Were there some other girls in these pages? I didn’t notice.
Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Were there some other girls in these pages? I didn’t notice.
Oh, holy CRAP. Say what you will about Rush Limbaugh, but boy howdy do I ever agree with this:
I penned a message to Obama that I would like to deliver now. Because Mr. Obama, I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart talk. Let me be the father that you never had or never really knew, because I think you need some guidance. It’s time to man up. It’s time to grow up. That speech last night was an embarrassment. You couldn’t focus, you lashed out in all directions, you refused to accept responsibility for your own actions, and you were angry.
And he was, folks! He was mad. Being president is a big job. It’s a big responsibility. You wanted the position, Barack. You campaigned for it. You told the public to trust you with it, and they elected you — and you’re now president of the greatest country mankind has ever known, and yet you act like this was all coming to you, like you deserve it, that you’re better than the people you are supposed to serve and that you have no tolerance for debate or dissent. That’s not the way it works as president, Barack. We have a Constitution, we have checks and balances, we have separation of powers, we have states — and most of all, we have the people. You don’t get to impose your programs and policies on the nation and the people without our consent.
This is a representative republic, not a banana republic, and let me remind you: Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky are not our Founding Fathers. This is a nation built on individuality, built on liberty, free markets, and faith. Yet you, Barack, demand fidelity to a different belief system: A system that crushes individual initiative and free will. The president does not berate Supreme Court justices who are guests of the Congress and who have no ability to respond to your attacks. You’ve made such a mess of things, Barack, and it’s time to stop deluding yourself. It’s time to stop blaming others. You are delusional. You are delirious. It’s time for you to assume the responsibilities of a president rather than pretending to be one.
You’ve driven the nation’s debt over the edge. It is your responsibility to fix it now. Otherwise, our young people will have no future. You were wrong to grant terrorists constitutional rights. Even the libs in New York don’t want the trial there now! You, Mr. President, are endangering the security of this nation. Now fix it! Reverse course, and end the terrorists — all of them — back to Guantanamo Bay, where they belong. You are wrong to nationalize one industry after another from automobiles to banks. You are destroying competition and jobs. You need to stop what you were doing before millions of more families go broke from your misguided policies. It’s not too late to stop this. I know you’re not going to stop it because last night you said you don’t quit, and I know what you mean.
Isn’t it funny?
You drag a country into capitalism from socialism…and the populace of that country shows some reluctance. You have to drop it like a hot potato and then probably apologize.
You drag a country into socialism. The populace says no. And…you just say you’re not going to quit, and keep on keepin’ on.
Even though, if you live in America but you really want to be a socialist…as we’ve noted before…there’s upward of a hundred other places you can go.
Of all the opinions about last Wednesday’s speech…and Lord knows, there’ve been bushels of ’em…this one, in my humble opinion, nails it better than any other.
Hat tip to Linkiest.
I find this to be so rewarding. “Progressive” causes are rather like adorable doe-eyed woodland creatures out of a Disney cartoon movie: Here and there, someone might be up to saying “Let’s not allow them to win every single time,” but nobody, at all, anywhere, ever, ever, ever, ever, seems to want to nip that jugular and go in for the kill.
Until freakin’ now. Huzzah. Yeah, club that seal.
The holier-than-thou amateurs who flouted man-made warming based on shoddy math and unproven theories have a lot to explain. But those who believed them should not be responding to these revelations with a ’so what, I am still going to save the world through CO2 reductions’.
Why not? Two reasons: (1) no one needs to repeat what the ’scientist’ involved in the IPCC did, which is promote wild speculation as fact, and (2) it won’t do anything but hurt the ecology of nature, not save it. CO2 is not a poison – it is a beneficial and important part of our world…
CO2 gas is one of the primary mechanism for recycling and distributing carbon around the planet. What happens when we burn carbon and release it into the atmosphere? It is taken up by plants, which are then consumed to build the body structures of all living organism. Without carbon dioxide, we don’t harness the sun’s energy and live.
So when we find alarmists are reaching into articles of pure speculation, political propaganda and a student dissertation to weave their lies, we are not required to take them seriously anymore. [emphasis mine]
It’s anti-achievement, anti-individual, anti-America, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist bullshit.
Got some evidence that it’s any more than that? Some untainted evidence? Something that doesn’t rest on “this guy says X, this panel of anonymous busybodies has designated him as really smart so therefore his opinion means everything”? Something that’s somewhat…oh, I dunno…really scientific? Something based on a genuinely open debate and a trustworthy process of real peer review?
I’m all ears.
Meanwhile, stick a snail darter in it.
Was just noticing in the genre of scary ghost movies that also happen to be mysteries, when the time comes to sit down in front of Google or a microfiche reader at the library and figure out what’s going on, for some reason that’s the chick’s job.
Not sure if that’s because it’s Hollywood lack-of-creativity laziness, or our own preconceived notions of male & female roles. It’s clear to me this observation of mine needs some work. If “figure out what’s going on” means digging up a grave, of course, that’s the dude’s job and not the chick’s job. In the National Treasure movies, of course, Nicholas Cage figures out everything while everyone else just stands around and watches him. Makes you wonder what in the hell everybody else is doing there.
But looking things up in the innerwebs, is the chick’s job. Would it not work, the other way? Is Hollywood playing to female sensibilities? Or to ours? We need something pleasing to watch? Another thing: These ladies who are so smart they can finally figure out what ancient spirit is making the house make all these funny noises, cannot read from their Google search results without saying the words out loud. Perhaps the answer to my question is tied up in this? The audience is so stupid, they need to have the words read to them…and if a male actor does that, he just looks like a dork. If a flatbelly hottie is doing that, we’re inclined to stare at her moving lips and entertain lascivious thoughts. While she huskily intones the text on her search result screen.
Dudes can certainly follow trails of clues. Gregory Peck was more than watchable in The Omen…although the last half hour of that movie suffered from a serious case of underdose in the boobage-and-other-feminine-appeal department. David Warner’s decapitated head flying through the air more than adequately compensated for this, and we were compelled to watch Peck continue to follow the trail of clues.
Now that I think on it, I struggle to recall an image of any sexy type of guy, ever using a computer, for any purpose, in any movie, anywhere. I suppose the ladies are supposed to find Mr. Phillippe captivating…but does this turkey count? Really?
Maybe male people using computers, in general, just aren’t very appealing. Hmmmmmmm………
Just a shout-out to all these folks who have (knowingly or not) thrown these invitations my way to do this-or-that on FaceBook. And a warning, I guess…albeit, not a very informed one, and I fully intend to keep it that way.
I just went through a malware adventure at the beginning of the year. What was plaguing me, I found out, was — for that instant — virtually unsolvable. It’s an arms race; from time to time, it’s gonna be that way and the bad guys are going to be winning. My victory announcement was premature. And what’s even worse, the beastie was engaging all kinds of impressive features to dodge countermeasures and hide itself. I don’t really know with any confidence when & where I picked up the damn thing.
