Archive for June, 2009

What is a Man?

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Speaking of our friend down in New Mexico, he forwarded via offline an article that is pretty priceless. Yet another item listing out what makes a man a real man…except unlike most of ’em, this one finds favor with me because I agree with most of it.

A man makes things — a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds — engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him. This is immortality. A man can speak to dogs. A man fantasizes that kung fu lives deep inside him somewhere. A man knows how to sneak a look at cleavage and doesn’t care if he gets busted once in a while. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. It doesn’t matter what his job is, because if a man doesn’t like his job, he gets a new one.

A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.

A man owns up. That’s why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not.

Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.

A man loves the human body, the revelation of nakedness. He loves the sight of the pale breast, the physics of the human skeleton, the alternating current of the flesh. He is thrilled by the snatch, by the wrist, the sight of a bare shoulder. He likes the crease of a bent knee. When his woman bends to pick up her underwear, he feels that thrum that only a man can feel.

Left to be debated:

Does a man adapt to a changing world? That’s a pretty damned important question, and the answer upon which I would have to settle, by process of elimination, is “Yes, within limits.”

Grandpa, for example, did not exercise because Grandpa spent his days down at the city’s lumber mill throwing logs and planks around. Thankfully, people seem to be about as interested in me sitting down to figure out why a computer application is screwing up, and fixing it, as they were back then in having Grandpa provide the lumber that built their houses and buildings. That gives me a livelihood…but it’s still sitting down. So my girlfriend says “let’s go to the gym” and I say — O.K. To me, this is what a real man does because a real man, being a creature designed by the Good Lord to chase animals that are also built by the Good Lord to run away, keeps his heart rate up. At something. Of course, if I want to do that throwing lumber around like Grandpa did, I could certainly be a real man, but I probably wouldn’t make a living doing it unless I did it to keep someone entertained as they laughed their asses off looking at me.

But another part of the changing world is you shouldn’t put up blogs that criticize His Holiness The God President. Does a real man adapt to that? Well, this is exactly the same code the Founding Fathers transgressed…in fact they held a revolution over it, and built a new country, the first one on the globe that nurtured such an ingrained dedication against any royalty, ever. Anyone want to say this was not a manly thing to do? I would say this is a model of a real-man-act, right there. They flouted some rules, established others, and used reason, logic, common sense, and a highly refined understanding of general human behavior to justify their actions. And let us not forget, they believed in God, and that was also used as a justification for their actions…why they flouted some rules and established some others.

They did it so others could be free. And do constructive things. Be real men.

I don’t like the way the list bashes Sauvignon Blanc. As I said in my reply, a real man eats salmon the way little kids eat candy. Now, how does he wash down a nice flank of salmon? Soda pop? Beer? Milk? Fruity dessert wines are for the girls. Chardonnay is good…but the sweetness covers up the bouquet of the seasoning, be it sauce or dry, or if you prefer your fish plain with a little pat of butter I’ve noticed a sweet wine will defeat that experience as well. To me, this rule negates one of those experiences in life that are inherently male and inherently pleasant, which in this case is grilling up a fish over charcoal (or wood…oh yeah, baby, fish over campfire) and pairing it up with wine properly like you really know what you’re doing. Which is okay…but it does it out of concern for what others think. As a justification for jettisoning a positive and male-centric life-experience, that is not okay. That is not even close to okay. This one thing needs to go. Sorry to dwell so much on this one bullet point, but when I was a much littler man I saw “One of These Things is Not Like the Other” on The Electric Company, and I still know how to play.

Separate observation here on those “A Real Man Does [X]” lists. Most of them aren’t like this piece. Most of them are ironic. They say “A real man…” and then what follows is something you do not, in the classical sense, expect a real man to do. “…is in touch with his feelings/emotions” is the most popular chestnut, although there are many others like that. “A real man takes his wife/girlfriend shopping, a real man is out there at Mervyn’s saying ‘open open open’ with her at five a.m. on the morning after Thanksgiving.” Yeah whatever.

What’s the enchantment with that stuff? Nobody ever puts a list together that says “A real woman gives you a good natured chuckle when you tell her she looks fat in her bathing suit.” Unless I’ve missed that somewhere…I recognize the innerwebs is a big, big place…

Proving My Point

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Don’t look now, but The Hawaiian Cannabis Ministry is pointing at us trying to get a conversation going about our comments.

There certainly is a culture built up around the wacky weed. It’s kind of like belaboring the obvious to even mention it, and as a consequence anyone who takes himself seriously has reservations about so mentioning. Part of the culture is that all other classes of person may be stereotyped, but pot smokers cannot be. Another part of the culture is to displace reasoned exchange of observations and inferences with theatrical indignation, until theatrical indignation is all that is left in the discourse.

This is one of many reasons why I’ve become so jaded about liberalism over the last several years. It isn’t quite so much what the liberals want to do (although lately, that has become much more reprehensible now that they don’t feel they need to compete with anyone). It’s how they want to go about arguing these things should be done. Every reasoned critique is met with “ZOMG! I can’t believe you just said that!!” — and then that’s it. So far, in my experience, that is exactly what pot smokers, and other members of the pot culture, do.

Well I shouldn’t say that; one of our good blogger friends feels pretty strongly about this and he’s managed to offer some personal anecdotes about people he’s known. But that is decidedly an exception — not the rule.

This is, I maintain, a big part of the reason why pot is still illegal. It isn’t quite so much that it makes sense to keep it illegal…and it damn sure doesn’t make sense to put the federal government in charge of keeping it illegal. The knuckle-rapping method of arguing, for all its benefits, has one serious drawback. It requires vibration and movement to succeed. You say “This thing we do is just so WRONG!!!” and, let’s say, one-third of all those listening will agree with you. Whoever isn’t swayed by all your horror and anger and angst, is going to remain unswayed…no matter what. To make some inroads into those other two-thirds, you have to have some kind of an event take place. Without a meaningful event taking place, you’re still back at one-third agreeing with you and two-thirds disagreeing with you, and you lose.

Liberals run everything today because they used all that theatrical phony shock-and-rage…plus some gimmicks. John Kerry tried the “It’s so awful about Abu Ghraib” plus the I’m-so-much-smarter-than-that-guy thing, and because he’s prune-faced, white, and arrogant as all holy hell, he fell j-u-s-t short of the mark. Then they brought in Barack Obama, who’s just so charismatic or whatever, plus you can’t ever disagree with Him or else you’re a racist. That put it over the top. So you can win with the phony “That’s just so terrible, so so terrible” thing, but you need to have some gimmicks with it.

My preference? As long as we’re all pretending to be oh-so-well informed and such wonderful-independent-thinkers, I wish we as a society would stick to our knitting and deliver on what we’re promising. As individuals, most of us don’t even have the gonads to notice things anymore, or to put ink or voice to what we’ve been noticing so others may see it. And that’s pretty fucking cowardly, when you think about it. It’s lately gotten to the point where you can’t even admit that men and women are different…and how silly is that, really?

Nope, in 2009 most of our arguing falls into the category of the Oh-help-me-deplore-that-that-guy-over-there-said-that-thing. All of it, with negligible exceptions, I would say. You don’t have to be a pot-smoker to rely exclusively on that, to such an extent that it becomes intellectually unhealthy. But based on my observations, it certainly does appear to help.

Dave Letterman and Sarah Palin

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Stay classy, Dave.

Liberals have such an awkward relationship with humor. We saw with the “I can see Russia from my house!” thing that, when reality is unkind to the liberal viewpoint, they use it to impressive effect to just make reality go away. This has the side effect of adding the Jon Stewart bazooka to their munitions stockpile, before it’s even needed: Someone comes along to say “Now she didn’t actually say that” and the defensive mechanism has already been activated and deployed — they get to say “Aw, it’s a comedy show, you’re taking it way too seriously.” So it’s Not-Comedy when you’re dictating what people should think about things and what people should do about things. As soon as you get called on your bullshit suddenly it’s comedy again and you don’t have to be accurate.

This is slightly different. It’s the Stalinist/Nazi technique of leading by example, identifying who among us is less than human…who is fair game. What’s really sad is nobody out there is saying “Oh you need to watch Dave Letterman, he can be so funny sometimes, like for example this joke about Bristol Palin and Alex Rodriguez.” Nobody says that. But the “He can be so funny sometimes” is made in reference to, instead, something else. People tune in to watch the occasional joke that is really funny. And then buzz-killers like this are tossed into the mix — but people still go out there and say You should watch David Letterman he can be really funny sometimes.

