Archive for September, 2007

Easy

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Via New York Daily News, via Trying To Grok, via Wizbang, via Rick, we learn of a truthy article about Barack Obama — or more precisely, about his campaign. It’s fascinating because it mentions what everybody knows, and nobody else says out loud. And in case you missed it, spells it out for you in the parting shot at the end.

Singles will check out eligible candidates at Obama rally
By Jo Piazza
Thursday, September 27th 2007, 3:18 PM

He Who Walks on WaterLooking for a date for Friday night? Want someone to read thepoliticker.com with and talk to about Eliot Spitzer’s fiscal policy late into the night?

Like-minded city singles are looking to tonight’s Barack Obama rally as more than just a politically charged soiree: It’ll be a raging pickup scene.
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Even the invite for the event reads like a singles bash:

“Hope hits the Big Apple! Join us at Jay-Z’s 4-0/40 Club on Thursday as we ride the winds of change from the hottest rally in New York. Move to the music, socialize with friends, and let your voice be heard as we celebrate with audacity.”
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One ardent Obama supporter (who declined to give his name because he works in politics) says he’ll attend both the rally and the after-party, and he doesn’t expect to be going home alone.

He’s confident for a reason.

“Let’s face it: Leftie girls are easy,” he says.

Ah…now, let’s be fair. It’s not so much about the donk girls being easy — although, it would be dishonest or foolish to dismiss that supposition out-of-hand. But as any experienced straight fella knows, and you don’t repeat this often in a co-ed environment: Methods work. Females of all political persuasions hate this, but truth doesn’t often deplore what the ladies deplore, much as they’d like it to. Methods work, guys who use methods are far “luckier” than guys who do not, and that nonsense about “eyes met from across the room, and we just clicked in a magic moment,” etc., has just about as much basis in reality as your average unicorn. When a lady says this, what she’s saying is that her paramour managed to think circles around her, to “fool” her if you will. Usually, with little or no actual deceipt, since when it works that well it means the damsel gave her tacit endorsement.

Simply put, the single fella has to have an angle.

Angles are arranged into families, just as species are arranged into phyla.

And the upshot is — this has been true since ancient times — there is no aphrodesiac more powerful than the “you and me against the world” thing. It ties in with just about everything on a maiden’s mind when she’s looking for a suitor. She’s programmed by the forces of evolution, or by God, or both, to make the world work the way she wants to work, through her uterus. She gets a vote, just one vote, on how the next generation is to molded and shaped, based on how she will splice her genes.

And so the appeal of a prospective suitor is equivalent to the appeal of the opportunity he brings. No opportunity is more appealing than the fleeting one, so the message is simple: We belong together, because you and I “get” a simple concept the rest of the world is too stupid to figure out. I’m the Adam to your Eve.

What is particularly embarrassing about this particular snippet to Obama The Walks-On-Water candidate, is that this superficial, utterly non-politics-related forum is going to work better with his events than with those aligned with any other candidate. Personally, I’ve done exactly this with the political movements on the other side of the aisle, many times. With mixed success.

It’s a little more complicated with rallies and candidates on the “right” side. The reasons why, are things I don’t wish to inspect closely here; they should be self-evident. If you don’t really care about re-shaping the world as much as you pretend to, and you just want something easy, the left side is the path of least resistance.

Don't Forget to Pre-Soak, HoneyAnd you’re certainly not going to head down to a Hillary rally. I mean who knows, things might actually work out over a long term. What guy wants to spend half a century washing dishes by hand? Edwards is out, too. He’s a rich tort lawyer who has produced nothing, pretending to do battle on behalf of hard-working poor people, against rich people just like him. You have to be pretty stupid to fall for something like that, and when a woman is that stupid, she gets boring pretty quick. Hillary out, Edwards out. That leaves Obama.

As an added bonus, I would have to imagine the ladies there have been pre-selected for you. “You and I get it, nobody else does, let’s start changing what we both want changed without discussing what we’re going to change it to” — that’s Obama’s campaign theme right there. Anybody smart enough to see that one coming, isn’t going to be at an Obama bash.

It would have to be like some magical fishing trip, in which the fish jump into your boat. And somehow gut and clean themselves.

But if we can take a moment to inspect Obama’s political prospects and veer away from the dating scene for just a few paragraphs: This is why a lot of people don’t take him seriously. America, as a country, has a rich history and there is a core theme running throughout that history. In our culture, we do things the easy way for as long as we can…until it can be ascertained the easy way is going to be less rewarding than the hard way. And then, to our credit, we do things the hard way.

It is the shining jewel to the American crown. It is our schtick, you might say. We love our Starbuck’s foo-foo drinks and our big comfy air-conditioned cars and our water and dry-cleaning delivery services — but when you can get something over the long term by doing something tough, that you can’t get by doing it easy, we’re the first to see it and we are the most consistent in acting on it.

The countries all over the rest of the world cluck their tongues and call us stupid and talk about how much they resent us, and we just keep plugging away. What they don’t understand about us, after all, they’re never going to learn.

These single fellas showing up at the Obama rallies who just want to get their wickers wet, it seems to me, are emblematic of the Obama campaign as a whole. They want to do things the easy way, and are therefore “ardent supporters” of a campaign that is all about doing things the easy way. Ooh, we got a candidate who is the “real deal” and is articulate and well-spoken. Let’s get him elected and then figure out what he’s actually going to do.

So Obama, as a political phenomenon as well as a social one — means this: The destination is arbitrary, the ease of the journey is what truly matters.

This is as un-American as un-American can possibly be. It is antithetical to everything in our legacy that is significant and good. But I don’t say that to pass judgment on it, I’m just pointing out something about the very nature of the Obama campaign that dooms it’s chances and limits it’s life-expectancy. The plant is seriously mismatched from the surrounding soil. Obama has a commanding presence and can deliver empty platitudes just as well as anybody else, and is running for exactly the right office — in the wrong country. He’s a short-circuit, a traversing of the path-of-least-resistance, campaigning within a society that isn’t terribly wild about such things.

To recap: Yeah, we do like “easy,” as much as, maybe even more than, any other country on the globe. But we like to get things even more — be they easy or hard. We want to be assured we’re going to get everything the easy way, that we’d get if we did things the hard way. All Americans insist on this. Even our liberals insist on it. They just can’t see as far down the road as normal people can. The moment will come when Obama has to make those assurances, and that’s when his candidacy will end.

But in the meantime, I hope those horny guys get lucky. That’s about all they’re getting.

On Women Writing About Men

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Buck didn’t like this bank ad, which personally I found to be about as amusing as it was supposed to have been. Better than most TV commercials, not as good as a Super Bowl ad, but okay all around. Something about it really rubbed him the wrong way though…something to do with naked women. Well, I’m not going to pretend I can’t see his point, since I can. Get into the frontward-located gray matter of a guy’s brain, and you’re going to find…a doppleganger of himself watching TV just for the sake of watching TV? Really?

Looks like a specimen of the fairer sex was retained for writing ad copy on a topic completely outside her expertise.

Speaking of which, Buck went on to find a Snopes article, and dealt the famous urban-legend web site some overdue criticism. The same sin committed all over again, really…the subject is how often guys think about sex, and to figure out what makes us tick, the famous urban legend debunkers entrusted the question to Barbara. I have to take Buck’s side again on this one. David Mikkelson is right-freakin’-there. David…Barbara. Husband…wife. Boy…girl. The subject is how the gentlemen think, and what bubbles to the front lobes of their melons, and how often. Barbara gets to write this one up? Why? What happened, was David in a horrible accident or something? If so, couldn’t you just bring in a temp?

On Snopes being overdue for some kind of a smackdown, my comments on Buck’s blog, stand. I don’t think they’re due for a big one…their reputation for diligence and accuracy is well-earned, overall. Sometimes, I just get the impression they don’t know their limits. Putting the lady in charge of writing about how men think, well, that’s just one more example.

She Who Does Her Laundry With Me, and I, were watching some over-sickly-sweet glurgy movie in which Katie Holmes goes out on a date with some studly dude…and I was given cause to think about this when the studly dude started telling Katie about the first time he rode his bike without training wheels. I checked the credits — under writing, you have girl-boy. Jessica and Jerry. You know, I’m inclined to think Jessica was responsible for that line. Us dudes, we do not talk about the first time we went riding without training wheels, when we’re out with our dates. Not on the first date, anyway. We don’t talk about how scared we were to go to kindergarten, or how we cried when we watched Ol’ Yeller, or Mom kissing the first boo-boos we got on our knees. We do not go there. Not gonna happen.

Of course, such movie credits would have me to believe Michael Crichton wrote this movie, with the help of some dude named Paul Attanasio and…yeah, sorry. Not buying it. You may recall there is this scene in which Demi Moore gives a hummer to Michael Douglas, and he’s like desperately fighting her off, to no avail, because she forces herself on him, and she finishes up while he yells no, no, no, no, no…

Nope. A man didn’t write that. I’ll bet my bottom dollar.

And that goes for this movie, while we’re talking about penises. Four writers. Four masculine names. These four studs put together a story, a movie is built around it, and in that movie a guy goes into an airport lavatory and starts talking audibly to his wang when he is by himself. Oh, I do believe there are a lot of chicks out there who would like to think we do this. It simply isn’t the case. Now, if the credits say four guys wrote this thing, well maybe there’s a grain of truth to it. But there had to be some help from somewhere. This project went co-ed, be it credited that way, or not. Otherwise, there’s just no way you’re going to have a guy standing around in solitude, getting ready to pee, talking out loud to his dick. I repeat: We don’t do this. We just don’t.

Next up, we have this fine thriller written by a couple of guys. It’s probably good enough to own, and maybe I should, I just never got around to buying it. One problem: The guy makes up with his girlfriend after promising never, ever, ever, ever, EVER to cheat on her, AGAIN. And then the psychotic chick dresses herself up as the girlfriend, sneaks into the guy’s hotel room and starts going down on him. He’s aaaaaaalmost there, and she reveals her true identity to him. He’s horrified, of course. Horrified! But just then, he finishes.

Um…you know, having not been in that particular situation, I’m not sure whether I can state definitively what a guy would or wouldn’t do. But it doesn’t seem credible, and it is highly doubtful the scene would play out the way it was shown on film. Could it really have been written by a couple of guys, directed by yet another guy, and assembled into the product that was delivered? Maybe. Perhaps. But obviously, the product was intended to appeal to women, and it’s probably fair to say it held more allegiance to female whim than to reality. To the feminine mindset, maybe this seems realistic, but to us dudes there is an abundance of suspension-of-disbelief taking place here to keep the story moving forward. Just can’t see it. The psycho-bitch could have finished the job and then let the guy know what was up. It would have worked just as well.

I could probably add a few more items to this list if I really worked on it. It seems, though, that just about everything, writing-wise, is credited to the guys, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. I suspect shenanigans are going on here, for reasons that may be now be evident. There’s something peculiar going on when women start writing about how men behave when women are not around; a lot of them seem to lack the ability to say, even to themselves, “this is just my opinion, but…” They know what they know, and they aren’t the least bit concerned about being wrong. They see us doing stuff, they describe what they see, and even if it’s a work of fiction it’s played out in front of a real man and we say — the who the what now? Nuh-huh, not me, not any guy I know.

