Archive for May, 2008

Acme Catalog

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Via Wheels Within Wheels, yup, it’s exactly what you think it is.

Thing I Know #142. What we call “cartoons”…they have a coyote and a road-runner, or else they’re CRAP. No exceptions.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Because y’know, I’m tired of bellyaching and I’m tired of listening to & watching other people bellyache.

Click the picture. You know you want need to.

Fewer Services, Lower Taxes

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

A Rasmussen poll, about which we learn via Boortz.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 62% of voters would prefer fewer government services with lower taxes. Nearly a third (29%) disagrees and would rather have a bigger government with higher taxes. Ten percent (10%) are not sure.

Kinda funny. When President Bush’s approval rating is the same, 29 percent, we are instructed to believe the 29% are a bunch of…well…whatever. Stupid, drunk, crazy, either way the 29 might as well be zero.

On this issue, however, the 29% manage to end up running the whole freakin’ election. We’re all just squabbling on how exactly we’re going to get the 29% exactly what they want, even though 62% of us aren’t thrilled with it by a damn sight.

Hey — how many among that 29% who want “higher taxes” are talking about themselves? I mean golly, there’s just no way they could be talking about passing on the “higher tax” to someone else, is there?

Thing I Know #176. I’m slow to figure out what people expect when they clamor for higher taxes. They must expect their own tax bills to go down or to stay the same, because they’re consistently surprised when they’re expected to pay more like everyone else. And they must expect to unilaterally dictate where all the money goes, because they’re consistently surprised when other people have some kind of say.

D’JEver Notice? III

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I just noticed this about Hillary Clinton. She’s got this talking point which is used most frequently by her, but not exclusively by her. It’s still kind of a general hardcore leftist ultra-radical democrat talking point:

Some have said your votes didn’t matter, that this campaign was over, that allowing everyone to vote and every vote to count would somehow be a mistake. But that didn’t stop you. You’ve never given up on me because you know I’ll never give up on you.
And yes, we are in this race because we believe America is worth fighting for. This continues to be a tough fight. And I have fought it the only way I know how — with determination, by never giving up and never giving in. [emphasis mine]

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of determination from some of our ultra-radical hardcore leftist democrats on the subject of the War on Terror? The Peter Quincy Taggart stuff…Never give up…Never surrender?

It isn’t that democrats are opposed to determination, resilience, persistence, stamina and resolve. They’re just so deliberate and focused about where to put it. Good here — bad there.

They run for office, and it’s — I’m a stubborn bulldog, man I’m just a freak of nature, I’ll never ever quit. Then they get in, and it all changes — hurry up and give up, or we just might win this thing.

They aren’t hiding any of this, so I’ll have to reserve the resulting question for their supporters. How does this make sense to you? They seem to be saying — join me, and together we will never, ever, ever give up no matter how discouraging things get, so that I CAN GET INTO THAT OFFICE — and get us to quit.

I’m watching Barack Obama embrace this contradiction on MSNBC, in the moment in which I write this. He’s bragging about the people who tried to talk him into waiting another four years, just giving up…how he looked them in the eye, pressed on…and once he gets in he’ll bring a stop to “this war that I believe never should’ve been authorized” — what’s his argument against it? That it’s been painful and expensive.

Things that help the country, by default, just plain aren’t worth doing. Things that help hardcore liberal career politicians, on the other hand, always are. It’s like they embrace Churchill’s timeless quotation about fighting ’em here and there and never surrendering — only with regard to election campaigns. But about absolutely nothing else.

It is amazing how determined they are about promoting, defending, and codifying the policy of — not being determined. Quitting. They are amazingly determined quitters. It’s really something.

They’re either the most persistent and determined quitters that ever walked Creation, or they’re the most easily discouraged and easily distracted pit-bulls. I dunno which it is, but it looks like they have some issues they need to go off somewhere and resolve about what their message is, before they worry about who’s going to articulate it. Maybe they got started on that, and gave up, because it was too hard.

Update: Thinking on it some more, I notice Republicans are indeed the exact opposite. They promote the policy of fighting the War on Terror, over there so we don’t have to fight it over here. Never leave Iraq until the job is done. Make sure the region will never become a breeding ground for the terrorism that we are absolutely, positively, committed to defeating ONCE AND FOR ALL.

And then when it comes to running for office, all that gritty resolve suddenly turns to crap. Ah…our polls are down. Must be because we’re not moderate enough. Only sensible thing to do is to reach across the aisle and show we’re open to global warming…death taxes…amnesty for illegals…progressive income taxes…hiking the minimum wage…and on and on and on, until there’s no point to being anything but a liberal democrat anymore.

One party is infinitely dedicated and ardently determined to winning elections but winning nothing else, the other party has the same attitude about winning other things but not elections.

I’m An Atheist And I’ll Pray For Him

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Says a DailyKOS contributor about the Lion of the Senate Liberals. Liberal democrats are like that about religion; it’s like jeans vs. slacks, except no need to step into a dressing room to change. More like a light switch. Oop — look at me, for the next five minutes I’m RE-LI-GIOUS…

File this one in the “Am I the only one who notices” file: A goodly chunk of these beneficial wishes for Sen. Kennedy, are made in direct connection to considerations of political consequence — as in, omigosh I hope he gets better so that the nation can benefit from these wonderful hard-left liberal policies he promotes. This is of interest to me, because I’m one of the bloggers who caught a measurable amount of flak and back-talk…from conservatives, no less…for expressing my wishes that Sen. Kennedy recover as much of his health as is possible without going back in to serve anymore.

Since, unlike the DailyKOS folks, I’m not that wild about his policies.

Now that Sen. Kennedy has been confirmed to be afflicted with the very frailty that killed my mother, I’m not backing down from any of it. I want him to drive this thing from his body. I want the chemotherapy to work. I want him to pass with flying colors…and then to go away.

But I have to ask: Why is it that it’s within the bounds of good taste, to wish such an influential legislator fully recovers so that public policy can be decided in a way to your liking. And at the same time, why does it fall below the bounds of good taste to wish an unhealthy old man should retire to a life of dormancy, which is where he belongs — to prevent bad radical liberal policies from being ratified?

Some would say the left-wingers are wishing good health on someone, while I’m wishing sickness. I would argue that is not the case at all. Sen. Kennedy is unhealthy already. I would further argue, they wish to exploit said unhealthy man. For an “ordinary” senator to be nominated and then approved to replace the legendary Lion, would be in keeping with a constitutional republic in which we vote on our representatives as equals.

Another flaw in this argument is revealed when one wonders, with an open mind, what would happen if such a malady were visited upon…Mitch McConnell. Or any other conservative Republican. Actually we needn’t wonder about that too hard. How about an influential Republican strategist from the past, like Lee Atwater?

Somehow, it’s culturally obligatory to remember Atwater in simple, absolute terms. Atwater, we are told, made race an issue in our elections without looking like he was making race an issue. We’re told this by Bob Herbert of the New York Times, who has built an entire career out of telling half-truths about a single speech Ronald Reagan made in Mississippi in 1980.

Meanwhile, it is a settled matter that Kennedy let a woman drown in his car in Chappaquiddick in 1969. Somehow, Kennedy gets to be a complex book, out of which the Chappaquiddick affair is but a single page. See how this works? Liberal democrats want to do all their thinking by feeling…and it amounts to being a cultural request, of which the rest of us dutifully approve. Yes, mister democrat, I must not sound like I’m wishing Kennedy’s brain tumor on him as divine judgment — I can’t come within a hundred miles of that. But you can say exactly the same thing about Lee Atwater and the Willie Horton ad and that’s alright.