Kinda like the fast-food burger joint. People say “You gotta try that place they have the best burgers” but the burger-place isn’t there to cook you your burgers. They’re there to sell you a cup that costs less than one cent, with soda you put in there that costs two-and-a-half cents, and charge you $1.89 plus tax for that. They lose some serious money on the burgers. But you don’t tell people the burger place has the best soda, you talk about the burgers, which are a loss-leader. That’s what real humor is to hacks like David Letterman — a loss-leader.

Of course, if you reply that you gave Letterman a fair shot and can’t be bothered to stay up that late anymore…you are the one with the problem.

Hot Air commenter alliebobbitt provided a brand new list on this occasion that turns the tables a little bit.

Top ten reasons Letterman sucks
10. Because it’s not 1982 anymore.
9. Because you either suck or blow, and John Stewart called “blows.”
8. Because I and the other 20 million who change their channel when he comes on say so.
7. Because only Letterman laughs at his own jokes.
6. Because only drunk Puerto Ricans hang out in NY delis; everyone else gets their change and leaves.
5. Because if I wanted mean and nasty, I’d get in a bar fight and have more fun.
4. Because Norm McDonald does Letterman better.
3. Because writing these jokes isn’t my full time job, and this list is still funnier than his.
2. Because I realized the only reason I used to like him was I had him confused with Super Dave Osborne.
1. Because he can’t find anything funny about this administration?

Some real thigh-slappers in there, huh Dave?

Classy Dave. You just keep pluggin’ away, pal.

Conservatives4Palin has the Governor’s response.

Worst and Saddest Yahoo Answers

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

The ones that are fake, are still pretty good.

I must say, though, the one that attempts to figure out what would happen if you slash at Superman’s body with a lightsaber — failed to take into account the post-crisis Superman’s well-documented vulnerability to magic, which the Dark Side of the Force definitely is. In fact, I recall distinctly from Mark Wade and Alex Ross’ excellent Kingdom Come four-part graphic novel series, Wonder Woman arrived at the Apocalypse with a magical sword that could slice the electrons off an atom, and when Superman ran his thumb along the blade, it did indeed bleed.

Maybe I should log in, and add that nugget in there. It’s an important question after all.

I wonder what would happen if Captain Picard launched a photon torpedo at the Eye of Sauron.

The Black Bra

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Received this morning in an e-mail…

I had lunch with 2 of my unmarried friends.
One is engaged, one is a mistress, and of course I have been married for 20+ years..
We were chatting about our relationships
and decided to amaze our men by wearing
a black leather bra, stiletto heels and a mask over our eyes.
We agreed to meet in a few days to exchange notes.

Here’s how it all went.

My engaged friend:

The other night when my boyfriend came over,
he found me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask.
He saw me and said,
“You are the woman of my dreams. I love you.”
Then, we made love all night long.

The mistress:

Me too!
The other night I met my lover at his office,
and I was wearing the leather bodice, heels,
and mask over my eyes and a raincoat.
When I opened the raincoat he didn’t say a word,
but we had wild sex all night.

Then I had to share my story:
When my husband came home I was wearing
the leather bodice, black stockings, stilettos, and a mask over my eyes.
As soon as he came in the door and saw me he said,
“What’s for dinner, Batman?”

That Old Spirit

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Although I perceive there would be a passionate disagreement between sides roughly equal in number over whether it’s a good thing, I further perceive there would have to be near-unanimous agreement that the spirit captured in the poster below is, today, either dead or slumbering. With our President flying around apologizing to seemingly everyone for seemingly everything, and not breathing so much as a peep of request for apologies to come back in the other direction, we’re just a little bit too Jean-Luc Picard-ish to comprehend the not-terribly-complicated concept of destroying those who would destroy you, so something else more worthy can be created or preserved. Our mood is just a tad bit too kum-ba-ya for that this year.

Kum-ba-ya does have its place, I’ll admit. Occasionally in human history, perhaps a war here & there might have taken place solely because two sides, both otherwise intent on preventing it from taking place, failed to take the time to understand each other. But with the science-fiction luxury of launching and then inspecting alternate timelines and alternate universes, I submit one would eventually discover this to be an exceedingly rare scenario. I haven’t even heard anyone take the time or effort to argue the point in any specific instance, except of course for the invasion of Iraq, and that was far from an intellectual argument. Just mob-protests and bullying. “Sanctions will work, war won’t,” they said. Sanctions had been tried; they didn’t work. War worked. They sneer at the “Mission Accomplished” banner and demand that I join them in heckling it. Saddam and his sons are dead and cold in the ground, where they should be. Why should I be heckling that sign?

But the real debate we ought to be having, it seems to me, is — how primitive does an antagonistic entity have to be, before some thought is put into perhaps reviving the old spirit? Before even our most rabid peaceniks are forced to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, kum-ba-ya is not the answer to everything? You can’t negotiate with a crazed mountain lion that’s already tasted human flesh, for example.

Could the peaceniks, those who demand all others negotiate, compromise, find common ground on things, be somehow persuaded to follow their own advice? Could they ever deign to accept, or merely contemplate, the concept that perhaps there is a spectrum of enemies, some of whom could be constructively brought to negotiation tables, others of whom, perhaps, could not? Where do the sharks embroiled in a feeding frenzy fit into that? Where does Kim Jong-Il?

Should that old fighting spirit be retired to the ash bin of history forever? Unconditionally? No matter who arises to confront us on the world’s stage next year? In the next century? Regardless of where they fit on that enemy-spectrum? How strong is our commitment to this sanctions-over-war Jean-Luc-Picard mindset? How strong should it be?

Seems to me that’s the question we should be trying to answer.

One has to wonder why those lovers of moderation, compromise and endless talks, those haters of extremism in all its forms, have left it up to me to be the first one to ask it. How’d that happen?


Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Wow, that’s pretty brutal treatment. I heard of others expressing surprise this came from MSNBC, but I didn’t realize how they were bitch-slapping our President until I watched it.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Changing times…changing attitudes…perhaps this is one of the early signs that the honeymoon, while certainly not over quite yet, isn’t destined to last forever.

The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you, you’re the prodigal son; you’re quite a prize. — Tyrell, Blade Runner.

Pay Czar

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

If you think Bush’s “warrantless wiretapping” was scarier than this, there is something wrong with you. Stop voting now.

The Obama administration plans to require banks and corporations that have received two rounds of federal bailouts to submit any major executive pay changes for approval by a new federal official who will monitor compensation, according to two government officials.

The proposal is part of a broad set of regulations on executive compensation expected to be announced by the administration as early as this week. Some of the rules are required by legislation enacted in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and they would apply only to companies that received taxpayer money.

…that is, they’d only apply to companies that received taxpayer money for now.

This is truly a “Poll I’d Like To See” moment. What percentage of us think it’s just a swell idea for our country to have a Pay Czar? What percentage of us think this is a road our government should even be going down, even with the taxpayer-funded bailouts? What percentage of us recognize the danger in that? I’ll bet this is one of those fifty-fifty situations; it’s a given that some of these government busybodies think they might gain additional support by putting these rules in place, but the hushed and muted tones suggest they know they need to be careful when they talk about it.

A similar situation existed when Clinton’s Department of Justice went after Microsoft. If that case made the headlines every single day for months at a time, rather than several weeks IIRC…if it sustained the coverage as well as, let us say, the Iranian Hostage Crisis or the O.J. Simpson case…more people would have seen it for what it was. Which was, “Hey, you’re getting big enough your size might one day become comparable to the Government’s and we can’t have that!”

Yes, some people make vastly more money in the private sector than anyone could ever hope to “make” by working at any level in the Government. In the strictest and most technical measurement of compensation, that is true. Anyone who thinks that is the end of the story, is a fool. Government seeks to minimize and marginalize businesses, as a competitive measure against those businesses and against business as a whole. It doesn’t have anything to do with looking out for consumers or taxpayers. This isn’t coming as news to anybody, is it?

Bond Prefers Brunettes

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Where do I get a job where I put together research papers like this one

Academics who set out to discover what makes the ideal Bond girl found that apart from having long dark hair, she is likely to have an American accent – and to carry a weapon.