I ended up formatting. Go scorched earth. By the time it came to that, the problem had morphed into an obsession. Think of Richard Dreyfuss building a big clay replica of Devil’s Tower. Hey, I’m a computer dude. Have been my whole life. I spent a lot of years being a computer security dude. It was my first experience running into something in the malware world “unsolvable.” Ultimately I had to come to terms with the fact that the world is generally becoming a more complicated place.
And in complication, chaos wins out over order.
And then Hector Owen steps forward with his report about receiving Koobface spam through the e-mails:
In my case it was an email that seemed to be from Facebook announcing that a friend had sent a message, but the style was unfamiliar, which should have been the tip-off.
Subject: Firstname Lastname sent you a message on Facebook …
Firstname sent you a message.
poison url goes here
(The url is disguised by having www.facebook.com at the beginning, but in my case at least continued to bit.ly as the real destination, which, of course, was not the real destination.)
That’s it. There is usually quite a bit more stuff in one of these message notifications. When I took a look at Facebook, I saw the message in my inbox, but by that time, I knew not to click it.
You can find out more about Koobface over here. If you’re a Facebook apps fan, I strongly suggest you read up.
And I then see see — speaking of Facebook apps — bullshit like this…
From the beginning, the profitability and viability of popular Facebook social networking games Mafia Wars and Farmville were predicated on the backs of scams, boasts Zynga CEO Mark Pincus in this video. “I did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues,” he crows in the clip to a gathered bunch of fellow scumbag app developers.
In games like Mafia Wars, Farmville, YoVille and Vampires Live, you know, some of the major sources of all those garbage announcements cluttering up your Facebook, players compete to complete missions and level up. By leveling up, you can complete more difficult missions and fight off weaker opponents. You can wait for your various energies to regenerate naturally over time, or you can purchase with real money in-game boosts. Or, you can complete various lead generation offers, many of which are of the “answer page after page of questions and opt in and out of receiving various kinds of spam” variety. Some of them install malware and adware that is impossible to remove. And some of them secretly subscribe you to monthly recurring $9.99 credit card charges.
Video contains (like my own scribblings) some language that is not safe for a work environment or a mixed audience:
I’m going to go ahead and remain anti-social on these social networking sites. No, I’m not clicking on your link. Nothing personal.
Silly people over at Slate (WARNING: Article is technical/retail, and dated by nearly four years). When are they gonna learn a preposition is not something you want to end a sentence with?
Interesting items be here. Could be worth your time even in spite of all that dust on top. It’s worth mine, because the lady and I both had the same thought this morning: Gotta get a new alarm clock.
So I’m out the door. Probably gonna buy two of something. Yeah that’s right; a female, inexplicably, has entrusted me with the power to determine how she is going to wake up for the next n years. And I, inexplicably, have accepted this and the responsibility that goes with it. Mmmmm, hmmmm……..this should go rather well. Can’t see a downside to it at all.
It takes brave, brave lads like me, to keep the world goin’ round.
Hehehe. Yeah, you can’t make this movie nowadays.
Thanks for the memory, Andy.
The Obama administration on Friday gave up on its plan to try the Sept. 11 plotters in Lower Manhattan, bowing to almost unanimous pressure from New York officials and business leaders to move the terrorism trial elsewhere.
“I think I can acknowledge the obvious,” an administration official said. “We’re considering other options.”
The reversal on whether to try the alleged 9/11 terrorists blocks from the former World Trade Center site seemed to come suddenly this week, after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg abandoned his strong support for the plan and said the cost and disruption would be too great.
But behind the brave face that many New Yorkers had put on for weeks, resistance had been gathering steam.
After a dinner in New York on Dec. 14, Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, pulled aside David Axelrod, President Obama’s closest adviser, to convey an urgent plea: move the 9/11 trial out of Manhattan.
More recently, in a series of presentations to business leaders, local elected officials and community representatives of Chinatown, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly laid out his plan for securing the trial: blanketing a swath of Lower Manhattan with police checkpoints, vehicle searches, rooftop snipers and canine patrols.
“They were not received well,” said one city official.
It endangered the country, and besides of which it was insensitive.
So we’ll do the sensible thing now: Try them in civilian court somewhere else. Keep up the danger to the country but try to be a bit more sensitive.
At least I think so. Thankfully, the story does go on to cast some doubt on that…
…[I]t is possible that the reversal will call into question the calibrated effort of Mr. Obama and his attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., to bring the handling of suspected terrorists out of the realm of military emergency and into the halls of civilian justice.
Hope for change?
The New York Post goes a bit further:
The trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed won’t be held in lower Manhattan and could take place in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, sources said last night.
Administration officials said that no final decision had been made but that officials of the Department of Justice and the White House were working feverishly to find a venue that would be less expensive and less of a security risk than New York City.
The back-to-the-future Gitmo option was reported yesterday by Fox News and was not disputed by White House officials.
Such a move would likely bring howls of protest from liberals already frustrated that President Obama has failed to meet his deadline for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
It would also indicate that after years of attacking the Bush administration for its handling of the war on terror, Obama officials are embracing one of the most controversial aspects of it.
The administration is likely considering Gitmo because Congress is moving to cut off funding for holding the expensive trials in civilians courts.
Rep. Peter King (R-LI) has introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of Justice Department funds to try Guantanamo detainees in federal civilian courts, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would introduce a similar bill in the Senate next week.
Okay then. Perhaps we’re pulling out of the cul de sac.
Cul de sac…yes, that’s it. We indulge in silly ideas that don’t really work, when we feel like we can afford it. We vote in liberals when it seems we live in such luxury, that choosing an option that sounds good — turning down a certain road — is a trivial and meaningless decision that never has any actual impact on anything anyway. So why not make the turn that is pleasing to the intellectual lightweights, who live in a pretend-fairyland? After all, they vote just as reliably as the “real” people, and make a hell of a lot more noise.
And then we reach the end of the cul de sac.
Good Lord, what a lot of wasted energy.
[A]n upcoming Justice Department report from its ethics-watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the “torture” memos of professional-misconduct allegations.
While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other “enhanced” interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action—which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.
Mmmm…well, we’re taking some encouraging steps toward fulfilling my forty-two definitions of a strong society, particularly the second one:
[N]obody ever has to profess a false belief, or keep their silence about a genuine belief, to keep from losing their property, their business, their kids, their spouse, their house, their job, their stature in the community, or anything else.
And that’s sick. It’s sick that anybody ever had to scribble something like that down, that it was ever called into doubt that this is just the way things should work — anyone should think it should work some other way. “I have this sensitivity about this-or-that, and if you don’t share it you should lose your job and go to jail. Just as if you raped a baby or killed somebody.”
Make that whole thing a forgotten relic of the twentieth century. It’s done nothing helpful for us at all, and nobody is really in favor of it anyway.
Yes, once again it is time to dig into the obsessive-compulsive-list-making “what’s been ripening in the innards of the smartphone” file. And nobody disagrees with me about any of it.
