Archive for April, 2010

Passwords

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Alright, the password thing is really starting to get me steamed. Not at you fine, fair people who are suffering from the problem. At WordPress, I think…or my configuration of it. There is clearly something amiss.

I got a gut feel, from working with this issue at my various “real” jobs (software development, enterprise network security & network accreditation, and back to software development again) that in order to find out where the problem is we’re going to have to reveal passwords. That is a big no-no in my world and we are not going there. So I’ll just say, think on your password composition. If you really think the issue is there, I would encourage you to go for six letters in a mix of upper and lowercase, one Arabic numeral and one special character. Mix it up good, make it something you can remember, and that should do it.

Also, enable your browser to accept cookies if you want to be remembered on your computer.

If you think the problem is outside of those, then I want to hear from you. Are you logging into other WordPress sites and being spared from the frustration that somehow plagues you here? My account has always worked wonderfully, but I’m the admin…and with this much bitching from so many smart folks, there has to be something going on contributing to it. What do you see that’s broken?

Please keep the passwords under your hat. Except maybe for the old ones you don’t want to use anymore…and then, only if you think they matter, and they can’t be used as clues for the newer stuff. Password secrecy is a real hot-button issue in my world so please use your discretion.

Thoughts? Experiences? Sound off. We shall endeavor to fix.

“I Do Think at a Certain Point You’ve Made Enough Money”

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Here we go again. The “When you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody” moment was not enough to license me to call Him a socialist.

Maybe this latest one will do the trick. It’s become a little bit of an “Everyone else is blogging it, I might as well follow ‘em” thing. But it’s pretty important to get it talked-about (hat tip to Hot Air), for the three reasons below.

One. You have a right to make as much money as you are able, so long as it’s legal. It’s property. You’ve a right to it. Our current President shouldn’t be President if He doesn’t agree. Really, in my world this is an impeachable offense, and no I’m not kidding.

Two. Closely related to One: This country works according to a Constitution. That which the Constitution does not specifically authorize, is unauthorized. That is supposed to be the design; we have not always been faithful to it. But how in the world do you legitimize the Chief Executive even giving a rat’s ass how much money some individual has made? It’s an issue that simply isn’t on His plate. He shouldn’t even be thinking about it.

Three. “Wealth Gap People” are potato-sackers. Think about how you walk; you move your feet apart from each other. That is how a free-market economy works. Think about how you walk in a potato sack race, with your feet unable to move apart from each other. That is how non-free countries work…or don’t work. We can move apart from each other, we make progress. This is not to say the suffering of the poor is the engine that drives our economy, that is not the case at all. What drives our economy is that individuals can succeed and they do not have to endlessly wait for everybody else to catch up before they can make the most of it — they can kick in the afterburners at any ol’ moment, provided the fuel & spark are ready to go.

His Eminence is fond of “national dialogues” and “teachable moments,” especially when He is trying to get people to forget about swomething. Well, I think this is a wonderful call for a national dialogue, and a Jim-dandy teachable-moment. Let’s have one of each, I say. His Holiness thinks at a certain point, you’ve made enough money. Who agrees with Him about that? Should our country have an earnings cap? Maybe a lifetime cap? Should we address the billionaires at the tippy top and tell them: The President’s right, and you can’t earn anything anymore. All those in favor say aye?

Let’s take that vote. I’d like to know what the final tallies are. And I think we’d all benefit from thinking long and hard about it.

The Apex!!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It’s like the source of The Nile. I’ve been looking and looking and looking…

Our left-wingers obviously care more about collective rights than individual rights. When there’s a “wealth gap” they get all alarmed…now, what’s cause and what’s effect? Is it necessary for us all to bring home the same amount of money if we’re a collectivist society — or do we become a collectivist society because we’re in a potato sack race, with our legs bound together, no one allowed to become too different from anybody else?

They love abortions. Is that cause, or is that effect?

When they don’t have too many demands made of their time…which is often, since nobody really trusts them with too much of anything…they engage in activities that are non-edifying. They don’t go to Wikipedia, unless they’re “admins” determined to make sure the “other side” doesn’t have the last word about something. They want to watch Jeopardy. Or even better, The Kardashians. Once again — is that cause, or is that effect?

They think global warming is a threat. They think radical Islamic terrorism is not. Now why is that? They don’t believe in God. How come? Is it necessary to doubt the existence of God because they know they’re going to Hell? Or do they become liberals because they always hated being dragged off to church?

There must be a root cause — something that kicks off the chain reaction, that actuates all the other things. I’ve been looking for it and looking for it and looking for it. What is it? Are they just plain cowardly? Do they feel bad when someone is mugged or raped…and they aren’t able to sneak off, because someone else is trying to stop the mugging/raping so they can’t look good while they’re high-tailing it out of there? Is that why they’re so full of hate?

Blogger friend Phil enlightens.

…[Socialism and Communism] are based on the same premise — that liberty in the economic sphere is rigged to the advantage of the wealthy. This is true to a limited extent. No system is perfect.

But Socialism/Communism both rest on the premise human nature being truly altruistic, and that once envy is eliminated via wealth redistribution, people will just enthusiastically produce for each other with no angle toward personal gain, because “everybody’s” gain is their gain and they’ll just all see it that way and everybody will be happy.

This, of course, requires humans to be something other than what we are. Some idealized form of human that does not now nor will ever exist.

Progressives believe that human nature is evolving toward that, and that they can push that evolution along. The worst progressives don’t even mind killing off those who they feel are holding that evolution back. For the good of the future of Mankind, of course. That, in a nutshell, is what Progressivism is all about. The basic premise of Progressivism is the evolution human nature. Cultural Dawrinism.

Our system is the worst one ever, except for all the others. Our system gives me incentive to work hard and make new things because it will give ME a more comfortable existence and opportunities to do things I can’t do today. If I don’t like what I’m doing, I can decide to change jobs. If I want to work less, I must be willing to suffer the cut in compensation or find some legal and ingenious way to make up the difference.

In their system … all must be equalized. If I make too much, money must be taken from me to give to someone else. If I don’t make enough, money must be taken from someone else to give to me.

There is no incentive to produce outside of coersion, and the only people with the power to coerce is the government.

This is why socialism and communism, which are again based on the same false premises — inevitably deteriorate into totalitarian, trickle-up poverty.

Ah…this explains everything, plus a bonus: Why they’re so fascinated with Darwinism/evolution. It also explains that jitterbugging that they do. You know what I mean. During the odd minutes they’re all “I’m for complete rights for EVERYBODY! no matter what!!” Drug dealers, homeless people, terrorists at Guantanamo. They all have to have everything, three square nutritious hot meals every single day.

During the even minutes they define people out of existence. Oh no, you don’t count. You’re an unborn baby. You’re a teabagger. You’re a Boy Scout, or a Boy Scout’s homemaker Mom. You don’t count.

Phil’s explanation is perfect. It explains why I keep thinking of liberals when I see Star Trek episodes…especially the ones with the bald French guy who drinks tea. It’s all about evolution. Some of us are leading the way — like Barack Hussein Obama. Others of us are holding everyone else back, and must be defined out of existence. They/we must be put down, just like a dog at the pound. So that the narrower, “real” definition of “everybody” can be allowed to skip on down the conveyor belt, toward its ultimate destiny…no war, no disease, no starvation, warp speed, inter-galactic travel, making friends with the aliens with rubber masks on their faces who speak perfect English.

This is why they are screwballs, it explains why they cannot carry a coherent thought in a straight line. It has to do with themselves. They are something that, they themselves cannot admit this is what they really are.

They want to represent “everybody” after they get done re-defining what exactly that is. They supposedly think you have a whole bunch of rights, after your mother chooses to carry you to term and you make it past that magical vaginal finish line. In truth, that is metaphorical of something else: You have to make it to your mother’s vagina, you have to get born, have your cord cut, breathe air, and then you have to donate to democrats and vote for them. If you don’t do all these things, you are a non-person. You’re a counterweight that is holding back the entire human condition, and are to be dealt with in kind.

You are to be eradicated. Put in a gas chamber.

This explains why they go through the motions of representing “everyone,” but then, at the same time, seem to be so eager to whittle down that definition of what “everyone” really is. To find people who exist outside of it, so that they can call ‘em out, and gain universal recognition for the plain and simple fact that these outliers simply don’t belong. It explains why, through the years, so many of them have figured out people like me should be cast out — but in all of those years, not a single one of them has taken on the task of giving voice to exactly what place it is that I should be sent. Why they want to send so many people to oblivion, and why so many of them seem to have so much passion about doing it, but why not a single one among them has the balls to say the word “oblivion.”

