Archive for June, 2009

Dueling Douchebags

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Hooray…for President Barry-O. Fearless fly killer.

During an interview for CNBC at the White House on Tuesday, a fly intruded on Obama’s conversation with correspondent John Harwood.

“Get out of here,” the president told the pesky insect. When it didn’t, he waited for the fly to settle, put his hand up and then smacked it dead.

“Now, where were we?” Obama asked Harwood. Then he added: “That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? I got the sucker.”

Yes Barack, that was a real good thing you did there. The joke going around is that PETA is going to have a problem with it.

Well…in times like these, it’s awfully tough to make a joke that manages to stay out ahead of this stuff. No?

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the flyswatter in chief to try taking a more humane attitude the next time he’s bedeviled by a fly in the White House.

PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside.

“We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals,” PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said Wednesday. “We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals.”

One wonders if this was what Gomorrah was like before the fire came down. It seems everyone who has anything to say about anything…is convinced it’s always all about them. Raised from toddler-hood that way. Man swats fly. Dog bites man. But how did it make you feel?

And bloggers are supposed to be egotistical because we write up things we think, and put those things in places others can read them. I can see how an atrophied mind might form such a thought as a first impression. But hey. I’m not typing in something like “That was pretty impressive the way I just lampooned President Obama and PETA, wasn’t it? I got the suckers.”

Rick’s Anniversary Skydiving Adventure

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I keep thinking “damn what a lucky dude” every time I catch a glimpse of the radiant Mrs. Brutally Honest. Wonder if I should be mentioning that. Come to think on it, I seem to recall asking myself the same question last year. Somewhere over at his place. When I was commenting.

Well this year, those two plucky kids celebrated their anniversary in a way that’s worth talking about over here.

Wheee. Brings back memories.

Tandem’s an interesting concept. I’ve never done that before, and perhaps I should’ve. My own turn up there was an entirely different setup. The plane was a single-engine, a rickety kind of thing with all the back seats removed. I had the impression the engine was supposed to be muffled by something that was no longer there. The engine was so loud you couldn’t think, and you could feel the vibration coming off it. There were holes in the fuselage and you could see the daylight streaming in. Three of us would crouch down hanging on to something for dear life, decked out in sweaty nylon jumpsuits soaked with someone else’s sweat, boots older than me at the time (26). “Norb,” my long-haired, humorless, motorcycle-gang-lookin’ kinda instructor would be crouched there with us right by the Door of Dread, yelling some last-minute instructions at us at the top of his lungs. What a character was Norb. Norb was about 5’9″, looked kinda like a Sons of Anarchy character except not quite so impeccably groomed. The mannerisms of a drill sergeant, for I expect the same reason; someone screws around, someone gets killed. Every 500 feet of climb, Norb would yell back at us how high we were, while the plane rocked back and forth in ways you wouldn’t expect a plane to do.

At three thousand feet Norb turned to me and said “Alright! Get the fuck out of my plane!

Here, too, things were ramshackle and spartan. Static-line-yes; tandem, no; reinforced footbar, no. We were to grab onto the wing strut and let the headwind flap our bodies around, like flags. “It’s just air, it easy!” Norb would yell at us. “Just like riding a motorcycle!” Then let go. That would seem to be the tough part, but the thin film of sweat that coated our palms by then, made it simple.

Tandem probably would have been a help here. My instructors always bitched about me not looking up, like you’re supposed to. I really tried, but the impulse to look down is powerful, and some of us are more susceptible to it than others. Once the chute is open — it’s like being knocked into a whole different universe. Dangling by your armpits and your crotch at three thousand feet. Rick says “from the ride up in the plane to the landing in the grass field, it was sensory overload,” and I recall that too. My most vivid recollection? The little dots on the highway that were cars, kinda spread out to the left of me and to the right of me, and all bunched up dead ahead. They were slowing down to look at our canopies. Second-most-vivid? The cows. They were little dots, too. They made an impression on me because that was my tip-off about how great a distance three thousand feet really is. “Holy shit, those little tiny dots are cows,” I thought.

Fear? No, not really. I had a parachute on. Hand-packed by Norb himself. Norb of the massive, unwashed hair and the eyes pinked-out with whatever the hell he was drinking the night before. Or were they naturally that way? I don’t care, I survived.

No footage at all from my event, and perhaps it’s tasteless for me to go into such detail about it in someone else’s limelight. Adrenaline Junkie Rick has many more videos on his YouTube account.

Congratulations on making it through, Mr. and Mrs. Hope the anniversaries ahead are happy and many, and welcome to the club.

Who is Glenn Beck?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Stossel wants to know:

Why is he so popular? Beck says it’s because he really believes what he says. I don’t buy that. Rachel Maddow and Lou Dobbs believe what they say, but their audience is a fraction of Beck’s. I hope he’s popular because of what he says, like: “Both parties only believe in the power of the party”; “if we get out of people’s way, the sky’s the limit”; and the answers to our problems “never come from Washington.”

“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” — Heinlein.

Ah, Hell YEAH…

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Get your own. And no, I’m not on commission, I’m doing you a favor. Say “thank you.”

I’m gonna go set up the coffeemaker right now.

Five out of Six Disagree…

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

…with your Justice Department.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice said the State of Georgia cannot check driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers to verify the citizenship of prospective voters. The concern was that Georgia’s policy was discriminatory toward minority voters. According to a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll released Friday, most Americans disagree with the Justice Department ruling.

When it comes to showing photo identification at a polling place before voting, 83 percent of Americans say they think it is a good idea to require it, because it helps avoid fraud. Only 15 percent of Americans agree with the Justice Department that such a policy is a bad idea.

And supposedly, our “democracy” was coming to a bitter end because George W. Bush thought it would be a good idea to find out what “ordinary Americans” (read that as: terrorists in Damascus or Beirut who’d never set foot on American soil in their miserable little lives) had on their little minds when they were calling up bin Laden’s satellite phone. Yeah. Tell me another.

Now we’re manufacturing voters — even worse, we’re closing our eyes while others so manufacture. Voters say who’s going to be in the government…government says which voters get to vote, and how many times they can vote. Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.

Oh yeah, only one out of six of you want to move on. Aw well. Vee haff vays uv making you move on.

Converting YCbCr to RGB

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I had no idea there were so many different opinions about the right formula. What a mess!

A Common (Fashion) Theme in Police Mug Shots

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

What is it…what is it…what is it.

I’m not sure, seems like there’s some common theme but I can’t quite place it.

Now being passed around through the e-mails with the following…

Now think about this for a second:

Have you ever seen anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, (or for you older guys), an Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan or even Nixon, or Bob Dole shirt?

…I guess this is just more “change” we can believe in.

I have another question to ask, that’s also been asked by others.

Who, anywhere, of sound mind and body, voted against our current President and is now sorry for having done so?

Imitation is the Sincerest Form XXV

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Back in early April I was inspired by a Saturday Night Live skit which, for a typical busybody hustle-bustle blue-blood downtown Manhattan project, was atypically harsh with our Wunder iPresident happy-liberal God-Man guy. The point to this one was that PrezBO was neglecting His new responsibilities to some extent, charged up with recklessly exuberant nostalgia over His holy inaugural festivities.

SNOBamaThis is, of course, the way SNL skits work. They are caricatures of people. They take the things we’ve been noticing about those among us who are famous, the thoughts we have been crystallizing about them — they make the presumption that these impressions are accurate — and then they exaggerate them. Usually, for me, this doesn’t work so well; I’m seldom in the majority on anything. But on this occasion the skit resonated with me because I had long ago formed the inference that Barack Obama is a special, unique person. And as a person, the way He is special and unique, is not quite so flattering as some would like to believe.

He is amazingly confident…not because of what He has experienced…as because of what He has not.

Simply put, over a stretch of nearly half a century, it would appear nobody has ever told His Exaltedness that He is — or just might possibly be — wrong about anything.

An Obvious Connection, but Maybe I’m the First to See It?

Mister Bossy Himself…and that little shit from The Twilight Zone (Original Series): It’s a Good Life. You know, the all-powerful little boy that was wishing people out to the cornfield.

This is not a constitutional separation-of-powers rant. Forget congressional oversight. Think, instead, about subordinates. Or forget about Obama’s subordinates…think about His casual acquaintances. Other than that bigoted asshole preacher of His, I don’t know of anybody who’s given Him any knowledge…or opinions, that’ve managed to sink in…or advice…or anything. Anybody. That means His sainted grandmother, mother, and Michelle.

What He knows, it would seem, is limited to what’s germinated in His cranium.

I don’t know if Basil reads my blog. I would suspect hardly anybody does. But how else do you explain this gem which appeared last night on the front page of one of my favorite hangouts, IMAO?

You’re a bad man. You’re a very bad man! And you keep thinking bad [thoughts] about me. And I’m going to wish you into the cornfield. And if any of you think bad things about me, I’ll do the same thing to you.

I’ve been robbed, but I’m not calling the police. I’m quite flattered.

