Archive for April, 2009


Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I realize the setting may not be conducive to conducting an interview, and perhaps the things that are distracting her aren’t all being captured on the audio.

Nevertheless — this is a jaw-droppingly bad piece of fieldwork. She doesn’t even do a decent job of propagandizing. Her theatrical sense of outrage gets in the way from start to finish.

Hat tip to Good Lieutenant at Jawa Report, who has taken the trouble of gathering more than a few tidbits of Compare-Bush-to-Hitler artwork goodness to help enlighten the bubble-headed anchor-lady.

Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto can be heard to respond here.

Will You Be Here Tomorrow?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The goriest safety training video ever, according to Miss Cellania.

I think it might be a toss-up between that ‘un, and this ‘un…

Them canucks don’t mess around with safety videos. They show exactly what just might happen to you.

Ass (Hole)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Via Bits and Pieces.

Nobody Complains Like the Brits

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Those ingenious, resourceful inventors of drawing-and-quartering.

Somewhere in the third quarter of ’05 I missed out on this Internet meme. In computer terms, three and a half years means…it’s damn near mummified now. I know. Cut me some slack. I had to post it because I like the way it starts out mellow and just gradually…gets…nastier…and nastier…

Besides, he’s bitching at a telephone-and-innerwebs company. C’mon, which among us have not been there?

Language not quite safe for a work environment.

Dear Cretins,

I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for your 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During thisthree-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions. Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional perogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties – or more likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website….HOW?

I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes – an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept. The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools – such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived… six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate your internet server’s downtime is roughly 35%… hours between about 6pm -midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the weekend. I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock jugglers.

I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that no telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman…and several other variations on this theme. Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to. Frankly I don’t care, it’s far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustration’s in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue.

I thought BT were shit, that they had attained the holy piss-pot of godawful customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That’s why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn’t anyone else is there? How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum incompetents of the highest order. British Telecom – wankers though they are – shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver – any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage. I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit – they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and its worthless employees.

Have a nice day – may it be the last in you miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twats.


Hunted it down here, after being tipped off about it at a wonderful joke page here…which unfortunately ran into a 404 error after teasing the first paragraph. The joke page itself is worth bookmarking.

Today’s Krugman P0wnage

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

That headline means — let us be clear — Paul Krugman of the New York Times is the one that got p0wned. He did not do the p0wning, although I’m sure he thought in that weasel-reptile brain of his that’s exactly what happened, as his scaly/furry clawed digits glided over the keys.

“P0wn,” or “pwn” means…

12. pwn

1. To completely dominate an opponent, usually in video games.

2. To beat beyond recognition.

3. To make someone your bitch.

Often used with the slang “Noob”

Well, that n00b Paul Krugman just got p0wned:

I’d rebut Krugman’s arguments, only he doesn’t make any. Does he ever? Krugman doesn’t argue, he just vents. This is what we used to call “mailing it in.” If Krugman spent more than 20 minutes writing this column, I’d be shocked.
[Krugman’s writing is pulled out, pieced together, quoted, sliced up, put on a slide, studied under a microscope…or rather a microfiche reader]
[W]hat facts–what arguments–are presented in support of this invective? None. It’s just hyperventilating. I know it’s only the New York Times, but wasn’t there a time when even that paper expected its columnists to expend at least a little effort? Krugman might as well have written “I am a Democrat” over and over again until it added up to 750 words.

This wouldn’t be such extreme p0wnage if it was descriptive only of Krugman’s latest column and of nothing else. As it is, the two paragraphs I extracted could just as reasonably be festooned upon — with some exceptions — anything in the Krugman archives. At least, most of what has come to my attention. It is a generic p0wnage, and therefore, a devastating one.

But devastating p0wnage can result from specifics, as well. Crossing Wall Street lifts up a particularly incriminating chestnut for closer inspection. Krugman fans should skip this, for the sake of their own mental health…

Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution — he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre — also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.

These are the kinds of the things Krugman writes that are so frustrating. He’s a brilliant economist but too often drives off the reservation into dishonesty.

After reading Krugman’s account, are you led to believe that Tom DeLay said in a clear declarative sentence that Columbine was the result of the teaching of evolution? That he repeatedly said it and would say it again today if asked?
Krugman has an unusual fixation with Delay and blaming Columbine on the teaching of evolution. He’s mentioned this several times.

Enough of Krugman’s take. Here’s the full story. One week after the Columbine massacre, Addison L. Dawson wrote a letter to the editor to the San Angelo Standard-Times which mocked the idea that guns were to blame:

For the life of me, I can’t understand what could have gone wrong in Littleton, Colorado. If the parents would have only kept their children away from the guns, we wouldn’t have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been the guns.

It couldn’t have been because over half our children are being raised in broken homes.
It couldn’t have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes that have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.

It couldn’t have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative, and that actions don’t have consequences. What the heck, the President gets away with it

Nah, it must have been the guns.

The letter was later read by Paul Harvey on the radio and then by Tom Delay in Congress on June 16, 1999 during a debate on gun control. (You can see the in the Congressional Record on page H4366.) The words are often credited to DeLay and not Dawson, though DeLay’s reading of it certainly implies an endorsement.

After DeLay spoke, Barney Frank lambasted the letter by saying it was blaming the teaching of evolution for the shooting. That’s where Krugman got his line.

Which brings us back to one of the classical House of Eratosthenes philosophical questions, that ongoing events on the plane of reality compel us to ask. We’ve asked this one before and we’ll be asking it again:

Is it possible to make liberal ideas look good, without misrepresenting something?

On That Homeland Security Right-Wing Extremist Group Report

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The report, entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” is here. I’ve noticed a trend in how it is typically headlined: The event worthy of note is not the publication of the report, but rather the “reaction” from something called the “conservative blogosphere.” Conservatives are tweaked, angry, howling, spitting, sputtering, going apeshit, freaking out, and most importantly, spinning.

Michelle Malkin, typically offered as the example, reacts:

The “report” was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real.

I spent the day chasing down DHS spokespeople, who have been tied up preparing for a very important homeland security event later today: The First Lady is coming to visit their Washington office. Priorities, you know.

Well, the press office got back to me and verified that the document is indeed for real.

They were very defensive — preemptively so — in asserting that it was not a politicized document…the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear. As the two spokespeople I talked with on the phone today made clear: They both pinpointed the recent “economic downturn” and the “general state of the economy” for stoking “rightwing extremism.” One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report — which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified “resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity” is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and…the historical presidential election.

I skimmed through the left-wing blogs to find out what their reactions would be. Yglesias, ThinkProgress, Raw Story, Pandagon, Anonymous Liberal and Balloon Juice. A consistent and recurrent meme emerged: Troubling issues that arise from a government agency’s suggestion of terrorist motives on the part of free citizens “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” (p. 2) were left unexplored…even untouched. The subject matter turned, instead, to tit-for-tat, howzitfeel type of nonsense. Silly conservatives didn’t say a word when Bush was trampling on our civil liberties, why are they piping up now?

Awesome! The new administration was elected in on a glossy, glittery platform of “change.” And now it’s doing things that can only be defended by implying they’re the same as what the old crowd did. Some change.

If only it were true. The argument is defeated — as left-wing arguments usually are — through an exercise known as reading things. As Malkin says:

[T]hose past reports have always been very specific in identifying the exact groups, causes, and targets of domestic terrorism, i.e., the ALF, ELF, and Stop Huntingdon wackos who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism, and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.

Don’t take her word for it, or mine. The report to which the liberal bloggers point with their “the other guy did it too” defense, “Left-Wing Extremism: The Current Threat,” is here. You won’t need to study long. The difference between the 2001 report and the one that just came out, is structural. The older report gives facts…and more facts…and more facts…dates…cities…statistics…the history behind each of the more pertinent groups, who founded them, why, what their methods are, what they’ve been caught doing, some intelligence suggesting who funds them. It even does a decent job of inspecting the possible dangers posed by right-wing extremist groups.

This month’s report from DHS boils down to one thing: “Hey, we’d better be worried about this stuff! You know how those tighty-righties are when they lose their jobs, especially when black people are elected President!” Yes, I’m putting words in their mouths, but not unfairly. Go on, read the piece-of-crap report and tell me if they’ve got a message that goes beyond that…or if they’ve produced any firm evidence to support such a message. It’s gossip. And that’s not my opinion; come up with a workable definition for “gossip” before you read the report, then read it. There’s nothing to back up any of what they’re saying here.