Update 4/30/10: The Joe America thing fits into my late epiphany…as does the thing with Obama’s new nuclear weapons policy.

Let me state this more coherently: We meet good friends and neighbors who voted for Obama, whom we know to be decent, hard-working and honest. And then we meet scumbags who voted for Obama. We meet people like Joe America, who are liked by other people whom we like, but then hurl insults at us every single chance they get. We see people like Hillary Clinton telling obvious fibs, like that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Al Gore reprises the “man behind the curtain” scene from Wizard of Oz, almost word for word, telling us not to think about the East Anglia scientists caught red-handed in their shenanigans — world’s still ending, forget everything else. Except for voting for democrats of course.

From this, we conclude there is a massive scam going on. There are the foolers and the foolees. We then get distracted debating other things…well yes, both sides practice deceptions but the liberal side does more of it…et cetera. Meanwhile, we have made up our minds that there are layers to liberalism, sort of a pudding with skin on it. People on the top know what’s going on, they fool the other 99 percent.

Here is my epiphany. Since the current administration was so obviously taken by surprise with the whole nuclear thing — needed the dimbulb Eskimo whore to go on teevee and explain what’s cockeyed about this, and then they were caught just slipping on their shit trying to make sense of it all. They clearly hadn’t done any advance thinking.

Bearing that in mind, I cogitate on the following question:

What if things like character, decency, honesty, or deficiencies in these things are entirely irrelevant to being a liberal? What if we’ve all been over-thinking it? What if there is no skin on the pudding, no strata. What if the entire thing is a one-celled creature. What if Thing I Know #230 explains everything as opposed to ninety-nine percent:

We’d call them “rationalists” if they thought things through rationally; that’s why they’re called “socialists.”

These are all people who haven’t been thinking things out. They are all the kid who didn’t do his homework and wants to copy the answers off your paper. Some are smart, some are stupid, some are decent, some are creeps, some are actually quite brave and some are craven and cowardly. The only thing they have in common is they just haven’t been doing the thinking.

Consider the ramifications. Obama’s nuclear policy never was supposed to make us more secure, or do anything good for anybody. Just make “us” more liked. The health care bill never was supposed to get people covered.

They don’t give a flying fuck what’s going to happen if we abolish the death penalty, they just want it abolished. And no, nobody thinks convicts have a “right” not to be executed, or that killing is “wrong” when the state does it. They are just wasting your time when they say things like that.

It goes back to what Phil said. They just want to evolve to the next level, and the only way for them to do that is to affect public policy. To pass some laws that will make us better liked. By…somebody. This part of it they simply haven’t thought out. They don’t know who, exactly, is supposed to like us better. They know what they expect the reaction to be, and for them that’s plenty good enough. Again, these are kids that don’t do their homework. They are accustomed to not thinking things out all the way through. This is quite alright in their world, because it’s a world in which things do not happen because of other things. People there just do…whatever. Whatever brings a positive response from others.

Remember the beginning of 2009? The season of “Hope-Is-In-The-Air?” They swore in their hopey-changey President, and with all this stuff broken from the last eight years of “Failed Policies of the Bush Administration” (FaPoBuAd) and the opposition finally gutterballed, having complete control of everything and eager to show everyone what they were all about, they settled in, rolled up their sleeves, and busily set about…talking shit about their opponents and not getting a damn thing done. Yeah, oh yeah! We made them not count before, but we’re gonna really make them not count now! Yay for us!

Us. Them. We. They. They’re going to bring us all together and end our petty bickering, but they never do get there because you can’t have anyone in the club if you don’t leave someone out of the club. Truth is, they don’t want to be in charge. “Winning” an election, or an argument, is about as close as they ever want to get to running anything. If you’ve ever built something, especially something upon which your future fortune is going to depend…perhaps your very life?…you have become accustomed to saying to yourself “Hold it — there’s a little nugget over there that, perhaps, I have not yet thought out all the way.” And when you start doing that, you alienate yourself from them. These are people who think out only the fun stuff, and then stop. All of life is companionship and fellowship.

I’ve been saying this for awhile. My epiphany over the last few weeks is that this goes all the way up to the top. Al Gore doesn’t think things out. There is no sinister plot to fool people into believing in global warming, and wrecking the economy. He was just another pain-in-the-ass tree-hugging environmentalist all anxious to show what a decent good person he was…obviously you’re a better person when you care about “The Planet,” than you would be if you didn’t. He made some money doing it, so it started feeling really good to keep doing it some more. And then there was more money connected to it, and more and more. Simple as that. Al Gore doesn’t care about the East Anglia scandal, because he doesn’t understand it and isn’t too excited about figuring any of it out. It’s just some of that boring science-and-facts stuff as far as he’s concerned. The same goes for our President and the nuclear policy. What’ll the bad guys do about it? Feh. Who cares. That foreign policy stuff is so boring. My new edict makes Me a better person, it’ll make us all better people. That’s all that matters. We’re gonna keep evolving.

What’s this have to do with replacing President Soetoro in 2012, and immobilizing Him in 2010? How do we talk to these people? You have to remember: There is a spectrum of leftism, with extremist zealots and wishy-washy moderates, and then there is a spectrum of devotion to the cause. Generally, an extremist zealot is going to be a hardcore zealot and a wishy-washy-mod is going to be a casual experimenter. Keep in mind this is not always the case, though.

You want to make contact only with the casual experimenters, those who have just dunked their toes in the water. The Persephones who merely nibbled on the pomegranates. These are the folks who haven’t thought out the ramifications to ObamaCare, would like to think it out, but don’t know where to start with it. Don’t know where to start with any of it — but meanwhile, just want to stay out of the arguing part of it and be liked. I’ve found a lot of these people are perfectly capable of thinking things through, if only they get a little bit of help finding the relevant facts.

If they start accusing you of being a bad person, just move on. It means you’re not talking to one of those people, you’re talking to a devoted disciple. He may be ideologically so-called-moderate. But he’s learned to do his thinking by calling other people nasty names. He’s a drowning man who will pull you under. A fight will start and it will be all your fault; he said you’re a Nazi so it must be true.

Our current President is enormously popular personally. Even with His approval ratings hitting bedrock and then boring downward through the bedrock — with most people, if they could just have Him without having to accept His policies, they’d take it. So this is the point that has to get hammered home: He’s a package deal. You have to take His policies if you take Him. And we cannot afford His policies.

Defending Palin? Most of the time, it should not be necessary. She still doesn’t have a “real job”; she doesn’t really count. Palin-friends and Palin-foes, alike, forget routinely about the very real possibility that she won’t ever run for anything from here on out.

Point is, in 2008 you got to vote for a personality, rather than for ideas. Even if you’re not ready to express your regret over that…and it seems roughly half of ’08 Obama supporters are ready (although most have yet to apologize)…nevertheless, this was not a properly executed decision. Obama is just chock full of ideas that should have been evaluated on the campaign trail, in a more scrutinizing, balanced way. Just about everyone with a working brain is ready to concede that much. It’s silly to try to avoid it.

And so, going forward, it has to be all about the ideas. And their consequences. This, I believe, is how you reach the truly thoughtful, not-yet-lost, discontented and despondent Obama voter. It’s not about whether Sarah Palin knows how to pronounce the word “nuclear.” It’s about — welcome to the world where you’re completely fucked if you don’t think everything out. Now that you’ve figured out facts are important, here are some. That’s what reaches people.

Just don’t go “reaching” people who don’t wanna be reached. I’d say about two-thirds of them are just spoiling for a fight — and of those, only one-third started out that way. The balance of ‘em just walked into a room one day and said “I voted for Obama!” expecting everyone to be pleased about it, discovered “everyone” wasn’t so happy about it, grasped desperately for some kind of way to react, and ended up being pit bulls. They’d think things out, as opposed to just snarking at people, if they could. They just don’t know how to get started. And so this whole “evolution” path has some appeal for them. It seems to fill in a missing piece.

