Archive for December, 2009

Air Bag Blows Up Under Frozen Pond

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Secrets of the Millenium Falcon

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

It’s got a year’s worth of dust on it, but it’ll come in handy next time we watch one of the original trilogy movies. They were alright, you know: Coherent story, robust theme, not very many scenes taking place in conference rooms, with someone in a funny rubber mask getting the “Then It’s Settled” line at the end…

World’s Smallest Snowman

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

The Year of Living in Everybody’s Face

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I was just thinking exactly the same thing Deb Saunders was thinking. It seems lately that no one — no one — can do anything without advertising that the thing is being done. Every little deed, every little thought, every little act of charity, every little benevolent wish, every little desire to “Be A Part Of This Thing”…as in, the election of our first black President…every little derogatory snippet about Sarah Palin (Item #13 on my list)…must…absolutely must…be advertised.

2009 started with Octomom, a single 33-year-old mother of six who, thanks to an unfettered fertility industry, gave birth to octuplets.
2009 also was the year that reality TV wannabes discovered that there is such a thing as going too far to get on TV — at least in the eyes of the law. On Oct. 15, Colorado parents Richard and Mayumi Heene falsely claimed that their son Falcon, 6, had floated away in a homemade balloon.
It’s not clear if Michaele and Tareq Salahi broke any criminal laws when they crashed President Obama’s first state dinner in November.

At the time, they were trying to break into Bravo’s “Real Housewives of D.C.,” but their prank — lawful or prosecutable — upheld the law of unintended consequences: When you excel at attracting attention, it’s not always wanted attention.

Three or four attention-starved twits doth not a dysfunctional society make.

But still, it’s difficult to escape the conclusion something’s bollywonkers here. That we’re slipping off the rails. If you’re the praying kind, it’s a good prayer to have for 2010. Generally speaking, people are healthiest when their actions in private don’t differ too much from their actions when zillions of their peers and neighbors are watching. That’s what used to be called “character.” Lately, we’re none too healthy and we haven’t got too much character. Too many of us need to know who exactly is watching, before they know what to do.

That’s the first thing I’d like to see changed next year. Just do what’s right, regardless of who’s watching. And quit putting so much work into getting more people to watch.

Merry Christmas 2009

Friday, December 25th, 2009

We’re out here at Timber Cove Inn, and there are many nice things about being here (photos to follow if/when I get the chance). One of which is that we did not wake up to this

The one thing that’s missing: A note chiding him to be sure and CUT THE SCOTCH TAPE ONLY, FOLD THE WRAPPING PAPER CAREFULLY AND SAVE IT FOR NEXT YEAR! Just like my Dad always said.

Hat tip to Boortz.

Update: This is too good to leave behind. It’s a Wonderful Bill. Hat tip to Dr. Melissa.

Update: We’re back in town, and my lady unwrapped the last two of her gifts under the tree from Yours Truly which was precisely what she had on her list: An eight hundred watt Haan steam cleaner, and the replacement pads for same.

After a few minutes watching in frustration the resulting frenzied cleaning activity, I gave up on having my beer brought to me and went out and got it myself, while she continued to clean our windows, mirrors, tilework, et al. All you feminists wanting to kick my ass, take a number.

Update: We’re watching one of my Christmas presents, which is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Is this the preachiest liberal movie ever made? I’m comparing it, in my mind, to Twelve Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Inherit the Wind.

Preachiest…preachiest…as in, unsubtle…yes, I do believe this might very well take the cake. Excluding all the Michael Moore “documentaries,” of course.

“Health and Safety Gone Mad, Mate”

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I was praying to the GooglGodz trying to get ahold of some remnants of Mark Steyn’s brilliant co-hosting of the Rush Limbaugh program yesterday morning. I’m using “remnant” as an umbrella term. Evidence backing up what he was saying…partial transcript…audio. I let my 24/7 membership lapse, and the service, while amusing at times, has landed in my “luxury” file. Which means it isn’t up for consideration until I’m a zillionaire and own everything. Maybe not even then.

And even if I had it, I don’t recall it being much use to me when it came time to find transcripts of what substitute hosts have had to say.

Evidence to back up what Steyn was saying; I did find some. His point was this: “little laws,” like our leviathan of a health care act that has just made it past both floors of our Congress, represent not only a death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts to freedom and liberty. They change the character of the people over whom they have their jurisdiction. People start to look at life differently and start to think differently, just as a man’s brain cells die off one by one when his oxygen supply has been cut off. In the UK, says Steyn, the phrase that is the headline of this post, has become a popular cliche. It comes out reliable-as-rain, anytime a bewildered newcomer is informed that he can’t do this-or-that because he doesn’t have a license.

He told the story of a funeral being held for an acquaintance of his, and his own surprise at seeing this large shopping-cart thing being used by a decent chap who was supposed to be a “pall bearer.” Any attempt to do justice to this clip would be futile. Let it just suffice to say the conversation quickly drifted into bathos in the first minute, and then floated downward into thickening absurdity for several minutes more.

Stepladders are banned in the library, so if you want something from the top shelf and you’re less than eight feet tall you’re just outta luck. What can I say? Health-n-Safety Gone Mad, Mate.

Blog-Uncle Gerard thinks we have followed our mother country off the precipice and we aren’t coming back. His argument is a weighty one packing much substance and historical evidence. But it is a disagreement of spirits, not of fact, and in spirit I cannot disagree more.

It comes down to this: His facts and trends are historically valid, but cherry-picked, and there are other facts and trends to see. Mankind desires freedom — there’s one. For over a generation now, America has been the last nostril unplugged all over the globe. Every other country is murmuring some variant of “it’s health-n-safety, mate.” With the last blowhole now obstructed and our known universe airtight, is it really a foregone conclusion what will happen next? The doom-n-gloomers (you’ll see by the comment thread, I am vastly outnumbered there) all share this insurmountable contradiction: We are sure to lose our freedom because nothing ever remains static…and yet…after we have lost our freedom, things shall remain static. My rejoinder to this is you have to pick one of these or the other. You can’t have both. And if you cannot have both, your argument is rent asunder.

If we are sliding inexorably toward a bloodbath, then at some point the bloodbath has to be over. All of mankind won’t live in a nanny-state; not over every single square inch of the globe. And that is history talking, too. At some point the adrenaline has to kick in. It would be truly unprecedented for this not to happen.

Hope for the revolution to be somehow bloodless? Of course we can hope for that. We should; we must; we have great reason to keep it alive. We are, still, the one place most friendly to the bloodless revolution.

But it is useless to hope for, or despair of, no revolution at all. The anti-freedom people, like Sisyphus, roll their boulder to the top of the mountain yet one more time — and it finally stays there?

It’s just contrary to the way the universe works. Can’t happen.


Thursday, December 24th, 2009

It is 12/24 and I have to put up something positive.

Taken, with Liam Neeson, works as if — exactly as if — someone somehow got hold of my list of things I don’t want to see in movies ever again, and set out to deliberately avoid each item. The fights are slightly over-the-top, but somewhat plausible.

In fact — Item #1, the woman and man getting into an argument about whether she’s coming with him or not? You even have a scene where Liam Neeson announces, right in front of his ex-wife who is the mother of his daughter who’s been kidnapped, that he’s going to Europe to get her back. It’s a perfect set-up for the tired old “Well, I”m coming with you!” “No you’re not!” “Yes I am!” It’s as if someone behind the camera said “Hold it guys, that’s going to piss off Morgan K. Freeberg of Folsom California, and we can’t have that, so let’s cut the scene NOW.”

