Archive for November, 2006

My Leanings

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

You Are 64% Republican

You have a good deal of elephant running through your blood, and you’re proud to be conservative.
You don’t fit every Republican stereotype, but you definitely belong in the Republican party.

You Are 0% Democrat

If you have anything in common with the Democrat party, it’s by sheer chance.
You’re a staunch conservative, and nothing is going to change that!

You Are a “Don’t Tread On Me” Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don’t belong in either party.
Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion… and you feel opressed by both.
You don’t want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else’s for that matter.
You’re proud to say that you’re pro-choice on absolutely everything!

Poor John

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Kerry has to get out of the shoot, lest anyone think he has something to do with the powers-that-be.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer appeared to kick Sen. John Kerry out of a Democratic leadership walk in Washington, a reporter who witnessed the event said.

An ABC News reporter said the incident occurred Tuesday outside of the Old Senate Chamber as members of the new Democratic leadership, of which Kerry is not a part, left the chamber en route to the Ohio Clock Corridor to discuss leadership elections, the incoming majority’s agenda and Iraq.
Kerry waited for the Democratic leaders to walk ahead and then ducked between two statues. The ABC reporter speculated that Schumer may have told Kerry to stay clear of the leadership shot.

Yeah, Michael Moore gets to appear shoulder-to-shoulder with them though, invited as Jimmy Carter’s special guest during the Democratic convention of ’04. And check out Moore’s transcript from the link immediately previous…check out what he says about “the troops.” Not too different from what Kerry said to get himself in all that trouble.

Was Kerry’s “botched joke” an isolated incident? The reader shall decide.

Opening Themes to Bond Films

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Yup, that’s what it is. Audio and video. All twenty of ’em.

This Is Good XXX

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Update 11/15/06: Thanks to alert reader Phil (see comment(s) below), we find the video has been yanked. Due to copyright issues…which, if memory guides us, seem to surface more than reliably when it’s the left-wingers who are being heckled. For those left wondering what it is they missed, you can start piecing it together by following this link over to Hot Air.

Not much more to be said. Trust us, it was really funny. Ya had to be there, as they say.

Update 11/19/06: YouTube put it back and I changed the link above. Thanks for the tip, Buck.

40 Things That Happen Only In Movies

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

What should I add to this list?

1. It is always possible to find a parking spot directly outside or opposite the building you are visiting.
6. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.
11. Any police officer about to retire from the force will more often than not die on their last day (especially if their family have planned a party). (Caveat: Detectives can only solve a case after they have been suspended from duty).
17. If you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts, your opponents will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have defeated their predecessor.

Ah, I have an idea for #41. When you sneak up on a heavily-guarded fortress chock full of bad guys, and one of the bad guys sees you, he’s sure to come after you for a mano-a-mano. He won’t shoot at you unless he’s an incredibly lousy shot with no more than two bullets in his gun, and of course the last thing he’s going to do is turn around and yell “Hey, other bad guys! Come help me! There’s a good guy sneaking past us, over here.”

Best Sentence III

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

This morning’s best sentence, out of all I have read lately, is this one from Mike Adams discussing affirmative action. He’s talking about competent individuals who want to achieve on the merits of their own skills, but are not given and cannot be given credit for such things. And why not? Because they happen to be members of some class that is supposed to benefit from affirmative action rules. I can’t state such a situation with brevity, at least not much, but he can.

Once a class of people is given credit for something its members did not achieve, individuals in that class forfeit credit for the things they actually did.

Bingo. Says it all. Read the rest. You’ll find an intriguing idea down toward the very end: Suppose all applicants worked together to bring an end to affirmative action, from sea to shining sea, everybody — universally — by “checking the box for ‘African American’ on every university form.”

That’s an idea worthy of a book. Racism and blatant fraud brought to a permanent and inglorious end, by means of — just-plain-fraud. Well, that isn’t what’s about to happen. We got us a Democrat Congress now. Get ready for some more reverse-prejudice at all levels, some “temporary” reverse-discrimination to be cemented into permanence; probably, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. And who’s going to be victimized more than anybody else? The individuals who happen to belong to the protected classes, who desire to succeed simply on their own merits. Individuals of all races, are going to find it to be tougher and tougher to do that very thing. As Yoda might say, begun, the war on individuality has.

Hey all you “conservatives” who watched re-runs of “Full House” and “Married With Children” on election night, because Republicans “didn’t deserve your vote.” Feelin’ good about it now? Just askin’.

Feds Deny Padilla’s Claims of Abuse

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Oh my, oh my, it must be more evidence of our vanishing civil liberties or some such, right?

Federal prosecutors today denied claims by alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla that he was tortured during his 3 ½ years in military custody as a “enemy combatant.”

Sympathy MeterIn papers filed in Miami federal court, prosecutors said, Padilla provided no evidence to back up his claims and urged that the case against him not be dismissed based on his allegations. They insisted that Padilla was treated humanely while in a Navy brig in South Carolina.

”Padilla’s conditions of confinement were humane and designed to ensure his safety and security,” assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Killinger and other prosecutors said in their 17-page filing. “His basic needs were met in a conscientious manner.”

That included halal food, some outdoor exercise and medical attention when necessary. Prosecutors said Padilla never made any abuse claims while in military custody.

Tough luck, Jose.


Monday, November 13th, 2006

So stop me if you heard this one. Hillary Clinton walks into a bar, and starts outlining some of her legislative priorities which you can read all about in this Reuters puff-piece

[a bazillion paragraphs about her Presidential ambitions]

In her remarks, Clinton outlined a range of challenges she said Democrats would tackle in the coming months, such as trimming the federal deficit, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and improving the image of the United States abroad.

She also said Democrats would focus on improving the quality and affordability of health care[,] a touchy matter for the former first lady, who in 1993 led her husband’s calamitous attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system. The failure of that effort helped Republicans win control of both the Senate and House the following year.

“Health care is coming back,” Clinton warned, adding, “It may be a bad dream for some.”

Who is sympathetic to this woman’s mad ravings? It may be a bad dream for some? Yeah sure…so many of us want to make sure a bunch of Americans remain uncovered and have no access to healthcare. Right. We have nightmares thinking “Omigosh! What if nobody has to worry about their healthcare coverage, my life will be ruined!”

No Hillary. We just hate socialism, like all decent Americans.

Oh and here’s another thing to think about…oddly, Hillary doesn’t seem to have mentioned anything about it, nor did anyone press her to say anything. A sampling of what’s to come, I daresay.

Al Qaeda is trying to acquire the technology that would enable it to use a nuclear device to attack Western targets including Britain, a senior British official said on Monday.

“We know the aspiration is there. We know attempts to gather materials are there, we know that attempts to gather technology are there,” the senior Foreign Office official told reporters.

The comments at a briefing came days after the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency said Muslim extremists were plotting at least 30 major terrorist attacks in Britain which could involve chemical and nuclear devices.

The Foreign Office official, asked whether there was any doubt that Al Qaeda wants to gather nuclear material for use against Western targets, said: “No doubt at all.”

There ya go. Dirty little bearded men who want to kill us, getting their hands on nukes. Hillary wants us to think about healthcare.

Yeah, it’s the kind of stuff that gives me nightmares, just not in the way she implies.

Update 11/14/06: This morning Neal Boortz started trying to figure out what Hillary might have meant with this crack about “bad dreams.” He made more sense of it than I did. It’s still a bizarre thing for her to have said.

Does Hillary mean that after our government takes control of the delivery of medical services in this country that Americans will have to wait for months, even years, for elective surgery as people do in Canada and other countries with socialized medicine? Well .. .if that’s the case, Hillary is right. That would be a bad dream.

Maybe Hillary is talking about what awaits any American who tries to use his or her own money to hire a doctor outside of the government medical scheme. Well, under the Hillarycare proposal she concocted in 1993, if a private individual used private funds to hire a doctor to perform a medical service outside of Hillarycare, then both the doctor and the patient could be arrested and jailed. Being jailed because you dared to hire your own doctor? Again, Hillary is right. That indeed would be a bad dream; not just for some, but for many.


“Helicopter” Parents

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

The problem is getting worse.

Now they are inserting themselves into their kids’ job search — and school officials and employers say it’s a problem that may be hampering some young people’s careers.
Donnell Turner, assistant director of the career center at Loyola University in Chicago, is just starting to notice the trend. He couldn’t believe it when he saw the first of a few parents walk into a recent job fair for students.