So you could fairly headline this entire thing as “left-wingers freak out about right-wingers and then accuse right-wingers of freaking out.”

As polished as the prose is, and as crisp as the computer fonts look, when you inspect it at the thought-level it has a look and feel that I have come to associate with subsequent organizational backpedaling and apology. Not that I’m terribly sure it’ll happen this time. This is a report put out by someone who spends lots of time with other people who think exactly the same things already, and can’t be told much of anything…which suggests his or her superiors are in the same mold. We know the guy at the top fits that profile too, so it’s doubtful anyone in a position that matters, will see the need to retract anything.

Of course perhaps their eyes could be opened by such kind, colorblind, all-inclusive, tolerant comments from lefty-blog-commenters as “Can’t wait to see the TSA, state police, NYPD profiling pasty White guys” (CParis, commenter 4, Yglesias link) and “Seriously, this [Glenn Beck] is a man who just needs to have a massive heart attack and die for the good of the country” (DTG in STL, Pandagon). Oh, you lefties! I’m so glad you’re in charge now, busily putting together that society that’ll work for everyone!

Maybe some peaceful and loving outbursts like that that would give the DHS report author a whole new perspective on things. I’m just not ready to bet a lot of money on it.

The Forgotten Man

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Read it one more time…just because. You know what tomorrow is, right? And I’m not talking about the Titanic sinking.

The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D.

“9. Inject a Snidely Whiplash into the situation, even if it doesn’t really have one;
10. Most important of all, inject a victim into it as well. Who-rightfully-owns-what decision, is the first thing people forget when there’s a victim.”
How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On.

Would’ve Landed Hardest on Obama?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Phil finds a fascinating piece of slobber-fest from the AP…

The U.S. economy is showing only glimmers of life and two costly wars remain in the balance, but President Barack Obama’s “no drama” handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.

Obama’s quiet backstage decision to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips’ life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.
…[I]t goes some way toward dispelling the notion that a liberal Democrat with a known distaste for war — Obama campaigned on his consistent opposition to the Iraq invasion — doesn’t have the chops to call on U.S. military power.

The sniper operation Sunday, with pirate guns aimed at Phillips, was a daring, high-stakes gambit, and it could have easily gone awry. If it had, the fallout would have probably landed hardest on Obama.

Okay, I’m in full agreement with every sentence right up until that last one. It was certainly a test, and Obama did pass it. But President Obama would’ve gotten slimed if things didn’t work out? He’d have taken the fall? Really? On what planet?

Now I realize Obama has been President for less than three months by now. Still and all, it’s a fair question to ask — when has anything “landed hardest” on Obama?

He has a way of speaking that influences the weak-minded — be willing to admit it or not, but that’s some 75%, maybe 85% of us — to come to the opinions He wants them to reach, nevermind how problematic the facts may be. He has this talent, and He uses it. It is why He is where He is.

Things don’t “land hardest” on this type of boss. This is the kind of boss who ends up being the boss, and I think we’ve all had at least one of these…because nothing is ever His fault. No matter what. Ever. No, if this whole thing had gone south it would’ve been on the Commander.

Go on. Find something in that much-discussed community-organizer resume, or even better, in those autobiographies. Prove me wrong.

Update: The best article on the web I’ve seen that illustrates how far removed is this mindset from reality, is at Blackfive. Yes, it would be equally offensive to reality to deny President Obama any credit at all; He does deserve some. And, let the record show, I did give it to Him. Maybe not in the way a democrat voter would like me to, but I did.

Ideas About How to Fix Everything

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

An abortion pride movement

So it was with great interest that I read and reflected upon Jacob Appel’s “It’s Time for an Abortion Pride Movement.” This author and bioethicist emphasizes: “The political and social reality today is that pride is a necessary prerequisite for acceptance and equality. That is why the movement is ripe – more than ripe – for an Abortion Pride Movement.”

I passionately agree. I also believe that the framework for such a movement already exists and is quite powerful. Talking about abortion pride as a social change movement, destigmatizing abortion – and by extension, destigmatizing women – are concepts I have believed in and fought for all of my adult life.

A Republican Party that promotes gay marriage:

Memo to the GOP: Go Gay
by Meghan McCain

I am a woman who despises labels and boxes and stereotypes. Recently, I seemed to have rocked a few individuals within my party by saying that I am a pro-life, pro-gay-marriage Republican. So if anyone is still confused, let me spell it out for you. I believe life begins at conception and I believe that people who fall in love should have the option to get married. Lest we forget, our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, grants the same rights to everyone in this country—“All men are created equal.” If you think certain rights should not apply to certain people, then you are saying those people are not equal. People may always have a difference of opinion on certain lifestyles, but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn’t just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it’s un-American.

At the end of the day, speaking at the Log Cabin Republicans’ convention isn’t just about reaching out to the gay community—although I believe doing so is vital to the future success of the party. It’s also about reaching a wider base and redefining what it means to be Republican, and leaving labels, stereotypes, and negativity by the wayside. That more and more people are discussing gay rights speaks positively for the millions of young and progressive Republicans waiting for our party to return to its roots. Personal freedoms are what makes this country the greatest country in the world. And just like the civil-rights and feminist movements before this, the movement toward gay equality and gay marriage is one I have absolute faith will triumph over prejudices. Moreover, I believe the Republican Party has, at this moment, the opportunity to come forward and play an instrumental role in securing gay rights. That’s why I’m speaking at the Log Cabin convention and couldn’t be prouder to be doing so. And yes, I’m still a Republican. Get used to it.

That’s exactly it. The whole problem last year was that the Republican and democrat parties didn’t engage in a mad dash to see who could legalize gay marriage first. If only they had gotten into a meaningless squabble like that, it would’ve been a GOP blow-out.

And we’ll never truly respect women until we have celebrations for baby-butchering. Maybe parades, with some floats shaped like parts of fetuses?

Meghan McCain is quite the piece of work. Of course you can be a Republican and still be in favor of re-defining marriage. But your merely saying so, is not going to get her to go away. She has a more hostile agenda in mind. She isn’t thinking of providing rights to a certain class of person, she’s got another class of person she wants to define, target and banish to irrelevance.

I’ve heard it asked, quite often, “How does your marriage suffer if gays are allowed to marry?” It’s a valid question, but so is that troubling other one: “Without gay marriage legalized, or even with gay marriage outright-banned — what, exactly, are homosexuals left unable to do that everyone else is able to do?” And with that question left unanswered, it becomes crystal clear: Meghan McCain has no burning passion to provide equal status to anyone. She can’t; the equality is already there. Her passion is to poke someone else square in the eye. This matters to her more than anything. And you can see how trivial the idea of Republican victory is, to her, in reality. Look how many paragraphs she managed to grind out without discussing prospects for the next election cycle. Yup, she talks about making the party more inclusive — but that’s as far as she goes. Not a syllable about actually altering the outcome. Just like her old man.

She is a rotten, acrid vat of fetid vinegar with a sickly sweet sheet of frosting on top. The poor girl isn’t nearly as positive of a person as she believes herself to be.

One cannot help but wonder what kind of influences she has at home. Perhaps the Republican champion, who refused to get his hands dirty with his opponent’s Jeremiah Wright controversy, isn’t quite that much into kinder-gentler-stuff behind closed doors.

But at least she has a good excuse; she’s a young, likable dimwit whose father is well-known for putting cocktail-party-invitations above principle. Marcy Bloom, on the other hand, is 57 years old…knows what she’s doing…and, it’s easy to see, has a heart full of hate.

STREETBUZZ: How about your family and childhood?

MARCY BLOOM: I had an older brother and younger sister. As was common, my brother was clearly favored as the male and first born. I feel that our parents loved us all very much, but my brother clearly got favoritism simply by virtue of being a male. Thus feminism was born somewhere in my heart and soul (laughter) even though I was obviously too young to have true awareness of what that was. I simply felt there was something intrinsically unfair about any kind of favoritism based on gender.


MARCY BLOOM: Brooklyn N.Y., woo-hoo! Sociology and healthcare administration, Long Island University, Brooklyn campus. Yes, serious as one could be during the sixties and seventies. I knew I needed training to be able to function in the world. even though all I wanted to do was march against the war, march for women’s rights, and march against the oppressive U.S. adminstration (LBJ and Richard Nixon!) Nothing’s changed, huh? Goes around…

There’s a lesson here. When you’re motivated by the negative, you become inclined to come up with wombat-rabies bollywonkers crazy ideas…ideas not the slightest bit likely to produce the positive outcomes you say, and you just might possibly believe, they are supposed to fulfill. You become just a tiny bit insane. All you really understand with clarity, is which class of asses you want kicked, and how hard you want to kick them. You become a sort of zombified person who can’t really be trusted with anything else.

