Archive for April, 2008

Kesting Press Conference

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Via Boortz: Enjoy.

Your background is here.

Incoherence has a new name.

You’d Be Set to Stunning?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Feminists and Equality

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

About six months ago I had laid out a treatise explaining exactly why I regarded feminism as being deader than a coffin nail. It boils down to this: To assess fairly whether or not it is still breathing air and above the daisies, one must first define it, and a central pillar to the definition to which most of us would agree would have something to do with: Choice. As in, individual choice. You choose to be this, you choose to be that, nobody’s getting in your face telling you something else, and they certainly aren’t telling you that because you’re a girl.

And the feminism we have nowadays, is really all about women getting in each other’s faces telling each other they’re supposed to be this-or-that. It is the opposite of what it used to be…or perhaps it always has been the opposite of what it was supposed to be. You know what? I don’t even give a good goddamn anymore. In the here-and-now, if feminism is indeed supposed to be about individual ambitions and choice, it’s certifiably dead.

Well, it occurs to me that perhaps it’s overly simplistic and unfair of me to assess it that way. The reason I’m having that epiphany, is because I’m reminded of a second pillar of what feminism is supposed to be: Equality. That has very little to do with choice, and it is undeniable that this is also a central definition of feminist goals. Men get paid a dollar, women get paid seventy cents, why, that’s just fundamentally unfair isn’t it? Sure it is. And so when ordinary, common-sense folks resolve to become feminists, in many cases that is the agenda, and a noble agenda it is.

The sad part is, what inspires me about that is this item over at Ace’s place, about which I learned via Cassy Fiano.

A satirical response to a feminist publication at Colorado College has landed the college and two of its students in the middle of a fierce debate over freedom of speech.

Chris Robinson and another student at the Colorado Springs institution decided to print “The Monthly Bag” after seeing copies of a feminist and gender studies newsletter, “The Monthly Rag,” in restrooms around campus.

The edition of “The Monthly Rag” that prompted action included an announcement for a talk on feminist pornography, information on gender-bending practices, and a tidbit about a myth involving male castration. According to Robinson, it was representative of what appears every month.

A thumbnail of the Monthly Rag is below, and you can view the original by clicking it. Included are such items as Can Feminist Porn Exist? And an explanation of the word “Packing” (Creating the appearance of a phallus under clothing). A quote from Gloria Steinem that a woman today has the choice of being either a feminist or a masochist.

Money quote:

Did You Know?

Vagina Dentata is the Latin term literally meaning “toothed vagina.” Many cultures have myths and cautionary tales about the dangers of sex with women. It is associated with the fear of male castration.

It cries out, IMHO, for parody and parody was not long in coming. Enter the Monthly Bag mentioned above:

Which reflects the “Did You Know” section by means of the following…

The Barrett .50 Caliber sniper rifle has an effective range of 2000 meters?

See, that could be taken to mean someone’s lying in wait at the top of campus buildings, waiting to pick off feminists with a .50 cal. Bu-u-u-ut…could not the vagina dentata item be taken to mean some campus ladies are implanting their bodies with male castrating devices, in a conspiracy to mutilate men? I mean, I can see how the sniper rifle thing might be unintentionally intimidating, but ya gotta admit the toothed vagina thing seems to be inextricably fused to an intent to intimidate.

I mean, the appearance is that intimidation is the entire point. I don’t see how you can get around that.

Well, if you’ve been conscious and breathing sometime for the last thirty-five years, you know exactly what the campus did. Yup, you got it. Rag Good, Bag Bad. The Barrett .50 caliber thing is not only intimidating, but “demonizing.”

Ace sums it up adroitly:

Isn’t the academy supposed to promote truth? Then why not tell the truth: There are very different rules for different people. Why the constant lying about rules which are ostensibly objective and apply to all equally?

I would add just one other thing, though. And my frosting-on-the-cake is not kind to feminism, but it is, as Ace has requested, true. Here it is:

Inequality is the point. Nowadays, if it has to do with “equal” treatment between the sexes, it is not feminism. Feminism is about a sloped playing field. One of the key features of success in any feminist endeavor — other than that thing about telling people what to do — is the degree of slope. What, exactly, can a female be allowed to do that a male cannot? How BIG is that gap? If there is no delta to show, then that particular item on the feminist wish list went unfulfilled.

How did feminism get here? Well, the argument could be made that it started here — all the sloganeering about equality was just a recruiting tool and nothing more, from the get-go. But even that doesn’t explain it. Babies mature into adults, and even cultural changes in public policy are supposed to normalize over time.

The plain truth of it is that feminism is the wrong kind of bureaucracy for the mission it has been trying to support. Some bureaucracies are, by nature, moderate and become more moderate with the passage of time. One person expresses a strong opinion, and the consensus of the group is going to be “you seem to have a little bit more of an axe to grind than someone should have if they’re going to have a position of authority here”…and so an ineffectual management suck-up will be nominated to the positions in which important decisions are made.

That can be irritating when you’re trying to get something done. But perhaps the time has come, to admit that this is exactly what feminism should have been. Over the last four decades, though, it’s been the exact opposite: Whoever has the most passion — whoever is angriest — is promoted to the position of authority, and calls the shots. The cooler heads are gutterballed, sent out to the sidelines.

The tragic part is that people in general are very willing and quick to accept a taboo, when it concerns how to treat females. Even other females have this trait. And so, because feminists want us to, we think of feminism as having to do with “choice” — when it’s inherently anti-choice — and “equality” — when it is inherently anti-equality.

She Knows Better, Shame on Her

Monday, April 14th, 2008

So says He Whose Middle Name Must Not Be Used.

The criticism over Obama’s alleged elitism started with some remarks he made during a San Francisco fund raiser. Obama said that the working class people are “bitter” about the economic situation they are dealing with right now and their “cling to guns and religion”-reaction is not a surprising result.

The 46-year-old senator said he regrets some of his comments, but underlined that they had been twisted and mischaracterized by his rivals.

“I didn’t say it as well as I should have,” he explained.

It’s that new donk formula…an ounce of what might be called genuine contrition, followed by a half-ton or more of righteous, fiery condemnation in the mold of accuse-the-accuser.

“She knows better. Shame on her. Shame on her,” were Obama’s most striking words about the New York Senator who attacked him over some remarks about the citizens of the small town of Pennsylvania.

During the union rally speech in the Harrisburg suburb of Steelton, Obama said he was very surprised to hear Clinton attack him over the fact that he is elitist and argued that she has no right to make such remarks considering her past.

“This is the same person who took money from financial folks on Wall Street and then voted for a bankruptcy bill that makes it harder for folks right here in Pennsylvania to get a fair shake,” Obama said.

“Who do you think is out of touch?” he added.

You know, it occurs to me: A character deficit resulting in repeated failure to admit that one has pissed in one’s own boot, is exactly the stereotype Hussein Obama’s party has been leveling at President George W. Bush…for oh, six or seven years now…without much of a break.

If a Republican tried this ounce-of-contrition, truckload-of-condemnation stuff after having genuinely mucked things up — if he did that at high noon, you know by 12:01 the news would come out that Republican X Can’t Admit He Made a Mistake.

One has to wonder how desperately the donk ship would list in the water after been rocked by the broadside assault of the media handling this the same way. Can you imagine Hussein Obama being treated like a Republican here. Can you just imagine…

…why, it would have to involve a panel of psychologists appearing on one of those Sunday afternoon newsmag programs on cable. Uh, well, it is my professional opinion, that, uh…Senator Obama shows the classic symptoms of…

You know what it would look like. It would look like a re-hash of this:

It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush’s speeches that I began to wonder. First there were the terms– “crusade” and “infinite justice” that were later withdrawn. Next came “evil doers,” “axis of evil,” and “regime change”, terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media. Something about the polarized thinking and the obsessive repetition reminded me of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated. (A point worth noting is that because of the connection between addiction and “stinking thinking,” relapse prevention usually consists of work in the cognitive area). Having worked with recovering alcoholics for years, I flinched at the single-mindedness and ego- and ethnocentricity in the President’s speeches.

The donks “fight back.” Republicans “can’t admit they made a mistake.”

Makes perfect sense…to those who think we can solve the terrorist problem with universal healthcare and solar power.

Tolerance and Intolerance II

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Once again it is shown: Tolerance and intolerance are mutually-exclusive things. It is an act of intolerance, to tolerate intolerance.

Let all who doubt that, feast their eyes:

This morning, my son asked to go swimming at 10 am. As he was going to play with a friend at 11.30, I agreed to take him early. I checked the pool programme online… and the opening times. Apparently, the pool was open, and no special programmes were being run. So, off we trundled. When I arrived at the pool, I was told that we could not swim in it until 10.45. The reason is that it was being used for ‘Muslim Male Swimming’. This is apparently so every Sunday morning. I couldn’t quite believe that a swimming pool was really institutionalising both gender and religious segregation… Apparently, this is a policy insisted on by Hackney Council, which sets the policy for all Hackney pools.

Or, as I said at the early part of last year:

Whenever someone in a position of authority uses those four words in sequence, “aimed at promoting tolerance,” something that had previously been tolerated, no longer will be, and it is soon to be subjected to intolerance.

Bad Stuff About Warman

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

A couple days ago I had directed the following comments toward Richard Warman, or more precisely, his Wikipedia page:

His Wikipedia page contains four major categories as of this writing: Legal activism; Canadian human rights tribunal; Political activism; References. Who is he? The wonderful glittering text in the main article informs us…

He is best known for initiating complaints against white supremacists and neo-Nazis for Canadian Human Rights Act violations related to Internet content. In June 2007, Warman received the Saul Hayes Human Rights Award from the Canadian Jewish Congress for “distinguished service to the cause of human rights”. He holds a BA (Hons.) in Drama from Queen’s University, an LLB from the University of Windsor, and an LLM from McGill University.

He’s a Nazi hunter! Wow, what a great guy! And he’s got letters after his name and everything.
…wouldn’t you want to know some of the less flattering things about Mr. Warman? Especially if you’re sufficiently interested in him to go look up the Wikipedia entry about him? Well, it turns out at least some of the Wikipedia admins don’t seem to think so. They think you should only know the flowery parts. Or at least, they’ve so far come up with some wonderful excuses for excising anything else from the article.

Now, I don’t know if the Wiki admin in question is a Warman “fan,” per se, or if he’s simply scared that Wikipedia will face undesirable repercussions should it act as a repository for unflattering items about he who is demonstrably a hyper-litigation minded individual. But I do know this: I have never, in all the time I’ve been acquainted with Wikipedia, seen an article on a more controversial personality that made it so far without being pockmarked by so much as a “Criticism” section.

Well, it’s two days later. Guess who has a Criticism section now?

Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn states that Warman abuses the intent of the Canadian Human Rights Act by personally appearing as the plaintiff about half of section 13 “hate speech” cases in the history of CHRA, and all of such cases since 2002.

Publisher and columnist Ezra Levant argues that Warman’s actions as plaintiff before the Canadian Human Rights Commissions are tantamount to censorship in the name of human rights. In response, Warman sued Levant for defamation.

Charlie Gillis of MacLean’s magazine asserts: “Richard Warman says he’s fighting hate. Critics say free speech is the real victim.”

It really shouldn’t have gone this far, though. I find it ironic — if there’s any one individual in all of its pages, who stands opposed to the way Wikipedia is supposed to work, that one individual would have to be Richard Warman. I mean look at that second paragraph again — Levant brings up, y’know, these lawsuits on behalf of “human rights” amount to censorship in the name of human rights. What does Warman do? Does he engage in vibrant, spirited debate to the effect of “Nuh-huh!” Or “You wouldn’t be saying that if your human rights were the ones being defended”? Or “Sometimes the greater good must prevail” or some such?

Nope. He just goes and sues him.

And one editor, or a plurality of editors, ends up slipping on his own fecal matter scrubbing the “Richard Warman” article sparkly clean of anything that might hurt Poor Richard’s feelings. And who can blame said editor for at least having the impulse? This guy, apparently, sues for a living. And so the great Wikipedia contradicts its own policy:

Wikipedia is not censored

Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive. Anyone reading Wikipedia can edit an article and the changes are displayed instantaneously without any checking to ensure appropriateness, so Wikipedia cannot guarantee that articles or images are tasteful to all users or adhere to specific social or religious norms or requirements.

While obviously inappropriate content (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site) is usually removed immediately, or content that is judged to violate Wikipedia’s biographies of living persons policy can be removed, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links if they are relevant to the content (such as the articles about the penis and pornography) and do not violate any of our existing policies (especially neutral point of view), nor the law of the U.S. state of Florida, where Wikipedia’s servers are hosted.

This is the trouble with thought policing. It is inherently non-egalitarian, because, as Mark Steyn has pointed out, Section 13 of the CHRA has ended up being Richard Warman’s personal law. Here’s an online encyclopedia well beyond the “Maple Curtain,” down in Florida, and they’ve been worried sick about offending this one guy up north. Seriously. After “Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive,” you may as well have stuck in the four words “except to Richard Warman.”