At least, when talking-out-loud most people don’t disagree with much of it. Being a liberal, lately, seems to involve saying something to the effect of “Oh in a perfect world I wish (insert some of what follows here)…BUT…we have all these problems, so therefore we must ‘invest’ in my program.” And being a “moderate” liberal versus an “extreme” liberal, seems more than anything else to have to do with how quickly the liberal gets to that “but.”
Regarding what makes a society free, strong and healthy, there does not appear to be a lot of disagreement. Except for craven disagreement, the disagreement that must cower out of sight, hiding behind red herrings.
Some of these things can be measured, in service of producing an actual number. Where that is possible, and the number is found to be in a decline, that place is coming off the rails. So you can probably form a guess about my thoughts regarding the direction our country has been heading for the last year.
1. Taboo versus Law. There is a vast, yawning gap between laws that are written down, and unenforced cultural taboos that are universally observed as a sign of respect the individual pays to the sensibilities of the community. There is an abundance of little things that are frowned-upon, and because they are frowned-upon they are very seldom done. They carry absolutely no penalty whatsoever. In fact, making any kind of “hard” law against some of these things, is one of the taboos.
2. Stigma is firm but soft. Rule #1 notwithstanding, nobody ever has to profess a false belief, or keep their silence about a genuine belief, to keep from losing their property, their business, their kids, their spouse, their house, their job, their stature in the community, or anything else. Hey let’s face it: If thinking a certain thing is evidence that you’re a wonderful person, and then you get penalized for thinking something else, then thinking that thing is no longer evidence of your wonderfulness, now is it?
3. Men do things. Able-bodied men, of all ages, are knights. They defend women, children, old and handicapped people, from trifling inconvenience as well as danger and bodily harm. They never, ever remain sitting when a lady approaches.
4. Failure. Universally available, and free. No person, enterprise or industry is “Too Big To Fail” — ever. Failure is regarded as something that is always possible, to be avoided at all costs, but never to be ignored or sidestepped once it is earned. Depriving a man of the failure he has justly earned, is rightfully seen as just as deplorable as depriving him of wages he has justly earned.
5. The high wall. Coarse humor and other material are kept away from children, as well as adults who might not prefer it. The girly mags kept behind the clerk, rather than at knee height out front; the blogger who takes the effort to write “not safe work work language in this video”; the curtain in front of that special room in the back, at your video store; South Park scheduled on the cable teevee for 10pm or later. These are fundamental building blocks of any civilized society. The spicy stuff is freely available, but walled off.
6. Promote strength and not weakness. If an individual falls short of a physical or mental challenge, he is encouraged to try again, and discouraged from developing the one-time failure into a lasting disability.
7. Keeping and bearing arms. There really isn’t any telling who does & doesn’t have a gun, but it’s probably not too far from the truth to suppose everyone is carrying something.
8. Egalitarianism. A penalty for a crime is constant, regardless of the class, economic status or birthright of the convict.
9. Take your place. Children wait for grown-ups; grown-ups make sure the women go first; the women see to it that, among them, the elderly and infirm go first.
10. Say it. At work, rest or play, nobody ever mumbles; misspellings are exceedingly rare; if an idea is worth expressing, it’s worth expressing properly.
11. Earn your pay. The employee sees his employer as a partner in the business — nobody ever does half-ass work, or less work, to avoid making his co-workers look bad. He does what the boss says, not what the union boss says.
12. Non-Discrimination is a taboo and not a law. Opportunities are not awarded to, or withheld from, people because of their religion, race or gender (unless applicable).
13. Getting rich by watching the rich. People don’t pay greater attention to indigents and ask “Who is at fault?” They pay attention to those who are better off, and ask “What wise things did he do that put him in this position?”
14. Independent thinking. It starts early on. Teachers teach and grade children to produce a good outcome, not to follow a certain sequence of steps.
15. Children wait. Children are afraid to interrupt adults. When they play or are otherwise too distracted to move out of the way of someone else, they do their playing in low-traffic areas, where they aren’t likely to obstruct.
16. Faceless kingmakers. There are no anonymous panels of experts artificially creating other experts. When men carry great respect and authority, the people who show them this respect are ready to list the wonderful things those men have done, not the titles, awards and other gimmicks bestowed on them by anonymous commissions or third-parties.
17. Faceless kingmakers, continued. With regard to #16, nobody can earn respect, authority, titles, awards or other gimmicks by talking a certain way; they have to accomplish something, and it has to be something measurable.
18. Rehabilitation and Recidivism. If a man continues to prove himself unable to live safely among others, he is ultimately put to death.
19. Ownership. People ask “Is it my place to pass judgment?” before asking “Would I have done it the way he did it?”
20. Individuality vs. Groupthink. Groups just aren’t very important. The individual is the de facto master of any given task, challenge or situation. Very few things in life are decided by a vote anywhere, or for that matter by passages out of some kind of rulebook. Committees, where they exist, exist only for brief periods of time and decide practically nothing at all.
21. Mind-altering substances. No one ever uses hallucinogenic drugs. They see their fortunes in life as being linked to their ability to think things out capably, so they just don’t want to mess with that.
22. Nobility of labor. People spend time doing their own manual chores; many of them possess an abundance of tools that they have designed and constructed themselves. It is impossible to do any of this when you engage in the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late; and, I suppose, it is perhaps not possible to avoid the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late, if you haven’t done something like this in awhile.
23. Keeping up with the Joneses. Nobody ever wants to buy something just because someone else they know bought the same thing.
24. Headwear. Men and boys never wear hats indoors. Ever. Headgear above…or a roof…never, ever both. Simply not done.
25. Strong and silent. The more powerful the leader is, the shorter his speeches are, the greater the passage of time before he gives one, and the less likely it is that he’s ever heard to blame his predecessor for anything.
26. Family first. Nobody who lives in a household ever tolerates disparaging comments about anybody else who lives in that household.
27. As the ladies go, so goes civilization. Girls give their attention to boys who are serious about what they’re trying to do, and show some drive when they’re trying to do it; not to whoever “makes me laugh.”
28. School. In school, when one child picks on another child and the other child tolerates it, the officials see to it the weaker child “mans up” and that the stronger child is punished — BOTH of those, not one or the other. The lazy school official who turns a blind eye, or enforces discipline only upon children who’ve shown the intelligence and civility to respond positively to it, and in so doing allows this adolescent boy-coming-of-age juice to pickle, like improperly-fermented homemade beer — he is universally regarded as the lowest and most detestable form of bureaucrat, something toxic to natural human development, inimical toward manhood. And that goes double for erring in the opposite direction…handing down some ill-thought-out “hard rule” (see #1) trying to make bullying into a relic from the past. Not gonna happen. Bullying is not something to be expurgated, it is something to be handled.
29. School, continued. With regard to #28, children who can communicate with other children but not do the work, are seen as needing improvement; children who can do the work but who lack “communication skills,” are seen as successful and worthy of emulation.
30. Husbands. Women and men mate for life; all of her children are biologically his.
31. Charity. When any member of the community is enduring urgent need, nobody is condemned with such disdain as the other member who could help and refuses to — except for whoever else wants to force him to. Nobody seeks to make himself, or anybody else, “better” by passing some obligatory law requiring charity. (Again, refer back to #1.)