I wonder if these ladies ever look at what they put down in print the next day and, in a moment or two of quiet and clarity, think to themselves “What in the hell was I thinking?” I wonder if that’ll happen to them someday?

“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” — Michael Corleone, Godfather III

Both links via Hot Air.

Global Warming Victims Given Standing to Sue

Monday, April 13th, 2009

We didn’t have enough of a lawsuit-happy society just yet, so our “lawmakers” are fixing that.

Self-proclaimed victims of global warming or those who “expect to suffer” from it – from beachfront property owners to asthmatics – for the first time would be able to sue the federal government or private businesses over greenhouse gas emissions under a little-noticed provision slipped into the House climate bill.

Environmentalists say the measure was narrowly crafted to give citizens the unusual standing to sue the U.S. government as a way to force action on curbing emissions. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sees a new cottage industry for lawyers.

“You could be spawning lawsuits at almost any place [climate-change modeling] computers place at harm’s risk,” said Bill Kovacs, energy lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Those poor, poor, pitiful poor, victimized, oh-so-trod-upon working families…with their beachfront vacation homes! Thank goodness someone is standing up for the little guy.

Don’t blame me, I voted for the non-lawyers.

Warning, the article behind the link contains a picture of Henry Waxman’s face, legendary nostrils clearly visible, with the caption underneath “Click the photo to enlarge.” I just couldn’t help thinking, who in the world would want to do that?

David Neiwert Doesn’t Want You to Watch Glenn Beck

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Beck is too silly and not worth your time. So Neiwert says, in this busy, busy weekend; not just in one article, but two.

Back early last year when I was busy critiquing Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, the question came up frequently: Why would I bother? Isn’t it a problem to be treating a book of junk political philosophy like this with more respect than it deserves? Isn’t flat-out mockery perhaps the better response?

Well, as I noted then:

[T]he problem with dismissing Liberal Fascism out of hand is that the mainstream media certainly haven’t dismissed the book out of hand: Goldberg’s been on a regular rotation of cable-talk shows since the book’s release, and more certainly are on the way. As much as we might wish this noxious meme would choke on its own fumes, it’s clear that isn’t going to happen: the “liberal media” is all too happy to present this fraud as “serious,” and there are going to be large swaths of the public lapping it up. (There already are, in fact.) Pretty soon any discussion of actual fascists will be dismissed with a wave of the “ah, you libruls are the real fascists” hand.

Heh. I know of a great way the well-intentioned liberal can head that one off at the pass. Simply take some of that famous liberal tolerance for diverse and even opposing viewpoints, and show us some of it.

What’s being done here? “I don’t like Glenn Beck and I don’t want you to watch him anymore.” Glenn Beck is derided, castigated, excoriated, plainly identified as someone who is a pariah, or should be. And why is that? Because Beck’s use of the word “fascism” is disliked.

Well let’s look up what the word actually means; since Neiwert, incredibly — at least within these two essays — never bothered to do so. Even though he claims this is the crux of his complaint.


Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology. Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state. Fascists believe that nations and races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in combat against the weak. Fascist governments forbid and suppress all criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.


1. a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

There’s one aspect that is common among all these three: The suppression and/or elimination of any opposition.

And there is one aspect that is common to all the manifestations of liberalism we have seen, at least this year since the inauguration of Barack Obama: The Battle Is Over And We Have Won. This is a more prominent feature of 2009 liberalism than the discussion of any policies, how one guiding principle might be more beneficial for the nation than another. No, the liberalism this year knows, is dedicated to the promotion and superiority of…itself. Just like classical fascism. Nobody dares to oppose us, and if anyone does, we will be sure and address that. It starts with harmless belittling and mocking. But it’s always treated as some kind of a pressing problem that someone who can’t quite see the light — like Glenn Beck, for example — still has a voice.

And like classical fascism, liberalism treats this with a sense of alarm. Even if the dissenters have no real power, none at all over & above basic freedom of speech. There is still the sense in liberal-land that this singular ability, all by itself, irrefutably manifests that there is something in the cosmos that is not quite right, and ought to be fixed.

That “Their Policies Are Ruining The Country!” dog just won’t hunt anymore, for reasons that are obvious. And so this is all that’s left: Conservatives can still say stuff. Too many people are still listening to them. They haven’t been gutterballed enough quite yet.

Just like with multi-level marketing, there is this paper-thin veneer of a suggestion that an argument with some real meat is about to be presented. When I read things like “Since I’m a student of the subject of fascism, I’ve written a lengthy response at my blog,” I can’t help but gather the impression that I’m about to read something educational. But at the blog, when you open the page, from top-to-bottom it’s a bunch of “okay here’s something I can use to make Beck look ridiculous…and I follow through…now on to the next thing…and I follow through…and the next, and the next.” There is no discussion anywhere of what fascism is, or how Beck is ostensibly twisting its meaning around in any way. The closest you get to that, is a repeated insinuation that he has done so. And lots of bullying instructions that you shouldn’t watch his show anymore.

Myself, I don’t really watch Glenn Beck’s show. I’m just an enthusiast of unintentional irony. And I think I’m looking at a mother lode right here.

The Troops See Star Trek First

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Instapundit says that’s a nice thing to do; we agree.

I am in the Army and currently deployed to Kuwait. We have a movie theater on post that shows “second run” movies, meaning that we get the movie about a week or two after they are released in the states. At times, a special effort is made to show the movie here on the same date it is released in the states. With that being said, I was shocked to see the movie schedule that was published for the first half of April. According to this schedule the new Star Trek movie will have a “special premier” on April 11th. I found it very hard to believe that we would be able to view a big “summer time blockbuster” movie that won’t premiere in the States for another 27 days.

Sure enough, the movie actually did get played today and I was able to get in to see it not just once, but twice. Not only did the movie arrive in Kuwait, but J.J. Abrams and most of the “bridge crew” cast (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Eric Bana and Karl Urban) were here as well.

The cast went out of their way to entertain us before and after the movie was shown. They were more than happy to interact with the soldiers (Eric Bana leaped out of his “reserved” seat and sat next to a female soldier who invited him next to her) and they took their time describing their experiences making the film and answering questions and requests (Quinto obliged a soldier who asked him to call his daughter back in the states and say hello to her). I was truly impressed and grateful in the fact that they went out of their way to thank us and to offer this film to us. I’ll admit that this review won’t be as objective as it could because of the way the cast lent themselves to us. My biggest thrill was walking up to J.J. Abrams after the film and having the opportunity to give him my general impressions of it. How many times does a geek like me get a chance to do that?

Very cool stuff. Classy move, JJ & Co.

“Good Job!”-ing Our Kids to Pieces

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Making your kid feel good about him- or herself: Possibly overblown.

[A]ffirmation overload, most experts agree, is indeed a tough habit to break.

It began as the byproduct of the 1980s self-esteem movement, in which parents and teachers were told to reward and stroke kids pretty much constantly, supposedly to make them confident.

Dr. Ernie Swihart, an author and behavioral pediatrician at South Lake Pediatrics in Minnetonka, decried the self-esteem movement from its inception. Then, as now, he believed kids should be taught to be inwardly focused, self-sufficient creatures able to shift their own gears.

Real self-esteem — for all of us — comes from overcoming an obstacle-laden challenge, he believes, with hard work. Lavishing praise, he contends, is counterproductive and, if anything, makes kids needy and voracious for that other self-esteem-movement buzzword: validation.

Validation turns out to be a rather empty prize. As kids get older, all those other kids who thought they were such wonderful people…sometimes no longer think so. Loss of friendship, now & then, is a natural thing. Loss of self-worth and self-image as a result of losing those friendships — that’s just not natural.

“It’s had serious repercussions,” Swihart said. “These young adults who were raised in the ’80s, now in their 20s and in the workplace — those who received praise, rewards and prizes for everything they did without working very hard — often are very entitled and self-absorbed.”

“And in this economy, baseless self-satisfaction and entitlement are dangerous. Those are the people who are first to be let go.”
Steven McManus, a family therapist in Golden Valley, agreed.

“Although I think this [over-praising] movement is basically rooted in good intentions, these are often the young adults I see as clients,” McManus said. “Often they have difficulty at conflict resolution, disappointment or tolerating any negative emotions at all.”

Geoffrey Pullum and FARK

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Deep down inside, we’re all still on the playground and when a fight breaks out, we wanna watch.

