Archive for December, 2008

Best Sentence LII

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

The fifty-second Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes out this Christmas Morning to The People’s Cube, for some commentary that went up a couple months ago about democrats and sex.

It, in turn, was inspired by this website over here (warning, main page includes a YouTube clip that plays automatically…just in case the left wing hadn’t done enough, already, to put a damper on your yuletide spirits).

Same ol’ bullshit. You join a movement of attractive young folks who’ve signed a pact to not have sex with anyone who votes Republican. You know what a pact is, right? It’s something a group of people agree to do with regard to future events, no matter how their individual common sense, personal beliefs, or preference at the point of decision may have otherwise motivated them. In other words, it is a triumph of the past over the future, of group-think over individual thought, of dogma over…choice.

None of which is inherently bad.

But to do such a thing to support “choice,” amuses us in a dark, sad, ironic kind of way.

Anyway — what with Tina Fey being named Entertainer of the Year by the Associated Press, for ” ma[king] us think about what was going on,” according to one editor, People’s Cube said something we thought was apropos. Tina Fey, you see, didn’t earn her award by making people think about what was going on. She earned it by making people think a lot of bullshit about what was going on. Among other things Gov. Palin never, ever said, not even once, was “I can see Russia from my house,” even though millions of people who voted last month, are convinced she did. Therein lies the power of humor. Such power reaches its peak when humor ceases to be humor. When it interjects fantasy, while pretending to emulate reality, which is the way more decent parody works.

This is why I had to flip around the website linked above to figure out of it was serious or not. And flip. And flip.

Because some ideas don’t look sensible, until you combine politics with sex. Or combine politics with humor.

Which means they aren’t sensible. It has to mean that; it can’t mean anything else.

Like in public school, to be accepted one must conform or be ostracized. But in the worlds of politics, government and media, right of center “nonconformity” can bring serious consequences.

Humor, for leftists, is strictly a means of reinforcing conformity – a tool to ridicule, demean and demote those not of the Party (much like chickens will peck a sickly or ‘different’ chicken to death). [emphasis mine]

Just something to ponder in 2009…nothing more. Just something very well said.

The Cube went on to put together this video, which offers a much more honest form of parody. The kind that demonstrates the ludicrous nature of the target by intermingling it with truth — not fiction.

Well done.

“The World Doesn’t Take Americans Seriously”

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Oh dear, and I thought now that we elected The Chosen One, all this was going to fall away like Quentin Tarantino’s private parts in that Zombie movie of his.

Reason #5 of the seven reasons Americans suck at soccer…

Does anyone really like Americans?

Usually, when there’s someone in your family who’s not as good at a sport as you are, you tend to try and help them out so that they can get better and (hopefully) provide more of a challenge to you later on.

With the US though, the rest of the world isn’t so kind. We’ve made it acceptable to make fun of US soccer instead of going there and investing in the sport in America. We’ve made it acceptable to mock them instead of training them and coaching them. They tend to beat the world at everything else so its payback.

That’s why when someone like David Beckham – an excellent businessman – goes to the US to invest in soccer, the world laughs at him. Would you laugh at Bill Gates if he invested in a new technology startup? People would scramble to get involved. The world doesn’t take Americans seriously, and soccer is worse off as a result.

Three things:

One. Sometime over the last forty-two years, I’ll admit to having some ugly thoughts about people who could do something better than I could. It’s a natural human reaction. I’ll also confess to having taken some people less than seriously. That’s a logical reaction, depending on the situation at hand. These events…were all different. I have yet to be jealous of someone for performing at something better than me, and simultaneously, failing to take them seriously. Really. I don’t get how that’s done. How do you do that?

Two. FrankJ says it better than I can, as we pointed out before…

Hey, Europe!

So how many black leaders have you elected?

Yeah, I thought so. So shut up.

Racist crackers.

Three. It’s a mistake to talk about what is “thought” by a large collective of people, and an even bigger mistake to believe someone talking that way. I know of two occasions in which one is inspired to do this…the speaker is trying to engage a self-fulfilling prophecy, making the large collective think what he’s saying it’s already thinking (specifically, in this case, that Americans suck or are bad or stink or are poo poo heads or whatever). The other occasion would be after some kind of polling process, during which time he went door-to-door and made sure “everyone thinks” what he’s saying everyone within that collective thinks. Bullying and polling. And this asshole is talking about the entire world, so I doubt he went door to door polling everyone, or even anyone.

Thing I Know #35. The individual attribute ascribed to the aggregate entity, manifests a weak argument ripe for re-thinking.

But back to point…two. The Chosen One in the White House. This stuff is all supposed to slide to a stop right about now, isn’t it? He Who Walks On Water seems to have a “mandate” of sorts to bludgeon Congress into forking out bailout after bailout after bailout, so this will cost us dearly over the next four years. When’s this product we’re buying at such an exorbitant rate, the worldwide adoration, showing up at our doorstep? Does UPS have it somewhere? Does it have a tracking number?

Update: The FARK thread has been greenlit so you don’t need to buy a TOTALFARK subscription to follow it.

Which happens several times a day.

What’s unusual is that the FARK kids are comin’ out swinging in defense of America. Yeah! And they’re doing a fairly clever, snarky, above-par job of doing it too. Go see.

2008 Christmas Wish

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Good health to you and yours throughout the year, may your struggles be few and far between. May you drown in an abundance of the things you need. And of the things you want, may you be missing only enough of them that you can keep your sense of perspective.

That gap between when you know what to complain about, and when you know what to do about it — may it always be closed up tighter than a frog’s ass. Because we all know how frustrating it is when it yawns wide open.

May you think your way through every challenge, and feel your way ’round none.

May you effortlessly separate what matters, from what doesn’t.

In other words, don’t be like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (Hat tip: Rick, again).

Wah!Landing at Kennedy Airport from Hong Kong was, as I’ve argued before, like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. The ugly, low-ceilinged arrival hall was cramped, and using a luggage cart cost $3. (Couldn’t we at least supply foreign visitors with a free luggage cart, like other major airports in the world?) As I looked around at this dingy room, it reminded of somewhere I had been before. Then I remembered: It was the luggage hall in the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport. It closed in 1998.

The next day I went to Penn Station, where the escalators down to the tracks are so narrow that they seem to have been designed before suitcases were invented. The disgusting track-side platforms apparently have not been cleaned since World War II. I took the Acela, America’s sorry excuse for a bullet train, from New York to Washington. Along the way, I tried to use my cellphone to conduct an interview and my conversation was interrupted by three dropped calls within one 15-minute span.
My fellow Americans, we can’t continue in this mode of “Dumb as we wanna be.”

Wah! Wah! My plane landed safely, but I can’t get my Wi-Fi to work! Wah! Wah!

May your relatives who are like this — we all have some — pull their heads out of their butts, and may you be around to see it happen. And if they don’t, may you have many a laugh in the year ahead, at their expense.

Figgy Pudding?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

What is that, exactly?

You know you wanna know.

So Didja Get One of These?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

The “I Crapped My Pants” doll.

Great for the office, so the website says.

PETA’s Website Defaced

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Because everything’s better with

Polish Polar Bear Club

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

It’s high time we put something up that is more spiritually compatible with the yuletide season.

So enjoy. And just try to keep a poker face at this one.

