Archive for June, 2009

The Glasses

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

GlassesSo one of the bloggresses we follow, a particularly enchanting and intelligent one, got hold of a phony egghead study that says something completely ridiculous and decided to believe every word in it. Said phony egghead study concerns something men and women are simply not going to see the same way — ever — and it was obviously written up by a chick for other chicks. So don’t be too hard on Dr. Mel, she’s a chick too.

Besides of which it goes without saying her judgment is not perfect. Far from it. She put together a list of hot and sexy conservative blogger guys, and left us off of it. Just like that. So, you know, she’s got her on-days and her off-days. So do we all.

Here’s what the study says. Hope you’re sitting down for this one, guys. Here it is. Ready? — We, on our side of the gender aisle, have a much narrower and uniform definition of the ideal woman, than women have of the ideal man. They like variety more than we do.

Isn’t that a riot?

Quoting myself, at Dr. Melissa’s place, trying to inject some reason and common sense into it –

Try this: In an urban setting, pick out the women who are, or successfully project the appearance of being, the creme de la creme of genetic perfection. Top tenth of a percent. Women who can have whichever guy they want. Now let your eyes drift off two feet to the left or right…to the dude. Oh no, you don’t really need to, you already know what he looks like don’t you? Cookie cutter. Mass produced. No variety whatsoever.

He’s 6′2″ but he wears a sleeveless shirt built for someone who’s 8′2″. He’s got goofy shorts on that come down well past the knee. Gold chain or two about the neck, which is thicker than his head. Sort of a flesh Michelin-man. Or a chubby round little boy decked out in his dad’s summer clothes, and then you triple the size of the whole thing. Plus an obligatory tattoo. Right now the hair on the head is half an inch long, or gone entirely, so it doesn’t much matter what color it is. Skin is not white, not black, something in between. Mixed ethnicity, or Caucasian with a really good tan. Cash-register jaw. Think Jay Leno, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Howie Long.

These guys could’ve been built on a conveyor belt.

I went on to cite the example of girls-in-glasses; and now that I give it another think, I’m ready to pin my entire argument on that one thing. Guys, I can tell you, are split even-Steven on this, right down the middle. Of course I’m not split at all. Guys-in-general are split. Half the dudes recoil in horror at the genetic inferiority (or lifetime curiosity about the written word) that imprisons a fair maiden behind the corrective lenses…the other half of us are intrigued, and not mildly.

With GlassesAfter glasses, there is the height thing. Do you have to stop seeing her if she’s taller? And then the big-nose thing. A lot of guys don’t notice, a lot of other guys can’t stand a big nose on a girl. And then there are the breasts. The arm muscles. Her thighs aren’t curvy enough, or they’re too thin…huge issue for some guys, not worth mentioning to other guys.

We aren’t all scrambling for the same model of girl. Just take my word for it.

But I’ll let all that other stuff go. I’m willing to rest the entire thing, like I said, just on the reading glasses. Because it’s personal…they’re my Achilles’ Heel, my Kryptonite. Probably because of the very first girlfriend that started all that trouble. Thirty-five years now — I don’t quite have the balls to jot down on the front page of a blog sitting right there on the innerwebs, exactly what a nice-lookin’ gal in glasses does to the thoughts in my head. But she certainly does something, I’ll say that much. And all guys on the planet do not agree with me about it.

We got variety in what tickles our fancy, trust me on this. Dustin Wood and Claudia Brumbaugh might have missed it, but it’s there, I’m in a position to guarantee it.

I think this is one of those many, many examples where the way women see things, seems to be a whole lot more real than the way the fellas see things — because women do a lot more talking.

Destroying and Building

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Just keeping track. First half of ’09 is all over, so it’s important to pin down exactly where we are.

The Worst Place to Do Business

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Carol Platt Liebau, writing in RealClearPolitics (hat tip to Conservative Grapevine):

As the end of California’s fiscal year approaches, the Governor and state legislators confront a $24 billion deficit. While Republicans and Democrats wrangle over how to address the gaping shortfall, some members of the press have started to look for a scapegoat for the fiscal train wreck. Many have blamed the California taxpayer’s only protection: Prop. 13, the 1978 measure capping state property taxes at 1% of a home’s assessed value.

Perhaps the most egregious example of the finger-pointing is a recent piece from TIME’s Kevin O’Leary, moaning that “Before Prop 13, in the 1950s and ’60s, California was a liberal showcase.” He insists that “at the root of California’s misery lies Proposition 13,” and concludes that “in California, the conservative legacy lives on.”

How ridiculous. Of all the problems contributing to the fiscal mess, state under-taxation is the least of them. California’s sales and gas taxes are the highest in the country – and it has the highest vehicle license fees and the second-highest top-bracket income tax, too. Its corporate tax rates are the highest of all Western states, and for the fourth year in a row, a survey of 543 CEO’s found that California’s toxic combination of high taxes and intrusive regulations made it the worst place in the nation to do business.

Said TIME article is here.

The financial crisis in California grew worse this week as state controller John Chiang warned that if legislators and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fail to come up with a budget-balancing package, he would begin paying California’s bills with IOUs on July 2. The last time the state did this was during the Great Depression.

What has brought California to such a perilous state? How did its government become so wildly dysfunctional? One obvious cause is the deep recession, which has caused tax revenues to plunge for all states. But California’s woes have a set of deeper reasons: direct democracy run amok, timid governors, partisan gridlock and a flawed constitution have all contributed to budget chaos and people in pain. And at the root of California’s misery lies Proposition 13, the antitax measure that ignited the Reagan Revolution and the conservative era. In Washington, the Reagan-Bush era is over. But in California, the conservative legacy lives on.

As a red voter living in this blue state, I find those last two sentences to be…interesting. More than interesting. Coffee hurts when it comes out your nose, did you know that?

Still, the Time columnist might have a point. Why don’t you look into things and decide for yourself, whether California’s problems are on the taxing end or on the spending end. But I would suggest including in that research a reading through California’s list of state agencies…out loud…maybe after you’ve put on Henry Mancini’s March of the Cue Balls. Start at A and work forward.

After you’ve finished, does this look like a state that just might be suffering from some bloat — maybe? Or does it look to you like “the conservative legacy lives on”?

Dead Celebrity Thread?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Neal Boortz has good ideas. Now and then, anyway. And I’m given cause to think this might be one of his better ones: An open thread for comments about dead celebrities. As a lightning rod to discourage thread-jacking elsewhere.

Hasn’t been a problem here at all. This is The Blog That Nobody Reads, after all. Of course, there was that one incident over on Right Wing News…not sure at all whether threadkiller arthur_branch is a well-intentioned bumpkin or a threadjacking prick. One thing I do know for sure, is this:

I do NOT, repeat NOT, associate the name of Billy Mays with dumb ideas. Nope. Sorry. You’re not going to “sell” me on that idea. We’ve got cupboards and pantries stuffed full of OxyClean, a salad dressing bottle of it under the kitchen sink for those morning five-minute coffee-pot cleaning sessions. And a gravy jar full of the stuff at work, for the same purpose. OxyClean, there’s nothing like it. And I owe it all to Mr. Mays.

Billy Mays has had so much more of a genuinely positive impact on our lives, than some plastic-nosed, little-boy-raping pansy monkey-weirdo jackass.

Anyway, can The Blog That Nobody Reads have a useful open thread? Opine away. Charlie’s Angels, Kung Fu, your favorite infomercials, The Tonight Show…have at it. And don’t forget the lovely Natasha, who might very well have been the classiest of the bunch. She’s gone too, and went well before her time. One of those people about whom nobody can be found to say a single unkind word.

Thoughts?

Movie Montages That Make No Damn Sense

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Cracked, from, I dunno, awhile ago. Still good.

Every decade has its cinematic crutch; the overused device meant to distract us from the fact that the movie has stopped making any sort of sense. For the past 20 years, it has been CGI and in the 80s it was the montage. It’s helpful to think of the evolution of montage-use as the cinematic equivalent of cocaine. While it hasn’t completely gone away, in the 80s it was everywhere, and filmmakers apparently believed it gave them license to completely abandon all reason and logic. Here are the most simultaneously awesome and baffling …

Rocky I started it, I think. That one made sense, and as such it didn’t make the cut. But having all six Rocky movies, I can state for the record that they really are all the same movie, and some of those montages are just plain silly. The list maker chose to include III and IV. Eye of the Tiger and all that.

I don’t know why he stopped at six. I’m sure with some work you could get it up to 50, easily. But that’s for someone who has the time, and that isn’t me. Got my own “montage” I gotta go run.

Karen Bass

Monday, June 29th, 2009

We’re funny. Eight years ago Republicans had a bare majority in the House of Representatives, a threadbare majority in the Senate, and they barely won the White House. You could argue they possessed a five-out-of-nine majority in the Supreme Court.

What did we hear from the mountains, to the valley, all across the fruited plane?

ONE PARTY RULE!!! ZOMG WTF!!! BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD!!!

And now the democrats run everything, everywhere. Federal, state, municipal. Where are all the screeds against one-party rule?

Wouldn’t they be more appropriate right about now? Wouldn’t they be more in service of the public interest? Can someone show me where — anywhere — the democrat party has a lock on power, and the result isn’t chaos, disaster, bedlam…hopelessness?

I’m typing this from California. So if you have something to offer, you’ll understand why I have to come asking for it. Things aren’t so good here. We’ve yet to see that democrat-run hopey changey wonderfulness sink in…after…what are they up to, eleven years now? Or twenty? Depending on how important the Governor’s office is, and how effective you think the Republicans have been in there.

I’m just seeing on the teevee my lady likes to leave on when she gets ready for work, that Karen Bass, the CEO of the lower chamber of our wonderful state legislature, is pulling shenanigans. Our state-level counterpart to Nancy Pelosi is trying to do an end-run around Prop 13, which requires a 2/3 majority in our legislature for any tax increase. It’s a two-prong approach: Use the “In Times Like These” argument, that says because the situation is oh so dire we can’t follow rules anymore; and, call the taxes “fees.” She’s been trying this for awhile now, and with June coming to a close, it’s time for a showdown.

The beginning of July is the constitutionally-required deadline for passing the state budget. It is almost never met. It’s an annual summertime circus. If you think things are under control, here, you don’t want to be watching this.

