Archive for October, 2010

Girl in a Hotel Bar

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Texas Lets People Make Money

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

The hippies have taken over the coastlines, which sends my two primary requirements for my retirement environment — I want to wake up to the smell of real salt air, and I want to shatter the beer bottles from last night with a large-caliber sidearm in my own backyard — into a collision with each other. Hippies hate guns. Everything will be rainbows and unicorns as soon as we get rid of all the guns.

Well, there are 375 miles of coastline still open to me. In recent years, the appeal of this thought has been on a slow crescendo. Not really all that slow at times. You see, I am in California.

There is a difference between these two states; a rather striking one.

California may have more sunshine and better beaches, but Texas has more jobs.

According to new research by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit free-market research institute, the second most populous state in the union created 129,000 new jobs in the past year, a 1.3 percent rate, far overshadowing the declining and most populous California, which lost 112,000 jobs during the same period.

“Texas’s superior economic performance is noteworthy,” said conservative economist Arthur Laffer, a senior fellow of the foundation who conducted the analysis. “It’s just striking how the states with no income tax outperform the states with high income taxes.

“And the reason is simple: employers move to the location that promises better after-tax returns. Texas constantly focuses on improving its economic competitiveness and the citizens of Texas are benefiting because of it,” he said in a written statement.

The study attributed the competitive growth to the state’s economic policies, including no income tax.

“Our study shows that it is these Texas policies of relatively low taxes, low spending, and less regulation that have helped the Lone Star State weather the Great Recession better than California and the nation as a whole,” the report reads.

State and local government spending in Texas has remained steady at about 18 percent of the state’s private economy while California’s has increased from 19 percent to nearly 26 percent since 1987.

You take a more permissive attitude with regard to the things people do, and more stuff happens. Actually, California does know something about this — we take a permissive attitude with regard to things people aren’t supposed to do, like kill other people and take their stuff. We get more of that. Starting a business and hiring people, though…just forget it. We here in California hate that. We might not say so, but we make it more difficult pretty much every way we can. And we get less of that.

It would be nice to live in a state with an unemployment rate two points under the national average, as opposed to two points over it.

James Cameron, Hypocrite

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

He’s the King of the…limousine libs.

Hat tip to Kate at Small Dead Animals.

Sh*t My Kids Ruined

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Cool website for me to browse when I have the time.

Blogsister Cassy rocks the house.

“Governance Requires Concrete Action in a Way Campaign Rhetoric Does Not”

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Is it time, already, for the historians to look back on the strange, surreal campaign summer of 2008 and shake their heads sadly at the debilitating weakness inherent in consensus thought?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks so.

Historians will look back at the 2008 campaign in the light of the 2010 midterm elections. Almost everything the president has done in the last two years is simply a continuance of that now strangely distant summer.

The only disconnects are (1) that the media are now embarrassed by Obama’s rapid decline in the polls and so suddenly, in catch-up fashion, have chosen to highlight his inexperience and hypocrisy in a way they did not in 2008. And (2) that governance requires concrete action in a way campaign rhetoric does not, and thus the American public can evaluate the consequences of deeds rather than the implications of mellifluent hope-and-change rhetoric.

Remember the 2008 claims of bipartisanship and an end to the old style of politics? Yet there was nothing in Obama’s prior career to substantiate those idealistic claims. In his first race, for the Illinois state senate in 1996, he sued to remove opponents from the ballot, and in his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, the divorce records of both his primary- and general-election opponents were mysteriously leaked. Subsequently, Obama compiled the most partisan record in the entire Senate, proving that he was the least willing senator to veer from a doctrinaire ideology. So if we are surprised that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, John Roberts, the tea parties, John Boehner, the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove, and Ed Gillespie have later become bogeymen of the week, we must remember that this is merely the logical continuance of Obama’s earlier hardball modus operandi.
Remember the condescending Pennsylvania clingers speech, and the psychoanalysis of his own grandmother’s purported “typical white person” sort of racism? Such professorial tsk-tsking has simply now been channeled into deprecations of a new cast of yokels, whose denseness and emotionalism ensured that they also could not appreciate all that Obama had done for them.

Indeed, the supposedly limbic-brained voters of Pennsylvania would easily recognize some of Obama’s later analyses: “So I’ve been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you.” And, “At a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then, you know, fears can surface — suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And so I think that plays a role in it.”

What a blessing it is to be alive in a time in which prevailing viewpoint sees its own frailties through a lens of time — as is usually the case — but here, the eon of humility and enlightenment is a scant twenty-four months.

Couldn’t happen with a better object lesson. Obama is the picture of how left-wing politics have damaged us across the decades. It offers resentful masses the image that they’re thinking unconventional, iconoclastic thoughts, while they act on hierarchically disseminated instructions about what to think.

They’ve been calling themselves the “Realty Based Community” — heard that one? — and their solution to an oil spill is a drilling moratorium. When our national economy hits the skids, they think “green jobs” will save it.

Ask them what two times six times four times seven is, and you’ll get back the number 48, attached to an elegant treatise filled with buzzwords about what a terrible number that seven is and why it shouldn’t count. That summarizes how they see the world. When their stated conclusion doesn’t fit with reality, and you point out how, there must be something wrong with you — you’re stupid, or you’re evil. If there is nothing like that on record about you, they’ll come up with something.

But it isn’t about you. It’s straight out of The Godfather; nothing personal. The comment about bitter-clinging was classic projection, and that’s them. They’re clinging bitterly.

When the clinging calls for seeing something as the exact opposite of what it really is, they accomplish this quite deftly. Like a snake unhinging its jaws. Quite an amazing thing to watch, really. Amazing and sad.

You cannot build things thinking the way people had to think, when they punched the chad for Obama. You can only destroy things thinking that way.

Update: Via Instapundit: Majority now say No Second Term.

My question now is the same one Dad had for me when I was little: Did you learn anything? It’s one thing to realize “We’re headed in the wrong direction, let’s turn around.” Keeping the lesson in mind next time around, when some smooth, lilty, sonorous, suave, laughey talkey Guy Smiley chit-chat type is bullshitting you and “everybody knows” that guy is just so wonderful and smart, that’s a whole different thing entirely. So we’re awake, or waking up. How long are we gonna stay that way?

A Modern U.S. President

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

A grateful hat tip to Joan at Primordial Slack.

“Morning Joe” Panelists Can’t Figure Out Why Women Are in the Tea Party

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

They wrestle with that thorny question

Confusion was the word of the day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning when the panel questioned why so many women have been drawn to the Tea Party movement.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski, The New York Times’ Sam Tanenhaus, CBS’s Lesley Stahl, columnist Mike Barnicle, and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham were initially stumped when Stahl prompted the discussion.

“I wanted to ask all the gurus here, why so many of the Tea Partiers are women. I find that just intriguing and don’t quite understand why that has happened,” Stahl said.