But I’m delighted to see that the dam has been broken, and there’s finally three paragraphs of less-than-pleasing stuff about this guy. Couldn’t happen to a nicer fella.

And the version log says it happened just yesterday. Heh heh. All tremble in fear of The Blog That Nobody Reads.

Et Tu, Daniel?

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

CraigDaniel Craig, the sixth and latest actor to play James Bond on the big screen, on what exactly he’d like to see happen during the superspy’s next mission:

‘James Bond’ star Daniel Craig has put the superspy’s womanising image in doubt – after admitting he would love 007 to have a same-sex fling.
He says: “Why not? I think in this day and age, fans would have accepted it. No one would bat an eyelid.”

This ignited something of a debate on the innernets about whether Mr. Craig was joking or not. I was pretty emphatic about the idea that he was…until I came across this bit out of something called “Hollywood Snark” from a year and a half ago, when Casino Royale had just come out.

In the follow-up of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig is trying to convince producers to include a gay sex scene between Bond and another man. He has also confessed he is completely prepared to film a full-frontal nude scene to please both his male and female admirers.

“Why not? I think in this day and age, fans would have accepted it,” Craig told IOL. “I mean, look at Doctor Who – that has had gay scenes in it and no one blinks an eye.”

We’re not so sure the execs would dig the idea too much. Last time they tried to change the formula it ended with Bond getting married and the critically agreed worst entry in the series ever (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1969). That said, HollywoodSnark is 100% behind the idea.

How very fashionable of Hollywood Snark. But while a glossy Internet-zine might be expected to champion the partial destruction of what might arguably be the last enduring icon of rugged male heterosexuality on the big screen, you should be forgiven for expecting something different from the guy who plays James Bond 007. What do we make of Mr. Craig here. He seems to have an obsession not only with double-oh-seven getting it on with guys, but also with eyelids batting.

Daniel, this may be too much for a blunt instrument to understand. But speaking as a straight dude who is decidedly not curious about the other side, and we’ll leave unexplored the question of whether you are my peer in that classification…there are reasons for my lack of curiosity. Like, fr’instance, I’m quite happy where I am.

There are all kinds of attributes that define the character of James Bond, and make him interesting to us. That, right there, might just be the most crucial one. He’s happy where he is. He’s conflicted about his job, and whichever woman happens to be sharing his bed at any given night. One even gets the impression when the latest Big Bad delivers the “you and I are not so much different, Mister Bond” that Bond finds this disturbingly plausible. And of course, the car he drives that is so flashy and new now, will be last year’s model and up for replacement shortly…assuming he hasn’t wrecked it somehow. There are very few constants in the man’s life.

But if he’s around in ten or twenty or thirty years, martinis will still be martinis and women will still be women. Those are the constants of the character you’re playing, and I think you had better get into it.

Do Not WantMy goodness, I’d love to see a shrink write up a thorough report on this youngster’s head and what is floating around in it. What inspires such drivel? Let’s say it comes to pass — James Bond sleeps with a dude. Ian Fleming’s creation is transformed into a mockery of its former self…homosexuality, as a postmodern culture, looks pretty ridiculous as well. What’s the up-side? Who benefits? Why does he want this? Does it turn him on, or is he trying to send some kind of a message? If he’s trying to send a message, why doesn’t he just come out and say it?

What if a brand new character was cooked up, who was a gay spy? What if they spun him off the Classic Bond character, like they tried to do with that silly woman Jinx a few years ago, and Wai Lin before her? Without having the more orthodox spy sleep with him. Like…the straight spy and the gay spy could do the “hey, we’re working on the same case” thing in Act II…gay spy could proposition straight spy, and get turned down…they’d go on to save the world and then gay spy could have his own franchise. If he could keep it afloat. Would that appeal to Mr. Craig, or has my idea already lost his interest?

No, I have to entertain the idea that perhaps this won’t work for what he has in mind. I’m thinking the compromise and consequent partial abrogation of the timeless character, which is what I find so odious, is exactly what he desires. That’s why, presuming he’s serious, I’d like to see it psychologized. It strikes me as a primitive self-loathing impulse to have the last idol of heterosexuality torn down.

So far as I know, the audience isn’t asking for it. I’m sure as hell not. Hollywood isn’t…and that’s saying something. What up, Dan-o? We straight dudes have this one thing…this one bit of fiction that inspires us and our sons to feel good about being real men. Sure we got Die Hard and Indiana Jones; both those are on their fourth installments, which are obviously swan songs. So we’re kind of counting on you, here. Can’t we keep the one thing we have left? Huh? Pretty please? Huh?

Really, you need to go off somewhere and think about your future. Because these bastards want your head, and I’m seriously considering feeding you to them. And don’t ever break into my house again.

I Made a New Word XV

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

bo∙lus∙te∙mo∙lo∙gy (n.)

A portmanteau of e·pis·te·mol·o·gy:

…a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. The term was introduced into English by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864).

…and bo∙lus

A soft, roundish mass or lump, esp. of chewed food.

Bolustemology, therefore, describes a system of intelligences and beliefs that cannot be justified or proven by any means intrinsic to the consciousness that maintains such things, because they have been pre-chewed and/or pre-digested by someone else. Bolustemology is soft and squishy intellectual matter, warm, wet, smelling of halitosis, more than likely infected with something. When you offer it to someone, you may be offering to put forth the effort they themselves cannot sustain, so that they can be nourished. But it’s far more likely that you’re engaging in an exercise to make them feel fed, without doing the necessary chewing…because you don’t want them to.

Very few among us will ‘fess up to consuming bolustemology, so infatuated are we with the fantasy of thinking for ourselves about everything. But at the same time very few among us can speak to the issue because most of us have not bothered to become bolus-aware. This is demonstrated easily. Last month, for example, Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama was forced by the inflammatory words of his bigoted pastor and spiritual mentor, to speak to the issue of racial disharmony. And so, swaggering to the podium as if it was his idea to do this, he droned on in that Bill-Clinton-like crowd-pleasing way of his for a few minutes, after which we were offered prime tidbits of bolus such as

Obama speech opens up race dialogue
Will it stand alongside the great speeches in US history?

Several students of political rhetoric suggest Senator Obama’s moving speech in Philadelphia Tuesday could stand with some of the great speeches in American history.

True, say some, the Democratic presidential candidate was forced into giving a speech that would explain his relationship to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the outspoken minister of Obama’s church, known for some antiwhite and anti-American sermons.

While argument continues over whether Obama’s explanation was sufficient, his speech did seem to achieve this: It has sparked a conversation about race relations, one of the frankest Americans have had since the civil rights era.


The Obama speech was also a topic of discussion on Wednesday at the Washington office of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy and social welfare group. Hispanics can be white, black or of mixed race. “The cynics are going to say this was an effort only to deal with the Reverend Wright issue and move on,” said Janet Murguia, president of La Raza, referring to the political fallout over remarks by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., which prompted Mr. Obama to deliver the speech.

But Ms. Murguia said she hoped that Mr. Obama’s speech would help “create a safe space to talk about this, where people aren’t threatened or pigeonholed” and “can talk more openly and honestly about the tensions, both overt and as an undercurrent, that exist around race and racial politics.”

If there are any facts to back up this conclusion that the Obama speech stands alongside the great speeches of U.S. history…that it opens up a “race dialog”…that it creates a safe space to talk about this, where people aren’t threatened or pigeonholed…or where they can talk more openly and honestly about the tensions that exist around racial politics…such factual foundation is missing from the stories I’ve linked, altogether, and it’s missing from every single other item of discussion about this speech. The facts simply don’t back up any of this. Nor can they, because this is all a bunch of stuff that would be judged by each person hearing the speech. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. And the ivory-tower types writing about it in such sugary tones know nothing about this, nor can they.

No, the factual foundation says the “cynics” are quite correct. Obama’s speech “was an effort only to deal with the Reverend Wright issue and move on.” In fact, you don’t need any cynicism to conclude that. All you need to have is a decent and functional short-term memory.

But our High Priests of journalism, rushing to the press with their editorials built to be printed up in the wrong sections of the respective papers, weren’t interested in factual foundations, logical conclusions, et al. Nope, that’s all out of scope. They were all about bolustemology. About pre-chewing the food for others. About bludgeoning and cudgeling. About giving total strangers instructions about what to believe.

Obama may very well have given his speech in service of purely altruistic and idealistic motives. In doing so, he may very well have accomplished his stated goal of “opening up a national dialog” or some such…created a sounding board of safety for those who otherwise would have felt threatened participating in such an exchange. All those things could, in theory, be true. But all who desire to think independently for themselves, or at least to be thought of by others as capable of doing this, should be offended at the manner in which these cognitions were being handed to them. Valid cognitions have no need for pre-chewing. Each thinking recipient can figure it out for himself or herself. Yet, here, the pre-chewing was rampant.

I have some less subtle examples of the same thing in mind, in case the race-dialog item fails to illustrate the point properly. Michael Ronayne, about whom we learn via Gerard, distills the latest eco-bullying episode for us quite elegantly:

For the background, you can turn to JunkScience, which has a decent write-up including the e-mail exchange between a BBC reporter and a climate-change activist, reproduced in entirety here:

I have been emailed the following correspondence, purportedly between an activist, Jo Abbess, and BBC Environment reporter Roger Harrabin. It would appear that the result of the email exchange between the activist and the reporter was that the BBC changed its story. In particular instead of reporting the story as received from the World Meteorological Organisation, the BBC modified the story as demanded by the activist who was concerned that in its original form it supported ‘the skeptics’ correct observation that there has been no warming since 1998.

From Jo, April 4, 2008

Climate Changers,

Remember to challenge any piece of media that seems like it’s been subject to spin or scepticism.

Here’s my go for today. The BBC actually changed an article I requested a correction for, but I’m not really sure if the result is that much better.

Judge for yourselves…

from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:12 AM
subject Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

Dear Roger,

Please can you correct your piece published today entitled “Global
temperatures ‘to decrease’” :-

1. “A minority of scientists question whether this means global
warming has peaked”
This is incorrect. Several networks exist that question whether global
warming has peaked, but they contain very few actual scientists, and
the scientists that they do contain are not climate scientists so have
no expertise in this area.

2. “Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007”
You should not mislead people into thinking that the sum total of the
Earth system is going to be cooler in 2008 than 2007. For example, the
ocean systems of temperature do not change in yearly timescales, and
are massive heat sinks that have shown gradual and continual warming.
It is only near-surface air temperatures that will be affected by La
Nina, plus a bit of the lower atmosphere.

Thank you for applying your attention to all the facts and figures available,



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

Dear Jo

No correction is needed

If the secy-gen of the WMO tells me that global temperatures will
decrease, that’s what we will report

There are scientists who question whether warming will continue as
projected by IPCC

Best wishes


from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:37 AM
subject Re: Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

Hi Roger,

I will forward your comments (unless you object) to some people who
may wish to add to your knowledge.

Would you be willing to publish information that expands on your
original position, and which would give a better, clearer picture of
what is going on ?

Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands
of the sceptics/skeptics who continually promote the idea that “global
warming finished in 1998”, when that is so patently not true.

I have to spend a lot of my time countering their various myths and
non-arguments, saying, no, go look at the Hadley Centre data. Global
Warming is not over. There have been what look like troughs and
plateaus/x before. It didn’t stop then. It’s not stopping now.

It is true that people are debating Climate Sensitivity, how much
exactly the Earth will respond to radiative forcing, but nobody is
seriously refuting that increasing Greenhouse Gases cause increased
global temperatures.

I think it’s counterproductive to even hint that the Earth is cooling
down again, when the sum total of the data tells you the opposite.

As time goes by, the infant science of climatology improves. The Earth
has never experienced the kind of chemical adjustment in the
atmosphere we see now, so it is hard to tell exactly what will happen
based on historical science.

However, the broad sweep is : added GHG means added warming.

Please do not do a disservice to your readership by leaving the door
open to doubt about that.



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

The article makes all these points quite clear

We can’t ignore the fact that sceptics have jumped on the lack of
increase since 1998. It is appearing reguarly now in general media

Best to tackle this – and explain it, which is what we have done

Or people feel like debate is being censored which makes them v



from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM
subject Re: Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

Hi Roger,

When you are on the Tube in London, I expect that occasionally you
glance a headline as sometime turns the page, and you thinkg “Really
?” or “Wow !”

You don’t read the whole article, you just get the headline.

A lot of people will read the first few paragraphs of what you say,
and not read the rest, and (a) Dismiss your writing as it seems you
have been manipulated by the sceptics or (b) Jump on it with glee and
e-mail their mates and say “See ! Global Warming has stopped !”

They only got the headline, which is why it is so utterly essentialy
to give the full picture, or as full as you can in the first few

The near-Earth surface temperatures may be cooler in 2008 that they
were in 2007, but there is no way that Global Warming has stopped, or
has even gone into reverse. The oceans have been warming consistently,
for example, and we’re not seeing temperatures go into reverse, in
general, anywhere.

Your word “debate”. This is not an issue of “debate”. This is an issue
of emerging truth. I don’t think you should worry about whether people
feel they are countering some kind of conspiracy, or suspicious that
the full extent of the truth is being withheld from them.

