Archive for October, 2009

“This is America; We Do Whatever the F*** We Want”

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Bar owner laughs off threat from the mosque across the street:

Earlier this month the mosque’s leaders called a meeting with [owner Ken] Friedman at The Ace Hotel, where The Breslin is located, and asked, “Can you move the bar?” Friedman’s response makes us want to hurry over to The Breslin right now for a dram of Laphroaig to show our support (and drown out the voices):

I laughed. And the guy said, “Oh, you think that’s funny?” And I said, “Yeah, that is funny, that is really funny, because we’re not going to move the bar just because you discovered we’re serving booze.” Can you name one restaurant in New York that doesn’t serve booze? I said, “This is the United States of America and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want.” He said the mosque had suggested it couldn’t control the behavior of “a few bad eggs”; i.e., we could get a brick through our window.

It is, of course, a virtue to show sensitivity to the religious doctrines and taboos of others. But not to the point that such sensitivity erodes the structural integrity of your own culture, on the soil of your own nation. That’s a crime against your countrymen.

Got an e-mail from one of my older acquaintances. It shows signs of being a quote from something else…perhaps here

Why is it that if you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get thrown into prison and get 12 years of hard labor.

If you cross the Iranian border while out supposedly leisurely hiking in the hills you get arrested and imprisoned.

But if you cross the U.S. border illegally you get a drivers license, Social Security card and free health care?

You’ll see lots of answers under that, but I like mine the best:

Simple prejudice. The crudest kind. Judgments are made about individuals…what kind of story is behind each individual…based on what dirt is under that individual’s feet, and which direction he’s heading.

The guy going into North Korea is thought to be a spy.

The guy going into Iran is thought to be a spy.

The guy heading here from down south is thought to be a hard-working, law-abiding (in the very moment in which he is not doing it), oppressed manual laborer with a hungry family and he’d do just about anything to support them.

All of these things are true in some cases, not true in others. But it takes a whole lot less effort to judge thousands and thousands of people, into the millions, as if they’re part of a single organism with a single story.

“This is the United States of America, we do whatever the fuck we want” is not a diplomatic statement to make, of course. It is lacking in humility. It is cocky and vulgar, bordering on rude.

All of those are better qualities to have, though, than to be so acquiescent toward foreign sensibilities as to participate in one’s own cultural destruction. And singling out a single nation to be held up to some phony standard of civilization-by-self-destruction, is the most deplorable behavior of them all.

The Breslin could use some support. Something to keep in mind if you should happen to live nearby.

Hat tip to The Jawa Report.

Scozzafava Suspends Campaign

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Bully.

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign for the 23rd Congressional District and releasing all her supporters.

The state Assemblywoman has not thrown her support to either Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, or Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate.

“Today, I again seek to act for the good of our community,” Ms. Scozzafava wrote in a letter to friends and supporters. “It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so.

Newtely is trying to backpedal

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who came under fire from some conservatives for endorsing Dede Scozzafava in next week’s special Congressional election in New York, is now backing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

Gingrich made the announcement via Twitter shortly after the Republican Party nominee Scozzafava announced she was releasing supporters from their commitment to back her.

“Scozzafava dropping out leaves hoffman as only anti-tax anti-pelosi vote in ny 23 Every voter opposed to tax increases support doug hoffman,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter.

It’ll take a lot more digging than that to get yourself out of the hole you’re standing in…at least, in my book.

Really, what the hell were ya thinkin’?

Four Ways to Spend Money

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Radio guy just went off on this. I missed the part where he explained whether he came up with this on the spot, or read it somewhere…and the GooglGodz are frowning with disdain on my attempts to nail down any source. But I can’t let this go.

There are four ways to spend money.

With your own money, for yourself.

You will be extremely careful about what it is you are buying, what it is the thing is going to do for you, for how long, and most of all — you will pinch pennies like there’s no tomorrow.

With your own money, for someone else.

You will spend money with just as much caution as in the above example but you won’t pay too much attention to what it is you are buying because you don’t really care.

With someone else’s money, for yourself.

You will spend lavishly as you pay attention only to what it is you are acquiring. You will be somewhat concerned about “bang for the buck” but not overly much.

With someone else’s money, for someone else.

You will spend with reckless abandon, caring not one whit about how much you burned up or what you got with it.

Government taxing-and-spending falls mostly into the fourth of those. What doesn’t fall into the fourth of those falls into the third. And perhaps there’s way too much falling into the third thing and not enough falling into the fourth, but that’s a different discussion.

Point is, if this is coming to you as a paradigm shift, there’s lots and lots of good stuff on the teevee on election day and you should really spend your time watching that instead of voting.

Why is Blogging Such a Boys’ Club?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Pie chartsSo I’m reading this sob story that included the pie charts you see to the right; as you might expect, the sob story was sobbing away wondering why the sobbingly sad sisters of bloggerdom were outnumbered by us cruel heartless blogger men.

They then go to their panel of three experts. All in all, it was more reasonable than you might have expected. The feminist of the group concedes,

I’d like to decry some barrier or hurdle that’s kept women from having a larger share of voice in the blogosphere. But, honestly, I’m just surprised.

Surely male voices dominate the A-list blogs (if we even call them that anymore). But if you had asked me to guess, I would have said women make up the vast majority of total bloggers. Women are more likely to share their lives and be emotionally rewarded by sharing recommendations.

I do wonder if they’ve simply migrated more quickly to Facebook and microblogging. I read in Harper’s a few months ago that 94% of blogs haven’t been updated in at least four months. Are men more likely to blog or simply more likely to still be blogging?

Mild denial. She thinks it’s an evolutionary process, and as usual us men have taken up the rear…still working on gettin’ rid of our gills.

Well if you think that’s delusional, the next one will curl your hair:

I’ll say something a little controversial here: Men have time to blog. Most women don’t. As a working mom of two, something becomes clear the deeper you get into mom-hood. For most of us, the majority of the parenting is mom’s job, even if both parents are working, so who has time to blog?

Never let the facts get in the way of complaining about how good men have things.

The argument spewing forth from this “Cathy” panelist, to me, is a sterling example of something that has some truth to it…and yet, in the final analysis is utterly nonsensical. Yes, there’s some stuff to back it up. My girlfriend can do four loads of laundry in the time it takes me to separate whites from colors for the first one. And she has damn little spare time. B-u-u-u-t…Cathy, did you happen to see those four pie charts? Facebook, MySpace, Twitter…chickies have time for ‘em. The lady of my house is hip-deep into Mafia Wars, and that thing with the farm too. She finds the time for those. She’s got her priorities set just like lots of other females. Women, time considerations notwithstanding, do what they want and don’t do what they don’t wanna do. The choice they’ve made here is clear. Your argument. Window. Sailing. Whoosh.