Seriously, though. Barack Obama’s personality is the key to making Basil’s material the excellent satire that it is. This said personality…it is absolutely amazing. One of a kind. It is deep in its shallowness, complex in its simplicity. As a personality type, it is worthy of including in a novel because readers of the novel would remember the character for decades, after they have forgotten all other elements. We have all met a Barack Obama — and yet, at the same time, you’ll never meet anyone else quite like Him ever again. Common in its bearing, extraordinary and superhuman in its vector.

He is as confident as any strutting peacock, because like the little shit from the Twlight Zone episode, He has never been corrected. On anything. Never, never, not ever. If you’ve never been corrected, in the inferences you’ve drawn, in the decisions you’ve made, in your general conduct, what a liberating effect this has on you. How confident we would all be if we had lives like this one!

But that isn’t a good kind of confidence, necessarily. It is a confidence borne of ignorance. From April 6 to June 17, my thoughts in this regard have only crystallized further. All my thoughts about Barack Obama back then, lightly penciled in on the canvas of my mind, might as well have been chiseled in stone for I haven’t had to modify or re-think any of them. He is, as far as I’m concerned now, exactly what I thought He was back then. This is contrary to my initial expectations; I thought I would have to correct my impressions, refine them, flesh them out a little at least. Isn’t that what an open-minded, intelligent, humble man should be prepared to do? And yet — it’s been like re-thinking the geometric shape of a ball bearing. What’s there to re-think?

Like I said: Complex in His simplicity.

I do not wish to contest the notion that He is exactly the leader we want right now. To do so would be to directly contradict the message of the last election. Elections mean things. Obama won the election, because He should have won it. He is truly a leader for our times.

Right now. Because we are exceptionally bored; we want a dynamic personality, forcefulness, charisma, phony confidence — and absolutely nothing else. I see Barack Obama as the perfect leader for the times in which we live right now; and for that, I should be begging His forgiveness for delivering on Him such a rancid, grievous insult. And I would. If it didn’t apply.

Who Shares Their Personality Traits With Serial Killers?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

There are some phony egghead studies that make me cranky because they are obviously concocted to sell people on something that isn’t true, and there are other phony egghead studies that bumble into conclusions so obvious they make me wonder who spent the dough that was used for the study.

This one kind of falls into the second of those two:

Oh-oh! Politicians share personality traits with serial killers: Study

Using his law enforcement experience and data drawn from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, Jim Kouri has collected a series of personality traits common to a couple of professions.

Kouri, who’s a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.

These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers. [emphasis mine]

Reminds me of that Obama voter who ‘fessed up in a personal e-mail a year ago…he was holding secret hush-hush meetings with my boss at the time, a few years before that, saying “Don’t put Morgan in charge of this, it’ll piss everybody off.” Yup. “Everybody” turned out to be just him. He’d be pissed off because I wouldn’t back his Replacement-Jesus candidate.

Exaggerated sense of self-worth…glibness…lying…lack of remorse…manipulation of others. Check, check, check, check and check.

I don’t know why he bragged about that to me. Seems pretty stupid. But I was glad to have the insight into what was really going on behind the scenes.

Yes, absolutely, by all means let us study these people.

“While many political leaders will deny the assessment regarding their similarities with serial killers and other career criminals, it is part of a psychopathic profile that may be used in assessing the behaviors of many officials and lawmakers at all levels of government.”

I’ve noticed something else about people like this, whether they’ve gone the serial-killer route or found some other life-pursuit. It seems they can talk themselves into believing things, but only if they make an effort out of it.

It’s like their brains are divided into an inner core and a more outward section. They can tell a lie the way a “normal” person would tell a lie, which is to maintain a recognition of what is the true state of affairs, while presenting deceptions to an audience that are contrary to this recognition. So that the contents of the inner and outer sections are different. But this personality type finds that undesirable after a short time, and ultimately opts to tear down the courtyard wall that divides the inner from the outer. To repeat the lie over and over again, until he believes it down to the marrow of his bones. It makes it easier to present the lie and it’s also more effective when it comes time to persuade others to believe (or be open to) the lie.

These people are superbly confident. They have a great appeal to the weaker mind because they seem so certain about everything they do. They don’t change direction. They don’t slow down. The impression they give off is that perhaps they’d re-think things better than anyone else if something could be gained from it, but they’ve done such a dandy job of figuring things out the first time that there is no need and no point.

There is an inevitability in the things they do. There is a sense of futility involved in even thinking about opposing them. In short, they go about things just like a 20-ton wrecking ball.

That’s because they share the same mission as a wrecking ball. Thinking like a grown-up, is a burden reserved for those who design and create. Destruction is a lot easier.

The iPresident is Not Friendly to Technology

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I can’t help but wonder how these Nostradamuses — Nostradami? — thought this stuff would all fit together. I suppose I should treat them with kid gloves, lest someone in my command chain happen to come across The Blog That Nobody Reads.

But the question just has to be asked. Progressive politics is all about destroying things when you’re pretending you’re building things. Just look at all the issues…everything they want preserved, is a destructive agent. Everyone they want protected is a destroyer. Whatever they want destroyed, is something that has been known in our history to preserve, protect, build and create. They always have some talking points to muddle the picture, but that’s it in a nutshell right there.

Technology is hip, and Obama is hip. Was that the connection? Our tech geniuses fell for that? Say it ain’t so, Joe. And now they’re surprised? Come again?

…Silicon Valley played a crucial role in the success of President Obama…and Silicon Valley naturally assumed that the new President would do the same in return.

It hasn’t quite turned out that way…

The first surprise to many Valleyites is how innately anti-entrepreneurial the new Administration has turned out to be. Candidate Obama looked like a high tech executive – smart, hip, a gadget freak – and he certainly talked pro-entrepreneur. But the reality of the last six months has been very different. One might have predicted that he would use the best tool in his economic arsenal – new company creation and the millions of new jobs those firms in turn create – to fight this recession. But President Obama has instead appeared to be almost exclusively interested in Big Business as the key to economy recovery.

By comparison, almost every move the new Administration has made regarding entrepreneurship seems to be targeting at destroying it in this country. It has left Sarbanes-Oxley intact, added ever-greater burdens on small business owners, called for increasing capital gains taxes, and is now preparing to pile on cap-and-trade, double taxation on offshore earnings, and a host of other new costs. Even Obamacare seems likely to land unfairly on small companies.

Humility is an ongoing challenge in technology. Everyone who’s built anything of any value, has had to struggle with this. But still, my incredulous question stands. You have the responsibility and authority to direct the kind of money that helped get Obama elected — and you couldn’t see this coming down the pike? How does one build a technology career with that kind of blind spot? Don’t you need some kind of aptitude for looking at something, figuring out why it does the things it does, and anticipating what happens if you put some kind of thing in some kind of state or place? Isn’t that an adequate high-level description of what high-technology work is, when you get down to it? How & why the blind-siding, then?

There’s an answer as we flip over to page two. It explains everything, and that isn’t a good thing because it’s a bad, bad answer…

…[W]hy did the big tech companies embrace such regulations as Sarbanes[-Oxley] and stock options expensing – even though they would cost them billions of dollars with no obvious gain? And why would they support a Presidential candidate who seemed to have little understanding of, or sympathy for, market capitalism and business?

Because it was the best strategy to crush the start-ups. And for the most part, that strategy has worked. High tech has only seen a handful of new companies go public in the last five years – compared to hundreds per year before that. Less noticed is that this means most hot new start-up companies, instead of enjoying an IPO and becoming rich enough to compete full-on against the big boys, now can only grow to a certain size then offer themselves up to be bought by the giants. What had once been hugely valuable competition has now been reduced to a farm system for acquisitive mature companies.

Hmmm…blame Sarbanes. Interesting idea, and I see merit in it.

Get in the fucking purseWhere’s the Dan-Bricklin-Spreadsheet of the 21st century? Who are the Wozniak and Jobs of our new millenium? When and where did someone come up with a revolutionary new concept in how the everyday household organizes and looks at data? Since Sarbanes-Oxley I haven’t seen it. Yeah things are getting tinier and faster. That I can see.

But every new innovation that rounds a whole corner and brings us into a new world, seems to have to do with playing our collections of personal tunes. Someone please tell me we didn’t just start a century that will be devoted to that; from what I can see, that appears to be the case. Playing personal tunes, downloading personal tunes, getting electronically tattled-on by our own assets for downloading personal tunes illegally, and carrying dogs around in purses. Is that a complete rundown of our technological requirements in our modern age?

Geez. It’s like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in reverse, with “The Dawn of Man” at the end. Except this is REAL. That sucks.

Bridge to Nowhere on Wheels

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Adam Graham:

We Have Ways of Making You Take the Bus!

New Mexico is riding the wave of the future. Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) felt that Albuquerque needed a commuter train to carry people to work and that they couldn’t wait the normal 10 to 20 years this process usually takes. So now 2,300 people a day ride the train to Albuquerque.