To which the panel replied: “I have no idea.” “Sarah Palin?” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know either.”
Tanenhaus eventually surfaced with an attempted explanation. “You’ve been talking about the economy, who runs the household economy in America? The classic Greek work for economics means ‘home economy.’ Who’s paying the bills, who’s worried about the kids and college loans?” he offered.

Barnicle took a stab at the riddle as well. “It could be women, as we all know, are smarter than men. And they have better instincts than men, and they know — off of what you just said — that the government or the household, you have a checkbook, you can’t start writing checks for things you can’t pay for, the checks bounce. We’ve been bouncing checks as a government for twenty years.”

Yet another position of responsibility we should all be grateful is not being occupied by my fine self. And I should be among the grateful…oh goodness, what kind of riot would a Panelist Freeberg start.

“I got an answer. Because women aren’t clueless morons? Because when something is on fire, women can see just as well as men that it’s necessary to put it out?”

It’s a classic case of can’t-see-forest-for-trees. A bunch of ivory tower elites who very rarely are backed into this kind of corner, being forced to comment on the difference between men and women. And they can do this only in a limited way — women more sociable, women smarter, women more mature, women more compassionate. Ask them “how come women are in the Tea Party” and it’s like asking a paraplegic to lick the back of his own knee.

The poor helpless dears.

There isn’t even any call to talk about differences between men & women; men are in the Tea Party, women are in the Tea Party. It is a band of concerned citizens fighting unchecked liberalism, trying to stem the damage. It is a gender-neutral calling. End of story.

I recall a Dilbert cartoon where Wally was bidding everyone good night, getting ready to pull an all-nighter…take one for the team…burn the midnight oil…that was when Dilbert made an interesting observation. He had spent the day — with three others (men and women) — fixing the problems caused by the “work” Wally had been doing the night before. And then, a few minutes ago, the four of them got together and decided to duct tape Wally to his chair.

That’s why people are in the Tea Party. Wally is one of the left-wingers in charge right now, doing the damage. The Tea Party is the duct-taping party.

Being a woman has nothing to do with it. It’s a matter of seeing what needs to be done, and doing it. This needs doing.

Revenge Backfires

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

From Mary Katharine Ham, via blogger friend Cassy Fiano.

Just watch…

Helen, you need to pick ’em better.

My own comment left at Cassy’s place…

Was he not supposed to be a liberal?

I ask because, just in the short clip you showed, he made several logical points that absolutely, positively, completely depend on the idea that one shows one’s compassion, or lack thereof, through the public policies one selects for promotion or resistance. Indeed, this is a central pillar of his overall thesis. If you know enough to be a conservative, you probably know enough to understand this is an enormous mistake. He gestures like a lib. He talks like a lib. He thinks a relaxation of assault laws means “living under the threat” of violence or something…like a lib. I can smell tofu on his breath through the video.

He has a very weird voice. It sounds conflicted. It sounds like he’s been blessed with an abundance of the hormones that plunge a growing boy’s voice downward in pitch, so that he could naturally try out for the bass section of the choir, but then he went and hung around a bunch of “aggressively non-threatening NPR males” in college and, because his maturity wasn’t quite there yet and he was still in his formative years, started warbling above middle-C to try to fit in.

I just barely skimmed MKH’s run-down and haven’t exhaustively studied this, but I’m ready to lay some hard cash on the line that this guy is one of the 25% who thinks Obama is doing a great job and just needs some more time to clean up the awful messes caused by the eight years of…blah blah blah you know the rest.

I’ve not put much additional effort into trying to answer my own question. My “lib-detector” has its errors and its flaws…like everything…but I trust it more than I trust the words people use to describe where they sit. A lib is a lib is a lib…yup, I can smell ’em.

All libs are not American Castrati, and all American Castrati are not libs. But this guy’s both.

If Star Trek Ran on Microsoft Windows

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Ah yes, this is my kind of humor.

You could just stretch this theme out forever and ever…

WARPDRIVE.EXE has executed an illegal instruction and cannot continue. Would you like to tell Microsoft about this problem?

The possibilities are endless.

“The Hole Truth: Losers Can’t Stand Winners”

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Another gem at RightNetwork.

Matthews is rightfully skewered.

Watching the near-miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days, Matthews suddenly declared that if they had followed the Tea Party’s “every man for himself” philosophy, they wouldn’t have gotten out alive…and then trumped himself by declaring that the miners “would have been killing each other after about two days.”

What an ass.

Now that I think about it, the people who told me Hardball is hard-hitting and balanced and presents both sides…were the same ones who told me that about Boston Legal.

Joy-Behar levels of insight, there. You have to wonder how people get dressed and start walking around.

“El Socialismo es Contra la Prosperidad”

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Yes, it definitely doesn’t fit the narrative.

Socialism is bad for you, no matter your language, race or creed.

Update: I deserve one of my own “Best Sentence” awards for this gem I entered at KC & Old Iron’s place:

Every single state government that is drowning in red ink, seems to be also drowning in a deluge of liberal politicians lecturing that there is something evil about pulling in a profit.

I have the theory that if our government says profit is okay, we will make profit and our economy will recover; if it says “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money,” fewer will make profit, and our economy will suck ass.

I regard this theory as 50 percent proven at this point. If the elections go okay, maybe next year we can see the other 50 percent proven.

Where’s Steele?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

With all that’s going on, the RNC Chairman is nowhere to be seen. That’s not a bad thing at all.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele is the missing person of the midterm election. Instead of cable news appearances and debates with Democratic counterpart Tim Kaine, Mr. Steele has spent the past month leading a “Fire Pelosi” bus tour across the country.

His small role in the campaign, highly unusual for a party chairman, is matched by the scaled back effort the RNC has mounted in 2010. And no one is happier than Mr. Steele’s many Republican detractors, glad to see he’s attracting little attention from the national media.
The RNC brought in $9.7 million in September, $4 million short of its goal. This compares with $11.2 million raised last month by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which supports House candidates. And the RGA, led by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, raised $31 million in July, August and September.

Many congressional Republicans and governors no longer trust Mr. Steele as their spokesman. They tend to work around the RNC rather than engage Mr. Steele. He does have supporters, and he has recruited an experienced staff. But his dismissal of Rush Limbaugh on CNN as an “entertainer” and other statements have stirred criticism.

Earlier this year, Mr. Steele said he doubted Republicans would capture the House in the midterm election, adding that he wasn’t sure they were ready to govern. More recently, he’s limited his media interviews and avoided gaffes.

If you’re going to criticize Rush Limbaugh for being incendiary, you ought to have least listened to his program. If you’re going to criticize Limbaugh for making money as an “entertainer,” you can’t call yourself a conservative.

Think about it: When real conservatives criticize left-wing entertainers, the criticism has to do with using mockery where it isn’t appropriate and isn’t called-for. Or mixing up hard news with witticisms, on purpose, to distort the picture of what’s really going on. They don’t criticize the entertainers for making a profit at something.