Keep on selling it, though. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it makes people like you, and to a lesser extent all women, look like complete morons who lack the ability to a pie chart and see what it says.

Nope, something is at work here. All of the panelists concede in some form or fashion, that women are more concerned with emotional connections than men. A majority amongst them further concedes that “putting yourself out there” to face ridicule is off-putting to the female consciousness. Or, as (viciously outnumbered) blogsister Cassy said when she linked to this dirge

Women tend to start blogging and then realize that it is a tough, tough world out here. You say something someone doesn’t like, and they don’t dispute your point calmly and politely with rational, well thought-out replies. They attack you, personally. They call you fat, ugly, stupid. They’ll call you a whore or a bitch or a slut. And these are the mild insults. A lot of women have no clue what they’re getting into when they start blogging. And when they see how rough it is, they quickly get out, because to them it’s not worth it.

Every conservative female blogger I know gets this kind of abuse, and it’s often sexualized. We all get it. It’s a fact of life when it comes to blogging. Michelle Malkin had to move because her family was threatened by a blogger who published her personal information — address, phone number, everything. There is nothing that is off-limits when it comes to blogging, and anything can be held against you. Anything can be used as leverage against you to make you quit, to make you give up. And frankly, there are not many women who are as tough as Michelle is, who would be able to keep going. For many women, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Exactly. When you’re building up your social network, if the experience of interacting is what’s really important to you and you don’t care that much quite yet about who’s in the network interacting with you, the MySpace/Twitter/Facebook triumvirate offers more promise than hazard. The blogging thing offers the reverse. Much opportunity to be defrocked of your social stature, with the opportunity for making new friends something of an afterthought.

We’re being reminded yet again that men and women are different. In certain situations, it becomes unavoidable; there are no alternatives to simply facing the truth and admitting it. This is a jarring experience to some, and so they self-medicate on the spot by cooking up some new thing caustic and trite, that they can work into a cliche over time — something that can take whatever form it wants, as long as it is in some way derogatory towards men. That is the single vital ingredient. It is how they cope.

They live in a world in which, yeah, men and women are occasionally different…is long as that’s because the women are always better. Then that kind of thinking is allowed. Otherwise, no. They haven’t matured past that afternoon on the playground in fourth grade, when the boys and girls were making fun of each other.

KGBKGB Commercial

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Okay my first impressions are always right…so lessee. I sign up for your information service, and from that point on when cute girls win bets with me, they’re the ones who take off their clothes.

Subliminal messages: Ad man’s best friend for going on a century now.

For the record, it’s supposed to get you all curious about this service…you might’ve missed that.

Update: That’d be a lovely lady by the name of Elizabeth Bogush, of SCRUBS and ER fame. I’m beginning to understand blogger friend Phil’s occasional and reluctant fascination with Maureen Dowd and other redheads.

Somewhere I’ve got a master-list of film and teevee moments that were perhaps supposed to be scripted by one from among us masculine types, but for reasons only an observer of the male persuasion can truly understand — clearly were not. I don’t remember where I put that list…I remember I had carefully saved off the top slot for that scene in Disclosure in which Demi Moore provides oral pleasure to Michael Douglas while he yells “no, no, no, no” begging her to stop. Yeah……..it don’t quite work that way.

This commercial goes into the list, I think.

It’s rather stupid when you think about it. The girl who lost her clothes was not a “stakeholder” in the bet. Among the fellas, if you make a bet and the bet has to do with wearing some woman’s clothes should you end up on the losing side, the fear is that you will be the center of attention when you’re wearing them. Center of attention amongst your buddies, that is.

And that isn’t happening here. No way, no how.

But on the other hand, it’s got me pretty danged interested in that service, and that’s the point.

Newspaper Circulations, Last Two Decades

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Click thumbnail to view much larger, and read article.

Hat tip to FrankJ.

Anthony’s Snow

Friday, October 30th, 2009

For reasons I’d rather not list, I’ve been forced to think lately about this messy thing that invades our lives whether we invite it or not, called “other people”…where people go wrong, and why. How they make it tough to get along with ‘em. The deleterious effects they have on one another. The mistakes they seem to make, apparently with innocence, but then the mistakes have been made so many times before. I’ve thought about this before, and I’ve written about it a few times.

The taxonomy known as Ten Terraces of Liberalism shies away from the specifics of cause, opting instead to focus its inspecting lens upon levels of severity. It leaves much ground uncovered, for this reason. The ground it does cover has to do with specific methods of initial recruitment. And the Seven Steps to Insanity is another taxonomy of levels, more vertical than horizontal; the former traces how people become more and more liberal, the latter traces how they become just-plain-nuts.

So let’s look into what’s been left flapping in the wind, untied, so we can get it tied down.

First, there are Pie People. Pie People are easy to define. Their area of special interest is economics, and their fundamental error is an unsubstantiated belief in wealth’s fungible nature. A dollar in my pocket is proof-positive you can’t ever have it in yours for however long it remains in mine. Any billionaire you see, therefore, is ipso facto evidence of deprivation, and perhaps extortion, of hundreds of thousands of innocents who should be wealthier than they really are.

The Pie People believe in an economic “pie” that is of a fixed diameter and mass, although the size of the slices out of that pie may vary by size. That’s why when my slice is bigger, the net of all the other slices must be diminished — including yours. Naturally, the only fair thing to do is to make all the slices equal.

Elimination-of-Risk people are closely related to this. Both of these types of people, are associated with obsessive-compulsive behavior. The more they get of something they wanted, the more they want — again. It never stops. Pie People want everyone to have the same amount of stuff, and elimination-of-risk people want life to be safer and safer until there is no risk at all. They have it in common that they fail to see that they just got everything they wanted. They constantly feel like they’re being had. And so when they get what they want, and as a direct result everything turns to crap, they naturally fail to see that too. They want more more more. And they get it.

This weekend I scrambled under a deadline to put together a document that is of a private nature, and I’ll not elaborate too much on what is in there…but there is one section that is worthy of reproducing here.

This is a schism that has been opened wide under the foundation of every single culture, I suspect, that has achieved any semblance of “civilization” since the beginning of history. …Humanity has been struggling, since its inception, to figure out if it’s worth the hassle of trying to drive any & all risk of failure out of the day-to-day challenge of living life.

Behind that question, a second question emerges: Could there be danger involved in trying to eradicate any and all risk? To those who assert that it’s worthwhile to drive risk of failure from our existence, or at the very least that getting rid of all risk is relatively harmless, the recent history that is the bailout boondoggle intrudes as an inconvenient lesson. It has been ill-advised, reckless, certainly very expensive, and toxic. Even people who don’t typically believe in the free market, are now perhaps more worried than they’re willing to admit about the loose soil under our economy that is the ongoing survival of firms that — according to conventional market signals, that were overruled in an exceptional case — shouldn’t continue to exist. Such a situation is, indeed, the primary cause of the bursting of the housing bubble that took place a year ago.
:
Lots of good, sound, logical points are made why we shouldn’t do it. We do it anyway. It turns out to be a huge mistake. Entities that should be successful, fail; entities that should fail, because of artificial “bowling bumpers” put in place, succeed.