The unexpected findings were reached by a team who assessed the physical traits of all 195 female characters in the first 20 Bond movies, then contrasted the characteristics of the 98 who had “sexual contact” with Bond with those of the 97 who did not.

The paper itself is here.

A quantitative content analysis of 20 James Bond films assessed portrayals of 195 female characters. Key findings include a trend of more sexual activity and greater harm to females over time, but few significant across-time differences in demographic characteristics of Bond women. Sexual activity is predicted by race, attractiveness, size of role, and aggressive behaviors. Being a target of weapons is predicted by size of role, sexual activity, and weapon use, while being harmed is predicted principally by role. End-of-film mortality is predicted by sexual activity, ethical status (good vs. bad), and attempting to kill Bond. This identification of a link between sexuality and violent behavior is noted as a contribution to the media and sex roles literatures.

“Few significant across-time differences”? I wonder if they noticed that all of the 60’s Bond girls, aside from the legendary Pussy Galore, had foreign origins/accents whereas all of the 70’s Bond girls, apart from Solitaire and Major Amasova, were American. The across-time differences are there, if you really look.

Bond movie producers want women to come see the next movie, just as much as the men, and this is why the Bond girl evolves. The appeal to the masculine mind and libido provides none of this incentive for change, whatsoever. Bond could sleep with Marilyn Monroe herself, and as long as we got a glimpse of her somewhat-naked, we’d be every bit as motivated as if she was Vesper, Jinx or Agent Fields. So the Bond girls change just as, and for the same reason as, hemlines going up and down, heels growing thicker or thinner, boots becoming taller or shorter, hair being worn up or down. They change, cyclically, to appeal to the women. They are fashion.

One thing that’s long been a source of amusement is that each Bond girl claims, in all sorts of ways, to be more skilled, independent and strong-willed than all the Bond girls that came before. But after a few decades’ worth of Bond movies have been put in the can, we see there really weren’t too many revolutionary moments like that. One could reasonably say there haven’t been any at all.

Of course, if every Bond girl’s contribution was limited to a) smooching with 007 right before the closing credits, b) getting abducted and c) getting rescued, the women in the audience would have been bored out of their minds and stopped going. But the men would have lost interest even quicker, I think. And that assumes Ian Fleming would have been motivated to finish writing the books…which is quite doubtful. Bond girls, from the very first pages of the very first books, have always had something to make them spiced up, interesting, and interconnected with the story’s events.

The sentence that begins “Being a target of weapons is predicted by size of role, sexual activity, and weapon use…” implies that an important point or two might have gone whistling over the researchers’ heads. Bond girls have been, for a very long time now, assorted according to well-established classes and it would be a statistical-sampling error to put them all in one bucket and then examine the concoction for meaningful patterns or trends. There is the “bad girl gone good” role started by Ms. Galore, and then there is the “doomed girl” we see from time to time, whose premature demise occasionally brings out the dark, vengeful side of Bond. It is often useful to have a just-plain-bad girl slip under the sheets with the superspy to see what kind of information she can pry out of him, only to learn later that Bond beat her at her own game. This is a motif that has had generations to go out of style but still remains entertaining and fresh today.

If I had unlimited time, I might be inclined to repeat the research to see if I could do a better job. First thing I’d inspect: How much of an agenda did each Bond girl have, as a character in an entertainment action movie, to displace James Bond as the central character — with Jinx as #1, followed by Wai Lin, then by Amasova. And then, against that ranking I’d plot another arrangement reflecting a general consensus about whether that character was well-received.

I expect I’d find that on opening weekend, as well as years later when the movie is nothing but a dusty old DVD on a shelf, there is an eyeball-rolling and simmering resentment against the women who are designed to “spin off” and perhaps get their own series going. A grudge nursed by both male and female Bond fans. My theory is that people really don’t care that much about who’s stronger or who’s more resourceful or who’s more independent or who is more likely to save the world working alone — but audiences cannot abide multiple, competing objectives at work in character design. They can tolerate chaos but they can’t stand a mess.

And so nobody has a kind word to say about poor Christmas Jones.

Lance Thomas

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Star Trek XI

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Star Trek XINot enough music. The main theme got tiresome and tedious by the end.

I always liked to think Pike promoted Kirk because he immediately recognized the younger man’s courage, aptitude and potential. The thing with Kirk’s dad was corny, and frankly, it made Kirk’s speedy promotion look like nepotism.

They seriously overdid that thing with the apple. And Kirk’s brother: Yeah, that’s a problem. It’s not like it was a tough problem to avoid.

They should have had a Gary Mitchell and a Number One. That would have been seriously awesome.

I didn’t like that trick they did with the transporter beam halfway through, the one where Scotty almost drowned. Real science just frowns too much upon it.

Zachary Quinto’s nose isn’t shaped right.

Is that it? Yeah, I think that’s an exhaustive list of my meaningless, pain-in-the-ass complaints. Other than that — perfect. If it came out last year, I’d say it was by far the best film of 2008, and a lot of fine entries came out in ’08 so that says a lot.

The best performances were from McCoy, Spock and Pike. And Uhura looks just-plain-hot, which was obviously intentional. Overall, great film. See it. Wonderful summer fun, and a strong reboot that is more than up to the task that awaits. Leaves you hungering for more, as all reboots should.

Withstooding Gov. Palin

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Blogger friend Rick found a couple of gems about our favorite candidate for ’08 and ’12:

Thankful for Joe Biden…

… while calling Sarah Palin an idiot.

It can only come from a buffoon:

why we remain thankful for Joe Biden…

Because Sarah Palin is still an idiot and the world could not withstood 4 more years of this kind of stupidity. Sarah’s act wore thin in 8 weeks last fall so I can’t be alone in wishing she would just shut it for a couple more years until the 2012 nomination ball starts rolling. No such luck.

A guy who writes “the world could not withstood 4 more years” calls Palin an idiot. Yea…makes sense to me too.

Gov. Palin’s intellect is such that you have to have Soros money to make her look stupid.

Vice President Biden’s grace and worldliness are such that, in order to make him look like that “wise elder statesman,” you need nothing less than that same Soros money.

Barack Obama’s personality is such that the same Soros magnitude of funding is required to make Him look humble, curious, grateful, compassionate, accomplished, or any one of a number of those other things He claims to be.

Of course thanks to the massive, bloated, tender and easily-bruised egos of a few left-wing bloggers and failed sports anchors, these lies can coast on the built-up momentum with no money at all. We spend *way* too much time and energy in this country debating who’s smart and who’s stupid. In real life, smart people come up with stupid decisions all the time. Stupid people often come up with the right decision, too. Most folks sounding off about this stuff don’t get that…which means they know nothing about how to make an important decision. If you could consistently make the right decision, just by making sure it’s a really smart guy making it, then heck. Why don’t we just elect the very smartest guy in our entire country to some important post, and then just have him decide everything?

Ah well, I guess we’re already doing that. But who wants to bet a large amount out of their personal savings, that that’ll work out? I don’t see anyone doing that. I just see Soros spending millions of dollars to tell us who’s smart and who isn’t. And if what he was trying to tell us had a grain of truth in any of it, something tells me it would be a lot less expensive for him to be telling us.

Wonder Palin!The other thing concerns something Palin said that I’m sure is on the minds of many…at least, those who do a better job of figuring out what’s going on, and making up their own minds about what should & should not be a pressing concern —

“America is digging a deeper hole and how are we paying for this government largesse. We’re borrowing. We’re borrowing from China and we consider that now we own sixty percent of GENERAL MOTORS – or the U.S. government does… But who is the U.S. government becoming more indebted to? It’s China. So that leads you to have to ask who is really going to own our car industry than in America.”

…I think that more and more constituents are going to open their eyes now and open their ears to hear what is really going on and realize ok… Maybe we didn’t have a good way of expressing that, or articulating that message of ‘here is what America could potentially become if we grow government to such a degree that we cannot pay for it and we have to borrow money from other countries, some countries that don’t necessarily like America.

And this many months into the new administration, quite disappointed, quite frustrated with not seeing those actions to rein in spending, slow down the growth of government. Instead Sean it is the complete opposite. It’s expanding at such a large degree that if Americans aren’t paying attention, unfortunately our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize.