Nevertheless, I’m willing to seriously entertain the possibility that guys really wrote all this nonsense. To entertain the remote possibility, I should say. With all those examples…except the one about Demi. Not buying that. Who thought it was a good idea to leave that the way it was, anyway?

Phony Soldiers

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Well well well. The donks are trying to make some hay out of Rush Limbaugh’s Phony Soldiers remark. There’s an effort in the House of Representatives to get a resolution going condemning him for his remarks.

Obviously, this is all about equal-time, what with that stupid General Betray Us ad backfiring so impressively. You dare to make “Move On From Some Selected Things And Not Other Things Dot Org” regretful or embarrassed about their ad…which seemed like such a great idea to them at the time…why, they’ve got to be able to do the same thing to Limbaugh, right? They’re entitled to a “freebie,” right?

All in the name of equal time?

Well…let’s take a look at this. Rush Limbaugh is failing to appreciate the service of all the soldiers, is that it? The soldiers he calls “phony soldiers,” are soldiers who disagree with his personal opinions.

I guess the closest parallel I can find to this, is the liberal donk who claims to “support the troops but not their mission.” I specifically brought this issue up with one of them one time. He was trying to start a dialog…snicker…yeah, in that way donks start dialogs. You know. To finish them. He wanted to start a dialog on whether it was possible to support the troops while opposing the mission upon which those troops were sent. Obviously, to bully and intimidate and cudgel anyone within earshot toward believing in the affirmative.

Along came the sound bite — I support the troops, I just oppose what they’ve been sent to do.

I thought it appropriate to pose a simple inquiry. I really wanted to know. Do you support all of the troops? And he was like…well, what do you mean by that? I said, I mean, even the troops who don’t agree with you about the mission. Some of these troops about which I keep hearing — the ones who “re-up” when they don’t have to. The ones who believe so strongly in what they’re doing, that they volunteer. Maybe…the ones who voted for President Bush twice. Do you support those troops? Or when you say “the troops,” do you mean only the ones you happen to like?

He changed the subject.

A year later, here we are…being instructed to hold Rush Limbaugh in some kind of contempt for failing to support all the troops, even the ones who disagree with him.

Rush has often been heard to say he doesn’t need equal time, he is equal time. If that’s true anywhere, seems to me it’s especially true here. From what I’ve been able to figure out, our liberal donks have been selectively picking and choosing which troops to support, since the very first one among them stepped forward and said “I support the troops.”

And I’ve noticed this is true across the board. Anytime a donk says “I support free health care…affordable college tuition…a transparent government…clean air and water…for all” you get back such an interesting deer-in-headlights look when you pose the simple follow-up: “Even folks who vote Republican?”

It brings a smile to my face watching them scramble. But kind of a sad one. With liberals, everything depends on definitions. Even miniscule tidbits with supposedly ironclad non-negotiable meanings…like “all” and “everybody.” And “is.”

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… XI

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

…but this LiveJournal user stumbled across our list of Things We Know, and made a comment that we’re “worth a look.” Or that the list is, anyway. He liked TIKs #37, #65 and #78.

It would seem from the resulting traffic blip that a few peers agreed with him.

A Quiet Triumph May Be Brewing

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

And now for something completely different: Reasonable opinions about the War on Terror, based on concretely established and objectively evaluated fact.

At this point, can you handle it?

You may remember a couple of months ago a report that al Qaeda and its’ affiliates had abandoned their training camps in Pakistan along the Afghan border. The initial report caused quite a blog storm but soon the mystery was forgotten. According to AI [Internet Anthropologist], which links to references for all of this, the US got fed up with not being able to reach al Qaeda inside Pakistan. Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney’s visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.

It worked. That’s why those camps emptied out.

So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.

None of this is proof, but it’s worth watching, and certainly a lot more informative than talking points from Wolf Blitzer. Or John Stewart, of the White House press corps, or a bunch of phony forged papers from Dan-o.

A Paragraph

Friday, September 28th, 2007

The date of publication of Atlas Shrugged is the twelfth of October. October 12, 1957…fifty years ago. Here’s where I found out about that…

Even though many reviewers weren’t impressed with “Atlas Shrugged,” it still left a major mark. Ayn Rand inspired many, many people; most of them highschool or college students when they first read it. Although it’s not a literary masterwork, it still sells some 150,000 copies each year. People’s lives continue to be changed by it. And for that, Rand should be respected.

Damn straight. And it’s a sad, tragic thing that it is become more and more relevant to our lives with every passing day.

You know about the world of Atlas Shrugged? It takes place in a dystopian future in an unspecified year, in a sort of alternate universe wherein the world is caught up in an industrial revolution, but one in which air freight was never possible and never implemented. In this world, the entire world has gone drunk on socialism, and America remains the sole hold-out…descending threateningly into the molten scrap heap that has already engulfed all the other countries.

I’ll quote one paragraph. Just one. If this doesn’t raise some eerie similarities with the reality plane you get to hear about each evening when you click on the news, each morning when you read the paper…well, you should probably move on to the next subject. But give it a read first:

We’re all one big family, they told us, we’re all in this together. But you don’t all stand working an acetylene torch ten hours a day – together, and you don’t all get a bellyache – together. What’s whose ability and which of whose needs come first? When it’s all in one pot, you can’t let any man decide what his own needs are, can you? If you did, he might claim that he needs a yacht – and if his feelings is all you have to go by, he might prove it, too. Why not? If it’s not right for me to own a car until I’ve worked myself into a hospital ward, earning a car for every loafer and every naked savage on earth – why can’t he demand a yacht from me, too, if I still have the ability and have not collapsed? No? He can’t? Then why can he demand that I go without cream for my coffee until he’s replastered his living room?…Oh well…Well, anyway, it was decided that nobody had the right to judge his own need or ability. We *voted* on it. Yes ma’am, we voted on it in a public meeting twice a year. How else could it be done? Do you care to think what would happen at such a meeting? It took us just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars – rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn’t belong to him, it belonged to ‘the family,’ and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his ‘need’ – so he had to beg in public for relief from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife’s head colds, hoping that ‘the family’ would throw him the alms. He had to claim miseries, because its miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm – so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that *his* need was worse than his brother’s. How else could it be done? Do you care to guess what happened, what sort of men kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?

See anything familiar?

If you think you do, or if you think you might…it’s six bucks.

Timeless. I wish it were not.

Update: Here, the date of publication is listed as October 10.

Should try to pin this down. Whatever the exact date is, over the next two weeks there will likely be a mild uptick in the hubbub among the group-minded about what a dreadfully tedious book it is, and everyone should be advised to pronounce it juvenile and boring without actually reading much of it, or any at all.

With it’s tangled hodgepodge of interrelated sociopolitical themes, this “magnum opus” is actually pretty simple. It’s a manifesto that says some people are horrified at the idea of accomplishing something useful, or allowing anyone else to do so. And that in any organization or society in a decline, those people end up running things. Excellence and mediocrity switch places. This makes the decline more certain and inescapable.

I’m repeatedly instructed to believe, especially after having read the book, that I should find it to be a silly, meandering and pointless treatise, invariably by people who have not read it. Basically…that I should dismiss it. What keeps getting in my way, is that the core theme dovetails so nicely with what I’ve observed about people myself: When they do little to distinguish themselves, they get peevish and cranky about the very idea of someone else doing it.

Unhappy Marriage

Friday, September 28th, 2007

David Limbaugh makes a lot of good points.

The [crazy leftist donk] base, typified by groups like MoveOn.org, has no choice but to accept the Democratic Party as its vehicle to promote the liberal policy agenda. There is no other viable alternative. In turn, party leaders must cater to the far left because of its indispensable funding and grassroots contributions.

While there are many blind followers in the base, there are also plenty of savvy operators who are fully aware of the massive deception Democratic leaders have perpetrated on the American people concerning Iraq.

They’re too shrewd not to understand that John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, to name a prominent few, have been lying through their teeth in saying they were duped into supporting the Iraq war resolution.

Other than their delusions about Bush having stolen the 2000 election, nothing motivates the base more than the carefully crafted fable that Bush “lied” us into war. You cannot be worthy of the left’s consideration unless you fully embrace this propaganda.

My take on it? He’s being unfair in singling out the donks, since unhappy marriages is what successful politics are all about. Like millions of others, I’m in a pretty “unhealthy marriage” with the Bush administration right now, and I’m sure your average rabid leftist donk is going to lose no time in pointing that out should Limbaugh’s article find it’s way under that donk’s nose.

And the wombat-rabies-bollywonkers crazy donk would be quite correct.

But in his typical lawyerly fashion, and in this context I mean that as a compliment, he dissects the unholy alliance with an admirable diligence and the slicing-and-dicing job ends up neat, thorough, and educational.

The only problem that remains is how to warn the mainstream halfwits that this is what they’re ready to elect next year. A bunch of freakin’ raving loons who show NO signs of executing an actual plan, any better than they did following the 2006 elections. Yes, politics is filled with unhappy marriages. But fer cryin’ out loud, there’s Romeo-and-Juliet unhappy marriages, and then there’s Claus and Sonny von Bulow unhappy marriages.

Adorable, Until…

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Thanks to blogger friend Phil for sending me this in an off line e-mail.

Hillary Clinton ‘could cost Democrats dear’
By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last Updated: 2:29am BST 27/09/2007

A leaked Democratic poll has suggested that Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the party’s presidential nomination, could lose the 2008 election because of her “very polarised image”.

The survey by the Democratic pollsters Lake Research indicated that both Mrs Clinton and Barack Obama, second in the Democratic race, trailed Rudy Giuliani, the Republican front runner, in 31 swing congressional districts.

The private memo, leaked to The Washington Post, painted what researchers described as a “sobering picture” for Democrats who believe that President George W Bush’s disastrous favourability numbers almost guarantee they will capture the White House next year.

All party preference polls show that Democrats are much more popular than Republicans. But when the names of individual candidates are used, the gap narrows considerably.

“The images of the two early [Democratic] favourites are part of the problem,” the memo said.
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The poll found that Mrs Clinton, in particular, could damage the chances of congressional Democratic candidates on the ballot. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined by the reluctance of Democrats to discuss the survey.

“We’re not commenting on this poll,” said Daniel Gotoff, co-author of the memo accompanying the Lake Research poll. “It was leaked and obviously not by us.”

It really got me to thinking. If I was a donk party chieftain way high up, responsible for writing party platforms and doing the cool “kingmaker” stuff, figuring out who was going to get nominated…how would I handle this, exactly?

It’s a little awkward for them. See they’ve got this name for themselves…they don’t call themselves “donks,” they call themselves something that has to do with the ancient Greek word demos, for “The People.” And if you call them that but leave the “ic” off the end, they get really cranky — right before insisting you call the Boy Scouts a “hate group.” But for the donks to get out of this malaise they’re in, it seems there’s no avenue available to them except to go by that ancient Greek name, and start living up to it.

But see, they can’t do that. The People want a bunch of things the donks aren’t going to tolerate, let alone promote. Let us have guns. Stop reverse-discrimination on the basis of skin color. Build a border around the country that actually means something. Make public school students repeat grades until they pass the requirements academically…in English. Put the United Nations in the business of bringing food and medicine to those who need it — and nothing else — and put them in the position of supervised, not supervisor.