Daphne…is Just Plain WRONG!!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

As a matter of fact, five minutes after I yammer at the kid to put his jammies on and get his skinny ass in bed, this is pretty much what Freeberg Manor looks like…

…except the computer is a HP mini sitting on my lap, and I’m curled up cross-legged on the couch. The dialogue is pretty much exactly the same.

S.I.W.O.T.I.

Update: Our favorite blogsister expounds further about us at Mark’s place:

The three of us, count it four with Mark, aren’t movement conservatives. With the exception of Morgan, I’d classify us as classical conservatives, small L libertarians. I’m not sure where Morgan lands, he’s living outside the box.
:
That you are unable to discern this simple fact tells me that you’re politically ignorant and poorly educated.

That you are rude, unpleasant and belligerent is well documented.

I’m polite, pleasant and belligerent. Anti-Marijuana, pro-states’-rights, anti-abortion-for-profit, pro-child-discipline, anti-tofu, pro-meat, mostly-anti-tattoo, pro-nice-lookin’-lady-in-skimpy-clothes, anti-little-kids’-shopping-cart, pro-clean-new-socks, anti-women-with-short-hair, pro-beer, anti-Hillary, pro-dry-wine, anti-anti-war, pro-soldier, anti-made-up-learning-disability, pro-charcoal-barbeque, anti-communist, pro-Hooters’-waitress, anti-hippy, pro-nuclear-arsenal, anti-carbon-cap-n-trade, pro-family, anti-feminist, pro-Boy-Scouts, anti-needle-exchange-program, pro-Palin, anti-judicial-activisim, pro-Mike-Rowe-Dirty-Jobs, anti-George-Soros, pro-capitalism, anti-woman-politician-in-pant-suits, pro-nice-lookin’-ladies-in-short-skirts, anti-convertible-with-top-down-going-boom-chicka-boom, pro-cute-woman-giving-me-a-cold-beer, anti-Michael-Moore, pro-profit, anti-ObamaCare, pro-free-market, anti-tribal-living, pro-individualist, anti-dickhead, pro-entrepreneur, anti-douchebag, pro-nice-person, anti-sleezebag, pro-law-abiding-citizen, anti-pervert, pro-capital-punishment, anti-murderer, pro-vigilante, anti-rapist, pro-vigilante, anti-kidnapper, pro-vigilante, anti-creep, anti-weirdo, anti-whacko, pro-vigilante…

I like the smell of gunpowder. I like it when the caliber begins with the number 3. I like it even better when the number begins with a 4.

Hooters CrescheI like pretty ladies much better than ugly ladies, and I like fit ladies much better than tubs-o’-lard — BUT!! — if you’re a female, if your hips are 46″ wide, but you love humans and you love strength and ability, you and I will enjoy a bond those skinny man-bashing bitches will never ever know. If you’re pretty, I’ll like you even better when you bring me a cold beer. I like the pretty gals even better when they bring me a hot plate of appetizers with the beer…especially when it’s basted with something slightly tangy. And when they wear something short that shows lots of leg, I like that even better. Cold beer, hot wings, nice-lookin’ bare female leg…and gunpowder. And when I earn money beyond the sensibilities of magnitude of whoever might be paying attention…I get to keep it all…I’m like a puppy when you rub its belly. I’ll follow ya anywhere.

But don’t literally rub my belly, unless you’re my girlfriend.

When I see little kids figure out how to do something they didn’t know how to do five minutes ago, it absolutely makes my day. I don’t care if it’s my kid or someone else’s — well, I do, but the situation holds irregardless. When I see a crooked psychiatrist invent a new three-letter-acronym so a new weakness can be enabled across the decades, I get sick to my stomach and wanna kill somebody.

I think Indiana Jones, as unrealistic as he is, is a role model. Because he’s all about L-I-C-O-R-I-C-E: Leadership, Initiative, Creativity, Ownership of problems, Resourcefulness, Ingenuity, Courage & conviction and Energy. (Those Skywalker boys, as my son and I have noticed, are a little bit light on the O and the C.) T.I., as gritty and realistic as he may be, is not a role model because he’s a thug. He’s missing his licorice.

In short — I’m pro-freedom. Pro-ability. Anti-co-dependence. Pro-strength. Anti-drug-dealing-scumbag-fuckwad.

It really can’t get any simpler than that. Any questions?

“The Mask of Joe America”

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Westsound, who generously played host to that, eh, duel between myself and that silly left-wing gadfly “Joe America,” just found out he’s been punked by his little brother. Guess that means I was too.

Puts a slightly different light on things. Who knows, maybe all of these people who think ObamaCare is good for the nation’s financial circumstances, are made-up. Life-sized muppets or something.

Meanwhile, blogsister Daphne is pissed at me and Gerard. Let me sum it up this way: I think I can speak for all concerned when I say that the ladies, and mothers in particular, are owed a certain level of respect. This is an inviolable rule. Also, when you jump into a melee and start tossing around playground insults you should expect retaliation in kind; that is an inviolable rule too. I’m of the opinion that, while those two inviolable rules should never be placed in conflict with each other, if the unthinkable ever does occur then the second of those two inviolable rules holds supremacy over the first. Daphne clearly feels differently about it. I have the utmost respect for her incorrect opinion.

That “mom” put us into the situation where we have to quibble about it, in my mind, is just supplementary evidence that I’m right and Daphne is wrong. And this is part of a bigger issue, I think. We have lately been up to our ears with people wanting to…shall we say…fire photon torpedoes while cloaked. To be the flower of mankind, purely off-limits, don’t-you-dare-pick-on-me, and relish the duties of designated attack-pit-bull at the same time.

I think of it as the “Michelle Obama syndrome.” It’ll get worse before it gets better. But we can peck that thing to death another time.

In the meantime, congratulations to “Joe America.” Suckered your big blogger brother to put up no less than three posts about this, and you got one from me and one from Gerard too. Let’s give the Devil his due; a victory lap has seldom been better earned in the an(n)als of punking.

Who Are the Real Racists?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Michelle Malkin wants to know and she has reason to ask:

I’m still on the road and our wonderful guest-bloggers will be dropping in again today and tomorrow. The hate mail is on an increase again thanks to my outspoken defense of Arizona’s immigration enforcement measure. Too many to choose from, but here’s a typical response:

from Ruben ruben_baruch@sbcglobal.net
to writemalkin@gmail.com
date Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 7:42 AM
subject The color of your skin

Dear Michelle:

I have never met you or heard from you until today.

I didnt’ need to hear you for too long to know the kind of person you are or what are your personally.

I just wondering how or where did you learned to speak like the way you do.

Because you are are not white, and that is obvious, I would like to invite you to take a walk around or drive in Arizona and see and feel in your own skin the racism that exist [sic] in that state. I really would like you to experience first hand the racial prejudice. I would like you to feel how does it feel to be discrimated [sic] for the simple reason of the color of your skin.

Take a walk in Arizona. By yourself. Because you are not white no matter how hard you try to be white, you will never be white . no matter how hard you try to speak like a white person. you will never will be one and your father and your mother and sisters and brothers will never be white no matter how hard you try.

You tell me: Who are the real racists?

Calling S.W.A.T. Against Grandma and Grandpa

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

SharpElbows.net, by way of Gateway Pundit.

Anonymous (Commenter #2) sums it up well:

OMG! calling out SWAT to keep an eye on Grandma/Grandpa……Someones insain [sic]

The video embedded starts out with three minutes of some guy with a camera trying to expose the ignorance of Obama supporters…mostly succeeding at it…and then halfway through the clip, violence breaks out in the ranks of the Tea Party people! Eh, not exactly…

It’s looking more and more like, if we need one sentence to sum up that slice of time which is the two years 2009 and 2010, it’s going to end up being a dollop of premium quality sarcasm from the pen of Mark Steyn:

Everybody knows that when you say “I’m becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending” that that’s old Jim Crow code for “Let’s get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson.”

President’s Petulance

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Politico:

Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street “movers and shakers” — and is fronting “cynical and deceptive” arguments on their behalf.

John Boehner is a health care Chicken Little to be mocked for predicting Armageddon if the Democrats’ reform bill passed.

Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because she’s “not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.”

And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”

Democratic oppo research? Comments from Daily Kos?

No, this is your president speaking.

Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal:

Smart Aleck-in-Chief?
There may be good reasons for Obama to go negative, but doing so could wreck his presidency.

