Archive for March, 2009

Repudiate

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

This is not ours. I know it looks like it could be…but it isn’t.

It’s put out by Chicago-based Devil’s Due Publishing, and their passions, allegiances and true affections lie…elsewhere…like, for example, with a certain “Barack the Barbarian.”

Those aren’t ours. Those are theirs. Original artwork, one would presume.

Chicago-based comics publisher Devil’s Due announced a pair of projects today that will involve Obama-related storylines, and released promotional images for the comics featuring the US President and a very, well… unique take on former Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Like the massively popular issue of “Amazing Spider-Man” #583 that hit its fifth printing last month, the comics feature Obama prominently on the cover — but Devil’s Due president Josh Blaylock said they’d offer a very unexpected take on the fist-bumping president.

This one is ours…and it’s an edit of an old Red Sonja cover, “Devil with a Sword,” with the hair coloring changed and the signature eyeglasses added on. It’s not one of our best chop jobs; we should’ve left a hint of auburn coloring in place, but our eyeballs were almost bleeding by the time we got done with it and we neglected to compare the product to the celebrity. Nevertheless, it still retains the flattering depiction of determination and strength that is missing from that top DDP cover.

Keep the “change,” Devil’s-Due. We’ll hang on to our fantasies, about what a certain luminary is going to be wearing to her swearing-in on January 20, 2013. I’m thinking that out of all the outfits we’ve depicted, the Supergirl blouse with the puffy sleeves would provide the superior protection against those wintertime gusts rolling in off the Atlantic and Potomac. Not much of an issue for an Alaska native who knows how to field dress a moose, I’m thinkin’.

Happy Blog Birthday to…

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I Think Therefore I Work on Not Erring. Four years.

This Is Good LX

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Scipio

Future Present
Posted on March 29th, 2009 by Scipio

Our archeologist, while rummaging among the ruins of our fallen civilization, met a ghost from the long dead race of Americans. The wraith boasted much about what we had been as a people.

We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here and around the world.

We invented Jazz.

We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg address.

We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.

We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.

When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn’t get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.

We didn’t care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.

We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.

We gave everybody the vote.

We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.

We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.

We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.

We electrified the guitar.

We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.

The archeologist asked, “If you accomplished all of this, then why did your nation collapse?” The ghost answered, “Because we went insane.”

“Please explain.”

The ghost took a breath and said, “We traded beauty for ugliness, truth for lies, liberty for comfort, love for indifference, responsibility for frivolity, duty for entertainment, history for sound bites, and children for pleasure. We had gold, but we tossed it aside and replaced it with cleverly designed dross. We turned men into women and women into men and marveled at our new creative power. We stopped looking up to Heaven and began to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the ground. We abandoned the old God for a host of hip, cool and slick new ones.”

“And?”

“Those new gods turned on us. At first they granted us our every wish. They laughed with us. They danced with us. We all ate, drank and made all sorts of merry. All of us exulted in our power. And then…” Here the ghost stopped for a moment. His mouth was half open as if trying to speak. His body shuddered as it remembered an ancient terror. “But there were some among us who felt something was wrong, dreadfully wrong.”

“How so?”

There’s more…much more. What’re you still doing here?

R and R-Lite Instead of D and D-Lite

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Cylarz has a challenge in the comments section that really makes you think. His intent is to show how absurd is the notion that Rush Limbaugh is running much of anything, along with the idea that anyone, anywhere, is somehow forced to listen to him:

Imagine what life in this nation would be like if our parties were Republican and Republican-lite…instead of Democrat and Democrat-lite. The former is what the political scene would look like if everyone were listening to Rush.

It is my conviction that American consensus-politics are revolving on the rim of a large wheel. It is a merry-go-round that spins into & out of, not so much conservatism and liberalism, but fantasy and reality. Right now we’re on the 1976-77 sector of the wheel, wherein we just installed a hopey-changey youthful-charismatic guy who’s gonna solve all our problems. This is an exceptionally narrow pie-slice of the wheel’s orbit. It’s over in the blink of an eye. We see life’s problems are ours to solve and it’s not realistic to elect some savior-champion to deal with them on our behalf…we see it some more…we see it some more…lesson learned. For a few more years.

This dream Cylarz has, is at the opposite side…and is perhaps a little bit wider. It’s the 1969-1973, 1980-1986 side of the wheel.

So it’ll happen. It’ll happen, and we’ll get tired of it. All this stuff is inevitable, as the wheel keeps on turning. That’s my point. We kick the democrats out of power when we get tired of fantasy; when we notice, that to keep liberal ideas even looking good, there’s this never-ending pressure on to pretend simple things are complicated, and complicated things are simple. After awhile we get tired of that and we kick ‘em out. We fire the Republicans when we notice, gee, it’s been awhile since we engaged the government to solve a problem and watched the problem disappear before our very eyes, wouldn’t that be neat? (The conservative platform is constructed around the paradigm that this isn’t really the purpose of government; in that way, the Founding Fathers worked under well-defined conservative bias.) People will listen to Rush, to learn what they should’ve learned before they went to vote. It’s already started to happen. It’s that human instinct to think and think and think some more about “did I turn off the stove?” when the car is zipping on down the freeway and it’s way too late to do anything about it.

But imagine if things were that way, and they stayed that way? I notice when we’re in the fantasy zone, we really are D and D-Lite. Oooh, look at me, I’m a compassionate conservative, I can blow money away on bullshit projects just as fast as my democrat “friends”; vote for me. When Republicans are in power the liberals don’t engage in some contest to see who can be the most-moderate lib. They just get all pissy and mumble the word “fascism” a lot.

So lessee…what would happen…

That last election would have been between Fred Thompson & Sarah Palin…and…Joe Lieberman and Ron Paul. Dr. Paul would be considerably more hawkish, his concerns about the constitutionality of the War on Terror ejected from his platform. Gen. David Petraeus would now have a fifth star. We would have pulled out of the United Nations.

A massive stimulus bill would have injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy over the next decade-and-a-half…in the form of a tax cut.

Barack Obama’s formidable oratory skills would be deployed where they would do the most good: On a radio or television program, trying to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

The front page of my local newspaper, and yours, wouldn’t speak very often to the plight of: state legislators pretending to care about balancing the budget, homeless people, unionized workers, ignorant addle-brained students who can’t graduate high school because they haven’t learned anything, prison guards, single moms, troubled youth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They’d live in a larger, better-informed world. Their headlines would very seldom deploy words like “BUDGET” and “DEFICIT” and “PROGRAM” and “NEED”…instead, you’d see proud, hopeful words in those daily headlines like “FREEDOM” and “OPPORTUNITY” and “LIBERTY.”