The problem? The state spends $20 million a year on the train. Thus, with 2,300 people using the train, the state is spending $33.44 per passenger per day, assuming 260 business days in the year. While one could argue public transit saves wear and tear on the roads, an individual driving to and from work would have to cause more than $8,000 in wear and tear for the cost of trains to make sense.
There is a place for mass transit, particularly as cities grow. But these, and other big government transit projects, add up to the bridge to nowhere on wheels. The reason for these massive expenditures? Ideology that borders on religion.

In this new religion, taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking instead of driving are pious good works. And there is no surmounting the religion’s faith in solving transportation problems by addressing every mode of transit but what most people actually use to get from point A to point B.

Yup. It’s long been a sure way to figure out which regions in our great country are operating at less than peak efficiency. Step One, find some jurisdictions that are run by democrats and…that’s it, you’re done.

Oh darn, this year I guess that’s the whole damn country. And tragically, my rule still works.

The common theme in what goes wrong, is that the bosses have to find the most hardcore left-wing liberal-progressive way to do every li’l thing, from controlling an intersection, to coordinating the bus routes, to managing the waste.

But there is no liberal way to put stop lights on an intersection. And so…in an effort to show their piety to this false-religion, they end up doing stupid stuff and wasting lots of money.

The Realities of College Education

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Having spent a lifetime holding down jobs that are supposed to demand a college degree, while not having any formal education beyond high school, I’m still undecided about whether I possess experience here that should be shared. Maybe I should take the lead, maybe I should keep my mouth shut. I see a lot of evidence for both of those viewpoints.

Oh well, you know this guy knows what he’s talking about.

Get ready for some unpleasant surprises.

The general requirements of the first two years at most colleges are what high school should have been. That is what junior should have learned had he not been busy getting high, getting drunk, and being socially promoted.

Better high schools frequently use the same textbooks for the mandatory requirements that are used in the first two years of college. If a high school draws from the upper end of the socioeconomic scale, the courses will be more demanding than the first two years of most colleges.

Although it is fashionable to talk of our strength being our diversity, it is simply not true when teaching in a college classroom. Teachers have to teach to some middle ground, and that middle ground is going to be higher in an upper-tier high school. A classroom that draws from a wide swath of socioeconomic groups is going to have people of vastly different preparation and skill levels.

You might ask: What about admissions requirements? Aren’t these students qualified to do college work? Absolutely not! Advertised admissions requirements, save for the best institutions, are meaningless. Even in the best institutions, admissions requirements are highly suspect, given the imperative to produce a diverse student body. Advertised standards are what colleges would like their student body to look like. At many institutions, roughly twenty-five percent of students fail to meet published admissions standards.

Public colleges get reimbursed on a head count basis, so taking in more students for unused space means more revenue. In addition, every out-of-state student provides nearly twice the revenue. If your child has a mediocre academic record, have him apply to an out-of-state public college or university. You can experience the joy of paying out-of-state tuition, while still retaining the bragging rights so vital to sending your kid to college.

This is a rather old complaint, but I’ve noticed a subtly different thing going on lately which is a testament to things rounding a sharp corner right about now. I am referring here to the job requirements end of things. Simply put, in the recent years past I am absolutely flabbergasted at the rather humble positions out there that are popularly thought to require a college degree.

That lady in the restaurant who finds you your table and then goes and tells a waiter you’re ready to place your order — we’re not there quite yet. And no offense intended for restaurant hostesses, but if your position does not require a college degree, well, I think for the time being that’s appropriate. Nevertheless. I do expect that to change any year now the way things are going.

It’s like the requirement is applied, or at least some loudmouth is saying it should apply, to any job in which the successful applicant is going to be expected to read.

Nobody questions it. But someone should make an issue out of it, if for no other reason, than to sound the alarm bells about what employers do & do not recognize in high school graduation requirements. The implication, obviously, is that high school graduates can’t be relied-upon to know how to read. Is there some distance between that supposition, and what is really happening?

I hope so. But I don’t think so.

Best Sentence LXIV

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The sixty-fourth award for Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes to Jay Valentine at American Thinker, who is writing about Sarah Palin and this time it has nothing to do with the David Letterman flap. Or very little. It has to do, instead, with why she is so regularly singled out for good-natured jokes that aren’t good-natured, aren’t jokes, and aren’t funny.

Super PalinThe left is telling us something many feel, many find as a hunch, that Sarah Palin is the most dangerous threat to the Obama administration with no close second. The left is telling us this by their “over the top” attacks. Not just the Letterman assaults, but the constant barrage of grievances filed against her in Alaska. The attacks every day on Palin for no apparent reason — except that the left seems to see her quite differently from any Republican candidate. A difference of kind, not of degree.

They would never do this to Romney, Huckabee or Newt, at least not to this level. There is a clear reason — these guys couldn’t fill up a high school stadium unless they were giving out free beer.


But it gets much better. Wait for it…

Palin could fill a stadium if she were reciting a cookbook. But she isn’t. She is delivering common sense to an electorate that is becoming ever more jaded every day with the Obama nonsense. Miranda rights for terrorists? $4 trillion deficit?

Look at the blow she delivered with one phrase about “styrofoam columns” and imagine what she can do with the material Obama has recently given her.
Some thought McCain would be the anti-charisma candidate against the charisma candidate and that would work. Now we may be lining up for the common sense charisma campaign against the nonsense charisma. [emphasis mine]

As an organization becomes dysfunctional, eventually the charismatic people run everything. There really is no getting around it. But charisma doesn’t have to be silly; in fact, when it is, charisma has no widespread appeal except across a short, nearly instantaneous, window of time. It becomes a flash in the pan. People start to pay attention to policies, nevermind how much they neglected policy before. They start to hunger for things that will actually work.

Remember 2008? It seems like such a long time ago. Even people who supported Obama, conceded that their candidate’s overpowering and palpable potential for winning was entirely unrelated to His policies. The electorate wasn’t paying attention. The Obama backers knew this, in fact, in some cases even joked about it. Why wouldn’t they? It made them happy. The happier they were, the more energy their movement had, and the more energy their movement had, the more votes they picked up and the drunker they got.

Well…calling in the bar tab has a way of ending happy hour, right-quick. Even a monopoly on charisma won’t stop that from happening. But Obama doesn’t have a monopoly on charisma right now. Valentine hit a bulls-eye here — silly-charisma versus sensible-charisma, that’s exactly the contest that’s being set up. And it’s going to be beautiful to watch, or ugly, depending on your point of view.

Hat tip to Rick for the find.

Bashing Manhood, Bashing Reality

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Jaye has thoughts about Man Day, thoughts that’ll get ya thinkin’:

What we’ve got going in the present is insane. It is the present that worries me.

Absolutely, men have been systematically attacked. Every institution supports the pc mentality. Women have readily conformed. Men were more dangerous, perhaps, and so more viciously targeted. The attack on masculinity was one of the things that woke me to how sick our society had become.

The nature of men and women was attacked because it is so fundamental to how we are human together and in relationship to reality. What is being attacked is the very idea that things have an intrinsic reality. If something so fundamental is malleable, can be unanchored from reality, so can everything else. Words can mean anything, gender, sexuality, morality, society, history, same.

We deny nature, say it is not true. So nothing else we know was true, just a social construct, we will make a new one to fit. We are absolutely miserable, but we keep telling the lie until lies become the dominant mode in society not just personal relationships. We will believe that we can spend our way out of debt, that wrong is right and to be celebrated, that we can talk madmen with nukes into liking us. PC is going to kill us.

I don’t want men who do things exactly the way we are supposed to do them. I desperately want men who will do the adult version of jumping off the roof just because it’s there; who get things done, who make the world a better place just for being there, who drive the barbarians from the gates, who write music that leaves you breathless or build things that will leave you awestruck a thousand years from now or get us to the stars. All that is real.

It brings to mind something Vin Suprynowicz said about illegal aliens lately (hat tip to Gerard):

Here in America, citizens and other legal residents have every right to stage rallies, protests and demonstrations on any topic that tickles their fancy.

But they ought to say what they mean. It’s reached the point where some of these characters use so many misleading code words that you need some kind of politically correct secret decoder ring.

And I wonder if the folks who cover such events for our newspapers shouldn’t provide us with a little of that cryptanalysis.

“A coalition of labor, business, faith and immigrant rights leaders gathered in downtown Las Vegas on Monday to launch the local leg of a national campaign pushing reform of America’s immigration laws,” the Review-Journal reported June 2.

“All of us have seen the disastrous effects of this broken (immigration) system, which has enforcement only as its approach,” said Peter Ashman, chairman of Nevada’s chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “The immigration system must be overhauled to create and accommodate a balanced and sensible approach to immigration, one that takes into account our need for secure and orderly borders and protects our integrity as a nation of immigrants.”