32. Charity, continued. With regard to #31, to receive such charity and then gripe about it in quality or quantity, is regarded as one of the lowest possible transgressions.
33. World travel. The most respected community members are the ones who have traveled to other countries. But before they traveled they personally worked to earn the solvency needed for their traveling. Traveling is not used as a bully pulpit to promote some sick vision of hyper-internationalism, or to promote materialism and extravagance as if luxuries should be prioritized as staples of life.
34. Central, unifying language. There is one and only one dominant spoken and written language, and whoever isn’t functional in it, does the best they can to learn that one before any other.
35. Immigrants speak the language of the community. With regard to #34, whoever immigrates to this place, speaks that one dominant language before their mother tongue — even at home.
36. Children speak the language of the community. With regard to #34 and #35, children of immigrants are taught to speak the language of the community before their mother tongue — at home.
37. Parents don’t raise boys and girls, they raise men and women. Parenting is seen as a process of making kids capable first, and “safe” second. A parent who delivers a child to adulthood, happy healthy and whole but not capable, is seen as a failure at parenting (see #4).
38. Taxes pay for things, where they are unavoidable. Taxes are never levied, increased or exempted to reward or punish classes of people. Social experimentation by tax code is an unknown thing. Taxes are collected for the purpose of funding vital government activities, and for no other reason.
39. There is a(n unwritten) Hays Code. The fiction that people enjoy, has heroic characters who do good things, villainous characters who do bad things, and nobody ends up prosperous at the end by avoiding honest work or by breaking the law.
40. People acknowledge each other. The everyday greeting is not only desirable, not only obligatory, but sacred. Men who once fought over a woman, take the time to do it with each other, friendly or not. Very few tasks justify withholding a handshake, eye contact and a decent Hello. And for this reason, people don’t spend much time at all with their “personal tunes.”
41. Weaknesses are not coveted. Nobody ever brags about, or connects an identity to, an inability to do something other people can do. People do not greet new acquaintances with that most odious of self-introductions, “I don’t know anything about computers.” People don’t form relationships around weakness. People don’t say “That’s my friend Carol, she doesn’t know how to cook.” They say “That’s my friend Carol, she’s the best interior designer around.”
42. Armageddon is not breathlessly anticipated. Very rarely does anyone talk about the entire world ending, for any reason.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.
It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story. MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent “gag order.” The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I “broke in” to an office which is open to the public. The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me. And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting. The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.
I noted, a few minutes ago, that the kind of messaging being practiced by our current political party in the majority, is almost synonymous with obfuscation. Wherever a point is understood with clarity, there is a task that has been left unfinished.
One of the reasons the democrats are doing so poorly right now, and are so ineffectual in spite of the fact that they run everything, is that they are anti-human and anti-definition. Their platform is to oppose ambition, effort and individual achievement, and they do this by making things vague. Terrorists aren’t terrorists, sovereign states are not sovereign states, Separation of Powers is not Separation of Powers, the ClimateGate Scandal never really happened, spending money is not spending money as long as you’re spending it on “health care”…
Victor Davis Hanson goes one step further, singling out the man at the top of the mess. Who is caught on a regular basis doing the polar opposite of what He just got done saying He was going to do…
Whereas past executives shaded the truth, Barack Obama trumps that: on almost every key issue, what Obama says he will do, and what he says is true, is a clear guide to what he will not do, and what is not true. It is as if “truth” is a mere problem of lesser mortals.
1. Obama now rails against a pernicious Washington and its insiders: ergo, Obama controls Washington through both houses of Congress and the White House, and wants to expand Washington’s control over the auto industry, health care, energy, student loans, transportation, etc.
2. Obama bashes the Supreme Court on weakening public efforts to curb campaign contributions. Therefore, we know Obama has done more than any other president in destroying public campaign financing by being the first presidential candidate in a general election to refuse public funds — in confidence that he could raise a record $1 billion, much of it from big moneyed interests on Wall Street.
3. Obama calls for a freeze on government spending and deplores deficits. Hence, we know that the possible $15 billion savings in some discretionary spending will not affect the Obama record budget deficits that will continue to grow well over an annual $1.5 trillion a year — as Obama piles up the greatest budgetary shortfalls in any four-year presidential term in history.
4. The president calls for the Guantanamo Bay detention center to be closed within a year of his inauguration, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, to be tried in New York. Accordingly, we know that Guantanamo won’t be closed within a year and KSM won’t be tried in New York.
5. Obama issues four serial deadlines in autumn 2009 for Iran to comply with non-proliferation accords. Presto — we know that Iran will get the bomb unimpeded by U.S. opinion.
Regarding Chris Matthews’ moment, Jon Stewart…uh, comments.
Coffee, keyboard, be careful. I came pretty close to spewing there.
Look closely for me to say “I forgot Chris Matthews was an asshole for an hour.” My forgetfulness moment might be coming soon. It might…or, it might not. I’m thinking not.
From Ed Morrissey at HotAir.
Update: Had this in my notes as well: Matthews “clarifies” himself.
Yeah, we’re getting past it alright.
Seriously: What a jerk. We’re past it all, in the sense that if you have nothing to say and you just want to showcase yourself as a lovable wonderful human being — particularly if you’re feeling the need to put up such an illusion — you can babble away some nonsense about race when race doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with anything that’s going on. Therefore, we’re past it all in the sense that it is a regular phenomenon for racists to call non-racists racists.
Well news flash, buddy: We’ve been “past it” in that sense for a very, very long time. All Obama’s really done, there, is spread that poisoning a little bit thicker. Nobody anywhere has “come together” in this post-racial age on a damn thing. Nobody’s moved past a damn thing, at least, whoever hadn’t gotten over something by January 20, 2009, certainly hasn’t gotten over it since then. Where’s the exception to that? Point it out. I’d like to see it.
Our interracial harmony, our constructive thinking, our zeal to solve all the problems that have ailed our nation…under this President, thanks to puffed-up talking heads like you, these things are all moving in the general direction of a lawn dart. You deserve some credit for providing just one of many examples.
These self-important boobs are congratulating the rest of the nation on “getting past” our historical strife, very much the same way a woman of some significant social structure might congratulate a rival on losing some weight — if she’s set out with the purpose of being a real rancid bitch. Classic backhand-compliment, Desperate Housewives stuff. “Oh sweetie, you’ve lost so many of your chins! Just two to go!” Just pure bile. The very purest.
But, same ol’ story…he’s a libby, he’ll survive it.
John Fund’s column in the Wall Street Journal, about Massachusetts’ new Wonder-Senator:
So why does he think Democratic attacks on him for opposing Mr. Obama’s bank tax didn’t seem to gain traction?…”They get that a bank tax will be transferred down to individuals through ATM fees and the amount of money they can lend to create jobs will also be reduced.”
Mr. Brown says it frustrates him that too many politicians still believe that people will be fooled by what they’re proposing. “People aren’t stupid, and leaders should figure out they’re better informed now than ever.”
