Archive for August, 2010

“Smug, Flippant Jerk”

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I’m not much for fiction, but you could persuade me to plunk down some serious coin on a hardcover about — whatever — just by adding a sticker to the front of the jacket, so I can see it from a good distance away in the bookstore: “Contains a character based on White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.”

Okay, maybe you’d have to drop a hint as to what happens to the character. But oh yeah, I’d snatch that puppy up.

Or duck outta there and order it on Amazon.

Does he take some kind of vitamin every morning to be this obnoxious? Is this the kind of persona the Obama administration wants to send in to these all-important sit-downs with our “enemies” that will magically heal everything?

Another Example of Progressive Inversion Tongue (PIT)

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Smitty has shoved our opposite words project into second gear, and is now at the forefront of the effort to catalog all the creative ways our left-wingers have found to say the exact opposite of what they really mean.

Or not…he may not be aware we’d thrown the project into overdrive elsewhere. Personally, I have selected numbers 9 and 10 as the scariest ones:

9. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the freedoms we take for granted you’d better be careful, because he’s about to start pushing a bunch of laws that will deprive you of freedom.
10. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about putting together a society “that works for the benefit of everybody,” the society he starts describing always has rules that are designed to bring harm to certain groups of people.

And now we see the word “patriotism” has something to do with hating your countrymen.

Liberals sure do like opposites. Maybe they carry an enthused fondness for things that have two sides…having done most of their thinking on a virtual Mobius strip.

Whenever they start talking about a “fair” society that works for everybody, I cannot help but wonder where they’re going to put me after they get rid of me.

“A Society Does Not Survive If It Does Not Have a Reason to Survive”

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Dennis tells it like it is.

I’m lovin’ what he said about people in Europe (about 2:14). Lots of nice, decent, smart people over there…but at the same time, there is such a thing as a national process of thought, and what is happening to theirs is not good. We need to catch onto this because we are in a process of importing it.

Hat tip to the Kini Aloha Guy.

“Hypocrites and Fools”

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

There’s some durable, strong, old-fashioned logic for ya.

Got it from this list of ten liberal hypocrites at David Horowitz’ blog, hat tip to Linkiest.

“Deriding Those Concerns They Don’t Even Understand”

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

FrankJ nails it shut. An inability to listen is absolute “suicide in a democracy,” and this is the liberals’ biggest problem today.

If I had to name one thing that was liberals biggest problem election-wise, it’s their inability to listen. That wasn’t a big a problem when they were out of power and the opposition, but it’s destroying them now. Liberals like to think the right is crazy and angry, but the right actually does understand the liberals viewpoint. And rejects it. The left, though, doesn’t understand the right; they’re too busy screaming “bigot” and “racist” to even understand what the right is objecting to. While in power, they’ve ignored everyone’s concerns — even deriding those concerns they don’t even understand — and that’s just suicide in a democracy. Now the American people are done listening to the left; I’d say at least 60% of American stop paying attention to the left as soon as they make accusations of racism and bigotry — and that number is only rising. Just look at all the big issues lately: The more the left shouts, the more people turn against them. It’s not so much the Tea Party is so popular as it’s baiting liberals into being even more unpleasant and unlikeable.

That’s the nice thing about the system we have; no matter how much some people scream or cry, they don’t get to ignore election results.

Shiggz, in comment #12, points out the classic psychological projection:

Al Franken the literal things all the left accused Bush of being in 2000.
Joe Biden all the literal things the left accused Quayle of being.
Sotomoyar all the literal things the left accused Harriet Meyers of being.
Al Sharpton all the literal things and worse the left accused Clarence Thomas of being.
Hillary all the literal things the left accused Condoleeza of being.

I could go on but I feel like that gets the point.

Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Calendar Release Party

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Hat tip to Linkiest.

The Knicker Implosion

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

It is atomic. In my never-to-be-humble opinion…

None of this is anything like what it sounds like. “Atomic” sounds like “Thermonuclear,” and the mind leaps to conclusions. No, I mean it in a literal sense. Our blogger friend in New Mexico, Buck, has chosen to excerpt from the tract. That’s quite alright, but I have opted for a different approach because I consider it to be something of a fool’s errand trying to find the right place to start the carving.

Atomic things, in the blogger universe, are a reality. They are things that cannot be divided. I concede this is an arguable point, since if the excerpt did not work, I would not have clicked over to Alison’s piece, would not have found out about it, and it would not be here now. It did work.

But I maintain my opinion that this wonderful piece of hers is indivisible. The only way to present it is in its entirety. Read that as an excuse if you want — you’re probably right — but that’s how I’m putting it up now. Stem to stern. Here we go!

Today’s lunch break was, unusually, an enormous irritation.

I made my way to a small boutique style café in Soho which serves particularly interesting vegetarian food – yet another diet direction of late. I looked forward to sitting in this pretty, peaceful little establishment, minding my own business. I arrived early to secure a spot and sat at one of only two high empty tables in the place (it’s that cute) and ordered my lovely salad. I watched various people come in and out of the café and order take-away or gaze lovingly at the beautiful arrangement of home-made cakes in the little window. Outside in the background people darted in and out of doors for cover from the ceaseless rain which seems to always decide to wait til lunchtime or home time to put in an appearance. Our Summery weather of late has crashed and died in a spectacularly grim fashion.

Eventually a group of extremely well spoken young women came in. Polished looking. Chatting away. They rather apologetically asked me if I would mind if they shared my table. The seating means you all become best buddies in a heart beat whether you want to or not. Of course I didn’t mind since that was the nature of this little place and assumed the chatter would be low key and banal given our collective circumstances. I hadn’t bargained at all on them discussing in suddenly super obnoxious tones who they had voted for in the ongoing Labour leader elections. As Party members. And why. One of them was American. She listened and questioned her friends about the leadership contest. This went on for some time and for most of it I managed to escape into my food or click on my iphone and text or email friends. Anything to avoid being by default pulled right into the heart of their politics with no way of escape. Eventually however the conversation turned into one where Boris our mayor was a posh cretin and Conservatives are all “disconnected Etonites”. Then to top it all off the American girl chimed in to open up a conversation about how racist Republicans connived to make a big deal of that bloody mosque. For no other reason than they were racist.

You have to appreciate that this was not a conversation at the next table or behind me. This was a conversation into which I was plunged whether I wanted to be or not as though I were one of their group.

I’m sick to death of the assumption in political conversation that everyone these days is a leftist and that right of centre must simply shut up and speak in hushed embarrassed tones or accept Left is the only polite political conversation to be had out loud these days. So that was my opening shot. “Ok I’ve had enough” I addressed them quietly, smiling.

“Just how unfeeling and immature is it to decide for some of the tragic families and co workers of 9/11 victims or anyone else opposed to this mosque’s location what they think? Or how stupid is it to assume that great swathes of people in America, some 60% who are opposed to the location of this mosque are irrelevant racists? Or that their feelings should be automatically chalked up as racist because you say so? What gives you the right to decide that the argument is about banning Islam in NYC? It’s not – even if your dimwitted President decided it should be. It’s quite possibly about tolerance of other people’s feelings outside of your selective leftist groups”. Stumbling over her words to find a retort I decided not to give her the chance and addressed her friends. “Unrelatably Eton eh? I’ve never heard anything quite so moronic as a bunch of upper class newbie graduates from the Home Counties who were undoubtedly funded all the way through University by mummy and daddy indulging the tired old class debate wherein you, ladies, you in particular sporting that whopping great Tiffany’s engagement ring and the Manolos, feel you can better relate to an out of work manual labourer up in Newcastle. Tyne and Wear ladies. That would be the area the Labour Party ruthlessly shafted, whilst pretending to be for the working classes. Before they were outright dumped out of government having left the country up to it’s eyeballs in debt. Noone gives a crap who Labour elects as it’s leader. Least of all me”. “Next time you decide to sit this close to someone who can’t leave because she just ordered her lunch and is now wedged in with you lot don’t assume being in Soho means everyone shares the same dim witted liberal point of view. Speak in the hushed embarrassed tones you ought to given the mess your Party made”.

Absolute silence descended on a table full of flushed red faces which I decided not to up and leave as I’d just ordered a cup of tea. After a minutes silence and some mortified looks the conversation moved on to knickers. Thankfully.

Hear hear!

Lemme just get this out, because I don’t think I’m alone: I can abide opinions different from my own, all day long. I’d have to be driven to chewing on kitchen sponges, bath towels, and my own straightjacket all day if I couldn’t do that, right? Swing a dead cat around your head five times, and you’ll probably hit an opinion that I find disagreeable. Gay couples are all “loving,” our strength lies in our diversity, together we can fight the oncoming disaster of global climate change, praying in school is a violation of the First Amendment, we need to put more money into our educational system, we have to keep intelligent design out of our classrooms, Saddam Hussein was completely harmless and we should’ve left him alone, we need another stimulus — the list just goes on, and on, and on. Dumbass stupid bullshit opinions — most of them writhing around in perpetual agony from contradictions internal to themselves — that everyone & his little yippy purse-dog seems to love.

No, opinions that are different from mine, do nothing to aggravate me in & of themselves. I handle them the way all thinking people do: Is there something in there I’ve not yet considered, if so then let’s see if there’s an opportunity to learn. If not, move on.

It is this snotty attitude that drives me up a tree. “Since everyone at this table is carbon-based, has red blood and breathes oxygen, we all agree on this stuff…right?”

Debate me. Debate me all day & night long, if your little heart desires. Quit marginalizing me. Stop it with the “all real people think this, anyone who thinks that other thing is a phony person…” Just stop it. Stop it with Alinsky’s twelfth already.

If you can prove your point, you shouldn’t have to resort to it.

And three cheers for Alison.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

“The March Was All About Inclusion…”

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Bob Herbert of the New York Times seems to have had this column in transit somewhere, in the moment in which I hit Publish on my own murmurings. You’ll have to take my word for it that I had no idea what he was doing.

What an amazing job of proving my point. I almost feel like I should send him a check. Summarizing: Freedom of speech is a credit to society, but only when it is bestowed upon the cool people. It isn’t for everyone. Whoever Bob Herbert doesn’t like, needs to sit down and shut up.

And he starts out heading in the opposite direction, recalling wistfully the events of the “I Have A Dream” speech:

The sale of liquor was banned. Troops stood by to restore order if matters got out of control. President John F. Kennedy waited anxiously in the White House to see how the day would unfold.

It unfolded splendidly. The crowd for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” grew to some 250,000. Nearly a quarter of the marchers were white. They gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where they were enthralled by the singing of Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez. The march was all about inclusion and the day seemed to swell with an extraordinary sense of camaraderie and good feeling.

I wonder if he’s capable of seeing the dichotomy. Let’s just take what follows this and discard a few paragraphs…and fast forward to the end. Let’s just say Mr. Herbert has a fair-weather friendship with the concept of inclusion:

Facts and reality mean nothing to [Glenn] Beck. And there is no road too low for him to slither upon. The Southern Poverty Law Center tells us that in a twist on the civil rights movement, Beck said on the air that he “wouldn’t be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us go to jail — just like Martin Luther King did — on trumped-up charges. Tough times are coming.”