“What is she doing here?” he thought to himself. Some students had the same thought.
Barbara Dwyer, a career coach in Sacramento, Calif., says she spoke at a Future Farmers of America meeting and met a mother whose son wanted to raise sheep for a living. The mom excitedly told Dwyer how she had done extensive research to find out what it would take for her son to get started in the business.

“I asked, `Why did YOU do it?’ And she looked shocked,” Dwyer says.

Indeed, while many people have heard about the helicopter parent phenomenon, it’s tough to find moms or dads who consider themselves one.

“You know, somebody called me that,” says Diane Krier-Morrow, whose son recently graduated from Saint Louis University and is now teaching English in Taiwan. She came to the Loyola job fair to get information from employers for her son and brought copies of his resume to hand out.

“But believe me, I’m just going to hand him the bag,” she said of the stack of jobs brochures and business cards she had gathered. “The rest is up to him.”

Oh my Gawd, it’s one of those things like out of Sixth Sense where the dead people don’t know they’re dead. Well, if that’s the case I hope someone’s around to slap me good if I ever turn into one of these things. Whup-whup-whup-whup-whup…

Just damn. Bird-mommas shove their little chickies out of the nest, and if the chickies don’t fly, they fall to the ground and go boom. Us humans aren’t as smart as a bunch of stupid birds. Hey…is there any hope?

Worst Company URLs

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

This is just funny. A little something to take your mind off things. You know, I’m supposed to be going light on the heavy shit on the weekends.

Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today’s
world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name
selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do
this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies
who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn’t give
their domain names enough consideration:

…and you wouldn’t believe how bad things get sometimes. Go on, click, read.

Memo For File XXXIII

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

This is a memo for file, and that is all it is. I wish the title could be “Why The Democrats Got Their Asses Kicked Yet Again,” but of course that isn’t the way things went. So this is just a bit of old stuff to go in my digital scrapbook…an unusually terse and tactless, not that this is a bad thing, column by Victor Davis Hanson about the Senator who very nearly changed the whole outcome of the midterms. Some of it is a little below-the-belt; some of it simply states the obvious. It’s all good, and like everything else Hanson has to say, points out some pretty useful stuff.

How could John Kerry, born into privilege, and then marrying and divorcing and marrying out of and back into greater inherited wealth, lecture anyone at a city college about the ingredients for success in America? If he were to give personal advice about making it, it would have to be to marry rich women. Nothing he has accomplished as a senator or candidate reveals either much natural intelligence or singular education. Today, Democrats must be wondering why they have embraced an overrated empty suit, and ostracized a real talent like Joe Lieberman.


Sunday, November 12th, 2006

I’m inventing a new word. I’m using this word because it’s a word for our times, and it’s worthy of scrutiny where our society is going, and how words can be used to describe it. If I continue to comment on the election results and what they mean, using only conventional words, I’ll become a one-note samba, even though I’ll be trying to describe things that are symphonic in nature. My new word is inspired by, among other things, Laura Ingraham’s comment Wednesday as quoted in the Seattle Times online

Democrats, in my mind, don’t have a mandate because they stood for nothing.

This statement hits the nail on the head, and at the same time it is completely wrong. Democrats stood for nothing; they won; they do have a mandate. They do. It is a very powerful mandate. It fits our prevailing sentiment to a tee. It is a mandate…of nothing. Note, that is an entirely different thing compared to having a mandate not to do anything. And it is an entirely different thing compared to not having a mandate. Those are three distinctly different things. What we have here, is a mandate of nothing. Voters want action. They refuse to say what the action is to be. They only want to say what the action is not going to be.

They have voted without vision, and therefore, their confidence that things can turn out in some way that is not shit, is at an all-time low. In fact, I’m gathering most among the electorate, regardless of party affilation, are convinced it certainly will turn to shit, and I’m not talking about just Iraq. Everything. It’s all going to turn soft and brown and stinky…and what voters want, is to disclaim ownership. They want to not be blamed when it happens.

If you happen to be reading this, you’re probably thinking “that sounds kind of like my boss at work.” And you probably think you’re the only one thinking that.

But these are the times in which we live. Bathosploration.


1. a ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax.
2. insincere pathos; sentimentality; mawkishness.
3. triteness or triviality in style.


1. an act or instance of exploring or investigating; examination.
2. the investigation of unknown regions.

ba‧thos‧plo‧ra‧tion (-noun): a ludicrous, trivial and insincere descent involving the abandonment of investigating unknown things, and instead, recognizing only known things, and channeling all progressive energy toward the refinement of those known things to a more pristine state. Bathosploration is characterized by intense hostility toward others who partake in explorative things, a desire to deflect blame, in irrational drive for inventing and conforming to rules, and a remarkable apathy concerning how to do things better than they were done before — except where some kind of sterility is concerned. In a bathosplorific society, actions are weighed not for their likely consequences, but for their conformity to established rules; enterprises are launched not to acquire greater knowledge about what has yet to be discovered, but to achieve greater comfort with what has already been.

It is utterly incompatible with life, and sports many attributes associated with death. It is about stillness. Getting life over with. Not leaving behind any indications you were ever here, over & above what is absolutely necessary — and hiding those as best you can.

It is the opposite of exploration. It is what the human condition does after we have passed the zenith, and entered into an era of bathos, beginning our post-apogeal descent. Exploration has to do with starting from a defined point, and journeying outward into the unknown. One generation will do some exploring, conquering frontiers; the next generation will settle that frontier, or perhaps reach maturity regarding that frontier as tamed, paved and just as familiar as anything that came before it — and define a new frontier, and conquer that. Humanity ex-plodes. Outward. The frontiers get farther and farther flung, outward and onward, and over time they tend to become bigger frontiers.

The foregoing describes the human spirit in times past, and it would appear that chapter has now closed. Things are different today. We are in our bathos now. Dreams, where they exist at all, no longer concern exponential conquests; nowadays, they are fractional conquests. We start from some environment that has some filth to it, we devise ways of detecting impurities, and then we clean and purify. Where a new generation dreams of things undreamed-of by the previous generation, it has to do with trudging toward a zero. Taking a mathematical zero, and making reality reflect that zero-based ideal with greater precision. Our water has so many parts per million of arsenic, let’s see if we can cut that in half. There’s so much ozone in the air, let’s bring that down.

We go to work; nobody gives a shit what we’re going to do once we get there, they care how we got there. Did we carpool?

So the election simply reflects where our mindset is. Accomplishing something? Who said anything about that? Who, in this campaign just past, ever said anything about it — other than the guys who lost. America voted to have things not accomplished anymore. It doesn’t know what it wants, and it isn’t very concerned about figuring it out.

Next year we will have a 110th Congress, elected by The People. And that Congress will be uniquely qualified to carry out what The People want. It will look like our nation’s mindset, for good or for ill. It may do nothing; it may do a lot of things. But whatever it does, will be nobody’s fault. Go on, find someone who thinks this election was a good thing, and get their opinion about what the Congress is going to do. All you’re going to get is a diatribe about what an awful guy President Bush is…and maybe a snippet about impeachment hearings that aren’t even going to happen.

And like all bureacracies that have matured to the point of rotting from within, this nation holds that objective, the don’t-blame-me deal, as paramount. Pick this thing, pick that thing; do, or do not. Whatever. Just make sure I am not to be blamed for what happens.

It’s two different mindsets. You go and explore a New World, you have to take responsibility for things. Someone has to make sure the boat can hold water, and the compass works. Shipbuilder steps up and says, “I can build your boat! I’m the best there is! If it sinks, you can be sure it won’t be my fault!” and nobody, but nobody, will want to hire that guy. In an age of exploration, you want a boatbuilder who will make sure that fucker keeps floating. In such an age, people prayed to a God…and they didn’t care who overheard…that if they had fifteen children, maybe eight would live. So they could grow up and do exciting things. They prayed the children would have educational benefits the parents never had, so the children could dream things of which the parents never dreamed. And actually do them. And have more children, who in turn, would dream even bigger dreams, and do those.