Your television “news” program wouldn’t talk too much about liberal programs are going to do. They’d be better-anchored to reality; they’d talk about what tax cuts have done, versus what liberal programs have done.

When some big major mega-city that’s been run by democrats for generation after generation, runs into a predictable budget deficit…you’d hear about it that way. An important part of the news report would be an editorial analysis of some rival city, floating along free of the concern of ever-enlarging social programs, without the deficits and without the liberals running everything. The news report would go through the budgets, line by equivalent line. After all, it isn’t useful news unless we explain why the problem occurred, is it?

Kids can pray in the classroom. Every classroom. If they don’t know English yet, they’re sent to remedial classes to learn it, before they learn another thing. Kids know how to fire guns, shoot arrows, build fires, tie knots. Intelligent Design? It’s recognized as precisely what it is: Just an idea that the universe, particularly the bits of it that make life possible, is here because of non-random activity as opposed to random activity. And then it’s debated. As science. Which it is.

Oh, and before I forget: This asshole is locked up for good, and/or fried crispy.

A convicted sex offender due to be released Saturday from prison after serving 11 months warned in letters that if set free, he would reoffend, even against children. In the letters, Michael McGill begged authorities to keep him locked up for life.

“Please throw the book at me … I’m harmful to others I should be locked up for life,” he wrote in block letters that resemble a child’s writing. “I will sexual abuse men. Do this for the safe (sic) of others then I be able not to hurt anyone else. Judge I’m begging you to put me away.”

In another place he wrote that he had told his two 7-year-old male victims, “I will do more sex crimes with boys 4 to 14. I will molest with boys 15 to 18.”

Neither the Polk County attorney’s office, which prosecuted McGill and distributed his letters to other agencies, nor the Iowa Board of Parole, nor the attorney general’s office, which handles civil commitments for sexually violent predators, says it can do anything to prevent McGill’s release.

Feminists are about as powerful…oh…as they are right now. See, we still have that going for us. People have only partially lost their minds. They’re still not ready to trust feminists again just yet. Feminists get together in their little clubs, isolated from everyone else, sharing notes with each other along with instructions to help-me-hate-this-thing-over-here. That’s the form in which they want to exist. Everyone else, walled off from them, gets work done, makes money, and has fun doing it.

At work, you can still be sent to sensitivity training — if you’ve somehow demonstrated this is necessary. Departments of people are not sent to mandatory sensitivity training. People are not randomly sent to sensitivity training. You can’t unilaterally decide you were harassed; it really does depend on the will and intent of the alleged harasser. And nobody makes any money off of the sexual-harassment racket. If they’re in some position that is created to deal with this in some way, they do it as volunteers, because the issue is supposed to be so important to them…which only makes sense. In other words: Lawyers don’t run things.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit CalendarIn your work cubicle, or in your office, you can put up a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. If anyone comes by to mutter so much as a peep of protest, that is the one treading on thin ice…not you. The phrases “objectification of women” and “unrealistic unhealthy body images” are about as socially acceptable in that world, as a racial epithet is in this one.

Family comedies do not conclude with a feel-good comedy-tragedy ending with the dad whacking himself in the head realizing he’s been a jerk, or an asshole, or a killjoy, or a workaholic. If anything, they end with the kid whacking himself in the forehead, belatedly realizing he should’ve been listening to his Dad.

Neighbors talk to each other. They have block parties. You don’t need to drive 40, 50, 60 miles into the county to discharge a pellet gun or a firearm. Once the shooting-range is set up, you can do it right in front of City Hall. On weekends, the whole town gets together for target shooting. Somewhere else, they have a beer garden. (You can’t go to the target shooting after you go to the beer festival, because alcohol and firearms don’t mix…yes, Republicans and conservatives do get that. Most of us bathe daily and have all our teeth. Really!)

Men do not stand by, brain-dead, clutching a purse outside the womens’ toilet, awaiting their next orders. They talk to other men. They get together and compare notes. They each express admiration for the sidearm the other fella has purchased to defend his lady and his children, should any bad guys be stupid enough to enter uninvited in the dark of some terrible night. They brag about who achieved the tightest grouping on the targets. And they fantasize, together, like giddy little boys, about muscle cars. Women get together and compare notes too. They don’t brag about whose boyfriend bought them the largest engagement ring, or who took charge of the family menu or what they told the hubby to start eating, or how they keep him from hogging the remote. Their rivalry is engaged, instead, in terms of who does the best job bringing her husband beer. “Oh yeah? I’d never think of handing it to him without the cap already popped off…and it’s always ice cold.”

Vice President Palin is even more influential in her new role, than Dick Cheney was in his. She’s a true role model. Women suddenly want their hair made up into her ‘do, just like they wanted to emulate Hillary’s back in the 1990′s. Palin’s face, in this universe, is everyplace Obama’s face is in this one. Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, USA Today…et al. (Obama’s face, in turn, could be on a milk carton somewhere.) Everything female is Palin, Palin, Palin. Women want to learn to fly airplanes, to fire shotguns, to ride ATVs, to clean rifles and pistols, to drive a dogsled…and to field dress a moose. The fashionable cliche, assuming there is one, is “Yoo betcha!”

Tenth Amendment, all the way. Some states and counties allow gay marriage and others don’t; some states and counties allow pot, and others don’t. Some states and counties are officially Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Scientologist, if they can get the votes. Nothing is singled out for social stigma, be it positive or negative. So a married gay man just might be an abuser and a generally bad husband, just like a married straight man — “loving” is no longer a euphemism for “same-sex.” And if you smoke pot, you just might have an addiction problem…just like someone who drinks, might have an addiction problem. That means, friends and family might be inclined to intervene if the signs are there. And anyone can be a religious fundamentalist whacko; not just the Christians. If your child needs medical care but you think his sickness is Gods’ will, the nanny-state might eventually interfere — if you’re showing signs of possibly lopping off your daughter’s head because she’d dating the wrong fella, the nanny-state just might interfere with that too. True equality.

When kids get into fights on the playground, all the trouble is reserved for the kid who threw the first punch. The kid who threw the last one, assuming that’s someone else, hasn’t got a single thing to worry about. And that’s precisely the way the world politics work, too.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.

If Earth Hour is a Slippery Slope…

Monday, March 30th, 2009

…then what lies at the bottom of the slope?

