Archive for March, 2011

Great Likeness, But a Bit Thin

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Can’t believe I haven’t seen anybody else do this. That’s probably because most bloggers are way classier than I am.

Well, maybe I should be the bigger man here. I’m just not up to it though. This asshole managed to become a multi-millionaire because of our capitalist system…and he hasn’t got a single good word to say about any of it. Well, that and the extraordinarily short attention span of some of the people who live here. So screw him.

Here I am lowering myself. I’ll write myself a note to lose a few winks of sleep tonight because of my shame. Might even remember to read it.

Pics captured from here and here.

An Apology to Public Policy Polling

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

We here at The Blog That Nobody Reads are fans of Sarah Palin, and yet we’ve been on a Palin moratorium since long before a Palin moratorium was cool. November of last year, to be precise.

Terms are as follows:

…[W]hen she points out something meaningful, or is imploded by the major scandal that has been so breathlessly anticipated by her enemies for over two years straight now. Or, when she turns out to be right about something and the O-Man turns out to be wrong…which is the trigger most likely to get tripped first.

But some whiny pussykins writing a meandering screed — thereby proving she’s relevant AND electable — is not going to get any notice from us for the foreseeable future. This is just stupid. Someone wants attention so they write “Palin Go Away!” and they just…get it? Enough is enough.

So if Palin announces she’s running, we’ll pay attention. If she announces she’s not, we’ll pay attention. She wins the lottery, sprains her ankle, Heavy forbid she or one of her family is hurt or killed or kidnapped, we’ll talk about it. She turns out to be right and her enemies turn out to be wrong, we’ll talk about it.

“Hey, look at my elegant essay about how tired people are of her!” we’re ignoring. “Hey, look at this push-poll we did saying it’s time for her to go away!” — ditto. And, true to our prediction four months ago, the one single Palin-related thing worth talking about that has happened most often, is she’s made a point that turned out to be absolutely correct that few, or no, other people wanted to make even though everyone with a brain knows it’s right. It happened just in the last couple days actually.

Palin Fear ChartWell, this moratorium has hit Public Policy Polling disproportionately hard. They’re supposed to be polling the public on a variety of issues — maybe they are. But whenever I hear out of them it’s exactly the kind of push-poll or whiny sniveling treatise I was talking about earlier.

So I imagine I should apologize to them. If the world really ended and women and minorities were hardest-hit, as the joke goes, we’d feel particularly bad for the women and minorities right? Well, I’ve not heard hide nor hair of PPP — ever — apart from their latest poll instructing us to think the snowbilly has overstayed her welcome and needs to go away. Lather, rinse, repeat. So because of the terms of our moratorium, what we end up practicing is a “don’t link or excerpt anything from those left-wingers pretending to be independent over at Public Policy Polling.”

It’s so unfair. Think I’ll cry about it. Or write myself a reminder note to do so, anyway.

Once you tune out the droning buzz of “Oh God please nominate her because I’m a slobbering faithful democrat and Obama will crush her like a bug!,” one salient thought comes to the forefront and it isn’t that Holy Man will crush her like a bug. No, the thought is…Jesus fucking Christ they are so scared of her. Which is not to deny Obama will crush her like an insect or anything. Obama’s Obama. If it does indeed come to be a popularity contest, He will win no matter who’s challenging Him, because let’s face it, He does have the most charming personality.

But popularity contests are for little kids. We think like little kids when we feel like we can afford to do so. Thanks to the ravaging effect of Birther Zero’s policies, a lot of us don’t feel like we can afford to think like little kids anymore…and we’re right.

The left’s fear of her has reached thermonuclear levels of heat, pressure and intensity. As the above graph shows, they think they’ve got some smooth sailing ahead if only they can get rid of her. That’s why you don’t hear “I don’t like Sarah Palin” or “I disagree with Sarah Palin’s position on this that or the other.” You very rarely hear that. It’s “She is so unqualified.” They don’t want her in the running. They want her gutterballed, the sooner the better.

Know what?

You don’t react that way to someone you think you can beat. It’s just a fact. If you really think you can take ’em down, you get into the cage match with ’em and you do it. “Unqualified”? That’s what pussies say.

Speaking of pussies. It’s time to address the “moderate” “Republicans.” But I can’t say anything that will compare with the rhetorical napalm drop of veteran Bob Zee:

She is fighting multibillion dollar left wing media companies and two hack political parties every fucking day of her life, and we cannot even muster a defense with the exception of a few websites and the OCCASIONAL defense on talk radio.


I served in Korea and Vietnam in combat. When I say combat, I mean COMBAT. After that, I worked for the government “unofficially” (use your imagination.)

I killed with my bare hands for this country and it makes me sick that even most of my fellow conservatives will not lift a finger to help her. If I was younger and still serving I would be honored to have her as my commander in chief.

You can keep the phony tough guy men that get trotted out as candidates. I saw REAL leadership up close and I know what it looks like. Sarah Palin has “IT.”

I saw men blown to pieces and other men who still ran forward with the entrails of their best friends still on them. My oh my, how far we have fallen. Those boys had integrity and valor. Today’s conservative movement by and large is not fit to shine their fucking shoes.

The state of our conservative movement today sickens me.

It is full of frauds and cowards. We cower in fear because the media is too mean and unfair to Sarah Palin, so we should just throw her over the fucking side because ITS TOO HARD to fight back.

AWWWW, poor babies.

Exactly. Ever see High Noon? It’s completely awesome. Gary Cooper gets himself a nice shave, then he dresses up to meet the bad guys who are coming in by train to take him down, then he swallows these magic pills that make him bulletproof, then he grabs the bad guy by his boots and throws him over a grain silo, and grows thirty feet, and tramples the buildings they’re hiding in with his boots, and then travels back in time and…

No, none of that happens. High Noon is a great movie because it doesn’t say too much about Marshal Will Kane’s character. The story isn’t really about him. Not really. High Noon is about the citizens of Hadleyville. The people who hid behind the closed shutters.

I suppose it’s really about both. It’s about the contrast between ordinary people who see what needs to be done and get it done, and gutless fucking cowards.

I can appreciate this, so Zee’s words really speak to me. We’re not living in a story about Palin. She might not run…probably won’t run…and who in the world can blame her at this point?

It’s a story about the rest of us. Or her ankle-biting critics anyway. Just sitting behind the shutters and the blinds…doing nothing…knowing full well that O-Bummer is ballooning our national debt way out of control, bowing to our enemies, selling us down the river just like Frank Miller is arriving on the train. Doing nothing about any of it. Saying whatever they think they need to say to elevate themselves a notch or two in their perceived social structure. Like wild dogs fighting over a soup bone. Completely pathetic.

And here’s Palin. What is she? I can tell you what she isn’t: Running for President. Not yet. A housewife scribbling stuff down on her Facebook page.

This is their target.

They think it makes them big somehow. Oh my…I struggle, in futility, trying to think of an example of someone being more mistaken. Eighth-graders trying to look cool smoking cigarettes, maybe?

Cower away, Hadleyville citizens. Show us what you do best. Show us all what you’re good for. The one & only thing.

And Public Policy Polling, I’m looking forward to your next poll. Going to give it all the attention it deserves. Promise.

St. Patrick’s Day, 2011

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Caught your leprechaun yet?

When Bubba and Barracuda Say You’re Wrong…

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

It’s time to regroup, rethink, re-assess. Not that it’ll happen in this case…

The previous post examined the unfortunate dilemma that rears its ugly head whenever our liberals want to produce more of something: They, in their state of enlightenment, can see the thing that is to be produced is A Good Thing. The logic seems to be that if there is more of it, more people will be convinced of its goodness. Of course, Economics 101 says it cannot work that way.

This one deals with what happens when conservatives want more of something to be produced. The trend we see, overall, is that this makes much more sense because the plan has something to do with affordability. The price is supposed to go down if there is more of the whatever-it-is available. We are not inspecting the phenomenon very closely at all, yet — we have yet to even select which commodity it is we’re talking about — but already we can see the conservative viewpoint makes much more sense. It isn’t even alienating the “working families” of limited means, which we’re continually told conservatives deplore and despise. When your means are limited, affordability is a good thing, right?

But my point breaks down here: It isn’t all conservatives. Our former chief executive, the one who associated with Oval Office with Oral, had some words to say:

I think I’m beginning to really miss The Big Me:

Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, according to attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference.

Clinton spoke on a panel with former President George W. Bush that was closed to the media. Video of their moderated talk with IHS CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin was also prohibited. …

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

Our next President wrote about this in some length. And eloquently too:

Taken altogether, it’s hard to deny that the Obama Administration is anti-drilling. The President may try to suggest that the rise in oil prices has nothing to do with him, but the American people won’t be fooled. Before we saw any protests in the Middle East, increased global demand led to a significant rise in oil prices; but the White House stood idly by watching the prices go up and allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports from foreign regimes in dangerously unstable parts of the world.