Bathosploration is different. Parents don’t have dreams like these for their kids. Parents pray…maybe to a God, maybe to something else, but if they pray to a God they are sure to do it quietly, so nobody is offended. If they pray for their children to live, they’re confused about where the protection would be needed the most, for they know their children grow up in relatively sterilized environments, with defenses from literally everything — from kidnappers to political-incorrectness. And for what? Very few parents discuss, outwardly, what these children are supposed to do when they grow up. Have more children? Enter a particular field? That is thought to be unfairly imposing the parents’ values on the child, who is his or her own person. Sure, the rock stars of the seventies had clashes with their parents about their chosen professions, just as Beethoven was castigated by his father over the same issues…but those days are coming to a close. Parents aren’t supposed to have a vote in what their children do. They aren’t supposed to have a say. They aren’t supposed to care. Children are supposed to live and be healthy so they can be…happy. Just get them clean food. Clean water. Clean air. Clean, clean, clean. A child today needs three or four doctor’s visits a year, on average, and his father might have needed that many throughout his entire childhood. Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell about mistakes with antibiotic medicine, which used to be a rare phenomenon. Children need prescriptions to “pay attention in school,” and this was unheard of before.

In bathosploration, everybody has an idea about getting somebody else “what they need.” Only rarely does anyone take the trouble to ask “need…to do what, exactly?” And you can grow old just waiting for one well-thought-out answer.

What can we achieve in an era of bathosploration? Whatever we set out to do, and this is what disturbs me most about the elections. “Bathosploration” is all about setting out to do…nothing. It’s about making sure nobody is offended by anything. Following procedures. Doing what you’re supposed to do. Making sure nothing is ever your fault. Communicating no opinions whatsoever, except for raging excoriation aimed at other people who have the audacity to try to do something.

We are a star, past supernova stage, now collapsing inward on itself to become a black hole. Much evidence supports this; very little is available to contradict it. In any way.

It’s a natural phase of civilization, I suppose. We expand, tame what was once wild, as we are designed to do…until we just get tired of doing so. And then we start taking a look at our taming, and inspect if we’re taming things enough. No longer do we look at what is to be tamed next; we’re concerned about making up new rules for the taming. It’s as if we think chastity is something that can be achieved where it was previously absent, when it depends on innocence that can never be captured. So we end up like Lady MacBeth trying to wash the blood off her hands.

It’s utterly futile. By its very nature it is futile. We were built to explore, and to take responsibility for things turning out right. We’re abdicating the responsibility. We’re doing worse than that; collectively, we’re nurturing a white-hot hatred toward anyone who doesn’t similarly abdicate. We’ve become apathetic, and at the same time, passionate about propagating our apathy. Previous generations would have wondered if such a thing was possible, and if there was any point to wondering if such a thing was possible — and here we are.

The only question that matters, is what bathosploration is in the grand scheme of things? Is it the second phase of two phases, or the second of three? Are we doomed to collapse into a dead, still black hole and just sit there in the cosmos? Or get tired of wasting our lives working toward a state of death…and start exploring again? Start doing things that are compatible with being alive? Taking ownership of things? Making sure things work? Chart new territory? Dream exciting dreams, dreams that have nothing to do with purifying things and thinking up new rules? Where do we go from here, exactly?

I believe in a “quickening.” I think I’ll see the answer to this question in my lifetime.

Whether I’m going to like what I see…I must say, I have strong doubts.


Saturday, November 11th, 2006

A few hours ago I made mention of some human vermin who, according to the available evidence, lashed a couple to an anchor and pitched them over the side of a boat Billy Bathgate style. True to form, I made a quick mention to the story and made some passing references to the events therein, after bloviating bloatfully about those among us who — well, let’s just cut to the chase this time — they don’t believe in visiting justice upon the wicked. Yes, I know the anti-death-penalty types bristle at that accusation, insisting that they simply have “moral objections” to the ultimate punishment. But they share a close kinship with the criminals-rights folks. And the criminals-rights folks, generally, aren’t too keen on victims-rights. They champion one over the other, often. You don’t have to wait too long to see them do it. They’ll find any excuse in the book to release predators whom common-sense says are guilty of their “alleged crimes,” even if “innocent-til-proven-guilty” might be interpreted to say otherwise.

James Bostwick has a lot in common with me. We both celebrated a birthday ending with a zero and each of us is mourning a decade of our lives lost forever…except he’s embarking now on the one I just lost. And he just got done reading an article about recidivism, and sharing his thoughts about it.

We didn’t collaborate on this. I swear.

Probably, what’s going on is we share concerns about our new Congress.

Isn’t it interesting? The people we are told are “conservatives”…you get left-wingers in positions of power, and the conservatives worry about violent predators being released on the streets and little kids getting chopped up and buried in fields.

The people we are told are “moderates” and “liberals”…you get right-wingers in positions of power, and those kind folks worry about tax cuts. They worry about government getting the hell out of the way, and private persons and businesses being allowed to do the stuff they want to do. Big crisis, huh?

Government getting out of the way of businesses that want to hire people, versus, Government getting out of the way of predators who want to rape and massacre little kids. Which is worse? Real toss-up, huh?

What It Is

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

What Is It?Last week I posted a cropped photo from the outdoor adventures I had with my gal down in Monterey, and made the invitation for some of the nobodies who don’t read my blog, which nobody ever reads, to guess what the thing was supposed to be. Well, the response has been overwhelming. A lot of people think I bought her a fur coat. Someone thought it was a porcupine, and one guy was sure I’d somehow pointed a camera down the throat of that thing Jabba the Hutt wanted to throw Luke into…possibly a nod back to a metaphor I had admired earlier.

Well, here ya go.

It’s a stupid squirrel. He was so freakin’ oblivious to the possible danger from the tall two-legged pink things, he let me stick the camera almost in his ear. No, he wasn’t hungry. Looked kind of bored, really. I do have that effect sometimes. But if I wanted to throw a big net over him, there wasn’t anything stopping me. And he thinks he’s some kind of wild animal. What a dumb squirrel.


Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Looks like out on FARK, it must be “What A Way To Go” day. And so we’ll borrow from that theme over here.

This is just gross. Headline and thread here (not approved by admins, TOTALFARK subscription required for viewing, which you can buy here).

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types VII

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Nobody ever reads this blog, of course, but those who might trip across it from time to time would notice we have a way of pointing out stories of depraved violence, specifically targetting anti-death-penalty folks for this information. It is they who are in a position to benefit from this knowledge. It is our position, here at The Blog Nobody Reads, that there is no logical reason to oppose the death penalty.

An important justification for this position is the Doctrine of Erroneous Absolutes. When two assertions are antithetical to one another, such that they both can’t be true — one’s an absolute, the other is not — usually, the one that is an absolute is defeated. If it prevails in discourse it fails in implementation. Now, there are exceptions to this. Think about it; there have to be exceptions to the Doctrine. If there are no exceptions, the Doctrine becomes an absolute, and given it’s nature it becomes an inherent contradiction. So to sum it up, if you say “always” or “never” or “all” or “none,” there isn’t much reason to inspect the other stuff you have to say. It’s usually wrong.

The Anti-Death-Penalty movement has enjoyed, around the world, spectacular success that is based on complete and insubstantiable falsehood: To support the death penalty is an absolute, to oppose it is the essence of moderation. They don’t use the word “moderation,” what they like to use instead is something having to do with “a civilized society.” Nevertheless, moderation is the idea they want to communicate. Let’s not push the button, because you can’t reverse that later. It sounds good. It sounds moderate.

But it’s not moderate, it’s absolute. “Do away with the death penalty” means to never use it. Never, never, no matter what, it is “off the table.” That’s an absolute. On the other hand, when someone like me comes along, and says “let’s keep the death penalty,” people look at us as if we’re the absolutists. That is logically untenable. Absoute would be, let’s kill everybody. Or let’s kill everyone who is arrested. Or let’s kill all the felons. Or anyone who is convicted of murder, kill ’em, without regard to any of the circumstances involved.

And I don’t know of any pro-death-penalty who are pushing anything even remotely similar to that. Support for the death penalty, is the essence of moderation. “Let’s keep it on the books,” as they say, as a tool…just like car insurance, you have it, you hope you never need it, but if it’s needed it will be there. It’s a sensible, moderate position.

And anybody who opposes it, is simply making public policy decisions based on wishful thinking about the human condition. Said wishful thinking is, again, absolute. “There is some good in everybody.” Why, it must be true. I saw it in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader turned out to be not such a bad dude.

