Archive for December, 2011

Dinner Matters

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

President Obama writes to me:

Barack ObamaMorgan –

About the deadline tonight: It matters.

If you can, please give $3 or more today:

http://my.democrats.org/By-Midnight

To 2012,

Barack

I write back to President Obama:

Barack –

What’s so important about it? Behind Your link, the only mention of a deadline is dinner with You. Are You saying, dinner with You is what matters?

I don’t think you should put a lot of stock into me meeting this deadline. Here we get into something that, if President Obama agreed with me about each and every little issue, He’d still be irritating the piss out of me…and I know it’s not a racist thing because if He was white I’d be every bit as irritated.

This whole imperial-presidency thing. Kiss my ring. Touch my robe. You lucky schmuck, you…things matter when & because I say they matter. I never make mistakes because if I ever do anything wrong, it becomes, right on the spot, the correct way of doing it.

Forget about whether this is in harmony with our Constitution or the principles it is supposed to uphold. Forget about whether there is or isn’t such a thing as a national DNA, and whether our character would tolerate it. There are, right now, three living ex-Presidents; “five alive” is not unheard-of.

We can’t have a Sultan. Sure, we can have celebrities, and the president can be a celebrity…and I suppose if you’ve got a chance to have dinner with a celebrity, it might “matter.” But I can read between the lines, I understand West Wing metrosexual-speak. “It matters” doesn’t mean “it matters greater than zero,” it’s a catch-phrase that means drop everything else you might be doing now and think about only this.

This is a dumb idea. It demonstrates, clearly, to the undecided moderates who actually decide elections, that President Obama is not the solution, and may very well actually be the problem.

I hope, for the good of the nation, that He keeps doing things like this.

It matters.

Memo For File CLI

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Item: I notice it’s been an entire year since the “Don’t Touch My Junk” revolt against the TSA, which is now a whole decade old and has yet to stop a single terrorist attack. And in that year, I haven’t flown. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to see many years come and go before I fly. Not because I’m afraid of heights, but because I don’t like being treated like a barnyard animal to be herded around, the situation’s become completely unraveled and completely absurd. Confiscating cupcakes, fer cryin’ out loud.

Item: The current crop of presidential candidates is receiving some dismal report cards on the subject of illegal immigration. We should expect to see these grades diminish even further over time, since it’s clear that our votes are being diluted by invaders who simply hop the fence and punch ballots. We don’t know when they do it, but very little is being done to stop them from it so it’s silly to argue that they aren’t. Especially when our politicians, and candidates for their offices, work so hard at pandering to the invaders when the people whose votes are supposed to count, clearly want the problem to be addressed more directly.

Item: I see warning signs everywhere that, to put it plainly, make me want to vomit. This [blank] uses [chemicals/materials] known to [regulatory entity] to cause [malady]. Warnings everywhere. The list of things I can’t do is long, and growing longer, but I’m not any safer and neither is anybody else. Can’t jaywalk. Can’t order beer to be delivered with my pizza. The ammunition downstairs is going to last a good long time, since here in California firearms are only for the designated range…which means I only shoot paper targets. Not empty wine jugs like I used to do with my Dad. As for the poor unfortunates who are kids today, they have to wear helmets to do everything. Don Surber points out that me getting fat is now a national security issue…and so is everything else. Safe, safe, safe — whatever we can do, is something someone hasn’t quite gotten around to stopping us from doing quite yet. Whatever rules haven’t been written, haven’t been written yet.

What do these three items tell me about our guiding social ethic? Two things.

On a cosmetic level at least, it is very important to us that nothing bad ever happens to anybody, even if they richly deserve it. One of my favorite John Wayne quotes, which he likely never actually said, is “Life’s tough; it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” I don’t care if it’s apocryphal because it’s true, and don’t ask me how I know. Let’s just say I can vouch for it. Well, apparently someone doesn’t like that and is trying to undo it, to make life just as painless for stupid people as it is for smart people…which is not something that’s gonna happen.

Still & all, it is nice to see life valued.

Oh no wait, we can see that’s not really happening…because of the other thing we notice from the above items…notwithstanding the discussion to ensue about how effective these safety precautions might be, we see safety is not the most important thing. One of my most favorite things to observe & inquire is, on these commercial passenger jet trips I’m not taking, after I pass through the random screening and am safely ensconced into my seat, I will be required to power down my cell phone and any other electronic device. We’re not completely sure why that is, but it’s got to do with safety so we all just bow down and genuflect before the safety gods as we always do. Well hey…I’m seeing a burgeoning cottage industry crop up around diagnosing adults with learning disabilities…what if the pilot of my plane has a learning disability? The statistics, and the description of the symptoms, make it clear that this is a much bigger issue for my safety than any silly ol’ cell phone. Can I demand to be given this information? Can I switch planes? Maybe such a diagnosis should be a disqualification from applying for a single-engine or multi-engine pilot’s license.

You know the answer to this already. It’s a complete non-starter to talk about what the afflicted can be disqualified from doing. Heck, it’s a stretch for us to admit blind people shouldn’t drive cars. Now if you want to talk about what the diagnosed qualify for, we can drone on about that all day long.

So from this, I’m discerning that we have two rules in place — on which we never actually voted, but from which we’ll brook no deviation, we’ll tolerate no violation, and yes, we pass judgment on the character of our fellow citizens according to not only their compliance with these rules, but their enthusiasm for so complying. One, we don’t discriminate. Ever. If we do, we make sure we discriminate in the “right” direction. Two, human life is precious. It is so precious that we have to make sure everyone is out of danger, all the time, no matter what, and we seem bound and determined to keep writing more and more safety rules until everyone lives forever.

But here is the strange, weird, inexplicable thing about this guiding social ethic: We’re not that militant about the safety thing, because there is a decided elevation of Rule One above Rule Two. If we have to discriminate to save a life, all of a sudden our safety is about as important as yesterday morning’s used coffee grounds. And I also notice, thinking on it some more, that there is a noticeable and repeatedly-demonstrated “appearance of impropriety” aspect to Rule One that does not apply to Rule Two. Fulfilling the substance of Rule Two, is an objective made inferior to the fulfillment of the cosmetics of Rule One.

And so what I find immediately perplexing, here, is that vertical alignment between Rule One and Rule Two. Would it not make a great deal more sense, and manifest a more sincere respect for the values enshrined in the rules, if Rule Two were to be elevated in importance and passion above Rule One? Things the way they are, our message seems to be: You have an absolute right to stay alive forever, and once you’re alive you can enjoy the benefits of non-discrimination, just keep in mind that if we have to discriminate against someone else to keep you safe and alive, you’re screwed. What, then, is our goal? What is our vision? A level playing field or no playing field at all? It starts to look kind of like Animal Farm: All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. Or a competitive sport taking place on such a level-playing-field, with no score kept, everyone gets a trophy for showing up, except if you are caught saying or doing something politically incorrect you get disqualified from the game and can’t go out for pizza afterward. There’s something phony about that; either everyone counts, or some people don’t, but you can’t have it both ways. Would it not make more sense to say: You have a right to exist, and since you’re here we’re going to work as hard as we can to make sure you’re treated fairly — short of putting undue jeopardy on that other guy’s right to exist. That, it seems to me, would make better sense.

Maybe I’m biased because I’m a six-foot-tall straight white guy still possessing all twenty-one digits, but I think we’ve got it cockeyed, and since this is a matter far too important to be entrusted to the doltish voters, I’m not sure what can be done to fix it. I suppose it’s encouraging that we as a society have managed to maintain such strict control over three distinctly separate levels of priority: Non-discrimination, life is sacred, and everything else. That does require some sophistication. But even that, I’m afraid, is viewing the situation through rose-colored glasses.

A more cynical perspective would be that we aren’t interested in making anyone safe at all, we’re just concerned with ass-covering. And, as Surber opines, the people we put in positions of power just like to push others around. Maybe it’s a case of, a certain job will attract a certain personality type. These jobs have authority invested in them…so that’s the personality type they attract. Bullies.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Girandoni Air Rifle

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Another good one from GBIL.

Hilliker Letter

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Snopes says the status is undetermined (warning, link goes to the popup-infested Snopes website).

Apart from the sentence “Alex would be better off simply accepting my teachings without resistance,” which I find to be more fishy & suspect than the rest, given that the teacher has acknowledged said “teachings” were inaccurate in the paragraph previous — I’m inclined toward accepting the letter overall at face value. I’ve come to be aware, over the years, of a mindset in our public school rooms that says the real value of “education” hasn’t got much to do with education. These are the people that say the students aren’t there to learn that two and two make four, quite so much, as to learn how to behave in public. And these seem to be the same people who insist, whenever the schools fail to achieve either type of learning, the solution is to fund the system “properly”…

I also gather the impression these are the same people showing hostility toward the idea of any sort of absolute truth. This has been of vexing concern to me for quite some time, as it should concern anybody who toils at a vocation dealing with things that work a certain way because, and only because, something is true. You can’t have “your” truth when you’re building an airplane that requires so-many pounds of lift under its wings, or a bridge that requires support in this-spot and that-spot so that a so-heavy truck can drive across it.