By which Mr. Ashman actually meant to say that he now demands we “finish the job of making our borders the least secure in the world, inviting every poor person in the hemisphere to swarm here illegally, thus bankrupting legal immigrants and native-born Americana alike, and if you object I’m going to call you a racist and pretend your forebears broke just as many laws getting here as my clients break every day.”
Calling these people “undocumented” is meant to create the impression their “documents merely failed to show up in the mail,” a situation easily remedied by filling out a couple pesky forms. That’s like calling a rapist an “insensitive lover” or a bank robber a “customer who makes withdrawals without presenting proper withdrawal slips.”

Reality is scary and unpleasant sometimes. A lot of folks simply are not up to the challenge. Some of them, nevertheless, lust after the kind of power that is involved in running everything. They thirst for the “You’ll Never Work in This Town Again” power. Even though they possess a childlike weakness in dealing with things as they are. And they know it.

A quote often misattributed to Robert Kennedy is “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Supposedly this captures the liberal progressive spirit of daring to begin labors on what is known to be impossible, and ultimately achieving the impossible. That’s supposed to be the prize; that is bait for the trap. It seems what has been implemented is to dream of things as they never have been, and insist on seeing them that way even when reality continues to counsel that things aren’t really that way.

So many of these impossible things our politically-correct progressive-minded types want to undertake, have very little to do with building things and much more to do with re-defining things. Ballot after ballot after ballot asks us if we want to re-define marriage as something other than a union between a man and a woman, and when we keep saying “no” our courts threaten to step in and re-define it for us. Illegal aliens are re-defined into a class that is somehow supposed to be here. Tea party protesters are re-defined as mindless drones marching in lockstep to an unreasonable set of rules, rather than good-hearted people who are taking time out of their busy lives to speak out against unreasonable rules. President Obama’s decidedly hostile feelings toward the country He’s supposed to be leading, have been re-defined into something called “love.” He’s taking over one industry after another after another, and His solutions are supposed to be “market-based.”

The same people who have some personal beef against manliness, are the people who show a personal beef against reality. Those who spend as much energy re-defining things into something those things aren’t, as what, generations ago, manly men spent on building tunnels, bridges, skyscrapers and dams.

Jaye is on to something here. There is a connection between those who bash reality and those who bash manhood. They do seem to be the same people.

Nat Does LOL

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

LOL is, I have long maintained, freakin’ obnoxious because it doesn’t mean anything.

Nat finds it obnoxious too, but that’s because her research has revealed it does mean something. What it means is that whatever came before the LOL, is what doesn’t mean anything.

I find this to be more grating than it was when I thought the acronym itself didn’t mean anything. Of course, it has long been maintained to mean something. It’s supposed to mean “Laugh Out Loud”…which is always a lie.

Either meaning is good enough to get it on the list of words I totally hate. LOL is like a horse laugh at a bar late at night; tolerable the first three-to-five times you hear it, and after that you just want to knock someone’s block off. LOL, basically, means the same thing as “basically.” Don’t ever utilize any of them.


Chocolate telephone, chocolate telephone, chocolate telephone…

Best Sentence LXIII

Monday, June 15th, 2009

The sixty-third award for Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes out to Mr. Freedom, for his comments nine days ago on Judge Sotomayor and her nomination to the Supreme Court…more precisely, on the pinheads who nominated her:

In the anointed we find a whole class of supposedly ‘thinking people’ who do remarkably little thinking about substance and a great deal of verbal expression. In order that this relatively small group of people can believe themselves wiser and nobler than the common herd, we have adopted policies which impose heavy costs on millions of other human beings, not only in taxes, but also in lost jobs, social disintegration, and a loss of personal safety. [emphasis mine]

There is a danger that is not long in coming, when weighty decisions are made to show off some smarts and the information relevant to those decisions has not been diligently studied. The danger comes in the need to make a decision that is ironic.

See, we mediocre mortals make decisions on a daily basis that make sense immediately. So our superiors are therefore forced to make decisions with a “WTF?” factor. If they make the same decision any one of us ordinary folks would’ve made, then what’s the point? And so, because of their perceived extraordinary-smartness, they have to do nutty things. Pay more attention to I’m-a-nut-job over in Iran, than to Gordon Brown in the UK. Cap-and-trade. Twenty-seven czars. Putting General Motors under government control. Parading down the street without any clothes on.

Those few who demand to see some solid evidence of “thinking” from those superiors who are running things now, are left sucking air. There’s far too much self expression going on for any quality thinking to take place.

And, tragically, we are left with a situation in which decisions are required to not make sense. Because that would imply that the persons making the decisions are a little bit too…mortal.

A Much Better Apology

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Yes, it’s still full of holes. I’m not saying if I was Todd or Sarah Palin I’d be inviting David Letterman over for dinner soon…or ever…in fact, I think I can still reassure you he’d be on my permanent block-list, since I’m from Earth and have red blood, and the situation is really quite clear. He’s just a fellow I wouldn’t care to have in my inner circle, y’know? But you can reach that conclusion, and still at the same time accept the apology.

He’s just a phony-edgy-comedian who got caught up in his own cleverness and said something indecent. He shot his mouth off and asked questions later…which is, when you think about it…kind of the job description. I think this is good enough for us to move on. I know Gov. and Mr. Palin have the final word on that, but that’s my take on it. David Letterman’s a dimbulb who didn’t mean any real harm. He’s just guilty of being a dimbulb.

“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “- thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.” (audience applause)

Two points to make here.

First — I still want to keep up my personal war on this brand of humor. You know what I mean; you must; for I have already explained it. That thing where, your joke isn’t really funny but it is calculated to offend and annoy a selected demographic, thereby pleasing another selected demographic that is elated whenever unpleasantness is created for the former demographic.

Conservative, liberal, I don’t give a shit. That just isn’t funny. When you’re in your forty-third year there is some effort involved in staying up for late-night comedy, and I want to see something truly funny. A bunch of bullshit about “I’m on your side all you hip people, so that makes me a cool comedian!” is a waste of my time and my DVR space.

Second. One of my favorite grocery cashiers rang up my purchase this weekend, and he happened to comment on how much he liked my pro-Palin shirt. “I don’t want her running the country, but she is a wonderful broad,” he said. Now that I’m seeing some of these comments (“I don’t like her politics, but this joke was…” et cetera) my mind flashes back to that conversation.

I have a question that is coming to me because of Sarah Palin’s new place in our evolving culture. This “I don’t like her politics BUT” place she has in our culture. Every time Gov. Palin’s name comes up and she is unquestionably in the right, which is nearly always, here comes that tired old disclaimer. “I don’t like her politics, or I don’t want to see her running anything important, but.”

And here’s a real quick bunny trail. “I don’t want her running the country” is a strange thing to say, Mister Cashier — because my shirt didn’t say “Sarah Palin is a swell gal” or “Sarah Palin is a cool broad.” My shirt said I did want her running things. It said “Palin in 2012.” Because I do want her making decisions. I think she’d do a better job than the folks who really are running things. A far, far better job…even if she is a chick. She was, and is, the best man for the job, period. Better than Barry, better than Mac, better than Doctor Ron, better than Mitt, better than Rudy. A real man can admit when the skirt is in the right, and that rule applies here. ‘Fess up, guys.

But back to the subject at hand. Here’s my question.

What is the MOST reprehensible position Sarah Palin has on anything? What is the most awful, repugnant, opprobrious, (breaking out the thesaurus here) scurrilous, reproachful, ignominious, inglorious, shameful, abhorrent, notorious, dishonorable, sinful…aw c’mon, by now, surely you get the picture…insert impressive list of synonyms here…position Gov. Sarah Palin has on anything? It’s such a popular thing to say, surely somewhere someone has to be able to answer to this.

Is it — when she is pregnant with a child that will be disabled, she decides not to kill him?

Is it — when we’re spending billions of dollars subsidizing terrorists by importing our oil, she’d rather have us digging it out of our own domestic reserves?

Is it — when she’s a Republican, and she’s eyeball to eyeball with Republican corruption, she takes it on anyway because she’s got more balls than some of the men have?

Is it — when a bottom-feeding ankle-biting late-night hack comedian makes a sexual joke about her fourteen-year-old daughter, she says & does something about it?

Are those the terrible, awful policy positions that it’s so fashionable for people to oppose?

Someone clue me in in the comments below, please. I’m dead flat-ass serious; I’d really like to know.

Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot… XX

Monday, June 15th, 2009

PresBO has a food taster? I realize this is a whole week old by now…but…WTF? This is in Europe somewhere, a thousand years ago?

A US “taster” tested the food being dished up to President Barack Obama at a dinner in a French restaurant, a waiter said on Sunday.

“They have someone who tastes the dishes,” said waiter Gabriel de Carvalho from the “La Fontaine de Mars” restaurant where Obama and his family turned up for dinner on Saturday night.
Asked by AFP to comment, the restaurant confirmed the report.

Such an arrangement is stunningly egotistical — a situation which no longer stuns me. But it also strikes me as impractical in the twenty-first century. A food taster?