Here’s a quiz: For which of the following reasons is the 44th president of the United States bad-mouthing Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, bankers, mine operators, insurers, Glenn Beck, the tea party, the Supreme Court and whoever he hammers as we go to press:

a) He’s rallying his base.

b) He’s rallying the Democrats’ base (one overlaps but does not equal the other).

c) He’s changing the subject from 9% unemployment.

d) To reverse his sinking approval ratings.

e) It’s what Saul Alinsky would do.

f) It’s what Barack Obama likes to do.

Astute readers instantly saw that the answer is, all of the above.

Republicans such as Mitch McConnell, a target of Obamian invective, are calling it conduct unbecoming a president. They are right. Carter, Reagan, both Bushes and Ford didn’t do it. People assume the hyperpolitical Bill Clinton did it, but if memory serves, his public persona was presidential to a fault, even as he brimmed with Vesuvian anger.

Does this hurt His ability to preside? Is it bad for the country? Does it manifest an unwillingness, and perhaps an inability, to do the job we are supposed to have elected Him to do?

Yes, yes, yes and yes.

What’s missing is this: The notion that grappling with the situation at hand, turning a bad situation into a good one, is Priority #1. The Alinsky politics are incompatible with that, and His Eminence is — oh, you’re going to have to forgive me for what comes next, I simply cannot resist — bitterly clinging to Saul Alinsky’s book. ++smirk++

We’ll survive this, but only the way you survive a bad hangover, or the severe dehydration of three days trapped in a locked suitcase. We won’t be whole the instant it’s over. We’ll need time to recuperate.

Henninger mentions Reagan. Reagan made it his business to stir the puddin’ only when he had something thoughtful to say. I remember clearly Reagan’s first year in office. He certainly did have his share of critics, especially for a nearly-70-year-old man who went through surgery to remove a bullet an inch from his heart.

But he stuck to business. And what you very rarely hear anyone mention is that the much-discussed “energy crisis,” with all of the gas lines winding ’round the block, the spiking power bills, the winter heating oil crises, this & that…mysteriously came to an end. Oh that’s right, isn’t it? It’s a seventies thing and not an eighties thing. How come that is?

Because government really doesn’t have that much power to make things better. Unless it can get out of the way…and in 1981, it had a lot of getting-out-of-the-way to do. Reagan stuck to the job, and didn’t lower himself into a shouting match with his critics.

Sarah Palin, the woman who’s supposed to be so dismally unqualified for the Presidency, is made from much the same mold. She makes her points when she has something thoughtful to say, when it’s more than a one-liner. Yes, she often starts with some witty catchphrase…which is probably borrowed. And then she posts the resulting three paragraphs on Facebook, which I take less than seriously. I see it as the “Hello Kitty” of blogging. But the things she has to say, are substantial things. Ad hom is not part of the discussion, in fact she very rarely addresses an attack directly — only when the attack was so egregious, that ignoring it is out of the question. Jokes about her daughter being molested by a baseball player for example.

Barack Obama, it seems, is never going to ascend to this level of maturity — the maturity that has to do with taking on weighty problems, along with the heavy thinking that must swirl around them, head-on. There’s always another round of “I’m better than that guy over there” that must be played.

For the good of the country, this must be made into an issue. It might not teach Holy Man what He needs to learn, but it’s a real problem with how this nation is being governed, and will be governed in the near future. If those in power won’t be dealing with the issue, it falls to the electorate to deal with it. We need some grown-ups in there.

Ten Really Awkward Situations

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

And I’m going to embed this first one because it’s been in my stack of “Click for a quick smile” videos for…since it came out, whenever that was. Great stuff.

CavemanCircus.

Hat tip to Linkiest.

This Sarah Palin fan finds himself outnumbered, according to appearances, by the Palin haters…although it’s difficult to tell. They’re so loud because they’re so desperate, and they’re desperate because she’s effective. Well, I think I found the perfect response to them and it’s just two words: Paula Abdul.

On any planet where Paula is allowed somewhere near a teevee camera, Palin is perfectly qualified to be not only President, but Supreme Court Chief Justice, Nobel Laureate, Chair of the Board of Microsoft, Chief Architect of the next major release of the Linux operating system, and inventor of some kind of new form of space travel.

Air Travel in a 24-Hour Period

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Hat tip to Tom McMahon.

Obama in the Heartland

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

J. Christian Adams writes in Pajamas Media:

Why, just this year you’ve passed … uhm … you’ve passed … well … you’ve passed … a lot of time on a horrible health care bill. But, in the pipeline, you’ve got … a bill about climate change. OK. Well, let’s look at what’s being talked about on the long-term horizon, and that would be … immigration reform and a possible path to citizenship for illegals.

Mr. President, I respectfully ask … what the heck are you thinking? Do you have your head in the sand or in a place that up ‘til now I really thought was physically impossible?

“I Never Had a Real Job”

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Oh…my…God. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised about this.

How do our left-wingers see this; that is my question. Really, what’s their take on it. If they’re of the mind that this is an Officer Barbrady situation — “Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here!” — then the cultural divide that separates us must be so wide and yawning as to be irreconcilable. Read the comments to see what I mean by that.

On the other hand, if their attitude is one of “Yeah, he’s a clueless fuck but what are ya gonna do?” then I will have to challenge them for their title of “Good Liberal.” Because, to whatever extent we need liberals around (and that ain’t much), it really needs to be all about opposing the establishment, or the maintenance, of an under-talented and over-privileged aristocracy. If they’re not going to stand up for that, then I will.

I think of the name “Geithner” these days when I think about under-talented and over-privileged aristocracies.

Morgan the Liberal!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

That’s right, an egg-sucking pinko-commie left-wing bleeding-heart liberal.

1. I disagree with the Republican party’s pro-business stance when it goes too far afield, when it gets into the “businesses can’t do anything wrong” territory. When the businesses are doing things that are against the law, for example. Like hiring illegal aliens.
2. I think Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are pretty smart guys, at some things. The problem is that these things aren’t terribly useful to us. Lying, equivocating, obfuscating, making planted whores faint at their speeches, inventing an “Office of the President Elect,” etc.
3. I further agree that George W. Bush and Sarah Palin are unsophisticated at some things. Of course, we can probably use some leadership that is unsophisticated and unskilled at lying, equivocating, obfuscating, et al.
4. I acknowledge that carbon, in sufficient quantities, has an insulatory effect in our atmosphere.
5. I’m a little bit gun-shy about sending people to jail for cheating on their spouses. I don’t think they should go to Hell for it, either. Purgatory maybe, but not Hell.
6. I believe it is possible to live according to a moral code, that will endure over time, without believing in God. I just haven’t personally seen a lot of people doing that, is all.
7. I don’t want anything to happen to convicted murderers that’s any worse than what they did to their victims. For example, if you shoot some guy in the head, I don’t think it’s right that we burn you at the stake. We should save that for the guy who burned his victim at the stake. If you shot your victim in the head we should stop at shooting you in the head.
8. I think any issue involving controlled substances is purely a states’-rights issue. In fact I think states are too big for this. If you can legalize it in your city block or township, then by all means shoot up.
9. I don’t want to see a cross erected on any government facility or property.
10. I don’t think people should be denied an opportunity to make a living just because they didn’t go to college.
11. I don’t approve of woman/minority “set-asides” in college enrollment, government hiring, promotions or contracting.
12. I’m concerned about the environment being poisoned by human activity, it’s just that I’m concerned about the human activity nobody seems to want to talk about. Kids being rude and grabby. Gum being left on sidewalks. Little kids with shopper-in-training grocery carts. Convertibles with boom-boom-chicka-boom music. These are all pollution.
13. I am a champion of unions organizing to bargain collectively with management, but the unions I have in mind are the Tea Parties, and the management I have in mind is the government.
14. I’m a staunch defender of a woman’s right to choose. If she chooses to work at Hooter’s, and she’s got the legs for it, then let her work.
15. The public debt that is being taken out, through our government, is another form of pollution since it has the potential to degrade the quality of life for future generations. I am much more concerned about this than I’ve ever been about any spotted owl. It is an “environmental” catastrophe waiting to happen, one crying out for a bunch of new laws that I would fully support if they were submitted for a hearing.
16. I want to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I would like to see Congress treated as “Agent Zero” for any & all new laws that would apply to businesses in the private sector — I think Congress should be regulated by these laws for a whole year before they apply to anybody else. Maybe two years.
17. I think the little people deserve to have someone fighting on their side for a change. You know who I mean: The people who don’t work in Washington.
18. I am opposed to corporate welfare, and that includes bailouts for businesses deemed “Too Big To Fail.”
19. I am concerned about the ability people have to think independently. When tens of millions of my countrymen think radical Islamic terrorism is not a threat, and those very same millions think the planet is in danger when I make a pot of coffee and don’t bother to unplug the pot when it’s done, there is something terribly, terribly wrong.
20. Men being forced to marry women before they can have sex? Whatever this rule is supposed to be doing to build up civilization, it’s tearing down a lot more than it’s building up. Tell you what, church people: Stop marriage from being a modern form of legalized theft, and then we’ll talk. Until then, I’ll oppose you like any good liberal should.

