Archive for March, 2010

“Holding Back Job Growth? Workers’ Awesome Output”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Yet another sign that we’re becoming communists-in-all-but-name. The workers. The companies. The overworked workers, the bad evil companies.

Productivity is up, but the workers are working too hard. There’s no payroll increase because the workers are working like frightened idiots.

It seems it’s never time to breathe that sigh of relief. It’s always a disaster.

A strong March job-growth number — at a time when the economy is growing at only a middling pace — would suggest that the productivity boom has largely run its course. Regardless, the question of what caused the burst in workers’ efficiency is one of the great unanswered questions of the expansion and has huge stakes for the economy over the coming year.

“It is an episode that we’re going to — we, economists in general — are going to want to understand better and look at for a long time,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at a hearing last week in which he described the productivity gains as “extraordinary” and acknowledged he had not foreseen them.

Businesses have certainly not been investing in new equipment that might enable workers to be more efficient — capital expenditures plummeted during the recession and are rebounding slowly. And the structural shifts occurring in the economy are so profound that one would expect productivity to be lower, rather than higher, as people need new training to work in parts of the economy that are growing, such as exports and the clean-energy sector.

So what’s happening? As best as anyone can guess, the crisis that began in 2007 and deepened in 2008 caused both businesses and workers to panic. Companies cut even more staff than the decrease in demand for their products would warrant. They were hoarding cash, fearful that they wouldn’t have access to capital down the road.

When demand for their products leveled off in the middle of last year, the companies could have stopped cutting jobs or even hired people back. But they didn’t — payrolls have continued declining.

Instead companies squeezed more work out of remaining employees, accounting for a 3.8 percent boost in worker productivity in 2009, the best in seven years. Which raises the question: Why couldn’t companies have achieved those gains back when the economy was in better shape? The answer to that may lie on the other side of the equation — employees.

Workers were in a panic of their own in 2009. Fearful of losing their jobs, people seem to have become more willing to stretch themselves to the limit to get more done in any given hour of work. And they have been tolerant of furloughs and cutbacks in hours, which in better times would drive them to find a new employer. This has given companies the leeway to cut back without the fear of losing valuable employees for good.

Leftism, the Religion

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Dennis Prager:

Leftism, though secular, must be understood as a religion. The Leftist value system’s hold on its adherents is as strong as the hold Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have on theirs. Nancy Pelosi’s belief in expanding the government’s role in American life, which inspired her passion for the health-care bill, is as strong as a pro-life Christian’s belief in the sanctity of the life of the unborn.

Given the religious nature and the emotional power of Leftist values, Jews and Christians on the Left often derive their values from the Left more than from their religion.

Now, most Leftist Jews and Christians will counter that Leftist values cannot trump their religion’s values because Leftist values are identical to their religion’s. But this argument only reinforces my argument that Leftism has conquered the Christianity and the Judaism of Leftist Christians and Jews. If there is no difference between Leftist moral values and those of Judaism or Christianity, then Christianity is little more than Leftism with “Jesus” rhetoric and Judaism is Leftism with Jewish terms — such as “Tikkun Olam” (“repairing the world”) and “Prophetic values.”

But if Christianity is, morally speaking, really Leftism, why didn’t Catholics and Protestants assert these values before 19th century European Leftism came along? And, if Judaism is essentially a set of Left-wing values, does that mean that the Torah and the Talmud are Leftist documents? Or are the two pillars of Judaism generally wrong?

More questions:

Why are almost no Christians and Jews who believe that God is the author of the Bible on the Left?

Why are so few pro-life Catholics and Protestants on the Left? Do they not care about the poor?

Of course, that is what people on the Left believe. As the former head of the Democratic party, Howard Dean, said, “In contradistinction to the Republicans, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”

They believe such things despite the fact that traditional Protestants and Catholics have created more institutions to take care of the sick and needy than probably any other group in the world, and despite the fact that religious Americans give more charity and volunteer more time than secular Americans do.

And why have the great majority of Orthodox Jews rejected the Left? For Jews on the Left, the explanation is simple: Orthodox Jews have primitive beliefs and, therefore, primitive values.

For the Leftist, all opposition to the Left, secular or religious, is primitive and usually worse. So this doesn’t tell us much. What might tell us much? This: With a handful of exceptions, Orthodox Jews know Judaism far better than non-Orthodox Jews do. Given how few of them are Leftist, this would suggest that Judaism and Leftism are indeed in conflict.

But that doesn’t matter to most Jews on the Left, because to be a good person, one need not know Judaism, let alone follow Judaism. One needs only to feel what is right; and, when in doubt, one can determine what is right from the New York Times, not from sacred Jewish texts.

Where the analogy breaks down is here: I’ve met quite a few folks practicing different religions, who were ready, willing and able to believe right down to the marrow of their bones, that whoever was not a member of their creed might be just as decent a person.

That’s just not true of what Prager sees as “Leftism.”

I wrote previously that leftists seem to be driven by an instinct honed by thousands of years of behavioral molding and shaping that comes from living in villages — and sending out, throughout the village, the message that if & when the famine comes, ostracize someone else but Not Me. So much of the time, when you argue with a leftist, it all seems to spiral inward back to the black-hole argument that the leftist is a wonderful person and you’re just a big stinker. Nevermind how distant from this the original topic is. It all just keeps going back to that. My theory is that the village-ostracism-during-famine ritual, by determining which instincts are to be evolved, refined, and carried forward, is what powers that.

I used to think it was just my experience; I am something of a big stinker, after all. Now that it’s a more modern world more intimately connected with itself, I realize many others are having this experience as well. Liberals cannot and will not stick to the subject at hand. They just feel this is the right thing to do — and you don’t. They’re compassionate and you’re not.

This is the real reason why you can’t argue politics at work, folks. This is the real reason why we are so damned contentious. The truth that nobody seems to want to admit, is that it’s the liberals making it that way. Once you define yourself as being morally superior to your opposition, it isn’t enough to make the point, strut like a peacock, “agree-to-disagree” and walk away. That creates a situation of silence-equals-consent. It becomes a moral imperative to do something to destroy your opponent, to stir up the crowd against him. To get the message out that the ostracism needs to take place and that time is of the essence.

Start the cannibalism right now, what’s the point of waiting until we’re hungry?

Defending Ann Coulter

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

No transcripts or other remarks, I’ll just embed the two clips. And then echo what Noel Sheppard asked at Newsbusters: “This is what passes for journalism today?”

Modern western civilization is represented poorly by exhibits such as these; they are almost slanderous. If I were a caveman thawed from a block of ice, or an alien visiting our planet for the first time…or perhaps an angel or deity walking on Creation trying to get a feel for the human condition…I would be abysmally unimpressed with our intellect, and our willingness to feed it. I would find our curiosity underwhelming; damnably so. My take-away would be “they fill a big room, pretend to learn things, and make a big show out of attacking others they want to attack, while learning nothing. And then they cherry-pick sound bites out of the experience, broadcast it and call it ‘news.’”

In short, my one-line summary would be that we look for an emotional high out of every little experience, like a druggie feeding his habit. We learn nothing, we know we learn nothing, and we don’t care. It’s all for the high.

Conservative…liberal…whatever. It’s past high time we all got embarrassed about this. Maybe we watch too much reality-teevee.

Hat tip to Rick.

“Barack the Good”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Interesting editorial by Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal; could be useful for those still trying to figure out who this guy is who claims to be our President.

It argues that the hardcore extremist liberal stuff is an effect more than a cause.

A historic figure making history, this is emerging as an over-arching theme—if not obsession—in the Obama presidency. In Iowa, a day after signing health care into law, he put himself into competition with history. If history shapes men, “We still have the power to shape history.” But this adds up to one thing: He is likely to be the most liberal president in American history. And, oddly, he may be a more effective liberal precisely because his liberalism is something he uses more than he believes in. As the far left constantly reminds us, he is not really a true believer. Rather liberalism is his ticket to grandiosity and to historical significance.

Of the two great societal goals—freedom and “the good”—freedom requires a conservatism, a discipline of principles over the good, limited government, and so on. No way to grandiosity here. But today’s liberalism is focused on “the good” more than on freedom. And ideas of “the good” are often a license to transgress democratic principles in order to reach social justice or to achieve more equality or to lessen suffering. The great political advantage of modern liberalism is its offer of license on the one hand and moral innocence—if not superiority—on the other. Liberalism lets you force people to buy health insurance and feel morally superior as you do it. Power and innocence at the same time.

I’ve heard it said that reporters fall under this spell too. They don’t get out of bed every morning wondering what the most left-wing pablum is that they can manage to regurgitate today; instead, they graduate from journalism school wanting “to change the world for the better.”