After he did that, RNC Chief Steele had nothing to sell the country except moderate democrats with the letter “R” after their names.

But maybe those phonies could still do a better job governing effectively…but whoopsie…we then have the later Steele comments about maybe they can’t govern effectively if they take back the House.

So after that, what’s the point of donating to the GOP? No wonder the fund-raising goals are falling short. Republicans certainly are polling well enough this year. That’s a miracle, and a blessing. Maybe advertising isn’t that crucial after all. But the real passion isn’t going toward Republicans, it’s going to the Tea Party movement.

And I think the Tea Party movement owes Michael Steele a note of thanks. Their popularity is due to an intersection of many highly unlikely coincidences, and Michael Steele is one of them.

Blogger friend Buck links to a Zombie essay, by way of mutual blogger bud Old Iron; the gist of it is that the Tea Party, realize it or not, is a resurgence of the Hippie movement.

I don’t know if I’m willing to go that far. If you read Zombie’s piece you see it has to do with the construction of a two-dimensional graph — individualism versus authoritarianism on the X axis, human behavior being a constant vs. shaped by a culture and the events within it on the Y axis. I was ready to buy into the idea that Hippies and Tea Party people occupy a similar point on the X axis, but remained to be convinced about the Y positioning…and Zombie’s piece didn’t go into great detail there, at least not enough to answer my questions. Seems to me the Tea Party is rigidly certain about its selected Y value whereas you could’ve been a good Hippie with any ol’ Y, as long as your X was way off to the left (individualism).

When I think of Steele, though, I think of this essay. We’re living in a time where the establishment has become crystallized and monopolized, whether it be a liberal establishment or a so-called-conservative one. It discourages “controversy,” which I suppose is a constant for the word “establishment.” But there is more. It discourages individuality, and seeks to impose a softly destructive aerosol upon whoever deigns to show any kind of creativity, especially if they seek to make a profit by it. It seems to be grasping for the ultimate authority, to dictate who is allowed to be rich and who is not. And it doesn’t very much seem to matter who’s in charge.

Yeah, now you’ve even got me talking somewhat like a Hippie. Maybe there’s something to Zombie’s essay after all.

Let me make as much money as I can, and as I want. Tax me to fund the vitals…not to whittle me down to some economic profile you happen to think “fits” me, and if my bank account balance happens to be higher than you’d expect, that isn’t a problem. Butt out. And government, you don’t pass judgment on me; people like me pass judgment on you.

Seems like so little to ask. This was the point to the experiment in the first place, wasn’t it? But it’s complicated by the fact that some people were born into the experiment, who seem to think respect for the individual is too tall an order. Real freedom is just a bit too tough.

Somehow, the tendency is for them to be in charge. Even though, when you watch them over time, their energies go into preserving or promoting very little, save for the thoroughly mediocre.

Coulter Versus Behar

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

This is very old by now but it’s worth watching. Joy Behar is increasingly likely, with each passing week, to be the most important television personality in our time. Although, as you can tell from the video, she has been the way she is for quite awhile.

She doesn’t present herself as a mouthpiece for the democrat party, but she is one anyway — even has these pre-canned, pre-digested talking points to present that have little-to-nothing to do with the topic she chose as the host of the program. Close to the end, you’ll notice, Coulter needs to remind her of the question she asked.

But Joy would like to concentrate on what this-or-that personality likes. Or wants. All in service of proving what terrible people those other folks are — so she doesn’t have to discuss policy decisions or their consequences. She claims to be interested in politics but she demonstrates very little actual knowledge about anything.

Let’s see if I can summarize. George Bush inherited a surplus and spent trillions of dollars on a war against a country that did not directly attack us…and put together a massive deficit that he handed off to Barack Obama. With a bow tied on top. Near as I can figure, this is the extent of Joy Behar’s knowledge about all public policy in this country, foreign and domestic.

You can get that out of watching just the trailer of a Michael Moore movie.

There are lots of people walking around like this. Claiming to be independent and fair, when they’re really about as centrist, enlightened and fair-minded as the Unabomber. Thanksgiving is coming. Maybe in a little over a month you’ll be sitting across the table from someone like this, asking them to pass you the gravy.

My sympathies.

It has become a widespread problem in our modern culture. Joy Behar is, certainly, a very important celebrity; her viewpoint, such as it is, represents many.

Sadly, so does her intellectual drive and natural curiosity. What little there is of such things.

Behar is an American icon, demonstrating in luminous style how easily an addled mind can be bamboozled into becoming precisely what it initially loathes, or presents itself as loathing. She’s supposed to be for facts, truth, and free expression of those; you can see from the clip, above, how little regard she has for all this. She’s supposed to be for equal rights and equal freedoms. You don’t have to listen to her for long to figure out she has some kind of hierarchy in mind: Homosexuals and Muslims on top…women somewhere in the middle, but liberal women deserving of far better treatment than their conservative counterparts…and then down on the bottom, Republicans like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and then the unborn babies come in underneath them.

Behar has lots of company here. Someday, someone should put that chart together and publish it, with a nice lamination. The “Joy Behar Some More Equal Than Others” chart, they could call it.

“Let Him Finish or I’m Gonna Deck You!”

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Yes, this is precisely the behavior of the “paparazzi” that gives the press a bad reputation…it could be taken as deliberately provocative.

But it could not have elicited the reaction it did if there wasn’t something heap-big busted about The Chicago Way. This is not a climate or culture that is conducive to the “transparent government” that so many voters said they wanted, and so many of our politicians said they are ready to deliver. The Chicago Machine has a little bit of an ugly reputation of its own; said reputation not being subject to much of a challenge or reversal by the events recorded here.

By 2020, a vote for Barack Obama is going to be recalled about as fondly as a vote for Warren G. Harding.

It’s No Longer Racist to Call Him an Egotistical Snot

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Interesting. Still not sure who it is who makes all these rules, but even in a country where the thoughts raging between your own two ears are supposed to be your property and your concern, it’s still a blessing when you’re allowed to notice what’s true.

Better point it out while you still can. This might be temporary…comrade.

“That’s all right, all of you know who I am,” President Obama joked last week when the presidential seal fell off his podium during a speech in Pittsburgh.

Even though the incident made headlines for no discernible journalistic reason, it was noteworthy as a succinct example of Obama’s arrogance problem. Rather than make a self-deprecating joke, he opted to make a self-inflating one, as if to say that the title mattered less than the man.

The good news is that it’s apparently not racist to call Obama arrogant anymore. Not long ago, Keith Olbermann and other gargoyles on the parapets of establishment liberalism insisted that if you were to call attention to the fact that Obama ostentatiously holds himself in very high regard, you were really calling him “uppity,” if you know what I mean.

Now, what was once taboo has become undeniable. Even the New Yorker’s David Remnick, author of a loving biography of Obama, tells Der Spiegel, “Obama has a considerable ego.”

And here’s Time’s Mark Halperin: “With the exception of core Obama administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusion: The White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters.”