(That pot-belly guy is walking across it, not making any effort to distribute his weight whatsoever. Nor is there any consequence for that. Consider the implications of this. Dang. Mega-ouch.)

“Idiocracy” Thought of the Day

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Inspired by this wonderful movie. If you’ve not yet seen it, do what it takes to get hold of it, and watch it beginning to end. (Viable first step for you might be here.)

Whenever I hear that the United States needs to be more humble to get her “allies” to like her moar better…it sounds to me like…

“Drink Brawndo. It’s got electrolytes.”

President Gore Would’ve Invaded Too?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Some Canuck white-coat pocket-protector propeller-beanie-head with a bunch of letters after his name has looked into this “what-if” scenario, specifically, whether President Gore would have proceeded with the invasion of Iraq. His surprising answer: Definitely.

Notwithstanding its widespread appeal, the ‘Bush-necon-war’ thesis remains an unsubstantiated assertion, a ‘theory’ without theoretical content, an argument devoid of logic or perspective. In essence, the most common explanation for the war is based on an historical account that overlooks almost all of the relevant historical facts.

In sum, a widely accepted explanation for one of the most important wars in decades has not yet been subjected to a careful, rigorous evaluation. The objective of the following report is to reveal significant logical, factual and historical errors consistently overlooked by its advocates.

It’s good to see overly-repeated and unscrutinized memes subjected to some challenge, even if the challenge is belated. It’s what science is supposed to do.

You can watch the FARK kids go nuts about it over here (subscription required).

My Dirty Jobs

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Gerard tagged us…because Anchoress tagged him.

The rules as I understand them —

It’s simple. Just list all the jobs you’ve had in your life, in order. Don’t bust your brain: no durations or details are necessary, and feel free to omit anything that you feel might tend to incriminate you. I’m just curious. And when you’re done, tag another five bloggers you’re curious about.

Oh-kay. Here we goes…

 • Paperboy
 • Babysitter
 • Lawnmower guy
 • Typist
 • Data entry clerk
 • Computer networking office know-it-all guy
 • Database programmer
 • Software consultant
 • Kelly Girl
 • Office phone answerer guy
 • Affirmative Action statistics compiler reports guy
 • Software Design and Maintenance Specialist
 • Software Engineer
 • Cloak ‘n Dagger Office Politics Shitstorm Tattletale guy (not my choice, long story, don’t ask)
 • Lightning Rod for Wife’s Frustrations with Life
 • Single-Wide Trailer Inhabiting Redneck Yokel
 • Software Engineer, Again
 • Software Consultant
 • Office Scapegoat
 • Design-By-Contract Requirements Coordinator
 • Version Control Administrator
 • LAN Administrator
 • Database programmer, again
 • Workstation Image Architect
 • Client/Server Network Computing Engineer
 • Senior Network Systems Engineer
 • Y2K Mud-Wrestling Engineer (Guess what year it is, by now)
 • HIPAA Team Lead
 • HIPAA Project Lead
 • Cryptology Technician
 • Computer Forensics Technician
 • HIPAA Project Manager
 • DITSCAP Project Manager
 • DIACAP Project Manager
 • Single Dad
 • Unemployed Bum
 • Project Management Consultant
 • Unemployed Bum, Again
 • Waterer of Girlfriend’s Tomatoes
 • Senior Software Engineer
 • Guy In Parking Lot Yelling At You For Taking His Space When Christmas Shopping
 • Christmas Present Wrapper Guy, and Folder of Laundry

Okay, happy now?

I tag…

Becky the Girl in Short Shorts

Salt Is Bad, Mmmkay

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Alan is having some dark-humored fun with my old stomping grounds.

Squeaky green Seattle decided years ago to forego the use of road salt. Now the city is paralyzed in a carapace of ice. Stricken with climate-angst, the bureaucrats who decided this policy didn’t really believe it would ever snow in Seattle again. Wrong! Now it’s lame excuse time.

“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.

Last time I checked the Sound was filled with, you know, brine. That’s a fancy word for salt water. So where’s the problem?

There is a bright spot here. We can stop worrying, just a little bit, about the federal government being turned over to the left-wingers. This is, arguably, the benign effect of liberalism, because as articles like this remind us, left-wing politics foment the worst results when they’re implemented at the municipal level.

There is no “liberal” way to clear snow, or collect garbage, or manage traffic lights at a controlled intersection. But there’s no shortage of bureaucrats ready, willing and able to find such a way nevertheless. In Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, DC, PEBO’s hometown of Chicago, Berkeley, Portland, Los Angeles…et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Drive carefully and keep your wits about you, on your way through Seattle. We certainly will.

Men Worrying About “Style”

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Cassy has a wonderful question. Why should men be worried about style?

I really would love to know one day why it is that so many men these days are so concerned about their “style”. Why on Earth does a man need to worry about being stylish??

I stumbled across the Style Guide that apparently Men’s Health magazine has. Gee, I never realized that being stylishly trendy contributed to one’s health! Stupid little me.

One of the first things I saw was an article showing guys how to pick the “right cut” of jeans, an article which has likewise run in chick magazines like Cosmo and Glamour countless times. And now, men can debate the merits of relaxed fit vs. straight leg, boot cut vs. athletic cut. The article even had a section on skinny jeans, a.k.a. GIRL PANTS. The fact that men would even contemplate buying a pair of pants called “skinny jeans” is in and of itself alarming.

My thoughts:

1. First, consider what takes place when we are built. Millions of sperm, which are male, swim toward a singular egg, which is female. Once one of them gets “in,” the others are banished to oblivion. Factors which determine that one sperm will get “in” include: The receptive “mood” of the egg; the sense of direction (such as it is) of the sperm; and persistence of the sperm. All these things correlate to the mating ritual in which we participate, once we grow to maturity, which strongly hints that they’re planted in our subconscious realms during this fertilization process somehow and stay there, hibernating.

2. Now however this hibernating is done, it’s well-established by now that men are programmed to participate in a coupling ritual in such a way that they can overcome a supply-and-demand handicap. In other words, they are programmed to find ways to defeat the competition, and prevail in some kind of chase, to become The One.

3. What a lady/egg “prefers” in her man/sperm, is perhaps one of the deepest, darkest secrets in all of human interaction. It varies from one woman to the next. Kinda. Kinda not. Unhealthy, diseased women make a point of advertising these preferences before they’ve reached the point of maturity where they truly appreciate men. They make a point of rejecting men who do male things — growing hair ladies can’t grow, opening pickle jars ladies can’t open, eating meat, watching sports, buying tools, etc. (I’ve made a point to keep a beard growing on my face at all seasons of the year ever since I figured this out, some fifteen years ago.)

4. Unhealthy, diseased men pursue the “Hoover Vac” approach, which means to find a way to suck in multiple eggs at once, in an attempt to achieve the effect of swimming toward several eggs simultaneously without working that hard. There is, perhaps, some success to be had in this, since unhealthy, diseased women historically do a poor job of forming individual opinions about what they want, and gravitate toward the whims of the crowd. Listening to such women prattle on about what they like in a man, is not unlike listening to a Miss America contestant drone on about World Peace. “Confidant, but not cocky…” no thoughts of her own to offer, as an individual, whatsoever.

