Archive for September, 2008

I Remember What Vexorg Said

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Vexorg was the winner of the sixteenth Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award awhile back. Commenting on all the weirdness at Seattle’s hempfest, he said, in reference to all the tatoos and piercings and weird hairstyles and clothes and music having very little in common with themselves, besides dysfunctionality:

This is the type of religion you end up with when you think you don’t have one.

This ties in with current events very well, one sees when one ponders a recent quote from Melissa Clouthier…

Evidently, way too many people have a life absent of a real God.

But Melissa is not talking about Seattle’s hempfest. She’s talking about something just a bit more scatterbrained, if you can believe that.

Feast your eyes. It’s become an “everyone else is blogging it, I might as well do it too” thing so perhaps this isn’t news to you. If it is — put the drink DOWN, then press play.

Via blogger friend Cassy, we learn of a fascinating comparison that has been put up at Stop The ACLU. Hmmm…

“Creepy,” it’s been called. It is that, but I think it’s something else. It is bone-chillingly frightening. Imagine…tens of millions of people have their egotistical energy full invested in the idea that Obama, if he isn’t actually a demigod, is at least a walking manifestation of Morally Correct Thinking. They are not capable of admitting, on any level, that Obama can make a bad decision…or even, a decision any less than the best one possible. Ever. They can’t admit this intellectually, spiritually or emotionally.

Millions of them!

Is this dangerous? Well, we saw it already in Obama himself, with the surge thing. He stalled and stammered to the point of becoming a parody of himself. Couldn’t admit his previous statements might have been up for an overdue re-thinking. Couldn’t even admit the possibility. Would’ve been too bruising to that Messiah image.

He’s got a more-than-decent shot at being the most powerful man in the civilized world for the next four years.

I can’t think of anything more dangerous. Can you?

Right Wing News Poll on the Bailout

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Nobody reads this blog — of course! — but we were nevertheless invited to participate in an informal poll of right-wing blogs by Right Wing News. As we responded, we were politely requested to keep a wrap on things until the deadline passed…with the results now posted, the coast is clear to unveil our responses, complete with notes, snarky remarks, etc., exactly as we shipped ‘em off.

1) Is the PRIMARY cause of this crisis…
A) Deregulation, market forces, and Wall Street?
B) Government interference in the market?

B), and anyone who chooses A) is simply demonstrating they haven’t been paying attention. To this issue, or any other issue related.

93% of respondents agreed.

2) Do you support the bailout?
A) Yes
B) No

B). Although I understand the situation may very well be bad enough, that compromise will be necessary lest a calamity have a devastating effect on everyone. Government interference, after all, is all about lashing everyone together. That is the intent, and it is impossible for that not to be the ultimate effect; so I have to acknowledge we’re probably all in the same boat, by design. I believe the very least that’s going to have to happen is some kind of low-interest loan, hopefully one secured with collateral. Good collateral. Not the moose-feces mortgage-paper that started this sinkhole in the first place.

71% of respondents agreed.

3) Politically, is it smarter for Republicans in Congress to support or oppose the bailout?
A) Support
B) Oppose

I believe if my answer to 2) was codified as an official policy, the ultimate effect would be a complete or near-complete salvaging of this mess PLUS unprecedented popular support. Why nobody has thought of it, probably has to do with powerful interests who’d be hostile to it — plus — a beltway mentality that hinders even invigorated, educated minds from seeing the obvious.

In the interest of answering your question unambiguously so you can tabulate my responses easily, I choose B).

69% of respondents agreed.

4) If John McCain signs on to the bailout, does it help or hurt his chances of getting elected?
A) Help
B) Hurt

At this point McCain and Obama are in a fight over undecideds. I refused to support him until late August, because I know in politics the undecideds are the people who — ironically — decide things. (grin) Now that he’s picked Sarah Palin, and as a direct consequence I have declared my support for him, I’ve used up whatever trivial influence I have as a registered voter as well as as a blogger. (Yeah, tremble in fear before the righteous fury of The Blog That Nobody Reads.)

To put it more concisely, the folks like me who signed on because of Sarah Palin, are in. Or else, if we’re not, nobody cares. McCain continues to have problems with his “base,” but these problems pale in consideration to the more urgent business of winning converts from the middle, and from behind enemy lines. Anyone who’s undecided at this point — they are highly unlikely to be unimpressed with McCain’s opposition to the bailout. They’re more likely to be impressed with that “rising up above bipartisanship to move the country forward” snake oil. Therefore, I would have to choose A).

I hate like the dickens to admit it, but McCain would have to be a fool to try to win converts away from Bob Barr, at the expense of winning converts away from the guy who has a far better shot at walking away with this whole thing. It would be the right thing to do to oppose the bailout, but it would be stupid politics. I hope he just comes up with an unorthodox and ingenious answer of some kind, that’s good for the country, just like he did on August 29.

55% of respondents agreed with me in choosing A).

“It’s a National Catastrophe!”

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Atlas Shrugged, pp. 915-16:

“It’s a national catastrophe! What’s the matter with you? Don’t you see that it’s a fatal blow? It will break the last of the country’s morale and economy! We can’t let him vanish! You’ve got to bring him back!”

Her smile disappeared.

You can!” he cried. “You’re the only one who can! He’s your lover, isn’t he? …Oh, don’t look like that! It’s no time for squeamishness! It’s no time for anything except that we’ve got to have him! You must know where he is! You can find him! You must reach him and bring him back!”

The way she now looked at him was worse than her smile — she looked as if she were seeing him naked and would not endure the sight much longer. “I can’t bring him back,” she said, not raising her voice. “And I wouldn’t, if I could. Now get out of here.”

“But the national catastrophe–”

“Get out.”

The hysterical must-must-must guy is James Taggart, leader of The Looters…they’d be the equivalent of those clowns who set up this GSE-backing-subprime-garbage ponzi scheme in the first place. The shell game has fallen apart, and they want to set up the next shell game, using their hysteria as a weapon without even consciously realizing they’re doing it, to keep anyone from seriously inspecting what’s going on and how we got here.