There are times when I’d feel more comfortable hearing our current President wax lyrically about the faked moon landing, or how the Cubans shot JFK, or that a UFO landed in Lafayette park the night before last, than I am hearing the kind of self-important puffed-up ego-driven drivel that spews out of our nation’s First Cakehole.

Forget the birth certificate — I’m interested in seeing some hard evidence that He doesn’t suffer from some mental illness.

As some of the more persistent and perceptive readers have observed, my “day job” is in technology and that’s the way it has always been. I’ve been in that field for a quarter of a century now. It is a vocation that is populated with some colossal egos, because the people who throw the money around want reassurance things will be done right the first time, all the time. Half the time they’re impressed by substance and half the time they’re impressed with the packaging. When fifty cents out of every dollar are freely given to whoever has the brightest smile and can talk like an auctioneer, it means not everyone on an upward career path necessarily understands as much about how things work, as they pretend to understand. The net effect is that you don’t have to wait long for the chance to meet some insufferable jackasses.

My career has seen five presidential administrations now. Always, I’ve had stories to tell about some colossal, easily bruised ego from work who was more puffed-up and self-important and useless than the current prez. I’ve even known some people who were more that way than Bill Clinton.

But now, the guy in the Oval Office takes the cake. When people get a new boss and they complain about that guy, President Obama is the epitome of what they’re complaining about. Every single success, He’s there to suck up the credit — no natural curiosity about how it was really done, who did what. None whatsoever. Take it to the bank there will be an impressive speech, though.

Failure? The search for a scapegoat becomes a ritual. Set your watch by it. Everyone is to blame except Barry Soetoro.

Of course, anyone working outside the White House will never know…not until the tell-all books come out. But people like this are absolute murder on moral. Even when they’re not in charge, they bring it down — and then when they start making decisions, look out. That’s when it collapses, like a tent suddenly deprived of its long pole. People start showing up later in the morning, and going home earlier in the afternoon. What’s the point of hanging around? Mister Wonderful has things well under control — unless he doesn’t, in which case it’s better to be gone before the blame game starts. No decisions anyone’s looking for out of me anyhow. Just ask know-it-all over there.

Yes, Obama has a larger than average ego that might not be compatible with true mental stability as the rest of us know it. And because His skin happens to be light-coffee-color, it hasn’t been P.C. to notice it up until now…but now it’s okay to notice it. That’s a good thing. Maybe the healing can begin.

Henninger: Capitalism Saved the Miners

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Daniel Henninger, writing in Wonderland in the Wall Street Journal:

The president of the U.S. is campaigning across the country making this statement at nearly every stop:

“The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper.”

Uh, yeah. That’s a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that’s right.
This profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at that Chilean mine. The high-strength cable winding around the big wheel atop that simple rig is from Germany. Japan supplied the super-flexible, fiber-optic communications cable that linked the miners to the world above.

A remarkable Sept. 30 story about all this by the Journal’s Matt Moffett was a compendium of astonishing things that showed up in the Atacama Desert from the distant corners of capitalism.

Samsung of South Korea supplied a cellphone that has its own projector. Jeffrey Gabbay, the founder of Cupron Inc. in Richmond, Va., supplied socks made with copper fiber that consumed foot bacteria, and minimized odor and infection.

Chile’s health minister, Jaime Manalich, said, “I never realized that kind of thing actually existed.”

That’s right. In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation.

And some good stuff gets developed that otherwise would not have been…and, ultimately, it can make the difference between life and death.

Then, for reasons nobody can explain, we’re up to our armpits in lefties who insist it was all done by bureaucrats who spent somebody else’s money and did a lot of talking in front of television cameras. Equally unexplainable is the doctrine that says we have to allow them to get away with it, and listen uncritically as they blame capitalism for all the problems in the world.

But it ain’t necessarily so.

This is an important thing to point out, especially right now. The attack on capitalism, now thoroughly exposed as precisely the wrong way to go, has become desperate and the attack has been pressed, accelerated, frenzied. How bad is the situation?

The U.S. has a government led by a mindset obsessed with 250K-a-year “millionaires” and given to mocking “our blind faith in the market.” In a fast-moving world filled with nations intent on catching up with or passing us, this policy path is a waste of time. [emphasis mine]

And worse.

Henninger has a strong finish. How strong? Strong enough to go toe-to-toe with the primal urge, felt by some, to deny the potential for human achievement in the private sector — and to smash it wherever it pops up, in some mad, sick game of whack-a-mole. It’s a column whose time has come. Go RTWT.


Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

TLDavis, fellow contributor to Washington Rebel, opines and speaks wisdom:

The curse of Americanism is the very goal for which it would seem to strive: leisure. What is the purpose of all the hard work; of raising children to be competent self-directors; of saving money on which to live? The purpose would be to finally obtain the leisure promised to everyone since the advent of Social Security.

Before that, one worked hard to build something, to move from labor to management so that the later years, 70′s and 80′s would not be so physically demanding, but there was no sense of ultimate leisure, of retirement. I find this concept of retirement to be the anesthetic of the soul. It causes the “as long as I get mine” attitude, a sense that there is a point where dropping out and being dependent on the state is an acceptable goal.

We are faced now with the reality that only a few chosen members of society will have been able to enjoy that reality and the rest of us will be left with the tab. This is occurring all over the “civilized” world.

Retire at 55, settle down for your dirt nap at 130 or so. That’ll work fine if every “retiree” has actually generated that much wealth & then some…but if it’s just 35 years of clock-punching which may or may not have something to do with extraordinarily productive efforts, followed by half a century of “It’s Okay I Earned It Dammit” life-of-liesure…maybe, just maybe, that won’t all work out so hot.

But we make up for it in volume I suppose?

Steve Austin Hates People Who Double-Park

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Oh yeah…

It would have been awesome to watch Steve in action…here.

I Don’t Know How to Read Something Like This

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Truth is in Danger! Aiigghh!

How can Americans talk to one another—let alone engage in political debate—when the Web allows every side to invent its own facts?

This past August, the left-leaning San Francisco–based Web site AlterNet posted a remarkable scoop: members of a group calling itself the Digg Patriots were banding together to promote conservative-leaning online stories and to drive down the rankings of stories that the group felt showed a liberal bias. Digg, founded in 2004, was one of the first social-media sites, and it remains the largest one devoted to disseminating news stories; its primary function allows the “collective community” (to employ the optimistic phrase Digg uses to describe its participants) to promote stories it likes and/or deems important and, until recently, to bury stories it dislikes.

Further, the AlterNet story alleged, Digg Patriots were creating ghost accounts whereby they could muster “bury brigades” with far more influence than their actual numbers permitted. “One bury brigade in particular,” the article said, became “so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours.” The effect of this burying was to prevent other Digg users from finding those articles and rendering their own opinions on them, effectively coming as close to censorship as is possible in the social-media sphere. After the AlterNet article was posted, the Digg Patriots user group was taken down, and Digg eliminated the “bury” option on its site; Digg also began an internal investigation into AlterNet’s claims.