It’s good ideas that can’t be easily communicated, versus bad ideas that can be easily communicated.

Except the bad ideas don’t even have easy-communication on their side. They became easily communicable through a four-year process of evolution, devil-take-the-hindmost, survival-of-the-fittest. Nobody is saying Barack Obama has all kinds of sensible policy positions John Kerry didn’t have; nobody is saying that anywhere. The difference between the two is, in 2004 it was learned that a little something extra would be needed to push the bad ideas over the top, to get the 270 electoral votes needed. Just a little garnish. A God complex. Maybe the ability to call your opponents racist, if they happen to call out the bullcrap in your awful ideas. Millions and millions of dollars of the above-mentioned Soros money.

Sadly, due in large part to the effects of all this Soros money, we’ve been laboring under this unwritten rule that if Sarah says it, the conversation is really going to be about her competence or lack thereof. Kind of a “Can’t acknowledge the house is on fire, if Sarah is the one who smells the smoke” rule.

But her remarks this time are easily understood. They echo the growing concern among millions of quote-unquote “mainstream” Americans. Maybe this’ll change the situation somewhat.

Regarding her concerns, the one thing that really could use some more attention is the interest on our debt. The expense of servicing a debt has to rise as the credit-worthiness of the borrower drops, and also, as the availability of borrowed funds dwindles. This is just simple supply-and-demand, and it works across international borders. If you were a Chinese investor, would you be thrilled about lending some more money to the United States right now?

This issue of deficit-spending is the second most potent winning issue for 2012. The first one, is another Palinism: “Drill Baby Drill.” Two big points to the Wonder of Wasilla. They both suggest that, notwithstanding the boos and hisses and catcalls and jeers from the left side of the aisle, perhaps Sarah Palin is a natural as the next leader of the resistance movement.

What exactly have Pawlenty and Romney done, on that order of magnitude, lately?

Something We Have Internally Decided Not to Address

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Well, that takes care of my question about how & why liberals and progressives have a better rep for sympathetic, compassionate, and respectful treatment of women. When the opposite takes place, it simply goes unreported — by fiat.

AOL News has been bending over backwards lately to make sure that they do not cover the controversy surrounding writer Guy Cimbalo’s vile attack on conservative women. AOL News has taken some drastic steps to censor any mention, let alone criticism, of Playboy’s screed. They have deleted posts about the article, banned contributors from mentioning it, and even fired one of their liberal writers over it.

The fact that banning reporters from, well, reporting is so contrary to the purpose of a news organization it really is puzzling. It seems to be in direct contrast to their commitment to “traditional journalistic values”.

The evidence is stacking up quite high that AOL News fired liberal writer Tommy Christopher today due to his repeated attempts to get coverage of the Playboy attack list on AOL’s Politics Daily.

Christopher had first attempted to post this criticism of Playboy’s sick list the day it was published on their website. However, he was surprised to find that shortly after putting his article on Politics Daily it was deleted by an editor.

His surprise stemmed from the fact that in his two years of writing for the site not one other post had ever been deleted by an editor.

Another former Politics Daily writer NewsBusters spoke with, Caleb Howe, confirmed that fact. And while Tommy Christopher released a statement to NewsBusters criticizing AOL’s decision to let him go Caleb Howe went further than Tommy in his opinion of AOL’s motives.

“His coverage of the Playboy “hate f***” list must have had a lot to do with Tommy being fired, if not everything to do with it” Howe told NewsBusters. “It would be absurd to think the timing is coincidental” referring to the fact that Christopher was fired three days after his original Playboy story and only hours after pitching a new story on the same topic. Further allegations of AOL censoring coverage of the Playboy controversy came to light when Christopher and Howe appeared on Media Lizzy’s show this afternoon.

At the 74:50 mark of the show Media Lizzy (Elizabeth Blackney) claimed that her editor, Michael Kraskin, sent her an email regarding a question she submitted for the AOL Hot Seat Poll. Her original question was going to be “does Playboy empower or exploit women”. In his response email Media Lizzy claimed that Kraskin asked for a different question and said “This Playboy story is something we have internally decided not to address”.

Tommy Christopher claimed on the show that AOL told him the story was pulled because the Playboy story was too profane. However, Christopher’s story censored out all of the profanity and given Media Lizzy’s claims it seems that no mention of the Playboy story would be acceptable to AOL. Plus there is a post by Christopher that has been on AOL’s Politics Daily (until recently called Political Machine) for nearly a year with several uncensored curse words and was not mentioned as a problem by anyone NewsBusters contacted.

NewsBusters contacted Politics Daily’s editor in chief, Melinda Henneberger who both deleted Tommy Christopher’s original story and fired him, for comment but she never returned our email.

As Christopher notes in the statement he released to NewsBusters he was a productive and successful writer for AOL. He is a well respected, widely read, and widely linked writer. His stories and opinions have been featured on Bill O’Reilly, Hot Air, Red State, The College Politico, The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and even NewsBusters. It seems highly unlikely that AOL fired him for lack of performance and it is important to note that nobody has claimed that as of now.

With all of this it seems that coincidental timing is an extremely hard sell for why Tommy Christopher was fired by AOL News today. It appears that Christopher was intent on covering a story which he found to be particularly important but that AOL News had “internally decided” was off limits.

What has the liberal/progressive movement done for women lately, anyway? At this point it seems a more than fair question to ask. Last summer the democrat party had a formal convention that specifically addressed — specifically addressed, I say again, as a priority above all others — who has the superior victim-cred, between women and persons-of-color. It is quite absurd to offer the idea that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama represented significantly different policy positions, on much of anything. The dust-up was about victim-cred, and very little else. Which of the two candidates could stand behind spectacularly bad policies and then get away with it, accusing any & all critics of engaging in some kind of “ism”?

Anyway, the gals were found to be lacking. Better to accuse the critics-of-bad-policies of racism, than of sexism. That would do a better job of avoiding reasoned scrutiny and debate. And so Hillary was asked to step down. Typical party shenanigans: Ask not what the party can do for the people, ask instead what the people can do for the party.

The rest is history. The democrat party went on a tear, spending vast sums of Soros money convincing the public that the opposing ticket was dangerously inadequate because the vice-presidential candidate on that ticket was a dumb ol’ girl. Stupid inbred midwestern-accent redneck hick from Alaska who could see Russia from her house, and all that.

Bottom-line: They haven’t been pro-women — in any way other than advocating more baby-butchery — in a very long time. To actually defend women when someone comes along to harm, or to threaten, is an agenda that has fallen by the wayside.

Of course, officially, AOL isn’t really supposed to be a liberal advocacy group. And neither is Playboy. They’re just doing things that are considered, rightfully or wrongly, to be politically correct and “mainstream.” And because of that, this disrespect is a poor reflection on all of us. It speaks to who we have been allowing to win arguments, and who we have been determined to see lose the next argument. This late disrespect toward women shows how our sense of civility has come full-circle, and we have now devolved downward. If you could thaw out the average English knight from eight hundred years ago, he’d be our superior in every single way when it comes to treating women with decency…and the representative from our age would be left stammering “uh yeah, but, but I would support her right to end a pregnancy and…and…” …and that would be it.

Well, during a divorce, we award women custody of the kids even if the mom is a coke-fiend. And we give her lots of her ex-husband’s money for no reason. We make movies about stupid idiot dads, and we make sure movie moms are never, ever stupid or incompetent — just unpleasant. Other than that, our society hasn’t really shown much old-fashioned respect to the fairer sex. Once our liberals say it’s in their interests to abuse or threaten women, such as compiling a hate-fuck list against good-looking conservative ladies — AOL does an adequate job here of representing our prevailing societal response. We have internally decided not to address it. If it’s female-friendly enough to our left-wing progressive politically-correct types, well then surely it must be female-friendly enough for the rest of us.

Toward the objective of becoming more P.C. and more civilized, we’ve become, in some ways, a culture of uncultured, uncouth clowns. Women who don’t occupy the correct spot on the ideological spectrum, are now fair game.

D-Day, 2009

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are in range of the machine guns that line the beach ahead. The metallic dead sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp. And the coxswain shouts and the bullhorn sounds and you feel the keel of the LST grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead and the explosions all around increase in intensity and the bullets from the guns in the cliffs ahead and above shake the boat and the men crouch lower and yet lean, together, forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach and the men surge forward and you step with them and you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson, and then you are on the beach.