It’s a funny thing about humanity as a whole. As people are inspected across localities, cultures, various living conditions…there is no quicker way to destroy absolutes. Go ahead, just name something that “nobody” does. Then give me a million people or so, which is a tiny fraction of all the people on the planet. A tiny fraction. Let me sift through ’em, and I’ll find a bunch of people who do that thing you think nobody does.

Good in everybody? I wish it were the case.

“Some good in everybody” is not only a delusional absolute, it’s also off-topic. The death penalty doesn’t exist for us to execute people once they’ve been found to contain zero, zilch, nada, butkus, no good whatsoever. That really would be asking for trouble. That really would be investing an excess of power in our lawmakers and executives and judicials. That really would be imposing the flawed decision-making of man, upon the domain of God. It would be wrong.

No, the death penalty exists to protect the innocent from those who are incapable of honoring the implied social contract required for people to live safely among each other. Some people, for whatever reason, simply don’t give a damn. To expect them not to hurt somebody else, is like expecting a ferret to make timely installment payments on a loan and not let any of the checks bounce. They just aren’t wired for it. They’re not built for it. It’s not within their capacity.

So down they go. Moderate position. It doesn’t feel like one, because of course it’s irreversible. But much of what the justice system does, is irreversible. Tossing a guy in jail for a single night is irreversible. So “irreversible” is not absolute. To say “don’t ever do that” — that’s absolute. And it’s wrong. It fails to take into account the incredible diversity of the human condition; and I’m using the “D” word as a bad thing. Some people hurt other people, and can’t stop even if they want to. And a lot of them don’t want to stop.

Now having said that, I should add the separate issue of “reasonable doubt” is a significant issue. Some people oppose the death penalty because they insist, under threat of such a sentence, all doubt is reasonable and there must always be some. I think this point is somewhat more logical, although it doesn’t hold much sway with me because it’s simply unworkable. The threshold for “reasonableness” is a static thing; the ramifications of the prosecution overcoming it, don’t change where it is. Maybe we’d all feel good if such a thing were so, but that doesn’t make it so.

And where would that put us? A speeding ticket is one or two hundred bucks — so nevermind that the radar gun lacked the proper certification or that the arresting officer has a history of perjury. The penalty is light, so the burden of proof is negligible. On the other hand, if the death penalty makes a demand of proof that can never be satisfied, then penalties that are only a little bit lighter, must make demands of proof that almost can never be satisfied. Armed robbery with a deadly weapon, with priors? Gee, that could involve twenty years; maybe more. Better make it real hard to lock the guy up, even if you know he really did it. Why not? It’s the same logic. Once you’ve wasted two decades of his life, you can never give it back. Better just turn him loose.

And that would hold for all the really bad stuff. The violent stuff. Are those the people we want to turn loose, while the innocents who gee, maybe, just might have jaywalked, are unjustly fined?

Well…without commenting further on my reservations about this “reasonable doubt” defense, I’d recommend what’s above just as something to chew on. For our anti-death-penalty types.

While they read about this

A former jail guard testified Thursday about how a husband and wife were killed by being tied to an anchor aboard their yacht and dumped into the ocean.

Alonso Machain said he was on a boat belonging to Thomas and Jackie Hawks when they were killed in late 2004. He said he watched as they were overpowered by two men, bound by duct tape, tied to an anchor and thrown overboard off Southern California.

Machain, 23, testified Wednesday for more than two hours in the trial of Jennifer Deleon, who is charged with two counts of murder and special-circumstance allegations of committing multiple murders for financial gain.

Machain has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and acknowledged he hopes for leniency in exchange for his testimony.
Moments before they were killed, Machain said, Jackie Hawks pleaded with her captors to release them.

“She said they just had a new grandchild and she just wanted to see him,” Machain said.

The bodies of the Hawkses, of Prescott, Ariz., have not been found.

I know, I know. People say all kinds of crazy shit in exchange for leniency. It just makes sense that they will, and the “wanna see my grandchild” bit reeks of a tidbit that might have been cooked up to sway emotions.

What’s disturbing is, when you think about it, there really aren’t too many ways to get rid of a couple of human bodies to make sure they are never found. Yeah you can think of a few based on the movies. But easy logistics are involved in only one method of which I know, when there’s a boat involved.

Doesn’t exactly stand out as one of the better ways to go, huh?

Happy Birthday Marines

Saturday, November 11th, 2006


I cannot fully explain the doctrines under which the 110th Congress was just elected. It seems to me, and I know of no hard evidence to directly contradict this, that our last elections were conducted under the following auspices:

Semper FidelisThe Jean-Luc Picard paradigm is all-knowing. When two factions or forces aligned with different or oppositional interests face off, one of them malevolent, one not, the malevolent entity will yield to the cognitions and values of it’s counterpart. In short, the warrior will follow the superior example of the peacemaker. Always. You can end war forever…simply by making a unilateral decision not to fight it.

Such a doctrine must necessarily declare the United States Marines, ultimately, to be useless.

Well, you’re not useless. We owe our lives and our freedoms to the United States fighting forces, and especially, to you.

Happy birthday.

How does this all square with our new make-love-not-war Congress? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the fuckheads who voted them in. Or…stayed home, to allow it to happen.

Real Americans stand behind you, with a support that is, in the words of Commandant M. W. Hagee, “unconditional and firm” (PDF). We understand your mission is a necessary one, and we are thankful you are there to see it through to the end. And be back for the next one. Happy 231st!

Don’t Blame Me

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Some of the more reasonable among the Bush-bashing leftists…just some…will start to regret the thumpin’ with this news item. Trust me on this one, it’s the first chunk of ice to melt off the shelf.

Bolton’s days at U.N. are likely numbered
By Anne Plummer Flaherty
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — John Bolton’s prospects for winning Senate approval to stay on as U.N. ambassador essentially died Thursday as Democrats and a pivotal Republican said they would continue to oppose his nomination.

On Thursday, the White House resubmitted Bolton’s nomination to the Senate, where the appointment has languished for more than a year.

President Bush appointed him to the job temporarily in August 2005 while Congress was in recess, an appointment that will expire when the Congress adjourns, no later than January.

Bush could not make a second recess appointment of Bolton for the same job, though there was some speculation that the administration might try to keep the ambassador at the U.N. in some fashion.

Okay, I understand what the typical left-winger’s reaction to this is going to be: Good riddance. Yelling at subordinates, wants to take floors off the U.N., bushy eyebrows, blah blah blah.

Well if not Bolton, then who?

Don’t forget, this “unpopular war in Iraq” was authorized by the United Nations. They authorized it…Bush and the coalition followed through. To object to the follow-through without objecting to the authorization is illogical — and to object to the authorization, and hope for more of it, while excoriating anyone who follows through subsequently “just like we did in that disaster over in Iraq,” would be patently absurd. To say the U.N. needs reform, is to state a decidedly reasonable and middle-of-the-road viewpoint. Hell, it’s to stand guilty of stating the obvious.

I fully expect this is simple and straightforward enough that even the most slobbery, rabid lefty will have to surrender the argument or, maybe a bit more likely, simply change the subject. You want a change of course? John Bolton was the change of course, where it would have done the most good. To get rid of him may make some Hollywood actors happy, but it’s a pronounced nod toward the status quo. Meaningless paperwork passed by the U.N.S.C. condemning this and renouncing that and deploring some other silly damn thing…while nobody responds in the language spoken by those who justify the U.N.’s existence, with menacing and thuggish behavior in the international arena.

Maybe some leftists like that. But the point is, it’s not uncharted territory, not even close. The Blair Witch is coming after us and we’re walking in circles. We’ve been here many, many times before. When’s this “change of course” start?

Quietly Walking Backwards

Friday, November 10th, 2006

I really like this metaphor from, of all people, John Stewart. One of my gloating liberal Democrat co-workers turned me on to it, and a quick Google search netted me only this blogger comment. Nothing further.

Maybe in the next couple days I’ll be able to find video. I expect if I could find it in context, I’d like it even more.

I think Jon Stewart said, “The democrats quietly walk backwards out of the room as their older brother gets yelled at for burning down the garage”

I have to hand it to the left-wingers, or at least the ones with whom I work. It’s like a little bit of victory has temporarily reacquainted them with reality. Just to put it to the test, I actually began a sentence with “I think Rush Limbaugh was right when he said…” and wouldja believe it? They all agreed. Or arrived at a consensus…you know, in the way blue-staters do. Whoever speaks first speaks for the group, and anyone who disagrees just shuts up. So as near as I could tell, they all agreed — with Rush.