democrats Dump the Antiwar Movement

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Hat tip to fabiorojas at orgtheory.net (by way of tjasko at RedState), who adds:

…[T]he decline of the antiwar movement can be attributed, in part, to the fact that Democrats have stopped using the peace movement as a platform for anti-Bush sentiment. In other words, at its peak, the ranks of the antiwar movement were swelled by partisans. Once Obama won the presidency, and other issues emerged, the movement shrank when Democrats stopped showing up. The remaining protesters were more likely to be non-partisan or third party, and these non-Democrats were more likely to disapprove of Obama’s management of Iraq and Afghanistan. When Democrats gained power, the movement converged on a core of peace activists who were not strongly identified with the Democratic party.

This is just completely damning, especially if you bought into the notion that voting for Obama was all about a principled opposition to war. This is precisely why we spell “democrat” with a small d, even in our headlines. We don’t respect them, because they don’t respect anything. Every single agenda their party has, is exactly like this — they are fair-weather friends of whatever it is. They’re fiscal hawks until such time as they get elected and don’t need that support anymore, they’re peace doves until they don’t need that, they’re all for making sure every vote is counted provided they’re the kind of votes they happen to like.

They buy votes. I suppose both major parties are guilty of this to some degree, but the democrats have made a constant practice out of it. Here…here’s some money…now, just completely sidestep the whole question of whether my ideas are any good or not, because they’re important to the people I really represent. Just think about the money and the benefits. Can you get along with those. No, you can’t? Then the conversation is over. And you’re to think of me as a wonderful friend because I gave you this money and these benefits, as if I pulled them out of my own billfold…even though you know and I know, that that’s not what I did.

That, too, is but a means to an end. That, also, cannot be reliably envisioned as their ultimate goal. Ninety-nine percent of what they do is in service of something else — and the one percent that’s left, is the something-else. Day and night they work like the dickens to avoid talking about what that is.

We’ll discuss that further, later. It isn’t opposition to war. That question need not be pondered, ever again.

Update: More obfuscation, this time it’s parody. But this is the sort of parody that creates a serious challenge for he who parodies. It’s getting difficult to stay out ahead of this stuff.

Democrats Introduce 12,000-Page Bill to Solve Problems Caused by Previously-Passed 2,500-Page Bill

As objective evaluations of the recently-passed health care law have become available, it’s becoming increasingly clear the law will not lower the costs of health care insurance, some 14 million people will lose their employer coverage, patients will spend tens of billions of dollars on new fees and excise taxes on drugs and medical devices, and 23 million people will remain uninsured.

12,000 Page BillIn response to those concerns, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced she was introducing a 12,000 page bill to help solve the problems created by the previously-passed 2,500 page bill.

“The American people can have faith that these additional 12,000 pages comprehensively address the previous 2,500 pages that were intended to comprehensively address needed changes to our health care system,” said Speaker Pelosi.

This sort of touches on the issue of what’s going on with the post previous, and it also recalls some of my bitching and belly-aching back here.

We are living in a prolonged period within the history of our government, in which problems are routinely being solved through measures nearly identical to what created the problems in the first place.

It’s getting to the point where nobody who’s watching what’s going on, possessing some measure of recollection of recent history, has any reason to think anything is ever going to be any different. Nobody’s expecting a real change of motion. So we all must be expecting consistent results, or else among those who truly expect things to work out differently there must exist a condition of true insanity.

I can’t really blame the democrat party for pretending to support an antiwar movement they never really supported. If this was my constituency, I’d be using a whole fistful of phony gimmicks too. Some of these politicians have been serving for a very long time, and I think this must warp your view of life after awhile wouldn’t it? When your job is to just put on a big show for people who are easily fooled, and then you go back the next day and do it again? And you’re always working the same primal instincts…so unlike the stand-up comedian, you’d never have to change your act.

Obama Convenes Panel to Solve Budget Problems He Helped Create

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

“Obama” is is actually a Kenyan word; it refers to a large mistake made in the recent past, with great flourish and usually by a large number of people, and the tender egos of the ones who made it will not allow them to admit to the mistake.

Actually I just pulled that out of my ass just now. But it’s pretty believable at this point.

His Wonderfulness is convening a panel and taking suggestions. I’ve seen this before, and in the long run I have never, ever ended up happy with this kind of “leadership.” It’s disappointed me in school, it’s disappointed me at work, it’s disappointed me on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The oh-so-wonderful leader who is super-duper-wonderful, and when it comes down to arriving at that vital component of leadership which is the idea — the oh-so-wonderful leader solicits suggestions. Hey, if ya gotta do it, then ya better. But if coming up with the idea is not your cup o’ tea, then what makes you oh-so-wonderful?

Is there a school of thought out there, somewhere, that seriously thinks when a broken and hopeless people become hungry for oh-so-wonderful leadership, that what they’re craving is a showman who will claim credit for their best ideas with great panache, and oh-so-stylishly divert the blame to others when the worst ideas fail to pan out? There are people out there who think this is a rare and precious talent, and we need more of it?

I’ve never understood it.

You do have to give Obama high chutzpah marks for pulling this stunt, though

Seeking to show he is serious about reining in soaring budget deficits, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will kick off the work of a panel he created to try to solve the nation’s fiscal woes.

Obama has given the independent, 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility broad leeway to suggest remedies for the debt and deficits.
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Obama has given the panel until December 1 to report back on its recommendations, enabling it to deliver its report after the November U.S. congressional elections.

Now, granted, Republicans under Bush were not exactly paragons of spending control, hence their low approval ratings from Conservatives. And Bush could have forced the Democrat controlled Congress to reduce spending during his last two years. That said, when Obama took over the White House with Democrats in full control of Congress, he apparently said “hey, Republicans, let me show you what out of control spending really looks like.” We then received the boondoggle know as Stimulus (which economists say failed). He signed a record high budget bill. He signed several special budget bills…

[D]oes anyone think that the answers to the budget problems will be “quit spending so darned much!”? Or, do we expect them to be “raise taxes along with implementing a VAT”? Democrats will not reign in any sort of spending. Remember that Pay-go rule they instituted, and then broke within 11 days? The one they have ignored ever since? Remember when Obama said he would go through the budget line by line and do away with pork?

If the Leader is supposed to be superlative and not a merely average leader…but He has to borrow His ideas from somewhere…then you know you’re looking at the Unconstrained Vision of Humanity identified by Dr. Thomas Sowell. It is a path that only leads to one place, and that place is Debt Hell.

Well, unless you’re a member of Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate. So make that two places.

I have to agree with the last part of Teach’s comments, although it certainly gives me no pleasure. This is all about the VAT. The VAT and the Tea Parties. Obama needs the Tea Party house fire to, if it cannot be extinguished, at least burn out slowly and not flare up any further. He needs to implement an idea without owning the idea. That is, of course, what commissions are all about: To introduce, or lend support to, ideas that would spell career suicide for an individual public figure were they too strongly affixed to his name. They’re all about the National Enquirer Effect. You know, nobody will admit to buying a trash-tabloid magazine, so if you believe what you’re told then you must conclude no one is purchasing it anywhere. And yet somebody is. That’s precisely the way a commission works. Nobody who was in attendance came up with this poison-pill of an idea. Someone must have, but there’s no single name next to it; it’s just “the commission recommends.”

Hello, VAT.

All you folks out there arguing about how we need the very smartest people in the country in our positions of leadership, this is why I give you that peculiar look. This is why I say we need someone not quite so sophisticated. Because when lowbrows like me are told the problem is skyrocketing debt, and asked what to do about it, we say things you only hear from a rube…like “Quit spending so goddamn much.” The tragedy of the times in which we live, is that “intelligence” is being re-defined as a habit of veering off from an unsophisticated boring answer like that, into other things. And, when the time comes to put some quality thought into whether or not that’s the kind of “intelligence” we really need, we vote on it.