The person to whom he is unsuccessfully making his pitch, is his sister Dagny. Now nine hundred pages into finding out what’s happening to the world, and having figured it out, watching the entire time as one Looter plan after another is put in place like patchwork gradually replacing entirely a deteriorating quilt. As you can see from the dialog, she has had quite enough. So you could think of her as a metaphor for the American voter.

The guy whom they’re discussing, is the latest Atlas. He held the world aloft on his shoulders, and his shoulders alone, and so he shrugged. Who that is, would be a spoiler. Where he went, would be an even bigger spoiler. Go buy the damn book.

If you’ve not read it already, now would be an exceptionally good time. Buy it and read it while you still can.

Why They Lean Left

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Me, in an off-line, making further comment on that earlier post, about the media being in the tank for O:

They like Obama because his sense of vision is a complete illusion. All he does is blame others. Under an Obama administration, even a law that everyone thinks is a good idea, would involve a hundred and fifty false starts and sell God only knows how many pounds of newspapers. “Today, I asked Congress to begin work on legislation that will…blah blah blah…unfortunately, the Republicans blocked it. I tried. I’ll try again. I hope those evil Republicans don’t block it again, but they probably will.” Constant finger pointing over every little thing. So yeah. If I was in the reporting business I’d back Obama too. He’s a wonderful example of poor leadership.

Strong and effective leadership makes for slow news.

Steyn Plays Gotcha

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Mark Steyn describes his “favorite repulse” in The Corner on National Review Online…of which we learn via Dick Stanley.

By the way, my favorite repulse of the “Gotcha” technique was proposed by Andrew Ferguson (not available online) after Andy Hiller’s famous interrogation of George W Bush in 2000:

Hiller asked him to name the new prime minister of India.

“The new prime minister of India is — no,” Bush said. “Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?”

“No, sir,” Hiller replied. “But I would say I’m not running for president and I don’t write foreign policy.”

Upon hearing this weaselly dodge, which is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of gotcha, Bush should have switched fields, to Hiller’s own area of expertise. “You’re in television,” Bush might have said. “Who played the professor on Gilligan’s Island?”

Palin Orders a Cheesesteak

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008


Thoughts:

1. See, this is why I can’t run for public office. Where the cheesesteak lady asks for a name and Gov. Palin proudly says, “Sarah.” I’d be sunk right there. I stopped using “Morgan” and switched to “Sam” several years ago, after I realized I was spending more time having idiotic conversations about “did you know that’s the name of a car (or horse)?” and “did you know that’s German for ‘morning’?” than eating my sandwich, dropping off my dry cleaning, or whatever else. So she’d ask me my name, I’d say “Sam,” we’d have a nationwide scandal, Barack Obama would ask how I can stare down Vladimir Putin if I can’t even tell anyone what my real name is, Saturday Night Live would do a skit…no, don’t draft me. Stick to Sarah and that old guy she’s running with.

2. Ah, one of my favorite things. She smiled into a camera with a cell phone held up to her ear. Well, that’ll cost her, but only just barely; she can afford to lose a point or two in my book.

3. She talked about If That’s What We Have To Do To Defeat The Terrorists. The Manhattan crowd is making fun of her because she continues to lapse into this. It is lame when the question is about something else, and it’s obvious she’s been rehearsed on talking points and can’t provide an answer that gels with what she’s been given…but then again…she’s talking about the very most important issue in this election. That spells leadership. A hell of a lot better than babbling away about globular wormening.

4. Looks a lot like Geno’s.

5. Pennsylvania is one of three battleground states that are way too close to call; Pennsylvania is currently the “bluest” out of those three. I don’t know how Florida is going to do, but I’ll bet Pennsylvania and Ohio are both red this year.

6. Isn’t it interesting what polar opposites Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are? It’s gotten to the point where you can’t help but notice it. Palin is surrounded by ankle-biters trying to trip her up about the “Bush Doctrine,” et al, and she just keeps her sunny disposition. Obama is somber, morose, something of a nattering nabob of nastiness, even though he’s surrounded by fawning media darlings that lob softballs at him and kiss his ass all day. Interesting.

H/T: Hot Air.

Things Are Going Well

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Wow and wow…he gets to blame it on not hearing the question…unbelievable.

Aided by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., who stood in for Palin during practice runs today, Biden spent seven hours on the second floor of the Sheraton Suites hotel in Wilmington before taking a break for dinner at 6:30pm.
:
Meantime, the Dow saw its largest single-day point drop of today – 777 points – as Congress failed to muster up the votes needed to pass the financial bailout bill.

Obama’s campaign released a joint statement on behalf of Obama and Biden, saying “This is a moment of national crisis, and today’s inaction in Congress as well as the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign are exactly why the American people are disgusted with Washington. Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to join together and act in a way that prevents an economic catastrophe.”

As he exited the hotel for his dinner break, Biden was asked “Senator, can we get your reaction to the House bill not passing?”

Biden interrupted the question with a “Hey folks,” to reporters and then said “Oh, things are going well.”

Biden’s press secretary, David Wade, sent an e-mail minutes later, saying “the senator thought you asked how prep was going” for this week’s debate with Gov. Sarah Palin.

Prior to Biden’s departure, the press was moved further away from the hotel’s exit, perhaps far enough away that it prevented Biden from clearly hearing the question.

Had the same thing happened to, for example, Ronald Reagan — I daresay for the next week and a half the entire civilized world would’ve forgotten there was such a thing as a stock market.

H/T: Instapundit.

“The Fix Is In”

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Insty, via Toldjah:

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: “Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

Truly a “Why We Have Blogs” moment if ever there was one. I wonder what we weren’t told all those years when whatever Cronkite/Rather/Jennings/Brokaw said, must’ve been the way things were, and there couldn’t possibly be any more to be learned of or said.