Looks like Arnie will veto it. But there’s a problem with the Governator: He’s kind of a Republican Obama. He’s “really trying hard” and he “inherited this mess.” You can’t really depend on him to stop talking to you, go off into a room with someone else, and do what he told you he was going to do. Not when it comes to stopping the democrats from doing something. A terrible emergency will be declared, and then…off he goes to achieve some compromise.

He compromises a little too quickly. I guess that looks good to you if you’re worried about the budget being late by a week…or a month…or two months.

BOHICAIt’s a little irritating if you possess the brainpower to understand the BOHICA Cycle, and can comprehend what’s taking place here. The folks who have a monopoly on power here, are dedicated to making goods and services needlessly expensive for those who depend on themselves to earn the goods and services, and don’t depend on government. They’re using “market forces” to force all commerce to go through the government…and it’s working out just great.

So the independent-minded folks leave.

We have a shrinking tax base to pay for a growing sumptuous buffet of “social” services…and more and more and more union jobs, with more and more and more union-contracted locked-in benefits. We’re the General Motors of states.

You realize, by saying what I just said in the paragraphs above, I have just committed a terrorist act? Oh dear, I’m afraid this time it’s really true…I’ve really stepped in it now. At least, in the mind of Speaker Bass. She had this to say about opportunities to present the conservative Let’s Not Tax The Bejeezus Out Of People viewpoint on the talk radio medium. Notice the adorable euphemism she uses as a substitute for “tax increase.”

How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Hat tip to Boortz for that.

I suppose you could look at this like — it’s so nice for Assembly Speaker Bass to continue to allow us to listen to talk radio, when it gives her such a case of indigestion. But I think it should be clear to anyone that she has yet to make her peace with it. And I think when you have an elected official referring to something as “terrorism,” especially in the context of wondering why we allow it to exist, it’s a safe bet it’s in her things-to-do list to get rid of it somehow. Maybe circumventing Prop 13 has a higher priority at the moment. But something tells me she’ll get around to the other stuff.

One party rule, folks. It was supposed to freak us out, once upon a time. Where’s the outrage? We have one state deep into the BOHICA spiral showing no signs whatsoever of pulling out of it…probably well past the event horizon. A whole bunch of other democrat-run states close behind in the process.

The same folks who want to ratchet up taxes, are the ones who want to make things needlessly expensive before you pay those taxes on what you bought…from labor, to energy used to manufacture, package, transport and sell goods. That is their one aspect of consistency, on all the issues, from minimum wage, to global warming, to grab-bag giveaways to tort lawyers and union goons, to taxes: Things should cost more. Except for the things they want to make “free,” by forcing taxpayers to pay for them, and those “free” things end up costing more too.

Dozens of states and hundreds of municipalities have been trying this…some of them for generations. The outcome is pretty consistent. Crime, costs, budgets, unemployment — all out of control. And those wonderful freedoms that are supposed to be recognized in the Bill of Rights…they end up being attacked fairly regularly by the freedom-loving democrats. It turns out when you and your friends are in power, and start worrying about staying in power tomorrow, you tend to lose that “love” of freedom kinda toot-sweet. Maybe that’s why the Bill of Rights was jotted down in the first place.

But back to this hideous experiment we’ve been repeating on so many levels so many thousands of times. Where is the Utopia that has resulted from it? If no one can point one out to me, then how many more times do we have to keep trying it?

Selling Dumb Ideas

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Inspired by the post immediately previous, and the realization that our President has revived a campaign slogan for unthinking dolts to sell a dumb idea that He knows He cannot sell by appealing to reason and common sense — I decided to retitle the page called How To Make Large Numbers Of Some Reasonable People Do Dumb Things, Without Taking Any Responsibility For Telling Them To Do Any Of It.

The title, in spite of its length, wasn’t quite an accurate description of the contents inside. So I came up with something longer for a title, and completely re-wrote the contents. This page ranks pretty high on my list of pages that just might, possibly, with time, perhaps, morph into a real live book…maybe…but I’m not completely serious about that so I’m not afraid to expose the material to a public viewing. It’s not like it hasn’t been exposed already anyway. I’m not coming up with something new, I’m just describing something we see every month, every week, every day…

How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On.

StupidityWhether we like it or not, it would appear this “skill” is to become the lifeblood of our future generations. I see a tomorrow in which, if you can pull this off, you get to live under a roof, reproduce, and eat; if you can’t then you don’t, don’t and don’t. I see a future in which we systematically ostracize, throughout a process that involves many stages, anyone lacking the ability to do this.

So anyone who can’t do it, better learn how.

This is not to say I think all hope is lost — although anyone following the link could be forgiven for concluding I do possess such a pessimistic outlook. I really don’t. People, in my mind, are capable of some wonderful things when they put their minds to it…but their default state is not to put their minds to it. You could say I have a very “Christian” view of mankind’s default state. Our default mindset is nonsensical, dysfunctional, blighted. Once we get into groups to share our ignorance, the stupidity exponentially grows…like, for instance, twenty people are four times as likely to fall for obvious nonsense as ten people would be.

Once reminded of our failings, to the point where we snap out of this stupor-of-stupid, that’s when we can do things that are good.

Lately, it isn’t happening. But with time and a healthy sense of fatigue, it will. Keep your chin up.

In the meantime, gaze upon the stupidity rolling forth with as healthy an outlook as you can. Keep the eyeball-roll…we are all mortal, we are all flawed, we are all descended from she who took the apple from the snake, and he who chomped away at it. Find humor where you can. Record what you see for posterity.

If you are like me, you were taught in public school that Franklin Roosevelt heroically ended the Great Depression with his bold policy reforms. Now we’re living through exactly the same events all over again. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been flabbergasted at how less flattering these things when you’re seeing them up close, as a contemporary, without the rose-tinting effect of “history” and her biased, dirty “progressive” lens. It’s really amazing to me the substandard quality of the fertilizer being sold, and ordered up in huge quantities, right now.

You know what sums it up better than anything? That protest sign I saw from a tea party protest…somewhere…damn my laziness, I didn’t record a link to it…

How Can Debt Be The Problem AND The Solution??

Says it all.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

“We Are Under the Thumb of Idiots”

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

James Lewis writing in the American Thinker: When Did The Lowbrows Take Over?

I’ve been trying to grasp for a truth that is so obvious that all of us know it. But it’s not a polite truth, so we don’t talk about it. Yet I think it’s important to say it out loud, because it is a truth that haunts our national discourse.

As a nation we are under the thumb of idiots. Not just indoctrinated, or wrong-thinking, or power-hungry, or manipulative, or even malevolent people. No, I mean real lowbrows, people who constantly fall for really stupid ideas.
:
StupidityThe Federal EPA is about to officially declare carbon dioxide to be a pollutant. That’s not just false and unscientific; it’s not just an excuse for taxing everything in sight, including breathing. It’s not merely wrong. It’s idiotic.
:
Or look at Obama’s unbelievable spending spree. No sane and sensible taxpayer could possibly believe that spending trillions and trillions of dollars on blue-sky fantasies makes any sense at all; the only reason Americans aren’t in open rebellion yet is that half of them can’t believe it’s happening, and the other half are idiots.
:
Obama’s 22 White House czars. That’s really stupid. As well as a violation of the Constitution. But it’s a Chinese laugh line. It’s so obviously wrong and power-mad that it’s not worth debating.

Legalizing drugs. That’s really stupid.

Obama’s power-grab over the medical sector of the economy? It’s profoundly stupid. We can insure all the uninsured people in the country for a tiny fraction of all that money.
:
The rise to power and fame of the real lowbrows explains a lot. It even points to an answer of sorts. Because we’ve all been intimidated by the Cult of Nice not to contradict anybody who comes out with a really stupid, destructive idea. We can no longer call a really stupid idea what it is. I know that I censor myself all the time. We have been taught to keep our mouths shut when a word in time might make a real difference. We have allowed the national conversation to be dumbed down. [Italicized emphasis Lewis'; bold emphasis mine]

As excellent as the writing is, and the thinking behind it, and the fact-gathering that supports the thinking, Lewis has missed something. There’s a certain McCarthy logic going on here. I’m not saying by “McCarthy logic” that we should be interrogating people in front of the Senate and demanding to know are they now, or have they ever been, a member of something. I’m referring to McCarthy’s scathing insult against General George C. Marshall — something about if the General was merely stupid, the laws of probability dictate that his ideas would work out half the time.

Pass on the question of whether that applied to Gen. Marshall or if it was legitimate to accuse him of treason. McCarthy logic applies here: If the problem was that we were nationally stupid, or under the nation-wide thumb of a ruling class of idiots, the laws of probability dictate that we would become enamored of sensible ideas half the time. The stopped clock must be right twice a day.

It isn’t happening.

What is happening is that we are profoundly bored — and therefore there is a certain allure to the words of anyone who proposes for our review, that maybe two plus two equals five. This is why I apply the McCarthy logic. If we were simply stupid, we’d land on four every now and then by random chance.

The problem taking place here, is that the name of the game isn’t to be right; nothing depends on that anymore. All our trappings in life, our fancy iced coffee drinks, our stale reality teevee shows, our football games, we get ‘em whether we’re right about everything or wrong about everything. In generations past, being wrong could getcha killed. But not here and not now, so we don’t care. No, the point to an idea, now, is to get attention from others. End result? An idea that gets you attention, and is wrong, is worth something — an idea that is right, but gets you no attention, is a waste of breath.

Presto. Two and two are five. And two-and-two cannot be four. THAT, there, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem. That’s why we are wrong so often; we are trying to be.

Hat tip to Rick.

Irked by Flo

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Neo-Neocon is annoyed by Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady on the teevee. Others find her strangely appealing but they can’t explain why.

I can explain why. Flo comes off as if she’s about to be “sassy,” in a negative, nasty-goth-girl sort of way. And then everything that comes out of her mouth is positive. It’s like if you introduced Rose McGowan to your mother, fearing the worst, and then ended the evening utterly befuddled as you realize the actress did a perfect job of minding her P’s and Q’s.

This sweet-and-sour combination achieves a formula that always works: Serve up a contradiction, in the space of a heartbeat. It sends an electrical bolt deep into our subconsciousness that there’s something complex here, something worth investigating.