He makes you want to take a shower.
:
Beck has been advertising his rally as nonpolitical, but its main speaker is Sarah Palin. She had her own low moment recently as a racial provocateur, publicly voicing her support for Laura Schlessinger, radio’s “Dr. Laura,” who went out of her way to humiliate a black caller by continuously using the n-word to make a point, even after the caller had made it clear that she was offended.

Palin’s advice to Schlessinger: “Don’t retreat — reload.”

There is a great deal of hatred and bigotry in this country, but it does not define the country. The daily experience of most Americans is not a bitter experience and for all of our problems we are in a much better place on these matters than we were a half century ago.

But I worry about the potential for violence that grows out of unrestrained, hostile bombast. We’ve seen it so often. A little more than two weeks after the 1963 March on Washington, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan and four young black girls were killed. And three months after the march, Jack Kennedy was assassinated.

My sincere advice to Beck, Palin and their followers is chill, baby, chill.

Cognitive dissonance, thy name is Bob Herbert.

You know, I could get behind this if what Herbert was trying to say was something like “there was camaraderie and good feeling in 1963, and yet a little while after that a church got bombed and JFK got assassinated so I’m worried about what will happen in the wake of Glenn Beck’s rally because this time, there isn’t even a feeling of camaraderie.”

Camaraderie and Good FeelingBut that isn’t what he is saying. If he was saying such a thing, he would collide head-on with the facts…or they would collide with him. Blogger friend Gerard has a post up, nothing big mind you, but the photos and stats make it look as full of camaraderie as anything else, to me.

But no, that’s a bunny trail because Bob Herbert didn’t say any such thing. He lost track of his own point, which was supposed to be: MLK, JFK and Lincoln were giants, Glenn Beck is some kind of slimy viper guy or whatever…and the slithering reptile guy has to be shut down or else we’ll have violence. Like, uh, what we had right after this other thing I was talking about, that deal from 47 years ago with all the “camaraderie and good feeling.”

Well, he hasn’t offered much evidence to prove his own point but he’s certainly proved mine. When liberals start going on about what a wonderful country this is and how glorious all our freedoms are, you better watch it because you’re hearing from a hyperliberal. Bob Herbert is a hyperliberal, and hyperliberals very often say the exact opposite of what they mean. Inclusion? That means — as Herbert has manifestly demonstrated — that someone is about to be excluded, or should be.

This is a good occasion, I think, for me pull up what’s been brewing in my smartphone: How to figure out what a hyperliberal (like Bob Herbert) is trying to tell you. Just like “It’s not me, it’s you,” the true meaning behind every statement is pretty much precisely backwards from the way it’s presented.

1. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about a rational and friendly exchange of ideas, it means he’s going to start a screed that uses the word “stupid” a lot.
2. When a hyperliberal starts to wonder why we all can’t just get along, he’s about to start attacking somebody.
3. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the wisdom of treating all races equally it means he’s about to discriminate.
4. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the virtues of tolerating dissent, it means he’s about to smear anybody who disagrees with him.
5. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the ominous consequences of our ballooning deficit, he’s going to want to spend a lot of money on something.
6. When a hyperliberal insists that women should be treated exactly the same as men, it means he’s going to want women to be protected from the consequences of bad decision-making, and men to be punished just for being men.
7. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about a woman’s choice, he’s going to say flattering things about women who make a choice the way he wants them to make the choice and he’ll say nasty things about women who make a different choice.
8. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about what makes the country great, he’s talking about things that allow you, or encourage you, along with everyone you know, to behave like a complete asshole.
9. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the freedoms we take for granted you’d better be careful, because he’s about to start pushing a bunch of laws that will deprive you of freedom.
10. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about putting together a society “that works for the benefit of everybody,” the society he starts describing always has rules that are designed to bring harm to certain groups of people.
11. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about social justice, he wants everyone to enjoy exactly the same standard of living except himself and his friends who are supposed to get whatever it takes to make them happy.
12. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about fairness, what he’s really talking about is adjudicating every dispute that comes along in favor of the person who is more female, more gay, less Christian, or whoever’s skin is darker.

Bob Herbert, thank you for proving in such gaudy detail so much of what I’ve been saying about people like you. You want a society that is constantly improving, albeit already perfect, and works for everyone. But you don’t want everyone in it. And you don’t want freedom of speech, or any other freedom for that matter, for everyone.

It really makes me wonder what you guys are planning to do with the rest of us.

Update: From Freedom’s Lighthouse, by way of Gateway Pundit, some words from the woman Bob Herbert would like, in all his frenzied spirit of inclusiveness, to exclude and silence.

Because of his feelings of proxy embarrassment for her? Out of a desire to avoid unnecessary bloodshed her irresponsible words might unleash? Or out of a shaking, quaking, palpitating fear of new ideas?

Form your own opinion. I’ve formed mine.

Update: Lisa Fritsch, writing in American Thinker, addresses more of Beck’s critics whose words are of much the same kind as the distinguished columnist Herbert:

The Reverend Al Sharpton, the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, and the Reverend Timothy McDonald have been recently quoted in an uproar over Beck’s 828 rally this weekend. They are suggesting that Beck is “hijacking” Dr. King’s dream. Says Reverend McDonald, “To use this weekend when we remember that great march on Washington in 1963 as a pretense to give credence to their cause and their agenda is insulting. We were there.”
:
If we want to skip the nonsense and cut to the chase, it all boils down to this. The reverends had no plans on 828 of 2010 to honor the legacy of the “I Have a Dream” speech with a rally, a parade, or any such celebration of the sort, and now a white man is showing them up with a non-political rally honoring servicemen and paying tribute to Dr. King by talking of peace, love of country, and honor. Glenn Beck is doing what they did not have the foresight, the will, or the heart to do. They have not lived up to the dream, and these reverends have not forged ahead in victory and giving justice to the 828 date.

The reverends, having been there, should be standing with Glenn Beck, but they don’t, and here is why: Their dreams differ greatly from those of Dr. Martin Luther King. They don’t share his vision of peaceful solidarity, equality, and standing hand in hand in unity and love with brothers and sisters of every race. If the reverends shared those dreams, ironically, they would be overjoyed that Beck — who is white — is holding a non-political rally of honor on this date.

I’m sorry to say it, but our honor is blemished. We have all these organizations and individuals who pretend to be laboring toward our unity and instead thrive on our division, discontent and strife. Anyone with more than half a working brain knows it.

And we have to do all this waiting for them to be exposed. They’re provoked just right, they open their big stupid mouths and reveal themselves to be what they are…I suppose they have no choice, really. But here we are. It’s August 28. Everyone understands Sharpton and McDonald have created for themselves a livelihood that would come to an end if we were ever to achieve true racial unity, and they know it, and conduct themselves accordingly. It is impossible to deny, even for a fraction of a second.

But next week, it will all be forgotten. As recently as this month, Sharpton was the go-to-guy for Dr. Schlessinger’s public relations problems. His opinion, inexplicably, was somehow worth something.

We’ll be right back to that again. I think. And if we go right back to that again, it is, pardon the expression, a huge black eye on all of us. As long as people like him continue to enjoy stature we will not have racial unity, because we’ll be demonstrating there are some within our society who continue to have an effect on what we are shown, and they don’t really want it or deserve to see it. We will be, for all practical purposes, proving that racial animosity continues to rake in the bucks. Yeah, I went there.

Hey, we’ve been sold C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. on this thing for a very long time. And for every single day of it, the race warlords yell “jump” and the cable teevee networks say “how high?” So I’m hoping Beck’s rally promotes some real change. I’m hoping the fears some people have that careers will be hastened toward the inglorious ends they deserve, because of this thing, are realized.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one…

Truth is a Casualty

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I propose an update to Hiram Johnson‘s famous line, “the first casualty when war comes, is truth.” The alteration I propose — the time is right for it — is: “The first casualty, when left-wing ideas are made to look good, is truth.” It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but has war ever had such a deleterious effect on truth as the slow news days of August, 2010?

Oopsie after oopsie. Taxicab stabbing was stirred up by anti-mosque fervor…bzzzt. Wrong. Tea party people must have firebombed Carnahan’s office — wrong again. Joe Miller is dead meat, and Sarah Palin along with him: Double-wrong.

Stimulus plan worked…summer of recovery…cash for clunkers saved us…you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan….your taxes aren’t going to go up by one dime. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong — my oopsie-buzzer is wearing out.

It might be profitable, before Labor Day comes and goes and our “real” lives begin again, to inspect how & why it is that truth is a casualty when one pursues ideological positions on the left wing.

But before we do that, we should define what “left-wing” is, since the term has been around for a long time and in just the last ten years or so, has metastasized into some kind of organism with a life and personality all its own. I submit that any definition we pull out of a book, is bound to be badly in need of updating in America, so we may as well start from scratch. Very well, here is my definition. The term describes not so much a catalogue of positions on issues, but a way of looking at the universe and the objects within it. It is a world-view that is dependent on a social structure. This last is easily demonstrated, since when an individual toils over a project in isolation and discovers some things about it, or thinks of some things, there is a trend involving lefties regarding this as a waste of time. It might as well not have happened. This trend is more durable than most other trends in human affairs.

By “durable” I do not mean to say long-lived. Once an individual creates a thing that produces taxable wealth, leftist antipathy is permanently cured: It happened, alright! But in terms of perceiving the world around us and figuring out what it all means, it seems nobody can impress liberals with what they’ve figured out, unless they were in some kind of conference, committee or village when the figuring was done.

But this is a symptom and not a cause. The left-wing, I have come to learn gradually, views such a gathering of multitudes as a stateful thing, possessing a health of blessing that can rise or fall, much the way religious right-wingers view the human soul. Maybe my perception is skewed in identifying this as the catalyst, since this is the point where they really lose me: The state of grace of our collective mind — our poitical party, our television network, our state or nation. The best example to offer of this, is the familiar “killing is wrong, killing to show killing is wrong, is wrong”; message here, being, that if we ban capital punishment it makes us a better people.

This is where the trolley leaves the tracks, and this is why when you try to make it all look sensible you start getting hoodwinked on a regular basis. This notion that the laws that bind a state, make the people who reside therein somehow more worthy of salvation. Leftists are so confused, that their two most important words — “right” and “wrong” — have lost all meaning. Do these terms refer to moral agreement & disagreement with regard to a choice someone has made? Or do they have something to do with accuracy, as in, it’s right to say two and two make four? Such an either-or inquiry is lost on the loyal leftist and so he can’t even see the conundrum. But if you’re anywhere outside their letist thought bubble, you can detect that a gear has been stripped. The accuracy of an answer dealing with “hard mathematics” shares such a great area of overlap with the agreement involved in an ethical decision, that the process of conflation is nearly complete. And with that, a critical distinction has been lost.

Right? Wrong? These are conditions to be reached by the moral loftiness of the things the community chooses to do. That there could be another layer to words like these, a “correctness” layer, in which such choices are validated by subsequent events, is eventually lost on the loyal lefty. It becomes, to use Sen. Johnson’s word, a casualty.