Well, okay then. Because of Obama’s crusade, and His inability to say no — the job goes to Sarah if she wants it. Even if you like this Be-A-Liberal-So-I-Can-Be-A-Somebody stuff, it quickly reaches a saturation point.

Especially when it costs real money.

There comes a point where you hafta get off the ride. That’s hafta, not wanna.

“Motherhood” Seen by Just One Person on Opening Day

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Telegraph.co.uk. Their headline is not quite accurate…but the difference is really just a technicality if you’re one of the producers:

Over its opening weekend at the beginning of March, only around a dozen people went to see Motherhood, a semi-autobiographical account of parenting in New York written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann.

The film took just £88 at the British box office on its opening weekend.

On its debut Sunday, takings at the box office were just £9 – the price of a ticket for one person.

Only one British cinema was given permission to launch the film earlier this month, with the film’s producers hoping that exclusivity would generate a buzz and lead to box office success by word of mouth.

Instead, cinema goers stayed away from the Apollo West End in record numbers in a move that will be embarrassing for Thurman, the star of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill who divides her time between London and New York.

And then — it gets funny. If you’re not one of the producers.

The spectacular failure of the film to find an audience has resulted in a row between producers and Metrodome, the company responsible for marketing the film in the UK.

When Jana Edelbaum, one of the producers, was told how badly it had fared at the British box office, she said: “You’re kidding? We must have broken a new record for grosses.”

But she defended the film, insisting that Metrodome was to blame and that she would demand a full explanation.

She said: “Think how much crap succeeds at the cinema. Motherhood is not bad. I’ve seen movies that are not half as good.”

Then it gets hilarious.

If you’re not one of the producers.

Barry Norman, the film critic, said: “I have never heard of anything like this before. This is not some small, independent movie.

“It’s astonishing that only about 11 people could be bothered to go and see Uma Thurman.

“The reviews were very poor indeed, but that alone isn’t enough to explain this. It’s a reasonable assumption that there was a marketing and advertising catastrophe, and people didn’t know it was showing.

“But Apollo cinemas aren’t in tucked-away places. They’re all prominently located.”

Gawd, this tickles my funnybone. I don’t know why. I think it’s the mindset…somehow, putting out a decent, watchable movie is just out of the question.

The reviews are in, and it’s a turd. But dammit, that still doesn’t explain why more people didn’t come to see our crap! It’s not like we stuck it out of the way or anything, it was right there in plain sight. What’s going on with the world? It’s getting to the point where if you leave a log on the sidewalk baking in the sun, people won’t chow down on it anymore.

What the hell is the matter with our marketing wing? I remember the days when people would come running for a nice piece of scat, spoons in hand!

Via Gerard.

Most Say Health Care Bill Too Costly

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

USA Today:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.

Supporters “are not only going to have to focus on implementing this kind of major reform,” says Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard. “They’re going to have to spend substantial time convincing people of the concrete benefits of this legislation.”

The risk for them is that continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.

Two thirds? Gee…that’s big, or something, right? A two-thirds vote in Congress can override a Presidential veto. Two thirds of Americans, I was told, think Sarah Palin is unqualified to be President. Two thirds gets into that level where, if you’re part of the remaining third, you should just shut up. That seems to be the opinion of some on the Palin question. Wonder if it applies here.

Actually, if two-thirds somehow doesn’t impress you — how about we got a little bit higher still?

Tucked away inside a new Washington Post/ABC News poll is a key figure — 72 percent. That’s the percentage of voters who disapprove of the job Congress is doing, and the number hasn’t been that high since — you guessed it — the week before the 1994 election.

The Cornhuser Kickback and Gator-aid — two controversial provisions in the healthcare bill — are a couple of attractively named and accessible reasons why people don’t like how Congress operates. And at no point in the last 16 years has that picture been so clear to voters.

Republicans are by no means immune to the dirty politics that permeate Washington. Democrats, though, have brought it to a whole new level. Pelosi promised Americans the most ethical Congress ever — and instead, we got corruption, cronyism, thuggery, bribery, and secrets. Obama promised Americans hope and change — and instead, we got Chicago style corrupt politics as usual. Ethics? Transparency? Yeah, right. It’s no wonder that Americans are furious.

And then, Democrats hypothetically spat in the faces of their constituents, passing a takeover of the American health care system against our will.

Barack Obama’s one accomplishment.

It’s so bad, Janet Napolitano would say it’s perfect.

Update: But don’t oppose it or else you’re a racist.

The Girlie Men

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Richard Fernandez writes in Pajamas Media, The Belmont Club:

A study described by the Wall Street Journal concludes that women from “healthy countries” don’t like he-men. Respondents, mainly white women in “Argentina, Sweden, Russia, Australia and the United States,” were presented with pairs of photos each representing the same man. But in one the image had been subtly altered to create a more “feminine” appearance. The authors say that in countries with an efficient health care system the women tended to choose the feminine-looking image.

The faces, it turned out, looked eerily alike and yet subtly different, like identical twins. They were created by software that masculinizes or feminizes a person’s features in a few keystrokes. Only by examining the faces closely could one discern that the man on the left, say, had slightly rounder eyes and a narrower jaw than the one on the right. Some of the faces had slightly thinner lips than their doppelgängers, or wider-set eyes, or thicker archless brows. It took most women fewer than 10 minutes to click through the 20 pairs of male faces and select which ones they found hunkiest.

Wimpy KidAfter crunching the data—including the women’s facial preferences, their country of origin and that country’s national health index—the Face Lab researchers proved something remarkable. They could predict how masculine a woman likes her men based on her nation’s World Health Organization statistics for mortality rates, life expectancy and the impact of communicable disease. In countries where poor health is particularly a threat to survival, women leaned toward “manlier” men. That is, they preferred their males to have shorter, broader faces and stronger eyebrows, cheekbones and jaw lines. The researchers went on to publish the study in this month’s issue of the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences.

The authors argued from principles of evolutionary psychology that women from countries with bad medical systems selected men from a tougher genetic pool because they wanted their offspring to survive. Since a good proxy for tough genes turns out to be testosterone, they picked out Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. But testosterone also creates problems: men who are “uncooperative, unsympathetic, philandering, aggressive and disinterested in parenting”. They are men who might balk at sitting down when using the toilet. What to do about testosterone?

The link is testosterone, the hormone behind manly muscles, strong jaws, prominent eyebrow ridges, facial hair and deep voices. Testosterone is immunosuppressive. This means a man must be healthy and in good condition to withstand its effects on his development. Testosterone is also linked to other traits related to strength: fitness, fertility and dominance. From an evolutionary perspective, masculinity is basically man’s way of advertising good genes, dominance and likelihood to father healthier kids. When disease is a real threat, as it had been—and arguably still is—heritable health is invaluable.

The answer is apparently for women to ditch it as soon as it is safe to do so. Hence the preference for feminine looking men in women from countries with medical provision. The reason American society is so full of atavistic knuckle-draggers is because its health care (until recently) was so primitive. Now that Obamacare has been passed the United States has every prospect of truly joining “Western civilized societies”. They are leaving the dark ages of Gary Cooper and John Wayne and entering the bright sunlit uplands of Mr. Sensitivo.

And where does the U.S. stand in the masculinity ranking? The answer is fifth out of the 30 countries in the study, one of the highest. This is, after all, the home of James Dean and Clint Eastwood. And where does America stand in the health index ranking? Twentieth of 30 countries, one of the least healthy.

With Obamacare passed it’s time to blow-dry your hair and apply that subtle cologne. But there’s a price. Taken to its limit this theory explains the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire: when a society becomes richer and more stable the he-men go out of fashion. The fops rule the roost. The girlie-men get the all girls. And so it goes until the barbarians arrive at the City Gates. Then overnight he-men are back in demand. But by then the race of two fisted men are extinct and the women are ravished by he-men of a different sort. The kind who rape, pillage, burn and torture. Ultimately they burn all the books, put women under heavy veils and go back to the economy of raising goats. So the evolutionary psychology also explains the Dark Ages.

Somewhere in my archives, there’s a passage in which I pulled some stagnant speculation about mankind’s development squarely out of my ass…but I suppose you could call it a crude form of “science” because I stumbled on this trying to find an explanation for something, and it seems nothing else really explains it.

I think, throughout mankind’s existence, we have spent thousands of years being lured back into collectivist living units; evolution has not succeeded in showing us what a failed experiment it is. Food gets scarce, the village needs to make a decision about who is to be ostracized. And so an instinct develops, and is refined to a competent art among those lucky enough to survive the famine. The instinct of “In scarcity, ostracize that guy, over there…not me.”