Why am I irked by Flo? I’m not, not really anyway…she just reminds me of some older acquaintances that are not, and will never be, my type. As a formerly-available straight male I’ve put up some barriers so as not to waste my time or the time of others, and there’s no doubt Flo trips ‘em.

The commercial gets the job done. Without a doubt.

Talking BS’er Doll

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Now that is what I call souvenir value. It’ll be necessary to remember, so we don’t repeat the mistake…like we just did. Welcome back, Carter.

Hat tip: Van Helsing at Moonbattery.

“When Men Were Free”

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The Gipper spends ten minutes talking about socialized medicine.

How come when it comes time to make their failed economic model look like it might be a good way to go, the socialists always go after medicine? If you’ve been wondering that, wonder no more. And I hope the answer nauseates you as much as it nauseated me.

Sick bastards.

Hat tip: Harvey at IMAO.

VDH Reams Us Good

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

And the Golden State has done everything in the world to deserve it. Go, Victor.

I watched the UC and CSU systems create untold numbers of new administration jobs, staff them with incompetents that had no market value in private enterprise, and lavish $100,000 salaries with generous benefits as they contributed nothing to the teaching of students.

House of Eratosthenes BOHICA CycleI would see four or five in the parking lot get into their state cars (I remember the local scandal of the mammoth administrator SUVs replete with boat hitches and tow packages) and wonder-how can a state afford a million dollars for that bunch who bring us nothing in return? (California Rule One: Most California executives would gladly work for two-thirds of what they receive, given the absence of commensurate offers from the private sector).

Worse, when the inevitable budget cuts came, these same four would send us memos, advise us to warn the public, and terrify the electorate with stories of social collapse if taxes were not raised to “save the kids.” In response, they would lay off the Russian professor, cut the part-time history teachers (all gifted, teaching for us for ten cents on the dollar), and then decry a “greedy voter”. (California Rule Two: To save the superfluous, the essential will always be cut.)

If you’re not ready for Rule Four, it will hit you like a punch in the gut. And California Rule Four is the reason we are here. It is the reason why it is so well-assured that, if you don’t think things can get any worse, you are about to be proven wrong. Just watch my state. It’ll show ya.

Hat tip to Gerard.

Best Sentence LXVI

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The sixty-sixth award for the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) is hereby presented to John Hawkins, who is ruminating on the Mark Sanford scandal.

What is impressive is not a single sentence, but a passage that consists of three of the best.

Christians fall short of perfection on a regular basis. The Netroots alternative to that seems to be, “You should be completely and utterly without morals and then you’ll never be a hypocrite.” Of course, if you come back and say, “So, you’re admitting that you’re not as good a person as a Christian,” they’ll get offended.

This is an important point. It’s one of the most potent ways that people who don’t care about politics, become liberals, often without realizing what is taking place. Many a soul apathetic to both ideology and religion has muttered those fateful words, “I do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because I believe fairy tales about a Flying Spaghetti Monster looking over my shoulder.” Using this Spaghetti logic they come to believe what they have long wanted to believe: That a denominational identity injures your character.

But it’s really all about not trying. Just plain laziness. And whether they wish to believe it or not, living life just for yourself inclines one, once one has caught oneself performing below par, to make a habit out of it. Rather than striving to do better next time.

That is it in a single word, right there — strive. That is all imperfect beings can do. And that’s not to say Mark Sanford was striving, or that should his marriage somehow work out the kinks he will strive from that point forward. I don’t know the man. All any of the rest of us can do is mind our own garden, and strive.

A Nothing Masquerading as a Something

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Blog sister Daphne would like someone — anyone — to explain eco-feminism to her.

EcofeminismIt’s a pretty tall order. Eco-feminism is inherently incoherent because as a collection of alternative values and scruples, it is designed to oppose something else. And it isn’t willing to admit this. This is why it consists of so many things that are bound together even though they are unrelated. Rather like a homemade kitchen gadget built from oil filters, band-aids, coathangers, silver dollars and cotton swabs. The parts don’t fit together; ecology has very little to do with upholding equal rights and privileges for women.

To think on what brings these unrelated elements to a common juncture, you have to first acknowledge that someone values them for their oppositional power to something else. Which in turn means you have to acknowledge that it is an assault on something.

As I said,

Sometime soon after JFK’s assassination, it became very fashionable within the hard left to deploy a strategy of pretending to build things while laboring in actuality to destroy things…Turns out it feels real good to destroy things while pretending to build things, when there are a lot of people of like mind participating in the same effort with you.

Ecofeminism, therefore, is simply the latest chapter of this, a nonsensical and sloppy modern hodge-podge of values antithetical to something else, disliked, that existed before. It is a nothing masquerading as a something. It is defined, not through what it is, but what it seeks to eradicate — cultural items, spiritual items, work and play items. Specifically: Private industry, strong gender definitions & relationships, private enterprise & industry, whiskey, beer, meat, guns, Christianity, clinical medicine, the list goes on and on. If it was invented by someone masculine, and it helps people, eco-feminists don’t like it. They prefer the nothings pretending to be somethings that stand in opposition: The occult, holistic therapy, aromatherapy, smoking grass, men dressing and acting like women, women dressing and acting like men, socialism, veganism, tofu and henna.

That’s my explanation for how all these unrelated parts end up scooped into the same “lint trap” of sorts. Those hated men eat their meat and then invent disposable diapers and baby formula; the awful truth that must not be realized, is that the men who can’t get pregnant, nevertheless have a lot to do with building and sustaining life. And so the eco-feminists who feel they aren’t worth anything unless they can nullify the existence of any & all men, must champion veganism…cloth diapers…and breastfeeding. As they engage in that slick fantasy of pretending to build something when they’re really destroying something, they erase the common bond. People like Daphne are forced to stand around going “WTF?” because browbeating your relatives on Thanksgiving that they should buy a “Tofurkey” has very little, and arguably nothing, to do with whipping out a tit in the middle of a crowded restaurant for your brat’s feeding-time, and taking the restaurant manager to court when he asks you to stop.

To understand what ties it all together, you have to understand that the effort engaged here is to bring an assault down on something else. That’s the only way it makes sense. Yogurt and astrology don’t have a lot to do with each other.

I should add that earlier this week, as I presume she was struggling to figure this out, Daphne e-mailed me a link to the home page of the always-delightful Dennis the Peasant; and he, in turn, had a fisking up that was pure blogger comedy gold. It’s still there, but we opted not to link it right away because Dennis didn’t provide a link (that we could find) to the original work…and the Google Godz did not answer our prayers for it. Not that we doubt Dennis’ word. But when you examine the material he’s slicing apart so mercilessly, you’ll understand. Priceless stuff like this has to be viewed first-hand — where it can be. Having failed in that mission, we’ll have to bring it to you in whatever form we can…

I write this entry because it is my passion to begin a deeper conversation with feminists [and others] about women’s rights, animal rights and the interrelationship between the two. I am vegan and believe that my passion for “rights” in general encompasses all individuals, including those that are non-human or nature for that matter.

Nature is an individual? Who knew?

So is there a difference between us (women) and them (nonhuman animals)? This leading question is a profound cornerstone in many philosophical and social conversations. As a very proud feminist and vegan, it was always clear to me that there was a distinct connection between both feminism and vegetarianism. Throughout my career as a social activist, it has become increasingly fascinating that there are many feminists who are not vegetarian and vegetarians who are not feminists. In addition, there are many women who are part of the feminist movement, but not part of the animal rights movement and vice versa. Although, some individuals are not simultaneously part of both movements, the objective for both feminism and vegetarianism works to create a society that is equal for all living beings [and the environment], that is not oppressive and exploitative.

You know, I read the above paragraph and wonder just how much difference there is between a femnist and a cherrystone clam… At least in terms of higher brain functions.

Vegetarianism is deeply connected to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. This connection illustrates a long desire for social equality for all (Leneman 1997). Many leaders in the Women’s Suffragist Movement were vegetarian and advocates for other progressive movements (Leneman 1997) (George 1994). Vegetarianism is deeply connected to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. This connection illustrates a long desire for social equality for all (Leneman 1997). Many leaders in the Women’s Suffragist Movement were vegetarian and advocates for other progressive movements (Leneman 1997) (George 1994). Many women during this era made the connection between the killing of animals for food and the killing for fur. One woman, Maude Arncliffe- Sennett (1913) remarked on an advertisement of a model wearing a fur coat: “these women all seem to me hateful – they represent so much killing!”

“Many women during this era made the connection between the killing of animals for food and the killing for fur…” So did the neanderthals, sweetie, so I’m not sure it constitutes a bragging point.

Bring out the Che Guevara posters…and the incense and henna.

The other piece of comedy gold — Comment #1 in Daph’s thread. Doctorate Upholder wins, hands down:

Ecofeminism (n) – The study of the global warming of the feminism movement due to menopause.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

I Need Forgiveness From God, Not From You

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It all comes down to apologies for being. Not apologies for doing, but apologies for being.

Surely you’ve noticed, haven’t you. Anytime an issue comes up that has something to do with belief in a Capital-C Creator — it happens just as simultaneously and just as suddenly as if someone yelled “Go.” We line up left versus right. Crisply. There’s absolutely no question about who should go on which side, and it is purely a piety-versus-secularism schism. It absolutely, positively, has to do with whether you believe or whether you don’t. The disagreement is absolutely irreconcilable. And nobody, anywhere, no matter how weak and vacillating they may be, is wondering where they belong.

Do you know why that is? It’s because we’re debating something without really debating it. Do members of our modern aristocracy…our Hollywood celebs, our Obama-class demigods, our Household Names, our Congressmen, our Senators, our talk show hosts, our published authors, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera — possess the power, prestige, authority and privilege to demand apologies out of the hoi polloi simply for being? Not for barging into the elevator car before the passengers have had a chance to get off. Not for changing lanes without signaling. Not for taking a cell phone call in the middle of a movie. But simply for…existing? Taking up space on the globe? Breathing oxygen and turning it into that awful…dirty…toxic…polluting…carbon?

That is what today’s vote in the House of Representatives was really all about.