And, bring me the bodies of dead terrorists. The more the better. Preferably, a little singed around the edges with horrified expressions etched onto their dirty dead faces. But quantity over quality; the bigger the carcass pile, the better.

Take your glowbubble wormening and shove it. Drill in the Arctic. Lower my taxes. Get people off welfare. Let me listen to whatever radio station I think deserves my attention, and let those radio stations broadcast what they think will attract and hold my interest. Treat businesses more like they’re real people…which is what they are…and treat unions as if they’re not, since they aren’t.

They can’t do any of this. And so they are left to make noise about scandals that involve Republicans, so that those scandals end up toppling careers, and direct us to “move on” from scandals that involve donks, so that those scandals don’t.

They do other things to make their image all friendly and happy — and, in a grievous assault upon that Greek name by which they would choose to go, everything they do seems to begin and end with a shady smoke-filled back room handshake with the right people. Union bosses endorse the donk candidate in an important election, and then in so doing insist on being called “the police” or “the firemen.” Our print media journalists, also in the right place at the right time during the back room handshake deal, obediently comply. That funny Greek name, come to think on it, makes perfect sense — as long as you don’t interpret “The People” to mean all of the people. What it means is, the “right” people. Union thugs, crooked politicians, heads of states that sponsor terrorism, or in some other way fail to have our interests at heart. People antagonistic, for whatever reason, to capitalism. Gun-grabbing Nazis. The important thing is, all the definitions are laid out with the captains of all those teams…behind closed doors. Those “people.”

The riffraff, the hoi polloi, they’re just kind of a hydraulic fluid agent through which it’s all supposed to be made to happen.

But the donks do have this going for them — they are popular. They are much more popular than Republicans. Until they select a candidate, and then the worm turns. Any candidate.

How can I not be amused by this? They’ve clearly got something going in their favor right now, even if that something is limited to them simply not being Republicans. The ideas they have, the “principles” under which they operate, if you want to call ‘em that…loser.

Their candidates…bigger losers. We don’t like them because after all the money’s been spent making them likable, the candidates remain anything but. The worst part of it is that just before the candidates stop being likable, what they do to end their likability, has something to do with explaining what they plan to do after they win.

It must be awfully frustrating. Especially when you have that razor-thin window of opportunity after you’ve sent all these faux-grassroots voices out there with their phony bumper-sticker slogans, about so-and-so being “the real deal,” before so-and-so opens his or her mouth and spoils everything. That must be more frustrating than if you didn’t have that narrow window of political victory at all.

Hillary has a good defense here. Nominate her, and she can win — with good timing. If ballots are punched while people are still thinking about poor, poor Hillary and her husband cheating on her, and by golly it’s high time we had a woman in the White House, and oh she is so strong-willed just like someone on a Lifetime television movie airing on a Sunday night…but before they think about issues, and lying, and “I don’t recall,” and Rose Law Firm, and subpoenaed billing records…as long as the election takes place within that narrow window of time, she can win.

If it happens anywhere outside that narrow window, she’s a dead duck.

But the same is true of anybody else who could be nominated. It all demands careful handling and public relations. Very, very careful, with surgical precision…just like any other bad idea.

The other thing that impresses me about this, is that in spite of Thing I Know #212

Some of the words that end with “ist” seem to support weighy, urgent ideas, but enjoy very little by way of definition, especially the ones tossed around over the last thirty years. Chauvinist. Racist. Feminist. People who use these words the most often, seem to be frustrated by something. Maybe they’re frustrated because nobody has any way of knowing exactly what it is they’re trying to say.

…there is something decidedly sexist about Hillary’s star appeal, and the primary force behind it. I’m referring to husband Bill’s chronic infidelity. Were it not for that, I wouldn’t be talking about her, and neither would anybody else.

Now, what would we be saying about a male candidate whose wife was screwing every pair of trousers in town because she had all the scruples of an alley cat? It’s not difficult at all to speculate, with remarkable confidence. We’d probably be abuzz with something like…how, if he can’t preside properly over his own household, does he dare to offer himself in equivalent service to his country. How good can a leader of anything be in a leadership position, when his wife sleeps with other guys? Something questioning his manhood, and his lack of willingness to stand up for it.

We certainly wouldn’t be cluck-clucking over how the poor dear fellow is so put-upon, and deserves to be President. I’m sure very few would be saying anything even remotely similar to that. Even fewer would admit to saying something like that.

People who like Hillary, are often heard to ask a question: “Is America ready for a woman to be President?” My counter-question is whether America is ready for a cuckold to be President…a male cuckold. And the fact is, the country is decidedly NOT. She won’t be. The cuckold’s other qualifications impeccable, unquestionable, polished to a mirror-finish, he wouldn’t last as long as a snowflake on a red hot stove.

But Hillary’s failure to keep her spouse happy — let’s face it, if she was a man, that’s exactly what we’d be calling it — isn’t just a stumbling block that has managed to stay out of her way. It helps her. It is a virtual qualification for the office she seeks.

Arguably, her only one.

Why it’s gotten Hillary this far, is something someone should be called-upon to explain. I’d love to hear the composition of it, although I imagine the substance of it wouldn’t hold much surprise. It says something about women, or more precisely, how they are perceived by those who hold themselves up as tireless champions fighting for the interests of women. And what it says, however it is phrased, can’t be good.

Tough Guy

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I don’t think they can come any tougher…unless maybe if you want to start talking abut that guy who hacked off his own arm when he got lost in the woods.

The “good” part is pretty much over by about 10 or 15 seconds into it, but it’s interesting watching this guy walk around when he shouldn’t be able to. Kind of looks like, while he was still airborne, the only thing going through his mind was “not again, this is seriously starting to piss me off.” If you freeze frame you’ll see he almost lands on his feet.

H/T to Miss Cellania. Incidentally, happy birthday to you.

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… X

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

On Saturday morning, I had defined what I see are the two most important issues of next year’s elections, all-but-guaranteed to stay in those top two slots between now and then.

The single most important issue of the presidential elections next year: Who is going to bring me the the biggest pile of dead terrorist carcasses over the next four years?
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Coming in at a close second, and I do mean a close one, is a big package of interrelated sub-issues all knotted together. They have to do with the people who are actually proud to call themselves “liberals,” not in the classic sense, but in the post-modern sense…Are liberals crazy, or just stupid? Do we really have to let them vote even when they so obviously lack the level of maturity one would be expected to achieve by age eighteen?
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What exactly is this well-funded advocacy group that I continue to call “Move On From Some Things And Dwell Endlessly On Other Things Dot Org”? For whom do they speak? Now that we all understand they’re a bunch of all-but-certified nutcases, when they tell us their nutcase things are they speaking on behalf of Hillary? Obama? Edwards? Kerry? Kennedy? Anybody else who will be invested with the authority to decide important, life-altering things, should we opt to put the kiddies from the kiddie-table in charge again next year? What about Michael Moore, does he speak for anybody? How cozy is his relationship with the “Inmates Should Run The Asylum” party?

In posing this as an open question to be decided, I speak recklessly, since I speak for others. I gather many who feel the obligation of exercising their civic duties, are all-but-decided that the Republicans have been in charge long enough. But they aren’t getting a warm-fuzzy out of the prospect of putting the donks in the White House. They know there are consequences. They know, for four years at least, we’ll be buried in phony solutions to non-problems, sky-high inflation, race-baiting, feminist-weeping, tyrant-coddling.

For myself, it’s not an open question. It’s an item of concern.

And I’ll tell you what really concerns me about this, what really makes it almost as important — but not quite — as the “who’s gonna deliver the biggest number of dead-terrorist-bodies” issue. It’s the donks themselves. They aren’t ready to accuse me of sliming and slandering them; not some among them, anyway. These donks don’t disagree with me about what they are, or might be. To plagiarize Sally Field for just a second: They’re nuts. They’re really, really nuts.

My first reminder of this was not long at all in coming. Fellow Webloggin contributor Teri O’Brien managed to capture an item from the 9/11 anniversary that had smoothly flown in under my radar, which falls squarely into this second-most-important issue and in fact helps to highlight how important it really is. Veteran actor James Brolin, famous for a long and stellar movie career and for marrying whats-her-name, made just about as big an ass out of himself as could be managed under a tight schedule. Appearing on WPLR radio to promote his new film, The Hunting Party, he managed to get himself a little sidetracked. The film, you’ll notice, has something to do with the CIA not being able to find bad guys. Brolin, perhaps wishing for a peaceful domestic existence, or whatever, went out of his way to find some parallels in real-life — and the radio guys had to remind him what today’s date was.

Brolin thought this was worthy of a sarcastic, genuflecting comment: “Happy 9/11.” Too bad there wasn’t someone around to remind him he was really on the radio, and his words weren’t being confined to a cozy cloister of his crazy left-wing anti-war buddies, an audience to which I’m gathering he’s somewhat better accustomed. You decide:

Now, as I said, half-cocked brain-dead comments like this one, may or may not be representative of the donk party that wishes to be placed in charge of more things next year, and that, to me, is the open question on the second-most-important issue. What is a democrat? Is it someone who’s going to do what the electorate has in mind when it votes for democrats…just shave off the most prominent and offensive protrusions of the Republican platform, maybe save America from becoming a theocracy one more time? Rescue some little old ladies from having to choose between medicine and dog food?

I’m not asking about what registered democrat voters intend to have done when they are punching ballots. That and a buck-fifty will get you a coffee. I want to know what democrat leaders do when they are voted in. Are they all about repealing unwanted extremist conservative policies?

Or are they about a bunch of crazy crap. Like actor Brolin. Do they all live in their little tiny worlds, places where the worst attack ever launched against the United States since Pearl Harbor, and perhaps ever, is nothing more than inspiration for a sarcastic joke and a couple of yuks. In short, I’m wondering the same thing about Brolin that I wonder about Michael Moore. The donk activists, no doubt, will pour out of the woodwork with their “yes but” nonsense, e.g., “yes we all know that was offensive and absurd, but he makes some good points…”

Does Brolin represent the donk politicians who want to be put in charge of things next year?

Well in trying to answer that, I stumbled across this…

…and I would have to say, this is even more of a kick to the figurative solar plexus than the first item. He comes on The View, pretends to do a high-five with token Republican Hasselbeck, who dutifully falls for it…and then turns around and ingratiates himself with the “mainstream” with a not-so-humorous high-level anecdote about his background: All his relatives were Republicans, but he learned to think for himself.

Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark!

And you don’t even have to ask for examples, either. The very next thing out of his mouth, is a plug for this website. This is what Brolin thinks about when he thinks for himself? Yes, it is…or that’s what Brolin wants me to think…assuming he’s ready and able to think through the messages he intends to convey, which is something I have to doubt for obvious reasons. But he seems pretty enthused about this goofy website. I didn’t see anything to the effect of a disclaimer, or limitation, or “just because I think you should hit that website doesn’t mean I agree with everything on it.” I saw nothing like that.

And the website is about all the usual bullshit. The towers were demolished from within, look at the puffs of smoke, inside job, thermite, pretext for war, blah blah blah.