Some family units did not live in villages; and it seems they survived, and evolved, as well. Now, think about this. Two leopard-skin-covered cave ladies; one lives with her man and her whelps, the other lives in a village. Both of them are mothers to ancestors of people alive today. But the village lady does not see her man much of the time. She couldn’t, could she? The men would be off — together — trying to lay a trap for a boar like those skinny guys in the first few minutes of Apocalypto. The women would hang out together, raising their children together. Minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, the “home” stuff that requires male brawn would be handled by some village resource. A buff warrior left behind for such purposes, perhaps. Not by her dude. Something centralized.

The result would be two evolving, surviving, occasionally competing mindsets. One — “If it requires male intuition or brawn, it will be resolved by some resource inside my home.” Two — “the village will provide someone or something that is not part of my home.”

The point? I think the ladies are fighting this internal battle with greater conflict, and more zeal and more gusto on both sides, than the gentlemen are. If you’re one of the “healthy” girls picking these wimpy guys in the experiment, you’re not trying to make a political statement or anything — you’re just doing what comes naturally. Truly vexing problems are not to be solved by anyone or anything from your “cave.” The village will provide. And this has a bearing on what exactly it is that you’re choosing…which is something…pretty. An accessory, one visually uplifting. Like macrame.

Of course, macrame is disposable. To the best I can determine, the divorce rates in these countries-of-origin, were not discussed. And the bias I perceive in the research staff, based on the nuggets I have read, suggest that they will not be.

No man who’s been through any significant experience will need too much edification on what I’m going on about; it becomes quickly evident that all ladies are not looking for the same things when they pursue (or allow themselves to be pursued by) men. And it isn’t too hard to figure out which variety you’re courting. Just start growing a beard, see what she has to say about it. Some women want men to do things women cannot do; others are offended by this. They hide behind trivial things like “it scratches!” But generally, a lady who recoils from one masculine trait, will recoil from all of the others.

And households can be masculine in nature. A household that is constructed around a dictum of taking care of its own stuff, not relying on the village alms, is masculine in nature. A lot of people don’t like that, it seems.

The Top Ten Women Men Should Avoid Dating

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Wow, #5 really spoke to me.

The angry and bitter

Everything and everyone pisses her off. She is in a constant state of anger and impatience with the world and if [you] try to help her see past it, she will attack you.

All she wants to do is bitch and complain, and she rarely, if ever, sees the good in people or situations. If she’s this bitter and angry with the world, imagine how pissed off she’ll be with you the moment you forget to take the garbage out?

Take her out to a nice casual place for lunch, boys; someplace just nice enough to have a waiter who gets everything for you. Let her do all the talking and take note of how she treats him. There are some “ladies” out there who will make it a point of browbeating the poor bastard into gelatinous goo on the floor, and if he isn’t heaving a sigh of relief as the two of you walk out the door, she considers her job undone.

About face and run. Screaming. Arms flailing over head, into the night, never to be seen again.

smg45acp made a great point about a possible eleventh:

Heavily in debt.

If she is tens of thousands of dollars in debt, run, don’t walk away.
This will not stop after marriage.
You think you can help her and that she has learned her lesson.
Yes, she has learned a lesson. That lesson is spend money like crazy and stupid, dumb-ass you will bail her ass out.
This is often the sign of a deeper emotional problem.

Ouch. That actually hurt.

First time ’round I fell for everything; second time I was much more cynical, but failed to practice the “run away” part. Possibly because of divine intervention, but the lesson stands:

There are things in our ecosystem that should have a “don’t touch” sign placed alongside. Or “be careful.” “Do not tap on glass.” There are other things that are more appropriate for a “Back the fuck off and don’t come back” sign…or…”If you can read this sign you must have a death wish.” These two classes of sign — they are not the same. One is not a substitute for the other.

They Know They’re Better Than We Are

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I don’t think Sean Penn is kooky; I just think he likes Communists. When I say that, small-tee tim the godless heathen says I lost him right there. Alright, I’ll explain: “Kooky” is a write-off. Kooky means nuts. It means eating your own feces. It implies randomness. Noticing someone is kooky, is an implied directive that we shouldn’t pay too much attention to what it is they are saying.

In my opinion, Sean Penn’s ability to absorb genuine knowledge about these subjects that fascinate him, has been put to some legitimate question and he is an exceptionally dangerous man. This is not to say he can impose danger all by his lonesome. It is an observation that there is a great multitude of people who think like him, and this multitude can shape and direct events for the worse.

Their predilections are not random. They love thugs. “Thug” meaning — not just some guy who’s in charge of things, but a dictator determined to keep the proles in line. Power-to-the-people…but only a phony, cosmetic power, nothing real. George W. Bush trying to privatize Social Security, that is not their kind of “thug.” They like Hugo Chavez, who unilaterally decides what time zone his country is going to be in.

By sheer coincidence, Neo-Neocon was noticing this about our “intellectuals” the very same day.

The stupidity of supposedly smart men can be simply stunning. And that stupidity is not random; it tends to almost always go in the same direction, that of failing to understand the workings of the totalitarian and tyrannical mindset.

I think I have found a window into the world in which these egotists live. And that window’s name is James Lovelock, who is worried about climate change but convinced the human genome is too stupid to do anything about it.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

“Evolved” is a peculiar description, in my opinion. If you follow the link you’ll find a picture of a gentleman who is ostensibly the speaker Lovelock. He looks grouchy and ill-tempered enough, but just as human as the rest of us.

But I’m going to go way out on a limb here — since this is the primary focus of what I’m writing about, now — and speculate. Somehow, something in my gut tells me Lovelock is not including himself in his comments. I’m double-checking the picture, he still looks human. A bright fellow like him must understand if there is a limit to how much you and I have evolved, it must apply to him as well. But I think not. I think the bright fellow has been told a few times too many, over his ninety years, what a bright fellow he is. And now there can be limits to my evolution, and to yours, but not to his. He’s not really human, in his own mind.

And this is the key. If we all get what Lovelock wants, and we suspend our democracy so we can fight climate change…something tells me, in Lovelock’s vision, Lovelock will still be allowed to say things. The rest of us will be put under martial law, and while border guards are demanding to see our papers, Lovelock can simply clear his throat and all the soldiers will drop their guns and clipboards, look up from their checkpoints, and find out what the esteemed thinker has to say.

He’ll then drone on about this thing over here was indeed part of his plan, this other thing over there was not. And that third thing, he’s still chewing on it, he’ll letcha know. The jack-booted statists will duly note all this and then go back to breaking into our doors and vanishing us in the middle of the night.

That is why I think Sean Penn is dangerous. That is why I think NN has been noticing what she’s been notcing about the intellectuals. This is not intelligence; it is lack of maturity. These people have tried out freedom, they’ve tried out real power going to the little people, and you know what? They don’t like it.

They’ve figured out it’s harder for them to be special that way.

They want a social stratification to take effect. They want a terracing of the human landscape. They want compartmentalization. They want an aristocracy, so that they can be part of it.

I doubt Mr. Penn is really all that ignorant about how people in Venezuela are treated. I think he knows. But he doesn’t envision himself living “down there” in his buddy Hugo’s country. Sean Penn would get the health care that is every bit as good as Hugo Chavez says it is…and he knows full well that this isn’t true of everyone living there.

I think that’s the point.

That’s why the “stupidity is not random.” It isn’t stupidity. It is weariness. It is the fatigue that comes from living down in the swamp, with the rest of the riff-raff.

When they know well they’re more evolved. It just isn’t right, you know.

An Open Letter to Sean Penn

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Hollywood’s adoration of communist dictators has always baffled me. The to-the-last-man saturation of it. What do communist thugs have to do with movie-making anyhow.

And so Sean Penn’s remark was of particular interest; and no, I don’t think he’s “kooky,” I think he just likes communists. As does most of Hollywood.

I wonder how Sean Penn would feel about reinstating the Hays Code. Maybe the rest of the country can work out a deal with him. A weekend in the pokey for anybody who calls the communist dictator a communist dictator…and if any movie ever glorifies crime, or depraved behavior, or violence against women and children, or showers us with yet more good-guys-kinda-bad or bad-guys-kinda-good…or contains any of the other things I don’t want to see in movies ever again…it gets shuttered up tight deep in a warehouse somewhere, forgotten, before it makes a single dime.

Yeah, that’s my open letter. How ’bout it Mr. Penn?

The Clyburn Files

Monday, March 29th, 2010

If you agree with James Clyburn about anything at all, that makes you a racist.

Our nation’s very latest spectacle in shut-uppery.

White Men Leaving the democrat Party

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Times/Union:

Millions of white men who voted for Barack Obama are walking away from the Democratic Party, and it appears increasingly likely that they’ll take the midterms elections in November with them. Their departure could well lead to a GOP landslide on a scale not seen since 1994.