This isn’t about feeling bad for Ted Kennedy and his family. Of course I do…how can I not. I’ve seen the heartache a family must endure when one of their own has a tumor growing in the cranium. The feeling of helplessness is profound. It is an occasion of overwhelming sadness. For the benefit of those who’ve not lived through it — words entirely fail. I hope you never learn first-hand.

It’s about the choice or lack thereof. How come we have this obligation to “feel” this way about Sen. Kennedy? And not Atwater? Or Mary Jo Kopechne, the woman who died of Kennedy’s negligence?

How come it’s okay to wish these health sagas turn out in such a way that our government remains hard-left liberal…but not so that our government can become less so?

In fact, how come the things we “wish” become anybody else’s business at all?

To my mind, the one thing that is offensive in the extreme about this, is the necessity certain persons among us feel to reassure, and re-reassure, and re-re-reassure, again and again — all others within listening and reading distance that I Am A Good Person. It’s a liberal democrat trait, but one which a lot of conservatives are emulating. And this impresses me as a far more odious tell-tale than making “tasteless” comments about Senator Kennedy. It betrays an injured and incomplete soul.

Why do you have to reassure us all, so repeatedly, and so constantly, that you’re so “good”?

It’s a real problem indicative of a real character defect. I’m convinced. All who are not convinced similarly, feel free to peruse that DailyKOS thread linked above, and get back to me. These folks have a real problem. It’s like the guy who can’t stop scrubbing his hands, and maybe that’s an apt analogy in more ways than just one.

This is the part where the people who celebrated the death of Reagan, Thurmond, and Heston wag their finger and prove that their [sic] a bunch of hypocriticaljackasses.Fark commenter Mrbogey (2008-05-20 01:47:24 PM EDT)

Not Even Original

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Not OriginalGerard noticed that Tony Puryear “doesn’t even try to create original bullshit,” calling his work “Too little. Too late. Too derivative.” The question is, derivative of what. Commenter Len astutely noticed (#1), in his own words, “This brings back memories of a Chairman Mao poster.” And that’s what I was thinking. The beams of radiance emanating from from the illustrious cranium of Chairman Hill. There must be something about wanting to control the lives of millions of others, that makes your head glow in the dark; or shoot out ray beams, or something.

Is it the extreme height of intelligence that makes one uniquely qualified to be a communist stooge? What happens if they look right at the camera, does something come out their eyes? Is it really hard for them to play hide-and-go-seek in the dark?

Yes, the more I think on it, the more I’m sure I’ve seen something like this before:

Is this what Puryear had in mind?

You know, I don’t imagine it very much matters. I got busy with my ramshackle Photoshop-lite tools, and slapped together a subtle enhancement to Puryear’s work, which I feel quite confident would meet the approval of Her Hillaryness in these closing days of her presidential bid.

And Chairman Mao, too, for that matter.

The Common Thread: It Would’ve Succeeded Anyway

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Me quoting me, on the tenth of March:

As this sense of community becomes more militant, people begin to get the idea that they are “giving back” simply by becoming an additional voice in micro-revolutions that are already several voices strong. A great example of this is one of the favorite recurring platitudes from the utterly anti-individualist social-butterfly Obama fan: “I want to be part of this.” And so across the landscape there arises a feeling that each individual has contributed, by “helping” to make something happen that would have happened anyway. This poisons the idea that an individual can make a difference, while offering a toxic disguise that what is taking place is precisely the opposite — we start to make what are thought of as “differences” by adding our support to things that would’ve hummed along just fine without us.

Me quoting me, on the ninth of May:

Have you ever noticed that when left-wingers “want to be a part of this,” the “this” under discussion is seldom-to-never something that actually needs their support in order to succeed? They don’t seem to want to actually change the outcome of anything when they “want to be a part of” something. You can grow old waiting for liberals “want[ing] to be a part of” something that needs a tie-breaker vote; I don’t recall hearing of any liberals “want[ing] to be a part of” a Gore victory in 2000 or a Kerry victory in ‘04.

Me quoting me, today, commenting on Sister Toldjah’s blog which includes an amazing picture of the weekend Obama rally…seventy thousand heartbeats, give or take, “want[ing] to be a part of” something that really doesn’t need that much help, and maybe that’s exactly why they “want to be a part of” it.

And if I dare say so myself, my final uppercut is worthy of emphasis here:

Just had a “GOP commercial we really need” moment.

I don’t know if you can wrap up the following in thirty seconds, but it would really drive the point home assuming people would pay the level of attention to it that I would.

Think of Jay Leno’s “jaywalking” format. The reporter shoves a microphone in the faces of random people and asks them, what things did you decide to do because a lot of other people were already doing them?

And he gets back answers like go to a rock concert, go to an Obama rally, take part in an anti-war demonstration, go to an Obama rally, smoke some dope, go to an Obama rally, jump off a bridge, go to an Obama rally…

Next question: How happy are you with those things you decided to do…and the answers are…kinda sorta, not very, I guess it would’ve gone all right without me, I was young & dumb, what can I say…seemed like a great idea at the time.

I dunno. Maybe there’s no effective way to get that message across. Things we do just because everyone else is already doing them, aren’t going to culminate in a demonstrably positive effect on anything. And maybe that’s the whole point. Having a notable and beneficial effect on something, an effect that wouldn’t take place if you were missing, can be a frightening thing to an immature mind.

They want to be a part of something, without having an effect on that thing by including themselves in it.

What an exquisitely frustrating thing this internal contradiction must be. It must be like drinking endlessly from an elixir that is supposed to slake an agonizing thirst, and feels like it is, and ultimately is not. “I want to be a part…I want to make a difference…ooh, no, no I don’t, I want to be a part of something without making a difference one way or the other. I want to go through the motions of contributing to collective inertia, while in fact individually remaining completely devoid of mass.”

Poor, frustrated, delusional, demented souls.

Kilts Were Invented by English

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

This one speaks for itself. H/T: FARK.

The last book written by the late Lord Dacre of Glanton also states that the Declaration of Arbroath, which confirmed Scotland’s independence in 1320, is plagued with inaccuracies and details of “imaginary” kings.

He argues that Scotland’s literary, cultural and political traditions, which are claimed to date back from Roman times, were largely invented in the 18th century.

The book, titled The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History, is to be published at the end of this month, five years after Lord Dacre died of cancer.

Its controversial findings debunk many of the cultural arguments for Scottish independence, and are likely to fuel the current heated political debate over the country’s constitutional future.

Lord Dacre, formerly Hugh Trevor-Roper, concludes in the book: “In Scotland, it seems to me, myth has played a far more important part in history than it has in England.

“Indeed, I believe the whole history of Scotland has been coloured by myth; and that myth, in Scotland, is never driven out by reality, or by reason, but lingers on until another myth has been discovered to replace it.”

KiltHe claims that the “myth” of the ancient Highland dress was perpetuated by historians to provide a symbol by which Scots could be universally identified, as well as to support the country’s textile industry.

The traditional dress of the Highlanders was in fact a long Irish shirt and a cloak or plaid, he states, and only the higher classes had woven in stripes and colours creating tartan.

“The kilt’s appearance can, in fact, be dated within a few years,” he reveals in the book.

“For it did not evolve, it was invented. Its inventor was an English Quaker from Lancashire, Thomas Rawlinson.”

He claims Mr Rawlinson decided to shorten belted plaids after workmen in the Highlands, where he was staying, said they were uncomfortable.

Kind of interesting. Being of swedish descent, I can understand the frustration of having significant historical events taking place when & where, for some reason or another, nobody was particularly inclined to write ’em down. I guess about the time of the Battle of Bannockburn, the typical scot had other things on his mind.

