Archive for July, 2008

Michael Savage Interviews Peter Breggin

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Audio here, and you can find other interviews and comments on this page.

This is like the “other side” of the 4-A debate, because some of the people running around with the strongest opinions about Autism, Aspergers, AD(H)D and allergies don’t even understand there is a debate going on. They don’t understand how little of this is proven to have any physical cause. This is the loyal dissent, and in my opinion it should be required listening for anybody who seeks to contribute to any meaningful decision about a child’s future with regard to these supposed maladies.

Like the 4A Cheerleaders, Penguins Use Bad LogicI’m not a big fan of these interviews by Dr. Savage. If you listen to an infomercial in the middle of the night, and then twelve hours later you listen to one of these softball interviews Savage does, you’ll notice they sound exactly the same. I don’t like that. I never did like it. But I’ve been following Dr. Breggin’s work for awhile now, and his side of the story is one that needs to get out. He is not overstating the financial relationships at work here, so far as I know — contrasted with that, a lot of our “4A cheerleaders” base their opinions on the unfounded premise that all the professionals involved have pristine motives. You see them, often, abruptly ending their presentation of an argument and “resting the case” after quoting a professional. There, He Said It! That settles it! Argumentum ad Verecundiam writ large. This works for them…even though said 4A cheerleaders are receiving services, or are pushing their opinions onto other people who are receiving services, that are free.

People need to think more critically about this stuff. If services are provided, and they’re free, then money has to be sloshing around somewhere. And that raises the potential for a system to be abused. That needs to be checked out. People should look into this and they should presume shenanigans are goin’ down until the opposite is demonstrated. That is the very least that should be happening. The very least.

I would point out one other thing about this: Since Dr. Savage got started on this tempest in a teapot, a recurring defense I’ve been hearing of this tidal wave of autism diagnoses with regard to borderline cases, the children who could probably succeed fine without the specialized instruction they’re receiving is this: “Since the diagnosis was made and little Johnny started receiving these services, it has done him so much good.”

That is not the litmus test. It’s exactly like saying “Since little Johnny started eating more food than all the other kids, he’s gotten so fat.”

Abnormal kids benefit from specialized instruction; normal kids benefit from specialized instruction. Kids do better with specialized instruction.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who’s received it, under mistaken or fraudulent pretenses, should keep it. It certainly does nothing to address the central question of whether those pretenses were indeed mistaken or fraudulent. In short, it’s a very poor argument for justifying the status quo.

Eliminationism

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

I subscribe via e-mail to updates from the democrat National Committee (dNC), in addition to the Republican counterpart organization and a few right-wing think tanks here and there. I think listening to both sides is part of one’s obligation as a responsible citizen, and besides it’s an educational experience. One thing I’ve noticed, going back to my earliest days of using an e-mail account at home, and it’s an unbroken pattern…

…a right-wing fundraising letter (or request for participation, for signing a petition…whatever) invariably opens with some alarming event, and dire prognostications of where this might lead. It’s almost as if it’s addressed to people who haven’t made up their minds to support conservatives. It may summarize the events crudely, perhaps even inaccurately, but in nearly all cases there’s a foundation for the argument that substantially addresses the question of why I should care.

The messages from Howard Dean, et al, do not do this. Top to bottom, they are saturated with a call-to-arms. The theme never varies, even slightly — I, Morgan Freeberg, am the drop of water that is missing from the waterfall. It’s straight out of Mao Tse-Tung’s speech in 1945 about the Foolish Old Man Who Removed The Mountains. If everybody does their part, and you do yours Mr. Freeberg…we will win!

Not a single word about what’s going to happen once that is achieved. Or, “War in Iraq” aside, what dire calamity will befall us if we fail.

There is a suggestion here, and more than a whiff of it, that conservatism exists in service of other ideals that exist outside of it, whereas liberalism exists only for its own sake (or for some other set of ideals nobody wants to discuss). I’ve opined on this before, how incredibly suspicious I find it that modern-day liberalism shows all this dogged determination to promulgate itself, to impose itself upon echelons of high power in our society — and for no other purpose whatsoever. In other words, once the elections are won, it’s all about quitting. Before those elections are won, it’s all about winning them at any cost.

So I’m finding this bundling of ruminations from left-wing blog Orcinus more than a tad interesting. I’m thinking probably, the author has been watching too many movies and not paying sufficient attention to what happens in real life:

What, really, is eliminationism?

It’s a fairly self-explanatory term: it describes a kind of politics and culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas for the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through complete suppression, exile and ejection, or extermination.
:
Rhetorically, it takes on some distinctive shapes. It always depicts its opposition as simply beyond the pale, and in the end the embodiment of evil itself — unfit for participation in their vision of society, and thus in need of elimination. It often depicts its designated “enemy” as vermin (especially rats and cockroaches) or diseases, and loves to incessantly suggest that its targets are themselves disease carriers…

And yes, it’s often voiced as crude “jokes”, the humor of which, when analyzed, is inevitably predicated on a venomous hatred. [bold emphasis mine]

This seems to me an almost perfect description of modern-day liberalism; at least the tactics of it, if not the strategy.

They want us to go away. I’m thinking, by “us,” all the usual targets. Housewives…abstinence education advocates…Christians…climate change skeptics…meat eaters…gun owners…Boy Scouts. Those groups, and many more, I’ve seen exposed to “complete suppression, exile and ejection, or extermination.” “Unfit for participation in their vision of society.” Earlier in the piece, the author further defines eliminationism as something that “cuts the target off from the community support it might normally enjoy and leaves them feeling even more isolated.” Is it possible to jot down a more apt description for what has been done to the Boy Scouts? They were taken to court, the case went all the way up to the Supremes, and when the Boy Scouts won their opponents moved to block their funding from the United Way.

With “dialogue shunned” every single step of the way.

What a classic case of being what one calls others.

The situational difference I find most damning is this: When I have some real passion about an issue that is based on values, and I find out, say, 80% of the population feels the same way, the first thought in my head is what in the world is wrong with the other 20%. I notice a lot of the folks who agree with me on the issue have the same reaction, and when people form their opinions from their values, this is only natural — so long as we’re discussing generalized, baseline values for a civilized society, and not personally-customized nit-picky values. The Left, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be able to count up to any percentage higher than 51. It’s like Howard Dean says, they want to win. And then, I get the impression very often, whether they win by 51-49 or by 90-10, they couldn’t possibly care less which it is. So long as those who disagree with them are properly gelded, it’s all good. They don’t want us to convert, they want us to lose.

Orcinus talks about “eliminationism”; that situation with our leftists seems to me to be about as fitting a definition as can be found in modern times.

Incidentally, I learned about Orcinus’ rant by way of a wonderful and insightful essay on selective outrage by Confederate Yankee; and I learned of that essay by way of Rick.

“Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned, but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people.” – Larry Elder

Cross-posted at Cassy.

Seducing Women with Self-Deprecating Humor

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Yes, to the person who asked, I did see the article when it came out.

His wry, self- deprecating humour is as important as his floppy hair and English charm at ensuring he always wins the heart of his leading lady.

Now scientists have discovered the technique used by Hugh Grant’s film characters can bring the same romantic success offscreen.

Taking the mickey out of yourself works far better than clever jokes, which might be seen as boastful and put women off.

The findings were outlined by anthropologist Gil Greengross, who conducted a two-year study into the role of humour in seduction.

He discovered that the type of humour used by Hugh Grant in the film Notting Hill – in which he attempts to charm Julia Roberts with the poor contents of his fridge – works the best.

‘Many studies show that a sense of humour is sexually attractive, especially to women,’ he said.

‘But we’ve found that self-deprecating humour is the most attractive of all.

Barf.

See, there’s a lot of truth in this. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you did a study to find out why women decided not to go out on a second date with a guy, the number one adjective that would rocket up to the top of the stack would be “cocky.” Just as self-deprecating humor is the “most attractive of all,” a cocky personality is the most repugnant of all.

Here’s the trouble. It’s the word “most”…we presume this can safely depend on numbers of women. And yeah, two-thirds of all women, or three quarters of all women, make it ninety percent, will just love that self-deprecating humor.

Ooh, it’s like when he’s around I can have a never-ending Everybody Loves Raymond episode playing wherever we go! **swoon**

More power to ya — if you want to be married to my ex-wife.

Life’s way too short to accommodate nasty women like this, women who can’t see anything redeeming about their gentlemen unless said gentlemen are puttin’ themselves down. Here’s the bottom line: Those women don’t really like men that much. Yeah maybe that’s nearly all of the available women out there. Could be. If that’s the case, fellas, what you’re finding out is these chickees are available for a reason. They are, essentially, the female version of the guy who leaves his socks and underwear on the coffee table, kicks the cat, yells at his own momma, drinks milk out of the jug and couldn’t put the toilet seat down to save his life.

Women meet a fella like that, and they begin to seriously question whether a man is something they want to have around. In that respect, women are much smarter than men. Of course, acting on those reluctant thoughts is a completely different thing, but at least they raise the question. Guys — we’re pathetic. As long as we’re available we keep asking “what Hoover Vac method will suck in the greatest share of the available women?” with nary a thought pondering what kind of substandard stuff we’re sucking in.

Well, none of my business I guess. Self-deprecate away, you studs.

Obama is Questioned

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I see over at Old Hippie’s space, some New York Times editors sat down with The Chosen One in the classic job-interview-horseshoe configuration, and proceeded to pound him mercilessly:

Editor #2 (male, older, seersucker suit with bow tie): Great … by the way, you’re looking remarkably fit. Do you work out?