For more than three decades before the 2008 election, no Democratic president had won a majority of the electorate. In part, that was because of low support — never more than 38 percent — among white male voters. Things changed with Obama, who not only won a majority of all people voting, but also pulled in 41 percent of white male voters.

Polling suggests that the shift was not because of Obama but because of the financial meltdown that preceded the election. It was only after the economic collapse that Obama’s white male support climbed above the 38 percent ceiling. It was also at that point that Obama first sustained a clear majority among all registered voters, according to the Gallup tracking poll.
:
Today, among whites, only 35 percent of men and 43 percent of women say they will back Democrats in the fall election. Women’s preferences have remained steady since July 2009. But white men’s support for a Democratic Congress has fallen eight percentage points, according to Gallup.

In 2008 it was “Vote for Barack Obama or we’re going to call you a bunch of dirty rotten creepy racists.” In 2010 it’s “Barack Obama is still in trouble so we’re going to call you a bunch of dirty rotten creepy racists.”

These guys aren’t showing racism, progressivism, intelligence or stupidity. They’re just demonstrating a working long-term memory.

Maybe when our elections go back to being about the candidates, rather than about the inner decency or lack thereof within the people voting for the candidates — we’ll get a decent President.

NHS is Deflating

Monday, March 29th, 2010

How’s that socialized health care system workin’ out for ya?

Hospital wards to shut in secret NHS cuts

Tens of thousands of NHS workers would be sacked, hospital units closed and patients denied treatments under secret plans for £20 billion of health cuts.

The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped.

The plans have emerged as health chiefs draw up emergency budgets that cast doubt on pledges by Gordon Brown to protect “front line services” in the NHS.

Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country.

The proposals could lead to:

* 10 per cent of NHS staff being sacked in some areas.
* The loss of thousands of hospital beds.
* A reduction in the number of ambulance call-outs.
* Medical professionals being replaced by less qualified assistants.

The consistent theme permeating throughout all of the promised benefits of ObamaCare, has something to do with getting-more-for-less.

Has it been modeled on any ingredient that was successful in delivering such a thing?

Faking the Hate

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Michelle Malkin is sizing up the situation and it isn’t pretty.

At best, the fakers are desperately seeking 15 minutes of infamy. At worst, their aim is the criminalization of political dissent.

Upon decimating the deliberative process to hand President Obama a health-care “reform” victory, unpopular Beltway Democrats and their media water-carriers now claim there’s a tea-party epidemic of racism, harassment, and violence against them.
:
Yet, the claims that tea-party activists shouted “nigger” at black House Democrats remain uncorroborated. The coffin reportedly left outside Missouri Democratic congressman Russ Carnahan’s home was used in a prayer vigil by pro-life activists in St. Louis who were protesting the phony Demcare abortion-funding ban in Obama’s deal-cutting executive order. Videotape of a supposed intentional-spitting incident targeting Missouri Democratic congressman Emanuel Cleaver at the Capitol shows no such thing. Cleaver himself backed off the claim a few days later. He described his heckler to the Washington Post in more passive terms as “the man who allowed his saliva to hit my face.” Slovenliness equals terrorism!

The FBI is now investigating the most serious allegation — that tea-party activists in Virginia are somehow responsible for a cut gas line at the home of Democratic representative Tom Perriello’s brother. But instead of waiting for the outcome of that probe, liberal pundits have enshrined the claim as conclusive evidence of the tea-party reign of terror.

This is one of the few places in which the liberal method for managing some aspect of public policy, matches up with the liberal method for winning an election: This unhealthy addiction to a Deus ex Machina ending to every little drama. Everything has to have a trick…a “magic bullet.” Nothing can ever be sweated out.

So of course it’s out of the question to argue the merits of something they want to do. Nope, you have to vote our way because those other guys are wankers. Don’t worry about what’s in our bill. Pass it, and you’ll find out what’s in it.

Update: This (hat tip to Cassy) might be something that didn’t quite show up on your news radar. In fact, I’m pretty sure it didn’t because when I News-Googled the phrase “Sarah Palin death threats” all I got back was pages and pages about Palin inciting the death threats…not receiving them.

It’s interesting how we’re all expected to pay more-or-less attention to the “death threat” issue, depending on who is the target of it.

Terrorists Should Have “No Sanctuary, Anywhere”

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

All those in favor say aye.

Hat tip to Smitty.

“We Report, You Shut Up and Believe Whatever We Tell Ya”

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Extreme right-wing white angriness, or angry whiteness, or something.

Hat tip to blogger friend Phil.

Update: Oopsie, this is not terribly helpful to the evolving meme.

“What’s For Dinner?”

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Woke up from my nap hearing some amplified voice coming from the living room that was strangely filled with an inextricably intertwined smugness. It took a few seconds for me to realize it was a little bit too nasal to be George Clooney, and then when I heard some syllables about The Illuminati I realized it was Tom Hanks.

What's For Dinner?After he and the rest of the crew finished their ritual task of bashing the Catholic Church while pretending they weren’t bashing it, the next thing on the boob tube was a Nora Ephron vehicle about cooking and blogging, of all things. Yes, that’s two liberal puke-fests in a row, but Amy Adams has a pleasing looking face and a finely chiseled little bod. Although I must say: If cooking is your way of unwinding from a shitty day, and every single day is like that…and your idea of cooking is not yogurt and rabbit food stuffed in pita bread…and your daily exercise consists of hoofing it from the subway station…I do not think you’re going to look like Amy Adams.

Anyway, it’s entertaining enough. And the food+blogging theme made me think of Kini Aloha Guy. Who is on a tear lately about socialized medicine and with good reason. I’m surprised to see him taking all sorts of pictures of a building in Hawaii, one whose hallways I’ve walked myself…albeit for an entirely different purpose, thank God.

I’m not sure why he isn’t in the sidebar. He might have fallen off during that disaster from this January. Of course with all those names of his I’m going to have to do some more checking to make sure he’s really missing. Could’ve sworn I put him in, I remember doing it. Oh well. The “What’s For Dinner” photos are hugely entertaining, and enlightening as well. You should make a point of picking them up every day whether I’m referring you there or not.

They Need a Powell Doctrine

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Quite a few years ago the word got out that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell wasn’t quite falling into line with the Bush administration’s decision to go to war, and that among the festering issues was the administration’s failure to fulfill the Powell Doctrine. Victory was not being adequately defined. Our country wasn’t following the “Get In To Get Out” rule. It started out as a legitimate, smoldering concern, and of course in no time at all it erupted into a MoveOnDotOrg talking-point.

The past is prologue. Nowadays it is The Left that is in charge, and every week we’re reminded it is not a moderate Left but something brittle, prickly and uncompromising right out of Haight-Ashbury. It is my humble opinion that they could use a Powell Doctrine. They do not seem to know what victory looks like. Or perhaps, like sharks, they have been designed biologically to always swim forward, incapable of stopping until their existence has come to an end. For all the setbacks they’ve had over the last year and a half, they haven’t encountered any actual defeats. And yet look at all the internal strife, the conflict, all the frustration, the exasperation.

I think the problem is they don’t quite know what it is they’re supposed to do with the rest of us. They’re trying to prove something about themselves, and it seems when they win an election the proving has only just begun. That would be just what’s expected of them, if indeed they were in it for public service. But if they were toiling away for the purpose of serving the public, they wouldn’t have passed the sham of a health care bill they just passed.

I see Frank Rich of the New York Times is still fanning the flames: Whoever doesn’t support ObamaCare must be a racist. Obviously, it’s a cherry-picking exercise — neither side of the political spectrum possesses a monopoly on nasty behavior. But toward what end? They got their Congress, they got their President, they got their health care bill. Still, there is a debate to be “won”; some enemies to be “beaten,” into exactly what level of submission I’m not altogether sure. I don’t think they know, either.

Powell Doctrine time. They seem to have been overrun with dogs-chasing-cars who don’t know what to do when the teeth have wrapped around the chrome of the bumper.

“There still is some racism out there,” I’m told. In any society in which 300 million people retain their God-given right to think whatever thoughts they want to think, I’m sure that is true. I’m not sure how that is relevant — and, again, I’m not sure anyone else knows the answer to that question either. Certainly, it’s one thing to say “there are racists out there” and quite another thing entirely to say that anyone who disagrees with President Obama about anything, must be one.

What makes this cherry-picking, propaganda move ultimately self-defeating is that it dilutes the victories already secured, especially since they were secured in a blatant nose-thumbing against the public’s wishes. If dissenting from the President on the subject of health care is to be stigmatized — automatically — on the same level as classic white-supremacist racism, then the question naturally arises: Out of those few who say they support the democrats’ health care initiatives, how many of them are lacking in any will or any arguments to justify the position, and are simply afraid to take a different, possibly more sensible one?