Every day more information is added to the stack showing the desperate
plight of the planet.

It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics. Their voice is
heard everywhere, on every channel. They are deliberately obstructing
the emergence of the truth.

I would ask : please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.

Otherwise, I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently
educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically
manipulated. And that would make you an unreliable reporter.

I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution,
unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your
comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to
happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be
said that you have had your head turned by the sceptics.




from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:28 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’”

Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier

We have changed headline and more

Remember: Challenge any skepticism.

Now look at that graphic up there carefully: Blue is the old stuff, green is the post-capitulation, post-bend-over, post-take-it-up-the-chute-from-Ms.-Abbess stuff. And then read the nagging again…carefully. Jo Abbess doesn’t take issue with the facts presented, for she can’t — they’re facts. Facts iz facts. She objects to the conclusions people may draw from them, and nags this guy until he changes the presentation to her liking, so people will draw a conclusion more in line with what she expects. She’s trying to sell something here. Challenge any skepticism.

There are other examples around, if you simply take the effort to become bolus-aware and look around. There is, for example, the sad tale of Richard Warman. His Wikipedia page contains four major categories as of this writing: Legal activism; Canadian human rights tribunal; Political activism; References. Who is he? The wonderful glittering text in the main article informs us…

He is best known for initiating complaints against white supremacists and neo-Nazis for Canadian Human Rights Act violations related to Internet content. In June 2007, Warman received the Saul Hayes Human Rights Award from the Canadian Jewish Congress for “distinguished service to the cause of human rights”. He holds a BA (Hons.) in Drama from Queen’s University, an LLB from the University of Windsor, and an LLM from McGill University.

He’s a Nazi hunter! Wow, what a great guy! And he’s got letters after his name and everything.

But a quick visit to the “Talk” page reveals some intriguing conflict:

You removed what I believe were valid entries in support of the of criticism of Richard Warman.

You claim that the entries are not “encyclopedic”. Please explain what you mean, provide an example, and a Wikipedia reference in support of your position. Note also that one of the references was to another article in Wikipedia.

I am going to assume for the moment that you are acting in good faith, and will not censor valid criticism. Then there should not be too much difficulty in finding criticism of which you approve, since Richard Warman’s complaints before the CHRC are currently one of the most widely discussed topics on Canadian blogs. I provided just two references, whereas there are hundreds of others.

The entries you removed are:

Critics have charged that Warman abuses the intent of the Canadian Human Rights Act by personally appearing as the plaintiff in the majority of CHRA section 13 “hate speech” cases which have been brought before the Commission, a former employer of Warman. – – Critics further charge that many CHRC “hate speech” complaints such as Warman’s have had a chilling effect on the human right to freedom of expression.

I look forward to your prompt, reasoned response. Thank you.

Another piqued Wiki contributor writes in with an inflammatory sub-headline:

Bias in article maintenance and corrupt admins

This article is being maintained by politically motivated individuals trying to protect the information from being changed at all costs by removing any reference to well-sourced articles that don’t shed good light on this individual. These same individuals and admins have engaged in slander in other articles

What are these unflattering tidbits about Mr. Warman? Well, it seems lately he is in conflict with Ezra Levant, having served papers on the publisher. Levant paints a different picture of the former Human Rights Commission lawyer:

Today I was sued by Richard Warman, Canada’s most prolific – and profitable – user of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. As readers of this site know, Warman isn’t just a happy customer of section 13 and its 100% conviction rate, he’s a former CHRC employee, an investigator of section 13 thought crimes himself. In fact, he was often both a customer and an investigator at the same time.
It’s impossible to criticize section 13 without criticizing Warman, because without Warman, section 13 would have been defunct years ago – almost no-one else in this country of 33 million people uses it. I’d call it “Warman’s Law”, but I’ve already given that title to another law enacted because of Warman. Warman’s Law is a law brought in by the B.C. government specifically to protect libraries from Warman’s nuisance defamation suits. (We should find some way to set up a Warman’s law to protect universities from Warman, too.)
The more I learn about Warman, the more I write about him. And, like the CHRC, he hates public exposure. Earlier this year, Warman’s lawyer served me with a lengthy Libel Notice, which I posted to my website here, with my commentary on it here.

Again — you may read all of the above and end up still a big, slobbering fan of Richard Warman. You may decide to dismiss all of the reservations people like Levant have against him…which might be fair, since Levant is a defendant and Warman is a petitioner. You should expect that inviting Levant and Warman to dinner on the same night and seating them next to each other, would be a plan deserving of a re-think or two.

But…wouldn’t you want to know some of the less flattering things about Mr. Warman? Especially if you’re sufficiently interested in him to go look up the Wikipedia entry about him? Well, it turns out at least some of the Wikipedia admins don’t seem to think so. They think you should only know the flowery parts. Or at least, they’ve so far come up with some wonderful excuses for excising anything else from the article.

Hell, I’d sure want to know about this:

* Complaints filed to CHRC: 26
* Former employee and investigator at the Canadian Human Rights Commission
* In December 2006, the Law Society shows he works for the Department of National Defence
* Education: degree in Drama from Queens University
* Member: Law Society of Upper Canada and EGALE Canada
* Gave a Keynote speech to the Violent Anti-Racist Action
* Warman is a frequent poster on “Neo-Nazi” Stormfront website
* Warman is a frequent poster on “Neo-Nazi” VNN website.
* Pretends to be a woman named “Lucie”
* Has signed his posts with “88” (according to Warman means: Heil Hitler)
* Has called Senator Anne Cools a “nigger” and a “c*nt” on the internet

And I’d want to know what Mark Steyn had to say yesterday:

He has been the plaintiff on half the Section 13 cases in its entire history and on all the Section 13 cases since 2002. There are 30 million Canadians yet only one of them uses this law, over and over and over again, which tells you how otherwise irrelevant it is to keeping the Queen’s peace. Section 13 is, in effect, Warman’s Law and the CHRC is Warman’s personal inquisition and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is Warman’s very own kangaroo court. Whether or not the motivations were pure and pristine when this racket got started, at some point his pals at the CHRC and the “judges” of the CHRT should have realized that the Warmanization of Section 13 doesn’t pass the smell test: Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done, and when you see what’s done at the CHRC you understand it’s a cosy and self-perpetuating romance between a corrupt bureaucracy and its favoured son.

But the over-zealous Wiki editor(s) says no. They’re taking the Soup Nazi approach with these nuggets of unflattering information about Mr. Warman. Not-a For You!

Lying by omission — that’s a perfectly good example of bolustemology.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Matthew LaClure. He’s just like Richard Warman, it seems…standing for our rights, in his satin tights, and the old red white and blue-hoo-hoo-hoo…

Matthew LaClair, of Kearny, NJ, stood up for religious freedom and the separation of church and state in the face of ridicule and opposition. During his junior year in high school, Matthew had a history teacher who promoted creationism and other personal religious beliefs in the classroom. When Matthew confronted the teacher and asked the school officials to address this, he became the target of harassment and even a death threat from fellow students. Despite this opposition, Matthew worked with the ACLU of New Jersey to make sure that the First Amendment is respected and upheld at his high school. Matthew won the battle at his school and thanks in large part to his advocacy, the Student Education Assembly on Religious Freedom was created at his high school so that all members of the school community will understand their rights and responsibilities.

There follows an essay from the young LaClair about what he did, what happened to him as a result, and how it changed him. I suppose it might be encouraging to some who share his and the ACLU’s values, such as they are…but regardless, you have to notice the phrase “civil liberties” is peppered throughout, with negligible definition about what exactly this two-word cliche is supposed to mean.

I hope that what I did encourages others to stand up for civil liberties. I want to take what I have learned from this situation and apply it to other situations I will experience in my life. I now have a greater chance of making a bigger difference in the world, and I think that the experience will serve to expand my abilities further.

To figure out what “civil liberties” he’s droning on about, you have to consider what exactly it was that he did. And what he did was…start mouthing off at teachers when he was asked to stand for the pledge of allegiance. So the civil liberties in question would be…uh…the civil liberty to sit there while everybody else stands. Well, gosh, it turns out to the extent kids have that civil liberty post-LaClair, they had it before he ever came along. How about the civil liberty of doing that without some strutting martinet getting in their faces about it? Well, no change there either.

In the final analysis, the ACLU is making their apotheosis because Master LaClair mouthed off like a little brat. Any fantasy involving any more nobility than that, is bolustemology and nothing more.

But what’s he done for us lately, you might be asking? Glad you asked. Matthew LaClair, who has no axe to grind here, nosiree, has again impressed certain segments of the halfway-grown-up community by making a big ol’ racket about…exactly the same kind of stuff as last time.

Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raised questions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, and legal scholars and top scientists say the teen’s criticism is well-founded.

They say “American Government” by conservatives James Wilson and John Dilulio presents a skewed view of topics from global warming to separation of church and state. The publisher now says it will review the book, as will the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.

Matthew LaClair of Kearny, N.J., recently brought his concerns to the attention of the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst, N.Y., think tank that promotes science and which has issued a scathing report about the textbook.

“I just realized from my own knowledge that some of this stuff in the book is just plain wrong,” said LaClair, who is using the book as part of an AP government class at Kearny High School.

Yyyyyyeah. Uh huh. Just kind of blundered into that one, huh? Kinda like Murder She Wrote…have to wonder what dead body you’re going to find next week.

Just plain wrong. How interesting. Especially when one takes the trouble to actually read the report from the Center for Inquiry.

Unlike Matt LaClair, I’ll encourage you to do so. But just in the interest of saving time, the report boldly confronts six distinct areas of “just plain wrong” ness: global warming; school prayer; same sex marriage; constitutional government and “original sin”; the meaning of the Establishment Clause; and the significance of the Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari.

Of those six, the fourth and last are the two items that represent, in my mind, what you might call “a real stretch.” The CFI takes issue, there, with small snippets of the textbook in question, and reads meaning into them so that the whistle can be blown. For their criticisms to stand, a certain interpretation has to be applied to these snippets. The fifth objection is probably the most durable because it’s clear to me it is the best-researched. But here, too, the phrase “last minute” has to be given a literal interpretation (in the context of the time frame in which the First Amendment was ratified in the late eighteenth century) — so it can be properly debunked. So with all of the final three of the subjects, the authors of the textbook under review could respond to the CFI solidly and plausibly by simply saying “that isn’t what we meant.”

But it’s with the first item that my interest was really aroused:

The textbook‘s discussion of the science of global warming is devastatingly inaccurate. As explained below, the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence establishes that global climate change caused by global warming is already underway and requires immediate attention. The international scientific community is united in recognizing the extremely high probability that human generated greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide as the major offender, are the primary cause of global warming and that this global warming will produce harmful climate change.

And much later…

In brief, debate within the scientific community over the existence and cause of global warming has closed. The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring and that human generated greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide as the major offender, are the primary cause of well documented global warming and climate change today. These conclusions are detailed in the landmark 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific body organized to evaluate the scientific evidence for human-induced climate change.

Have you got any red flags raised when you read hackneyed phrases like “overwhelming weight”? If so, maybe you’re on the road to becoming bolus-aware. If not, then maybe you aren’t. Perhaps all six of the objections are legitimate, meritorious, and productive. But it’s easy to see the CFI report seeks — not to inform, but — to bully. To intimidate. To coerce. To get the whole world running the way certain people want it to…and since Matt LaClair is one of ’em, naturally he thinks they’re wonderful and vice-versa. None of this changes the fact that this is all pre-chewed pablum.

Notice — none of these observations have to do with truth. They have to do with who is recognizing it…and the subservient role others are invited to fill, as they are beckoned to slavishly follow along. The only other important thing to remember about this is that once one person is caught up in the undertow, he’ll piss rusty nickels to get everyone else sucked down with him. People who suck down bolus, don’t want to see anyone else do any chewing.

Oh, but I do have one thing to point out that deals directly with truth: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not a scientific body, it is a political one.

The common perception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one of an impartial organisation that thoroughly reviews the state of climate science and produces reports which are clear, accurate, comprehensive, well substantiated and without bias.

One only needs examine some of its procedural documents, its reports and its dealings with reviewers of the report drafts to discover how wrong this impression is.

The IPCC is not and never has been an organisation that examines all aspects of climate change in a neutral and impartial manner. Its internal procedures reinforce that bias; it makes no attempts to clarify its misleading and ambiguous statements. It is very selective about the material included in its reports; its fundamental claims lack evidence. And most importantly, its actions have skewed the entire field of climate science.

As the saying goes, I’m much more concerned about the intellectual climate. Happy reading.

Class dismissed.

Update 4/11/08: You know, it occurs to me that even with all the examples above of strangers figuring things out for us and telling us what to think, not even handing us the glimmer of factual foundation so we could at least go through the motions of coming to the conclusions they want from us on our own…and with all the other examples we continue to be handed on a daily basis — Iraq is a quagmire, Boy Scouts is a hate group, etc. etc. — for some among us, the point still might not yet be pounded home. When you aren’t bolus-aware, you are very easily convinced of some things, but it’s an endless chore to bring your attention to certain other things.