Okay maybe I’m just speaking for myself there. But let’s link it anyway.

And…you know there’s a FARK thread on this…you can find it here. Wait for it to get green-lit (doubtful), or purchase a TOTALFARK membership here, to read it.

Update: Original thread here. Pullum linked to his own previous work, but not the FARK thread discussing it, which is supposed to be the object of his disdain.

Update: On the original subject…well, before I get to that, I’m just rolling my eyes about Pullum’s (or his editor’s) decision to post this with a closed comments section. I think that borders on a mental disease. Lord knows, however, I can sympathize with the fatigue with the juvenile antics on FARK. But it is one thing to say “I have a subclass in mind with regard to the comments that will be entered in response to this work of mine, and I have no desire to hear from or read through that type of comment” — versus — “This is my opinion, and I have no desire to hear from or read through any type of comment whatsoever in response to it, from anyone, of any sort.” The former is sanity. The latter is the purest sort of narcissism. Pullum appears to me to have traversed an unexpectedly short road between those two points.

Here’s wishing him godspeed on the trip back.

But I agree with him, mostly, on Strunk and White. I’ve been referred to this work over and over again, and I’ll admit there is some justice in that. More than once, I’ve had to seriously question whether the person referring me, ever read through the reference material themselves. And, outside of that, I’ve had to conclude quite a few times that following the reference the way I was being implored to, would have resulted in an inferior product.

In summary — Strunk and White is overblown. People should read it if they expect to write things that will be read by others, yes. They should put thought into these things. But what Messrs. S&W have put together functions far better as a guideline than as a standard.

Obama Better President Than Carter

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

At least as far as this little adventure is concerned…

An American ship captain was freed unharmed today in a U.S. Navy operation that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

One of the pirates was wounded and in custody after a swift firefight, the official said.

Capt. Richard Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vermont, was safely transported to a Navy warship nearby.

Negotiations broke down because the Americans wanted the pirates brought to justice.

“The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates,” said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans.

Two other Somalis, one involved in the negotiations and another in contact with the pirates, also said the talks collapsed because of the U.S. insistence that the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

Phillips’ crew of 19 American sailors reached safe harbor in Kenya’s northeast port of Mombasa on Saturday night under guard of U.S. Navy Seals, exhilarated by their freedom but mourning the absence of Phillips.

Let’s give credit to the current leadership folks, it’s only fair. At least for now, it would appear the “order over chaos” thing was upheld. Perhaps it’s an only-Nixon-can-go-to-China moment…like Clinton signing welfare reform or Bush practicing compassionate-giveaway-conservatism. However it came about, it seems the good guys won on this one.

Good. I’m glad. Wish more pirates got killed, but I’ll take it. Congratulations and a hearty thank-you to the noble warriors involved.

Update: …and in the spirit of that final note, a brief sketch of that brave skipper.

[Richard P.] Phillips, who was the captain of the Maersk Alabama, gave himself up as a prisoner in exchange for the safety of his crew of 19 when the container ship was attacked by pirates armed with AK-47s en route to Kenya. His crew took back their ship, but some of the pirates escaped with Phillips as a hostage in a lifeboat.

The U.S. Navy and FBI followed the pirates and tried to negotiate Phillips’s release, but his captors threatened to kill him if they mounted a rescue attempt. Phillips tried to escape Thursday, but was quickly recaptured.

The 55-year-old Vermont resident and father of two was well aware that pirate activity in the area has reached crisis proportions, with more than 40 ships hijacked last year alone.

My One-Liner on Boston Legal

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

The so-called “conservatives” on that show, misrepresent conservative thought pretty much exactly the same way the liberals do.

Sorry, to all you friends reading this who were so adamant about how much I’d love it because it “does such a fair job of presenting both sides.” I imagine it might look that way to you, if you’ve never done such a thing yourself, and never actually seen this done.

This brings me to another one of my one-liners:

Is it possible to make liberal ideas look good, without misrepresenting something?

It’s Become Uncool to Love America

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

You see the little rift? “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.” That’s the game.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

[E]ven Ann Coulter wishes she had a show where she could just hook people up to lie detectors and ask them if they love America.

The results…would be that most of them couldn’t bring themselves to honestly declare their love for the best country currently present in the world.

smeltvertising, commenting in a thread under one of my Right Wing News posts

Socially stigmatize whatever is the opposite of what you want done;

Item #2 on the list of How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On

Switch moderation and extremism with each other, by using the words “always” and “never” to describe any alternatives to your idea

Item #3 on the same list

If a man loved his wife the way democrats love America, how would he treat her? …Asked what exactly it is about his wife that he loves, he’d say not a single word about what she is or what abilities he has learned she has, but instead, about what he hopes she one day becomes. He’d talk about what she wants to be…never having discussed these points of improvement with her, just pulling them out of his own rear end, insofar as how she is to get better.

If You Love Me Like democrats Love America…[then please, kindly, stay the hell away from me]

To quote Screwtape — you see the little rift? Truly loving America has been portrayed as a thought of extremism rather than one of moderation (refer again to Item #3 on the list of How To Make Large Number Of Some Reasonable People Do Dumb Things). Hyper-patriotism…”My Country Right or Wrong”…Heil Hitler and all that. Once we train our independent and competent thinking on which one it is — loving America probably isn’t really the extremist option, is it? Your mother taught you to show gratitude when there was something there to inspire it, didn’t she? When someone did something nice for you, at expense to themselves large & small…that they didn’t have to do? Well how ignorant would you have to be about America’s history, to think that somehow does not apply? How extremely ignorant?

Obama's FriendsBut we have a President with a big long list of America-bashing friends, a list as long as my left leg…who went and apologized for us…ostensibly, for the “blame” we have for this thing or that other thing. But really, if you study the situation to an extent beyond the merely casual, the apology was offered for our mere existence. He did it to make Europe like us moar better. He played Screwtape’s game: Believe America has a great share of blame — not because it is true, but for some other reason. That’s what is cool. Not loving America. Hating it, instead…without using the word hate. Make it look like the first of a twelve-step program, admitting you/we have a problem. But it’s not the first step, it’s more like a means to an end. Apologizing our way out of existence.

How do you make it cool to love America again? Step One: Figure out if you’re telling the truth or lying. When it comes time to polish up the “propaganda,” all those who do not truly believe in it, kindly leave the room. There is no need to gussy this up as a disguised falsehood — loving America is cool. It means people who’ve come before you, have sacrificed for you without even knowing who you are, and you appreciate it. Cool, like sincerely loving a woman.

Conservative Republicans, specifically conservative Republicans who advocate a stronger, more sincere love of country, are not deciding anything at all this year. Or very little. And yet. The complaints against them, somehow have reached a fevered pitch. Why? It really comes down to one reason: They have not yet been adequately muzzled. Don’t take my word for it. Take a sampling of the complaints against them. Said complaints are not hard to find. Read them. Study them. Distill them down to their core essentials. In 2009, it comes down to that, every single time: Not enough of an effective monopoly has been achieved.

When you’ve been handed a “mandate” of sorts to fix things…and you spend all the energy behind that mandate not to fix those things, but rather, to bitch away that your gelded opponents, who are unable to decide anything, but still in possession of a vestigial ability to speak up and say stuff — what is that, exactly? Extremism or moderation?

Is it really smart and cool to switch moderation and extremism in your own mind (Item #3), just because there’s a social stigma (Item #2) that compels you to do so?

Hat tip to Red Planet Cartoons for the image.

“Shut Up,” He Explained

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

The hat tip on this one goes to blogger friend Buck.


Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Larger version…

Based on an off-line comment (with attachment) from blogger friend Phil, who wanted to make sure I saw this one below, but doesn’t remember where he got it.

Noticing certain common phrases have the letter “O” in them is a little bit generic, kind of like copyrighting the note F-sharp. But the idea is a good ‘un, still, and I do want to give proper credit if it’s possible to do so…so leave a name or link in the comments if you know something.

Seventeen Socialists in the House

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

An entry in Glenn Thrush’s blog at Politico indicates there may be seventeen socialists in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee, told a hometown crowd in Alabama today that he believes there are several socialists in the House.

Actually, he says there are exactly 17 socialists in the House of Representatives. according to the Birmingham News:

But he said he is worried that he is being steered too far by the Congress: “Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists.”

Asked to clarify his comments after the breakfast speech at the Trussville Civic Center, Bachus said 17 members of the U.S. House are socialists.

Searching the POLITICO style book and the official U.S. House listings, we don’t see a category for socialists — just a lot of Ds and Rs next to lawmaker names. And Bachus didn’t name names of the socialist 17.