With a neat, thin little black line around it. Twenty years ago you hadn’t seen it before, and now you type stuff into it multiple times daily…
Someone once told me that there is nowhere we are more honest than the search box. We don’t lie to Google. Period. We type in what we’re thinking — good, bad, and ugly. There’s probably no piece of information that would better show what’s on someone’s mind than their stream of searches.
Hat tip to Dyspepsia Generation.
Uh oh, someone’s been drinking the Kool Aid…
Osama bin Laden sought to draw a wider public into his fight against the United States in a new message Friday, dropping his usual talk of religion and holy war and focusing instead on an unexpected topic: global warming.
The al-Qaida leader blamed the United States and other industrialized nations for climate change and said the only way to prevent disaster was to break the American economy, calling on the world to boycott U.S. goods and stop using the dollar.
A position that comes naturally to anti-human-rights folks, collectivists, plutocrats, tyrants, demagogues, and violators of women.
Kinda hard to keep a straight face about it. It’s like a “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup” of your favorite issues. Hey, you got ManBearPig in my terrorists! Oh yeah, well you got terrorists all over my ManBearPig!
From Allahpundit at HotAir.
…because a fine delicacy of a dessert, mixed with sewage, is sewage. Therefore a “diluted” purity test is…?
From two months ago:
Republican leaders are circulating a resolution listing 10 positions Republican candidates should support to demonstrate that they “espouse conservative principles and public policies” that are in opposition to “Obama’s socialist agenda.” According to the resolution, any Republican candidate who broke with the party on three or more of these issues– in votes cast, public statements made or answering a questionnaire – would be penalized by being denied party funds or the party endorsement.
This could have been read as “excluding people” — a charge constantly leveled at those country-club Republicans (while democrats attend ALL the country clubs their dark little hearts desire to attend)…and against which, for some strange reason, the GOP is constantly on the defensive.
Well, when you’re too long on the defensive, eventually you have to make some concessions.
Enter said “diluted purity test.”
The Republican Party steered clear of passing a so-called “purity test” proposed by a handful of conservative members of the Republican National Committee and instead passed a toothless watered-down resolution that “urges” Republican Party leadership to consider a candidate’s record and statements and fidelity to the party platform before providing financial support or an endorsement.
The proposal, initially drafted by Indiana national committeeman James Bopp, was met with strong resistance by state party chairs concerned about such a one-size-fits-all approach. This week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele made clear that he, too, opposed the proposed resolution.
Republicans may have avoided a divisive purity test for their candidates today, but it clearly doesn’t mean that the differences among and between party loyalists have disappeared, no matter how good the political climate is for them right now.
Infighting, ultimatums, horn-locking, one guy telling the other to “shut up.”
This is the wrong direction, in my humble opinion. One of the reasons the democrats are doing so poorly right now, and are so ineffectual in spite of the fact that they run everything, is that they are anti-human and anti-definition. Their platform is to oppose ambition, effort and individual achievement, and they do this by making things vague. Terrorists aren’t terrorists, sovereign states are not sovereign states, Separation of Powers is not Separation of Powers, the ClimateGate Scandal never really happened, spending money is not spending money as long as you’re spending it on “health care”…
The GOP I would wish to support, opposes this by taking a pro-business, pro-definition standpoint. It isn’t afraid to define things. Opposing gay marriage, therefore, emerges from this general principle not out of a desire to tell people they cannot love each other (WTF????), so much as a desire to define what things are. “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” The opposite of this, has devolved into something quite absurd: Marriage can be between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Don’t you dare insinuate from this that we’re supporters of bestiality, or polygamy though, or we’ll accuse you of using a “straw man” attack. Really? Just those three configurations among two people, and you’ll stop there? I’m to assume this? This is the one progressive revolution that will achieve the increment it’s trying to achieve, and then — stop? Do tell. What is so magical about that number…two?
And every single issue we debate is like this. Have the balls to define something — or don’t. Waffle and equivocate and say “Let Me Be Clear” right before you say something grotesquely muddled.
But not all “Republicans” agree with this. On the issue of illegal immigration, for example — many among them are “pro-business,” but anti-defining-things. Which means they want to legitimize cheap, illegal labor by referring to the invaders as “undocumented workers.”
The democrat leadership now is absolutely dedicated to this tactic of not-defining-things. If any among the electorate see something noble about this practice of leaving-things-undefined, they can go support the folks who are “in charge.” But that isn’t what The American People want, or deserve, right now. They deserve to know what they’re getting when they choose to pull a lever or punch a ballot chad next to somebody’s name.
Steele is wrong about this. Or if he isn’t, it’s a good occasion on which one may re-evaluate one’s support of Republicans…which is the one response Steele is supposed to be trying to avoid. It’s his job to avoid that. Being a Republican ought to be all about defining what something is — and then making an informed decision about whether or not you want to support it.
Being a democrat, after all, has come to be about undefining things, and then asking for the support of simpletons while you dish out tired old catchphrases like “Make No Mistake,” in a really soothing voice that sounds kinda like Walter Cronkite’s. And then calling them racists if they don’t agree with you about everything.
In fact, let me borrow yet another “Obama Speech Bingo” snippet: “For Far Too Long.” For far too long, in this lasting melee between the pro-define-things and anti-define-things, we have assumed this unappealing desire of excluding people — from jobs, from benefits, from existence itself — is a core principle within those who are in favor of defining things. For far too long we have thought we can make a pleasing, pleasant society in which “everyone” can participate, by leaving things undefined, and therefore by opposing any desire to define anything. For far too long, we have failed to see this does not work.
And for far too long, we have also turned a blind eye while this acrid, exclusionary attitude has been promoted by those who are opposed to defining things. For far too long, we have failed to see it is they who are exclusionary. That’s the way it goes. You don’t want to define something, someone else does, you have to jump all over them like a starved jackal. Look, they just did it again. Someone came up with a list of core principles, and this was some kind of a huge problem that had to be attacked. Now, why was that? From whence arose the necessity?
We could ask the anti-define-people why that was so important. But I have a feeling they won’t answer. Or if they do, they won’t be very specific about it.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Hale • Bopp (n.)
I’d be far less disgusted with Christopher Buckley if I thought for a minute he was a lone voice singing in the wilderness. As I wrote ad nauseum earlier this morning, his point seems to be — and he seems quite proud of this — that Obama has conducted Himself most unpresidentially, but it’s so much fun to watch Him and listen to Him that it doesn’t really matter.
No wonder, for the last half-century or so, when the democrats look for the next candidate to lead their party from the White House, the question is not: Does this person make wise decisions? But instead: When this person makes stupid decisions, is there a huge following of people motivated to vote for, support, and show up at rallies to egg on his toxic bullshit?
Let’s face it: “moral authority”; “hope and change”; “there’s just something about Him”; “he wrote ‘Earth in the Balance'”; “He’d be one hell of a lot of fun at a bar”; “at least he didn’t have anything to do with Watergate” — these are just devices. Devices skillfully wielded to close transactions that are contrary to the interests of the buyer.