The article received little attention outside a few tech-oriented blogs—in part, one suspects, because Digg is no longer the agenda-setting monster it was a few years ago, when many establishmentarians saw it as a threat to the editorial functions of major news organizations. That issue has long since been argued and decided, and Digg itself has been superseded by far more popular services such as Twitter and Facebook, which cannot be gamed in the same way.

But the episode raises an intriguing, and disturbing, question, especially coming on the heels of a number of similar incidents. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said (or is famously reputed to have said) that we may each be entitled to our own set of opinions, but we are not entitled to our own set of facts. In a time when mainstream news organizations have already ceded a substantial chunk of their opinion-shaping influence to Web-based partisans on the left and right, does each side now feel entitled to its own facts as well? And thanks to the emergence of social media as the increasingly dominant mode of information dissemination, are we nearing a time when truth itself will become just another commodity to be bought and sold on the social-media markets? Or, to cast it in Twitter-speak: @glennbeck fact = or > @nytimes fact? More far-reachingly, how does society function (as it has since the Enlightenment gave primacy to the link between reason and provable fact) when there is no commonly accepted set of facts and assumptions to drive discourse?

I don’t know how to read something like this; I try and try, and the words just get all blurry. I can’t tell if it’s just me, or if the thoughts really are this incoherent.

Maybe I’m coming from the wrong planet. See, I live in this place where you figure out what to do about something based on the opinions you have about what’s going on, and you form those opinions about what’s going on based on facts. In my world, the distinction between facts and opinions is an important one because opinions are formed according to your judgment and methods, but facts are not. Facts are not “formed” at all; they are perceived.

You can form an opinion without regard to the facts, to emulate what you perceive to be a consensus. That makes you a bit of a dipshit but it’s still your prerogative.

From the best I can determine, out on Planet Hirschorn things work much differently. “Discourse” is driven by “Fact,” which seems to be indistinguishable from “Opinion” because both are much more concerned with what everybody is talking about, and neither is terribly concerned with what is really happening. By bumping and burying, you can distort something Hirschorn calls “fact.”

It has not escaped my notice that, in this scandal that is being described at a high, thirty-thousand-foot level, the only misrepresentation that is being alleged is one of prevailing viewpoint: “creating ghost accounts whereby they could muster ‘bury brigades’ with far more influence than their actual numbers permitted.”

Hirschorn goes on to complain about similar trivialities, such as the turnout for this march or that one, whether it was in the tens of thousands or well up into the millions. If he wanted to be thoughtful, it would have been far more productive to contemplate why such things matter to anybody — at least, on my planet it would have been. What kind of person perceives it to be some kind of crisis when it becomes more difficult to find out what everybody else is thinking? Under what situation, if any at all, would it be good for that kind of person to make decisions about things? Such a person doesn’t even want to decide things in the first place, does he? Why would it matter to such a person what his individual sentiments ultimately evolve to become, when he’s spending such effort to effectively suppress those very things?

Hirschorn also gets in a quick jab against the statements about death panels. Blogger friend Phil dealt with that rather soundly a few weeks ago.

Glimpse Into the Mind of Book Thrower Guy

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

This is why sometimes you have to quit watching the news on the teevee, and go find out what really happened on crackpot right-wing blogs…or maybe even this one.

The guy who threw a book at President Obama’s noggin turned out not to be a racist teabag scum, but rather, a slobbering Obama fan; one of the few remaining at this late date. Media Blackout Time. You’ve not heard a syllable about it since.

The man who threw a book at Obama in Philadelphia yesterday is a New York antiques dealer called Sajid Ali Khan.

Sajid Khan – The Obama Book Thrower
Rather bizarrely given that he was arrested for it, he’s written a web posting celebrating, what he has called, his day of “daring, courage and lunacy”.

BookKhan, a self-styled ‘wisdom coach’, who scribbles furiously online about why “wisdom is a fragrance of the brain”, “why the man’s sperm is tiny while the woman’s egg is huge” and – a particular bugbear – “why horniness is a 24/7 epidemic that must be stopped” was trying to get a copy of a book containing all his musings in front of Obama.

On a rather eccentric community page at google’s knol platform, Khan describes what happened himself.

“Usually I am able to place myself at a point where I can shake the hand of the President and talk to him. This time I was one fence away so there was no way I could speak to him. There was five rows of people between me and the President. I was still about 10′ away from him. So I held up my book and as soon as he looked at me I tilted the book to show him that I wanted to give it to him. I did it a few times when he looked towards my direction. The President is extremely intelligent and is always looking for new ideas so I could see that he took several good looks at the book. But he did not say anything. I realized that it was going no where.”

I call on the rapidly shrinking community of Obama enthusiasts to refudiate this manic-depressive zealotry. Soon, or someone just might get hurt.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit, via Jammie Wearing Fool, via Doug Powers writing at Michelle Malkin.

Incidentally, on that Powers piece linked above there is a true “best sentence” moment taking place. The subject is the other disruption of His Divine Eminence’s speech, some naked guy streaking around trying to win a million dollar bet or some such.

Documenting the noble efforts of the appropriate authorities to provide the modesty the streaker is lacking, by covering his junk with an Obama-logo “Vote 2010” poster, Powers comments —

No matter what the guy’s political and/or PR motivations, the left has finally found their “out of control teabagger.”

Seven Reasons Barack Obama Should Apologize to America

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

John Hawkins opens up the can o’ whoop.

Barack Obama is a petty little man whose grandiose sense of self importance has always far outstripped his abilities and accomplishments. Putting a man such as that in the most important job on the planet is like taking a five year old off an airplane ride at a carnival and putting him at the control of a jet airplane in mid-flight.

Contrition is not forthcoming from the shameless, so one would be mistaken to expect an apology from our nation’s first Holy President for any of these items. But if that were to come to pass, I would recommend to His Eminence that He should start with number six:

The unspoken promise behind Barack Obama’s campaign was that his election would enable America to finally achieve its long held dream of being a post-racial nation. Yet, Obama’s election has led to a flurry of finger pointing, grievance mongering, and race based accusations.

Some of that has come from Obama’s own administration. Eric Holder said America is a “nation of cowards” on race. Barack Obama even publicly sided with his friend Henry Louis Gates based on reasoning that really didn’t go much deeper than Gates [was] black and the cop was white; so the cop must be racist.

You know what I notice about this, is that if you were to make a list of what America does need & doesn’t need right now, you’d find it’s a mostly non-partisan list and very few people are going to disagree with anything on it. We need to make it easier to get a job in this country, which means we need to make it easier to hire people. We need to make it easier to buy, sell, start a business, transport goods, stock them, move them, provide services, acquire permits to do a variety of business-related things.