I’m sure the time will come when we vote that we can’t afford anymore of this, and I’m reasonably confident we’ll vote that way at the very next opportunity. But that’s many months away, and I don’t think you even want to comprehend how many dollars. We need some unsophisticated, boring thinking more than anything else…and we need it PDQ.

Boobquake

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

One of my favorite counter-arguments in action. By now it’s old news, but in case you haven’t heard of it here’s a summary. Muslim cleric asshole blames earthquakes on scantily clad, immodest decadent women. So the immodest western decadent women go scantily clad en masse at a designated date and time to see if any earthquakes result. I love it — someone comes out and says something boneheaded, you accentuate the boneheadedness of it by taking it a zillion percent seriously. Pretty much what I do with global warming. Ooh, that reminds me, the coffee’s done I’d better unplug the pot. Only got one planet.

Thus far, everyone who’s heard of Boobquake has been asking the same question: What if an earthquake really does happen, what then?

ReelGirl shares this concern:

And I’ve got to wonder: what would it mean if the breast baring does actually bring on an earthquake? I guess the cleric would be proved right, but it would be kind of a cool testament to female power. Not a big, long earthquake, nothing that hurt anyone, just a quickie.

BoobquakeI guess no one knows what will come of Boobquake yet. The only thing evident so far is that women are smarter than men. If men were more intelligent, they would’ve thought this up years ago. Or maybe they did.

Fortunately, Yours Truly is sufficiently mature and restrained to let that comment go and not say anything about it.

Eh, no I’m not.

Nope, no man has ever thought of anything like this. Your superior intellect is 99% proven…and it’ll be completely undeniable if you post some more pics of your smartness.

The Facebook page is here.

And since you’re wondering, yes it did make Wikipedia. The last paragraph of which (at this time) is pure gold.

That morning, at 10:59 am (0259 GMT), a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck 195 miles off the coast of Taitung, Taiwan, at a depth of 6.2 miles. McCreight insisted that this Taiwan earthquake alone was not statistically significant, but that she would continue to monitor seismic activity for the next 24 hours. Other participants pointed out that the earthquake in Taiwan occured early in the morning, prior to the official start of the experiment.

Sciencedammit!! Inconclusive results! More experimentation is in order.

What is needed is…and this is a stupid man’s idea, right now, right here…a Boobquake TourTM. Yes, 45 cities in four months, or something. A cast of regulars moving from one site to another to another in a great big bus, being joined at each stop by the locals. And then we could monitor the seismic activity all summer long. On, uh, you know, the earth’s surface that is. Then, I’m sure Seddiqi would end up good and embarrassed.

This Is Good LXXI

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Hat tip to Right Wing News dude John Hawkins.

“Rights” Are Just Plain Wrong!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

It gratifies my heart to see a column like this called “incredible“. It is a simple and durable stone-by-stone, brick-by-brick, layer-by-layer perusal of sturdy, irrefutable logic. Perhaps I should go back to writing up blog posts the same way I write software, then I can do some incredible stuff too.

Regardless, this is pretty awesome:

The source of all rights is the right to life, and its sole implementation is the right to property, the right to use the products of your efforts to sustain your life. The rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the rights to enjoy your life and use your property. Rights are an objectively necessary requirement of human life, principles which apply equally to all persons and at all times. In sum, rights are freedoms for rational beings to take the actions necessary to fulfill and enjoy their lives. Any alleged “right” which violates these rights is not a right, but an excuse for a crime.

The only way to violate individual rights is through the initiation of force. A person who initiates force against you is attempting to negate your means of survival by forcing you to act against your judgment as to what your life requires. The only moral use of force is in retaliation against those who initiate its use. The sole proper purpose of government is to protect its citizens’ rights by banning the initiation of force and placing its retaliatory use under objective control. The purpose of the U.S. Constitution was, and is, to establish and maintain the supremacy of individual rights over our society and our government.
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There is no more time to evade this choice. Will we recognize the existence of individual rights and the full meaning of what they are and what they require, or will we accept the institutionalized slavery of enforced service of all to all, where ability is penalized and need is encouraged? [emphasis mine]

This kind of gets back to what I was talking about with regard to freedom. It is, when all’s said and done, an enforceable prohibition against some outsider interfering with your routine transactions, using some kind of genuine or made-up authority to coerce you into doing things his way.

You have it, or you don’t. There is no in-between. And if we’re all going to vote to manufacture for ourselves new “rights,” then that means we are surrendering the freedom of whatever poor dumb bastard is supposed to pay for it. And that means we’re surrendering the freedom of everybody; we’re making freedom into a non-significant, non-binding, non-give-a-fuck attribute of our humanity.

If you believe in any kind of a deity whose will was responsible for putting us where we are, then you have to believe we were designed and built for a more dignified existence.

Commonsense Rules to Stop Fatcats From Grabbing Whatever They Want

Monday, April 26th, 2010

His Holy Eminence graces us with the sound of His dulcet tones:

You say, that’s all fine and good, He isn’t fooling me! He’s talking about government auditors and legislators who’ve never held a real job a day in their lives, taking away the profit I earned fairly and with the full consent of my customers and stockholders. Commonsense? That’s just a code word for government intrusion. I can see right through Him!

But two out of three of us are falling for it. Yeah, you read that right.

About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.

President Soetoro, be He a two-termer or be He not, is bound to go down in history as a democrat demigod. In fact I’m pretty sure He’s going to be the first former President whose likeness will be struck onto legal tender currency within His lifetime. That side of the aisle has had an eternal tendency to choose their heroes according to how much bullshit could be sold over how little time, and what Barry is doing here is quite revolutionary. He’s selling exactly the same toxin as a remedy for the problem, that caused the problem in the first place…and getting away with it.

What makes businesses inherently non-sensible?

What makes government inherently sensible?

In the universe I call home, He’d be called upon to explain those; they are, after all, central to the merit-or-lack-thereof in what He is saying.

But not here.

Save Are Teachers!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Wonder if it was an infiltrator?

It’s a good thing this teacher, Terry Hoffman, is retiring. She’s a language teacher, but apparently she can’t even teach her students simple grammar. Maybe if she spent more time educating her students, and less time planning protests, they wouldn’t be confusing “our” and “are”.

Ah, but don’t go gettin’ mad just yet:

It seems like common sense, but people always tend to think that teachers are so poorly paid, and work so hard, and are just downtrodden and unappreciated. It would appear that this is a myth.

The key finding from the Manhattan Institute’s study seems to back that up.

When considering teacher pay, policymakers should be aware that public school teachers, on average, are paid 36% more per-hour than the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker. They should be aware that the higher relative pay for public school teachers exists in almost every metro area for which data are available. Finally, they should be aware that paying public school teachers more does not appear to be associated with higher student achievement.

“Tim” and “Tea” Both Begin With “T”

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Mark Steyn has fun lowering the boom on Bubba:

I suppose the thinking runs something like this. All things considered, the polls on Obamacare aren’t totally disastrous, and the president’s approval numbers seem to have bottomed out in the low forties, and when you look at what that means in terms of the electoral map this November, you’ve only got to scare a relatively small percentage of squishy suburban moderate centrists back into the Democratic fold, and how difficult can that be?

Hence, Bill Clinton energetically on the stump, summoning all his elder statesman’s dignity (please, no giggling) in the cause of comparing Tea Partiers to Timothy McVeigh. Oh, c’mon, they’ve got everything in common. They both want to reduce the size of government, the late Mr. McVeigh through the use of fertilizer bombs, the Tea Partiers through control of federal spending, but these are mere nuanced differences of means, not ends. Also, both “Tim” and “Tea” are three-letter words beginning with “T”: Picture him upon your knee, just Tea for Tim and Tim for Tea, you’re for him and he’s for thee, completely interchangeable.
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Will it work? For a long time, Tea Partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say “I’m becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending” that that’s old Jim Crow code for “Let’s get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson.”

Bill Clinton is to dignity what Ted Kennedy was to sobriety.

He Held Her Steady

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

True hero:

The plane had blown an engine over the northern Arabian Sea, and the lead pilot, Lt. Miroslav “Steven” Zilberman, had to make lightning-quick decisions.