So James Brolin, I must conclude, is enough of a crazy whackadoodle that he believes in the “Nine One One Was An Inside Job” line. He advertises it, in fact, to show how much he’s learned to think for himself since his grandmother tried to bully him into voting Republican. That’s some good independent thinking there, Jim.

And the donks who want to run for the White House…well, I still don’t know. This “inside job” stuff surfaces fairly often, and it’s comparatively rare that a donk candidate, for any office, will forcefully repudiate any of it. So is it an official — or all-but-official — platform of the donk party that there were no terrorists, and George W. Bush the big stupid idiot cowboy moron managed to wire the World Trade Center with blocks of C4 and then hide all the evidence?

This seems like a laughable supposition. But, again, the Ass Party doesn’t forcefully distance themselves from this, and their failure to distance is substantially just as good as endorsement. It’s the votes. They need them.

And this would have to mean the second most important issue, has a direct bearing on the first. You want to be President, Mr. or Ms. donk. To be President, you sell your soul to Brolin and to whack-jobs like him, who think the skyscrapers were brought down by explosives. Which can only mean…we never had any terrorists to chase. The nineteen men who hijacked those planes must have been undercover agents for the CIA, or something. So on the first-most-important issue — my sense is going to have to be that you’re not going to be exactly gumming up the pipelines with those dead-terrorist bodies, huh? It’d be back to the good ol’ days of “my cruise missile missed him by a couple of hours” every year or two.

To the donks, and by that I mean, the power-players who decide how elections will be run, there is a different Number One issue: We haven’t been hearing anyone talk about Al Gore’s “Social Security lock box” for seven years now. Before all this terrorism stuff, you talk about Social Security, and donks win elections. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Ooh, your gramma’s not going to get her checks if you put a Republican in charge — donks win elections. Ooh, here we go again, Republicans going to take her house away…every two years, the same stuff.

Terrorism kind of puts a damper on that. It’s tough to get worked up about how much old people with vacation homes can fleece thirty-something apartment rats, when we have very young men and women going into harm’s way and coming back wearing prosthetics. Or, in flag-draped coffins. That’s the big secret. The flag-draped coffin is supposed to be dealing an enormous blow to Republican “credibility,” but really it’s the donks who have something to sell us, that they can’t sell us while we’re still seeing these coffins roll in.

The donks don’t really want us to lose the war, per se. They just want it over. They want us to stop thinking about anything beyond the water’s edge…with the exception of some nifty healthcare system Sweden has that we don’t have. They want us to go back to agonizing about minimum wage, women-minorities-hardest-hit, and glowbubble wormening. And to make that happen, they’ll sell out to the Brolin maniacs who think the September Eleven attacks are just a big joke, and that the skyscrapers were brought down by Watergate burglars.

To Brolin, I owe a profound thanks for helping to prove my point. People who are considering voting for donks next fall, need to think long and hard about what that means. Are the donks teetering on the edge of insanity, or have they fallen headlong into the chasm, like you sir?

American DigestI owe an equally profound, and somewhat more sincere, thanks to somebody else too. Since I put up that original post, my traffic has tripled and after three days is going strong. This is because I was linked by my Number One blogger hero, Gerard Van der Leun, who somehow saw fit to scoop up an assortment of entirely-unrelated Morgan ravings and highlight them for the benefit of his own audience. Every subject imaginable, from cowardly anti-war yokels, to Marilyn Monroe’s shapely torso, to Wikipedia.

Gerard, I can’t thank you enough. We’re not so much into pumping up traffic here…this is The Blog That Nobody Reads, after all. But the prospect of making some new friends is always a promising one, and it’s a high honor indeed to have earned this kind of attention from your direction. In these parts, you’re a legend — the guy who thinks up new ways of saying things that desperately need to be said. In this corner of the ‘sphere, you’re always going to be the guy who thought up the phrase American Castrati.

So this is kind of like Jack meeting Cher. Kind of. Not really. Maybe we should let that one go. Anyway, thanks again, m’friend.

We do have some polite disagreement to make on the whole Bollinger thing, but that’s a story for another day. And I will say it’s a credit to the right-half of the “blogosphere” that you are calling out your teammates. Rather tough to envision The Left doing the same thing, to say the least.

Forget It Ever Happened

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Like the psychotic penguin says in this movie, you…didn’t…see…nuthin’.

Because Move On From Some Things, Dwell Endlessly On Other Things Dot Org is going to be wiring over the difference — so forget everything. Scandal over.

Move on, as they say.

NASCAR Wives and Girlfriends

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Now we’re talkin’.

Yikes! VII

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

It’s like a story cooked up by Quentin Tarantino. Or Edgar Allan Poe.

Accurasee II

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Once again, folks.

It’s important.

What is up with this stuff, anyway? Full moon or something?

Enemy of my Enemy

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

She’s female, she’s gay, she’s a lefty blogger on DailyKOS and so she’s got a huge crush on Guess Who.

I know I’m a Jewish lesbian and he’d probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon…

Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s not all…

I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.

No, I am absolutely opposed to taking away this delusional woman’s right to say what’s on her mind. But now that we know what’s rattling around in what passes for her brain…seems the rest of us have some obligation or another to protect her from herself. Don’t we? I mean, she’s pretty much admitting to this unhealthy crush on this Kermit character who she admits to knowing, with little doubt, would have her killed if he could. I mean, that’s about as insane as smacking your own forehead with a hammer.

Par for the course, where our good Kossack friends are concerned.

Nothing Good

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I agree with Neal Boortz on just about everything, since he’s a capital-L Libertarian who is pro-war. But I must respectfully disagree on this, Barack Obama’s Social Security plan.

“If we kept the payroll tax rate exactly the same but applied it to all earnings and not just the first $97,000,” Obama wrote this week in an Iowa newspaper, “we could eliminate the entire Social Security shortfall.”

Neal’s position, and I get the impression he’s half-joking about this, is that it “would expose Social Security once and for all as nothing less than a grandiose income redistribution scheme.” Well yes, to some among us it is exactly that and not intended to be anything different — and it would expose it as that, to some others among us.

Not the folks who need to learn about that, though.

I’ve written probably tens of thousands of words, in this blog alone, about the Yin and Yang theory which says mature humans have exactly two fundamentally different ways of accumulating the aptitudes necessary to come to what passes for maturity, and end up spending their entire lives in two different villages, trying to communicate across a monstrous chasm with the other half. You know what inspired the Yin and Yang theory to begin with? Yeah, it had something to do with a string of Yang-y ex-girlfriends and ex-wives…that was the personal side of it. But the public-issue side of it was Social Security.

We can’t fix it, you see. Not to the satisfaction of everybody. It is viewed in two fundamentally different ways. When we talk about whether or not it was an experiment that we should have attempted in the first place, we discuss it in the terms under which it was marketed to the Yin: As a retirement vehicle. You get out of it what you pay into it, not one penny more. And supposedly, nobody’s scamming anybody else out of anything through this noble system, since they only recoup their “investments.”

And then when it comes time for us to make good on that promise we made to ourselves, we tend to get all Yang-y. Yes, people can get out of it what they put into it, plus a whole lot more…assuming they put anything in to begin with, which maybe they didn’t. And that’s perfectly alright. It’s all about the “social justice”…Comrade.

It is far too chameleon-like to ever adhere to a singular set of protocols, let alone a set that can allow it to run smoothly. Monday Wednesday and Friday it’s supposed to provide “dividends” to those who “paid into the system”; Tuesdays Thursdays and Weekends it’s supposed to “provide” for those who “deserve it.” See, that’s the problem. We don’t know what this program is supposed to do — we have never achieved agreement on it.

Now, for the half of us who think it’s supposed to take money away from some of us, and give it to others — Obama’s plan is a dream come true. But to them, those who need to learn the lesson, the Obama plan would provide no education. They’ve got a raging case of CBTA, they Can’t Be Told Anything. Some people have money, other folks are supposed to get the money, that’s just how it’s supposed to work.

So no, Mr. Boortz, this wouldn’t provide the benefit you anticipate — although I suspect you realize that already. Those who need to learn what Social Security really is, or has become, wouldn’t learn anything. There’s nothing good about this plan.

The Adventures of Shushman

Monday, September 24th, 2007

This is how I know I’m getting older: One day last week the fellas at work and I were getting ready to break for lunch, and the subject briefly came up. If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?

I’m not interested in flying anymore. What I want, in terms of superpowers, is very simple: I want to single out one car at a time, and it’s okay with me if it has to be within fifty feet or so…I want to be able to point at it…and instantly jam any and all sound-producing electronic devices within that car into complete silence.

Shush“Wesley” (not his real name) sarcastically intoned that maybe I’d like to wave a magic wand and wish little kids off my lawn, too. That’s Wes for you, he likes to sarcastically intone things. I’ll get there, I’m sure. But for now, that’s all the superpower I want. Point at something, and suddenly, from that direction only, there is silence. Not just with the mind-numbing “boom boom boom” coming from convertibles with the tops down, but television sets too. I don’t even wish to thwart the will of anybody else, necessarily. I’m referring to commercials that cut in on the program I, myself, chose to watch. Ever have that happen? Like, you crank the volume up to about 60 or 70 so you can hear what people are saying — I dunno, maybe, revealing the “real killer” during a thriller/mystery — and some ass comes on and spends thirty seconds bludgeoning you into coming down to his used car lot at MAXIMUM volume.

As in…the walls shake.

Here you are, getting a migraine and/or giving one to your neighbors, listening to some dickhead from whom you didn’t want to hear in the first place.

As I get older, I get more sensitive to this. I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do with these foot-long gray hairs coming out of my ears. Or, maybe my age is only part of the problem; maybe it’s environmental. Maybe the signals really are getting louder. Cars, radio, television.

Waitaminnit — kids aren’t electronic, are they. No. So, we don’t want my superpower to have anything to do with electronic devices. Just noise. Like, I’m the Invisible Girl, just not as good-looking, and I can throw down a “cone of silence” on things. Not block bullets, not project force fields, not turn myself invisible. Just throw that sound-proof bubble around one thing or another. That’s all. I’d give up immortality, immunity, rapid healing, super-strength, all that just to wave my hand at something and — poof.

It’d be great. One thing, though…rapidity would be key. I don’t want it to be like waiting for a badly fragmented computer to boot up. I’d want to stop people in mid-syllable; I get those migraines pretty quick. And I’d want to be conspicuous. None of that “Bewitched” nose-twitching thing. The boom-box or car or whelp makes noise, Morgan waves his hand, and — we can get back to the conversation we were having.

Ever do that with your car radio? I’m sure everyone has. The guy comes on, gives you the phone number at super-speed…does it again…does it a third time…does it a fourth time…gets ready to do it yet again and you mutter “aw, shaddap” and snap the thing off. It’s a great feeling. You can’t help but fantasize that the radio people are choosing that exact instant to monitor who’s listening and noticing that you chose that exact instant to tune out, and ultimately decided to fire whoever was responsible. Yes, it’s a highly unlikely and extravagant daydream. But I’m not the first person who ever had it, and I’m sure I’m not the last.

The Second Most Important Issue

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

The single most important issue of the presidential elections next year: Who is going to bring me the the biggest pile of dead terrorist carcasses over the next four years?