I decided to research this in my usual way: By looking it up on Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit, and believing every single word I read.

First up is Socialism:

Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.

An editor on the talk-page pointed out the obvious.

The first sentence of the article uses the word “fair” which is a positive value judgement: “…with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.” I believe this word should be removed or at least enclosed in quotes if neutrality is to be maintained.

Wikipedia’s overall rep might have been improved somewhat if this discussion had actually, y’know, gone somewhere.

Anyway. Next stop. House of Representatives.

The United States House of Representatives, commonly referred to as “the House”, is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Each state receives representation in the House in proportion to its population but is entitled to at least one Representative….The total number of voting representatives is currently fixed at 435.


You know how many socialists I think are in the House, if socialism seeks state control of the means of production and an equalized scale of compensation? I’d say…something approaching 435. Seventeen is not a mind-blower for me. Not unless we’re dealing with some alternative definition — perhaps someone willing to attach the s-word to his own name, and proudly say “I am a socialist” or “What in the hell have you got against socialism?” Even then, seventeen seems a little bit on the low side.

This is a front in the battle in which my optimism has been dealt a more intense and prolonged assault, and I must confess said assault has taken its toll. Socialism, from the evidence that has come my way about what people are thinking, is no longer widely recognized as the pure strain of evil that it really is. The “Big We” seems to be thinking about it, when it does have to do some thinking…well, what in the world could be wrong with that?

I’ve learned something important. It’s too late to make any practical use of it, but it’s good to know. See, all this time I thought when we went socialist, it would be the frog-in-the-boiling-water approach. Minimum wage increase…well what’s wrong with that? Federal Reserve…what’s wrong with that? Salary cap…what’s the problem, it’s way up there at a billion dollars a year.

This has been quite the opposite approach. For that majority, much of it starry-eyed, that voted for Barack Obama…the words cannot quite be put to voice “President Obama is making us into a socialist nation, and that is WRONG!” That would be too much of whiplash, and too quick of one, for the tender ego. It sounds a little bit too Republican (eww!) anyway. And so Mister Wonderful gets to do whatever He wants. Elected for five months and President for two-and-a-half. What is left to be done?

Seventeen socialists in the House. Hmmm…rather like pointing out the smoke detector batteries might need testing, in a burning building.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Is This Why Newspapers Are in Trouble?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

And Still I Persist points out that maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing the reason for the decline of newspapers, paraded right in front of our noses each and every single morning we bother to crack one open. On the online edition of The Denver Post, take note of the first headline which is in bigger and bolder type than all the rest:

It’s about a poopy, er, I mean, a puppy.

This caps off a week in which our new President seeks godlike power and our Secretary of State was caught on camera enjoying a good ol’ belly-laugh (or hens’-cackle,as the case may be) about hostage taking. We are once strong, now cowering, but our newspapers won’t even discuss it because that would put the Big Reveal on some kind of hard-right-wing bias. No…they’d rather talk about the baby-daddy of the grandson of Alaska’s eleventh Governor, and what he has to say.

Over a generation ago we used to wonder “Are our newspapers applying such scrutiny to (insert name here) because he happens to be a powerful nationwide-officeholder, or because he is a Republican?” What a wonderful learning experience. In 2009 there are no powerful nationwide-officeholders who are Republicans — and so all uncertainty regarding such questions, has been scientifically removed.

Prediction: It is not going to be all Palin, all the time. As soon as 1) another conservative rises up to frighten our liberals more than she does, or 2) it can be strategically calculated that silence would do more damage to her cause than talking about her, our newspapers will stop talking about Sarah Palin. But until then, the dead-tree industry is a Palin-tabloid industry, and the “news bureaus” in Anchorage remain open…and if we want to crack open a newspaper to read about the people who really do have all the power right now, well, you should expect to read about the fashion sense of our First Lady, vegetable gardens, good intentions and puppies. Newspapers are not, for the most part, businesses that are just out to make a buck. That’s a lie. Now that the rebels have grown up to become the power structure they once despised, our newspapers have fallen into an unfortunate habit of comforting the powerful and afflicting the afflicted.

Coolness, Suckage, Pain and Time

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Via blogger friend Rick, we have some video of Sen. Chuck Schumer sticking to the meme that is going to lose the next several elections for his oh-so-powerful democrat party…and the Senator is blissfully unaware of what’s coming out of his mouth.

Like a dumb schoolgirl in the tenth grade, he thinks the elections were all about who’s wonderful and who sucks. They were, of course…we spent a lot of time and energy talking, and listening, to all the points about how cool Barack Obama is and how much George W. Bush sucks. But there is this little thing called time. Leftist politicians and pundits consistently forget about it. All history didn’t begin when our country invaded Iraq — and you don’t get to win at something and say “and we lived happily ever after” like it’s a Grimm’s fairy tale. There will be other elections. The fact that the democrats won this one by being cool, should be of glaring concern, because nothing stays cool for four years.

I understand he’s mocking “traditional values…strong foreign policy”; it’s not his intent to say from here on out, we embrace weirdo pervert values and stupid foreign policy. But the thing of it is — those are his words, and it’s kind of a Freudian slip because that’s exactly what his party going to be forced to sell us in the years ahead. Yes, half a year ago they were able to keep the limelight off policy. That was relatively easy. The voters weren’t demanding a discussion of policies.

If the democrat’s policies don’t cause any pain, maybe that won’t change. If they do, then it certainly will.

What are the democrat policies? Weaken the military exactly when North Korea is sending missiles flying; make our financial position stronger by placing us neck-deep in debt; put the government in charge of everything, so that all human affairs are conducted with all the efficiency of the line in which you’re waiting at the DMV.

There will be pain. Voters will become interested in policies. Schumer’s pals will be stuck selling degenerate values and weak dumbass foreign policy.

It’s not “all over,” Chuckie.

Rob, quoting from JohnJ, marks off exactly where the gray-matter has been removed, or failed to grow in the first place, in left-wing thinking:

I think the reason why liberals seem to believe in form over substance is because they actually do not believe in substance. Liberals do not believe in objective truth, so for them everything is only a matter of perception.

Perfect. Absofreakinglutely perfect. Liberals just jumped up and landed all over the idea that “perception equals reality” back in the ’90s (remember that?) When you add this to Morgan’s insight that trusting your own perceptions enough to put your ass on the line changes everything forever, I think we’re getting to the unbridgeable divide between liberals and normal people.

Perception-equals-reality when you have the luxury of building a reality around an untested perception. When there’s nothing that really matters to you dangling by a visible dependency upon what’s true, you then get to run around…just casually perceiving things. Yay, we vanquished the Republicans, we’re cool, now we get to live happily ever after and Barack Obama is so awesome! Socialism works! The reason it hasn’t worked yet is because the right people weren’t in charge, but by golly we fixed that!

But via Lucianne, we see the bloom is coming off the rose — already. So far, it’s looking like Obama’s major achievement in the first hundred days, is to get people educated in ways He did not intend to.

When he ran for president, Barack Obama was one of the most inspirational candidates in a long time, able to draw huge numbers of new voters to the polls by engaging them with a message of change and hope.

Now that he has been in office for two months, reality is overtaking charisma. Obama’s positive aura is dissipating under the relentless pressure to get results and make compromises. He is colliding with the same dynamic that other recent presidents have faced–Washington’s divisive and cynical atmosphere, and problems, such as healthcare and overuse of fossil fuels, that are endlessly complex and seemingly intractable.

Obama is facing an additional problem that has been little noticed by the media and little discussed by his own strategists, at least in public. He is turning out to be what he said he wouldn’t be: a polarizing figure. Each of his immediate predecessors was popular with core members of his own party–Bill Clinton with Democrats, George W. Bush with Republicans–but alienated the other side. That’s what’s happening to Obama as his ratings remain strong with fellow Democrats but slide with Republicans. Independents remain up for grabs.

Obama is learning the limits of his inspirational brand of leadership. In Washington, a mass movement, even one propelled by a dramatic slogan such as Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In,” gets a president only so far. Obama’s movement is essentially a liberal one aimed at using government to improve American life and lift the economy out of its current crisis. But this has little or no impact on less-government legislators from safe conservative districts and states or interest groups that are immune or opposed to the liberal agenda, especially the aggressive use of the federal government to right society’s wrongs.