It further occurs to me that it doesn’t need to be this complicated. Not even close.

We have three clear front-runners for the President of the United States in ’08, one Republican and two donks. Can there possibly be any example of our societal gullibility, than what follows. The one Republican is, by far, the most liberal left-wing Republican in the entire Senate. The two donks are, against all odds, the most liberal left-wing donks in the entire Senate.

If what I have used all those paragraphs to describe, above, is not an epidemic covering all the mass between the great oceans, lately reaching “I Am Legend” proportions and intensity…you would be forced to conclude that that is just a cohweenkadeenk. The odds? My calculator says one in 124,950.

Obama Billionaires

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

From Zombietime:

On April 6, 2008, Barack Obama visited the San Francisco region, zipping from event to event all day long, from one end of the Bay Area to the other.

What? you might ask. How did I miss that? If only I had known, I would have gone to see him.

Well, there’s a reason you didn’t know about it. Obama didn’t want you to know about it. Because the events he was attending weren’t for people like you.

They were for people with lots and lots of money, who use that money to gain access and influence with politicians — especially politicians who might become president.

So although the San Francisco Bay Area is probably the most pro-Obama section of the entire country, with Obama signs and stickers visible everywhere you turn, when Obama himself actually visited his electoral home base, he ignored the hoi polloi — all the little people who swoon over him — and instead, he spent the entire day with the rich.

Heh heh. Hope, change, hope, change, hope, change…the latest charismatic young Robin Hood campaigns on his message of hope-change, while hob-nobbin’ with the big boys just like any spoiled little rich old white Republican. Oh yeah, you riff raff, he really feels your pain.

H/T: FrankJ.

Teens Who Hate America

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Pam Meister’s column receives a well-deserved spot on the Pajamas Media front page.

What truly irks me about the attitudes of these teens is that most of them probably don’t have many major worries. We live in a well-to-do town in blue-state New England, where the median income is over $90,000 and the median price for a home is well over $400,000. The cars in the student parking lot at the high school consist of mainly BMWs, Volvos, SUVs, and other pricey models, with just a few old clunkers scattered about.

As for war, the draft has been out of commission since well before the nation’s current crop of high school students were even born, so it’s not likely they’ll have to worry about making any personal sacrifices for their country anytime soon.

Given their living conditions, what the heck do they have to complain about besides the usual teen angst that we’ve all experienced and managed to survive?

My daughter may not want to know why these kids might hate their own country, but I can make a pretty good guess. Think about it: what would you believe if you were raised on a steady diet about the failings of the dullard in the White House (who was nevertheless crafty enough to “steal” the 2000 election); about our “reduced standing” in the world since he took office; how capitalism is causing the earth to go up in a jolly blaze of global warming; how we are a nation of evil “haves” and powerless “have nots”; how our foreign policy is to blame for 9/11 and the Middle East considering America to be the “Great Satan”; and how the majority of Americans are a bunch of bigots and racists? Add to that the constant barrage of anti-war and anti-America rhetoric from groups like Code Pink and World Can’t Wait, and the complicity in these sentiments by the mainstream media and the entertainment industry — what would you think? After all, if the likes of Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Susan Sarandon, and the brain trust on The View say it’s so, why would a teenager argue?

Yeah, I grew up during the chapter in which it was cool for Fonzie to, literally, jump a shark. And so it brings me no pleasure to comment that the teen scene on political events has slid downward since then…but it has…morphing from a dialog into a monologue.

Back then, if the subject of international politics did indeed come up, and it was an entirely rare thing…kid A would say his dad hates Ford, and kid B would say his dad hates Carter. And that would pretty much be it. “My dad says if Ford is re-elected he’s going to fly over and bomb Russia and start World War III.” Not very deep thinking by any stretch. But still a dialog.

Now, it seems if kids are congregating and the political monster rears its ugly head, it’s an occasion for some obligatory snippet about George Bush and what a colossal dope he is. Then they move on.

I suppose every generation in all of human history has looked at generations coming up later, and prognosticated some doom and gloom as the world is inherited by the newer set. We’re still here, so it can’t be as scary as it looks. But it always makes me a little sad when people go through the motions of thinking things out, convincing themselves that they have somehow done so, after skillfully avoiding anything coming closer to rational thought than that which is engaged by your average car alarm. You say “Bush,” I say “idiot,” and according to contemporary standards we are now fit to join the ranks of ageless philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle. And don’t forget the ply the ritual hatred onto the good ol’ USA, which has “squandered” the “goodwill” of its “allies.”

Maybe there’s something to all these rituals I’m not seeing. I hope so. Back in my day, we might have kept watching after Bo and Luke Duke jumped over grain silos, but at least we went through the motions of exchanging ideas.

You can find more of Pam’s work here and here.

Who’s “Right”?

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Neal Boortz makes a point in only two hundred words. Maybe that’s still too long for some of the whiners who manage to trip across The Blog That Nobody Reads…and bitch away about my stuff being too long…

But if 200 words is beyond the capacity, I’d have to say that says more about them than it does about Neal.

It’s tough to “tease” something as short as 200 words. My best effort is…

Your “right to health care” would require some other person to give up a portion of their life or their property to either treat you or to provide you with drugs or medical implements. The Constitution does not provide for another individual to be indentured to you in this manner.

Therefore, you have no “right” to health care.

Deal with it.

Update: It should be noted that socialized health care has made the list of Stuff White People Like:

…it’s important that you understand why white people are so in love with free health care. The first and most obvious reason is “they have it Europe.” White people love all things European, this especially true of things that are unavailable in the United States (Rare Beers, Absinthe, legal marijuana, prostitution, soccer). The fact that it’s available in Canada isn’t really that impressive, but it does contribute to their willingness to threaten to move there.
But the secret reason why all white people love socialized medicine is that they all love the idea of receiving health care without having a full-time job. This would allow them to work as a freelance designer/consultant/copywriter/photographer/blogger, open their own bookstore, stay at home with their kids, or be a part of an Internet start-up without having to worry about a benefits package. Though many of them would never follow this path, they appreciate having the option.
Though their passion for national health care runs deep, it is important to remember that white people are most in favor of it when they are healthy. They love the idea of everyone have equal access to the resources that will keep them alive, that is until they have to wait in line for an MRI.

He Threw It All Away

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Via Gerard

Farewell, Mister Heston

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Charlton HestonCharlton Heston is dead.

He was 84, his family said. He had been battling Alzheimer’s disease for years.

In a statement, Heston’s family acknowledged that their patriarch was viewed as larger than life and maintained that, offscreen, he was no less imposing.

“We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor,” the statement said. “He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved.”

In all, Heston worked on screen for more than 50 years, in more than 100 films and TV productions, including The Ten Commandments, in which he played the lawgiver Moses; Ben-Hur, in which he commanded the epic production as the title’s chariot-racing prince; and the original Planet of the Apes, in which he was, simply, the last real man on Earth.

He’ll be missed, and we’ll not see his kind again anytime soon.

Hemline Economics

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Becky was noticing that the economy is starting to suck, as womens’ hemlines are dropping down toward the ground. Recalling that this is part of a longstanding pattern, unexplained as it may be, she had a recommendation that meets with our full approval over here: Women should make full use of the Bull Markets and Bare Knees rule to help pump the economy back up: “Ladies—be cool and do your daisy duke duty.”

Historically speaking, fashion trends and tastes often serve as early harbingers of economic change. In the booming, pre-Crash 1920s, flapper hemlines bounced giddily to the knee before falling down to the ankles in the depressed 1930s. The 1960s’ youthquake, complete with postage-stamp-size miniskirts, heralded a similar stylistic ebullience before the oil crisis of the 1970s plunged fashion back into an earnest, hippie frame of mind.

Becky is a lesbian, as am I. You’ve heard that Adam Carolla routine, I’m sure…lesbian trapped in a man’s body. Mike Adams took this to the next absurd extreme…

While I was doing my research something strange happened. I guess you could say I had an epiphany. After all these years of thinking I was just a white male heterosexual Protestant Republican, I realized I was wrong. I’m really a lesbian trapped inside a man’s body.

Naturally, I was concerned that when I revealed this to my girlfriend (now my wife), she would be alarmed. I even thought it might end our relationship. But that wasn’t so. When I told her about my condition, she came back with this stunning revelation: She’s really a gay man trapped inside a woman’s body. It seems we really were meant for each other! Shortly thereafter I proposed.

But I digress. The point is Becky and I share an ulterior motive. But ulterior motives can be tolerable.

Shorter SkirtAnd while it’s obvious she’s just kidding around, and my money says if the hemlines went up and good lookin’ women started flashing their pins again there would be little or no effect on the Dow — nevertheless, oddly, I wouldn’t want to bet a lot. If it worked, I daresay, I wouldn’t be that surprised. Who knows, maybe it would.

There certainly is a link. The economy was doing very well in the Roaring Twenties and of course it flatlined during the Great Depression; written and eyewitness testaments seem to agree that the hemline did its duty to represent this vertical movement as one would expect. Miniskirts became fashionable during the sixties. In my own recollection, the pattern begins to diminish during the seventies. Nobody has anything good to say about the economy during that time, but if you asked the fashion-conscious hippie whether she was going to wear long or short, the answer would come back as whatever was most assured to piss off Mom and Dad…length wasn’t part of the plan one way or t’other.

It’s an imperfect record, but records by their nature aren’t perfect. This one is certainly passible. The link exists.

I see three possibilities: Fashion is the cause, the market is the effect; the higher or lower market figures represent the cause, the rising and sinking hemline is the effect; or, there is a hidden cause, and the fashion dictate and the market trends are both symptomatic of whatever this is. For Becky’s plan to work, the first possibility must be the applicable one.

Nobody’s bothered to figure this out, to the best of my recollection. And yet, we must. We need to know if it’s worthwhile to activate Becky’s plan, if that will do anything to jump-start the economy.

I have an idea. Becky’s comments gave me cause to think back to something I read back in ’04, when supposedly women were going to start covering up their bellies again and what kind of psychology is involved in this. It has to do with a graceful melding of economics and anthropology:

An economics explanation suggests itself:

When women begin to wear less, they start a competition for male attention. In this matter, men are not the most subtle creatures. Advantage goes to women wearing less. What is attention-getting at T+0 (time right now) is merely ordinary at T+1. So women wear still less — and so it goes. Eventually, women are looking “trashy,” in the words of Jane Rinzler Buckingham of Youth Intelligence. At this moment, the competition is, in a sense, “maxed out.” There is no competitive place to go.

Ms. BuddigThere is presumably a “stall” moment. Women know they have a problem, but they do not have a solution.

Then there is a “reset” moment. Women move back to modesty. In a sense, they have to do this merely to start the game again. But what about those outliers, women who continue to wear less and reap the benefits of doing so? “More clothing” women now suffer a competitive disadvantage.

An anthropology-economics suggests itself:

In order for women to move back to “more,” the community of women (and the marketplace) must respond more or less collectively but without the benefit of explicit decision making or communication. They must move together and at roughly the same moment. How does a consensus like this emerge without the benefit of a presidential commission? This is a problem for complexity theory, the place that economics and anthropology meet, in my opinion…

Furthermore, women must find a way to bring in the outliers, those women who refuse the new terms and reap considerable benefits from doing so. There must be some kind of moral suasion going on here, as women police the behavior of other women. Chances this are this happens through the distribution of scorn and accusations of ‘trashiness.

Okay if I’m reading this right, fashion, like economics, moves in a cycle — except there is something to link the two of them together. The fashion cycle is that women start to wear less in order to attract the attention of men, and in so doing start this competition…which eventually must meet with a cul de sac, because you can only whittle down the ensemble to just so much. At this point, as the ladies are deprived of coverage beyond the few square inches that are critical, they are similarly deprived of opportunities to introduce variety into the wardrobe — and you know they aren’t going to stand for that.

And so this anthropological event has to be triggered in response to the stalemate. It must be. But it’s a little bit like the massive population of fish trying to figure out which one’s going to jump into the fisherman’s rowboat first, so that the totality of them can start sinking it by following suit. Whoever starts the plan by wearing more, benefits the community at the expense of her individual interests.

And so according to the article linked above, this is done by introducing new taboos. Whoever persists in minimizing the coverage, from this day henceforth, is a trashy slut. Word has to get out.

What happens, here, is that women have to sacrifice their cooperative spirit with the objects of their affection, for a cooperative spirit with — other women. Women who want them to wear more for the benefit of a sort of a community. Other women they’ve never actually met, and won’t meet. Strangers.

I think this is the link. An economy moves when we cooperate with each other; when we recognize our common interests. This isn’t what women are doing when they bully and cudgel each other into wearing longer dresses. They’re saying to one another, not “do this thing for our mutual advantage,” but rather “do this thing for the benefit of ME.” It is the timeless request that the individual sacrifice her well-being for the benefit of the collective…which, if unheeded, doesn’t remain a request very long. It is commune-based economics. It is the opposite of the kind of spirit that moves an economy forward. It is a group-force motivated, not by ambition, but by raw jealousy.