Okay, maybe it didn’t happen that way.

There are no 100-pound women judo-flipping 300-pound men. The father-daughter relationship figures prominently in the movie, and yet you don’t have the ritual of the Dad suddenly waking up to realize what a towering asshole he’s been and that he should do better next time (Item #3). Liam Neeson does not have a plucky sidekick (Item #17). When he needs to incapacitate the bad guy, he delivers a karate chop to the windpipe, not to the shoulder blades (Item #34).

Famke Janssen plays an absolutely loathsome, execrable human being. Of course it’s something of a rehash of her character in Don’t Say a Word…except she’s got two good legs in this one…and she’s just a horrible person. But they even spend a minute or so providing an excuse/motive for that, and thus making her just a little bit more sympathetic. It’s like they thought of everything. It’s not like they accommodated everything; it takes a ninety-minute, less-is-more approach. But they at least took everything into account. Everything that’s there has a reason to be there, and everything left out has a reason to be left out.

And “Now’s not the time for a dick-measuring contest Stuart!” is a decent line. You’ll especially enjoy it if you’re in one of those “negotiate with some other household in how to raise my own damn child” situations. And, if you’re sick to death of movie people firing unlimited numbers of rounds out of nine-shot automatics; yes, when the correct number of reports have taken place, the slide mechanism locks back and Liam’s pistol is empty (Item #31).

Calling the DemCare Emergency Help Line

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Doug Ross, by way of The Classic Liberal

Thank you. To enter the nature of your ailment, condition or problem by name, use the touch-tone keypad to spell the name, then press the pound sign.

4 (h) … 3 (e) … 2 (a) … 7 (r) … 8 (t) … 2 (a) … 8 (t) … 8 (t) … 2 (a) … 2 (c) … 5 (k) … #

Did you select HEART ATTACK? If yes, press 2, if no, press 9.

Best Sentence LXXVI

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Death Panels, There Really Are SomeThe seventy-sixth award for Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes out this Christmas Even morning…to…me.

Me, commenting at Melissa Clouthier’s place, on the subject of Sarah Palin declaring vindication for herself (nobody in the press ever will), what with the supposed urban legend about “death panels.”

Me, commenting on this…parodying the liberal’s everlasting insistence on molding and shaping every single word in a discussion, and how it is to be received by whatever audience is watching…dripping with un-Christmas-y sarcasm:

They aren’t Death Panels, sitting around deciding who’s going to die, you silly Republican goose you. They’re Life Panels, making decisions about who’s going to live.

Toaster That Mimics a Printer

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Article behind image.

Too late now, guys. You’ll have to file it away for next year.

Hat tip to Dyspepsia Generation.

“Winning Ugly, But Winning”

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I’ve already picked on Mr. Klein, but today he or one of his editors chose that title and it’s just too perfect. It illustrates what is wrong with the post-modern liberal movement, or half of what’s wrong with it. It is all about winning. The other half of what’s wrong, is that these are the people who want to erase fissures between us in — everything. Class, wealth, prestige, national borders, “partisan bickering,” race, sex, sexual preference, creed, snips, snails and puppy dog’s tails. We’re all just on spaceship earth together…

…it’s complete bullshit. Their primal urge is to win. They want an elite club, and if nobody is excluded from it then nobody can be in it. They are dedicated to keeping us divided, and then making sure their side wins. And then, to make sure something emerges from the victory, something locked in, so that we’re stuck with it forever and ever, without regard to how unpopular it becomes. And then they want to win at the next thing.

Like I keep explaining to my twelve-year-old son: Find the right scenario, and liberals will behave precisely in the manner and profile they attribute to conservatives.

Passing legislation, it turns out, is a long and ugly process. God, is it ugly. The compromises, both with powerful special interests and decisive senators. The trimming of ambitions and the budget gimmicks and the worship of Congressional Budget Office scores. By the end, you’re passing a compromise of a deal of a negotiation of a concession.

Bad a system as it might be, it’s the only one we’ve got, at least for now. This is what victory looks like…

Only system we’ve got for now? Oh my…is there something about this plan that has not yet been revealed to us? That running for re-election every two or six years is just an intolerable inconvenience isn’t it?

“Victory”? Ah…what a sweet word. As a certain Vice Presidential nominee observed, how nice it would be to see a liberal use that word with regard to America’s enemies.

Hey, that’s beautiful Ezra. Your side won. The Constitution lost

Ignore, for the moment, the ludicrous claim that giving 30 million Americans health insurance actually lowers the cost of health care. What happened to freedom, to the opposition to an intrusive federal government?

Ask a liberal what he most dislikes about the “right”? “I resent the attempt to tell me how to live my life,” he’ll say. He’ll mention abortion and say that the decision belongs to a woman and her doctor. He’ll mention same-sex marriage and say that government should not prevent two people of the same sex from marrying, especially if one objects based upon religious grounds. He’ll argue that a Supreme Court “stacked” with right-wingers threatens his liberty.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gives liberals hot flashes. He is religious. He calls the Constitution a “contract,” not a “living, breathing” document on which one can discover or project nonexistent rights. He is a “strict constructionist,” or an “originalist,” who believes that the literal words in the Constitution have meaning. He thinks his job is to figure out what the original Framers meant, not what he would like them to have meant.

Ask a liberal how Scalia and those who share his “conservative” philosophy think the Supreme Court should decide issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and doctor-assisted suicide? He’ll say, “Scalia would impose his religiously based worldview on society — anti-same-sex marriage and anti-abortion — because the federal government should always preserve life.”

No, Scalia would not. In fact, Scalia has publicly said these issues are none of the Court’s business. He’s said that however he feels personally about these contentious matters, the Constitution gives the Court neither the authority nor the expertise to decide them — and such matters are ideally left to the states.

This brings us to ObamaCare.

What words in the U.S. Constitution allow the federal government to compel every American to purchase health insurance? Where does the Constitution allow the federal government to take money from some Americans and give it to others so that they may purchase health insurance?
A liberal once asked me: “What should society do about the poor? Is your attitude ‘just (expletive) them’?” I said: “Allow me to rephrase your question. Because of someone’s plight, is he entitled to money from you?” “No,” he said, “but it’s the right thing to do.” Yes, a moral, compassionate society cares for those who cannot care for themselves. This is, however, an entirely different matter from using the power of government to take from someone who has, to give to someone who doesn’t. The Constitution does not provide that authority. Nor has it been amended to do so.

What about the poor? Through economic freedom and competition, we make goods and services cheaper, better and more accessible. Health care is less affordable because of well-intentioned rules and regulations. When government officials go beyond passing laws to protect us against force or fraud, they raise costs and hurt the poor.

Finally, what of charity? Americans are the most generous people on earth. The religious and those who believe in limited government are the most generous of all. By design, the federal government plays a limited role. The rest is up to us. Our country was founded in opposition to tyranny by government.

Today we submit to it.

INGSOC. Freedom is slavery.

Related: “The Supreme Court does not have the authority to ‘widen’ Congress’ powers.”

Also: Point of Law: Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional.

Why I Won’t Talk About That No Matter What!

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Dan Rather didn’t want to talk about Chandra Levy. Charles Gibson wanted to leave the ACORN bust to “the cables.” David Weigel refuses to discuss Sarah Palin’s Facebook updates. But he isn’t above putting out a thesis explaining why exactly it is that he’ll never discuss it.