Anybody else see what I’m seeing here? Labor…working seemlessly with management…toward a common goal. Among Obama supporters, it seems to be something of a rarity to find anyone who can even believe such a thing is possible. And here, they make it look so easy!

McCain Can’t Use Computers

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

…and therefore should not be the next President. So says 23/6:

Not only do we approve of ads making fun of McCain’s ignorance of computers, we think the message should be taken up a notch. Here’s another “McCain sucks at computers” ad that we think should be disseminated far and wide.

We at The Blog That Nobody Reads, are happy to help. We look forward to everyone understanding how clever you are. Of course, by “clever,” what we really mean is…aw…nevermind, on with the show.

Stay classy, libs.

Incidentally, for what it’s worth, I’ve been the “resident computer ekspurt” wherever I am, at home, at play, at work, wherever, for an entire lifetime now. Not by choice either. And throughout all those years, I’ve hit the keyboard exactly like that. It’s an awesome tension reliever and it always works. The laptop on which I’m typing this is missing a caps lock button because of this patented technique (wireless card wasn’t hooking up, and it was pissing me off).

So liberals think you gingerly and properly press the keys when you know what you’re doing, huh. Okay, then. Conservatives must pound on keyboards exactly the same way liberals pound on people.

Like I said. Stay classy.

William is Tired of Whiners

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Dr. Helen has a post up that has some Republicans commiserating with noted Hollyweird lefty Alec Baldwin…no mean feat that. It’s got to do with men getting reamed up the ass during a divorce, specifically, with regard to custody and visitation.

I had a contentious divorce because I wanted a meaningful custody of my daughter. I refused to settle for becoming a “Disney Dad,” one whose role is nothing more than outings to theme parks once or twice a month. Instead I wanted to share the joys and responsibilities of raising my daughter. I wanted to be a real father, and the system punished me for that. Ultimately, I refused to give in..

I am glad Baldwin wrote this book, perhaps this topic will get some attention because he is a celebrity. But it makes me think that if Baldwin had such problems with the system with all his fame and money, what chance does the average joe have?

Pete, commenter #1, speaks for me:

As long as Baldwin is still a shill for the dhimmicrats, he’s feeding the very same party which betrayed him the most.

…and then we have William, commenter #17. Heh. Heh heh heh. Get ready, you divorced-dad nobodies who don’t come by to not read The Blog That Nobody Reads. Hope you’re not drinking anything over your keyboards.

I’m tired of whiners.

All of the comments above are whine[r]s.

Our youngest son – 34 – was married a couple of weeks ago.

We, his parents, are approaching 40 years.

His Aunt and Uncle are well beyond 30 years

His brother is at about 15 years.

His Mother and Father-in-law are also over 30 years of marriage.

It takes a hell of a lot of work to stay married.

Quite whining.

Har! Four words for you, William. “We need to talk.” Or one…”Nothing” (in response to, “What’s Wrong?”). Or any one of a number of other tired cliches that have come to mean the same, to any thinking man, as Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. “I don’t see you the same way anymore.” “You’re a different person.” “We’ve grown apart.” “It’s not you, it’s me.” “I’m not content.” “I’m unfulfilled.” “We should go in for counseling.” …etc. And, it’s off to the lawyers. What’ve you got to say about it? Why did you think anyone would stop and ask you?

A man can bust his ass to stay married just as hard and just as long as he cares to. Spending time in the house, calling in to work sick when you aren’t sick…famillee valyooz…church…Chuckee Cheez…the works. If it isn’t reciprocated, well, he might as well spend that time down on the golf course or the rifle range instead. Two make a marriage, one makes a divorce. A married man is the low nadir among people who think they have control over their lives, and that’s just a fact.

Kind of scary you consider yourself sufficiently informed to comment, and still don’t know this…

Party Like It’s 1999

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Boortz has a newspaper clipping…nothing really special about it, it might as well be one of many others. But it’s some good research material to have and to study right about now.

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Yay! While we’re at it, let’s start using pure hydrogen in our derigibles.

The story really couldn’t be simpler. The free market says “don’t make this loan” — the government, with government-sponsored entites, steps in and says “Hey we’re the government we know more about this than you do” — and, a few years down the road, it turns out the free market knew what it was talking about. The folks who want government to run more things, start blaming the free market. Smart folks don’t listen to ‘em; dumb ones do.

If the cause-and-effect is still a mystery to you…well then, you just might be a liberal democrat.

On the $700 Billion

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Ace

Did Paulson Pull The $700 Billion Number Out Of His Ass?

Um, maybe.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

In that case…Mission Accomplished!

And Obama says the answer is more regulation. Yeah, let’s do it! Subject the businesses that have to justify every little number on every little ledger to “oversight” by pencil-neck government bureaucrats who so easily pull big numbers outta their butts. Put the inmates in charge of the asylum.

Anyone who agrees with that, I say, has his head crammed so far up his ass that I estimate he can stick his tongue out and lick his own tonsils.

Not that that’s based on any particular data point or anything.

Palin Lacks Cowardice

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I seriously tinkered around with the idea of simply including this as an update to the post previous. And maybe that would have been the better way to handle it since the subject here is nearly identical. But in the end I thought Prof. Adams’ comments were deserving of higher profile.

His argument: Palin does not inspire this seething hatred from the paleofeminist subfaction within our angry liberal syndicate because of her propensity to make herself awkward and foolish in interviews. Instead, she inspires said seething hatred because of her willingness to do so. It makes perfect sense to me. When someone behaves awkwardly in public and ends up the butt of a number of jokes, it is more than natural for observers to deride, to denigrate, to sneer, and most of all to poke fun. But…this, by itself, doesn’t inspire anger. Not even a tiny bit of it. Pity, maybe. But not anger. Palin did something to make people, especially paleofeminists, exceptionally angry.

I think [the anger]…has a lot to do with Palin’s personality – specifically with her personal courage and ability to think and act independently.