The idea that a gathering of minds produces a state of spiritual health that is bigger than the sum of the individuals in that gathering, unavoidably results in a hissing hostility toward, even a resentment against, the concept of the individual. This is inevitable. In a gathering of five, or fifty, or five hundred million, every minority voice carries a possibility of becoming a new majority. Such an event would involve a revolution of some kind, and revolutions are uncomfortable. Such a thing would have to diminish the state of spiritual health of the collective, and must be avoided. The paradox here, though, is that this “soul of the collective” becomes supercharged when it is in possession of some kind of purpose — everybody likes to have a purpose! — and so a curious thing starts to happen. This gathering of the minds, which will tolerate no dissent in its ranks at all, since it might lead to a revolution that would diminish the collective spiritual health…begins to dedicate itself to engineering a revolution within a larger collective, or gathering of minds. Each enthused lefty, neglecting any serious thought about his individual position, starts to jealously work toward a common, convoluted locus: I happen to be a member of the majority, inside this collective, which is “right” to do the things it does because the majority agrees with me, and in turn exists in a larger collective, which is “wrong” because my smaller collective is in a minority within that larger one. But there’s going to be a revolution and we will win.

One Revolution AwayQuite a mouthful, eh? But all leftist thought seems to lead right to that situation. Me and my friends are right, we know this because we all agree with each other; we’re in the minority in that larger thing, but we shall prevail.

Right about now, you’re thinking one of two things: That Freeberg guy is full of baloney. Or, if you see so much as a grain of truth in the foregoing, you might be thinking: What a morass of contradictions, no wonder they get embarrassed so often. If you’re in that last group, and this is new to you, then you’ve figured out something big.

You cannot be a loyal leftist without learning to be an agile fair-weather friend to things. The notion that a collection of people can be a stateful, moral being, bigger than the sum of its parts. Here and there I’ve met some pious, church-going leftists, and they are relatively at peace because they labor under no contradiction here. But that is the exception that proves the rule, because a lot of leftists are secularists. Nobody put us where we are, we evolved to be what we have become, and now we’re going to build our groups and achieve our spiritual grace therein. It’s hard to avoid questioning this arrangement, but for the sake of civil companionship, we must avoid it. They don’t tolerate well any discussion of it.

Majority-viewpoint is another big problem. The leftist envisions himself as a member of a community, which agrees with him (since he agrees with it), is for all practical purposes unified, and right; it exists within another community that is even larger, dis-unified, disagreeing with the smaller community, and wrong. A revolution is coming. This twisty, pretzeled thinking will not permit logical consistency, so the lefty has to have an on-again off-again love affair with populism, the notion that when six in ten people think a certain thing it might as well be, and should rightfully become, ten in ten. Now, if that is to be an absolute truth then chaos will certainly ensue — the leftist, along with his unified, right-thinking smaller community, would be burdened with an obligation to assimilate properly, put off the revolution indefinitely, and swallow their pride where they have been out-voted. This would be intolerable.

It really comes down to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Practice that, and it is quite unavoidable you will become a right-winger. Oh yes, much is said to the contrary, but think on it for a few minutes. Go down the list of issues. Abortion — I don’t even need to go into details there, it should be self-evident. Progressive tax policies: It just amazes me how much money a liberal can make, while still claiming the rich, which means someone else, should be paying for everything. On this issue, it is the conservative who is capable of “nuanced” thought. He can pull in twenty thousand a year, or less, and still naturally say “If that guy’s going to start a business and hire me, then lose it all to the tax man in the end, why would he even bother?”

Building the Victory Mosque? Liberals, suddenly, have discovered a sacred right to exercise “religion” publicly. How adorable! All you clergy who are worried about being sued someday when you refuse to conduct a gay wedding ceremony, don’t count on them being around to help you out when the time comes.

Foreign policy, defense, detente, peace-through-strength, sitting-down-to-talk-to-our-enemies, all that jazz: Again, it’s about the Golden Rule. Right winger says, “If I’m that nutjob and I tell the United States I’m building nuclear reactors for power and not for weapons…and I see them go ‘oh, okay, alright’ and head home…it really wouldn’t matter if what I said was true or not, I’d take that as a green light.” See, the Golden Rule isn’t always friendly. Sometimes it’s about just putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes. What does the left winger say about it? It’s Underpants Gnome time: “Step 1, sit down and talk to our enemies…Step 2, ???…Step 3, Profit!” That hackeneyed phrase about sitting down and talking — it never changes. But the lefty never seems to go into details about what’s going to get said.

Minimum wage: Conservative says, if I’m going to hire so-many-people and I’m required to pay each a certain amount, I’ll probably hire fewer people. Like, DUH. What’s the liberal say? He goes into some emotional diatribe about “rights.”

And on that one, I might as well stop listing examples because we’ve identified the mindset that produces these examples, one after another. Rights. Conservatives and liberals both believe in them and cherish them. But when a conservative talks about “rights” and a liberal talks about “rights,” they are not talking about the same things.

The conservative believes the collective itself is inherently soul-less; in fact, its very existence is an inconvenient necessity, and not an altogether unavoidable one. The urban guy who is born into a collective, lives his entire life there, dies there, is just as glorious being as the guy who is abducted by wolves or apes or bears when he is a baby and lives out his life in the wilderness. They’re both Children of God. Getting into a collective doesn’t change your state of being, any more than getting into a crowded streetcar. All this does is make that Golden Rule a little bit more confining, due to the realities of the situation: The right to swing your arms ends wherever your neighbor’s nose is, and sometimes noses get a little bit closer together. “Rights,” therefore, begin to diminish, but somewhere there is a more concrete right with a tighter radius. Squeeze the man down to this size, and no further. Think of him as a raquetball who is compressed down to the size of a marble, and in those dimensions suddenly takes on the tactile feel of a marble.

Continuing that analogy, the liberal’s viewpoint of “rights” is one of incremental steps in making the raquetball bigger. And, as an added bonus, it always possesses the tactile feel of that marble. We form our collective, we look after the spiritual health it has which is bigger than the sum of us, we assimilate ourselves properly into it, we invent new rights…and then we look toward the parent collective and explore ways to conquer it. Good citizenship in the smaller, local collective, and a fomenting of revolution against the larger one. And a new right invented every single week. Every day, if you can manage it.

Again, you’re thinking: “Freeberg, you’re full of it.” Or…maybe you see there’s something to this. Again, if this is new to you, and you do see something to it, you have hit on something big here. This explains why conservatives talk about rights, liberals talk about rights, but they do not see things the same way. They aren’t talking about the same things. Left-wingers start talking about how important it is that we have a “freedoms,” and what they really mean is they’re about to take some of those away. How did Hillary put it? “We’re going to take things from you for the common good” or some such. That’s the enduring theme. Every single monologue they deliver on this — someone is always going to be stopped from doing something, or forced to tolerate something they’d rather not tolerate left to their own devices. An option, currently available, is to be ejected. That’s the bearing, that’s Polaris — the singularity that remains stationary.

And to be fair about it, right wingers have this in common with them: A right isn’t really a measurable right, if everyone feels good about it — we only need these things to be enforced as “hard” rights on those occasions when they make someone else unhappy. But the conservative mind sees this as a situation of last-resort, a regrettable necessity involved in observing the protocols that make it possible for us to live in proximity with each other.

With liberals, it is an objective in & of itself, this coercion against the face that occupies an inferior position on this Sympathy Totem Pole. You should have to pay this much. You should be forced to do this, you should be stopped from doing that.

The left-winger starts talking about Person A possessing a “right,” and because of this, Person B should lose choices. When they speak this way, the thoughts expressed do not cause me much concern or dismay. What I find to be really disturbing, is the tone of the voice as the speech unwinds. There’s not much excitement over the state of capability, or bliss, offered or restored to Person A. Not much enthusiasm for making people whole. No, the verbal pitch starts going all lilty when the subject turns to Person B, all the things he will not be able to do that he would want to do. Make. Force. Pay. Disallowed, prohibited, stopped. That is where the speaker’s eye starts twinkling happily. This where the giddy excitement starts to kick in the afterburners and hits a sonic boom. For people who are supposedly enamored of the concept of human “rights,” they share in common a curious primal urge to stop complete strangers from doing things those strangers would like to do.

I’ve had some girlfriends who loved me the same way liberals love “rights.” I wish I’d ended those relationships sooner than I did.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Leopard Bikini: Never Out of Style

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Does Islam Suck?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Hat tip to American Power.

Last Refuge of a Liberal

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Krauthammer scratches the itch that the coathanger under the cast couldn’t quite reach up ’til now.

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

Reception ProblemsThat’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

– Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

– Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

– Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

– Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities — often lopsided majorities — oppose President Obama’s social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What’s a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument.
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The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.

I’ve been thinking this for awhile. It is the tactics by which their ideas are being sold, not necessarily the ideas themselves, that are particularly due for a beatdown and are perhaps achieving the lion’s share of the work in bringing it on.

Well alright, the ideas suck too.

But did you notice the other thing all these issues in Krauthammer’s list have in common? Someone needs to be told to go stick it where the sun don’t shine. Someone’s just-plain-bad. The Islamophobes need to learn to live with the Victory Mosque, which they really hate, but that’s a good thing because once it’s there they won’t be able to do anything about it, and they deserve it. They need to suffer because they’re bad people. Ditto for those xenophobes in Arizona, dang it, they deserve to have all those brown people who “aren’t like them” streaming through their fences. I hope they choke on their chewing tobacco over it!

This is an important point. What’s being opposed? All those things liberals say they support: Making a world in which everyone can achieve happiness and prosperity, or at the very least some measure of comfort. Seeing the good in everybody. Dealing with life’s various issues and challenges with an open mind. Finding solutions. Avoiding the blame game.

Liberals are often heard to theorize that conservatives are repressed homosexuals. I’ve had a theory for awhile that is somewhat the mirror flip-side of this: Today’s liberalism is retrograde but natural machismo, repressed through artificial disciplinary techniques and then exploding elsewhere in an uncontrolled and unhealthy way. Go through the list of things liberals do that embarrass them once the wrong people find out about them, but that they can be counted on to do once they’re among friends in a “JournoList” type of setting. It is the same list of things boys do when their hormonal rushes are driving them into that Venturi manifold toward manhood — and when they’re under-supervised.

Lots of pontificating about what should happen, without so much as a courtesy nod to reality. Coarse language for its own sake, without regard to whether it adds any effect in the context, as if someone’s keeping count and the effort is to drive up some kind of score. Lots of verbal bullying directed toward third parties who aren’t there to defend themselves. A group-feeling of natural competition sets in, which is never directly acknowledged, but the most vocal of the participants are clearly engaged in one, clearly measuring some “performance” in relative terms against each other, trying to out-do each other.

It’s as if they missed out on the coming-of-age when they were thirteen or so, and are trying to make up for it.

It’s not really a set of ideas. After all, if you can find me twenty liberals who think the Victory Mosque needs to be built, I’ll show you nineteen or more who are convinced the planet is in trouble if we don’t get a carbon cap scheme working right-now-no-maybe-yesterday — and the global warming scam has very little to do with the Victory Mosque. It’s a way of looking at the world.