We don’t need more debt. We don’t need more wars. We really don’t need any more racial animosity or class animosity. We need friends. We don’t need enemies. We need respect. We don’t need a surge of illegal aliens streaming across our borders. None of this is right-wing or left-wing, it’s simply true.

The most brittle, hardcore whack-job leftist would agree with every single word except maybe the blurb about illegal aliens.

And it’s a simple, verifiable fact that Obama has buried us in the items on the “don’t need” list and done absolutely nothing to offer us anything on the “need” list. Yet at this late date, about one in three voters are still approving of Him. Not His personality, but His policies as well.

It’s just another case of liberals inventing their own reality.

Update: Sheer coincidence. Serendipity. A New York Times story (hat tip to Neal Boortz) illustrates precisely what I am talking about:

The Obama administration is acknowledging that its new offshore drilling safety regulations will raise costs for the oil and gas industry — and may also delay some offshore development, slightly increase gas prices and kill some jobs.

Another underwear-gnome policy.

Step 1: Raise costs, delay development, increase gas prices and kill jobs.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: We saved the economy!

Ten Cruel Things Women Do to Men

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Times of India put together a little list. I’m past the age of worrying about it for my own sake, the years of worrying about it on behalf of the next generation stretch out before me.

10. They don’t pick up the phone
9. Use men for free drinks
8. Use men as placeholders
7. Emotionally manipulate men
6. Use physical violence
5. Criticize their men in public
4. They don’t disclose their relationship status
3. They withhold sex
2. They test their men
1. They flirt to inspire jealousy

The best way for a fella to get even, is to simply ignore them; concentrate all his attention on the women who do not do these things.

I’m genuinely ashamed of how many years it took to nail down that simple truth, but the rewards have been worth it.

Hat tip to FARK, which is still enjoying one of its “popcorn” threads on this.

“Other Views”

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Ooh. There’s a lot of truth in that one.

Swiped shamelessly from Moonbattery.

Kirk vs. Picard

Monday, October 11th, 2010

There’s lots of stuff like this out there, but I thought this was a particularly good run of it…apart from the occasional continuity glitch and awkward pause. Well done.

Now That’s a Dog!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

From one of my former co-workers, where she posted it over at the Hello Kitty of Bloggin’.

If you don’t want your dog to do something, your dog shouldn’t want to do it. Here in Folsom, them’s fightin’ words…I could get writer’s cramp jotting down all the crap I see people letting their dogs do. Makes you wonder who’s walking who out there.

This is good to see, I might learn to get along with a canine like this.

Update: Re-hosted on YouTube. Thanks to blogger friend Phil for pointing out I wasn’t finished with reading the instructions yet.

Duck, Mr. President!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Daily Mail:

Book Him, Dan-O!This is the astonishing moment a book was apparently hurled at the head of President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in Philadelphia.

The flying missile narrowly missed hitting the President yesterday.

It is not clear what the book was, where it came from in the crowd, or why it was thrown at Mr Obama – who did not appear to notice the danger.

But it is expected that there will be fallout from the security breach as the Secret Service investigates how close the President came to danger.

The rally was clearly an eventful one – other images showed a naked man being led away in handcuffs by police.

It is not clear if the man was involved in the book-throwing incident – or why he was not wearing any clothes.

The bizarre incident recalled the moment in 2008 when an angry Iraqi journalist hurled a shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.

The surprisingly nimble Mr Bush ducked the shoe – and the moment became immortalised with online parodies and internet video games.

But the incident was also marked with controversy as U.S. media questioned why the Secret Service – whose members are supposed to be willing to take a bullet for the President – were not close enough to Mr Bush to deflect the attack.

Pffft. They weren’t close enough to deflect the attack because there’s only one position that’s that close. Not wanting to be crass or vulgar about it, but I didn’t bring this up — that position was reserved for Laura Bush.

All the Secret Service can do is screen the crowd. Screening is an exercise in approximation.

Life’s got risks. From the photo, I am detecting a curve to the covers of the book, which strongly implies it is a paperback. What was the potential damage here? A cardboard paper-cut to the back of the neck? A soft bruise in the corner of the temple where the stem of the binding struck first? Martin Luther King and JFK extend their sympathies…

“The Mud Flies”

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Girlfriend and I spent an exciting day at Rollins Reservoir, and she made a point of picking up the Sunday paper on the way home. With the car back in the garage and the shoes kicked off and the cold suds uncapped & flowing, she brought my attention to the fact that on the Sacramento Bee’s “Voters Guide” insert, Jerry Brown’s photograph makes him look like a responsible distinguished looking elder-statesman, or trusted Walter-Cronkite dude who I can rely on to bring me the evening news…and Meg Whitman looks like a mentally retarded woman who’s just been roused from a three-year-coma.

Brown and WhitmanI turned to the online version so I could find an electronic copy of the image to embed. No can do…what I found there (to left) is far worse. Brown looks like a trusted envoy to be dispatched to a Middle East hotspot to defuse tensions with his wise, worldly understanding of human nature. Meg Whitman looks like a face you’d carve into a Jack O’Lantern, stick somewhere, and haul out to take a picture of it again somewhere in the second week of November when it starts reeking like sin and is bathed with little tiny maggot-flies, with all that squash-tissue sporting a generous putrid sag…

Okay, got it. The print newspaper industry wants us to vote for democrats. And I know why.

What I don’t get is, why any Californian who reads up on the issues would want to vote for Jerry Brown? I understand why a loyalist democrat would want to. I understand why a union thug would want to.

Brown was already put in this office. He sucked. It was Carter magnitudes of suckage…sucked any way he could possibly suck. Sucked like a leaf blower in reverse.

I don’t put a lot of stock in the “self made billionaire going to run this state or nation like a business and pull us out of our hole.” Haven’t fallen for that again since I got snookered into voting for Perot in ’92. I don’t see a lot that is genuinely positive about Whitman.

But she’d be better than Brown. It isn’t even a gamble. Brown is tried, tested and true — that is the problem with him.

I honestly don’t see the upside.

Morgan Went Bicycling, 10-9-10

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Time out: 6:30 a.m.
Time in: 4:10 p.m.
Distance: 51.20 mi
Route: Granite Bay, Loomis, Newcastle, Auburn, Granite Bay again.
Sunburn: Pretty mild. It’s late enough to leave the sunscreen at home, right? Fluids mostly held out, but I raided the fridge (again) when I stumbled through the door.
Injuries: None
Casualties: None; provided the Android is in my backpack pocket where I left it, which I think it is.
Butt: Pretty sore
Fear of not making it home again: On a scale of 0 to 10, about a 6 with occasional spikes up to 7. Perfect.

You can do something now, and have these little panic attacks where you think maybe you pushed the ticker past its limit…or, you can pamper yourself silly now, and have the same panic attacks at 70 or 80 when they’re much more likely to actually mean something. I’d prefer to have the panic now.