Those who don’t work around feminists fail to realize fully their incapacity for independent thought and action. The feminist response to a recent controversy in my department (Sociology and Criminology) provides a good example of what I’m talking about.
:
[There follows a somewhat involved and lengthy anecdote about a new, outspoken, male Provost]
:
Finally, at the end of the week, when faculty in my department began to criticize the Provost via emails sent on the department email list, an interesting pattern emerged. First, one male professor sent an email criticizing the Provost. Then a second male professor joined in followed by a third, fourth, and fifth male professor. At the end of the day, five male professors exercised their First Amendment right to free speech.

Of course, not a word was to be heard from a feminist…It reminded me of my first free speech controversy at UNCW some eleven years ago. In that controversy, numerous males expressed their opinions about a controversy surrounding “indecent” sexual speech in the student newspaper. Finally, two dozen feminists signed their “joint” opinion on the matter. The males acted as individuals, the feminists acted as a pack.
:
[Gov. Palin does not] behave the way my feminist colleagues behave in the workplace. She has a faith in God that inspires courage. She has courage that inspires individualism. And, clearly, she lacks the cowardice that is a pre-requisite for radical feminism.

There you have it. Feminists are angry at Palin for doing something they themselves have chosen not — and thus, over a lifetime, have chosen not to be able — to do. Makes perfect sense to me. Says it all.

What I Know About People Minus What I Was Told When I Was A Child, Item #24: People who imagine themselves as part of a group, with no individual identity, don’t want anyone else to have an individual identity either.

SNL Parody of Palin Couric Interview

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Conservative Republicans. They look so silly when you pretend they say things they never actually said. But that’s okay, because it’s parody…the parody capitalizes on the reputation they’ve built for themselves…and they have the reputation because of a mixture involving just a nugget of things they really did do or say, plus truckloads and truckloads of incidents of more pretending they said things they never actually said.

But that little smidgen of reality is always there, with decent parody. And there certainly is an ample morsel here.

What an incredible disaster Sarah Palin is — she grapples with a dearth of talent in the fine art of bullshitting people. Certainly not the kind of leader we want for our country, huh liberals? Yeah…that Manhattan meme never seems to evolve, even slightly. Women should be left-wing and fugly, and elected officials with the greatest responsibilities should lie convincingly. Once a liberal aways a liberal, or else you don’t deserve to live, and of course anyone with black skin should support affirmative action or else drop dead from a heart attack. Burn our food for fuel; keep the fuel in the ground.

That is all quite silly. But out of all of it, I think demanding a talent for lying out of our nation’s leaders, takes the cake. It’s definitely a contender.

Seriously. What an interesting world in which you people live.

No Crisis at Fan or Fred

Monday, September 29th, 2008

No flashy-blinky-stuff, no laughey-talky-jokey-smokey stuff…just substance.

Watch it. Just…watch it. And share, with whatever methods and resources you have available.

H/T: Good Lieutenant at Jawa Report.

Toilets With Urinals

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Manchester Evening News

STUDENTS say new signs on toilets at their union building might be making their WC just a ‘bit too PC’.

The traditional sign on the door of the Gents has been temporarily replaced with one that says ‘toilets with urinals’.

And the sign on the Ladies now simply says ‘toilets’ in a move to make the lavatories more inclusive for trans-gender students.

The signs on the toilets in the basement of Manchester University students’ union were changed after a meeting of the union’s executive in the summer.

It is thought the temporary ones will be replaced with permanent new signs in the near future.

How come it is, that over across the pond as well as here, when people become especially worried about making the right decision they start to talk in passive voice?

That really is the most effective way to make a bad decision, I’ve noticed. People start babbling away about what’s going to be inevitable, managing to squeak on through without muttering a word about who exactly thinks something’s a good idea, or what they plan to get out of it…they do it a couple more times…and voila. Poor decision. With consequences. That will be blamed on no one.

Thing I Know #243. With an amazing consistency, ideas mature into dark futures and cloudy legacies after having been repeatedly expressed in passive voice. When they are unowned. “It was decided that…”

Potty Peer

Monday, September 29th, 2008

London Daily Mail Online

The BBC is being investigated by television watchdogs after a leading climate change sceptic claimed his views were deliberately misrepresented.

Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says he was made to look like a ‘potty peer’ on a TV programme that ‘was a one-sided polemic for the new religion of global warming’.

Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast on BBC 2, was billed as a definitive guide to the history of global warming, including arguments for and against.

During the series, Dr Iain Stewart, a geologist, interviewed leading climate change sceptics, including Lord Monckton. But the peer complained to Ofcom that the broadcast had been unfairly edited.

‘I very much hope Ofcom will do something about this,’ he said yesterday.

‘The BBC very gravely misrepresented me and several others, as well as the science behind our argument. It is a breach of its code of conduct.

‘I was interviewed for 90 minutes and all my views were backed up by sound scientific data, but this was all omitted. They made it sound as if these were just my personal views, as if I was some potty peer. It was caddish of them.’

You certainly can’t accuse the bloke of having been too Americanized. This yankee barely understands the meaning of “caddish” and he is completely baffled by this “potty peer” thing. What in the hell does that mean?

The article continues…

All their interviews, he claims, were heavily cut so that they appeared as personal views.

‘We do not dispute that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but we do dispute its effects’, he said. ‘The data shows that 2008 is the same temperature as 1980 and that the effects of these changes in the atmosphere are not negative but more likely to be beneficial.’

It’s been said before that 2008 will be recorded by history as the end of the global warming hoax. I predict that will be the case…but nevertheless…the carbon cap-and-trade nonsense will continue, in fact, it will shift from voluntary voucher purchases, to voluntary-with-incentives, to “do it or we’ll withhold your highway funding” or some such.

Things work here pretty much the same way they work in Lord Monckton’s country, after all. Republicans and democrats are both in favor of personal liberties, protection of freedoms and choice, and making it easier to live life. And yet, decade by decade, there are more and more hoops you have to jump through to live that life, fewer decisions you’re allowed to make for yourself, and if you utter a peep of protest about it both Republicans and democrats will accuse you of being a whining little bitch.