It is hostility toward the choices made by others, once those others have been identified and selected as targets. It is engaging in groupthink to figure out who those targets are going to be, and then engaging individuality to compete with each other, see who does the best job of deriding the targets, humiliating them, isolating them from sympathy. Who can come up with the best insults.

It is bullying.

I don’t pretend to know how they got that way. Maybe they became bullies back in the day, and have never learned how to interact with the world in any other way. Maybe were bullied, and see it as only fair that they should pay it forward now that they can.

Maybe their ranks are made up of both of these characterizations, and maybe there are more that I don’t understand.

But their ambition is not to bring us together, or usher in some new age of harmony and mutual understanding. If that was what they were about, they’d be doing more things to make this happen, and we would have seen some agreeable results by now.

Over and over and over again, we see that when they are put in charge of things, strife and factional infighting ensue. That’s because their goals have to do with awarding every benefit possible to one class, and directing every burden conceivable onto another class. These roles will never be rotated in any way, because they’re trying to impress each other and won’t ever allow such a rotation to be considered. The groupthink would have to bless it first, and aircraft carriers can change direction much more nimbly than groupthink can.

Thanks to Melissa for her entry at the Hello Kitty of Blogging.

“Fits the Demographics of a Tea Party Member”

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Daily Caller:

A writer for a St. Louis alternative newsweekly tells The Daily Caller he does not regret speculating in a story that the suspect of an attempted arson of a Democratic congressman’s campaign office was a Tea Party activist.

It turns out that the suspect in this week’s firebombing of Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan’s campaign office in St. Louis was actually a liberal blogger and former paid campaign worker for Carnahan’s campaign.

“As to the legions of Tea Party adherents who are calling for my head: No, I have no regrets. I was having fun — at their expense,” River Front Times reporter Chad Garrison said in an email.
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Outrage with Garrison comes from this paragraph in an article he penned about the incident. “Given what we know of him — 50, white, angry — he certainly fits the demographics of a Tea Party member.”

Garrison said his report was a “joke” and was not meant literally. He pointed to another section of the same story where he wrote: “On second thought, maybe he’s not a Tea Party member. Firebombing your opponent’s office seems a little too, um, sane for that group.”

Dana Loesch, a talk show host and leader of the St. Louis Tea Party, said Garrison’s report was “completely typical of that author.”

“We’ve asked for him to apologize for his remarks but he mistakenly confuses quasi-gonzo journalism with hackneyed writing,” she said.

On Thursday, Garrison said, “you’d have to be quite the literalist to believe I was actually accusing anyone of a crime. Then again, it’s becoming ever clearer that these are people who can’t take a joke and who have no emotion other than blind outrage and indignation.”

Yeah, when I want to see someone who has “no emotion other than blind outrage and indignation” I watch Keith Olbermann’s show.

Which means I don’t, but that’s another story.

You’ve heard of this anti-Muslim anger that has been whipped up into a deadly frenzy by all the opponents of the Victory Mosque? And then it turns out the taxicab driver that was stabbed, was opposed to the mosque and was stabbed by a lefty who was in favor of it.

The obvious lesson to be learned is that you shouldn’t rely on a sole-source for your information, if that source is driven by a clear agenda. Truth, as one would expect, becomes an early casualty.

But there is another lesson here, one much more subtle, and it has to do with this absurd “you-can’t-take-a-joke” defense.

People who think like kids should be kept out of positions of responsibility, credibility and power. One of the reasons we have a mental child sworn in as our President right now, for example, is that His opponent’s running mate famously said “I can see Alaska from my house!” Except she didn’t say that. It was a joke, get it?

And a decision got made based on that joke. There were no Saturday Night Live writers rushing the stage, desperately explaining to us “No, wait! Don’t make a decision based on my joke! It didn’t really happen, it was a joke!” No, the alteration of events that took place — assuming they were altered from what would naturally have happened — happened to be to their liking. And they’ll never say so in a million years, but that’s what really made it hilarious.

This is what Chad Garrison did. If his readers start to seriously think tea party members and sympathizers are more likely to commit arson, that fits in to what Garrison wants to have happen and that’s what makes the joke funny. Put another way, this is a practical joke, and it is upon the people who might make the mistake of trusting Garrison to tell them what’s going on.

Now we’ve got people elected to the highest offices of the government who nurture an ingrained hostility toward the free market; unemployment is steadfastly anchored to 9.5 percent, when in the decade previous with all of the “policies that got us into this mess in the first place” it found a natural resting place around 5.6. This translates to millions of people without work who don’t need to be out of work.

What a thigh slapper.

So when you have a grown-up decision you need to make, and it calls for some grown-up thinking, you can think like a grown-up but if you get your information from someone who thinks like a little kid you might as well be thinking like a little kid, and you’re going to make your grown-up decision poorly. That’s the lesson. All of the children need to leave the room. Yes, it doesn’t sound inclusive, and it isn’t, but this is the spirit that has been missing.

Instead, we have manufactured misunderstandings dressed up as “jokes.” If you fall for them, it’s your fault. If you think there’s something wrong with that, silly goose you, then it’s even more your fault. Grow some thicker skin, will ya?

Something tells me Mr. Garrison will manage to do some growing up if he meets a white, male, 50-ish, non-angry, calm, stoic, tea-party guy. Maybe that will expand his world view sufficiently to teach him what he needs to learn. Or maybe he’ll learn a bit more if he meets a black tea-party guy, 50-ish, calmly and stoically, in a non-angry way, bringing the gavel down on Garrison’s civil trial for libel.

No, the libel laws don’t work like that, but hey a guy can dream. Or no, wait! I’m only joking! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Jerk.

Ironing

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I see Mark and I are bachelors at the same time. Kinda makes me wonder if our women are getting together somewhere. Shopping maybe?

Anyway, he found the instructions he needed. I think this might help my situation as well, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to watch it a few more times to figure that out one way or the other.

Bravery

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Hat tip to blogger pal Daphne.

(Naughty language warning in effect.)

The Twin Towers of our Core Values

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Via HopeNChange Cartoons, via Gerard, we find out this morning some loudmouthed individual who, although virtually anonymous, seems to be partially responsible for such a wise decision as getting our current President elected — had this to say about the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.

There is a debate to be had about the sensitivity of building this center so close to Ground Zero. But we can not let fear and rage tear down the towers of our core American values.

Wow, that’s both sensitive and clever!

Not and not.

So into what towers are seven out of ten Americans crashing our fuel-filled passenger jet planes? The elites in their ivory towers — Weehee! I can do it too! — have offered only one thing, which doesn’t fit the oh so sensitive metaphor of some plurality of “towers,” presumably, two. If the mosque is not built, or if it is built somewhere else, religious freedom is in awesome shape. It’s doing just fine. About as well as any other day on which the Department of Motor Vehicles insists you must remove your burqa for your driver’s license picture.

Improving Relations!Since their argument logically fails, let’s inspect the situation one more time and try to figure out what’s at stake. To fit it to the events at hand, the first core value that comes to mind can be best qualified thusly: Fuck off and die, I’m allowed to do it so I’m gonna.

And the twin tower that goes with it is: And after I’ve done it, I’m gonna call it an act of fellowship, so fuck you again.

Speaking just for myself, I think it is the second tower of core values that I’d like to melt in the inferno of my passenger jet plane bomb. On the first one, I can begin to see the logic; when you have “freedom” but you only get to do what people like, that isn’t really freedom.

But there is a cost to be endured in practicing freedoms that offend others. Principally, there is — and I’m somewhat aghast at the sheer density of anyone who honestly cannot see this — the friendship of those offended. “Fuck off” means forever; you don’t get to go buddy-buddy up to them afterward.

And you certainly don’t get to build any kind of “fellowship center” on a foundation of fuck-you-buddy-I-have-the-right-to-build-right-here.

This much should be obvious. What’s getting in the way, I think, for those struggling with the delusion that a mosque at Ground Zero would be emblematic of “core American values” is the idea that anyone who is part of a DVG, a Designated Victim Group, cannot ever be told no. (It has to be something like that; otherwise, they’d be protecting our core values by defending Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and I don’t see any of ‘em bothering to miss reruns of West Wing to do that much.)

This is where they’re constantly being tripped up. You toss a few hypothetical situations at them, ask their opinion about each, and they’re exposed in short order. Equal treatment under the law is not the issue. Exercise and expression of religion is not the issue. “Fellowship,” mutual understanding, mutual respect, these are not the issue. They’ll turn on all of these things if someone in a DVG is about to be told no.

And freedom? Liberty? It most certainly is not about those. The pro-Ground-Zero-mosque people don’t even understand the concept, it seems to me. Follow the argument: Freedom of religious worship is a core value of our society, and so we must allow the mosque to be built at Ground Zero and then we all have to like it. Yes, that is part of the mandate, have you not heard? Here and there you’ll hear one of them say “you don’t have to like it, but…” and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. We have to rid the world of discrimination, and “discrimination” is what they say it is. You have to like the mosque. If you don’t like it, they have a problem with that…even if you keep it to yourself. They’ll not be happy until you’re told what to think, and you do what you’re told.

That isn’t what America is supposed to be about, because that isn’t what freedom is.

Andrea Mitchell comes right out and says it: It’s about sensitivity, but only sensitivity toward persons in certain groups — that is the “core value” that is really being defended. And the best way to show this sensitivity is to make it a special, focused sensitivity…the kind of sensitivity you show, simultaneous with telling members of other groups to go piss up a rope.

It is about special considerations, special favors, special treatments. Not freedom, religious or any other.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When a hyperliberal starts a speech gushing over how precious some of our freedoms are, you better look out because you’re about to lose some.

Image shamelessly swiped from American Digest.

“From the King of the World to the Chicken of the Sea”

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Filmmaker James Cameron is too busy to shoot it out with the boneheads.

Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.

The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, such as myself, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical “solutions” being proposed.

Cameron said was itching to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong.

“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads,” he said in an interview.

Well, a few weeks ago Mr. Cameron seemed to honor his word.

His representatives contacted myself and two other well known skeptics, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot website and Andrew Breitbart, the new media entrepreneur.

Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet.

They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.

“We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times and anyone else you’d like. The more the better,” one of James Cameron’s organizers said in an email.

It looked like James Cameron really was a man of his word who would get to take on the skeptics he felt were so endangering humanity.

Everyone on our side agreed with their conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda.

But then as the debate approached James Cameron’s side started changing the rules.

They wanted to change their team. We agreed.

They wanted to change the format to less of a debate—to “a roundtable”. We agreed.

Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage. We agreed.

Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. We agreed

Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he “wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out,” decided to ban the media from the shoot out.

He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.

No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way.

We all agreed to that.

And then, yesterday, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. “shoot it out ” Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.

James Cameron’s behavior raises some very important questions.

Does he genuinely believe in man made climate change? If he believes it is a danger to humanity surely he should be debating the issue every chance he gets ?

Or is it just a pose?

The man who called for an open and public debate at “high noon” suddenly doesn’t want his policies open to serious scrutiny.

I was looking forward to debating with the film maker. I was looking forward to finding out where we agreed and disagreed and finding a way forward that would help the poorest people in the developing and developed world.

But that is not going to happen because somewhere along the way James Cameron, a great film maker, has moved from King of the World to being King of the Hypocrites.