The E-2C Hawkeye, returning from a mission in Afghanistan, was a few miles out from the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. Zilberman, 31, was a veteran U.S. Navy pilot who had flown many times in the Middle East with the Hawkeye, a turbo-prop aircraft loaded with radar equipment.

The starboard propeller shut down, causing the plane to become unstable and plunge. Zilberman ordered his three crew mates, including the co-pilot, to bail. He manually held the plane as steady as possible so they could jump.

Zilberman“He held the plane level for them to do so, despite nearly uncontrollable forces. His three crewmen are alive today because of his actions,” Navy Rear Adm. Philip S. Davidson wrote to Zilberman’s parents.

Zilberman went down with the aircraft on March 31. The 1997 graduate of Bexley High School was declared dead three days later, his body lost at sea.
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A copy of the medal also was given to his parents – Boris Zilberman and his wife, Anna Sokolov – who live in the Eastmoor area of Columbus.

“Now we have unbelievable pain,” Sokolov said this week. “He was our one and only son.”

After an April 8 memorial service in Norfolk and through conversations with fellow officers and friends, Zilberman’s parents have learned how highly regarded their son was.

“He saved three lives. He’s a hero,” his mother said.
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Zilberman had planned to go on to study medicine and hoped to become an emergency-room doctor. Sokolov said she learned that he spent his spare time reading organic-chemistry books.

He was about to take a new assignment in Pensacola, Fla., as a flight instructor. Rear Adm. Davidson, in his letter to Zilberman’s parents, said they should be proud of what their son did. Zilberman’s crew mates, he said, owe their lives to him.

“I know they will never forget him,” Davidson wrote. “I will remember him forever.”

Got something in your eye?

Something to keep in mind, next time you’re feeling like your life is intolerable because the line at the coffee shop is a little bit long and slow-moving.

This generation coming up, I tell ya. It’s enough to drive all hope for the future of humanity from the very marrow of your bones…and then you hear of stuff like this. And all kinds of questions just naturally explode in your noggin. Did people respect this guy’s enormous rock-hard wheelbarrow balls while he was still among us. What would I do in a situation like that, and is there a way to find out.

To the last of those questions, I’m pretty sure the answer is a negatori. You just have to pray. The answer to the others is a big fat I-don’t-know.

Godspeed, noble warrior.

Freedom Is…

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

July 4th is coming. And I know I cannot depend on my President, in spite of His astonishing number-of-speeches-per-year statistic, to ever mention the “F” word.

So we should put some real thought into what exactly this word means. Here are my suggestions — freedom is…

1. Relying on your own fortune, skills and good judgment for your survival and station in life, rather than on the decisions of others, no matter how friendly those others may seem to you at the moment.
2. The right to do things that may bring displeasure to others, regardless of how powerful they may be.
3. The absence of nuisance laws that are passed solely for the purpose of bringing your code of morality into line with someone else’s.
4. The ability to choose your charities.
5. Independence in selecting your ethical priorities.
6. Being able to do what you can, right now, without waiting for everyone else to be able to do the same thing.
7. Raising your children as you see fit, into the kind of adults you think the world needs.
8. Using your intellect. The freedom to say, as George Orwell said, that two and two make four.
9. Being entitled to everything that would be available to you — provided you could find it — if you were the only living person in existence.
10. Choosing what nobody else would want to choose, and still being able to choose it.
11. Being the full and uncontested owner of an hour of your own time, before such an event as you sell it to another.
12. Voicing an opinion without being ostracized for it.
13. Engaging in a partnership with a second party, without contending with the hostile judgment of a third.
14. Travel. Here and there you’re stopped from going into places, but nobody stops you from going out.
15. Being the guy in a teenage-slasher movie who dies first. You know, the guy who goes off by himself. Nobody stops him.
16. Your poorest judgment.
17. Your hourly blood, sweat and tears being invested in your system of values, and nobody else’s.
18. Being able to make decisions that lead to things being done, without waiting for a vote.
19. Doing things that don’t cost anybody anything, although they make them very angry…and then doing them again.
20. Explaining to your children that things don’t make any sense, when they don’t. Even though “polite company” must pretend they make more sense than they really do.

What Kind of Socialist is Barack Obama?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Jonah Goldberg is being way too nice.

The assertion that Barack Obama is a socialist became a hallmark of the 2008 presidential campaign. His opponent, John McCain, used Obama’s own extemporaneous words to an Ohio plumber as Exhibit A: “When you spread the wealth around,” Obama had said, “it’s good for everybody.”

Dude, that’s like exhibit A through Z. There’s nothing left to prove. “Spread the wealth around,” no matter how many different ways you want to interpret it, must mean as a first step take it away from the people who have it.

When you take it away from people who have it, that means you punish the productive people for being productive. Any definition of socialism that demands something beyond that, is an illegitimate definition. Period, end of story.

That, McCain insisted, sounded “a lot like socialism,” as did Obama’s proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy and high earners for the explicit purpose of taking better care of the lower and middle classes with that redistributed money.

Republicans believed they had hit a rhetorical mother lode with this line of argument in 2008, but their efforts to make hay of Obama’s putative socialism proved unedifying, if not outright comic. The National Committee of the Republican Party even formally considered a resolution on whether the Democratic party should change its name to “the Democratic Socialist Party” of the United States. The stunt was shelved infavor of compromise language lamenting the Democrats’ “march toward socialism.”

March toward? March toward??

In my lifetime — I have a head full of gray hair — the democrat party has not been on the side of those who have prospered according to the findings of the free market, on any issue, not one single time. Not unless you define “free market” as something having to do with deal-making inside the beltway. They are the party of rolodex-profiteering, and always have been. They’re “marching toward” socialism the same way little kids with shopper-in-training grocery carts are marching toward being annoying…the same way Barack Obama is marching toward being imperious, condescending and arrogant.

Who presided over this “shelving”? That’s what I’d like to know.

Given his conduct and rhetoric as president, we have every reason to reopen the question from 2008 and ask, quite simply, What kind of socialist is Barack Obama?

I have an answer: A successful one.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

If you have kids, you really should go because it’s educational. It would be good to have them read at least one Steinbeck novel first.

Just two reservations: I think I actually lost something off my life expectancy from all the grabby kids. The crowd thickened slowly over the two or three hours we were there, and by the time we left I was in a poor disposition. The Bay Area has that effect on me. Although it was gratifying when I got that look-of-death from the brittle aging hippie lady who overheard me explaining to the boy that seahorses don’t need their females for anything. Bay Area hippies are a special breed; they seem to have put quite a bit of distance between themselves and the “make love not war” deal. It’s like the salt air mixes in with the drugs in their system and creates some kind of corrosive acid.

The other reservation was something I should have expected in the heart of Angry-Hippie territory: What I called the “Humans Are Bastards” room. All global warming, all the time, every square inch. Might as well have plastered an enormous Obama logo on the far wall, floor-to-ceiling. No doubt about it, our filthy species is frying the planet, can’t you hear the sizzling?

Your li’l darlings will learn all about the issue, except for one thing: All the uncertainties involved. That part is conveniently left out. I’m thinking of providing the aquarium with a donation…it is a worthy cause…along with a letter expressing my thoughts about it, both positive and otherwise. Because there are some parts of that final room that, I think, cross a line. Not because of my skepticism and my leanings — the items in that room, that I have in mind, are just plain and simply inappropriate.

We Like to Categorize

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Wise, wise words from Bookworm Room about the perils of identity politics:

Humans like labels. Without our innate ability to organize and categorize, because of the overwhelming amount of data we receive from the world around us, we would be dysfunctional. You can imagine some distant hunter/gatherer ancestor standing paralyzed before a brown thing, unable to classify it as plant or animal, safe or dangerous, edible or poisonous. That perplexed hunter/gatherer did not survive to pass down his genes. The one who was able to classify the object correctly as a bush waving in the wind, a sleeping bear, or the entrance to a cave was the one who was able to be fruitful and multiply. We are that well-organized person’s descendants.

Having an inherent ability, however, doesn’t mean that we have to let that ability control. We are all capable of killing but, if we’re moral, we don’t unless we have to. We’re hardwired for sex, but the vast majority of us can control our libidos. We tamp down on our fight and flight instincts, too, insofar as we’ve figured out that a stressful meeting with the boss isn’t license to hit him or run away.