This was no accident. Through a process of what candidate Obama once called “gradual adjustment,” American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Let’s not forget that in September 2008, candidate Obama’s Energy Secretary in-waiting said: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” That’s one campaign promise they’re working hard to fulfill! Last week, the British Telegraph reported that the price of petrol in the UK hit £6 a gallon – which comes to about $9.70. If you think $4 a gallon is bad now, just wait till the next crisis causes oil prices to “necessarily” skyrocket. Meanwhile, the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now.

For about a year and a half now, the polls have consistently said people continue to like President Obama for His personality, but find His policies to be absolutely wretched. There seems to be no drive or ambition, none whatsoever, to turn that unfortunate last part around.

Let’s review: Lots and lots and lots of college graduates; that’s the “number one priority” or something? And each graduate will find out, upon graduation, that 1) there are lots and lots of other graduates, 2) gas is up to six to eight dollars a gallon, and 3) his or her share of the public debt is $200k or more. Sweet! Future’s lookin’ so bright, ya gotta wear shades…

And, step by step, the current administration is making it happen.

Question for the American electorate: Are our elections still all about choosing the most popular, charming guy? That’s what it was all about clear back in high school, I remember…you know what they said about change, it can be scary but sometimes ya gotta embrace it? Are we ready to vote on policies yet, like the grown-ups are supposed to do?

Because if not…if it really is about personality…give Obama His due. We’ve already got the right guy. Might as well repeal term limits, cancel all the elections, and just put up with the deplorable policies. Expensive oil, cheap college graduates, and if you don’t think that’s wonderful then you must be the problem. If you do think that’s wonderful, you must know something that has escaped both Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself… XXX

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

At no time is it more evident to us how much the modern progressive has to learn about economics, than when said modern progressive seizes upon the Magical, Wonderful Commodity. His treatment of it is always the same:

Commodity good. Make lots and lots of it because it is good. When there is lots of it, it will become even more precious than it is right now.

No they don’t say that word for word. If they did, everyone who’s been taught the essentials in seventh or eighth grade would say “Uh, wait a minute…that doesn’t add up.” But their policies are based on this. Commodity good, make more of it, commodity become even better. “The middle class” — I’m still waiting for a solid justification from the left, why it is that these people are somehow being oppressed when the membership size of their class is diminished. Ethanol. Carbon offset credit vouchers. Hemp shirts. Hybrid cars. High speed trains. Handicapped parking spaces. Union members — the argument is that the power of collective bargaining increases when more people are in the union. (That’s not quite how it works: Collective bargaining increases because, if the union’s demands are not met, there’s nobody left to do the actual work. Slightly different thing.) Rent-controlled housing. ObamaCare “rights,” ObamaCare entitlements, ObamaCare services…ObamaCare waivers.

In fact, this is a commonality in the phenomenon of liberal plans running into their “crash & burn” moment: The public becomes disenchanted with something that was provided in great abundance, for “free,” because it’s such a wonderful thing. Reality reliably disengages & deviates from the liberal’s plan, because right about this time the public was supposed to be in some state of euphoria, and instead the public is saying something like “Oh damn, it’s another gawforsaken [fill in the blank].”

Well, we have a new magical commodity that is supposed to increase in value as we are provided with more of it. College graduates.

“The best economic policy is one that produces more college graduates,” President Obama said in a speech today on education. “I’m confident these reforms will help us meet the goal that I set when I took office -– which is, by the end of the decade we will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. We’ll be number one again. That’s my priority. ”

Nothing against college graduates — I am one myself — but it seems to have escaped the president’s notice that some of the most successful entrepreneurs in modern America, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s Jack Taylor, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Dell computer’s Michael Dell, movie and music producer David Geffen, and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson — are not college graduates.

It seems to me that president is wrong, and that the best economic policy is not one that “produces more college graduates,” but one that produces more entrepreneurs. If producing a high proportion of college graduates were the secret to economic success, Belgium would be the world’s economic powerhouse. Making college completion rates a priority does funnel taxpayer money to college professors, a reliable Democratic constituency. But as economic policy, it strikes me as at best questionable.

I agree with Ira Stoll, the author of this column. Why? Because when you clamor for “more entrepreneurs” you’re clamoring for more effort to be made at doing a certain thing — entrepreneur-ing. Kind of gets back to my treatise on What’s Wrong With The World? Too much attention put on people being something, not enough attention put on people doing something.

Those who clamor for more college graduates, won’t be able to put to a unified voice any ideas on what exactly it is they want done. We’re just back to that lesson from which liberals can never, ever learn: When you provide a great abundance of something, it doesn’t become precious just because there is more of it. Things, in general, do not become valuable or more highly regarded when they can be found everywhere.

Liberals can’t learn that simple truth — or, they’re refining their words and their arguments for other people who can’t learn it. Or won’t learn it. I’ve yet to discern which of those it is, but does it really matter?

New readers to this blog, which nobody reads anyway, will note that its author possesses very little talent by way of making things pithy or concise. (If he does possess any such talent he deploys it sparingly.) Well, commenter Mark nailed this one better than I ever could’ve:

To simply supply something that is not in demand is economically stupid

The best economic policy is not one that produces more college graduates, but one that creates a demand for college graduates. To simply supply something that is not in demand is economically stupid. But that’s not surprising coming from this administration.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

“Accepting Elections Only When They Win”

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Ed Carson, Investor’s Business Daily:

Unfortunately, the AWOL Wisconsin Democrats are not an aberration. Indiana Democrats are playing the same game. More broadly, the political left has a modern history of accepting elections only when they win.

During the long, grueling push to approve ObamaCare, the legislation was clearly unpopular. But Democrats had the votes in Congress.

Then came Scott Brown’s remarkable January 2010 victory in the Massachusetts Senate special election. It was a stunning repudiation of ObamaCare in an ultra-blue state. It also meant Democrats did not have the necessary 60 Senate votes for final passage. Certainly the health bill was dead after that.

No way. Nancy Pelosi twisted the rules to ram the legislation through reconciliation, bypassing the need for the Senate to approve the final bill with a filibuster-proof majority.

Ignoring an unsatisfactory election result is a global phenomenon for the left. Over in Europe, ignoring voters is practically Eurocrats’ prime directive. When voters in a country ratify a treaty giving more power to Brussels, that’s the final word, end of story, for all time. Those voters can never change their mind.

But when the people vote no, Europe’s wise men huff and puff and keep holding elections until voters get it “right.” Or, the Eurocrats rework the treaty just enough to rationalize that voters don’t get to have a say again.

The left also ignores voters even at the most local level.

Back when I attended the University of Oregon in the early ’90s, students voted on whether to raise their own fees to provide $100,000 for a new multicultural center. UO is a very liberal campus on par with UC Berkeley or the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The few students who actually vote in campus elections tend to be extremely left wing, with the various ethnic student unions making up a big share of that. Despite all those advantages, the multicultural center measure lost.

Within a few weeks, the student body president-elect asked the outgoing fees committee to approve some $50,000 for a multicultural center. Dismissing my objections — I was on the fees panel — that voters had just rejected the MCC concept, the committee OK’d the funding in a matter of minutes. The center exists to this day.

The left believes that political rules and ethics don’t apply to them, because they are on the side of good. The ends justify the means, always.

America has what it takes to repudiate things. We repudiated slavery, and the racism that goes along with it. It was long slow and tortured, but the process of stigmatization made world history.

Nowhere is it written that this only has to be done with one thing. If you’re a left-winger and your friendship with the ballot-box process is only a fair-weather one, you should be subjected to the same process of ostracism.

Something was in our midst, entire industries were built up around it, and later on that same institution is no longer accepted. Nobody recollects it fondly and no one is going to be stupid enough to ask that it be reinstated. We won’t tolerate anyone who even comes close. A Senate Majority Leader lost his post over that very thing.

A fair-weather friendship to the electoral process ought to be tolerated just as much as a fondness for white supremacy. Or antisemitism or sexism or any one of our various other isms. By which I mean, any man who tolerates it, even by degrees of removal, will find his reputation soiled. And he should.

Actually, you know what fits it even better? Gambling, and not paying up when you lose. Or protesting that the cards must be marked or the die must be loaded…when you lose. Or, it is discovered that you planned only to win, and therefore don’t have the money — when you lose. That fits. And even when we were still tolerating slavery in this country, as I understand it, people got shot for that.

No, no violent rhetoric here. Just calling for some good ol’ American-as-apple-pie, healthy-as-you-can-get, cleansing ostracism. Liberals have been in favor of ostracism just as much as anybody else. Oh, don’t tell me they have a fair-weather friendship with this too? That would be sad.

We should all agree on this point. It’s not right-wing or left-wing; Carson has summed it up neatly for us.