The problem is that Palin has put the political press in a submissive position, one in which the only information it prints about her comes from prepared statements or from Q&As with friendly interviewers. This isn’t something most politicians get away with, or would be allowed to get away with. But Palin has leveraged her celebrity — her ability to get ratings, the ardor of her fans and the bitterness of her critics — to win a truly unique relationship with the press. She is allowed to shape the public debate without actually engaging in it.

As I said in my reply (#70), it’s kind of a new thing for a Palin criticism to actually make some sense. I gave him credit for that.

But his argument fails for two reasons. First of all, once again, the standard imposed on Palin is an arbitrary one. Supposedly, she isn’t participating in a discourse honestly until she surrenders all control to those who labor exuberantly toward making her look foolish, even if they have to lie to do it. Book burnings, rape kit scandals, Bristol is Trig’s real mother, she calls dinosaurs “Satan’s lizards” — need I go on?

But who else is fulfilling the Weigel standard? Al Gore won’t. President Obama won’t. Hillary Clinton won’t…and those are just the three big offenders. Kerry, Edwards, Frank, Pelosi, Dean — they get a question that isn’t to their liking and we get the Nixon boilerplate of “I’m not gonna dignify that with a response.” I’m not defending this practice. I think we just might have a political system more to our liking, and better for our health, if the people shaping our policy had what it takes to respond to unfriendly questions. Or at least were willing to rise to the challenge. That would be good. But it isn’t happening — perhaps nowadays you can’t survive doing this, no matter how smart you think you are — and Palin didn’t create that situation.

I don’t mean by this that the Weigel standard is unfair. I mean to say that it is rather silly.

And this brings me to the second problem: Who exactly is this woman who is updating her Facebook page? She isn’t the Governor of Alaska. She doesn’t have an actual career as an author, per se. She isn’t the architect of some shady health care scheme that’s about to wreck our economy — she’s criticizing one, sure, just the same way Weigel has some criticisms for her.

Really, Facebook seems like exactly the perfect and proper forum. She’s an experienced and knowledgeable private citizen, who’s selling books to pay legal bills and then she’s going to go home. For a little while or maybe for a long while, who knows. But it seems like a good fit.

The people who are really doing things — refer back to Problem #1 — might consider opening Facebook pages as well, for all the trouble they’re taking to answer less accommodating questions. I mean, really what do we get out of them? “The time for talking is over,” “For too long we have (blank),” “Mistakes we have made,” “Let me be clear,” “Um, Er, Uh” and then the event is closed. If the dictionary says our President isn’t using the word “tax” in the right way — the dictionary! — we just get another snide lecturing that we aren’t supposed to be looking things up there.

It seems every time a Palin critic thinks he has something to say, it all comes down to a rather glaring lack of sense of perspective on his part. Let’s see if I can sum up this feeble mindset in a single sentence:

Silly you, private citizens don’t get to put up statements and then just leave ’em hanging there, avoiding any challenge or criticism; that’s something our leaders get to do while they’re wrecking our economy.

Update: The Weigel Moratorium has been relaxed struck down. More silliness…this time it’s hair-splitting. The point has sailed right over the columnist’s head that state-run health care plans are inimical to any cherishing of the value of the gift of human life. They always have been, they always will be, and it’s just nonsense to keep debating it. Costs have to be controlled. There’s only one way to control them.

I wonder if this is a rather chilling omen about what will really happen? “There’s no such thing as death panels” pundit takes center stage, grabs the mike, and at high noon says “I’m not going to do X.” By 12:30 he’s doing X.

Takes a special kind of person not to be worried about that, Mr. Weigel. How concerned do you think we should be?

Ezra Klein Drops One

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Uh oh, looks like someone’s name is getting crossed off a list. Ezra Klein isn’t going to back up PrezBO. And if you’ve been reading Ezra, you know this means there’s been a shift. To call Mr. Klein a lapdog is a slight toward ordinary lapdogs.

Oy. I’ll defend the argument that the health-care bill that looks likely to pass is structurally similar to the health-care proposal released by the Obama campaign. But it’s impossible to defend Obama’s statement that “I didn’t campaign on the public option.” For one thing, it was in his campaign plan, which is to say, he campaigned on it. The proposal (pdf) assured voters that Obama’s plan will “establish a new public insurance program available to Americans who neither qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP nor have access to insurance through their employers.”

The White House argues that they didn’t emphasize it in public speeches, and according to Salon’s Alex Koppelmann, that’s true. But speaking as someone who did a lot of reporting on their health-care plan, they emphasized it privately quite a bit. It was, in fact, their answer to a lot of the other flaws in their proposal. So whether Obama used it in his speeches, his campaign purposefully pushed it to, at the least, some reporters, which is to say they worked to ensure that people knew about the public option’s important role in their health-care thinking.


Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Sen. Jim DeMint gets to the stuff that should make your eyes pop straight outta your head, at or about 6:08.

Nobody seems to be entirely sure whether this is constitutional. I don’t have a clear answer either. But it certainly does effectively defeat the purpose of having an elected legislature, and it’s certainly in direct conflict with the spirit of Article I.

With a grateful hat tip to Cassy.

Ed Morrissey has more to say:

As I recall, Congress is not allowed to pass rules that bind future Congresses. In the House, the rules have to be offered and approved at the beginning of each session. The Senate has standing rules, but they are not in the form of law that requires further legislation to alter — legislation that would be, under this bill, out of order even to introduce
Clearly the founders did not intend…that the first Congress could set the rules in perpetuity, and indeed as DeMint points out, rule changes have been made consistently without resorting to legislation to accomplish them because of the orders of a prior Congress. Put another way, the elected representatives of today should not have greater authority than those who will follow them. Any attempt to pass this into legislation aggrandizes the power of this Congress at the expense of those that follow.

Myth of the Anti-Muslim Backlash

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Gary Bauer, writing in the Weekly Standard:

It has been more than a month since U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly murdered 14 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood military base in Texas. And while we were led to believe that the rampage by Hasan, who is Muslim, would provoke a strong and violent reaction against Arab and Muslim Americans, a backlash has been conspicuous only by its absence.

In fact, in the immediate aftermath of each of the dozen attacks by Muslim Americans since 9-11, the conversation has been dominated by predictions of inevitable violence toward Muslims by bigoted Americans unable to control their rage. And each time a backlash has been virtually nonexistent. Our journalistic and political elites have become terrorism’s unwitting domestic enablers, perceiving religion-based violence where there is none, while ignoring it where it is widespread and intensifying.
[T]he data show that America’s more than two million Muslims have little to fear from their fellow citizens. According to crime statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of hate crimes against Muslim Americans increased in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. But it declined precipitously after that, and has remained low ever since.

Of 6,832 religion-based hate crimes reported between 2002 and 2006, 4,627, or 68 percent, were committed not against Muslims but against Jews, while 744, or 11 percent, were committed against Muslims. In 2007 there were 1,477 reported offenses motivated by religious bias. Again, 68 percent were committed against Jews, and only 9 percent against Muslims. Reported hate crimes against Catholics and Protestants accounted for 8.4 percent.
A Rand Corporation report states that of the more than two dozen homegrown terror plots uncovered in the U.S. since 9-11, ten surfaced in 2009. That puts “the level of activity in 2009 much higher than that of previous years,” Rand senior adviser Brian Jenkins told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in November.

The misplaced fear of igniting an anti-Muslim backlash is a consequence of the pervasive and stifling political correctness that surrounds Islam in the West. It prevents many of our journalistic and political elites from naming our enemy and compels them to accommodate radical Islam most readily in the very places it can cause the most damage–in our prisons, public schools, and military.