One year following the election of the Holy One, I was noticing that it works not just in the democrat party machinery, but across the landscape of the electorate as well. Republicans are qualified if and only if they can instantly recall, with accuracy, exotic names, historical trivia, and lists of things; democrats are qualified if they are capable of selling things contrary to the interests of those who buy them. And a month onward, I made some observations about a quality some of our previous Presidents have actually had. “Charisma” doesn’t quite nail down what this quality is, since charisma is an occasional good thing, whereas what we’re talking about is a tactic for deception. But the C-word perhaps comes closer than any other word in the English language.
Barack Obama has oodles and oodles of this, but nobody is quite sure what it is. You heard this much discussed throughout the 2008 campaign, especially when He was locked in a fierce battle with Hillary Clinton for the nomination. “There’s just something about Him!” Some people call it leadership because when He says something, like “grab a mop” for example, there arises within you this primal instinct to get it done. The marrow of your bones seem to just want to start mopping. Authority, confidence, blah blah blah. He never stutters or stammers…says “uh” quite a lot, but always with dignity and flair.
What’s this done for us over the course of the previous 43 administrations?
Well, it’s helped to sell us a lot of crap. Salesmen learn how to do this; if it is their trade to deal with bad product. Hey let’s face it, if your product is compatible with the interests of the buyer, your “charisma” isn’t going to help the sale a whole lot. An average-Joe can get just as much sold. You need excellent salesmen if you’re trying to move a shitty product. So this “I don’t know why I want to do what he says, it’s just the way I feel!” thing is a distinguishing characteristic of flim-flam men and liars.
So when you possess charisma, plus a readiness, willingness and ability to use that charisma toward the objective of selling large numbers of people on something that will ultimately bring them harm, that is Hale-Bopp.
I understand why the democrat party wants to find the next walking specimen of it so badly. It’s because their policies suck so much. As I said before: If the product being sold is really good, you don’t need this quality. So they need it, to get all the Chris Matthews’ and the Chris Buckleys (what is it about the name “Chris”??) on board.
It is a Thing I Know #271 moment:
Someone please enlighten me on this hero worship for people who are good at selling things. An excellent salesman is useless in selling an adequate product; an adequate salesman will move it just as quick. You only need an excellent salesman to sell a crappy, substandard product, or excessive quantities of a product, that people don’t need. Fact is, if you’re in sales, you want to do a superior job, you want to realize the benefits of being better than the rest, but you also want to deal honestly with people, you’re in the wrong line of work.
And our fascination with it, seems to me symptomatic of a society that, for the most part, hasn’t had to get real work done for a very long time. A superpower, whose “citizens” get bottled water delivered to their doorsteps, and have nothing to talk about all day long unless the bottled water delivery was late.
Because deep down we all know this: A farmer, whose personal fortunes are tied to his progress in plowing the field, his progress in getting the irrigation machine to work, his progress in getting the cows milked, his progress in putting the equipment out of harm’s way when a storm front is rolling in…he really doesn’t have much use for salesmen, be they god-like in their hale-bopp or merely adequate for the job of selling quality things. To him, they’re just people who fill the air with lots of noise. The question is, does the goddamn thing do what it’s supposed to do, and flipping the switch & trying her out will settle that quickly enough. When you have real work to do and your fortunes rise & fall on getting the work done, talk becomes cheap very quickly.
What else is there to be said? You tell bald-faced lies, but if you have that lilt to your voice and There’s Just Something About you, hey it’s all good.
[President Obama] proved himself capable, too, of drama, as when he (figuratively) pointed a finger at the Supremes, sitting in their courtly robes directly in front of him, hands demurely folded, and accused them (in my opinion, unjustly, to say nothing of injudiciously) of allowing “foreign enemies” to influence our elections. I had been under the impression that it was called “free speech.” But never mind. It was an electrifying moment. Thank you, Mr. President.
Yeah I thought the guy was getting mad props because He was “no-drama Obama”; don’t know what happened to that.
I don’t understand these people, I really don’t. And I definitely mean that in the plural because Buckley is not the only one by any means. You know the type; yes it’s provably untrue, but it makes me feel so good I wanna fall for it anyway, and you should too. They’re still out there.
Buckley kicks off this fine piece of sermonizing with —
It is hard, indeed almost impossible, not to like Mr. Obama. In recent weeks, I’ve tried—tried my best. But Wednesday night he made it virtually impossible. Even discounting the perhaps 40 percent of the speech that consisted of the usual bromides and platitudes, even the most hardened skeptic must admit—the son of gun gives one hell of a speech.
The President’s gestures and comments were injudicious, unfair, untrue, imprudent, demagogic, snobbish and just plain rude. But “the son of a gun gives one hell of a speech” so this makes up for everything else?
Is it really impossible not to like Obama?
Let’s find out. Hmm. What’s Blogsister Daphne have to say?
I was going to wait until he was done, but I can’t.
I despise this shallow man and everything he stands for.
A) a full blown socialist.
B) an idiot.
C) a lobotomy patient.
D) a liar
F) full of shit
G) a hypocrite
H) Poorly raised by a delusional hippie Boomer
I’m going for the full combo…
Advantage Daphne; you lose, Chris. Your slobbering hosannas weren’t true in 2008, and now they’re just outdated, and not a little bit.
Didn’t your Dad tell you? The millions of your fellow citizens who are now doing what you claim is virtually impossible, will be able to fill you in: Elections have consequences. Yes, a lot of Obama voters are still on your side — the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem — but a whole lot more of them have started the long road to recovery, and are getting ready to apologize to the rest of us for putting the country through the entirely avoidable events of 2009.
It seems you have a keen eye for the hot new trend, or are trying to develop one. Hope you’re not the last to hop onto this one.
Update: Here’s one out of many possible examples of an issue that is just a touch more important than “giving one hell of a speech”:
The two police officers who ended the Fort Hood massacre viewed the State of the Union address from a spot reserved for national heroes: right next to first lady Michelle Obama.
Sgts. Mark Todd and Kimberly Munley watched the State of the Union address seated next to Michelle Obama.
President Barack Obama did not mention Sgts. Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd – or the Fort Hood shooting – during Wednesday’s speech. But the two officers joined in a standing ovation when the president addressed all of those who serve and support the military.
“All of our men and women in uniform – in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world – they have to know that they have our respect, our gratitude and our full support,” Obama said. [emphasis mine]
Just d-i-s-gusting. They were there. Right freakin’ there. Mister Wonderful didn’t feel it was worth His time to utter a single syllable. Too busy second-guessing the Supreme Court “with all due respect to the separation of powers.”
How nice it would have been to hear Mister Dulcet Tone call out the heroes by name, ask them to stand up, and request a round of well-deserved applause. But would that fall into the category of “Failed Policies of the Last Eight Years”? Because I got a feeling President Obama’s successor would-a done it…no ifs, ands or buts. And at the end of it, there’d be good things for people to say about Bush’s State of the Union besides the pat-answer thrill-up-my-leg stuff. The country wouldn’t be so divided about it. Even with the declining approval ratings, Soros’ billions of dollars brainwashing people into thinking it was some kind of human tragedy or war crime to take down Saddam Hussein…that remained the case. Heroes were called out for positive acknowledgment, those who disagreed or obstructed were not publicly humiliated like that, and there was…you know…some measure of class.