Editor #3 (younger, female, described as hip and fashionable): Of course he works out Perkins … and he runs and he plays basketball. And he’s very health conscious about his diet. Duh.

Obama: I try. You had some questions?

Editor #1: Right. First, you’ve submitted an op-ed titled “My Plan for Iraq” a week ahead of a planned trip to the Middle East, including Iraq. Do you think it would make more sense to hold off on the op-ed until you’ve finished your trip and had a chance to get on the ground there and talk with military commanders, Iraqi leaders and others? Just wondering … not a problem if you don’t think so.

Obama: I understand what you’re saying, and I will of course be talking to many people during this upcoming visit. But talking and listening are two different things. I intend to do a fair amount of talking, frankly a lot of talking … listening, eh, not so much. I think the American people have shown they really like it when I talk. I suspect that foreign folks will react in pretty much the same manner. At some point, I might go on a listening tour. It depends on the polls.

Heh. Pretty good. Go read it all.

Save the Males

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Got an off-line from Blogger Friend Buck about something interesting: Save the Males.

Feminism has flourished, many say, leading to a more enlightened, open, and liberated time. In her new book, “Save the Males,” syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker argues that this is, quite simply, a bunch of bunk. We’re more confused that ever when it comes to gender, she writes–and males, not females, often bear the brunt of the assault.

Ground zero, she argues, is the classroom. “Boys learn early that they belong to the ‘bad’ sex,” Parker writes, “and their female counterparts to the ‘good.’” In schools across America, she reports, boys are stifled, feminized, and drugged; curriculum content is gender-equitable to a near-absurd degree (“We’ve created a new generation of Americans who may be more sensitive, but they don’t know much about history,” she writes); and years of “dueling girl and boy crises” have morphed into a we’re-all-the-same dogma, ultimately translating into Brave New World-style games of tag where “nobody is ever out.”

This impresses me as something potentially interesting. Here and there people notice we’ve been watering manhood down, victimizing our boys, alienating them from the sense of manhood that God’s Will says they should embrace on the way to adulthood. Ms. Parker seems to be pointing out that our girls are becoming disoriented as well.

“Historians aren’t sure of the precise date,” Parker writes, “but sometime around 1970 everyone in the United States drank acid-laced Kool-Aid, tie-dyed their brains, and decided that fathers were no longer necessary.” The statistics here are scary, but not unfamiliar: America “leads the Western world in mother-only families”; 30 to 40 percent of American children “sleep in a home where their father does not”; and between 1999 and 2003, the number of babies born to unmarried mothers between the ages of thirty and forty-four increased by nearly 17 percent.

Speaking of boys being stifled, feminized and drugged — once again, we need to become aware of a hot new trend, or at least, the desire some have to create one. And it isn’t new.

It has to do with convincing men, somehow, that they should wear womens’ cosmetics on their faces

“Guy-liner” and “Manscara” to enhance the eyes of the male in your life, will appear in Superdrug this week.

Yesterday, the company’s director of trading Jeff Wemyss insisted that its cosmetics – branded Taxi Man – are not just for transvestites.

He said: “These days you can be macho and wear make-up. If you look at people like Russell Brand and Robbie Williams, they both wear make-up and they are both very red-blooded men.

“Men are more obsessed with their appearance than ever before. There is no longer any pain in being seen to be vain.”

Mister T speaks for me here…

Get some nuts!! Rrrr!!

Cross-posted at Cassy.

Another Brittle Obama Fan

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Did He Give You Permission?The poor dears. Their emotions are so raw after having committed to such a thoroughly incapable and lackluster candidate who doesn’t stand for anything, the least little thing will set ‘em off…like, for example, a bumper sticker depicting a Calvin look-alike piddling on The Name Of The Chosen One…

[Doug] McKain told the officer he and his wife were driving home when they noticed a female motorist looking closely at his truck. The couple drove home then pulled into their driveway.

“Mr. McKain said shortly later the same person (Ms. [Chynethia] Gragg) pulled up to his residence (blocking his driveway behind his truck.) Mr. McKain said Ms. Gragg began to rant and rave about the sticker on the back of his truck,” the court document states.

McKain told police Gragg shouted numerous profanities at him and his wife.

“Mr. McKain said Ms. Gragg said she (would) get someone to take care of him later,” the report said.

Gragg was issued a trespass warning and then arrested on the threat charge, a misdemeanor. She was released Wednesday from the Fort Bend County Jail on $500 bond.

We’re bound to see more of this. I have some of my own experiences with it. Let’s give it a name: “Messiah Rage” works for me. It’s shorter than “Buyer’s Remorse Over Thoroughly Mediocre and Incapable Presidential Candidate Syndrome.”

H/T: Karol.

Sticking to a Goal

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Via HotAir, via Gateway Pundit, via Conservative Grapevine: Liberals are so adorable when they pretend to be carefully defining and sticking to benchmarks in measuring success. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rationale for why the surge hasn’t worked…

Against what backdrop does she make these cutting remarks? Well, what better place to get your info, than the Associated Press:

The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.

Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.

But Speaker Nan says the primary objective must be political and not military, so in her big ol’ dinner plate sized strobe-blinking eyes, it’s a flop.

What hard, crisp, cool-headed, brutal critical thinking. I guess those drops of acid must have left a few brain cells alive. If she’s being sincere. If.

This is why people hate politicians so much. Wouldn’t it be nice if liberal democrats could use this logic in measuring the success of bullshit social programs that just exacerbate and multiply the problems they’re supposed to solve over the generations?

Well, your carbon voucher program was supposed to diminish the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…well, your program to end poverty was supposed to do exactly that, and I don’t see that poverty’s been ended…well, your gazillion and one bond issues were supposed to make our children more educated and better prepared to face the challenges in an evolving world…well, your progressive tax scheme was supposed to bolster the economy overall by getting rid of something called the “wealth gap”…well, your rock concert was supposed to find a cure for AIDS…well…well…

I could just do that all day. But it doesn’t reflect reality, because in reality we evaluate left-wing initiatives by their intentions, not by results. Speaker Nan seems to think that’s okay, and yet at the same time, other efforts like the surge should be measured differently.

I’m holding my breath, with you, waiting for the press to ask the tough questions about this. I’m sure it will happen on The View first.

Penn and Teller on Being Green

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Hat tip to Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Caution urged; it is very dangerous to laugh uncontrollably with vomit in your mouth. And you don’t want too many details on how I know this, but it has to do with this episode.

Update: Meanwhile, via Boortz, we are shocked — shocked! — to find out the democrats have been peddling energy credits to fund a wind turbine that doesn’t work. Well, democrats sell a lot of boondoggles, and we tend to presume their intentions are honorable; this time we know it for a fact, because the innocent folks they were hoodwinking was…them. This was supposed to offset the energy consumption of their own national convention.

Now, I guess they’ll just be unclean pigs, like all the rest of us. Unless…quick, someone get a “labyrinth.”

Old-People Jokes

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Miss Cellania is looking into them and it’s pretty hilarious.

Before I send you there, though — my Dad’s all-time favorite old-person joke is here.

Now then, on to MissC.

Top 100 Films

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I always like these lists, and this one seems to be just as good blog-fodder as any of the others.

Criticize away. I see my gripes are nearly all Spielberg-related: E.T. is above Jaws, and Raiders of the Lost Ark it seems isn’t even on there.

I just don’t think E.T. was that good. Whatever “best movie” list includes it, should include Cocoon in an equal-or-higher slot, and for that matter maybe Old Yeller should also be in an equal-or-higher slot.

A tearful “goodbye” doth not a great movie make, sorry.

Jon Voight Hates Hippies

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Via Ace

Cool guy.

The Democratic Party, in its quest for power, has managed a propaganda campaign with subliminal messages, creating a God-like figure in a man who falls short in every way. It seems to me that if Mr. Obama wins the presidential election, then Messrs. Farrakhan, Wright, Ayers and Pfleger will gain power for their need to demoralize this country and help create a socialist America.

The Democrats have targeted young people, knowing how easy it is to bring forth whatever is needed to program their minds. I know this process well. I was caught up in the hysteria during the Vietnam era, which was brought about through Marxist propaganda underlying the so-called peace movement. The radicals of that era were successful in giving the communists power to bring forth the killing fields and slaughter 2.5 million people in Cambodia and South Vietnam. Did they stop the war, or did they bring the war to those innocent people? In the end, they turned their backs on all the horror and suffering they helped create and walked away.

Outside of Ace’s excerpt, Voight concludes…

…while a misleading portrait of Mr. Obama is being perpetrated by a media controlled by the Democrats, the Obama camp has sent out people to attack the greatness of Sen. John McCain, whose suffering and courage in a Hanoi prison camp is an American legend.

Gen. Wesley Clark, who himself has shame upon him, having been relieved of his command, has done their bidding and become a lying fool in his need to demean a fellow soldier and a true hero.

This is a perilous time, and more than ever, the world needs a united and strong America. If, God forbid, we live to see Mr. Obama president, we will live through a socialist era that America has not seen before, and our country will be weakened in every way.

Yeah, well some people will like us better. Of course, with friends like those who needs enemies. But what the hell.