American Muslim radicalization is happening in a very tolerant America. The United States contains more than 1,200 mosques, and since 9-11 it has elected its first two Muslims congressmen as well as a president who inexplicably believes our country is as much Muslim as it is Christian, and who habitually refers to Islam as a “great religion.”

“Banning Bloggers”

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

So some hate-nozzles who’ve dedicated their time and resources toward snarking at Sarah Palin, were recognized at her last book signing and escorted from the event. Andrew Sullivan linked to one of them, and if you’re wondering why Sully can’t stand to have comments at his site you should check out the 280+ under the post of the ejected blogger.

I strongly recommend to any & all who like to advertise their intellectual superiority by criticizing Palin, to check out those 280 so you can see who your bedfellows are. I think my favorite might have been this…

Such a shitty little baby she is pulling a power trip only because she still has some support in this crappy little town.
Just for the record, I believe that Trig is Willows and that Track is a Menard. I gave this woman the benefit of the doubt for so long but her recent activity has set in stone my belief that she and her family TRULY are nothing but trash and that the most ludicrous tales attached to them are most likely the truth.

Behind that, would be this one…

Hey S’error, you are a phony pit bull. Your teeth are fake. You wear wigs. You have rent a child. Who’s your baby daddy ? How uneducated are your children ? Why does Track hate you ? Why does your house look just like the sports center ? How come your husband does not work ?
I read your book. How come you are always a victim ?
How is life going to be now that you tour is over and no one is paying attention to you ?
Nice facelift ! HA !!

Here’s what I find amusing, and a little bit unsettling…since the book tour started, the newcomers clambering on board the “Yes on Sarah” bandwagon consistently cite as a reason for their support, that the former Governor “seems to piss off the right people.” The No-on-Palin people then proceed to prove the truth of this over and over again.

They think very highly of their own intellectual acumen. It is very important to them that they are acknowledged for being oh so smart. Now dig into those comments; click on some profiles. You’ll see a whole bunch of them are “Anonymous.” Others, if you click on their profiles, you’ll see they started Blogger accounts without blogs, apparently just for the purpose of commenting. Like where they really want to be, is Twitter. Can’t put up anything too complicated, just want to toss out a line of snark here & there.

Click, drip some bile, click something else, repeat. We’re supposed to believe Palin is not a threat? Really? Is there a campaign-of-hate like this being stirred up against, let’s say, Romney? Huckabee?

They also have it in common with each other that there’s always some tip-off, some red flag, that a truly intelligent discerning person wouldn’t want them making important decisions about anything. The “LOL”s, the paranoia, the conspiracy theories, the woman who brags about 4 dogs and 6 cats taking up all her time, but then somehow managing to sign her name to a good chunk of the 280 comments.

A cursory skimming job raises the possibility that every single one of them, qualifies for every single one of the 25 things I notice about Palin bashers. I shall not be verifying this on an item-by-item, poster-by-poster basis. Not worth my time. But I do have to wonder how many of those people are really out there.

Sarah Palin just might decide not to run for anything. But a high level of saturation of these types, would have a deteriorating effect on my faith in people in general. And that’s going through a rather strained recovery at the moment, not unlike our nation’s Obama economy.

An Apt Joke

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

The time has come for this one…

This guy voted against Barack Obama and he’s really sorry he did it. He’s got a friend who voted for Barack Obama, and he’s really sorry for that. They meet up with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and the four of them walk down the sidewalk…repentant McCain voter, repentant Obama voter, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

They see a ten dollar bill just lying there. Which one of them picks it up?

Apple Smugness

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Gerard does not want a computer for Christmas. His work of art that tells you so, is treated appropriately like any other worthy gem, catalogued and buried deep in an archive to be hauled out for display on special occasions. Well today is December 22, so it out comes, complete with all the smartass comments his regulars have attached to the bottom of it in years past.

Blogsister Daphne‘s reply got me to thinking. Hasn’t anyone besides me noticed how incredibly smug Apple users are?

The answer, it turns out, is not-only-yes-but-you-bet-your-ass. I first tripped across this thing, which looked tempting, but it turned out to be a joke. A reasonably good joke, worth bookmarking. Less satisfying as a joke, than as a starting point from which to noodle out what’s going on. Hmmm…Apple users tend to be control freaks…but they don’t know, and don’t want to know, how their computers work. There’s something deep going on here. Perhaps we are all control freaks but there’s a different flavoring from person-to-person regarding the underlying control-freakishness.

That’s a story for another day, said Pooh.

That’s when I tripped across this

Ah…itch scratched. Now I can enjoy Christmas.

He’s an Obama supporter, but he seems to have a brain in his head so that might change any week now. His blog is over here.


Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Blogger friend Buck is placed in a position in which he must ponder the benefits of the more rugged sex flashing gam, with the nylon adornment more traditionally festooned to our leggy sisters.

He does not ponder long, and his reception is about as cold as ours.

The champion “astute observation” over there has to be the third one:

That model looks as unhappy as those cats you see on the web who are “dressed up”.

Let us get this one thing straight once and for all. Regardless of which way you swing, the Good Lord designed us so that there is a certain persuasion that is built to use the lower limb as an accessory of casual aesthetic pleasure for the viewer.

And it isn’t us dudes. It isn’t going to happen — we just don’t look this good, and aren’t going to look this good, to anyone:

This is one of those things that should be left unsaid, and in a sane universe, could be left unsaid. But things are spiraling out of control, and now someone needs to jot down the obvious, in the hopes that those who need to see it somewhere, will see it somewhere.

Male legs are tools, period. They lift our butts off the ground, they kick the butts of other men, they step on the gas brake and clutch — goddamn right there’s a clutch — they step on imaginary brakes on those rare occasions when she’s doing the driving. And you’re goddamn right that’s rare. They swing our feet upward so we can drop them on the coffee table where we shouldn’t be putting them. They carry things, they destroy things, they have been molded and shaped by tens of thousands of years of evolution during which time we were hunting. They get things done.

They are not put on the planet for the purpose of being viewed. Women do not appreciate this quite as much as we appreciate theirs…which is to say, it doesn’t have that day-brightening effect on them if they catch a glimpse. So know that, but if you must reveal your big knobby man-knees to the fresh air & sunshine, maybe that’s by way of big baggy clown-shorts, maybe it’s “tennis whites,” maybe even an extra-extra manly-looking kilt enters the equation…but mark this…hose does not & should not have anything to do with it. At. All. It’s not our bag.

There. Now ya know. Let us all forget you ever had to be told.

Speaking of kilts. Here is some wisdom: They are like diaper bags. You can keep your man-card if, and only if 1) you have some non-negotiable reason to be appearing in public with the damn thing, and 2) it is manlied-up, manlied-up, and manlied-up some more. No birds, no flowers, no “Hello Kitty” artwork, and for color you can have brown, gray or black. Possibly camouflage green. Even adhering to all the above rules, it’s thin ice.

That’s just your old-school, “respect the women by letting them keep their stuff” tradition. It’s served us well.

Update: In addition to brown gray black and camo-green, let’s add all the clan colors. Provided they’re real clan colors. Good suggestions from wise men in New Mexico that just might keep a blogger from swallowing his own teeth Tiger Woods style, if the wrong True Scotsman runs across my careless words.

Writing My Senators on ObamaSCare

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Sent to my two oh-so-trendy aging-hippy lib-fem Senators…

I try to observe a higher level of decorum writing to elected representatives; they are deserving of a certain level of respect. (Boxer, in particular, will insist on it.) The toughest part is capitalizing the word “democrat.” Over here, we always spell it with a small-d even in post titles. After all, they don’t seem to think anyone else is worthy of an individual-level distinction that commands respect. So why in the heck should they have one?