Hat tip to Harvey at IMAO.

Women Would Rather be Models

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Reported, and angstified-over, at Feministing.

Oxygen TV did a poll asking women ages 18 to 34 if they’d rather win a Nobel Peace Prize or America’s Next Top Model. Twenty five percent more respondents said they’d rather win ANTM.

I can explain it. It’s got to do with the nature of women. Women, it turns out, are people…and people, on a nose-for-nose basis, aren’t that wild about accomplishing things right now.

Mr. Rowe can fill you in on what’s been going on lately. Fast-forward to about 16:00 or 17:00…the part where he says he’s got about two and a half minutes left…where he talks about the war we’ve been declaring on work.

Don’t worry. About a third of women would prefer to accomplish something. And to that, of course, you have to add the women who want to accomplish things, but don’t see any real prestige in Nobel any longer. It’s bound to be a sizable chunk. Women can be pretty smart…so I’m told.

But doing stuff that will help other people — as opposed to having other people pay lots of attention to you. Whether you’re polling young women, old women, young men or old men. This just isn’t the right generation in which you should ask questions like those. Helping people. Building things that help people. Setting up systems that help people, creating things that might help people. That involves predicting effect based on cause.

Lots of responsibility involved in that. People aren’t feeling up to it. It’s far easier just to vote for “hope” and “change.”

The LA Times Defends Limbaugh

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Andrew Klavan, writing in the opinion column:

If you are reading this newspaper, the likelihood is that you agree with the Obama administration’s recent attacks on conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh. That’s the likelihood; here’s the certainty: You’ve never listened to Rush Limbaugh.

Oh no, you haven’t. Whenever I interrupt a liberal’s anti-Limbaugh rant to point out that the ranter has never actually listened to the man, he always says the same thing: “I’ve heard him!”

On further questioning, it always turns out that by “heard him,” he means he’s heard the selected excerpts spoon-fed him by the distortion-mongers of the mainstream media. These excerpts are specifically designed to accomplish one thing: to make sure you never actually listen to Limbaugh’s show, never actually give him a fair chance to speak his piece to you directly.
:
Therefore, I am throwing down my gauntlet at your quivering liberal feet. I hereby issue my challenge — the Limbaugh Challenge: Listen to the show. Not for five minutes but for several hours: an hour a day for several days. Consider what he has to say — the real policy material under the jokes and teasing bluster. Do what your intellectual keepers do not want you to do and keep an open mind. Ask yourself: What’s he getting at? Why does he say the things he says? Why do so many people of goodwill — like that nice Mr. Klavan — agree with him?

The mainstream media (a.k.a. the Matrix) don’t want you to listen to Limbaugh because they’re afraid he’ll wake you up and set you free of their worldview. You don’t want to listen to him because you’re afraid of the same thing.

Don’t believe me? Well, then, gird your loins. Gather your courage. Accept the Limbaugh Challenge. See what happens.

I dare you.

Hat tip to Rick.

Human Achievement Hour

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Can’t skip this, it’s what House of Eratosthenes is really all about. What an awesome job.

With thanks for the find to Gerard.

Obama Memorabilia for the Time Capsule

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

In three and a half years, I’m going to win my $100 and my steak dinner when Barack Obama becomes a one-termer. I’m more and more convinced of this every day. And I’m further convinced that a few decades after that, historians will be scrambling to figure out how we could have whipped up so much enthusiasm behind a presidential candidate who was so shockingly bad.

This one’s for them. I know it’s a little dusty by now…but it’s great viewing. All three women are so gorgeous, it’s almost painful to look at ‘em. And boy do they get into it. But more important than that, it captures what was wrong with our national thinking, just how diseased we were. And it probably captures it better in hindsight, now, when we know how much stumbling-outta-the-gate the new administration has been doing.

Just listen to this “defense attorney.”

People just don’t make sense when they’re trying too hard to please other people. Even the brightest ones. They have trouble staying consistent. They get worked up into a frothy frenzy, and they can’t even follow their own rules.

The kids are black, so they should support Obama. That’s her logic?

I wonder what she’d say about an all-girls’ school making such a video in support of Hillary? Or of Sarah Palin? Pity nobody asked the question. Of course, the cross-talk is so bad, maybe someone did and I missed it.

Get Thine Panties Out of a Bunch

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

“I feel like I’m being lectured by my Mom.” “Me, too.”

Memo For File LXXXV

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

In reflecting on the different standards that are applied to women like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, versus persons of color such as the Obamas, I notice a consistent logical flaw in the way the big, amoebic, mythical “everybody” thinks. Like all logical flaws that are possible but difficult to detect, it begins with a glaring inconsistency. Palin was just now excoriated for her associations with people…so far as I can gather from the vaguely-stated charges. Like the Governor herself, this story has legs.

We needn’t speculate on whether a story about President Obama’s associations, has legs. We already know. Those stories die. You have to wait for the President to show some real incompetence at something, before you can call Him incompetent…and, all too often, even then you still can’t.

This doesn’t have that much to do with Republicans and democrats. It has to do with the victim-credentials of persons of color, versus the victim-credentials of women. These credentials do not have identical effect, or even similar effect. Don’t take my word for it. Ask any Hillary supporter.

The contradiction doesn’t begin with Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin or Barack Obama. It begins with us; it begins in elementary school.

Palin and Clinton, being women, never quite achieve adequacy in any of the things they do. Palin could have all the right friends like Hillary does, and Hillary could be more appealing and amicable, like Palin is. They would both then be attacked for not being truly thoughtful — like Margaret Thatcher. If they then both woke up one morning having been cloned from Margaret Thatcher, they’d both be attacked for being too gloomy, dour and boring. They could then both become cheerier, and they’d be attacked for not treating this-or-that situation with the serious level of attention it deserves. They could then start being more attentive and they’d be meddling…you get the picture. It just goes on, and on, and on.

This doesn’t apply to Barack Obama. As a representative of a different victim group, with a different history behind its victimology, He has a real standard to meet…as in, the criticism doesn’t exist for its own sake, the criticism exists for failing to meet the standard, and once He clears the standard the criticism turns into praise. Women can’t have that. And in Obama’s case the standard is comedically low. We’ve been hearing from His fans for over two years from now, “Oh there’s just something about Him!” — most recently from Lynda Carter. The litany never changes: He’s a special person, in a once-in-a-lifetime way, and I can’t, or won’t, specifically explain why this is.

There’s a reason nobody explains why this is. It’s rooted in bigotry against black people. As pure as has ever existed.