Sure you have freedom of speech. You are absolutely allowed to call into question these various nanny-state rules and regulations. But how many of ‘em do you recall ever having been rolled back…in your lifetime?

So global warming has been exposed as a complete sham. But the momentum has been built. The regulations are on the way, and once they’re here they’re carved in granite. They’re not going anywhere.

What’s a potty peer?

Hare, Meet Tortoise

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Is Modern Liberalism Gene Roddenberry’s Fault?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Ah, now this is my kind of article. Western Chauvinist tooted her own horn over at Gerard’s place when he linked to us, and I’m glad she did. To the sidebar she goes. It’s a little difficult to tease this posting the way she’s structured it; I’ll do my best…

Is Modern Liberalism Gene Roddenberry’s Fault?

Anyone old enough to have seen the original Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry might recognize the utopian ideals of today’s liberals in it. Think about it. On any major policy we debate, Star Trek is the fulfillment of the liberal playbook.

Start with environmental policy. No fossil fuels burned in GR’s world. Nope – only dilithium crystals and warped space needed. Isn’t it grand? No CO2 emmissions at all…

Next up, how about economic policy? Capitalism or socialism? How primitive. As far as I can tell, no currency ever changes hands. Everyone in the Federation seems to “work” for the Federation…

How about health care? Well, Star Trek gives a whole new meaning to “universal healthcare”! I never saw Bones turn away anyone…

And finally, we can wrap up social policy, civil rights, race relations, international relations conveniently in “the prime directive”. This is encompassed by today’s liberal ethics of multiculturalism, political correctness and moral relativism…

She forgot two things, though. One helps to reinforce her theory, the other one challenges it somewhat. The challenging one is more important, but we’ll go with first things first.

An important part of being a modern liberal is to intermingle subjectivity and objectivity, which is the first of the seven steps to complete insanity. This means “anyone who thinks differently than you do must be a flaming idiot or must have something wrong with them.” Perspective is a meaningless quality. Things are the way you see them, period.

You see this in Star Trek, in which the audience is invited to identify with the Captain in nearly every episode. Watch for this pattern, for it is almost as consistent as it can possibly be: If the Captain (Kirk, Picard or Riker) tells a subordinate to do something or stop doing something, the crewman or bridge officer will carry out the order without question. If he does not, it means the subordinate’s body has been possessed by an alien or he has caught some exotic otherworldly disease. Throughout this, the Captain’s orders are the pathway to well-being — obedience leads to the Enterprise surviving whatever calamity is looming, disobedience spells certain doom for all.

There are other ranks above the Captain, and there is a meaningful flip-flop here. If an Admiral is visiting, or if orders arrive from Starfleet (outside of the first five minutes of the episode), then these orders are bollywonkers. They must be, for they compel the Captain to do something that is outside of what he would normally be doing…the Captain is the embodiment of perfect moral reasoning…therefore, Starfleet is drunk on power, infested with aliens, or something. The flip-flop that takes place above the rank of Captain is that obedience leads to disaster and rebellion is the only shot at salvation. But if the Captain (with whom the audience relates) tells you to do something you’d better do it.

Back in reality, our post-modern liberals emulate this behavior just fine. Grown-up hippies driving around with “Question Authority” bumper stickers on their cars…and if they have dinner with you, and catch wind of the fact that you “question” global climate change, they’ll call you “stupid” just for questioning it, without perceiving so much as a hint of the irony. Rebellion — they can dish it out, but they just can’t take it.

Thing I Know #235. What a self-parodying mess it is when a command hierarchy is constructed within any rebellion, for there it becomes undeniable: The rebel is only a fair-weather friend, at best, to the act of rebelling.

The other thing WC forgot is Star Trek’s mission: To explore strange new worlds, and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has ever gone before! Back in the sixties, liberalism loved to talk a good game about this, and according to the evidence that has come to my attention, had not yet directly contradicted itself here. But nowadays it’s a whole different century; liberalism is all about not doing this. It is about bathosploration:

Opposite of Exploration. A progressive movement over time which endeavors toward an ideal, rather than toward a frontier. This makes fulfillment of the Exponential Growth Instinct absolutely impossible over the long term.

Bathosploration is about doing less instead of doing more. It is about making things clean and sanitized instead of finding out what’s possible. It goes down instead of up, inward instead of outward.

Probably the best embodiment of this in modern times was the Clinton administration’s revised drinking water standards:

At the end of his eight years in office, Bill Clinton set a number of political traps for President Bush. One of them was changing the allowable level of arsenic in our water supplies from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. At the time, the scientific evidence that this change was needed was, at best, weak. And the proposal put severe burdens on some small towns. When the Bush administration took office, they set the rule aside and asked for a second look at the evidence. Immediately there was an outcry that Bush wanted to poison our children. (Sometimes from politicians, such as Tom Daschle, who had supported the higher level for years.) There was enough political damage from the charge that the Bush administration yielded to pressure and, after some months, accepted the lower standard.

And here’s the joke: More recent studies showed that the level of 50 parts per billion is fine. In fact, there is some reason to believe, thanks to the curious phenomena of hormesis, that a level of 50 parts per billion may be healthier than lower levels.

This is what bathosploration is. Can we polish what’s already been polished, and make it even smoother and shinier and more sanitary? Surely, there must be a way. Forget about exploring. Go inward instead of outward. Trudge toward an ideal instead of toward a frontier.

Liberals embrace this warts and all. You see it everywhere. You see it in the offshore drilling controversy. Don’t drill that! Something’s endangered. Buy carbon credits instead…bring your net carbon emissions to zero, like Al Gore said. Be a zero. Stop existing meaningfully. Abort your baby, show your patriotism by paying higher taxes, and when you die have a green funeral.