When it’s over, anybody who honestly inspects the situation and puts some quality thought into thinking about what it is they’ve seen, has to admit this was a huge mistake and we shouldn’t have done it. And yet — the next time the same situation comes up, we look seriously at doing it yet again, and more often than not we do try to eliminate risk all over again.
:
I should add that, as I write this, there are murmurs from Washington that since the “Stimulus Plan” didn’t lower the unemployment rate and might have even raised it, what we need is a “Stimulus II” or “Son of Stimulus.” I rest my case. We think we are evaluating the results of the things we are doing, with some honesty. We’re wrong.

Now, here’s a heady question: Do the Pie People morph over time into the Elimination-of-Risk people? Or is it the other way around?

So far, it seems to me the faction most opposed to common sense and rational thinking is the E.O.R. people. They have shown themselves capable, as I pointed out above, of looking upon the wreckage of their flawed ideas and in that very moment solemnly pledging to do it all over again…to fix the wreckage. If sanity is something that can be casually expunged, so it can never ever be retrieved again — they are very close.

But in this same document, I continued to describe another modern people-problem…one that might be even worse still. The “parade people”:

I’m writing here about those poor wretched souls who seem to go through life disbelieving in, or doubting, or failing to observe, any connection that might possibly exist between the things they do and the positive or negative consequences that are visited upon them. These people seem to see life as some sort of parade, an endless and meanering tapestry of surprises, hopefully pleasant ones but at other times unpleasant ones; these things just seem to “happen.”

Passive voice is the rule. I didn’t fuck up at my job; I got fired. Mean ol’ boss came in one day and laid the smack down. Poor me. Got my car taken away by that man who works for the cruel, heartless bank. Don’t talk to me about failing to make the payments. What good does that do? What happened was that I got my car taken away. I lost it. Poor me.

It’s often done by proxy, which is to say by one person on behalf of another; this is classic enabling. He has a learning disability. Her weight problem is genetic. His private life is separate from his performance in public office. They’re sending their children into Israel with dynamite belts because they have no other way of defending themselves. There wouldn’t be any crime if the economy was just a little bit better. They didn’t get divorced because they got married too young and grew apart; HE changed, and in so doing drove her into another man’s arms. He made her do it.

These people aren’t known for taking extra steps to stop bad things from happening, in fact they are known for reacting with acrimony and resentment if it’s ever pointed out something could be done to stop bad things from happening. Their view of life becomes limited, and necessarily their view of their own role in life also must become limited. They extend this limited view to others they know, after awhile. If you know them, you feel the weight bearing down on you that you shouldn’t be working too hard. Why do you have to go to work today? Why don’t you call in sick? How come you never call in sick, unless you’re really sick?

That’s why I call them “Parade People”; the assignment seems to be to sit or stand…and watch. That is all that is expected from any of us. Except, that is, for the people who make it happen. These people are elitists, embracing the social contract that we should get along with each other and recognize each other as human beings — but they only feel the obligation of honoring that among their own kind. Should you ever go out to lunch with them, you’ll find they don’t treat the “help” the same way they treat their friends, who are “real people,” who in turn are cooler because they have fewer things to do. Together, they’re all supposed to wait for the next surprise to come along, and display the appropriate and expected emotional reaction to it. That’s it. Then wait for the next surprise. Apart from that, it seems nobody is really supposed to be doing anything. Except for those stupid grunts who somehow have the “job” of putting the parade together.

The slightest suggestion that someone, somewhere…anyone…has what it takes to perhaps impose an effect on what the next thing is that comes down the road…gets these people angry. Think about this for a minute or two. Recall your own experiences with people like this. They don’t mildly, simply, coolly, dispassionately disagree. They get mad. Like they’re involved in some kind of a civil war.

That’s because they are.

And so perhaps they have a tendency to evolve into the cornfield people.

Earlier this week, blogger friend Rick chose to challenge a left-wing Christian blogger who said she was “sick of war.” I joined in, and together we courteously made the point that war does have its purposes. Trouble is, you can’t be courteous to the cornfield people. After she declared she “had enough” I decided to test the boundaries here and try to figure out just how hypersensitive the cornfield people are. Answer: Very…although I was left with the distinct impression that if my opinions on the issues were more to her liking, the eggshells upon which I was walking would suddenly be made of cast iron, and I’d have much greater latitude.

All of the points she had to make — each and every single one — had to do with some wish that she had, that someone or something would cease to exist. Not much thought about what was to become of the wretched things. They should just stop…being. That’s why I call people like her “cornfield people.” The reference is to the six-year-old boy in the Twilight Zone episode who wishes people out to the cornfield. It’s an ingenious little tale (Physics Geek was kind enough to write in and provide a link to the story from which the TZ episode was made).

This behavior remained consistent, and continued until the very end when she announced that she had to unexpectedly put down her dog of eight years, and really, really couldn’t stand this anymore. Comments closed.

Back at Rick’s place, I noted that not only could her entire argument be distilled down to a singular wish that this-thing or that-thing be made to disappear…and she never once had anything else of substance to say…but she maintained through it all a narcissistic “It’s All About Me Me Me” unidirectional sensitivity about what she found offensive. In whatever. Had she put a moment’s thought into the idea that perhaps she can say things that sound offensive to others, she’d have her own answer about why she was being oh so picked on in this rough-and-tumble world we call the blogosphere…in which, for reasons unknown, she thought her hypersensitive ego could be safely ensconced. But she couldn’t even read accurately. She hallucinated some kind of awful things I said about her family that I never once said. This is a good lesson for us all, I think. These people are out there. Some of them are capable of getting jobs. If they disagree with you it’s all your fault. They’re walking claymore mines.

If their thirst for drama ends up doing you harm, they’ll not be sorry. They’re elitists, and they’re cornfield people.

They go around finding things offensive. It’s not a two-way street with these folks, just like Anthony’s reading minds in “It’s A Good Life” was not a two-way street.

I love that story because although it’s primarily concerned with the life the grown-ups are forced to live, “if Anthony would let them,” a subtle side-plot is Anthony’s gradual development of a strange, dysfunctional personality — a personality that isn’t good for anything. He’s building it every day he lives (presumably, in both the book and the TV episode, everyone starves to death)…because he coasts on through his childhood never being told no.