Stigma does have blowback.

But this is the real damage done to my America in the last few months, and I see it on both sides of the argument. People don’t appear to understand what it is they’re trying to do, when they argue against others and try to “win.” It isn’t uniquely an American problem, either; I see it in those half-wits up at Ottawa University who harangued Ann Coulter out of giving a speech. What is the purpose here? Is the opposition to be muzzled? Or gelded politically? Or neutralized from any ability to recruit others? Stigmatized into oblivion? Vanished in the dark of some terrible night? Put into some re-education camp?

Once you recognize people have the right to think for themselves, you can’t make good on that and then at the same time pursue an agenda of hounding some idea you don’t like into nothingness. These are two mutually-exclusive things.

But perhaps they understand, on some subconscious level, that a complete victory here would ruin them. If one idea is universally recognized as being so stupid that nobody will deign to support it; and its polar opposite is universally recognized as being smart, such that nobody wants to miss out on taking the credit for supporting that; then the eggheads who walk among us have lost yet another method by which they can manifest their smart-ness. It’s not possible for anyone to be a smarty-pants when everybody is one; to have any kind of an elite club, any at all, you’ve got to leave someone out of it.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

“They’re Socialists!”

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

So says Warner Todd Huston. Don’t object to it too quickly, he’s got some heady evidence on his side.

Memo For File CXI

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Steven Colbert says “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” It must be nice living in a two-dimensional universe in which reality can be regarded, and measured beyond all meaningful dispute, with a simple glance. I guess that’s the payoff for anyone with the courage to catalogue all disagreement as mythical, plug his ears and go “la la la” anytime an inconvenient truth comes along.

Colbert is right. Our history is written by the left. It isn’t supposed to be that way; but when humans gather together in something institutionalized, there’s something about us that drives that institution toward the left. It’s true of colleges, legislatures, their research arms, publishing houses, certification boards, newspapers, broadcasting corporations and Hollywood. Damn straight it’s true of historians. For proof, I would nudge the conversation a notch or two closer to where I’m really going with this: Election years and what our historians have to say about them.

The second sentence in the movie Braveheart is profound: “Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes.” Our history is indeed written by our liberals. Think back: In 2008 and 2006, along with 1992, and 1974, Republicans got their asses reamed. How does history record these years? As Republican ass-reamings. How do we recall the years in which the democrats got their asses reamed? There was 2004, 2002, 2000, 1994, 1980 and 1968. These are…”periods of civil unrest.” Turmoil. Confusion. Despair. Chaos, weeping, wailing and the gnashing of teeth.

Well, it must be quite the shot in the nuts to have two political assassinations within months of each other. But reading back on it, I doubt like the dickens this is why 1968 is recalled as a tumultuous year. Not that I’m saying it wasn’t one. But color me skeptical on the idea we’d be recalling 1968 as tempestuous, if the liberals won another round. Yes, as things are, it is an accurate assessment to say ’68 was a wild one. But it’s also a masking-out, a lightning-rod move…an effort to keep another point from seeing the light of day. Yes a couple of assassinations did take place in 1968 — but another thing happened too. We got tired of the democrats screwing everything up and we voted ‘em out.

And we got tired of them, because everything they touched turned to crap. The “race relations,” the war in Vietnam, the failed prosecutions against violent criminals who were determined to do all the raping and killing they could…and, under left-wing stewardship, were allowed to. We got fed up, and that is the real reason 1968 was filled with such “unrest.”

As I write this, it looks pretty certain 2010 and 2012 are going to be tempestuous, tumultuous, chaos-filled years. As history recalls them.

According to our new James Clyburn rule, simple dissent is tantamount to violence — “terrorism, really” — now that his side is in charge.

It strikes me as a circular conversation:

Conservative: This is not a good idea. Let’s just not do it.

Liberal: You’re bad.

Conservative: My ex-wife would agree. But the fact remains, your idea sucks.

Liberal: You’re just an awful person.

Conservative: Maybe, but your idea sucks.

Liberal: You’re terrible. I’m better than you are.

Conservative: You’re just not getting it, your idea really does suck. It’s hurting us. We should stop.

Liberal: Me good. You bad. Me cool. You not.

I got a good taste of this myself this week, when one of my more vocal blogger pals found out to her distress she was in a clear minority, at her own spot as well as at mine — she was offering a virtual high-five to the students of Ottawa who used mob rule to stop Ann Coulter from speaking at their campus. My position on it was, and is, classically American: If you disagree with something, let that thing out, and define your disagreements. Give it a hearing so you can demonstrate it is as ludicrous as you think it is. Who knows, you just might learn something.

I’m not quite so troubled that the university students chose a different path. What I find troubling is that they chose it, and then, to all appearances, still think of themselves as able scholars within an institution of higher learning. Well in my world, you can’t take the finger-in-ears-la-la-la route, and then claim to be “learning.” That’s just me.

Actually, it’s not just me. This was one of those rare occasions on which I happen to be in the majority.

But my dissenting party refused to see the clear logic of that. Instead, she poured vast reserves of energy, time after time, into a regurgitated theme: She disagreed with Ann Coulter, I did not. Coulter and I were like two peas in a pod. This escaped my comment, although not my notice, because it was so irrelevant. Coulter and Freeberg agree. Well, on what? There was no specific point to be inspected or discussed. Coulter, thanks to the “justice” of mob rule, was not allowed to make any! And she never took this thought anywhere. Just kinda…hung it out there. Over and over again. As if showing off for some third-party.

A few more rides around the merry-go-round of “you and Ann Coulter agree,” and I decided this reflex-action had been repeated enough times, to merit a discussion of its very own:

There’s one little bullet here I’ve been dodging that I’d like to address head on. You keep getting back to the subject of “Mark (not actually my name) and Ann Coulter agree on everything.” I would find this merely obsessive, if it had a question mark at the end; when you continue to return to it as a statement of fact, it gets creepy. What is that? Some subconscious tic? It’s off topic. We can’t really discuss any particular thing Ann Coulter actually said (perhaps, if she was allowed to speak, we could).

You know how I read it? I think, throughout mankind’s existence, we have spent thousands of years being lured back into collectivist living units; evolution has not succeeded in showing us what a failed experiment it is. Food gets scarce, the village needs to make a decision about who is to be ostracized. And so an instinct develops, and is refined to a competent art among those lucky enough to survive the famine. The instinct of “In scarcity, ostracize that guy, over there…not me.” I think this is why leftists in general are never quite finished proving how wonderful they are; why their diatribes keep coming back to that point. Why their wonderfulness is always relative to somebody else. Why every time they tackle a problem, their first step is always to identify a villain that made it happen, even if there isn’t one.

And I think this is why you believe it’s relevant that Freeberg and Coulter agree on this, or that, or something, or everything — and nobody else does. You’re saying “shut Freeberg out of the gates, and not me. He won’t join my crusade to shut up Coulter, so he must agree with her…and if you don’t help me shut up Coulter, we’ll shut you out too.” Classic guilt by association stuff. To an American, the irony is rich. In my country, fifty years ago liberalism was supposed to be the answer to something called “McCarthyism.” I don’t think you’re so indecent to practice the guilt-by-association thing on purpose; you are known to me to argue your points honestly, when they are on the winning side. But it’s an interesting and remarkable lesson to take away from this exchange — liberalism is not a solution to McCarthyism. As I pointed out at my place (actually, echoing a point someone else was making) liberalism is rapidly becoming a synonym for classic authoritarianism.

I think this is worth pointing out, not to psychoanalyze the individual in question, but to point to the larger human tendency. It is not a productive one, but it is perhaps the singular human tendency that modern liberalism most capably succeeds in intensifying, magnifying, glorifying: Earning our stature in the community, at the expense of someone else’s. Perhaps George Orwell said it best in that little rhyme toward the end of 1984:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me.
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

That is what it’s all about, I think. One of the big failings of liberalism — and by “big,” I mean this isn’t just a turn-off to dedicated conservatives, I think it creeps out most middle-of-the-road people — is that liberals are very quick to abandon any discussion of whether their programs are effective, ineffective, or possibly damaging. They don’t stick with this analysis very long at all. They’re constantly distracted by something else. And the “something else” is almost always some tantalizing inspection of some ideological opponent’s unworthiness.

Some dissertation on why that fellow should be the next one to be shut out of the village gates, to starve in the savage winter. Him, not me!