These people think “there’s just something about” Barack Obama because their vision of persons-of-color, is that they shouldn’t be doing any of these things. They are operating off a stereotype that was perpetuated, not during the 1950′s, but during the 1990′s during that onslaught of music videos with angry, surly, sulking, mono-browed, ethnically-rich hoodlums strutting around. That’s how the Obama fan looked at black people before Obama showed up…and now there’s something about Him. He stands up straight, says please and thank you, smiles if the occasion warrants it (and sometimes when it doesn’t), and most importantly of all knows proper grammar. “Those” people aren’t supposed to do any of those things!

So we go through this ritual where we pretend Obama’s handling of this-incident or that-episode, or His policies, are being honestly reviewed by anybody. Well, that’s not really the subject is it. To a majority among the electorate, it’s all about showcasing what a decent person you are, by approving of Him. It’s outcome-based.

And it doesn’t apply to women, because the heritage behind the victimology-that-is-women, has to do with belonging. Women belonged; blacks did not. You can certainly energize a revolution behind the argument that the womens’ position at the table was a different one, perhaps an inferior one in some ways. You can certainly complain that women were expected to set that table and clear it up afterward, while the men just burped & farted. But at least the women belonged.

And this gets back to the contradiction that germinated in our heads during elementary school days. The contradiction was: It is noble and glorious to close your eyes to a fellow student’s sex, or the color of that student’s skin, when you make the decision about whether to approve of them or not — BUT! — as these decisions you make culminate in another decision about you, whoever judges you will have their eyes wide open to these things.

That’s the contradiction. That’s where we become unmoored from reason and reality right there. Before the third grade.

We then go sailing through the years afterward, straddling this divide. Extoll the virtues of color- and gender-blindedness, but don’t actually practice it. Our mistake is to achieve a reconciliation by behaving differently toward people we actually know, versus people we don’t. We’re all so unbigoted and unsexist, because once we feel comfortable with a female, or with a black guy, we treat them just like anybody else. But then when we catch wind of some stranger who was laid off from his job, some politician somewhere we’ll never meet, mired in scandal, caught showcasing his or her own incompetence…the first thing we need to know is what group he or she belongs to. We inwardly understand this has everything to do with what ideas we’re supposed to form, and how they’ll be received by others.

So Sarah Palin’s staff, it seems, may not have kept some of her appointments straight. Perhaps. The prevailing sentiment that is aroused in response to this, whether it is given word-for-word acknowledgment or not, is: Isn’t that just like a cut-butt. Silly woman. Go back to raising your family and leave this to the big boys. And last summer, Hillary Clinton was treated very much the same way.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, shows all the signs of being a committed socialist whose hand has been placed on the tiller of the mightiest ship-of-state the world has ever seen. He really does “pal around with terrorists”…and yet…even when that idea is concretely substantiated and proven out, it never quite goes anywhere. It’s always dampered.

There is an urgency involved — a social urgency — in showing approval to Barack Obama’s victim-class. No matter what.

With women, the social urgency is the same, but it has to do with your potential for recognizing female competence…if & when it should ever pop up in front of you. The pressure to actually see it when it might be there, is missing. The history is different so the pressures placed on us, are similarly different. We always have that “out” with the females. We can say, when a woman who knows what she’s doing, comes our way, we’ll be ready, willing and able to acknowledge it. But this isn’t her, this is just a dumb stupid girl.

You could argue all day and night about which one of those mindsets is more reasonable. But the fact that they’re so different, and that each is practiced so consistently with regard to its associated victim-group, are persuasive arguments for ignoring the “prevailing sentiment” when one makes decisions about pressing, weighty matters, particularly the competence of people in whom such massive responsibility has been invested.

They also contribute toward a damning indictment against victimology in general. Deep down, we already know it doesn’t make any sense; therefore, it’s a mistake to think that it does. But it’s not a trivial mistake. It is, perhaps, one of the most harmful and costly mistakes we can ever make as a free society.

How Obama Ruined the Easter Egg Roll

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Such a petty complaint, I looked high and low to see if it’s satire…which it still could be, I suppose. At this point I just don’t know.

But to repeat the theme of the previous post: I wonder what outcry would ensue if Palin did this?

How Obama Ruined The Easter Egg Roll
Posted on 03.28.09 by Danny Glover @ 4:15 pm

Change has come to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and our family is not happy about it. The end result is that we won’t get to go for the first time in nine years.

President Obama thought outside the box and decided it was better to move the ticketing process online — and predictably, the system didn’t work as advertised. I know because I tried off and on all day to get free tickets for the event. Most of the time I couldn’t even access the system; the two times my wife and I did, we were booted from it right as we placed our orders.

By 7:45 p.m. Thursday, we were rewarded for our efforts with this message: “Tickets are no longer available for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll.”

Washington’s local NBC station reported on the problems during the day Thursday. And here’s a recap from The Washington Post the next day:

The White House’s Internet distribution of tickets to this year’s Easter Egg Roll appears to have begun with a splat. …

Several people said that they were unable to log on to the White House ticket site or that when they logged on, tickets weren’t available. Some resorted to Craigslist to find tickets, for as much as $50 apiece.

Kristin Vergis of Garden City, N.Y., said she was up until midnight to see whether the ticket site was active. She went to the site again at 6 a.m. and tried to reserve tickets throughout the day, to no avail. “At one point, I got through the verification process and then was timed out,” she said in an e-mail to The Post. “I wish the ticket process had been left the way it was.”

I know my wife wishes Obama’s high-tech minions had left the process alone. Technology doesn’t always make things better, and in this case, it definitely made matters worse.

People like us who, technologically speaking, were in line before anyone else didn’t get tickets. The fairness of the first-come, first-served process of the past was dumped for a system that rewarded egg-roll enthusiasts based on random luck.

All you had to do was click at the right time (without knowing what that time was) and hope that the system didn’t boot you before your order was processed. It’s as if the White House invited everyone to camp in D.C. and gave tickets to those who fought their way to the front of the line, not those who were there first.

There’s another flaw in the online approach: With the egg roll more than two weeks from the date of the online ticket distribution, as opposed to at most three days in the past, the Obama administration has created a huge opening for the online scalping of free tickets.

The Women Are Botching It

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Someone at Memeorandum really has an agenda for the fairer sex to get back in the kitchen and go back to baking pies. Two headlines leap off the page there:

Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’
Staff infection: Allies rip Palin team

It’s interesting to me that, having just read the headlines, we’re aware down to the most excruciating detail exactly what Hillary did that falls short of our expectations for someone invested in that most austere among cabinet positions, Secretary of State — and we haven’t got the slightest clue how this applies to the Governor of Alaska.