It’s a no brainer. You figure out how much time it takes our Gloriously Anointed iPresident to wait and gobble down His chow after His taster has done the tasting — then you double that. Use our modern miracle science to find a poison that works that long, and then presto. Not that I mean to give anyone any ideas of course. Just sayin’, this makes very little sense…and by very little, I mean none.

Like, the bloating-up of the ego, is the whole point. Which I wouldn’t doubt.

Hat tip to American Princess.

Happy Man Day

Monday, June 15th, 2009

It’s today.

A pair of Indiana brothers, Joel and Aaron Longanecker, have convinced more than a quarter-million males to promise to “stand up and do manly things” on June 15 in observance of their proposed new holiday — National Man Day.

Their National Man Day page on Facebook urges men across the country to take time to get in touch with their masculine sides on Monday. Suggested activities include playing football, camping, hunting, eating 18-ounce steaks, blowing things up, shooting guns, punching each other for no reason, pumping some iron or “watching every Rambo movie from beginning to end. Straight through!”

The purpose of the proposed holiday, according to the National Man Day page, is to acknowledge that the time has arrived “to take back the crown of masculinity.”

Huffington Post has a link to the official page.

Pretty cool idea. I have two suggestions: Put it on a weekend, and make it kid-specific. Little boys can be taken outdoors to do guy-stuff with their dads and his goofy guy-friends — like Boy Scouts activities, but sillier. Things that provide that mysterious attraction to the male genome. Like dropping things off a tall bridge, trying to hit floating things in the river below. Taking that old computer you just replaced that is really not worth anything, hauling it out to a rock quarry, and blasting it with a 12-gauge. Water balloon fights. Little girls can be tasked to write some essays listing out what’s good about boys and men. Why not? Nobody will ever ask ’em to do it again, and it would be good for them. They could make some arts and crafts, maybe a coaster that says “DUDEZ R COOL” (an edible one) and then give it to their favorite fella — along with a chicken drumstick covered with sauce and a cold mug o’ beer. Kinda like an un-Valentine’s Day.

I don’t know if this is spot-on or not, because I don’t have a Facebook account so I can’t view the page. Not too interested in getting one going. In my house, every day is Man Day.

How Many Jobs Saved?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Can ya blame it all on the guy who was in there before? Really?

Hat tip to Gerard. And here’s a quick question: In all the nations in the civilized world, in all of documented human history — what are the most successful and effective government stimulus programs? Name five.

Aw heck. Name one. And no, I don’t count tax cuts. Know why? Because that would make it too easy.

Big Wins, Epic Fails

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Purple Avenger is posting on Ace’s blog, inviting comments: Among your purchases, what are your big wins and epic fails? One of each, please.

As of now there are 547 comments, so you know there is some interesting/entertaining reading in there.

For my money — the same way George Washington was posthumously promoted to outrank any & all officers in any military branch, past present and future, Bessie is going to have to take her place at the top of the stack of big wins, now and forevermore. Nineteen years and 340 thousand miles, how can you even begin to compete with that?

The big epic fail is going to have to be marrying the creature that picked Bessie out. I’ve seen a special kind of pure evil, the kind of evil that doesn’t know it’s evil. So many of our little girls are being raised into women who spend their whole lives going around destroying people and things, not stopping long enough to realize that this is all life has to offer them anymore. And they think all they’re doing is chasing a dream. Kinda like some drivers have never been in an accident before, and God only knows how many they’ve caused. Don’t ask for details; I have very few to share. Between August of ’89 and November of ’91 I really can’t remember much. Nothing, really. Like aliens came in the middle of the night and killed off some brain cells — as an act of mercy. Oh well, I eventually paid it all off.

I don’t have too much sympathy for that “With Our Combined Salaries We Can Afford It” shit. In fact, I have a special name for it now: That “With Our Combined Salaries We Can Afford It” shit. I remember the nightmare started out with a sales pitch something like that…and me falling for it…and her deciding real life was a little too boring for her attention span, and suddenly combined salaries didn’t have much to do with anything. Not at all an unusual story. I’m ready to forget all about it entirely, except the next generation of gullible stupid males needs to be enlightened.

The Microsoft C compiler I bought in ’87 was a big win. I should think of it that way, I started a whole career off of it…and it’s still sputtering along.

The teevee set and the DVD/VCR combo that uploads pictures to it. The desktop computer. The “Daddy Fridge” outside, li’l tiny thing, which I taught my son since he was old enough to walk has all the beverages for him, and more important, for me. All these things have hung around for awhile by now and absorbed more than their share of abuse. Oh, yeah, and the boy himself who brings me my liquids from the Daddy Fridge. That one’s a win. He hasn’t been that expensive, really…except maybe in terms of aggravation. Oh, no wait. Counting everything, he’s been about as expensive as any other kid, which is plenty. What the hell, I think I’ll keep ‘im.

Not to name names or anything, but I’m ready to say any company that has ever automatically billed my bank account on a monthly basis, for any reason, without any exceptions at all, has been an epic fail.

My BikeOh yeah, and that trailer. I hadn’t thought of it, it was between 8/89 and 11/91 — that fog got in the way. Not ready to talk about it yet. (Shudder.) That there’s a certifiable case of PTSD, I think. Decades of nightmares. Young people, don’t live in trailers, ever. Nobody treats you decently, nobody respects you. Can’t blame ’em; they’re looking at someone who doesn’t think he deserves to live in a decent home. Epic fail.

The bike. It’s a reasonably high-quality 24-speed mountain bike hybrid. When you’re over forty, it’s important to do something…something…anything…that isn’t sitting still. And I’ve got a good number of some pretty nice pictures out of these adventures. Pictures and suntans. Without it, I’d probably piss away all my years in the Golden State sitting in a chair swearing at a computer, eventually leaving the state all fat, flabby, pale, ugly, knowing no more about my surroundings at that date than I did on the day I moved here, which would be tragic in the extreme. Big win.

Oh, I have one silly, unexpected thing. One December I had to get a Christmas tree, and I took the time and trouble to find some spring hooks that were sized perfectly for the reinforced brackets under my sedan. I bought twenty feet of the best brand of rope I could get, and used it to connect them together — for fifteen years after that, every Christmas season the rope would come out, and once the Christmas tree was up, the rope would be put away. Never even had to untie anything. Win. It’s mostly the simple things, you see.

I can see how this would easily turn into a handy piece of advice for young adults just starting out.

So here’s a piece of frosting on the cake: The instant you have an address that is not your parents’, get yourselves a fucking paper shredder. Cross-cut. Pick one night of the week that is free, make a ritual out of doing all your laundry, cleaning your rotten food out of the fridge, and feeding all that useless bullshit in your mail to your paper shredder. Any & all credit card offers need to be part of the meal, because a credit card you really want to have won’t be offered to you that way.

Don’t think about it, don’t question it, just do it.

In short: Be cynical, and when someone tells you to stop being that way, stay that way. Put some high-quality thought into how people who have nothing of value to offer, in services or in goods, get money out of other people. Then channel some serious energy into not being those other people. That means gym memberships, multi-level marketing, MARRIAGE, selling shitty single-wide trailers, high interest credit cards. You can fill in all the blanks in the list after those. Figure out what those things are, and then stay away from the “business end.”

Then learn to enjoy the passage of time.

A happy, enviable life is yours.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

The Alaska Fund Trust Webathon

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Please watch the video all the way through, it isn’t long.

The drive takes place from June 15-22, and I would really like to see a whole lot of money pour in from people who disagree with Sarah Palin politically. On whatever issue it is. Let’s say…you love watching our government sunk into hopeless depths of debt, you want more babies butchered, you think it makes lots of sense to keep our own oil in the ground and burn food to make the cars go…

Okay, no need to get nasty by calling things what they are. Let’s just say it’s some other issue. You’re just dancing a jig because the lightweight from the Arctic was voted down and sent back home up North where she belongs. Or you bought into the character assassination and believe she really is a dimbulb, and thank goodness we got Mister Two Teleprompter handling all our weighty problems. These next words are for you.

Although Alaska is getting along well enough we should wish the rest of the country is doing as nicely — and that is pretty much a lost hope for the immediate future now — there is one flaw with the fiftieth state. It has a reprehensibly low threshold of requirement for filing ethics complaints against public officials…any public officials. As I understand it, you prove you’re a resident, you say you’re concerned about something, sign something and away we go. No filing fee.

This is being leveraged in a “death by a thousand paper cuts” strategy so that the persons and organizations who disagree politically with Gov. Palin can let her know how they feel about her — and she can spend her personal finances into a deep hole trying to fight them. Which she’s doing, a lot more effectively than I or most of us could if we were put in the same position. Nevertheless, it isn’t cheap.

So these words are for those who do not yet have an opinion about what’s going on here. But don’t want to see Palin or anyone like her running anything, because their values are different from hers.

These are the words:

This STINKS. To high heaven.

You know it. Everybody else knows it.