Just imagine. A tax on anything that consumes energy…which means…a tax on anything that requires energy in order for it to be manufactured, transported, used or discarded. Which means everything. A tax — read that as, apology — for being, carefully disguised as a tax on/apology for doing.

People on the “left” side of American politics, by the way, are to be congratulated for their laudable consistency. Everything that has to do with apologizing for being, they have been utterly consistent for the last two generations in saying — yes, we can! Yes, we should…apologize. Apologize for being, as if we should be apologizing for doing. The record is stunning and spellbinding. Abortion…minimum wage…gun control…carbon tax…cigarette tax…liquor tax…death tax. Any time we can express our profound regret for taking up space in this godless cosmos, through our taxes, yes we should absolutely express it. Not that we’ll recoup any salvation for doing so. Nothing can be done anymore according to the classical definition of “liberty.” Nothing except — getting married if you’re gay; joining the Boy Scouts when you’re an atheist; getting an abortion without your parents finding out when you’re fourteen. Freedom, it seems, is only championed on the left side of the aisle when it has to do with eroding a previously-existing definition of something. Our leftists are regular Bravehearts on the freedom issue, when it comes time to play Pretend — when children want to pretend to be grownups, when men want to pretend to be women, when Barack Obama wants to pretend to be humble, when women who despise their husbands pretend to “love” them so they can head on in to divorce court when the timing is most beneficial.

Meanwhile, Republicans are supposed to be scrambling around in vain, looking high and low for an identity? It’s simple. Nobody owes an apology to anybody else — not for simply existing, anyway — save for those substandard scoundrels who demand apologies from others for simply being. They, and they alone, reveal by their actions exactly what they are.

They are walking, living, breathing offenses to God. For it is only God’s place to demand apologies out of us…just for being. Mortal man has to wait for us to do something offensive or deplorable, to enjoy the slightest bit of justification in demanding apologies out of us. It’s a narrow distinction, but an all-important one.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

A GOP Comeback Possible?

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It is oh so fashionable to remain pessimistic, and show optimism only in muted tones. But to show a surplus of optimism in favor of the iPresident, would be foolish I think.

For the first time since their 2006 election drubbing, top Republicans see signs — however faint — of a political resurgence over the next year.

At first blush, this sounds absurd. After all, polls show the GOP more unpopular than ever, and the John Ensign sex scandal serves as a vivid, real-time reminder of why many see the party as a collection of hypocrites.

But several trends suggest this optimism might not be as far-fetched as it seems.
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How the Republicans Could Come Back

A red state

Polls show that Obama’s chief vulnerability is public concern over the soaring deficit. And as the sticker shock of a trillion-dollar-plus health care plan takes hold, these concerns are only likely to grow.

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) — long used to hearing complaints about Bush — says his moderate constituents have finally found something else to gripe about. “Now the dominant thing I hear from them is: ‘What is all this government spending?’” said Kirk, who is mulling a Senate run next year.
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Promises, promises

Obama promised his stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 10 percent, and some of his advisers said it would remain below 8 percent. But now the president himself says it will hit 10 percent this year.

The administration’s technique of incorporating “jobs saved” into its accounting is being met with increased skepticism — and is unlikely to resonate if unemployment lines run long.

“I think his biggest vulnerability right now is that unemployment is going to exceed 10 percent and be there for some time,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.). “The stimulus bill was meant to sustain and create new jobs. And it hasn’t done it.”

What’s coming up next is a “midterm” congressional election in 2010. Therefore, in my mind, it is meaningful to inspect what exactly is meant by the term “coming back.” You can’t honestly produce an answer to the question “Do Republicans have a chance?” without first performing this inspection.

First of all, there is the objective of roaring back into power with the full mandate Republicans had in 1994 after the electorate had what our news anchors told us was a “temper tantrum.”

Secondly, there is the decidedly different objective of stepping up to the podium of the loyal opposition, performing a simple day-to-day sanity check on The Holy Man’s expen$ive policies.

It is faulty thinking to conflate these two objectives into one, pronounce a lukewarm milquetoast verdict of “Eh, they got a shot but I wouldn’t count on it,” and walk away. You have to keep these separate. You HAVE to, because the first of those two options is a restoration of trust following a betrayal and those are never quick. It’s like the man-of-the-house moving back in after his wife has made the decision to take him back for the sake of the children. Even if it does happen, nobody’s going to be feeling entirely good about it. Especially if daddy was “taken back” after having sexual escapades with his secretary, moving in with her, doing some lines of coke, taking a European vacation with her and her parents, knocking her up, wallpapering her new nursery room, and sending the credit card bill for it all back home. Trust is violated in a heartbeat, and never fully restored even years later. Not really.

The second of those two — well good heavens. How on earth is it going to seem like a great idea to pass this up by the autumn of ’10? We’re still going to want to be a kinda-sorta-dictatorship in fifteen months because Obama is still so wonderful? Folks, it isn’t shaping up that way now. Of course all eyes are on President Obama; back when He was about to be inaugurated, all eyes were on Him back then too. But it’s different. Back then people were watching Him the way disciples want to watch the religious figure who leads them. Oh look at me, I actually touched His robe! I’ll never wash this hand again as long as I live!

Nowadays, people watch Him the way sailors watch a canon ball rolling around on the deck of their sloop. What the hell is He going to do next??

See, that’s a trust issue too. People are watching Him because He’s dangerous and they don’t know what He’s going to do. They don’t trust him. They’re starting to yearn for the checks-and-balances that are supposed to be in place right now, but aren’t really working.

It’s a funny thing about opposition congresses. People are never willing to admit, on a large scale, that they like this idea. But it is clearly what the Founding Fathers intended, and American history, even recent history, is chock full of occasions on which the electorate figured out this idea was necessary, and acted to put such a congress in place. Government marching in lockstep just oh-so-sure about what to do next — it seems like a great thing to the weak-minded. It isn’t so great when you’re living out your own real life under it. That’s when people wake up; that’s when they start to get it.

Your New Obamacare World: Humans Optional

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Obamacare: Slowly but surely making American citizens, God and George Washington’s special sovereign two-legged creatures, into disposable chunks of meat.

Reporting from Washington — President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don’t stand to gain from the extra care.

In a nationally televised event at the White House, Obama said families need better information so they don’t unthinkingly approve “additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care.”

He added: “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Not quite your “Soylent Green is People!” society…but it’s a big step in that direction.

Obama said he has personal familiarity with such a dilemma. His grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given less than nine months to live, he said.

She fell and broke her hip, “and the question was, does she get hip replacement surgery, even though she was fragile enough they were not sure how long she would last?”

Obama’s grandmother died two days before he was elected president in November. It was unclear whether she underwent the hip-replacement surgery.

The event, hosted by ABC News’ Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, gave Obama a prime-time forum to promote his healthcare overhaul. A total of 164 guests were invited. ABC pre-screened questions, though the White House was not made aware of what they would be.

Republicans described the event as an “infomercial,” faulting ABC for giving the president such valuable TV time in the midst of a high-stakes partisan policy discussion.

The audience — which included doctors, patients, health insurers, students and people with ailing relatives — clearly was unhappy with the current healthcare system. Gibson asked for a show of hands to see how many wanted to leave the system unchanged. No one raised a hand.

Ah, the “status quo is unacceptable” argument. Best way to garnish up a bad idea!

I didn’t always think so. Just last winter we were starting to argue hot and heavy about the savings and loan bailout and I wrote to my aging-liberal-hippy-female-ditz senators to tell them how I wanted them to vote, just like I’m supposed to. They wrote back and told me how the vote should go. I think it was Boxer; not entirely sure, it gets hard to tell them apart. Anyway, I was just impressed with how the letter was covered top to bottom, repeating over and over again that the status quo was unworkable and something had to be done.

That worked out just swell, didn’t it?

Maybe…just maybe…that is not exactly the cream-of-the-crop of decision-making methods. “Status quo is unacceptable! I’m going to put sugar in my gas tank!”

In fact — maybe this line of thinking is so conducive to bad decision making, that it’s about to saddle us with a universal healthcare system that our Replacement Jesus isn’t even going to use.

Without question, the most damaging moment for Obama came when he acknowledged that in spite of the rationing implicit in his public health care plan, he would still pay out-of-pocket to obtain the best health care for his family. As reported by ABC’s Jake Tapper, “President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people – like the president himself – wouldn’t face.”

Though it is not in the standard Republican playbook, the opponents of Obamacare should argue that his program is fundamentally unfair and at odds with America’s egalitarian commitments. Assuming that Republicans are correct, and the creation of a public-plan will lead to the collapse, rather than invigoration, of private health insurance, the end result of Obamacare will be a massive shift from an employer-based system of private health insurance toward government-provided care.

Whether you’re pro-single-payer-healthcare, or anti-, or sitting on the fence wondering what to do…which I suspect most folks are…this is an important point to be pondered. Government health plans always, always, always ration care. Always.

Only by expanding government control of health care can we bring down its cost. That’s the faulty premise of the various proposals for health reform now being batted around Washington. The claimed cost control depends on politically safe ideas such as preventive care or the adoption of electronic health records. And neither — even according to the Congressional Budget Office — will do much to reduce spending.
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President Obama objects when people use the word “rationing” in regards to government-run health care. But rationing is inevitable if we simply expand government control without fixing the way health care is reimbursed so that doctors and patients become sensitive to issues of price and quality.

Like Medicare’s recent decisions to curtail the use of virtual colonoscopies, certain wound-healing devices, and even a branded asthma drug, the board’s decisions will be one-size-fits-all restrictions. Such restrictions don’t respect variation in preferences and disease, which make costly products suitable for some even if they are wasteful when prescribed to everyone.

Moreover, these health boards prove that policy makers know they’ll need to ration care but want to absolve themselves of responsibility. Some in Congress and the Obama administration recently tipped their hand on this goal by proposing to make recommendations of the current Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) legally binding rather than mere advice to Congress. Any new health board’s mission will also expand over time, just as MedPAC’s mandate grew to encompass medical practice issues not envisioned when it was created.

The idea of an omnipotent board that makes unpopular decisions on access and price isn’t a new construct. It’s a European import. In countries such as France and Germany, layers of bureaucracy like health boards have been specifically engineered to delay the adoption of new medical products and services, thus lowering spending.