Of course, Rob Roy does the best job of illustrating exactly why the garment was invented. And even if that isn’t quite accurate, it’s always fun to watch Tim Roth get sliced in half the wrong way.

Baristas in Pasties

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

From another one of my old stomping grounds, we have a story of…I guess what you get when you cross Hooter’s with Starbuck’s. Naturally they had to wait for me to leave before giving the green light. Bastards.

Sometimes wearing little more than pasties and bikini bottoms, the scantily clad baristas at [Grab ‘N’ Go Espresso Owner Bill] Wheeler’s stands have scores of well-tipping customers.

While customers are expressing support with their pocketbooks, some people are complaining that these new businesses are pushing boundaries too far.

They’ve told law enforcement officers and elected officials that they think the stands should be more tightly regulated.

“I’m not against people making money,” said Kimberly Gainza, 37, of Everett. “What I’m against is how they’re going about doing it. It’s not right — on a road where everybody can see.”

Gainza got a jolt a few weeks ago while stuck in traffic on Highway 99. She spotted a barista with bright blue stickers strategically placed on her chest standing at a stand’s drive-up window.

As long as genitals and nipples are covered, police say the stands do not violate indecent exposure laws. Health officials and state Labor and Industries officials say there are no clothing requirements for baristas.

Gainza said she wants to change that and is hoping she can persuade policymakers to clamp down.

Damn, I do love stories about half-naked women. It’s like the pictures aren’t worth half as much fun as the comically stupid things people are going to be saying about the half-naked women and their half-nakedness. Gosh darn it! There’s something wrong with that! Gimme time, I’ll think of something.

One thing though. How come this Gainza person’s last name isn’t hyphenated? And does she teach her woman’s studies class at Everett Community, or at You-Dub?

Tables Beware

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson, on what you’re not allowed to say about Barack Obama:

3. Rev. Wright is like “an old uncle” and his church “not particularly controversial.” Those who insist otherwise are using “snippets” and “loops” out of context for cheap political advantage. But should the Rev. repeat his serial lunacies at the National Press Club on national television, and insult the sympathetic liberal DC press corps, then he is suddenly expendable and inexplicably not the same pastor that Barack Obama knew for 20 years — and so now to be freely derided as a “spoiler.”

4. It is assumed that Barack Obama’s exotic middle name Hussein can provide authentic multicultural fides and hope of projecting a new, more globally sympathetic American image abroad, but to voice ‘Hussein’ aloud is assumed to be nefarious.
6. John McCain can be written off as “losing his bearings” and wanting U.S. troops in Iraq for “100 years.” But to repeat the fact that a Hamas advisor has praised Obama, or that one of his own foreign policy advisors has met with officials of that terrorist organization, is “divisive,” “a distraction,” and the “old politics as usual.” McCain’s fuzzy references to Shiite/Sunni terrorist cooperation are signs of his senility. Obama’s repeated confusion over how many states there are in the Union (48? or is it 58?) is proof of exhaustion and lack of sleep.

Quite a list. And there’s more.

Rich Lowry, on the same subject — the bossiness that seems to be inherent to Sen. Obama and his followers, specifically with regard to the word “distract”:

IF Barack Obama gets his way, the Oxford English Dictionary will update its definition of “distraction” by the end of the campaign: “Diversion of the mind, attention, etc., from any object or course that tends to advance the political interests of Barack Obama.”

After his blowout win in North Carolina last week, Obama turned to framing the rules of the general election ahead, warning in his victory speech of “efforts to distract us.” The chief distracter happens to be the man standing between Obama and the White House, John McCain, who will “use the very same playbook that his side has used time after time in election after election.”

Pat Buchanan, on the same subject yet again — and he cuts straight to the quick of the matter:

Here are the words that sent [Geraldine Ferraro] to the scaffold.

“If Obama was a white man he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up with the concept.”
The attack on Ferraro comes out of a conscious strategy of the Obama campaign — to seek immunity from attack by smearing any and all attackers as having racist motives. When Bill Clinton dismissed Obama’s claim to have been consistently antiwar as a “fairy tale,” and twinned Obama’s victory in South Carolina with Jesse Jackson’s, his statements were described as tinged with racism.

Early this week, Harvard Professor Orlando Patterson’s sensitive nostrils sniffed out racism in Hillary’s Red Phone ad, as there were no blacks in it. Patterson said it reminded him of D.W. Griffith’s pro-KKK “Birth of a Nation,” a 1915 film.

What Barack’s allies seem to be demanding is immunity, a special exemption from political attack, because he is African-American. And those who go after him are to be brought up on charges of racism, as has Bill Clinton, Ed Rendell and now Geraldine Ferraro.

But we aren’t done yet. You really must run, not walk, to the nearest acquaintance of yours with a Rush 24/7 membership and get hold of the podcast from Friday, May 16, first hour, time index 31:09.7 (without commercials) and forward from there by a minute or two.

There, you’ll find an impressively complete list of things…about which we cannot talk…concerning Senator Barack Obama. As Rush Limbaugh points out, it all started with his ears. Barack was sensitive to comments made about his ears. And now…it’s up to…well, you just have to listen. It’s a lot more stuff than you might think.

Like Buchanan pointed out, it seems what they really seek is immunity. From, I guess, “distractions.”

Mark Steyn has another observation to make:

President Bush was in Israel the other day and gave a speech to the Knesset…Sen. Obama was not mentioned in the text. No Democrat was mentioned, save for President Truman, in the context of his recognition of the new state of Israel when it was a mere 11 minutes old.

The Lady Doth Protest Too MuchNonetheless, Barack Obama decided that the president’s speech was really about him, and he didn’t care for it…And, taking their cue from the soon-to-be nominee’s weirdly petty narcissism, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Joe Biden and Co. piled on to deplore Bush’s outrageous, unacceptable, unpresidential, outrageously unacceptable and unacceptably unpresidential behavior.

Honestly. What a bunch of self-absorbed ninnies. Here’s what the president said:

“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

It says something for Democrat touchiness that the minute a guy makes a generalized observation about folks who appease terrorists and dictators the Dems assume: Hey, they’re talking about me. Actually, he wasn’t – or, to be more precise, he wasn’t talking only about you.

New York Sun’s editorial on that…

The speed with which Democrats recognized themselves in that particular paragraph is telling. The president later said he wasn’t talking about them, but they insisted he was. “It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack,” Senator Obama said. “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”

In fact Senator Obama has promised to meet with the leaders of Iran, who are terrorists, and with the leader of North Korea, which is on the State Department’s terrorist list and which provided nuclear assistance to the terror-sponsoring state of Syria. If Mr. Obama doesn’t think the leaders of Iran are terrorists, he’s really not ready to answer that 3 a.m. phone call in the White House. To his credit Mr. Obama has said he won’t meet with Hamas, but his promise to meet with Hamas’s masters in Tehran undermines that position, as both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton have pointed out.

Or as The Anchoress put it…

[President Bush has] never deviated from his message – the press just hasn’t been letting you hear it. Now that it got out, today, unfiltered, it sure has infuriated the left and the press. What is very interesting to me is how quickly the headlines and stories have moved away from Bush and any full-text, contextual display of the speech to making it all about Obama. Yes…it really is all about the O!

Completely escaping the attention of both the Dems and the press is the fact that Bush mentioned appeasement and they all jumped up and said, “hey, Obama resembles that remark.” Badly, badly played, Dems. McCain, are you watching?