Blogger friend Rick has a great run-down on all the shenanigans taking place. All the hubbub about what an awful, angry, violent terrorist-type person you must be if you dare disagree with the democrats and all their schemes. Neal Boortz has a pretty good one as well; he embeds the video you see up top. Rick links to Lori at Wizbang who goes further in-depth. And this stuff fairly well summarizes the week that just rolled by: A whole lot of drivel about those horrible tea-party people. And the tumultuous times in which we live.

A parade of gray-haired pols with their martyr complexes about the sixties…droning on…mmm yes, I’ve seen this stuff before. Reminds me of the sixties! Overturned cars, fist fights at midnight, molotov cocktails. Just like now. Vandals, terrorists, angry violent individuals. But as Lori points out, the “angry” mob is not that angry and not that special:

Even with the help of those in the media, the reality of what is happening is getting to the people. The little people. And now instead of beating up on rich Republican politicians, and fat cat CEOs, they are beating up on the little people who don’t give a crap about party or politics. They just want their voices to be heard. They care about their pocketbooks, their childrens’ futures, their freedoms and the future of their country. They don’t care what letter is behind your name. They want representatives in Washington who will listen to them. Vilifying those people, calling them names (such as teabaggers), questioning their motivations, accusing them of being racists and just generally beating up on those people, just because they disagree with the Democrat/Obama agenda, is just downright ugly. So much so that not even the MSM will be able to spin it as anything but that. When I think about it in those terms, I begin to understand why the Democrats are doing what they are doing. It doesn’t make it any less ugly, but at least it helps me to understand.

My own memory made relevant by current events, is much more recent. It is the election, and subsequent inauguration, of Barack Obama. And then the chasing, er, “finding” of votes so that Al Franken could bring the democrats a supermajority in the Senate and make the Republican failure of 2008 complete. Remember that? All the gloating about oh boy, those Republicans were really, really, super-duper-defeated now!

And then the liberal blogs induldged in a whole bunch of research-and-reportage, about what dirty rotten creepy jerks the conservatives really were. To get the word out…you know…to all the voters, who had already made up their minds that conservatives were dirty rotten creepy jerks.

To make darn good and sure the voters would never forget.

To convince those who were already convinced…or to convince themselves…or something.

Perhaps my thinking is out of fashion. But I do not think we are living in a village. Or if we are, I do not think there is a famine going on that necessitates the organizing and cataloguing of we who live within the village walls…queueing up to figure out who should be locked out of the village walls first, to perish in the awful winter, so the foodstuffs can be rationed among those most worthy. Maybe that whole process is what liberalism is all about — and why I’m not going to make a very good liberal.

In my view, when you’re trying to figure out if an idea is good or not, the thing you need to do is: Figure out if it’s good or not. This game of musical-chairs, to figure out who should be pre-emptively muzzled, who should be allowed to drone on at length even when He has nothing better to say than “For Far Too Long We Have,” “Let Me Be Clear” and “Make No Mistake.” Who’s just wonderful and sort-of-God, and who’s just an awful, terrible person.

Because in my world, wonderful people get things wrong pretty often. So do smart people.

Awful, terrible rotten creepy jerks — and idiots, too — manage to nail the right answer too. It happens.

So this ranking-by-worthiness, from my point of view, is pretty much a waste of time. The folks in charge, though…the ones who, you’d think, would have less time for it than anybody else, as they proceed to solve our various problems…they don’t seem to have anything else to say. Every sentence out of their anointed mouths seems to be some variant of “look at those awful terrible people over there; now, don’t you forget how terrible they are, all you little people.”

But the people in charge are liberals. And I did suggest, up above, that perhaps nowadays this is what liberalism is all about. Figuring out who is to be ostracized next. It doesn’t seem to be about too much else. It’s running unopposed, getting what it wants — which our Vice President says is a big fucking deal. It’s going on months & years with all sorts of wonderful opportunities to get out whatever message it wants to get out. And this is just about the only one it’s managed to communicate: Agree with us, or you are substandard, terrible, whacked-in-the-head and generally bad. Kind of like immature high school girls: Oh, they’ll just HATE us for-EV-er!!

Fidel’s Way

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Osama bin Laden to chime in any day now.

Hat tip to blogger friend Buck.

A Father’s Promise, a Son’s Sacrifice

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

“The letter sat on the dresser for four years.”

Robert Gilbert never opened it. He only touched the envelope when he needed to dust around it. He wanted to give it back to his son unopened.

Every time his Marine son was deployed, his son would ask, “You still got my letter?”

His dad never wanted to read what was inside an envelope marked: “Dad, open this if I am wounded. Love, Robert.”

The call to open it came March 8.

“Is Robert Gilbert there?” a voice from Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va., said.

“Junior or Senior?” Robert said.

“Senior.”

The father felt his stomach drop even before he heard the words: “Your son has been injured in Afghanistan.”

When he heard his son received “possibly a mortal wound,” he sat on the bed, opened the yellow envelope and pulled out four handwritten pages of spiral notebook paper.

I’m sorry if you’re reading this…

Hat tip to Cassy.

Genital Liberty

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Gerard linked to our friends at Rhymes with Girls and Cars — who abso-freakin’-lutely put their finger right on it:

We have reached the point where in our current political system the only things the left is remotely ‘liberal’ about have to do with sex, i.e. situations involving peoples’ genitals coming into contact. Oh yes, I’ll agree, the left is very liberal on matters involving peoples’ genitals coming into contact…

It’s just every single other sort of liberty imaginable that the left doesn’t care for.

In the English language, ‘liberal’ is not the right term for such people at all. It is an antonym for what they are, which is: authoritarian.

As if on cue, our other blogger friend North-of-the-Border, she of the dark pixie curls, KC — leaped forth with her screed against Ann Coulter who, because she said (actually, KC was altogether missing any specific examples) should not be allowed to speak at Ottawa U.

As if prodded by a cosmic Kismet.

As if put on notice that this point needed some proving.

Liberals. Authoritarians. Once antonymous, now ominously synonymous.

So, I won’t go anywhere near my personal opinions of the skanky-assed shock-jock white-supremacist that is called Ann Coulter… oh wait.
I just did.
I despise everything that she represents and says. And I will probably get my Canadian Libertarian ass chewed off for saying the above… be told about how stupid I am or how wrong I am for thinking she is a waste of space and energy on this planet.
Whatever: bring it on. If you agree with her then your racist views will speak for yourself.
:
There are limitations.
In everything.
Including democracy.
That’s life.
Simply because a VERY large majority of Canadians disagree with Ms. Coulter and are exercising their right to protest does not make Canadians fascist. And receiving fair warning to educate yourself on the laws of the land… does not equate to human rights violations – especially comparing Canada to those of Iran, Nazi Germany and Cuba.

So I entered a reply, which I thought was perfectly in keeping with the spirit of classical liberalism. But, perhaps because of the mood KC is in, comments to her system will have to go through moderation before being made visible. Hehe. The irony…

And you know what this means. Yeah, I wasn’t feeling too trusting of the universe in general when I hit the “Post” button. Had the wonderful prose loaded into the clipboard, I did…

Okay, so noted; Coulter shouldn’t be allowed to speak because she’s a bitch. Who else?

Maybe it’s the straight white right-handed six-foot-tall male still in possession of all 21 digits in me talking…but I have a litmus test for laws like this. Let’s call them “Only As Much Free Speech As We Want You To Have” laws — for that is what they are. They are not liberal or progressive, they are quite the opposite…authoritarian.

My litmus test is, I want to see someone from the “wrong” demographic prosecuted according to these laws. I want to see feminists thrown in jail for publishing books that say all men are potential rapists. I want to see black people prosecuted for beating up on white kids just because they’re white. I want to see liberal radio networks forced to put in 30 and 60 minute blocks of conservative programming for “equal time.”

And if I do not see such reverse polarity, I view these laws as what they all, in likelihood, really are: One-sided attempts by specialized advocacy grievance groups, to seize power, and maintain it. Maybe you resent my litmus test but at least concede that it’s fair (it is…for such a law to be brandished as a one-bladed sword, is disingenuous and autocratic)…or maybe you aren’t even willing to concede that it’s fair.

But either way, isn’t it quite out of harmony with a “university”‘s purpose to blockade a scheduled speaker, before she’s said anything? To effectively plug its fingers in its ears and go “la la la I can’t hear you”? At this point I’m much closer in age to parent-of-college-kid than college-kid…and this kind of thing makes me want to cinch up the purse strings REAL tight. This is higher learning? Listening to the other side receives such low priority, and protesting receives such high priority?

What a wonderful experience it would have been, for the university to select ten or twenty of their brightest from the debate team — have those finalists pepper Ms. Coulter with their questions — and then, in the aftermath, hold an open forum about whether they did a good job, what better questions they could have selected, what points should have been made, and horror of horrors, what utterances may have been indulged by Ms. Coulter that made one or two people think about some things not previously thought-about.