If you click on the Palin article, that situation continues. The definition of Palin’s failin’, is vague, substandard, and the sourcing…the sourcing is really something else. It’s pure tabloid shit. “…said one former aide and loyalist.” “…added a national Republican operative who has worked with Palin.” “…said a CPAC source.” “…said a Republican operative…” The only people named, so far as I can see, are spokesmen for Palin who are disputing the accounts from these unnamed, anonymous, nattering nabobs — who might very well exist, who knows? It comes from Politico, which should be above this kind of ritual astrology-tabloid-celeb-sourcing, but I guess sometimes you can’t let journalistic standards get in the way of an agenda.

The upshot is: Palin has friends, and there are also some people somewhere chattering away with some ugly things about her. Um…I notice, those are the two characteristics that apply to all effective people.

Hillary, on the other hand, committed a gaffe in the mold of “Isn’t it an amazing coincidence the natural elements could put four of our Presidents on Mount Rushmore?” Except it was the other way around…

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”

Well, I’m no more Catholic than Hillary is. I could’ve made this mistake easily. I’m not a chick. So there’s no incrimination here, either.

What I find to be substandard performance on Clinton’s part, has nothing to do with the “who painted it” thing and nothing at all to do with being female:

Leaving the basilica half an hour later, Mrs. Clinton told some of the Mexicans gathered outside to greet her, “you have a marvelous virgin!”

This evening Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to receive the highest award given by Planned Parenthood Federation of America — the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization’s founder, a noted eugenicist. The award will be presented at a gala event in Houston, Texas.

Dis-gust-ing.

Look: Gals can do things gentlemen cannot do. As a dude, I am the successor to the first caveman to dig a hole in the ground to catch a tiger; the first Egyptian guy to invent beer (yay!); the Knights of the Round Table; the first guy to lay his fine cape across a mud puddle so a lady of stature and position could walk across it. We labor under a different set of rules. I get that.

But the line is drawn — I should think — here. Progress this far, and no further.

You can’t kowtow to the Catholics, and then in the space of a few hours, hobnob with the baby-harvesting crowd. Palin never did anything like this. Women, and men even more often, in the democrat party do this routinely. They get away with it routinely. Many of them are Catholic…or call themselves Catholic…and mention it, often, right before declaring the when-does-life-begin question to be “complicated” and mumbling some nonsensical stuff about supporting a woman’s right to choose even though it is, in their “personal” opinion, wrong.

So they’re good Catholics because they don’t abort, as individuals. Nobody in their family aborts. They cherish the belief that their Creator looks down upon this with disdain, as a Creator naturally would. But they’ll provide taxpayer funds so other women can abort. Whoopsee, all of a sudden there’s nothing wrong with it…if it’s a “choice.”

This is tolerated.

Once a Republican talks about “family values” he can’t even so much as look at another woman, if she happens to be pretty — the desperate, bellicose cries of “HYPOCRISY!” rise up like flames around gasoline.

As I said at Cassy’s place when she highlighted this story

In my opinion, this is just scratching the surface, and by itself it is plenty enough to completely turn things around. YES I said all by itself: This juxtaposition on the left side of the aisle, between Catholic and Catholic-wannabe stuff, and…well, let’s call it what it is. Baby-body-parts-harvesting.

Republicans talk about familee-valyooz and then get caught cheating on their wives — they have to take it on the chin for that stuff. And they do. And they should. But this is oh so much more disturbing, this wooing of the Catholic vote followed by playing to the Doctor Frankensteins. It is utterly irreconcilable.

I’d think the successor to Thomas Jefferson would be savvy enough to not place these highly public displays right next to each other. Shouldn’t she be? Maybe I’m asking way too much. Either way, this beats the “who painted that?” thing by a mile-and-a-half. Easily.

So creepy.

So anyway, that’s where we’re at. Back to the subject at hand: It’s play-gotcha-with-women day, it seems…and no, I don’t think Memeorandum started it, I think it’s a prevailing theme. Perhaps the time was right and Hillary’s incompetence ignited something. The whole Palin thing, clearly, is a solution-in-search-of-a-problem. Like most other Palin dirt, when you check it out there’s nothing there.

Nothing but somebody’s agenda. In over her head? Good heavens, you wanna find people in over their head, look no further than the White House. You want to fly to Alaska to get that kind of a story? I thought we were supposed to be worried about carbon emissions.

It’s an interesting study in contrasts:

With the Clinton story, I know immediately why she disappointed someone. With the Palin story all I know is what some nameless faceless strangers want me to think, and I have to grind through paragraph after paragraph after paragraph to figure out why I should think so.

What would’ve happen if Sarah Palin, noted for her staunch pro-life stance, asked “who painted that?”…I wonder? Could it be we’d end up talking about that for awhile longer than we’ll be stewing over this?

Travis and Jonathan Celebrate Earth Hour

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

A little bit o’ bible learnin’ will keep yer soul from burnin’, ya need a little churchin’ up.

Thing I Know #300. People talk a lot about “coming together” to do vague, undefined things, when they want to present those things to outsiders as creative efforts, but what they’re really trying to do, is destroy something, or destroy the people who would be building something.

Together we can do this.

Jumping Spider Versus Bee

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Because I’m so sick of talking about that guy…the one in the White House, y’know…

Groomzilla

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later.

I was going to write something up regarding the Washington Times story, Hezbollah uses Mexican drug routes into U.S., which would go along well with my previous “told ya so!” story about The Economist today. But, this is a lot more fun, and, if you’ll excuse the hyperbole, insidious

So you think Bridezilla is scary, what with her tears and temper tantrums?

Just wait till you meet her opposite number: Groomzilla.

He’s bigger, bolder, louder. And increasingly, he’s muscling in on territory previously ruled by the bride, her mother and possibly a wedding planner.

“We’re seeing grooms becoming more involved in the wedding plans — everything from choosing the venue down to the minutest details,” says Rob Johnsen, 38, co-owner of mywedding.com, a leading online wedding guide.

You know, and I mean this without being insulting to gays, the only time a man should be involved in planning the wedding is when it is a man-man ceremony. And, I bet they get women to plan their weddings. Because it’s just not manly.

“It’s the rise of Groomzilla,” he says. “We thought it would be fun to find the biggest Groomzilla in the country, so we launched a contest.”