She continues the next day, with a money quote…

If I were a journalist, I’d be embarrassed. I’d also worry a little about backing a candidate with such a crystalline jaw that even when a jab is not directly meant for him, he still hits the mat. Obama’s tendency to carry and play the worlds tiniest violinboohoo everybody is so mean to me and I’m so good – is getting old real fast. Did he not realize how much he sounds like whining Hillary?

So to recap, democrats instructed us, or rather journalists instructed us…does it really matter which one it is, at this point. Anyway, they instructed us to be really outraged at President Bush’s remarks which did not call out Barack Obama by name, or even indicate him, or target him, or focus on him — instead, the remarks were focused on the failed policy of appeasement.

“Obama resembles that remark” is exactly right. We were supposed to become outraged, unhinged and offended on behalf of the Obamessiah. Who made a point of also being outraged, unhinged and offended should anyone claim that he’s an appeaser. Well, which is it? Is he not an appeaser, and we should be outraged, unhinged and offended should anyone imply that he is? Or he is one, and we should be outraged, unhinged and offended on his behalf should anyone challenge the Obamaniacal wisdom of appeasing?

The timeless adage from law schools around the country, helps to explain exactly how our liberals managed to bite themselves square in the ass last week:

If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.

The trouble with pounding tables, is that it disclaims structure. You are forsaking the law, and in so doing you are rejecting the implied contract of quid pro quo by which we live among each other. You are forsaking facts, and in so doing rejecting truth, the study of it, and principled thinking that is derived from it.

I remember getting my first taste of the wonders of collective bargaining, the very symbol and germinating seed of twentieth-century liberalism, in my childhood in Bellingham. The “workers” at a small thrift store were on strike, and my parents told us we “weren’t supposed to” shop there.

Does that mean it’s against the law?

Absolutely not, you just aren’t supposed to cross a picket line. Well, why? Because the workers are on strike. Why are they on strike? Because they don’t think their wages, or salary, or something, are enough. Huh. Well, what are their wages and salaries? That’s none of our concern, it’s a private dispute between labor and management. In all likelihood, due to ongoing negotiations, neither party would be authorized to tell us that if they wanted to.

Therein is the logical folly of liberalism. And of pounding on tables. If it’s none of our concern, how are we supposed to conclude that there’s something sacred about this picket line we shouldn’t be crossing?

Sen. Obama represents liberalism in what, I hope, is it’s twilight: After truth, logic and common sense have been utterly and permanently forsaken. With their roots in this Faustian exchange known as “collective bargaining,” liberals are supposed to decide on behalf of everybody else what is odious and offensive, versus what is to be enshrined and adored, without handing out any facts anybody could use to decide such proclamations on their own.

It’s been awhile by now since any liberals have actually pounded facts or the law. Oh yes, every now and then you get to see them go through the motions of doing it…this many zillion scientists signed our report on global warming or the theory of evolution being taught in schools…or abortion is the law of the land. But it’s all a sham. They’d have you believe once the Supreme Court decides something, by golly, you have no right to form your opinion, or even to speak freely against it. Heh. Bring up something called Bush v. Gore 2000 and see if they really believe that.

Nope, it’s all table pounding. Tables beware!

They’ve passed the critical horizon of the black hole of table pounding. That’s really all they can do anymore, is express their horror, angst and righteous indignation at…whatever the latest damn thing is. And they end up tearing apart whatever structural skeleton there was, upon which their argument was supposed to have been built in the first place. They end up contradicting themselves, sooner more likely than later. They have no navigational gear in the sea of ideas. They threw it all overboard.

They pound tables, and that is all they do now.

They Spit On Us From Above, In Their Tower

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Had a flash of inspiration, the kind you only get when something is already percolating in your brain and something else comes along to kick you in the ass…you see these two things fit together…had you not been confronted with both of them at once, you wouldn’t have had the thought.

Ted Kennedy has a serious health problem. Some of us walk the fine line in wishing him well as a fellow human being, but also for the good of the republic, that this is the closing chapter of his career. We are immediately dismissed or called-upon to explain ourselves.

Buck found a nutcase female editorialist who’s all hysterical that Hillary will soon be dropping out. The hysterical editorialist has a litany of specimens of “misogyny” she’s been noticing…which seem, to me, to be commentaries on what an exceptionally toxic political figure Hillary Clinton has been for a decade and a half. And would stand, logically, if she were such an exceptionally toxic man.

In other words, we’ve rejected Hillary Clinton — and we’re being called-upon to explain ourselves.

Now…is Ted Kennedy accepting of all people? Is he one of these guys who has nothing but good stuff to say about everybody he meets? Eh — no. Not by a long shot. No, the fact of the matter is, he’s liked by democrats because he’s had incredibly inflammatory things to say about Republicans. Not just “he’s wrong on this and he’s wrong on that” stuff, but bridge-burning stuff. This is his claim to fame. He portrays Republicans, regularly, as just plain bad people.

How about Hillary Clinton? More of the same. Every issue she discusses — there’s a villain. This borders on a psychosis. Your family is bankrupt because one of your kids got a life-threatening condition and you had no healthcare…or…Hurricane Katrina. AIDS. Sad stories that have no villain; Hillary, once called-upon to comment on the villain-less tragedy, will make one. Count on it. She’ll take things away from you for the common good. Is she one of those people who can’t find anything negative to say about anyone? Eh — again, no. Quite to the contrary. Finding bad things to say about people, has been her schtick. It is her usefulness. It is what she is, as a public servant.

This is quite bizarre, and I do not blame the politicians for it. I blame the people. We have allowed an unhealthy set of protocols to form, to take shape, to harden: The lowly paupers say negative things about the aristocrats, like for example that the People’s Chamber would be far better off without them serving in it…and we have violated a sacred taboo.

The aristocrats say bad things about the lowly paupers, like for example that we’re causing global warming by driving our cars, or that we’re causing poverty because we’re allowed to keep too much of our money.

That isn’t the violation of a taboo. It is quite accepted.

With some of those aristocrats, it’s the fulfillment of the mission for which they were elected.

And we, the paupers, cannot criticize — cannot wonder aloud how good things might be without those aristocrats in there. Engaging in a service and a privilege. In short, they get to wistfully wonder aloud how nice things would be without us, we cannot wonder the same thing about them.

That seems kind of gunnybags and cockeyed to me.

Tell the rabble to be quiet, we anticipate a riot.
This common crowd, is much too loud.
Tell the mob who sing your song that they are fools and they are wrong.
They are a curse. They should disperse.

— Caiaphus, Jesus Christ, Superstar (1973)

Mind Games For Bad Girls

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Hmmm, in my single days I didn’t see any of this.

Except for #1…and #2…and #3…and…and…

…come to think if it, I’d say that bit about sending herself flowers is the only one that would’ve been a first.

Ted Kennedy’s Stroke-Like Symptoms

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Uh oh. Time for a potential sympathy vote. This is a bad, bad thing…in the same way the California Supreme Court decision was a good thing, in that it reminded conservatives that democracy itself was being banished from our democratic republic for good. Thereby potentially inflating the conservative side of the vote as, on that side of the spectrum, rerun episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond might have sunk a few notches on the priority list.

This could have a similar effect on the other side. Liberals aren’t wild for issues to begin with…thinking about issues makes liberals look bad. They’re much wilder about personalities and human interest stories.

So I wish Massachusetts’ Senior Senator a speedy return to good health. And if that’s not possible, a debilitation just barely serious enough to put him out of the upper chamber for good. But an otherwise healthy, and long, life.

Outliving by a good stretch, any memory the everyday voter would have of his name. To watch his legacy vanish before his bloated baggy eyes.

And to think about what he did.