That little bit of edification we lifted from Neo-Neocon’s pages yesterday, about Obama being favored while His policies are reviewed with deep suspicion, even by His adoring fans — proves prescient:

Obama continues to be more popular than his policies. The share of Americans who approve of his job performance is hovering at about 60 percent, a healthy number, but his calls for vast increases in government spending and his energy agenda, especially his plan to impose limits on carbon emissions, draw far less support. This could mean that he is in for more trouble in selling his ideas, no matter how much people like him personally.

And then we slide headlong into why those tables are going to turn, and turn hard.

Obama’s theory is that America isn’t divided fifty-fifty, as it was under George W. Bush. Instead, Obama believes there is a sensible center that will ally itself with the Democrats or the Republicans, depending on which side offers the most effective and pragmatic solutions to the country’s problems, according to Democratic strategists close to the White House.

Now, I don’t know if democrats and their strategists really believe this behind closed doors, and I don’t think it really very much matters. Because the sale is going to be conducted according to this flawed premise, that when we marched off to the polls in November of last year, we were voting on “effective and pragmatic solutions to the country’s problems.” Hah! Yeah, some of us were voting that way…our side got creamed. The People spoke up, loud and long, and their message was that they found effective and pragmatic solutions boring. Just pick the cool kid out of the class, make Him the ASB President, and send Him into a room somewhere to go talk this stuff out.

And from what The People know about those solutions, they aren’t too crazy about ’em. Fix our economic problems by spending all our money on bullshit? Come again?

I perceive what’s written above, to many of us is simply stating the obvious; but I further perceive there is this prevailing sentiment that whatever disenchantment there is going to be over Obama and the democrats who are aligned with Him, has already hit us. The worst is behind them.

That makes perfect sense — or it would, if the worst of the pain was behind us.

It’s early April. If the worst of the pain was already behind us, they wouldn’t be bad policies. As it is, all of the money hasn’t even been spent yet. The programs haven’t had a chance to underperform and disappoint. People haven’t had to wait in line for their government-backed car warranty transactions. We’ve only had one tinpot dictator kick sand in our faces; two, I guess, if you count the pirates. If I recall correctly, it wasn’t widely understood how urgently destructive Jimmy Carter’s policies were, until the hostages were taken in Iran; that just sunk the message in. November 4, 1979, late in Carter’s third year. From that point forward, Carter gratified nobody. Nobody, anywhere, was saying “I’m so sorry I voted against Jimmy Carter.” Nobody was saying “I can’t wait to re-elect Jimmy Carter.” In fact, for decades afterward the best thing Carter’s adoring fans could possibly say about him was “well, ya gotta admit he’s probably the best ex-President we’ve ever had!”

Now, I hope we’re not looking at anything like what happened in Tehran, in 2011 or any other time. But it does inspire a question that I think really does need to be asked, both by party strategists and by the rest of us. In the wake of an event like that…how much does it really matter that thirty-six months previous, the guy got voted in, even by a landslide…because he was just so mega-awesome?

How many things do you have in your dresser drawer, or in your garage, that are three years old and were super-duper-cool when you bought ’em — and you still look at them that way? Especially when you’ve endured some disaster that can be connected to your having bought it?

I see a connection between the liberal mindset’s fascination with what’s-cool-versus-what’s-uncool, and this lack of awareness about time. It’s like their brains work with snapshots. I guess it’s natural. You hand out these commands to your slobbering followers to remember the invasion of Iraq, but forget all about what came before, and they obey. I suppose after awhile you’d forget that things happen as a consequence of other things. Especially if you’ve been raised from childhood to think that nothing you do really matters, every little bad thing that happens to you is just plain bad luck, you didn’t cause any of it, and the whole point to your existence is to play video games and be happy. And, of course, if some pressing decision comes up and it involves something that is a really tedious and monotonous confrontation to your gnat-sized-attention-span, just elect someone who isn’t boring to go into a room somewhere and handle it for you.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Jack’s Rules to Ensure You Don’t Get Called Back

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Frustrated girlfriend writes in for advice to Jack M. at Ace of Spades:

Dear Jack M.,

You seem like the only regular coblogger who has ever dated a member of the opposite sex. You also seem like the kind of guy who gets dumped a lot.

I want to end a relationship with a guy, but I want him to think it’s his idea because I’m a wimp. Can you give me advice on how to do this? I’m sure you know.

*Name Withheld*

Blogger gold ensues…ten nuggets, of content equivalent to this…

No man sporting a pair of testicles (and I can probably widen the list to include uniballs like Lance Armstrong) gives a rats f’n ass about “Sex and the City.”

If you admit to watching it, you are announcing to the world that you identify with:

A) A 90 year old whorebag;
B) A red-headed lesbian;
C) A phony, holier-than-thou goody-goody or
D) Matthew Broderick’s sloppy seconds.

None, and I repeat, of these characters are attractive in the long term. Unless you, as the red headed lesbian, also have a hot and eager female friend.

Which seems unlikely. After all, if you did, why would you be wasting time watching “Sex and the City”?

Trust me on this: Just drop the phrase “I’m such a Miranda” into small talk and I guarantee you your phone won’t ring again. Unless the guy you are dating is gay and wants fashion tips.

I try to keep my comments to myself on the single life. Because I really haven’t spent that much time in it…at all…what was it, about eight months of dating some five years ago? And then before that, something like three weeks on the market a decade previous.

But there is something going on out there. A young, intelligent, hot & attractive single and available woman, is single and available for a reason.

From the more recent experience, I perceive it is the shopping that does ’em in. Not the spending of money — the impression that shopping leaves, upon the waifish, inexperienced mind, still learning how to perceive the world in which it lives. They were there to pick something out. And they didn’t have to do that good a job of it…they were well accustomed to dealing with an overly generous return policy…they were just gliding along, showing about as much cognitive thought as your average Obama voter, waiting to be dazzled by something. That the something could be picking them out, was a completely foreign concept to most of ’em.

And some of the things I heard coming out of their mouths; just tragic. Showing themselves just completely unready to reconcile on anything, challenges large or small, with a masculine consciousness. “I’m such a Miranda” — I don’t even know what that means but that captures it.

Don’t even get me started on how they wrote their personal ads. Over 50 percent of female-personal-ads, I would conservatively estimate, contain this phrase: “I’ve kissed a lot of frogs.” How much thought do you need to put into your draft, to figure out this might not be what a guy has in mind when he’s reading that section?

How did I get myself out of that pathetic existence? I used reason and logic. The “average” woman, after all, to the extent she exists in any form — she’s no dunce in the department of treating love and romance as a financial transaction. Girls are way ahead of guys here. And yet, when you advertise a product (herself) to its potential consumers, in terms of how happy they will make you (saleslady) by doing the consuming after all the frustration you’ve been through with getting it sold previously…that demonstrates just a mind-blowing lack of comprehension in exactly that area. You don’t place an ad for a car, using up your precious $2 words droning on about all the customers who bought the car before, and then for some reason demanded their money back?

And yet the “average” lady advertising her availability, thought there was great urgency in getting this mentioned. Her pitch was “Hey fellas, here’s a chance to make me happy,” and then we were all supposed to come running. They were accustomed to family members, and fictitious movie characters, behaving strangely, living out their lives for no higher purpose than to please Princess. Like I said: Available for a reason. And so I figured out, there’s some tiny slice of women who are in this market, who don’t really belong here…they understand things the rest of ’em don’t.

And so I defined the target, developed some ways to recognize it when it popped up, and zoomed in on it. Worked out pretty well.

“I’m such a Miranda.” That cracks me up. I wonder if there’s anyone anywhere with a penis & testicles who has even the slightest idea what that means.

Leave it in the comments below, if you’ve a mind to educate me. I really don’t care. Google requires such precious little effort, but somehow I can’t quite work up the give-a-damn.

Apologizing For Its Own Sake

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

The radio guys are talking about Obama’s apology for the United States last week. You know the one; the one that got Charles Krauthammer all ticked off, that he called “disgraceful.”

A nation always loses face when its leader apologizes for what that nation has done — especially when other nations bear some of the blame as well, and their own portion goes unmentioned. The implication is that the apology has been provided for being. But to me, that wasn’t what was particularly annoying about Obama’s apology. What annoyed me about Obama’s apology the most, was that the apology appeared, to me, to be the point of the exercise. I’m unconvinced, in other words, that we had anything to gain diplomatically from this apology. I don’t think any other nation had anything to gain from seeing us diminished in this way, either. I think the point of it was to drop a virtual business card…to accumulate some more identity for Obama…as if He needed any more. To make Him into “The Apologetic President.”

This is what really gets under my skin about it. That it was off-topic.