Cry of the Bloggress

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

You’ve got to read this thing from Rachel. It’s priceless. It’s about that thing we’ve known and loved for forty years now — here’s a profession, only X% of the people in it are female, therefore there are sexist knuckledraggers running amok — only this time it is the blogging profession. Yeah that highly-compensated coveted occupation…

The New York Times wrote about about the Blogher conference (it’s a “community for women who blog”! yeeeee!), which complained about “blogging’s glass ceiling” and how all these women bloggers are so powerful and creative and smart yet just can’t get taken as seriously as men’s blogs such as DailyKos. Which, who takes DailyKos seriously? That’s really the big question on my mind.

I’ve written about this before, and as ever, what makes me roll my eyes at the whole thing is the air of entitlement – I blog, therefore I should be taken seriously. The article mentions “top blog” lists by Techcult and Forbes and implies that it’s just wrong that more of these women bloggers aren’t on those lists, but almost every Blogher blog they mention in almost the same breath is a mommyblog or a diabetes blog or a romance blog. Is this that confusing?

Anyway, so the BlogHer chicks were upset about not being taken seriously, and then the fembloggers spontaneously menstruated when they noticed the article was in the Fashion/Style section of the Times. I would like to thank the writer of that post I just linked to for reminding me how important it is to use the F-bomb in moderation. Jesus. Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d find it easier to take the feminists seriously if they didn’t express their displeasure like this:

Yeah, those fucking laydeez are so heinous, they even took over the manly-man bathrooms!! And they’re such feeble-minded superficial silly bitchez, all they care about is “nurturing messages”, neck massages, and the trappings of femininity. LACTATION!!1!!!!11!1!! Why aren’t those bitchez at home taking care of the damn baybeez properly, anyway!?!?

Yes of course, that is exactly what the NYT was thinking. Pigs!

I have a confession to make: Sometimes, when I’ve a mind to skim through a blog or two before getting my day started, I get it in my head “This is a lady blogger day” and I skim through only the female-operated blogs. Cassy, Rachel, Toldjah, Michelle, Karol, Anchoress, Melissa, Neo-Neocon, Princess.

Why?

Because women put out an entirely different product. Their disclaimers, should they put in any at all, are much shorter. Simply put: A lady blogger can type in things like “this chick is messed up in the head” with no preamble. Guys? Heh…”Now, don’t get me wrong, I have long been an advocate of equal opportunity, and I know all women aren’t like this, it’s just that…” blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. And I’m one of the worst offenders, because friends and relatives read my stuff and it’s known my love life has been somewhat…tempestuous…

…I digress. The point is, I can only evaluate my own behavior on this issue, and I do not take bloggers less seriously just because they are bloggresses. Far from it. I exercise the most flattering brand of “affirmative action” — the kind that cares about the end results, and discriminates to get what’s wanted, not to showcase the discrimination. But then, if the next fella is discriminating the other way, avoiding female blogs, and avoiding any positive acknowledgment of them — what am I supposed to do about that? What the hell is anyone supposed to do about it?

Because, it should be noted, that is the focus of the New York Times’ bitch pitch. Not the number of women blogging, but the decisions of the readers as they peruse the blogs, and nominate their favorites for recognition:

There is a measure of parity on the Web. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, among Internet users, 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women blog.

A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners last year found that 36 million women participate in the blogosphere each week, and 15 million of them have their own blogs.

Yet, when Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities, only 11 of them were women. Last year, Forbes.com ran a similar list, naming 4 women on its list of 25.

Two points, both painfully obvious:

One, if women can’t fail, they can’t succeed. That means, if each and every time the ladies are perceived by someone as having their clocks cleaned, we have to go back and do it over again, ultimately we’re all going to have to disrespect women and, more importantly, whatever “accomplishments” they pull off. In anything. That includes Danica Patrick. The sentiment will unavoidably arise that, ho hum, another woman did something wonderful and we’re all supposed to applaud. We’ll applaud, but nobody will mean it.

Two, if people are entitled to their own opinions about things in our society, there’s gonna be racism and sexism out there. Regulated or unregulated, pick one. But — if you want things regulated, and you want to somehow ostracize or expunge any notions that aren’t to your liking, I hope you don’t do it in the name of “tolerance” because what you’re advocating is exactly the opposite.

And then, if unregulated is the way to go, there’s no point to having conferences like this, or the New York Times pieces that cover them. But deep down you knew that already.

Cross-posted…Cassy.

Drive Through Church

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I had made a comment in my intro over on Cassy’s blog (from which, some of you are reading this for the first time since this is a cross-posting; hang with me, m’kay?) that I don’t go to church anymore. And that my reason for not going has to do with my distaste for the decisions people make in groups. Fact is, the decision people make in groups can turn out to be wonderful, and I still don’t like it because of how it was made. I find it to be unaccountable. The very meeting-in-groups, itself, over time has come to impress me as a way of scrubbing accountability clean. This all turns to crap — who takes the body blows for it? If it’s “Joe Says We Should Do This” the answer is crystal clear. If we all sat around a conference table and “it was agreed that we should…” then the idea itself takes on a flavoring of legitimacy it doesn’t deserve, even if it’s right. If it turns out to be wrong, and now we have a cleanup we need to do, we’ll probably proceed from that point with the same mindset that got us into trouble in the first place.

And then there is the notion of “everyone.” The older I get, the more jaundiced a look I cast in the direction of that horrible, horrible word. No, I don’t like the word “everyone” anymore. It has come to be an insidiously insincere word. Just keep your ears peeled next time you hear it –

“All” does not mean “all.” “Everyone” doesn’t mean “everyone.” I remember being summoned for a parent-teacher conference and the lady on the phone explained why I had to miss three hours of work with this lame cliche: “This turned out to be the only time that would work for everyone.” And I retorted “well yeah, but I’m part of ‘everyone,’ aren’t I?”

The answer is no. “Everyone” means “me, and people who agree with me.”

So this video Rick put up, speaks to me on all kinds of profound levels. It makes me think of a bunch of conversations I’ve had with my Dad about his frustrations with church, how it’s being taken over by those goddamn long-haired hippies with their guitars. People like him are facing the same problem with church that I faced with the teachers, you see — that music ensemble just worked for “everyone.”

What comes next seems so patently obvious I feel a little foolish for jotting it down: Church isn’t supposed to be about us. And yet, there’s a dilemma here, because a man’s relationship with The Almighty is a personal thing; if the format of the group worship isn’t to your liking you’re not going to be happy. That means you’re not going to go. And so churches bend over and take it, and they end up being parodies of themselves.

A situation which apparently inspires this darkly humorous clip embedded by Rick:

Could there be some common ground? Seems to me, the answer might involve a “least common denominator.” I’ve always held a little bit more sympathy to those who attend group worship, and object to some new embedded cultural flavoring therein, than to those who likewise attend group worship and insist on inserting one. I mean, what is the objective here? To share in the experience of communicating with The Lord, with dozens of others in your flock — or to have things customized to your personal tastes? If you need to have things customized to your personal tastes, well, that’s when you need to learn to sustain a relationship with your Creator as an individual.

And I can’t help but think, for folks who’ve worked themselves into that kind of a fix, maybe that’s the answer. Maybe they’re not the kind of people who should be attending church either.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s.

Another Carbon Footprint Calculator

Monday, July 28th, 2008

This one I found out about via Neal Boortz. It must be accurate because it’s got music and you can make your own avatar.

It says if everyone lived like me, we’d need 3 to 5 planet earths to support our lifestyles.

Hmmm…I don’t know. I have one son, my girlfriend has no children. I didn’t see where the quiz asked me that. Somehow, I think if everyone on the planet had one or zero children, that might skew the results toward the positive, y’know?

Half man…half bear…half pig. I’m serial.

Cross-posted at Cassy Fiano.

Ten Things I Love About The South

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Not me quite so much, since I’m relatively inexperienced at traipsing through The South. Although, it should be said, I have done some traipsing and I’ve found the people to be remarkably friendly, in a pleasing sort of way. Not awkwardly-friendly like on the west coast — “I’m feeling sociable and I’m going to have a conversation with you about old socks whether you like it or not” — but friendly in a real sort of way. I have not found southerners to behave the way they are portrayed on made-for-television movies at all, not even close. I have found them to act like…well…the way left-winger liberals want to act. We’re all in this together whether some of us realize it or not — but — if you don’t see things the way the southerner does, he chalks it up to different life experiences, whistles a happy tune, and goes on with what he’s doing.

The stereotype is that they’re intolerant and pea-brained. I’ve found them to be the opposite. You can talk to them about just about anything, and even though the conversation started about your interests and not theirs, you’ll know more about the subject after the conversation’s over than you did before it began.

The stereotype is that they’re fat. Oh, goodness, the southern women I’ve met…fit as a fiddle, and they make it look easy.

The stereotype is that they like to control every little thing that goes on in their precious little towns. But whenever someone catches wind of something I’m doing or saying that they don’t like and starts waggling a finger at me, the finger is attached to some busy-body blue-blood northern liberal.

I think of The South as the “outer kingdom” that was in my dream a few weeks ago. Legend says they live in purgatory; with a broader view one sees reality saddles purgatory upon the miserable creatures who work so hard to stay out, and in so doing live in a gilded creation of their own design without knowing it.

But I digress. I am not qualified to come up with a list of ten things I love about The South, I’m only qualified to have my own opinions about it, with very little experience to back them up. The list is the product of Right Wing Sparkle, out in Texas.

5) Southerners love their animals. They love their horses, dogs, and cats. They also love to eat whatever animal isn’t one of those.
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7) Blue Dog Democrats. Yes, these are Democrats I actually like because when asked about Obama over in Europe they say things like, “Well, I hope everyone in Germany votes for him.”
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10) Restaurants tend to be family owned and the food melts in your mouth. When you ask for tea, they ask, “Regular or sweet?” If you say sweet they know you are from here.