1. Elections have consequences — even if your side loses.

2. If your side loses, there’s always another election. This is what democracy looks like.

3. Free speech is a constitutional right — even if you disagree with the speech.

And anyone who fails to agree, unconditionally, can’t play.

Gamblers manage to get that enforced one way or the other. Even now when nobody’s shooting anybody; can’t play if you aren’t ready to lose.

We should be able to enforce those same rules, too, as they apply to our elections.

Because they do.

Writing Policy

Monday, March 14th, 2011


We’ll approach each negotiation with lots of concessions offered toward the other side, expecting nothing in return, and lots of apology for whatever. The other side will surely reciprocate, and if they don’t…we’ll, uh, make it up as we go along or something.


You can’t make a profit. Well okay, if Barack Obama has something to gain from you making a profit, then you can. But otherwise, no. If you make a profit and help people, we’ll pretend you’re hurting people, and if you hurt people but don’t make a profit at it we’ll pretend you’re helping people. Profit is the problem. Now then, how come the businesses aren’t hiring? I’m open to suggestions.


Don’t forget to check the air in your tires.

Gee, when you just spell it out with actual written-words like that…it loses a lot of appeal. But at the same time, things become much more clear. Maybe we should kick off campaign seasons with the candidates writing things down this way.

By the way, if anyone can come up with a flaw in my summations, maybe something I’ve gelled out unfairly, or something I’ve left off…I’m all ears. Seems like a reasonably complete and accurate picture to me.

Japanese Chernobyl

Monday, March 14th, 2011

William Tucker walks through it meticulously, detail by technical detail. At the end of it, no we don’t have three-eyed fish in the Pacific and we don’t have nuclear cores melting down to the center of the Earth making our beloved planet blow up into a million pieces like Krypton.

Memo For File CXXXII

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., writes in the Huffington Post. Yes I know it’s a liberal snotrag of a soapbox and she’s using it to indulge in a bunch of classic-feminist “Wah, wah, The Man is keeping us down”…but give the lady credit: She doesn’t have a hyphenated last name. And a few paragraphs in, she manages to re-secure her tetherings back on planet earth.

…[S]mart and talented women rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome to be successful lies within. Compared with our male colleagues, we judge our own abilities not only more harshly but fundamentally differently. Understanding why we do it is the first step to righting a terrible wrong. And to do that, we need to take a step back in time.

Chances are good that if you are a successful professional today, you were a pretty bright fifth grade girl. My graduate advisor, psychologist Carol Dweck (author of “Mindset”) conducted a series of studies in the 1980s, looking at how Bright Girls and boys in the fifth grade handled new, difficult and confusing material.

Teacher's PetShe found that Bright Girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up; the higher the girls’ IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel. In fact, the straight-A girls showed the most helpless responses. Bright boys, on the other hand, saw the difficult material as a challenge, and found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts rather than give up.

Why does this happen? What makes smart girls more vulnerable and less confident when they should be the most confident kids in the room? At the 5th grade level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science. So there were no differences between these boys and girls in ability, nor in past history of success. The only difference was how bright boys and girls interpreted difficulty — what it meant to them when material seemed hard to learn. Bright Girls were much quicker to doubt their ability, to lose confidence and to become less effective learners as a result.

Researchers have uncovered the reason for this difference in how difficulty is interpreted, and it is simply this: More often than not, Bright Girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.

That’s a fine piece of research, Dr. Halvorson and Dr. Dweck. You’ve done the female race proud; now get your asses into the kitchen and make me a pie!

Seriously though? I think it’s a mistake figuring gender too prominently into this. I know lots of ladies who rise to the occasion when a new challenge presents itself, and lots of gentlemen who do not.

But, I should qualify that carefully. I work in a highly technical field, so when I say “lots of ladies” I’m not really talking lots. Just enough to define a profile, really. Maybe four or five I guess, evenly distributed throughout a career that now spans a quarter century and counting. They each carved out their own role, and the role they carved out was eerily similar from woman to woman. And…the politically incorrect truth of it is, although each woman took command of a technically involved role, these were not roles that would have been filled by men. It isn’t that the men wouldn’t have been able; they would not have been willing.

Chicks are motivated by different things.

But let’s leave that thought alone. I wish to concentrate on this other differential, the one that less clearly marked along gender lines; the Architect versus Medicator divide, the opportunity-versus-security divide.

I would argue — although some might reasonably disagree — that this is what Kimberly Weisul was writing about in BNET a little while ago: “This is Why Innovation is Rare in US Companies.”

In a survey of 1,500 CEOs by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, creativity was viewed as the single most important attribute needed to lead a large corporation. So companies are aware that, at least hypothetically, they need leaders who are creative. But how do people react when faced with someone who actually expresses creative ideas?

Not well, it turns out. Jennifer Mueller, a professor at Wharton, Jack A. Goncalo of Cornell, and Dishan Kamdar of the Indian School of Business conducted a series of experiments to find out how creative people were viewed by their colleagues. Individuals who expressed creative ideas were viewed as having less leadership potential than individuals whose ideas were less creative. “It is not easy to select creative leaders,” says Mueller. “It takes more time and effort…than we might previously have thought.”

Yes, this takes some special intellectual effort…discipline…which large groups of people are not capable of putting out. And the large groups of people ultimately are the deciders, usually, when we decide what we want to see in our leaders. With no thinking discipline being practiced effectively, the tendency is to say “this is what I expect to see, therefore it is leadership and it is innovative.” You see the twist — innovation is something you expect to see?

This, also, reminds me of a conversation I’ve had a few times over my career, usually with the most experienced colleagues. Everything, of course, cannot be innovated. In fact, the most successful projects to which I’ve contributed have generally consisted of just a small sliver of innovation, plated upon a structure of something non-innovative. A structure with a legacy to it would provide the confidence, and then the confidence would be built-upon, and the contribution would be made. Think of, pudding-that-is-not-skin, and skin on top. Or, house-that-is-not-paint, and then paint. We want to deliver something new, but before we get to the thing that is new we want to re-use what was built before. It cuts down on the integration testing when you use what was used already.

But I’ve often run into the brilliant engineer who is tempted to toss out the pudding-skin. The standards mentality should completely dominate the project and no part of it should be new. And you get into this James Taggart mentality of “Rearden Metal cannot be good because nobody’s ever used it before.” And I have to point out, waitaminnit what are we doing? We’re not drywall installers or wallpaper hangers; we’re software engineers. If it’s worth coding in software at all, is the damn thing going to do something nothing else is doing? If it won’t then why are we here? We are we investing our time? There’s lots of other professions whose goals can be described as “make this thing over here look exactly like that thing over there” — ours is not one of them.

It comes back to the Morgan maxim: Technology is the opposite of doing what lots of other people are already doing. It seems so simple, but how easy it is to forget. It would be much easier to remember if good software engineering had something to do with building every little thing in a different way than every other little thing. But, of course, that would be a nightmare. Good engineering, in any discipline, is a mix. On a leading-edge new aircraft prototype, there will be tens of thousands of rivets — that all look the same, and are the same. The rivet design will be generations old. It’s what they come together, to form in the final product, that is new. Pudding and skin. House and paint.

But the Architects and Medicators paradigm says Medicators will always want to take everything over, and they like to…well, you know, medicate. Just bathe & stew in something they’ve found to be familiar, never separating themselves from whatever substance it is lest they suffer from withdrawal symptoms. And here is irony for you: Didn’t someone recently campaign for the highest office in our government on a platform of “change can be scary but you have to learn to embrace it if you want to move forward” or some such? Who did that? Who said it?

That would be Master Medicator Numero Uno, Barack Hussein “Barry Soetoro” Obama, our current President. Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm!

John Hinderaker at Powerline hits on something I’ve been saying for quite some time about the man in the White House:

Last night Col. Ralph Peters was on Bill O’Reilly’s show, talking about Libya. Peters thinks we should act on behalf of the rebels there, but he expressed skepticism that President Obama will ever do anything. “Obama loves the idea of being President,” Peters said, “but he can’t make a decision.”

I think there is a lot of truth to that, even in domestic policy, where Obama has passively deferred to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on all legislative matters. One can debate whether action is appropriate in Libya or not, but Peters is certainly right when it comes to foreign policy–it is a safe bet that Obama will do nothing, because doing something would require a decision.

Now it just so happens that I think we ought to stay out of Libya, so this is a stopped clock moment for me. I essentially agree with Obama’s non-decision.

However, to the larger point. I agree with Peters completely when he says “Obama loves the idea of President, but he can’t make a decision”. I might have said it a little differently. Obama loves the idea of being President and the trappings and perks. What he doesn’t like is the job.

I think that should be abundantly clear to anyone who has closely observed the man and taken a look at his background. I always remember the words of the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review who said that Obama loved the title of Editor of the Law Review, but he didn’t want to do the work. The managing editor said he rarely saw him except when it was to glad hand or take credit (and praise) for what was being done. Additionally, Obama never wrote a thing for the review during his tenure, something almost unheard of.