That was three weeks ago, and the entries are still flooding in. There are grooms demanding specific color schemes, flowers, food, china patterns and officiants. Others are vetting the bridesmaids dresses — and even the bride’s choice of bridesmaids.

This is what is known as the woosification of the American male, brought to you by liberal/progressive ideals. What happened to the good old days – you know, last year – when the smartest thing a man could do is just show up for the wedding. Sheesh!

Is this an intended consequence…that’s what I want to know. Kinda-yeah-kinda-no?

Also, is it a backlash against a double standard? I hope so; the alternative is that men have time to worry about this stuff, because nobody expects, or desires, for them to do manly things anymore. And so they’re bored — looking for stuff to do. Looking for an identity. They aren’t allowed to talk to children in a voice below Middle-C. Can’t fix the sink. Can’t fix the car. Can’t change the tire. Can’t drive a stick shift. Momma gave daddy a list of “honeydew” chores that had to do with cutting grass, scooping leaves out of the gutter, et al. Now the honeydew chores, it seems to me, have to do with making telephone calls. Call the insurance company, call the doctor, call the accountant, make a phone call to acquire some services instead of showing some old-fashioned American know-how.

Manhood is dead, or terminally ill. But there is at least one unintended consequence: The innocent, doe-eyed bride is being deprived of what she wants by a big brute of a dude who wants puce tablecloths at the reception instead of mauve.

When will the oppression end?

Delaware Indoctrination

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Treatment.

Hat tip to Neo-neocon, who adds:

[I]t should come as no surprise that although the PC mind-control program is no longer in operation there, those who designed and implemented it are still employed by the university.

More hate. It’s turning into a “hate day” at House of Eratosthenes, I see. We’ll just try to stick to studying how it’s been re-defined lately, and avoid engaging in it…but the first thing we notice is this seems to be a trap into which many are tumbling. In fact the bulk of them are all walking off the cliff after walking the same well-worn path: Prove you aren’t hateful, by singling out the white guys, and putting the (something, don’t you dare call it hate) on ‘em.

I think the perfesser in the second installment — about four minutes in — nailed it. It’s not quite so much about tolerance, as about indoctrination. Prove you’re a good person by showing signs of inwardly believing what we told you to believe. You’re a racist if you see classes of people in ways other than the way we see them, but you’re alright if you see those things the way we do.

There is some value on this; this is the way a lot of people in the real world think. Share my prejudices and you’re alright. Don’t, and I’ll make-believe you have some different ones.

But what really concerns me about it? The intellectual laziness. If we want to find some experiences for high-school grads to endure, to get them acclimated to the pinheadedness and narrow-mindedness that eventually confronts all of us…why do they have to cut their teeth on such a misadventure, in their colleges?

Daphne on Parenthood

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

A higher standard of writing, about a rather ordinary subject that is the center of our entire lives, in the case of many of us.

Motherhood is balancing act for me. Fierce, indescribable love fighting a driving desire to run from the mind numbing dailiness of children’s needs. Doesn’t matter if you work or stay home, the requirements never change. I’ve done it both ways, the working mode was probably better for my mental health, but I understand that other people take to raising children with much more ease, regardless of circumstance, settling into the demands with little perceived effort or sacrifice.

Endless repetitions of simple instructions; brush your teeth, chew with your mouth closed, say thank you, start your homework, take a bath, send me slipping the rims of lucidity. The constant refrain of schedules and activities, laundry and meals don’t suit me. The endless brawling noise drives me straight out of my mind. I would kill without blinking for my boys, but raising them into responsible members of society, sunrise to sunset, sends me straight around bend. Buckets of monotonous drudgery go into molding decent human beings fit to take their place in society.

Screwtape’s Wisdom

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

John Hawkins has finally gotten around to reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. And he’s doing what I wish more people would do, which is to put his favorite bits of “advice” up on a web page.

This is healthy. Who’s up for a “Screwtape Day” when everyone sharing similar concerns does the same thing?

I’ve always liked this one…it’s the whole crabs-in-a-bucket thing all over again.

You remember how one of the Greek Dictators sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy to a field of grain, and then snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no preeminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, ‘democracy.’ But now ‘democracy’ can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones.

Wouldn’t fall for it, would you. You think?

AIG executives? Remember that? Wasn’t so long ago.

Tim Wood

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

A student of history dares to compare Obama to Hitler.

Is stigma, alone, enough to discredit the point he’s made? Just yell “Godwin!” and walk away? Really?

SOMETHING OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS IS HAPPENING
by Tim Wood
2008 December 1

I am a student of history. Professionally. I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied history all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten – fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two years. We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?

We learn just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money, yours and mine. And that is three times the 700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people,” who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not, they now control us.
:
I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the messiah was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory and promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully them into submission. And then, he was duly elected to office, a full-throttled economic crisis at hand. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department-by-department, person-by-person, bureaucracy-by-bureaucracy. The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think. How did he get the people on his side? He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the indigent, and goodies for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world.

He did it with a compliant media; did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and ‘CHANGE’. And the people surely got what they voted for. (Look it up if you think that I am exaggerating.) Read your history books. Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. Don’t forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And in less than six years, a shorter time span than just two terms of a U.S. presidency, it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors, all with the best of intentions of course. The road to Hell is always paved with them.

White People Caused the Credit Crunch

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Here’s some hatred that can get Lynda Carter a little bit worried…assuming she’s interested.

Brazil’s President, while meeting Gordon Brown, has said the global financial crisis was caused by “white people with blue eyes”.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments after talks with the Prime Minister to try to forge a global consensus on how to save the worldwide economy.

Sky News’ Joey Jones said it was an “uncomfortable” moment for Mr Brown.

“The President does not mind using fairly flamboyant language. He likes to give extensive answers to journalists.

“But some of it was rather awkward for the Prime Minister, who was standing there listening to the President.

“A few eyebrows will have gone up at what he said.”

Downing Street says the remarks were meant for “domestic consumption”.

Yup. Keep using that word “hate” to describe whoever doesn’t drop to their knees and start licking President Obama’s shoes…and nobody else. We wouldn’t want that word to lose its descriptive power and specificity, would we?