Sparkle, you forgot to mention #11 which would be a wonderful sense of humor. You just helped to reinforce that.

Restoring My Hope in the Next Generation

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Hooters GirlVia Boortz we learn about

A 5-year-old boy slipped out of the Imagination Station child care center unnoticed Tuesday afternoon, crossed two busy streets and wandered to a restaurant on the Interstate 35E service road in 100-degree heat.

Employees of Hooters found the child safe about 5:20 p.m. He left the child care center in the 2300 block of San Jacinto Boulevard, crossed the Interstate 35E northbound service road and Dallas Drive, bought a soft drink at a service station and walked to Hooters, where an employee found him in the parking lot and called police.

I’m glad he’s not my kid. Because then it would fall to me to explain to him why that was an awful, terrible thing to do, and that he should never think of doing it again. Meanwhile, I’m thinking…hot summer day, five in the afternoon, Hooter’s right across the street…yeah, sure I wouldn’t do exactly the same thing. Sure I wouldn’t.

Now if there are more details coming out, like for example the lad went to Hooter’s first, and then doubled back to the service station after he ordered a pitcher of brew and got turned down…that would be even better.

The story, unfortunately, has a sad-creepy aspect to it as well:

State records show that in April, Imagination Station was cited for violation of Section 746.1230(4) of the Child Care Standards and Regulations — Responsibilities of caregivers — supervision of children.

“It was determined that staff were not supervising properly. Two children were found involved in inappropriate contact while the caregivers were engaged in activities with other groups of children,” according to the citation posted on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Web site.

Hope that turns out to be a witch hunt…but it probably won’t.

If the supervision was indeed substandard, that makes it all the tougher to dish out some lecturing in the kid’s direction. I think he’s gonna turn out alright. Of course, this is exactly the kind of kid who ends up diagnosed with whatever-it-iz and medicated…but let’s review here. The daycare center is basically warehousing the kids, and he’s goin’ “Hey look, there’s a Hooters across the street. Screw this.” And forms a plan & acts on it.

And, if shenanigans & hijinks are indeed going on at the daycare, who knows when someone would’ve found out about it had the boy not gone off on his road trip in search of wings & suds. So, once again…politically incorrect behavior…positive result. There’s a lesson here for all of us.

This Is Good LII

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

H/T: Flopping Aces.

He’s Tired, They’re Tired

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Neo-Neocon is patting herself on the back for her prescience, and I think she deserves it. This is her from over a year ago:

…when Obama made his slip-up and overstated by a factor of 1000X how many died in the Kansas tornado, I’m inclined to say it’s amazing such errors don’t happen more often to all the candidates, given the circumstances. But his excuse—that he was tired and weary—doesn’t sit all that well with me, although I have no doubt that it’s both true and understandable.
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In a larger sense—and perhaps I’m overdoing the analogy here, but what the hey—Obama’s willingness to admit to exhaustion mirrors the Democrats’ willingness to admit to being so weary of Iraq that they want it to be over, and immediately. Arguments about the pros and cons of the war aside, in strategic terms the clamor for the pullout signals a lack of stamina that can only be immensely heartening to our enemies.

And here she is yesterday:

I’m rather proud of my foresight on this one
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I’d hardly change a word. Subsequent events have only solidified my impression.

I have found the pattern with democrats and their fatigue to be very tidy and clean. As Yoda said, hard to predict the future is; my insight was scribbled down just a week ago. But the pattern is virtually undisturbed by interruption or exception and so it must mean something.

It comes down to this: Exhaustion, faltering, failure, getting tired, wanting to quit — these are things you feel when you serve your constituents, before or after you win an election. On the winning of the election itself, that’s the time for relentlessness. The only time for it.

In 2008 we find ourselves grappling with an ideological flesh-eating parasite in modern liberalism. It champions determination, drive, resourcefulness, grit and plain old-fashioned ballz — only in promulgating itself, and for no other purpose. In that singular endeavor of self-reproduction, it never wanes, fumbles or retreats. Holding high the banner of itself, it shows all the “patriotism” for which it shows theatrical horror elsewhere, including the resolve to seek out, interrogate and punish the desultory and apathetic.

It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

All the energy and heat of an erupting volcano.

All the single-minded determination of any wild, starving predator.

All the stamina of water wearing away on a rock.

The power of a tidal wave.

All these forces of nature reserved for simple reproduction of the idea. And only for that, for the idea is nihilism. We are not good, we don’t belong where we are, and nothing is worth anything, for we are undeserving of whatever it is.
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Wouldn’t it be nice if they worked up one-tenth as much anger toward radical terrorists as what they have in reserve for conservatives, “neocons,” and other ideological opponents?

They’re on their way to the White House, and nothing will stop them.

When the time comes to perform some actual public service…get the facts straight…begin with the end in mind in Iraq…drill for oil…it seems not only does fatigue get in the way, but everything else does as well. Regain our “standing in the world”…can’t “drill our way out of this problem”…carbon footprint…tired. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Al Gore can’t quite take Florida, and they pull out all the stops. Lawyers descend on Tallahassee like buzzards on roadkill and we have a national month-long debate about pregnant chads. Get voted in no matter what! Everything else they try to do, well, they’ll take their best crack at it after their afternoon nap. Maybe. Unless there’s a reason not to. Can’t endanger that precious environment, ya know.

The conclusion is unmistakable and unavoidable:

They want to do something once they get into office, that is well outside of anything they want to discuss. Especially when they’re trying to get voted in.

Overheard at a Wedding Reception

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Something you need to understand about this guest blogging gig over at Cassy Fiano’s: She gets ten times as many hits over there as we do over here. Of the people who read her regularly, we’ve engaged in spirited debate with a tiny, tiny fraction of ‘em, and I’m guessing just a tiny fraction more came to be aware of us. And so when we picked up the baton an hour or two ago we published a pre-drafted page that had been edited and edited, endeavoring to introduce ourselves to those unacquainted without too much bloated bloviating.

I’m pretty sure we failed in the brevity department. Oh, well.

But I’m pleased we placed so much emphasis on bullshit things said by people for the sake of getting attention. For here it is just a hundred and six minutes later, and look what Sister Toldjah has put up. It’s as if some cosmic divine kismet read our remarks and thought to itself, “This stuff that Morgan K. Freeberg guy is saying, doesn’t make sense; we’d better make some things happen that will make his comments make some sense.”

The theme is, people saying nonsensical things to get attention. Showing off for other people, and in so doing, losing track of what the facts do & do not support.

Saying nonsensical, stupid crap.

I must say, I am amused, feeling somewhat vindicated, that Sister Toldjah heard these things at a wedding reception. What happens at a wedding reception? People get nervous as all holy hell. They act around each other in a manner much more civilised than they’d like. That’s the point where the family of the groom holds court with the family of the bride…for the last time, until, maybe, in the hospital when the first grandchild is about to be born. And so people put-on-airs. They say things that may or may not make logical sense — usually, not — for the express purpose of making themselves popular, or trying to make themselves not-unpopular.

We need to improve our standing in the world.

PFFFFFFTT!! Yeah, right. I’m so sick of this meme.

Some smelly guy in Gay Paris is pissed off at us because we did something, we need to turn ’round and run out of Iraq and Afghanistan before international resentment sets off World War III. Some other guy in London or New South Wales is pleased as punch we did what we did…well, he just doesn’t count.

It would be patently absurd if you were to run around saying something stupid like “We need to improve our standing with Morgan K. Freeberg.” But you know what? That would make more sense. There are other folks smarter than me, but as an individual, I’m accountable for the opinions I have. “The World”…that’s just a false sense of consensus. It goes to what I’ve been saying for awhile now — when we say “everybody” wants something or “everybody” is pissed off about something…”everybody” does not mean “everybody.” “All” does not mean “all.”

Words like “everybody” and “all”…and “the world”…those things all really mean one thing: “Me, and people who agree with me.”

We shouldn’t be putting up with these phony aggregates. Nobody anywhere should be left with the impression that they can improve their posturing, by engaging them.

Who are these smelly frenchmen, anyway? What happens if we don’t do anything about global terrorism and we end up with Chicago or Philadelphia being bombed — is someone from France going to cover the cost of rebuilding, since we went dormant just to make them happy? Maybe send over big sacks of francs? Send along a couple more Statues of Liberty to auction off?

Bah. Have a couple more glasses of champagne and shut your cake hole. Standing with the world…bleh. More like standing with a bunch of deranged moonbats who happen to live overseas.

And what’s up with this other voice, saying McCain isn’t qualified to be Commander in Chief because he was shot down in a war zone. What, Obama somehow is?

Fine situation we have here with so-called old-fashioned etiquette. If I went to a wedding reception and said, simply, “Reagan Won the Cold War” that would be a horrible infraction. But you can jawbone this Move On Dot Org nonsense all afternoon long, until bride-n-groom drive off with all those tin cans trailing behind…and that’s all okay. Yeah.

Have another glass and stick a sock in it.

Cross-posted at Cassy Fiano.

When Do We Start Battling Our Ugly Stereotypes, As Opposed to Substantiating Them?

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Your defense is well-suited to any social meme that has developed a rugged exo- or endoskeleton. Feminism has neither. It’s been using a jellyfish-like form to wiggle out of trouble for quite awhile now with this “nailing jello to a tree” deflection-of-criticism approach.