You can tell, as I draw my little arrows in oh-so-light-pencil from one type to the next type, that I think there’s a connection amongst all these, a connection of cause and effect. But I’m really not terribly sure what it is; what pupates into what. I do know, be that as it may, what it is they all have in common. All these folk, for whatever reason, are living out only a piece of the gift we call “life.” Perhaps they’re simply afraid to embrace all of it. They cannot compromise on too many things. They want everything done their way. But if everything really is done their way, the rest of us only live out a piece of life as well. We end up watching snow fall on our crops in midsummer, just like the grown-ups at the end of the TZ episode. In fact, you could make a perfectly acceptable argument that Atlas Shrugged is the same story, with a few more pages and a more meandering plot. The primary sequence of events, and the characters & motivation, are all the same.

All of this may be taken as a lead-up to a wonderful essay Neo-Neocon has put together called “My Friends The Liberals.” You’ve made it this far through my own scribblings; in for a penny, in for a pound. You should stop whatever it is you’ve been waiting to get to, click open her post and read every single word, including the comments. Highlights:

I mentioned that my liberal friends often diss America. This happens so often that it is almost a verbal tic. Often, their fellow countrymen/women are contrasted to those wonderful Europeans, who are (take your pick): cultured, sophisticated, linguistically diverse, international, pacifist, non-imperialist (now, anyway—since history began post-WWII). Americans? The opposite.
:
If someone tries to point out certain things that are unequivocally and more conventionally “good” about America, such as the fact that the US was in the forefront of international relief after the tsunami, it is brushed off as a very small and insignificant matter compared to the manifest wrongs we’ve committed. Their belief in the general evil perpetrated by the US around the world is not built on a single event, nor can it be eradicated by pointing out a single fact, or even a few. It is a huge edifice built on thousands of smaller bits of supposed knowledge, and to mount an assault on it would take several courses and piles of reading matter, and might not be successful even then.

Are you beginning to see the depth of the tragedy here? All this effort is put into being positive. To think happy thoughts. To see the other side of those who might casually be categorized as the least worthy among us. To find reasons why such-and-such a guy is stealing liquor from a drugstore…maybe he’s trying to scrape together a few bucks to get his dying daughter the chemotherapy she needs, et cetera.

That’s supposed to be the redeeming quality. The ability to see the other side, to recognize beneficial attributes that would go otherwise unnoticed.

And yet I think all sane people, occupying any position along the ideological spectrum, would ‘fess up that “[M]y liberal friends often diss America…it is almost a verbal tic” has nothing positive going for it whatsoever. There is some dark alchemy at work that metastasizes this drive to do good, to think those happy thoughts, to “dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not?’” — into something acrid, caustic, and trenchant.

No, worse than that.

Something that, by its very nature, is antithetical to the living of life. Something parasitic. Salt sown into the soil where our crops are supposed to grow. Something that stops us from living some of life today, and all of life tomorrow.

Anthony’s snow, perhaps.

Update: Seeing lots of parallels between this lamentation, and what Peggy Noonan is noticing. Perhaps we’re seeing exactly the same thing, and making our comments in different ways?

Dismantling America

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I’m getting this from so many different sources, that the effort to provide a proper hat-tip to the “original” referrer has turned into something like…like…uh…metaphor time huh?

Like balancing a warm seven-pound blob of snot on the tip of your finger. How’s that?

Anyway…sorry if you e-mailed this to me and you’re not getting proper credit here. I’ll make it up to you. Maybe.

Sowell

Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to “change the United States of America,” the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country.

Jeremiah Wright said it with words: “God damn America!” Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn’t know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?

And yet…to express even the slightest doubt that He Who Argues With Dictionaries is, indeed, out to do wonderful things for the country…is regarded as acridly partisan at best and racist at worst.

How many friends has He had who’ve had nice things to say about America?

She Spit and She Peed

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Story behind the pic.

Don’t feel like teasing it. So that’s what you get. A pic and a link.

Figured out what you want to be for Halloween this year?

L and M

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Leeann Tweeden, who won last week’s face-off against Kelly Brook, goes up against Marisa Miller. She’s hot, but can she compete with genetic perfection?

Mmmmm…that’s the trouble with genetic perfection. It’s the “Ace of Spades” in this mash-up. Trumps everything.

Advantage Miller.

Just Forget About Your “Jobless Recovery”…

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

This looks to be a recovery that will take place at the expense of jobs.

Oh well. Guess we just blame George W. Bush.

Third-quarter estimates this week are expected to show that the economy grew for the first time since the quarter ending in June 2008. Despite the estimated 3 percent expansion and a stock market that has been on a tear since March, hundreds of thousands of people are still being laid off each month.

Eight million jobs have been lost nationwide since the recession began two years ago, and by some measures workers face the worst job market since the Depression. The average laid-off worker has been without a job for 61/2 months, a post-World War II record. Many of those workers will never recover financially.

California’s hole, deepened by a state budget mess and volatile tax system, is far worse: Unemployment is at 12.2 percent, third highest in the nation; and adding discouraged and part-time workers puts it over 20 percent.

“It’s not even a jobless recovery; it’s a recovery with more job losses,” said UCLA economist Lee Ohanian. “The idea of having essentially no net job creation after a remarkably severe recession is a real pathology for the U.S. economy.”

Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

List of fifteen, here.

1. Social worker
2. Special events coordinator
3. Probation/parole officer
4. News reporter
5. Music ministry director
6. Membership manager
7. Fundraiser
8. Commercial photographer
9. Assisted living director
10. Minister
11. Marriage/family therapist
12. Curator
13. Substance abuse counselor
14. Film/TV Producer
15. High school teacher

Yeah, I know. It’s a real bitch getting born into something that isn’t royalty, having to spend your life doing things others would find useful and valuable just to chase those three hots & a cot.

Did they forget something you used to do? Leave it in the comments.

Jolt Closing Down

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Sad. We’ll have to learn to live without atrial fibrillation now.

Levi’s Hiding Huge Things on Sarah Palin

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Huge things, man…really huge. They’d really, really hurt her if they got out, but I’m just not going that far.

Levi Johnston says he’s keeping some “huge” things about Sarah Palin from the public.

In Part One of a two-part exclusive interview with “Early Show” co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, which aired Wednesday, the father of Palin’s grandson says, “There are some things that I have that are huge. And I haven’t said them because I’m not gonna hurt her that way.

” … I have things that can, you know — that would get her in trouble, and could hurt her. Will hurt her. But I’m not gonna go that far. You know, I mean, if I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily. But there’s — I’m not gonna do it. I’m not going that far.”

Johnston says he’s referring to things Palin did while she was governor of Alaska. Asked whether those actions were illegal or immoral, he refused to elaborate.

And I’ll be signing autographs. Burbank Wednesday, Vegas Thursday, Phoenix Friday. Buy my tee shirts and coffee mugs, I’m not talkin’. Yet.

Hey, I heard Sarah Palin’s Air National Guard commander wasn’t happy with her logged hours of flight time, and I’ve got these proportionally-spaced memos from a 1974 office typewriter to prove it.

Great job, CBS. Great journalism; great work. Keep it up.