I think the observation was that Republicans win elections when they act like Republicans, and lose them when they start this bullcrap of “reaching across the aisle,” etc.

Best Sentence II

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

A month ago I had passed out a citation for best sentence and, by implication, made a resolution to keep on doing it. I have a lot of habits; some are good, some are bad. This strikes me as one of my better ones. It has not escaped my notice that when I take on a new habit, the more it has to do with absorbing lessons from others, the more likely I am to look back on the habit and regard it as a good one.

Today I am confronted with a philosophical question. Or a set of philosophical questions. Ethical dilemmas, you might say.

Is it alright for me to recognize a “best sentence” because it arouses me to — not think deeply, but — to chuckle?

What if it’s not in the best of taste?

What if it’s in downright poor taste?

What if it makes me cringe? And giggle at the same time?

Well…I guess I’ll leave that to the philosophers. As a TOTALFARK subscriber, I must confess, I have never, never, not ever, submitted a headline quite as, aw, sheesh. I’m not sure what the adjective is. I’m not even sure if I want to make it a positive adjective. Anyway…it deserves a bookmarking.

Not saying I approve…I just think it deserves a bookmarking. That’s all. C’mon, lighten up.

The World Speaks In Code

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

I expect I’ll be referring back to this bizarre little phenomenon in the years ahead, although I wish it were not so.

This article purports to present to me a diverse sampling of worldwide viewpoints about the midterm elections yesterday. It’s supposed to present that. What Ahmed thinks over here, what Vijay thinks over there, what Franz and Elisabeth and Pierre think over there. That’s supposed to be the point. And it actually delivers…halfway…and it leaves something else out. In that sense, it is a microcosm of all the commentary on this election I’ve been hearing today. All of it.

Echoing the sentiment of many in Muslim countries, Indonesian lawmaker Ahmad Sumargono hoped that the results would prompt a reassessment of American policies in Iraq and elsewhere.

“I am optimistic that American people have now realized the mistakes made by Bush in foreign policy. We hope this leads to significant changes, especially toward the Middle East,” he said.

Do you think — for one second — Sumargono went on to expound on the stuff that you’d want, y’know, upon which you’d logically wish for him to expound? Like…what mistakes are those? What changes are those supposed to be?

Well, if the person shoving a microphone into the face of Ahmad Sumargono got all uppity and bumptious about this, asking hard-hitting questions, insisting on meaningful answers…the ensuing exchange didn’t make it in to print.

The whole article reads like that. “I think this means President Bush’s butt cheeks got handed to him on a platter — YAY!!!” So-and-so says it, such-and-such says it, lather, rinse, repeat. But what is to be changed now? For what are they hoping? Nobody tries to address that. First word, last word, every word in between.

And I just think that’s odd. “What changes are going to come about?” seems to me an important question. “What changes do you hope to see coming about?” strikes me as a question to which I would like some answers. I’d like to know who’s out there, watching our elections. I’d like to know who’s in here, voting, and what changes they want.

Regardless of your political leanings, I think you’d agree there’s an awful lot riding on this.

Strange that nobody’s answering it. We’ve got a lot of people who just plain hate Republicans, and have waited six years for this to happen. If I was them, I’d feel cheated if the elected leaders went this long without bellying-up to the bar talking about why, in their minds, I bothered to put them in.

So now you can start to see my point. It’s really weird they’re not seizing the opportunity specifying it. And it’s even stranger, nobody anywhere is insisting on it.

There Ya Go

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006


Okay, donks. You’re in charge now. Show us how that “fiscal discipline” stuff works.

Let’s regroup in two years and count how many terrorists have been killed because of our wonderful, “respected around the world” Democratic Congress. Hopefully, records will have been broken. I hope that. I really do hope for it.

Memo For File XXXII

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet was in official use until 1956. It’s the one that starts out “Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog” and if you’re watching a World War II era movie, they should be using that one. Which most of them are.

It’s been replaced by the NATO Phonetic Alphabet which starts out “Alfa Bravo Charlie Delta,” and nowadays military folks will snicker at you if you’re reading something over the phone with the letter “A” and you use the phonetic “Able.” That isn’t correct anymore.

Both phonetic alphabets pronounce the number 9 as “niner.” That sounds cool in any decade. I’m so glad my license plate number has two niners in it. Almost makes me wish I got pulled over more often.

DNA Bolsters Deputy Slaying Case

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

This is a big deal out here. The morning Deputy Mitchell gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, I was driving my son back to his Mom’s place. I heard the first announcement about “officer down” right after I drove within just a few miles of where it happened. Kinda freaky.

Anyway, this story is the last I’ve seen of it. I dunno what kind of DNA they’re talking about. Don’t know if I wanna know. Don’t know if the whole thing is a bluff. But I hope they catch this depraved sonofabitch and I hope public-square executions are somehow allowable again when they administer the justice he so richly deserves.

If you see a cop today, metro, county, state or anything else…thank him. Maybe that’s a little awkward if he’s handing you a ticket, but think about it for a second or two. He walks up to car windows for a living, hour-to-hour, day-to-day. He really doesn’t know what’s going to happen when he approaches a window…EACH window. All day, all week, all year. Could you do his job? Would you want to? Think about that.

Apologize To No One

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Okay, it’s Election Day and whatever effect Kerry’s “botched joke” will have on things, has played out.

But this remix is still really funny. Heh heh heh…he apologized, right before he didn’t.

This Is Good XXIX

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

You ought to know by now, any time I see fit to send you to Miss Cellania, it’s always good. Click the first link on her page, go get a cup of coffee, come back after the 70+ megs have loaded and be prepared to be scaaaaaaaaaared……………

Yeah, it’s leftover Halloween stuff. My fault, not hers. Hey being scared is fun, right?

Sidebar Update VIII

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

So, not that I care, since nobody reads this blog anyway. But among the nobodies who don’t come by to actually read it, what do you think of the new look?

We’re still in a state of transition. Much thanks to Terry for offering this platform on Webloggin, and to Phil for pointing out some of the obvious bugs that I could have seen for myself, but was a little too distracted to do so. We have a few places we can go from here. We can…get the frame content and the archive content ready for “prime time,” meaning all cleaned up so that advertising can be done. That way we can keep using Webloggin’s servers and pay (kinda sorta) for what we’re taking up. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. All the other projects hither and yon, both on the computer and off — I’m not sure how to word what’s coming next. I think they’re breeding. Every time I turn around, there are more of them. Running a few loads of dishes seems to be pushing my limits lately.

Nobody is coming by to magically do this stuff for me. Something’s wrong with the way I’m doing my wishing.

What Is It?At this point you can stick in the tired old “pardon the slow posting on the blog lately, folks” meme. Whatever you choose to pick up and paste in, will fit nicely. Real life has been beckoning. The Honey and I went on a drive and she re-introduced me to that big place out there with the fresh air and the big blue thing up above with that bright yellow ball in it. Hey, just for fun, what’s that off to the left?

So what other alternatives do we have. We will probably be moving to another domain, and from there continue to be part of the Webloggin’ crew, exchanging pointers and traffic. That has turned out to be a win-win. We’re certainly going to keep running on WordPress, although I’m going to be sluggish in climbing onto the “bash Blogger” bandwagon. Hey, trust me, I know how frustrating it is when Blogger’s having one of it’s little episodes. I’m the guy on the other end, actually writing this stuff. But the deal is, it’s free. You get what you pay for.

Of course, WordPress is free too. And zowee. It’s every bit as sweet as everybody was saying. Dashboard’s just as nice as I knew it would be.

So when I update the sidebar next time, I want to be sure and include this guy. I thought this was especially priceless:

As a very young man I silently swore to pursue a life that someday would be worthy of a biography. Boy, was that naive. For one thing, many biographies aren’t even worthy of being read!

Yeah, ain’t that the truth. That’s the cool thing about blogs, they’re written — mostly — by people who aren’t worthy of a biography, and just say stuff. Each blog by itself…is a guy just saying stuff. Altogether, they’re a raucous din of ordinary people saying stuff; but now and then, someone will say something worth repeating. This is in contrast to the traditional guy-who-says-stuff, which would be someone worthy of a biography, whose every word we’re supposed to honor in some way. The traditional figure has the glaring weakness that comes up when he says stupid stuff, which is nevertheless thought to be worthy of attention, as contrasted with the blogger who says stupid stuff, who is simply ignored.