And so I’m thinking the larger community — that would be America, or perhaps the entire western civilization — is gripped by a spirit of “let’s work together” or “let’s not.” This is bound to have an effect on both the market and fashion.

Therefore, the answer is: The third one. There is a hidden cause, and fashion and the market are both symptomatic it. It’s a spirit of cooperation — or lack thereof. Cooperation for mutual, individual, advantage.

And so no, I’m afraid Becky’s plan probably won’t work.

But you know, it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Seven Lesser-Known Fact About Fools & Stupidity

Sunday, April 6th, 2008


What the Wright Mess is All About

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Comment I left on this blogger guy’s blog, on an older post about the Jeremiah Wright flap that I think sums it all up.

I’m not going to get fancy and re-word things too much, because the wireless connection at this hotel sucks. Maybe re-edit things here if I feel like it.

This whole flap needs a brand new headline.

The real story is that there is an effort underway to tell people they should be horrified when & if, as you point out, “if they came from a Caucasian [the words] would brand him a racist.” And to further tell people that if the colors are reversed they should think nothing of it.

In short, to assess exactly how pliable people are.

Kind of reminds me of what Dilbert’s boss told him: “Once we figured out we could put you guys in cubicles half the size of jail cells, we knew anything was possible.”

People are watching the Wright flap with baited breath because it’s possible there’s a limit to how pliable people are when instructed to show horror at one thing and not at another thing. But it’s only possible. Nobody is really sure how it’s going to turn out, but the ultimate verdict will obviously have a bearing on future attempts to tell us what to think.

That’s the REAL story.

Yeah, I mean it. The hairpin-turn hypocrisy is so sharp and so 180-degree, it almost looks like a test and I think that’s exactly what it is.

The Dark Age

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our relatively recent memory, there is a micro-era just 76 months long that shook the world. That this tiny epoch exists in our past, says a great deal about how we live with each other, how we’re slaves to fad and fashion, and how we’re not nearly as independent as we like to think we are.

My son’s been having this interest in cultural events that immediately preceded his birth, which was in ’97. This could be a sign of genius, if he knows what he’s doing…something that is always open to question. It could be hereditary. In my case, back in my childhood I had an interest in what was going on in the sixties and seventies, barely conscious of the fact that “big things” were going on, and I didn’t quite understand what they were. But they were bigger than me. My similar interest was decidedly a case of not knowing what I was doing. If I had my childhood to live all over again, knowing back then what I know now about post-modern feminism and the effect it’s had on our culture and on our public policy, I would have read every single newspaper I possibly could have gotten my hands on.

There are cycles, waves, and other such patterns involved in the way we value things across time. We’ve always had this tendency to elevate one demographic onto a pedestal, and bury another one shoulders-deep into the ground for a vicious virtual-stoning. We take turns doing this, and throughout it all we have this self-deceptive way of telling ourselves we’re treating everyone “equally” when we all know it isn’t true. It’s a delicious and intriguing piece of human hypocrisy, something woven deeply into us inseparable from our body chemistries.

Maybe we picked it up when we bit that damned apple. Who knows.

And we exercise it as individuals. In a couple of years, my son will be a teenager and the “My Dad Knows Everything” phase will come to a bitter end. I’ll be the clueless dolt who doesn’t know a damn thing.

James BondIn the meantime, my son likes James Bond movies. He seems to be in search of the elusive James Bond question that his father can’t answer. And always, always, we keep coming back to the above-mentioned chapter. He’s figured out that the history of the movie franchise is inseparable from the history of modern America…double-oh seven’s adopted parental country. How it is connected, he’s not quite completely sure. But he understands there is a connection.

Always, we come back to the elephant in the room. The one thing about the superspy that cannot be ignored…but defies explanation because it defies definition. The one things in Bond’s timeline that is absolutely intermingled with and inseparable from ours. I’ve made several casual references to it, but have never thoroughly explored it before in these pages.

The Dark Age.

The time when the Knight of the Cold War underwent a timeless and decidedly female fantasy — the story of Persephone, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. He was taken away. He slept. The world tried, and arguably failed, to get along without him.

This has been an educational experience for me; the one facet to this Dark Age that fascinates me, above all else, is that it is a classic case of the few dictating the tastes of the many. We recall it — when we do — as a grassroots event, a natural consequence of the everyday folks getting fed up with an over-saturation of machismo. It simply isn’t true. It wasn’t bottom-up; it was top-down. Our elders decided they knew what was best for us, and they decided we were tired of James Bond. It was part of a much larger thing. Manhood was out of style. Masculinity, it was thought…although nobody came out and said straight-out, for it made far too little sense…was something that enshrouded us in the age of warfare, and now that the Cold War was over manhood no longer had a home. Anywhere. It was time for it to go away.

And so it became obligatory for the Lords and Vicounts and High Priests to instruct the peasants not to like James Bond. Or cigars, or martinis, or…well…anything you might’ve seen your “daddy” doing, be it Yankee or Anglican.

Working on cars on a summer day in an old greasy tee shirt. Drinking beer. Knowing best. Peeing on a tree. Opening jars for the wife. Telling dirty jokes. Growing facial hair. We were “above” all that, as we explored this new chapter in which 007 would be 86’d.

James Bond’s long slumber, the span between the sixteenth and seventeenth film installments, neatly bookends a small era in which we wanted none of these things…because we were told we should want no such things. And this year, as my son teeters on the brink of teenagerhood and is about to lose his curiosity about the Dark Age, and as Senator Hillary Clinton repeatedly struggles and fails to bring the Dark Age back again, perhaps it would be fruitful to re-inspect exactly what happened to us.

Supposedly, what happened was that Ian Fleming’s creation stalled out with the always-crescendoing legal troubles that arose from ownership disputes. There is certainly some truth to this; the evidence seems to suggest, on the question of Fleming taking indecent liberties with Kevin McClory’s contribution of the storyline in Thunderball, that Fleming is actually guilty. But it doesn’t really matter, does it. The very thing that makes this explanation plausible, is the thing that makes this explanation all bollywonkers and gunnybags. James Bond, at least in film form, has always been in legal trouble over this McClory issue. It is the reason there were two James Bonds in 1983. It is the reason that, in For Your Eyes Only two years previous, there was that surreal “Blofeld” appearance nobody can explain completely — the one with the smokestack, the wheelchair, the helicopter, and the delicatessen in stainless steel. Yeah, that.

Personally, I’ve never completely bought into this line that James Bond went away because of legal problems. He went away because he was out of style. Our feminists didn’t want us watching him. They told us what to do, and we obeyed our feminists. Starting with Hollywood, which made the regrettable decision — and today, looking back, the most ludicrous one — that the most profitable years of double-oh seven were in the past.

When one inspects what James Bond really is, one can easily see why our feminists have always hated him so much. He isn’t really a British spy, you know. He is the very apex of male fantasy. Let’s face it, international espionage doesn’t really have a great deal to do with saving the world from a madman with a laser orbiting the planet. It certainly doesn’t have to do with Aston-Martin automobiles, or sleeping with a lot of women. Or wearing a two thousand dollar suit and a three thousand dollar watch, when a couple hundred bucks divided among the two of those acquisitions will do quite nicely.

No, what those things have in common is that they typify male fantasy. They define manhood. Being entrusted with an important job, going about it, noticing something is about to happen that will injure millions of people you don’t even want to ever meet, preventing an enormous disaster and then retreating back into the shadows to go about your more mundane daily duties. Huh. I’ve just described the typical Superman episode. I’ve also just described a day in the life of any knight sitting at King Arthur’s round table. This is male fantasy that goes back a good stretch before Ian Fleming’s parents ever met.

And as frosting on the cake of feminist hatred toward the British superspy…once these male fantasies solidify into a newest James Bond movie installment, and the knuckledragging males like myself move heaven and earth to go see it…we don’t go alone. No, we bring our women along. Yes, women following men into the theater to watch a man’s movie. And we don’t jam our “honey do jars” full of bits of paper promising to do this or that pain-in-the-ass thing in compromise. We don’t have to. Our women want to go. Our women want to see the next James Bond movie more than we do.

This is what earns James Bond a fatwa from the feminist movement. He reminds us that men are noble creatures, and that women are complicated. Our feminists tend to hunger for the exact opposite, you know…they like men to be disposable and they like women to be simple. But with not a single sign of Meg Ryan crying, or Hugh Grant acting like a dork, the simple woman isn’t supposed to be having any fun. And she wouldn’t be. Yet the latest Bond flick comes out, and our women are practically jumping in the car, warming up the engine for us, offering to buy the popcorn.

James Bond is a sign that feminists may have more to learn about women, than anybody else.

And so, during the Dark Age, they killed him. They did what feminists desire to do: Shape our culture and define the values we exercise therein. Glittering recruiting-buzzwords like “power” and “freedom” and “choice” really have very little to do with any of it.

But…when angry women want us to do things, we find it hard to tell them no.

For the two thousand three hundred and thirteen days that began in the summer of 1989, James Bond slept.

The world went un-saved.

And when the experiment was over, it turned out — maybe the world doesn’t need saving after all — but it certainly does need James Bond. That male fantasy that he’s really all about. We depend on it; that’s just the way it is, and the feminists can get as grouchy about that as they want to get, but it’s true and will always remain such.

The feminist edict that James Bond should go away, began the way all cultural impulses do: With a tailwind, and on a downward slope. It caught on because resistance was at a low ebb. Certain external events created a climate in which it was handy and convenient to suggest a retirement from MI6 and from Hollywood. The AIDS crisis had reached a plateau, and some would say it was still on a sharp upswing. The baby boom generation, always numerous, always powerful, and always hostile to anything that might have been identified with the generation previous to them, had reached middle age and they started to occupy positions that were powerful, positions in which “real” decisions were made about things. And with Russia’s troubles, anything even remotely connected to a “cold war” seemed naturally headed to the trash heap.

It was Timothy Dalton’s second venture in this role. It is sometimes said that his style, notable in fidelity to the book version of Agent 007, grated on the movie audiences and there may be some truth to this as well. But another thing about Dalton that doesn’t get a lot of mention is that he was the first “Fountain of Youth” James Bond. Fans were expected to believe this was the same guy who outwitted Dr. No in 1962 and wrecked that railroad car on the Orient Express with Red Grant the following year; here he was, maybe seventy years old, wrestling control of an airplane in mid-flight after waterskiing behind it in his bare feet. The storyline was original enough, involving Bond’s defection from the British Secret Service and carrying out a personal vendetta on behalf of his friend Felix Leiter. And Robert Davi had all kinds of things going for him as the bad guy. He was dark, sinister, bloodthirsty, cruel and charming.

But — and looking back on it, this was probably the nail in the coffin — the bad guy was also a drug lord. In the previous film, The Living Daylights, it turned out that bad guy was also a drug lord. James Bond fighting the war on drugs. Nothing says “past the prime” quite like that.

The only sense of continuity was that Dalton had signed up to do three movies, and this was the second. Other than that, there was no momentum at all.

The death knell also came from bad returns, and the bad returns undoubtedly resulted from bad promotion. The film competed with Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Lethal Weapon 2 and many others. Bond had been a summer phenomenon with every film appearance since The Spy Who Loved Me, but evidently the time had come to re-think that, and perhaps it was re-thought a bit too late.

When the thumping came from the dismal revenues, feminists, and others invested against Bond’s success, trumpeted that we were tired of men saving the world from disaster, conveniently ignoring the success of Die Hard just a year ago. The talking point stuck. They talked it up and talked it up. Meanwhile, MGM/UA sued Danjaq, the parent holding company of Bond-related trademarks and copyrights…another outgrowth of the McClory mess.

That winter, in a dark omen about the times in which we were about to live, carefully sanitized of any male heroism or derring-do or respect for same, Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. The Montreal Massacre has come to epitomize what’s wrong with feminism, why it is the very last mindset that should have anything, whatsoever, with the formation of public policy.

Let us summarize it here: Feminists talked down male heroism. They opposed it at every turn. They poured vast sums of money and energy into sneering at it, indoctrinating entire generations of people to the idea that the Real Man is a myth, and if he is indeed real he serves no purpose, in fact is something toxic and ugly. And Mark Steyn, quoting himself after the Virginia Tech shooting, fills us in on what happened next:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

The conclusion is inescapable. Masculinity was killed, and soon after it the real women it had been defending.

Well, Mark Steyn has his opinion about what it all means, but the prevailing viewpoint has another take on it…

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other interpretations emphasize Lépine’s abuse as a child or suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman, unrelated to larger social issues. Still other commentators have blamed violence in the media and increasing poverty, isolation, and alienation in society, particularly in immigrant communities.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier. Susan and Jim Edwards, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included new requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, new rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. The gun registry in particular has been a controversial and partisan issue, with critics charging that it was a political move by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that has been expensive and impractical to enforce.