Star Trek is about the polar opposite of that. Oh sure, the individuals are likewise diminished…bridge crew notwithstanding, everyone on the Enterprise is just a nameless extra wearing spandex. It’s the exploration part of it. Reaching for the stars, finding out what’s out there — forget it. Liberals like to talk a lot about what could be out there. Stepping on out, once the technology is available, to find out for sure? Not on the liberal’s watch…not while he has anything to say about it. That disastrous episode Force of Nature in which Starfleet imposes a Warp 5 speed limit due to this discovery that the warp drive damages the fabric of space…that would end up being your pilot episode, right there. Omigod!! By existing and doing bold things, we’re damaging the environment! Again!

Funny how that never, ever seems to change.

Liberals think humans are so special, in our own way. Killer whales bite seals in half, or swallow ‘em whole. Lionesses strip chunks of bloody flesh off the bodies of antelope that were frantically running away just moments before. Spiders inject venom into the bodies of flies that dissolve them into a ghastly milkshake from the inside out, while the flies are still alive, writhing in agony. That’s fine. But you, you human schmuck, are destroying the world simply by driving to work.

So if modern liberalism is Star Trek’s fault, the monster seems to have turned against its creator since being first animated. Perhaps that part of the Star Trek culture never was terribly well thought out. After all, what good does it do to seek out new civilizations and new worlds, and then once you find them…make extra sure you not have anything to do with ‘em because of your revered Prime Directive?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

How to be Cruel to Old Guys

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

H/T: Stix Blog.

The Conscience of Fannie Mae

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Sarah’s Got Legs

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

It’s become an “everyone else is bloggin’ it, I might as well do it too” thing. But man, I do love a good-lookin’ pair of female legs. Especially if they’re attached to a lady with class, brains and a good sturdy value-system.

They’re trying to play it up into some kinda scandal, I’m told. Figgers. This is the slovenly strumpet who bought herself a TANNING BED!!!11!!1!ELEVENTY!!

Hat Tip: Oh jeezus, where to begin…Jawa, via The Other McCain, via Stop The ACLU, via Conservative Grapevine. Also blogging is a bunch of jealous ladies such as Cassy, Elizabeth Snead of the Los Angeles Times, Mahalo, Gawker, Explorations, Power Line…and a bunch of others. Funny. Left-wingers looking for a betrayal of FAMILEE VALYOOZ…about which said left-wingers couldn’t possibly care less…for four freakin’ weeks solid. They finally come across something they think will chip away at Palin’s base — they toss it at the right-wing bloggers like a lean top sirloin to a pack of starving dobermans. And everyone pretty much reacts the same way as me. “Dang! She’s nice-lookin’. If I was undecided about her before seeing this, I wouldn’t be now.”

The legs that launched a million search queries.

Seriously though, where’s the scandal? A Vice President with a fantastic pair o’ pins. This is like reason #358 for voting McCain/Palin.

Best Sentence XLI

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The forty-first award for the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes to Victor Davis Hanson…via small-tee tim the godless heathen (who I named), posting at Rick’s blog Brutally Honest. Here it is.

I think it is much harder for a mother of three or four in an out-of-the-way Alaskan town to get elected to city council and the mayorship, then take on the entire Republican establishment and get elected governor than it is for a Barack Obama to emerge from Chicago politics into the Illinois state house and later Senate.

Of course, Barack Obama is not running against this mother from the Alaskan town. He’s running against that old guy who happens to be on her ticket. But, y’know…all things considered, I think people like me have a lot more to learn from people like her, than we do from people like Sen. Obama, for the reason spelled out above.

Now Sen. McCain (and handlers). Could you please un-hitch her from those “John McCain is a better Messiah than that other guy” and “bipartisanship” talking points, really cut ‘er loose, so we can see the kind of fire and passion that saved your ass from electoral oblivion in the first place? Pretty please?

Don’t Take It Away From Them Just Yet

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Because we are, after all, a compassionate, civilized society

Men were nearly evenly split between the two candidates, with 46 percent giving the win to [Sen. John] McCain and 43 percent to [Sen. Barack] Obama. But women voters tended to give Obama higher marks, with 59 percent calling him the night’s winner, while just 31 percent said McCain won. [emphasis mine]

Our nation can survive this — somehow. There’s got to be a way, short of repealing womens’ suffrage. We shouldn’t need to resort to that. Perhaps some education, maybe.

We shouldn’t take away the womens’ right to vote, except as a last resort.

But can we survive four years of Barack Obama as President? Can we survive a persistent effort to socially shape and mold the demographics of our society, in such a way that we get an unending procession of people like him in charge?

Hmmm…wow. Whatever we can do to avoid answering that question the hard way. Ladies, I’m sure the gentlemen will do the civilized things, if you lead the way. Time to clean up your act.

Men Cheating Because They’re Unappreciated?

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Interesting. I know what this fellow’s trying to say, but what he spouted out during this interview contradicts itself. Directly. What a shame.

I think a woman’s first instinct when seeing the cover of your book is, ” Why do I have to prevent this? Why doesn’t he just not cheat?”
Gary Neuman: There is clearly no blame on the woman if he’s cheated. She’s not responsible for stopping him. However, the fact that you’re not responsible does not mean that you don’t want to take an active role in your relationship to bring out the best in your husband, as he should for you…a lot of men are essentially good people. They make mistakes, but that’s not who they are. So a lot of women are married to men who are good but that does not mean they are not susceptible to ultimately cheating.

What did you find was the No. 1 reason men cheat?
…when the results came in [from my study] only 8 percent of cheaters said that sexual dissatisfaction was a primary contributor [in cheating] and only 12 percent said the mistress was better looking or in better shape than their wives. It really started to show a completely different pattern than what most expect. In fact, the majority—48 percent—said that the cheating was about an emotional disconnection.