In France, assessment of medical products is done by the Committee for the Evaluation of Medicines. Reimbursement rates are set by the National Union of Sickness Insurance Funds, a group that also negotiates pay to doctors.

In Germany, the Federal Joint Committee regulates reimbursement and restrictions on prescribing, while the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare does formal cost-effectiveness analysis. The Social Insurance Organization, technically a part of the Federal Joint Committee, is in charge of setting prices through a defined formula that monitors doctors’ prescribing behavior and sets their practice budgets. In the past 12 months, the 15 medical products and services that cleared this process spent an average 35 months under review. (The shortest review was 19 months, the longest 51.)

In short, other countries where government plays a large role in health care aren’t shy about rationing. Mr. Obama’s budget director has acknowledged that rationing reduces costs. Peter Orszag told Congress last year when he headed the Congressional Budget Office that spending can be “moderated” if “diffusion of existing costly services were slowed.”

Medicare can already be painstakingly slow. Appealing to it takes patients an average 21 months according to a 2003 Government Accountability Office report (17 months involve administrative processing). Layers of commissions and health boards would delay access still further.

Obama’s doctor doesn’t agree with Obama on Obamacare:

David Scheiner, an internist based in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, has a diverse practice of lower-income adults from the nearby housing projects mixed with famous patients like U.S. Sen. Carol Mosely Braun, the late writer Studs Terkel and, most notably, President Barack Obama.

Scheiner, 71, was Obama’s doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House; he vouched for the then-candidate’s “excellent health” in a letter last year. He’s still an enthusiastic Obama supporter, but he worries about whether the health care legislation currently making its way through Congress will actually do any good, particularly for doctors like himself who practice general medicine. “I’m not sure he really understands what we face in primary care,” Scheiner says.
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Scheiner takes a few other shots too. Looking at Obama’s team of health advisors, Scheiner doesn’t see anyone who’s actually in the trenches. “I have a suspicion they pick people from the top echelon of medicine, people who write about it but haven’t been struggling in it,” he says.

Scheiner is critical of Obama’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary–Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who used to work as the chief lobbyist for her state’s trial lawyers association.

“He doesn’t see all the pain, it’s so tragic out here,” he says. “Obama’s wonderful, but on this one I’m not sure if he’s getting the right input.”

Another recovering Obamabot going through the first stages of remorse.

I had two reactions to the ABC Healthcare Infomercial. First, Gibson’s question about “who likes the status quo” or whatever, was a loaded one, a leading one, and a deceptive one. He could just as well have asked “who has some stories to share about government meddling in things, when it actually worked out well?” With a younger crowd of folks that hadn’t yet put in their decades waiting in line at the DMV, maybe he would’ve gotten some public-school indoctrinated talking points about Franklin Roosevelt ending the Great Depression. But that would be it. Even with a cherry-picked audience full of hardcore liberals, it would be a possibility worth entertaining that all the hands would stay down. How come he asked the question he asked, instead of that one? I’m starting to see Charles Gibson as a walking incarnation of what Thomas Jefferson said about bad information: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

Jefferson knew his subject matter well. I see a talking point has emerged, again, about millions and millions of Americans who lack healthcare [insurance]. Perhaps the time has come to inspect this.

Dr. Eric Novack testified before the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health about the Obama administration’s proposed health care legislation. Afterward, he told CNSNews.com that the Obama administration’s claim that there are 46 million uninsured people in America includes people with different health care scenarios and that combining them togehter in one number is misleading.

“If we start breaking down those numbers a bit–and again these will be round numbers–but about 9 to 10 million of those people are in the country illegally,” Novack said.

Another 15 million are what he called “chronically uninsured,” because of pre-existing health problems or other mitigating factors.

Novack, a self-described “patient advocate” who has written about health reform for the Goldwater Institute and supports legislation in Arizona to protect patients’ right to use and pay for the health care plan of their choice, said another 10 million or so “uninsured” Americans have chosen that status.

“We have young people between 18 and 30, probably about another 10 million or so, they’d rather buy applications for their iPhone than buy health insurance,” Novack said.

He said some of the approximately 46 million Americans referred to by Obama and members of the subcommittee include others who may be eligible for existing government health care programs, such as S-Chip and Medicaid, but don’t sign up.

Hillary and crew were taking the same liberties with the truth fifteen years ago back when the number that was being trotted out was 15 million. They called it “without access to health care,” which could have been called technically correct because if any one of them busted a foot and was hauled into the emergecy room, they’d have to talk to that matronly schoolmarm with the big thick coke-bottle-bottom glasses who would ask to see their health insurance, they’d have none to show, and an awkward situation would develop without this “access to care.” But the foot would have been treated. This, I think, is what Jefferson was talking about.

This is another piece of bad thinking that needs some attention — it’s settled in thick and fast, like fog, since the 1960′s, this notion that if some subclass among us is found to be deprived of something, then on a virtual basis, we all have been so deprived. This is key to Gibson asking who’s happy with the status quo? and seeing not one single hand go up. It is deficient thinking because you could use exactly the performance and exactly the same technique to show the status quo is always unacceptable, with anything. And with the same performance techniques & phony logic, you could then go on to demonstrate that any & all plans carrying that wonderful magic glittering unicorn-phrase of “REFORM,” must be worth trying.

But that isn’t necessarily so.

Father’s Day, 2009

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Hehe. Someone thinks I’m good. (Insert smiley here.)

D’JEver Notice? XXX

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is obviously a weasel and that’s being charitable. Michelle Malkin has an excellent essay on why that is so, if you need it. The man’s character is decidedly weak.

This is going to be very damaging to Republicans, as if Republicans could manage to be damaged any further. Of course, if we are to be sitting in decision of which political party is more conducive to the building of strong character within the individuals who are a part of it — which would be profoundly stupid — there are many surplus bits of evidence being ignored far and wide. I’m speaking of the three fundamental missing essentials: Republican politicians who have strong character, democrat politicians who have weak character, and, where & when you can find them, democrat politicians who have strong character.

We seem to have settled into this idea that character matters in evaluating a public servant who is conservative; it does not matter in evaluating a public servant who is “progressive,” meaning liberal. I do not mean by this that this is the prevailing viewpoint of our culture. I do not mean by this that this is what is suggested by the sound bites that bombard us morning, noon and night.

What I mean by this is that it shows up in the decisions we make. Go on, name a progressive figure who was taken down because of extramarital indiscretions. Forget “taken down” as in turned into sun-baked road kill, like a Republican. I mean taken-down, as in, taken down a peg. John Edwards? Nope. He was dormant, slumbering, between-cycles, when it all blew up. Some folks called him dirty names. That doesn’t mean he’s finished. That’s not a Larry Craig or a John Ensign or a Mark Sanford situation at all. Who else?

Personal-principles-wise, they are decidedly standard-less.

The enduring advantage this situation offers to the progressive side, cannot be overstated. Every personal peccadillo is a steep headwind for the conservatives, while like the sleekest of nautical or air craft the liberal side just slices right through it. Every personal foible. Especially the ones that have to do with exaggerated self-importance…selfishness…narcissism.

Whatever their leanings, these are all politicians, after all.

And so it has come to this. A Republican politician possessing the character shortcomings of a politician, is a scandal. A liberal politician possessing the character shortcomings of a politician, is an “oh well.” Like a sunset. Something we expect to see.

“I Don’t Know Anything About Cars”

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Many among our fellow countrymen think of themselves as putting a plan into into effect that has yet to be tried, when what they’re really doing is putting a plan into effect that has yet to succeed. They forget the plan has been tried before. I think that is reasonable when you’re trying to figure out how to do things for yourself that others have done: mix together the perfect dry rub, change out a bad power supply, write a file conversion utility. When you’re doing something that impacts many others, or perhaps everyone, and earning money doing it, I don’t think this is reasonable anymore. Prior failures become relevant. They matter. And whoever wants to make an honest go out of whatever is being attempted, shouldn’t need to be told about that. I would expect them, if they’re worthy of trust, to already be boning up about the prior attempts. I would expect them to take the initiative to answer the question: “What’s the difference between the attempt that was made before, and what we are doing now?”

This is not another conservative/liberal rant…at least, not on purpose. A reasonable argument could be made that the paragraph above captures the divide that exists today between conservatives and liberals. Implementing a plan that has yet to be tried versus implementing a plan that has yet to succeed — some of us see the difference between those two and some of us do not. No, it’s not ideological, it is personal. And because it is personal I’ve been putting off writing about this (hat tip to Kate at Small Dead Animals). Hits a little close to home, y’know.

Edward E. Whitacre Jr. built AT&T Inc. into the biggest U.S. provider of telephone service over a 43-year-career. By his own admission, he becomes chairman of General Motors Corp. knowing nothing about the auto industry.

The 6-foot-4-inch Texan nicknamed “Big Ed” said steering the nation’s largest automaker after bankruptcy is “a public service.” People who know him say he can meet GM’s need for the type of transformation he orchestrated at Dallas-based AT&T.

“I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”

If I could pick just five merry-go-rounds for all the human species to get sick of riding tomorrow morning and never hop on ‘em ever again, this would certainly make the cut: Putting an “executive guy” in charge of things outside his experience, hoping it all works out because “the business principles are the same.”

StupidityA decade ago I saw it tried with regard to maintaining enterprise application and file-and-print servers. Saw it with my own two eyes. Same stupid cliches trotted out, about business principles being the same. Many, many decades will have to come and go before I even begin to forget the wreckage that resulted from this. And no, I wasn’t the guy put in charge of those servers. He didn’t last long. Let us just say, when it was all said and done, we were not left with something that got assembled that could be used…we were left with shattered pieces lying on the ground that had to be put together…the same pieces that were lying on the ground, waiting to be assembled, before. Plus some damage. It’s not necessary to elaborate about that, is it? I mean isn’t that exactly what you expect to get when you task someone to put something together, and it’s well outside of their skills and specialties?

Isn’t that a piece of drama that has some suspense to it only when you’re living in the middle of it? With the wisdom that comes with distance, it seems silly to have ever wondered about the outcome.

It is only through a close look that this bears the appearance of making some sense. It’s like making movies out of video games. Stop doing this. Just stop it. To all the people who can make this kind of decision — if it seems to you like it might be a great idea, go back to bed and take a nap until it doesn’t look like a good idea anymore. Because it stinks.