And I got schooled on topography a few times. Can’t get a reading on that from a map. I’d say some of those surprises were mostly responsible for making this an adventure, put the “error” in trial-and-error. The Newcastle area is not level by any means. Well, I made it.

Update: Just realized: While yesterday’s little trip out didn’t set a daily record as far as distance, or total time, or sunburn or money spent — it did push out my Northern (bicycling) frontier a tiny bit. Maybe that’s the way I need to be tracking this:

Yes, this system shows some signs of being productive. I can see the value of figuring out where & how to push this quadrangle/pentangle outward next time. Pilot Hill, maybe?

Happy Tours Day

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

I am given to understand it is a popular day for weddings. Make sure no one gets the anniversary date wrong, by making it easy to remember…ten ten ten.

Professor Mondo says it is Binary Day.

To me, it is Tours Day

Ninth-century chroniclers, who interpreted the outcome of the battle as divine judgment in his favour, gave Charles [Martel] the nickname Martellus (“The Hammer”), possibly recalling Judas Maccabeus of the Maccabean revolt. Details of the battle, including its exact location and the exact number of combatants, cannot be determined from accounts that have survived. Notably, the Frankish troops won the battle without cavalry.

Later Christian chroniclers and pre-20th century historians praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, characterizing the battle as the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved Christianity as the religion of Europe; according to modern military historian Victor Davis Hanson, “most of the 18th and 19th century historians, like Gibbon, saw Poitiers (Tours), as a landmark battle that marked the high tide of the Muslim advance into Europe.” Leopold von Ranke felt that “Poitiers was the turning point of one of the most important epochs in the history of the world.”

From the latter days of the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammed, who had shucked his mortal coil exactly a century earlier, the Muslim invasion proceeded throughout Europe. This is where the religion deviated most significantly from the “Religion of Peace” bumper sticker slogan; it was being spread by force, at swordpoint, convert-or-die stuff. Around all the Mediterranean it swirled, clockwise, threatening to engulf all the known world. Tours was where the irresistible force met the immovable object.

If we were to have a festival beginning with dark dirges on September 11, erupting with a festive celebration on Tours Day, it would be exactly thirty days long. Hmmm…sort of an extended Good-Friday/Easter thing. Interesting idea.

On Cheerleading

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Interesting debate taking place on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, regarding a column Melissa Clouthier put up at Liberty Pundits. It’s about cheerleaders, and I’m trying to keep my comments precise because I don’t know too much about it and I notice the conversation is splintering off in several different directions.

I definitely agree with this, though:

Cheerleading has changed…I know this because I’ve seen these young, tiny girls doing absolutely crazy physical stunts. No mats. No protection. Not nearly enough training. Some of the physical moves are so demanding and risky, I have to look away during games for fear of something bad happening and witnessing it. I’m a chiropractor. Cheerleading is a nonstop cringe-fest from an injury perspective. I feel better watching 200 lb 14 year old brutes hitting each other on the football field. They have pads, at least.

So cheerleading has evolved. It’s a sport, plain and simple. And for whatever reason, girls still love it. And these girls I’ve observed mean business. This is Texas, after all, and Texans take both football and cheerleading serious-like. Kids start at 3 years old. It is a lifelong goal to cheer for the high school team. Yes, it’s a bit warped, but it’s the reality.

And feminists and legislators need to take this new reality seriously. It strikes me as misogynist to be okay with women doing a demanding physical sport which results in the most injuries of any high school sport and it’s not treated with the same safety regulations.
Anyway, it is completely unacceptable how many girls are harmed by cheerleading..and permanently. This needs to change. Now.

…except for that bit about “it’s a sport plain and simple.” What it is, today, is a hazardous “sport” for the reasons cited…because, as has been explained, it has “evolved” into that.

I have to wonder what happened to the girls like the ones I knew in high school? If they wanted to compete in a sport, they could have tried out for any one of a number of things. Basketball. Tennis. Archery. Track. Cheerleaders were cheerleaders because they wanted to synchronize, as part of a coordinated team. They were physically in tune. They could dance. They weren’t there to absorb blows, deal with pain, show how high they could jump, or anything of the like. So yes, there’s been a change here. Cheer teams competed, someone built a pyramid higher than somebody else, and that’s-all-she-wrote.

I’m not saying this to limit female opportunity. Some people are cut out for coordinating their kicks and hops and swivels, and some people are cut out for competition where they prove themselves better than all the rest. That’s the way people are, and last I checked girls were still people. Wonder what the natural-dancers think about this nowadays, the ones who’d be a natural fit for yesterday’s dance squad, but can’t try out nowadays because they’re not up to any body-abuse. I wonder how their mothers feel about this.

I notice the last few days cheerleaders are in the news. I guess this is that time of year when some girls have just joined the squads after years of planning for such a thing, so it’s on people’s minds. A cheer team up in Connecticut is making news because some among its members are begging for more modest uniforms.

MidriffsA Tuesday story on reported that, according to the Connecticut Post and NBC Connecticut, Heidi Medina, the captain of Bridgeport Central High School’s cheerleading squad stood before the Bridgeport Board of Education in her team’s standard uniform, which bares the midriff and uses either small shorts or baggy sweatpants as bottoms, to make a statement that the uniform was inappropriate.

To Medina and the rest of her like-minded squad, I say: “Way to go girls, that’s the spirit.”

To those who might dismiss my opinion as that of some puritanical tyrant, I will be the first to plead “guilty” to ogling the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and the countless imitations that soon followed.

But none of them were in high school.

Medina and fellow seniors were not only objecting on personal grounds, but also insisted the uniforms do not meet regulations. The 2010-11 National Federation Spirit Rules book, which guides cheerleading competitions in Connecticut and across the country, has a rule, Section 2 Article 6, that states: “When standing at attention, apparel must cover the midriff.”

The cheerleaders reportedly did not see the uniforms before they were ordered.

“It really hurts our self-esteem,” Bridgeport Central senior Ariana Mesaros said in the story. “I am embarrassed to stand up here dressed like this. Is this really how you want Bridgeport to be represented?”

I would have to agree; the cheerleaders I knew in high school wore sweaters and short skirts. Baring the midriff seems, from what I can tell, to be another product of the tournament competition. If she’s under eighteen, we don’t need to be seeing any of that.

Although I do have to say, I’m tuning out when you start talking about “self esteem.” Whose idea was this? What’s gotten better in the world, since our little kid-lings got it into their head that they have to be wonderful & deserving of everything all the time?

And this…

Apart from causing embarrassment, skimpy cheer uniforms may present other very real health risks.

A report on cites a study by Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee of the University of South Carolina. Her research team polled 136 college cheerleaders, and found one-third of them to be at serious risk of developing eating disorders because of what they think their coaches think about their waist size.

…is just silly. It deserves to be dismissed without serious thought. I mean, try and give it some — let’s think it through. Cheerleaders might develop dangerous eating disorders if they’re too concerned of what their coaches think about their waist size. Which means cheerleaders shouldn’t be concerned of what their coaches think about their waists…or any other body part. Which means, since cheerleading is a sport now, none of the other “athletes” should be concerned with their coaches think about their physical development either. We need to shove all this stuff off the table because we don’t want any dangerous eating disorders.