Update: Ace’s blog is not to be populated with distasteful comments about the Senator.

You know what? If you need to vent, go ahead and do it here. It’s not that I have any passionate hatred for Senator Ted…it’s more like I am tired, just to bits & pieces, of the double standard. And, in my world, deliberating cause and effect is always within the boundaries of good taste. Sen. Kennedy has been the cause of some very bad effects.

I don’t want to wish death on anybody, but his vision for the country is just-plain-bad for the country. If his career is reaching a closure, we’re all better off. Let the commemorations be quiet and brief.

Update 5/18/08: Looking good, but not out of the woods just yet. Healthy enough to turn on the TV and watch a Red Sox game. Condition not life-threatening, but serious.

The worst-case scenario, in my mind, would be for his condition to be sufficiently grave to merit the appointment of a successor, but for the wounded lion to limp onward out of respect to his “contributions,” “lifetime achievement” and “legacy.” That, in sum, would be handing Washington to the cloakroom-smokeroom types.

My sentiments are somewhere between those of commenter #25…

I disagree with him on almost every issue, but wish him a full recovery. Then I can disagree with him again. That is truly the greatest gift this country gives to the world.

…and 44…

Y’all are far too kind. Policy is one thing, but personal culpability for a young woman’s death another. As they said on another blog, may God have mercy on him. That’s all.

The one thing about Ted that everyone seems to forget, is that he could easily have gone home to catch a nap while a woman drowned in his car, and then gone on to fill out another forty years in our nation’s legislature just passing laws. That isn’t what Ted Kennedy did. He has been passing not only laws, but judgment on whether the rest of us are decent people or not.

Update 5/19/08: I don’t want to start another post about this man. I don’t have that much respect for him and I don’t think he is (or should be) that consequential. If he was just another Guy Smiley gift-of-gab no-talent guy like Bill Clinton, substituting silky bromides and platitudes in place of real achievement, I’d think more highly of him. But Clinton had some real talent. Kennedy was just born into his…whatever ya call it…”position.”

Anyway, had to link this. It’s a reasonable and powerful argument about why the Kopechne matter should have a much stronger bearing on things than most people think. Me, I don’t put quite so much emphasis on that single tragic event. It’s important, but mostly as a metaphor for how Ted Kennedy treats people before and after Mary Jo’s passing.

He just doesn’t think we’re worth very much. This is, in my mind, a reflection of what anti-war activism really is. It’s a ceiling to be placed on the level of effort energized for the purpose of defending us from harm. Somewhere beyond a couple of descents into five feet of water, when your clothes are already soaking wet anyway — but falling short of an actual cry for help, when you’re feelin’ all smashed & sleepy.

Men Dating Divorced Women, Women Dating Divorced Men

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Dr. Helen takes on the double standard. One of the most enduring and vivid ones we (somehow) still tolerate.

Are you single and dating a divorced man or woman? If so, there is some really different dating advice out there depending on whether you are a male or female. I read this MSN article on “How to Date a Divorced Man” and then an article “How to Date a Divorced Woman” by the same author, Chelsea Kaplan. What’s interesting, and kind of disturbing, is how understanding this relationship writer tells men to be of divorced women, while advising women that the slightest difficulty or inconvenience posed by divorced men should send them packing.

For example, here is the opening to the article for dating a divorced woman:

Dating a woman who’s been down the aisle in the past is a bit different than dating someone who’s never been married … but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t lead to a wonderful and fulfilling relationship. You just need to be aware of a few special concerns, says Dr. Keith Anderson, author of On Your Own Again: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Getting Through a Divorce or Separation and Getting on with Your Life.

Note that if you are a man dating a divorced woman, it might lead to a wonderful and fulfilling relationship! At worst, a man will have “special concerns” about a divorced woman. However, what if you are a concerned woman who is dating a divorced man? Here is the opening for that article:

If you’ve just begun dating a divorced man, you may soon realize that the “regular” dating rules don’t always apply. Whether it’s due to encounters with his ex, issues concerning his children or heavier-than-average baggage, dating a divorced man can be especially challenging. For tips on how to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with a divorced man, heed the advice of Dr. Christie Hartman, author of Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide If He’s Right for You.

Note the difference: a divorced man has baggage and is a challenge. Dating a divorced woman is a special concern and leads to a fulfilling and wonderful relationship. Even the books mentioned are different. For divorced women, a book is cited with a nice title that is gender neutral; for divorced men, the title is more hostile and is geared towards what women can do to make sure this damaged man is right for her. Everything is about what women want in a relationship. The man just has to play along and conform to what women need.

The typical double standard has become commonplace; after all, these tidbits are written for a female audience, and their success or lack thereof is measured by levels of female approval.

What really impresses me here is the lack of shame…the lack of effort to hide it. A new frontier.

H/T: Dr. Mel.

Three and Five Word Slogans

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

I voiced my displeasure at the Republican party’s new four-word slogan, “The Change You Deserve,” by coming up with ten alternatives of equal length. As is always the case, I find a rigid word count to be a confining yoke on my creative process, but a word limit has a place. So, since I didn’t think too highly of some of my four-word slogans, I thought I’d try on a three-word limit and then a five-word limit, and see if I could come up with some better ones.

Three word slogans for the GOP that I know:

1. Don’t Be Timid
2. English Is Good
3. Defense Over Popularity
4. Show Some Grit
5. Because Humans Matter
6. God Bless America
7. For The Proud
8. Live Without Apologizing
9. Don’t Tolerate Intolerance
10. Honor Their Sacrifice

And, the five-word candidates:

1. Don’t Be Stuck On Stupid
2. Appeasement Has Already Been Tried
3. We’re Worth A Vigorous Defense
4. We’re All In This Together
5. Don’t Burn Food For Fuel
6. Because We Don’t Have “Superdelegates”
7. Buy. Sell. Emit. Live Freely.
8. You Are Not A “Collective.”
9. This Country Is Already Great
10. Loyalty To Fellow Citizens First


Saturday, May 17th, 2008

It’s interesting how real life conjures up the same themes as the news, coincidentally, at any given time. I just got off the e-mail console, where I had to get a little bit philosophical with extended family over travel & trip plans. I saw us going into that thing…you know…with reliable people and unreliable people. I guess there are arrangements to be made insofar as kids from broken homes, stuff has to be coordinated and everybody has to be part of the coordination. Have you been noticing what I’ve been noticing about this? We dutifully take down what the unreliable people have in mind for things…as best we can, since they’re, y’know, unreliable…and then we refine it into instructions about what the reliable people should be doing. Usually, the reliable people do what they’re told, since they’re so reliable and all, and then they find out it all goes to hell because the unreliable people changed their minds, and so now it falls to the reliable people to revise things as expediently as can be managed, and keep watching for the next time the unreliable people change course.

The unreliable people don’t get bothered with any of this. Not a request for another visitation window, even several months down the road. What would be the point? And not a chastisement for changing plans at the last minute inconveniencing everybody else. What would be the point of that? And so all the burden, the inconvenience, falls to those who’ve earned the reputation of treating others with decent standards of respect and consideration.

The kids grow up to be buttholes. The grown-ups end up wondering why. They should be asking, why not? How could you expect the kids to grow up any other way? They see that when you live life for yourself, you get everything you want and nobody bugs you. When you do some planning and show considerations to others your life becomes one big headache; when you don’t, it becomes one big party. I’d have to worry about the kid who didn’t learn a lesson or two from that.