More here.

Cameron challenged Andrew Breitbart, Climate Depot’s Marc Morano and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of ‘Not Evil Just Wrong.’ The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?”

After setting up the public global warming debate, Cameron and his negotiator then changed formats multiple times and initially said it would be open to the media and then said he would only participate if it was private with no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes. According to AREDAY organizers, activist Joseph Romm of Climate Progress urged Cameron not to go ahead with the debate as well.

I’m sure we’ll be told this doesn’t prove or disprove a single thing. And indeed it doesn’t…except for one thing:

There is a lot of empty political posturing on the Chicken Little side of this so-called “debate.”

The last, and perhaps most important, of my 42 definitions of a strong society is that nobody ever talks about the world ending, for any reason. Chatter about Armageddon is about as old as recorded human history itself, and it’s unhealthy. It is both a symptom and a cause. It shows people don’t feel sufficiently important just living out their lives, doing what they do. In order to matter, they need to exist at the terminus of something.

And once they start to think in these terms, they start to invest their identities in it. It’s like a twisted form of immortality. Oh, look at me…yeah, my headstone will have a date on it after the dash, but it won’t be any earlier than anybody else’s.

And then they start to skimp on their everyday efforts. Avatar is a good example of what I’m talking about, actually. Awesome exterior shots, yet another major revolution in CGI, the scenery, the colors, the creatures, the camera angles…just an amazing achievement in film-making…every single frame out of the entire roll, just chosen at random, once viewed in all its glory completely takes your breath away…

The story stunk on ice. Very few people have anything good to say about that part of it.

James Cameron wants to be in charge of building the last really profitable movie the human race ever sees. That’s what I think, because while the man definitely has a lot of talent at what he does, nobody is putting his works alongside the works of DeMille, Hitchcock or Spielberg.

Even Cameron wouldn’t be up for a comparison like that.

Oh well, maybe he would, but he’d cancel at the last possible second. Har! Hey, I couldn’t resist that one. Can ya blame me?

Existing in the middle of something can be a terrifying thought. That is what global warming is all about; some among us just aren’t up for it. You’re born, you live, you die, there were people born before you were born and there will be people living on after you’re gone.

I do not pretend to understand this. To put out as many feature films as Cameron has, that have generated, what, ten digits of income worldwide? That’s what single-digit billions is, right, ten? He has accomplished something very impressive and should feel proud. Just as, being our nation’s Vice President for two terms, along with the other things Al Gore has done…these are things that should make someone feel complete, to say the very least.

Well these men and others like them are not feeling complete. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way a psychosis works. They’re suffering from feelings of inadequacy that can never be mollified. Not unless they’re still in their seats watching the closing credits, when it all goes dark. They weren’t born early enough to see the beginning, but they’re gonna watch the ending — that’s the dream.

I’ve got a feeling that if James Cameron can ever resign himself to the terrifying reality that he’s living in the middle of something, and is going to be a figment of history someday, maybe after that reckoning he’ll put out a movie I actually want to add to my collection. And then put in my DVD player and watch. A few times. This, to date, is something he has not yet done. And maybe it’s self-centered for me to think this, but I believe this is the current inadequacy upon which his energies would be more properly focused.

Paul Krugman is a Liar?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Richard Baehr, writing in American Thinker, takes the latest Paul Krugman effort to the woodshed.

Krugman is a Princeton economics professor who won a Nobel Prize in Economics. So the alternative explanation for Krugman’s column today — that he is just stupid, and very bad with numbers would seem to be far less likely than that he lies in order to deliberately mislead Times readers and the general public.
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He admits in his column today that extending the Bush tax cuts that President Obama wants to continue for another ten years is expensive. Those tax cuts are for individuals earning less than $200,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000. In his article, Krugman does not provide any numbers for the cost of extending the tax cuts for those earning less than the target amounts. Those tax cuts are by far the biggest share of the cost of extending the Bush 2001 tax cuts. Despite that, Krugman lets loose this whopper with relation to the cost of extending the 2001 tax cuts to the highest earners:

“And where would this $680 billion go? Nearly all of it would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people with incomes of more than $500,000 a year. But that’s the least of it: the policy center’s estimates say that the majority of the tax cuts would go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent. Take a group of 1,000 randomly selected Americans, and pick the one with the highest income; he’s going to get the majority of that group’s tax break.”

Quite simply, if you take a group of 1,000 randomly selected Americans, and pick the one with the highest income, he is not likely to get a majority of the tax benefit of that group. Far from it.

I don’t need much convincing. Speaking of a tax cut as something that “costs” money is Item #7 on my list of things that gave you away as an imbecile; Krugman’s columns typically start from that premise, and then work forward into bristling thickets of nonsense, because he’s a Keynesian. “Tax cut” isn’t even an honest expression of the way Keynesians think about the issue; “allowance increase” would be a more accurate term. The money, all of it, belongs to the state and we’re voting on how much generosity the state should show in allowing us to keep a little bit of it for awhile.

I do not know why we seriously try to perceive economic matters in this way when reality has so thoroughly schooled us it is the wrong way to go. I do not know why, when Paul Krugman jots down his codswallop, a link to it is yanked up to the top of the Memorandum scroll where it seems to slam up against a big bell with a loud “Ping!”

I do not know why he still has a New York Times column. But I suppose I should be glad that he does; it’s a useful window into how the professionals at the Old Gray Lady see the world. Money is wonderful stuff…except, it has this tendency to coagulate around rich people, who don’t really deserve to have any more of it than the next guy. Except for us, and our friends. For the time being.

I recall back in the eighties there was a lot of negotiating between the White House and the democrat-controlled Congress about taxes and the social programs funded. The democrats could have this increase…if Reagan could have this tax cut. George W. Bush ended this by letting his own Congress go ahead and have pretty much every spending increase they wanted, sidestepping the debate to save up on his “political capitol.” I can see why Bush would have wanted to do this, since Reagan didn’t realize any enduring political victory from all the back-and-forth — but it was cute watching democrat congressmen show all this hyperventilating angst about the “DYAFASIT”…only half of the time. As in, oh, now we’re talking about federal largess that might actually land in my district, so suddenly the deficit doesn’t matter.

Addorable. Like I saw one right-wing blogger jot down about some other left-wing idiosyncrasy, “I could just pinch your cheeks. Really, really, REALLY hard.”

Krugman needs a vise around his head, like that guy in Casino.

And this country’s economy is going to get much better, once money has been placed under the control of the people who make it and put real wealth behind it. The question is whether that is even possible anymore.

A Light in the Darkness – Part One

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

A Light in the Darkness – Part One from A Light in the Darkness on Vimeo.

I can’t quite agree with all the people saying “best fan film ever,” but all in all it’s good enough for an embed. Acting is a little on the substandard side, except for the lady. The story is a mash-up between Robocop 3, Phantom Menace and Zorro.

But no conference rooms or handrails. I like that.

Lord and Master

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Bird: I’m out in the middle of nowhere! I am ruler and master of all I survey! I am completely awesome!

Me: Complete agreement without reservation on Points #2 and #3, my fine feathered friend. I glug my grog in your honor, one bachelor to another.

Allowing your Point #1 to stand without further comment.

Yes, there is a lesson here kiddies. When you think you’ve acquired a superior grasp on reality — even when you have proof — those whom, you can see, have been easily deluded, still retain an entitlement to their dignity.

I like to think this is one of the key differences between liberals and conservatives. Reality is important, don’t get me wrong — you cannot figure out what to do in a given situation, with any greater competence than you’d realize from a purely random-chance selection, without understanding it.

But it isn’t everything. The correct perception of it doesn’t even gauge intelligence accurately. Some living things forsake it, and they have their reasons.

But here and there, now and then, they still command a certain dignity. Yes, there are people like that. You’re best off looking for ways to show your respect, dismissing with a snotty derision only when all other methods have utterly failed.

The Crossroads

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

On Saturday morning, I had set the alarm for 2:20am. But the Chinese food from Friday was not setting right with me, so I rose at 1:58 and shut off the alarm.

I sidestepped the ritual of preparing her the homemade morning coffee, since she would rely on Starbuck’s and so would I. I submerged myself in a hot bath, and at 2:50 I changed into my bicycling gear, kissed her good-bye and drove the car to the corner gas station to fill it.

She was mostly ready to go when I came back, at 3:15. She’d started NCIS, one of her Cutie Quincy shows, an hour before we’d have to leave for the airport so she’d know when her time was up. I stretched out so I could store up some energy, and in a few minutes the credits rolled.

She only needed her carry-on. I took it to the car for her. I dropped her off curb-side, at United terminal, 4:23. We kissed good-bye. Twice. She was pre-reserved, so there was no point to finding a spot in the parking lot.

As planned, I drove back to our homefires. I gave my bod a once-over with some Coppertone SPF 8, then inflated my mountain bike’s tires and got moving.

I thought it prudent to park for the better part of an hour at Starbuck’s…by this time, I was out of bed for over three hours without a caffeine fix, and that just wasn’t right. Besides of which it was still pitch black. Who knows what in the hell is out there. Coyotes? Snakes? A real man is capable of tangling with the Wild West — that’ what I was doing out here in the first place — but part of that capability is the resolve to engage only those exigencies that absolutely must be engaged. I grabbed myself a cup o’ Joe, tended to some of my secret projects on the HP mini, then re-saddled as the streaks of gray out in the East turned to rosy red.

Click the pic to embiggen these first four pictures from my week and a half of virtual bachelorhood. We engaged in some more chit-chat at 10:30 during her layover in Chicago…during which time, I was still toiling over my weekend errands on two wheels.

I’m forty-four now. I can wipe my own ass, pick out my own clothes, cook a fine meal. I’m about to toss a big ol’ side of salmon on the grill as I write this. And it’s nice to go conquering the wilderness whenever I feel like it, without worrying about a traveling companion who hasn’t built up her endurance.

But I’ll be happy when she comes back. Quoting myself in an off-line to blogsister Daphne:

We [men] like to be capable; trouble is, we’re inherently efficient. Starting at age twelve we look for ways to cut corners, drinking straight out of the carton and all that. Efficiency is very often at odds with being a good man. Once we’re alone, we’re reminded of this constantly, and we don’t like it because that’s a reminder that we’re inherently incomplete. Perhaps women are just as incomplete without us, but your side seems to have this enviable ability to remain blissfully ignorant of this.

A good test of a relationship is, are you happier with her than you are without her.

I can find some measure of happiness without her. But I’ll be much happier with her back by my side. I miss her. It’s a good feeling to genuinely miss someone, after so many years — decades, really — achieving an ideal state of happiness alone.

The world is filled with women who can command an unreasonable level of attention from a man; that is how the human genome is wired, after all. But what kind of woman can transform a man in such a way?