Anyway. Hope I was sufficiently courteous and respectful. But why do I sweat this stuff. I might as well have typed in the writing on the back of the last can of soup I bought, and hit “Submit” for all the change it’s gonna have on anything. I always feel like showering after I write to these two. The whole “hearing from my constituents” thing, it’s such an insulting sham. They’re both so dedicated to the idea that they should be telling me what to think, rather than the other way ’round.

Dear Sens. Boxer and Feinstein,

“Any problem that comes along, we’ll see to it no one profits from finding a solution.”

Is that the slogan of President Obama and the 111th Congress? It seems to be. That it is far better to allow a problem to stay as it is, or even fester and get worse, than allow capitalism to solve it. Of course, politicians and their friends can still make money; good to see at least someone can.

Yesterday, winter officially arrived, and on the very same day my Senate gave us another winter in the ObamaCare bill, which I guess we could call the “Declaration of Dependence.” One of those winters will continue until some groundhog gives me some ballpark estimate of the spring thaw. The other one, though, is permanent. It’s so bad, it doesn’t even matter what’s in the legislation — all the red flags are there. Experienced doctors leaving their professions. America, unbelievably, tailoring her medical system to resemble that of the other countries who so regularly send their sick here to be treated! Bribes. Threats, Intimidation, Graft. Special treatment for Nebraska.

I miss the lies about “47 million uninsured” who lack “access to healthcare.” I notice it’s been a few months since any of you have bothered to display this phony concern. For the last half year or so, it’s all “Get It Passed Now, Help Obama.”

You think we don’t notice that? This isn’t about health care; it’s about control. We, your constituents, understand this.

You’d be treating us far better if you were trying to hurt us. What you did yesterday is indifference. It’s all about the legislative victory, and “do it now” means do it before too many people catch on to how bad it really is — so Obama can declare some kind of achievement in Year One. Taxes are collected in the new year before us, but the wonderful health care benefits don’t kick in for years after that? But it’s about sick people getting access to health care. You can’t possibly think we’re that stupid. You must therefore think we’re irrelevant.

The nation has one and only one chance now: During the reconciliation process, some Democrats are going to have to wake up. Maybe it’s one of you two; hopefully it’s both of you.

Sen. Boxer, earlier this year you replied to my concerns about the Stimulus Bill telling me you had to vote for it because nothing-was-not-an-option. What a boondoggle that was! I hope you feel enough shame over that to try something else, if you choose to respond to my concerns here. I notice your speech seemed to be built around that point, which met with such a damning disgrace on that other issue throughout the events of this year. You packed it full with statistics about how tough we have it, what percentage of bankruptcies are linked to health care crises, et cetera. Let me tell you: Our biggest crisis by far is crazy liberal laws. Like my suggested slogan for your Congress implies, we simply aren’t allowed to make any significant amounts of money. We aren’t allowed to profit — not really — which means we aren’t allowed to breathe. If anybody ever does make a profit, there’s always a liberal politician like you second-guessing ’em.

It has become a MEDICAL emergency. Our private sector is in the intensive care ward, and it doesn’t even know how to pay for the bed!

Our big problem is that nobody is really solvent — not to the point they can reasonably entertain ideas about expanding their businesses, and hiring people. This year’s new policies seem to all have it in common that they’re founded on a desire to stop that from changing, and this law is no different. You say “Help is on the way.” Make that the help we really need. We don’t want to merely survive, we want to prosper. Is that so un-American? In fact, wasn’t that the whole point of the American experiment, at the beginning? In the days of the Declaration of Independence…not the Declaration of Dependence that met with your approval yesterday?

Requeim for Detroit

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

We’ve linked to Rick often enough lately, but you really have to go and check this one out and we owe him a hat tip for the find even though Crowder’s pumping out these installments reliable-as-rain every week…because hey, there’s better-than-even odds we’d have missed this.

This latest installment’s chosen topic: Detroit’s a shit hole. But why.

I was struck immediately with three thoughts:

1. This is dangerous work even in the daytime. Is Crowder, or someone within his camera crew, packing heat?
2. Hey, are you allowed to pack heat in Detroit?
3. Who am I kidding — nobody really knows if you’re allowed to pack heat in Detroit, because nobody really gives a shit.

This is important because it looks at Detroit through the lens which focuses my own mental image of Detroit, which casts it as what it really is: A laboratory for brain-dead left-wing policies. People still aren’t getting the maliciousness of it all. I would take it to the level of — if God is weeping over us, losing faith year by year in His experiment, the problem isn’t war, sickness, yawning divide between rich & poor, injury to the environment or any of that all garbage Hollywood keeps spoon-feeding you on a whim. It’s these narcissistic fuckwads we keep electing. He must be wondering if we’re ever gonna learn, just like any decent conservative wonders if we’re ever gonna learn.

Now we get to watch the sad, sick opera play out across the entire national stage. All these columnists and talk show hosts and Sunday-morning pundits loftily wondering what the ultimate effects are of crap-n-trade and ObamaCare, they can just save it & stuff it. We already know.

Watch all the way to the end about the “urban farms” and the bears starting to take the place over. Yeah that’s right, the urban blight has gotten so bad it’s starting to deteriorate into nothingness.

Do you know someone you hate so badly that when you think about them, you feel yourself losing a grip on your own sense of compassion and humanity? Like you would send them to Hell without a second thought? Fine & good, but you probably wouldn’t send that guy to live in Detroit.

Liberalism is despair. It is revenge taken on total strangers, with no prior offense recalled to justify the revenge. And its most bumptious cheerleaders love to wail away about “the failed policies of George W. Bush.” So they’re into failed policies, are they…next time, get ’em to offer some kind of opinion about Detroit and what that says about “failed policies.”

The Blog That Nobody Reads is not to be responsible for brain aneurysms, strokes, tumors or cranial implosions resulting from that tired ol’ grasping-at-straws exercise of trying to blame something on Bush. This is a divide-by-zero equation — although some would surely attempt it — you can’t blame this on Bush, or anyone besides dedicated, hard-boiled lefties. As Crowder points out, they’ve had a perfect isolated laboratory for 48 years. They own this.

Detroit is just the vanguard sample. Crowder could have made a similar documentary in…oh, there are about ten other liberal urban strongholds that come to mind immediately around our nation, and God only knows how many others could be drummed up through a meticulous study. Where are the conservative counterparts is what I really want to know. Where are our modern Dickensian Londons with their squalid, rotting townships of blight caused by too much respect for the individual’s right to bear arms, businesses being treated too well, and capitalists being allowed to keep too much of their money? Where is the conservative citadel with its “failed policies” that can compete with Detroit?

Change That Nobody Believes In

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Wall Street Journal:

The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that “reform” has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state. An increasing roll of leaders in health care and business are looking on aghast at a bill that is so large and convoluted that no one can truly understand it, as Finance Chairman Max Baucus admitted on the floor last week. The only goal is to ram it into law while the political window is still open, and clean up the mess later.

And then beneath this paragraph, are some of the details regarding how this ramming is being done. It’s not pretty; it won’t reinforce whatever vestigial belief you may have that we elected an open, honest and transparent government; but there is enough information there that classic good-liberal questions from friends and relatives like “HAVE YOU READ THE BILL?” become rather absurd, silly and off-topic.