It is not an effective way to bring a higher standard of ethics to any level of government. Anyone with working tissue topside of the brain stem, knows that too. What it does, is the opposite, which is to host attempt after attempt after pathetic attempt to install a custom-crafted dictatorship by bullying and intimidating anyone in any position of power, who might want to offer a reasoned challenge against what’s being attempted. It is tyranny. And regardless of ideological persuasion, we all have a stake in making sure at the end of the day, it does not work.

I hope you join me in donating.

Flag Day, 2009

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Via American Geek (two years ago).

Rush Limbaugh Called Chelsea Clinton a Dog

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

The latest left-wing response to the whole David-Letterman-Joke-Problem thing is that Rush Limbaugh did something just as bad. He’s supposed to have called Chelsea Clinton a dog back in 1993, during her father’s first year in office as President.

Let’s just delay addressing the verity of that statement, for just a quick second. Instead, the brand of response is worthy of inspection because this is such a consistent thing with left-wing types. Every single argument, at the time it is dropped and we all go on to the next one, has to be left with the realization that left-wingers are morally superior. Every single one. No exceptions. No matter what awful thing you saw a lefty do, somewhere there was a right-winger who did something far worse…and the right-wingers lack the moral standing to make the same type of counterclaim.

My point is, if left-wing policies were sound — if they produced positive effects just once in awhile — it wouldn’t be necessary to spend so much energy sustaining this. As the twentieth century drew to a close, our left-wing President was enmeshed in a sex scandal and on that one occasion, the defense was a little bit different. It was: A public servant’s private life is separate from his performance in his public office. This, I think, actually made sense on some level. They were flocking to the editorial pages and the airwaves, to lecture us that this guy from our nation’s history was a complete ineffectual dimbulb even though he was faithful to his wife, and that other guy cheated on his wife constantly but without his service, our country never would have gotten past some crisis or another.

Here’s what’s funny. On no other general topic does this argument make more sense, than political correctness. Certainly, it makes a lot more sense there, than it does on the subject of the most powerful man in the world sticking his dick down the throat of a girl young enough to be his daughter. But the editorialists and the pundits and the talk show hosts and others with the “heavy voices” that carry so much influence with the rest of us, never seem to challenge the political correctness codebook with that challenge.

Perhaps it doesn’t happen, because it would make too much sense. Perhaps, if someone with a golden name and platinum reputation worth defending, lent that name and reputation to the idea that hey — you can be politically incorrect as all get-out, and still show some capacity for leaving the world, and your local responsibilities, in a state better than the way you found them — that would be the beginning of some kind of end. The one loose thread that undoes the whole sweater. Just a thought.

Now then. Is it accurate. Or did the liberals, in their embarrassment, their agitation, their eagerness to lash back, dredge up yet another false chestnut. How come it is that when conservatives complain about Letterman’s joke, they have some video to show us, and when liberals take up their righteous indignation about Rush Limbaugh and Chelsea Clinton, all they have is fourth-hand rumors and hearsay? Is that because Letterman engaged his hijinks just this last week but in Limbaugh’s case it was sixteen years ago?

Or has someone’s imagination been working overtime?

You be the judge.

I’m not terribly interested in the whole thing because to me, none of this is about personal character. There are decent liberals…I know of a few. There are scumbag liberals, and there are decent and scumbag conservatives. Unless you’re trying to assert that one side or another has a complete monopoly on this character issue, in one direction or another — which is ridiculous — what is the point?

No, to me, the point is the extreme lengths to which one must go, to make a bankrupt ideology look good. That, and this psychotic fixation some of our more prominent lefties have with Alaska’s eleventh Governor. That is the point.

So to me, the whole Limbaugh/Chelsea thing…even if I was open to the idea that liberals are inherently superior to conservatives morally…even if I believed every single word of Al Franken’s urban legend here, uncritically…would be, and is, a change in topic. I would have to hope there was an intent to deceive involved in bringing it up. The alternative explanation is that the liberals bringing it up, don’t realize how off-topic it is, because the whole point to the Letterman kerfuffle went whistling over their heads.

Update: Study in contrasts. Don Surber is, if I’m reading him right — I’m not certain about this — ready to accept the Rush/Chelsea/Dog legend uncritically:

And yes, Rush, love ya but there is no statute of limitations on such stupidity.

One has only to follow the link above to understand why I would consider that to be a little bit of a mistake.

Don Stott at Musket Balls brings us a video embed that captures Keith Olbermann’s take on it. Admittedly, it’s an apples-to-goofballs comparison to draw parallels between Surber and Olbermann…and I realize I already owe Don Surber an apology for it. But Olbermann’s argument is “Alright let’s get this straight, WE are the political-correct folks, those conservatives aren’t allowed to complain about any of this. Even if my side had any flaws. Which it doesn’t.”

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This is part of that give-no-quarter, cede-no-territory, admit-no-wrongdoing strategy embraced by the left. Which I guess must ultimately work. But it sure looks silly when you watch it in operation, especially within its intended forum which is in competition with the other guys. Here’s Don Surber making something of a sincere effort to be consistent. He says, yeah, if Rush did the same thing, then that was wrong too. Olbermann’s point is logically absurd; it attacks itself. “It isn’t bad taste when we do it,” or, “It isn’t an unfair attack if it’s done to them.”

And that’s why I don’t think these people are going to be in power too long. The nation is hungry for leadership by grown-ups. I know it doesn’t look that way when a flim-flam man comes along and offers everyone free house payments, free groceries, free gas in the car, the world will love us and we’ll each get a unicorn — and the voters say “Heck yeah, we want this guy!” But I think everyone’s a little sick and tired of the team-team-team stuff. On both sides. The our-guys-can-do-no-wrong, those-other-guys-can-do-nothing-right stuff. I think the nation’s hungry for a discussion about which policies work. I’ve been hungry for that for a long time now, and I know back in November I was shown to be in a decided minority on that.

But since then…we’ve talked about everything else haven’t we? Michelle Obama’s fashion, Michelle Obama’s arms, Barack Obama’s apologies, Barack Obama is still awesome, stimulus plan we oh-so-much-hope works, executives paid too much money, Julia Roberts and Keith Olbermann still hate Republicans…et cetera…et cetera…et cetera…

I think Obama is a one-termer because I think in short order, significant numbers of people are going to be fatigued in the same way I am. It really doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

I Made a New Word XXIX

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Spew·mor (intang. n.)

Hatchet LettermanSimply put, it is humor that isn’t funny.

There’s more to it than that. A joke that is supposed to be genuinely funny, and then fails, doesn’t qualify. This is a narrower definition applied to jokes that were never intended to be truly funny. It applies to tidbits of “humor” that are called “humor” simply to avoid criticism, to apply a thin veneer of plausible levity to what is intended to spew, and has the effect of so spewing, bile. Jokes that are intended more to ingratiate the person telling it with a desirable fellowship, than to elicit a good sincere belly-laugh. This type of joke inspires nothing more than courtesy chuckles, which may be artificially amplified into a booming obsequious horse laugh if the person laughing truly shares the venomous sentiments with the person telling the joke. But nobody really laughs at this kind of a joke.

The object of the exercise is to identify the common bond between the person telling the joke and the person hearing the joke, by defining a common target of hate. It offers a message of leading-by-example. It says “See, in my presence you do not need to treat this person with respect or decency; look at me; I don’t.”

As Greg Gutfield at The Daily Gut observes: “[I]deology clouds what you find funny. If you’re a lefty, then a Palin joke is priceless. If you’re a righty, it’s lame. That’s just the way it is.” That is at least halfway true. But what’s left out is, in the case of Letterman’s joke at the expense of Sarah Palin’s daughter, lefties don’t find it funny either.

If they’re extra-extra motivated by ideological spite, and extra-extra visceral in acting out on it, and exceptionally juvenile in their public antics — they visibly sympathize with it. That’s all. They don’t find it truly “funny” in the classic sense. They just feel good that someone is going after what they consider to be a morsel of low-hanging fruit, and a deserving target. That isn’t the same as finding something funny.

Week Ending June 12, 2009

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Do you realize what an incredible week this has been? I’m ready to go ahead and call it right now: In the months and years ahead, when Republicans and democrats try to figure out when the national scene all turned around, there will be bipartisan agreement that the fickle wheel of fortune did its spinning in the week ending June 12, 2009. That is when the Republicans really returned to power; when the democrats really fell out of it. When mainstream America figured out the Obama experiment was, in all the ways that mattered, a complete failure. Time to absorb the lessons of reality and let the tender bloated easily-bruised ego receive the punishment that had been coming.

There is, I confess, some wishful thinking involved in that. But that’s not really a bad thing. Every triumph against the odds, in human history, has started with that. And there certainly have been some. I’ll presume, for the thinking reader, no listmaking is necessary to bolster that point.