I don’t know if the letter is real. But if it is, it is evidence of a subtle cultural conflict that we know is taking place. And we definitely have a stake in how it turns out, because this country needs to produce more planes and bridges. Of the kind that really do what they’re supposed to do.

Give Me One of Your Testicles, and I’ll Cut Off Both of That Other Guys’…

Friday, December 30th, 2011

I’m going to peg her as a lib. My fellow Starbucks patron was a redhead, still good looking although just a little past her prime. I’m thinking she was a lib because she was coaching her adorable little tyke to figure out EXACTLY what the little moppet wanted. Lefties have this strange fascination with picky kids. They seem to think we’re suffering from a shortage of them and in danger of running out of them.

My dated tee shirt exhorted people against putting democrats in charge in 2008, and her reply seemed to have something to do with not putting Republicans in charge…except she didn’t have the mettle to actually say so, instead her comments had to do with both sides sucking equally. Uh huh…the old stop-expecting-anything argument.

Not sure if that’s where she was going. It’s not working with me, because I’m not looking forward to the upcoming simplified tax form:

Besides of which, you can’t realize a success if you can’t recognize a fail. That’s like, pre-pre-pre step one. If you’re going to make a chili you really think has a chance of winning, or if at the very least you’re going to try not to poison the judges, you have to form an understanding of what doesn’t go in. Spot the fails.

Now if our lefty advocacy groups and election committees are forming a “grassroots” effort to keep the current crop in charge, and the argument they’re trying to put in circulation on the social networks and in the coffee shops is one of “Ah, what’s the use, both sides stink on ice, just bend over and relax your sphincter, maybe apply a little bit o’ lube and it’ll go in easier” — and that’s the very best argument they have to offer — that’s a pretty good definition of a fail. Especially in this case, right? Obama was elected with a super-majority in the Senate, and He said the economy would get better and the oceans would start to go down. And then Holy Man was given two-to-four years along with trillions of dollars for His pet projects. Now it’s time to face the music and we’re back to golly-gee-it’ll-take-time-for-Him-to-fix-the-screwups-of-the-last-guy…yeah, well, sorry there’s a certain shelf life for that line, and it’s done past it.

Saw an e-mail being circulated, someone makes the point that the nation can survive Barack Obama, but it cannot survive the ignorance that got Him elected. That’s my viewpoint on the situation. The thing that’s really going to kill us is this sense that, since both sides are bad, it really doesn’t matter who’s in charge and what’s-the-use-of-trying. I understand and respect that people have their reasons for feeling a sense of futility. My request is that if they must demonstrate this sense of futility and defeatism, they do it by staying home and not voting. That’s only reasonable, I think. It may not be an effective expression of the apathy, but it would be an honest one. And hey, if we’re looking for an honest expression of apathy, then the question arises naturally, in fact, pretty much out of the very definition — What the heck do you care?

I’m seeing a lot of concern about the swelling dependency class. Been seeing it for years. In 2009, some 59 million tax returns showed no liability. My point here is, although this shows a real problem with “skin in the game” and it does herald the rapid approach of a tipping point, at the far end of which we’ll see a perpetually-defeated and disenfranchised minority laboring under the yoke of paying for all these wonderful bennies, this is not our biggest problem.

I think the biggest problem the country has right now, bigger even than the dependency class voting in crooks and thieves to grab free stuff and give it to ‘em, is that other voting bloc represented and appealed-to by the Ann-Margret look-alike in Starbucks. The ones who feel a sense of resignation, a sense of what’s-the-use-of-trying, but somehow — inexplicably — feel passionate about this sense of resignation, and eager to spread it around as much as they can. Come to think of it, this has a lot to do with teaching your kid to pick out exactly the perfect flavor of granola bar at Starbucks. She’s from my generation, and this is one of the more risible weirdnesses of my generation — we’ve been conditioned to think choosing solves everything. Would you like me to steal your money by holding you up with a gun, or a knife? Burn your house down with gasoline or oil-soaked rags? The important thing is to express, to take an active part in the process!

I don’t think the democrats can win another term just by appealing to the people who want to be given free stuff. I think, if that’s the game plan, the electorate will eventually wise up. It always has. People get tired of it. The real danger, from what I can see, is with the Pleasure of Being Nasty voter.

I don’t think we’re going to be done in by the voter who is demanding a net gain. I think the viper we’ve been holding at our bosom is the voter who’s acclimated to a net loss, the one who’s resigned himself to getting screwed.

You’re reading that and you’re saying “Why Freeberg, that’s completely absurd! You’re saying the ones who are most likely to re-elect Obama and all His friends, are the ones who recognize that this is nothing but a big ol’ band of bloodsuckers and thieves — and say so constantly?”

And I reply, in turn: Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

People who feel a sense of defeat, want like the dickens for everyone else to feel the same sense of defeat. Or, at least, be forced to live under it.

You play a game of Monopoly with four people, two of the players are bankrupt and no longer in the game — they don’t want the other two to be playing for much longer. It’s a part of human nature no one wants to talk about.

I think the big spoiler of 2012, who can really make the elections go the wrong way, is the voter who’s expecting the shaft. He’s at the point now where the disappointment has been so long expected that there will be a whole new disappointment if there isn’t disappointment.

He doesn’t have any expectation left for an honest government, so he doesn’t want anybody else to have such an expectation either. He doesn’t have any sense of hope left, so he doesn’t want anyone else to have some. And worst of all, when His Divine Eminence gives all these “uh uh uh” speeches about getting even with the millionaires-and-billionaires on their “corporate jets,” I get the feeling He’s addressing people who know they’re about to get screwed, the ones who understand they’re about to lose even more. They’re straight out of the Pleasure of Being Nasty experiment.

They want to lose a portion of what they have left, maybe all of it, just to make sure someone else loses something too. And the really sick thing is, they think it’s a net gain for them, if the magnitude of loss they are about to sustain is less than the loss sustained by the other guy.

They lose a nut. Some stranger they’ll never meet, loses two.

You can’t realize success if you can’t recognize fail. I call this a fail, because — if for no other reason — the government, which means that creep in Congress, that crook everyone recognizes is a crook, and nobody has anything good to say about him, certainly not about his integrity or his character or his trustworthiness as a steward of public resources…he makes off with three nuts.

If we know someone is spending resources foolishly, it’s a fail when you give him more. It doesn’t matter who’s bearing the burden; an increased investment in something stupid and dumb, means a fail. Maybe that’s what the slogan needs to be.

#43

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Out of the 50 Best Political Quotes of 2011:

Poverty in Egypt, or anywhere else, is not very difficult to explain. There are three basic causes: People are poor because they cannot produce anything highly valued by others. They can produce things highly valued by others but are hampered or prevented from doing so. Or, they volunteer to be poor.

Walter Williams.

“I Hate This Field”

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Gerard really knows how to find ‘em. A comment that serves as a fitting epitaph for twenty eleven, and a less than cheerful fanfare for the beginning of twenty twelve. Commenter magicbeans:

I hate this field. What we should have had was Christie, Palin, Ryan, Rubio, West and Jindal. That could have been amazing. Instead we got the second stringers and its just impossible to make a choice that doesn’t feel like a disappointment. At least for me.

My own personal choice is to draft Paul Ryan for 2012 but it isn’t going to happen. We will be stuck with Romney or Gingrich and if we manage to win who knows if they will do what needs to be done to shrink the government. Their history says no.

The most passionate desire of the electorate, and the taxpayers, is crystal-clear. And even at this early stage, the most likely achievement of the 2012 election event is going to be to give the national agenda a mighty shove in the opposite direction. The new year isn’t even here yet, and it’s looking a lot more like 1936 than 1980, just because of the disappointing line-up arranged by the opposition.

Once again, it’s an apt time for the “Palin Must Go Home Now!” peanut gallery to line up and offer their apologies for the damage they’ve done. But we can’t hold our collective breath waiting for it.

“It’s Only Congress That is Limited”

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Prelutsky:

One of the many things that make liberals so obnoxious is their hypocrisy. For instance, when campaigning against Christmas symbols, they make a mantra of “separation of church and state,” although those words never appear in the Constitution. They appeared in a letter that Thomas Jefferson addressed to the members of the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association. While insisting that a person’s religious beliefs were a personal matter, he did not expand upon the Constitution’s very specific wording, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Nothing there that prohibits communities from doing whatever they want to do in the way of celebrating Christmas or any other religious holiday. It’s only Congress that is limited. The Founders had a legitimate distrust of the federal government and they didn’t want to risk the establishment of something akin to the Church of England. But they weren’t quaking in their boots over decorated fir trees standing in the town square or people wishing one another a Merry Christmas.

When it serves their purpose, liberals like to quote Jefferson and pretend that he is one with them. However, pretending that Jefferson, the man who filled his Declaration of Independence with references to the Creator and inalienable rights, those rights that can only be granted by God, was an atheist is the sort of self-serving rubbish that liberals make a practice of promoting.
:
The world of liberalism, I’ve concluded, is full of bubbles. There’s one bubble filled with liberal arts professors, another filled with mainstream journalists, a third for defense attorneys, a fourth for actors, screenwriters and directors, and so on. These bubbles serve as self-contained universes. It’s not that these vacuum-packed elitists are unaware that other people exist, but they regard them as a sub-species, only fit to buy their newspapers, watch their TV shows, purchase their CDs and pony up their kids’ college tuition. They refer to these suckers contemptuously as the folks they fly over. But even at ground level, liberals feel that they tower, morally and intellectually, over these inferior specimens.