There I go, possessing and using a memory again. How unreasonably right-wing-extreme of me.

“Business principles are the same.” The words still ring in my ears after all the time that has flowed by. And I know why they ring — because they were repeated over and over again. I remember it become a cliche, and then, an echo.

People were repeating it over and over again, because that’s exactly what people in groups do with ideas they know have to be chosen, even though they are bad. They repeat them. They repeat them because they know if they keep doing it, a bad idea will start to look like a good one. That’s how groups of people make bad decisions.

Manliness in Heads of State

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

We have different thoughts about Francis W. Porretto (hat tip again to Gerard) versus Dr. Helen Smith. But they, in turn, are having similar thoughts about manliness and how it is needed when a responsible hand guides the tiller of a ship of state.

A Sunday Rumination at Eternity Road:

Manliness is an indispensable attribute in a captain of State.

Henry VIII of England was tormented by his repeated failures to produce a son. He feared that it was God’s judgment upon him, which he strove to avert by flitting from wife to wife, divorcing the Church in England from the Papacy in the process. He did manage to beget a son, Edward, upon Jane Seymour, but Edward was weak both physically and mentally his entire short life. His “reign” was that of a regency council; he never held nor wielded power before dying of tuberculosis at age sixteen. It was Henry’s second daughter, Elizabeth, born of Anne Boleyn, in whom the strength of the Tudor line was conserved. However, to get from Henry VIII to Elizabeth required England to endure a decade of fratricidal war.

The United States has had several demonstrably unmanly men for chief executives in recent years: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Hussein Obama. Note that all three of these “men:”

* Are whiners;
* Are prone to making excuses;
* Try to shift the blame for their failures and sins to others;
* Admit to error or wrongdoing only when they have no alternative;
* Despite their demonstrable failings, are relentless in criticizing better, more accomplished, more moral men;
* Are implacably hostile to individual freedom.

Note also that none of the three has fathered a son. Whether that was because of a quirk of biology or by Divine intervention, we may be grateful, for none of the three would be more capable of rearing a son to actual manhood than was Henry VIII.
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A manly father will raise his son to an appreciation of personal independence and the obligations it confers. He’ll insist, at every stage of development and under all circumstances, that his son bear the full responsibility for the consequences of his decisions and actions. He protects his son only by limiting his autonomy until the boy has grown old enough and strong enough to bear what it might cost him; apart from that, the enduring theme of the manly father’s lessons to his son is to “take it, whatever it might be, like a man.” For he knows that he won’t be around forever; in due time, his son will have to “take it” whether he chooses to or not.

Dr. Helen would like to engage in some quality thinking about what “success” really is, and whether our flashy politicians raised in fatherless homes have defined it properly before dedicating a lifetime to chasing it down…

Father’s Day is here and it is a time to reflect on how important dads are to us as I do here in a PJTV show on why dads matter.

However, there are people who feel differently. These people think that fathers are not only unimportant but that they might even impede one’s success in life. At least this is what I got out of an article at The Daily Beast entitled “Washington’s Fatherless Elite” in which author Lisa Carver explores why so many successful politicians (such as Obama) and others are from father-free homes:

I was recently helping a graduating senior put together his college applications, and it about killed me. Whenever I began to fret that the forms weren’t filled out absolutely perfectly, he’d just smile roguishly. He wasn’t prompt, he didn’t worry. He knew everything would work out just fine.

“No it won’t!” I wanted to yell. “We have to take into consideration every possible complication! Life is a series of disasters to be narrowly averted!”

The difference between us? One big one is that he grew up with a loving dad to comfort, help, and support him, and I did not. My dad was in and out (more out than in), instilling in me a persisting sense that no help is coming, that life is mine to tackle alone, that finding a solution is completely up to six-, or 16-, or 36-year-old me. And it may be that running a country, a state, or a courtroom in today’s world benefits from exactly this type of survivalist, crisis-oriented personality.

Carver goes on to talk with a politician who grew up without a dad:

I was a man amongst men in the State House of Representatives and was a member of the good ol’ boys club. It fostered a feeling of belonging in the male world. I love my mother dearly, but there are times when a father’s guidance would have served me better. I poured my entire sense of self into becoming a politician on the upswing. I passed over a few opportunities to have made a family. I skipped past moments of simply enjoying my life and obsessively devoted every waking hour with thoughts of how I’d advance to the next level.

I came to understand that I’d substituted a father’s involvement in my life with one deeply entrenched with my political peers.

I see the differential being chased down here, both by Porretto and by Smith, has to do with existing in the world in which one has been hatched — whether that is in the capacity of a spiritual/temporal leader, or of a commoner. The ability present in those raised by strong father figures, and commonly absent in those lacking the same advantage, has to do with duality. Recognizing that certain things “ought” to be a certain way, and yet at the same time, retaining the ability to function in an environment in which the various codes and patterns may not have been upheld.

Manly ManYou see it in the elections here in the United States. Eight and a half years ago we got a President elected who was viscerally disliked by those who resented manhood — many of whom probably never understood a father’s proper role in the family. They shrieked. Now we’ve got a President who offends the rest of us. We don’t shriek…we groan. Both sides have strong feelings about Presidents disliked, but have dramatically different ways of showing this dislike.

The biggest difference lies in the ability, or the lack thereof, to speak thoughtfully of what is to take place if things are done the undesirable way. Their side, with their hostility toward manliness, has become classically European. Words like “must” and “ought” and “should” roll so easily off their effeminate lips. They show a consistent weakness in weighing cost/benefit. The most luminous example of this weakness is the invasion of Iraq, which shouldn’t have happened, of course. “Sovereign nation!” “We invaded a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11!” “Thousands of troops killed!” Yes…and…if we didn’t invade, then what? Cost-benefit. You aren’t supposed to be asking about that, you see. The show’s over. They obligatorily bulged their eyes out of their skulls, they obligatorily flung their spittle around the room, they obligatorily manifested their rage…let the horror commence. Why are you asking questions?

It goes to the fundamental ability to decide things logically. Here’s another example that separates the shemales from the men: Gun control. Good guys and bad guys have guns…versus…just the bad guys have guns. Here’s another one: Minimum wage. Jobs are available that pay five dollars, eight dollars, ten dollars an hour…versus…only the jobs that pay ten dollars are available. The others have been outlawed. Need more? North Korea. We don’t “talk” to The Gargoyle, and he proceeds to build his missiles and other weapons…versus…we ply him with food and oil so that he doesn’t build his missiles and weapons — then he builds his missiles and weapons anyway.

This hostility to maleness consistently and inexorably leads to an inability to see even simple issues from multiple sides. The manliness-deprived just see one side. We don’t invade Iraq so there’s no tough dangerous work for anyone to do…we make guns go away…jobs pay more…Gargoyle becomes a peacenik…what a bunch of wonderful miracles! Too bad they’ve never actually happened, regardless of how many times they’ve been tried.

Their mass personality is well-defined by now. These are the cowardly school principals who, staring across their desks at the chronic bully and the good-kid who finally fought back, resignedly send the bully home and reserve the “real” punishment for the kid who’s supposed to be above the schoolyard fighting. These are the well-intentioned but spineless who demand the harshest justice upon the head of whoever threw the last punch, so that the guy who threw the first one can get away.

Bad fathering, or absent fathering, does that to people. The vacuum left by the absent masculinity, always seems to be filled by the same junk: A surreal Utopian vision of a universe that has never known, and never will know, force. They seek to banish force in all its forms, be it malicious or protective, because they do not understand it. And generation after generation, they become what they hate because they always need more rules to get this Utopian vision going — and no form of force short of the police power of a state, shall suffice for that purpose.

Update: It’s an exercise in great minds thinking alike; blogger friend Rick and I did not coordinate this, you’ll just have to take my word for that.

Compare and contrast.

Update 6/24/09: Welcome, again, Conservative Grapevine readers.

Hot Pants, 2009

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Because summer’s here.

Another Isolationism Debate

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Becky, the Girl in Short Short Talking About Whatever, re-writing the history of conservatism somewhat and reminding me why I am not a Libertarian (warning, her site is occasionally not-quite-work-safe):

Obama is widely condemned as a coward on FOX News, with frequent appearances by Lindsay Graham, Charles Krauthammer and the usual suspects. Neocon giant Paul Wolfowitz was on CNN’s Larry King Show, calling for the president to form an alliance with Moussavi (even though the guy is a socialist thug), American and European college campus hippies are on the march—and not a few of the CNN anchors have pulled out their green St Patrick’s Day ties.

Neoconservatives It’s beginning to seem the only person in Washington, on the president’s side, is Ron Paul. Everyone else is on the Wilsonian warpath to make Iran safe for Democracy.
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It would be pretty hypocritical for Barack Obama to get real huffy about the Iranian electoral system.

Repeatedly our country is excited at the outset about helping some resistance fighters— e.g. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan—but it does not take all that long for the luster to wear off—and before long we are wondering how we could have been so stupid.

One good way to avoid a lot of stupid mistakes is to mind your own business.

It’s so simple—but always hard to do.

So far the president is doing a pretty good job.

Yeah. Like anytime I want a poster boy for minding-yer-own-business, I should make a beeline for 1600 Pennsylvania right now.

Becky usually makes more sense than this…and let’s be honest, she does make some sense here. That’s the intriguing thing about her site. Like most other women who call themselves “feminists,” she is drunk on how-things-should-be and very often fixates on the feminist game of “Hey look at that thing over there help me hate it.” One could argue she’s taking a break from it here, unfortunately at the exact moment in which it would have been most sensible.

But she has a point here that is worthy of engagement. Aren’t both sides of our ideological divide guilty of hypocrisy and inconsistency on the “Mind Your Own Business” front? How, if the iPresident-Replacement-Jesus isn’t showing us The Way, does one avoid that conundrum? That’s the fascinating thing about isolationism debates. Isolationism, being nothing more than not-doing-anything, cannot be reasonably practiced to extremes. As Jimmy Stewart said in that great Libertarian movie Shenandoah, “If we don’t try, then we don’t do; and if we don’t do, then what are we doing here?”