5. Because this is a competitive endeavor, it is necessarily a superlative one. You want to be a babe magnet, I want to be a babe magnet, we both can’t be the superior babe-magnet. So you wax your chest, I wear skinny jeans; when I wear skinny jeans, you put liner on your eyelashes; when you do that, I put on lipstick — look, obviously, this is all hypothetical. I wouldn’t do that. The point is the one-upmanship. We’re trying to use the Hoover Vac approach to sidestep the effort of competition…and failing miserably at it.

So that’s my idea on how immature, weak-willed, weak-minded young males are susceptible to this.

What really drives it?

Masculinity is on the short list of things we’re trying to eradicate as the world spins all wobbly on its axis. We have, as an overly-mature society that has ripened past its optimal harvesting point, an innate hostility to it because it is responsible for getting us the things we now have, that we value to the point of taking them for granted. We must therefore dispose of it. You can read more about that here.

Hope that contributes to the discussion. What to do about it? This is where my wellspring of opinionated thought runs dry. I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done. Peevishness toward things that have given us benefit, seems to be an inextricable part of human nature. It is, I think, the feasting upon the apple that drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden. It seems to be in our genetic makeup to acquire wonderful blessings, but not to keep them.

And so masculinity has drawn something of a shitstorm of hostility down upon itself, which no one can coherently explain. Not without facing some dark truths about the human species, and its inherent fallibility.

Thing I Know #130. The noble savage gives us life. Then we outlaw his very existence. We call this process “civilization.” I don’t know why.

Clean Friends

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Fellow Right Wing News contributor Robert Stacy McCain has a excellent dissection up on The American Spectator of the latest meme zipping around that sacred oracle of wholesomeness and wisdom that is the Huffington Post. One Geoffrey Dunn, who claims to be the father of a special-needs child, bitterly resents Sarah Palin for having once offered to represent special-needs families in the White House. And that she’s pro-life. And that he’s found a few unfortunate comments on some right-wing web sites, which he’d like to fasten to her good name.

I’m not entirely clear which among these three he finds most atrocious.

There is something very ugly happening out there in the hinterlands these days–a brewing cauldron of racist anger being directed at President-elect Barack Obama as he and his family get ready to move into the White House. It’s a mean-spirited bigotry that is finding its way onto the internet and right-wing blogs across the country. It makes for a troubling portrait of a significant cross-section of the American polity as Obama prepares to take the oath of office as the 44th President of these United States.

Nowhere have these tendencies been more out-front and prominent than at, a website organized by “a coalition of women dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.” Men, according to an exclamatory notice, are welcome, too.

As “The Other McCain” points out, to associate the phenomenon of pinheaded racism with Sarah Palin is a decent example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, in which, upon observing a notable event, a prior event is arbitrarily singled out as a definitive cause. In this case, Gov. Palin’s selection as John McCain’s running mate on August 29 of this year did something to racism; re-established it, created it, “crystalized” it in some way.

As McCain points out,

This accusation of “mean-spirited bigotry” was based on a relative handful of comments, far less dramatic than the huffy HuffPoster’s hyperbolic introduction suggested. The Christian ladies who run Team Sarah — Marjorie Dannenfelser, Jane Abraham and Emily Buchanan of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List — responded immediately with sanctions against commenters who cross the lines of political decorum. (Of course, decorum is not even an afterthought at Huffington Post, DailyKos or any number of liberal blogs where the comment fields routinely boil with vitriol, but conservatives have long since become accustomed to this sort of double standard.)

I’m not the least bit alarmed that Mr. Dunn can find these comments on a pro-Palin website. That is not to say I approve of the comments; it’s just that there is a hard limit to how forcefully a handful of comments can reflect on a given website. It’s a pretty weak connection. And they certainly don’t reflect negatively on Gov. Palin herself.

Actually, what alarms me far more, here, are the people responding to Mr. Dunn’s article in his comment section. “spiderbucket” did the best job of capturing the prevailing sentiment, I thought:

Look, it’s simply us or them now and we have to stamp them out before they do some wacko McVeigh crap that we all know they are fully capable of.

How many mental illnesses can you spot here? I see two, at least. There’s the “I’m here to promote tolerance and acceptance and I will destroy anyone who gets in my way.”

The other one is even more disturbing than that…it has nothing to do with being a lefty. It concerns me because I know it is an error made by many.

It’s the notion that, if you’re choosey enough about your ideology, you can take up a position on the spectrum that is so clean you can eat off it.

No pinheadedness, no sexism, no racism, no…disagreement?

Do people really believe in this? There’s no shortage of rhetoric being tossed out to this effect — “I voted for Obama, those Republicans are so full of hate.” What is that, exactly? Recruiting propaganda, or do people really believe in it?

I’m not talking about believing in those ugly comments. They exist. The record is out there. It’s what they’re supposed to prove. This is worse than post hoc ergo propter hoc. People who support that guy, over there, have been known to be racists…just like some people who support (name the candidate) have been known to eat their own bodily waste. You can find someone somewhere who believes in just about anything — but nevermind that. I’ll just scootch over to some other spot on the spectrum, like a dog wiping its ass on the carpet, support another candidate…

…and all my friends who support the same candidate, sharing my new spot with me, will be cleeeeeaaaannnnnn.

I don’t think people really believe this. At least the ones who do, are justifying their decisions after-the-fact, acting on feelings — not really “believing” much of anything, intellectually. I’m sure of this. I mean, how often has the following conversation been repeated…

Obama Supporter: I’m voting for Obama. There’s a lot of racist ugliness in that Republican party over there.

McCain Supporter: Yeah, some McCain supporters are registered democrats who were supporting Hillary until Obama won the nomination, then switched. What does that say?

Obama Supporter: Uh…look! Bright shiny object! Hope! Change!

If you know of any discussion beginning like that, and then proceeding into an honest exchange of ideas instead of the uncomfortable and sudden change-of-subject, do let me know in the comment section. So far as I know, wherever that discourse signature has existed, the train-of-thought has been abandoned. Hastily. At the instigation of, and for the benefit of, the Obama supporter.

So there’s this drive to find a spot on the ideological spectrum, either sanitized, or clean by its very nature, filled with wonderful people and completely devoid of any ugly thoughts. It is theatrical in nature. I don’t think anyone really believes in it.

But theatrics can be dangerous. The weak-minded among us have a way of gradually starting to believe the bullshit that comes out of their mouths when they’re trying to recruit others. And the bullshit has to do with being able to conclude things about a person’s character, based on his political affiliation.

There’s a lot more of that on the left than on the right. I don’t think that can be up for serious question or debate, at this point. I will concede this much: Tighty-righties jump to conclusions about the intellectual acumen, or lack thereof…the personal commitment to logic and common sense, or lack thereof, of people who declare their allegiance to left-wing politics. That might seem like the same thing. It isn’t. Lefty-loosies, on the other hand, have been known to come to conclusions, en masse, about right-wing people being bad. Bad beyond any point of redemption. Down to the marrow of their bones. Tatooed head-to-toe to show their devotion to the Dark Side of the Force, like Darth Maul. How can we not be evil? We want to deny medical coverage to doe-eyed one-legged toddlers whose lungs have been replaced with llama bladders, who want to live to their sixth birthdays so they can sell off their favorite presents to fight global warming and find a cure for AIDS.