What was causing this emotional disconnection?
The No. 1 reason was feeling underappreciated. It was a lack of thoughtful and kind gestures. What I found is that men are far more insecure than they let on, and they do want to please their wives and feel valued. They like to win and as long as they are winning with their wife then they stay in the game. It is feeling underappreciated and like they can’t win—and maybe they do things that make it hard for her to appreciate him—that usually leads them into dangerous waters. Appreciation is what they first and foremost get from the mistress. [emphasis (bold within Mr. Neuman's comments) mine]

I have been accused of taking a black and white view on this, and I’m probably guilty, willfully so. To me, “good people” just don’t cheat, period. I think people do before they are, so in my world when Mr. Neuman says “they make mistakes, but that’s not who they are” he’s just babbling so much nonsense. People are what they do.

Also, if the woman is not to blame, there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Neuman got it right the first time, missed it on the second. You want to change something that’s wrong, the first thing you do is find a way to make it your fault. Now, why a woman would want to go through this, with regard to a man who doesn’t have the strength of character to stay faithful to her — I dunno. But it speaks volumes, to me, that nearly half the men ‘fessed up that their cheating was because of an emotional disconnection, a lack of appreciation. I wonder how many better men are bearing such a burden in silence, without engaging in this kind of betrayal.

It’s peculiar what kind of tortured logic we’ll pursue, and to what kind of lengths we will go, to avoid telling females they’re doing something wrong. I mean that, without regard to whether they’re decent wives or not, or whether they have decent husbands or not. Even if both husband and wife are faithful people with strong characters and aren’t going to engage in any of these shenanigans…if she’s starting to treat him a little bit like an accessory, or like a beast of burden, to the point where he’s occasionally unhappy with it, she could be doing things better. What’s wrong with simply saying this? You can point this out without rationalizing the behavior of cheating men, or lending support to what they’ve done. It’s not that fine of a hair to slice.

I’ve been treated like a beast-o-burden by some women. I’ve been around other women who were ready and willing to do anything for me — women who were genuinely stuck in this stuff we call “love.” And I’ve been around some other women, if you can believe this, who did both (it’s quite possible…and those are the saddest stories I’d have to tell, were I inclined to go into details).

There’s just no two ways about it: If a man treats his woman with kindness and respect, he deserves the kind of relationship he’ll want to have front-and-center in his life all the time. Nowadays, that’s a rarity. And some of our weaker and less worthy men, have the indecency to occasionally lower their conduct to adapt to this, in ways that do not speak highly for their character. It doesn’t change the fact that for every man who’s motivated this way and acts it out, there are probably two or three more who are similarly motivated, and do not similarly act. And that’s a great, great pity. It is the plague upon the romantic terrain of our modern times.

Make it a genuine disgrace for a man to cheat on a woman, or for a woman to make the man want to…and you’ll solve probably nine out of every ten social issues we have, overnight. Things you probably never suspected were connected with this. Because our cultural protocols have always followed the females. When women are emotionally distant and unavailable, we all are. And then there’s nothing truly “wrong” with what anybody does. We’ll descend to any depth that happens to be convenient under the immediate circumstances, because there’s no reason not to.

I’ve Got a Bracelet, Too

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Matthew Sheffield, Newsbusters.

In recent memory, every presidential debate eventually distills down into a few catchphrases. Al Gore became known for his sighs and love of lockboxes. John Kerry actually served in Vietnam. Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.

I've Got A Bracelet, TooBarack Obama has a bracelet, too.

That inartful comeback will likely filter out through the political ether in the days ahead. What might not filter through our partisan press is that shortly after pointing out that, like John McCain, he sports a bracelet given to him by a military family, Barack Obama had to stop and look down find out the name of the soldier he’s honoring.

That soldier is Ryan David Jopek. Barack Obama doesn’t appear to have known that fact.

Here’s his complete line:

“Jim, let me just make a point. I’ve got a bracelet too. From, Sergeant, uh, uh, from the mother of, uh, Sergeant, Ryan David Jopek.”

Had a Republican, say Sarah Palin, made this gaffe, who wants to bet that we wouldn’t hear this clip repeated endlessly during the post-debate spin shows and in the days ahead? How much would the sincerity of our hypothetical Republican politician be called into question.

I didn’t hear it discussed once in the post-debate coverage. Did you?

Let’s be fair, here. Can you imagine how the mother of Sergeant Jopek would have felt, had Obama simply let this go — right while the bracelet was dangling on his own wrist? He had to say something. I hope that’s what motivated him, and I think he does have some human decency, and that that is indeed the case.

Now having said that, this kind of thing strikes me as extraordinarily sad. Because the people who are most enthused about supporting Barack Obama, voting for him, defending him — they don’t understand there’s a problem here. They have their own special definition of caring about someone.

They live in a special world in which nobody actually labors toward getting something done, except in the realm of “CALWWNTY” (Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet). Outside of the CALWWNTY vicious cycle of civil-rights-movements “we’re still working on that,” anything that requires effort is a manifestation of someone not caring about someone else. It’s the way they were raised. If you’re working on something, someone else should jump in, do it all for you, and present you with the results, immediately, or else you’re a victim of someone else’s lack of caring. Wherever there’s caring, there has to be a quick fix. Real work, therefore, exists only where people don’t care about each other…unless everyone is working on it, which is why CALWWNTY gets a pass. As does building a post-modern Star Trek utopian universe.

In that utopia they’re trying to build, people simply — exist. Mill about. Order free chocolate treats from food replicators whenever they want. They don’t really labor toward anything…not unless all of them are similarly engaged.

And so, to some of us, Obama having to re-check the name on his bracelet was just natural. The Sergeant had a funny name, after all! To the rest of us, this completely invalidates the point he was trying to make…and it’s not because we had preconceived desires to see his point invalidated. It’s because he really, truly, does not “care” in the way we define caring. He wants to see people alive and healthy and whole, but wants to see them abandon the effort on which they’ve spent their blood, sweat and tears. Once that’s done, in his world, everything will be all okay, because people will be intact, feelin’ good, unscathed, and covered by some fabulous universal medical care. And not really doing much of anything.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Bipartisanship

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

This whole “bailout” thing — the actual money it’s going to cost is, is only a portion of the real damage, and it’s a minority portion. The real crippling payment for it comes out of the purse of our thinking. This is the price we really can’t afford.