Blogsister Daphne asked me in an offline to check out the GOOOH (Get Out of Our House) movement. I’m going to continue to look into it; anything that offers a chance to thwart what’s being done right now, deserves a second, third, fourth & fifth look. But I wasn’t too receptive, mostly because of the history of such things, H. Ross Perot’s name looming large in the past events that have stoked my cynicism about the cynics. My reception was, therefore, cool. Generally, to deserve my support, such movements need to offer their positions, rather than their indignation, right up top in the opening paragraphs. I offered this example:

Charity begins at home, nobody should WANT to serve in Congress for more than one term, if terrorists want to meet Allah then let’s accommodate them, no one on public assistance should have a teevee set bigger than the average taxpayer’s, there’s nothing wrong with having “In God We Trust” on our money, kids in school should learn reading/writing/rithmetic first, we’re not listening to any lecturing about carbon emissions from anyone who flies around on a jet, save the U.S. economy by making liberalism our chief export, Gen. Pershing had the right idea shooting Islamic terrorists and burying them in pig guts, like Dennis Prager I prefer clarity to agreement, peace through strength, if there’s gotta be a blood bath then let’s get it over with, replace the income tax with a consumption tax, let’s breed the feminists out it’s what they want anyway, if hurting an evil man will save innocent lives then only a sociopath would object, if Obama is what smart means today I’ll stick with dumb-&-thick thankyewverymuch. If you want any kind of socialism there’s 130 other countries where you can go. I’ll help you pack.

Now, THAT — would be change I can trust. But that is too much change. We’ll need to move the way the enemy has been moving, in baby steps. That is how they made the mainstream look like kook-fringe stuff, and made their kook-fringe stuff look mainstream. Sanity will have to be restored in smaller increments as well.

After this health care debacle, the one thing that looks to me like a complete shoe-in, is term limits. I’m thinking one term in each chamber, six years in Senate and two years in House. By & large, since Congress would have to pass such a thing, term limit bills have never had much of a chance. But in the wake of this turkey, it is perhaps a greater possibility now than ever. I say if Senator Reid can dream big, we can dream too.

Christmas Wishes

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

With a grateful hat tip to DRJ posting at Patterico’s Pontifications.

“Everything People Do These Days is Based on Fossil Fuels But We’re Working to Change That”

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

“…and that’s why we’re here.”

That’s from 1:55-2:02 in the video above. Okay sweet-pea, but as the guy points out you still flew here in a great big ol’ plane.

Hat tip to Rick. The passage I quoted in the title, in my opinion, was a somewhat-adequate defense; they’re alternative-fuel proponents, and as of now you can’t get to Copenhagen from stateside using linseed oil. They’re just a couple more young people trying to do their part by bringing about the next revolution. All of western society is going to smack itself in the forehead and say “Omigaw, I’ve had my head stuck up my ass all this time and it took the courage of (insert your name here) to point it out to me!”

My concern is not the hypocrisy. Although I do like that voucher, and I think it’s a scream. Read the wording, it just gets funnier and funnier as you keep on reading toward the bottom.

My concern is that sentiment, that objective, regarding society smacking itself in the forehead and “realizing” something. How that approaching Omigosh-moment is so casually defined by our younger people, and has been for generations now, as the meaning behind the word “work.”

Everyone who’s ever stepped onto a campus wants to be our next Joan of Arc.

Like I said in my comment,

These youngsters want to “make us realize” this-or-that…it doesn’t matter what the epiphany is, so long as we “all” have one, and they’re the ones who gave it to us…because they are BORED. They don’t want to fill in the blank after someone else has designed the checkboxes, they want to design the checkboxes, because filling in the blank is for losers. That’s what they have been taught, and I think our society will eventually survive it, but not easily. And we shouldn’t be struggling with this theft of our society’s youth. We shouldn’t be tolerating it.

As I said further on, I know this personality type very well. The tragedy is that these people, while their judgment is unsound, their intellect is not lacking. Overall, they’re reasonably intelligent. In fact that’s usually how the problem got started: When they were about five-to-eight years old, someone told them so.

The folks from days-gone-by did things better than us, though. I’m not referring to their smaller carbon footprint; I’m referring to apprenticeships. You couldn’t become a blacksmith until you did your time as a blacksmith’s apprentice. Ditto for the bricklayer, the barber, the tanner, the shopkeeper, the cooper, the roofer, the miller. You had to form your ideas about how things should work — by spending your certain required number of years just toiling away at them the way they did work, and keeping your high-minded ideas to yourself. It was thought, back then, that if your revolutionary ideas really had merit, you’d still be hanging onto them after the end of this apprenticeship. That idea took hold well before the Renaissance and it was in full bloom afterward, so it can’t be all bad. Why did we scratch it? Whose dumb idea was that?

We’ve gotten rid of this; not through a conscious decision, and so nobody has had to qualify exactly how this decision made sense, or if it ever did. But I think it’s reasonable to say that experiment has failed, and before we talk about “agreements” from Copenhagen, we should first make it a mission to bring back apprenticeships. That is the big crisis that confronts the globe now.

People who haven’t done any real work…by which I mean, not simply spending calories…but putting in effort to produce an outcome defined at the outset by someone more senior; figuring out independently that this-thing or that-thing cannot keep drifting in its current direction if the outcome is to be achieved; and so this must be changed, that must be changed, and it’s all up to you to realize these things and act on them…people who have never been through a stewardship process like that, have these ambitions about “correcting” the rest of us. It is arrogant, counterproductive, wrong, and I cannot find the words to express the magnitude toward which this wastes our human potential.

I think PrezBO put it perfectly — just direct those words toward a different crowd, I say. Quit telling me I’m holding the mop wrong. Grab a mop.

Husbands and Fathers Are “Useless Hunks of Flesh”

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Cassy keeps up with what’s going on at Feministing so you don’t have to!

And Morgan sides with the man-bashing feminists…to a point. (Comment #8.)

I think that I shall never see, anything quite as tragic or pathetic as a post-modern feminist muttering something to the effect of “look how far we still have to go.” Why do we let these people decide anything about their own lives, let alone how anybody else’s life should work? They put four decades of their most passionate effort into something, and when the results are not to their liking they loudly announce that there’s a necessity to do a whole lot more of what was already done…that produced the results they don’t like.

These people shouldn’t be making rules for the rest of us. They shouldn’t own pets, they shouldn’t dress themselves, they shouldn’t pick out wallpaper for their own living spaces, they shouldn’t even be in charge of their own bank accounts.

What I Don’t Want to See in Movies

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I wish Netflix had a feature to block this stuff, or at least warn about it.