In all cases, his problems are leadership problems. He’s simply not a leader. He has no idea how to be a leader. But that doesn’t keep him from wanting leadership roles that offer him prestige, perks and pleasure derived from simply from being in the position.

The reason Obama can’t make a decision is he can’t reason like a leader must. He has no experience. And he doesn’t understand the decision making process as practiced by a leader. He’s never really had to make leadership decisions. So he simply tries to avoid making them. One way he does it is to ignore the problem. Another way he does this is to appoint commissions and panels concerning problems the country faces in order to defer the problem (and decision). He also like to defer to the “international community” on foreign policy or the Democratic leadership in the legislature on domestic things. Again, the avoidance of decision making.

One aspect of the Medicator I’ve never been able to understand is this: They are in constant search of some medicinal balm, some soothing agent. This is why Obama doesn’t want to decide anything, why He wants to “defer to the international community” and so forth. The medicinal balm; the international community decided it, so it must be good. Who needs a recognizable individual to decide anything? Names? Accountability? Who cares. The nameless-faceless-unaccountable iCommunity handed down the decision — there is comfort in that. Head-On, apply directly to the forehead.

The enigma is, why don’t Medicators ever want to be the balm? It isn’t going too far out to say in 2008, when He was campaigning for the office, there was a widespread and popular perception that Barack Obama’s team was building a brand, with a name, and they were doing an exceptional job at this. We were going to get a fantastic leader, a decider, like a miracle ointment. Or a King Midas who would just bring all the right results out of everything He touched. We’d end up with someone like FDR — the only American President ever to be elected to four terms, and there was a reason for this. Obama was supposed to be like FDR. Republicans and democrats alike would reckon with some new vexing problem, and say to themselves “well let’s just apply an Obama solution to that and it will all be okay.” Just like our grandparents might have said “well let’s let FDR handle it and everything will turn out fine.” That’s what gets you four terms in office. Be Blistex. Rub a little of this stuff on that new irritation over there, it’ll probably be good as new.

Does anyone in his right mind, right now, want to subject some exotic, unfamiliar new problem to an Obama fix and hope for the best? Erm…not quite so much. We, as a nation, have become disenchanted. We just got done watching Our First Holy President deal with the oil-in-the-gulf thing. Who’s chomping at the bit to see Him lay His Holy Hands upon the melty Japanese reactors and get it all fixed? Nobody. We’re not going to get anything from that direction, just a bunch of sniveling excuses. Maybe a “you should be grateful” thrown in. People get tired of it.

So the tube of ointment will sit in the medicine cabinet untouched.

Why’s it like this? Why does it always seem to go in this direction? Medicators have such a craving for approval, such a desire to be associated with fun and excitement. Obama certainly does. Do they really suck this badly at thinking ahead? I suppose that’s part of taking a fix; you’re just living for the moment.

Many times I have had to wonder, what would our lives be like if it were natural for the innovative types to seek out ways to exert control over the non-innovative types, rather than the other way around. But, for practical reasons, it must always work the other way around. When you innovate successfully and come up with something new, you don’t have time to think about what the other guy is doing. (And when you’re not successful, you try to figure out why — and so then, too, you don’t have time to monitor other people.) But people who cannot or do not think for themselves, develop this natural jealousy against people who can and do. They start to blockade, hinder, obstruct. It turns into this weird “If I can’t figure out what to do next, I don’t want you to figure it out either” thing.

Speaking of which, you might have missed this thing George Will put together about trains. It’s priceless — I’ll excerpt just a tiny piece of it:

High Speed to Insolvency
Why liberals love trains.

[W]hy is America’s “win the future” administration so fixated on railroads, a technology that was the future two centuries ago? Because progressivism’s aim is the modification of (other people’s) behavior.

Forever seeking Archimedean levers for prying the world in directions they prefer, progressives say they embrace high-speed rail for many reasons—to improve the climate, increase competitiveness, enhance national security, reduce congestion, and rationalize land use. The length of the list of reasons, and the flimsiness of each, points to this conclusion: the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

And there is your picture of humanity, not only for 2011 Anno Domini, but in eons past and forevermore foward: One guy fixated on systems of ever-increasing complexity that work when assembled properly, and another guy fixated on the comforts of the moment. A man at a drafting table designing something, and another leaning on a plushy cushion smoking opiates. Architect, Medicator. One looks to the future and the other does not, because it’s hard to think about the future when your attention is all on your level of comfort, or lack thereof…today. Right here & now. The designer does not try to control the junkie, because the designer is worried about other things. But the junkie tries to control the designer, because when you’ve dedicated your life to being unable to do something you don’t want to see someone else getting it done.

And because there are other junkies, the junkie will succeed in controlling the designer. Innovation will be arrested, hobbled, chained down. Eventually, snuffed out altogether. That’s what being a junkie is all about. If you manage to get something, in a few minutes you’re going to want more of it, and then you’ll want more and more and more.

So they have the White House, and of course early in 2009 it was obvious that was not enough because they still had cravings. Now we have problems, but their Top Guy isn’t going to make any decisions. But let’s build some trains.

Update: I see over on Memeorandum — it’s like they said to themselves, “Look at that nonsense Morgan K. Freeberg jotted down that doesn’t make any sense. We’d better put up some links, so that what he said makes more sense.” Japanese Nuclear Power Plants’ Operator Scrambles to Avert Meltdowns — and — Obama Scores Laughs at Gridiron Dinner.

Just what I was talking about. No decisions made, no details engaged, the gray matter inside The First Skull isn’t that kind of stuff. But an impressive emotional vibe-connection taking place. Just like last month and the month before that, the year before that…thus it will be, into the indeterminate future. We’ve got a Court Jester sitting on the Emperor’s throne.

Cross-posted at Washington Rebel.

Attention, Parents of Very Small Children

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Up to a certain age it is normal and expected for your offspring to fail to distinguish between minor irritants, perceived slights, dull discomforts, petty jealousies, cranky moods, and emergencies. Where your child is at now, everything is an emergency, and the only way to address any such emergency is to annoy you.

This is all obvious to anyone who’s been a parent, in fact it’s the story of your life right now. But let’s have a refresher course about that last word shall we? You. Parents & maybe the big siblings. Family. For the rest of us, it isn’t as cute as you seem to think it is.

But that that’s not as important as what follows, nor is there as much breathtaking ignorance about it as there is about what follows.

Doing whatever it is you have to do to get the “BLLLAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!” to stop is not your top priority. Shaking the favorite doll and making a funny face, giving the child whatever it is that it wants, murmuring “Shshshshsh,” offering it your soothing voice, saying its name, singing a song — this is not Job One. No, Job One is to express your disapproval.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Because I’m a middle aged fat man with a sedentary lifestyle, I spent the first half of today on my mountain bike. But I don’t do forty or fifty or sixty miles in one stretch. I take prolonged rest stops in populated retail places, catching up on various projects on my laptop, and maybe that’s a mistake since I don’t have the right temperament for the strangers who surround me. But it’s becoming an all too common sight to see parents shushing their noisy demanding young children through various means without taking any effort whatsoever to work on Job One. Some of them are actually sensitive to the pressing demand of Job Two which is to spare the nearby strangers a migraine by bringing the cacaphony to an end. Without killing the child. And don’t get me wrong, that is appreciated. But how in the world do you think kids grow out of this?

Everywhere I look where there is a child that is young, it always seems to be happening like this. The parents do the whatever, but it’s never made clear to the child that there is a societal/cultural expectation that this protocol should eventually change. Not a single indication of it; not so much as a trace, not a syllable, not a peep. The child is, in effect, held to the same profile of acceptable behavior that applies to a newborn when the child is no longer a newborn. By the time the signature noise becomes a weary but piercing squawk, the signs are there that the child is picking up the idea that this is normal behavior. That, and that it is always, always, always the child’s turn to make the noise. Nobody within earshot has anything else demanding their attention, at least nothing worthy of it. Simple formula preserved from baby-hood: I want something, minus having it, equals an emergency. Emergency equals yelling, and what good is yelling if it doesn’t reverberate off the farthest wall?

People who are older than me, make it abundantly clear that this is not the way it worked when they were kids. When I was a kid, there was something of a schism going on; some parents thought it was the job of the rest of the world do things for their kids, and other parents thought it was the job of their kids to do something for the world. Now it seems this conflict has reached a conclusion. It seems all the kids are being raised the same way and I’m not sure I like it, nor am I pondering where it all leads with too much satisfaction.

Try “no.” It’s a single syllable, for a reason. Your child is ready for this broadening of the horizons much, much earlier than you think. Yeah yeah, I know, “self esteem” and what not. Did it ever occur to you that self worth might be different from a feeling of self worth? Or, that an occasional rejection maybe, just maybe, might not inflict lifetime damage upon either one of those?