Among the sensible people who agree with me on that, many will argue there is no close-second; this is a far-and-away thing. I respectfully admonish them to reconsider, because the second-most-important issue is very important indeed, and it is breathing hotly on the neck of the first.

Coming in at a close second, and I do mean a close one, is a big package of interrelated sub-issues all knotted together. They have to do with the people who are actually proud to call themselves “liberals,” not in the classic sense, but in the post-modern sense. Can we be fooled into thinking they are really champions of our freedoms, when they’re forcing us to think that, and coercing us into silence on any other viewpoint? Are we really so dense that we fail to see, or we can be distracted from seeing, the irony in that simple contradiction? Are liberals crazy, or just stupid? Do we really have to let them vote even when they so obviously lack the level of maturity one would be expected to achieve by age eighteen?

Is it really being “centrist” or “moderate” when you let grown-ups run the government half the time, and a bunch of attention-starved spoiled brats run it the rest of the time? Are we really so desperate to put a woman in the White House that we’ll put one in who is barely even a woman, and is such a toxic candidate that she can’t voice a position on any issue, without inserting a villain into it, should one be missing?

Are we going to let our print-media journalists decide for us which scandals end public-service careers and which ones do not — knowing full well they’re in the business of selling bad news, and have no financial stake in seeing things run sensibly so that bad news is a more the occasional happenstance the rest of us wish it to be?

What exactly is this well-funded advocacy group that I continue to call “Move On From Some Things And Dwell Endlessly On Other Things Dot Org”? For whom do they speak? Now that we all understand they’re a bunch of all-but-certified nutcases, when they tell us their nutcase things are they speaking on behalf of Hillary? Obama? Edwards? Kerry? Kennedy? Anybody else who will be invested with the authority to decide important, life-altering things, should we opt to put the kiddies from the kiddie-table in charge again next year?

What about Michael Moore, does he speak for anybody? How cozy is his relationship with the “Inmates Should Run The Asylum” party?

Bad AdAh, if you’re smart, you probably know where this is headed. That ad. That horrible, wonderful, self-disgracing, gloriously-backfiring ad. And more precisely, the vote about the ad.

I have been instructed to believe…by those who endlessly instruct me to believe that they are laboring tirelessly for my right to think whatever I want to think, without so much of a hint of awareness of their irony…that the vote was a waste of time.

With all due respect, kiddies, I think not. The issue that faces us next year, right behind that whole dead-terrorist-bodies thing, is whether the donks benefit from a frayed, fragile, threadbare tethering to reality or whether that tethering has snapped altogether. The donks are pretty emphatic that the real issue is whether or not the current President is a dumbass, which seems to me a peripheral article of history at best. We disagree; should we debate the question, it would be a pretty quick debate but it might get a little messy, gentle as I would try to be. It’s the facts, you see; they are not on their side. Next year, they are running — the “moron” is not. That’s just the way things are. We don’t get to vote on George Bush’s intellect or lack thereof — we are obliged to vote on the sanity of the donks, or lack thereof.

We have a right to know.

We have a duty to know.

And now we know. There is a deep split in the donk party about whether they want to approach the brink of sanity, or go toppling over the edge. The “useless” matter about whether to condemn the ad, or not, is put to a vote. Yea, 72; Nay, 25; Not Voting, 3.

Members of the grown-up party voted unanimously in a grown-up way. You’ll notice, this has been the catalyst of every major disagreement in foreign and domestic issues in modern history, once you cut through the B.S. about whether an election was stolen just because it didn’t turn out the way someone wanted: Should bad behavior get a spanking or not? It all comes down to that. Some of us believe if we’d paddle the rear ends of our own flesh and blood for doing the same thing, there should be consequences for others for doing it. Others think everything comes down to a “civil rights” issue, and civil rights is somehow measured in your ability to get away with things that common sense says demand censure. I see it in illegal immigration, repealing the death penalty, the tasering of whoosee-whatsit, the invasion of you-know-what…it’s in everything about which we choose to argue, or just about.

And you see it in the ad. Everybody either agrees the ad was stupid, or else “feels” that it should be defended but understands this is impossible to do on an intellectual level, so they might as well keep their silence. It’s an indefensible message. The question is whether to point it out. And as usual, the wildest and craziest kiddie-table people have squeezed together some kind of passion on that issue, based on cynical knowledge of the political consequences but on no higher ideal. In short, they understand it was dumb, and they understand why the rest of us think it worthy of comment and inspection. They just don’t want us to do it because it interferes with agendas they have on other things.

Just a girl in short shorts...Into this hot-button issue wades Becky, a.k.a. Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever. Do try to contain yourselves, fellas…the blog title isn’t just about what she is, it also describes what she likes, and she’s not preferentially inclined toward you. But it’s always a visually rewarding experience to give her a hit now and then, since she can be counted on to put up pictures of what she likes. And who doesn’t like that?

She’s a lot like Bacon Eating Atheist Jew. Just a whole lot easier on the eye (no offense intended, Bacon). Strong capital-L Libertarian leanings with a healthy ability to detect crap from miles away…except when it comes to bashing conservatives, and then, from my point of view, she pretty much falls for whatever crap she’s fed. In summary, she’s got great cognitive thinking skills when she agrees with me, and doesn’t when she doesn’t. And when people comment they treat her with kid gloves, even when she’s wrong, because hey — she’s a good looking girl in short shorts. And I freely admit I’m in that crowd too. If it was “Just An Ugly Dude in Shabby Clothes Talking About Stuff” I’d probably haul out all kinds of whoopass I’m keeping bottled up.

But meanwhile, back to the subject at hand. The vote on the stupid ad was a tactical maneuver by Republicans, seeking to highlight the schism in the donk party. Becky has the wisdom and insight to penetrate this, but is sufficiently myopic to settle into the idea that since it’s political, and poised to benefit people who disagree with her on some issues such as gay marriage, there can be nothing good about it.

I personally have no use for MoveOn. They are a left wing socialist cadre of Internet whiners. But, they have become a financial powerhouse in the Democratic Party.

I also think their ad was in poor taste. But no more so than when George Bush made John Mcain’s daughter cry by announcing during the South Carolina primary campaign that she was the bastard daughter of McCain, conceived with some Asian wench. The girl still asks her Mom why the president hates her so much. Of course, Daddy eventually sucked up to Sonny.

But the record is replete with volumes of Republican crap at least as vile as the MoveOn ad.

So the Neo-con Republican Warhawks jumped all over the ad , as is to be expected. It detracts from talking about the war and how to get the fuck out, how stupid the president is and etc. [emphasis mine]

Ah, ugh. Darling…you fail. You fail big. The vote detracted from talking about President Bush being a raging clueless assbag one more time? Congress has some important business before it involving calling him a few more names? What is this, the third grade?

I’m sympathetic to the notion that resolutions are wastes of time, or at least, can be. House condemns this, Senate censures that, United Nations deplores some other damn silly thing…what’s the point? And yet, through the lens of history, I see when resolutions are offered with a maximum saturation of partisan political cynicism, this is when they are at the most useful to the public at large. It should not by now be a secret to anyone that when we vote, most of us are taking a calculated gamble on whoever is going to do the least harm. Genuine “confidence” in our leadership, to the extent it actually ever existed at all, is with us no longer. We vote for candidates who are going to bring the messages and priorities to the forefront we want at that forefront, and those of us who think critically always have reservations about it.

So since all the “smart” people are projecting the donks will win next year, I see this vote as in inspection of a new and shiny car that is all-but-bought, with the papers not quite signed yet. Turns out, it is poorly put-together and falls apart quickly. It’s subject to overheating and burnout. That, and nobody is really too sure how it works. Useful information to have just about now, right?

Compare this to some of the “resolutions” passed by cities, unions and colleges against the War in Iraq. Becky speaks for many. I hope everyone who finds fault with the Senate for taking time to condemn the “Move On From What We Tell You To Move On From Dot Org” ad — or more precisely, to figure out who among those seated for the vote, has the stones to condemn it — will find fault with those other resolutions as well. The Senate vote tells us something we, regardless of our ideological prejudices, desperately need to know. Come to think of it, Move On’s insanity itself has been doing that…probably the only useful thing they’ve managed to do in nine years and Lord knows how many millions of dollars.

Those other three examples, and many others like them, achieve no such thing. How do they stand as specimens of wasted time and energy?

Thanks to the vote, now we know who lacks the readiness, willingness, ability, and/or just plain balls to call out stupid crap, falling well beneath, but pretending to be on par with, the national discourse — when they see it. When means whenever they see it. That means we have twenty-five people voting in our legislative chambers upper house, who, by rights, ought to be sent right back to Kindergarten again so they can learn to play nice, right before snack time and nap time. I like that we know this, that we now have a list. We can debate to some extent what it means, but it’s established beyond any disagreement what the list is. The names are:

Akaka, Bingaman, Boxer, Brown, Byrd,
Clinton, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin,
Inouye, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Levin,
Menendez, Murray, Reed, Reid, Rockefeller,
Sanders, Schumer, Stabenow, Whitehouse, Wyden.

Remember: When we get a new President, over the last several generations it is nearly always either a Governor, or someone from this legislative body. One fourth of those seated therein, as I type this, are virtual children.

So I’m happy — thrilled, actually — that we got some valuable insight this week, on what is the second-most important issue of next year’s elections. When you vote for a donk…what do you get in return? Harmless resistance against a theocracy, in which nobody with any power has seriously proposed we should live, and in which we have never once even come close to living…or a bunch of slobbering childish fools intoxicated with power, who can’t communicate a thought with even a moderate level of complexity to it, without regurgitating gallon after gallon of instructions about what everyone should be doing and thinking?

Besides who’s going to kill the most terrorists, that is what we really need to know. We on the right wing, on the left, everything in between. We desperately need to figure out the answer to this question, and we have less than fourteen months to do it.

Accurasee, It’s Important

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Just ask this guy.

Scooping Al Qaeda

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Hey anti-war leftists: She seems to believe in what she’s doing, maybe you should ask her why she isn’t there.

“I realized, oh my gosh, I’m sitting here, I’m a fat 50-year-old mom and I’ve managed to scoop al-Qaida,” said [Laura] Mansfield, who uses that name as a pseudonym because she receives death threats.

She sometimes spends 100 hours a week online, and she often finds items after word has begun spreading on the Arabic forums of an imminent release.

“It’s really important to understand what the jihadists think and how they’re planning on doing things,” she said. “They’re very vocal. They tell us what they’re going to do and then they go out and do it.”

Mansfield tips off her intelligence sources when she does find something new, part of an informal working relationship with the government.

“When I send them something, it’s welcome,” she said. “They thank me.”

There have been times when an impending video release has kept her from a planned shopping trip with her daughter.

“It gets really challenging when you’re trying to do that and cook spaghetti at the same time,” she said.

So You Build Keyboards, Do You

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I’ve been lurking in some of the fool-threads, watching fools from both sides go at it. And it has lately become clear to me that, contrary to my expectations, here in late 2007 the wildly unrealistic and irresponsible “Why Aren’t You There?” argument is still among us.

Back when I provided an answer to it, I had already started to see this repudiated by my most hardcore left-wing friends and I thought it was on the DailyKOS trash heap, or headed there. To the credit of The Left, that is what they do with some of their silliest arguments. They’re like…candy wrappers. Or condoms. Useful for a designated time, for a designated purpose, and once that purpose is fulfilled all you want to do is get rid of it.