Let us instead fixate our list-making obsession on the week just departed. And in doing that, let us start with the big kahuna:

David Letterman’s sad, pathetic, stupid joke. Does Letterman have a Republican plant on his writing staff? The damage done here was incalculable. The joke delved down deep into what everybody knew, in their dark subconciousnesses, and brought it bubbling up into the light where it all had to be consciously acknowledged: How humor itself has been re-defined in the early part of the twenty-first century. Blue-blood super-liberal Manhattan comedian makes a conservative look like a buffoon, and the rest of us give a courtesy laugh. Even though it’s NOT FUNNY. This has been a seriously powerful weapon in the liberal arsenal, because if you respond to this the way a reasonable person does — roll your eyes — in our modern, twisted culture, you’re a die-hard lunatic extremist. In a more reasonable environment it is acknowledged that it takes a die-hard lunatic extremist to do the laughing.

The punchline simply didn’t pack any humor. Nobody’s waltzing into a bar and saying “Hey, didja hear the one about Alex Rodriguez and Sarah Palin’s daughter?”

What Letterman did, was wake up the “mainstream” Americans who don’t give a rip about conservatives or liberals — but who could’ve easily been suckered into voting liberal with some well-placed signals that Republicans are subhuman, beneath contempt, it’s okay to abuse ’em so it certainly should be alright to vote against ’em without bothering to study up on the issues. Well from here on out, maybe that will still work, but I think America will have a little bit better idea of what’s being done to it now. And that can’t be good for the plan.

Elsewhere on the Manhattan-lib fashion-plate front, Katie Couric’s ratings plummeted some more, and fellow fashion-plate blue-blood Manhattan-lib Jon Stewart actually had the balls to made fun of her about it.

Paul Krugman, seldom correct but never in doubt, tried to lead a charge against right-wing hate by fastening the identity of the Holocaust Memorial shooter to the conservative movement. And everly ambitious, he thought as long as he was at it he’d try to revive some credibility for that discredited Homeland Security report. He failed on both counts; as is usual for Mr. Krugman, his point failed when it was discovered the facts simply weren’t on his side. Hating George Bush, hating John McCain, being a registered Maryland democrat…these are not traits that typically apply to conservative-movement agitators. But they applied to this nutburger who’s supposed to be our new icon for conservative hate. Swing and a miss.

By now, there had arisen an urgent need to prove what was supposed to have already been proven seven months ago: that the democrats were innately nice folks, and there was something about human nature that made Republicans inherently mean. Typically, democrats like to pursue this with an objective of purity: Everything anybody does that is nice was inspired by a progressive movement somewhere, and every anecdote about man’s inhumanity to man has some conservatism in it somewhere. The Letterman joke all by itself was plenty enough to upset that applecart, so now the effort was to recover the sentiment through saturation. President Obama’s former Pastor and spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright demonstrated his impeccable timing by choosing this as the week for his comments about talking to his former spiritual pupil: “Them Jews aren’t going to let me speak to him.” Good one! That guy we elected President to start our new Hopenchange good-time rock-n-roll chapter in history, who’d inspire us all to do better and love each other — he received spiritual counsel from this bigot for two solid decades. Republicans tried to warn ya. Ya didn’t listen. It was, and is, a reality. Yet another reminder.

And the week was still young.

Ah, but our country certainly knew what it was doing. We had a skeptical, energetic and free press filling us in on what was going on, and letting us come to our own decision about who would get our vote. Right? Well…hope you didn’t put too much faith in that. If you did, it might have come as a bit of a shock when Evan Thomas went on record to say President Obama “is sort of God.” Chris Matthews agreed. Yup. Real balanced and objective, there, gentlemen. I don’t understand why anyone ever doubted you. They must have been a bunch of unreasonable, lying, irrational, bitter angry conservatives.

Perhaps this is why — also this last week — a San Francisco Chronicle editor said “Obama and the fawning press need to get a room.”

After all that, the solid meat is still just ahead of us. Remember back in January when, if the world went to war and caught fire, you’d never have heard a single thing about it because the news was all filled up with stories about Michelle Obama’s gowns, Barack Obama’s ten balls (!), and hope was in the air? About how much the economy sucked but it was all going to get more better because we had our hopey changey iPresident now and He was going to fix everything? Nowadays the hardcore liberals, the mildly liberals, and the main-street guys who don’t care or say they don’t care — still defend that because hey, it’s only been five months since then. Give Him a chance! He’s trying His best! It’s too early, and He inherited all this! Well…sit down for this one…now, according to Rasmussen, by a six-point margin Republicans are more trusted than democrats on economic issues. Yup, that’s from this week too.

Now how’d that happen? I see a link between that story, and the one about the study from Ohio that found conservatives are more open to opposing arguments than liberals. Call me Pollyanna, but I think even the Main Street folks who don’t give a crap about any of this, intuitively understand that you can’t make good decisions in life if you already have your mind made up about something before you gather the facts. What I’m trying to say is that people want to follow a good leader, they know in their guts what a good leader looks like, and they don’t want to see someone locked into a mindset and with that mindset, a narrow field of options from which to choose for any given situation. Which, ironically, is what the democrats keep saying, citing reasons why conservatives can’t be trusted. But it turns out, in reality as well as in public opinion, liberals are the narrow-minded ones. This was aptly demonstrated when the study hit the innerwebs, and some cloistered communities of liberals aired their reactions to it. It typically looked something like this.

It’s not news to anyone who’s really been paying attention. But liberals are not open-minded, they’re not receptive to all points of view, they’re not willing to listen to new ideas, and they damn sure aren’t tolerant of anything called “diversity” unless, by diversity, you’re referring to monochrome concentrations of dark skin.

President Obama also thought He would demonstrate His impeccable political timing. Now that the country He was supposed to be leading was showing its reservations about investing in Him all this godlike power, He thought He’d appoint a czar to limit executive compensation at private firms. Now, He may have found it politically expedient to limit the effects of this to corporations accepting taxpayer funds in the form of bailout programs…and He may want to promote that…but you just can’t get around that it raises serious questions about the relationship between government and the private sector. And how long would such a policy remain limited to bailout firms? We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the polls to come out, I think. But my gut says most people are on my side on this thing, or at least, are similarly concerned. This is an alteration of the fundamental relationship between our government and the people it purports to govern. The party hacks get to decide if I’m making too much money, and cut me off at the knees if they think I’m getting as big as they are? What country is this again?

The point is, I thought it was Obama’s predecessor who was supposed to be making us ask that question.

Affirmative Action was in the news this week. You know what that is, right? That’s where, if your racial makeup is caucasian and you try to make something of yourself, you are artificially injured to help make up for the abuse that was heaped on persons of darker skin in times past. It’s a tit-for-tat thing. No wait…it isn’t…supposedly, it’s an effort to help the disenfranchised and underprivileged, and it’s entirely color-blind, any thoughts muttered to the contrary are purely hardcore right-wing agitprop. It’s long been my impression that a bare majority of the country does support Affirmative Action, but because and only because they believe that last summation. In other words, by a bare majority, we are on board with helping the underprivileged but we do not want special race-based privileges to apply. So it was further damaging when it came out that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer ‘fessed up that she is an “Affirmative Action baby” in comments released by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Affirmative Action baby…as in…her test scores were not comparable to her classmates’ test scores. She leapfrogged ahead in line because of her racial background. Her statement that says that.

Is America on board with that kind of Affirmative Action program? An outcome-based one that confers the same prestigious position — Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in this case! — upon members of beneficiary-groups with mediocre achievements, as it would upon a boring-old-white-guy who can offer spectacular achievements? Don’t forget, across all racial classifications, mediocre people vastly outnumber spectacular people. So what are the ultimate consequences of this? More to the point, could the country possibly become worried about such consequences? Want to have your next brain surgery done by someone who’d never been called on to truly distinguish himself, except by his or her race? Does Main Street USA’s support for Affirmative Action extend that far? Maybe we’re about to find out.

Congressman Barney Frank…whom nobody thinks is a Republican…demonstrated that much-lauded progressive-liberal patience and tolerance for diverse points of view during a live television interview. Wonder if they factored this in to that above-mentioned study.

And then we had that progressive-liberal respect for the rule of law demonstrated by our Climate Queen — yeah, that’s another matter, our liberals-in-charge want to control our weather. Climate czar Carol Browner apparently violated the Presidential Records Act.

So the picture’s pretty complete — as it has been for awhile, but in this damaging, damaging week, it was pencilled in, painted in, tinted, shaded, and framed to perfection in such a way that the apathetic mainstream centrist voters can understand it. And understand it well. These people are in power, uncontested, out of control, as closed-minded as any Republican has ever been, hateful, intolerant, impetuous, as pissy and resentful as any loser of elections has ever been. They are as dim and incurious as George W. Bush has ever been. They cannot get along with anyone else, even their own. They cannot deal with important decisions because they cannot deal with facts. They just want to have power over everybody else, and that’s all. Well, that and accumulate magnitudes of personal wealth as lofty and imposing as what they would deny to others.

The only thing missing from this week…and this may have happened too, if I missed it…was the usual, regularly “scheduled” embarrassing gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden. Other than that one cherry on top, everything else was there this week.