Who’s right? Form whatever opinion you wish to form; I’ve formed mine. This culture conflict between male-friendly and male-hostile forces had been going on for awhile, and ultimately it culminated in the death of James Bond, the greatest family-friendly male fantasy material ever put to the big screen. And then the Montreal Massacre showed us the horrific consequences in store for us if we eradicate masculinity…and in response to that…our neighbors to the North, in their infinite wisdom, eradicated masculinity some more. Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women — as if deranged gunmen pay attention to such things, before making the fateful decision to go charging through a college campus shooting people.

Little things began to happen in popular culture about this time, poisoning the well just a little bit further. The Simpsons premiered — the madcap adventures of a little poorly-drawn cartoon boy named Bart. It turned out his doofus dad Homer had special resonance with our now thoroughly-vaginized audience, and in the years to come the family patriarch would steal center stage. Homer Simpson, in this way, continued the trend set by Al Bundy in Married…With Children — albeit as a less sympathetic character — and the Age of the Doofus Dad began in earnest.

On the big screen and the little screen, things started popping up “geared toward” girls and women…which means deliberately excluding men. The studios discovered women were feeling a special attraction toward things that not only entertained them, but were assured to provide little-to-no entertainment for anybody else. They called it “tailoring” or “customizing” or “specially targeted” or whatever. The meaning was all the same: Men wouldn’t like it.

Makes sense. Guys, when you take your sweeties to the movies, it should hurt. Makes as much sense as that ring that should cost a lot. Sacrifice is the point.

So we were buried in an avalanche of things men wouldn’t like. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of what became an annual pilgrimage — Disney would market the hell out of their next big feature cartoon, full of strange people and animals with eyes the size of dinner plates, with obscene volumes of merchandising tie-ins. Next year, they’d go back, Jack, and do it again. All of it “tailored.” Cleansed of anything that might be interpreted as even residual masculine appeal. All of it calculated to make Dad barf.

Steel Magnolias. That spring, Pretty Woman. Ghost. Feelings, feelings, feelings…bits of fluff to make you cry, tossed up there for the purpose of pulling in the little gold statues of the man who has no face.

Ryan White died of AIDS. Such poignant deaths tugged at our heartstrings, and helped to remind us that the era of feelings could not have crested out just yet. It was just getting started. After all, if you resolved to confront the AIDS crisis with your brain instead of with your heart, what in the world would you do? There was nothing to do in the Realm of Thought except throw a little bit more money at the disease. And then a lot more money. Well, when people can’t form a plan that seems complete, they like to feel their way through things so with every AIDS-related news event we did some more feeling.

Manhood being coupled with stoic, rational thinking, it was buried a little further in the ground as we continued to bury our brains. We had to be more sensitive. People were dying of AIDS. Nobody ever explained how being more sensitive would stop AIDS deaths, but that’s the beauty of feeling your way through things — no explanation necessary. Just think happy thoughts. Or sad ones. Whatever fits the occasion. Just be compatible. Doing constructive things, that was out of style now.

The era of James Bond continued to slip into the past. In August of 1990, movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli parted company with screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and John Glen, director of the previous five films. Half a year after this unfortunate event, Maibaum would be dead.

The environment took center stage, now that we were being extra-feminized and sensitive. We had a new Earth Day, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1970 event, and that summer Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS.

Men were understood to be inherently bad and women were understood to be inherently good. We began an endless fascination in women doing those heroic male things, like catching the bad guy. This is the year in which Clarice Starling became famous, as portrayed by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. And then there was Thelma and Louise. Of course, the Tailhook scandal helped out a lot. Women were heroes — and hero status was incomplete if it was even suggested that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things men could do that women could not…that wouldn’t do. We pretended otherwise. And if anybody dared to get tired of it, we’d simply explore how women were victims — and that would return them to “hero” status.

The dysfunction that took hold in our society, wasn’t so much that we saw good things in women. The most “patriarchal” societies, contrary to popular belief, have it in common that they have seen women as innately good and worthy of protection — hence the necessity of strong men. No, in the 76 months of this Dark Age, the real damage was irony. Things seemed, to us, to be the opposite of what they really were…starting with strength and weakness. Weakness was now the new strength. In the news as well as in fiction, people were shown to be strong through a ritual of showcasing their frailties. Rodney King was worthy of our attention because he got beaten up. The beating was worth talking about. His leading the police on a high speed chase through a densely populated suburban neighborhood…wasn’t worth talking about, because this didn’t service the goal of portraying King as a victim. Starling was strong because she was a victim. Thelma and Louise were strong because they were victims. The Tailhook ladies were strong because they were victims.

Strong didn’t have anything to do with being ready, willing or able to defend someone in need of a defense. That would be too patriarchal.

In July of 1991, Patricia Ireland succeeded Molly Yard as the head of the National Organization of Women. This was a pivotal event because it was a generational hand-off; Ireland is a baby-boomer, and Yard came from the generation previous. Three months after this, Susan Faludi published her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Strength-through-victimhood continued.

Feminists, during this time, could be as nasty as they wanted to be. If anyone called it out they’d just call it a “backlash” and do some more complaining about dark and sinister undercurrents in our society, working against them. Meanwhile, James Bond was dead…along with countless other “patriarchal” trinkets, involving far less meaning to us item-by-item than they meant collectively. The feminists were being exactly what they called others. Rodney King’s famous query was “can’t we all just get along?” The irony was, those who worked day and night to make sure everybody heard the question, also labored with equal gusto to make sure the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!”

Jeffry Dahmer was arrested. For eating people. The police got in trouble when it was discovered Dahmer fooled them into returning a bleeding, naked little boy to his care…who he later had for dinner. He ate lots of other people, but the police got in trouble because of this one boy. Don’t worry about Dahmer, he’s probably the last cannibal we’ll see for awhile, but we’d better fix the police because they’re feeding little boys to cannibals!

So the pattern continued. Those who did harm, were presented to us as nothing more than a curiosity…maybe even something deserving of our sympathy. Those whose job it is to protect us from the harm, are presented as part of the real problem. Ostensibly, this is done to make sure our protection is worth something. But every crime needs a protagonist, doesn’t it? If I’m a cop I can’t very well feed someone to a cannibal if there’s no cannibal around, can I? The police were a danger, the protagonist was not.

In November, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS. The feeling-over-thought continued. Bohemian Rhamsody, that winter, blared from every loudspeaker on every radio and every television.

Disorder was the new order. Justice was dispensed, not from the courtroom in which Stacy Koon and his colleagues were acquitted for the Rodney King incident, but in the riots that followed in downtown LA. Again…it was all about solving problems with feeling instead of with thought. Justice becomes a myth when you do that; just a glorified system of might-makes-right. More irony: People who want to disclaim masculinity, manhood, “patriarchal oppression” and so forth claim that as their goal — to elevate themselves and society above an anarchy in which might-makes-right. But that’s exactly what they cause to happen.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the Maastricht Treaty had been signed. This was the beginning of the European Union. Just like any other union, it was constructed to “level the playing field” against someone who had an “unfair advantage” — which means to attack that someone. In this case, it was the United States.

The importance of the Maastricht event cannot be overstated. Sixteen years later, we have been dutifully fed our talking points that the United States is seen by our “allies” as an oppressor. Most people who believe this uncritically, fail to comprehend how intricate and robust is the organization that is really responsible for all this “seeing.” It is an international union formed for the purpose of gaining more power…against the United States. With a little bit of a longer memory, one can see there is more to that story than just President George W. Bush. The hostility against America has roots in it, that go all the way back to this event. This quiet event.

Then came the Year of the Woman. It was part of a global fashion trend. That year, Betty Boothroyd had been elected as the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and Stella Rimington became the first woman head of MI5, the domestic counterpart to Agent 007’s MI6 international espionage branch. The movie industry continued to assault us with their feeling-over-thought anti-man pap: A League of Their Own; Lorenzo’s Oil; Prelude to a Kiss.

Dan Quayle, technically correct, perhaps even prophetic, but hopelessly tone-deaf, gave a speech on the harm Murphy Brown was doing to our society. It was something we needed to have pointed out, but we weren’t ready for it at the time. Our sense of direction was utterly destroyed by now. Chaos looked like order, women looked like men, cops looked like robbers and robbers looked like cops. When cowardliness led to piles of womens’ dead bodies, we thought the best way to protect our women was to embrace more cowardliness. Murphy Brown’s dysfunction? It looked like function.

As Quayle’s boss faced re-election that fall, the worst debate-question ever was asked by pony-tail guy at the debate in Richmond, VA: “How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you—the three of you—to meet our needs?” Rush Limbaugh provided more context for the quote here (link requires registration with Rush 24/7):

RUSH: Shall we go back to March 30th, 1993, from my Television Show, I played this sound bite from October 15th of 1992. This was the presidential debate, Perot, Clinton and Bush 41 in Richmond, Virginia.

THE PONYTAILED GUY: The focus of my work is domestic mediation, is meeting the needs of the children that I work with by way of their parents and not the wants of their parents, and I ask the three of you, how can we as symbolically the children of the future president expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?

RUSH: That’s the famous Ponytail Guy from the Richmond debate in 1992. These presidential candidates are our fathers, the president’s going to be our father, and what can we expect from our father, you, to meet our needs?

The irony continued. Dependence was independence.

As the Danjaq/MGM case wound its way through the courts, The Crying Game was released…continuing the irony, women were men. Superman, the defender of Truth, Justice, The American Way, died. Just as well. We had some significant questions about what exactly all three of those were…and at the time we didn’t even realize we had those questions. But Superman just plum ran out of ways to save the day — without offending insecure women with his masculine oppression and what-not. So down he went.

Clinton appointed a whole bunch of women to his cabinet. Had he been seeking the best and the brightest for these important positions, he might have accidentally picked some pretty ones, and that would have been threatening. So he made sure they were all physically unappealing. Reno. Shalala. Albright would come later…and of course later that year Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don’t wish to be unkind, but these ladies are homely. To doubt that there was an agenda in place to select them that way, is to doubt the evidence of our senses. If you sent me out to find some that look like this, I’d be out there all day long…probably finding none at all, or no more than one. In one of his first acts of office, not quite content with his retroactive tax increase, he passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Because as anybody knows, the first step to making the economy stronger is to make it godawful expensive to hire people. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Country music didn’t escape the Age of Dysfunction either. Eilleen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, released her debut CD. Country Music purists became apoplectic, and the schism helped to channel this seemingly limitless supply of anti-tradition anti-male energy into lifting the nascent career of the gorgeous Shania…whom, apart from that, had no shortage of assets appealing to the male psyche. There was little or no animosity involved in her lyrics, but a darker culture arose to consume her. No bitter, angry single-mom was complete without a cheap little CD player belting out one Shania Twain cut after another. It was all just so fresh…which sounds deceptively positive. Under the roots of it all, was a underlayer of raw, naked animosity toward anything that was traditional, and/or not yet quite as feminized as it might possibly be.

The Supreme Court decided Wisconsin v. Mitchell, signaling the readiness of our modern culture to consider hate-crime legislation. Who exactly is ready for it, nobody is willing to say; for a judicial-branch decision to drive what the legislative-branch is supposed to do, isn’t quite the way things are supposed to work. But work that way it did, as the Supreme Court decided states have latitude in considering motive for a crime in enhancing the penalties for it.

What’s been mostly forgotten is that the Wisconsin decision concerned an assault on a white fourteen-year-old boy, Gregory Reddick, by a gang of black individuals in Kenosha, who had just seen Mississippi Burning. Todd Mitchell asked the group “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?” — Reddick was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the rest is history.

Todd Mitchell’s penalty was enhanced due to thoughts in his head. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had determined there was something wrong with that, that such an enhancement would have a “chilling effect” on free speech. The Supreme Court overruled, finding “no merit in this contention.” Those are unfortunate words. Penalty enhancements due to thoughts-in-the-head may, with a little bit of trickery, be shoehorned into some functional compatibility with the spirit of our Constitution, or at least with the letter. But “no merit” is a little on the strong side. To say penalties can be enhanced because of free speech exercised, might have a chilling effect on free speech…it does, at the very least, have some merit.

In an act that symbolized exactly what was going on, Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis and flung it at a stop sign, to fall into a field where it was later retrieved and reattached. Good thing she picked the summer of 1993 as the best time to do it. She was hailed as a feminist hero. The jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity, and after a court-ordered 45-day psychiatric evaluation, she was released.

She got away with it.

And the feminists said she was exactly what they wanted to be. Good for them. I wonder if, in 2008, they have the decency to be embarrassed by that. But it might be a good idea for the rest of us to remember what exactly “feminism” meant fifteen years ago: Cutting off dicks, or wishing you had the guts to do it.

Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

President Clinton passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, then went out to the Rose Garden for a photo op as Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in a sham peace ceremony. The age of fakery, of built-in irony, of feeling-over-thought, of pretending things weren’t what the cognitive lobes understood them to be…staggered on. Meanwhile, John Wayne Bobbit flirted with porn. It seems he was restored to his potency much more quickly than we were restored to ours.

Sleepless in Seattle assailed our senses, followed closely afterward by the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jocelyn Elders was confirmed as our Surgeon General, and the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, forming the European Union.