We can’t have bipartisanship in the United States, because the fissure between our two parties is too deep. We have a party that values life, and another party that only pretends to value life when it really values death. We have a party that wants to work with the market and uphold the virtues of free enterprise, and another party that wants to get rid of free enterprise and put the market out of existence. We have a party that wants people to be independent and another party that wants people to be more dependent on their government.

You don’t find a compromise between these. You simply don’t.

This is where Sarah Palin really slipped and fell during that Couric interview. It’s always been her weak point — the talking points about bipartisanship. She runs out of things to say, she loops these things two, three, four times, it sounds terrible. Repeating something doesn’t automatically make it terrible. Speaking from talking points, instead of from the heart, sounds terrible. As a product, Gov. Palin has been enormously successful, and the success of that product comes from the prospect of translating ideas that work in the real world into our government. Whoever’s feeding her these talking points, is diminishing what’s wonderful about her and in so doing defeating the entire purpose.

Palin’s not alone. Nobody has said anything about the bailout yet, that has captured the public’s enthusiasm…which is a great pity, because the one thing that has a chance of getting us out of this mess is the one thing that would so capture the public’s enthusiasm.

And that thing is this.

Market forces, and populism, are like oil and water. Our nation has a long history, by now, of trying to mix the two together and it has never worked. It creates problems. Our tendency in dealing with these problems has been to blame them on the marketplace, rather than on the mixing, and then to indulge in more mixing. This latest meltdown is no exception, in fact, it’s already gone three laps on this merry-go-round and is starting a fourth. That’s why the dollar amounts we’re discussing are so staggeringly high. If we opt for more compromises where they aren’t possible, we will start that fourth lap and the next time we have to deal with it the dollar amounts will be even higher.

The marketplace has always been friendly to us when we have been friendly to the marketplace. That should be our paramount goal as we seek a solution to this crisis. And if it’s solvency we want, then we need to show our dedication to that solvency, and include that solvency in the objectives of this “oversight” we discuss so much and so often. I don’t know about you, but for the last several decades when I hear about regulatory oversight in the home lending market, I’ve heard a lot about “community outreach” and very little about solvency. So if solvency’s our goal, let’s make the oversight all about that, or else get rid of it altogether. But the status quo is, we pretend to appreciate the virtues of free enterprise, while engaging in a vicious assault upon it — and today, you see the result.

America needs to return to her roots. There is a difference between making it possible for people to live in freedom, with a minimalist government, and bringing them to harm. If you don’t believe that is so, you must not believe in the competence of people to eventually learn from whatever mistakes they may make. You have a right to that opinion. But that opinion is not centrist; it is not moderate; it is not compromise; it isn’t even American. From there, let the debate go forward, but let us debate things as they really are. Humans are glorious, intelligent creatures, Americans are among the most courageous and resourceful among humans, and we have always realized our most dazzling successes when left to embrace opportunity and danger as capable individuals. We got into this mess by putting security above opportunity. We will head in the exact opposite direction, to get ourselves out of it. And we will succeed. We will fix this mess we have made. That is the only way we can.

Update: Talk about humming from the same hymnbook. But there’s been no collaboration here, I found this after I’d written the above. It captures perfectly what I had in mind with these comments about the merry-go-round…so before anybody asks what that was all about, just hit play.

H/T to Neptunus Lex, via blogger friend Buck.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

McCain/Obama Debate

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

For those who wish to participate…Right Wing News has a poll up about who won the debate.

How to Make a Pencil

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Via Gerard.

Good thing to point out right about now. We have this glaring failure of the “marketplace” — you don’t need to inspect it very long at all, to figure out there are some heap-big problems with trying to blame this failure on the market. But nobody else can jump in and claim credit for making that pencil. Or any one of a number of things much more complicated and much more essential than that.

Something to keep in mind next time you hear about Obama, Biden, McCain or Palin breezily throw around the word “oversight.” And to be fair about it, all four of ‘em have done it. We don’t live in a country in which we can depend on our officials. The world of culturally-mandated ritually-dispensed sound-bites is far too rigid and unforgiving up at those high altitudes. We have to figure things out for ourselves.

Zogby Used the L-Word

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, via Boortz:

One of the country’s top pollsters was in Rochester on Thursday and suggested that the November presidential election will end in an electoral landslide, even though the candidates are running close.

“Essentially the election is at equilibrium,” said John Zogby, president of Zogby International. “This election will stay close until the end.”

Zogby said he thinks the race will turn in the last weekend before Election Day and though the popular vote will be tight, the successful candidate will win in a landslide.

He likened this year’s election to the contest in 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter.

“This may be and probably is the most important election in our lifetime,” Zogby said. “I don’t say that lightly.”

Despite two books by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Americans still don’t know enough about him. And if they don’t think they know him well enough by the time they vote, they’ll go with the “comfortable old shoe,” Republican Sen. John McCain, Zogby said.

Landslide, huh. Landslide. Landslide.

At first blush, it seems to me to be quite the shocker to look back on the events of this year, after election day, and say to myself “who’d a-thunk that the McCain/Palin ticket was destined to win in the landslide we just saw?”

But then — that is exactly how I recall 1980. And 1988. And 2004 (which was far from a landslide…but still). We do seem to have this habit, throughout the election year, of perceiving everything as if it’s part of this photo-finish toss-up, closing our eyes to any evidence that perhaps things aren’t quite so chancey.

The print media, and to a lesser extent the electronic media, has an investment in this. If you think the result is pre-ordained you’re simply not going to be that interested in what’s going on. So our confirmation bias, is a direct result of their wishful thinking. A direct result. They feed us the information we use to draw our conclusions about things, and so we think the margin of error is razor-thin.

Zogby might very well be right; it might not be that thin. There is ample historical precedence for this. And, of course, we’re all directed to ignore the big lumbering elephant in the room…that Americans by-and-large really just don’t like liberalism.