It’s worse on the beach. The bullets keep probing along the sand digging holes, looking for your body, finding others that drop down like sacks of meat with their lines to heaven cut. You run forward because there’s nothing but ocean at your back and more men dying and… somehow… you reach a small sliver of shelter at the base of the cliffs. There are others there, confused and cowering and not at all ready to go back out into the storm of steel that keeps pouring down. And then someone, somewhere nearby, tells you all to press forward, to go on, to somehow get off that beach and onto the high ground behind it, and because you don’t know what else to do, you rise up and you move forward, beginning, one foot after another, to take back the continent of Europe.


Picture from Images of War.

BBQ Rules

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Forwarded to me in the e-mail…not only good enough to post, but way too good to neglect.


We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity.
When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert .
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill – beer in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

Men BBQingHere comes the important part:


More routine…

(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat.

Important again:


More routine…

(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed “her night off.” And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.

Playboy Removes Conservative Woman Hate F*ck List

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Hat tip to Right Wing Video, via Conservative Grapevine.

What are we going to do about all this hatred felt by those guys who won all the elections and are running everything? They act just like bitter, whiny, hateful losers…even though they won everything and are running everything. Is it possible they could hurt themselves with all this hatred they feel even though they won everything and are running everything? How can the rest of us stop them from hurting themselves, after they’ve won everything and are running everything (and apparently have yet to figure this out)?

How can we get them to be as accepting and tolerant of females, blacks, homosexuals and minorities as they claim they want to be…regardless of the ideological persuasions of those females, blacks, homosexuals and minorities? All that hatred. It’s almost a national crisis. I wonder if it’s a possible cause of global warming. Really, we do need to do something about this, and soon.

Poor, poor, hateful bitter angry people. Who won everything and are running everything.

Heart Attack Grill

Saturday, June 6th, 2009


Friday, June 5th, 2009

The eighth amendment, which outlaws cruel and unusual punishment, is worded in such a way that its application is entirely subjective. Whether that is deliberate or not, it has been interpreted as a blank-check the courts can use to apply our “evolving mores of decency” and because of this, the traditional punishment of being locked in stocks in the public square, where your fellow villagers can pelt you with rotten vegetables — has been entirely abandoned.

This is a mistake; a deadly-serious, no-good, heap big mistake. The stocks were used to re-awaken, where re-awakening was necessary, a sense of personal shame. Now that we’ve gotten rid of the stocks, we have gotten rid of shame. Shame is now being defined for us by those who are incapable of feeling it. Our society has become a topsy-turvy sort of mudpuddle, in which you’re supposed to feel all this shame when you smoke cigarettes, because of what you’re doing to your lungs, but none at all for smoking pot. We’re supposed to think our “carbon emissions” are bringing about the end of life on the planet, because we haven’t been taxed enough…if we just pay a lot more money for the privilege of polluting, the planet will be saved.

In dozens and dozens of other ways, this vacuum of real shame has brought about a scarcity of quality thinking and everyday common sense. We need shame; we need to bring the public-square stocks and pillories back. Let no one oppose me on this argument, without first seriously evaluating the list of people I would have sentenced to them. Spare me your phony righteous indignation…and go get your rotten cabbages ready. These people should all feel a sense of shame that, obviously, they don’t feel. The rest of us are as guilty as they are, for as a community we have failed to hold them responsible.

Stocks1. These assholes who keep calling my cell phone from (877) 888-8888.
2. People who voted for Obama because “There’s Just Something About Him!” and they “Really Want(ed) To Be Part Of This!”
3. Lawyers who play jury-lottery because the law is poorly written…along with the legislators who write laws poorly on purpose to make this possible.
4. Whoever coined that stupid phrase “Too Big To Fail,” and whoever, for whatever reason (aside from sarcasm) uses it.
5. Politicians that block drilling to make oil more expensive, and pretend it’s to preserve “pristine environments” they really don’t care about.
6. Politicians that raise the minimum wage to make labor more expensive, and pretend it’s about “working families” they really don’t care about.
7. Politicians that raise taxes to make business more expensive, and pretend it’s about “the deficit” they really don’t care about.
8. Anybody who blames the savings and loan mess on “corporate greed,” knowing full well about the Community and Reinvestment Act, and saying not one word about it.
9. Politicians who blame budget deficits on taxes not being high enough…knowing full well that the problem is a spending problem, not a taxing problem.
10. Anyone who calls himself an “American” but insists there is some kind of problem when a fellow American makes too much money.
11. Anyone who answers yes to the question “Would you allow your family to die so you can avoid waterboarding a terrorist?”
12. Feminists who reply, without a trace of reservation, that yes there is something sexist about a gentleman holding a door open for a lady.
13. Airline ticket agents who try to play word games with you to get you to give up your seat, when the flight is overbooked.
14. Rebate people. You know what I mean. You have to figure out which number is the product number, you have to send back proof of purchase, do it by such and such a date…and then oops we lost it.
15. Able-bodied people who ride those electric scooters just because they’re fat, and lazy, and want to push everyone else out of the way.
16. Women who go to shopping malls with baby carriages, so they can push everyone else out of the way.
17. Children who push those odious shopper-in-training grocery carts into your ankles.
18. Parents who allow their children to push those shopper-in-training grocery carts.
19. That asshat who invented the shopper-in-training grocery carts.
20. Anyone who is sociable, precocious, bubbly and outgoing enough to smile into a camera while holding a cell phone up to her (occasionally his, but much more often her) ear.
21. School administrators who are ready to hold a child back a grade when he lacks social skills but can do the work — and aren’t willing to make such an issue over another child who has the social skills but can’t do the work.
22. Single mothers who medicate their sons into the “proper” behavior, just because, as women, they have difficulty relating to their child’s budding masculinity.
23. Anyone who does a lane change without using a turn signal. Where in the world does anyone pick up the idea this is proper?
24. Litterbugs.
25. Anyone who supports gun control…in America.
26. People who text message on their cell phones — while standing in, and monopolizing, a high traffic area.
27. Phlacers.
28. SNUL-ers.
30. People who open the second jug of milk, when the first jug of milk is already opened.
31. Anyone caught shouting “You go, girlfriend!” in any context.
32. Parents who think it’s more important to teach their kids it’s okay to cry, than how to do important everyday things like changing a bicycle innertube, et cetera.
33. Anyone who believes it’s somehow impossible to oppose Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court without being a racist.
34. People who propose taxes, vouchers, and other new expenses as a remedy for “global warming,” and the people who fall for it.
35. Anyone who seeks to be identified with the “global warming” movement, and at the same time drives a car that gets less than 15 miles a gallon.
36. Moviemakers who shake the camera.
37. People who want to make sure movies are rated “R” if they have people smoking.
38. People who want to make sure movies are rated “G” when they have nice-looking women running around naked.
39. Parents who don’t force their small children to say “please” and “thank you.”
40. People who refer to “Hooters” restaurants as strip clubs.
Pain in the Ass41. Cowardly school officials who punish the “good” kids for defending themselves, and let the “bullies” throw as many punches as they want because, hey, it’s just the way they are.
42. Anyone inside the United Nations, or outside of it, who seriously proposes the next Strongly Worded Letter as a solution to anything.
43. Whoever takes Keith Olbermann seriously.
44. BFFs who talk their married girlfriends into a divorce. When the priest said “let no man tear asunder,” that meant YOU.
45. Parents who allow their children to interrupt, or teach them to expect to be interrupted. Words aren’t noise; they’re meant to convey ideas.
46. Parents who buy their children extra-special gifts, just for not being bad.
47. Able-bodied people who choose to be on welfare.
48. Union workers who are more concerned about doing what the union-rep says to do, than about doing what the boss says to do.
49. Politicians that define every single trifling everyday human complaint as some kind of human-rights social problem that demands government intervention.
50. People who take those politicians seriously.