You see where we’re going here — it all comes back to Melissa’s point. Cheerleading is a rough-and-tumble sport now because girls should have a chance to be just as tough as boys…and somehow, cheerleading is the only opportunity they have…not sure how we got there. But, Eating Disorders. Which is code for, it ought to be okay to be a fat, out-of-shape butterball.

Well, news flash: If you want to be injured doing something that requires exertion, your best shot at getting injured is to be out of shape.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of prudishness about bare bellies and so forth…this is, easily, the most entertaining thing I have read all week long. Middle-aged butter-faced goth feminist stiff-arsed Brit, finds herself ensconced in a Hooters restaurant!

This is probably the worst Friday night of my life – and that’s saying something. I’m sat on a high stool at a small table, plasma screens are oozing sports programmes around my head and there is a grubby plastic menu in front of me that is littered with pictures of fast food.

Not a green vegetable in sight, unless you count a deep fried chilli, coated in batter.

There is the thump, thump, thump of awful music in the background, competing with the braying of table upon table of men: young men, old men, students, office workers, football supporters…
I remember, as a student in the Seventies, interviewing one of the last Playboy bunnies at the club on Park Lane.

I asked the young woman in fishnet tights how it felt to be part of a dying breed.

Peeling off her false eyelashes, she said the world had moved on – women were no longer to be viewed as objects. Fast forward 30 years and, again, I’m talking to a young woman in tights with false eyelashes.
I imagine this is what a dirty old man deems sexy: semi-exposed breasts and buttocks, but a hint of the schoolgirl, too. There is nothing intimidating about these women, which, I think is the point.

I ask my waitress, Kimberley, who is blonde with a sweet face, whether you have to be beautiful to work here.

‘Oh no,’ she says. ‘We have had really beautiful girls, stunning girls, working here before and they can’t do it. They are too haughty, not friendly enough with the customers and the men feel they are unapproachable, to be honest.’

So: sexy, but not with ideas above her station.


No, Liz; accommodating and friendly, with the sex appeal acting as a beacon putting us on notice that the accommodation and friendliness are probably there. Fluffy hair from the years before James Bond was killed off and Barbara Boxer was elected to the U.S. Senate, a tight top and skimpy shorts — and we know she’s probably not going to be a complete bitch. Like, uh…aw, it’s too easy.

Where she works, we probably won’t find people like you.

Does she not feel exposed, knowing all these men are looking at her bottom and cleavage? ‘I feel quite covered up,’ she says. ‘This is no worse than what you see young women wearing here in Nottingham, out shopping or clubbing.’

This is true, but that is their choice. Here, exposing your thighs and cleavage is compulsory.

Uh, no…it is an exchange of labor for wages, undertaken freely as an agreement between establishment and employee.

Kimberley is a marketing graduate. I ask how much she earns. ‘I get the minimum wage,’ she says. ‘But we get to keep our tips.’

Supplementing your income from tips may work in the U.S., which has a culture of tipping. Here, I wonder how she makes ends meet.

Ah. Now we come down to the heart of the matter.

HootersTwo nations, one an offshoot of the other. The mother nation shows her love of the bureaucracy that motivated the daughter to sever the ties that bind in the first place, by spending the last thirty years or so jamming it into overdrive. Rules, rules and more rules: “It’s ‘ealth & safety gone mad, mate!”

And the culture of tipping flourishes only in the daughter country, where there remains some love of freedom and liberty. Here, people use money as a communications device; we use it to demonstrate our priorities. To show where we will appreciate good service, and have appreciated it.

It seems back where Parliament actually sat to pass the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts that would give birth to our nation over here, people have the feeling they gave at the office. The culture of tipping looks like a quaint Yankee custom. Service is service, I would guess.

This month sees the nine hundred forty-fourth year come to a close after William The Conqueror defeated Harold at Hastings. Nine and a half centuries of this country. And they just got their first Hooters restaurant. Unbelievable. That’s a good definition of a dysfunctional, backward nation. I’m hard pressed to think of a better one.

The more you read of Liz Jones’ article, the more it becomes apparent that her problem isn’t with bare legs (actually, nylon-covered) or heaving cleavage. Choice versus coercion hasn’t got a lot to do with it either, since she got that essentially backwards and doesn’t seem to care one bit. Nor is it that her precious home turf is being invaded by Hooters. They just got one; one in the entire country.

It is the idea that somewhere, someone can be pleasant to a man. Someone is finding out what he wants, and giving him exactly that, with a big pleasant smile on her face. Making him want to come back.

She’s somewhat disturbed by the over-sexualization and the implication of infidelity. But I think that’s just icing on the cake; she’s just grasping at straws, there, trying to win converts to her side with that talk.

She, like many people, is extraordinarily upset that somewhere, in proximity, is a place where the male can go and find acceptance, even if it’s only as a paying customer. She comes from a world where, even if a man pays and pays and pays, there is something awful about ever showing appreciation for anything he ever did or to even acknowledge that something has been made possible for others because of his contributions.

This gets back to the cheerleading issue, because the feminists seem to be confused about it. As Ace points out, they don’t like cheerleaders for the same reason Liz Jones doesn’t like Hooters — has too much to do with pleasing males, and nobody deserves to be pleased except females. But at the same time, they want to drive this recent effort to make cheerleading into more of an “ass kicking” sport. It is predominantly female, and females should kick ass; that’s what feminism is all about.

So we’re left with a whole lot of contention and disagreement precisely where someone was supposed to be toiling away at bringing harmony. The thing about bare female flesh is most confused of all; at one time, it is a banner of independence, then in a flash it’s suddenly causing eating disorders and is a symbol of male-on-female oppression, because someone’s doing something to make the men happy or something…and…

…wham. The womens’ “liberation” movement turns into the Taliban. All good looking women must wear pant suits, or else the men might get the idea that the women don’t want to make them perpetually unhappy. And who knows where that might lead? If a woman somewhere makes a man happy, then before you know it, women all over the place will start making men happy…and then the two sexes might actually get along with each other! Ick!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The skimpy outfit and the heaving boobs, are about as important a motivating factor to drag me into Hooters as the hot wings. Which means, they’re not that important, since as anyone who’s been in a Hooters knows, their hot wings are overpriced and rather blah. Besides, I’m at the age now where those girls could easily be my daughters.

I get excited going there because I know I’m not going to find people like Liz Jones, or anybody who even remotely resembles her. The whole sick culture of “men are workhorses and paychecks and nothing else” melts away when I walk through the front door.

Kind of like winning the Battle of Yorktown all over again…and while I watch the redcoats in full retreat, a young girl in skimpy clothes walks up with a plate of hot food and a pitcher of cold beer. What could be better than that?