That’s metaphorical for what some of our most prejudiced male chauvinists sometimes say about women overall, I would add: Women insisting on having everything their way, and then refusing to take responsibility for it. So if that’s a stereotype feminism wants to fight, it seems to me feminism could be doing a more efficient job of fighting it. From what I can see, feminism has almost been working to perpetuate it, and your “Not Our Fault” posting continues the trend.

My constructive criticism for this blogger — bloggrix, I guess — as she fisks away about supposed female privilege. The nearly-uniform spirit in each and every nugget is that any unintended consequence of the feminist movement is to be laid at the feet of something called “the patriarchy.” There is nothing bad about feminism and nothing good about patriarchy; everything about feminism is good, and everything bad that seems to result from it is that guy’s fault.

The truth is that feminists are individuals. And their movement is chock full of double standards — a relic of classic chivalry benefits men and diminishes women, it surely must be abjured from our polite society. But when another relic diminishes men and benefits women, the ambition within the feminist movement to polish that sucker off suddenly does a pratfall. Including women in selective service? Oh, we can certainly have a debate about that…as long as nothing ever comes of it.

There is a kernel of truth in what she’s saying. A lot of feminists will say “Yes! We want the responsibilities as well as the benefits!” This margin of legitimacy to the point she wants to make, ironically, is the very weakness of it. Feminism has done such a poor job of defining itself with regard to any conundrum that arises, within the “middle ages have actually been pretty good to us” family of conundrums, that it now benefits from an oozing, amoeba-like shape with neither form nor substance. What is the “feminist” take on women being required to register for selective service? We can go out looking for feminists who say one thing about it, and other feminists who say another thing about it. We’ll find plenty of both. The movement itself is agnostic about it.

Except it isn’t. Because here’s where the argument really breaks down. A feminist advocate retires from a position of leadership, and if she has two possible successors, the more militant one will win the spot. We’ve seen that happen for decades now, during which time feminism has become at certain times visceral and nasty. It shouldn’t have happened that way. To insist on equal pay for equal worth, is actually a pretty benevolent motive. But now we have feminist advocates pushing to get commercials taken off the air so that none of us dimwit men ever get the ideas in our heads that maybe our wives and girlfriends can bring us a beer from the fridge now and then.

And as I’ve pointed out garrulously, to excess, refusing to do nice things for someone, someone with whom you’re supposed to be sharing a life, is mean. Especially if you’re refusing just because he’s a guy.

But getting back to the subject at hand: The stereotype of a woman, in the mind of a true male sexist, is someone who insists on having everything her way and then when there are unintended consequences for this, she doesn’t take responsibility for it. If any individual wants to entertain that notion, he’ll have to figure out whether it holds water based on his history of the women he’s met. But what of the feminist movement itself, as presented by this fisking bloggress? The refusal to take responsibility for unintended consequences…

Again, this is the result of the patriarchy. The feminist does not see this as a privilege, but rather a ridiculous sexism, particularly because society deems the display of emotion to be bad. We are not privileged; we are ridiculed and dismissed as irrational for displays of emotions. Feminists believe that the expression of emotion is healthy, regardless of gender.


Again, patriarchy. Blame it.


Again with the patriarchy. Feminists do not believe that men should be measured by their violence, either. This is the pressure of the patriarchy.


Blame the patriarchal Abrahamic religions. Women did not come up with the idea of circumcision, and we certainly didn’t invent clitorectemies. This isn’t a privilege; it’s yet another demented result of the patriarchy.


Again! Blame the patriarchy, my male friends. It’s not the feminists that are holding you back.


Again, patriarchy. Women are expected to serve as the primary caretakers of children. If we didn’t, then fathers would have to work less, take care of children more, and then they’d have more of a role.

I wonder what happens when very young males, who are bright but far too inexperienced to have an opinion about feminism one way or the other, trip across such neurotic excuse-making. The natural and reasoned human instinct is going to be to say “well, if when all’s said and done anything that turns to crap is automatically my fault just because I’m a guy and part of this ‘patriarchy’…I don’t think I want to be around anyone like this.” Or, of course, if you do have to be around someone you anticipate won’t take responsibility for unintended consequences, you’re going to have to go nuts with insisting that everyone be done your way.

It reminds me of a broadcast of the Tom Leykis program I heard back when Braveheart came out. There was that scene where King Edward shoved his son’s boyfriend out of a third-story window, and Mr. Leykis had a guest in his studio who was organizing some kind of protest against this scene among homosexual advocacy groups.

A caller called in and posed a rhetorical question for which the guest could not come up with an answer. He said, (paraphrasing)

Isn’t this the stereotype about you people already? You go into these movies with your spiral notebooks, you probably don’t even know what the movie’s about and you don’t care, you just jot down some thing you can protest. And here you are bearing that out.

The devastating thing about that point is that you can demonize the guy making it to your heart’s content, expressing theatrical indignation about “you people” or hypothesizing about warped and bigoted intentions in some other way — but the point still stands. The advocate’s stated purpose is to enact cultural reform, toward a more tolerant society. And yet by choosing the tactics he’s chosen, even if he ultimately succeeds it’ll be two-steps-back-and-three-forward, because his first move is to organize, protest, point, condemn, mock, scold…and, generally, insist on having everything his way with no compromises.

Dictate how some other guy he’s never met and never will meet, is supposed to make a movie. If I was a gay man who was concerned about how the homosexual community is perceived within society overall, I’d have been very pissed about it.

Just as, if I was a woman or a feminist, I wouldn’t find this bloggress’ “defense” to be terribly helpful.

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

Yikes! XI

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Don’t click unless you have a strong stomach and can stand gut-wrenching screaming. Mkay?

Someone linked it in a thread about this fifteen-year-old boy up in Canada who suffered a most unpleasant way to depart — buried under a pile of roasting hot asphalt and suffocating under there.

The boy, too young to work on construction jobs under Manitoba labour laws, was part of a paving crew working on a parking lot in the Winnipeg bedroom community of Stony Mountain.

“I believe [the truck] dumped off way too much asphalt unexpectedly,” said Stony Mountain fire Chief Wallace Drysdale.

“I was one of the first members on scene and we just saw the hair sticking out of this individual. It was extremely hot asphalt. Our crews, when we were digging out, had to shuttle different members in and out in about four- or five-minute intervals because our feet were burning.”

Police and labour officials were investigating.

Richard Hill, who lives less than 100 metres from the accident scene, heard the boy screaming and ran over.

“I guess it was the truck driver that said, ‘There’s a guy buried in here’ and I … found a shovel, and me and another guy tried digging him out,” Mr. Hill said.

It took about 15 minutes to get the boy out. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The Real Deal” Defined

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

I see in late July of 2008 the Google search term,

Obama +”real deal”

…still returns over half a million results. Your first search result is an item from February called Why Obama’s The Real Deal, and if I was asked by a political science professor to write a fifty-word summary of the substance therein, I’d flunk for sure. Probably what happened was the author did answer the question, and it just went over my head. But I don’t know why Obama’s the “real deal” and so I remain agnostic on whether or not anybody else knows.

I’m still unconvinced that we have a definition for “real deal,” of any sort. The kind where, you isolate ten people who’ve been caught throwing this slogan around, question them in solitude, and you get back fewer than ten unique answers. One uniform answer? Forget it.

And so it falls to me, to pick out a functional use of the term, one that fits all, or most, of the popular uses of it.

Deep breath…here we go.

REAL DEAL: Flattering slang attached to an individual who possesses a unique ability to sell products unneeded.

I’m looking in from the outside. So if someone who’s been inhaling these Obama fumes can clear his head long enough to offer a definition equally concrete, I will presume superior knowledge on his part and graciously defer.

But within the status quo, while the intoxicated continue to babble their ethereal nonsense, my definition stands.

Memo For File LXXII

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Three Bitter Beers, Pretty Good!It’s Friday night and that means it’s time to find something worth discussing that doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with him.

So how’s this…

Two weekends ago I showed up at a “company” picnic with some of the folks who used to be my work colleagues. My old boss’ boss is a big fan of fancy beers. Takes tours around Germany, drives down to San Francisco to buy up the imports and the indie domestics…always has interesting stories to tell. Loves to talk about it.

This isn’t the boss who died at home a few months ago. His boss.

Anyway…I brought over a 750ml wine bottle of my famous homemade barbeque sauce, and bartered it away for three of his best, which were ice-cold. That July day was especially hot, and I gulped down all three the minute I got home. All three had that bitter, Bite You In The Back Of The Tongue taste.

It was a good outing, including some folks who hadn’t been in the office in years. Gathered before 11:00, didn’t say our good-byes until almost three in the afternoon. As for the beer brands, they’re plenty good enough to jot down for future shopping excursions, at my local spot as well as online.

Now you know too. And tomorrow’s Saturday.

You’re welcome.

Update: You know, there’s an interesting segue on this theme of beer, because earlier this evening I was screwin’ around on Google looking for beer-related things…and what did I find? Yet another “Can I Get An Amen Here” screed at feministing. What are we being directed by our feminist matriarchs to find reprehensible this time? (This time, it should be noted, was eleven months ago…but…)

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE…

(Cymbals clash!)

A commercial about a mechanized women producing ice cold frosty delicious beer. Presumably, for a guy. Grrrr! Outrage!

You’ll be pleased to know there’s a thread under it with fifty-plus comments, mostly from slave-feminist, ass-kissing toadies. Oh, yes! We’ll be writing to Heineken right away, using out very angriest e-stationery!