Update 6/6/09:
51. Anyone caught repeating anything on the list of stupid things famous people have said to get attention. This is a particularly egregious crime of no-shame, because these are things that make so little sense that if an ordinary person gave them voice, they’d be instantly recognized as silly and unworthy of recognition. It is the irony that preserves the luminous power of the celebrity’s name, and that’s why they say these dreadful things. They know they will be remembered a little while longer for saying things normal people can’t say. They also know some deranged people will take what they say seriously, even though it is nonsensical. This kind of arrogance is the whole point of bringing the stocks back. Double-time in the pillory for them.
52. Kids waiting for elevators who, when the elevator doors open, barge on in without giving the people in the elevator a chance to get off.
53. Kids who skateboard in places where skateboarding is specifically against the rules, and then ignore the poor teenager acne-faced assistant manager who’s tasked with coming out and nicely asking them to stop.
54. Parents of any of the above two (#52 and #53).
55. People who concoct needlessly complicated orders at the coffee bars, just so they can be observed by others using these four-and-five-syllable European names…and then monopolizing the barista’s time as they send the drink back again and again because it doesn’t have enough of this, or too much of that.
56. People who leave gum on the sidewalk.
57. People who put the top down and then crank up the bass. Boom…boomboom…boomboom…
58. Men and boys who walk around with their droopy pants showing off their underwear, or heaven forbid, their bare, hairy crack.
59. Whoever speeds up to close the gap, when you signal that you need to get in the right lane to exit a freeway. Studies show this practice is twenty times more dangerous than speeding…and if they don’t say that, they damn well should.
60. E-Girls.

The irony here is that most of these things would never be done at all, if people lived out their lives in solitude. They are, for the most part, social things. They are things people do to impress others.

What we have done, is embrace a new social covenant in which human fellowship offers only carrots for the correct acts…never sticks for incorrect ones. We have made a rather sloppy and half-assed effort to resolve never to ostracize each other, to avoid making each other feel bad. It hasn’t worked. Like I said up top — we have abdicated the responsibility of figuring out what’s shameful, and who should be ashamed, delegating that authority to those who feel no shame. The result is that we have encouraged a whole bunch of behaviors in which humans engage, intentionally or otherwise, to bring harm to each other. We have become quite nasty to each other as a direct result of this. Not so much malicious, or even deliberately mean; just inconsiderate more than anything else. We have become quite the festering pit of rancid buttholes. Shameless buttholes. This is precisely the antithesis of what was intended.

Update 6/6/09: There may be some, albeit few, who would require further substantiation of what I’m talking about. Or perhaps there are no people who require such stuff…nevertheless…this is such a perfect tie-in.

Like I said, watch me.

After what happened to Dr. Tiller, it’s time to misbehave.

Sometimes, in order to make things happen, you have to be an asshole.

Kiss my ass, if you don’t like it, suck it. I damned well am going to unilaterally decide to turn off other people’s FAUX Noise. This is an omelet for which I’m willing to break some eggs…

These are the words of Democratic Underground commenter backscatter712, who is bragging on the bulletin boards about a recent electronic purchase that is supposed to be able to power down 95% of all known television sets within some radius of the person who wields it. The plan is that whenever backscatter712 sees a television set in the doctor’s waiting room…or in the hotel lobby…or in the airport…turned to FOX News, the gizmo will be deployed to enforce the decision that the rest of us won’t be watching it on that teevee anymore. The teevee that does not, repeat not, belong to backscatter712. But the “NoFOX” button will be pushed anyway. Hat tip goes to DUmmie FUnnies, via fellow Right Wing News contributor Van Helsing of Moonbattery.

Precisely the sort of shit that bolsters my call to bring the stocks and pillories back: Inconsiderate behavior, engaged for entirely social purposes, to ingratiate the inconsiderate person within the ranks of equally inconsiderate strangers. If he were to politely approach the doctor’s receptionist and, minding his P’s and Q’s, inquire “I wonder if we could turn the channel to CNN?” it wouldn’t be worth bragging about. But backscatter712 has a gizmo. He has a button. So the post has to go up. Ooh, look at what I can do! He mirrors what’s happened to the rest of our society, this way. Inconsiderate, pushy behavior brings instant bragging rights. Decent behavior does not.

One Revolution AwayAnd do take a moment to examine the historical context within which he pushes his de-FOX-ing pocket button. Does he mean to silence the opposition because his side just lost an election? NO! His side won everything. They run everything. But the push to silence the other side, is on; stronger than it ever has been before. And if a “please” and a “thank you” is used in the silencing, it wasn’t done right. He said it himself: In order to make things happen, you have to be an asshole. But the things that are supposed to happen have already happened! He just wants the fun of being an asshole. And even more important, for his DUmmy buddies to know all about it.

The experiment’s a complete and total failure. Let’s bring the stocks back.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

More Jobs Whacked; NY Times Sees Hope

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Good old Gray Lady, engaging that objective, balanced journalism for which she has become known:

The American economy shed another 345,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate spiked to 9.4 percent, but the losses were far smaller than economists expected, amplifying hopes of recovery.

“It supports the idea that before the end of the year and maybe even by late summer we could be at flat employment,” meaning no more net job losses, said Alan D. Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore. “During the course of next year, we’ll probably start to feel better.”

Wow, we should keep democrats in charge all the time, if for no other reason than to keep a spirit of exuberant optimism around our failing newspapers. After all, we know from experience that when the other guys are in charge, a slowdown-in-job-losses isn’t nearly enough to keep ’em in such chipper spirits…since they’re so balanced, and objective, and all.

Well, I’m sure Obama’s patented two-step universal strategy of “wonderful speech, gobs of money” is going to work out just great. That is, if Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer’s response to The O’s tax plans is the exception, rather than the rule:

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the world’s largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Barack Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.
Barry Bosworth, an economist in Washington at the Brookings Institution research center, said many software companies such as Microsoft have exploited tax and trade rules in the U.S. and other countries to achieve a low overall tax rate.

Typically, he said, a company like Microsoft develops a product like Windows in the United States and deducts those costs against U.S. income. It then transfers the technology to a subsidiary in Ireland, where corporate tax rates are lower, without charging licensing fees. The company then assigns its foreign sales to the Irish subsidiary so it doesn’t have to claim the income in the United States.

“What Microsoft wants to do is deduct the cost at a high tax rate and report the profits at a low tax rate,” Bosworth said. “Relative to where they are now, the administration’s proposals are less favorable, so there will be some rebalancing on their part.”

So our new proposals — hope and change, remember — are going to recover some of these lost jobs…how?

Pelosi CarIt’s a little peculiar, isn’t it, that software companies somehow aren’t “too big to fail.” I find it doubly odd, since I have some personal experience looking for work that puts Microsoft, in my eyes, in the position of the goose at the apex of the “V” that is responsible for breaking the turbulence for the rest of the flock. My experience showed that when Microsoft wasn’t terribly interested in creating new technology — their most recent operating system was a disaster that did next-to-nothing called “Vista” — nobody else was too interested in new technology either. Creating it or consuming it.

Now, auto companies don’t do too much innovation. Not when you compare the new features offered, against the number of years we need to wait for those offerings to come out. And what innovation they have been doing, for the most part just became the job of the federal government. Is that an exaggeration? I hope so. Time will tell.

But anyway…nobody is saying the technology companies are too big to fail. Savings and Loans that are artificially required to extend loans to people who would otherwise be found to be un-credit-worthy…newspapers that print up liberally-biased dreck we don’t want to read…car companies that sell oversized upside-down goldfish bowls for us to tootle around in, or are just about to…they are too big to fail.

What does the world need the United States for, anyway? Our lending power…with all this free cash we have lying around? Heh. Our cars? Double-heh. Our newspapers? Nope. Our ideas, that go into the software we write…well, after this revolution of “Technology Equals Portable Personal Tunes Plus Dogs-in-Purses,” we’ve lost our toehold there as well. But that one, we just might have a shot at getting back. Doing something to commercially justify our existence on the big blue marble. Wouldn’t that be a win-win? We design, other countries mass-produce.

But it would appear not to be in the cards. Our young people who would be going into software engineering, are far more interested in putting together music collections so they can stick those white earplugs in their ears, and be admired in awe by their friends, as they ignore everybody and listen to tunes. And carry artificially tiny dogs, with artificially tiny bladders, around in artificially expensive leather purses, every hour of every day just asking for a REAL mess when $600 designer handbags fill up with real dog shit.

Such fake children grow up into fake grown-ups. They see something they want and they don’t have yet…their impulse is not to go out and get it, or render valuable services to others to earn the material wealth needed to acquire whatever it is. Nope. Their impulse is to invent some new “human right” that has been violated because they don’t have it, and hold some micro-revolution to force someone to give it to them.