Memo For File CXXII

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

The phone rang, and it was her. The clock said 6:58. She’d waited for the house to go to bed, at nearly ten o’clock over there, so we could finally talk without interruptions. About little tiny bullshit things, the way lovers do. She’s finishing up Season 2 Episode 2. Of what, I asked? Ah, it’s that one…yet another show about wisecracking twenty-something hotties carving up stoic dead people. She’s kept the household drowning in this stuff. Crossing Jordan, NCIS, Bones, CSI, et al. She never reaches an exhaustion point with the “Cuter Quincy” genre. Myself, I’m a bachelor just rattling around in a too-large apartment like a BB in a boxcar, in his underwear, gnawing on butter sticks washed down with St. Pauli girl. I’m taking advantage of the stretch to finish off seasons 6 and 7 of Dukes of Hazzard.

But since I kind of like her, I imagine I’ll be missing the NCIS nonsense before she’s back. Except for that jackass David Caruso with his stupid sunglasses — bastard. So glad she’s not into him. If I never see that one again, it’ll be too soon.

Anyway, left to myself I see my own tastes are certainly no more intellectually stimulating. Once them Dukes are cuffed & stuffed, as time permits I’ll finish off the complete run of Knight Rider, Incredible Hulk and The Fall Guy. As my thirteen-year-old son has inquired about these episodes, I have frequently deadpanned that all prime-time television was required to do certain things in the early ’80′s, but of course it is only half a joke. These staple items were de rigueur. Somewhere along the run of however many seasons were granted by the producer-gods, each show had to have…

1. An episode involving the rescue of a gorgeous Olympic athlete from a Soviet state
2. A skateboarding episode
3. A trucking episode with lots of CB radio chatter
4. An episode with some adorable sentient robots, provided such a device was not part of the regular cast
5. An alternative-fuels episode, usually involving a contest
6. Lots of government-agency conspiracy episodes
7. At least one amnesia episode
8. A mind-control episode
9. A telekenesis episode
10. A hypnosis episode
11. An episode with extraterrestrials
12. An episode involving a seance
13. A “Milagro-Beanfield” episode involving a poor community of hard-working decent people being screwed by a rich guy
14. An episode about the hopes and dreams of an aspiring country western singer
15. An episode about earthquakes
16. An episode about race cars

There may be some exceptions. To confirm, you’d have to string these along the top of a table, list the shows down the side, and start filling in boxes…but there is some anal-retentive list-making obsession that is beyond even me. Even now. I think I’d just as soon learn quilt-making, at least then I’d emerge from it knowing how to do something I didn’t know before. I’ll leave that magical spreadsheet to someone else chomping at the bit to prove me wrong.

But I don’t think I am; I think everybody hit everything, before McDonald’s introduced the McNugget.

Anyway, I’m not too wild about teevee, and I’m not about to delude myself into thinking I’ll put in the requisite number of hours to polish all this stuff off. And you can completely forget about anything coming out lately. I heard on the car radio some kind of back-and-forth about a show called “Jersey Shore.” Lots of people are claiming not to watch it, and it turns out to be like a supermarket tabloid…ultimately, everyone ‘fesses up to taking a peek.

Now, I’m really on the outs here because I really have no idea what they’re talking about. And in terms of raw curiosity, my get-up-and-go has gotten up and left; I don’t know, I don’t want to know. It sounds like more “reality-teevee” bullshit.

But I’m looking forward to picking her up at the airport on the 31st. It’s going to be a long ten days for me. I’m thinking of sending a limo when the time comes.

Hyperliberals

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, hasn’t it? His Holy Eminence had to backpedal on His endorsement of the Ground Zero Mosque, and immediately afterward a poll comes out that says 18% of us think He’s a Muslim. Dr. Laura walked away from her show in the wake of the “racist rant” scandal. We’ve got more flap about the GZ Mosque itself. And for some reason, that “sexist video” made by the Republicans is getting some more news…the one that points out how hot the conservative women are and how ugly the liberal women are. “She’s a Lady” and “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

From this, the usual is to happen: Our liberals are to show us the very worst human nature has to offer; they are to display the spirit that held American citizens captive behind barbed wire fences in 1942. And then, inexplicably, the rest of us are to assume a defensive posture — in a social phenomenon nobody has been able to explain to me in any lucid way since all the way back to grade school, we are to apologize to them.

Let us look hard at what has happened. I think when you inspect the details, and human nature, you see that in spite of all the unpleasantness, you find this is a string of events that we should hope to see repeated.

What the recent events have done, is force a separation between the agenda-driven liberals and the “Aunt Sally” liberals. The leaders and the followers. The bigoted leftists who want to make a pariah caste out of anyone who doesn’t agree with them about everything, and the sweet people you happen to know, the family matriarchs who bake you pies and creamy mashed potatoes whenever you pop in to visit, who happen to have voted for Obama and would do it again.

Deep down, I think everyone recognizes the problem. It is mostly one of semantics. You say “liberal,” and most of us think of Aunt Sally. You say “progressive” and we think of Aunt Sally. Aunt Sally was a “feminist” back in the day, so when you say that word we think of her then, too. And when you start to describe all the ways liberals are breaking things…and let’s face it, it’s really, really hard to ignore it while they’re in the middle of breaking them, isn’t it?…it sounds like you’re pointing out something bad about Aunt Sally who made us all those homemade pies and biscuits during the holidays. Poor Aunt Sally! You couldn’t possibly want to do to her what…uh…er…ah…

– what the people Aunt Sally voted into office two years ago, are trying to do to you?

I propose a change in nomenclature. Liberals who want to turn “free and reasonable exchanges of opinions” over the dinner table into fire-and-brimstone sermons, scolding the opposition over their “bigotry,” are not liberals the way Aunt Sally is a liberal. If it’s some asshole you met on the innerwebs, or some Glorious Being elected to be our President, or even worse yet some spokesman for the Glorious Being…these obnoxious personas are different from Aunt Sally, who wouldn’t be engaging in anything of the kind. Aunt Sally doesn’t understand the issues, nor does she pretend to. The worst she’s going to do, is become a Cheesecake Nazi…imploring you that, if you’ve been accused of being a hateful bigot and unworthy of burning the same oxygen as real people, just let the accusation stand so we can move on to something else. There’s cheesecake!

Aunt Sally should be left alone. Her political ideas, detestable and empty as they may be, are spawned from her desire to be a decent person — which, also, has given birth to a sincere effort to be one, and this has paid off over the years. When we lump Aunt Sally in with the Internet assholes, and the McGovern-voting granduncle who’s accusing us of racism just because we notice Obama is a bad President, we feel bad about it and we should feel bad about it. We all know someone at work who is part of Obama’s forty percent approval rating, and we cannot honestly accuse such people of being stupid, easily fooled, lazy, or in on some worldwide conspiracy to banish individual thinking & hard work to oblivion. Some of these Obama-fans are smart as a whip and work their asses off. Give them their due.

But the stronger, agenda-driven variety is a big a problem. Their coverage is broad and their substance is acrid. They’re in the White House, they’re in the colleges, in the public schools, network teevee, cable teevee, all over the forementioned innertubes. Let us start by defining them. I propose the term “Hyperliberals”; your pie-baking leftward-leaning Auntie is not one, because I’ll wager she doesn’t have or do too many of these things:

- Very quick to judge people who might have a different viewpoint, imagining all kinds of undesirable personality attributes in ideological opponents, indulging in easy convenient fantasy with regard to imaginary thoughts and sometimes quotes;
- Frequently caught bestowing “rights” and privileges upon members of Designated Victim Groups (DVGs) while simultaneously denying precisely the same allowances to others;
- Dripping with hostility toward the religious (minus Muslims) — persistence in a belief that all of the world’s problems are caused by religion, and a refusal to acknowledge any of the situations in history that have been improved by the actions of the faithful;
- Exclusion — an enduring behavioral pattern of proposing solutions to problems that are entirely concerned with identifying some loathed class, and isolating it, making it ineffectual;
- Calling others selfish for merely maintaining possession, or wishing to maintain possession, of the property they have rightfully earned;
- Hostility against marriage and parenthood, an apparent desire to degrade the human family arrangement into something more bovine;
- An unexplained and unexplainable passion for tax increases, for their own sake;
- Antisemitism;
- A cognitivie dissonance that begins with their stated purpose of building an egalitarian society filled with self-sufficient, capable individuals, and ends with an unrelenting enmity toward persons and institutions that really try to make this happen: Boy Scouts, parochial schools, stay-at-home Moms, tea party activists and the like.

I say these are two weeks we should want to see repeated, because the Hyperliberal…this toxic, poisonous elite within the liberal community — the anti-social among the socialists — have been separated from the Aunt Sally people. We haven’t heard much at all from Aunt Sally this week. But we have heard much, and seen much evidence of, the Hyperliberal. The liberal vampires

I’ve been calling those on the left “vampires” because when you hold a mirror up to them, they don’t begin to see themselves. I’ve been trying to gently explain that they’re not arguing the issues, only demonizing their opponents, and they just can’t/won’t see it. I couldn’t possibly be talking about them this way. They are the virtuous ones.

I think this is due to either narcissism (which would be unsurprising given the self-esteem movement of the last several decades) or extreme cognitive dissonance. Either way it supports the idea that liberalism (which is really leftism now) is a mental disorder. My evangelical friend says it is a spiritual disorder, which may get more to the point of the “vampire” label.

This is a psychological problem. It is an insecurity. It is, I think, a desire to feel important, tragically infused with an inability to realize this importance in absolute terms. The patient can only feel significant when someone else has been made far less so.

Your hard-working, intelligent liberal co-worker does not have this problem. He hands in his work on time, goes home, gets a kiss from his wife and he goes about his business happily — feeling important. Rooting for the liberal side, for him, is just like rooting for one sports team or the other. Your Aunt Sally doesn’t have this problem either. She makes a nice dinner and a dessert to go with it, everyone wolfs it down and she feels important.

People like our current President need to constantly shun others, to constantly scold. It is much like obesity, in that there’s some nerve going haywire, an “I’m hungry” nerve. The body is nourished but the impulse to eat persists. It’s exactly like that, except it’s a need to lecture. So out comes some poorly-thought-out diatribe about “folks” bitterly clinging to God and guns.

It has become easy to see, these two weeks, why it is so important to drive these people from power, or at least offer their motion a stiff resistance. Our freedoms are never in greater jeopardy than when these liberal vampires start talking about how important our freedoms are. Have you ever noticed that? We have a First Amendment that says Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This, somehow, means you cannot pray in a public school. The old joke is that as long as there are pop quizzes, there will be prayer in school…but there is a serious side to this. A nation got started so that people could worship freely — our hardcore leftists wax lyrically about how important that is, then they stop us from doing that very thing!

It’s very much like a husband telling his wife how much he loves her right after his latest frenzy of beating her senseless. Except husbands who do this don’t often claim it’s someone else who did the beating.

This “I love you even as I’m attacking you” relationship our liberal-vampires have is not quite so much against our freedoms; it is against reality itself. This is another reason why it is important to all of us that they be put out of power, why things will continue to get worse as long as they have it. Their plans seem to all have it in common that they are “intended” to achieve the exact opposite of what common sense says they would do. Remember the underpants-gnome episode of South Park, about the gnomes that stole the little boy’s underpants to make a profit? The gnome explained it thusly:

Step 1. Steal underpants
Step 2. ?
Step 3. Profit

Remember the economic stimulus? Step 1, spend a dazzling amount of money on brand new programs, the need for which had not been previously perceived or discussed…Step 2 ??? Step 3, budget surpluses galore.