Cantor Nails It

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Bingo, bingo, bingo. There is nothing to actually oppose; nobody genuinely believes in this bullshit.

It is a belief that comes to our shores from some surreal other place where there are no genuine beliefs: The best cure for our ailing economy is a ginormous social program, and we’ll have much better health care in our country when it’s run by the country’s government…just like the Post Office…which is always having problems.

President Obama Himself has said those things, and more. They make no sense. It’s all like saying “think I’ll dry myself off by jumping in this lake” or something. This is, as I’ve written before, the natural consequence of spending a childhood like the little boy who wished people out to the cornfield. When you make it to maturity having never ever been told “no.”

We’re gonna defeat those terrorists in Afghanistan, by not doing anything. Yeah, boy that’ll make ‘em sorry.

We’re going to heal the division that has torn our beloved country apart…by making fun of Republicans for clinging bitterly to their Bibles and their guns. We’re going to start a new era of accepting responsibility…by blaming every li’l thing that isn’t turning out the way we’d want, on Obama’s predecessor.

This is the kind of thing that gives me a Lee Iacocca moment. Where in the hell is the outrage?

Update: Silver lining? Maybe the democrat party will be carrying this Bizarro-world logic into the midterms next fall.

Update: Had this in my stack for the last couple of days…Why Obamacare is Failing at the Polls.

According to the Gallup polling organization, the percentage of Americans who believe the cost of health care for their families will “get worse” under the proposed reforms rose to 49% from 42% in just the past month. The percentage saying it would “get better” stayed at 22%.

Many are searching for explanations. One popular notion is that demagogues in the media are stirring up falsehoods against what they say is a long-overdue solution to the country’s health-care crisis.

Americans deserve more credit. They haven’t been brainwashed, and they aren’t upset merely over the budget-busting details. Rather, public resistance stems from the sense that the proposed reforms do violence to three core values of America’s free enterprise culture: individual choice, personal accountability, and rewards for ambition.

Zombie Bikini Babes Are Attacking

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Okay, enough of that heavy stuff. Let’s get silly with Marina Orlova.

Theory vs Fact

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Just a wee bit more of the heavy stuff to get our day started. From blogger friend Phil:

[I]n the past, oh, I don’t know, 30-50 years … maybe more, there has been an emphasis on ideas over substance, ostensibly to encourage ideas. “There are no wrong answers.” And no idea is better than another.

Well… yes there are. And yes … some are.

In scientific method, theories are tested to see if they hold up.

A favorite bumpersticker of Progressives is –

“Imagination is More Important than Knowledge”. (Apparently Albert Einstein)

Well … no.

Freedom and Peace; Thinking and Feeling; Me, Rick and Sonja

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Blogger friend Rick has a fascination with “the religious left” and it’s easy to see why. Yesterday, he linked to the following at Ravine of Light. It’s yet another wish that any & all violence in the world can be “unliked,” if you will, out of existence once and for all:

I’m Sick of War

And mostly I’m sick of guns!!

I have a 12 yo son. Lately (as in for the past year) it seems as though the only game he and his friends can play is war of some form or another. They play it on video games. They play it with nerf guns. They play it with air soft guns. He plays it in his head all by himself. He and his dad watch WWII movies or Vietnam movies. They talk battle tactics.

I’m sick of living in a culture that is permeated with war and news of war. Of living in a society where bomb blasts and mourning top the daily headlines. And soldiering (killing) is glorified.

Literally … it’s making me sick.

I understand why it’s happening … I’m just sick of it.

Nobody asked, but you know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of the Jean-Luc Picard train o’ thought…that when a peace-loving side meets up with a war-making side, the peace-loving side can simply communicate its thoughts and preferences that war not happen — and unilaterally decide that it is not to take place here.

That’s caused quite a few wars in the past, you know. That’s the biggest out of many reasons why I’m sick of it. FU, Capt. JLP.

Fellow parent Rick linked to his own spot to give her an idea of some other things of which she could be sick — namely, kids using up the valuable resources that are meant to give them an education, on a bunch of bullshit. Yeah, that makes me a little queasy too.

Me, although she said she “knows why it’s happening” I figured this wasn’t a sincere expression…see the Jean-Luc Picard theme above. You can’t wish war away, and if you think you can, then you don’t know why it happens. So I contributed a little bit of effort to help educate her:

I can think of another alternative. We could put a world dictator in power, and see to it that all who would oppose him are crushed overwhelmingly and without remorse, any time any one among them has the temerity to speak out. Sort of a Roman Emperor type guy.

Of course, Rome eventually decayed and fell…into a post-Rome world of…well, lots of war. Come to think of it, people who want to get rid of war forever don’t seem to use the “F” word very much. You know. “Freedom.”

I thought nothing further of it, until reading Rick’s main page this morning, and what to my wandering eyes should appear, but this

Sonja is even more miffed now… you might remember Sonja from Monday’s post where she let the world know that she’s so sick of war.

Morgan and I had left her comments at her place… and she followed up with this missive:

Uh oh…uh oh…UH OH.

Alright … I’ve had enough.

I’ve tried over and over and over again to be polite. I’ve tried ignoring the snark. But I’ve discovered that what I’m doing is censoring myself in order to avoid it. I’m not going to do that anymore. So I’m leaving comments 3 and 4 in place at this time. But they are the last comments of that type which will appear on this blog.

From now on, all comments will be moderated.

I will delete out of hand any comments which do not make logical sense to me.

For instance, both 3 and 4 would be deleted. #3 would be deleted because being sick of war does not equal tolerating trans-gender homecoming queens (although I do), but the two things do not have anything to do with one another. #4 would be deleted because Morgan either can’t read or chooses not to and he missed the line: “I understand why it’s happening … I’m just sick of it.” Morgan, if you want to rant about world dictators and the like, you may do your fear-mongering in your own space. My blog is a fear free zone and I will not condone that behavior in my presence.

So, I’m done. I’m going to write and post as I see fit. If you want to comment, you’re going to have to abide by some rules. The first one is that there is no fear allowed … Jesus rules here.

I can’t resist (who knows how long that link will be good) a challenge.

Let’s see if I can walk this narrow, narrow line:

God bless you, your son who is exactly the same age as mine, and all the men in your life you love. May you all live long, happy, healthy lives and may none of you ever have to make some of the terrible, awful choices some other folks have had to make while they were armed.

But if it DOES come to pass, I hope your son is ready, willing and able to bring down a terrible destructive force to protect you, or anybody else who is important to you. In short, if it ever comes down to a choice between you and some scumbag who wants do (or is indifferent to doing) your family harm, I hope the scumbag loses and you win.

Because watching good people like you lose, and bad guys win, makes people a little sick after awhile too.

Hope that makes the cut, Sonja.

On a related note, my DVR happened to catch one of the best Twilight Zone episodes ever made, about the little boy wishing people out to the cornfield.