My friend, Bernie Goldberg, who spent nearly 30 years in the trenches at CBS studying liberals in their own environment, came to the conclusion, as he wrote recently, that liberals regard themselves as moderates for the same reason that fish are unaware they’re wet. They simply have no other frame of reference.

Carve that one into every marble building along the Capitol Mall, right at eye level: It’s only Congress that is limited. And then put a wreath on the building. It’s okay to express “Occupy Wall Street” thoughts and ideas within line-of-sight of a federal building, even though many taxpaying citizens do not agree with those thoughts and do not support them. So what the heck. Hang a wreath.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

“Lie of the Year” Backlash

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

PolitiFact has been receiving some blowback from progressive bloggers. It’s happening because they named, as the lie of the year, a democrat party lie which is, of course, not something that is supposed to be happening. For writing about this backlash they are now receiving some more.

But FactCheck agrees with them about the lie-of-the-year thing, and so does The Washington Post.

File this one under “It feels like abuse when the ass-kissing stops.”

Ezra Klein, founder of Journolist, the cyber-star-chamber in which lefty journalists could conspire with each other to massage the news for the benefit of the all-important lefty agenda, opined that the fact-checker model is probably unsustainable over the long term. I agree with him, but not for the reasons he offers.

The problem that has been consistently encountered, is with the sensible concern. In 2009, Sarah Palin had a sensible concern about “death panels” and that ended up being the Lie of the Year back then. Turned out, she was right. Ah, but PolitiFact could claim they were in the right as well — and they did: “There is no panel in any version of the health care bills in Congress that judges a person’s ‘level of productivity in society’ to determine whether they are ‘worthy’ of health care.”

See, that’s the problem: A so-called “fact checker” can — as part of his mission statement — turn a blind eye to anything that is a worrisome, even likely, near-future development, which would of course capture the the attention of an interested stakeholder who thinks these things through logically, but in a human-like way. There is a sensible concern that you’ll start a fire if you smoke while pumping gas in your car, even though we can’t find anecdotal evidence of this actually happening. There is a sensible concern that talking on your cell phone will screw up the controls of the passenger jet in which you’re seated, although it could be characterized as a “myth” because, again, it hasn’t happened. Come to think of it, our post-9/11 procedures for boarding that jet in the first place, are based on sensible concerns (although this is debatable) that have yet to stop any mid-air act of terrorism, or any other debacle, one single time.

Washington Post has named it one of the biggest lies of the year, that President Obama has “apologized for America.” It rates four Pinnochios. And yet, does it really make sense to dismiss the claim? Can an observer do just that, and claim the “facts” are on his side, confident that something hasn’t gone sailing over his head? Hasn’t an apologetic stance been an established overtone, intentionally infused with and consistently associated with the Obama brand, since the campaign trail?

And yet on Planet Fact Checker, this is jettisoned as a loathed urban myth. It never happened.

So yes, the fact-checker model cannot survive long, just as you’ll not be very long driving a car that lacks any suspension. The fact checkers skate on by, liberated from any fact-checking by anybody else that actually counts for something, so long as they can claim a competitively tall soapbox…so long as they issue their verdicts in such a way that they’re liked by whoever might have a taller soapbox. But on the rare occasions like this one, when they must go the other way, they get picked apart. And then, whether their “fact checking” stands up to logical scrutiny or not, an ugly truth is bound to come out: That fact checkers are human, possessing all the frailties and weaknesses of humans, including gullibility and prejudice. The motion is a jostling one, and like the jostling car without the suspension, it’s bound to fall apart sooner or later.

It’s a temporary way of getting a taller soapbox. A flash in the pan fad, like Rubik’s cubes and poodle skirts. The desires on the part of the readers to get hold of some solid, unbiased information is much more timeless and permanent. The same cannot be said for today’s way of providing it, since, as the lefty bloggers have so aptly demonstrated, the fact checker only retains his credibility when he tells his readers what they want to hear.

Bubble Sort vs. Quick Sort

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I thought this was particularly well done.

Alternate Raiders Ending

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

I LOL’d, as they say.

Happy Friday, everybody. Merry Christmas.

Death Waltz

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Credit to Prof. Moore’s magic Facebook page.

Three Prongs

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

You think that’s a reference to the Lemon Test. No, it isn’t…but it is that particular topic. Things, usually things that are part of a cherished tradition, that some busybody with authority thinks need to go the way of the Dodo bird because they’re not secular enough in nature.

My prongs are not part of any kind of test, they are observations. Observations which, from what I can tell, endure from one “War on Christmas” incident to the next…not a single one of the three ever falter or fail. There may be exceptions, somewhere, but I’m still waiting to find some. I thought of the first two when I was writing about this a short time ago, and thought of a third one as I was commenting at blogger friend Daphne’s place.

Thus far, each of the parts in the unholy trinity is universal:

The misplaced perception of injury. It seems in Anno Domini Twenty Eleven, this strange notion has set in that to deny the existence of a particular class of people is morally equivalent to actively trying to obliterate said class of people. Somehow, the atheist and the Buddhist and the Hindu and the Muslim are supposed to suffer some actual injury when they see a Nativity display on an Air Force base, like a slug writhing in agony beneath a salt shaker. The rules have not been written anywhere or vocalized by anyone — they’re too silly — so I have to figure out what they are by deductive reasoning, which tells me: You may doubt the existence of these alternative systems of belief in private. But if you display something that suggests you don’t know they’re around, that’s when the “rights” have been violated. So we all have this brand-new-manufactured-basic-human-”right” that total strangers should believe in us and our non-Judeo-Christian creeds; or, at least, if any of these total strangers do not believe in us, we have a right not to be reminded of them — our right is to remain ignorant of their ignorance. Oh, and we only have this right as members of groups, not as individuals. So if I chose not to believe in God, you’re infringing on my rights if you refuse to believe I don’t believe in God. Strangely, The Almighty is entirely lacking in exactly this right. Seems almost like a case of discrimination. Why, it is, come to think of it — they can doubt Him, but I’m in heap big trouble if I deny them. Publicly.

The protection of the command decision from the hostility of public opinion. The United States Congress did not vote on a new rule that forbids its members from writing the phrase “Merry Christmas” to constituents; a commission did that. That’s the constant. It’s always a commission, or a three-judge panel, or a board, or the concern of the community. Nobody lowers the boom with one of these crazy hyper-secular rules, and then campaigns for re-election on a platform of “I’m the guy who.” And I find that to be very strange, because the rule is supposed to be put into effect because of the exquisite agony someone is suffering due to the Christmas lights, or hearing people say “God bless you!” when they sneeze, or whatever. Supposedly, the constitutional integrity of our republic is in dire jeopardy before some super-sensible double-talking pipsqueak figures out we can’t have seasonal holly hung from the street signs downtown. If the crisis is that serious, how come these brave public servants who avert it on our behalf, don’t want to bask in our adulation and gratitude? I mean, ever?

The anonymity of the complainant. Together with the skimpy numbers of the complainant…the weakness of the arguments of the complainant…the fictional nature of the complainant! We ordinary people, in the United States anyway, enjoy a constitutional right to face our accuser. Not so with God, Jesus, Santa Claus, Old glory, or any other iconic figure caught in the cross hairs of one of these hyper-secular, busybody, pulled-out-of-someone’s-ass rules. From the anonymous airman who wrote to have the Nativity scene removed from Travis AFB, to the apartment manager lady who demanded an American flag be taken down because someone in the “diverse community” might be offended…we’re never actually introduced to anybody who’s born the brunt of this abuse of having to lay eyes upon such an icon. A goodly measure of the time, the strutting martinet in question will actually go on record and admit there is no such complainant, the offensive display is being removed as a precaution, for the benefit of the theoretically offended. Now give this one a good think…when is the last time you wrote a letter to City Hall, or your boss, or your apartment manager, or anybody else in charge — from just you! — letting them know something made you uncomfortable, or you wanted something changed, and got that kind of satisfaction? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an experience like that to share, nor do I know anybody who has. Like, wow! These must be some great letter writers!

Let’s just quit beating around the bush. This has nothing to do with religion at all. The American Flag doesn’t represent a religion. Christmas tinsel is not religious. Nobody’s lying awake at night, chewing their fingernails in apprehension that some portion of their tax dollars are being spent on displays that are associated with a popular view of Creation that they don’t share.

This is an attack on tradition. It is a coordinated attack, one that is insulated from the ballot box, out of concern that it could not survive a chance brush with it. If those who are sympathetic to this attack, felt that they could still engage in it after they were told “Wait for a real live person to be offended, then give us a call, we’ll have a town meeting about it” — they’d be doing exactly that.

But they cannot press their attack on those terms. Because it would be like nose-picking with a wet noodle, and they know it. And then the voters would be able to tell them what they thought of that excessive waste of time…and they know that, too.