And now, fresh off my arguing about that…we see…via Sound Politics, via Little Green Footballs, via Ace of Spade HQ, via Cassy…some of these butthole kids have grown up and started writing editorials in the Seattle Times. Said editorials making about as much sense as you’d expect. Like fer example — how about the notion that Hitler’s demands weren’t entirely unreasonable? Bruce Ramsey is here to tell you exactly that.

Democrats are rebuking President Bush for saying in his speech to the Knesset, here, that to “negotiate with terrorists and radicals” is “appeasement.” The Democrats took it as a slap at Barack Obama. What bothers me is the continual reference to Hitler and his National Socialists, particularly the British and French accommodation at the Munich Conference of 1938.

The narrative we’re given about Munich is entirely in hindsight. We know what kind of man Hitler was, and that he started World War II in Europe. But in 1938 people knew a lot less. What Hitler was demanding at Munich was not unreasonable as a national claim (though he was making it in a last-minute, unreasonable way.) Germany’s claim was that the areas of Europe that spoke German and thought of themselves as German be under German authority. In September 1938 the principal remaining area was the Sudetenland. [emphasis mine]

Editorialist Ramsey’s column here rises to the level of absurdity in which — if you launch into it determined to deal it some argumentative damage, you can do some, but if you take a friendly posture to it and take it seriously you can do even more damage to it.

I mean, let’s try to extrapolate his argument. It’s a response to President Bush’s point that, you know, our history books already tell us about a time when we tried to negotiate with scumbags. Ramsey tries to turn us the other way by walking through the factual background in a little bit greater detail…Hitler wanted them to do X…they went ahead and did it…the rest is history. Okay, so as far as the backdrop of fact, Ramsey agrees with President Bush. The effect the appeasement of Hitler had on ensuing events, it seems if he disagrees with President Bush there, he doesn’t come out and say it. One would think he would so comment. So we can presume that he further agrees about the cause and effect.

In the end, the Bush-Ramsey point of disagreement, is what we are all to think about this, and/or how we are to behave next time we are presented with an opportunity to appease a tyrant. Ramsey says we should boil up the tea, butter the crumpets, and let the talks begin. Well, why? He just admitted President Bush summarized the events of seventy years ago accurately — his only reservation is that such a summation bothers him.

He provides a defense of the appeasers of the 1930’s that, essentially, their actions were understandable in the wake of what came before. What he seems incapable of comprehending, is that future scholars would not be able to afford such a spirited defense of our generation, should we elect to take the Obama route. They would quite naturally ask “your folks knew all about Hitler, and if you forgot, your President reminded you — what in the hell were you thinking?”

There’s one other thing going on here, and it really has me curious. Ramsey, far from being alone in saying this, intones “In order to get anywhere, each side has to listen to the other.” This is a hot, controversial issue, with each side intent on convincing the other how correct they are. Why, then, do these mint-tea-and-crumpet talkers never seem to furnish me with any details that would inspire me to see the correctness of their point of view? What’s going on in these “talks”? All I see is a bunch of compromises from the reasonable people, while the unreasonable people just do whatever they want. If the unreasonable people do make compromises, they just violate them later. Just like the extended-family visit-trip plans.

Another thing I see is that when these “talks” result in an agreement, somewhere down the road it turns into a big ol’ crap-fest. Yes, the mint-tea-and-crumpet talkers have their moment in the sun. They get to prance off planes with signed papers in hand that they can brandish before the cameras, and say like little kids, “Lookee What I Did!” just like Neville Chamberlin himself.

But without exception, it seems the longer a “talk” takes to turn into a crap-fest, the bigger the crap-fest it becomes. Ramsey’s point, the only one he’s managed to convincingly make, is a valid one: It’s an easy mistake to make, if it’s your first time making it. But that’s no justification for going back, Jack, and doin’ it again, decades later.

If I thought it was a good idea to make John McCain the next President, I’d say let’s go ahead and give the democrats that issue. Let’s make this election all about appeasement. Make it a mint tea and crumpets election year. You think we need to do more talking to the butt-wipes, vote for democrats, if you’ve learned your lesson then vote Republican. I’ll bet most voters have paid enough attention to agree with me. I’ll bet most of them have shared my experiences planning vacations & trips with extended family, to understand the principle that is at work here. McCain would bollux up the message, for sure, making it a “conservative” doctrine to go ahead and drink the tea — otherwise, though, we’d have a rout just like in 1994. I think most people are smart enough to get this. There’s people you do your negotiating and compromising with, and there’s other people who aren’t up to it. And people who aren’t up to it, always put up the appearance that they are. It’s what they figure they should do, in order to get what they want.

Civilization’s Peak

Friday, May 16th, 2008

From here, all the glories in technology and culture we have achieved, feast on themselves. From here, our old people know not what happened, our young adults know not what they do, our children know not what they are. From here, we go zipping downward from the apogee toward which we’ve ascended, climbed and struggled in generations past, reprising the fall of Rome in the age of Nero. Faster and faster. Like a lawn dart.

All who question or doubt, feast your eyes.

H/T: Gerard.

Possible Solution to a Vexing Problem

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Hmmm yeah, I gotta vote for somebody, and none of the three democrats running for President represent my values. Less than six months left to make up my mind. I could write in my own name, but I don’t know if the nation’s ready for me.

And just like that, a solution presents itself. I’ll give it some thought.


Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Makes SenseLois Lane jumps the bones of anybody wearing a colorful cape. Jimmy Olson shows what a good “pal” he is by trying to kill the Man of Steel over and over again. Lana Lang gets super powers…thousands of times. Lois and Superman get married and divorced and married and divorced, more times than Elizabeth Taylor and Larry King combined.

What are Batman and Robin doing? Probably something you can’t even print up nowadays.

Hurry up and click on the graphic, pronto, lest you come under the delusion that these titles might somehow make some sense. You’re welcome.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Shadows and Silhouettes

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Raiders of the Lost ArkAnybody can admire a good movie, especially if it’s one of undeniably high quality. Now, seize the opportunity to learn something useful. And to bookmark what seems to be a movie special effects blog well worth bookmarking.

By the time of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” (1981) [Douglas] Slocombe was a veteran cinematographer, with a rich and varied filmmography in both the United States and in England, and both in black and white and color. He was nominated for three Academy Awards (including “Raiders”), and for ten British Academy Awards (winning three, for “The Servant” in black and white, and for “The Great Gatsby” and “Julia” in color).

His photography gave “Raiders” a classic feel, visually paying homage to the matinee thrillers of the 1930’s, while also raising the level of quality and aesthetics of 1980’s blockbuster filmmaking. The collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and Slocombe is the reason why “Raiders” remains, to this day, one of the best looking action movies of all time.

Wife Evaluation Test

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Truth or fiction? H/T: Ace.

Now, just shut up. If this was a “husband evaluation test” you wouldn’t even have to pretend to be joking about it. You could even make it a self-test for the hubby to take the initiative and impose on himself, and it would be perfectly acceptable. Trendy, even.


Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Buck links to an emotionally-charged epistle written up by a test-tube babymama. She gave up on the Prince Charming and insisted on having a princeling anyway, as did her girlfriend, and while her tone is far from hysterical it’s clear she counsels the newer generation to veer away from her footprints.

Well, don’t we all, sometimes.

Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t rule out a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in the cinema. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. If you want the infrastructure in place for a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, because many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year.

I can’t be too tough on her here, because my observations have been pretty much exactly the same. In fact, I notice divorce is an inevitability for all married couples, save for the ones that die quickly — or — the rare couplings that somehow obtain that elusive Holy Grail of genuine mutual respect.

“Settle” for a fella, after being torn for weeks on end about whether or not he’d make you “happy”? Good heavens, for his sake I hope not.