To oppose all that, we must be terrible.

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

This is bound to be a big problem in 2009. Now that The Chosen One has been elected, those of us who supported the other guy have defined an entirely new level of wrong-ness. An indispensible part of every revolution, after all, is to sweep away the remnants of those who opposed it. Our opinions have been “shown” to be un-American…in a way we were never allowed to call the hard-core left-winger’s beliefs, when they were the loyal opposition. Our vote against Obama is like a beacon. “Here Be Racism.”

What kind of person is open to the idea that if he selects his political beliefs only in satisfaction of a single goal, of choosing the right friends — he is guaranteed to have clean, decent friends?

The kind of person who is inexperienced in the situation where he would have decent friends.

What kind of person says we need more tolerance and understanding, and if you disagree I’ll crush you beneath my boot?

The kind of person who goes through the motions of creating, but lives every moment of his life to destroy things.

What kind of person says Sarah Palin is no friend to special-needs families, even though her family is one? What kind of person says she isn’t a “real” feminist, even though she is, undisputably, a woman?

The kind of person who tells himself a lie, every single day, that he wants us “all” to be “unified,” when in reality such a sense of unity would be the very last thing he wants to see.

Yeah, we’re in the middle of something ugly all right. And we haven’t seen the last of it by any stretch. But it isn’t coming from Sarah Palin’s supporters…not the bulk of it, anyhow.

Looking For My Wallet

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Deepest Sympathy…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

…to Dominique at Down With Absolutes.

Hat tip: Duffy.

Sarah Palin: Conservative of the Year

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

So writes Ann Coulter, commenting on Gov. Palin’s well-deserved win of the award named above, from Human Events.

True, Palin made some embarrassing gaffes.

She complained that we didn’t have enough “Arabic translators” in Afghanistan — not realizing the natives don’t speak Arabic in Afghanistan, but rather a variety of regional dialects, the most common of which is Pashtun.

Speaking to military veterans one time, Palin said, “Our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today.”

She bragged about passing a law regulating the nuclear industry that it turned out never became a law at all.

Some days Palin said Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez should suffer “regional isolation” — but then on others she’d say she supported the president’s meeting with Chavez.

She told one audience about recent tornados in Kansas that had killed 10,000 people. In fact, a dozen people were killed in the tornados.

She referred to the “57 states” that make up the U.S.

Speaking of her eldest daughter’s pregnancy, she said Bristol was being “punished” with a baby.

As you probably know — or guessed by now — none of these gaffes were uttered by Palin. They are all Obama gaffes. Luckily, he made them to a star-struck press that managed not to ask him a difficult question for two years.

Zing! Heh.

Some of my most respected commenters, here at The Blog That Nobody Reads, insist we had all the conservatism our li’l hearts could have desired in John McCain, well before the 29th of August. They speak for themselves, and others who are equally misguided, however well-intentioned. The Arizona Senator, sad to say, represents also all the liberalism any li’l heart could desire.

He does all the thinking through the OFC. I know he was just trying to be a decent gentleman with his decision “not to go after” Rev. Wright, but that’s not only a sure way to lose an election, it’s got liberalism written all over it. It’s external locus-of-control. It’s recoiling from the knuckle-rapping before you know what the knuckle-rapping is all about. It’s the abandonment of cause-and-effect, foundation-laying, bridge-building, skyscraper-erecting thinking…solely for the purpose of getting in the good graces of the New York Times editorial board.

We needed something better. We got it. The election turned out the way it did, because it was too little, too late. But America is in love with the woman who goes Moose hunting — and knows how to field dress a moose…and get her sexy round butt out there where the moose are, with a bunch of kids in tow…and get them back home again. Fire guns. Tie knots. Make moose-jerky.

Know-how. It used to be associated with America, remember that?

In four years, let’s get us some more of that. Oh and you blowhard pontificating bastards trying to pull her “toward the center,” you can stick a sock in it.

Congratulations Sarahcuda!

The Cheapskate Liberal Trend…Continues

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Via Rick, we learn of Nicholas Kristoff’s latest column, which isn’t news at all…the findings have been found, many times before.

And for reasons I shall explain later, it will continue to be this way.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.

Hmm, gee. I haven’t tried to cut health insurance for children lately, how ’bout you? Cut requirements to provide health insurance, maybe. Fight efforts to abuse and thwart the free market, perhaps. But no, if you come to me with news that somewhere, somehow, there’s a child who is horrendously covered with health insurance, I’m not going to go nuts and mobilize to try to get the child un-covered.

This is a common confusion — the one between the helping of people…and the eradication of choice in doing that.

Kristoff doesn’t understand this, I don’t think, but he’s done a great job of defining exactly what our modern liberalism is trying to do. It is a round-robin exercise. See, you may be a decent fellow, but your decency, as of now, is unproven…so you prove what a decent human being you are, by coming together to help pass legislation to force programs down the throats of others, your neighbors, and yourself. Which raises the minimal requirements up to the level of decency you’re performing. Which, in turn…leaves it unproven whether you’re a decent person or not.

What’s it all about? It’s about Thing I Know #32:

There are a lot of people walking around among us who like to re-define the baseline obligations carried by others, particularly toward them, simply because they find it painful to say “thank you”.

They find it painful.

They find it frightening. Beyond measure.

And anyone with any experience in human relations at all, has at one time or another met someone like this. The law requires you to give him a cup of sugar. You give him two. He mumbles not a single word of gratitude, just something about how you were s’poseda do that anyway, and instead lobbies for a new law requiring you to give him two cups.

People like me are genuinely grateful toward the men and women serving in our armed forces, and regularly say positive things about how much it means that they’re in Afghanistan and Iraq, doing the work that they do. But people like me, did not serve; and so you haven’t long to wait before a liberal goo-gooder anti-war loudmouth calls us “chickenhawks.” To which, if we deign to rejoin, we produce all manner of perfectly sensible arguments. My favorite is that if you can’t appreciate the work done by the armed forces unless you’ve served, then you can’t appreciate anything anybody does unless you’ve personally acquired a history of actually doing it. So I shouldn’t even be typing this unless I’ve spent a chunk of my life building keyboards. You shouldn’t be reading it unless it’s listed in your resume that you’ve built monitors, or printers.

Now, people like me, when the time comes for our liberals to clamor for higher taxes or more lavish (mandatory) health care plans…like to ask the snarky question…after you’ve settled your bill with the IRS, Mister Liberal, how much extra do you pay out to the Department of the Treasury? Since it is of such a vexing concern to you that the public debt is snowballing under FaPoBuAd (failed policies of the Bush administration)? What check number was that, and more importantly, how big was it?

To which, if liberal and non-liberal were symmetrical, one would expect we’d get a solid answer or two.

Or at least a coherent argument why we shouldn’t be asking.

A well-thought-out rhetorical question, perhaps?

No, in response to that, we don’t get jack squat.

That’s because being a liberal isn’t about raising revenues to meet expenses. Or covering children with healthcare plans, or raising them to some standard of living, or even a relative one, improved over their status quo by a notch or two. It isn’t about feeding people. It isn’t about retirement plans. It isn’t about a humble foreign policy, earning respect around the world, getting rid of all these guns lying around, womens’ choice, womens’ dignity, getting Christopher Reeve outta that wheelchair, nuanced thinking, making Europe like us moar better, finding cures to AIDS, curing the planet’s global warming fever, tolerating people of different skin colors or sexual preferences or religious creeds.