MTYTB

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Ann Barnhardt, in On Vomiting and Crazy Eyes, 12/19/11-2116 MST, hat tip to Gerard:

If you asked me who I would rather have a conversation with: an atheist or a “my truth your truth bullshit” pseudo-Christian, I’d take the atheist, without hesitation every time. You can have a productive, informative conversation with an atheist. An atheist actually believes something. He has a premise, and he believes in his premise, and is probably able to defend his premise in a rational way. In other words, there’s some meat on those bones.

In contrast, the “my truth your truth bullshit” (MTYTB) pseudo-Christian is a vapid, inane empty shell. The lights are on, but Dude, NOBODY’S HOME. To wit, Oprah Winfrey…The Truth just IS. It EXISTS. IT IS WHAT IT IS, or to quote God Himself speaking to Moses in Exodus 3:14, I AM WHO AM. 1+1 equaled 2 from all eternity, and 1+1 equaled 2 before any human being had yet pondered the question, and 1+1 will continue to equal 2 forever. Even if every person falls into some mathematical stupor or heresy and collectively become convinced that 1+1=5, 1+1 will still equal 2. That will never, ever change.

The Truth is a PERSON, more personal and more real than you or me. His name is Jesus Christ. What the MTYTB pseudo-Christians are actually doing is denying the existence of God and instead setting themselves up as “god” because they cast themselves as the arbiter and standard of “truth”. Hence, “my truth”. What utter, abject evil. Even the atheist does not do this. The atheist still maintains that there is an exterior truth to himself, and that the truth is that there is no God. The atheist is WRONG, but at least he doesn’t deify himself and still acknowledges that there is an external, referential matrix.

That’s part one. In part two…

Pick your side, but spare me, and more particularly, spare Christ this “my truth your truth” pantheistic Oprah Winfrey slackjawed bullshit…
:
If a culture subscribes to the “my truth your truth” line, then what inevitably happens is that the people who have the coercive power in a society begin to impose “their truth” upon everyone else. In other words, whoever has the guns and the power to imprison becomes “god” and sets the standard of “truth” in a society. We are watching this happen right now before our very eyes. The Obama regime is telling Catholics that they WILL provide contraceptives and abortions because these things are “rights” according to “their truth”. They are also telling Catholics that they WILL place adoptive children with homosexuals, and very soon they will also demand that Catholic priests marry homosexuals, because homosexuality is “normal” according to “their truth”, and they have the power to destroy people via the IRS and other governmental bureaucracies, so therefore “their truth” wins. They are telling the MF Global customers that the expectation of respect of property rights and the enforcement of contract law is unreasonable and that confiscation and theft of property by their cronies is now permitted according to “their truth”.

These psychopaths will go to any lengths, any extreme, to deny an external standard of truth, because as long as they can delude themselves and their followers into believing that lie, they set the rules, and the world and everything in it is theirs for the taking.

THIS is why Christ said that he would VOMIT the lukewarm out of His mouth, because the “my truth your truth” bullshit leads directly to hell, even though it promises to deliver a “tolerant, ecumenical utopia.” When a society falls to that evil philosophy and no one will stand and fight with “crazy eyes” for the Truth, then people will suffer and die by the millions. The ecumenical utopia you are waiting for can never and will never exist because, unlike you, the forces of evil actually believe in their satanic philosophy with a burning passion and thus will never, ever compromise or rest until they either fully infiltrate and take over or are utterly defeated. There is no third way.

And that’s why…

Thing I Know #330. A man who doesn’t know the difference between a fact and an opinion, is not to be trusted in delivering either one of those.

If everyone with a couple brain cells to rub together is capable of manufacturing truth from within, then what we’re left with is a dogma custom-built for the personality that cannot admit it’s ever wrong about anything. No conflict ever arises to confront it, because nothing in the entire universe can be measured.

What sort of personality is attracted to such a dogma? Not, contrary to appearances and rhetoric, the sort that finds compromise attractive or appealing. This is the crazy-eyed personality that wants to get to the fun part, and skip past the parts that are too boring…you know, the part where it wins, and anybody who disagrees, loses.

Poopy Christmas

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

…er…”puppy” Christmas…

Hat tip to blogger friend Buck.

This Is Good XCI

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Rats

Monday, December 19th, 2011

A parable.

Once, there was a man who had to deal with rats when he had a major infestation in his home.

The rats’ normal environment became unable to support them all, and they began coming down from the hills looking for new digs… and decided they liked the man’s house. They were perfectly happy to hunker down in the attic, garage and basement with free access to the goodies in the kitchen and pantry. And once they had moved in and saw what rich booty was to be had, they were determined to take over.

At first the problem wasn’t evident. The man would see an occasional rodent scurrying around in the basement, and being a live and let live sort, it never bothered him too much.

As more and more rats began showing up, their presence became much more noticeable. The man made an effort to understand the rats and their needs. The thought even crossed the man’s mind that he and his neighbors, by living in the area, owed it to the rats to try and coexist peacefully. After all weren’t they entitled to live on the planet too?

An Occupy Christmas

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The People’s Cube:

Twas an Occupy Christmas, when all through Zuccotti
Not a creature was stirring, not even the naughty.
Their demands were all sorted and stacked with care,
In hopes that Obama Claus soon would be there.

The Progs lay smug in their makeshift beds,
While hopes of entitlements danced in their heads.
Adorned by those cool proletarian caps,
Most had to sleep near where Comrades had crapped.

…and it keeps going on like that. Timely, funny and fresh.

Unemployment Benefits Create Jobs?

Monday, December 19th, 2011

San Fran Nan insists that must be the case:

“Christmas is 10 days away,” said Pelosi at a press briefing on Capitol Hill today. “The president and Democrats in Congress have been very clear. We’re not going home without enacting a payroll tax cut for America’s working families and extending unemployment insurance for millions of Americans.”

“The payroll tax cut that the president proposed would put $1,500 in the pockets of 160 million Americans,” she said. “The unemployment insurance extension is not only good for individuals. It has a macroeconomic impact. As macroeconomic advisers have stated, it would make a difference of 600,000 jobs to our economy.”

Pelosi did not name those “macroeconomic advisers.” She continued: “Again this is important because this is about the safety net not just for these individuals, but for our economic system that, in times of unemployment, we have a safety net and that is important.”

This is a constant in progressive rhetoric, I notice. Put the money where we tell you to put it…and, see, when you do that, [whoever gets it] is going to spend it, and that will invigorate the economy and create jobs. Wheeeee! Whereas, if the money was left with whoever had it in the first place, who knows what they’d do with it. Wipe their butts with it or something…

Neal Boortz does his best to present the counterpoint, although some certainly won’t appreciate the message too much:

The fact is that the money for unemployment benefits comes from somewhere: either we get it from taxes or we borrow it. This is money that could have otherwise been productive in our economy or money that we didn’t have and now we have to pay back (with interest) sometime in the future. Hence why Nancy Pelosi’s theory is flawed. We can’t create jobs by simply shifting around the wealth.

Last time we were having this back-and-forth about unemployment benefits and jobs, this guy explained it very well:

If it seems counter-intuitive that paying people to not work actually raises the output of a nation, that’s because it is.

Nevertheless, a number of major media outlets have repeatedly quoted reputable economists as saying that the best way to boost the nation’s economy is to continue extending aid packages to America’s unemployed workers. Depending on the economist, the quoted return is anywhere from $1.61 to $1.90 for every dollar spent on extending unemployment benefits.

The logic here is that recipients of unemployment benefits tend to spend the money soon after receiving it, and they spend it on essentials such as groceries and bills, rather than on frivolities like dining out or going to the movies. Since the benefits are spent this way, it creates a ripple effect that actually helps drive the economy.

Unfortunately, the positive impact of these benefits on the economy is neither sustainable nor viable over the long term. Although the short-term benefits provide an immediate relief, it is the kind of relief an addict feels after a fix. The initial high will eventually fade and the pain of withdrawal will settle in worse than before.

In fact, the addiction analogy works on a number of levels when it comes to extending unemployment benefits. Although the relief felt by both the economy and the addict is real, the source of the relief is artificial. Rather than experiencing the genuine economic relief that comes in the form of an increased demand for goods and services, the federal government is infusing the economy with borrowed capital that must eventually be paid back. This means that even after the economy begins to recover, the effects of the recovery won’t be felt by the bulk of Americans until this borrowed money is repaid.

And for those who are demanding some hard research, rather than theory (even though what the theory is saying, is that you can’t sit in a sailboat and make it go by blowing into the sails), there is some:

Simply put, it took people with unemployment benefits longer to find jobs than those without benefits. That alone may indicate that unemployment insurance is a disincentive to find work, but the study’s author, Dr. Carl Van Horn, says that is not exactly accurate.

“Younger workers with limited labor experience are much less likely to be eligible for unemployment benefits” said Dr. Van Horn, and they don’t even apply for benefits.

The study found that unemployed workers who had not received unemployment insurance in the past year were somewhat younger and had lower incomes to begin with than unemployed workers who had received benefits.