So bloggers are better. Not because of the way we treat them when they bring us things worth reading…but because of the way we treat them when they bring us things that are not. Somehow, in the 21st century we’re just beginning to figure out how to ignore people who say stupid stuff, and pay attention to them again when they say worthy stuff. We’re just starting to translate that elementary and vital concept into action. Fifty years after color TV, Eighty years after air conditioning, 110 years after the car, 130 years after the phone. Kinda sad.

You might call the blogger the “Anti-Cronkite.” Not that we pay some kind of penalty for our stupid stuff that Cronkite escaped when he uttered his…but at least we’re properly ignored.

Back to the subject at hand: Anchoress has a few thoughts worth pondering on what exactly a blogroll is. She, and several other bloggers, have what I have come to perceive as kind of an “umbral” blogroll. It’s a list of resources she actually reads on a regular basis, and she feels she’s falling behind if she starts to neglect any one of them. She still has quite a few. I see a lot of other bloggers have a similar philosphy about adding other blogs to the roll.

Then again, many other bloggers have a criteria more like mine, where we maintain “penumbral” blogrolls. If you said something interesting, or simply showed promise that you might say something interesting and I wanted to bookmark you somehow, in you go. The notion that, by listing certain blogs, I’m implying “hey this guy says some really good stuff you should go read it” and you can get properly peeved at me if you so peruse, and end up disappointed…I’m just not buying into that. It’s not necessarily an endorsement. I just see the blogosphere as 99% static, and maybe, a lot more than 99%. I want to keep track of that 1%. Whether my “bandwidth” for overseeing what I’ve staked out has been exhausted, long before I’ve surveyed a hundredth of that 1% — I don’t care. I’m not really claiming responsibility for it, the way I see it. It’s just something I think is worth another look, and I’ll give it that look when I get time, and you’re welcome to take a peek yourself if you choose to do so.

So my blogroll is a lengthy thing. I use “metals” to keep it all straight, just like the Olympic games. There’s a reason for that. If you meet two athletes and one of the won a gold “medal” and the other one won a bronze, you would feel very highly honored. There’s a lot of stuff going on there, though. One one level, you would feel equally honored to have met either one of them. The honor that has been bestowed upon the bronze athlete, is just as great as that bestowed on the gold athlete. They are on par, because when you think about the staggering number of other athletes that have trained all their lives, and never win any “metal” at all, either one of those two encounters would make you feel very fortunate. It is only on a rather arcane level that the “gold” athlete’s surplus achievements are worth additional attention. And yet, on some level, they are.

I have an informal policy of linking to people who link to me, although I’d be setting myself up for failure if I were to pledge 100% follow-through on that. That is supposed to be the intention. Folks who put out things worth reading, maybe have an interesting way of phrasing things, might catch things I’m going to miss during my frequent lazy spells. That’s worth a bronze. Some of those resources, like Anchoress herself, have extremely high visibility in the blogosphere and are considered “major” players. Others are just plain old folks like me, whistling in the wilderness, but I like what they’ve had to say. Now if you’ve done something to indicate a very frequent checking-back is a worthy thing to do, and I’m pretty sure I won’t have the time to look at you as often as I should be doing, you might be worth a silver. Examples of this include the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, IMAO, and News Blog Central which has a group of people contributing content, including me.

If you are a household name that even non-blog-people might recognize, such as Pajamas Media, Malkin and Little Green Footballs, you might get a gold medal.

And if I have had to take special steps to not look at your blog, like I’m curing some unhealthy addiction or something, that is worth a platinum. There are only two platinum blogs on my roll, and that is FARK and Neal Boortz. A lot of times left-wingers say interesting things, make good points, link to me. It is a surprisingly frequent occurrence that when they link to me, they do so non-sarcastically and are genuinely nice about it, as is the case with Alan and the Dreamer, and a lot of them like NYC Educator and Rude Pundit have some interesting facts worth pondering, and/or creative ways of wording things, and are worth perusing. They get a liberal hippy turqoise gemstone.

Don’t be mean, I consider some of them to be friends.

Note to self, Alan has moved, change the sidebar to point to his new address.

All for now. Time to jump in the shower and go vote.

Update: Want to be sure and get this guy.

Super Crotches

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

I Think This Is Wonder WomanVia Retrocrush

If you’re like me, you spent countless hours as a child clipping out the crotches of your favorite superheroes and pasting them on the wall in hilarious mosaic patterns.

Eh…no…no, not quite…

Anyway, for all you inclined to identify DC and Marvel crotches, the contest awaits.

What the Kerry Thing Teaches Me

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Someone had this great, great definition of “bias” and I can’t for the life of me remember if I discussed it before. Maybe I did. Nine times or more. Well, I don’t wish to become tedious but I need to define what bias is, even though just about everyone already knows, and I may be repeating myself. But the points which appear below, depend on this.

Bias is best represented by how we treat our bathroom scales — it’s a process of gathering data and cognitions already gathered, solely for the reason that you don’t like what you learned from the first go-round, such that any plan you put in place as a result of this data-gathering ends up tainted. I think I weigh 200 pounds; 185 would be a lot better, but 200 is what I weigh. I strip down to my birthday suit and I weigh in at 203. That can’t be right. So I weigh myself again. And again. And again. And again…certainly, we don’t need to get graphic about the various things I’ll try. But I might make this into quite a complicated daily weigh-in, right? I mean, who hasn’t been there before? And, of course, somewhere along the line I’m going to announce that I need a new scale because this one’s busted.

A week later, the busted scale says I weigh 199. Into the shower I jump, and I get on with my day. The weigh-in is over. Scale works great.

In sum, when I’m over, I need to weigh myself ten times or so. When I’m under, one weighing will do.

That’s bias.

Now, I’m given cause to think about this definition because loud-mouth pundits, both conservative and liberal, are offering these opinions about what is beginning to become an issue and what is no longer an issue. Thursday/Friday before an election, impresses me as an especially treacherous time to be trying to infer what the electorate is thinking. I suppose if you’re like me, you’re going to study up on some of the arcane propositions in the hours ahead, during the slow hours of Saturday morning with your “honeydew” jar emptied from the gently insistent summertime items filling said jar in the months just past. I could see how the “undecided” voter would be an important demographic. And yet, beyond that, I don’t see how we know too much about that undecided voter. Such a mystery cannot be illuminated by any light source conceived by God or man — save for the false light of bias.

In other words, no, conservative pundit, I don’t think Mark Foley is “yesterday’s news.” No, liberal pundit, I don’t think Kerry is “off the front page.” I don’t think you can say those things — and speak from any meaningful repository of knowledge. I think such proclamations are declaration of bias, nothing more. They are examples of wishful thinking. They cannot be anything more than that.

To speak from some sphere of knowledge, I — like them — can only whittle down the subject of my statement to a sphere of commentary that retains meaning, and to do that I have to miniaturize it to marble-size and talk about just myself. That’s all I can do; all anyone can do. And to me, the Kerry episode, by itself, doesn’t change a whole lot about the things I know. It’s how people react to it that I find inspiring and educational.

Like an ocean liner doing a hairpin-turn, barrel roll and loop-the-loop in rapid succession, the left-wing has come up with some last-minute election season talking points to deflect this. They are to be commended for this agility, but the product is lackluster and betrays the haphazard, panicky construction. The product is flimsy. Here’s the essence of it.

Senator Kerry didn’t say it —

Ugh…I’ll pause here to note that if I were in that room with Democratic credentials and a desire to see the Democratic party succeed on Tuesday, I would have pulled the emergency cord. I mean, we’re one sentence into this mini-platform, and right out of the chute the facts are on one side and Democrats are on the other. Like they can’t help themselves. At step one, they’re investing everything on the premise you can’t, or won’t, get ahold of a clip and simply play it back. That’s their keystone premise…here in the Age Of YouTube.


Senator Kerry didn’t say it. But if he did, everybody knows he’s right. Everybody thinks what he said…which, really, he didn’t say. Senator Kerry doesn’t believe what you think he said, which he didn’t actually say, because he’s very well educated and he’s one of those troops, so it’s patently silly to think for a minute Kerry would say this thing, that he didn’t really say, which everybody knows to be true anyway. Kerry is right about this thing he didn’t really say. Everyone agrees. And he doesn’t.