Well if the “Why Aren’t You There?” argument is a candy wrapper, it has yet to be crumpled up; the yummy residue of what was inside has yet to be completely dumped out. Bad on them, because this shows the silliest arguments can be imbued with Yoda-like life-expectancies within the otherworldly, surreal existence of The Left. Or, at least, can be. That’s a shame. If the elections next year are about anything, they’re about whether the line tethering The Left to what’s reasonable and real has been badly frayed, or severed altogether.

And since the country needs to have that answered, we should inspect exactly what would be needed for “Why Aren’t You There?” argument to make some sense. Let’s start with the punchline itself, and what’s implied by it. You’re an anti-war lefty; you encounter, stateside, someone who thinks we should be fighting the war when you don’t think we should be. At this point, that could mean a lot of things. Many among us think it was a mistake to go into Iraq, but now that we’re there we shouldn’t leave yet. A dwindling minority of grown-ups among us resemble me, recognizing that our decision was to go in or not go in…and for a number of good reasons, not-going-in was just plain unacceptable. We say this was the right decision — the most ardent supporters, myself included, insist it was overdue — doing it over, we’d do things the same way.

Still others think we should leave Iraq, but it’s appropriate to leave the decision about when, up to the President and to Congress. That isn’t pro-war, but it’s not consistent with the “all anarchy, all the time” passion of the DailyKOS crowd. And so, of course, it goes without saying that the KOS kids hate it.

So the KOSsacks “win” the argument, in their own eyes at least, with four words: Why aren’t you there? Oh my, check my chest cavity, a pound of flesh is missing. For it has now been revealed: I don’t support the troops after all. Why, if I were, I’d be there.

Obviously, this is supposed to impress somebody — somebody who isn’t me. It doesn’t mesh with logic and common sense; not very well, and not at all. If I’m to be smeared as someone who only pretends to support the troops, but doesn’t really, it’s a bit like a wrestling match with the proverbial pig isn’t it? It’s a tad difficult to assert someone supports the troops when he’s running around stateside, grouchily making his peevish rhetorical inquiries into why so-and-so isn’t there, arguing that since so-and-so isn’t there nobody else should be. So I’ve always looked at people who say “why aren’t you there” as saying “I don’t support them, or what they’re doing, and neither should you.” I don’t see how that could mean anything else.

They tell me this is an insinuation I shouldn’t dare make. Well, okay…if I can’t say it out loud, I’ll just have to think it in silence, for I can think nothing else. It just doesn’t seem like a very supportive question to be asking, to me.

But let’s inspect the logic that goes into this. You ask “Why Aren’t You There?” and in response, I go homina-homina-homina…the conclusion to be drawn, is that I’m only pretending there’s a good reason for anybody to be there, by deep down I know there isn’t one because if there was, I’d be there myself.

Okay. So…when people recognize there’s even so much as a peripheral reason for something to be done, they do it themselves.

No exceptions. None.

This is incredible. Consider the ramifications. How many things are there that people do, that I personally don’t do and have not done. I’m not a schoolteacher, I’m not a fireman, I’m not a construction worker. I don’t pick coffee beans or roast them or package them or transport them or sell them; so I can’t drink coffee. Logically, my butt need not fit into the chair in which I’m sitting as I type this, since I don’t build chairs — and I shouldn’t have need to type this, since I don’t build keyboards.

A great rejoinder to this would be “Are you a gynecologist or a cop?” Very few would be able to answer to one of those; by their logic, if they’re gynecologists, we must not need the police, and if they’re police, we must not need gynecologists.

It’s been presumed by some that the typical KOSKid lives in his parents’ basement and doesn’t do anything. I’ve found the crudest and simplest stereotypes are the ones that are lacking in merit, and have settled into a habit of dismissing this one. But the “Why Aren’t You There?” argument tempts me to reconsider it. It seems to me to be an argument acceptable to someone who doesn’t do anything and hasn’t done anything. I’ve met, personally, some folks who have managed to channel vast amounts of energy into coming up with reasons not to do things, enough to convince me this is a modern epidemic — this might be the cause, or perhaps, the ultimate effect.

Maybe the plague of the twenty-first century is not cancer, or AIDs, but sloth. A conviction that, if it is to be admitted that anything is important or worthwhile or beneficial to anyone, some boogeyman might come along and invite the person so admitting, to climb aboard and contribute in some way. I’m gathering that some folks find this horrifying, for the simple reason that a meaningful contribution would be antithetical to the way they’ve lived their lives up until now. It would be an unwelcome paradigm shift.

This is something I already know to be true, about some people. Thing I Know #92. Useful people have a fear of becoming useless that is exceeded in intensity only by the fear useless people have of someday being useful.

So I presume when people say “Why Aren’t You There?,” what they’re saying is they’ve managed to live out their lives without contributing anything whatsoever to anyone whatsoever, and don’t want to change.

That is their right. But it impresses me a lot — and by that, I mean down to the marrow of my bones. We have people serving in Iraq, losing parts of their bodies…coming back stateside, getting patched up, learning how to use their prosthetics, and then asking to go back there again. And then we have other people who have made a sort of religion out of not doing anything that might be helpful to someone, and calling into question whether anyone else should help someone, or even say kind things about those who do.

To put it more elegantly, some among us have a phobia about giving away some of their sweat, while others have no compunctions whatsoever about giving away their blood.

And the bulk of both groups reside in the same narrow age bracket. A five-year window somewhere around the half the age I am now.

I see times of deep, irreconcilable conflict in the years ahead. Something like what we’ve already had for the last forty years or so. But much, much deeper and darker.

As for my answer, it remains unchanged. To oppose YOU. Anyone who asks “Why Aren’t You There?” is, all the bullshit peeled aside, a nihilist. Nihilists are having a fairly good time of it right now; they’re injecting a nihilist marinade into everything we do in public policy lately; and, by nature, don’t support the troops or much of anything else. Someone with principle and brains has to be stateside, to make sure they are opposed.

They are trying to make a lot of decisions for everybody else, after all. Those decisions are not wise. They are not harmless.

They have to be opposed.

How Fires Start

Friday, September 21st, 2007

This is why I throw a great big ol’ hissy-fit when I can’t find my extra special squirt bottle when it’s time to light the charcoal.

Always have something ready to keep things under control. Locked and loaded. Barbeque, campfire, fireworks, sparklers…candlelight vigils. No exceptions. As you can see, it’s really, really hard to look cool doing this.

Best Sentence XVII

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The winner of the “Best Sentence I’ve Heard Lately” award is, once again, Ann Coulter. Hey, what can I say, she tries harder than most other folks. It’s her schtick; she makes it her business to win these things.

And like the girl with the curl, when she is good she is very very good. It’s actually two sentences this time:

The editors of The New York Times have been engaging in a spirited debate with their readers over whether doctors are wildly overpaid or just hugely overpaid. The results of this debate are available on TimeSelect, for just $49.95.

I Made a New Word VII

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

ManilowMANILOSIS (n.): 1. A disease which causes the afflicted person to cite the disagreeing political viewpoints of others, and react to the disagreement by eschewing any juxtaposition between them and himself, perhaps out of the fear that his arguments will be revealed as insubstantial or logically tenuous if challenged. 2. The irrational prognostication that known political disagreements, will everlastingly remain the only matters of discussion, coupled with an equally irrational sensibility that politically-differing individuals cannot be friends. 3. The delusion that showcasing this disease and the suffering from it, is in fact the manifestation of some kind of ethical or philosophical principle. 4. The insistence that political agendas that would, if enacted, by design have profound effects upon the lives of everyone, must be deliberated and refined only in the presence of some.

There is no known cure. There is thought to be some hope for the afflicted, but the patient has to want to change.

Memo For File XLVII

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Via Gerard: I find it worthy of comment how much the New York Times reads like the National Review, or maybe even a Rush Limbaugh sound clip, in editorializing about the Dan Rather lawsuit against CBS, the disgraced anchorman’s former employer. Must be somebody’s first day…or last day…or both.

Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on “60 Minutes” after forcing him to step down as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a “biased” and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast and, in the process, “seriously damaged his reputation.”
:
In the suit, filed this afternoon in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Mr. Rather charges that CBS and its executives made him “a scapegoat” in an attempt “to pacify the White House,” though the formal complaint presents virtually no direct evidence to that effect.
:
The portrait of Mr. Rather that emerges from the 32-page filing bears little resemblance to the hard-charging, seemingly fearless anchor who for two decades shared the stage with Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings as the most watched and recognizable journalists in America. By his own rendering, Mr. Rather was little more than a narrator of the disputed broadcast, which was shown on Sept. 8, 2004, on the midweek edition of “60 Minutes” and which purported to offer new evidence of preferential treatment given to Mr. Bush when he was a lieutenant in the Air National Guard.

This is the first time I’ve been aware of the New York Times insisting on “evidence to that effect” in this context, or even bothering to take note of lack of such evidence. Good on them. Maybe after generations of running under the slogan “All the news that’s fit to print,” they’re finally living up to it.

As for Mr. Rather, I seriously doubt he needs a post-retirement career to be able to afford the buckwheat. Nevertheless, I’m tempted to entertain the fantasy that he’s found one, as a secret agent for the talk radio industry. Once you overcome the initial misgivings about such intellectual extravagance, this would all make sense. Perfect sense.

Dan Rather, fearless anchorman, tells us all what to think for a quarter of a century as the successor to Uncle Walter, and we believe him just like we believed Uncle Walter. Dan Rather is busted when someone slides a Microsoft Word document under his nose, and he and his producers present it as a document typed up in 1974 because they were told to think that. The bust is made by something called “blogs,” which didn’t exist for some 80% or more of Dan Rather’s career as Uncle Walter’s successor, and perhaps 90% or so of his career as a hard-hitting newshound. So…

…hucksters and shysters tell Dan Rather what he should think, and he tells us what we should think, naturally inspiring the question “how the hell long has this been going on?” But after the bust brings his career to an inglorious end, he presents himself not as a fearless anchor, or a hard-hitting newshound, but as a know-nothing pretty-boy behind a fancy desk reading from a teleprompter.

So he’s an old-school, notebook and shoe-leather take-no-prisoners journalist when there’s glory involved, but when it all turns to crap he’s suddenly just a talking head and nothing more. His former colleagues are just as guilty of failing to do the proper homework, and have been observed conducting themselves with equal measures of duplicity. In short — nobody got fooled by the Microsoft Word document. Everybody says it was somebody else’s job to check it out properly. Nobody got fooled…and yet, with all these reputations in tatters and all these careers ruined…you, the viewer, are still a stupid idiot Bush-bot if you don’t believe the documents were authentic.

When all the dust has settled, you tune into the evening news…why?

If Dan Rather can follow a news trail as well as people say, and is as smart as people give him credit for being, that’s got to be the answer. He’s a turncoat. He’s communicating a hidden message to us, that we should stop watching the boob tube and start reading blogs and listening to talk radio. That has to be it…because he’s turning the industry that made him a wealthy man — into a freakin’ joke.