In the same way, I do believe we can control the rampant categorization that constitutes identity politics. People are not labels. They are the giant sum of their parts, their interests, and their values. I have good friends who are gay conservatives, and I even know some Jewish conservatives. I know Asians who are slackers. These people are who they are, not what they are.

For a generation that was raised to shake off all the old stereotypes (and I still came into the world on the tail-end of the “Poles are stupid,” “Jews are greedy,” “Scots are frugal,” “Irish are shiftless,” “Asians are sneaky” tropes that were endemic in American society for so many decades), we seem awfully anxious to embrace stereotypes all over again. It’s just that we’re embracing entirely new stereotypes that still manage to lock people into straight jackets just as tightly as the old ones did.

Larry Elder for Head of RNC

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

I agree with Patterico.

This is beyond mere incompetence. This shows [RNC Chairman Michael] Steele has no idea what it means to be a Republican:

Why should an African-American vote Republican?

“You really don’t have a reason to, to be honest — we haven’t done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True,” Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told 200 DePaul University students Tuesday night.

Steele — a former Maryland lieutenant governor and seminarian serving as the first African-American head of the Republican Party — offered a frank assessment of the American political system.

It’s not a “frank” assessment, it’s a monumentally clueless one that assumes people need to be courted by political parties — as if the only issue for black voters is whether a party sucks up to them sufficiently. [emphasis Patterico's]

There’s actually a lot of disagreement about this. Steele has his defenders; there are those who say this is an example of “gotcha” journalism, that one comment might very well have been taken out of context, you shouldn’t pass judgment until you RTWT (read the whole thing).

That argument just doesn’t hold up. For one thing, how do you take such a comment out of context? In what context does it make sense? Hold it, go off and read what Larry Elder said about the same subject, then come back and reply.

I’ll be happy to wait.

For another thing, if you do go read the article, which is about as much of a “The Whole Thing” as we can get hold of…you see there really isn’t any specific issue nailed down with regard to the GOP, any specific indication of what they’ve done or haven’t done. “We had a ‘Southern Strategy’ that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South.” This means what, exactly? Yeah, yeah, we’re all supposed to “get” something. But if Steele doesn’t specify what was done versus what he thought should have been done, then Patterico’s got the right idea.

Most of the Republicans I know, would sooner shove pencils in their eye sockets than vote democrat because they’re worried sick that their kids will be the first generation in recent history to live at a lifestyle less comfortable than their parents’…or that the kids will never be able to earn or keep anything. Tell me, please — what skin color is that?

There are only two possible interpretations of Steele’s comment. One, he thinks the message of the GOP ought to be that it can appeal to something color-aware, it can do as good a job at this as those other guys, and there are no other issues that really matter. Or two, that the message should be one of fiscal restraint and personal freedom…but blacks aren’t responding to that message. And this would be the fault of the people forming the message and packaging it.

I find both of these indefensible. And the second of those two doesn’t really even make any sense.

The message isn’t sufficiently complicated to require color-specific marketing. The party of dissent should never labor under such a problem; the two positions are too far apart. The message from the folks currently running everything, whose agenda will be put to a referendum, is also simple: Put the “Age of Aquarius” kids in charge of government, and then have government make all of the decisions.

Minorities have to be lured into resisting that? They have to have an “outreach” program before they can see what’s wrong with that? I don’t think so, Mr. Steele. I really don’t think so.

“Generation of Schmucks”

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

On Earth Day, blogger friend Buck could see Komsomols from his house.

And here’s the latest shot across the bow for us troglodytes who tend to turn a jaundiced eye on the whole Earth Day thing… from “How to Green Your Parents,” in yesterday’s NYT…

Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened. Earth Day brings people together for nice gatherings and noble efforts but has, for the most part, made sustainable action more of an annual event than a daily habit. We’ve got to change that.

Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. GMP’s initial goal is to have its first 100 youth advocates train and educate 100 peers (who will then turn to 100 of their respective peers and so on), with the aim of saving families $100 million between now and April 2011.

Robin of Berkeley records her on-the-job observation that being such a Komsomol can be tough on the ol’ mental stability (hat tip again to Gerard):

My twenty-something client Emma, a survivor of the Berkeley public schools, had a coughing fit during our session. I helpfully got up to get her some water. When I handed her a cup, she looked at it, incredulous.

Her voice quivering, she asked, “Is this Styrofoam?”

I said yes. She stared at the cup, mesmerized by this forbidden fruit. When she finally found her words, she said, “I’ve never seen Styrofoam before. We learned in school that it kills baby birds.”
:
When Emma returned the next week (thankfully), I asked about her reaction. She flooded me with stories about indoctrination by teachers. One of her earliest memories was singing songs on Earth Day, prayerfully, when she was five.

A sensitive soul, Emma became terrified that her beloved Earth would perish, and that she’d be culpable. Starting in third grade, she became an environmental fanatic. Emma went ballistic on her disabled grandmother when the old woman threw a bottle in the trash.
:
How did I help Emma snap out of her trance? I simply imparted truths that someone should have communicated years ago, like the following:

Emma, you’re a wonderful, good-hearted person. You deserve to be here. Your life is a blessing. It’s OK to drive your car or to take a bag from the store. You deserve all these things and more. Besides, the earth has been here for millions of years and will be here long after your great grandchildren are gone.

Now, if the planet is not about to crash and burn, why turn children like Emma into eco-warriors? Why condition them to take three-minute showers and lambaste their elders?

The Left’s underlying goal: to convince all of us that we don’t matter. Our happiness, our cleanliness, our ease of living, our money, and our time…it’s the government’s business, not ours. While Marxist theory celebrates the proletarian, in actuality, people become interchangeable cogs in the collective wheel. [bold emphasis mine]

This is really all about tombstones. At one extreme end of the spectrum, you can have a green burial. The opposite end would be to have the biggest tombstone in the entire cemetery, maybe with a statue of yourself standing over it, and an eternal flame in your hand perhaps? Which of course would look extraordinarily silly if you had not done something to earn it.

A green burial takes that pressure off.

But if you opt for the “When I’m gone I’m gone, I’m not gonna try to leave anything behind, don’t look for me to do anything” route, it makes you pretty cranky if you suspect everyone else isn’t following along. I can only imagine what that’s like. Waitaminnit! All you losers are going to be remembered a hundred years from now and people will have forgotten all about me? That’s not fair! I’m the good one!

There seems to be a connection between this “saving the planet” stuff and the instant-gratification, live-for-pleasure thing. This is not what I would have expected. But I suppose it stands to reason. If you truly live life to serve others, you would be performing a better service if people felt compelled to remember you for it. Therefore if you rebel against the one, you would of necessity be rebelling against the other. And who wants to be remembered for living a life of pleasure? I can just see it now: “This statue is dedicated to the memory of X, who played a lot of video games.” Eck, how embarrassing.

Awkward

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Hat tip to Joan of Arrgghh!

State Official Implements Solution to Problem That Might Actually Solve the Problem

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Shocking, yes, I know

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today signed a controversial immigration bill into state law, advancing a politically charged debate that is already having reverberations in Washington.

“Respect for the rule of law means respect for every law,” said Brewer, a Republican. “People across America are watching Arizona.

“We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act,” Brewer added. “But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

What a hussy. Where’s she get off?

His Eminence is not pleased.

“Our failure to act responsibly at the Federal level will only open the door to irresponsiblity by others,” [President Barack] Obama said. “That includes for example the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Obama added that his administration could join the fight. “I’ve instructed members of my admininstration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation,” he said, adding that it was “misguided.”

I think I’ve finally figured out what “basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans” means on Planet Lefty Liberal Scumbag. It means lawbreaking hooligans and responsible productive citizens switch places. The lawbreakers get away with whatever, with an Officer Barbrady in tow instructing the South Park citizens to “move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.” And business owners and executives are treated like thieves, with bonus-czars breathing down their necks, enforcing “basic fairness” and “social justice” if they’re caught being too productive.

Profit is evil. If you want to make a personal profit, go work for Barry. That’s the only place where you’re allowed to get rich. And, our approach to any given problem is first & foremost to make sure no one can make a profit by finding a solution to it.

Actually fixing the problem?? That’s gotta be violating someone’s “civil rights” somewhere.

The White House’s reaction is nothing more or less than a firefighter’s union, bringing buckets of gasoline to a house fire. And outlawing water.