Dr. Van Horn says those younger workers tend to, “…earn slightly more than minimum wage, they are high school graduates, they cycle through jobs very rapidly and don’t stay in them for long periods of time. They are the working poor they are struggling to get a job and move on.” He went on to say, “The middle class are more likely to be eligible for unemployment insurance and for them to find a replacement job that is at or near their previous earnings is much more difficult in this recession.”

Other findings indicate just how hard it is to get back on your feet in this economy. Forty three percent of the people in the study found full- or part-time jobs and just over half them took pay cuts in their new positions, while 41% were still trying to find jobs and 16% gave up and dropped out of the work force.

“What we found is that number one most of them have been unemployed for so long that receiving unemployment insurance is not sufficient to stave off the financial crisis they are experiencing” said Dr. Van Horn.

He hopes the study will dispel what he calls myths about unemployment such as “everybody gets unemployment insurance.” Dr. Van Horn says that’s not true, only a third of unemployed Americans right now actually receive benefits. He points out that some, like those younger workers, are not even eligible, others have exhausted their benefits and some never apply.

“The most important thing (about the study) is that a large number of people who don’t get unemployment insurance and even if you get unemployment insurance, it’s not a vacation, not a picnic. It doesn’t solve the financial problem they have.”

One rule of inference and prediction that has never let me down is: Everybody adapts, in some way, to everything. If consumers are feeling tight with their dollars, the businesses are going to anticipate a dwindling revenue stream and look for ways to cut expenses. If everybody picks up a certain amount of money being unemployed, then even valuable employees will be “parked” by the businesses — let go, told to re-apply, maybe we’ll re-hire you when things turn around again. If it actually works that way, then the employee has been converted into a sort of rental commodity. Rent the employees just like you’d rent a car: Define the need, pay for it as long as you need it, when you’re done return it to the state which is the actual owner of the “car.”

The government as a temp placement agency. I suppose there’s no shortage of people running around who think that’s how it’s actually supposed to work.

Once upon a time, I was a temp. It worked great for my needs, back then. I was 21, and my apartment rent was the only financial obligation I had on the entire planet.

Envision a future in which this is the picture of the average American subject/citizen. What would Speaker Nan have to say about how well the economy is doing, in such an America?

“Darth Gets Festive”

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Come to the yuletide side of The Force…it is your desssssstiny…

Hat tip to Miss Cellania.

“You Don’t Want to Get on the Wrong Side of Mekeeda”

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

London Daily Mail Online:

Demanding Mekeeda Austin, 13, warned Father Christmas that he will be ‘killed’ if he fails to deliver at least two of her long list of lavish gifts.

She even threatened to ‘hunt down’ Santa’s reindeer and ‘cook them and serve their meat to homeless people on Xmas day’ if she doesn’t get her way.

Her mother Tracey Austin, 40, was dumbstruck when she found the demanding note in her daughter’s school bag.

In the letter Mekeeda, from Brickhill, Bedford, demands a Blackberry, a designer Laura Knitted 33 Jumper, money, Converse trainers and sunglasses.

As well as gifts Mekeeda also demands Father Christmas bring her ‘the real’ Justin Bieber and teenage singer Austin Mahone.

She signs off with the chilling warning: “Remember…two of these, or you die.”

But her mother Tracey, 40, is not punishing her for the letter and has vowed to meet her daughter’s demands…”When I first found the letter I thought it was funny, now I think I better get her what she wants, the last thing I want is for her to kill Santa…I know it sounds like she is spoilt but I like to get my daughter what she wants also you don’t want to get on the wrong side of her.”

Charming.

Update: Via Miss Cellania, by way of Gerard: Wonder if this is the Santa she’s thinking of takin’ out? Wouldn’t mind being there when it all goes down; Mekeeda might’ve bitten off more than she can chew, here. Good luck Mekeeda!

The Rogues

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Memo For File CL

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Once again we’re split squarely down the middle: People who believe what they’re told to believe, think the “War on Christmas” is an artificial concoction of fiction being played up by Fox News, and people who pay attention to what’s going on understand there really is one. Examples abound, and have for years, but for purposes of our discussion here we only need one:

Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas,” if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.

Members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be “franked,” or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including “Merry Christmas,” can be sent in official mail.

“I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no ‘Merry Christmas.’ Also told cannot say ‘Happy New Year’ but can say ‘have a happy new year’ – referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday,” said a Hill staffer who requested anonymity.

Another Hill staffer told The Washington Examiner that “we were given that advice after submitting” a draft mailing.

Notice the following:

One. If a person with common sense happens to agree with this rule (since let’s face it, there is some wisdom and legitimacy to it, just not very much) — such a person would have to concede, without reservation, that if the rule were to be repealed tomorrow morning and then throughout the day, all kinds of things would happen that would’ve flouted the rule…no definable damage would be done. Absolutely none. So you have to be completely lacking in said common sense to try to prop up this notion that the rule has any purpose to it whatsoever. At all. It’s a useless rule, and no reasonable discussion of it can take place among people who do not acknowledge this much.

This is a constant in the War on Christmas. It’s a bunch of “can’t can’t can’t” with no purpose to it at all.

Two. And this is a bit more subtle: The congressmen, who are elected to their positions and are therefore accountable to the will of the electorate, are told what they can & cannot do by people who are not similarly elected, and therefore are not similarly accountable. There isn’t much point to noticing that, except for one thing…

…this, too, is a constant in the War on Christmas. Useless rules, which because of their uselessness are completely arbitrary, since they function as ethereal guardrails marking the edge of a highway that doesn’t have any such edge. And although they are arbitrary, they are enforced, enough though they are cooked up by people who are not guided by anything except for the agreement they will surely receive from other people who have the same biases and are similarly unelected and unaccountable. Such-and-such a judge says yep, something terrible will surely happen if a nativity scene is allowed within line-of-sight from the steps of City Hall, or the courthouse…and he says that, because and only because the next judge will say the same thing. Wow, it sure looks like a sensible interpretation of the Constitution, with all these unelected judges agreeing with each other! Must be one!

Boortz provides an explanation (which I’ve linked somewhere before, too lazy to go searching for that just now):

It’s simple. Just look at the cast of characters. You have government and liberals behind the attacks … almost exclusively. And why? Simple: Because it’s government we’re supposed to worship, not God. It’s government we’re supposed to look to for support in rough times, not our church. It’s government we’re supposed to look to for comfort, not our faith. In fact .. our faith is supposed to be in government, and government doesn’t like competition.

Get it now?

I see by my e-mail from Human Events, that today is the day for #351 on “365 Ways to Drive Liberals Crazy”:

Say grace before meals.
Bringing God into the picture always puts liberals ill at ease, because it reminds them you think there’s a power more important than government.

Not sure what to think of this. My deceased uncle, the Roosevelt democrat, was the one in our family who was most gung-ho about saying grace before meals. And I don’t like the idea of collecting ways to piss people off, even if they are liberals…but it does say something when it takes so little to do it. And this does provide support for what Neal Boortz has been noticing. Government is supposed to be at the tippy-top in all things, there isn’t supposed to be anything higher. And, those who make sure of this, cannot be elected or beholden to the dumb ol’ voters. They have to do this in committee, or from a bench, swinging a gavel.

In Colorado, a District Court judge has handed down an opinion that would appear to provide further evidence:

A case that has been lingering in Colorado courts since 2005 arrived at an important and historic threshold last week when a Denver District court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. In her ruling, Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport said that the State funding system of K-12 education is not “thorough and uniform.”

While that seems like a basic judgment, Judge Rappaport went on to frame a much larger ramification in her decision, and delivered the reasons why this case is almost certainly headed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In her ruling, Judge Rappaport wrote that “there is not one school district that is sufficiently funded.”

She also wrote that, “There is not enough money to permit school districts across the state to properly implement standards-based education and to meet the requirements of state law and regulation.”

In a nutshell, she has ruled that the Colorado State legislature must find a way to fund K-12 education in Colorado at a much higher level, at least a level to meet these standards, but must also do it in a way that is constitutional.

Without stating exactly how much funding would be adequate, Rappaport has asked the legislature to either ask voters to raise taxes, which voters just turned down by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, or find more funding in a state budget for a line item that already eats up more than 40% of the general fund.

While Judge Rappaport may have expected that her ruling would be appealed, if for some reason the State of Colorado decides against the appeal, Rappaport has set an impossible standard without setting any financial guidelines.

Essentially, the legislature is being told to arrive at a magical number that they know is bigger than the one they currently use, but don’t know how high they really need to go.

Hat tip goes to Protein Wisdom, where it is pointed out,

In short, the Judge has now institutionalized the idea that a proper education is tied to how much money is spent on it — this, despite years of evidence showing that per capita spending on education doesn’t correlate to better educational performance.

Many among us have had the experience of arguing with liberals about education, and how it needs to be funded “properly”…and have been confronted with the bedazzling spectacle of our rhetorical antagonist, pondering the quite rational inquiry about how-much-is-enough, doing whatever it takes to avoid providing a practical, usable answer. You know what happens, a lot of bilge comes out, I’m-a-better-person-than-you, a few sound bites they picked up from West Wing, or some homina-homina-homina until a Cheesecake Nazi bursts out of the kitchen, like a clown out of a car, to announce dessert-and-coffee-are-ready-would-everyone-stop-talking-about-politics. But no, you won’t get an answer, you won’t get 5k-per-child-per-year, or 10k, or 15k, nothing like that. Just more.