An interesting aside: I was going to use the phrase “Swift Boat” as a verb to discuss what happened to poor Dan, when exploring the whole sorry episode from his perspective. It occurred to me that it’s never been satisfactorily explained to me what exactly this means — nevermind how often I hear it. In fact, “swift boat” may very well be the first term to be thoroughly worn out and tossed into the cliche junk heap before I even managed to catch a glimmer of the substance behind it. Well, I don’t like using words without knowing what they mean, and I don’t like shrinking from using words just because I don’t know what they mean. I certainly don’t like it when a lot of other people know something I don’t.

So I looked it up.

The substance was unsurprising, but the lack of discussion was not. There are — exactly — two definitions in the online Urban Dictionary, one constructed for appeal to the lefty-loosies and one for the tighty-righties:

1. The phrase “swift boat” describes a Vietnam-era patrol boat, but it is increasingly being used to describe the political tactic of using a concentrated media effort to discredit a person or idea.

The phrase developed out of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, when a group called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” attempted to suggest that Democratic candidate John Kerry lied in order to earn two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star during the Vietnam War. The group, as it turns out, was funded primarily by people who also frequently donated millions of dollars to the Republican party. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was formed for the sole purpose of discrediting Kerry’s Vietnam War service and has not been heard from since the end of the election.

2. To thwart a conspiracy to deceive the public by getting the facts out on someone despite a concerted effort on the part of the media to ignore and/or actively discredit a politically inconvenient truth.

ABC’s false stories were unable to prevent the veteran’s group from being able to swift boat Kerry’s Vietnam fantasy.

Both sides give you an ounce of real definition, and a gallon of self-service to their own respective agendas. At this writing, one can easily observe that people who cast votes for these definitions, overwhelmingly would have preferred a Kerry presidency in 2004 and presumably now as well. But from this, we don’t know a lot about “swift boating” other than that it’s an assertion of something that some people happen to dislike. Wikipedia is no more helpful:

Swiftboating is American political jargon that is used as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign.

The term comes from the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth (formerly “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”) and their widely-publicized attacks on 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry. Historically, terms like “swiftboating”, “Swift Boating”, “Swift Boat tactics”, etc. were given currency by people who had very negative views of SBVT.

I briefly toyed with the idea of editing the article and removing the reference to “ad hominem”; I have never once heard the term “swift-boating” used to refer to an ad hominem attack. I have heard it repeatedly used to describe things the speaker would like listeners to think were ad homs; but nothing that would, according to said speaker’s own arguments, qualify.

The phrase “ad hominem” has certain rules to it. You have to engage in deception by distracting from the subject at hand. You can’t be attacking the argument itself; if you are, it’s unlikely any logical fallacy is being engaged, and this certainly isn’t an ad hom. If I use poor logic in the classic example of “All fish live in water, Flipper lives in water, therefore Flipper is a fish” — and you are heard telling someone “Don’t listen to Morgan, he is using poor logic” — this is not an ad hominem attack. You’re attacking my argument by attacking the logic used to construct it.

A better example of ad hominem would be “Don’t listen to Morgan, he only drinks beer from glass bottles.” The misplaced presumption of solidity in the attack, is the key. The presumption should be misplaced because the attack deals with personal attributes, removed from the substance of the original argument. People who drink beer from glass bottles can be right about things, people who drink beer from cans can be wrong about things.

Come to think of it, a great example of the ad hominem is “The group…was funded primarily by people who also frequently donated millions of dollars to the Republican party.”

But I’ve learned to leave my edits out of Wikipedia, whose problems of late result from being policed above, rather than below, par. While I believe in the experiment overall, I fear it is doomed to carry, everlastingly, at least a stain of defeat. This is perfectly acceptable to me, since we live in an imperfect universe filled with imperfect things. But some folks have made it their mission in life to police Wikipedia. Edits that offer another perspective on things, disappear so quickly that they have no effect at all, and this is by the design of an excessively enthusiastic editor who doesn’t happen to like that other perspective.

Said hyperactive and overly self-indulgent editors tend to lean left. That’s just the way things are. Leftists have more time.

On the swift-boat verb, I like my own definition better than the others I’ve read. Not just for the way it flows, but for it’s marriage with the truth. And it is truly an occasion worth noting when I manage to be concise while everybody else rambles on endlessly and in relative futility. Things do not often happen that way.

The act of pointing out something with regard to a matter under immediate discussion, that extremist zealots (particularly those inclined to the left) would just as soon have been left unmentioned. Especially, testimony from knowledgeable individuals that would place a purported certainty into significant doubt.

I think that says it all. To say someone has “swift boated” is not, despite appearances, an accusation of anything. It is a simple declaration. “I am an extreme, politically-motivated zealot and I wish you hadn’t said that.” It doesn’t mean anything beyond that.

Barry’s Beliefs

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I’ve seen this written up in a couple other places but I’ll give the hat tip to Rick. And I think it’s only fair to explore things from Barry Manilow’s perspective to kick it off…

Monday, September 17, 2007
A message from Barry…

Hey guys,

I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be on The View tomorrow as scheduled. I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy, Barbara or Whoopi, but not Elisabeth Hasselback. Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request so I bowed out.

It’s really too bad because I’ve always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs. The good news is that I will be on a whole slew of other shows promoting the new album so I hope you can catch me on those.

Love,
Barry

Rick winds up his post by launching a couple of questions aimed pointedly at Barry’s masculinity.

Rick, this strikes me as somewhat unfair. Not so much to Mr. Manilow, but to women, in general. I’ve personally met many fine people lacking in testosterone, penises or testicles who are perfectly qualified to help the legendary performance artist try to recover what he seems to be lacking; ladies of dignity, quality and guts.

Women who can share the same airspace with someone who disagrees with them about something. Maybe…maybe even deal with the point of disagreement, should it actually surface, not run screaming out of the room. In some cases, perhaps, even changing a mind or two, while keeping things positive.

As for the fellas — given the absurd situation that any among them are really as lacking in these qualities as Mr. Manilow seems to be, well, I’d consider it the definition of “gentlemanly” behavior to do what Manilow did. Better that a man admit to his limitations than to make an ass out of himself and everyone else. Of course, I can’t extend that observation to tossing The View producers under the bus on your website. In that sense if none other, I’m with ya.

I think Hasselbeck would do fine on teaching just some of these skills the musician is lacking, if a tutor must be found for Mr. Manilow. Maybe that’s what he doesn’t like about her. She can do some things he can’t. But if that’s so offensive to him, there are a lot of other folks who are up to the job. Obviously, Lesson One would have to be getting rid of the echo chamber. Can’t learn how to discuss anything if you’re constantly surrounded by yes-men.

Wow, you realize the ramifications of what I’ve just said? Manilow could learn what he needs to learn…not only from Hasselbeck…but from O’Donnell. Rosie O’Doughnut, a “lady” who has a raging case of CBTA if nobody else does. But at least she doesn’t have to control the roster of occupants of whatever room she’s in.

What a way to live.

But among the folks who are proud to call themselves “liberal,” or those who are more receptive to other people and ideas we call “liberal”…Mr. Manilow is far more representative a sampling than Ms. O’Donnell. There are far more people like him than her. In a way I guess that’s a good thing, because people like me are among the first to be ostracized by them and there’s only so much I can take of his pretentious crooning or her insipid yammering.

But isn’t it funny? The ideas these people have, tend to maintain this common theme that “everybody” should have a right to something-or-other, and “everybody” should have some kind of associated obligation. Like recording legend Manilow, when a lot of these people talk out these rights and responsibilities “everybody” should have, they really aren’t cool with talking it out — with everybody. Manilow’s word selection is revealing this way. It seems to be an important underlying principle that only some may discuss what, by design, is supposed to affect everyone. Profoundly.

Rick, I like your observation, I just think it needs a little bit of refinement. To say that what Manilow is lacking has something to do with manhood, strikes me as a short-changing of women for the respect some of them — most of them — are justly due. To say he has yet to grow up, likewise, would be insulting the children. Maybe the most accurate reference available would have something to do with evolution. Our songbird, along with millions of liberals, is stuck sometime in the past. Somewhere before the ancient Greeks, who made an art and a science out of talking things out, centuries before the time of Christ.

I hope it doesn’t have to do with his genetic makeup or anything. I’d like to think there’s still a way to get him the help that he needs. But there does seem to be something rather subhuman about it all. Something…insect-like. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the root source of the word I’m trying to invent here. I’ll have to ponder this some other time, I got a nice full day to spend working.

Around people who don’t agree with me about everything.

Forcing Them Into Tolerance

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Two priceless quotes.

Thing I Know #8: It is hard to get people to argue about private matters, but easy if you can somehow turn them into public matters.

A concerned parent in Evesham Township, New Jersey: I’m losing my tolerance for the amount of tolerance I’m supposed to tolerate.

At issue is the district’s program designed to comply with New Jersey requirements for a “diversity curriculum.”

The film, “That’s a Family!”, looks at diversity through the eyes of children who talk about their own families. One child talks about having mixed-race parents. Another talks about living with a divorced parent. Others talk about single parents, traditional parents, adoptive parents.

And then there’s the child who says, “This is my mom. Her name is Betty. And this is my other mom. Her name is Kim.”

What really gets under my skin about this is this presumption of what goes on if the matter is simply left unexplored. As if we’re all predestined to turn into a bunch of Archie Bunkers if some sweater-wearing blue-stater doesn’t get to us first, and teach us how to be tolerant.

I know better. First-hand.

What gets people intolerant, is watching a bunch of blue-state liberals take over the curriculum and start deciding, on in place of the parents, that the kids should be exposed to the same-sex live-in issue when the parents might not be cool with it. You know, that just might cheese some people off.

Isn’t it funny? When people discuss the benefits of “tolerance” — not pencil-neck bureaucrats, but real, flesh-and-blood Main Street people — invariably, when they have something good to say about it it’s because they want less anger in the world, and they hope a greater amount of tolerance will displace the anger.

And then when the bureaucrats start teaching little kids how to be tolerant, it seems to have a symbiotic relationship with anger. As in, “We’re going to teach you how not to grow up to be a filthy so-and-so like that no-good redneck Archie Bunker.”

What other motive can be behind exposing kids to same-sex households in a controlled environment? What if, within that child’s experience, the matter is simply left untouched. And one day he goes home for some after-school milk-and-cookies with his friend Jimmy…who tells him…this is my Mommy and this is my other Mommy. Does anybody, anywhere, seriously think the kid’s going to freak out on the spot?

No, I don’t think anybody thinks that. Not unless the kid has been learning hatred at home.

In which case, the purpose of the program is to displace the parents’ values. Oh yes, for a righteous and noble purpose…make sure those bigoted parents can’t contaminate the next generation with their bigoted filth.

Well, I see some value in that. But when the purpose is confined to that, it’s a little disquieting. If the kids have been learning tolerance at home…and if they’ve been learning nothing about the issue at home…they’re outside the designated scope of the program. It’s for kids that have learned things at home that the teachers don’t like. So line up kids, we’re going to make sure you’re sterilized of any slime and bug larvae you might have picked up in that gutter from whence you came.

It’s certainly a camel’s nose issue if nothing else. Today the kids will be cleansed of any home-schooled values about same-sex couples they might have picked up, that the academics don’t like; tomorrow, it’ll be voting ideology, religion, gun rights, NASCAR races vs. Soccer.