Naturally I blossomed forth with my own wisdom:

It’s a decent argument I’ll admit, or else I can see some decent underpinnings in it. The danger is that you’re arguing for consistency. If you believe in the Government staying out of the lives of its citizens then why not believe in the Government staying out of other governments?

It’s interesting that the Obama apologists are never attacked with this: How come isolationism works when it’s time to defend liberty, but never when the time comes to assault it?

This is how belief in a deity, or lack of belief in a deity, affects how you think about the world. I know you’re a devout Catholic but you’ve missed the boat on this one because whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re treating liberty the way the secularists treat it: Something people want, like air conditioning, because life is so much sweeter when you have it than when you don’t. Therefore we should all have it, and if we don’t have it we should hold revolutions to get our air conditioning.

Believers in the founding principles of our nation, just don’t see it that way. We see liberty as something that belongs to us not because we’re cool, or it makes us happy, or because those who would deprive us of it are really bad people. Those all apply but none of them represent the primary reason, which is: We are Children of God, and the true purpose of our existence cannot be fulfilled unless we are granted what we were supposed to have upon our Creation.

Once you realize that, you realize as Children of God, we have no meaningful entitlements that don’t apply to other CoG. It then becomes obligatory for us to defend others on this matter, if in no other way, than at least to speak out forcefully. And I would point out that thus far that’s all anyone has done.

Boxer Refuses to Apologize

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Barbara Boxer, one of my two hardcore-lefty aging hippie female senators, will not be apologizing for making a public spectacle out of a Brigadier General as retribution against him for following well-established military protocol.

Aside from a briefly worded statement about a “friendly” conversation she had with Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh after dressing him down for calling her “ma’am,” Boxer remained silent Friday in the face of growing calls for her to apologize.

“Senator Boxer spoke with General Walsh yesterday and he said he was fine with her comments at the hearing,” Boxer spokesman Zachary Coile said in a statement sent Friday to FOXNews.com.

“It was a very friendly conversation and they reiterated their respect for each other and how much they look forward to working together,” he said.
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The Pentagon refused to jump into the fray Friday.

“The matter was between the two and we have nothing to add,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said in a statement to FOXNews.com.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars supported both Boxer and Walsh and downplayed the exchange.

“The general is 100 percent correct in responding to members of Congress with ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am.’ The senator, on the other hand, is also correct, though probably everyone now agrees that this should have been handled differently, if at all,” the group said in a statement.

“There are far more important issues facing America — from national security to the proper care and treatment of veterans, military service member and their families — and this difference of opinion in salutations is not one of them.”

Because if this had any consequences more meaningful than bottom-layer rabble like us simply jawing about it, it would be unprecedented. Seriously unprecedented. A left-winger getting in real trouble for just plain shitty behavior. That, you will notice, doesn’t happen. No, losing a pound or two of ass flesh for lying, cheating on your spouse, or acting like a dick to someone who plainly deserves better…that only happens to non-liberals.

In fact, I have an additional observation I think is somewhat interesting: According to the rule summarized above, the country herself is non-liberal. “Arrogant, dismissive, derisive”; remember that? Alienating our allies. Thinking we’re all that & a bag o’ chips, living in our little plastic-bubble world, being ignorant, not being sufficiently concerned with the challenges faced in other nations, not being sufficiently concerned with the reservations they have about what we do, not stopping everything and asking their permission for things…et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. There was supposed to be a day of reckoning coming for all that, and maybe it’s here.

But aging liberal senators get a pass. They worked hard for their titles. They get to be arrogant and everyone else better get used to it. Senators, I guess, aren’t really Americans. Or if they are, then nobody looks to anyone in the Senate to represent America. The country is to start acting more humble, right away, starting with…I guess…our, uh, janitors or something? Bank executives maybe? Not our national politicians. Their privilege of obscene anti-Jeffersonian aristocracy and the accompanying douchebag dripping snobbery it brings with it, have only just begun.

Up there, anyway. In the Senate…er, uh…ma’am-tower or whatever.

Universal Sign of Civility

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I was letting my brain percolate in front of the idjit box, like everyone else does, for a change. Feeling my I.Q. drop minute by minute, glassy eyed, slack-jawed, singing that old familiar refrain “two thousand channels and not a damn thing worth watching on any of ‘em.” There was something on called “Real Housewives of New Jersey” or some such. I know nothing about this show. It must be one of those what’s-called “reality” teevee shows because something would happen, which would consume less than a minute, and then ten or twenty minutes would be spent talking about how it made everybody feel when the thing happened, the result being that on an hourly basis no more than two or three plot-advancing things would actually happen but there would be lots of idle chatter about how it made people feel.

Someone put a book on a table in a restaurant. This had the social effect of leveling mountains — for reasons that weren’t explained to me within a good half-hour. It seemed even longer. The book, it seems, is a non-fiction thing dealing with the sex life of the woman who put it on the table, and she wanted to get something off her chest about what people had been saying about it behind her back…or something. It took me the better half of an hour to figure this out, I’m ashamed to say I under-valued my time so much that I plugged away at it that long. When the book went on the table and three or four women interviewed said “I knew right away this couldn’t end well” I guess that just piqued my curiosity. I wanted to find which one was the dysfunctional twit. Answer, they all were.

Mothers asked their children to go wait in the car. Then everybody had a huge 1970′s pop-psych-type “confrontation” or what not. Why the restaurant manager didn’t demand they all leave, I’ll never know.

Simultaneous with that, I found myself browsing this page on the wireless (some images perhaps not strictly work-safe). And that is when it hit me.

Keeping kids away from the nasty stuff. It is a litmus test for civilized human beings existing like civilized human beings, no matter their country, the other aspects of their culture, their religion, their skin color, the language they speak, the clothes they wear, whether they’re vegans or meat-lovers, whether they do or do not believe in capital punishment, nuclear disarmament, solar power, legalizing pot, whatever.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, don’t eat the flesh of your own species, don’t have sexual relations with things not of your species, and don’t expose your kids to everything. Skip certain things when the company is mixed, or ask to have a word in private. Keep the dirty movies in one corner of the video store with a curtain in front of it. Treat the innocence of your children like something sacred, and treat the innocence of other people’s children as something even more sacred.

These are just basic, basic rules of any civilized society. People who don’t understand these rules, shouldn’t be living amongst people who do.

Are Women Born This Way?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Not my title, it’s the title of the video. So says Neo-Neocon.

I’m a real hard-hearted sonofabitch when it comes to babies and kitties and puppies and what-not…and this thing we do where we raise boys and girls differently, and then fail to admit we do it, is in my mind an awful crime against humanity energizing me to stand on a soapbox and deliver hours-long lectures, finger-and-fist waving in the air the whole time, in a way that would make John Galt proud. The event of the female babbling away just for the sake of babbling away, I’ve noticed, is something that precedes more than its fair share of disasters in the saga of the human condition.

But this did put a goofy grin on my face nevertheless. Tough to keep dark thoughts in your head watching her go. And go and go and go…

Best Sentence LXV

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The sixty-fifth Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes to Sissy Willis of SISU for a comment posted on Ann Althouse’s blog. Subject: The Chosen One’s desultory and milquetoast prose about Iranian elections. For the uninitiated, after much criticism for His not saying anything, He stepped down from His cloud and offered

“I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the international community that have taken place in the past,” [President] Obama said at the White House, in a clear reference to [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, who has clashed forcefully with world leaders over Iran’s nuclear program.

While saying it was “not productive” for the U.S. president to be seen as meddling in Iranian affairs, Obama expressed “deep concerns about the election.”

“When I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed, wherever that takes place, it is of concern to me, and it’s of concern to the American people,” he said. “That is not how governments should interact with their people.”

Which inspired Althouse’s rhetorical question: “Do you think he could be blander?” This is our modern Messiah, our digital-age dragon slayer. He who was elected with all this hope, whose magical sword would sever the ties that bind us, and release us from our dungeon of eternal darkness and lead us into the light…it is of “concern” to Him? What items in the vast catalog of human despair were to be made part of His mandate, if this is not among them? Does an executive have to receive a bonus before the Replacement Jesus can begin to be energized, vexed, or inspired? Where’s all the hope, the charisma, the umpshun-in-the-gumpshun, the adrenalized quest for the holy grail of “change”? What a disappointment of unprecedented dimensions. Bland doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Enter Sissy with the Best Sentence. It’s actually two sentences:

Muscular prose reflects muscular thinking (Churchill, Reagan, GW). Flabby prose reflects flabby thinking (Chamberlain, Carter, Obama). Never use one metaphorically-charged noun or active verb when a string of colorless nouns and passive verbs will do.

Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

Raise the Voting Age

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Reflecting on what’s happened to our country here, I consult my archives and I can’t help noticing something. Every sixteen years, reliable as rain, we elect a guy President who happens to…

 • …be the youngest out of all the guys running who actually have a chance;
 • …talk a whole lot about “hope”;
 • …be a democrat;
 • …possess truckloads of “charisma” or whatever;
 • …not say a single word about any of the policies he’ll enact after he’s elected, in such a way that the rest of us could actually participate in a reasoned, informed debate about them.

It is as regular as an object completing an orbit around a large star — sixteen years, right on the dot. I pointed it out here and here and here.

And then the guy gets in and doesn’t change squat. Except for two things: Spend unprecedented amounts of borrowed treasury money on bullshit; and do that idiot-schoolgirl thing where you behave exceptionally nicely to bad people and act like a royal bitch to whoever’s actually done some pretty decent things for you.

I would hope folks all across the ideological divide will agree with me, at least on the sixteen year thing. Call it smartening up, call it getting shafted, whatever you want to call it — I call it the “Heartbeat of Stupid” — we sure are punctual.

Parenting FailSo since we can all agree that, for whatever reason, this is a sixteen-year thing let us then do this: It is contrary to the interests of the nation for people to vote before they have had a chance to see this happen. Right now, you get to vote when you’re eighteen. Eighteen is not much more than sixteen. Seems to me you should have seen a couple cycles of this, with your own two eyes. Not read it in the archived news stories, not learn about it from your history teacher who probably thinks FDR was the greatest President who ever lived. You should have seen it for yourself.

Two cycles.

Raise the voting age to thirty-two.

It is the very least that is needed to make an informed decision, about something that has turned into, for all the artificial drama we inject into it, an utterly-predictable merry-go-round ride.