I don’t know. I was single and available a few years back, at a fairly seasoned age for being in the market, and I had a sudden revelation about women, or rather, my feelings about them: After all I’d been through I wasn’t that interested in what I’d be able to catch, as what I’d be able to avoid. I didn’t want to filter out any quality material, but somehow I just knew if I could ask exactly the right questions, I’d make a much more successful match than most single people in their late thirties. And that’s exactly what happened.

My scoring system wasn’t exactly a simple thing, but basically it distilled down to this:

WE ARE AT HOME AND I ASK YOU TO BRING ME A BEER. You…

A. Bring it. Max points!
B. Bring it, provided I say “please.” Just as many points as A.
C. Bring it, but expect me to bring you things when you ask me too. Yes, just as many points as A and B. Really. Yeah, what a chauvinist knuckle-dragger, huh?
D. Bring it, but only if it’s your “turn,” after keeping careful track of who owes what to who. MAJOR loss of points. Down to almost zero. No interest, whatsoever, in being in a relationship like that ever again.
E. Don’t bring it, because your identity has come to be attached to not doing things like that. Negative points. Sure you’ll make some other dude happy. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

Feminism, to me, has come to be a bunch of women who are “E.” People keep telling me I’m wrong about that, and then I see fifty comments in a row like what you’ll find under that post.

Who’s the target market for this ad? Really, really misogynistic futurists?

How much beer does Heineken think Newt Gingrich is going to buy?


Yep, and this commercial is supposed to appeal to women too. Because it is, after all, all about the menz. If you drink this beer, it shows that you are willing to put up with this shit, and maybe a little of the sexxxay robotness will rub off on you. Hooray, instant approval from men! Just what you always wanted.


The robot is clearly designed to look like a woman in order to play into the stereotype that the primary female role is to be a server/hostess, both in the household and out. That is why it’s misogyny.

There, see what I mean? They’re talking in circles about “sexxxay robotness” but the robot got herself in trouble simply by doing something for a man; something about a “primary female role.”

That’s how you make the leap. From Do Not Establish An Identity That Has To Do With Helping A Man — to — Establish An Identity That Has To Do With Not Helping A Man. They set out in their feminist endeavors to cleave down a single silk hair the long way, and the intellectual tool they use to do it is not a scalpel, or a butter knife, but a sledge hammer. Naturally — they fail. Before you can say “Can I Have A Beer?” they’re chiding each other for even thinking about getting a man a beer, never mind if he just rescued them from a bad part of town with a flat tire, opened that darn pickle jar for them that just wouldn’t budge, adopted their half-dozen whelps they had by some long-forgotten high school scumbucket, saved their favorite kitty from a starving pit bull, or…said “please.” None of that matters; you’re simply not supposed to do nice things for a man, period.

Supposedly, it’s more complicated than that. I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. There is no surgical precision here. Any & all enthusiasm along the lines of pitching in and helping out, to live life in a spirit of true partnership with one another…is out the window. Pitched overboard. Tossed into the wood-chipper. And along with any true commitment to living life together, as a twosome, you can forget about anything that really matters to you. Domestic tranquility. Being a father to your kids. Buying groceries fewer than four times a week. Vacations you really enjoy. Hanging on to your money.

Hey PrincessAnd having a cold beer. It’s an unpleasant truth of life: A woman who refuses to bring you a beer, probably won’t be that crazy about you grabbing one for yourself either. “Get your own damn beer” doesn’t mean what you might think it does.

I hope no one gets the idea, from comments like this, that I place a lot of priority in judging a woman’s character on whether she’ll bring me a beer or not. That would be barbaric and primitive.

But, I certainly do appreciate a woman who is inclined to go ahead and do it for me. Or for any man. I get the distinct impression that the number of years I have left on the planet, is derived rather rigidly from how many minutes I spend around women like that, in whatever capacity, versus how many minutes I spend around those “E” types. “Can You Get Me A Beer?” has become a reasonably accurate litmus test to figure out if a prospective long-term enchantment has a problem with her goddamn attitude, and Lord knows how much money and grief it can save a younger stud approaching the age ripe for dating seriously. It’s very much like what young ladies do with us, when they keep an eye out for how much we tip the waiter — you know, that timeless advice handed down from mother to daughter, however we treat “The Help” is probably how we’ll treat our wives. I think that’s a fair test, and an accurate one too. So is the “ask for a beer” test. Be classy and polite as you can possibly manage, but toss the question out, keep your butt anchored to that chair, and see what happens.

How different things would be, if I tried that with my ex-wife.

Update 7/26/08: This one definitely goes in, because…

1. It’s loaded with nostalgia. The pull tabs, the “wet look,” the sideburns, etc.
2. Her knights rescue her from the dragon, and she does what a decent princess does. Fits right in with our theme.
3. It’s my old stomping grounds.
4. She’s a product of the feminist movement’s “growth spurt” phase, right after it got going. When it was feelin’ it’s oats, so to speak. And yet, she’s just a sweetie. LESSON…LESSON…for certain people who need it…but might not absorb it…
5. Cross-eyed cat??

Let’s just stop beating around the bush: As it’s been pointed out before around these parts, beer is a wonderful beverage for human companionship — even if it’s substandard beer that tastes like deer piss. It is the ultimate social drink. The taste is not the point. The point is getting together and appreciating each other, when we would otherwise have not.

And there really is no more pathetic creature than a woman who resents a man who’d like a beer brought to him. These fragile biddies, the trouble with them is — the guy who demands that it be brought to him, versus the fellow who’d simply appreciate it, they can’t tell ‘em apart. Those two dudes are exactly the same, in their eyes.

And that’s a very sad thing to see in a woman. It’s like a guy who can’t drive a stick-shift. Men should know how to work a clutch, and a woman should know how to recognize grace and good manners when they’re right in front of her. Now, the guy who can’t tell who’s being nice to him and who’s being something of a dick, or the woman who grinds gears, I can cut them both some slack. But each one of the sexes has an area in which mastery is to be expected, and I think what’s above in this paragraph, nails that down pretty well.

If she doesn’t, and if she acts like those sourpusses over on feministing, snarking away when she catches wind of guys who like to have beer brought to them…you know what? She is being (wait for it, here comes the ultimate insult) — economically foolish. Really. That’s the unsung wonderful thing about us guys. A beer is an adequate, I say abundant, almost excessive, thank you. No matter what. This is what our less enlightened and less pleasant females can’t grasp about us. They, for their own advantage, really should figure it out, sooner rather than later.

We buy you a beer, you buy us a beer.

We hold the door open for you, you buy us a beer.

We throw our fine suit jackets in the mud puddle so you can walk across ‘em without dirtying your precious feet, you buy us a beer.

We haul your five tons of crap and your cross-eyed cat up two flights of stairs, you buy us a beer.

We rescue your five children from a burning building at three in the morning, and then adopt them and pay their way through college, you buy us a beer.

In all those situations, and many more, the beer is more-than-adequate payment. It isn’t even payment, it’s gratuity. You’ve just surpassed all our expectations. Guys are so easy that way. Black men, white men, red men, yellow men, Republican men, democrat men, redneck men, urban men, old men, young men — you’ll never hear any one of us, ever, say “oh, a beer, what else are ya gonna do for me?”

You bring us a beer, and it’s all good. More than all good. We’re like the puppy you just fed. Friends for life.

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… XIX

Friday, July 25th, 2008

…but I hope I can send some attention to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

It began with the death of 28-year-old Brock Bucklin, an Army specialist from Caledonia. He was killed May 31, 2006 in Iraq when fellow soldiers were lifting heavy equipment and a hoist broke.

His sacrifice was etched on the hearts of the passengers on the flight that returned his body home.

When the plane landed, Bucklin’s 4-year-old son, Jacob, rushed to the casket carrying his hero’s body. That image stuck with Capt. Dan Rooney who was on that flight and has been on several tours in the Middle East.

“I was on a United Airlines flight, 664. You don’t remember the numbers of many flights in your life, but this was a night that my life changed,” Rooney told 24 Hour News 8. “For me, being an F-16 pilot, I’ve seen combat, I’ve seen death and destruction in Iraq. But I’d never seen that side of it. And having three daughters of my own, it was something that really struck me.”

Rooney decided to combine his two passions – patriotism and golf – and started the Folds of Honor Foundation, a scholarship to help pay for school for some of the 187,000 dependents left behind by war.

We were following a trackback and ended up at looking at a Linkfest Haven page at Elections Blog. We get lots of trackbacks that are just plain spam, and this one aroused our curiosity because it had some spamtastic attributes but was missing others. We picked up some unmistakably human-authored English and decided to investigate. From that, we found The Blog That Nobody Reads was already participating passively, and we decided to participate actively, and from that decision we wrote ‘er up.

Makes a lot more sense for that foundation to get attention from us, than the other way ’round.