As Madonna slipped into her Dominatrix outfit, Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, then sent his wife down Pennsylvania Avenue to babble some kind of nonsense at Congress about socialized medicine.

On November 13, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called Force of Nature that nearly killed Star Trek. It was about environmentalism. It turns out, when you take a starship above Warp 5 you do some incremental damage to the fabric of the space-time continuum. At the conclusion of this episode, Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom, imposed a galactic speed limit on all starships, bringing the fictitious age of exploring the “final frontier” to a virtual end.

Another metaphorical event of profound poignancy: Ripping apart the fabric of a space-time continuum, was exactly what was taking place in real life. With manhood, our spirit of exploration was dying. And with that, our fastening to logic and truth. We wanted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We wanted the thoughts in our heads to be regulated, while we were told no such thing was happening. With all the exploring done, we just wanted things extra safe…we wanted our Hillarycare universal health plan.

Lani Guinier, the “quota queen,” was nominated as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Colin Ferguson, accused of killing six passengers and wounding nineteen on the Long Island railroad, employed the black rage defense. His attorneys tried their best to retroactively declare open season on people, but to no avail. He received six life terms. Hey, at least they tried.

Black rage was first proposed by black psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs in their book Black Rage (ISBN 1579103499). Grier and Cobbs argue that black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. This damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.

Irony continues. The victim has strength, and is to be respected. Inequality is equality.

Since everybody was instantly good and wonderful if they would just let women do things they previously couldn’t, the Church of England began to ordain female priests. Hugh Grant typified his perpetual role as the hapless clumsy “git” in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Timothy Dalton went on record, announcing his official abdication from the role of James Bond.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. The World Series was canceled, and the FIFA World Cup began in the United States. Enter soccer, exit baseball. But the real insult to the United States was just around the corner: Michael Fay used his American origin as an excuse for spray painting cars in Singapore. You see, we Americans are meek and mild and we’re just not tough enough for that caning punishment they have over there. The skin on our buttocks is especially thin, I suppose. So, you should just let us get away with it. I have a social disease, Officer Krupke! Grasping for the chance to show that chaos is really order and strength is really weakness, President Clinton intervened and bargained the ritual six strokes of the cane down to four.

With our national identity confused, lost, given away, we went through our summer ritual of being buried in annoying, glurgy, anti-male, feeling-over-thought movies. When A Man Loves A Woman. Natural Born Killers. Bad Girls. Blue Sky. Exit to Eden.

Woodstock ’94 commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of something that wasn’t really worth the trouble. Hippies smoking dope listening to music having sex in the mud. It was kind of a bust. The hippies had grown up, gotten jobs, mortgages, heads full of gray hair…and some nice suits that couldn’t get muddy.

ER premiered.

Hillarycare was quietly abandoned. We just weren’t going for it…yet.

A new Star Trek movie came out in which Kirk and Picard would appear together. This started lots of Kirk/Picard comparisons…wonderfully entertaining, all of them…but again, metaphorical toward the confusion and dysfunction we felt during these 76 months. The overall trend was that Kirk was more dependable and effective when confronted with a crisis, but Picard was more desirable…for reasons left unstated, or stated only vaguely. His propensity to surrender was thought to be an asset. Again, weakness is strength.

Disclosure came out, asking us to imagine an event in which a woman is guilty of sexual harassment (including an unfortunately ludicrous and silly scene in which Michael Douglas is given a blow job against his will).

We showed some signs of an early bloom in this 330-week winter. We voted in a Republican Congress, and Dr. Elders was finally forced to resign. Peter Jennings said we were having a “temper tantrum.”

When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up, they blamed talk radio and angry white men.

Bryant Gumbel, then co-host on the NBC News Today show, reported that “The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the president…”

We were being told what to think and what not to think. But dependence was independence.

Women continued to take on male roles in fiction. One expensive production after another failed, either in the short term or over the long haul, but the producers insisted on believing women could look appealing just by doing manly things. Real entertainment is expensive, after all. And so Hercules had an episode called “The Warrior Princess” which spun off into its own show; “Star Trek: Voyager” premiered. Of the latter, the only draw was that the Captain of the vessel was a woman. Who acted a lot like a man. It was rather painful and boring to watch, but it did endure for seven seasons, the Warrior Princess for six.

In those early days, success was sure to be had so long as the personalities showcased were not straight, white and male. And so 1995 brought in the now-ritual summer of glurgy anti-male-ness and anti-family-ness and anti-thought-ness…Babe, Pocahontas, Boys on the Side, Bridges of Madison County. Copycat, Scarlet Letter. And, let us not forget the Macarena being released. Looking silly is serious business.

Sandra Bullock, in the first movie appearance since she lit up the screen in Speed, embarked on a new rejuvenated career dedicated to chick flicks — with While You Were Sleeping. Funny. Thirteen years later, I have yet to remain awake all the way through that movie.

Nearly three years after Barbara Boxer began her vendetta against him, Sen. Bob Packwood was forced to resign. A few years later, she’d circle the wagons around President Clinton for doing something much worse…I guess inconsistency is consistency. But with Packwood gone, we could talk about women being victims again, especially with Shannon Faulker’s adventures at The Citadel. Victims are strong because weakness is strength.

On November 13, 1995, the 2,313 day winter was finally brought to a thaw as Goldeneye was released. It received two BAFTA nominations and earned $26 million during its opening, the most successful Bond movie since Moonraker.


It should be obvious by now. We had been starved. We had been denied what we, men and women, really want: That old story, the knight-of-the-round-table story. Disaster prevented. Good thing that strong smart resourceful guy was where he was.

Women, somewhere, may be capable of doing what men can do. But there is no fantasy there. Nor do we have any inner lust toward this phony irony, wherein victimhood is strength, femininity is masculinity, unfairness is justice, thought control is freedom, chaos is order, dependence is independence. We know, deep down, all of us, that that’s all crap — we can only snack on it for so long before we get sick of it. Three hundred thirty weeks…it’s far too much to ask of us. Can’t keep it up.

Eventually, we have to return to our programming and our programming has to do with truth, logic, and order. That is what our programming is all about, for our programming has to be consistent with nature. If it were not, we would not be here. And so we like to see a strong masculine figure preventing disaster, for the benefit of people he has never met and never will meet. A man…defusing a bomb. A man…lifting a concrete slab off a baby who is miraculously unharmed. A man…fishing a kitten out of a tree…or shooting a terrorist who was about to wear a dynamite belt to a pizzeria. Men see that, and they feel better about themselves because they want to be that guy; women see that, and they feel better because they understand someone somewhere believes they are worth defending.

What was this long winter, the Dark Age in which James Bond slumbered away, really about?

It was about abjuring reason…for the sole purpose of feeling good…and failing. Once it was over, we felt better than we’d ever felt since it began. Let that be a lesson to us: To plagiarize Franklin, those who disclaim logic, reason and masculine symbiosis for a good feeling and “self esteem,” deserve none of these things and shall ultimately have none of these things.


Friday, April 4th, 2008

Blogger friend Buck was kind enough to send us a link to this in an off-line yesterday, and today he’s got a post up about it: The Art of Manliness. His chosen feature? The Virtuous Life: Frugality.


It’s Time for a Menaissance.

A survey featured this week in the Telegraph UK sheds some light on how men feel about their role today:

* 52% said they had to live according to women’s rules
* 58% said they would prefer to be the main breadwinner, with 34% preferring their wife to be a full-time mother/homemaker, and 24% preferring their wife to work part-time.
* only 33% felt they could speak freely what they thought
* 67% felt it safer to conceal their opinion
* more than half thought society was turning them into “waxed and coifed metrosexuals”

The Call for a Menaissance

One of the reasons I started The Art of Manliness was because I noticed this sense of disorientation in myself and in my peers. It seems as though as women became more successful men were content to fade in the background and become slackers. The only idea of manliness I saw in popular culture was the crude caricature of it found in Maxim Magazine or on Spike TV.

In response to this vacuum of true manliness, the Telegraph article reports that some American scholars are calling for a “menaissance”- a return to embracing instead of shunning real manliness.

The fact that men and women are equal doesn’t have to mean they are exactly the same. True manliness sees women as equals in every way, but at the same time recognizes and appreciates our differences. Traditional manliness was characterized by ideas of honor, strength, virtue, sacrifice, responsibility, leadership, and integrity. Women rightly argue that their sex embraces these same values. But is it possible that these values and characteristics might manifest themselves differently in each sex?

Manliness: As with all things in life, take what you like and leave the rest.

Trouble is — as is also with all other things in life — when we as individuals, or large groups, make wretched decisions that lead to disaster…when we REALLY botch it…the one common thread in it all seems to be that we confuse what’s moderate with what’s extreme. Thus it is with our treatment of manliness in the last forty years or so. We’re extreme, and we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking we’re moderate. We don’t take what we like and leave the rest. We leave it all behind. And then we insist our brothers and sons do the same.

Two thirds of us think it safer to conceal our opinion, as men. I’ve been known to take the danger-road now and then, but there’s some stuff that doesn’t make it on to these pages…and, dear reader, if it doesn’t make it, you’ve no idea what it is. Every loudmouth has his limit. If the question is whether it’s “safer” I’m thoroughly in the 67% and I’m entertaining some incredulous thoughts about the sanity, or lack thereof, of the other 33%. Where the hell are they living? On an asteroid somewhere?

A few things I’d like the “Menassaince” to solve:

One. Women should be allowed to keep watching TV. For that to happen, we should eradicate television of all the symptoms of enormous damage the medium has sustained, from too many women watching it. Morning koffee-klatch news programs about nothing. Evening “family” sitcoms in which the patriarch of the household is a klutz and/or an idiot. Made-for-TV movies about strong-willed women (SWW) savoring their triumph against evil middle-aged fat white men out to steal their houses/cars/children/parents. Male characters that don’t do anything except look tall, dark, handsome and supportive while the leading lady beats up the bad guys, finds the clues, solves the murder, rights wrongs, and does all the other stuff men used to do. Which means all, or most, characters played by Luke Wilson.

Two. Boys in school have to go back to acting weird. Right now, if you’re a boy and you act weird, you get pulled out of school, put in a special “program,” and you probably get medicated. All manly men know that a manly man comes from a weird little boy. Remember what I said about confusing extremism with moderation. We’re eradicating weirdness in our youth. Eradicating things is not moderate.

Three. Sexy and gorgeous as she is, let’s stop talking about Danica Patrick until she wins some races that a man didn’t win. She does something wonderful, but it’s something nobody would be discussing if a man did it, we don’t discuss it just because she’s a girl. When the “first woman” walks on the moon, we talk about it the same way we’d be talking about the latest dude to walk on the moon. The era of celebrating women for doing things “first,” when zillions of guys already did it, is over.

Four. Let’s stop changing the subject in quaking fear anytime we hear the words “her” and “choice” in the same sentence together. And no, this isn’t an abortion rant. This is much bigger than abortion. We have a tendency to drop things like a hot potato anytime we hear a woman “chose” something. Men choose things all the time that they don’t get. This discrepancy is a big part of why so many weird little boys are enrolled in weirdness-eradicating programs (See #2) — their mothers chose to put them there. I just think if women want equality, they should have this piece of it along with all the others.

Five. Guys can be assholes. You can single out a guy and call him an asshole. Nobody takes this to mean you’ve got an opinion about ALL other men. I think the ladies should have equality here too. Someone says “stupid woman,” and culturally we’re conditioned to hear “stupid WOMEN” — every female thing that every walked the earth, in this caveman’s point of view, is stupid. When he didn’t say such a thing. Why do we persist in this practice? No one can logically defend it. But anytime we’re called-upon to act on it, we act on it. Just try a simple experiment once or twice, you’ll see I’m right. Stop the insanity.

I’m sure if some of those were put into practice, there are a few decisions currently being made the woman-way, that would not be. That’s one of the reasons none of the five have been put into practice. Telling a girl “no”…from the moments in which we play together in the sandbox on on the playground…is something we’re instinctively wired to avoid. It is our last taboo.

Well taboos can be healthy. But once again. Extremism and moderation. We’ve taken this one to extremes…

Households in which the woman decides everything, tend to be the most dysfunctional. That isn’t because I think women are dysfunctional. It’s the “everything” that makes it dysfunctional. Because that means, if there’s a father in that home, he’s been made into a shrinking violet, someone who just stands there like Luke Wilson being supportive while his own household is run without him…and that’s supposed to be wrong…that was kind of the point of feminism in the first place, wasn’t it?

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. If this is what Morgan leaves in, what’s this stuff he’s afraid to write up and leaving out?

Well, there’s an important reason why I go out on a limb like this. It has to do with the sons growing up in those households run like Amazon dictatorships. What the hell…do you tell them…about what they grow up…to be. It’s mighty odd that so few people think about this. Because that, too, was the genesis of the feminist movement. Lackluster role models for our daughters, and so forth.

I think it’s a pretty moderate thing to suggest maybe, just maybe, we might have over-corrected.

Bring on the Menaissance.