Maybe, by hovering around the retail environments, I’m only seeing a piece of society. A random sampling that isn’t that random. Maybe it’s like the cop who goes out to too many domestic disputes and becomes convinced the world’s going to pot, because he’s seen an average that isn’t an average. Maybe the “Always Junior’s Turn to Talk & Squawk” fad is merely an aberration.

Even though I’m seeing it everywhere I look. Maybe the generation that is coming up, is considerably different from what I am seeing.

Hope so.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Rand Paul Opens a Can of Whoop on the Busybodies

Friday, March 11th, 2011

This is actually serious stuff. The Wisconsin union thing is important too, but the way we’re really losing our freedoms fast is through the “death by thousand paper cuts”…through the pain-in-the-ass laws…through the little laws.

Go get ’em, Rand.

I’m sick of being told to get with it. Sick of being told “you can’t buy that anymore.” Sick of being told about this year’s standards…partnerships…green…blah blah blah. Sick. To. Death. Of. It.

If you want the power to tell a complete stranger what kind of toilet he has to install, to me, it’s an indication that you probably don’t really have the sense of judgment to bring about a good outcome there. Or to do much of anything for that matter. Based on what I’ve seen, when people have what it takes to make good decisions that produce a good outcome, as a general rule they start to lose interest in that kind of micro-management. They get too busy. And so the people who retain some kind of an interest in this — guess what? Yeah, I see them as the no-talent types. They might be able to present well and talk well, but overall they tend to make poor decisions. You can tell because they’re not too interested in the ones they have to make for themselves, they continue to be distracted by the decisions they can make on behalf of others.

Summarizing more briefly: Go get ’em, Rand. Go for blood. Sick ’em.

Thanks to my Facebook friend Kayla.

Cookie Girls

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

It’s that time again.

Me, I’m pretty cold and heartless about it. It’s not a matter of iron will power — that much you can tell by my physique, or lack thereof. But I live in a surburbia, and statistics & sensibilities would confirm it to be one of the more affluent ones. Just barely rustic enough for openness; it is fairly overrun with, well, panhandlers. That’s what they are, isn’t it? Please sign this petition, help this cause, that cause, take this pamphlet. Either they don’t ask the store manager’s permission, or there’s something in the air that keeps the store managers from telling them “no.”

Cookie GirlSo I tell the girls I don’t have any cash for their cookies, whether that’s true or not. I don’t need ’em anyway. But then again, they don’t look like the graphic to the right.

It’s not the same way with Gerard.

I’ve tried to escape their clutches, but it’s no good. Today, desperate to kick after discovering last night that I could hear a box of Thin Mints calling to me through a closed door, I even invented a granddaughter.

The MILF saw my glance at their cookie table and smiled. I said, having bought no less than three boxes of their krispy krack over the last week, “I’m sorry, but my granddaughter has made me swear to buy cookies only from her troop.” (I have no granddaughter, but I was in despair.)

One of her henchgirls shrugged and did a cartwheel while the other two looked disappointed in that trademark Girl Scout disappointed look that I’m sure they give a patch for.

“Oh, don’t worry,” said the MILF. “We’ll never tell. Right girls?”

“We’ll never-ever tell,” said all three virtually in unison as if they’d practiced it throughout all of February at their Girl Scout/MILF coven meetings.

It was all over for me. All I could say was,


There is another ritual started up about this time of year: The bitching about how Boy Scouts get to go out on hikes and learn how to tie knots & start fires & build campsites & what-not…and the Girls Scouts crochet & sell cookies.

I know of a certain indignant mother who has sufficiently piqued by the lack of local scouting resources for girls, that she’s about to start her own Girl Scout troop. But someone else will have to do the hiking & camping with the young charges. She’s found plenty of other mothers enthused about the setting things right, the rallying, the organizing, the getting it all started, but so far the enthusiasm wanes when it comes to the outdoor stuff.

Does she think the man has been born who’s stupid enough to take a bunch of girls out in the woods by himself? No, she doesn’t. But the mommas are all waiting for some other momma to do this part. Within the community of females, this particular task has deteriorated into yet another thing “somebody should” come along and do, like a Pokemon creature or Rumpelstiltskin perhaps…someday.

Meanwhile, the men & boys trek out there, tie their knots, cook their s’mores and have a blast. Somewhere there’s a Dad or two who managed to find the time. The girls sell cookies. Can’t you just hear the grievance engine revving up for the next blast? Three guesses where the blame is going to land, and the first two don’t count…

Well you know — I think it all evens out. I’m one of the very, very few who manage to invent excuses successfully, and charge past, leaving the neat stacks of cookie boxes untouched and uninspected. The girls pile back in to the Navigator and head to from whence they came, with far fewer cookie boxes than they brought. I’m sure they’re hauling in a whole lot more cash than the boys, who are still limping along on the donations from the Christmas tree pick-up.

Thus it is in the “real,” grown-up, world. They say the world is run by men in neckties and black socks. But to whatever extent that may be true, it isn’t a complete power monopoly is it? Not when people tend to want to give cash to cute girls and women. Who wants to hand money over to a dude? There’s something in us that makes it seem natural to give money to chicks. I pay my car insurance by handing a check to a lovely looking lady sitting at a reception desk. Ditto for the car payment…the phone bill I pay by computer when their system is working, if it isn’t, I pay it by phone. The person who forces the computer to take my money is always female. Power company: Computer. Rent: Gorgeous females. Gas: Computer, and I think it was a disembodied female voice who took my money when the computer was down that one time…

Jane JetsonWhen I have the oil changed in the car, a guy does the labor…or two guys, or who knows maybe ten or twenty. Probably just one or two. But not a skirt in sight. Once the chariot is all put back together again, I amble over to the front counter and give the money to a female at a computer before driving off. I don’t know if the guys ever see the money.

Child support. We don’t even need to go there.

When I have my hair cut, there’s a possibility that it’ll be a guy engaging in the un-guy-ish occupation of doing the cutting. It’s not that remote, either; about one in five. Funny thing is, if it’s a lady wielding the scissors, I’ve noticed about half the time she’ll walk over to the cash register with me, ring up the sale, and thank me for the tip. If it’s a guy who does the cutting, he’ll wish me a nice day and grab a broom to sweep up. Then I go to the cash register by myself. To hand the money to a cute girl who thanks me for the tip.

I haven’t forked over money to a dude, since the last time a pizza was delivered to my door. Actually that’s the only time I can remember ever giving a man money: pizza deliveries. We, as humans, just are not wired to hand money to the guys. It’s not in our DNA. We are conditioned and trained and evolved to give money to females & computers…or computers & females. The computer thing is, obviously, an efficiency/quantity kind of thing, and it’s a modern, recent thing. It can’t have anything to do with evolution…although at times it certainly does look that way. The females? That is in our genetic set-up. Releasing things of value into the possession of females. We’re built to do it. They’re cute. Their eyelashes are longer.

So yes, boys sleep under the stars and, consequently, learn to do some cool stuff. But it’s a little tough to get worked up about males running the world when the handling of the money that makes the world go, is about as dominated by females as, uh…well, lately we’re becoming extra civilized and gender-bendy, aren’t we, and I’m having trouble thinking of anything else besides money-handling that hasn’t gone all coed-diverse. Not nursing or secretary-ing or airplane-stewardess-ing. Childbirth maybe?

So I think this is healthy, all-in-all, in that it reflects the world into which the girls & boys in scouting now, will eventually grow as they become adults. Might as well teach ’em now: Girls take money. Ergo, girls sell things. Boys can certainly try. I sold newspaper or magazine subscriptions or something when I was a boy scout. Didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Maybe I should have tried a cartwheel or two.

“Chants, Signs and Sickouts”

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

New York Post:

Let’s call this what it is: a campaign to nullify the 2010 election, by a sore-loser party that doesn’t like the results.

The Democrats are trying to cast themselves as the heroes — noble prisoners of conscience engaged in an act of civil disobedience by denying Walker a quorum so the vote can be held. But, like the sheriff played by Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles,” the gun at their heads is being held in their own hands.

We’ve seen this act before, and from the same political party. Eight years ago, Democratic state legislators in Texas vamoosed twice, to Oklahoma and later to New Mexico, to avoid voting on a redistricting plan they didn’t like. In the end, one returned, the quorum was established, the vote was held and they lost.

This time, however, the stakes are higher: Whatever happens in Wisconsin will set a precedent for the rest of the nation, which is why Madison has become a critical battleground in a fight that neither side can afford to lose.

In a bid to protect one of its core constituencies — public-sector unions — the left has thrown a prime temper tantrum within and without the marble halls of the state capitol, trotting out its ’60-era playbook of chants, signs and sickouts to create a media narrative that the cruel and heartless governor is trying to “destroy the unions.”