1. A man and a woman getting in an argument about whether she’s coming with him or not.
2. A decent-hearted guy committing crimes with a great excuse for committing them, like for example his daughter is being held captive by some super-duper bad guy who wants him to commit the crimes.
3. A Doofus Dad smacking himself in the forehead at the end of the movie and confessing that he’s been working too much, or that he hasn’t spent enough time with his kids, or breaks his promises too often, or expects too much out of his kids.
4. Any scene with “Matrix” style slow-mo.
5. Any scene with John Woo pigeons.
6. Any movie ending in which the momma and the daughter live happily-ever-after when her daddy dies at the end.
7. The “Juno Effect,” in which some fresh-faced smartass pixie girl spews out nonsensical, clumsy, awkward, but oh-so-original cliches that, in real life, she would be asked to repeat a second time assuming anyone had the slightest bit of interest in what she was saying.
8. Supernatural movies in which someone opens a medicine cabinet, with a mirror on the door, as if we don’t know what’s coming.
9. Vampire movies that spend odious amounts of time exploring the emotional angst of the vampires.
10. Slasher movies in which someone wanders through the dark murmuring “Is that you? It’s not funny anymore!”
11. This is really huge for me: Once you’ve defined that a character is brave, or intelligent, or charming, or angst-ridden, or a badass — I don’t ever again want to see time spent defining that the character is brave, intelligent, charming, angst-ridden or badass. Build your story, please!
12. If two guys are going to be screwing the same woman, or simply getting into a fight over her, I don’t want them to have the same haircut, body build or skull shape. There’s no reason for it. If one’s clean cut, the other one can look like a gorilla. If one’s 6’2″, the other one can be 5’8″. If one’s got a runner’s body physique, the other can look like the Michelin Man. I can’t follow the story if I can’t tell these guys apart.
13. Get rid of this “clean break” in which Mister Sexy can drive or fly any vehicle, civilian or military, ever invented; he knows all the martial arts moves; he can operate gadgets that peek into windows and unlock safes. But when the time comes to crack a password in computer software, he “offloads” this to some geeky overweight guy with poor skin hygiene in a lab somewhere who overdoses all day long on doughnut holes and energy drinks. Let’s face it, cracking a safe has a lot more to do with cracking a password than with a flying-scissor-kick.
14. “Masculine” stars whose faces have been selected, shaved, made-up, and tweezed to appear non-threatening to twelve-year-old girls.
15. The “Nicholas Cage Effect” in which the same character finds, and figures out, each and every single clue while everybody else watches.
16. Helicopter performs some daring rescue that benefits the good guys…because it’s being flown by a bad guy…who is being held at gunpoint by another good guy. Stop this insanity. Stop it now. Stop it for good.
17. Plucky sidekicks. I don’t understand how or why this ever got started.
18. “Han Solo Ewok” effect. There are adorable muppet-like creatures straight out of Jim Henson’s shop. There are badass, hard-drinking pirates who spend all their spare time in wretched hives of scum and villainy. These two should never come in contact with each other no matter what.
19. The “Humans Are Bastards” trope.
20. The worn-out, threadbare “La Femme Nikita” plotline in which some badass is “recruited” to work for a super-secret government agency in atonement for some kind of crime that I’m supposed to think was somehow undeserving of the punishment that was handed down but is now being suspended.
21. The President of the United States getting in a fist fight with a terrorist, or piloting a jet fighter.
22. Really hot women figuring out where a ghost came from, throughout an entire movie, remaining fully clothed.
23. 1) Man and woman in a committed relationship 2) Woman sleeps with another guy 3) Something else happens 4) Man ends up apologizing to slutty woman and begging her forgiveness. I don’t care what happens in #3, it’s all bullshit. We’re not buying. Stop it.
24. The “Fried Green Tomatoes Effect” in which the wife decides they’re going to adopt a child…or raise a puppy…or knock down a wall…or sell their house and move to the country…and the husband says “oh, okay, alright.”
25. The momma laying a guilt trip on the daddy because junior’s heart was broken that he didn’t show up to the big soccer game, or was late to it.
26. A young girl or woman who has been killing people, receiving her come-uppins at the end by way of some moment of social awkwardness and/or humiliation. Humiliation is not on the same level as homicide, sorry. I don’t want to see anymore of this.
27. Smartass kids foiling an alien invasion or solving a murder case, while their parents are completely absent and/or clueless about everything that’s going on.
28. Husbands cheating on wives, who are gorgeous enough to model lingerie and achieve supermodel-goddess stature doing so, with mistresses who are relatively homely and ordinary-looking. Maybe that’s reflective of what happens in real life, I don’t care. It makes it really hard to follow what’s going on in the movie.
29. “Crouching Tiger Hidden Warrior Princess” wire work. And, while we’re at it, the Quantum-of-Delerium-Tremens shaky-camera gimmick. Who likes this?
30. Southern accents being used as a dramatic manifestation of ignorance, pig-headedness or arrogance. I have no further patience for this. I can’t speak for the experience of everyone who happens to live in Hollywood, but the southerners I’ve met have been pretty nice.

Update 12/20/09:
Holy crap has this post ever hit a nerve. Welcome to The Other McCain readers, and thanks Smitty again for the link. Welcome also to fans of Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Misha, you are da bomb. Just because we don’t comment over there much doesn’t mean we don’t read you and love ya all to pieces.

Readers are being directly questioned for their additions to this list, and some of the offerings are more than adequate for consideration. We especially loved Comment #2.

I could do without every GI or ex-GI being a ticking time bomb. As the Emperor said, if we were really that way you would already be dead.

I hate where the GIs go rogue and the kindly Professor is the only calm one. The EXACT FUCKING REVERSE OF REAL LIFE!

I will stop with that!

Yeah well, I kinda wish you didn’t.

It’s a funny thing about creativity. People get into the business of providing it, and the first thing they want to do is skimp on it. It’s a weak corollary trying to connect software applications development to Hollyweird…but I think it works, and if it does work, then I’ve seen more than my share of this.

It’s sad watching people throw everything away to chase off after a livelihood, and then betray that livelihood. People, generally, sacrifice an awful lot to stay un-creative.

Update 12/22/09: The thread under Misha’s linky-love just grows and grows, 63 comments now, do check ’em out. New ideas I get from this are as follows:

31. Just in general, lack of respect for guns and what they are. Someone offered up the issue with silencers on revolvers. Another one mentioned 99 bullets coming out of a 9-shot with no reloading.
32. Lack of respect for what guns do. Depiction of gun owners as being wild-eyed, crazed zealots who don’t bathe. Lack of respect for how a gun changes the dynamics of a situation. Laws-of-physics regarding guns. Hiding behind a car door to make oneself practically invulnerable to antagonistic gunfire, particularly large-caliber gunfire.
33. This one I’ve been bitching about for a long time, I can’t believe I forgot to add it. Impact to the face…culminating in any injury that falls short of what this impact would leave behind in real life. It is very hard to give someone a whack in the face, during a real fight, that doesn’t leave permanent damage. If someone absorbs a kick from a steel-toed boot to the nose, and then another, and then another, and kinda shakes his head back & forth to get his bearings back so he can get ready to throw the next punch, I’m offended. No, a trickle of blood is not what I have in mind here. Yes, Rocky Balboa gets an exemption from this rule for dramatic purposes.
34. The opposite of #33. Good guy’s prison cell is being guarded by a mook, so he sneaks up behind the mook and gives him — a KARATE CHOP BETWEEN THE SHOULDER BLADES! Mook instantly collapses and starts snoozing. This is intolerable. Crowbar to the face makes a guy slightly startled, karate chop gets him a six-hour nap. Wise up.
35. Lack of motive for the bad guy. Zorg from The Fifth Element, I’m looking at you. Also, mega-industrialists from Captain Planet cartoons because dumping toxic sludge into rivers does not make you an overnight zillionaire all by itself. Motivation doesn’t have to be a complex thing. In the original Star Wars movie it was a single line: “Fear will keep the local systems in line.” But you have to have it. Just making the guy 45 years old or more, dressing him in a nice suit with a silk tie late at night, thus giving me a signal he’s a “businessman” — will not suffice. Make him bad. Have him do bad stuff. Explain what he is trying to do. Noah Cross. Old Man Potter. Wicked Witch of the West. Jerry Lundegaard. Khan Noonien Singh. Virgil Sollozzo. Every single James Bond villain, and for that matter, every single villain from Monk. Make ’em like that. Not hard. Capiche?