We’re accustomed to seeing that in our weird liberal friends & relatives during Thanksgiving. It’s strange there. It’s a little more strange seeing it in a court decision.

And here…at long last…I finally come to the point: I don’t think liberals believe government is good. I have long disagreed with Rush Limbaugh about this. Yes, it’s true, they’re constantly demanding more money flow into it, and if anybody dares to disagree with it the liberal will suddenly opine endlessly about what a terrible, awful person that dissenter is, he must be in favor of kids starving and puppies dying and water & air getting polluted et cetera.

Yes, it’s true also, that liberals don’t like western religion because they don’t want anything to be higher than the government. And yes, they probably have this affinity for eastern religions that they don’t have for western religions, because generally the eastern religions can co-exist with an all-powerful, in many cases tyrannical, state government. That does seem to be where they’re going, that government should be supreme and nothing can be above it.

And yes, here and there I see some liberals engaged in the belief, at least superficially, that every human endeavor that results in anything good must have come from government. File this away in your “Ways to drive a lib crazy” file: Let them know it’s absolutely true that Al Gore claimed to have created the Internet. See what kind of discussion ensues. It will almost certainly degenerate into a sermon about how we have the Internet because of the goodness of government…I’m not entirely sure what is being asserted, here, and I’m not entirely sure they know what they’re trying to say either. The OSI model provides seven well-defined layers of technological challenge, and each one of those layers do, indeed, present a fairly formidable challenge (although clearly not an insurmountable one). Particularly the Data Link, Network and Transport layers. Are they saying, a government committee was gaveled to order, and then the committee met to figure out how these packets would be sent from one peer to the next, to make a system that would actually work? They met in that hearing room and figured out what would work and what wouldn’t work? Nobody had to do any actual experimentation? Or are they saying…the experimentation was all done by competent government people while the private-sector businesses just sort of sat around and went “duh”?

It is truly laughable how they think about this stuff. But I can only explore it so far; like I said, I have strong doubts they’ve thought it out too well themselves, and I cannot explore that which does not exist.

It is their motivations that are at issue here. They do not, in spite of all the above, think of government as a wellspring of goodness. Or, at least, not pure goodness. You doubt me, just wait for Barack Obama to get His ass voted out and sent home. Wait for a Reagan-style no-apologies conservative Republican to be inaugurated again, then approach your weird liberal friends-and-relatives about what government can do, or what it’s thinking about doing. You’ll get a whole different song out of them. The best representative case of this might be the San Jose Mercury News story about the CIA selling rock cocaine in inner cities, and all the conspiracy theories that erupted from that whole thing. It fit the narrative: Murder and mayhem being stirred up by all these sinister guys running around, in their nice suits and expensive cars, on the payroll of some shadowy, sinister government agency. Straight out of the Watergate era. It never gets old.

So when the other guy is in charge, our libs are quite capable of believing government might do less-than-wonderful things.

Here we have a dilemma: How, then, can they see the answer to every problem as simple as prying more money out of the taxpayers’ grasp, and turning it over to this sometimes-good sometimes-bad government?

They have no problem believing government does bad stuff when the other guy is in charge. Can the dilemma be explained, as simply as: They don’t think, when their guys are in charge, that the other guys will ever, ever be in charge?

The People will understand, once we see liberal ideas put into action, that they work so well we’ll never want to put anyone else in, ever? Maybe cancel the elections forever or something? How then do they explain fairly recent human history, which saw us getting sick to death of the liberals in 2000, 1980, 1968, 1952, 1920…how do they explain this circular motion. I can tell you from my own experience they have a lot of difficulty with this. Once this is posed, I see a lot of the “homina homina until the Cheesecake Nazi bails me out, or else call the other guy an awful person if she’s nowhere to be seen” tactic. Oh, maybe I really am an awful person…and maybe the Cheesecake Nazi can see that too…but it doesn’t matter, does it, if the question is still out there? The liberal policies are supposed to be so obviously wonderful, and yet the country keeps getting sick of ‘em.

This guy has a theory that works. I think he’s nailed it:

Think about the people you know who have low self-esteem. We’ll call that person The Patient. The Patient does not see value in himself. He does not consider himself worthy of advancement, of self-transcendence, or self-actualization. Instead, The Patient believes he is a bad person, undeserving of success, love, wealth, or happiness. He comes to believe, therefore, that any effort he exerts on his own behalf is doomed to fail because he is such a bad person and does not deserve any success.

But there is this tiny little voice — the ego — that just won’t stand for this self-flagellation. So the ego projects The Patient’s self-hate onto The Other as a defense mechanism. They project the self-hate onto the person who is happy, wealthy, successful, and loved. Now, it is The Other who becomes the object of hate. “Why should he have everything? What has he done to deserve all this? I’m not the bad person, he is.” As a friend’s Facebook quote said just today, “Haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.”

Then, as the pathology deepens, the projection distorts further. Now The Other is actually the cause of The Patient’s unhappiness because The Patient’s ego refuses to accept the truth that The Patient himself is the cause of his own unhappiness. Blame cannot be taken! The Patient becomes The Victim. The Other is demonized — literally transformed into a demon, an evil entity. The Other is called names. The Other is dehumanized. The Patient now self-righteously, and in the name of all that is good and just, actively seeks to destroy The Other. To punish It. To take away what It has by force. Because by destroying The Other, The Patient believes the source of their suffering will be removed.
:
Unhappy people become Liberals. People seek out those that are similar. Birds of a feather flock together. An unhappy person looks around and sees two groups: happy people, and unhappy people. Rather than take a page out of the former group, enter the herd and ask for (and likely receive) help and guidance on how to become happy, the person is more likely to choose the path of least resistance — of instant acceptance. “Come to Mumsy, darling, you’re one of us.” And once in the herd, it becomes very, very difficult to leave it.

The Liberal, of course, will deny this pathology. No, they say, they are only trying to make things fair. Liberals are consumed with fixing the world. By eliminating what is unfair, by eliminating the evil banks and the greedy corporations, all the little people will receive what is rightfully theirs! (Subconsciously, then, nobody will be more successful than they are.) So twisted with hate, and so convinced of their own inefficacy, they cannot even rely on themselves to overthrow The Other. They hand over their own power to a third party — the government — to do their dirty work in the form of the confiscatory process of increased taxation and regulation.

Bulls-eye. The government is a source…not of goodness, but of anonymity. The progressive says, The Internet Is A Government Creation, and the pronouncement is not quite so much an effort to impose the shining light of truth upon the darkness of ignorance, or even to control the outcome, but rather to avoid contending with any of the historical details. It is an exercise in avoidance.

The driving desire is one of denying individual human achievement. Nothing is more frightening to a true progressive than the idea of some guy going into a garage, or abandoned barn, and fiddling around with something that then takes on a life of its own. Whether that something is a steam engine, or an Apple computer, or a light bulb, or a Frankenstein monster, or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This idea just scares the hell out of them. If it comes from the labors of an identifiable individual, then it comes from that individual’s brain. That, in turn, means the individual had the potential all by himself…and that, in turn, means we all do.

This is the true reason why they loathe God. The idea of God is an idea of purpose: We are here for some established function. It may very well be that this function is nothing more than an experiment. Maybe God is trying to build His own Internet — or climate model? But even an exploratory function is still a function, and this scares them silly.

They feel useless. So they don’t want anyone else to escape uselessness. Therefore, any decision worth making that has an actual impact on something, has to be made by a committee…a nice, safe, anonymous committee full of people who will never be personally acquainted by the liberal who is so scared of all this. Either a committee, or a super-wonderful demigod like Barack Obama, who, again, will never become a personal acquaintance of the liberal. Oh, maybe the Replacement Jesus will call on them during a town hall meeting to ask a question…or, He’ll have dinner with them to thank them for their five dollar donation

…but the liberal won’t ever have to be personally associated with a decision about something that has a real lasting impact. Neither will anybody with whom the liberal identifies, on any personal level. We’re all just — here. Doing our thing. Living, eating, fornicating, crapping, dying, like domestic pets.

No real accountability for judgments made. No decisions that really mean anything, coming from any of us.

That’s the real goal. That’s why they like government. All decisions made, are announced in passive voice: “It was the decision that…the feeling was…the consensus was…” Nothing scares them batshit crazy so much as an individual protagonist calling a shot, and sinking the right ball in the right pocket. That would mean anyone else who wants to, could do the same thing. This just rattles them right down to the marrow of their bones. That is what makes them liberals.

And that is why the celebration of Christmas is treated as a toxic thing. If it was about religious freedom, religious diversity, or the respect for people who choose not to be religious, they’d have to acknowledge the obvious: That when an atheist is reminded of the existence of religious people, the atheist is not harmed by this in any way. They have to go much, much further than that, because their driving ambition is to mute out any suggestion from anyone — be it a religious suggestion or not! — that we, as individuals, have the capability of altering the course of events, and maybe it’s a good thing for we as individuals to try to do this. Not by electing super-duper-wonderful people to make those decisions for us. But to do it ourselves. They cannot abide this, even for a stretch of time measured in heartbeats. They cannot…to coin a phrase…”tolerate” it. There is no room for it in their world.