But this fight is no longer simply about Walker’s attempt to balance Wisconsin’s wobbly budget, or even about whether public-employee unions ought to have the right to collective bargaining — they shouldn’t, and in fact they shouldn’t even exist, as FDR himself warned.

It’s now about whether we are to have an orderly democracy or legislative and executive anarchy, whether elections can be delegitimized and even overturned by the daily plebiscites of the polls, by the flouting of sacred oaths of office and by the trampling on the laws of the state.

It must stop.

Qui-Gon Jinn had it right: When you gamble, you must be prepared to lose. Elections fall under that rule.

It seems every now and then we have electoral chaos — and it happens whenever the elections present the left with a threat to their continuing survival. And so they fight back like a cornered rat…to ensure their continuing, political, survival.

It would be nice if, while they’re in power, they were to fight that way for the continuing survival of the nation when that is threatened. But I suppose that’s another issue altogether.

“Union Myths”

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.
The most fundamental fact about labor unions is that they do not create any wealth. They are one of a growing number of institutions which specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others, whether they are businesses or the taxpayers.
At one time, U.S. Steel was the largest steel producer in the world and General Motors the largest automobile manufacturer. Not any more. Their unions were riding high in their heyday, but they too discovered that there is no free lunch, as their members lost jobs by the hundreds of thousands.
While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world’s leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.

That is why government unions continue to thrive while private-sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.

The creation of wealth, or lack thereof, and the ramifications involved — it’s fascinating how so many of our progressive friends remain ignorant of these crucial concepts. Many of them boast impressive educational credentials, and you’d better believe that means something, because if you ever forget they’ll remind you. But if you just listen to them distinguish “private sector” and “public sector” a little while, it becomes apparent they haven’t a clue.

The most usual pattern is that they’ll happen upon some talking point about what wonderful programs some government agency is enforcing and what disenfranchised oppressed minority is being helped — that makes the agency wonderful, therefore all the people working within it are wonderful. I often wonder if any of these people have visited a government agency to see all the billowy passion that radiates down to the lowliest copy-making worker bee and positively electrifies the entire setting so you can feel the excitement cackling in the air…as some gender-ambiguous version of Ferris Bueller’s math teacher drones away on the loudspeaker “now serving…A-119…window…fifteen…”

Meanwhile, you just know the businesses are evil because they work for — (one eye starts to twitch uncontrollably) — PRRROOOFFFFFFFFFIIIIIITTTTTT!!!

As far as the real difference, the creation of wealth. Even our highly intelligent left-wingers, and yes there are some. The worldly, the well-traveled, the well-read, the erudite. Not. A. Single. Fucking. Clue. Just talk to them a little while about it. Focus on that one point, and see what they know. Or not.

Just amazing.

They’ll just go through the usual ritual, paint themselves into a corner and start looking for an out. So get ready to be called a racist teabagger.

Two Opinions About Wealth Inequality

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

It doesn’t mean anything.

The hell it doesn’t, it means everything.

My question is, which argument do you think was made in a more compelling way, suitable for a persuasive presentation to an audience not initially receptive to it?

Your Obligatory NPR Scandal Video Embed

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

For anyone who’s argued with liberals sometime since the Bush v. Gore debacle a decade ago, this is NOT news. They’ve been going at this pretty hard: Things are getting derailed/chaotic/frightening/disorganized, whatever, because too many Americans (sneer) are uneducated. They lack the sophistication, the nuance, the juno se qua to make truly innovative and insightful observations like…[insert hackneyed cliche here]. “Gun toting”…scary…scary…scary.

Let it go on long enough, and this hatred of Jews eventually comes spilling out.

I suppose I should be offended by this coastal white guy bitching up a storm about midwestern white guys. And the Jewish thing. And the “we can do without funding oh no we can’t all these stations would go dark” double-talk. Even though I’m a coastal white guy myself (from the other coast), protestant…but what gets under my skin is this talk about educated.

This now-former NPR stooge, like a lot of liberals, is not ready for any so-called educated people to come up with anything new. There is a real cost being paid by the rest of us here, and it has nothing to do with NPR funding. “Educated” is a word that is being used, more and more, to describe a personal quality that would be more fairly and accurately called “predictable.” Listen carefully to how it is used; that’s what they mean. You can be as stupid and uneducated as you want, but if you say all the right things and have all the right opinions you’re “educated.”

One of my favorite challenges has been to ask if Peggy Joseph, the woman who thought Obama was going to pay her mortgage and put gas in her car, is smarter than Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams — since she has the right opinions, and they don’t. Is she better educated. I haven’t gotten a straight answer back on that yet.

It’s not too hard to figure out the agenda here. Our modern liberals are servicing an agenda, which can take a back seat to none other. And they’re calling people names in order to get it fulfilled. Using taxpayer dollars to do it.

Update: Schiller has resigned. No not that one, the other one.

SEIU Threat

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

What’s that? You thought politicians were there for you or something? Or, if they’re not working hard enough for you, they must be in the pocket of “big business” or some such?

Close, but no cigar…

From here. Where the following is added…

The video above shows a representative of the United Healthcare Workers from a budget hearing in California in 2009. She makes it clear that the union got ‘democrats’ elected and that they [the union] ‘have long memories’ should the members deign to not support the union demands. If the officials support needed measures to cut spending, the representative will unleash her members to campaign against their reelection. And her threats are all legally sanctioned. And they are paid for by us.

This is the central problem with public sector unions. They get to use taxpayer money to elect their bosses and they get to use taxpayer money to convince their bosses to give them more taxpayer money. [emphasis mine]

Update: Blog-uncle Gerard’s summation is too good to pass up:

Most Americans can’t imagine that they are ruled by overweight, pasty, transgendered union thugs with bad hairstyles. But they are.

Embracing Military Commissions

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Wall Street Journal:

No one has done more to revive the reputation of Bush-era antiterror policies than the Obama Administration…On a conference call yesterday, senior Administration officials tried to sell their military commissions process as more “credible” than Mr. Bush’s, but their policy changes are de minimis. In 2009, Congress made technical reforms for handling testimony and classified information. By executive order, a new panel will now also conduct a “periodic review” of detentions. But the bipartisan Military Commissions Act of 2006, or MCA, had already included “administrative review boards” dedicated to the same goal.
In an August 2007 speech that his advisers touted at the time, Mr. Obama promised to repeal this “legal framework that does not work.” He even claimed that Bush policies undermined “our Constitution and our freedom” and that the Bush Administration had pressed a “false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand,” a line he recycled in his Inaugural Address. He went out of his way to vote against the Military Commissions Act.

So much for all that. Yesterday the senior Administration officials even praised the “bipartisan effort” that produced that law. They’re right. The MCA was a serious and painstaking compromise under the constitutional guidance of the Supreme Court’s Hamdan decision, but the anti-antiterror lobby—including candidate Obama—maintained it was an affront to American values. The real test of Mr. Obama’s new maturity will be if he puts the guts back into the tribunal process, restoring the funding and talent necessary to handle complex prosecutions that have been lost over the years amid the assault on Gitmo.

Dog that caught the car. Now that the chase is over, what to do?

Actually, President Obama is not so confused. To use another animal metaphor, the seagull manager is never, ever confused. There really aren’t any perplexing decisions to be made about flying in, crapping all over everything, squawking & flying away. It is the leftist revolutionary tsunami that is confused. Moping around and chanting slogans about the RichBadWhiteMenInPower is easy enough. But how do you run things when you’re in charge?

If the answer is “pretty much the same way the last guy did,” isn’t there some “Viva la Revolution” card you’re obliged to turn back in?

Yup, dog that caught the car. What a monumental waste of energy.

Can This be a Good Law…

Monday, March 7th, 2011

…when everybody and his pet dog applies for, and gets, a waiver from it?

Of course, I’m talking about ObamaCare:

The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000, according to new numbers disclosed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago.

I think it’s past time for the rest of America to receive a waiver. This behemoth is a huge mistake, nearly everyone coming to that conclusion though many kicking and screaming.

Repeal this job killing beast. Sooner rather than later.

Well, why should anybody be surprised. We elected the presidential candidate with the most appealing personality. We got someone charming, confident, and who has managed to go through all of life without being told “no” very often…a man who can sell anything, but doesn’t have a head for details because it takes effort to develop a head for details, and the necessity has never been there. So it fell to Congress to come up with the details. They did it in secret. They laid such a rotten egg that they could barely get it through the Senate, with 59 friendly seats in that chamber and a truckload of bribes.

Charisma…gravitas…hopey-changey wonderfulness. Call it whatever you want, but if this is what it nets us I say we can do without it. Whoever said charm is a good thing in our president, anyway? It appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, and I think I see why now. Charming people don’t get told “no.” That’s the whole point of being charming, is it not? And their ideas, on average, are not very good.