It’s not how fast you’re maturing, son. It’s got to do with the country. And how quickly she forgets stuff. Something has to be done.

Twilight of Honeymoon II

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

CQ Politics

Early in his presidency, Barack Obama had a grace period when the public saw the nation’s problems as ones he inherited, but two new polls — by New York Times/CBS News and Wall Street Journal/NBC News – make clear that there are rising concerns about his policies.

The biggest public concern is over the size of the deficit being run up by Obama’s economic recovery proposals and how much more it will rise if his plan to overhaul health care and increase coverage for uninsured Americans is enacted. But there is also discomfort about his intervention in the auto industry and taking a big government stake in ownership of General Motors. And voters also disagree with Obama on closing Guantánamo.

John Hawkins likens it to a common male-female stormy relationship. His analogy is pure genius, and since I can’t find a way to excerpt it I’ll just dump it all in. You gotta read this, especially if you’ve been there before…gents.

To me, this is reminiscent of some relationships I’ve seen come and go. It starts with a whirlwind romance. The couple can’t get enough of each other. His friends point out some of her rather obvious glaring flaws, but she’s fresh, she’s new, she’s great in bed — and in his eyes, she can do no wrong. (Stage 1)

After a surprisingly short period of time, he proposes. His friends are dismayed, but they can’t really talk to him about it. If they suggest that perhaps they should slow things down and get to know each other a little better, he says he sees no need to wait. If they try to point out her flaws, he gets mad. There’s really nothing they can say that will change his mind. Soon, they’re married. (Stage 2)

After the marriage, they move in together and even though things still seem pretty good, he can finally see some of the flaws his friends pointed out. She gets in foul moods. She nags. She gets into fights with his parents. She seems flighty. She’s not very supportive. She’s a drama queen. Wow, how did he miss all these things? (Stage 3)

A few months in, he realizes these are not one time things, they’re patterns of behavior and he starts to have doubts, although he really can’t bear to talk about them. If you ask him basic questions like — “Do you enjoy spending time around her? Do you think your wife respects you? Is your wife your best friend? Are you ready to have children? Are you having as much fun as you were six months ago?” — the answer to every question is, “no.” But, if you were to ask him — “Do you still love your wife? Would you do it all over again? Are you happy to be married?” — he’d say “yes” to every question.

Why?

Because he’s hoping things will change. Because he can’t bear to admit his friends were right. Because it would make him feel petty to say, just a few months into his marriage, that he made a bad choice. Because he just can’t admit that he blew one of the biggest decisions of his life. (Stage 4)

Fast forward to 12-24 months after the couple is married and things are very different. They yell at each other all the time. He’s constantly upset. He’s asking his friends privately if they think he should get divorced. He’s utterly miserable. (Stage 5)

Then eventually, they get divorced, and it’s, “I don’t know what I saw in her. I don’t know what I was thinking. That was the biggest mistake of my life.” (Stage 6)

Today, most of the American people outside of Obama’s hard core supporters, who will stick with him no matter what, are either at stage 3 or stage 4. The more of them that move on to stage 4, the harder it’s going to be for him to get legislation passed. If the majority of people reach stage 4 and 5 before the 2010 election, and I believe they will, the Democrats will take a tremendous beating. Let’s hope this marriage continues to sour because the best thing that could ever happen to this country would be for it to get a divorce from Barack Obama.

Commenter smelvertising sees an issue, and I see it too. This is a painfully accurate summary of what American politics are all about, in my eyes.

You missed a stage: eventually, as they grow apart, they start to forget all the bad blood and bad stuff, and wonder why they parted. And the old flame is reignited, which resets everything to stage 1.

It would explain why the voting public keeps putting idiots, morons, charlatans and demagogues (AKA leftists) in charge, after they’ve proven themselves again and again to be unable to do anything but kill economies and destabilize the international situation.

This is really the difference between conservatives and liberals, right there. Conservatives have workable, even temperaments — well, most of them — and functional long-term memories. The issue that arises to confront the American voter over and over again is “Who’s up for doing one more time, what’s been tried many times before and has never worked once?” Liberals are the ones that say “Hell yeah! Twentieth time’s the charm!”

Conservatives respond the way normal, emotionally stable people do. “If we got sent back to the drawing board, then I think we should spend some time there. Tell me what you’ve changed in the plan to make the outcome different.” Nothing changed means no sale.

And how do Americans debate between these two positions? The propaganda that consumes us richly exploits Bullet Point #3 on the House of Eratosthenes list of Ways to Motivate Large Numbers Of People To Do A Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating The Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On. And sadly, most of us fall for it; it doesn’t really take much time at all to relapse back into smelvertising‘s sixth stage:

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

The mainstream folks who don’t care that much about politics, have been conditioned to think of “liberal” as the moderate — as someone who says “Hey surely there’s got to be something we can do about this problem, let’s keep trying until we find the right answer.” While a “conservative” is an extremist; someone who says “No, no, absolutely not because I/we am/are afraid of change.”

This is that Bullet Point #3 exercise of switching moderation and extremism. The reality is that liberals are quite extreme. They say “History always began this morning for us! So in our minds we’ve never tried to do anything at all, let’s do this thing we’ve already tried a hundred times!” And the conservatives are the ones who say “Well waitaminnit, if this was the way to go, then why didn’t we stick with it after 1992 and 1976 and 1964 and 1932 and…and…and.” “Where have they ever outlawed guns and experienced a lower crime rate as a direct result?” “When did we ever raise the minimum wage and in so doing raise the overall standard of living?” “How exactly is a nation supposed to tax itself into prosperity?” “Now that we’ve elected your hopey changey iPresident Replacement-Jesus Man-God guy, where’s the one guy in the whole world who hated us last year and loves us all to pieces now?” “What exactly is a congressional apology for slavery supposed to achieve?”

“Did rent controls lower rents?”

“Did putting a woman in charge of the House of Representatives end wars?”

“Did the war on poverty end poverty?”

“Did Social Security ensure our retirees are all comfortable now and forevermore?”

So the conservatives are presented as wild-eyed zealots, religious zealots in a sense, who are opposed on principle to solving a problem or even attempting to solve it. Their position is actually one of simply doing what sane people are supposed to do. Exercise a consistent action, expect a consistent result. Of course, maybe we aren’t doing things to get positive results, and just want to feel better about ourselves, kind of an emotional elixir that is really a placebo. A ten trillion dollar placebo. In which case, maybe, just maybe, it would be a good idea to admit that’s what is being done. Just stop pretending you’re trying to fix anything.

Maybe people are starting to figure out that’s the real situation. Maybe that’s the real reason the honeymoon is coming to an end. You gotta admit, last year during the campaign a lot of folks were told Obama’s election would make things a whole lot different. That was the slogan: “Change.” It seems, after all, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Update: Or, if you’re among the dwindling numbers of people who aren’t yet tired of pretending, then keep pretending. Stage One is a pretty comfy place after all.

Hat tip for the video to blogger friend Gerard.

“The Tent Sure is Tiny”

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Amen to that, Melissa. Today’s organized feminists have something wrong with them. They’re getting my OCBASASBDII acting up (Obsessive Compulsive Bullshit Alphabet Soup Acronym Shopping and Behavioral Disability Invention Impulse) as I try, in vain, to meaningfully comprehend what is going on upstairs that stops them from acting like normal, decent, clear-thinking human beings. They’re bringing up the thoroughly debunked urban legend about Sarah Palin and the rape kitsagain. And they’ll do it again and again, anytime Palin’s name is brought back into the news and the general public reaction isn’t already quite as negative and visceral as they’d like it to be.

Meghan McCain, next time you want the Republicans to become more inclusive, I have a suggestion on where else you can swivel your spotlight, you lover-of-big-tents-you. Melissa’s onto something here. You’re needed Mrs. Peel!

Feminists aren’t about defending women, and therefore, they aren’t about defending any other demographic group. They aren’t even about progressive policies; for if they were, it’s reasonable to expect they’d pick some policies that accentuate, rather than diminish, the worthiness and importance of women in our modern society. Abortion? Gay marriage? Those aren’t them. No, they are about finding an outlet for a destructive psychological impulse — the impulse to define anomalous persons as undesirable aliens, separate them, ostracize them, destroy them.

They are at the epicenter of a storm that has engulfed many in this late era. After my Bullshit Behavioral Disability Invention Impulse really gets going, I might think of some letters I can arrange into a cutesy acronym to describe it…or I might not…busy weekend ahead, and all. But the problem that afflicts so many appears to be — a long-accumulated stockpile of skills and long-refined personal drive to destroy things, leaving the sufferer feeling unfulfilled and burdened with a burning, unspoken desire to pretend to be creating something.

One Revolution AwayIn this way, they share a malady with the Obamabots. And they, in turn, with the environmentalists. And all those three, in turn, with all the most powerful progressive-politic types in general. They all have this in common: Meaningless cliches tossed out to suggest something wonderful and grand is being built, but if you watch them across a meaningful length of time you see all they do is destroy things. By now, it’s safe to say that if you don’t have this sickness, you aren’t running anything. Nothing so big that it’s assured to come out on top of things.

That is the root cause of what ails feminism lately, and it’s a far-flung widespread sickness now. All these people perched, like vultures on fence posts in some long-abandoned ghost town, ready to point, to heckle, to invent sordid tales about rape kits, to slander, to excoriate, to shun, to fling their insults. To do as much damage as they can to a designated target…once it’s been designated. All that poo just ready to be flung. And interspersed with all that scat, with all the bile, are these meaningless but carefully-chosen focus-group tested catchphrases that suggest constructing something. “Together we can do this” and all that.

Left to be discovered: Do they have some creative energies that are frustrated with the lack of an outlet? Is it possible that a desire to create can share a single human host with such a passionate impulse to destroy? Or are they wholly lacking in creativity…seeking to find new ways to offer a convincing illusion of something that isn’t there?

It’s late June now. Throughout this year, those who so overwhelmingly won an election — by slandering women, among other things, thereby “uniting” with the feminists one could have reasonably presumed wouldn’t have had their fancies so tickled — have constructed absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing but staggering debt…and a vegetable garden.

It’s a sweeping epidemic. It’s obviously quite contagious. And deadly. You were worried about Swine Flu?