And Obama’s tax plan is motivating Microsoft, and God knows how many other companies, to relocate the last truly cerebral jobs to other countries, or at least seriously think about doing so. Creativity finds a welcoming home nowhere else. Our home design is done on assembly lines. Our accounting and lawyering is done on assembly lines. Our doctoring is done on assembly lines. Everything is proceduralized, except for that once-promising field of telling a computer exactly how it should be working on a problem. We’re getting rid of that now. Obama’s tax plan leaves us no other option.

Nation of veal calves.

Update 6/6/09: I was hoping someone would pipe up about this. The credit goes to the always-excellent Iowahawk for the graphic. Thanks to the loyal reader who tossed me an offline, for the information and for the kind remarks.

The GOP Ain’t Dead Yet

Friday, June 5th, 2009

This isn’t some hardcore tighty-righty Republican choosing that headline. It’s a middle-of-the-road, waitin’-to-be-run-over, moderate liberal sissy. I see him as a Meghan McCain without the cuteness factor, which is to say I see him as a MoveOnDotOrgster. With great reason, I think…

For Republicans, the big immediate problem of the past few years has been how to distance themselves from George W. Bush and all the disasters for which he stands. How do you put some daylight between yourself and this guy?

Unfortunately, they have been able to come up with only one way: Impostor theory. The movement’s instinct, developed during better times, is to dismiss all failings as authenticity problems. The true faith wasn’t discredited, they say, Dubya simply failed to live up to it. We didn’t change Washington, they moan, Washington changed us.

Sorry, chaps. Conservatives did change government, and their long experiment with that institution discredited central elements of their faith. That is obvious today, even if it remains a forbidden thought for the movement itself.

Instead of moderating their message, though, conservatives have resolved to be done with moderation forever, to throw down primary challenges to the GOP’s remaining centrists, to dig the hole ever deeper in a frantic search for purity.

Recognize the talking points? Everything George W. Bush did was a disaster — NO EXCEPTIONS — and everything he did was emblematic of what the conservative movement stands for — NO EXCEPTIONS. That’s the kind of thing you can only spew out in pen-and-ink form, since there is difficulty involved in accessing any rebuttal in that forum, and therefore there is difficulty involved in posting a rebuttal where someone will see it. You can’t go on talk radio and say stuff like that. Someone will call in and say “Now let me get this straight…part of the conservative movement is to let Congress spend just as much money as it wants to spend, on anything at all?” And there you are. High and dry. “Er, ah, um, time for a commercial break…”

So this isn’t the party faithful begging people to come back. It’s a liberal twit, with his liberal twit half-truths, trying to sell the pig-in-a-poke that the bailout mess was caused by “greed.” People got greedy because they weren’t being taxed heavily enough. It’s so cute how he pretends the stuff he’s saying is simple logic and common sense, when what he’s really arguing is that people tend to become more ethically pure if & when they live under more restrictive rules. If you stop believing that, engage in the antithetical belief even for an instant that people determine as individuals how morally upstanding they’ll be regardless of the rules that apply to them…his argument melts down. Completely.

So he’s actually being a pessimist when he says Republicans have a decent shot in 2012.

Consider the various bailouts of the financial system, which are deeply unpopular and which many of the Republicans in Congress can truthfully say they opposed from the get-go. Right now, it would be difficult to blame the bailouts on either party, since they started in the Bush days. But three years down the road from now, they will be Mr. Obama’s to defend.

In that situation, Republicans may well decide to press their offensive against the elite by depicting the Democrats as the party of Wall Street. I know this sounds counterintuitive, possibly even hypocritical. And yet, if they choose to take that route, Republicans will have a lot to go on. Mr. Obama’s great success in reaping campaign money from Wall Street, to begin with. Or his mystifying tendency to give important economic oversight jobs to former hedge fund managers and investment bankers — rather than, say, regulators or experts in corporate crime.

The episode of the AIG bonuses, when the administration showed such solicitude for the sanctity of contract, will make a fine companion piece to the administration’s failure to lift a finger for the mortgage cramdown bill, hated as it was by the financial industry. The administration’s watered-down stress tests will come up, as will its perplexing failure to deal firmly with the so-called zombie banks. Useful comparison will be made with Republican administrations of the past, which put insolvent institutions into receivership.

True, taking this tack would mean overcoming a number of fairly large contradictions, but the potential rewards are great and resourceful conservatives will no doubt find a way. Indeed, some are doing it already, describing Democrats as the bought-and-paid-for puppets of Wall Street. For example, during the AIG outrage, Ann Coulter wrote a column titled “Gordon Gekko is a Democrat,” in which she tallied up the enormous contributions that Mr. Obama collected from investment bankers over the years and concluded: “Wall Street gets what it pays for.”

As for Obama administration officials, I suspect they will find it difficult to get back to “Yes We Can” after having spent so much time chanting, “Because We Say So.”

But suppose we get through the current economic slump with no further great disasters, what happens then? For one thing, the culture wars, which have thankfully been doused by the economic crisis, will come roaring back in some yet-to-be-determined but certain-to-be-awful form.

For another, the administration itself will probably move back to the Clintonian sweet spot that Washington Democrats find so comfortable and correct and desirable. The jitters will be over, the killjoy liberals will be marginalized, the warm old consensus will envelop our leaders once more, and they will resume their old habits, adored by the press for their post-partisan high mindedness, celebrating free trade and the magic of the market, triangulating just like in the merry days of old.

Then the Republicans will eat them for lunch.

If you haven’t already, you should read all the way through Ann Coulter’s column. She does a very decent job of supporting her thesis that the democrat party is the party of the “greedy” Wall Street types. Certainly, she does a far better job than taking the Thomas Frank route of saying “I know this sounds counterintuitive, possibly even hypocritical” and just leaving it at that. Ann Coulter did something that is decidedly out of style now: She inspected the facts, and used those facts to form reasoned, independent opinions. Conclusion: Yup. The democrat party has a decided advantage in luring in the Wall Street bucks. Do your homework.

But the central problem on which this moderate-lib is sounding the alarm, is a genuine one. The bailouts. President Obama is rapidly becoming Mister Bailout. Yes, they did start under George W. Bush’s watch…that much is true. And this is why, when conservatives claim George Bush wasn’t really a conservative, there’s a great deal of truth to that. Did you notice how Frank blithely sidestepped that one as he dismissed the claim?

The O-PlanHerein lies the biggest problem in any attempt to get Barack Obama re-elected to a second term: To defend Obama’s less effective, and arguably harmful, policies — you have to claim that what George Bush was doing, was no different. There is some truth in that. But then you defeat your other argument, that Obama was and is an effective paladin in a revolution of C-H-A-N-G-E. You’re defending this supposed Agent of Change, by saying what He is doing isn’t that much different from what came before. You’re counting on people being easily distracted as they digest these arguments, and possessing no medium-or-long-term memory whatsoever, or not applying it. For if they do apply a long-term memory to all these vital talking points, what you get back is —

George Bush was a conservative. What Obama is doing is no different from what George Bush was doing. Obama, therefore, is a conservative. Obama is bringing about change.

Doesn’t compute. Sorry, it just doesn’t.

But there are going to be quite a few challenges ahead, in 2012, for Mister Bailout to run for re-election. Obama is as popular as all get-out. His policies aren’t. The dichotomy can survive for a little while…two years…three years maybe…at the end of which, it’ll be in sad, sad shape. You can’t have some popular guy doing unpopular things, and then staying popular that long.

Or maybe you can. We’ll see. But the depression one encounters when one sees a new problem crop up, and knows immediately that The One is just going to use the usual two-step process on whatever it is — give a great speech and then spend a shitload of borrowed money — is a soul-sucking, palpable sense of futility. You don’t stay all hopey and hopeful while experiencing this depression. And those who are opposed to President Obama, do not have a monopoly on it. Something costs too much…He’ll give a wonderful speech and spend lots of money. Something doesn’t cost enough…He’ll give a wonderful speech and spend lots of money. People are sad, angry, fighting, suicidal, depressed, restless, they forgot to bring home milk, their butts itch — He’ll give a wonderful speech and spend lots of money. After awhile, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, to just pretend He’s doing something that is likely to fix whatever the problem is. Dangle a politician in front of people for all those years, and it isn’t too long before they can see Him for what He truly is.