Only Hillary Could Make It Up

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Regarding Sniper Fire Gate

Mark Steel, via FARK:

Anyone can make a mistake about what happened on a trip, she said, and she’s right. You might forget the name of the couple you met on the beach, or whether Thursday was the day you came under sustained mortar attack and had to dive behind sandbags and shoot your way out to safety, or was it the day you went to the dolphinarium.

This wasn’t just a politician’s lie, it was the pointless lie of someone who sits on their own in pubs and leans across to grab you and lie compulsively. Her next round of soft-focus adverts will probably feature her soothingly saying, “My fellow Americans, I drank a pint of walrus milk once for a bet. I speak fluent Eskimo. I once ate all the gherkins in Belgium. My brother’s got a yak in his loft. I fell asleep on a night bus once and woke up in Munich, and had to get a lift back on a camel. I used to live on an iceberg. I’ve got a waffle-maker that works underwater.”

Memo For File LVII

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

I’m linking this column, about which I learned via Neal, for three reasons:

Firstly, Robyn Blumner is a “hyperlib.” She shows evidence of motivation for being a liberal, that goes well beyond any desire to impress or ingratiate herself with others. She seems to genuinely believe private-sector endeavors are harmful to her. Interestingly, once again we have the spectacle of someone who labors under this delusion but is mostly unwilling to state exactly why. Her supporting arguments are anecdotal, and her anecdotes are cherry-picked and slanted. Naturally, she comes to the conclusion that the motives of government are pristine by nature, and the motives of business are rancid and rotten by nature. Better than fifty-fifty odds she came to that conclusion because she wanted to. Why did she want to?

Secondly, she has interesting hair. But her facial features are distorted and weird-looking. I strongly suspect that the hair is a compensatory agent for something else far uglier, and I further suspect that this is a metaphor for her liberalism.

Thirdly, I’ve never heard of an online article that accepts comments that, when submitted, must be no longer than two hundred fifty characters. In addition to that, the comments are moderated. And the moderator seems to be exceptionally lazy. I mean, you just knew what I was going to do when I ran into that, I submitted a comment that was exactly 250 characters, not 249 or 251…a little on the smarmy side…and I’m just waiting to see if they run it. They haven’t posted my comment, but they haven’t posted anything since yesterday morning either.

This woman is warped. Her arguments cry out not so much for philosophical dissection, as for therapy. Consider…

What I can’t get out of my head is the way we’ve been suckered again into believing the malarkey sold by Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and a long list of conservative think tanks, that the market is our savior. It is so convenient to make government the bad guy, the one who interferes with everyone’s pot of gold, and make open markets the answer to what ails, as Reagan did so often. But the historical reality is that the free market has a dark side that causes social displacement and instability, and by its nature it is an uncaring thing.

“Savior.” “Uncaring thing.” From where, exactly, comes this breathless quest in search of saviors and caring things?

How do you get this way, exactly? Has this woman never in her life experienced some kind of conflict about life’s goals, ambitions, etc. against some nanny-savior that was so “caring” about her? Never had that “ooh, I just gotta be me” feeling? About anything? Ever? She must not have. Or else…maybe she faced down a disaster that was so dark and dire and threatening, that pleading for a savior was the only thought that went screaming through her blow-dried coifed little red head and all “gotta be me” thoughts are long gone. If so, how bad was it? What is the worst problem she, personally, ever had?

So after the government’s done rescuing Wall Street, the rest of us could use some kind attention too. But we’d need a different government for that — a very different government.

This is what makes her, in my mind, a “hyperlib.” Consider the ramifications involved if this woman is being completely honest…and you’ll see why I have to doubt that so strongly. Government, according to her words, is kinda like Superman. We get into these fixes that are absolutely, positively, without hope…just like Jimmy Olson or Lois Lane falling out of an airplane, or getting lost in a forest fire. No internal resource, no mortal man, can help us; we need our savior.

But with George W. Bush in charge, the savior is an evil, perverted thing. A “Bizarro Superman” type of thing. So we need a “very different government.” We need to get that red Kryptonite out of here so Superman turns good again. Then we can go back to trusting him absolutely, completely, in every way possible. To save our kittens from trees, save our asses from forest fires, catch us when we fall off bridges, etc., etc., etc….and to run our lives for us.

To trust him completely.

Just as soon as he stops being evil.

So I don’t believe this woman or people like her. What they’re talking about is placing complete, unfiltered, undiluted, uncompromised power — and therefore trust — in this leviathan that is government. But only when the right people are in charge. Never a single syllable uttered about limiting the power to be invested in that resource just in case, you know, one day, from one year to the next — sometimes the right people aren’t in charge.

Which is one of the founding principles of this nation. We aren’t supposed to put that much authority in government, because we’re supposed to presume a good portion of the time the right people aren’t going to be running things.

“Hyperlibs” are people who say we can trust government, unconditionally. Just as soon as we get rid of George W. Bush and his crew. Until then, it is the essence of evil, malevolence, and darkness. According to their own words, we should get ready to bare our jugulars toward the fangs of government, right now, before the evil has been driven from it, while those fangs are still sharp, sparkling, and lunging at us.

Such a twisted edict must arise from an underlying philosophy that is either dishonest or incoherent. And I don’t believe it is incoherent. So a puzzle arises: What exactly are they hiding?

Update: The pattern continues. Yet another “hyperlib,” salivating for us all to live according to the socialist/collectivist model, ostensibly in response to our current day-to-day discomforts and problems — but one gets the unmistakable sense that the discomforts/problems have little or nothing to do with the impulse — turns out to be…GUESS WHAT?

I’m an atheist – so what?
By Robyn E. Blumner
Published August 8, 2004

“What is it,” asked German philosopher Friedrich Neitzche, “is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man?”

I vote for the latter.

Though I was brought up in a religious faith, it was at a very young age – preteen – that I realized I had no belief in God and no amount of indoctrination was going to change that. This sense of nonbelief has been so strong and abiding throughout my life that I find it virtually impossible to understand the psyches of people who believe in anything supernatural.

Just to be clear, it is not just God that I can’t fathom. I also reject the existence of Satan or any form of afterlife beyond the redistribution of the body’s matter. In my book there are no ghosts, golems, angels or spirits. I do not believe in psychic power, astrology or predestination – and forget about karma, kismet or crystals. My view is that the “soul” does not exist outside a functioning brain, nothing was “meant to be,” and things that seem inexplicable are not miracles or paranormal experiences, they are simply not yet explained.

If I was a foster parent to some being from another planet…if I had a genie living in my house…if I had thawed out a being frozen during the age of Atlantis…if it was, in any way, up to me to explain current events to some sentient being, capable of rational thought, but a stranger to recent history and our social customs — I would not be able to explain this.

Why are those who are so resistant to placing any faith in the “supernatural,” so eager to force everyone else to place faith in their socialist models of government?

If I were the thinking sentient being thawed out from the age of Atlantis, I would fully expect the faithful to be the socialists. Those who reject faith, I would expect to be rejecting socialism as well. That’s why you’re supposed to be turning your back on God, isn’t it? For the freedom? For the fatigue you have with “bigger” things “telling you what to do all the time”? And on the contrary, isn’t that supposed to be why a lot of the faithful are indeed faithful? The insecurity? They like to worship “together”? Like socialists? And so, I would expect my theory to make good sense…for it would…but it would be completely bass-ackwards wrong.

It is the godless who are socialists. Perhaps it can be explained because socialism doesn’t leave room for a god. But that doesn’t explain everything.

The consistency is just amazing. Oh sure, there are exceptions I know. But I could make a lot of money betting on the religious beliefs of those who want us to live like insects, surrendering our individual ambitions and desires for liberty, laying them at the altar of collectivism. I could bet they’re all atheists. Every single one of them. I could work my way through an endless Congo line of socialists, placing the wagers on one head after the next, without checking out a single thing about ’em. For the few times when I’m wrong, I could pay out ten-to-one odds and still end up a very wealthy man.

People who persist in this leftist, bug-like thinking, insisting everyone else do the same…are socialists. It is not a perfect pattern, but it is definitely a strong one.

Why is this such a consistent trend? The only explanation of which I can think, is that rejecting God leaves them hungry for a replacement, and so in socialism they have found the replacement.

Out of the Diversity Market?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Well, this is interesting on a number of levels.

Elite colleges have been undermining their own efforts to diversify by giving much more weight to high SAT scores than they did before, according to an analysis of College Board data presented this morning at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.

Over the past two or three decades, the share of freshman-class seats that elite colleges award to students with high SAT scores has risen significantly—and risen more quickly than the number of high scores, according to an analysis by Catherine L. Horn, an assistant professor of educational leadership and cultural studies at the University of Houston, and John T. Yun, an assistant professor of education at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

What’s interesting is, to me, the way the whole college-admission thing was explained when I was a kid, I was told this is how it’s supposed to work. You’re smart as a whip but your scores are low on this-test or that-test, nobody’s going to care how smart you are.

And in life I’ve found as you get further away from the actual work that needs to get done, this becomes more and more true. Officials who are in charge of promotions, hiring and admission, being insulated from the actual work that needs to get done, but needing some kind of data on which to base their decisions, will start to rely on one or several arbitrary testing mechanisms.

The researchers say that, by focusing so heavily on high scorers, the elite colleges they examined are ignoring promising minority students with lesser scores, increasing the competition for high-scoring minority students, and potentially “simply ‘pricing’ themselves out of the ‘market’ for a more diverse learning environment.” Especially among the most prestigious of the 30 institutions, it is hard to believe that putting less emphasis on high SAT scores would cause the institutions’ quality to suffer. [emphasis mine]

Well, well, well. Talk about a darker skin color, and suddenly the most entrenched eggheads start to sound exactly like me. All of a sudden…we need to explore ways in which a single score from a single test, even a prestigious and well-known test like the SAT, might not be telling the whole story.

Whatsamatta? Why can’t we just go off the test score and very little, or nothing, else? Isn’t “promising students with lesser scores” an oxymoron? After all, if a student is promising, the onus is on him or her to bring up that test score right?

Once again it looks like I’m in trouble with the prevailing viewpoint. Back when it said skills/promise/aptitude were all synonymous with the value of a test score, that did seem overly simplistic but I could see the logic in it. Then it said no, there might be more to the story than that. There was logic in that too. Nowadays, the answer is all-of-one or all-of-another, but before we figure out which one it is we need to know the skin color under discussion.

And I’m sorry, but I can’t see any logic to that whatsoever.

And isn’t it interesting…if there was an explanation behind the phrase “hard to believe that putting less emphasis on high SAT scores would cause the institutions’ quality to suffer,” the entire article would have been justified. Since there isn’t one, all we have here is a bunch of colleges making decisions based on test scores, which is what they are conventionally supposed to be doing — and an egghead researcher who doesn’t think that’s the way it should be done. And can’t, or won’t, say why.

He and I could be kindred spirits, if the soft bigotry was dropped. Tests, even the Scholastic Aptitude Test, are exercises in following instructions. When you’re talking natural aptitudes, the aptitude of following instructions is oppositional to the aptitude of figuring out what needs doing & doing it. So even without the skin-color bean-counting, we already have a big problem there — leaders of tomorrow are filtered in to the higher educational system based on their abilities to follow instructions, not to actually lead.

Now we’re getting all hip to the idea that the process may be broken and in need of a fix or two…but only within the context of “minority” concerns. And on that subject we’re going to talk about nothing but minority concerns. Aptitudes that may be useful in roles of responsibility, that are beyond the scope of the testing mechanism, are things that I’m injecting into the subject myself in my own comments. The article itself doesn’t make any mention of them.

So the problem here is that we may be going through the motions of embracing excellence when we’re actually embracing mediocrity. We may be…it seems the researchers don’t want to commit on that one way or the other. For example, I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks the statement “‘pricing’ themselves out of the ‘market’ for a more diverse learning environment” is bizarre in the extreme. There, again, the article approaches an explanation of what is meant by this, but doesn’t actually pursue such an explanation. What exactly is a “more diverse learning environment”? Is it an exercise in excellence, or mediocrity?

Three decades after Bakke, with that phrase being tossed around with such a frequency and to such an extent that it has become tired and worn, I’ve never heard anyone in any position of authority say which one it is. Is “diversity” the pursuit of a zenith, or of an average?

And as a general rule, when persons in positions of authority refuse to explain things, bad things are about to happen.

Since You Cost Us 900 Large…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

…here’s a day in your honor.

The San Diego City Council voted 5-2 to honor the American Civil Liberties Union with a special day of recognition, even after the organization sued the city and collected $900,000 in taxpayer funds.

The plan was offered by council member Toni Atkins, who said she stood “by the resolution” and commended “the ACLU for the work they do.”

Even before the vote, a spokeswoman for the ACLU expressed gratitude for the formal honor.

“Thank you for recognizing the ACLU,” said Rebecca Roberts.

Nothing sneaky going on here, it’s perfectly natural to celebrate someone suing you into the poorhouse because you aren’t doing everything exactly the way they think you should. Hmmm…they could call it “NOT Freedom Day” or something.

Via Jay, via the Rottweiler.

“You and I can rule the galaxy…make things the way we want them to be!” — Anakin Skywalker, after turning to the Dark Side