But perhaps she has something else in mind. Perhaps what she has in mind is…that Holy Grail. True compromise, with another human being, as an equal.

Obviously, I wasn’t always an advocate of settling. In fact, it took not settling to make me realize that settling is the better option. Whenever I make the case for settling, people look at me with creased brows of disapproval or frowns of disappointment. Not only is it politically incorrect to get behind settling, it is downright unacceptable. Our culture tells us to keep our eyes on the prize, and the theme of holding out for true love permeates our collective mentality.

Women do not suffer from any special handicap in decision-making here…at least, no handicap beyond what society has thrust upon them. How often do you hear a lecture that you should respect a “woman’s choice” about something? About as often as you demonstrate less than complete obeisance to whatever that choice is…even in matters where her choice directly impacts yourself, or others. And how often do you hear of a blunt and honest assessment of how well a woman has decided such a “choice”? In polite company, never, or as close to never as real life can summon any behavioral pattern. It is anathema to proper manners.

And so the female is someone we allow to decide things completely, without compromise, and once she has so chosen we do not criticize. Women aren’t goddesses, and they aren’t fools either. They’re people — no better, no lesser.

Why do women reject some men and accept others? Because of something called “true love”? As the subject of such approving and snubbing “choices” I have a great deal of trouble accepting that; and, it seems to me, as a somewhat-old guy who’s spent more of a lifetime outside of marriage than most of the fellas, it seems I might know a thing or two about this. The women who accepted me, that was out of “true love”?

Well, with the latest one — of course!

Perhaps with some of the previous ones as well. But all of the previous ones failed. And I can’t help but think, looking back on it, that one common thread in all the failures was in definition. They “loved” me…”settled” for me…why?

This gets into an unpleasant article in the set of female compulsions that, under the best of circumstances, might be discussed in private between mothers and their daughters — it is not explored in open company. The “love” a woman has for a puppy that was once abused…a no-talent twenty-something rocker dreaming of “getting the band back together”…a beautiful teacup in need of some glue for the handle that has broken away. The love for the “project house.” The fixer-upper.

The man who is only ninety-nine percent complete, has the woman wrapped tightly around his finger. He can’t get along without her help, and for that reason, her imagination runs away with fantasies about nursing him back to health. Her vision is not that he is complete and whole…her vision is that she will make him that way. It’s a vital ingredient — the most important ingredient, is the one that is missing. Waiting for her to toss it in and make it all better.

Her search for this seems to be a product of evolution. It is certainly wired into her psychological makeup, as a feminine being capable of this “love.” One wonders how survival of the fittest culminates in this. But it must. Perhaps the children conceived from such a union, a quid-pro-quo between mama and papa, end up being stronger and more capable of perpetuating the species? It must be so, for that is how we have been built. A lady comes into the age of marriageability, and develops an eye for misfit boys who are as misfit toys.

There is very little “survival of the fittest” here, or whatever there is, is tempered by something that is exactly opposite. Visualizing the boys as toys, the maiden seems unerringly attracted to the ones that, once wound up, march around in a circle — getting nowhere until her therapeutic treatments straighten out the legs and associated workings again, calibrating them, tuning, synchronizing. The ones that already march in a straight line, she might be looking right at ’em, but she can’t see ’em.

It is the timeless father-in-law’s lament.

So my verdict on this thesis is: Partial agreement. I don’t think single women, by-and-large, need to decide more quickly or take more time to reach the decision. How long she takes, is not the issue. The issue is the factors involved in who she chooses. Based on what I have seen in an unusually long and complicated career as a single guy, single women should pay closer attention to what, exactly, is closing the deal in whatever way she feels it should be closed. She should pay attention to what’s going into her decision, because nobody else is.

Yes, it seems like her girlfriends care. But they don’t. Not so much about her long-term welfare, anyway. For that, you need a coupling…a true, genuine coupling. Two people who see each other as real people, each of whom is cared for by the other, deeply, while forsaking all others. Take as much time or as little time to stumble across it as you need, but that’s the prize, and there is no substitute.

The The Impotence of Proofreading

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Republican Campaign Slogan

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Michelle Malkin is apoplectic (H/T: Alan), and rightly so in my opinion, over the Republicans’ new campaign slogan:

The Change You Deserve.

Four words, huh?

I nominate some replacements:

10. Think Like An Adult
9. Action Over Empty Talk
8. Keep America Socialism-Free
7. Introduce Them To Allah
6. It’s Not 1992 Anymore
5. The Victory America Deserves
4. They’re Still Out There
3. Because Americans Aren’t Subjects
2. Fix The Intellectual Climate

And my #1 nominee for a four-word campaign slogan, for the Republican party I know…

1. Balls Have A Place

Update 5/15/08: Rick appreciates our list and echoes our sentiments.

Alan has another four-word alternative that I think is pretty darn good:

Don’t Fear The Future.

D’JEver Notice? II

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Mission AccomplishedThe graphic you see to the left has become a widely-recognized and caustic symbol of right-wing hubris. It is our President giving an address to the troops on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 — at which time many of the men and women listed as troop casualties in the operations, were still alive. The point is, therefore, that the people we call “conservatives” have a proclivity for declaring victory when victory has not yet been realized, and may never be realized.

The dirty little secret is, though, that on May 1 Saddam Hussein’s regime had been overthrown. The mission had been accomplished; that’s just a fact.

Furthermore, a lot of the folks who make a point of flashing this graphic around, or making their petty, bickering references to it, I notice are oftentimes the very same folks who point to strange “accomplishments” in foreign policy — usually with regard to former President Jimmy Carter. And, almost always, with regard to some signature on a document Carter has acquired from those whose signatures don’t really seem to be worth very much. On treaties that have since been broken outright, had unforeseen ancillary consequences in direct contradiction to the benefits they were supposed to bring, or failed entirely. The U.S.-North Korean Pact of 1994. The Oslo accords of 1993. The Camp David accords of 1978.

The propaganda in which we are awash, therefore, is supposed to inform us that actions don’t “accomplish” anything and talking is supposed to “accomplish” everything. For the propaganda to work, we have to believe it over our lyin’ eyes. North Korea is making weapons. And Saddam Hussein is dead and cold in the ground.

The same people are moving the goalposts around in both directions.

Too Complex

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I’ve been noticing this about the “too complex” meme for a long time now. When people say something is a “complex” or “complicated” issue, seldom-to-never do they go on to articulate exactly how it is that this complexity changes anything, gives us anything new to think about, culminates in someone having the wrong idea about things who otherwise might not, etc. In fact, if you’re patient it seems invariably true that these people who talk about “complexity” will go on to some other topic that really is complex, and discuss that other issue as if it were far simpler.

Thomas Sowell takes on those who use the “complex” argument on our thorny economic issue of gas prices. H/T: Boortz.

Iron Man

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Tony Stark, billionaire weapons innovator, goes to Afghanistan to make a presentation to all them military guys about his latest superweapons. This is where you hear that quote used so much in the radio and TV trailers, “the perfect weapon is the one you only have to fire once.” But while there, Stark’s convoy is ambushed and he makes the discovery that (spoilers — highlight to read) the bad guys have been stealing the weapons created by his company and using them against U.S. troops. He is shocked, Captain Renault style, and from this makes the decision to shut down the weapons division of his company the minute he gets back stateside…which takes a little bit of doing all by itself, because first he has to escape. The bad guys think he’s building weapons for them, but little do they know that he’s constructing a bunch of high tech armor with jetpacks and flamethrowers that he can use to defeat them. This has got something to do with the fact that Tony Stark now has shrapnel in his heart cavity and needs a car battery to not die. It gives him superpowers, or something.