Cassy with gunAlso, we’re going to be putting up some “guest blog” pages over at Cassy Fiano’s spot next week while she’s out of town, and she’s specifically asked us to toot our own horn while we’re over there…or strongly suggested we do so, repeatedly. Not so much that, but kind of left the door open — in a “nudge, nudge” sort of a way. We appreciate the offer and we’ll probably take her up on it…during which time, we expect the Writer’s Block to set in thicker than usual. “Horn-tooting” is a little out of character for us. Some of you nobodies who don’t stop by to not read The Blog That Nobody Reads, have been not stopping by and not reading it for awhile by now…and you know we’re a scrapbook, not a billboard. In other words, the central theme here is something like NOTE TO SELF: What is up with that chucklehead Barack Obama? You wouldn’t believe the wombat crazy bollywonkers crazy thing he did today…

…and whoever sees it, sees it, and whoever doesn’t, doesn’t. WHATEVER. Yes, we’re pleased with the e-friends we’ve made since our go-live date following the 2004 elections. Yes, we’re as addicted to Sitemeter as the next guy. But “Hey Innernets! Guess what I think about THIS” is not our primary objective; and I doubt we’re alone here, I think this is a myth that has been started about the blogging community as a whole. We’re not attention whores. The driving force behind our having a blog in the first place is that some folks have thoughts that make a lot more sense in the written medium, than in the verbal one. Sometimes.

Anyway. We’ll be following a cross-posting format so in theory, you won’t see much over at Cassy’s place that you won’t see here. But that’s theory, there are bound to be exceptions. Besides, there are a lot more commenters over there than here, and some of ‘em will be worth meeting, so do head on over. Not to say anything against the nobodies here…you’re worth meeting too.

But in the final analysis, Cassy has a much prettier face than I do, and a decent brain behind it. Stop on by and say a hello on her way out of town.

Christians Suck

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

I’ve come to a conclusion about people like this.

Why Christians S**k
Jesus might have harsh words for Christians today. Here’s why…and what you can do about it.
By Tom Davis

Each Sunday, millions of Christians in America gather to worship the God who commands us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We belt out praises to the God who tells us that “pure and undefiled religion is caring for widows and orphans in their distress.” We kneel in pious prayer before the Almighty God of the universe who describes Himself as loving, gracious, merciful, and generous.

Then, we walk out the back door of the church, step into a world in need, and proceed to withhold the love, grace, and mercy that’s extended to us.

We might as well give God the middle finger. Outside of a tiny minority of Christians, we have become a self-centered group of priggish snobs.

In short, we s**k.
:
Here are the facts:

Eighty-five percent of young people outside the church who have had connection to Christians believe present-day Christianity is hypocritical. Inside the church, forty-seven percent of young people believe the same thing.

And why wouldn’t they? We’re pretty stingy with our money:

- 80 percent of the world’s evangelical wealth is in North America.
- Giving by churchgoers was higher during the Great Depression than it is today.
- Christians give an average of $13.31/week to their local church.
- Only 9 percent of “born-again” adults reported tithing in 2004.

My conclusion is, they are projecting psychologically.

I do not mean by that to say they are hypocrites, failing to tithe and then accusing others of failing to tithe. What I mean is, I think they’ve missed the point. I think they are, at heart, nasty people. They do not care about the poor people being helped, quite so much as the people donating, losing their solvency. Pain is the point of the exercise, in other words.

You know what some jaundiced observers say about the police and the sheriff and the mall cop: Some people have a desire to beat up other people, and for them a natural career path is to become a policeman, sheriff’s deputy or mall cop. They say, you round up a hundred policemen, sheriff’s deputies or mall cops, and you’ll find ten or fifteen of these bullies…maybe twenty…maybe fifty. A greater concentration of bullies than you’ll find in the surrounding population. The bullies just naturally gravitate to that line of work, is the point.

I don’t know if that’s true. But I suspect Christianity is going through the same problem.

Donating to help those in need, to me, is a private affair. I think that’s what it is supposed to be, for everyone. Well, smacking the knuckles of people who have not donated as much as you think they should’ve, every time I’ve seen it happen, is a very public affair. I’ve never come to be aware of it happening without someone taking extraordinary steps to be sure I’d come to be aware of it. And as far as that goes, I’ve never seen anyone lecture someone about it while knowing a great deal of what they were talking about. It’s just assumed — you didn’t donate enough. Shame on you!

Bullies.

Tithe bullies.

Maybe they think, if they dish out this lecturing it’ll be for the better, because people will feel guilty and start hauling some real coin down to the local church. That may be so, but wouldn’t it be more effective to show up in church, with someone who needs those donations, or visual facsimile thereof? To say a few words about where the money is going and why it is so badly needed? And then, respectfully, leave each worshiper to make up his or her own mind about what to do with the wallets and purses?

Plus, in that scenario, you’d be knowing so much more about what you’re talking about. That’s always a good thing, isn’t it?

I think these people just want to scold. I never hear them offer a carrot alongside the stick; I never hear them say something like “I would think happy thoughts of my fellow Christian if he were to tithe X percent of his income.” It’s always about what falls short. What’s inadequate. What’s unsatisfactory.

They’re always there to talk smack.

After a time, I have to conclude that must be the point to the exercise. Besides, they put so much effort into being seen dishing out these lectures. I have not yet seen one written anonymously, and I don’t think I ever will. So let the record indicate Tom Davis thinks we suck.

Noted, Mr. Davis.

H/T: Mike Todd.

Dare to Hope

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Har!

H/T: American Princess.

Window Washer

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Things are not always what they seem to be.

Laughing At Dopey Men, One More Time

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Cassy has a great post up about a film clip, plus some tee shirt designs, flying about the innernets to educate the fairer sex about what towering klutzes and assholes we are.



Why Women Stay Single – video powered by Metacafe

And she raises a good question about what kind of she-beast finds this stuff funny, closing with…

Sure, not all women think like this, but enough do that it’s alarming. And it needs to stop.

This is where the prevailing viewpoint leaves the plane of logic and common sense: An exploding sub-demographic of women who delight in forced humor at the expense of men, is viewed as harmless, even charming; if anywhere there is a man who shows this much glee at ridiculing women, he’d be rightfully recognized as a misogynist, and maybe even dangerous.

I’ve told my share of “blond jokes,” but then again, I have wide latitude in figuring out where to draw a consistent line, since we are so permissive of womens’ humor at the expense of men, and so prohibitive of mens’ humor at the expense of women. I’d place it somewhere beyond snickering at one punchline, maybe two. Pent-up hostility is manifested if three or four come flying at you in rapid succession, and you’re still laughing, begging for more. That’s not healthy, to my way of thinking. And that seems consistent with the film clip. You watch the first two guys fall down, it’s still mildly amusing. By the time you’ve seen it all the way to the end (your “bumbling stupid asshole guy” count, FYI, is thirteen), you want to stop it and go on to something else. Maybe even feel a little nauseous.

If you’re normal.

But a lot of women aren’t normal this way. Ms. Fiano is making a presumption that a large segment among our females, is so deranged that they’ll watch the entire film clip, finding each bumbling boob falling on his ass just as hilarious as, perhaps even moreso than, the one that came before. Does she presume in error? I’m afraid not. I’ve met my share of “ladies” like this. To them, the humor never gets old. It’s always fresh. If it’s male, and it’s silly, and failing at something, it’s funny. If it hurts itself, it’s even funnier. The joke never gets old. Hah. Hah. Hah.

I’d say fifty percent, measured against the available-female population as a whole, is my limit for “alarming.” Up to that point, I can keep my silence on this, my son can go out and grab whatever girlfriend he’s gonna get, and his odds of avoiding this toxic venom are like the flip-of-a-coin. Above fifty percent, for his own protection I have to take him aside and turn him into a little bit of a judicious male chauvinist pig. “Most girls are like this, and you need to avoid them.” And, of course, don’t ever tell your mother we had this talk.

I think we’re just about there. Actually, I think we’re well about fifty percent — based on my experience from being available some four years ago, we’re in the nineties. Men who care about their sons therefore have to have a new “talk.” There’s too much social pressure to presume girls are “sugar, spice, and everything nice” — while, behind the scenes, most of them are watching clips like this and finding nothing wrong with it at all. The attitude that results is something we’d never tolerate in our boys if it was directed at girls; somehow, it can be pointed the other way and we think it’s just fine.

Is it harmless? You tell me. If you’re a married dude, if your wife cops enough of an anti-male attitude she can just make up her mind one day she’s “bored” or “unfulfilled” and you lose half your stuff. So when someone puts together a film segment of thirteen guys making fools out of themselves, to deliberately give women just like your wife a crappy attitude, how harmless is that exactly?

And who’s left getting married? Smart guys or stupid guys?

And so, as a sign-off, here is your link to the randomly-selected news story about men marrying later in life.

The researchers conducted eight meetings with 60 “not-yet-married” men in northern New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Houston. The men were ages 25 to 33, and none of them were gay.

The researchers note that most people think it’s men, not women, who are “dragging their feet about marriage,” and they state “our investigation of male attitudes indicates that there is evidence to support this popular view.” The primary reason given by men for taking their sweet time: They can get sex without marriage more easily now than in the past. And they aren’t all that interested in having children anytime soon, which is of concern to the researchers because the biological clock is clicking on the women they will someday expect to mother their kids.

Yeah, the women who get a good ol’ horse-laugh out of dopey men falling on their butts. Well then, you just keep sloshing those hormones around and get used to waiting, cupcake. Watch some more film clips. And don’t forget to complain; there’s always someone willing to listen.

Fell Into a Hole

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Sonja really tripped me up good.

I wrote yesterday about her bemoaning of our society’s loss of critical thinking…and she knows we’re losing it, because, as she says

As an adult convert (at the age of 30) who went to a regular liberal arts college and learned the art of critical thinking and discourse, I have been regularly appalled at the lack of critical thinking that I see amongst the brethren and sistren. It is why so many are now so bitterly disillusioned with President Bush. Those of us who are critical thinkers saw him for who he was back in 1999; a charlatan. But most Christians only heard what they wanted to hear in 2000 and again in 2004. Having done that, and been so badly burned they seem unwilling to trust any politician again.