The other night my girlfriend and I were discussing whether or not it was time to go shopping for some meat. I couldn’t shake the feeling that if Barack Obama knew about our conversation, He’d find it an irresistable temptation to astrally project Himself into our kitchen so He could say “I’d just like to interject one thing — America bears more than its share of the blame, for your meat being gone.” And then vanish again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: As far as leaders go, the ones who are elected specifically to inspire us to look forward & not backward, with renewed feelings of hope & not despair — Obama is remarkably obsessed with finger-pointing.

I wonder if that’s going to be His downfall? Maybe someday He’ll have an open meeting with someone, and the next day people will say “Did you see what I saw? That other guy had all the ideas about how to fix the problem, and President Whats-His-Name didn’t say a single thing about anything other than how the problem came to be. Some leader.”

Sally Field Doctrine

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Neo-Neocon notices some things about some of her friends who are Obama supporters, and they’re very much the same thing I’ve been noticing about my own Obama supporter friends (presuming they’re still talking to me) —

The basic idea is this: they feel a sense of blessed relief that Obama is President.

This not only contrasts sharply with my own feelings on the subject, but it is puzzling because in some cases they simultaneously confess to being disturbed by some of his actual policies, particularly on the economy. In general, they admit they’re not paying attention to the details (understandable; most people are very busy). But although some of the details of which they are aware make them quite uneasy, they paradoxically retain a tremendous faith and trust in the man. Lest you think my friends unusual, this coincides with the results of many recent polls that place Obama’s favorability very high at the same time respondents disagree with many specifics of his proposals.

What’s going on here? When I question my friends more closely, or just listen to them speak amongst themselves, two things seem especially important in shaping their positive feelings about Obama: they are drawn to his personal style (especially in contrast to predecessor Bush, whom they uniformly detest), and they are happy that the world now likes us better.

I’ve long harbored a deep suspicion, since at least 2004 when John Kerry was droning on about it at length, inspired by the realization that these nations that are supposed to like-us-better are seldom to ever listed. If an idea is worth having, it’s worth crediting to the mind that carries it around; how come there are so few names associated with this one? There seems to be a tacit, unspoken agreement that these are historical allies from sometime after the Cold War era…so the list would include Germany, Russia and Japan, along with France, Spain and England. And perhaps some other places not so Euro-centric.

My issue with the identity is that without it, we can’t discuss the motivation behind this liking-or-not-liking. And the motivation is plenty worthy of deliberation. I see it in our gun laws: Other nations are not quite so enamored of the concept of personal defense as is the United States. I see it in this “goodwill” we were supposed to have “squandered after 9/11” — it got “squandered” after the United States did something active about the assault we suffered, besides sit around & cry about it…right?

I wonder how popular this idea would be, if those who promote it were forced to admit: Our love is reserved for the weak and injured…for those who are put into a crippled state of some kind, and never do anything about it.

But they cravenly sidestep the issue. Because, like I said: If we don’t discuss who’s carrying around this love-and-hate, we can’t discuss what exactly is the motivation.

Neo-Neocon continues:

It’s interesting to observe, as I did when I looked up that Sally Field quote, that what she really said was [emphasis mine], “You like me; right now, you like me!” The temporal and transitory nature of popularity that even Ms. Field managed to place in her sentence in the midst of her euphoria at winning an Oscar is a realistic and sobering note. This is at least as true in the world of geopolitics as in Oscar competitions.

How much does such a thing as popularity actually matter in the course of world affairs? And what does it really mean to be liked in such a way? What does it mean to be liked in countries that have their own interests in mind, when those interests conflict with ours? Could “optimism about the US” sometimes mean “optimism that we will now be able to control/exploit people instead of them?” And does the opinion of the average person have anything whatsoever to do with what the leaders of his/her country are likely to do, or with the power struggles of those leaders and countries on the world stage?

There follows a fascinating exchange, for her readers and commenters are interested, and plunge headlong into a multi-logue about why exactly we’re so impassioned about getting these nameless faceless busybodies to like us, and whether or not that’s a good idea. Machiavelli is quoted. It’s a healthy discussion, one we’ve not too often had up until now…about whether this word “like” has to do with the kind of liking that a hungry wolf has for a tasty, tasty sheep.

We’re thinking. Right now, we’re really, really thinking.

On Reviving the Economy

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I’m hearing an awful lot lately about how weak the economy is, and how we all need to get together to make it better. Let us look up what exactly an “economy” is. carries eight definitions, and I think the fourth one is apropos:

the prosperity or earnings of a place: Further inflation would endanger the national economy seriously.

The fourth definition is also the most relevant one at Merriam-Webster:

the structure or conditions of economic life in a country, area, or period; also : an economic system

Wikipedia seems to agree, at the higher levels, with

The economy is the realized social system of production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of a country or other area.

I think by now we have a thumbnail sketch: Within a region, usually a physically or politically contiguous one, that may be a country — the economy is the purchasing power of the free people who dwell within it. And it’s some kind of an average; a good economy means people who are ordinarily rich can buy even more stuff, and people who are ordinarily poor can buy more than they usually can. If the economy sucks, the poor people suffer more than usual, and the rich people can’t buy as much of what they normally could.

It’s important to achieve a full comprehension of this “all boats” concept; we all have an interest in reviving the weak economy. And that symbiotic relationship works across neighborhoods, towns, townships, counties, states and regions…for the meaningful border is formed by the use of the United States Dollar. Naturally, this means it works across the economic strata. The word “economy,” in other words, implicitly acknowledges the truism of trickle-down economics. If rich people have more money then the poor people are going to be better off.

And herein lies my rant. I’m seeing an awful lot of highly-placed, powerful, prominent public officials, some of whom have been ensconced in their positions of political might for decades or more, talking up a good game about “reviving the economy” and then spurred into action by the perception that someone within the private sector has too much money, and they need to fix this by taxing away large pieces of it, sometimes 90 percent or more.

The issue we have with rich people being part of the economy, seems to be the same one we have with humans being part of the environment: We’ve got a lot of people walking around entrusted with power and authority, who talk at length about wanting to help the bigger thing, without acknowledging the smaller thing is a part of it…pretending, instead, that the smaller thing is an agent of destruction upon the larger thing. Aren’t humans, their carbon-emissions & all, part of the environment? Aren’t rich people, their bonuses and all, part of the economy?

My point is that when you’re talking about anything that involves problems, solutions, and plans to reach those solutions, words are important. It seems to me we all bear some blame in leaving this one undefined for a little bit too long. Revive the economy? If that means something to you besides embiggening the purchasing power of rich & poor alike — then what exactly do you think you’re reviving? If it’s something else…redistribution, perhaps?…then shouldn’t you be made to specify that, before we hear any more about what exactly it is you’re proposing?

Our current President who is also the Savior to untold millions who voted for Him — while running for that high office last year, eschewed the notion of individuals enriching themselves to such extent as to have control over their local climates.

We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.

So He is high on my list of people who like to talk a lot about “reviving the economy” — but seem to have something other than “the economy” in mind about what exactly it is they’re trying to revive. Either that, or He admitted to an intention of assault upon the “economy,” until such time as it is battered into a sufficiently weak state that “other countries are going to say OK.” I’m not entirely sure which one was His intention…and I don’t suppose it very much matters, does it?

And so I have a very simple solution for our weak economy; it’s simple, but I’m afraid it won’t be carried out because we just got done electing a lot of people who are directly opposed to it. My idea would be to start with the objective of making people richer. Which means whenever we see someone walking around with a million dollar bonus, or with a paycheck that simply leaves enough room for them to turn the thermostat to 72 degrees, our reaction is — “Alright, way to go! What do I have to do to earn the same thing?”

That’s the American way.

On Teleprompter…Off Teleprompter

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Comment in thread under Boortz — from commenter Club-a-Liberal:

I can’t stomach hearing this guy [President Obama] talk anymore. I don’t even have to look at the TV anymore to know whether he is reading a teleprompter, index cards, or lying bare on stage without the props.

When on teleprompter, he has the strong, confident tone, with his head up high, looking down his nose on everyone. Off teleprompter, his head is down, eyes are closed, and it takes him 20 seconds to spit out a few words in between the umms and ahhs.

I call him the Milli Vanilli of Presidents. [emphasis mine]

I’ve seen & heard some Obamafans protest that Obama can deliver a speech better without a teleprompter, than George W. Bush can, with one.

I suppose that’s true.

George W. Bush, however, was never (and never would be) offered as a proficient candidate for the office of President, solely because of his ability to give a speech.

Oh and one more little thing — trying to dismiss the shortcomings of your idol based on an off-topic comparison to His predecessor…is practically the very definition of lame-o.