On “Change”

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

The one constant in life is change itself.

People are enamored of change. They can’t get enough of the idea of change. Change brings out an excitement in people that cannot be explained.

People absolutely loathe change.

Isn’t this just about the time I should be asking — which, if any, of the above four are true? Isn’t it a little strange that all four of them work just fine? It seems there’s a contradiction in there somewhere.

I think, what it is, is that people can’t get enough of the idea of the other guy going through some change. They love change because they love to be associated with youth…vigor…freshness…rejuvenation. This does not, sadly, equate to a pledge to endure any sort of personal inconvenience for it. That’s a burden for someone else.

Keith Olbermann Smacks Down Steven Crowder

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Hat tip to A Johnny Reb in a Yankee World.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Great news for anybody in the Limbaugh camp, who is hoping The Anointed One fails. Starting to look like He probably will.

It is becoming clear that the economy is now the top issue. Mr. Obama’s presidency may well rise or fall on it. The economy will be his responsibility long before next year’s elections. Americans may give him a chance to turn things around, but voters can turn unforgiving very quickly if promised jobs don’t materialize.

That’s what happened in Louisiana, where voters accepted Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s missteps before Hurricane Katrina but brutally rejected her afterward because she failed to turn the state around.

Until now, the new president has benefited from public willingness to give him a honeymoon. He decided to use that grace period to push for the largest expansion of government in U.S. history and to reward political allies (see the sweetheart deals Big Labor received in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies).

The difficulty for Mr. Obama will be when the public sees where his decisions lead — higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, sluggish growth, and a jobless recovery.

The good news for the President is that in leveraging His wonderful charisma, or whatever it is, to keep His holy shoulders free of the burden of responsibility for the economy — He’s marshaling the most potent weapon in His arsenal. There can be little doubt at this point that Barack Obama is among the most charming, if not the most charming, politician the civilized world has seen in modern times. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Forget about selling refrigerators to the proverbial Eskimo, this guy could sell hairdryers to snowmen.

More good news for President Obama: If failure looks like an economy in recovery, taking way longer to recover than it should…that is negligible-to-nothing political fallout, right? Under Obama’s predecessor, the economy was in a remarkably sustained period of growth, but rather flaccid growth. A prolonged, sputtering recovery would be just more of the same. Mister “I Inherited This, Don’t Forget” could go on tossing out some cliches about how He inherited the whole mess. It’s worked up until now.

But then we get right back to that thorny problem…and I think it’ll just get thornier…

How effective of an agent of “Change” is this guy, if His most reliable fallback excuse is that His predecessor was doing the same stuff and producing the same effects?

Obama’s chosen tactic is going to work out great, if nothing changes. But things always do; that is the point. Obama, I’m afraid, has placed Himself in a position to sustain great potential damage if our nation’s landscape is as dynamic as His campaign rhetoric has suggested. He requires stasis in order to succeed, even just politically. Which means He has placed Himself into an antagonistic relationship with change itself…and He owes His presidency to that very catchphrase.

We’ve been down this road before. That means, simply put, we haven’t been delivered what we were promised.

Spring Cleaning, 2009

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Spring CleaningThis is a little bit like making a point to haul the Christmas Tree down to the garbage before Easter…you’re not likely to stand accused of jumping the gun when you’re cleaning dustbunnies out of the computing hardware three weeks before the fireworks stands open up.

But better late than never.

The tower on its side belongs to the Lady of the House, the one in the background standing up is the older primary House of Eratosthenes hardware, serving nowadays as a backup.

They’re both nearing end of life now.

It’s a little bit difficult to justify the bucks nowadays for new desktops isn’t it? Those of us who are hardcore might have what’s called a “Gamer’s PC” stuck on our fantasy gift lists — maybe some of us have actually sprung for it. The depreciation factor is as massive as it ever has been, and aside from the graphics-intensive applications, most of them have moved online. Which means, clients have reverted back to being clients. They need to browse, and for the most part that’s just about it.

My Dad says life is kind of like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end of it, the faster it runs out. I’m finding the computing world is somewhat like that…the farther into it you go, the faster it spins. When I first got into this business, I thought things were exploding at an unprecedented rate. And they were. Kelly BrookBut now, it’s turned all strange and surreal. Hardware is becoming obsolete even faster than ever before, even in this Idiocracy age of “Technology = Portable Personal Tunes + Dogs-in-Purses.” Things that were, just a few years ago, your largest investment apart from the car, home and teevee, are now…junk. Real junk. You could replace them for $350 or thereabouts, and for that receive a replacement with triple the horsepower and ten times the disk space.

Back when people thought we’d be spending this year flying around in our rocket-powered vests so we could reach our floating cities in the sky — which we aren’t doing, of course — this computing power was unfathomable. So small wonder you need to blow some dustbunnies out of it now and then. It’s a fair trade.

We use it for what?

Reading blogs, and looking at pictures of beautiful women in skimpy clothes.

So here ya go.

Reid Won’t Read

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Our Senate Majority Leader belongs to the adorable party, so he can get away with this. Even though the chamber he leads, is constitutionally tasked with figuring out whether a nominee is worthy or not…and it is the only legislative body that can sign off on that. Harry Reid, CEO of Congress’ upper chamber, according to his own words, hasn’t cracked open a Sotomayor opinion. Hasn’t even peeked at so much as a word in any one of ’em. And doesn’t plan to.

He brags about it.

Uninformed is the new informed. Knowing-nothing is the new knowing-something. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…

I understand that during her career, she’s written hundreds and hundreds of opinions. I haven’t read a single one of them, and if I’m fortunate before we end this, I won’t have to read one of them. But — I’m not familiar with that opinion, but there will be plenty of time for people who are concerned about the Second Amendment — and there are lots of people on the Judiciary Committee who are concerned about it — they’ll have lots of time to offer her questions and she’ll proceed to answer them. But I don’t know anything about that.

Just another chapter in the ongoing civil war between those who, upon being presented with a package, inspect the contents — and those who inspect the packaging. The “steak” people versus the “sizzle” people. Senator Reid is typifying an elite crusty layer within the “sizzle” camp…those who not only fixate on appearance at the expense of diligently inspecting substance, but bristle with a secret antipathy toward anyone who would deign to take a look at contents. Toward anyone who would, even by accident, become aware of them.

Bragging about ignorance. Just imagine it. But in Camp Sizzle, it makes all the sense in the world.

Stitching, at Twilight, Bodega Bay, CA, June 2009

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

One of my less-incompetent stitching jobs. I was just looking it over and I thought, maybe that’s good enough to upload here.

I was really beat, what with driving around, getting sunburned, and then snacking and sampling fine wines. My body wasn’t adjusting to hotel beds that well. But the lady kept needling me and needling me, that I should get my fat ass up out of bed, because I said I wanted a sunset picture. I’m glad she insisted on it.

Click to blow ‘er up.

Bodega, CA, June 2009

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The schoolhouse that was used in the filming of The Birds. Yup, this is it. You should come see, but you should see the film first.

Click the pic to embignify.

Cool Guys Walking Toward the Camera Away From Explosions in Slo-Mo

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

It happens way more often than you think, and I got a gut feel this list is far from exhaustive.

Hat tip to MissC.

Remember: Only nerds & losers look back. Look slightly above the camera. Grumpily. And walk slow.


Dramamine Drive, June 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

The dialogue is always the same.

She: Okay honey, it says 25 mph.

He: Yeah, whatever, don’t worry about it.


He: I am slowed down.

Toward the background you see some repair that has taken place because of a washout. The whole distance is like that. Guardrail that’s supposed to be there…wooden-steel reconstruction that shouldn’t be there…more evidence of washout…hairpin turn after hairpin turn.

The local coming up on your rear bumper would like you to speed more than you’re already speeding. The one in the car ahead of you, has all the time in the world. And your better half in the passenger seat? She’s hanging on for dear life.

Click pic to explodey it.

Update 6/4/09: Like your sense of humor, m’friend.

I should add, so I don’t get in troub the record is made accurate, that the new lady isn’t like this. Not like Phil’s wife either…somewhere in between the two extremes.

Falling Newspaper Ad Sales

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009


Hat tip to Conservative Grapevine.