“Weaponized Ignorance”

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Speculation…

The Obama 2012 campaign will be a profoundly moralistic enterprise. Its practical components have recently been field-tested. The President himself turned up on “60 Minutes” last weekend to unveil the latest updated version of his “Blame Bush” strategy, in which the horrible numbers swirling around his moribund economy are actually the fault of his predecessor, who left him such a mess that we should be congratulating Obama for his incredible skill at making things as good as they are. He even brought back the “jobs created or saved” concept, which should have gotten him laughed off the national stage the first time he tried it.

Meanwhile, on Monday we had DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz​ angrily denying that unemployment has increased under Obama at all. Voters will be hit with a blast of weaponized ignorance in 2012, and told to forget everything that has actually happened since 2008.

American PoliticsBut these elements are not the core of the President’s re-election strategy. They’re meant to confuse voters and soften them up for the real sales pitch, which will be entirely moral in character. It doesn’t matter if the things Obama has done didn’t work, or even – as in the case of ObamaCare – achieved exactly the opposite results from what Obama promised. We are morally obliged to follow such policies in the interest of “fairness,” “compassion,” and so forth, even when their failure is obvious.

…but sound speculation nevertheless. We are almost certain to be deluged with such a toxic brew. It’s already started, in fact.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is why you can’t discuss anything with a liberal in polite company and keep the conversation civil. The blame goes to the liberal, if the liberal takes the moral high ground, because it isn’t possible to have a civil conversation with someone taking the position “You are unworthy of society’s privileges and tolerance if you have any opinion on this different from mine.”

Antidote:

The Republican candidate must boldly make the moral case for capitalism, as well as offering a practical critique of the Obama record….Capitalism is the practical expression of liberty. Without private ownership of capital, all other expressions are merely indulgences permitted by the government. We understand instinctively that the suppression of free speech indicates a dangerous lack of respect for individuals by the State, but we have been conditioned to forget that a lack of respect for property is at least as disturbing. Once property is gone, speech is not very difficult for the State to control, or ignore.
:
Independence flourishes only under capitalism! Nothing could be less expressive of individuality that trooping into a voting booth periodically, to vote for or against a handful of people who will be judged according to many different policies, casting your ballot onto a pile of thousands or millions. The more power your “representatives” accumulate, the less accurately their performance can be measured. And if the vote doesn’t go your way, you have very limited options to walk away from the unsatisfactory results. [emphasis in original]

Hat tip to blogger friend Terri.

The First Christmas

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The part where the innkeeper slams the door in their faces, that just cracks me up.

With a grateful hat tip to blogger friend Rick.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Her Self Esteem Issues

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Hax:

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend broke up with me last Thursday. Essentially she got drunk, and some guy she admits to having a crush on kissed her.

I think the original breakup was an overreaction on her part. She struggles with some self-esteem issues even though she is an amazing person; she constantly tells me she doesn’t deserve to be with me, I treat her too well, etc. She is in therapy and addressing these issues and others.

We’ve been talking a lot the past week — some very painful, tearful conversations — and I think we’re getting back together.

I really, really want to make things work with her, but I’m concerned there are hazards ahead. Is there anything particular we need to watch for?

Hurting but hopeful

I realize this is ridiculously easy for me to say, from out in the ether with no feelings for either of you beyond a we-are-the-world love of humanity, but: It sounds as if she’d be better off navigating through her issues without the added complication of maintaining a relationship.

I agree with Carolyn about what the guy needs to do, and it isn’t necessary to discuss whether I agree on any other point.

“Ladies” like this are not going to get better, ever. That’s because, while they do have self esteem issues, said issues do not exist in the form in which we recognize them. Our mistaken notion is that the victim suffers from low self-esteem and doesn’t consider herself to be worth as much as other people. The truth is more like: She doesn’t know how to live a fulfilling life, only a comfortable one, and in order to reach a comfort zone she needs to diminish the people around her, because that’s their purpose in her eyes. So she’s seen, institutionally, as suffering from a deficit of self-esteem especially in relative terms when she compares herself to others. But it’s more accurate to say she is carrying around a debilitating overabundance of the stuff.

Think about it. Who, in this situation, does she see as more worthy than herself? The guy she kissed? He was just an implement she used in a scheme to get more attention from her real boyfriend; it worked like a charm. The real boyfriend? She manipulates him to get more attention. She cheated on him and she’ll do it again, because that’s the method she’s selected. Won’t use another method until it becomes necessary to do so, and it won’t. The therapist? He or she is there to make her feel good. People like this don’t get better because they fail to learn how to engage life in any setting in which it isn’t all about them, them, them.

They go to therapy, in which, for an hour or so, it’s still all about them-them-them. The bill is paid, somehow, and then they go back to their lives in which it’s still all about them-them-them. They don’t know any other way to do it, and although the therapy industry won’t permit anyone to talk about this openly, they aren’t learning.

Rat in MazeI’ve noticed people like this tend to have multiple addictions, of sufficient number and intensity that it’s fair to conclude their personality — which is busted — makes them susceptible to forming addictions. What really defines our blind spot, is this: The addictive personality is not going to struggle with a problem it really wants solved, for years or decades at a time. It is not like the rat in the maze that needs to be led to the cheese. It is the Jurassic Park situation. The way will be found. It wants what it wants when it wants it, and it will get it. If it isn’t getting something, it isn’t getting it because it doesn’t want it.

Now if we’re talking about whether people like this have issues with envisioning themselves independently achieving something useful to others — then this is an entirely different conversation. Yes there is a vision problem there, and the vision problem is atrophy. They haven’t formed that vision because they’re not used to thinking that way. By the time a man is starving, if he uses his wits and other gifts to get himself a plate of food, he has no feeling of accomplishment as he devours the plate of food because the demand nature has placed on him to eat the food obscures that sense of accomplishment. The same is true of a baby who’s found a nipple. In this sense, the “low self esteem” thing is a true statement, because the addictive personality can’t engage this cycle. It simply isn’t constructed that way.

It can barter one good in exchange for another, but it can’t remain in a system that operates by such bartering for any length of time, because sooner or later it will engage this bartering by means of deceit and in so doing, destroy the trust that is the foundation of such a system.

It’s simply un-evolved. Like a beast living in the wild; the time comes to gorge, and it will do whatever it takes, like any properly developed lioness, shark, or other predator. To express a hope that it will learn a different way to interact with its environment, is to express a true ignorance of what’s being observed.

“Predator.” That is the key word. From Kindergarten onward, our society simply will not allow people to view anything feminine in this way, ever, no matter what. We talk about females like this missing their self-esteem, because we’re groping around looking for some alternative way to discuss it. But in truth, the capacity to develop into adulthood poorly, with predatory personality tendencies, is divided about evenly between males and females. We are culturally permitted to recognize it only in the males.

What it Takes to Provide Jobs

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

One of the many problems with the protest mentality that’s become popular over the last fifty to eighty years, is the most obvious one, that it creates a toxic and troubling epoxy by mixing raw emotion with inimical sentiment. Raw emotion tends to eclipse rational thought, and when you see a negotiating partner as an enemy it gets much harder to see the situation from his perspective.

And so, for the Occupy Wall Street crowd, we have a handy primer, of sorts, about what it really takes to provide these jobs they’re supposed to be wanting.

You think a job is some sort of entitlement — like it should just be there for you. But you’ve got to realize that a real person has to bust his butt in order to create that job.

When you say, “Dude, where’s my job?” what you’re really saying is, “Dude, put your financial and emotional well-being on the line by quitting your day job and hanging out a shingle. Be smart and diligent enough to come up with a good product, and hope that you can sell enough of that product to have enough revenue to hire and pay me.”

Most people would never in a million years go through all the B.S. involved in starting a business and creating a job.

Memo For File CXLIX

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Liberal blogger Ed Darrell thinks very highly of the late Professor Stephen Schneider, especially of this appearance the Prof. made shortly before his demise before a big roomful of skeptics.

As usual: When I make the most charitable assumptions possible about Darrell’s thinking processes, I’m puzzled as to why he thinks highly of something. I have little idea why he would find Schneider’s comments to be convincing, either to skeptics or to the agreeable. And then when I form the most derogatory expectations I possibly can, all of a sudden everything is crystal clear.

Schneider actually does very little by way of presentation of factual evidence that would persuade a rationally-minded skeptic toward a change of mind. He was annoyingly fond of discussing statistics with approximations, “ten percent” or so, emphasizing on the concepts he was trying to get across. I’m seeing lots of such conceptual explanation here, a lot of made-up numbers to help bolster analogies involving bathtubs and such, and some subtle, cheery condescension. But his arguments are non-arguments: “Oh, then you’re totally wrong.” Yes, I can see why Ed Darrell likes this; Schneider argued things the Darrell way. Don’t read that, read this instead!