Seriously. If that’s so unthinkable, just disband the university and send everyone home. Because, then, frankly I don’t see the point. Everyone’s got their minds made up, why bother to get dressed and go to class every morning.

I don’t care what you call the country, or what the ideological flavoring is of the speaker who is being sent packing. Or what your precious laws are supposed to be accomplishing.

Once you start saying “Waitaminnit…we have to make sure if your speech affects people, it doesn’t have a bad effect on them, so we’ll put some sensible precautions in place” — you have crossed a Rubicon.

I don’t see liberals as liberals anymore. I don’t necessarily see them as authoritarians either. I see them as people who simply cannot imagine — ever! — that power will ever be wielded by persons who fundamentally disagree with them about things. Management is given the authority to say “You May Speak…You, Over There, May Not” — and liberalism seems to be the proclivity to say “Hey, yeah that’s cool.” It invests the trust in total strangers first, and asks questions later.

Oh but yeah, on that other matter. Genitals coming into contact with genitals. Men sticking their penises up the assholes of other men. On those issues, yes, they remain “classic” liberals.

Prison for the Human Soul

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I got a mass e-mail from the chairman of the democrat party earlier this morning, and it was a little spooky because I’d just been hearing the guys on the radio talking about it. To summarize it, it says: Our opponents are heaping abuse on our “heroes,” threatening them, using racial epithets, smashing up their offices. Will you chip in five bucks to help us defend these “heroes”?

The years roll in, the years roll out, the lies stay the same. We over here are goooooood people, those people over there are rotten stinkers. Anything — anything — to keep from actually discussing the benefits and drawbacks involved in the actual policy. I was noticing this just as Holy Man was being sworn in some fourteen months ago. The campaign slogan might as well be “Now that it’s settled Republicans are a bunch of dirty rotten stinkers, let’s turn our attention to what dirty rotten stinkers those Republicans are.”

I see a weakness with this. The weakness is, when you deliver this kind of sales pitch you have to hand down the decision on what has been decided. Yes! Those Republicans are such awful people! You aren’t letting the “mark” make up his own mind about things because you cannot afford to. It’s always a more powerful sales pitch when the mark is allowed to make up his own mind.

This is how democrats see people: as marks. If they could sell it that way, they would. But they can’t. So the mark has to be forced into turning his own decision, into a personality popularity contest between democrats and Republicans. Well, this is fragile. Among the actual voters, the politicians from either party aren’t too terribly popular right now.

So I saw this video at Daphne’s place. And I had me an idea.

The problem, as I see it, is that passing judgment on whether another human being is wonderful or godlike or sneaky or dirty or rotten or a scoundrel or a scruffy-looking nerf herder…it’s tempting. It’s fun to play god. On the other hand, pondering the destiny of the country, toward independence or toward bondage or toward oblivion…well, that’s kinda dull and boring.

Percentage of GDP? That’s the most boring thing of all. Tax policy? Ugh.

What resolves all of these difficulties? One key phrase:

“They are worried that we are not dependent enough on our government.”

Or…

“They are worried that we have too much control over our own lives.”

This shifts the discussion over to where it belongs, in such a way that the entire conversation remains alluring and appealing to our primal instincts. The observer is left to ask “They are worried about…what was that again?

The opponent that is trying like the dickens to sell this nanny-state health care scheme, can pull all sorts of tricks to try to dismiss this. The opponent can say “oh, you’re just a shill for big pharmaceutical products, trying to make people pay more.”

The problem there is with the facts. There really isn’t much in the legislation that saves money. The legislation, from all I’ve been reading about it — to say nothing of the process that hammered it in — is mostly concerned with power. The difficulty has been getting people to pay attention to this.

Not everybody wants power over their own lives. But just about all of us are rankled with resentment and distress at the thought of some stranger telling us what to do. And the issue of the busybodies actually having an agenda to push things off in that direction — well, that is really what needs to be discussed.

And here’s a way to do it. Not by making these people look like strange, weird aliens through a colored lens; show them to be strange, weird aliens, by showing what is real. Just come out and say what this whole thing is really all about: Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer want more people to be dependent.

It wont win over everybody. But it will turn the conversation toward where it needs to go.

Little Blue Awesomeness From Coburn

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

You might have been seeing some headlines here and there about how democrats are all for erectile dysfunction medication for child molesters; here’s what that’s about.

The idea is that by securing even a slight adjustment in the language, the Senate will have to send the bill back to the House of Representatives for reconsideration. Drawing out the process makes it more likely for it to be tripped up.

On Tuesday, the GOP put its strategy into action, with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) introducing an amendment beyond agreeable. Titled “No Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Sex Offenders” it would literally prohibit convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders from getting erectile dysfunction medication from their health care providers.

While it will undoubtedly be difficult for Democrats to vote against the measure (one can conjure up the campaign ads already), the party plans to do just that.

Allahpundit adds:

Everyone get the joke here? If the Dems amend the reconciliation bill for any reason, they have to send it back to the House for yet another vote. So anything the GOP proposes — anything — they’re basically bound to vote no on. And Coburn knows it. One tasty shinola sandwich, coming up! Although I’m confused: If, as the left has convinced itself, ObamaCare is pure win for them politically (see, e.g., today’s ridiculously overhyped Gallup poll), what’s the aversion to another House vote? In fact, why not ping-pong the bill back and forth between the chambers for another month, loading it up with ever more crowd-pleasing amendments? It’s time to own the glorious political victory that looms in November, liberals.

Hat tip to Cassy Fiano.

Fox News, and others, are reporting that the bill is headed back to the House anyway.

The follow-up health care bill being considered by the Senate will have to return to the House for final congressional approval, after the Senate parliamentarian determined that two Republican challenges will succeed in stripping out language in the package.

Altering the bill in any way means it has to return to the House side, which first approved the package of changes Sunday, since both chambers must pass identical versions.

Democrats don’t appear worried. Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the House could easily approve the expected changes. The Senate is expected to complete work on the bill Thursday afternoon, and the House could take it up again the same day — or push it off until Friday.

The package of changes, which is being considered under “reconciliation” rules allowing the Senate to approve it with just 51 votes, is the final piece of the legislative puzzle to the health care reform package signed into law Tuesday. Health care reform is officially enacted, but House Democrats wanted the package of fixes to change the way it’s financed and address other concerns.

The glitches have to do with Pell grants for low-income students.

A senior Senate Republican leadership aide told Fox News that Democrats had tried to improve the cost of the bill while simultaneously piling on Pell grants “without mandating the spending.” The aide said Democrats claimed the grants would increase, but were relying on a “future Congress” to find the funding.

“They can’t do that,” the aide said. “This was one of 100 gimmicks used to keep the score down.”

Image of the Century

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Hat tip to Rick.

“The Thousands of People You Killed Won’t Even Know You Killed Them”

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Yeah, Stossel’s a nut who wants to legalize pot. But I like his style, I agree with him more often than not…and I really like the point he’s making here.

Real life continues to counsel us, over and over again — when you have a decision to make and there is risk to be weighed on both sides, you really need to look at both sides.

Governments of all kinds of countries, living and dead, continue to tell us — naw. We like to look at just one side. It is our nature.

Hat tip to theCL at Washington Rebel.

Timely. And that’s an understatement.

Ann Coulter Mobbed at Ottawa

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Real tolerance:

When I heard Coulter was coming to Canada I figured attending the event would be worth the entertainment value, if for nothing other than to witness the unhinged reaction that was sure to follow. Ottawa U didn’t disappoint.

When I arrived there was a line of a few hundred, maybe a thousand people outside the Marion building. A few of them were chanting in front of the cameras but the line was otherwise better behaved than for a typical rock concert. The size of the line was no doubt a bit of a problem because the room held no more than 400 (my estimate).

Since I had registered for the event ahead of time I had no trouble elbowing my way to the front, verifying my name was on the list, getting inside and chatting briefly with Ezra Levant.

After a while the fire alarm went off, the obvious false alarm having been dealt with we sat down expecting the event to start.

Instead Ezra announced that police told him it would be “physically unsafe” to bring Ann in due to the “unruly mob” outside. There was certainly no issue, or even noise, inside the auditorium.

The cops ended up shutting it down.

So if there’s a space alien living in your spare bedroom and he’s counting on you to fill him in on all your Earth customs, would you be able to explain this?

The left is concerned that we put policies in place that work for everyone…and that everyone have a voice.

But only the cool parts of “everyone.”

Health Care Bill Attacks Inequality

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Causing pain to a genuinely bad man, in order to possibly save the lives of the innocent, has been stigmatized beyond belief within just a few short years.

