisy. And we’re seeing a big bundle of it here. So we have our first answer to the what-kind-of-women question: Hypocritical women. The “raunchy comedienne” stereotype that does suggestive things with science fiction fantasy props, but doesn’t want any men anywhere to do something so gauche as…looking at an attractive woman in a bathing suit, and enjoying the sight. That is not to be tolerated.
Unattractive, insecure women, perhaps. Steve Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism is that the “most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.” Here is a failure that is maintained as a constant, within social justice movements: They work, and think, in passive voice. “Be considered” — by whom? Dudes actually have this problem. I’m a dude. Some women think I’m good-looking, other women are more sensible. Know what I did about it? I rendered the opinions of all the ones who think I’m not good-looking, irrelevant — by marrying one of the ones who thinks I’m good-looking. See? Active-voice thinking, leads to an active-voice solution to the problem. Try it sometime girls!
But…they don’t. They won’t. They have to control how other women are “seen.” I guess that’s the old thing about think globally act locally? They’ve got to control what everyone else is doing.
They have giant holes in them…no, not that hole. A spiritual hole. Like Ringo’s. They can’t ever fill it…
…asks one of my liberal Facebook friends, decisively nudging in an unstated way toward an approved answer of “no.” We-ell…if I’m going to speculate on this with honesty, I have to factor in years, and years, and YEARS of arguing with liberals who’ve been cudgeling me the entire time with entirely unsupported “we all know” arguments. Such arguments are lifted above the depths of inconvenience that goes with the presence of dissent, and the messy business of contending with it. They sidestep it. Hey, it’s a given. We all know.
Or…most of us know. More people agree than don’t agree, and that just proves it, right?
If that is the sentiment — and it very often is — what then is the difference between that, and confessing to a resolute belief in the majority’s privilege to manufacture its own brand of relative-truth, that is beyond challenge or appeal by any other brand? St. Augustine is said to have authored the maxim about “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Alright, maybe he didn’t say it; I’m sure the experts would agree it seems like something George Washington would say. The important thing is, if St. Augustine did say it, would liberals agree?
Or, let’s leave the liberal thing behind for a bit, since that’s not part of the question. The question suggests a fragile absolute. That seems quite precarious to me, since to stick to a minority opinion after it’s been demonstrated to be in a minority, requires some sort of principle. Even if it is an unscrupulous minority opinion, you’d have to show some rugged constitution about it, and a determination to withstand the dissent of “everybody knows.”
That, although we may be loathe to acknowledge it in certain situations, demands character. Something we have to develop over time. We aren’t born with it. And it’s absurd to suppose everyone with a heartbeat is developing it.
I remember one lefty-leaning guy in particular, who left me with a palpable sense of “I don’t think that guy has ever gone against the group-consensus in his entire life.” Thankfully, by this time I had developed the sense of discernment not to say some things out loud. I have an effervescent memory of being tempted and deciding against it. And I can dimly recall the parting-shot he used to inspire this: Something about, me being proven wrong was some sort of fait accompli, since everyone — and I had shown my negligence in failing to figure this out for myself — disagreed. Everyone out of…whom? Smart people? English-speakers? Everyone he knew? Everyone with red blood in their veins? He did not say. But there was sufficient definition in his condemnation to satisfy him, which is what mattered…”everyone” was qualified in some, entirely unstated way, and the St. Augustine wisdom did not apply, so anything else to be discussed was just so much useless static.
It isn’t an isolated incident by any means.
And whenever anyone, liberal or otherwise, indulges in the “I know you’re wrong because nobody agrees,” or its companion of “I know I’m right because everyone knows it” — they are implicitly confessing to being part of the lifelong-bandwagon crowd. That is the equivalent of saying “No I’ve never been in the minority on anything, ever, why would I ever consider it?”
There is a lot of danger involved in assuming the majority is always correct.