It fascinates me endlessly that people who’ve made that childhood life-choice about feeling their way through life, rather than thinking, all end up like this. They become agents of destruction. All of their fondest wishes become rooted to this singular keystone wish, that they can use their minds to stop things from existing. Get rid of war, get rid of guns, get rid of Morgan and Rick. Get. Rid. Of. In the blink of an eye, they become different people who have no other desires in life; they just want to wish things out to the cornfield. Creating things? Preserving things? The hostility they show toward those who preserve…by means of a legally acquired, responsibly wielded sidearm…takes second place to none other. In their hearts, they become destroyers.

It’s so sad. It’s exactly the opposite of what they wanted to be. The polar opposite.

Moral of the story is: Your cerebral cortex is the compass of your life. This is why her blog is all about flowers and lights and pretty wallpaper, and mine is about a guy who lived 2,200 years ago and noticed things around him to figure out how big the earth is. It’s got to do with priorities. To walk a straight path, you have to use yer noggin. There is no substitute.

His Blank Slate VII

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

What a wonderful stockpile of advantages President Obama enjoys as He does whatever it is you want to call what He’s doing: governing…leading…inspiring…ruling over. It would be awfully tough for Him to out-and-out violate a campaign promise, even if He tried to. Pledges did get made, and lip-service did get paid. But He was elected on a platform of personal wonderfulness, and when you’re a wonderful person you don’t really need to concern yourself too much with the things you do.

And if the results of your reigning are none to flattering, of course there’s always a ready-made excuse:

The Post-Gracious President
Whenever he must make a difficult decision, Mr. Obama complains it’s Bush’s fault.

:
On Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff went on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month to discuss the presidential decision on Afghanistan that everyone is waiting for. “It’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift,” said Rahm Emanuel. “That we’re beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years.” Translation: If we screw up Afghanistan, blame Mr. Bush.

The other came from Mr. Obama himself, speaking at various Democratic fund-raisers last week. “I don’t mind cleaning up the mess that some other folks made,” the president said. “That’s what I signed up to do. But while I’m there mopping the floor, I don’t want somebody standing there saying, ‘You’re not mopping fast enough.’”

This is a frequent Obama complaint. The logic is clear if curious: While it’s OK to blame Mr. Bush for spending too much, it’s not OK to point out that Mr. Obama is already well on track to spend much more.

I’ve seen other Presidents do this, and I’ll see other Presidents do it again I’m sure. This is a politician’s dream: Can’t lose, except when you do, and even then you don’t.

But it’s a new one on me to see this behavior from one who goes on and on, so often, and so enduringly and so endearingly, with the word “responsibility.” Next to “I,” “Me,” “Let Me Be Clear” and “Uh,” I think the R-word comes in next on the ranking.

Maybe President Obama would recover some of His approval rating if He were to personally show us what some of it looked like.

“If You Don’t Like It, Leave”

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

I’m completely biased on this catchphrase: When conservatives say it to liberals I’m in there with a thumbs-up and a “right on!” When liberals say it to conservatives, my reaction is more of a “what the hell are ya thinkin’?” And you know what…that’s not all an emotional my-team-good your-team-bad thing. There is an abundance of durable, coherent logic involved in why I think that’s a perfectly legitimate argument on one side and a perfectly silly one on the other. Yeah that’s right, I think it. I don’t feel it, I think it.

Someday I shall endeavor to explain it. But I’ll say right now that if you need to have it explained to you, you’re probably never gonna get it.

Anyway. Thick, thick coating of dust on this one…as in, when it was written up, a lot of folks had not yet heard of Barack Obama. And it is bitching about business, not politics. But I like it. It makes points that really should be obvious, although they somehow sometimes aren’t, and it makes them very well.

That seems to be the sentiment in many companies these days. I heard it once when I approached a VP about a problem my entire team was having with a certain procedure. “If they don’t like it, they can leave.” A friend of mine heard a variation of it once when he expressed dissatisfaction with the management style of another manager, a dissatisfaction that was shared and voiced by many before him. “If people don’t like him, why don’t they leave?” And I’m not talking here about one employee’s personal gripe or moral viewpoint. I?m talking about big issues that if remedied could make quite a few people happy and the company more efficient.
:
I’m not sure what school of thought the “don’t like it, leave” statement comes from. It’s not exactly Management by Fear. It’s more like Management by Apathy. Maybe if you make your employees feel expendable, they’ll be so grateful to you for employment that they’ll buckle down more? I really don’t know.

Would you offer that statement to your spouse if you were having problems and wanted to strengthen your bonds? I would hope not. I know that marriage and your relationship with your company are not the same but don’t both benefit from some nurturing and tweaking? And we spend more waking hours at work than we do with our spouses.

What does that attitude do to the integrity of a company?…I know it’s no longer my father’s day, when people often retired from the first company they worked for. Because of company relocations and buy outs and layoffs, I’ve seen my long-term careers plans derailed more often than I care to think about. The cosmic job forces all seem to want to send the same message to workers: You are replaceable.

“If you don’t like it, you can leave.”

The statement is dismissive and not conducive to positive change. It’s like trying to correct unruly behavior in your teenager and hearing “Well, I didn’t ask to be born.” It simply becomes a mechanism for avoiding the work it will take to correct a problem.

How Important is Charisma?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Sober, depressing but realistic thoughts from Dr. Helen.

This morning, I started reading a new book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience after noticing the title. The book is written by Carmine Gallow, a columnist at Businessweek.com. I like reading anything that improves my communication skills, so I thought I would give it a try.

But rather than sifting through the book to learn how to give a better presentation, I focused on one paragraph describing “charisma” and I decided to share my thoughts (more like free associations) with you. The paragraph is as follows:

What you’ll learn is that Jobs is a magnetic pitchman who sells his ideas with a flair that turns prospects into customers and customers into evangelists. He has charisma, defined by the German sociologist, Max Weber as “a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.” Jobs has become superhuman among his most loyal fans. But Weber got one thing wrong. Weber believed that charisma was not “accessible to the ordinary person.” Once you learn exactly how Jobs crafts and delivers one of his famous presentations, you will realize that these exceptional powers are available to you as well….

I have been thinking about the quality of “charisma” lately and I really have more questions than answers. What sets some people apart from others? What is it about some people that commands better treatment, more people listening to them and a higher level of social status? Is it charisma or some other trait or appearance?

But more importantly, why do some people attribute others with charisma with supernatural or superhuman powers when they are only….human? I believe it is dangerous to attribute human beings with exceptional powers, for none are deserving of this. It’s great that Jobs develops so many great products that help the world but that only makes him a human being who makes good products, not a god.