Once he is rescued, he puts his plan into effect to end all wars by not making any more weapons. His second-in-command, Obediah Stone, objects to this on the grounds that if we don’t make any more weapons here, someone else will go ahead and make them, and if nobody makes any weapons at all on our side, the bad guys are still going to find ways to get them or else make them themselves. Stark, undaunted, holds his ground. Stark and Stone battle for control of Stark’s company. It turns out that Stone ordered the ambush on Stark in the first place. His motivation for doing so, it seems, is that with Stark out of the way, Stone can go ahead and make weapons that Stark otherwise wouldn’t let him make…the weapons Stark decided they shouldn’t make anymore…after the ambush…which was ordered to eliminate Stark, who decided weapons were bad, only after the ambush. Yeah. I had a little bit of a problem with that too.

And so Stark decides to stand up and fight for what he knows to be true, now, that weapons are bad, by building a revolutionary new version of his miracle body armor, which is essentially one big weapon. And so he ends up blowing up lots of stuff and killing people to get people to stop blowing things up and killing people. In this way, Iron Man suffers from a bout of Star Trek Syndrome: You know…you’re the Captain, you give orders people damn well better follow them, but if Starfleet gives you an order it always turns out Starfleet is taken over by a microbe, a race of androids, or has it’s head crammed up it’s ass in some other way. The message isn’t important, whether it comes from the protagonist or from someone else is what’s important. Goodness is determined by who is putting the plan into motion.

You know, if all subtlety was removed from this, Iron Man could have been made into a much more logical and comprehensible story. See the way I would have done it, Obediah Stone would have sold Stark on the idea that, y’know, if Stark Industries wasn’t making weapons in the first place the ambush wouldn’t have happened and Tony Stark wouldn’t need a magnet in his chest to stay alive…therefore…Stone is the one with the idea that they should get out of the weapons business. And then, halfway through the movie Stark discovers that Stone is allied with and funded by the terrorists, and his plan all along was to make sure the U.S. in a position to be defeated by the terrorists, and as Stark Industries has been liquidating the hardware in it’s weapons division Stone was secretly diverting that arsenal to the terrorists when it was supposedly being destroyed. And then Stark says man, this is some bullshit, I’m gonna do something about it and then he builds his suit.

See, the lesson would have been exactly the same. The way they did it, the moral of Iron Man is that what makes a weapon “bad,” isn’t the fact that it exists, it’s the character and motives of whoever wields it; but it seems to me the lesson might have been lost on the audience, to say nothing of the producers of the movie themselves. My way, you have the same lesson, but it’s crystal-clear. It would’ve made for a much better movie.

Having said that, though, it was all right.

Certainties About Certainty

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Mali (H/T: Rick):

In case you hadn’t realized, it has somehow become uncool to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Or believe strongly in what you’re, like, saying. Invisible question marks and parenthetical “y’know”s, and “y’know what I’m saying”, have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences, even when those sentences aren’t, like…questions…?

Van der Leun:

If you focus on it, you realize that you hear this voice every day if you bounce around a bit in our larger cities buying this or ordering that, and in general running into young people in the “service” sector — be it coffee shop, video store, department store, boutique, bookstore, or office cube farm. It’s a kind of voice that was seldom heard anywhere but now seems to be everywhere.

It is the voice of the neuter…You hear this soft, inflected tone everywhere that young people below, roughly, 35 congregate. As flat as the bottles of spring water they carry and affectless as algae, it tends to always trend towards a slight rising question at the end of even simple declarative sentences. It has no timbre to it and no edge of assertion in it.

The voice whisps across your ears as if the speaker is in a state of perpetual uncertainty with every utterance. It is as if, male or female, there is no foundation or soul within the speaker on which the voice can rest and rise. As a result, it has a misty quality to it that denies it any unique character at all.


What gives rise to all these “invisible question marks” and throwaway token mutterings like “y’know” is a heavy glut of external cognitions — things you know because the next guy told you they are so, and he must know what he’s talking about because someone else told him. These people can’t argue, because they don’t know why it is they “know” the things they are supposed to know. One guy “knows” Bush lied about WMD, another guy is willing to consider it but first insists on being shown what exactly the lie is — the argument is really over before the first syllable is tossed out in one direction or the other. It’s kind of like one of ’em brought a knife to a gun fight.

Gagdad Bob:

Moore ties the phenomenon of wimps and barbarians directly to the culture of divorce and the absence of male role models in boys’ lives. “Half of American boys growing up do not live with their natural fathers. The sons of single mothers lack strong men to usher them into the world of responsible, adult manhood. Divorce, whether in reality or in the acrimonious rhetoric of the mother, impresses upon the boy an image of the father, and therefore of all men, as being irresponsible, deceitful, immature, and often hateful or abusive towards women. For sons, the divided loyalties occasioned by divorce actually create profound doubts about their own masculinity. As the boy approaches manhood, he is plagued by subconscious questions which have no immediate resolution: ‘Will I be like Dad?’ ‘Do I want to be like Dad?’ ‘What is a man supposed to do?'”

This poisoning of masculine certainty is by no means intentional. That’s what is so dangerous about it. If it were intentional, you couldn’t recruit someone to do a little bit more of the poisoning, without convincing them of the righteousness of the cause, and inculcating in them some — ahem — certainty that the cause was just. You would have to, in effect, contradict yourself by asserting that certainty is a good thing where your recruiting was concerned, but something to be attacked by the recruited once the recruiting was done.

No, this trend is unintentional and passive, which makes it all the more potent, destructive and insidious. Swelling throngs of so-called “people” wear and tear away a little bit more at the very notion of being certain of what you’re saying and what you’re doing; at masculinity itself. And like those who condemned and executed Christ, they know not what they do.

What Would Make Him Unelectable

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Small-Tee tim the godless heathen, is wondering aloud in the comment section

At this point I’m just wondering what exactly would actually make him [Sen. Obama] unelectable to his supporters. Murder, pedophilia, wife beating, drug dealing…?

To his supporters…to his supporters…dang, that’s a tough one. The list of what does not do the trick, at this point, is getting a little on the long side.

So I came up with a “Letterman Top Ten Style” list of what might kill the whole deal. To his supporters, as you say.

10. The customary dead girl.
9. The customary live boy.
8. Obama ‘fesses up to doing it doggie style, with Michelle standing behind him.
7. Obama asserts Israel’s right to exist.
6. Obama finishes a few too many speeches without using the word “hope.”
5. Obama finishes a few too many speeches without using the word “change.”
4. Obama goes on record saying maybe, just maybe, in some cases, we should think about executing people who really deserve it — who aren’t Republicans.
3. Obama answers a question directly and substantively instead of launching into a diatribe about how badly George Bush has handled something.
2. Obama calls on Jimmy Carter to be quiet, and for once earn this “dignified elder statesman” label people keep putting on him.

And the number one thing that would make Barack Obama unelectable…to his supporters…

1. He says some nice things about America.

The Three Points

Monday, May 12th, 2008

From I Love Jet Noise

During WWII, the Japanese were searching for a way to demoralize the American forces that they faced. The Japanese psychological warfare experts came up with a message that they thought would work well. They gave the script to their famous broadcaster “Tokyo Rose” and everyday she would broadcast this same message packaged in various ways hoping to have an impact on American GI morale. What was the message? It had three main points:

1. Your President is lying to you.

2. This war is wrong and illegal.

3. You cannot win the war.

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because the U.S. mainstream media and the Democrat Party has picked up the same message and is broadcasting it to our troops. The only difference is that they claim to support our troops before they demoralize them.

Yes, it does sound familiar.