Now, as I noted yesterday, Senator Kerry did say it and from watching the entire 15-minute speech it’s clear he meant exactly what he said. True, a snarky snippet about President Bush’s educational credentials would have fit in better with his “Fozzie Bear” Vaudeville routine, and if you artificially stick in a couple of words this would make his punchline fit in better. But there’s no evidence that this would be an accurate rendering of what he meant, in letter or in spirit — certainly not in spirit. Senator Kerry doesn’t act anything like a speaker who meant to say something substantially different. There’s no “Omigosh I flubbed up that line” expression, no backtracking, nothing of the like. He meant to deliver a punchline, he delivered it, and the crowd ate it up.

As far as his stated sentiment being accurate, or rather, the bias of pundits lending credibility to it…this thing he said that he didn’t really mean to say, supposedly…suddenly examples abound.

Seattle P.I. editorial page:

Was Kerry making fun of the president, or warning students against the pitfalls awaiting the undereducated in general?

It doesn’t matter. Kerry was right either way.

Kerry wasn’t saying — regardless of the Republican spin — that our troops are stupid.

Kerry’s intended point was obvious. President Bush didn’t do his homework before he ordered the invasion. He didn’t study the intricacies of Mideast religion, culture, politics and tribalism. He wasn’t smart about it and we are stuck in Iraq.

Although there are plenty of well-educated people in our armed forces — Kerry was one of them — military service has long been an opportunity employer for those with less education and fewer skills than they need to work in the private sector. Indeed, the military sells itself as a place to garner skills and to help pay for higher education.

And wars, including this one, are often fought by those less privileged — albeit no less smart — than the sons and daughters of those who lead us into them.

Rosa Brooks, writing for the LA Times:

If those grunts were half as smart as members of Congress, they’d be on Capitol Hill getting sucked up to by lobbyists instead of sucking up dust in Baghdad’s bloody alleys — right?

Most of our current political leaders didn’t waste any time serving in the military. Like Vice President Dick Cheney, they had “other priorities.” As recently as 1994, 44% of members of Congress were veterans. Today, it’s only 26%. And despite the mandatory “I adore our heroic troops” rhetoric, most on Capitol Hill aren’t steering their own children toward military service. Only about 1% of U.S. representatives and senators have a son or daughter in uniform.

For many in Congress, serving in the military is a fine thing to do — for all those poor schmoes who don’t have any better options, that is.
But recent studies of military demographics suggest that today’s military is neither uneducated nor poor. Statistically, the enlisted ranks of the military are drawn mainly from neighborhoods that are slightly more affluent than the norm. The very poor are actually underrepresented in the military, relative to the number of very poor people in the population.

That’s mainly because the military won’t accept the lowest academic achievers. The Army limits recruits without high school degrees to 3 1/2 % of the pool, for instance, while the Marines won’t accept recruits without high school degrees. Poverty correlates strongly with high school dropout rates, so these rules significantly limit the access of the very poor to military service.

At the same time, they ensure that enlisted members of the military are more likely than members of the general population to have high school degrees. The same pattern holds for commissioned officers. In 2004, for instance, only 4.2% of officers lacked college degrees, and a whopping 37% held an advanced degree of some sort, compared to only 10% of adults nationwide.

The myth that the military is mainly the province of the poor and the uneducated is grossly misleading, and it’s also dangerous. It obscures the far more worrisome gaps that have recently emerged between the military and civilian society.

Demographically, the military is profoundly different from civilian society. It’s drawn disproportionately from households in rural areas, for one thing. For another, the South and Southwest are substantially overrepresented within the military, while the Northeast is dramatically underrepresented.

Compared to civilians, members of the military are significantly more religious, and they’re also far more likely to be Republicans. A 2005 Military Times poll found that 56% of military personnel described themselves as Republicans, and only 13% described themselves as Democrats. Nationwide, most polls suggest that people who define themselves as Democrats outnumber those defining themselves as Republicans.

And though the average member of the military is neither poor nor uneducated, social and economic elites are dramatically underrepresented in the military.

I believe there are many others out in liberal-land who would love to speak up, but are afraid they’d reveal sentiments that the LA Times and Seattle P.I. were all too ambitious about revealing. The military, like everyone else on the receiving end of liberal benevolence, impresses them as the sludgy, thick bottom layer of a pot of stew that hasn’t been stirred. Underprivileged, unskilled, immobile — can’t succeed without their help.

But here’s the most prominent lesson I’ve learned from the Kerry episode: According to our liberals, I’m not supposed to learn lessons. That would be thinking for myself, and they don’t want me to do that, or for anybody else to do that. I call that thought-control; as Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake demonstrates, our liberals call that P.R.

I can see we’re going to have to set up some sort of “Democratic PR school” soon. There seem to be a few remedial lessons they are lacking, as the John Kerry incident demonstrates.

First of all — I don’t care if John Kerry was eating live babies on TV, one week out from an election you do not repeat GOP talking points. Ever. It makes you look like a big pussy who can’t stand up to the Republicans, even when they’re playing from an exceptionally weak hand on an issue you own. For all those anxious to be seen as the tough defenders of national security, huddling in a crouch position while they pummel you about the head and saying “yes, yes, we deserve this” is just not the best option.

Secondly — did I mention that the Democrats own the issue of Iraq? Even the WSJ acknowledges it is the #1 issue influencing people’s votes this election.

Here we are learning about this simmering resentment and inherent condescending attitude focused with laser-like precision on our military volunteers, an entirely legitimate thing to notice just before an election…and if Hamsher represents our liberals well, no reason whatsoever to think she doesn’t — we’re not supposed to be noticing this. Liberals, you see, “own the issue of Iraq.” Think about Iraq, you end up hating Bush and loving the big ol’ soldier-slandering mushbucket of liberal goodness. If things somehow go the other way, someone needs a “P.R. lesson,” facts be damned. Them’s the rules.

And although it’s fair to say, I think, millions of voters are ready to pull the lever for Democrats because they want “moderation” and “unity” and more “exchange of ideas in the Beltway” — I’m just spitballing here, but I think that’s a fair consensus — Hamsher, and liberals who agree with her, say that’s out of the question. At least before the election, that’s out of the question. You don’t repeat Republican talking points because it makes you look like a big pussy.

Another interesting thing here: Kerry made this into a hugely damaging issue by doing exactly what Hamsher, and other extreme left-wing take-no-prisoners bloggers, want. Had he gone the other direction and said “I meant to make a joke at President Bush’s expense, not yours, and I might have dropped a word or two because of my excitement and I’m sorry if the meaning was changed and/or I made anyone feel bad” — like that — the Kerry thing would have been off the front page. But he lashed out and accused the White House of trying to change the subject…as if transcripts weren’t available…as if video clips were not available. In short, he lied.

He called into question every single shred of supposedly-legitimate liberal rage, we’ve ever seen, since Fahrenheit 9/11. He made us reconsider all of it…or at least, created an intellectual necessity for us to do that. He revealed the classic liberal temper-tantrum flung toward 1600 Pennsylvania as, not something based on thought, but rather a meaningless cliche. By doing exactly what Hamsher said she wanted. He revealed the liberal plan to deal with all issues — across the board — as nothing more than blaming things on some guy who’s going back to Crawford in early 2009, and whose culpability in such matters won’t have a damn thing to do with anything. In sum, he increased the necessity for liberals to come up with a real plan, at just such a time as they can’t do it, and won’t do it.

In the end, the point that Senator Kerry isn’t running for anything this year, only makes his comment more damaging. What it does, is encase this whole silly “did-he-mean-it” line of arguing further into the cement of irrelevance. Liberals see our soldiers as the sludge of society, the same way they see all the beneficiaries of their liberalness. They must rescue our soldiers from Iraq, the same way they must defend the right-to-vote for our ethnic minorities, or the right-to-be-hired of said minorities. None of whom, according to our liberals, are capable of helping themselves…because the whole sorry lot of them lack the education, resourcefulness or intelligence to do so.

It’s one of the few things that remain consistent about our liberals. You can receive their help, or their respect. Never, ever, both at the same time.

Update: Got a thought I can’t just let go. This particular posting has a carefully defined scope, and my thought falls well within it, is well worth noting, and has not been so noted.