Another thing I’m seeing in these four installments is a wonderful overview of the data sets that have come under Schneider’s watchful eye that persuade him. But this says very little when he’s been part of the global warming cult for about as long as it’s been around, and it doesn’t help that he’s indulging in the kind of bureaucratic double-speak that would make a rattlesnake jealous. “I am actually very pleased that you are skeptics. There’s no such thing as a good scientist who’s not a skeptic.” — now, knock it off right now, because I’m here to pound away on this tired trope like it’s a drum, that skepticism on this particular topic is a sign of intellectual weakness.

You think I’m being too cynical? Imagine an astronomer explaining the concept of dark matter. We should see this but instead, what we’re seeing is this.

The cattle rancher lady is doing a much better job, from what I’ve seen, of relying on actual hard, definable numbers. The climate cultists so simplify the arguments of their opposition, that we have a real problem now with them using one-size-fits-all arguments while not an awful lot of additional learning is going on. Like hamsters in little wheels. They run into the dissent, and their first reaction as well as their last one is to just repeat the explanation over again, from the top, about how it’s all supposed to work.

Schneider does very little to improve the situation, frankly. He’s facing fifty or so people who’ve heard it all before. What does he do? He explains how (sing along if you want!) carbon from human activity is trapped in the atmosphere, it acts as a greenhouse gas and this causes global warming, which is going to…do something soon.

If I were a cultist and I really wanted to change some minds, first thing I’d do is what the narrator lady did in the very first installment: Define all these various strands of skepticism. This guy over here doesn’t think there’s warming. That guy over there agrees there is warming, but human activity doesn’t contribute much to it and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it. Some other guy buys into all of it, but is opposed to the policy changes that have been proposed so far to deal with the problem.

Simply put, global warming scare mongers just don’t have that much respect for their opposition. They can’t follow through on this first simple step, of coming to an understanding of what the opposition has to say. If they were really all about science, rather than taking pains to act scienc-ey, they’d be doing that; you could say something to one of them like “I agree carbon is an insulator and that it tends to accumulate in the atmosphere, but humans don’t contribute much to it” or “I am doubtful of the nightmare scenarios that are supposed to take place if the saturation reaches, say, 550ppm, I think it could get much higher and we wouldn’t be impacted much.” And you’d get back non-preachy, non-sneering, non-chortling answers with non-made-up numbers, rather than a retread of the argument that was already stated. The religious dogma would be left out of it. They wouldn’t be explaining over and over again how it’s supposed to work, when they know you already know. They’d address your specific area of doubt.

Anybody have today’s mean-Earth-temperature handy?

As for myself, I think the concepts are scientifically sound. It’s the doomsday prophecies that are in real trouble here. Where science has made itself robust, from all I’ve read about it, is where the data are gathered from the temperature stations and then plotted. But that is such a huge yawning distance from being able to predict any kind of climate calamity. The correlation between carbon saturation and mean temperature increase, all the desperate post-Climategate-email rhetoric notwithstanding, is fraught with problems. The very phrase “peer review” has been subjected to repeated attempts at institutional re-definition, and that by itself has a very damaging effect on the credibility of the institutions, as it should.

But even where things are going swimmingly, with gathering the data and analyzing it — the experts are doing a very poor job of explaining the nascent state of this particular branch of the science. It’s still at the state where, when they study the data, they’re studying how well their methods are working just as much as they’re studying what the data are supposed to be measuring. What is the list of these weather stations and how is it controlled? Whenever the list changes for whatever reason, are the data sets properly tossed out and started over? It’s a perfectly legitimate question, if you’re sounding a dire doomsday scenario just because when you take an “average” you’re seeing the average change over time. How is the temperature of the oceans factored in? Another perfectly legitimate question, when you consider how much of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and how different the heat density of seawater is compared to the heat density of a land mass. After all, the carbon in the atmosphere is not supposed to be trapping temperature, it is supposed to be trapping heat.

I’ve come to feel very uncomfortable watching these climate change cheerleaders speak in their reverent tones about the departed Professor. Not quite so much because they’re accusing skeptics like me of speaking ill of the dead, although I’m sure that’s the intended undertone. Instead, I’m uneasy because their platitudes are mostly empty. You can’t say “Professor Schneider’s contributions were key to developing the first working…” light bulb, nuclear reactor, something in between. He wrote papers, got his Ph.D., earned honors, appeared in the media, and did a lot of other things that have something to do with what somebody else said or thought.

These are the people who end up with the loudest voices, pretty much everywhere. And that is to our detriment, and our discredit. We tend to place the highest soapboxes under the feet of those who have shown, due to loud voice, lofty stature, or both, that they have no need for a soapbox. I actually feel rather sorry for Dr. Schneider when I hear these sympathetic flailing around for something they can say about his actual contributions. It’s like going to a funeral with very few other attendees, and hearing a couple of eulogies that say things like “He was a wonderful guy in ways I can’t really discuss.”

He deserves props for speaking out against this whole name-calling thing, where climate change deniers are called something “akin to a Holocaust denier” and so forth. I wonder if he was ever conscious of how much people like him contributed to that sort of environment. You go around saying people who don’t agree with you need to read up on the science…and that we’re approaching a tipping point, at which something catastrophic will happen…well okay, the pieces are there. Someone else comes along and arranges them into the proper picture.

And from what I’ve been able to read and watch of his conclusions, there’s just no delicate way to put this: I find his science to be shoddy.

We know that there are probably hundreds of tipping points. We don’t know precisely where they are. Therefore you never know which ones you’re crossing when. All you know is that as you add warming, you cross more and more of them.

Commenter Cassandra King speaks for me:

Huuh? I have heard some ridiculous statements from the AGW industry over the years but this one takes a prize and a rosette.
The statement crosses over into cult belief justification, What are these tipping points and where are they? Its like saying I know angels exist but I have never seen one but they must be all over the place and I might be standing next to one right now.
The utterly foolish anti scientific nature of filling in huge gaps in actual knowledge by inventing unkown and unproven causes/effects reminds me clearly of the phlogiston saga.

Schneider says:

We know we have a rough 10 percent chance that [the effect of global warming] is going to be not much; a rough 10 percent chance of ‘Oh, My God’; and everything else in between. Therefore, what you’re talking about as a scientist is risk: what can happen multiplied times the odds of it happening. That’s an expert judgment. The average person is not really competent to make such a judgment.

Now how do you square this, with his comment in Part 4 at 4:40: “It is not a scientist’s job to judge whether or not the risks are sufficient to hedge against any of these possibilities, it is only our job to report risk. And that’s why we have so many reviews.” I do find these statements to be reconcilable, but once you stencil things off that way you’re left with a scientist’s “turf” that is focused like a laser-beam. It is not a complicated area of expertise, nothing that hard to understand, it’s something like an insurance or mortgage underwriter.

Well, you know what? That isn’t where the effort has been directed; not what’s come to my attention, anyway. That isn’t what the IPCC assessments have been working on. Crack one open sometime. They have sections on raw data, they have narratives written by committees of scientists and then they have big fat sections all about proposed rules for “developed” nations and “developing” nations…then they drone on about how their committees are made up, with so many representatives from developed nations and so many representatives from developing nations.

Schneider’s “hundreds of tipping points” remain an ethereal, abstract wispy idea.

I cannot help but wonder what Darrell, or any other good progressive, would think of a conservative “proving” Mumia Abu Jamal shot Officer Daniel Faulkner, using exactly the same arguments Schneider used in this forum, with bathtub analogies and so forth.

Ultra Mega Mega Man Rule

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

As I explained on the Hello Kitty of Blogging (I think there’s a registration required to read that)…it’s named after a plot device from the first season of South Park.

Real simple rule. Fifteen items on your Christmas list, that means you want fifteen things that have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. Not a single item on the list is functionally connected to any other item, in any way whatsoever.

If an item is upgradeable, then that’s great. Start with the basic item. Christmas is for basics.

None of this nonsense about “You bring me a steering column for a Bugatti Veyron, and you bring me a gas pedal for a Bugatti Veyron, and you bring me a glove compartment door for a Bugatti Veyron…” hoping to snap it all together on December 24, when every single retail outlet in the entire Western hemisphere is going to be shut up tight for the next thirty-six hours…and then…if EVERYTHING goes perfectly right, you & everybody else can have a decent, un-ruined Christmas.

And your parents get to struggle with the “Omigosh” stress throughout every single minute of every hour of every day from Thanksgiving forward, struggling to no avail to manage this project as complicated and involved as your average Space Shuttle launch. Does it take a special battery? Does it require a special memory pack? Omigosh!

Fifty things on the wish list, fifty things that have nothing to do with each other. Nice & simple. If you want something that costs fifteen hundred smackers once everything’s all bought up to make it go, grow a pair & write it down that way. As one item.

I’m recording this sensible opinion of mine right here, so it won’t be forgotten in the Christmases yet to come. Baby Jesus wasn’t even able to put together a list. Perspective, people.

The 50 Most Beautiful Women in Sports

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Blogging it because it’s chock full of funny-sounding names from foreign countries that are completely news to me.

They left off Jennifer Aniston, though.