It’s about the eradication of choice.

It’s about that, because some people find it horrifying to be put in the position of having to thank someone. For something that other person did, that they weren’t being forced to do.

Mr. Kristoff, those studies will continue to turn out the way they always have. For as long as your fingers can type away at something, for as long as mine can, until these fingers have withered away to bone and then to dust. It is a timeless human flaw — some of us have the capacity to be genuinely grateful, while others, because of their upbringing or inner demons, are missing this.

They want baseline obligations to be adjusted, so they’re never put in the position of having to say thanks. And meaning it. It’s too frightening for them.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Have Them Sign the Release Form First

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

The Golden (Shower) State’s High Court has spoken:

California court holds rescuers liable for injuries
posted at 9:45 am on December 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

In this season of Christmas, let us reflect on the parable of the Good Samaritan. After a traveler had been assaulted and then ignored by the rest of the community, a Samaritan rescued him and helped him recover. If the Samaritan moved to California, he’d better have a good lawyer, as the state Supreme Court ruled that the liability shield passed for those who conduct emergency rescues and inadvertently injure the victims only applies to medical personnel:

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn’t immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn’t medical.

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Lisa Torti of Northridge allegedly worsened the injuries suffered by Alexandra Van Horn by yanking her “like a rag doll” from the wrecked car on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Torti now faces possible liability for injuries suffered by Van Horn, a fellow department store cosmetician who was rendered a paraplegic in the accident that ended a night of Halloween revelry in 2004.

Torti and Van Horn traveled in separate cars, and the driver of Van Horn’s car ran into a light pole at 45 MPH. Torti testified that she saw smoke and liquid coming from the car and thought the vehicle would explode, trapping Van Horn. She rushed to pull her co-worker from the car, and Van Horn alleges that Torti aggravated a broken vertebra that damaged her spinal cord. She sued Torti (and the driver) for causing her paralysis.

The Golden State is special (although, tragically, not overly much). All three branches of our state government have shown this proclivity: If an opportunity arises to make us more sheeplike, just wandering around watching our peers get snatched up by whatever wolf happens along, baah, baah — all three branches have a marked tendency to take that opportunity. So here we sit. A state of veal calves.

This isn’t even a right-versus-left thing. It’s do-something versus do-nothing. Lawyers versus the rest of us.

Get your own ass out of that leaking exploding fireball of a car wreck. I have to worry about punching the time clock so the union will go on protecting my cushy do-nothing job.

Hat tip: Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Airhead America Founder Agrees with Rush…

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

…about the Fairness Doctrine.

In a piece entitled “Limbaugh Is Right on the Fairness Doctrine,” with the delicious sub-headline “Liberals don’t need equal-time rules to compete,” [Jon] Sinden espoused views most Air America listeners are sure to disagree with (emphasis added):

When we founded Air America, we aimed to establish a talk network that lived at the intersection of politics and entertainment. Of course, we were motivated by our political leanings. But as a lifelong broadcaster, I was certain that at least half the American audience was underserved by conservative talk radio. Here was an opportunity to capture listeners turned off by the likes of, say, Sean Hannity. The business opportunity was enticing.

It never occurred to me to argue for reimposing the Fairness Doctrine. Instead, I sought to capitalize on the other side of a market the right already had built.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more liberals felt this way?

My own opposition to the Fairness Doctrine is that it would make an awful lot of sense — on an ideological spectrum that was truly one-dimensional, with an absolute centerpoint. Like a seesaw with an absolute point of fulcrum. That is how the weaker minds see this thing called “politics,” to be sure. But the weaker minds have trouble adapting to reality, and that’s shown to be the case here.

This stuff about which we argue, is just an endless and fascinating bouquet of questions, with little bundles of personal priorities and principles guiding the way to the answers, sometimes packaged together with other complementary priorities and principles…sometimes, not.

JeffersonThe hitch in the giddy-up is that this is not our daddys’ “right” and “left.” They are due for a shake-up, a major overhaul. Here’s just one example: The sense of community. Both the hard-right and the hard-left demand one. Our vision of it here, at The Blog That Nobody Reads, is an unorthodox one because we demand a sense of community as well, but we lean, like Jefferson, toward voluntary membership in all matters and coercive membership in none. To us, the merit of an idea has everything to do with the substance of the idea, and nothing whatsoever to do with the size of the population in which it finds support. The “majority” can be right, the “majority” can be wrong.

Also, when two sides are presented of a given issue, it’s possible for one side to be completely wrong and therefore missing any weight by which it could credibly demand any compromise whatsoever. And this, in turn, has nothing to do with the results of an election. One guy says humans breathe air and another guy says humans breathe water, do you stick your face in the toilet 50% of the time out of a spirit of compromise? No, you do not. One of those guys is all-the-way-wrong. All of life is like that, we think here.

Furthermore — the notion of an absolute center-point is wrong in every single sense possible. Which is the most frightening aspect, of all, with regard to this proposed Fairness Doctrine. Because when all’s said and done, there would have to be a task to be completed, bureaucratic in nature, that involves defining where the centerpoint is. You want the Government to be in charge of defining that?

Here, let’s try it on the subject of Rush Limbaugh himself.

For every hour spent discussing how incredibly awesome Rush Limbaugh is…you have to devote an equal and opposite hour, spent discussing how incredibly super-duper-duper awesome he is. It’s important to present both sides, after all.

I think that nails down, better than anything else I can imagine, the problems involved with having some nameless faceless anonymous bureaucrat stranger guy decide for you where the centerpoint is. It’s not an absolute thing in any sense. And our political discourse is not one-dimensional. Especially if we start thinking for ourselves; that’s when it gets really messy. That is when it truly becomes this endless procession of questions.

Are we our brothers’ keepers? Do we matter? Is there a God? Can we worship Him? Do we have a right to keep and bear arms? Are the three branches of our government co-equal, and if so, how? Is abortion murder? When does life begin? Is that government which governs least, that government which governs best? Is war ever necessary? Do fathers have any parental rights at all? Should Rick Warren be participating in Obama’s inauguration ceremonies?

Do we want our government requiring hours broadcast on one side or the other of these questions, regardless of the feelings of those broadcasting or listening, or the circumstances under which the requirement is enforced?

So Sinden is correct, although not for the reasons he articulates, because his point is that liberals don’t need the Fairness Doctrine in order to win. I’m not entirely sure which point would win his allegiance if they veered off in opposite directions, were he to think the Fairness Doctrine was necessary: That it’s wrong, or that liberals should always win. I’m thinking the latter. But in my worldview, the Fairness Doctrine is wrong because it’s a poor fit. The seesaw model simply doesn’t fit our discourse, even though it may be the only thing a cumbersome bureaucracy would be able, over the long term, to functionally comprehend.

North Pole Requests Bailout

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Santa Pleads His Case

Memo For File LXXVIII

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I’d like to share a few things I’ve been noticing, and ruminate over a few questions I’ve been having, about humility.


1. The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth; a sense of one’s own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness.