“The Backwards World of Wonkette”

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Da TechGuy explores the weirdness with which some of us are all too familiar…and has to be discussed, because a lot of other people are completely unaware of it. How compassionate is the modern left? How loving & lovable? They are humanitarians the same way Joy Behar is an underwear model.

The NYT talked a bit about Koch today and told about his philanthropic work:

Mr. Koch, a billionaire who is perhaps best known for his family’s contributions to conservative causes, got a standing ovation from scientists, Nobel laureates and politicians of various political stripes as he opened the new David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he gave $100 million to help build.

Yup $100 million for cancer research I was curious how the left would react. So I went to Wonkette to check it out

David Koch is super sad about how the mean poor/working people are upset because he’s funding and directing the destruction of government unions nationwide. This makes him feel bad! And even though the deeply secretive David Koch never does an interview, the New York TImes somehow managed to get him to speak, on the occasion of David Koch being honored for giving millions of dollars to a cancer research center, because he has cancer and wants to cure his own cancer, even though he owns an evil forestry empire that insists formaldehyde (a carcinogen) is not a carcinogen. See, when poor people get cancer, it’s because they suck. And when rich people who exploit nature and humanity get cancer, it’s time to send $100 million to some little people who can maybe take care of the problem.

Ok I wasn’t really curious, I excepted exactly this, and the comments were even more fun, take a peek:

Here’s one

The only upbeat part of that article is that David Koch has cancer. Everything else is just Koch-sucking.

and Barbara:

I’m really sorry about his prostate cancer. I hope that it doesn’t spread to his anus. If he has to have an asshole transplant, he will be the first person to have the transplant reject the donee.

doc zoom:

It would be inhumane to publicly rejoice at the news that a fellow human being has cancer.

I will therefore rejoice only in private.

And these are not exceptions, they are typical of the comments left. Remember if you disagree with the left politically and do something about it, you are evil and deserve a painful death.

It’s time to psychoanalyze. I’m no mental health professional and I don’t play one on teevee, but any functional adult should be able to gather the clues and figure out something about what they mean. They’re all around us. Go to any public medium that benefits from a mixed audience, by which I mean it isn’t a right-wing blog, and say “[Insert name of conservative person here] has positive characteristics,” and then sit and watch. The barbed comments will come, and quickly. It’s not an if but a when, and there isn’t a lot of waiting involved in the when.

Do conservatives act this way? Uh, not really, no. Generally the response will be to think out loud (or think through typing) until such time as they’ve made the decision not to support the person being discussed, or that person’s efforts. Yes, this can take quite a negative turn but I have yet to see such a thread devolve into a meandering toxic chain of post after post after post wishing death on the person or celebrating the fact that he has cancer. With the left, it is almost routine. It’s just like TechGuy said — obstruct their agenda, and you deserve death. An informal contest will be started, on the spot, to see who does the best job of wishing death upon you. When’s the last time a conservative did that?

No, my point isn’t that conservatives are all angels. My point is that the left is toxic. There is something in the worldview that persuades them to become…well, the exact opposite of what it is they pretend to be. “Tolerance” — out the window, forgetabbowdit, it was never, ever here. Everyone who agrees with us, agrees with us, and whoever doesn’t, shouldn’t even be walking around living. How dare they.

And they do not police their own.

I think it might have something to do with lowered standards. Conservative might say something like “I do not know personally, for a fact, that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii” and he’s already in trouble, under a magnifying glass. It is forgotten in the space of a heartbeat that for those of us born after 1961, this is the only sensible observation we can make about it, and ditto for anyone born before that date but who wasn’t in Honolulu personally watching Mrs. Dunham deliver. So the conservative doesn’t need to get to “I wish so-and-so was dead” or “I’m so glad so-and-so has cancer.” Liberals do it pretty much all the time.

It has nothing to do with “blowing off steam.” If it did, they’d blow off the steam and it would be over. That is not the case.

They’re showing off for each other.

Had a friend forward me the article where Robin of Berkeley looks into this. My leftward-leaning “blue dog democrat” former colleague was offended that Sarah Palin was being compared to Jesus Christ. Now when you read the article itself, you find this comparison was never made, directly or indirectly. She might be talking about this passage…

And then, out of the blue, Sarah Palin, like a majestic bird in flight, swooped onto the scene of a depraved and deprived nation. With her children and grandchild, her religion and her patriotism, Sarah is the antithesis of everything the progressives stand for. Palin is not just pro-life, but she emanates life — and good, clean living.

And what does the left do? They try to drag her through the mud to sully her. The hardcore among them want to eliminate her, even if this means putting her life at risk.

But I’m just not sure this is the passage that offends. There never is a good fit for this. I think the point of the piece went whistling above my former colleague’s head, and the point is: people have a tendency to become hateful when they see someone else doing something right, where they know they have done wrong — when the evidence of their senses compels them to see something positive in a place where they just don’t want to see it. I think we all have it in us to react to that with an intense, visceral hatred that comes out nowhere else.

That is true, especially, when we are participating in a group fellowship.

And it is particularly true among our leftists. They’ve got their minds all made up about who’s good and who’s bad, and any lately-arriving evidence doesn’t figure into it. That’s problematic, but what is even more problematic is this: They are engaged in a deliberate process of defining right and wrong according to an agenda, which on an individual level, they don’t completely comprehend. Koch, for example, is demonized because he is spearheading opposition to the teachers’ unions over in Wisconsin. Among those wishing death upon Mr. Koch, how many of them understand the ins & outs of the negotiations between the unions and Gov. Walker? I’m reasonably sure some of them are missing some of the key facts. I’ve had “discussions,” myself, with some leftwardly-leaning folks who are willing to admit as much. But the passion is not diminished by this, not even a tiny bit.

Just about everyone who’s observed anything lately agrees, now, that our country needs to take on a more civil tone as we discuss our differences.

That means this kind of leftist group-think is going to have to recede. It’s not good for the country. It needs to go on the wane. We need to allow it, of course, since it’s a free country & all. But that doesn’t mean it has to be encouraged.

In fact I see no reason why it should be accepted any more than a swastika on a flag hanging by some guy’s house. That might be “allowed,” too, in a free country. But it would be caustic, hateful, hurtful and dumb. Just like the comments made by the Wonkette people, which are to be found in a lot of other places besides Wonkette. One way or the other, the swastika flag would come down, I think, so I still don’t understand why this other toxic banner is flying in so many places. While those who fly it, and encourage each other to do likewise, proceed to pretend they’re the exact opposite of what the rest of us can plainly see they are.

Five Heartwarming Movies…

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

…about the Dads coming home. Like this one —

From here.

With a grateful hat tip to Instapundit.

Investigation of Common Cause

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Big Government:

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wants Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the liberal group Common Cause should lose its nonprofit status, after a conservative website published footage of protesters calling for the lynching of conservative Supreme Court justices.

The footage shows enraged protesters making inflammatory and threatening comments about Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas.

Gohmert said that the inflammatory remarks are more troubling given the attack on Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords earlier this year.

“We shouldn’t have any organization, especially one that says it’s nonpartisan, out there stirring up hatred and animosity to the point that people would say, “Let’s string up a justice of the Supreme Court as well as his wife,” Gohmert said.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Where’s our new civil tone?

Now That’s What I Call a Movie Review

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Over at Film Drunk. This is how you do it:

Gemma's ButtSomething something Gemma Arterton’s butt

Stephen Frears is best known as the director of Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, Mary Reilly, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Queen, and his latest is an adaptation of Posy Simmond’s British comic strip, Tamara Drewe. It stars Gemma Arterton, who may or may not be cute enough to make up for her obnoxious over-enunciating. I can’t decide. Anyway, the plot seems to be that she gets a nose job and then bangs everyone. Looks great.

According to Wikipedia, the plot is a little bit more extravagant than that. But not by much:

Set in Ewedown, a fictitious village in Dorset, England. Tamara Drewe, a young and attractive journalist, returns home with the intention of selling her now-deceased mother’s house which she has inherited. Locals are amazed at the improvement in her appearance after she had a nose job while away. Andy had been interested in her when she was a girl, and when he sees her now it is clear he is attracted. Across the valley is a neighbour’s house where authors stay to work on their stories, but the husband, Nicholas, keeps having affairs while his wife stays at home providing food and lodging for her patrons. At one point he embarks on an affair with Tamara, after she finishes with boy-band drummer Ben, whose dog Boss enjoys chasing cows. Andy has been asked by Tamara to work on the house so she can sell it, and he becomes aware of the affairs, as do two local schoolgirls (Jody and Casey) who cause some havoc by throwing eggs at cars and interfering with Tamara’s emails. Jody ‘loves’ Ben and when he leaves Ewedown after the Tamara affair, Jody uses her wiles to lure him back, where she is found out and told-off. Meanwhile Beth, the jilted housewife running the writers’ retreat, is befriended and then loved by one of her lodgers, and she easily persuades him to stay when her husband Nick is killed in an accident. By this time the true love of Andy and Tamara brings them together, Tamara deciding to stay in Ewedown after all.