I dunno. It’s tough to live out on the west coast and see it as a mecca of individualist values. But there is something invading our Atlantic seaboard, it seems to me. My girl grew up in upstate New York, she came out here to California because I was able to fool her into thinking I’m some kind of desirable and sexy dude…we like to tease each other now and then about which state is doing a better job becoming a Peoples’ Republic. Out there in this swath that stretches down from New England, to the beltway of DC, something’s going on. This whole “screw those brits, let’s dump the tea in the harbor” spirit has been driven out. Forcefully, from my point-of-view. I feel it every time I have to rummage around for quarters so I can go through those damnable turnpikes.

And hatred-versus-love toward same-sex households — there’s no two ways about it, that’s a private matter. It’s being turned into a public matter, so we can waste a lot of energy arguing about it. Not so we can be more “tolerant.” That isn’t part of the plan. If it was, the heat would dissipate over time with these diversity curricula, and that isn’t what I see happening by a damn sight.

So You Think You Can Prank?

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Boortz put up a clip a few days ago that has caused something of an interesting Internet debate: Did it go too far?

It’s become another “Everybody else is linking it, I might as well do it too” kind of a thing.

Update: Okay…so there are people who think like me, and always want a little more background info before making a decision. Fine. Here is what Streeter did to deserve it. Now you can decide if it was over the line or not.

Heh. Is anyone else thinking of the big computer in War Games, and his immortal line about how “the best way to win is not to play”? Maybe that’s the situation we have here.

I Made a New Word VI

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Betray UsMOVE ON DOT REALITY (n.): (1) An instance or collection of cognitive product, used by left-wing people not to embrace reality as we know it, but rather to ingratiate themselves with each other socially. Such stuff has an occasional collision with truth in the same way a busted clock tells the correct time twice a day.

(2) The otherworldly plane of virtual existence in which one lives when one nurtures a habit of intellectually promoting, and/or fixating on, such stuff.

This is how the “Betray Us” ad backfired this week. That the people we call “progressive” nowadays systematically denounce any and all facts they find to be politically inconvenient, is old news to people like me who lack the dignity to avoid arguing with them on the innernets. To “normal” people who do a much better job of engaging their daily lives and staying away from “all that politics stuff,” it’s still a somewhat shocking revelation. You know…the clock-in, clock-out, go-home, rent-videos, play-video-games crowd.

The people who decide elections.

To them, it’s not so much news that The Left would trash Gen. Petraeus, or that The Left would decide to trash him based on the things he had to say. That, arguably, is what politics is all about. Someone says what you like, the job is to sell everybody on his impeccable credentials. He says something you don’t like, you find some scandals and play them up, never mind that the dirt you dig up pales in comparison to the dirt the other guys could dig up on you. That’s why it’s such a dirty business, and that’s why “mainstream” America wants to have so little to do with it.

Rather, the story is in how quickly The Left decided to do this. General Petraeus isn’t, let’s say, a Jack Abramoff or a Marc Foley or a Larry Craig, someone whose name has been twisting away in an unflattering limelight like an earthworm lacking the stamina and moisture to make it into the grass on a hot summer day, drying out in agony. We haven’t had any months-long inquest in the court of public opinion, about whether Petraeus is inappropriately beholden to the White House’s take on things in the theater under his command. It’s just a tad bit awkward to get such a debate going now just because it’s politically expedient to get such a debate going. “Main Street” can smell those kinds of shenanigans…even on it’s way to the ice cream stand or to the coffee shop.

But the real damage is in the wording. “Betray Us.” It seems SO clever, you know. Petraeus…Betray Us…it rhymes! That means you have to gimme credit for it! This problem arises with the salient question, posed by Main Street USA to the “Move On From Some Things, Dwell Irrationally On Other Things Dot Org” people: What exactly do you mean by “Us”? Do you mean the General means to betray us, as in the country, or by “us” do you mean YOU?

Main Street USA — not anti-left bloggers like me, who lack the dignity to extricate ourselves from the argument on a daily basis, and therefore are numerically insignificant, but the BIG America — saw that the General’s loyalty was being questioned, according to an oath he himself NEVER took. And this shocked them. They saw a bunch of phony political obligations being imposed upon him, and they came to realize they were next. In short, with this silly ad, heartland Americans realized exactly how The Hard Left works nowadays.

The Left pretends to be engaged in reality…they pretend to have a monopoly in this…and none of the things they do, once you list those things and start inspecting them closely, have anything to do with this. Anything at all. Our leftist comedians and pundits want to seize control over what we all think about things, even incredibly important issues like Iraq, so they can take this control and turn it over to someone else. They want to bully and intimidate and coerce us into thinking what they want us to think. They want to blackmail us into helping them. Helping them do…well, nobody’s really sure what. They themselves aren’t really sure.

It’s got something to do with rolling back tax cuts, not fighting any wars, repeating slander about our President and our soldiers, and then bellyaching about how none of the other countries like us.

But as the non-blogger world is slowly finding out, facts have nothing to do with any of this…because on the way to getting it all done, “facts” are reduced to things coming out of the mouths and pens of people considered “loyal,” and loyalty is attached only to people who are observed saying the right “facts.” That’s where this alternative reality comes in. This is where all this nonsensical crap comes in, to consume us if we let it. Where, in all of human history, fire has never once melted steel. Where global warming caused Hurricane Katrina. And the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota was Karl Rove’s fault.

It has nothing to do with what you saw happening, or what you can confirm happened, or what you’d bet some money, happened or might have happened. It’s got to do with what will make you some new friends, if you’re seen mumbling something to the effect you believe it, exhorting others to believe it, or both.

Having waded into the muck some time ago, I’ve known about this for awhile: Thinking through our most critical and crucial problems, to far too many among us — to the loudest among us — is purely a social exercise and has little to do with what’s real, even less to do with solving problems for anybody. Thanks to “Move On From Some Things, Dwell Irrationally On Other Things Dot Org” and their ill-conceived newspaper ad, now the rest of the country is coming around to realizing this too. People who are less aware of what’s going on than I am, because they have more dignity.

This country has some heap-big problems. We can debate some other time whether or not they ALL started with George W. Bush; there are a lot of reasons to question even that. But when we’re deciding who’s going to shoulder the unenviable burden of solving them, we’d better keep the grown-ups in charge, and leave the kiddies at the kiddie table where they belong. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank “Move On From What We Tell You To Move On From Dot Org” for getting that message out. I could never have done it quite as effectively as they managed to, without even trying.

Maybe After She’s Out, And Safe

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Hope you’re sitting down for this.

Gotta love that comment from Zulma. Lol.

Update 9/15/07: I’m wondering if the item you see to the left would be an appropriate gift for such a “mom.” The only drawback is, it would probably involve a little bit more waiting than it would seem she’s interested in doing.

You know, this carries profound implications that the “mom” has to write the message across her tummy, as opposed to waiting just a few weeks and then putting the baby in a onesie that says the same thing. The same thing with entirely different ramifications. That is profound. It’s a microcosm of everything the Hard Left seems to believe about human beings.

After you wait awhile...I mean, what kind of mindset do you bestow on the unborn when you do that. Okay, I’m a baby in my momma’s belly…which according to the pro-choice crowd means I’m not a baby at all. Oh, but I am capable of being pro-choice. Unless that’s some kind of a joke I don’t get? Either way…I’m a pro-choice non-person…in favor of choice…about me.

I’m to be sucked out of here a piece at a time? Hey, that’s all good. Whatever you say, mom!

Are things really so different just because the baby isn’t born yet? I ask because, on other issues, it seems our hardcore leftists demand exactly the same fanatical self-sacrificial attitude out of people who have, in fact, been born already.

Not really suicide. More like apathy about decisions made by someone else, of which your termination is either a product or a byproduct.

Like, you aren’t allowed to have a gun in your home even though you live in a rural area where emergency services are unavailable, or provided with a response time of 45 minutes or more. Like that…not suicide, but apathy. Eh. Maybe my family and I will be okay, maybe not. At least the right people are in charge, and the right rules are being observed.

Terrorism treated as a law enforcement issue.

Detainees not being interrogated. Detainment facilities being shut down. Al Qaeda operatives trekking in through our porous border, and once here, being allowed to communicate electronically with the bosses back home with their “constitutional privacy protections” intact, so long as they do it from within our borders so that grandstanding politicians can call them “ordinary Americans.”

Eh. Whatever. How’s it affect me? Oh yeah…the terrorists would like me dead, and if it happens, oh, whatever. Maybe I’ll be poisoned. Maybe I’ll be blown up or burned up. The important thing is that up until the time I’m killed in some way or another, I have medical insurance and a right to strike against my employer. And, in a sense, to personal safety — in the legal sense, not in the practical sense. Rules are in place to keep people from beating me up and taking my wallet, maybe killing me for eighteen dollars…but society enshrines nothing to give me a solid reason to think it won’t happen.

Maybe that’s how the vicious attitude against religious people, all ties in with it. Being faithful to the left wing, seems to have a lot to do with submitting to the will of someone pushing a button, deliberately or otherwise, and snuffing out your very existence. Being cool with that…saying that’s okay with you…not even demanding any special qualifications from the button-pusher, just having that person be in the right place and carrying the right title. I see it all makes sense now. This comes so much easier when you figure you’re just the natural product of a living ecosystem with warmth, contaminants and moisture. That nobody more important than you, put you here. That you’re a fungus; a fungus that happens to resemble a chimpanzee more than a sponge, but a fungus nonetheless. And that there’s no consciousness, nothing positive or negative to be experienced, after your demise.

I’ve finally found something that makes all these leftist micro-agendas consistent with each other. It’s nihilism, and an uncompromising dedication to it. Nothing else makes all this stuff work. The baby killing, the soldier-slandering, the new taxes and increases of old taxes for their own sake, the social programs on top of other social programs, the crappy education being given to our kids…the seventy languages in one high school and you’d better be cool with that or else you’re a Bad PersonTM…the glowbubble-wormening…the hostility to religion.

Start with the premise that we’re all just candles that can be snuffed out on a whim, by anyone from the homicidal, to the wildly narcissistic, to the incompetent, and there’s nothing wrong with that — and it all makes sense. Leftist solutions, all have it in common with each other that we’re supposed to apologize to someone for our very existence, and be ready to be deprived of that existence. On a chimerical itch between the ears — of someone who isn’t even that special. Some authoritarian stranger who is selected to have this power over our lives and our deaths, by random chance, or something practically equivalent to it.

The passive nihilism arrives bundled with a curious and twisted package of ethical values. With the snuffing itself, there is no violation occurring, no “wrong” being done. What’s wrong, according to these values, is a lack of acceptance when it happens to a third party — or, to you. People do “right” when they line up for slaughter. Left-wing issue by left-wing issue by left-wing issue, all the way down the line; they all have it in common, that people are supposed to subordinate their instincts of self-preservation, to following the rules some left-wing stranger, somewhere, deems to be correct.

What gets all this nonsense going? It can be nothing but fear. Living your life with a sense of purpose, as if some higher code is transgressed if your existence is revoked before achieving some Glorious Purpose that has been invested in you, involves a sense of responsibility. And nobody ever said we’d all reach maturity ready to take that on.