Serving the Lord with all humility of mind. –Acts xx. 19.

2. An act of submission or courtesy.

With these humilities they satisfied the young king. –Sir J. Davies.

Syn: Lowliness; humbleness; meekness; modesty; diffidence.

Could someone please explain what the above has in common, if anything at all, with the foreign policy of the United States, specifically where it is expected to go from here over the next four years?

I ask because of the following exchange that took place this weekend between David Gregory and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:


PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: It really depends upon how the — how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll, they’ll resent us. If we’re a humble nation but strong, they’ll welcome us.


GREGORY: Eight years later, seven years later after that, do you think that the world views the United States as a humble nation?

RICE: I certainly think the United States views the — that the world views the United States as a place to be respected. All over the world, David, our values are respected; who we are, a place that you can come and come from modest circumstances to great things, that’s respected. What we’ve done hasn’t always been liked or popular.

But if you look at some of the most populous places in the world –China, India — the United States is not only respected but, in fact, popular.

So, yes, there are some places that have had real quarrels with our policies, but I think the United States is very well-respected worldwide.

GREGORY: A lot changed, obviously, after that debate, 9/11, principally.

But, even on the course of that, do you think that the president pursued a humble foreign policy as he, as he said he would, as he said it was important for the United States to?

One might argue this single fine disctinction Dr. Rice seeks to make, between being humble and being respected, is woefully inadequate in a number of ways. You could say this is a case of evading the question; to that, I would agree. On this thing about the United States being liked and/or respected, you could say she has a good point or that she’s horribly mistaken.

I think it depends on who you ask.

But it looks to me like we all would have drawn an enormous benefit from continuing this discussion of “humility.” From where I sit it’s no different than the chicken in every pot, or the term limits in Congress, or suspensions of pay raises for same. Politicians keep promising it. The years tick on by, it’s never delivered — no fuss is made about it — and whoever observes ongoing events with some honesty and real curiosity, eventually is forced to question whether anybody wanted it delivered in the first place.

On March 18, Barack Obama delivered a speech, hailed by many of his supporters as a home run, in which He said He wanted to start a national dialogue on race. No such dialogue ever ensued; no evidence survives to indicate that The Chosen One ever had anything in mind more meaningful than a monologue. The speech itself, in fact, existed only as an exercise to command the masses to forget everything they ever heard about Rev. Jeremiah Wright — and they complied instantly, of course. See, this is something our everyday folk and our leaders have in common: We’re not that good about starting national dialogues on things. Dialoguing about starting dialogues, yeah, we’re good at that. Following up, nope. Well, here’s a national dialogue certainly worth having.

What the heck is humility?

I’m likin’ this idea of mine. In the list of things about which we could & should have some kind of a “national dialogue,” humility skyrockets to the top. The kind we want, has something to do with “leadership”; leadership, in turn, has something to do with offering a vision in such a way that people are naturally aroused to want to participate in bringing it about, even, to sacrifice things precious to them so they can participate in it.

And nobody seems to want to follow the “aw shucks” guy. We just saw that in the 2008 elections when the Republicans got clobbered. After ten solid months of “aw shucks.”

So there’s some paradox at work here, and the paradox is a tricky one because it comes from within us. Pardon me for being politically incorrect here, but I think every straight man with some dating experience can see where I’m going with this: We are very much like women in this way. Ask a young, available lady what she does like in a man and what she does not like in a man, and at the very top of the “don’t like” list you’ll always find one single word: COCKY. And at the top of the “like” list somewhere you’ll see the word CONFIDENT. You can be one without being the other. Supposedly, everyone understands this. But if everyone understood it then someone, somewhere, would’ve taken the time to explain it right?

Humility?Submitted for your approval: You cannot explain this distinction, coherently, in such a way that President-Elect Obama ends up in the “like” column. He’s cocky; they don’t come any cockier. And He hasn’t got a shred of humility in His whole glorious Annointed Body.

We have an “Office of the President Elect” now. With an emblem and everything. Good God.

It’s not the kind of cocky that has much to do with strong leadership. Strong leadership has something to do with command of a process that generates good ideas, even in situations wherein it’s difficult or impossible to have a good idea. Now granted, Obama’s predilection for pulling ideas out of his butt, in solitude, conferring with no one, and then plunging headlong into the task of getting those ideas sold to the slobbering masses, is far short of an indictment. Leaders can make good decisions by their very lonesomes. We say so, here, quite a lot.

But in Obama’s case this is a special cause for concern. He is not Union General Ulysses Grant wandering into his tent at midnight with a fistful of cigars, emerging hours later with the scrawlings and scribblings that will lead to victory against the Confederacy. He is not Abraham Lincoln, scrawling away (apocryphally) at the Gettysburg Address during a ride on a train. Obama, for one thing, doesn’t have that kind of track record. When He decides things in solitude, His Holiness’ track record, if anything, is to screw up a lot more often than to succeed. How did that Rev. Wright controversy get started, anyway? Answer: Barack Obama went to that church. Again and again. For twenty years, He made it His family’s church. When He was called on His screw-up, His Holy Defense was that He knew not what He was doing…that darn Rev. Wright was spouting off with all these hateful ideas when His Holiness Barack Obama was not around.

It’s a failure of judgment, plain and simple. Whether or not you want to grant The Man-Messiah-God the benefit of the doubt, ends up being a rather irrelevant question. He biffed it.

Another cause for concern is that if Obama is making these decisions about what’s to be done next all by His Lonesomeness, in complete solitude, and even His innermost circle of advisors is failing to interject anything that might factor in to what ultimately emerges as the strategy of what to do next — well, then, that strategy was formed by who, exactly? In history’s list of victorious presidential candidates, Barack Obama stands alone as a real mystery man. We learned very little about Him during the election of 2008, and most of what we did learn had to do with what a fine skill He has for giving speeches. Speeches that are so good, they make you want to buy things you shouldn’t. That’s about all we know about Him, really. The other end of the spectrum would be His priorities; if there’s one area in which we are glaringly deficient of knowledge about The Annointed One, it would be His priorities in where our country’s foriegn policy is supposed to take us, in what shape it is supposed to leave us when He is done with His work. And that, in itself, is a mighty odd thing. Because when the campaigns started, I think most people would expect that to be the first question answered. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to be asking candidates if you ever are fortunate enough to toss questions at them.

Go on, name me some examples of Barack Obama’s humility. When did He ever come to anyone with a question about how to do something, with His Holy Mind honestly open to all alternatives? Someone other than that bigoted, hateful pastor of His? Consider what He said to Joe The Plumber right as He blew both His feet off at the neck —

It’s not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance to success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

Barack Obama thinks that. He figured it out. Case closed.

Well, history doesn’t think that. And history has a weighty opinion to offer here, because wealth-spreading has been tried over and over and over again. As failures go, wealth-spreading has been quite impressive in its consistency throughout the decades and areas in the world in which it has failed.

But nevermind all that, Barack Obama has formed an idea in His Holy Cranium.

People should be concerned about this even if they like bigoted reverends and wealth-spreading. Because our President-Elect doesn’t seem to really have any advisors who, you know, advise him on things. That only makes a difference if you listen to them, and you’re only going to listen to them if you have the humility to do so.