Step 1, find as many ways as you possibly can to make it more expensive to hire people, and keep them on your payroll after you’ve hired them…Step 2, ????? Step 3, unemployment rate tumbles to the ground.

Step 1, build the Ground Zero Mosque which is a heap-big poke in the eye to New Yorkers, especially those related to the ones who perished in the 9/11 attacks…Step 2, ??????? Step 3, Islamo-Western relations improved mightily.

Step 1, tax the businesses and the rich people to such an extent that it’s painful to be either one, Step 2, ????????? Step 3, they’re grateful to you or they damn well oughta be.

Step 1, sue Arizona for trying to keep illegal aliens out of their state, Step 2, ????????? Step 3, illegal immigration crisis is solved.

Step 1, right after a white talk radio hostess complains that black comics can use the “N” word and people in her position cannot use it, fire her (thereby proving her point beyond any reasonable dispute or doubt), Step 2, ?????????? Step 3, sit back and watch race relations improve overnight.

Step 1, tell a Gold Star mother her son deserved to die, Step 2, ?????????? Step 3, take a bow because the discussion of of our various national problems and issues is bound to become more civil, how in the world could it not?

Step 1, bail out banks for making bad loans, Step 2, ?????????? Step 3, watch the new era of sound financial discipline unfold.

Step 1, constantly criticize this notion of “American exceptionalism,” bow to every single foreign dignitary you possibly can, say not a single positive thing about your own country other than what you can change it into… Step 2, ?????????? Step 3, Americans feel much better about themselves and the country in which they live.

I could add to this list all day long. Liberal plans do exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do. That is, they do exactly the opposite of what the liberals tell us the plans are supposed to do.

No, I don’t think the Aunt-Sally-liberals are part of this. They work hard, they’re decent people, they’re smart. They just don’t pay attention after they’ve been given their instructions.

I’m talking about the balance of the liberal community that remains. They aren’t trying to do what they are representing themselves as trying to do. Or they have inextricably intertwined their brittle egos to solutions that, had they thought about them in a quality way for just a few seconds, they’d realize are the wrong solutions.

Or, they’re pig-fucking stupid. We’re talking about a lot of people here, so maybe it’s a combination of all three.

No, I don’t have a lot of respect for them. And I’m not feeling so much as a twitch of guilt about it either. These people are trying to hurt me. They’re trying to hurt you too.

Cross-posted at Washington Rebel and at Right Wing News.

On the Scale of Evil, Where do Murderers Rate?

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Twenty-two levels. Interestingly, it’s mostly females up to level 5; the “gentlemen” dominate from there on out. Got it from FARK.

“It Is Weakness That Starts Wars”

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

In my world, you can’t graduate from sixth grade without watching something like this all the way through. And maybe writing a report.

Hat tip to blogger friend Phil.

Dr. Laura to End Her Show

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The complete “racist rant” is here, for now, but I had a dickens of a time trying to find it. Better hit the play button while you can…with the understanding, which is obvious anyway, that the “N” word all spelled out is used repeatedly so it would not be appropriate for a delicate audience.

She’s being taken down by an essentially anonymous force here, which is winning only because it is anonymous. Consider the point she was making: If you take it upon yourself to use that word all spelled out, you’re in big trouble if you’re white but you can probably get away with it if you’re black, especially, if you’re a “black comic.” Then, after specifically lamenting this double-standard, she took the initiative — as a white person — and used the word when nobody else had.

Okay, so she’s toast. But you can’t toast her without proving her point. She used the word only as a phonetic repetition, directing it at absolutely nobody…and she’s not surviving this. There is not going to be a Shirley Sherrod event in which it is realized she was “taken out of context,” and we need to have a “national dialogue” and look “how far we still have to go” — none of that. She’s white, she used the word, she’s dead…right after she just got done saying what? That if you’re white, and you use the word, you’re dead.

This is not a defense. It was stupid to go there, when “The N-Word” works just fine for the point she was trying to make. And from the sounds of things, it seems “Jade” and her husband have a neighbor who repeatedly uses that word…although she didn’t come out and confirm this, I don’t think. I’d like to have known more about that. What kind of rube is on a first-name basis with a mixed-marriage couple, and regularly uses that word around them?

Well, here’s what Al Sharpton has to say about it, since everyone was wondering about that or something:

Immediately after the end of this footage, the host Mr. Cooper was heard to say “Hey waitaminnit, you faked a rape scandal! Get the hell off my show right now!”

No, that didn’t happen. That’s what would happen in a sane world. It didn’t happen here.

Sharpton says Schlessinger is wrong. The word is wrong no matter how it’s used or who is using it; her tangent about blacks voting for Obama, is something of which the Rev. specifically disapproves. And if Rev. Sharpton disapproves of something, of course, your career should come to a close.

All the smart people accept this. But if you accept it, of course, you have to support it. And who wants to live in a world like this, is my question.

Mayors do not have Sharpton’s power. Governors do not have his power. Presidents and Prime Ministers do not have his power. There is no finesse or delicacy to go with that power; none is needed, for it is the power to destroy, not to preserve or create. There is no accountability involved in this power either. There is no “Sharpton campaign” to drive Dr. Laura off the air. The situation is most adequately expressed in passive voice, with an object and not a subject: Dr. Laura is losing her place, because she said something dumb.

Which can only mean Dr. Laura was correct.

Sharpton says the word is wrong no matter where it’s used or how it’s used? I’d not be surprised at all to find out the good Rev. uses it in private. He’s certainly the last name on any list of mine, or very near the bottom of such a list, of people who perceive the world in any kind of color-neutral way. And I’d much rather have Dr. Schlessinger take my kid somewhere for a week, than Rev. Sharpton.

I’m speaking for myself, but I doubt like hell I’m alone in that.

We have built a code of cultural norms, in the mode of a collective, which would not find support in a single sane individual, ever. The first question a sane individual would ask, is “Are these cultural protocols working well and doing what they’re supposed to be doing?” Well, this doesn’t impress me as an effective way to banish racism or ease racial tension…and it doesn’t look to me like the code is having that kind of an effect.

But by all means, let us stand passively by as Wrecking-Ball-Al continues to demolish some more careers, while the rules about who can say what are written by those among us with the very lowest character. Let’s all allow it to happen, with my blessing, since we’re gonna do it anyway.

First Lady Rump Photo: Fake Butt Accurate?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

This has turned out to be a rather interesting story. It starts a few days ago, over the weekend when we were in Reno. Blogger friend Gerard, like many others, posted this photo:

…and we followed suit. Well, the photo turned out to be doctored. Since then, we’ve been going back & forth on whether we should post some kind of retraction, and if so, what kind. A number of readers have posted comments there, here, wherever else the picture appears that it is, to use disgraced newsman Dan Rather’s words, “fake but accurate.” That seemed a silly thing to say while we were on the road…at which time we were ready to ‘fess up and say “Well, we were blogging from the Droid! It’s really, really hard! That’s our lame excuse and we’re sticking to it!”

But the fake-but-accurate people are closest to the truth.

Consider what is revealed to us by this hacked-up photo:

1. Michelle Obama has a wide load and she walks like a fucking bricklayer.
2. She possesses all the fashion sense of a kindergartner.

It adds up to an indictment against our nation’s First Lady, that she does not make a very good one.

Now, it turns out #2 is falsified by the revelation of how the photo was faked, whereas #1 is not. Michelle herself is not photoshopped in any way, other than her bricklayer-walkin’ bod is imposed into a fake location. And it is fair to compare the crappy posture with the walking style of other female dignitaries, in this case France’s First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Spain’s Princess Letizia. So if the photo raised your cackles about our poor representation at such occasions, this is not a false concern. Our country was supposed to start looking all smart and sophisticated starting January 20, 2009, and there are more than a few places where it just isn’t happening.

Whoever put the picture together, however, for some reason went to the trouble to make it appear this is all the same time & place.

Snookered is snookered, so I think I should say something. But, speaking for myself, I don’t care that much about #2. Maybe there’s gender involved in that; I’m a dude. But I already know Michelle Obama has handicaps in the fashion department. It comes as news to me, on the other hand, to see how pitifully she stacks up compared to other females around the world who are high profile, who carry the privilege and obligation to represent.

This part of it is accurate. I cannot speak for the person who doctored the photo and fiddled around with the staircase being ascended; I don’t know why you’d do that.

Maybe it would be fair to put it up like this:

There. Un-photoshopped.

Talk show hostess Tammy Bruce, who also got snookered, put it this way:

The same point could/would be made by literally placing the pics side by side. I think the comparison of First Ladies is an appropriate one, and that’s what we have here–essentially the First Lady of Spain with Princess Letizia, and the literal First Lady of France, Bruni-Sarkozy. Here we have MObama with her signature issue being how American kids are fat and unhealthy. I do think making a comparison of the woman who points a finger at our kids, of all people, and during the campaign complaining she had never been proud of *us* presenting herself in this fashion on the international stage is fair *especially* with the theme of our First Couple being that Americans (other than them of course) are bitter, clingy, fat and irrelevant. When it comes to mean, I think she has set the tone. In my humble opinion.

Not just her opinion, though. She speaks for me.

“Eager to See Those Sensibilities Assaulted”

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Taranto speaks truth:

If the intent of the Ground Zero mosque is “to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together,” it is already a failure on its own terms. But the [New York] Times betrays its own lack of interest in conciliation by urging the president to “push back hard.”

By using the metaphor of physical assault, the Times makes clear that it views the placement of the proposed mosque as an assault on the sensibilities of what Times columnist Ross Douthat calls “the second America” — and that it is eager to see those sensibilities assaulted.

This is a constant with leftist movements. They all hold themselves out to be unifying, and they are. But they’re only designed to unify some subset of us. They’re meant to create a new elite.

Someone’s always supposed to be left out. Someone’s always supposed to be told they don’t count. To be alienated.

Conservatives shoot for a hundred, liberals shoot for fifty-one. Conservatives say, hey…if we want the economy to take off, shouldn’t government get out of the way? If we want more people to be hired, shouldn’t we make it less expensive to get them hired? And they find it disconcerting that anybody could possibly disagree. They’re not mobilized into action because someone disagrees; just profoundly disappointed.

Liberals just want to reach that fifty-first percentage. They don’t give a rip about the fifty-second. The loyal dissent, once it’s been eroded down to forty-nine, can hang around. In fact, it’s essential. Someone has to be made ineffectual. Someone has to be told they can go fuck a rusty jackhammer.

Without that vital ingredient, the feeling just isn’t complete.

They aren’t here to bring us all together or to make progress. That is not part of the agenda.

Memo For File CXXI

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Irish Cicero says this anecdote from my past is good enough for a blog post of its own. Now that I think on it a few more times, I realize he’s right. Before I start, I’d like you to think about misunderstandings, and how they happen. When one man gives another man an implied message, and the message turns out to be incomplete, who do we hold responsible for that.