I generally disapprove of what we call “psychologizing” which, in my artificially narrow definition of the word, means to postulate on what a person is going to be thinking based on what that person is already thinking. I see this as an exercise in deriving information that is mostly useless, based on other things that are not and cannot be proven. I indulge in this practice here only to make note of a political/social phenomenon that has become so chafed and festered and swollen that ignoring it has become impossible.

I’m referring to the reflexive impulse on the part of our liberals to blame things on George W. Bush.

Senator Kerry’s “botched joke” or whatever you choose to call it, has offered this beast the very most awkward specimen of pottage, one quite incompatible with said beast’s digestive tract. Senator Kerry insulted the troops stationed in Iraq, both in letter and in spirit. We may debate what his intentions were, but one thing is beyond reasonable dispute: President Bush had absolutely nothing to do with it. Neither did any Republican, anywhere. A loyal, high-profile Democrat said a dumb thing, and that’s as complicated as the situation gets.

Do our liberals say to themselves, “hopefully this will go away quickly and the next thing to come up, is something we can blame on George Bush”? No, they don’t. Whatever stinks like dog feces, must be gingerly placed on the porch of Pennsylvania & 16th, and whoever passes on the opportunity risks excoriation and ostracism from the Democratic party apparatchiks. Here is a situation where an exception to the rule would be quite reasonable; you could even go so far as to say, victory for the Democrats on Tuesday, depends utterly on such an exception being made. The party’s continuing survival, even, may depend on this exception being granted.

And yet, no such exception is forthcoming. No circuit breaker. No breakway fender.

I can’t help but notice all kinds of popular liberal leitmotifs into which such an exception would gracefully morph. The first thing that comes to mind is the “George Bush can’t admit his mistakes” thing, as in: “Kerry’s botched joke is all Sen. Kerry’s doing and none of President Bush’s, but at least with a whole week of (not-so-gentle) probing and prodding, Kerry admitted his mistake, where as President Bush has yet to admit his.” Something like that. Perhaps, somewhere, a liberal blogger is saying that very thing — without laying any blame for the joke-botching at the feet of George Bush, whatsoever. Perhaps.

I haven’t seen that anywhere. What I have seen, is lots of “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” commands that I’m not supposed to think about what John Kerry said; if that command is not obeyed, the ugliness starts immediately, and all of it has to do with our current President. I’ve seen lots of accusations that President Bush…yawn…”lied” during his own remarks about the Senator’s implosion. I’ve seen the case made, repeatedly, that when all’s said and done our mainstream press is indeed biased — toward the right! As in, those dastardly newspapers are actually mentioning that the Democrats’ 2004 champion for the presidency thinks our troops are a bunch of dummies, or at least says so. Invariably, such an observation concludes that the Bush White House has the press in it’s pocket and that they’re too “timid” to “speak truth to power.”

Oliphant CartoonI’ve seen a lot of conservative bloggers and pundits make the comment, sarcastically, that Sen. Kerry’s misstep was further evidence of President Bush’s sinister plan to control the thought waves of our population — perhaps that the evil Karl Rove somehow fooled the Massachusetts Senator into saying what he said.

And I get the distinct impression that the liberals are inhaling, ready to agree with this, and halfway through the first syllable biting their tongues and thinking…eh…that’s one step forward and three steps back. Maybe if we take that to the drawing board and polish it up, we can come up with something…

…and this is what I can no longer ignore. To the Democrats, a highly-irrelevant talking point that mentions the evil deeds of George W. Bush, is distinctly preferred over a relevant talking-point that does not. Their mental adrenaline, such as it is, is directed in bridging the gap between what has caused grief to us over the last day or so…and ol’ what’s-his-name. What has aroused our angst, lately, that is not his fault? It seems they’re on a mission to prove there is no such thing.

As a Republican, I find it sadly amusing. As an American, I find it to be just sad — to say nothing of a significant security threat. I expect Democrats will be running our legislature next year. Our 110th Congress, like few Congresses that have ever sat before it since Reconstruction, will be confronted by a huge array of challenges that can only be addressed by looking forward. And they have nothing to say about anything if they can’t talk about HIM! To somehow curtail them from mentioning that particular guy, is to deprive them, completely, of any ideas they can vocalize, anywhere. About anything.

Seldom has that been demonstrated with greater clarity, than in the last five days. President Bush is disconnected from HalpUsJonCarry-Gate, so completely, that we might as well be talking about any one of a number of other things…related to American politics, or not. Why, if I were to ask you what kind of pretzels are your favorite — even that has more to do with President Bush, than the dreaded incident from this week. What would happen if the Starbuck’s barrista asked Howard Dean, or Dianne Feinstein, or Senator Kerry or one of our other modern liberals, “May I prepare a beverage while you’re waiting in line? And please don’t mention George Bush in your answer.” Really, what would happen next? Would the line suddenly come to an abrupt stop? Would that outlet shut down for the rest of the day, while the line just snakes out the door, as the liberal tries, tries, and tries again to come up with a Bush-free answer?

Honest to God, in this day and age I think that’s exactly what would happen.

Update: If I had my way, everybody who goes to vote on Tuesday would read this and then…as a follow-up…go back and look at that 15-minute video clip I linked, with the complete Kerry speech. The one that was filmed & edited before anybody involved anticipated that this would become some kind of a big deal. Read…

You must forgive me, for there just is not a lot of room in my life for even good jokes–and there is absolutely no room for “botched jokes”–when the subject of the joke is my son who was killed in Iraq. I know exactly what came out of Sen. John Kerry’s mouth, and in those words there is no interpretation required. His attempt to convince us–and, I believe, to convince himself that that there was really a botched joke buried deep within his insult is in fact a reaffirmation of his ever-present condescending nature. He actually believes that we are stupid enough to agree with him and start laughing simply because he said it was a joke. Mr. Kerry said exactly what he meant and meant exactly what he said. In those words Mr. Kerry did in fact wash completely away the facade of his support of our magnificent troops and revealed for all to see his true colors.
John Kerry stands alone, to be judged by his words. He has given us the rare opportunity to look into the soul of a politician, and he has shown himself wanting, especially in view of the fact that he asked us to allow him the honor and privilege of leading our gallant military at a time of war. It is rare in life to be able to know the consequences of both sides of a decision. Mr. Kerry has clearly demonstrated what manner of president he would have been. Fortunately the American electorate denied him that high honor.

The writer is Ronald Griffin, father of Army Spc. Kyle Griffin who was killed in a truck accident in Iraq in May of 2003. Pondering the situation with Specialist Griffin, one immediately is struck by two important things missing from Sen. Kerry’s thoughtless words: Fairness and truth. Now, go back to the video clip. Look at the audience reaction right after “stuck in Iraq.”

I have been told there are gasps mixed in with the laughter and the cheering. That’s possible, and it would be difficult to assess how much of each ingredient is mixed in. I realize that’s simply the way audio information is, especially when it’s been electronically translated.

Even with all that, this whole episode says something terribly unflattering not only about Sen. Kerry, who isn’t running for anything — but about the faction that supports him, which definitely is. Whether they realize it or not, they are skullfuckingly vicious bastards and no civilized society would think of putting them in charge of so much as a vegetable cart.


Kanye Fever

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

I think that’s what we should call it. An irrational conviction, suffered mostly by people who passionately hate President Bush, that their personal opinions about things are somehow absolute in nature. That their way is the only way. That their personal preferences and subjective tastes, for reasons unexplained, are in some way measurable.

West makes an ass out of himselfAt the MTV Europe Music Awards, Kanye won some award instead of some other award, and this really cheesed him off.

Rap star Kanye West was named Best Hip Hop artist but still came off as a sore loser at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Kanye apparently was so disappointed at not winning for Best Video that he crashed the stage Thursday in Copenhagen when the award was being presented to Justice and Simian for “We Are Your Friends.”

In a tirade riddled with expletives, Kanye said he should have won the prize for his video “Touch The Sky,” because it “cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons.”

“If I don’t win, the awards show loses credibility,” Kanye said.

The rapper grabbed the Best Hip Hop award earlier in the night in a star-studded event hosted by Justin Timberlake in the Danish capital.

Gee, I didn’t know credibility was something measurable like…uh…heat density, kinetic energy or mass. If that’s the case, what happens to your credibility when you crash the award ceremony of the guy who kicked your ass at something?