This is a serious problem, really — the crisis within a crisis. People who regularly find an audience of millions, are looking for class-targets to blame for the economic disappointments. Presidents, representatives, newscasters, dignitaries…blaming…somebody, like it’s their job to blame things on other things. I guess, in some perverse way, it is. And the rest of us, like Wonder Woman back there, fail to see the hate when it’s right in front of us. To far too many of us, hate is nothing more than a failure to climb on a bandwagon. I like something, you don’t, so that makes you a “hater.” Meanwhile thanks to the meltdown, we have some real hate in the style of Mr. da Silva. There’s very little unique about what he said. He’s cutting edge as far as blaming an actual race of people…but how new is that. We’ve already blamed AIG executives who earned their bonuses, Republicans, “Wall Street,” Ronald Reagan, deregulation, et cetera.

They’re all just trying to throw the hounds off the trail. And public figures will throw anybody under the bus, that they have to. Any red herring will do.

I think that’s as good a definition of “hate” as any other.

Wonder Woman Seriously Lacks Perspective

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Yet another Obama supporter play-acts like she’s going to say something positive about her idol — positive and substantial. And then…frustratingly…just slips into dormant, don’t-take-me-seriously, weenie-talk just like the rest of ‘em. Time index 0:38:

Whether or not you like him or you don’t like him…he…he really is…um…(under breath) he really is an interesting guy.

So was Charles Manson. But whether or not you like Obama…supporting Him because of His policies, has turned out to be the biggest failure in American political history. Assuming anyone anywhere supports Him because of policies, which is doubtful.

But the mind-blowing moment comes further in. Ms. Carter understands, explicitly, that hers was the loyal opposition for the last eight years, and “there’s a loyal opposition now.” But you need to “give the guy a break” or else you’re spreading hate.

Hate is being spread now. And I guess it wasn’t spread before.

Yeah, whatever. I suppose it’s human nature to see something ugly in people who don’t agree with you about things, and to fail to see something ugly on your side of the fence.

But I really don’t see how these people get dressed in the morning and start walking around. There wasn’t any hate before, against Bush and Cheney? Really?

But there’s one nice thing I can say about Lynda Carter: Three decades ago, she looked appealing in a Wonder Woman costume.

That may not seem like saying much. But the curious mind cannot help but wonder: What positive things can the hatred-free Lynda Carter say about a Republican?

Update: I think the time has come for us all to admit that the word “hate” has been re-defined. It doesn’t mean what it used to mean anymore.

Nowadays — when Ms. Carter’s usage of it is actually correct, although a generation or two ago it would not have been — it has come to mean this:

What you are full of when I happen to like something, it’s my perception that a whole lot of other people like it as much as I do, and you don’t.

I think that explains why it doesn’t work for George W. Bush. People can hate him, and not be hateful. They can say they hate him, and not be hateful. They can stand right in front of you and yell that they are bristling with hate for George Bush, and not be hateful.

They can make movies about George Bush’s assassination…fantasize openly about Bush’s murder…and not have any of what we now call “hate.”

Former President Bush just isn’t very popular. Barack Obama is.

So you have to love Obama just all to pieces, or else you’re full of hate.

Now, after a time Obama is bound to stop being popular. His tactic for dealing with His own failures, it’s been proven again and again by now, is to talk about inheriting a crisis. That is likely to be far more effective now, some seventy or eighty days into His presidency, than, say, a thousand days into it…and you’d better believe He and His public relations people are worried about it. It is a countermeasure of diminishing potential.

And so when Obama is unpopular — not if, but when — can you courteously turn in your Obama Fan Club membership card, without being a hateful prick? Those of us who are old enough to have lived through Jimmy Carter’s disasters already know the answer to that one. And I’m not gleeful about it. It is an ugly, ugly process to behold, when the public recaptures its ability to think rationally in the face of disasters it demanded.

It has to do with the interest rates being pushed upward by government borrowing. We haven’t seen it take place, quite like it did back then, since…well, since Lynda Carter was playing Wonder Woman.

A whole bunch of stuff goes to hell, within a tight enough timeframe that it’s impossible to ignore how they’re all related to each other. And it doesn’t work to blame the guy-that-came-before. Believe me, Jimmy Carter had that blame-the-predecessor stuff down cold. And his predecessor was a little bit of a likable-dunce type, or at least, came off that way. It was easy. Carter deployed this time-tested strategy under the very, very best of circumstances.

It didn’t work for long. That one’s a sprint, not a marathon.

But that’s Obama’s problem. Ours is with this word “hate,” and how we use it, today, quite incorrectly in my view. It really is like something out of high school. I like high-top sneakers, we all like high-top sneakers, they’re the “in” thing, they’re all over the place, so if you don’t like them you must “hate” them and that gives everyone else a license to mistreat you in whatever way they see fit because you aren’t wearing the “cool” stuff. Everyone who’s been through high school understands, it really doesn’t have that much to do with attire; it’s a social code about being “into” certain things. And if you’re an outlier, then you become a target of…well…that stuff, that back in the day, had that word “hate” fastened onto it, such a long time ago. The classic definition. Extreme acrimony toward a designated target.

And the people practicing it don’t understand that they’re doing it. They’re too busy calling other things hateful.

Ms. Carter, I’m afraid you’ve become a rather poor ambassador for building goodwill between Paradise Island and Mans’-World. I always got the impression Wonder Woman was an emblem of reason and discretion; a representation of why it just might be a good idea to have women make more decisions about things. Sort of an embodiment of all those elements of real maturity that girls tend to accumulate faster than boys. Like, Wonder Woman could be bound by her own tell-the-truth magic lasso, and her heart is so pure there would be no paradigm shift involved, no coercion, kinda what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

That can’t be the case with you — you don’t even know what real hate is. What a disappointment; kinda like learning there’s no real USS Enterprise. Guess I expected too much.

I’m still in favor of women keeping the right to vote, though.

Don’t F*ck With My President! Don’t F*ck With My President!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The perils of having elected a President just because He’s a popular guy…not because He would’ve made a good President. That’s regarding this:

I expect the Samuel-Jackson-Secret-Service-Fantasy guy speaks for many.

Incredulity Used as an Argument

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I like the way the headline of this post is used as a line of dialogue…multiple times.

Listen to that leftist twit. You don’t agree with him, so you’re “a fuckin’ dumbass” and some such.

Yup. That’s the way they argue. Like six-year-olds, but with saltier language.

Isn’t it funny? It’s always about restoring rights to women and minorities, saving endangered species, saving the planet, getting people to love each other. But the advocates are always so damned mad.

Best Sentence LVIII

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The fifty-eighth Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes out to a fourteen-year-old film, Braveheart. Mel Gibson once again reserves the best lines for himself, time index 1:35:20.

There’s a difference between us; you think the people of this country exist to provide you with position — I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.