My husband says that perhaps this trait, to see people as superhuman and charismatic is genetic and like all things genetic, there are variations. But then how do we break those people who see political leaders and others as godlike when they are anything but? Sure, charisma can sometimes be a positive force, but it can also be a very dangerous one, getting people to go along with a con artist, a narcissist, or a psychopath. What if some people can’t tell the difference?

It’s not a very appealing personality trait to tend to be snookered by this stuff — sort of like being susceptible to gambling addictions, or any other addiction. And it seems to me that the people susceptible to being snookered by this, are painfully aware that this is something neither they nor anyone else want to be.

I’ve also noticed when people know they are susceptible to being snookered by this, they form a keen interest in pressuring others to become susceptible to being snookered by this. I find this understandable too. You get the wrong answer to something, you don’t want everyone else to get the right answer.

Saving a Place

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Life In 3D…don’t skip over this…it’s way too good.

A woman came in last night looking for a book by some feminist author that I had never heard of before, no big surprise there. So, I look it up in our search engine and the computer says that we might have it in the store. MIGHT have it, not WILL. So I tell her that I can check our inventory and see if it’s there and show her the section it would be in.

“No, that’s fine, I’ll find it myself. I’m going to look around a bit first”

Ten minutes later, as I’m showing another customer to 1984 I run across her in Literature looking around and she barges in to the conversation I’m having with my customer and sneers “Where is the section on Women’s rights?”

I tell her again “It’s upstairs and I’ll be happy to take you to it as soon as I am done here.”

“No, I can fine it myself.” Note the lack of a ‘thank you’.

Sooo, as you can probably guess, I end up helping another customer find the Christianity section, which is upstairs, and as we get to the top of the escalator that same woman is standing in the middle of Independent Readers YELLING “Is there SOMEONE ACTUALLY WORKING here who can HELP ME!!!!”

Once again (because we were slammed with customers) I offer to show her the section and she is bitching the whole way about how the women’s studies section should be near the front of the store because it’s so important and how this author’s book should be on display because she’s doing a signing tour in California right now and she’s a NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST!!

Well, we get there and we have no copies. She flips her shit over it and repeats how wonderful this writer is and how we should all be required to read her crap and then says “Why don’t you have 900 copies here?!?! You have plenty of room! Her book should be displayed all over the store to inspire women everywhere about what they can do!”

I had to.

I know it was wrong but what can you do when the set up is that perfect?

“Well, ma’am, we were going to but we’re saving that spot for Sarah Palin.”

The Chair Recognizes the Gentle Ignorance From Florida

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

My goodness…future historians will look back and say: With a Congress like this, how did that country manage to survive as long as it did.

They can’t be interrupted…if it was somehow physically possible to disrupt the proceedings from the streets, I’m sure that would be some kind of awful federal crime…this “time” that is “yielded” is treated like some sort of precious commodity…

Implicit in such protocol is an unstated premise that weighty, relevant, important matters are being discussed. Hmmm. Looks like an abuse of trust to me. I’m sure there have been some others that were even worse.

Hat tip to Texas Rainmaker.

President’s Mop

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Rand Simberg explores the famous analogy in Pajamas Media. Conclusion: As the democrat party starts to push it out there and create their commercials about it, they should be pleased — and Republicans should be even more pleased.

I’m guessing, based on his biography, that the president doesn’t actually have any real-world experience with janitorial services, other than perhaps writing a check for them. He seems to have been pretty much coddled from childhood; he wouldn’t necessarily know which end of a mop to hold. But speaking as someone who worked in a service station in high school, in which one of the duties was to clean the floor of grease and brake fluid at the end of the shift, and later as a househusband under the direction of a diligent clean-floor czar, I know my mops and mopping.

And you know what? The mopping technique really does matter. The kind of mop and cleaning solution you use really does matter. I had people criticize my mopping as a kid, as a station attendant, and as an adult. My response was not to say, “I didn’t make this mess. Stop criticizing me, and grab a mop.” If I had said that, I suspect that I’d still be mopping. Instead, I listened, learned, and got the floor clean. But I’m afraid that this president isn’t really all that much into listening or cleaning floors. He seems to be more into using what he imagines is the right mop, his way. And he’ll apparently brook no criticism.

But Barack and Nancy (and Harry) don’t seem to know much about floor cleaning. They seem better at exacerbating messes than cleaning them up. When the president took power in January, his very first act was not to grab an effective cleaning solution. Instead, he pulled an old one off the shelves that the Democrats had been wanting to use for years, even though it has always proven ineffective against the type of mess that we were in (the mess having been caused by it in the first place). In too much of a rush to read the label on the bottle (generously assuming that the label was accurate), they dumped the whole thing into the bucket without diluting it. Then, in their rush to use it, they tripped over the bucket and spilled it all over.

Keynesian Economics Dead Forever

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Keynesian economic theory, which says the most wonderful thing you can do to the economy in a capitalistic society is pool everybody’s money into a big pot by force and then spend it in some unified effort rather than let folks hang onto their wealth to spend as they please — was disconnected from life support yesterday, time-of-death recorded soon after. It was then wheeled down to the morgue and a tag was placed on its toe. We’re all going to stop arguing about it now. Forever. All the economists who’ve been promoting it for the last three quarters of a century…the ones that are still around, anyway…will be issuing an apology for wasting so much of our time, attention and resources.

At least that’s what would be happening in a sane world. In this one, we learn but we still don’t learn:

The government’s economic stimulus spending has already had its biggest impact and probably won’t contribute to significant growth next year, a top White House adviser said Thursday.

Christina Romer, the chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the initial jolt of the $787 billion stimulus expanded the economy in the second and third quarters of this year. But she said the remaining spending will simply keep the economy from slipping.

“By mid-2010,” she said, “fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to further growth.”

That was it. Yep. That’s all you get.

Down in that morgue, they might very well find out rigor mortis set in generations ago. What’s kept the corpse animated all this time? It’s an aristocrat’s pipe dream, not a commoner’s. That big pot…that coffer full of bills, change and gold bars that has to get spent somewhere. We need someone to make the decisions about where it’s supposed to go. As long as civilizations have stood, those who are well-connected and in command of resources have always wanted to be even better-connected, and in command of even more resources. Keynesian theory never really was a theory; it was a tactic.

Let’s just call this the failure it is, and resolve never to do it again. Face facts; if this sequence of events doesn’t demand that kind of an outcome, nothing’s ever gonna.

Does Obama Know the Difference?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Fact and opinion, which we call Pillar I and Pillar II. What you know, and what you’ve concluded about what you know.

Boortz says:

Obama’s gripe with Fox News is with the opinion and commentary shows, not the news shows. It might be nice if someone would sit The Community Organizer down and try to explain to him the difference between news and opinion. Hey, PrezBO .. you’re never too old to learn!

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Do you suppose it’s just that simple, that Obama doesn’t know the difference between news reporting and editorializing…because He doesn’t understand the difference between objective and subjective truth?