And from what I’ve seen over the last two years, it doesn’t look to me like Obama has any at all. He just…you know…decides things. Obama thinks this. Obama thinks that. Nobody challenges Him in any way.

Kind of like that little boy in the Twilight Zone episode.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

The Great Excel Spreadsheet

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Another office automation comedy of errors.

With a month’s worth of experience under his belt, Maxim’s project was coming along quite well. Everybody loved using the pretty Access front end with its drop-downs and he had created instead of the ominous facade of the Great Excel Spreadsheet. Even Helen was satisfied since she now had more of purpose than pushing paper out week after week! However, the joy was short-lived, as was revealed during an emergency department meeting.

The lead analyst started, “Maxim, we’re finding some discrepancies in the report. Several values in what we’re finding to be random stocks and bonds are being grossly misrepresented.”

“How do you mean?” asked Maxim.

“Point blank – we believe that YOU broke the Yield calculation and we’re two days away from sending out bad figures that could ruin the bank and its investors.”

It’s a story not unlike the one with the monkeys, the ladder, the bananas, and the high-voltage shock.

There’s something about the human condition that makes it breathtakingly easy to suppress and stultify creativity, innovation and generally outstanding performance, while believing with every fiber of our being that we’re doing our darnedest to promote these things.

Update 12/22/08: Ah, now I know where the hat tip goes. Gerard.

I hate it when tabbed browsing, coupled with my approaching senility, robs my dearest blogger friends of the credit that is due them.

Always One Revolution Away

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Pretty priceless, although not unique, for you haven’t long to wait for the next similar specimen.

Gerard found a “Magnum Dopus” from someone who helped put Obama in the White House, and now that the Chosen One is headed there for His Coronation Ceremony next month…goldang it, somehow still isn’t happy.

Yup, some people live out their entire lives at a turning point. Lots of people. Perhaps everyone who has ever thought of supporting His Holiness. We need to have another revolution

One Revolution AwayMillions of us stood up and shouted, handed out fliers, talked to our neighbors, donated hard-earned money, and drove people to the polls for Change. We screamed, hugged, kissed, and cried when we learned Change had come to America. We knew Change wouldn’t come overnight, that it would take time, but we were excited that we had elected a man who was open to Change, who said he wanted to consider real people’s needs while in the Oval Office. We eagerly awaited the first hints of Change, as the president-elect’s transition developed.

And now, we have reason to worry that Change is not coming to America after all. For nearly two years we were encouraged to “Be the Change you want to see in America.” It is now obvious that we have a ways to go toward Being that Change. And so does President-elect Barack Obama. And that, above all else, needs to Change.

Of all the revolutions that demanded more and more precision-tuning, and still more, and more, every time someone somewhere sought to define what it was — this one has got to be the most ambiguous. Perhaps the reason it is so ambiguous, is it seems no one, anywhere, has sufficient authority to offer the definition of what exactly it is supposed to be.

Perhaps it never was anything more than a deep-seated psychological need to be bossy.

Oh well, Mr. Inglis; that part of your grand vision, if none other, will be seated on the throne and duly annointed come January 20. You can be sure of that.

Twas The Month Before Christmas

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

When all through the land

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas – no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holiday!

Question About The Blog That Nobody Reads

Friday, December 19th, 2008

As has been noted many times, all the way back to the days when it was literally true…this blog, the blog you’re reading now, has a “virtual trademark” on the phrase “The Blog That Nobody Reads,” thanks to the civilized behavior of some of those nobodies who read it and have blogs of their own — and can, they claim, present statistics proving they are more deserving of brandishing this as a tagline.

Civilization will prevail, so the slogan is ours. Finders keepers losers weepers.

Here’s the question. Since we get to keep this, does that make us the electronic counterpart to the New York Times?

Ohio Agency Director Resigns

Friday, December 19th, 2008

But the damage is done.

An Ohio agency director resigned Wednesday in the wake of a finding that she improperly used state computers to access personal information on the man who became known as “Joe the Plumber” during the presidential campaign.

Two other officials who were suspended from their positions for their role in the computer search will not be returning to their jobs, an agency spokeswoman said.

Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley said in a statement accompanying her resignation that she won’t allow her reputation to be disparaged and that she is concerned for her family’s safety.

Take a drink when a left-winger in trouble claims to have received death threats, that cannot be proven or disproven. It’s like roosters crowing before the sun comes up. Or more like snakes slithering when it’s high overhead.

Truth be told, I’m having trouble thinking of the last left-winger who got in trouble, who didn’t claim to be threatened. As an everyday phenomenon, they’re starting to achieve the status of celebrities going into rehab.

“This decision comes after a time of pause, in which I realize that I continue to be used as a political postscript, providing a distraction from urgent state priorities,” she said in her statement.

He DaredShe could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday night.

Gov. Ted Strickland suspended Jones-Kelley for a month without pay after the Ohio Inspector General’s office found in November that she improperly used state computers to find personal information on Samuel Wurzelbacher. The investigation also found that she conducted improper political fundraising activity for now President-elect Barack Obama.


We have different rules for conservatives and liberals when it comes to scandals. If she was a bible-thumper trying to find dirt on some pro-choice lefty private-citizen type, this would be the beginning of the scandal instead of the end of it. The sharks would smell blood and come out hungry, circling. That’s the way it works. As it is, we will now be directed to “move on.”

You realize what this woman did?

A politician from the Chicago oily machine snakepit sought the most powerful office in the entire world — which He eventually got — and a private citizen simply asked Him a question about His intended tax policies…and, because the oily machine snakepit politician didn’t have a good answer all ready to go, the private citizen got investigated, while the wagons circled around the oily machine snakepit politician.

That’s almost worse than espionage. As far as the intended meaning of the U.S. Constitution, actually, it is. Now, people who are not seeking office, cannot ask questions of people who are. Not without sleeping with one eye open from then on, wondering about what kind of bullshit will get stirred up about that incident when they drove around the college campus with their bare butt cheeks hanging out the window, or whatever other little dustbunnies they have in their skeleton-closets.

Everyone who wants to sound the alarm bells over wiretapping, Carnivore, Echelon, the Clipper Chip, “detainees” being waterboarded, etc. ought to be chilled by this right down to the marrow of their bones. Politicians can have secrets, private citizens cannot. Worse than that — politicians can have secrets about what they want to do to the private citizens. The private life of the private citizen, on the other hand, is an open book; nothing private about it, not if you ask questions inconvenient to the establishment. You get to screw your wife and attend to your bodily functions in a one-hundred-percent glass house now.

If Joe The Plumber was some kind of rabble-rouser activist type, just living to stir up trouble, that would be partial consolation. In that situation, his rights — in letter or spirit, one of those two — would still have been transgressed, unforgivably. But at least we’d know he was out lookin’ for trouble. It would be somewhat like the woman getting raped after prancing around in a miniskirt: Yes, the crime is no less deplorable, but for those who are determined to do whatever it takes to stay out of trouble, you can retreat somewhere. This is more like your grandmother getting raped in her own house. Yeah Joe’s no saint. But he was doing exactly what we would be proud to see our own children do, what we hope they do. He had a sincere concern about this candidate’s intentions, and he expressed it clearly, plainly, as politely as he possibly could. And then he listened, patiently, equally politely. It is precisely how citizens are supposed to function in an open democratic republic. For this — and only this — he got reamed.