An entire generation seems to be in need of learning the lesson: Class is not the same as charisma. It is not the same as giving “one hell of a speech.” It’s a different thing, and maybe it falls into the Louis Armstrong If You Have To Ask You’re Never Gonna Know file. I’m thinking Daphne, in the very moment in which she peels off with her potty-mouth, has more class in her little finger than Christopher Buckley has in his whole body.
Sorry, that’s just the way it is. You lost massive points. Your Holy Man loves to talk a lot about “those who caused this mess in the first place” — and this year that’s people just like you, more than any “fat cat bankers,” when you get right down to it. You caused the mess we’re in right now, in the first place, because you’re overly enamored of smooth-talking salesmen, you aren’t tuned in to the idea that things have a causative relationship to other things…and for reasons nobody can explain, you want to vote anyway.
Update: Oopsie! If indeed there is a great cross-section of Americana that remains slobberingly fixated on the Community Organizer, there is gathering evidence that the feeling’s not mutual: Obama is becoming bored with the job.
Holy CRAP. We’re back to the clean-and-articulate thing again already?? What in the hell is it with these people?
Hat tip to Rick, who found this in just a few minutes last night.
I also must not be watching The Godfather right. I thought it was Carlo, the scumbag brother-in-law, who was garroted. I own it and watch it over and over, and I’m pretty sure.
Tessio, the smarter of the two Caporegimes, was dispatched offscreen in some unstated way (I figured it was gangland style with a bullet in the back of the head), for his treachery and betrayal. “The smart move will getcha killed”? I don’t recall that line. “Make him an offer he can’t refuse” was used a whole lot of times, always with a sinister undertone…maybe that’s the connection to the State of the Union Matthews was trying to make.
Chris Matthews: Rocking-chair-shirt-slobber-senile well before his time. A bigoted, rambling old man. What’s next, grandpa? Something about wearing a yellow onion from your belt because that was the style at the time?
Is this threesome we just saw, a window into the soul of the folks who are in charge right now?
God help us.
After sitting through all of President Obama’s State of the Union address, and updating my list of “Obama Speech Bingo” items from 53 to 87, I am left with exactly one question. I don’t know if it will be answered in this lifetime or not. I’d like to know what, exactly, the loyal hard-left liberal democrat has in mind when he talks about “the economy,” as in the economy is getting stronger, we want to see it get better, the economy took a whallopin’ “Over The Last Eight Years,” et al. I’ve prowled over the clues, looking for some semblance of consistency…and perhaps that is a mistake. Near as I can figure, The Economy is something that thrives when taxes are raised and is starved when taxes are cut. And yet it has something to do with jobs, which makes me wonder if the loyal extreme liberal democrat has it straight in his own mind what “The Economy” is.
The jobs thing has something to do with businesses making decisions to hire people, that much I get; and this seems to be on par with the way we see “the economy” here on Planet Earth. It is equally clear to me, however, that on Planet Wild-Eyed Liberal, a business hiring someone has a lot more to do with willingness than with ability.
I found this nugget on page 7 of the New York Times transcript to be an aptly representative sample of what I heard over the seventy minutes last night:
Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can’t address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. And I agree — which is why this freeze won’t take effect until next year — (laughter) — when the economy is stronger. That’s how budgeting works. (Laughter and applause.) But understand –- understand if we don’t take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery -– all of which would have an even worse effect on our job growth and family incomes.
From some on the right, I expect we’ll hear a different argument -– that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts including those for the wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is that’s what we did for eight years. (Applause.) That’s what helped us into this crisis. It’s what helped lead to these deficits. We can’t do it again.
Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it’s time to try something new. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let’s try common sense. (Laughter.) A novel concept.
I recall the President said something about really sticking it to the businesses and it brought the democrat side of the chamber to a standing ovation. Can’t remember if this is that moment or not, and it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that goofy moment just a little bit later, about the Supreme Court decision. President Obama has earned for Himself a fusillade of justified criticism here. He seems to have been taking a break from trying out His novel concept of common sense. As one Georgetown University Law Center Professor asks,
In the history of the State of the Union has any President ever called out the Supreme Court by name, and egged on the Congress to jeer a Supreme Court decision, while the Justices were seated politely before him surrounded by hundreds Congressmen? To call upon the Congress to countermand (somehow) by statute a constitutional decision, indeed a decision applying the First Amendment? What can this possibly accomplish besides alienating Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion being attacked. Contrary to what we heard during the last administration, the Court may certainly be the object of presidential criticism without posing any threat to its independence. But this was a truly shocking lack of decorum and disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order. A new tone indeed.
I’ve read all the arguments in favor of the decision and dissenting from the decision, and again it comes down to this central question: What is an economy? More precisely, are businesses people? If they are not, then I could begin to see the logic: How dare that Supreme Court allow those green-headed monsters to have an influence on our elections! But if they are…
If they are, then this is the very appearance of fascism, is it not? You just take anyone from among the citizenry who might object to your new proposals, and define them out of existence. That’s how it works right?
President Obama, like any energized, extremist liberal, seems to come from that other planet on which businesses are food, not people. They have nothing to do with this thing we call “the economy” other than feeding it by making occasional random decisions about hiring & firing.
No wait — if that were the case, you’d have to acknowledge the business’ welfare is linked to the welfare of the rest of us. So it must be something like the businesses hurt the economy by laying people off. For fun or something.
Whatever. The facts are not on the President’s side on this one:
Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, “open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”
The president’s statement is false.
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making “a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election” under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any “expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication… .”
This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demogoguery of the worst kind.
Well, I live on Earth. Over here, businesses are people. They are people who will be filing income taxes at the end of the year, because they are required to file them…and they are organizing under a charter recognized by the governments of the nation and the states, for the purpose of making that money on which they’ll be paying the taxes. “Tax the businesses” just means taxing a whole lot more.
And no, Mr. President, the “status quo” is not “investing less in our people” — unless, by investing less in our people, you mean continuing to tax the businesses on their production of wealth that is going to be taxed on an individual basis later. If this double-taxation is what You meant by this remark, You were right, but that would involve seeing businesses as people. I’ve got a pretty good idea of where you stand on that question, so I have a feeling that is not what You meant.
Because now that You’ve had the opportunity to give hundreds and hundreds of speeches to get Your point across, with the Obama-Speech-Bingo phrase “Let Me Be Clear” always sprinkled generously throughout — You are, at least somewhat, clear. You, obviously, come from that other planet. Where it is not altogether certain what exactly an “economy” is, and I guess nobody really cares. But you all gather every night around the Na’vi Hometree and tell spooky stories about scary alien monsters that are “corporate special interests” that have to be taxed “to pay their fair share,” but shouldn’t be allowed to say anything about the policies of the government that sees such nobility in multiple-taxing them…
…and then putting together one commission after another to try to figure out why “The Economy” isn’t taking off.
Photoshop credit once again goes to Gerard.