Shivering in That Dark Cave

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

First of all, I think you should read this. It’s a list of the comments Neal Boortz had to make about a new book by David Frum, about how Republicans need to stop being Republicans and conservatives need to stop being conservatives. It’s got a bunch of comments under it. Twenty-something last I looked…but now, up to 76. I can tell you back when it was just twenty-something comments, that pretty much each one was meritorious and more than worth the time taken to read it. I don’t know if that’s still true.

Elisabeth’s viewpoint comes closest to my own…

I think the author [Frum] is an idiot. Just look over the past few decades, the further Republicans get away from conservative ideas the greater the flop. The more they stick to conservative ideas the better they do. George Bush ran in 2000 on much more traditional conservative values, such as a humble foreign policy. McCain went much further away from true conservative ideology, and look where that got the party.

Sure there are a lot of liberals out there, but the real problem is that the Republican party is alienating a lot of potential supporters by getting away from the conservative values! Those who voted for McCain are die hard and will vote Republican no matter what. There are others who vote on ideology and they are jumping ship and moving to third parties!

Here’s your winning formula for 2012: Policies, policies, policies. The Republican candidate should hit the campaign trail for about twenty months, consistently sounding-off on a common theme: YES Barack Obama is one cool cat, because He has to be. It’s His policies…they don’t work. You have to have really cool people with lots of charisma, to sell policies that don’t work. This is why smart, experienced people tend to get skeptical when they’re sold things by charismatic people — and fools tend to keep on listening to the charismatic people. Which one are you?

You didn’t vote on policies in 2008. Now it’s four years later and you have a chance to redeem yourselves.

Next up…blogger friend Rick ran up an excerpt from Verum Serum that really made me think a lot, and I hope it makes you think too. I really can’t see a way to hollow it out or pare it down. So here is the whole thing.

THE CAVE PEOPLE (Adapted from a story by Max Lucado)

LONG AGO, or maybe not so long ago, there was a tribe who lived in a dark, cold cavern. The cave dwellers would huddle together and cry against the chill. Loud and long they wailed. It was all they did because it was all they knew to do. The sounds in the cave were mournful but the people didn’t know it, for they had never known the joy of life.

But then, one day, they heard a different voice rise above their pitiful wailing. “I have heard your cries,” it announced, the words echoing through the cave. “I have felt your chill and seen your darkness. I have come to help.”

The cave people grew quiet. They had never heard this voice. The message of hope sounded strange to their ears.

“How can we know you have come to help?” asked one of the tribe.

Out from the shadows stepped a figure they had never seen before. “Trust me,” he answered. “I have what you need.”

The cave people peered through the darkness at the stranger. He was stacking something, then stooping and stacking more.

“What are you doing?” one cried, nervous. The stranger didn’t answer.

“What are you making?” one shouted even louder. Still no response.

“Tell us!” demanded a third.

The visitor stood and spoke in the direction of the voices. “I have what you need.” With that he turned to the pile at his feet and lit it. Wood ignited, flames erupted, and light filled the cavern.

The cave people turned away in fear. “Put it out!” they cried. “It hurts to see it.”

“Light always hurts before it helps,” he answered. “Step closer. The pain will soon pass.”

“Not I,” declared a voice.

“Nor I,” agreed a second.

“Only a fool would risk exposing his eyes to such light,” declared a third.

The stranger stood next to the fire. “Would you prefer the darkness? Would you prefer the cold? Don’t rely on your fears. Look to the light and take a step of faith.”

For a long time no one spoke. The people hovered in groups covering their eyes. The stranger stood next to the fire. “It’s warm here. Come, join me.” he invited.

“He’s right,” one from behind him announced. “It is warmer.”

The stranger turned and saw a figure slowly stepping toward the fire. “I can open my eyes now,” she proclaimed. “I can see.”

“Come closer,” invited the fire builder.

She did. She stepped into the ring of light. “It’s so warm!” She extended her hands and sighed as her chill began to pass.

“Come, everyone! Feel the warmth,” she invited.

“Silence, woman!” cried one of the cave dwellers. “Dare you lead us into your folly? Leave us and take your light with you.”

She turned to the stranger. “Why won’t they come?”

‘They choose the chill, for though it’s cold, it’s what they know. They’d rather be cold than have to change.” The stranger looked sad.

“And they would rather live in the dark?” she asked in disbelief.

“Yes, they would rather live in the dark,” said the stranger.

The now-warm woman stood silent, looking first into the darkness and then at the man in the light.

“Will you leave the fire?” he asked.

She paused, and then answered, “I cannot. I cannot bear the cold.” Then she spoke again. “But nor can I bear the thought of my people in darkness.”

“You don’t have to,” he responded, reaching into the fire and removing a stick. “Carry this to your people. Tell them the light is here, and the light is warm. Tell them the light is for all who desire it.”

And so she took the small flame and stepped into the shadows.

As I read through this I had two thoughts…simultaneous, but directly contradictory with each other.

First, the stranger is Barack Obama. That is Obama’s message, you know. You poor shivering dimbulbs don’t even know what enlightenment is, and here I am to show you.

The second, is that the stranger is my message about conservative as it should be offered in 2012. Which means the Obama-fans are the fearful, clammy, starving simpletons.

Where the second analogy really comes to fit with reality, is with this ignorance the cave-people have with regard to what light is. That’s your overly-enthused Obama voter. Don’t forget — these are people who built their entire identities around politics in 2008, and yet in that year, thought Republicans were running the Congress. These are people who think the planet is gonna die, but if you unplug your coffee pot from the wall, by golly, it just might have a fighting chance. These are people who knew all about Sarah Palin’s son really being her grandson (which wasn’t true), and that she said she could see Russia from her house (which she never said), but never knew a single thing about Joe Biden’s frequent, almost daily, gaffes.

These are people who think our economy is going to get stronger when the rich are taxed so heavily that nobody makes any money doing anything.

These are people who, when you corner them with the poor logic of their so-called “arguments” — what is it they say? “Together we can do this.” It doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we do it together. So they huddle together for warmth, in the cold and in the darkness.

It fascinates me endlessly — Barack Obama is at one end of this equation in symbolism, from where He is in the equation in substance.

Neal, the answer to your question is self-evident. For conservatism to win in 2010 and 2012, all it has to do is be prepared to lose. Because deep down, we all understand that truth has no desire, no inclination, no urgency to be perceived right here and now. This is why when a car salesman tells you a deal is going to work in your favor today and today only, you should pick up all your stuff and run in the opposite direction as fast as your little legs can possibly carry you.

Conservatism should be the piper that you can pay now…or later. It is sound policy, whether it is popular this year or not. It is the truth you can accept when you’re in your twenties, or your thirties, or your forties. It is the notion that this thing works, and that thing does not.

That will win. Someday. And it won’t be long in coming.

Pretending to be an imitation-liberal, like David Frum wants…that could easily go a generation or two, maybe three, without a sensible voice in power for a single day. Like those disastrous years from Jimmy Carter’s administration, repeated for thirty or forty years.

The choice belongs to everyone. We’re all acting like our minds are made up. But in reality, everyone is listening to everybody else…because at this point, very few people really understand what a working strategy looks like. For parties, or for the country.

“I Have Become a Symbol”

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Waiting for the separation-of-church-n-state crowd to pipe up on this one…but not holding my breath.

The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls — just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door — just as they do for the actual president.

Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, “This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,” adding: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

The tip of the hat goes to What’s Wrong With The World, via Becky the Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever.

I’m going to win that $100 and a steak dinner in 2012 when Obama becomes a one-termer. I’m sure of it now. These nasty rumors flying around…that someone in Obama’s camp figured out “Hey, we’d better damn well knock off this Messiah bullshit right now.” Those rumors may very well be true. Someone may very well have pulled their heads outta their asses and put a voice beside what is obvious. It could’ve happened…

…but if so, it’s not having any effect whatsoever. It’s The Symbol. He just can’t stop Himself.

We’re going to have four years of this, and not get a little bit tired of it?

I’m going to look up some steak restaurants right now.

The Ten Worst National Anthem Renditions

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Here. And I’ll spoil the highlights…because I really hate these one-entry-per-page weblists, almost as much as I hate the “butcher a classic, hit every single note you can” performances of the National Anthem.

1. Roseanne Barr
2. R. Kelly
3. Carl Lewis
4. Michael Bolton
5. Hockey Girl
6. Chattanooga Police Officer
7. Hillary Clinton
8. Kat DeLuna
9. Anonymous, Enthusiastic Man
10. High School Homecoming