Environmental Movement Slogans

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I’m offering the following twenty humbly…

1. Gutting the scientific method like a fish, for the sake of our environment.
2. Lying to people…for a cause we think is wonderful.
3. The greatest scam of all time…so we can feel good about ourselves.
4. Robbing from the producers…to give to the usual suspects.
5. Destroying technology on purpose…because let’s be real, what the heck has it ever done for any of us?
6. Tailoring the evidence to fit our preconceived notions.
7. The science is settled: Everyone who agrees with us, agrees with us! (Blogger friend Phil said this somewhere.)
8. Scaring kids, for a cleaner planet.
9. Saving plants and trees, by reducing the levels of carbon dioxide…which is precisely what they need to survive.
10. Making people feel bad about driving their cars…while we fly around in our private jets.
11. Doing really petty and insignificant things, like unplugging our coffee pots and cell phones…together.
12. If you build things that other people find useful in their daily lives and get paid for it…you better believe we’re out to get you.
13. Making poor, hungry people poorer and hungrier…for our pet projects, which are good for the planet because we say so. Trust us!
14. Because enriching yourself is an evil thing to do, unless we’re the ones doing it.
15. Bears can crap in the creek all day long as far as we’re concerned, but the stuff you exhale is toxic!
16. Four legs good, two legs bad!
17. The science is settled: Nature, minus man, equals the adorable talking woodland creatures you see in Disney movies.
18. Let’s just cut the crap: The world will burn out by 2050 unless your taxes are raised. It comes down to that.
19. The science is settled, and science is what we say it is.
20. Hide the decline!

Holiday Party Hangover

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Daphne found someone who can write almost as well as she can. It’s that lawyer-lover Mahons fellow, with whom I entered into that little dust-up; I was treating him like a jerk, because frankly, he was behaving like one. Well, perhaps I should give him another eval…or not…regardless, this is superb.

Morning has broken. So has my head. As I lay in bed dawn’s soft sunlight burns me like the noon day sun on Dracula at the beach. My mouth feels like an army of pygmies with muddy feet has marched across my mouth for a month.

The tidial headache ebbs and flows between splitting migraine and traumatic brain injury. Events of the night before flash on and off in my battered memory – the vividly inappropriate joke, the tragic karaoke choice and the unnecessary nineteenth drink. Whose idea was shots for the house? Did someone really bring a camera? Why am I wearing one shoe in bed?

Sitting up in bed seems a task fraught with danger. Standing up an impossible fantasy. Yet I manage both. Briefly. A walk fall and crawl to the bathroom (the hop skip and jump of the drinker’s olympics) results in the application of cool tile to the face. I lay on the floor of the bathroom, my feet under the sink and my head next to the bathroom scale and weigh my options. A new low. Before some dectectives comes to chalk around my body, I struggle upright by grabbing the sink and pulling myself up with both shaking hands. A horrible glance at the poor soul in the mirror. Not a moment of great self-respect.

I sidestep to the toilet like a deranged crab and begin pissing away the poison into the bowl. Since I need my hands to hold onto the walls, accuracy at times must be sacrificed for basic relief. When the Mrs. discovers the effects of uncertain targeting later in the day, hilarity will not ensue. With so much alcohol in my system when I finish my dick burps. Not a pleasant experience, I assure you.

Mother of God. Whose idea was cigars? The effects of smoking join forces with the effects of drinking as my liver and lungs compete to see which system can fail first. I don’t need the hair of the dog, I need the hair of the Yak. This day will clearly be spent in agony and penance.

Now I recall why I hate holiday office parties.

Before we thought my son was a girl, we thought he was twins. When we thought he was twins, there was an office party. During and following the office party, this was my experience…partly because, I like to think, we thought he was twins. The ensuing unpleasantness left such a deep mark it has not been repeated since. He’s twelve now.

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Was channel-flipping the other night, and caught a few minutes of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura’s conspiracy thing. If you haven’t seen it, suffice it to say this is your idea of a documentary, if & only if you think Michael Moore puts out “documentaries.”

Could someone please get this man the help that he needs?

I’m going to break form here, and start picking on men now. There is a certain type of man who falls into this trap. You know Jesse Ventura’s speaking style. It is very distinctive, but it is not limited to him. Men are out there, men who may be fans of The Body Ventura. Or not. Maybe they detest him. Maybe some of them have never heard of him. But they still talk this way: E-flat, third octave below middle-C. Blah, bla-blah, bla-blah, bla-blah, bla-blah, bla-blah. Less confrontational than just-plain-bulldozing.

It reveals a mindset that only pretends to inspect things. A mindset unprepared for any kind of genuine discourse.

I think what happens is this: They float this trial balloon — in Jesse’s case it is “Bush knew about 9/11” but in other cases, it’s something more mundane like “I saw a UFO last night.” Or, let’s be fair, “Barack Obama was born in Kenya.” The moon landing was faked. The Cubans rubbed out JFK.

Someone else in the room, unprepared for the unrelenting assault emanating from the human subwoofer who has now monopolized the dinner conversation, throws in the towel, “Okay okay okay! You win!” Perhaps they say this on behalf of everybody else, or perhaps they speak only on behalf of themselves.

But I think what happens is, with that token victory achieved the trial balloon is a trial balloon no longer. Human subwoofer says to himself “I have no prevailed. I have conquered. I convinced someone. That is proof enough for me.” And from then on, it is absolutely inconceivable that the moon landing could have been real, or Obama could’ve been born in Hawaii, or that Bush wasn’t involved in the 9/11 attacks, or that Oswald acted alone or the “UFO” was just an optical illusion or funny aircraft. Those possibilities have now been dismissed. My conspiracy theory must be true; I convinced somebody of it with my magical juggernaut voicebox. That’s proof.

What kind of hope should I keep for this man? That he stays sane? That’s probably a lost hope. What if it isn’t, and he somehow retains his sanity after his flirtation with this theory has lost its luster? It’ll just be some other thing after that…some cool chestnut by which he makes a dinner-conversation conquest, and then the whole sick cycle will start again. Bill O’Reilly is really a Martian and the Rothschilds are taking over our money.

And so I will simply hope he gets the help he needs for his sickness. And maybe that he loses his voice. That is the root cause, after all.

Sitting in the Back Seat, Complaining

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The same way a mama duck can count her ducklings one…two…and many; to a hardcore Obama zealot like Chris Matthews, there are people who join in the holy worship, and then there’s nobody else. If you aren’t bowing in the right direction five times a day, you don’t exist.

These are the very people who, one year ago, were helping him to “Be A Part Of This Thing.” Needless to say, they weren’t sitting in the back seat of Matthews’ mind, bitching away, back then. No, they were an important part of what’s going on. They were finally being heard, taking their country back, insert as many of the favorite bromides here the list could go on and on and on…

And it was people like me who didn’t exist. We were the ones who had to be marginalized this way. Now it’s the other guys. But the song & dance is the same — my targets have no influence on anything, and if they do, they shouldn’t, so don’t listen to ’em.

This is what an “extremist” really is, folks. You’re looking right at it in Chris Matthews. Not the dedicated ally of populism, or the perpetual opponent. The fair-weather friend. If Obama’s popularity sinks down to one percent, ninety-nine percent of us will become non-existent phantoms, and at that point Matthews will be ninety-nine percent insane.

How many people are just like him? They have to be part of the majority, all of the time; once they’re locked into a point of view, and then that point of view loses majority support, they start defining other people out of existence into this phantom zone — so they can pretend, today, to be in a majority that, yesterday, really existed. They release reality by shrinking their own personal universes as a matter of convenience. They tend to be high-drama types. You see they have all these friends now, and you have no idea who will still be their friends tomorrow. Know anyone like that?