This amazing widget will go out and read your tweets, your twits, your Facebook wall, your blog, your LinkedIn contacts, and generally all of your pathetic attempts to get someone’s attention out there in cyberspace.
One issue I have with it: It appears to be entirely random. Either that, or it has a filtering process or two that could use some tweaking.
Blogger friend Buck found out he’s dumber than a stump…when he went by “Buck,” but when he entered his Christian name instead suddenly he was a freakin’ rocket scientist. My results were similar: Morgan K Freeberg uses emot-icons to the point of irritation, possesses average intelligence at best, is weepy, whiny, and something of a neurotic drama-queen flibbertigibbet. Morgan Freeberg, on the other hand, is a polar opposite, a stoic blogger of Viking descent, well-known only within a smaller community, does very little to engage in any kind of outreach, and possesses all kinds of smarts.
No, I didn’t save screen prints. I didn’t enter the same name twice to check out the “random number” theory. It didn’t pique my curiosity that much. I decided to just blog about it instead.
With a grateful hat tip to The Smallest Minority.
No, I won’t produce a new Obama Speech Bingo card. It’s adequate as it is now…although I have another list, some 52 items long and growing. I’ll just sit through the speech and put in some updates to it. He really does like His buzzwords, doesn’t He? For too long…we haven’t always done what’s right…let me be clear…crisis…journey…around their kitchen tables…on and on it goes.
In the coming decades, “Obama/Biden” is going to have a meaning all its own. Envision this: Your company’s entire division is called in for a mandatory meeting because a new executive has just been put in charge. He spends two hours plying you with buzzwords that don’t mean a goddamn thing. While filing down the hallways to go get some work done, you’re asked your opinion and you say “The guy seems to me like a real Obama/Biden,” meaning his whole way of doing things has to do with giving stale, recycled speeches and not really knowing or caring much about the business.
It’s set in already. You have to admit it: If, today, you asked a co-worker what he thought of a new boss, and he chose to give you that answer, there’d be no uncertainty about what he was trying to say. None.
And we got here by means of classic Valley-Girl/Dumbass-Jock thinking straight out of high school. You know what I mean: If anyone is engaged in something you don’t understand, it must mean it’s the other guy who’s stupid, because he’s a “nerd,” not much fun to watch, and nobody ever lets him join in any reindeer games. Whoever has “charisma,” gives off that “vibe” — that must be the smarty-pants. Fifteen months ago we bought into that, and now we have to listen to the soul-sucking, energy-sucking, time-sucking boss throw his bromides at us four times or more every week.
“Obama/Biden” is an anagram of “An Idea Bomb.”
Tom Schaller at 538 does some grumbling:
Progressives must win repeatedly and at every stage, whereas those opposed to change typically need to win but once, at any stage…
Consider, for example, that Republican George W. Bush was able to push not one but three far-from-popular income tax cuts through a Congress boasting smaller Republican majorities than those the Democrats enjoy today. Thanks to the Republican voting tendencies of smaller states, the GOP’s Senate majority at the time represented fewer Americans nationally than did the Democratic minorities.
What this and other juxtapositions tell us is that a supermajority is needed to govern from the center-left, whereas a simple majority or even a minority is capable of governing from the center-right.
Naturally, I have a different take on it.
“Progressive” is a buzz word for liberalism, and when liberalism is cloaked behind the P-word it is bait and switch. You act like you’re going to restore power, wealth or both to the “Middle Class” — middle class being an imprecise term that generally refers to the income and property bracket of the person who is listening to you.
As soon as you build up a self-delusional groundswell of populist support, you do this hairpin turn and start parceling out the power and wealth to your friends. Leaving the middle class to twist in the wind. Consider the health care debacle we just saw. Choose your doctor. Keep your health care plan. “Public option.” Provide coverage to the uninsured. Cut the deficit in the process.
It all turned out to be a big ol’ crock. At the end, it was really all about power and control. In the last three or four months, hardly anybody was talking about improving services or making them more available, it was all about winning, winning, winning. Make things the way “we” want them to be. Lock it in so it can’t ever be undone.
The American People love freedom. Kinda-sorta. Enough that when someone is taking their options away, they can smell that one a mile off. And you’ll notice, this is usually the point of abandonment — when the progressive says “Oh by the way, once you go in on my plan, I’ve put some safeguards in so you can never, ever, ever change your mind. For your own good.” That’s when the American hops off the trolley.
A man who identified himself as Winston Steward, 51, of Frazier Park, Calif., says he made up the name “Ellie Light” to protect himself from criticism and possible physical attacks, and used fake addresses across the country to get local newspapers to publish his letters.
“I am Winston Steward and have been sending the letters from Ellie Light,” he told The Plain Dealer in an e-mail late Tuesday, following a phone interview in which he said the same. “I hope this ends any confusion and sets the record straight.”
His e-mail address matched the address of the Ellie Light missives that were sent to newspapers to praise Obama and urged second-guessers to be patient as the president advances the Democratic agenda. The person identified as Ellie Light had been corresponding from that e-mail address to The Plain Dealer since last week, when the newspaper’s Web site, cleveland.com, disclosed that someone using the name Ellie Light was duping newspapers nationwide.
Many newspapers will not publish letters to the editor unless they are from local residents, so the correspondence from “Light” used addresses from newspapers’ own circulation areas. But news of Light’s tactics left multiple newspapers embarrassed, with some apologizing to their readers.
The story took several twists this week, as The Plain Dealer and “Ellie Light” spoke first through e-mail and later via phone. At one point Tuesday, the person who had been using the name acknowledged it was fake — but then said her real name was Barbara Brooks. The person spoke in a husky voice that could pass for either gender.
But public records, including those of marriages, property and professional licenses in California and Texas, and phone interviews eventually led to the identity of Steward. Those interviews included several with a woman in Texas who said she is the real Barbara Brooks — records appear to confirm this — and that she is married to Steward, who for now lives in their other home in California but plans to join her in their home near San Antonio.
The woman said her husband was using her name because he was afraid he might be attacked by “right-wing crazies up in Bakersfield,” about 40 miles from their home in a mountain community.
Late Tuesday, after several denials, the person who had been e-mailing under the name “Ellie Light” said he’d finally set the record straight. He said he was, in fact, Winston Steward. He repeated that in an e-mail, using the same account as he had when using the name “Ellie Light.”
He said, however, that he and Brooks are no longer married, a point Brooks disputed.
“He’s making up all kinds of garbage,” she said. “We’re not divorced. We’re not separated. He just doesn’t want anybody to trace him because he’s afraid of the right-wing crazies up in Bakersfield.”
Telling the rest of us who’s-who and what’s-what, as far as where our faith should be placed…on important and intimate staples, such as our health care…check.
Proving to be manifestly untrustworthy on such rudimentary matters as identity and place of residence…check.
Acting like his opinions are the opinions of zillions of others, when in fact it is not the case…check.
When caught, blaming it all on the right-wingers…check.
Yep. The guy’s a liberal alright.
Some images and language NSFW.
With a grateful hat tip to Buck, and no I didn’t see anything like that. Commute must be too short.