So the first review did hit all the high points — she gets a nose job and then bangs everyone.

As far as seeing it, well I only recognize Mary Reilly, Dirty Pretty Things and Dangerous Liaisons. They all moved pretty slowly, so I think I’ll wait for it to come out on Netflix instant. But yes, Gemma is certainly a looker.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself… XXIX

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Tim Kowal:

[L]et’s not pretend that liberals want to stop with just preventing their neighbors from dying bleeding in the street. They also insist on legislation to prevent their neighbors from being hungry, fat, underpaid, overpaid, jobless, overworked, pensionless, discontent, demoralized, bored, underutilized, untrained, unskilled, feckless, useless, or otherwise pitiable for whatever reason. When the haplessness of man has become the universal incitement to political action, there can be no end to the work of an energetic and meddlesome state.

Hat tip to Professor Mondo.

Darth Sheen

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Okay, fine, one more joke at the expense of Mr. Winning…

With a grateful hat tip to Robert S. McCain.

Crystal Meth Hallucination League

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Flying snakes.

Public Sector Unions Are Doomed

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The facts are accurate, so far as I can see, and the viewpoint is an entirely legitimate one. Is there any substantial reason to be offered why every sixth grade class should not spare the nine minutes to view this from beginning to end?

Back in my day, we were entirely ignorant of just how much unchecked power had been moved around, when it happened and why. We remained ignorant of it into adulthood; some people maintain their ignorance to this very day, in fact, work hard at it.

Clinging to the “Bitter Clinger” Stereotype, and Bitterly

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

William A. Jacobson has had enough. The Obama administration, through the actions of those who seek to defend it and apologize for it, has done more to aggravate racial tension in our nation than any force of national politics in the last twenty years or so. And Obama Himself is not innocent.

If you have followed this series, you have seen the absurd depths to which liberal pundits and political operatives will go to inject race into non-racial situations, and to explain almost all opposition to Obama as implicitly if not explicitly racist.

This stereotyped view of opposition to Obama derives not only from liberal dogma, but from Obama himself.
Remember, Obama made his bitter clinger comments before there was a Tea Party movement, before there was opposition to what would become Obamacare, before Sarah Palin was a national figure, and before Obama had even won the nomination.
While Obama says he wants a post-racial American, in fact Obama bitterly clings to bitter clinger stereotypes.

Leftist ambitions have a balkanizing effect on people by their very nature. And leftist politics do not, and can not, unify people.

Go through the entire list of leftist positions on things…one by one. Put together as big a list as you can possibly manage — now, take out the ones that have to do with giving the state new powers over its citizens. So take out ObamaCare, take out the First Lady’s anti-obesity initiative, take out gun control…

There’s still an awful lot left there, isn’t there? But out of what remains, you’ll notice something interesting: Every single agenda item can be summed up with the statement “Group X should have Right Y.” And, more disturbingly, you’ll see the leftists are saying anyone outside of Group X should be deprived of Right Y. So they spend a lot of time and energy saying certain people don’t count in some way. You don’t count as a person if you’re still in your mother’s womb. You aren’t really being double-taxed if your parents’ estate is subject to the Death Tax. You don’t have a right to work if you don’t belong to the union — at least, not a right so sacrosanct as the right enjoyed by people in that union. It isn’t logically possible to discriminate against you if you’re white (you kind of have it coming anyway). Girls are entitled to set-asides in higher education, even when they outnumber boys in the student body, are performing better academically, have always been the focus of our society’s efforts to make people safer and more secure, and on average have much brighter futures than their male counterparts.

Everyone inside some perimeter is to receive some entitlement — and anybody outside of it, doesn’t count in the same way. You’ve got to join our club in order to get the perks.

This doesn’t unify people, doesn’t bring people together. It fragments them, drives them apart. It’s been true of leftist politics for generations, Obama is just the latest demonstration of this truth.

“Stop Booing When All I Want is Applause”

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Blogger friend Phil has an open mind, and has been talking to some smart people.

Well I guess it came to a head with that liberal friend over on Facebook. I got a note from him yesterday basically saying why don’t we just talk about the things we have in common.

We’re not close, but we go way back. I don’t know why that makes a difference to me, but it does. Part of it is that I know he’s intelligent and I have hope that he’ll snap out of it. Which is one reason I challenged his constant dribble of links to articles telling everyone how stupid conservatives are. He says he posts them because he finds them “interesting” or “amusing”, and the gist of his message was, between the lines as my buddy in KC observed, “Stop Booing When All I Want is Applause“.

I said I would respect his wishes and basically stop countering his posts on his wall with my opinions. I’ll stand by that. I’m a man of my word.

But Morgan had a good point when I talked to him about it. He said in situations like that he just politely tells in a world where silence=consent and he does not consent — if they want his silence they need to post it somewhere where he can’t see or comment on it. Force them into the shadows for a change.

So … that dude’s granfathered in. Unless and until he breaks his own part of the bargain.

But … it goes against my Stop An Echo campaign. So I’ll need to watch my acquiescence in the future.

The left needs constant reassurance about following their agenda. I suppose they should need it; the rest of us have a track record of becoming disenchanted and revolted with it whenever we’re better informed about it. But that doesn’t explain all of their insatiable lust for more and more reassurance. Recently the current Defense Secretary said that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.” That’s as much of a victory as they should ever want. That was the goal, after all.

But still the relentless campaign continues, like a juggernaut. At Thanksgiving, in the office, on Facebook, it’s always reminder-time. Bush stupid, Obama awesome, Palin a dimwit, Iraq a mistake.

Say a single word in rebuttal, and you’re the problem.

Well you know what? That’s the kind of double-standard that is effective only if the victim consents to it. Hence my comment to Phil about silence being consent. That’s what they expect, want, depend on. Chaos gets to babble away with whatever, it’s always the job of order to sit in respectful stewing silence.

Well, yeah. I don’t want to be a dick about it, but then again we’re talking about situations where the other person started the conversation. Which I notice is usually the case, especially with the Palin-is-a-dimwit conversations.

So yes, I have a reply. I think that’s fair — I do not consent. If they want to peel off with nonsense and struggle upward on their little social ladder, and not hear a single syllable of disagreement from anyone, it’s their job to keep the conversation out of my sight. They’re the ones who want it that way. They have to unfriend or unfollow me/us.

If they want a monologue instead of a dialogue, they have to say so. They have to admit that’s what they want. That their argument is too flimsy to withstand anything but obligatory agreement.

It’s called being stigmatized; being driven underground. And yes you’re damn right it’s high time it happened to them.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

A More Sensible Charlie

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Now that Carlos “Winning” Estevez has peaked, and I’ve finally managed to properly learn the first name of one of my oldest blogger friends, let’s go for something that is solidly put together & makes some sense.

Voices around the world, from Europe to America to Libya, are calling for U.S. intervention to help bring down Moammar Gaddafi. Yet for bringing down Saddam Hussein, the United States has been denounced variously for aggression, deception, arrogance and imperialism.

A strange moral inversion, considering that Hussein’s evil was an order of magnitude beyond Gaddafi’s. Gaddafi is a capricious killer; Hussein was systematic. Gaddafi was too unstable and crazy to begin to match the Baathist apparatus: a comprehensive national system of terror, torture and mass murder, gassing entire villages to create what author Kanan Makiya called a “Republic of Fear.”

Moreover, that systemized brutality made Hussein immovable in a way that Gaddafi is not. Barely armed Libyans have already seized half the country on their own. Yet in Iraq, there was no chance of putting an end to the regime without the terrible swift sword (it took all of three weeks) of the United States.

Well, better put together & making more sense than that which it seeks to analyze, anyway. How do you explain fashion? It is, by nature, inexplicable, and it remains so in spite of generations of people who’ve made the attempt to xplick. Just the bell bottom trousers by themselves are an unworkable conundrum. We haven’t even gotten to the polyester suits, the muttonchop sideburns, the butt crack pants from the nineties…voting for Barack Obama…

I see all the talk about “blood for oil, how dare they, war criminals, blah blah blah” as on exactly the same level. Pet rocks, lava lamps, face tattoos, Good Lord how did we ever survive.

Thus it is with all the wailing, all the railing, against the invasion of Iraq for the last eight years or so. It still seems “hip”…kinda…to some. So the fad is staggering along. Well big deal, the droopy butt crack pants lasted fifteen years or so.

That hot new trend of leftist chanting against our move into Iraq, is ultimately going to take its place somewhere between the Whig party and Jim Crow laws. Solid, durable logic is not a requirement for an idea’s longevity across a decade or so; but for it to last throughout the generations, it starts to come into play. “Saddam was a harmless kitten” doesn’t meet the standard.