When there is danger around, we pool our resources and work together. If there is a misunderstanding, the blame for the misunderstanding is shared between sender and recipient; they both must have done the job half-assed. A good example of this is a gun range. You don’t want to be the guy who understands “this automatic pistol does not have any cartridges in its magazine” — and then finds out there’s one-in-the-pipe. You also do not want to be the guy who gave that message to someone who took your “empty magazine” message as a synonym for “empty gun.” The outcome of this could be tragic. And so people do not place all of the responsibility on one person or the other. They work as a team. Safety first.

This is not the way we do it in other places.

That’s what this story is about.

In just a few months a whole lot of things happened. I became an unattached dude and a bachelor; my job went away; I became a contractor when it was figured out somewhere that my skills were still needed, even though my job was “supposed” to go away; Reagan died; and I served on a jury.

I was pooled as an alternate, and then someone got sick. So in I went. This story is about the opening comments of the defense attorney. His client was accused of stealing stereo equipment out of a jeep at two in the morning, but the charge was not theft. It was “receiving stolen property,” a nod to the insufficiency of the evidence for supporting the stronger charge.

The cop’s testimony was the only evidence available. He had found the jeep, parked curbside in a residential district, with the door hanging open. He was supposed to be looking for anything out of place, and he figured that qualified. Driving onward, he saw the defendant walking and he ordered him to stop. Defendant bent downward, toward his own ankles, for just a moment — he was behind another parked car, so the officer could not see what he was doing — and then he took off running. For anyone who’s watched C.O.P.S., the events immediately following would be easy to envision…

At the conclusion of the foot chase, the defendant was handcuffed and then the officer led him back to his patrol car. As they passed the spot where the suspect bent down, the officer saw the stereo equipment lying on the ground. Where, evidently, the defendant had placed it.

Evidently. Ah…but can you prove it?

There are written instructions on how you’re supposed to do your thinking when you serve on a jury. It’s a packet somewhere in the vicinity of twelve to twenty pages, I forget what. You can find a high-level description of these here, but that is not the packet that was circulated to us. In addition to the written instructions, there are also instructions from the judge, and from both of the counselors.

Now, I said before that the story is all about the opening remarks of the defense attorney; a transcript would be most helpful. I don’t have that, and that may partially explain why I didn’t think this was worth writing up. Besides of which, I’m not a lawyer and it isn’t my job to know how this stuff works. Not anymore. But I can tell you what made the deepest impression on me: The prosecution is required to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the defendant’s guilt. The defense is required to prove nothing, because the defendant, according to our Constitution, is to enjoy the benefit of any & all doubt. The prosecution has to prove so much, that they have already failed in this case.

The law required us to spring his client. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it. Acquittal was the only hope we had, to maintain our compliance with the law, especially that highest of all laws, the United States Constitution.

The instructions from the judge were different. The jury packet was also different. What the judge said, agreed with what was contained in the jury packet; those two things did not agree with what the defense attorney told us.

The word “shadow” did not appear there. The phrase used was “reasonable doubt,” and there were many pages devoted to what was reasonable and what was not. There are things you know to have taken place, and there are inferences you draw about what must have been going on. Process-of-elimination is a valid technique. By which I mean: The evidence says a gun was empty, nobody handled the gun except Jim and Frank, the gun comes back loaded — if there’s more evidence coming in saying Jim had no bullets, it is fair to infer that Frank put bullets in the gun.

So “shadow of a doubt” does not cut it. There can be shadows, and you can still convict somebody.

And you aren’t breaking the law if you vote to convict. I’m pretty sure this is true, because I’m the juror most responsible for the vote coming out the way it did. When my fellow jurors started to go off on a wild tangent and spin wild tales so they could justify an acquittal, I called bullshit.

I wanted to throttle jurors #9 and #10 by the throat before it was over. They talked over each other in their exuberance as they pointed out you can NOT vote to convict this “boy” just because he ran! And this was true. But we also had to include the running-away in this scenario we were evaluating. We were working from process-of-elimination, so what were we eliminating as we drew the necessary inference to support a conviction? That was the key question.

Juror #10 offered the possibility that the cop had a dog; a mean, vicious, dog that had gotten away and was chasing the boy. Hey, the cop didn’t say he had one, but he didn’t say he didn’t!

I fought back an instinct to lunge across the table. Somehow, my reaction to this was to calmly point out some instruction that began on the bottom of page 3 and concluded on page 4, which strictly proscribed against this brand of thinking. I don’t know how I managed to do that, but because I did, the imaginary canine remained consigned to the oblivion from whence it came.

Later on I recall being under the microscope, or on top of the soapbox depending on your point of view — explaining some train of thought which completely escapes me now. I recall trying to pick the proper nomenclature, or interpreting of semantics, or something…I made some allusion to Bill Clinton debating the meaning of the word “is.” The entire jury room erupted in peels of laughter, but Jurors #9 and #10 sat stone-faced, glowering. Yeah, okay. So I’m pretty sure I know where they were coming from. This gets back to what Stephen Browne was referring to as “making up stories.” It is what it sounds like. You want to arrive at a desired conclusion, and so you start injecting evidence into the mix that isn’t really there.

But in the end, mostly due to my own machinations, we agreed to hang the bastard.

And no, as we filed out of the jury box, there was no deputy waiting to handcuff us all for breaking the law.

This means the defense attorney did what I call lying. A lot of lawyers will say that isn’t accurate at all, he was just doing his job. And he never said anything technically untrue. So really…and by “really,” what I mean to say is “in their world”…I’m the one who is lying by calling him a liar. But that isn’t my world. In my world that motherfucker lied and he should have been disbarred.

This is one of the tragedies of the times in which we live. It has become acceptable to convey pieces of “truth,” leaving out selected bits of it in support of your own interests — to manufacture misunderstandings that benefit you. That, somehow, is thought of as a truthful thing. In fact, nowadays it is thought of as an admirable thing, a testament to your superior skill in “communicating” — leading the poor dumb bastard who’s believing you, to a conclusion he’d never reach on his own, in a million years, if he had all of the picture. Our ethics have gone astray. Because the manufactured misunderstanding, on the part of the person who placed too much faith in you, is all that guy’s fault.

It’s absolutely nuts. It’s like someone butchering your dog, or sexing up your wife and putting the hotel room on your credit card — then blaming you for it.

We’ve got a lot of people running around now, who are thought of as great communicators. But I wouldn’t want to go to a gun range with anyone who communicates that way, and neither would you. Well, maybe you would…but let’s just leave that train of thought alone.

Cross-posted at Washington Rebel.

Carve it Up and Call it a Day?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Patterico wants to discuss the separation that some say is inevitable:

They will never convince us to allow abortion on demand. We will never convince them that spending taxpayers’ money like it’s going out of style is a bad thing.

Kind of a rehash of the divorce agreement.

The strongest argument against such a thing, IMO, is that it would take the revolution of 1776 and turn everything that took place between that moment and this one and turn it into one spin on a silly-go-round. “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth…” and all that.

We tell the liberals, like it says in the divorce agreement, “You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies, and illegal aliens. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s, and rednecks. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.” Since this is essentially the same thing the Founding Fathers told the British after Yorktown, it would effectively impose on freedom itself something of a half-life. How many generations pass in the half that is Hot Hockey Mom America, before some pipsqueak says “Hey, I just think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody!” And his fellow Hot-Hockey-Mom-Americans fail to banish him to what FrankJ calls “Sissy America”? And then there would have to be another divorce, and another, and another. In about a thousand years, the Hot Hockey Mom, Hot Meat and Cold Beer America would be carved down to a patch of earth the size of Rhode Island.

Strongest argument in favor? Our liberals. They’re feeling angry all of the time, and what angers them is anybody who doesn’t agree with them about everything. They’re feeling ripped off. Liberals are like that; they get a study in hand that tells them what they want to hear, and they never look at it in terms of doing any sort of sanity check. In this case, one of the “blue states” subsidizing all the rest, is mine, California…heh heh heh. Anyway, Patterico’s separation would draw a boundary around the various social experiments of liberals, that liberals cannot draw themselves. Each sane experiment requires a perimeter, and it’s just plain hard to live around today’s liberals because they don’t want to fix things within such a perimeter. They find out someone started a business and is making a profit…or, just enjoying a plate of hot wings and beer brought to him by a cute young lady in short-shorts…and it doesn’t matter where the poor sonofabitch is, they have to go fix it. A wall, say, twenty feet high, would be most helpful.

Victim?
Victim?

The Hollywood people would all be on the sissy, weepy-apologia side. Wait, that’s not fair; maybe eight in ten of them would be on that side. Alright, so they’d have a tax base, at least to start with. They could make lots of movies about how awful things are going on the Strong Side. And any time their own government runs out of money, they could raise taxes on the same Hollywood people over and over again, and they could enforce their strong union rules on the Hollywood people, then the Hollywood people would raise movie ticket prices on the proles, who wouldn’t have anything else to do with their time other than listen to the same cuts of music on their iPods. I figure Steve Jobs would be on that side, and every couple years he’d release something and everyone on that side of the wall would have to buy it to find out what it does. Then he’d be about the richest guy there, and they’d tax the shit out of him.

All the pretty girls would be on my side. Because let’s face it, even if the pretty girls wanted to go to the other side, they wouldn’t be allowed in. Look how the liberals have been treating Sarah Palin for the last two years. I rest my case.

You start a business over here, you can keep your money. And drill-baby-drill. If we’re going to talk about having an economic recovery, and bringing down the price of oil & gas, then stop-talkin’-start-doin’.

Which half would have the doctors? Hmmm…

Which half would have most of the food?

And what of Patterico’s questions? What would the crime statistics look like in each half? In which half would kids be abusing drugs? Knocking each other up? Catching STDs? Breaking into houses? Robbing liquor stores?

The death tax would highlight the philosophical difference better than anything, I think. You die in the weak side, your money goes to the government there; the thinking would be, it always belonged to the government, they were just graciously allowing you to use it. You die on the strong side, and your money is your property, you already paid taxes on it, you can divide it up among your heirs.

Chicks With GunsWould it be fair to presume the unemployment rate in “left” America would be very close to where it is now, since once Obama became our President it zipped on up to 9.5 to 10 and just stayed there…or maybe something much higher, since their message to businesses would be one of “What the hell are you gonna give us today?” And in “right” America it would be down somewhere around five and a half, since throughout much of the Bush Presidency that’s where it stayed.

Regardless of whether the plan is ultimately executed, it’s an interesting thought experiment. Maybe a good compromise would be to establish a national “Wall Day” where we can think hard about it. Ezra Klein can trot out the latest study that says blue-staters are supporting the red-staters, and people of all ideological stripes can read his latest write-up and think “Yeah, I believe that! Er…yeah…sure I do. Yeah.” Then we’d flip to the rest of the newspaper, covered with stories about budget deficits, and oh dear our local pension system is out of control, so is our state pension system, and Social Security, and we need more programs, and more taxes, ad infinitum. National Wall Day. What-Would-Happen-Day. Somewhere before Election Day, late September sometime, before everyone starts thinking about candy, costumes and family holiday schedules.

A national day of giving it some real thought.

The blue staters want this? They don’t need us as much as we need them? Yes, let us give that some real quality thought. Not Ezra Klein thought…but the kind of thought you give things when you want to get real work done, and want things to work.