He does talk that way much of the time. “I just think…” “It seems to me…” “We can’t…” “We’ve got to…” Much of the time, His words reveal the carefree world of lightweight thinkers, in which thoughts are simply — thoughts. In such a world of marshmallow clouds, talking unicorns and candy rainbows, you don’t assemble a thought from something else, they just kinda pop into your head.

That would explain Afghanistan. Maybe He doesn’t have some crafty master plan, maybe He’s just waiting for a thought to pop into His head, and it hasn’t popped just yet.

We’re All Balloon Boys Now

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

It’s getting harder to know what’s real and what’s unreal, in a world that always seems to be flipping slightly out of focus.

Keith and Rachel Good, but Fox is Bad…

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Jay Leno makes fun of the situation. Because hey, other than the obvious trampling of the spirit if not the letter of the First Amendment…what else is there to suggest it can be taken seriously?

Hat tip to Sister Toldjah, who is chagrined along with everyone else with a brain that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann apparently made the cut. Would someone somewhere like to justify that…somehow. Can’t wait to see it.

whoisthetrizzle spoke for me yesterday at Nealz Nuze…not completely so, but I found much wisdom in these words. And frankly, if anybody else doesn’t, I don’t trust ‘em too much.

This is the last I will say about Fox News. I cannot for the life of me figure out what all the fuss is about. So Fox news has a conservative bias. Big deal. Let’s just go so far as to say that they in fact do not report any news but opinion only (I’m not actually suggesting this is true). What’s the problem? I’m amazed at how up in arms both sides are but the left in particular. To quote South Park, “I thought this was America!” I thought people were allowed to speak their minds with few exceptions. Anyone who promotes freedom and equality, especially the president, should always welcome opposing views. If the president of the United States (Obama or otherwise) truly cared about doing what is best for the people of this country then he would encourage everyone to study both a consenting view and an opposing view. Only by getting both sides of the story can one make a truly informed decision. Notice I said anyone who promotes freedom and equality. This does not seem to be the case with the current administration.

Walk Away From the Explosion, Don’t Look Back

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Yeah I know I already made fun of this highly overused trope back in June…one of our loyal readers in New Mexico thought once was more than enough. But the movie-makers can’t stop using it, so I can’t stop making fun of it.

When just blowing something up isn’t enough, proof of one’s apparent badass bombing technique can be seen when the bomber leaves himself barely enough time to escape the blast radius, usually just enough so that as he’s walking away, he’s silhouetted by the explosion itself. The exploding object can be anything: a building, a car, a space ship…anything large enough with plot-relevance that must simply, absolutely be erased in a fireball. Bonus points if the target’s not the object detonated itself, but the person or people inside. One has to really want someone dead to bother setting up such a considerable kaboom when several bullets to the head would do just as well. Regardless of the explosion’s size, badasses of this stamp will rarely need to worry about shrapnel, flying masonry, or getting blasted off their feet by shock waves. The shock waves can be useful for blowing about that cool cloak or longcoat the badass may be wearing.

Besides, when I lampooned this recurring effect a few months ago I failed to tie it in to Why Everything Sucks so much lately. It doesn’t matter that this particular clip wasn’t out there just yet at the time. The point has been a valid one for awhile, the connection is there whether we choose to recognize it or not. So we might as well recognize it. We’re following that rule about “Never attribute to malice that which may be blamed on incompetence,” and I have found this to be a good rule.

Parents: When you just have to have that “alone time” on the weekend afternoons do NOT send your darlings down to the movie theater with fifty bucks or whatever. DO. NOT. You are sending the average age of the theater audience down, down, down…and with that, the quality. You Saturday fornicators are ruining movies. You don’t want to ruin movies, do you?

But whether you intend to or not, that’s what you’re doing. Too many young kids watching movies. With money. Participating in the market. Creating an artificial demand for the same silly effect over and over again…

Well, some nine-year-olds jump into the movie-consuming market, and the real “civilized” people jump right out:

…I went to one movie the last year. Maybe three in the last four years. There is not much choice here—car crashes, evil white men killing the innocent, some gay or feminist heroes fending off club-bearing white homophobic Mississippians in pick-ups. Or you can endure the American war-machine kidnapping, torturing, or murdering even more of the helpless abroad—with Robert Redford, glassed down, tweed in display, or snarly George Clooney sermonizing, like the choruses of Euripides’ tragedies.

The usual themes—some evil corporation is destroying something (fill in the blanks: the environment, the neighborhood, the small town, etc.), some CIA conspiracy is out to ruin a crusading heroic journalist, or some brave professor or writer is exposing a massive cover-up—are, well, boring, even with the sex, the blow-em-up explosions, and some nice scenery. (And all this from a corporate Hollywood—reliant on the security of the American military, crass in its high tastes and destructive in its behavior, and all the while profit and status obsessed!

If it is not all that, we get instead some neurotic suburban psychodrama about a senseless midlife crisis of some aging yuppies, wondering whether their empty lives really have meaning. Then there are always the “action” movies about tomb-robbing, treasure-hunting, or Zombie killing, but even they try to mask emptiness with a politically-correct throw-away line now and then. Can’t they make one movie of the Lewis and Clark expedition or Lepanto, and one less with Tom Hanks as the anguished and caring postmodern man?

You and me both, Victor. All together now: “Get the hell off my lawn!” (Hat tip for that excellent find to Neo-Neocon.)

When we demand creativity out of people…and they supply something else, and are allowed to call it a success…everybody loses and nobody wins.

Cool Guys Don’t Look at Explosions

Cool guys don’t look at explosions
They blow things up and then walk away
Who’s got time to watch an explosion?
Because cool guys have errands that they have to walk to..
Keep walkin’, keep shinin’
Don’t look back keep on walkin’
Keep struttin’ slow motion
The more you ignore it, the cooler you look

Misconceptions About Obama

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

RevolutionOfCG answers his critics (not quite all the potty-mouth words have been bleeped):

This is not my idea of enlightened discourse. But it closely reflects a lot of the bullshit I’ve been hearing for a few years now…by which I mean the straw-man arguments being thrown in this guy’s face by the caricatures of his Obama-loving critics.

You know what really ratcheted this up in volume, and down in civility? That big slab of red meat Rush Limbaugh threw to the Obamamaniacs early in the year when he said he wanted Mister Wonderful to fail. That sent the signal out from the hive headquarters down to the lowliest ant: Get the word out, opposition to us is opposition to “doing nice things for people.” And then the leftists went into attack mode, and have been stuck there ever since.

Rush turned over a big rock so we could see the slimy venomous things scurrying around underneath. It was risky, but it paid off and it was a public service.

People who don’t value individual achievement and feelings of self-worth and commitment and duty, don’t want anybody else to value these things either. So yes, in my experience this guy is parodying his critics accurately; in fact, in some ways his illustration is a little bit too kind.