Why is there no stigma against wealth-envy? Why no stigma against even raising “inequality” as an issue? It sounds like what it is: Pure jealousy.

1. Architects are not concerned about whether someone else possesses more wealth than they do. Their concern over whether someone else possesses more skill, begins and ends on the question of whether or not that other person can help them in some way, and whether there may be low-hanging fruit for them in the self-improvement department.

Medicators don’t want anybody else to have something they don’t have, be it skill or money. Jealousy is a common failing for the Medicator. They easily fall prey to “Tall Poppy” syndrome.
:
20. An Architect doesn’t particularly care how many other Architects there are.

A Medicator wants everyone else to be a Medicator. Convert or die.

From Architects and Medicators…the latter of whom, sadly, only go through the motions of truly living life. Everything has to be guaranteed. Everything has to be equalized.

The battle continues.

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.

Speaking to an ebullient audience of Democratic legislators and White House aides at the bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Obama claimed that health reform would “mark a new season in America.” He added, “We have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”

So it’s okay to call Him a communist now, right?

It’s worthy of note that nobody is out there even implying that it’s always the same people who are rich, and always the same people who are lacking health insurance. People have been, in fact, doing a dosey-do for the last thirty years. Yes, the hated Paris Hilton still has her loot. But other folks are out there, pulling in lots of rotten lucre, starting businesses, losing them, losing their health insurance, starting again, making more millions, losing them, making them again…

It’s the living of real life. Life is a dynamic thing. If it isn’t, then nobody prospers. This is the age of Reagan that Obama would like to end?

Answer me this: How fast can you run in a potato sack race? You know…with neither one of your two feet permitted to move too far away from the other.

What’s really amazing to me, is what should be immediately obvious to anyone with working synapses. But somehow isn’t, I guess. When you worry too much about what the other fellow has, you are broadcasting to all within earshot and line-of-sight, that things are not really going that badly for you. Am I right or am I right? Think about third-world mudpuddles out there, where people really have nothing. Where they live at the bottom tier of Maslow’s pyramid…where they have a tough time just growing things to eat, in the soil. Are they concerned, there, with some other guy having an easier time of it? They spend lots of minutes per day fretting over that issue? Doesn’t look like it to me.

I’d sure like to know why this jealousy achieves such currency. The natural reaction ought to be “Oh, well if you’re worried about someone else, I guess things aren’t going too badly for you…lots of room, still, for you to fall.” That would be a natural reaction and it would also be a wise one.

Memo For File CX

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I finally figured out what’s missing this week.

Late on this past Sunday, the liberals began dragging us kicking-and-screaming into their vision of what life is all about. You know the drill: No independence, no innovation, no capitalism, very little local authority, no real sense of the individual delivering goods and services in order to secure an uncontestable right to property.

Board this, committee that, and every li’l blessed thing in this rough patch of grass we call “real life” that doesn’t have an iron-and-silver clad guarantee with regard to the outcome, must be a piece of unfinished business.

All security. All safety. All sanitization.

No Opportunity. No liberty, no freedom, no ambition, no dreams…unless you’re a liberal activist or a politician.

Conservatives are evenly divided between “cry” and “fight.” (Some say both.) Liberals are all cheery and gloating. I would expect to see all of this. And of all the things I’d expect to see, there isn’t a single thing missing.

Except one thing.

And this post is all wrapped up in that one thing. I’ve learned something this week about the difference between liberals, and decent people like me. This missing thing is inextricably connected to that difference.

See, the liberals are not behaving in a way consistent with the way I’d behave if…well…let’s get down to brass tacks, here. Unless you’ve had your head stuck someplace in deep isolation for a sustained period of time, you know this health care bill is deeply unpopular and it isn’t just unpopular with Republicans. Fact is, even if you’re a left-winger you probably still don’t like it that much…unless you’re liberal clear down to the marrow of your bones. In which case you might be in the Noam Chomsky Michael Moore camp, all pissing and moaning that it doesn’t go far enough.

But this piece of legislation, wonderful as it may be to the stalwart liberal mind, is not quite in perfect harmony with the American mindset. And I’m not talking about 1776, I’m talking about right here and now.

Now then. What comes next takes a little bit of mental effort. But it’s effort expended on my part, not on yours, so hang awhile. It also calls for something of a confession. You see, here and there are some issues — you might find this tough to believe — on which my opinion doesn’t quite fall into line with the majority. It will perhaps not surprise you too much to learn that on this issues, I regard myself as being right and “most” people as being wrong.

Just like our liberals do with regard to this piece of legislation.

The smarties have probably already figured out where I’m going with this.

Let us say it’s my lucky day and our Congress is settling down to do things the Morgan way. The House passes a resolution…lessee…it says that men and women are different, and that’s perfectly alright.

Most people wouldn’t agree with a resolution like that. I would, and furthermore I’ll say this country would be a lot better off if everyone unanimously agreed with me.

Guaranteed immunity for parents caught whacking their kids’ butts in public. Even the girls.

Jail time for the scam artists who tried to sell us on their global warming Kool-Aid. I’m talking double-digits, breaking rocks.

When we execute murderers, we aren’t molesting the Eighth Amendment unless we’re being more cruel to the convict than he was to his victims. Up until that point, it’s all good. Unfortnately, American law does not recognize this as a matter for the legislative branch…but still.

You have to speak English in order to vote.

The punishment for leaving your gum on a sidewalk, parking lot or bus seat, is that when we track you down with the gum you have to put it back in your cakehole and start chewing it again.

You can eat saturated fat.

No minimum wage. If your employer wants to pay your a buck fifty-five an hour and you want to work for that, good for you.

No minimum age either. If you’re thirteen you can work forty hours. Make it fifty or sixty, as long as you don’t miss school. This isn’t a Dickens story for cryin’ out loud.

Teachers are paid according to how many of the students they pass on to the next grade, are capable of showing competence in that grade.

If you’re on unemployment for more than thirty days, you can’t have a teevee.

Oh my goodness, I do believe I could add on to this list all day long.

Now what do these things all have in common. I’ll tell you. If we were to decide to do them, I’d agree with them…most people would not. To put it more plainly, I think they are good ideas. I am in the minority in thinking they are good ideas. I’m fully well aware I’m in the minority on thinking they’re good ideas. And I honestly cannot tell you why. Yeah, I could play Devil’s Advocate on these things, but I wouldn’t do a terribly good job of it.

If by some miracle one or two of them were to pass…I’d be all smiley about it, but there’d be truckloads of anger about it from sea to shining sea. Darn that Morgan! What a stupid law he got going here.

Just like you’re hearing right now. About democrats.

Thing is, if & when the time came for me to comment on the matter — you would be hearing, from Yours Truly, on a regular basis, some genuine bewilderment. Why do most people disagree with me about it being a good thing men can put swimsuit calendars up on their cubicle walls at work? Who are these people who think Hooter’s should be allowed, or required, to hire ugly fat women?

And when you shake your finger in my face and intone — quite rightly — that I might’ve gotten this one thing I want, but I’d better savor the victory as long as I can because it cost me more political capital than I’ve got. I wouldn’t just leave that statement lying there. I would show some real, heartfelt outrage about it. It’s that big of a compromise? That much of an earth-shattering notion that stupid kids should be held back a grade? That they should be allowed to do something in their off hours that doesn’t have to do with texting or gaming?

I’d be more flustered in victory than I would be in defeat.

Now back to reality. I am not the guy who just managed to get his way here, oh heavens no. We all know that.

What we see here, is a rare and precious glimpse into the diseased rotted wrinkles of the progressive mind. They are so naturally aclimated to this whole routine of dragging the rest of us, kicking and screaming, into whatever Utopia they have in mind on any given day.

All I see from them, for three days now, is the same ol’ same ol’. YOU’RE A RACIST IF YOU DISAGREE WITH BARACK OBAMA, yeah, yeah. There are no lamentations about where the trolley of our modern society is coming off the track. I’ve even heard a few jokes from some of them about us rubes out here in the backwoods or the sticks — who somehow must like getting ripped off by the insurance companies and left without any money. Where’s the sense of wonder about that? Where’s the drive to know more? It’s just a drive-by snarky quip, and mission-accomplished. On to the next topic.

As far as the situation involving all these people, this undeniable majority, disagreeing with them — somehow, that’s just to be expected.

That’s just not natural. Among people who are so all-fired sure that their way is the right way, it’s even less natural.

It’s as if, if their worldview on any particular topic isn’t sufficiently strange…if it has a little too much to do with common sense…if it’s too appealing to an intelligent mind that has taken the time and trouble to look at both sides…they’re sure to become bored with it.