There’s no punishment hefty enough. No punishment that would address the point. We’ve lost something we’re never getting back again. And the worst part? Obama Himself, once again, is a passive player in all this. He has no culpability in this at all.


Friday, December 19th, 2008

Wish I’d thought of this: The shrinks have decided they want to make some loot off of inflexible, perfectionist jerks. Actually, it’s not that new, it’s Freud’s idea. The classic symptoms of what is now called Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are:

 • Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost.
 • Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)
 • Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)
 • Is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)
 • Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value
 • Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things
 • Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes
 • Shows rigidity and stubbornness

The litmus test I’d apply to it, is this: I come to you with a complaint. You respond by giving me instructions about what I should do, as if I had come to you asking for advice. That isn’t the criteria written above, but after so-many years of dealing with people who fit this mold, I really think that’s a fair distillation: The world’s just a soundstage in which you get to spout off orders at people, as your sole social pursuit, up to and past the point where it interferes with your ability to interact realistically, and with your relationships.

PEBO's OpinionI think President-Elect Barack Obama might have OCPD. He’s fulfilled my one-bullet litmus test, anyhow: People come to him with complaints, and he responds by telling ’em what to do. If he doesn’t have OCPD, he sure is a bossy little snot.

I gotta admit, though, he’s got me halfway-wishing President Bush had this disorder. It would’ve been fun watching the truthers and the impeachers and the Florida-recounters and the MoveOnDotOrgsters receive these haughty instructions from the White House to stuff a sock in it so we can all “get along”.

Dial it down a notch, President-elect Barack Obama tells gays

President-elect Barack Obama pushed back Thursday at gay rights groups trashing him for inviting evangelical Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration.

“It is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans,” Obama told reporters in Chicago.

But he noted that he ran a campaign promising to reach out to all sides.

“It is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues,” he said, noting that Warren invited him to speak at Saddleback Church in California knowing Obama disagreed with many conservative religious stances.

“That dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign has been all about,” Obama added. “We’re not gonna agree on every single issue. What we have to do is be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable.”

What a great line! I’m going to try that out on the next cop who pulls me over.

No, this is a sign of great fun in the years ahead. While President Obama puts my great-grandchildren in debt with bailout after bailout after bailout and redistributes every nickel I’ve ever managed to save, I’ll find solace in watching Him operate this way, and seeing His most ardent supporters get shakier and quakier with a white-hot quivering rage Obama’s predecessor never saw. It’s obvious the President-Elect has fallen into a lifetime habit of dealing with conflicts this way. He’s got the Walter Cronkite voice, the charisma, He’ll just dispense His Holy Instructions to people to unify, and all the complaints will wither away like your very favorite snowman after a herd of wild goats get together to pee on it.

Well…I’m sure that’s worked out great for him up to this point…I got to see the last two years of it up close. I don’t know if it’ll work out for Him in the new gig. I don’t think it’s going to work on His supporters, over the long term, any better than it would work on that motorcycle cop in the short term.

But I fully intend to grab a full bag of popcorn while I watch Him try it. It’s probably the only form of entertainment I’ll be able to afford for the next four years.

Sucks to be the gay activists, though. All this hopey-hope about changey-change…so they’d finally have someone in power who’d listen to them. Heh. Looks like they had a lot more of that going on up until now, than they’ll have from here-on-out. Got sold a pig-in-a-poke by the super-charisma “There’s Something About Him I Can’t Explain It” lightworker Man-God guy.

Lesson in there for all of us, gay or straight. Lesson in there for all of us.

Procrastinators Rewarded

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Yay, they’re all doing it for me because I’m so awesome.

Christmas shopping procrastinators rewarded with great web deals.

One question: With great hordes of people of all ages, shapes and sizes meandering throughout the mall corridors, many of ’em walking backwards, yakking away on their iPhones…how come we all aren’t procrastinators? That’s looking more and more to me like hell-on-earth every damn year.

Romantic Comedies Make Women Miserable

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Ah, finally a white-coat-pocket-protector propeller-beanie-wearing-egghead study that’ll do the fellas some good. Not quite as helpful as the apocryphal “man chowder takes ten years off your face” one…but perhaps a bit more practical, y’know.

And even if they’re lying their asses off about their research, I can personally vouch the bottom-line of what they’re reporting, is a hundred percent accurate.

Rom-coms have been blamed by relationship experts at Heriot Watt University for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to love.

They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often fail to communicate with their partner.

Many held the view if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you telling them.

If you have a twiggenberries, and you don’t agree with this a zillion and one percent, then you don’t deserve to have twiggenberries. Or you weren’t meant to. Or you weren’t born that way. Or some combination of those. Maybe your sister is the only woman you’ve ever seen naked. I dunno…but those of us who have married, incohabitated, and/or simply partied for a night or two, know full well. This is a heap-big huge problem for us guys who admire and have fun with women. Things are goin’ good, they watch some Daniel Day-Lewis flick, and it all turns to crap.

I’ll tell ya something else. If the Good Lord likes to relax in a plaid shirt, prefers a stick shift to automatic, changes His own oil, cuts His own firewood, enjoys snacking on hot chicken wings and cold beer — and I think He does all these things — Hugh Grant is going straight to hell.

Dr. Helen, via Maggie’s Farm.

Gonzo Has Blood on His Hands?

Friday, December 19th, 2008

That’s what you’re about to hear, thanks to this dispatch from the AP. Yes, we really do have to read and listen to this all…over…AGAIN.

Former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales misled Congress when he claimed the CIA in 2002 approved information that ended up in the 2003 State of the Union speech about Iraq’s alleged effort to buy uranium for its nuclear weapons program, a House Democrat said Thursday.

In a memo to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which he chairs, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., also expressed skepticism about assertions by then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that she was unaware of the CIA’s doubts about the claim before President George W. Bush’s speech.

Yup, it’s Henry “Daddy Porked a Pig” Waxman. Yeah, I’m making fun of his looks. If he stops making himself look foolish without my help, then on that day I’ll consider feeling guilty.

Sorry if you don’t like it. Face it. The guy’s a buffoon. I’ll qualify that below.

Meanwhile —

The committee’s Republicans do not endorse Waxman’s report, said Frederick Hill, press secretary for Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the committee’s top Republican.


On the Net:

Waxman’s memo:

(This version [that] CORRECTS the report is by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Report Committee, not the full committee.) [emphasis mine]

You know what that’s all about? Hmmmm?

It’s about this

499. We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that:

The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

was well-founded. [emphasis mine]

That’s from the Butler Review. Linked above.

The formal assessment by Her Majesty’s Government about why they, our friends across the pond, thought they knew the things they knew, and when they thought they knew them.

After the Uranium claim turned out to be a poke-in-the-eye. After.

Which, by the way, it never should’ve. Saddam Hussein was a dangerous asshole who was trying to get hold of weapons all the time…except when he couldn’t afford to…either because someone was breathing down his neck or because he didn’t have the connections and/or money. Any other time, as far as the information that’s been made available can determine — he was all too willing to lay his hands on any weapons he could possibly reel in. He was the very picture of a tinpot dictator dickhead who needed to be taken down. One of many.

So this whole thing is a colossal bunny trail. Enough already.