Small wonder that Biden’s old contender for the #2 spot, apparently felt so justified in saying I told you so.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Autism: The Extremely Male Brain?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Autism isn’t nearly as big a part of my life now as it was just a few short years ago. My son’s pretty much decided to turn his brain on (for the time being), and all the well-wishers and buttinski educators who saw Rain Man one too many times have backed off on throwing the A-word around. In fact, they’re lining up to say “Morgan Freeberg, the Dad, boy he had it right all along, and we all wish we listened to him all those years ago instead of giving him all that guff we gave him.”

That last part I made up just now. That ain’t happening. Folks are coming around, they’re recuperating from their feverish infections of OCBASASBDII, but they’re going to amazing lengths to pretend it’s all their idea.

But a few years ago — although no one involved is going to back me up on this — I was a lonely voice in the wilderness. Everyone who was anyone, swore up and down that my son had some kind of learning disability, usually Autism or Asperger’s. My side of the story was that the boy was solidifying a personality type, one that was becoming more pronounced as he became older, but was actually selected before he saw his first birthday, probably. He was what, in generations past, was politely called a “nerd,” and nowadays is categorized into any one among dozens and dozens of LD’s.

Kids haven’t changed. Our expectations of them have changed. They are to be hyper-normal; if they aren’t, then into the yawning, hungry, steroid-saturated, explosively-growing special-ed system they go.

Dr. Helen has dredged up an interesting take on all this:

I read a good article in a recent copy of Forbes on Simon Baron-Cohen, the author of The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism. The article asks the questions, “What caused the explosion in autism diagnoses?” and “Why are boys more affected by this disorder?” Baron-Cohen’s answers provide a different way of looking at autism:

Baron-Cohen has been the first to advance and test some groundbreaking ideas in the field. But as for what has caused the increase in reported cases, he doesn’t put undiscovered toxins at the top of the list of suspects. “A good part” of the rise, he says, can be explained by better diagnosis and an expanded definition of autism.

Since autism was first described in 1943, the definition has shifted. Doctors have come to agree that autism is characterized by poor social skills, communication difficulties and strong, narrow interests and repetitive behavior. Once upon a time it was understood as categorical: Either you were autistic or you weren’t. Starting in the late 1990s, Baron-Cohen advanced the idea of an autism spectrum on which everyone falls, just as we would fall on a spectrum of height. As he sees it, we’re all a little bit autistic. …

Baron-Cohen is responsible for spreading the idea that the autistic brain is basically an extreme version of the male brain. He observed that people with autism were better at things for which men show more aptitude than women (like systemizing) and worse at things for which women show more aptitude than men (like empathizing). It’s noteworthy that boys are diagnosed with autism four times as often as girls. “There was this massive clue that nature was giving us that autism might be in some way sex-linked,” he says.

Baron-Cohen (his first cousin is Sasha Baron Cohen of Borat fame) doesn’t believe we should see autism as an epidemic. “The same genes that make a person good in a systemizing occupation, like math, physics or engineering, may also contribute to autism…Eradicating autism could mean eliminating genes from the gene pool that are probably key to such abilities as doing complex mathematics.”

It’s almost a word-for-word echo of what I said in that five-hour-long parent-teacher conference we had when my son was finishing up Kindergarten, as I was splitting up with his mother.

Now that all the air conditioning, refrigeration, e-mail and broadband have all been invented, and we have our water delivered to our doorsteps on exactly the same patch of land where our ancestors had to lift it out of a well — we just don’t have that much to worry about. We think we do, but we don’t. So we all want our kids to be bubbly, chatty and precocious. We don’t see value in any other personality trait at that age.

But talk-a-mile-a-minute youngsters can’t solve problems. Oh, a few of them can — the extraordinary bright specimens who can burn the candle at both ends. But even they, with a glut of success on the social-skills front, will find the cognitive skill challenges to be a bit of a bore after awhile, and abandon them.

And so, to continue surviving, we need this personality type now more than ever. In a milder form it is simply the Myers-Briggs INTP personality profile. In an extreme form it is a superlatively male brain…otherwise known as Autistic. Baron-Cohen may be on to something here.

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… XXXI

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Fellow Right Wing News contributor Dr. Melissa Clouthier has picked out her list of hot, sweaty, sexy conservative blogger guys. And guess what. It’s completely unexpected now…but…wait for it…

We didn’t make the cut.

In spite of the fact that we look exactly like this*:

Well like they say, there’s no accounting for taste. And as has been the case since prehistoric times, the girls get to figure out which ones among us reproduce and which ones among us do not. Melissa is certainly one of the sharper ones, but do you think for a moment that, if they took pride in the way they were doing their selecting, we’d be in the world of hurt in which we find ourselves today? I think not.

Gals, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Ah well. I’m sure Dr. Mel was taking the quite reasonable approach of compiling her list of eye-candy from those masculine specimens who had their portraits available, and easy to find. Which is not us. Heck, we’re The Blog That Nobody Reads. So don’t be too hard on her.

*In the mind’s eye of blogsister Daphne. The facial features aren’t quite accurate, and the body style is slightly different, but she did get our early-morning blogging dress code right.

Twilight of Honeymoon

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Republicans are now more trusted on economic matters, and it’s by a large differential. Six points, 45% to 39%.

But I find it to be even more of an indicator that FARK just closed a photoshop contest with a theme of “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.” With some snort-worthy results, like this one:

By my count, The Holy One made it in three times. Three. (Update: Maybe only twice.) As in, gosh, it seemed like such a swell idea at the time. On FARK. It would’ve been against the rules for anyone to pop up with the customary OMG How dare you not support His Holiness!!! But applying rules to the FARK community is somewhat like herding cats, so it’s worthy of note that nobody bothered.

Sometime, now or in a future not too distant, a point of center-of-gravity is going over a cliff. Once past it, it isn’t coming back again.

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

D’JEver Notice? XXIX

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

So blogsister Daphne took her turn challenging my weird assertions about the laws that are supposed to stop us from puffing away at The Plant. Because, like Mr. Mackie, I say Marijawawna is bad, mmmkay? And suddenly, like the morning after, I had a thought about this I hadn’t thought before.

You know why there is such a deep split about this?

See, what we have here, is a law designed to keep us from becoming a bunch of drooling idiots…

STOP WRITING, please. I said “designed to.” Jeez you people, let me finish a point, you don’t have to keep debating that instantly, every time it comes up. Anyway. The laws against marijuana are supposed to keep us from becoming stupid. And folks like Daphne and I end up slightly disagreeing about it, although our values are pretty much the same, and we’re both somewhat ambivalent about how we’ve come down on the issue because we’ve both confronted the same dilemma and we’ve both entertained the same conflict within us. A law that’s supposed to keep people from being stupid.

Speaking for myself, I do believe you have a right to be an idiot. You might say I have exercised this right on an occasion or two, although that’s a subject for discussion some other time. As I said in the comments, the argument advanced by those who say the criminalization of Marijuana violates a sacred right to be an idiot, is pretty much the most persuasive one I’ve encountered. I’m similarly conflicted on the motorcycle-helmet laws, and the cell phone laws.

I think everyone who shares my general value system, is similarly conflicted. I am more than ready to resolve the conflict out of a sense of personal fatigue…which may be the beginning of an enormous mistake, I admit. But I am. The question is this. Am I fatigued more from having too many laws on the books; or am I fatigued more from seeing people act more, and more, and more like idiots with each passing year?

And you know why the Marijuana question divides us so?

Because it’s the only law — or one of a very, very exclusive selection of laws — that is supposed to stop us from becoming idiots. Think about it. Most of our laws that are built to manipulate us socially, on a state level as well as federal, are designed to stop us from becoming too smart. Or wealthy, or productive, or inspiring to others.

After a bit more thinking I came up with one, and only one, cousin to drug possession/consumption/distribution/sale laws: No Child Left Behind. The same people who argue about drug laws, tend to argue about NCLB — in part because Ted Kennedy helped write it. And there are some who say NCLB is designed to keep our kids stupid, not make ’em smart…others say it has had the stupidifying effect, whether intentional or not. Those splintered factions aside, though, the dynamics are the same and the dividing effect is the same. The people like us look at this nanny-state law that arguably may have the intent, or the result, of slowing or stopping our slide into an Idiocracy nation. And we have think, What’s a bigger crisis? People becoming too stupid, or people living under too many stupid laws?

I suggest that while this is a worthy question, it is also a distraction. A far worthier question would be: Why is this situation the exception rather than the rule? Laws that stop you from defending your family, should they require defending, with a handgun. Bailouts for incompetent, failing businesses. Antitrust laws. Progressive taxes. Teachers’ unions, and the spineless school officials that pander to them, conspiring to teach kids about sensitivity at the expense of readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic. Why does it seem to be in our societal makeup to create more and more bureaucracies and laws that have the design, and the intent, of turning us into a nation of helpless imbeciles?

Update: Small-tee tim, the godless heathen, submits a comment that is supposed to disagree with me but bears many of the same sentiments. In a helpful effort to get people to lighten up just a little bit more, he also provides a link to Tammy Bruce’s pages…maybe y’all have seen this clip already.