Rahm Emmanuel, I’m lookin’ at you. Straight at you. So is Sir William Wallace.

The award is split with something I received from an older relative through the e-mail. It’s on an entirely unrelated subject, and it comes from that most mysterious of places, Planet Woemyn. Mysterious as it may be, it explains, for the most part, every single conflict I’ve had from a native of that strange, surreal, exotic quadrant of the galaxy.

The only thing worse than a man you can’t control is a man you can.

Margo Kaufman.

Doesn’t that just sum it all up?

What Better Demonstration of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand…

Friday, March 27th, 2009

…than dishwasher detergent.

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it’s not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

Andy, you’ve got to link some more boring stuff than this, if you want me to keep on ignoring you.

Just keep Sheryl Crowe out of Washington State, please. Something tells me the residents there have enjoyed all the creative, environmentally-conscious solutions they can handle for the time being.

Socialism Requires Hatred

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Paul Kengor writing in American Thinker, via Maggie’s Farm.

“We must teach our children to hate,” Vladimir Lenin instructed his education commissars. The Bolshevik godfather declared that hatred was not only “the basis of communism” but “the basis of every socialist and Communist movement.”

Class envy has been a defining staple of the left for centuries, from the frenzied mobs leaping around the French guillotines to the Soviets to, well, the new masses circling AIG executives today. The difference is merely the degree of response — a question of socially acceptable force or violence.

Historically, this behavior is both foreign and antithetical to the American experience. Unfortunately, modern Americans don’t understand their founding and the nation’s core principles — our educational system doesn’t teach those things. Thus, they are now voting, and behaving, in kind. And we are now witnessing our own homegrown socialist movement in action, inspired by hate.

B-b-but that’s not true, is it? The liberal progressive movement is defined and fortified by love!

Sorry, it’s true. Think on it: What highly energized, self-motivating idea has emerged from the left side of the aisle…in the last hundred years or so…that didn’t include a villain that had to be cut down to size?

Snidely WhiplashSure, they’re always supposed to be defending something, too. Snail darters, children, woemyn, persons of color, labor, teachers, et al. That’s another staple ingredient in the stew. It doesn’t mean the Snidely Whiplash isn’t just as vital, and present just as often. It doesn’t mean the formula isn’t actually based on good old-fashioned hate…which it is. It’s just as simple, and just as reliable, as finding the Little Dipper by tracing your way through the stars in the Big Dipper. Who’s the victim in this idea, in need of progressive sustenance, fortification, defense? Why is the need there? Who is attacking the victim? There’s your bad guy. And he’s always, always, always there…in every single liberal idea, there’s always a villain.

AIG executives. Christians. Bush and Cheney. Stay-at-home moms. Bitter people clinging to their bibles and their guns. Boy Scouts. Small business owners, which employ most of us. Large corporations, which employ most of the rest of us. Men who watch football. Intelligent Design proponents. Advocates for abstinence-education. Cops. Mothers who decide not to abort their children. The U.S. Military, and people who appreciate their efforts. Hooters waitresses. NASCAR fans. People who slaughter, butcher, prepare, cook and eat meat.

Whatever can blast that hate-ray in the greatest number of directions, seeking out multiple targets along a panorama, without conscious thought, is sure to be a popular idea in the liberal camp. Especially if it comes cloaked in some cheap, tacky, wafer-thin, translucent camouflage of something positive, like love, concern or compassion. And so it has come to this: Now you’re a bad guy if you emit carbon dioxide. At this point, you can only ignore what’s really going on, if you put some effort into ignoring it.

The truth is, the ideology is just shopping around for a way to engage in the greatest quantity of hating, with the lowest quantity of work.

Thing I Know #217. Populism, according to the hard evidence that has managed to come my way, has a tough time staying positive. It seems there has to be a dirty so-and-so who’s due for a come-uppins, behind every energized populist movement. That might be because populism seeks to decide issues according to the satisfaction of the majority, and most of us like to feel our way to a decision rather than think our way through. Naturally, laying the smack down on an enemy feels a whole lot better than actually solving a problem.

“Gives”?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I don’t think so.

(Hat tip: Gerard.)

Oh, we really do have the inmates running the asylum, don’t we. I thought you were supposed to be a constitutional perfesser or something, President Obama.

“You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.” — Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Ignorant Jackass, or Sign of the Times?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Both, I say.

Blogger friend Buck was threatened by a neighbor. Didn’t realize until he was neck-deep, what anguish might ensue from a casual day of video-ing.

This is the age in which we live; the paradox of our time. Public things are now private, and private things are now public. Kids retreating into a world in which they listen to their private stash o’ tunes…that is now a public thing, since they want you to notice they’re doing it on a true, genuine iPod-whatever. Even as they ignore you.

On the other hand, if you’re a nice-lookin’ girl at Mardi Gras, it’s perfectly acceptable to flash your pink puppies around…even obligatory, if all the other gals are doing it. But then you should have complete control over whatever videocams or Kodak-disposables happen to take in the sights you’ve now made public. Just show some angst, and it isn’t public anymore.

Decorum. Discretion. The presumption that, whatever you put on display, will by the next morning be splashed across the New York Times (or, to make the analogy more current, whatever thing people nowadays actually read). Controlling whatever is actually under your control…which is what people are capable of seeing.

Whatever happened to it, I wonder? Nowadays, it seems people do as they like, and then if someone might possibly make a record out of it they think it’s somehow appropriate to go camera-chasing.

“Remember These Earnings the Next Time the Administration Feigns Outrage”

Friday, March 27th, 2009

So says Texas Rainmaker about Rahm Emmanuel’s profits from Freddie Mac.

Obama’s Chief of Staff Profited from Freddie Mac Scandal
March 26th, 2009 8:40 am

This should come as no surprise.

Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.

One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.

Remember these earnings the next time the administration feigns outrage over corporate pay.

He was named to the Freddie Mac board in February 2000 by Clinton, whom Emanuel had served as White House political director and vocal defender during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals.

The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board’s working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.

On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.

You know the right way to present this to a true-blue, died-in-the-wool liberal who you just know is going to be grasping-at-straws to find a way to excuse it?

It’s like Sarah Palin prancing around in $100,000 worth of clothes…and then getting her knickers in a twist over the fact that you’re wearing a suit that lists for $300. And then appealing to Congress for a retroactive tax that will cut you down to size and leave you naked.

Except Palin looks a helluva lot better wearing expensive clothes than Rahm Emmanuel does with a wallet full of cash!