I noted there was an enormous gap here — you vote for Bush, therefore, you aren’t thinking critically — and chose to give her the benefit of the doubt, inviting her to fill in her thought process for me.

I agree wholeheartedly on the bit about critical thinking, and am interested in your definition of it. I think I’m solid on the “you’re thinking critically if you agree with me and you’re not if you don’t” part, but it looks like there’s something more to it than just that, something more structured. At least, that’s the impression I get. Can you fill in the empty spaces?

Note the presumption: The gap, dear Sonja, I’m going to presume is in your narrative of the thinking through which you have gone — not in the thinking itself. You say you’re a critical thinker, and to me that would appear to mean

Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making that judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming that judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand.

Meaning, in sum: Layer your assumptions. Know why it is you think the things you think. “You supported George Bush, therefore you are not a critical thinker” is quite a gap, and it does not give “due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria,” et al.

Therefore, I presumed something was left out.

And politely asked her to fill it in. Politely, to a fault, I thought.

Good heavens, what a whallopin’ I got.

Morgan – your arrogance astounds me. You seem to have missed the bit where in accusing me not thinking critically because I want everyone to think like me, you are doing the same thing … because I do not reach the same conclusions as you. You are correct … I’ve left some big holes here, just to trip people like you up with your assumptions. Guess it worked. When you can find your own assumptions and work through them, we’ll be ready to have a conversation.

Silly me. The huge logical gap was left there just to trip me up! By taking note of it, and politely asking her to fill it in, I tumbled right on in. Dopey ol’ me!

Seriously, you know what my critical thinking tells me: Sonja belongs to some kind of “snotty bitch club,” and if she deals with people who disagree with her, individually or en masse, with what are found to be inadequate levels of acrid condescension, she gets spanked with a wooden paddle and she doesn’t like it.

How else do you explain all that pressure she seems to feel.

Update: Completely off topic, with regard to everything, save for the title of this post. I was watching Dave Allen at Large reruns last night, and the Irish comedian was describing how he had learned the Catholic blessing at his uncle’s funeral, at which point Mr. Allen was a very small child. He thought he heard the Priest say at the graveside service quite clearly

In the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and…into the hole he goes.

Audience laughs uproariously. Mr. Allen stares off into the back rows, deadpanning.

And I blessed myself that way for years!

Audience completely loses it.

What a piece of lost talent. We’re never going to see another David Allen, not in my lifetime.

Anyway. The thread is closed to comments at this time. I’ve probably been banned, along with several others who were participating without giving the original author the atta-girls she wanted.

She explains…

UPDATE: The discussion here got far too personal and filled with ugly slurs that are not becoming for those who claim to follow or be disciples of Jesus Christ. Because those who were participating in the conversation cannot seem to restrain themselves, I’ve closed comments. 7:30 EST July 23, 2008

I’d hate to think it’s my fault. I was less than delicate with her over here, but in there I thought, if anything, I should be guilty of treating her with kid gloves. My final remark was to Gerard, who demanded an explanation of why I was wasting so much time on delusional fools, or some such…and I replied, quite simply,

Matthew9:11-13

And if that’s what pushed her over the edge, then I guess it pushed her over the edge. Her critical thinking just couldn’t take it.

The Primacy of Self-Sacrifice

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

A couple weeks ago I had noted, again, that the political movement known as “climate change” f.k.a. “global warming” has very little to do with instigating beneficial effects on the environment or culling malevolent effects on the environment, and a WHOLE lot to do with regulating each other. I had made this point by comparing it with another recent disaster, one in which all or most of us have (theoretically) some stake in the problem, and which had been known to really kill people.

…through Mad Cow Disease, we can already analyze our own behavior with regard to real threats to ourselves and to our families. When we understand the danger is real, we leave it to the people whose job it is to understand what’s going on and what to do about it. We do not grab each other by the lapels and shake each other and make nonsensical noises about “everybody coming together.” That is not how we address real dangers, even when those dangers are faced by “all of us.” When we address real dangers, we put the emphasis on FIXING THE FREAKIN’ PROBLEM and the man-across-the-street can behave in whatever manner he chooses to…we don’t care what he does. We don’t even give a rat’s ass whether he believes in it or not.

I said it, Al Gore and Tom Brokaw proved it.

Throughout the interview, Brokaw talked about the need for Americans to sacrifice in order to fight climate change four times, once implying that everyone believes we must suffer pain for the cause:

I don’t think anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country and make some tough decisions and maybe even suffer some pain…

He later suggested that people will just have to deal with the problems that would arise:

Is it time for American politicians, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike, to say to the American people, “We’re going to have to go through some pain here; $4 gasoline, it’s a price that you’re paying. We’re going to have to get through this. You can’t expect the government to bail you out. We’re going to have to move to another level in which we can produce alternative energy, and you’re going to have to live with that.”

It’s supposed to be all about cause and effect, but nobody ever puts it that way. As in, “if we make these sacrifices the temperature will go up 0.6 degrees over the next fifty years instead of 8.5 degrees and here is why 0.6 degrees will be manageable…”

In fact, nobody comes out and says we’re going to LIVE if we make these sacrifices. They say “we can do this” all the time. It’s the “this”; nobody says what exactly that is.

Brokaw speaks for perhaps hundreds of well-known luminaries in his prattle. He doesn’t think “anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country,” and yet he has to throw out his meaningless bromides about self-sacrifice four times. Why repeat it four times if everyone already understands this is the case?

Where is our payoff for this sacrifice? Where’s the view-screen we can all watch, with nervous anticipation, biting our fingernails to the quick, wondering if we’ve sacrificed enough to save the world for our children? When “How’re We Doing?” is the operative question, and we desperately, oh so desperately, want to know what the answer is, we can look for a record of our behavior in…stock prices. If they’re up, we’re up, if they’re down, we’re down. They’re printed in the newspaper every day. Okay then! Where’s the thing we check every day to see how we’re doing in the battle against climate change?

Surely there must be an awful lot of pressure on some panel of experts to produce a regular, validated reading of today’s mean global temperature. Don’t we have the technology to produce that statistic on a daily basis? Well then I would expect there must be a lot of pressure on someone to make that technology possible. We need to know, dammit! Nothing else matters, right?

No, the only “scientific” body I know of that labors under such a burden, even in theory, is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They do not behave in any manner similar to what I have in mind. They do produce regular assessments, but when Assessment X is less alarming than Assessment X-1, I do not see any frenzied analysis of what it is we did that must have worked, so we can do a whole lot more of it. Instead, all I see is a bunch of scientific (?) debate about whether there’s still a “consensus” or not, when there isn’t one.

The climate change political movement endeavors, and endeavors hard, to regulate mindsets and behaviors. This is bound to be a labor running high on effort and low on results, since it seems reasonable to posit in 2008 that most of us have our minds made up on this issue, and we’re not likely to change it — in either direction. And here’s the truly amazing part: This effort to win converts, in which there are few or no potential converts to be won, is not carbon neutral. Quite to the contrary — if you’ve been witness to more than a few debates about Al Gore’s house and lifestyle (see link to Brokaw’s program, above), you know one of the most reliably delivered tropes to be offered in defense of Mr. Gore, is that he has to spew all these greenhouse gases to “get the message out.”

So to recap: What we are trying to do, is not to save the planet but instead to promulgate a self-sacrificial mindset. And we are polluting the environment to get that done.

Social Acceptance PyramidIt’s inherently dishonest, partly because we’re poisoning the environment while demanding all this congratulation from ourselves & strangers for saving it. But also because we’re demonstrating what good people we are, to these strangers, through this virtue of self-sacrifice — NOT by exercising self-sacrifice ourselves, but by telling third parties they have to do it.

Because the truth of it is, not only does nobody want to do the sacrificing; nobody really wants to have anything to do with anybody who has been sacrificing. Changing light bulbs in your house, is about all the “sacrifice” you can make while still working your way up the pyramid by doing it. Nobody thinks you’re being chic when you stand there at the crosswalk waiting for the light to say “walk.” Nobody thinks your car is cool because it’s a two-door that gets lots of miles to the gallon. People respect big cars, with stepladders on the side, with air conditioning. Lots of air conditioning.

Trust me on this: Bicycling doesn’t ratchet up your appeal, in any way. It makes you sweaty, and when people see your spandex ass out there, their thought, first, last & in-between, is “that asshole is in my way.” And it shows. You are not their friend and they don’t want you to be. Bums soaked in their own urine are just as desirable on the social ladder, as bicyclists soaked in their own sweat. Nobody wants to look at sweaty people, and climate change f.k.a. global warming is really all about what we want to look at. It is fashion. We want to see people babbling their platitudes about “we all must be ready to sacrifice,” but we want to see those people immaculately made-up, with every hair in place…beautiful people. The way people look when they tumble out of an enormous SUV with the air conditioning cranked way up.

We do not want to see people making sacrifices. We want to see people telling other people to make sacrifices. It’s that beautiful, beautiful message — which we do not want to take seriously ourselves, and we do not want anyone we know to take that message seriously either. The appeal lies in watching that beautiful message do a lot of flying around, to be absorbed and obeyed by total strangers who aren’t as good as we are.

Whenever someone talks about climate change f.k.a. global warming and tosses around a talking point or two about how we’re all in it together, what they’re stating is the exact opposite of the truth. It is about social stratification. It is about some of us being better than others.